Moniker Art Fair The 8th Edition
For Moniker’s Eighth Edition, the fair will map the creation and transformation of urban contemporary art, marking the pivotal moments that shaped each era’s evolution through a carefully curated programme (presentation) of exhibiting artists.
The subculture of urban art began on the edges of society as far back as the 1920s: fleeing the pressures of post-great-depression America, hobos took to the tracks to embrace simple freedoms, in the process creating a language of tags – or ‘Monikers’ – to communicate and keep the community safe. You either knew the language scrawled up on freight train walls, or you were an outsider.
Those themes of rebellion and fringe living have remained as the urban contemporary scene has evolved across the decades: artists operating outside of the status quo, outside of societal norms and often in protest to the injustices of modern society’s failings.
The community has created its own rules away from the traditions of the art market, and in turn gave birth to Moniker, an art fair every bit as rebellious as those it now hopes to pay respect and homage to through a diverse roster of creative luminaries, each representative of a defining movement within the scene.
As the subcultures consolidate itself within the art world, the fair brings together artists, galleries, collectors and art-lovers from across the globe, ushering in the next era and supporting those vital to its evolution.
Bill Daniel documents the source of the carriage-scrawled symbols, the origins of graffiti and the hidden language that transcended to become a form of folk art and a part of history
Labrona highlights the crossover from folk to urban culture and its natural merging with skate culture, the underpinnings of the city scenes and sub-cultures.
Tim Conlon has bridged his 20-year history of freight-trains graffiti to gracing the walls of collectors worldwide, a champion of graffiti culture, and a strong example of an era that saw the subculture stretch out to encompass hip-hop and move into the mainstream.
Alex Fakso is a champion and documentarian of art’s modern day vandals, turning the illegality and trespass of the scene’s roots into coveted urban collectability, with photography depicting subway culture and the crossover point between illegal graffiti and modern-day lifestyles.
Ian Kual’li brings urban contemporary art full circle, looping back to early ideas of migration and travel, merging these themes into his art on the streets and in the studio. Experimenting with various mediums, Kuahli;i symbolises just how diverse and explorative urban art has become.
Laurence Valieres embodies the new wave of artists reacting to and evolving from today’s already-formed contemporary urban art world, her 3D sculptures a reaction to the here and now, a shedding of nostalgic impulses.
Less a history lesson, more a road map: Moniker’s Transient Tales seeks not to bring the urban art world into the mainstream, but to bring the mainstream out for a visit to the fringes.
Moniker Art Fair
5 – 8 October 2017
The Old Truman Brewery, London