OSL Contemporary has the pleasure to present Dolk’s fi rst solo exhibition. In this show he takes the step from the street and into the gallery space. The exhibition will include 10 new stencil works on canvas. Dolk‘s career began in 2003 and he has already risen to be considered a part of the international elite within the street art movement. Through the years, he has worked side-by-side with the best of his contemporaries and has painted in most of the large urban environments of Europe, Australia and the USA.
Dolk begins his process by identifying an idea, a personal insight, or a socio-political commentary and then develops the visual concept to the point that he can create a stencil. He makes numerous sketches, and then deconstructs the image to identify the different layers, of which stencils are then cut out of cardboard. Dolk explores the street environment to identify a façade that suits the image, returning at night to execute the work. The street art works have, by defi nition, an ephemeral quality. One doesn’t know when they will disappear from their setting, and many images have been painted over or defaced.
Dolk’s works for the gallery setting lose this ephemeral nature, as the stencil is applied to canvas. His street images are executed rapidly to avoid detection, whereas the works on canvas require a longer preparation. In the studio, he uses a special technique to create an aged patina to the canvas before applying the stencil, giving these works a unique character.
With this exhibition, DOLK moves into a new phase, where the “art” segment of the concept “street art” takes precedence. In his works on canvas DOLK doesn’t abandon his identifi cation with the street, he uses, however, more traditional formats to express his personal ideals and social criticism.
Street-Art and Graffi ti are movements that started with teenagers operating within the underground milieu in the USA, spreading rapidly to an international platform that continues to develop, 40 years after its inception. The Street-Art esthetic is closely tied to urban culture and the mark-making tradition of graffi ti. An “of the moment” confrontation with social issues, personal expressions against authority, and immediacy are attributes now identifi ed as elements within contemporary art development.
The work of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat is considered central to the historical recognition of a global street-art culture. From the moment they, together with Daze, A-One and several others, transferred their images to canvas, contemporary art took a new direction. Haring and Basquiat struggled with the identification of their work with graffiti, a classification that, for a period of time, hindered their recognition and acceptance by the artistic establishment. This attitude gradually shifted, confirmed most recently by the recent “Art in the Streets” exhibition at MOCA, Los Angeles.
Street-art touches those that wouldn’t usually go to an art gallery. The work evokes immediate reactions and the art-form has been used to communicate with the masses. The thematic debate is current and lively and there has been a conscious choice to stand separate from the established art mileau. This has given the artists opportunities to experiment with creative processes and techniques. Anyone can spray paint on a wall, but only a select few artists have the talent to give their work the extra dimension necessary to set their own creative trail. With this exhibition, DOLK confirms his status among these few.
Dolk has carried out several site-specific commissions, among them Halden Penitentiary in 2010. He is currently included in the group exhibition OUTSIDE IN, NuArt Stavanger, and is one of the participating artists in NHH’s “Capitalism”project and the simultaneous painting of Handelshoyskolen this autumn.