Heralding their entrance into the African content, CIRCA presents GONE?, a site-specific study on the theme of hope by Nigerian-born, London-based artist Slawn.
Launching Wednesday 6 December, and set to halt billboard screens worldwide at 20:23 local time until New Year’s Eve, the collaboration debuts on screens in Accra, Nairobi, Abidjan, and Lagos — the birth town of Slawn – whilst maintaining CIRCA’s presence in London’s Piccadilly Circus, Milan, Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, and Los Angeles.
Slawn kicks off the ‘CIRCA SCREEN-GRAB’ series by translating the immateriality of a digital commission into physical works. Transcending the realms of street art and abstract expressionism to explore questions of politics, race, and identity, the 23-year-old cult icon, street artist, and skateboarder favoured by Virgil Abloh and Skepta has gained acclaim for playing with the concept of reality through his large-scale canvases blending cartoonish-like pop figures and bold, colourful forms. Uniting four continents, Slawnwill end the year on a high, becoming the most-viewed CIRCA artist since launching in October 2020.
Throughout November, the artist locked himself inside an empty shop in Piccadilly Circus, London, and was filmed face-on by CIRCA spray-painting directly onto bespoke cut perspex sheets, scaled to fit eleven of their global screen locations. Referencing Picasso at his home in Vallauris, painting on glass (1950) with a camera rolling on the other side, or The Pharcyde in their Drop music video (1995), an inward/outward illusion is achieved between the artist and viewer. Gradually removing himself from the picture, with a different painting created for each city, Slawn indirectly asks the world: ‘Has all hope GONE?’
Culminating a year that started in January with His Holiness the Dalai Lama responding to the CIRCA 20:23 manifesto ‘Hope: The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written’, Slawn emerges on the global stage as a beacon of togetherness. The final paintings will be revealed during an exhibition in Spring 2024.
DECEMBER 2023 PROGRAMME Slawn (6 – 31 December, 2023)
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