Upcat Vanguard is a Montana Colors retailer located in Minneapolis, the most populated city in the state of Minnesota. The shop comes equipped with an exhibition space in following its premise to bring art and culture to Minnesota in a way that’s never been seen before.
Ergot and Curve are the graffiti artists starring in their current exhibition that will be on view until June 17th and you can read the show details courtesy of Upcat up next.
“Strange Dream” is the title that Curve and Ergot chose for their exhibition while brainstorming under the influence of minimal sleep and instant coffee. When UpCat Hardware invited them to show in their gallery, the words seemed appropriate to describe the current global landscape and also capture the mood they sought to create. The two artists were accustomed to working together, painting graffiti on various surfaces, but they had yet to collaborate on a gallery art show. The concept involves two worlds intertwined- one real and one a dream, one harsh and the other an escape. Each artist created 4 thematic pieces in greyscale, dealing with topics such as oppression, technology, and simulation. Alongside the greyscale pieces, the artists created 40+ colorful paintings on paper. Ergot and Curve utilized their ability to create spontaneous abstract compositions with spray paint at rapid frequencies. Once these vivid environments were in place, they painted hard black silhouettes and designs with enamel and brush that sat on top of the fuzzy, faded atmospheres. The material objects floating in surreal spaces further blend the distinction between dream and reality. While they simultaneously made these pieces together on the roof of a Brooklyn warehouse, they made sure to distinguish each other’s work through differing color schemes, their individual hand style, and their respective visual languages. It is up for debate which of the works represent the dream and which is reality: do we live in a world of color where are dreams are black and white, or is our reality in greyscale and we escape it in colorful dreams? Along side these conceptual pieces, a limited edition screen print of a collaborative drawing was also created, using motifs which reiterate the Strange Dream narrative and also shine a light on the origin stories of both artists.
Ergot grew up in Minnesota, building his love of graffiti from the underground punk world and its freedom of expression. His style has grown out of the rich lettering tradition of the Twin Cities, and has adopted a futuristic machine-like quality. He currently delves deeper into his Ergotic world via silk screening and complex animated drawings.
Curve grew up on the east coast, fully immersed in graffiti and art. Having moved around to various cities, his style is diverse and nods to a wide range of eras in graffiti history. Currently Curve concentrates on painting in and out of the studio, while also creating illustrations and custom products.
The exhibition opens May 12th and will be on view through June 17th. Gallery hours are Thursday-Fri 3-7pm and Sat, Sun 1-6pm, or by appointment. For more information, please contact the gallery at UpcatHardware@gmail.com or visit the gallery at 2010 E. Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55413.