AXEL VOID MONIKER INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 4th-7th OCTOBER
Axel Void’s Moniker Art Fair 2018 presentation takes the form of an open studio in the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Five oil painting are on display, hanging in clean lines, creating an aesthetic often not stereotypically associated with the street and urban art movement. Though Axel’s work could more accurately be described as contemporary fine art, since it is clear that he is a classically trained painter with roots in traditional practices. For Axel’s exhibit at Moniker he is igniting discussion based on the idea, and title, of Bread and Circus, a phrase coined by 2ndCentury Roman poet, Juvenal. The reference points to food and entertainment as means of public distraction from political discourse. In essence, it is a means of superficially appeasing the masses and solidifying the presence of the ruler in power. The revival of this ideology is important in conversations about the current political climate, with the satirical series of five focusing on critical sociological issues. Axel suggests an alternative formula, proposing a version of honest politics, the removal of the veil, to reveal the true intent and consequences for the issues plaguing our time. Rather than a quiet pretence, the idea is that you shout the true meaning of your quest from the rooftops and be clear with the people. The oil on canvas works vary from a cloud-like explosion, depictions of Vietnamese children, a vase of flowers, a partially masked man and the upside-down corpse of Mussolini. Portrayed here are, very simply, weighty subjects, with even the vase of flowers proposing a subtle heaviness, heightened by further examination of the delicately blushing bulbs. These works lack the text component which is often crucial to the work of Axel, however within the environment of an art fair, perhaps the typography becomes surplus to requirement. Axel’s Proletarianseries was frankly an utter triumph, selling out on the first day of the fair within 15 minutes of opening. The series was comprised of an affordable poster version of each canvas, available in the same size but with the addition of hand finished typography, essentially creating an original poster for the price of £5. It’s unsurprising that fans of Axel’s work were clamouring to get their hands on a set.
Axel Void was born to a Haitian mother and Spanish father in Miami, 1986. Axel is strongly influenced by classical painting and drawing, largely thanks to his European upbringing, being raised in Spain from the age of three. From thirteen, Axel began exploring graffiti, then moving on to study fine arts in Cadiz, Granada and Sevilla, during which time he was based in Berlin. Axel moved back to Miami in 2013 where he currently lives and works. His wall art was featured at Banksy’s Dismalandin Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, where he made his mark on a vast entrance piece with the title Mediocre, fitting for a showcase where the entire experience was a mockery on the stark and soulless amusement parks littered across the country. Additionally, Axel has founded Void Projects, a cultural project which most recently launched the Creençainitiative over the summer, a two-month residency hosting over fifty artists in a 19thCentury convent in Catalonia, Spain. The intention behind Void Projects remains rooted in harnessing the artist community and the reinforcement of the idea that cohabitation generates genuine creativity and dialogue.
WRITTEN BY HATTIE TURNER
EDITED BY JILLIANN PARRAGUIRRE
To view more work by Axel Void visit his website at axelvoid.com
For more information on Moniker Art Fair and the artists exhibited see Moniker | Exhibitors