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2023. 01.12. - 2023. 03. 12.


Space Fountain presents 『FIRE ESCAPE』, a solo exhibition of Jordan Nickel, who works under the name POSE, for the first time in Korea. The artist, who has accumulated artistic experience from an early age through graffiti, collects and mixes various images consumed and discarded in daily life, such as billboards, posters, magazines, comic books, and product packages, to compose screens. Like the collage experimented by Dadaists, the artist's screen, which cuts up and mixes familiar images from mass media, transforms into a mysterious space where various realities are concentrated, just as fragments of memory coexist. This exhibition, which has the meaning of 'emergency exit', contains the artist's gaze seeking a way out of reality amidst the violence and anxiety experienced during the time of the corona pandemic and war.

In this exhibition, representative works of poses that create multi-layered meanings through overlapping screens of street signs, cartoon characters, various motives of the American Dream, and representative icons of pop art are presented. The series of works titled 'Vista', 'Relief', 'Path', and 'Key' deliver various stories about art and reality by intersecting landscapes and characters, colors and patterns. Based on absurdity and unique humor, Pose's work, which composes a playful screen, develops into an anti-authoritative formative language, subverts the traditional painting system, and creates various narratives.

In the large-scale work <VISTA1>, you can see a character with a smurf face holding a bag and moving around busily. However, the character's face is obscured by colored planes, and the feathers in his hair and the branches in his mouth are also unique. The shape of the body is also recognizable as arms and legs, but it is not clear. In <VISTA3>, you can recognize the movement of a person dressed as a cowboy as if pressing a button. However, this person's face is also covered by a pattern, making it difficult to recognize clearly. The artist's cut-up and collage methods act as a device to amplify imagination and emotions by hiding and dismantling specific objects. In another work <VISTA2>, a hinged door is placed in the center. This door processed as a pattern is also ambiguous and the clear use is unknown. The three-dimensional space created with multiple layers and patterns, contrasting colors, and the combination of objects with ambiguous relevance give Pose's work continuous power. The multiple layers of cut-up images overturn the logical cognitive system and dismantle and hide the meaning of the work.

In the <RELIEF> series, you can see characters showing more diverse facial expressions and gestures. In <RELIEF1>, the girl's mouth is emphasized, whereas in <RELIEF3>, the girl's eyes can be seen as well. If you compare the faces of people expressed in overlapping layers, you will find that different emotions and stories are created depending on which part is covered. In addition, the shape of each thick hand becomes a device that gives dynamism to the work. Pose overlaps images to remove the framework of rational thinking, creating an open space where various interpretations connected to the viewer's experience are possible. Viewers pay more attention to hidden parts and look at objects in a new way. In the <PATH> series, rather than figures, you can find scenes from studios such as paint tubes, easels, and paintings, and street scenes reminiscent of graffiti scenes.  The smoke depicted in the work, the flowers blooming on the street. The clouds floating in the sky, and the wall with a hole in the corner of the street, the fence, etc., are the daily scenes that the artist sees and experiences every day. Pose spreads various scenes that can be seen in everyday life on one screen to create an immersive space where daily life, art, and the realm of imagination intersect. In <PATH 4>, we can see the artist's hands, the painting, and the legs walking forward under it. Pose works that look at and communicate with reality through various themes of everyday life present questions about life and art and provide an opportunity to seek a new way out. 

The artist's method of working by arranging randomly extracted common everyday materials in an overlapping manner provides the viewer with time to read each element, which in turn opens the way for various interpretations as it is combined with each viewer's own experience. In addition, the pose gives the title of the work that provides only the minimum information, allowing viewers to interpret the work more freely. Like an unfolded puzzle board, each piece of image becomes a key that evokes various moments in life.

The artist combines cut-up images with graffiti work methods such as gradation, layering, and blending, which have developed in competition with billboards on city walls, to reveal forms, and at the same time add other images on top of them to remove forms again. A unique formative language has developed Along with the face, character, and chubby hands of the first person recognized, the combination of various objects and patterns that erase the shape obstructs the flow of logical thinking, removes our prejudices and stereotypes, and creates multi-layered meanings.

Layers created by overlapping images form a surreal three-dimensional space that breaks away from the space of perspective consisting of a single vanishing point. The artist, who has experienced duplication and synthesis of images in the digital world, creates an immersive virtual space where various imaginations and fantasies exist through a surreal space that reflects reality. His virtual world, which combines various techniques that amplify the three-dimensional effect of graffiti, creates an open space of interpretation that continuously creates stories like an unfinished puzzle. The blanks of space that are created partly break the continuity of thinking and give spontaneity and a sense of free rhythm to the screen. This exhibition will provide a special opportunity to question our daily lives and take a fresh look at the problems of reality through the art world of poses that continuously create various narratives according to the combination of images.


Graffiti Artist

Chicago based artist POSE (Jordan Nickel) has grown his passion for art while he had practiced the graffitis in the street since 1992. After that, POSE majored in painting at Kansas City Art Institute and developed his own universe. He converted the major features of street art to canvas paintings, and finally created a strong visionary illusion that dilutes the traditional rules of painting. His canvas, of which overlapped various elements of contemporary societies, guides the viewers to dive into a new world where realities and surrealities cross. Alongside the studio work, he has continued to create murals as a member of The Seventh Letter, an artist group based in the west part of the states, and also a member of Mad Society King, a worldly renowned street art collective. The artist created a large-scale mural on the Huston/Bowery Wall in NYC, 2013 and was selected as a remarkable pop-artist at BBC TV series ‘One to Watch’. POSE has been passionately creating his unique pieces since the beginning of his career, and his murals and paintings are staged in Basel, Dubai, London, NYC, Detroit and L.A.



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