Art, like music, is a great way to change your mood. Whether you're creating the art yourself or viewing it, you're bound to start thinking differently by the time you're done.
Ever since that whole fiasco with the singing gig fell apart I've been feeling a bit down in the dumps. So, when my friend Joanna invited me to check out a showing of her "favorite Czech artist," I was both relieved to be able to talk to someone as well as get inspired by some potentially cool modern art. I didn't really do any research on Pasta Oner before coming out to Galerie Mánes, but with Joanna's enthusiasm about the artist, there was little doubt in my mind of it being worth the trip.
Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised at the relatively inexpensive entrance fee and at how few people there were viewing the exhibit in the late morning hours. At the entrance to the exhibit were two large crosses, displaying flashing messages about pop culture. Beyond the crosses lay a milk white room splashed with candy colored paintings and installations. Although somewhat shocked by the brightness of each painting, Oner's work grew on me with every second and third glance.
Although the theme of the exhibition was clearly Oner's view of how modern society is addicted to pop culture, I felt an almost political charge from several of the pieces. With bright colors all around, it's easy for one to mistake Pasta Oner's work for just some pretty street art.
As you scroll you'll see some pieces that caught my attention.
Who the hell is Pasta Oner?
The self proclaimed modern Michelangelo is a long time graffiti artist, with works publicly displayed since 2003. With influences such as Andy Warhol, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring, Pasta Oner's work uses pop culture to gain the attention of the media and art enthusiasts alike.
"Pasta has spray-painted hundreds of walls and poured tons of spray and paint to become a Czech legend; a hero that comes with a self-assured humility from the streets to the hallowed ground of a gallery, running the risk of being misunderstood, possibly even by his companions."
"It’s no exaggeration to say that Pasta could – in his blazing and voracious eruption of creativity – rewrite Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel because he is himself the Michelangelo of the 21st century. The large surfaces of his theatrum mundi are punctuated by familiar codes, blurring the boundary between beauty and ugliness, subverting the clichés of big icons and becoming icons themselves."