Lot 07. Chanoir
Title: Silver Cats, 2023
Size: 60 x 60 x 1.9 cm
Materials: Paint pen on plastic panel
Alberto Vejarano, known as CHANOIR, is a French-Colombian artist born in 1976 in Bogotá. World-renowned, he is famous for the energy and optimism his graffiti conveys. CHANOIR creates in a universal visual language, rooted in the belief that art and artists are agents of positive change. Midway through the 1990s, under the influence of pioneering artists such as Keith Haring and the Parisian André, he resolved to use the spray can as his medium of expression. CHANOIR's work, which springs from the fusion of Pop Art and Free Figuration, calls upon a knowledge of art history and derives its sustenance from popular humour, childhood memories and a sense of contemporary aesthetics. He unfurls a graphic style distinctive for its resolute colours, flat planes and figures with simplified and immediate forms, characteristic of both logos and tags. A cat lover, CHANOIR chose his name in reference to Steinlen's poster: “Le Cabaret du Chat Noir”. His “CHA” cat logos, drawn on the fly, constantly change shape. Naïve and always expressive, they impart their emotions to passers-by, echoing the artist’s feelings in their flow. A relationship with the public comes about. His father, Gustavo Vejarano, a Colombian artist and esoteric, passed on to him his beliefs in subtle planes. As a result, for CHANOIR, art is a means of spreading energy, from spirit to spirit, with the aim of entertaining and playing with the spectator, while creating an art that is for everyone. Since the start, he has continually challenged the graphic boundaries between graffiti, street art, logotypes and tags. As the years went by, he began to integrate the “Kawaii” and “Cartoon” aesthetics into the post-graffiti universe, in a manner akin to today’s emojis. If the vitality of Latin and South American cultures stirs him, it is in the streets of the 19th arrondissement of Paris that CHANOIR began his artistic career, where he created his first CHA. And still today, it is the street that appeals to him, as a place of freedom, independence, and power of expression as well as for the people who live there. The street constantly changes its guise and transforms itself, just like Alberto’s CHA. Over the years, CHANOIR has extended his energy towards performance, installation, photography, design, collections and video art.
In 1997, he entered the Beaux-Arts de Paris and graduated under the tutelage of Jean-Michel Alberola. He then frequented free figuration painters François Boisrond and the Di
Rosa brothers, with whom he shares a taste for spontaneous and libertarian expression. He then joined the modest art movement by participating in the documentary “Un monde modeste” directed by Stéphane Sinde. Jean-Michel Basquiat has been a major source of inspiration for CHANOIR, but also such icons as Snoopy, Barbapapa, Monsieur Madame, Hello Kitty, Les Shadoks, the Smurfs or more recently, Gumball. He is also passionate about cave art, hence his totemic paintings that evoke the mystical power of primitive art. A nomadic artist, CHANOIR has been combining, for 25 years, work on canvas in his studio and spray-painting in the streets of Paris, Barcelona, Bogota or Winwood Miami, where he is regularly joined by artists El Xupet Negre and El Pez. The walls of Barcelona sparked a particularly active period in him, in the early 2000s, and inspired the documentary “Murs Libres”, about the heyday of Barcelona street art. There, he founded the 1980 collective with such artists as Jean-Philippe Illanes, Alexandre Sirvin, Hugo Garcia, and Ernest Ananos Montoto. In 2003, he took over the Colombian art scene participating in numerous exhibitions, such as the solo show “Mi complejo de Peter Pan” at La Cometa Gallery and at the Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá. It was in these years that he met the artist Nadin Ospina, who still influences his work today. He then began an international career from Miami to Los Angeles, from Beijing to Costa Rica, via Rome, Oslo, London and Brussels.
In 2009, he set up his studio in Paris once and for all, and with the collective “1980”, presented a poetic installation of interactive graffiti, “Taguer la Lune”, as well as several frescoes for the exhibition “Né dans la rue - Graffiti” at the Fondation Cartier. His paintings are shown in galleries and at auctions organised by the most prestigious auction houses (Artcurial, Drouot). He was subsequently called upon to work with major brands such as Samsung, Emanuel Ungaro, Cacharel, Ubisoft for Just Dance, and Disney. In 2019, he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture Franck Riester. “Alberto is the only Western collector/artist to have preserved in his work the primordial vision of his messy room (after Ben).” J-M. Alberola.
Rest of world: £140.00
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