New Zealand Artist Askew One Returns to Detroit For Second Solo Exhibition
Post-Colonial Discussion Around The Complexities Of The Pacific Diaspora’s Ancestry
Prolific New Zealand graffiti writer Askew One returns to Detroit for his latest solo exhibition Post-Colonial opening June 25th at Detroit’s Inner State Gallery. Featuring a mix of visual influences of the Pacific Rim, Askew’s latest works reflect on how colonialism has shaped New Zealand throughout the years, and tells a unique story through powerful portraits of the people, and the faces of this diverse community.
“There is no doubt that we live in a post-colonial world. In New Zealand this has shaped the reality of roughly the past 200 years. It is impossible to have a discussion around any aspect of life within our region without acknowledging that colonialism is what has driven and stirred the Pacific diaspora. From occupation to settlement, religious influences, wars and their impacts on cultural identity and autonomy, all of this factors into this history,” Askew said from his studio in Auckland, New Zealand.
Over the past five years, Askew studio and mural work has focused on the complex ancestry of the people around him, creating a means of education, appreciation and empathy of the lives lived not so long ago by this unique cross section of people.
“To dig back only a few generations, there are so many stories of struggle and great adversity, but also stories of hope, resilience and determination. I am fascinated with how the ocean connects many historic and cultural narratives, most specifically in a post-colonial context. The people I paint are a reflection of these stories,” Askew adds.
A visionary storyteller, Askew has garnered worldwide attention with his large scale public murals over the last twelve years. Returning to Detroit for the first time since taking part in 2015’s Murals In The Market, Askew has solidified himself as a trendsetter of the contemporary art world. Known for his massive portraits, his work can be seen in cities all over the world including Perth, Dubai, Miami, Los Angeles, Arkansas, Berlin, Sydney, Glasgow and beyond. Blurring the line between his unique styles this exhibition will feature many of the images that live in the public spaces across the globe.
This event will be free and open to the public. Opening artist reception will be from 7-10pm.
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About Askew: With a strong, self-taught background in graffiti and post-graffiti art, graphic design and video-making, Askew One's international following and web presence over the last 12 years has made him New Zealand’s most world-famous & world-recognized graffiti and urban contemporary artist.
Askew's project invitations have been in countries such as Switzerland, Singapore, the UK, USA and Tahiti. To date, Askew is the only NZ artist to have been featured in leading French publication ‘The Urban Contemporary Art Guide’ (2014) and is the only NZ representative to have exhibited in the Urban Art Biennale (Germany, 2015). His most significant accomplishment in 2015, was art directing, exhibiting and co-funding a culturally important group exhibition at aMBUSH Gallery (Sydney), titled ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’. Askew continues to represent his country and the region of Oceania on the international urban contemporary map.
About Inner State Gallery: Inner State Gallery is Detroit’s premier gallery for established and emerging artists from Detroit and across the globe. Located in Historic Eastern Market, the gallery has exhibited the work of local icons Glenn Barr, Camilo Pardo and Tyree Guyton, as well as international street artists Nychos, Askew, Ben Frost and Meggs. The 10,000 square foot building is home to two exhibition spaces, an artist residency program, full-time printmaking studio and the gallery's fine art publishing company 1xRUN.
In addition to showcasing the work of international artists in the gallery, the team at Inner State Gallery and 1xRUN has collaborated on extensive murals, international festivals and showcased pop-up exhibitions in Honolulu, Mexico City, Vienna, Taipei & Cozumel to raise awareness to charitable causes and promote art in public spaces.