Valli Art Gallery - Miami
By Raisa Clavijo
Catalonian street artist Kenor recently exhibited “Genesis/Techno” in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. This is not South Florida’s first contact with his work, as he previously left his mark on walls around the city. Kenor’s work is the result of his visual interpretation of music; that is to say, the pieces we see gathered in “Genesis/Techno” arose from his interest in Detroit techno, vibrant music, full of textures, which implicitly carries the spontaneity that defines his work, the impulse of the gesture of the mere act of painting.
Kenor got his start in the visual arts painting graffiti on trains at a very young age. This experience gave him a great ability to paint, since he had to do it very quickly to evade the police. Consequently, he learned how to paint without looking at what he was doing, with spray paint, developing a Geometric Abstraction associated with Op and Kinetic art. Painting a composition that he knew would be seen in movement influenced his style. Although he visualizes the structure of the work in advance, the materializing of his ideas always exceeds his initial calculations.
Kenor also composes electronic music, and his abstract works are precisely the materialization of sounds, tones and notes. From its beginnings, abstraction has had a close correlation with the language of music. Kandinsky recognized in abstract art a kind of poetry or visual music. Many of the first abstract works of the precursor of this movement evoked impressions of musical pieces. Kandinsky discovered that by liberating the basic elements of the image from the physical representation of the world-that is, the color, the line and the plane-he could liberate the message and thereby make it transcend from concrete to abstract ideas, closer to the essence of the spiritual. As part of the work process, Kenor listens to a lot of techno music and watches a lot of films. Being inside a movie theater, immersed in a film’s plot, in a universe of images, special effects, sounds and sensations, opens doors of perception to him, leaving him in a kind of trance that activates his creativity.
Stylistically, his work carries the imprint of pioneers of Geometric Abstraction like Malevich and Kandinsky. However, Kenor did not know about the work of these creators when he started to paint. His style has arisen intuitively, motivated by the very visuality of the street, by fashion, by CD cover designs and by the contribution that artists like Jesús Soto and Carlos Cruz Diez have made to urban art, which has influenced the work of many graffiti artists.
Kenor has created murals in a variety of cities across the globe, including Barcelona; Paris; Dresden, Germany; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Aarlborg, Denmark; Kiev, Ukraine; and Leon, Spain. He has also dabbled in installations in which he creates a three-dimensional artwork and offers entry into them in such a way that the viewer feels inside the work, akin to being inside a musical composition, coexisting with the notes and even being able to touch them. For “Genesis/Techno,” he created two sculptures in a Miami workshop. “In my work, sculpture appears when I tire of trying to make the paint come out of the wall,” he said when I interviewed him last June.
The collection of works in “Genesis/Techno” requires different moments of appreciation and awakens the imagination of the observer to a limitless wealth of associations and values as rich as those that culture and the experience of the subject in question are able to produce.
(May 19 - June 19, 2016)
Raisa Clavijo is an art critic, curator and art historian based in Miami. She is founder and editor-in-chief of ARTPULSE and ARTDISTRICTS magazines.
Filed Under: Reviews