Everyone loves a great “graffiti artist against the world” story. But this isn’t one of those.
Today, Montreal based graffiti artist BOSNY isn’t battling a fabled enemy. His hurdle, if any, is to introduce himself as a critical thinking visual artist to Winnipeg’s art scene.
The twenty-four-year-old has migrated west to Winnipeg to install his exhibition FREE CARROTS at gallery ___623___ in the Artspace building in the Exchange District. The exhibition runs from June 10 – 17, the opening reception on June 10 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Most graffiti artists I know are speckled in paint dots and inked hands. Instead of aerosol paint dust, Bosny had fire engine red latex paint dribbled on his khaki coloured pants.
That fire engine red paint is the exhibition’s staple wall, showcasing one piece using a variety of mediums. Each of Bosny’s works in FREE CARROTS is set of mixed media works with an emphasis on digital prints, video projection and painting.
Bosny explained it’s the context of the work that drives the medium he uses with an emphasis on using “visual language that’s simple and accessible.”
Viewers are encouraged to feel, perceive and react to the exhibition as they experience it.
“I’m interested in the commonality of human experience, digital versus analogue, culture, and observation,” says Bosny.
“We take our screens, phones and technology as real life observation, which it isn’t, it’s very skewed and put into two dimensions. It warps the image, the aspect of time and it’s made static,” says Bosny. “[By] taking it [the skewed observation] as a real thing, I’m trying to draw attention from it.”
If you’re having a hard time following, here is the idea of skewed perception. Think of surrealist painter René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images also remembered as, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” French for “This is not a pipe.”
(For all you non-art nerds. It’s a painting of a pipe, meaning it’s not a real pipe but if you were to see a picture of a pipe and someone asked you what it was, you would say “it’s a pipe,” when it’s really only a picture of a pipe. Tell me if you’re still confused.)
Bosny has been a practicing artist for 10 years and been “stuck” with the name he gave himself when he was 13.
“It’s a name that people I have met eight or nine years ago will still call me…” says Bosny. “It was never a name I would introduce myself as, but it continues to be a name still used when people talk about me [his work].”
There is an appreciation for being incognito in the graffiti world and not having to use his real name.
“I have the ability to live my day to day life as a regular person… and not curate myself according to my practice [as some graffiti artists do],” says Bosny.
In Montreal, Bosny creates a variety of public works such as commissioned public murals. He currently works as a curator and gallery assitant in two galleries. He is in his second year of printmaking at Concordia University in Montreal and previously studied in Halifax for two years prior.