‘Reflect’ hip-hop and street art exhibition at Art Gallery of Hamilton until December 31


Published November 24, 2023 at 9:36 pm

Reflect, by Alexander Bacon and Moises Luvs, is showing at the Art Gallery of Hamilton until December 31

The ‘flow’ that is inherent in the art forms within the hip-hop culture and the concrete canvas from which street art comes to life is at the heart of the Reflect art exhibit at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Alexander Bacon and Moises Luvs are two generations of artists working within graffiti and hip hop, collaborating for the first time at the gallery.

Luvs started doing graffiti art in 2005 at the tender age of 10 when he lived in Hamilton and attended Dr. J. E. Davey Elementary School, and then Sanford Avenue School. He then discovered hip hop, which inspired him to study graffiti and fine art in back alleys, abandoned buildings, on trains, and in books. He was a self-proclaimed bad student – as he explains, he is continuing to learn and unlearn every day – but he has still had the privilege of travelling to paint murals and teach art abroad.

Luvs continues to learn and unlearn as he explores, plays, fails cries, and grows.

Bacon was already an accomplished teenage graffiti artist in Toronto when Luvs was born in 1995. Best known for his colourful works lining the alleys and streets of Toronto, Bacon has since achieved international recognition using spray paint as his primary medium. His work has evolved towards deconstructing traditional spray paint graffiti techniques to create a distinct painting style and look to his work. His work presents a mix of realism and expressionism, blending abstract forms, lighting, and reflective surfaces with a mature colour pallet.

His work can still be seen all over Toronto and now, in Hamilton.

Their aim with Reflect, read a statement from both artists, is to depict the states of flow, a feeling that transcends and unites all the art forms within hip-hop.

“The abstraction surrounding the character with headphones reflects the internal multi-layered transformative experience of being so deeply connected with your purpose and actions. The state of flow is achieved when one is fully attuned with themselves and allows the ‘flow’ to flow through them.”

‘Mother Nature,’ a mural painted by Alexander Bacon at 21 Rebecca Street during the Concrete Canvas Festival in July

The exhibition opened at the gallery July 13, just before the Concrete Canvas festival brought local and international graffiti artists to Hamilton over one weekend to paint murals live across the city. The goal was to “elevate the visual landscape of the city” while simultaneously inspiring a new generation of artists and bring the Hamilton community together to celebrate hip hop art, music, culture, and diversity.

The festival, which ran from July 18 to 24, featured nearly 40 local and international artists and art crews painting murals on city buildings. Festival organizers also hosted a self-guided tour around Hamilton to help residents and visitors explore the city and its street art.

Concrete Canvas also celebrated 50 Years of Hip Hop Culture August 12-13 at Pier 4 Park.

The festival, which was founded by Leon (Eklipz) Robinson, a multi-talented painter, rapper, photographer and filmmaker, is also releasing its first book documenting graffiti art in Hamilton from 1995 to 2022, including interviews with some of Canada’s most talented graffiti writers, and articles by those who define and document Hip Hop culture in Canada.

Reflections, which is curated by Robinson, will close out its run December 31.

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