Local artist John Broad has had his work featured with 15 other international artists in the streets of Central Berlin this month.
London-based Art Below, an art agency that enables artists to display their work in public spaces, has re-packaged Mr. Broad’s works as giant-sized billboard posters that have been publicly displayed in the London Underground and on 14-foot tall pillars in the streets of Berlin’s Mitte, said event organiser Benjamin Moore.
The exhibition, which ran from 17 February to 27 February, involved 16 specially-selected international artists who had their works displayed on 14-foot high pillars on the streets of Berlin’s Mitte and PrenzlauerBerg, where a new and internationally-renowned gallery scene is booming.
Each of the 16 artists was allocated his or her own pillar with the challenge of creating work specifically for the exhibition.
Artists also included Nick Ruston from the UK, who is recognised for his ‘scratch’ paintings depicting contemporary popular culture, award-winning sculpture Alva Gallagher from Ireland and Leena Saoub, a full-time graphic designer from Dubai. Artists from Switzerland, France, New Zealand and Spain also joined to make the exhibit a truly international affair.
This is the first time that Art Below has exhibited in Berlin, and also the first time they have exhibited above ground.
Mr. Broad’s works were featured in a former exhibit with Art Below in which they displayed artworks in the underground train stations throughout London.
Mr. Moore was also the curator for the underground display and chose Mr. Broad’s painting, Rhythmical Dancer, to be a part of the exhibit.
‘I felt that Rhythmical Dancer gave off a colourful and vibrant atmosphere that would resonate well in the London Underground,’ Mr. Moore explained.
For the Berlin exhibition, Mr. Broad explained that he was approached by Mr. Moore to take part in the latest Art Below exhibit and was delighted to accept, submitting his piece, Red Dancers, for the exhibit.
‘I am honoured to represent Cayman in Berlin amongst this field of international artists,’ said Mr. Broad, who will also be on island this weekend at Art at Governors on Saturday 28 February, and will also be painting live at the National Gallery’s Memoirs of a Geisha-themed ball on 7 March at the Westin.
Mr. Moore is happy to continue supporting Mr. Broad’s works by including them in Art Below exhibits such as the Berlin display.
‘John Broad is an artist who is no stranger to travel and far away places – reflected in his wonderful choice to reside in the beautiful and scenically diverse Cayman Islands,’ said Mr. Moore.
‘He is a painter whose work is inspired by the world around him and his paintings conjure up the movement, colour and vibrancy of the Cayman Islands. He now travels the world in a different way – his passport is art!’
After the exhibit in Berlin, Art Below is moving to Tokyo for the Tokyo Art Fair in April, when an entire platform in Tokyo’s busiest train station, Shibuya, will be taken over with works by Art Below artists.
Mr. Moore explained the company’s ethos and the reason why it targeted underground environments specifically.
‘I like work that reflects far away cultures as they give people an opportunity to momentarily escape to that far away place, especially when travelling in the confined and regulated environment of the underground,’ he said.
Moving above ground to the streets of Berlin was an appropriate choice due to the setting of the specific area in which the exhibit is taking place, Mr. Moore explained.
‘Berlin in February is like London – it doesn’t see much sunshine. John’s work reflects not only the climate but the culture, colour and movement of the Cayman Islands and gives people an opportunity to escape there. We look forward to seeing more.’