Vertical Gallery is proud to present The Great Western, a three artist show featuring acclaimed international street-contemporary artists EINE, Sickboy, and Word to Mother. The exhibition is August 1 – 29, 2015, with an opening reception on Saturday, August 1, 6-10pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The Great Western is the main line railway in Great Britain that runs from London to Bristol. With EINE and Word to Mother from London, and Sickboy from Bristol, these friends have made this excursion many times over their careers. When discussing a show with EINE, he recommended inviting two of his favorite artists, Sickboy and Word to Mother, to show with him. All three artists have deep roots in the British graffiti and street art scene, and have all emerged as leading figures in the contemporary art world. This is the first time they are exhibiting in Chicago.
London-based artist Word To Mother was born and raised in an English seaside town. After attending art school for illustration, Word To Mother entered into the art world. He creates work that combines many influences into uniquely layered paintings. Incorporating hand drawn personal sentiments, emotions and feelings that he executes in the form of loose script, inspired from his experience as a tattoo artist and tight sign written letters, drawn from years of painting graffiti.
A leading artist to emerge from Bristol’s infamous graffiti scene, Sickboy’s humorous works have cemented his place in the upper echelons of the British street art movement. He is one of the first UK artists to use a logo in place of a tag, and his red and yellow street logo known as ‘The Temple’ and his ‘Save the Youth’ slogan can be seen on walls and dumpsters worldwide. Sickboy has built up one of the largest bodies of street art works in UK history which has led to him being tipped by the leading financial press as one of the movement’s most bankable artists. His work hit the big screen in Banksy’s Oscar-nominated film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. And his major London solo show in 2008 and audacious stunts – including the caged heart installation dropped outside the Tate Modern – have landed him global recognition.
Ben Eine, aka EINE, was born in London, England, in 1970 and is one of London’s most prolific street artists, specializing in the central element of all graffiti – the form of letters. Originally a writer, EINE started his career over twenty five years ago leaving his first tag all over London before developing the distinct typographic style we know him for today. Specializing in painting huge single letters on shop fronts, EINE’s bright, colorful letters have transformed streets around the world, including LA, San Francisco, Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Stockholm, Dubai, Berlin, New York, and most famously ‘Alphabet Street’ – the shutters and murals he painted on Middlesex Street, London.
EINE shot to international fame when Prime Minister David Cameron presented one of his works to President Obama as a gift on their first official state visit, and his subsequent San Francisco solo show sold out prior to opening. Ben was also included in the biggest exhibition of street art, “Art in the Streets”, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles.
The Great Western featuring EINE, Sickboy, and Word to Mother
August 1 – 29, 2015
Opening reception with the artists, Saturday, August 1, 6-10pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622