The first major exhibit of Anser’s work in over six years, Crowded Kingdom, brings together a new collection of the iconic face. With a focus on exploring new mediums, Anser takes what has been created in the streets of Toronto and builds on the nuances of urban encounters within the space of #Hashtag Gallery.
These portraits reflect the many faces of the city and through their continuous appearance, and more recent ‘groupings’, parallel the density of urban spaces. Crowded Kingdom also references the enigmatic and mystical aura the face has taken on over the years. Working with brick, resin, canvas and paint, this exhibition straddles the two realms Anser is engaged in, the face as an art object and the face as an icon of the urban. Constantly re-inventing the same image, it becomes more than a face, but a departure point for exploration and connection.
Show Runs: February 27th – March 9th
Anser’s Mysterious Date
Anser’s Mysterious Date, created in early 2007, is an attempt to create a more publicly inclusive form of graffiti. Through the use of traditional graffiti mark making methods, “the face” was developed to engage a typically ignored public. Instead of stylized letters which Anser had done for years prior, a face was created in the same methods as taggers and bombers. Anser felt traditional letter based graffiti perpetuated an insular community, “since graffiti was in the public realm, why not involve the rest of the public”. The moniker “Mysterious Date” was coined by a photographer, Micheal D’Amico, who, for a CONTACT photography exhibit, took photos of this painted face and dubbed the series, “Mystery Date”. The adoption of this name is a testimony to this public engagement.
The Mysterious Date also straddles the lines between graffiti and street art. In most forms of traditional street art, such as stencil and wheat paste art, the creation of the imagery is done away from the setting it is placed in. This is one major difference with traditional forms of graffiti which are done spontaneously on the spot they are shown in. The fact the face is done in a more traditional graffiti method, on the spot and usually in an illegal context, is about engaging with both the graffiti community, as well as the general public.