Hey Mode, what does this mean?!? Let me guess…
For his first ever solo exhibition in a Berlin gallery, Mode 2 has produed a new series of works centered on the female body. His obsession for the subject is ever present throughout his work and with OFFERINGS, Mode 2 focuses on the topic in an explicit, yet at the same time ambiguous fashion.
His large-scale renderings of the female body are drawn from a specific perspective, recalling Gustave Courbet’s L’origine du monde. This perspectival point of view suggests that the female is significantly larger than the canvas, making her appear like a goddess. Underlining this position are the male figures in the paintings – much smaller than the female figure – that appear to be making offerings to the goddesses. However, the complexity of female/male relationships and societal definitions of gender roles, as well as the torrent of visual information we are confronted with on a day to day basis, give the painting a level of ambiguity. After all, the female body is seldom shown in such an explicit manner outside the realm associated with pornography. Are the women in fact the ones offering themselves to the male figures or to the public gaze? And can we, as viewers, succumb to the gaze offered to us by the artist?
Mode 2 creates an atmosphere in which the viewer is being stimulated to think about their own sexuality and confront their own universes of associative conditioning. An offering from the artist to his viewers, if you may.
– Hili Perlson
Mode 2 (Mauritius, 1967) is a central figure in the history of graffiti. His charismatic style has left its mark on street art aesthetics and influenced many other artists.
Mode 2’s career began in 1984 in London, when he came to the fore on the Hip Hop scene. In 1987 he was rejected from London’s St. Martins College of Art and Design. However, he went off to Paris that same Spring ’87 to work in computer graphics alongside Pierre Buffin; and also the same year one of Mode 2’s works appeared on the front cover of the book “Spraycan Art” published by Thames & Hudson, which exported his name and style to every corner of the planet.
Mode 2’s work is immediately refreshing due to its lack of posturing and antagonism, concentrating instead on very different themes. Mode’s early artistic influences and inspirations come from his memories of his childhood and youth in Mauritius and London in the 70s which were highly influenced by the Punk and Dub Culture, as well as from comics and science fiction movies.
In the past 25 years, Mode 2 held several solo exhibitions in London (The Lazarides Gallery), Paris (Gallerie Issue) and other European cities, and participated in many group shows and other projects around the world. His work now enjoys cult status and features in major institutional exhibitions, most recently at „Art in the Streets“ at MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A.
Founded in 2006 by Lucas Carrieri, LC Gallery was first located in Berlin’s Torstraße, where the gallery’s unique architecture allowed for an unusual use of space. Along with exhibitions by emerging artists from Berlin and international mid-career artists, LC Gallery also hosted performances, film screenings, lectures, and dance and music events. Twice a year, on the occasions of Berlin fashion week, the gallery showcased international avant-garde fashion designers to great critical acclaim. The space quickly became a hub for Berlin’s young creative scene.
In April 2011, after a short hiatus, the gallery re-opened its doors in the tradition-rich Potsdamer Straße, now occupying an apartment space on the first floor. Here, LC Gallery added a number of new artists to its roster, and diverted its focus to contemporary art that emerged from the fields of pop, post-graffiti and street art.
MODE 2, “OFFERINGS”
Lucas Carrieri Gallery, September 23 – November 12, 2011
Opening reception: September 23, 7pm