Former guests who have received follow up information about the tours will have noticed Nelly Duff listed as a key gallery. Last week the amazing street artist and highly collectable urban artist Xenz opened a fresh show at Nelly Duff under the title xEnso.
Elegance is a word that sits very comfortably in a description of a Xenz painting though the graffiti writer always lurks among the branches, literally. As a graffiti writer the letterform must reign paramount and outdoors Xenz produces stunning landscape paintings with his name cunningly disguised within the branches and trees.
The circular paintings were inspired by the zen buddist ensō symbol, ensō circles capture a concept of fulfilment, calm, strength and most particularly, elegance and enlightenment.
A collection of beautiful watery paintings on handmade paper discs roughly a foot in diameter were painted in a very gestural manner; simple colours , dots, lines and drips were applied and left as they fell, no corrections, no smoothing of curves or sharpening of edges and a sense of grace and flow in the finished article is clear.
The paintings in the show may look a million miles from any graffiti aesthetic but look closely, again the letters are subtly secreted inside the lines of the flora.
Xenz’z interior art has often featured wispy forest fronds and filaments frequented by flying fauna. The colourful birds flitting through the branches and hovering in front of soft petals are based on humming birds. This goes back to an occasion when Xenz was enjoying some traditional hospitality high up a Jamaican mountain when a humming bird flitted out of the forest canopy to perch on his finger like it owned it. A few magical seconds and some herb imprinted the experience in Xenz’z mind and thence into his art.
The show runs until Thursday 8th November. Nelly Duff is open late every Thursday.
This blog post is an extract of a post published on Graffoto, same author
Nelly Duff website
156 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG
all photos: Dave Stuart (instagram)