From humble beginnings, street art found its place in the contemporary art world and has made itself right at home in our Magic City. Next Saturday, October 13th, Gregg Shienbaum welcomes back local street artist Poska aka Clandestine Culture for his first solo show.
Miami, don’t miss this one – this guy is super legit!
In 2008, fueled by an economic crisis and sparked by the murder of a young student, a three week long riot broke out all over Greece and spread throughout the world. During this time the AETYNOMIA (Greek Police) were accused of overt violence and brutality which for the most part went unpunished. More
“To understand Clandestine Culture you need to understand society and how it works.”
While watching the news coverage of the riots, Poska was horrified by what he saw and was unable to shake the image of a poor screaming woman being brutalized by the Greek police. And so, long story short, Clandestine Culture was born.
Although the riots are a few years behind us now, the Clandestine Culture general message remains the same – don’t be fooled by mass media.
Nowadays, the works have evolved to incorporate other elements and additional materials. Nonetheless, he keeps it real by incorporating specific individuals from the local community who are also keepin it real by living in the underground.
“Many of them are friends from around the world and others I never met. Those people represent the courage that you need to have to demonstrate to the world that you are Clandestine Culture.” Poska
This local street movement first caught our eye sometime last year right around the time of Art Basel during a drive through Wynwood. I noticed images of my good friends, Rod Deal and Marcus Blake, pasted on a wall with the words “Clandestine Culture” written underneath them.
That same day, if not soon after, we spotted Rod and Marcus again. This time their faces were pasted on a light pole outside of Panther Coffee.
At first, since Rod and Marcus are also artist, I suspected this may have been their own doing but soon after noticed the some other faces marked with Clandestine Culture and I realized that this was a project by an artist trying to spread a message to the entire community; one we hadn’t heard of yet and one we have been dying to know more about ever since.
Inspired by Exit Through a Gift Shop, or maybe not, the Wet Heat Project has been documenting Poska at work while he prepares for the upcoming exhibition. The intensity of the filming action is set to pick up this weekend and then really get hot in the final 100 hours to opening night when the pressure will definitely be on.
The doc will take you behind the scenes (while still concealing the artists’ identity) and inside Clandestine Culture. Pretty exciting, right? We thought so too! Plus, they will be adding a locals only soundtrack comprised of Miami based musicians and bands.
The Wet Heat Project will screen a preview of the doc before Art Basel week after which it will premier on the Wet Heat Project’s in-room TV channel at Sagamore, The Art Hotel.
For now, you can take a peak at the Clandestine Culture YouTube Channel where Poska has loads of videos featuring tons of images of his work and although you won’t get a glimpse of his face, you can watch him in action.
Philadelphia native Gregg Shienbaum has been in Wynwood for about a year now. His perfectly centered gallery sits right smack in the middle of all the action and well, so is he!
Constantly on the prowl for fine contemporary art and fresh local talent, his collection includes pieces by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, How and Nosm, Ron English and one of our personal favorites, D*Face. (On exhibit this December for Gregg’s Art Basel exhibition)
Ready and willing to take a chance on an unknown kid, Gregg Shienbaum approached a man wearing a hoodie, goggles, and a scarf over his mouth as he was pasting a poster onto a light pole right outside his Wynwood art gallery.
“At first he thought I was a cop and froze up on me, I gave him my business card and told him I was interested in showing his work and to visit my gallery.” Gregg Shienbaum
Poska, who has yet to unveil his face to the public, didn’t make it easy. He’s a street artist first and foremost and although he wants to spread Clandestine Culture throughout the world, he insists that his identity be kept secret in order to continue to cover the walls of our city with his message without any legal repercussions.
Last week, Rod Deal picked me up, camera at hand and ready to head over to Gregg’s Gallery to finally meet the man behind Clandestine Culture.
The gallery windows had been covered with paper to prevent any snooping. As we walked in and tip-toed around all sorts of materials spread throughout the gallery floor, it became very clear that there was still loads of work to do before the opening and this was going to become Poskas home for the next week or so.
Most of the walls had been covered with giant pieces of paper. Some of them had already been stenciled and very few of them had a coat of paint.
“To reproduce a full color image of my work you need at least 5 stencils – one for each color and adding to this is the size. It’s going take probably 2+ hours to complete each piece.” Poska
For his premiere solo show Poska is maintaining the authenticity of his street art by recreating many of the Clandestine Culture works we’ve seen up and down the street on location.
Poska spoke a bit about a new artwork, Genesis, composed primarily of a big yellow school bus used to represent the beginning of our lives as innocent children. As he popped open a Corona, he walked us to the back of the gallery to show us another piece that demonstrated that although his artworks are impactful on their own, they may also be pieced together to form a story.
Poska then turned back and began to talk to us about another new and much larger piece that he and Gregg has decided to include in the show that very same day. He seemed particularly excited about this one because he will be working with several different materials to create a more three dimensional artwork composed of several various layers.
That’s not all!
As we turned the corner, we noticed that alongside the wall of the main gallery entrance there was what appeared to be a loooong block of cement, stretching wall-to-wall, with some wood sort of wooden framing poking out of it.
Turns out that the exhibition is not only bringing the street artist to the gallery but is also bringing the street along with him! Adamant about staying true to his roots, Poska will be including a street art installation within the street art exhibition.
Confused? In the spirit of street art, he’s invited a few other local street artist including, HEC1, DOT, and Vince “Bad Panda” Herrera, to collaborate. Poska will be providing each artist with a panel for the installation and giving them free reign to do with it what they please.
One of the participating artist, Hec One Love aka HEC1, was recently commissioned to to do a massive wrap around wall (60k+ SqFt) in Wynwood and the focus of his installation is the chaotic nature of street art, how it fades, peels, gets covered, or partially covered, how its a battle for wall space between artists and its a decaying process that starts inmediately after the outdoor piece is finished.
This particular wall had also coincidentally been previously adorned by Clandestine Culture. Hec One Love peeled and preserved as much of the works as possible with the intention of incorporating the remnants into the installation. The idea is to continue to recycle the collaboration.
Pretty dope, huh? We told ya this one would be worth visiting! After what seems to be turning out to be a kick ass premiere exhibition, we can’t help but wonder… What’s next for Clandestine Culture?
“I can’t tell you now what will happen with my work, because I don’t even know what course I will take. You can be sure of one thing, I will keep doing this no matter what.” Poska