While graffiti has been largely ignored by cultural institutions and contemporary art history, certain artists have successfully managed to straddle between the street and the gallery, creating universally appreciated works to integrate these two seemingly irreconcilable worlds. One such artist is Snipe1, a Japanese graffiti artist with a career spanning nearly three decades and whose works have been exhibited in New York, Moscow, Tokyo and Los Angeles alongside his peers and frequent collaborators Takashi Murakami and Madsaki.
Snipe1’s latest work ‘COVID AI’ furthers the artist’s exploration of the graffiti movement’s unique combination of the immediacy of cultural response and an expansion of a universal iconography in our increasingly globalized visual culture. Since the ‘90s, Snipe1 has been active in the international graffiti art scene, having worked in NY and traveled extensively while developing his distinct artistic style. Throughout his career, Japanese characters and symbols have fused with a psychedelic color palette and a blend of Euro-American graffiti techniques to produce a signature playful yet intellectually stimulating style. Snipe1 wants you to smile in front of his works, but he also wants you to think — a rare quality among graffiti artists and a key element of his undeniably artistic approach.
Snipe1 brings a wide variety of references to his works, including manga and anime, art of the Edo period, and Internet culture, while refusing to compromise his technique in his infiltration of the art world. Whether on canvas or on the street, Snipe1’s unapologetic elevation of street culture and the underground graffiti scene pushes the boundaries of both graffiti and art. In this new release, Snipe1 takes the universality of a pandemic in our post-digital age as his subject, replete with a distinctive twist of irony, controversy and - last, but far from least - idiosyncratic playfulness.