Lazarides Gallery is pleased to present a new series of paintings, Never Too Late…, by leading graffiti artist, Mode 2. This will be Mode 2’s first solo show at the gallery.
Mode 2 is considered to be one of the most influential street artists ever, and began drawing as soon as he could pick up a pencil. Fascinated by writing and calligraphy from an early age, when Mode saw Welcome Back Kotter and Dondi White using a spray can in the Buffalo Gals video, he became interested in graffiti. Summer 1984 found him hanging out in Covent Garden, enjoying the new hip hop explosion, while painting with Scribla, before joining the Trailblazers. They participated in the Rapattack show at The Shaw Theatre in April ‘85, becoming known as The Chrome Angelz, before teaming up with Bando from Paris and exporting themselves to the French capital from May ‘85 onwards under the name Crime Time Kingz.
Mode moved to Paris in spring ‘87, working in computer graphics under CGI magician Pierre Buffin. The cover of Spraycan Art by Henry Chalfant and Jim Prigoff, released later that same year, put his name, along with the crew’s, permanently in the graffiti hall of fame. Mode eventually became part of the 93NTM crew, travelling across Europe and beyond, keeping his sketchbooks full of pencil and ballpoint sketches, occasionally mixed with spray-paint, Tipp-Ex, or watercolour. Leaving Paris in 2004, he’s been hopping between London and Berlin since then, working on various projects.
Mode has been artist-in-residence at Coco de Mer erotic emporium since late 2003, hiding away in the small changing-room at the back of the store, drawing and sketching the customers. He was also responsible for A Matter Of Taste at the Dragon Bar, an exhibition where he pushed eroticism in his work quite explicitly while trying to keep men and women engaged in an egalitarian dialogue about sexuality. Mode’s work has always focused on issues close to him: love, lust, relationships, hip hop culture in all its aspects, clubbing, hanging out, the environment and motherhood. He has been a contributor to Picture On Walls and Santa’s Ghetto for many years as well as contributing to a number of Lazarides group shows.
Never Too Late… sees Mode in a more politically reflective mood, whether it be his take on the end of communism in A Farewell To Grand Ideals, 2008 (pictured), or his views on religion or the environment. Mode’s work is always supported by his trademark draughtsmanship, self-taught from his days reading 2000 AD comics or drawing posters for b-boying dance competitions. These new works capture movement and energy, freezing the action at its most crucial stage. Lazarides Gallery is delighted to welcome Mode back into the fold for this solo show of new work.
Exhibition Dates: Fri 04th of April – Fri 02nd of May
8 Greek Street
Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-7pm