V1 GALLERY PRESENTS
An exhibition by Todd "Reas" James
V1 Gallery proudly presents Trouble, a solo exhibition by Todd James for the first time in Scandinavia.
Todd James began his career as a young graffiti artist in the subway systems of New York in the early 1980ies. Making its way from the underground it is today also an integral part of the galleries and museums of the fine art scene. Todd James is furthermore an important graphic designer whose logos grace the covers of artists such as Beastie Boys and Iggy Pop and companies such as Virgin Records, Atlantic Records and The Source.
Working across formats and mediums Todd James counts cartoons, specifically Sid&Marty and Hanna-Barbera, among his early artistic influences. However his subject matter has ventured where these saccharine influences fear to tread. Todd James' tongue-in-cheek style made the famous curator and critic Rachel Greene remark that Todd James' art is: 'Hovering between abstracted compositions and cluttered comics'. Thus Todd James' art fuses sex and humour with politics and death. Quirky fantasy creatures and harsh elements cavort. Trouble is no exception - here violence, war and grim reapers fuse with perky breasts, big smiles and little sailors. Trouble is thus an imaginary universe but also an unblushing reflection of reality.
Since the beginning of the millennium Todd 'Reas' James has in particular made his mark on the international fine art scene. In 2000 he was invited to be a part of the seminal exhibition Street Market at Deitch Projects. The exhibition also comprised works by Barry 'Twist' McGee and Stephen 'Espo' Powers. After Deitch Projects Street Market moved to Italy and The Venice Biennial. Here the exhibition marked the graffiti inspired art as one of the most interesting new art phenomenas of our time with Todd James, Barry McGee and Stephen Powers as standard-bearers. Todd James' position on the art scene was consolidated with his participation in the influential exhibition Beautiful Losers in 2004-2005.
In addition to the Venice Biennial and Deitch Projects Todd James has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, The Tate Museum in Liverpool, Parco Gallery in Tokyo, Someday Gallery in Melbourne and Alleged Gallery in New York. He is furthermore the originator of the cartoons Zoo Force, Rap Toons and Minoriteam. Last but not least he has written the book Mascot and Mugs: The Characters of Subway Graffiti (2007) and his art has been portrayed in the much-coveted monograph Todd James (2004).