The letter as a foundation for an universalistic abstraction
In a choreography showing a virtuoso-like ease, Vincent Abadie Hafez "Zepha" composes a ritual score that frees the letter from its semiotic
restraint, thus keeping only the essence of a certain kind of aesthetics, the cultural bearing of a symbol. Interlacing characters of mixed origins give structure to a multiplicity of contrasts. Formal logic and confusion in lines, instinctive pragmatism and gestures, the anchoring point is embodied in the movement, and the abstraction emerging from it. The whole unfolds a condensed rhythmics, galvanized by regular spaces, silent, and sometimes even unsuspected breathings, revealing a demanding and involving artwork. The gesture is technical, legatee of ancestral calligraphic practices and is being enriched by an urban context, contrasting and unexpected, so essential to the artist.
The city, an entity now used to plural artistic experimentations, offers a sometimes monumental staging to this writing of the perception. The scale effect honors one of the founding components of the creation process: the regularity of the gesture, the consistency of the character, converted into pictorial symbols placed at fixed intervals. Anchored within an ordinary environment, Zepha’s artworks take advantage of the resources inherent to this medium of expression, dear to him since he began, thanks to the spontaneous interactions that it causes.
If the writing keeps a trace, the urban implantation increases the ephemeral dimension. This secondary paradox is being exploited in parallel through the creation of palimpsests artworks, requiring the intervention of the spectator to unveil the artist’s creation by scratching off a layer of latex applied over it. Wear and tear, degradation, marks of time inflicted to the artwork are then echoing the artist’s primal practice, graffiti, though giving an implicit reflection alluding the impact of Man on space and time and more widely, the part they are to play in the evolution of the interpersonal relations in our contemporary societies.As it creates an authentic dialog between preserving ancestral arts (traditional calligraphy, etching, marquetry), enhanced by a modern and popular approach, his endeavour makes sense when it spreads a trans-civilizational legacy, breeding ground to the construction of a future where it is allowed to dream, to have faith in mankind and its ability to overcome divisions.
A nomadic artist, he finds recognition and respect in the eyes of the founders of urban/abstract calligraphy and takes part in must-be events of the international artistic scene (recently with the “Concrete alphabets” exhibition in San Francisco, commissioned by the artist Poesia, and later at the “Jidar - Toiles de rue” festival in Rabat, during which is mural was one of the flagship interventions). The imbrication of arabic shapes and latin characters writes the premises of a collective history, of a timeless language, of an abstraction to be interiorized. Our alphabets as disparate as they may be, hold a unifying significance, transcending the origins of each of us. To calligraph in order to unite, Zepha’s work is impregnated with his values, like an incantation to what is universal, a contemporary humanism induced by the power of the symbol, common foundation to civilizations, revealed by an art going beyond all frontiers, all alterity.
— © URBANITY - URBAN FINE ART GALLERY
•june: Shara Art Fair.Hafez Gallery. Jeddah ( KSA)
Urban Art Fair. David Bloch Gallery. New York (USA)
• mar: Collective art exhibition. « URBANITE ». Naila Art Gallery.Riyadh.( KSA)
• Jan: Collective art exhibition. « GRAPH’M ». Ghaya Gallery. Tunis.( Tunisia)
• Dec: Solo show « Superplasticizer ». The Mine Gallery. Dubai ( UAE)
• Nov: Mural. Dubai Streets Festival (UAE).
• June: Mural and collective art exhibition. Artist residency. Jardin Orange, Shenzhen (China).
• Apr: Workshop and collective art exhibition. «The Design of Words by Calligraphy Masters». Studio Acqua Su Marte, Milan (Italy).
Collective art exhibition. Biennale de calligraphie de Sharjah, Sharjah (UAE).
• Mar: Collective art exhibition. Château de Vaux le Vicomte, Jed Voras Gallery, Paris (France). • Jan: Collective art exhibition «In Situ/Hors-le(s)-Mur(s)». Scarlett, Genève (France).
• Dec: Exhibition «Crossing Path, The Intersection of Memories», duo show with Carlos Mare. Galerie David Bloch, Casablanca (Morocco). • Nov: Collective mural «Rosa Parks fait le mur».GFR Collective, Paris (France).
• Oct: Solo art exhibition. «Kunstwollen». Jed Voras Gallery, Paris (France). • Aug: Solo art exhibition. «L’Eté». 912 Arty Gallery, Lourmarin (France).
• May: Mural. Jidar- Toiles de rue, Rabat (Morocco).
Collective exhibition. «Masterstrokes». Cubes Art Gallery, Dubai (UAE)
Collective exhibition. «Concrete Alphabets». Graffuturism, 886 Geary Gallery, San Francisco
• Mar: Collective exhibition in situ. Third Urban Art Biennale®, Usine sidérurgique de Völklingen - patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO (Germany). • Feb: Mural and workshop. Agadir French Institut (Morocco).
• Jan: Collective exhibition «Visual Utterance». Cubes Art Gallery, Dubai (UAE).
• Nov: Collective mural «The Rehlatna - Our Journey». World’s longest graffiti scroll, Dubai (UAE).
Exhibition/ Residency «Ornements». Croix Baragnon Gallery, Toulouse (France).
Mural/ workshop. Festival Big Up 974, St Denis (Reunion Island).
• Sept. Mural/ workshop. Asalto – Festival Internacional de Arte Urbano, Saragoza (Spain) • Aug: Mural. Copenhagen (Denmark)
• July: Mural. «Djerbahood Project». Djerba (Tunisia)
• June: Collective exhibition. «Arty Show». 912 Arty Gallery. Aix en Provence (France) • Mural «
Jalousie urbaine » Artazoi. Paris
• Mar: Mural/ workshop. Fondation Tres Culturas, Tarifa (Spain).
Collective exhibition. «Tres Culturas». Pavillon du Maroc, Sevilla, (Spain).
Collective exhibition. «A Major Minority». Graffuturism, 886 Geary Gallery, San Francisco
• Jan: Solo exhibition. «Cursive Monumentale». Conseil Général de la Haute Garonne, Espace Roguet, Toulouse, (France).
• Dec: Mural. Streets Festival, Kasserine (Tunisia). • Nov: Mural. «Graff Me», Beyrouth (Lebanon).
Collective exhibition «Symbiose de deux mondes». Written Art Foundation, Marrakech
(Morocco). • Sept: Collective exhibition «Hypergraphia». BC Gallery, Berlin (Germany).
• June: Solo exhibition/Mural/ workshop. Katara Village, Doha (Qatar).
• Sept: Collective exhibition «White Wall». Beirut Art Center, Beyrouth (Lebanon).
• May: Solo exhibition. «Indigo Dub». David Bloch Gallery, Casablanca (Morocco). • Feb: Mural /Workshop. Contemporary Art Platform, (Kuwait).
• Jan: Mural fresco. FAKT Gallery, Bâle (Switzerland).
• Dec: Solo exhibition. «Inside Job». David Bloch Gallery, Casablanca (Morocco).
• June: Collective exhibition and participation in situ. «Summer Graffiti», Rignac (France). • July: Mural Palimpseste. Exchange Toulouse/Saragosse (France/Espagne).
• Jan: Collective exhibition. «Abstract Writing». Private gallery, Nouméa (New Caledonia).
Born in 1977. Since 1989 : Writer on urban mixed surfaces
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