Argentinian stencil artist GUS creates neon-hued spaces where reality intermingles with the subconscious. Exploring the intersection of the human world and animal kingdom, he juxtaposes familiar imagery from both domains in fanciful, dreamlike compositions that are situated firmly within the tradition of urban art. The product of which; both bizarre and beautiful.
GUS is one of our finalists for 2014. Born in Eldorado, Misiones, the Argentinian artist has been experimenting in the mode of stencil art since 2003. Since cutting his first stencil from the movie “City Of God”, the medium has since become his favored means of expression.
His featured piece in this years exhibition,‘San Salvador’, spray painted on industrial cardboard, was inspired by Salvador Dali, as an individual who navigated the contradictory space between the subconscious and the commonplace in his creative process. “In a way I see myself in him.” says GUS, “Dali’s works are always in my head.”
In both subject matter and composition, Dali as a source of inspiration is salient throughout the piece. Arranging contrasting colours, gently pulsating geometric forms and eclectic imagery, the rendering of an abstract realm not only echoes the artistic conventions of Dali’s work, but also pays tribute.
Alongside artists such as Ricardo Carpani, Ivan Moricz Kart, C215 and Obey Giant, Salvador Dali is one of many that GUS draws his inspiration from within his creative process. Not limited to the influence of the art world, GUS says his inspiration extends to that of the environment that surrounds him in the streets of Buenos Aries. Refracted through his use of stencil art, sculpture and graffiti; the artist says “Undoubtedly, concrete and steel have conquered the daily milieu for the people of Buenos Aires, almost to the point where the fact that we were once the wild nature is long forgotten. As an artist I question the interaction between humans and the environment by transposing materials found on the street into pieces of revelation.”
These very “pieces of revelation” collapse the space between the observers and the observed object, expressing the ongoing dialogue between the natural and human spheres by seeking to repair the rifts separating these two, formerly symbiotic, realms that have emerged in the advent of the modern urban space.
Through this very process of decontextualizing the natural subject and transferring it to urban spaces, GUS’s hypperreal images of animal life, and otherwise, throws the starkness of urbanity into sharp relief.
Whilst “San Salvador” might seem like a departure from his usual work, GUS’s animal inspiration can still be seen subtly, if one observes the monarch butterflies that assemble around the figure of Dali. The development of the piece, described as long and arduous by the artist, was driven by the need for perfection.
Take a look at some photos courtesy of GUS giving us an inside look behind the creation of his piece.