May 16, 2008
through June 14, 2008
NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2008) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce Vida Apaixonada, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Hamilton Yokota, the Brazilian artist better known as Titi Freak. After introducing his work to New York audiences during the 2007 group show, Ruas De São Paulo: A Survey of Brazilian Street Art, Jonathan LeVine Gallery has welcomed Titi Freak back this year for Vida Apaixonada, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
For Vida Apaixonada (which is Portuguese for: Passionate Life), Titi Freak has created a new collection of original mixed media paintings, drawings and collages on a variety of alternative surfaces and found objects. He has also begun a new series of hand-carved etchings. Expanding on his signature style—working on canvas, wood panel, fabric, sake packaging and other found materials—the artist uses screens, stencils, spray paint drips, and graphic brush strokes of varying line quality. These elements collectively result in layers of vibrant colors, rich in pattern and texture. The work will be incorporated into a site-specific installation, transforming the space into a completely cohesive environment.
Drawing influence from his Japanese heritage as well as his Brazilian upbringing, Titi Freak’s diverse mixture of cultural backgrounds combine to form a very distinct perspective, and unique creative voice. Often wearing street fashions and somber expressions, his figures appear alongside details inspired by the urban landscape such as electrical pole shadows and silhouettes of stray dogs. At times, his work uses imagery derived from Japanese wood block prints—traditional kimonos, cloud forms, sumo figures, and historical national symbols of Japan, such as the rising sun flag. Additional elements include highly stylized lettering, Japanese calligraphy, and Pichação (a form of graffiti writing specifically native to São Paulo, the artist’s home town).
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Hamilton Yokota (aka Titi Freak) is a São Paulo native with Japanese ancestry, resulting in a mixture of personal qualities that stem from his combined cultural backgrounds. The artist has created illustration work for International ad agencies and several brands including Adidas, Ecko and Nike. He has painted in the streets of cities around the world, and his fine art has been exhibited in galleries throughout Asia, South America and Europe. Titi Freak first began writing graffiti in 1995 on the streets of São Paulo, Brazil. His style fuses Eastern and Western cultures, with fashion, pop imagery, illustration, graffiti and comic influences. Titi Freak’s references range from Hokusai and Murakami to Robert Williams and Dave Cooper. He is also a champion yo-yo master.