Consistency is a prevailing characteristic of Mist’s oeuvre. An artist who is so dominant over the contemporary graffiti scene and who is so well known that he needs little further gallery exposure, Mist will reveal today for the Speerstra Gallery a new series of pieces united under the suggestive title Black Book Tales. Consisting of sketchbooks of all kinds and of alphabetical research passed from hand to hand, the Black Book evokes the intensity of artists who are consumed in search of a particular style, full of history and intimacy.
For the last 25 years, Mist has masterfully developed his black imperial outlines, from the paper of his sketchbooks to his canvases and works on spacious walls. Black Book Tales reveals the notion that these sketchbooks contain the secrets of the making of a unique style, which Mist enjoys pushing to more extreme refinement with the passing years. Since his first paintings on wood during the founding exposition Graffiti Art at the French Monuments Museum in 1991, Mist has fashioned a maturing style in which he continually develops new techniques and new approaches.
His work retains nevertheless something intangible: despite his limitless productivity, each of his pieces undeniably captures our complete attention, appropriating space at the expense of the others in its proximity. Thus it is difficult to find a painting that vibrates less than the others, so much so that this methodological chaos of colors and shapes engages our full contemplation. Superbly controlled, Mist’s movement softens at the contact points of these washed-out and hazardous backgrounds. An allusion to infinity emerges with the line of the first spray of paint, following the “annunciating” movement of this constant dynamic that we find in his work, such that we are compelled to ask where is the beginning of this piece, and how does it end?
Between these fluid black lines, there are certainly stories to be discerned. To be sure, Mist will always have new tales to bring to our eyes. Creator of a career which has brought him close to the highest sphere of contemporary art, the fundamental consistency in his work reinforces the reality that year after year, Mist stands firmly as the most rebellious painter of current abstract art, whilst never losing sight of the graffiti culture into which he was born.
(text from © Speerstra Gallery)
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