Nearly a decade after his last solo show in the U.S., graffiti king Seen has set up shop at Fabien Castanier Gallery in California. Although “[UN]SEEN” highlights his latest spray can art, there are no bubble letters, photos of burners or traditional graf of any kind. Instead, the exhibition features a series of paintings which deviate from what many have come to expect from the artist. “[UN]SEEN”‘s never-before-shown canvases are enveloped in abstract dot work and cross-hatching the legendary writer devised while living in Paris between 2007-2012. For additional background on his creative process, the paintings are accompanied by photos which show some of Seen’s works in progress. The show runs through Mar. 24 at the Studio City art space.
Fabien Castanier Gallery sat down with Seen as part of the exhibition. Here’s a snippet:
How are you feeling now that you’re back from Paris and living in the U.S?
SEEN: Honestly, I thought coming back to the US, meaning not coming back to New York but to the West Coast, would be a breath of fresh air and a little more relaxed than it would be for me if I returned to the East Coast. The weather is obviously a bit nicer, but that was the whole idea, to come to the U.S. for the nice weather, get away from the cold, get away from the New York habits that would disrupt my everyday work.
As a native New Yorker, which do you prefer – living in the U.S. or Europe?
SEEN: I like Europe because it’s old. My whole life I’ve been traveling there. For me, whenever I went on a trip it was about walking down the street, seeing the buildings and the architecture. It always amazed me these buildings – what they looked like, the structure, how they were built – everything. In the U.S., you don’t have that. I mean everything is fairly new – it’s only 200 years old! Nothing is really old.
Did you find inspiration in Paris?
SEEN: I found time in Paris (laughs). I found time. And I’m gonna be honest with you, time is what I needed. Inspiration? I guess I found that while I was there because I had that time to experiment, to find it. Any other way, I might not have found it.
Photos by Birdman/Fabien Castanier Gallery