The Old Truman Brewery housed the influential exhibitors of Moniker Art Fair this month to present a unique environment of artist display in response to our diverse urban culture.

The 8-year-old Moniker Art fair first appeared in 2010 and continues to grow. Reaching out to a vast audience through a non-traditional, diverse and relevant creative focus.

I take time to explore the displays and become involved in the installations of industrial space, individual expression and technical as well as traditional processes. During my time there I began to consider how the responses to urban culture vary from artist to creator and how this variance continues amongst its audience at a similar but perhaps altered perspective. The topic also brings consideration as to how involved with our urban culture we are subconsciously. I consider whether we see things organically anymore or if we are in fact looking through huge constant cultural influence that has now become a realm of comfort. How engaged with our environment are we really?

Ian Kuali’i, ‘SR Resident 2 Art’.

Ian Kuali’i presented mixed media artworks generated from stolen material from travels on freight trains. This physical interaction with material waste product into urban inspired design surely encourages an engagement with this man made product. His very meditative approach to his practice incorporates a concept that in order to create we must first destroy. The artwork generated appears surprisingly concise and clean considering this destructive approach. This interactive layering and strong-against-fragile handwriting certainly creates quite a bold statement.

Cinta Videl, ‘Bridges’, Acrylic on Wood.

Delicate and intricate painting onto durable, organic wood by Cinta Videl continues this contrasting approach to medium and material similarly to Kuali’i. However, Videl also encourages the audience to explore viewpoint of the artwork using clock mechanisms which rotate the canvases. Artworks with no-right-way-up generate a new way of seeing and analysis of how the artist has responded to her subject.

Cinta Videl – Featured works at Moniker Art Fair 2017

This engagement and interaction with material- organic vs. man-made, and technique- bold vs. delicate bought me to consider how far the nature versus nurture invades us creatively? However dynamic and inspired by new processes we try to remain, have we generated a dependency that in some ways now holds us back? Does new technology do too much of the work for us now? With that in mind could this be deemed as threatening in terms of how it generates a reliance and creative shield? I felt this consideration relevant when I came across work presented by Justine Smith. Her artworks feature bank notes of many currencies, questioning our reliance and dependency on money. 

Justine Smith, Detail- ‘Money Map of the World – China.’

These incredibly unique approaches certainly encourage ideas as to ways we individually see Urban Culture in diverse new ways. This consideration extends to question whether our cultural evolution is allowing a new expression or a dangerous reliance on developing technology and convenient, efficient practices. Do we engage enough anymore?

Alex Fasco – Featured works at Moniker Art Fair 2017

Alex Fakso uses confrontation as his response to fully engage within urban art. Linking design to the concept of facing the present, Fakso records encounters through his photography documenting arts modern day vandals. This approach is refreshing, clear and almost proactive in comparison to some of the deeper intertwined interpretations.

Alex Fasco – Featured works at Moniker Art Fair 2017

Texas-born Bill Daniels survivalist experimentation reports and records confrontation of social traveller and rail worker culture through a mobile 2-channel video installation. The black and white footage features the graffiti culture within this environment through honest presentation similarly to Fakso where the perceived is abandoned and his style of film pioneers documentation.

Bill Daniel- ‘Photograph of Bozo Texino’

The variance across the 30,000 square feet of this international fair space is impossible to fully summarise and I would highly recommend appreciating this at a personal, individual level. This immersive presentation is not one to miss so keep an eye out for the next Moniker opportunity.

If Brooklyn happens to be your local for May 2018, pop on down from the 3rd to 6th for the New York City edition during New York Frieze week! See more details on the website here!

★★★★☆