Barcelona-based Street artist Zosen’s politically charged works are an antidote to the overtly in-your-face sloganeering of a lot of today’s urban anarchists. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for a bit of fist clenching, but after a thousand Shepherd Banksy’s doddle their way through art school, the fuck-you-McDonalds thing gets a bit old.
No, Zosen doesn’t take himself that seriously. His vast portfolio of work, ranging from installation to sculpture to video and performance, sees him take influence from the likes of Seth Scriver, Neckface and - of course - Basquiat. And he’s quite happy to let the lairy yet inoffensive, characters within his work take centre stage. The politics takes a back seat, often appearing in misspelt or broken English – subtle enough to not patronise, but considered and composed enough to provoke thought.
Zosen’s first UK solo show, 'System Collapse' opened at Stolenspace last night, eschewing his multi-disciplinary approach and instead focusing on his work on canvas. A bit-part of works from the Animal Bandido collection (Zosen’s streetwear label he runs with designer Claudia Font) provided enough of a footnote to remind us of Zosen’s prolificacy. In the show, we’re constantly reminded of the gulf between the rich and poor; hand painted type shouts in our faces and reminds us that, yes, poverty is rife, war happens and chaos reigns – but it’s in his characters - lonely, confused, and blissfully unaware of all the ills that exist around them, that the dilemma unfolds – are they ignoring it all? Are they too stupid to realise that all this bad stuff is happening? Perhaps they can’t read.
‘System Collapse runs until the 29th August at Stolenspace, E1 6QL.