Over the past few decades, a general shift in what defines high-brow and low-brow art, as well as where galleries and museums fit into this new structure, has been culturally felt. Enter Station 16, a gallery located at the heart of Boulevard Saint-Laurent which features a variety of national and international street and graffiti artists. Their newest group exhibition, titled STENCILED, features several artists, including:
Tokyo’s AIKO (aka Lady AIKO), an artist influenced by the manga style and who displays an appreciation for fluorescents;
Icy and Sot, two brothers hailing from Iran and currently based in New York, whose works have strong political undertones;
Joe Iurato, an enigmatic artist from New York who works with stenciled cut-outs which can be found all over the gallery, from the floors to hanging installations;
Logan Hicks, also from New York, known for his intricately detailed and layered stencil cut-outs of urban landscapes;
And finally, Snik, a UK duo who work heavily with stencils and luminescent colours which create a glowing effect.
The exhibition, which is on from April 28 to May 21, is set-up so that the stark-white space cannot, in any way, compete with the variety of colours and textures presented in each work. Although each artist has a specific view or message that he or she (or they) may want to convey, it is clear that every piece displays a celebration of neon-shades and the typical gaudiness associated with urban street art and graffiti. Fueled by a Warhol-like love of pop culture, most pieces have a noticeably humorous take on their subjects while some have messages that tug at the viewers’ heartstrings and require more reflection of the societal kind.
On the night of April 28, the exhibition’s opening vernissage, guests were treated to informal talks and drinks with some of the artists. But regardless whether you get to meet those behind these works or not, a trip to Station 16 will guarantee a sensational feast for the eyes and an indication of what artists are interested in today.