REVIVE A Solo Exhibition by Martin Whatson

RexRomae Gallery is proud to present a pop-up exhibition in Los Angeles showcasing brand new artworks of Norwegian stencil artist, Martin Whatson. The opening reception takes place on September 29, 2017 from 6pm to 9 pm and will be on view through October 8, 2017.

“REVIVE” showcases a new series of work by Martin Whatson, a major name in the international street art scene, to be shown for the first time in Los Angeles. This will be the artist’s largest and biggest exhibition to date with several installations and never seen paintings.

His work is instantly recognizable. Working primarily as a stencil artist over the past ten years, Whatson uses explosive color against greyscale backgrounds to challenge ideas of perception, possibility and imagination in the urban environment. His pieces appear in megalopolis like London, Paris, New-York, Las Vegas, Miami, Tokyo…

“REVIVE” is curated by Rom Levy and supported by LeBasse Projects. The exhibition marks a new phase in the artist’s creative direction. Found objects are reworked and repurposed to draw into question the individual status and collective value assigned to ‘raw materials’. Furniture and vintage photographs sourced by Whatson from flea markets and auctions are ‘vandalized’ with graffiti. Black and white cameo portraits of Victoriana-era women are given spray painted masks in full colour. This technique allows the found object to be decontextualized, by dismantling, obscuring and performing its original meaning – particularly the photograph. The spray can becomes a mode of theoretical obfuscation, warping the distance between centuries, and bringing to mind the work of surrealist artists such as Rene Magritte.

Throughout his career he has examined the nature of contrasts. This new body of work sees the prominent street artist call into question the expectations of urban art, by uprooting the medium from its urban context. Playing with ideas of vandalization, urban art in “REVIVE” is a way to
deconstruct the past and articulate the contrast between a commercially produced item and the memory it contains.

About the artist:
Martin Whatson (b. 1984) is a Norwegian born and based stencil artist. While studying Art and
Graphic design at Westerdals School of Communication, Oslo, he discovered stencils and the
urban art scene. After following graffiti and its development, he started his own stencil production 10 years ago in the winter of 2004.

Martin has a continuous urge to search for beauty in what is commonly dismissed as ugly, out of
style or simply left behind. He looks for inspirations in people, city landscapes, old buildings, graffiti, posters and decaying walls. This interest for decay has helped develop his style, motives and composition and he enjoys creating either unity or conflict between materials, backgrounds,
motives and human intervention. His artistic expression started more political, but has developed
into a more subtle expression blending graffiti, stencil art and decay together. Inspired by artist like Jose Parlá and Cy Twombly. His abstract graffiti and stencils are a mix of urban scenes showing the development of a walls lifetime. He use grey tones as a basis but add’s vibrant colours to break the monochrome concrete expression and bring a splash of life to his motives.

About the curator:
Rom Levy has been involved with Urban Art for more than fifteen years as a writer, curator, dealer, and advisor. In 2009, he launched the ‘StreetArtNews’ website to promote underground art, which widened his scope to work with a larger roster of street artists. He opened his first gallery in 2011 in London. He is noted as one of the latest figures to help popularize street art and as an authority on the latest trends in urban contemporary art. He is now based in Dubai and is working on Urban Art exhibition and mural projects worldwide. He recently curated a section of “Urban Nation”, the first-ever Street Art Museum to open in Berlin.

About RexRomae:
RexRomae is an urban contemporary art gallery project that began in 2011 in London. The
gallery’s innovative schedule of pop-up exhibitions in vacant spaces across the world replicates the ephemeral ethos of urban art. The gallery created large exhibitions with DALeast, Borondo, Alexis Diaz, Martin Whatson, Ben Eine, Agostino Iacurci… RexRomae was founded by Rom Levy.

About LeBasse Projects:
LeBasse Projects is an international arts consultancy that partners with its artists and clients in
developing large scale experiential exhibitions and ideas. With a focus on public installations, sculptures and mural projects, LeBasse Projects can design and develop public art programming that is both exciting and culturally relevant for nearly any size client or project. We specialize in utilizing public art programming to enhance projects and communities through cultural placemaking. Working with an international roster of artists, designers and fabricators we have the ability to manage nearly any scale project on any continent for any client.

Start Date

September 29, 2017

End Date

October 8, 2017


06:00 PM - 09:00 PM


328 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

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