Cecil Touchon is a painter, performance artist, collector, draftsman, photographer, and curator. But it is through his collage work that he has made his most lasting mark. His collages are the seeds that grow into his other practices. Touchon's paintings are abstractions based upon typography. Using the techniques of collage, he reassembles portions of letter fonts from billboards and printed material into pure abstractions that transform verbal language into a form of visual architecture.
His paintings use trompe l'oeil techniques to painstakingly create the illusion of large collage abstractions. They are characterized by warmly colored geometric shapes — overlapping rectangles and rounded wedges - that seem to revolve and recede into the background. The resulting works are a play of lightness and mass that are both visually striking and, because of the hints of letters, intellectually satisfying.
Cecil Touchon was born in Austin, Texas. Throughout his career, which spans over 30 years, Touchon has been collected worldwide and figures prominently in the Massurrealism movement. Touchon is a founding member of the 1987 Post-Dogmatist Group as well as a respected member of the Art Mail and Fluxus communities. Touchon's work was exhibited in the 2001 and 2009 Venice Biennale and can be found in more than 45 corporate and international collections. Touchon's paintings are also in the permanent collections of The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction, The Museum of Modern Art, The Chicago Art Institute and The Tate Modern.
Niels Shoe Meulman, known as Shoe, is an internationally known artist born, raised and based in Amsterdam. He began tagging ‘Shoe’ in 1979 and became a graffiti legend by the time he was 18. In the 1980s he met New York artists like Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring. He then formed the Crime Time Kings with Bando from Paris and Mode2 from London. Together they gave graffiti in Europe its own distinctive style.
Niels Shoe Meulman revolutionised the art of writing in 2007 with Calligraffiti, an art form that fuses calligraphy and graffiti. Since then, his calligraphic paintings have been shown in countless international exhibitions and are part of several museum collections. His recent painting style can be described as Abstract Expressionism with a calligraphic origin. It plays an important role in the new art movement Abstract Vandalism.
The pieces included in Altered Language are from the series, New Shoes. The paintings were created in New York City in May 2018. When asked about the series the artist shared, "Although I am naturally drawn to artists like Soulages and Motherwell, here in New York the ghosts of Rammellzee, Basquiat and Warhol are omnipresent. When I started painting the series New Shoes I was reminded of the beautiful drawings Warhol did of shoes. The individual titles are a reference and tribute to him."