It’s a pleasure to announce the first batch of artists for this year’s Nuart Festival, from Situationist inspired Venice Biennale participant Robert Montgomery to Portugal’s Add Fuel by way of Argentina’s Hyuro. This year’s theme covers two very special anniversaries that relate to Street Art practice in the broadest sense.
It is the 500th Anniversary of Thomas More’s classic novel “Utopia”, a book which not only introduced the word and concept, but was also the first to give form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it.
In addition, it is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of DADA at the Cabaret Voltaire, the first movement that advocated for and attempted, much like Street Art, to “abolish the separation between art and daily life”. Something Nuart has been dedicated to realising since its inception in 2001.
This year’s festival identity has been created by long-term Nuart Festival collaborators Kristian Hjorth Berge and Francesco Corsini of Studio Bergini (studiobergini.eu), a London-based graphic practice.
The identity focuses on the concept of play, one of the main keywords for Nuart and one of the cornerstones of Situationism. The main visual elements; which reference collage, cut-outs, and handrendered typography; are a digital take on the DIY aesthetic associated with Situationism and its related movements. The image featured across the 2016 identity is a mural by Fintan Magee.
Add Fuel is a Portugese artist who reinterprets the language of traditional tile design, and the Portuguese azulejo (glazed tiles) in particular.
His technique of revealing and obscuring surfaces underneath or on top of existing structures or walls create a unique optical illusion effect. From a distance his vectorbased or stencil works appear to be recreating traditional motifs but are in fact brimming with pop and contemporary art references. On closer inspection the viewer is able to discover a hidden world filled with humor and rendered with a masterful attention to detail. At the core of his practice is this desire to encourage the viewer to think about the history and heritage that lies beneath the facades and pavements of our cities.
To contextualize his street pieces, Add Fuel researches traditional patterns from the region in which he is working. For his participation in Nuart Festival he will work with traditional ‘Rosemaling’ patterns taken from the Rogaland region.
Hyuro is an Argentinian born street and urban artist best known for her black and white murals, paintings and drawings that powerfully blend politics and a surrealist sensibility in dreamlike compositions.
Hyuro has carved out a reputation for addressing prevalent socio-political issues in her work. The characters she creates are often decapitated figures, dreary women, and/or animals subjected to the different pressures imposed by a patriarchal and capitalistic system.
By submitting reflections on both individual and collective identities, and questioning the conditions of freedom as the fundamental and inalienable rights of the person, Hyuro has become one of the most influential female artists working in public space.
Originally working on canvas, Hyuro took to the streets after striking up a friendship with Spanish street artist Escif. She continues to produce watercolour paintings and drawings regularly however.
Hyuro currently lives and works in Valencia, Spain.
Robert Montgomery has been called a vandal, a street artist, a post-Situationist, a punk artist and the ‘poets Banksy’. He follows a tradition of conceptual art and stands out by bringing a poetic voice to the discourse of text art. Poetic texts are at the basis of his work and he makes billboard pieces, light pieces (recycled sunlight poems), woodcut pieces and watercolours.
Montgomery showed at the 2011 Venice Biennale and was the British artist selected for the first biennale in India, The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which opened in December 2012. He has also had solo exhibitions at venues in Europe and in Asia, including major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof. The first monograph of his work was published by Distanz, Berlin in 2015.
Originally from Scotland, Montgomery studied at Edinburgh College of Art and then in the core program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has lived in London since 1999.