Graffiti duo Mint&Serf have thrown on the curator hats in support of Never Too Young and celebrate the seventh issue of Special Graffiti Unit and its corresponding photography exhibit. All of the artists represent a visceral rebelliousness in style and execution, which is the main reason the lot were chosen by Mint&Serf for the show in collaboration with Good Peoples. This knack for unique, contrasting viewpoints, and the ability to fuse these two facets of their work into a collective ideology and lifestyle is what allow these artists to set themselves apart. Here’s what Mint had to say about the collective work and what it stands for:
“In all, these four documentarians capture people and objects every day to leave us with a set of lasting and nostalgic reactions. Whether banal or beautiful or exciting, the goal is to fuse these complementing sensations to create a full picture of the ranging emotions we experience.”
The four documentarians mentioned include PJ Monte, Mike Krim, Osvaldo Chance Jiminez (aka Slutlust), and Harry McNally. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect courtesy of Good Peoples:
Mike Krim’s photography is callous and gritty, at times questioning the human despair. Slutlust’s work while almost always shot after sunset, in a dark setting of your average dive bar, projects youthfulness and nightlife romanticism. PJ Monte’s work spans photo abstraction and portraiture, with the latter perfectly capturing the young and the restless of downtown NYC. McNally’s stylistic approach toward consumerism is reflected in his latest series. He reduces banality of everyday occurrences like car crashes and consumer products to expose their hidden glamour.
We were able to get in touch with Mint about their recently released book, the Mint&Serf process, and what he thinks of the current state of graffiti in galleries.
Mass Appeal: The work of Mint&Serf in previous years has been collage based. Can we expect more of the same with 2014’s pieces or the work in the new show?
Mint: I think our most recent work is a combination of collage, drawing, and painting. But in terms of Never Too Young, this is a group photography exhibition trapping nostalgic reactions as seen through the lenses of four artists: PJ Monte, Osvaldo Chance Jimenez, Mike Krim and Harry McNally.
MA: When creating the large mixed media pieces, how do you go about selecting what to include? Are the pieces created with the intentions of divulging a certain message?
M: The message and the experience is intrinsic to the recent body of work. We try to reflect on our experience through painting. The goal is to confront the viewer with our reality, not escape it.
MA: With graffiti hitting galleries seemingly more than ever, do you feel like there was something missing? Were pieces in galleries too clean, showing a more glamorous side of writing/tagging/bombing?
M: It ain’t a Xmas tree… no reason to dress it up like one.
MA: You guys opt to showcase tags, fill-ins, and less cohesive pieces: Why is that?
M: Graffiti loses its meaning when it becomes legal. It becomes illustrative, which is of no interest to me.
MA: Are there any plans to expand on what has been done with “MIRF,” sculpturally speaking? Will there be more physical manifestations of graffiti in the future for your collective work? Do you feel like this is the next necessary evolutionary step when taking in and understanding graffiti visually?
M: Well, I have a hard time considering anything that takes more than five minutes ‘graffiti.’ But I do enjoy creating sculpture and can’t wait for the performance art piece.