No Surface Is Safe

Graffiti knows no limits: it finds itself on nearly every surface with no reverence for what it covers up because everything is subject to becoming its canvas; however, the least likely place you’ll ever find graffiti, ironically, is a canvas. The latest exhibition from Jonathan LeVine Gallery (actually located in a pop-up space on 23rd Street instead of its usual location) displays an entire gallery full of unconventional graffiti art. The exhibition, “Late Confessions,” was created by twin brothers under the alias How & Nosm and follows the release of a self-titled book called “How & Nosm: The Brazil Diaries.”  

OF[F], OF/F, O-f|F The Street

The different surfaces used throughout the exhibit emphatically display the raw creativity of How & Nosm and what street artists are capable of when given a different space and a different set of tools. Most of the artwork is strictly bound to canvasses and highly detailed with images that are so densely populated, you’ll be finding new scenes and characters for weeks.

The more traditional pieces in the exhibit take shape by shrinking a wall down to the size of a canvas (although they still take up an entire wall as How & Nosm stitch together multiple canvasses to cover more space), while other pieces break ground into new territories showcasing their work on books, doorways, and in playful sculptures. Additionally, their decision to work within a traditional medium for their featured pieces allows their work to gain the very reverence that most graffiti fails to bestow upon its many victimized surfaces.

One of the more impressive elements of the exhibit was how nearly all the pieces were woven together thematically; recurring visual imagery would continuously appear in painting after painting, or might even corroborate symbols present in their radical three-dimensional pieces. This creative repetition shows the extreme concentration and tedium involved in their artwork, further proving that graffiti is not a second class art form. 

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