Atle Østrem’s bold, graffiti-inspired paintings are inspired by contemporary urban experience. Layering imagery from street art and hip-hop culture with his cast of imagined characters, Østrem engages the mercurial nature of city life. His signature street-urchin subjects express a range of emotions—frenetic, lonely, downtrodden—that are emphasized by the scrawled text that surrounds them. Titles like Bored to Debt and High End Low Level Nitty Gritty Subculture Clash drive Østrem’s message home. These denizens of the city are at once energized and alienated by their surroundings.