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DEVIANTS: Exhibition Showcasing the Political and Punk Influenced Street Art of Colombian Muralist, Erre

Juicy Juicy Gallery - Hoxton Arches: Arch 402, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD

DEVIANTS: The New Exhibition Showcasing the Political and Punk Influenced Street Art of Columbian Muralist, Erre.

From Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th July, East London’s Juicy Juicy Gallery – formed in 2022 to highlight and build cultural connections between Latin American artistic talent and the UK art world – will play host to “Deviants”. The new exhibition by internationally acclaimed street artist, muralist, and illustrator Erre. The exhibition will be Erre’s first in the UK, and also mark the first ever solo exhibition by a female Latina muralist in the country.

Hailing from Bogota and with her murals in a diverse range of cities such as Paris, New York, Berlin, Mexico City and LA. Erre’s bold and technically accomplished stencil work features the recurring motifs of punky, powerful, and anti-establishment imagined heroines, fires, explosives, and human skulls. Her art is motivated by the aims of empowering women, challenging patriarchal and machismo culture (particularly in Colombia and the wider South American continent) and highlighting the inequalities and hypocrisy of political corruption and prejudices.

Ahead of the exhibition, UNDERGROUND spoke to Erre about her work.

Deviants Columbian Muralist Erre

What was your journey in creating street art?

I began painting with small stencils 15 years ago, and it was 9 years ago that I decided to dedicate the majority of my time to painting in the street and began to do more elaborate pieces, driven by my questioning of authority and influenced by Punk music. On top of that, during this time period I gained access to the internet and I began to see the work of street artists in other countries as a parallel to the movement that was sweeping Bogota; the city where I studied and where I now live.

My motivation was the thought of offending the conservative sensibilities of my family and neighbours. I wanted to put something subversive in the street to disrupt the view of the people walking by. My friends in the community were key to my process, learning and working together, planning and painting murals, as well as completing other projects related to street art.

Today, I continue bringing my art to life in the street using stencils and other mediums like posters, print, and stickers.

What are the influences and messages of your work?

My work is influenced by Punk, books, travels, conversations with friends, social circumstances and the politics that affect my daily life.

I think that initially when I started painting, my only goal was to make people uncomfortable and unleash all of the questions and challenges to authority I had in my head. With time, I feel that taking the decision to express myself through street art served as an outlet to heal, to learn, to know, and to continue asking and answering a ton of questions. Today, my work is an invitation for the public to explode, scream, create, jump, act, question – especially for young girls and women.

Columbian Erre Street Artist

Could you speak a bit about the political underpinnings of your work?

Many of my graphics are responses to the lived experiences in a place like Colombia. Here religion (Catholicism in particular), corruption, conservative values, inequality, machismo/sexism and violence (both in home and in the streets) prevail as issues facing citizens- especially women – day to day.

“Deviants” is the first solo exhibit by a Latin American female street artist in the UK; how do you feel about this achievement? And following on from this, what do you feel are the main barriers female artists are still facing in gaining recognition in the art world?

I’m here today through hard work, willpower, the drive to create and learn and throw myself into what I do. The opportunity to bring my work to other parts of the world is made possible by solidarity and support from many people in my surrounding street art community. Without these bonds, it would be more difficult for anyone to move forward.

Even though there are still a lot of obstacles for women in artistic spaces, there are more and more girls expressing themselves in the streets. The same obstacles and barriers are what drive us to unify, organise, to shed our fear of expressing ourselves, reclaiming and forming new spaces to keep creating, exchanging, sharing, and communicating.

Columbian Erre Graffiti Street Art

“Deviants” will run from 27th – 30th July at Juicy Juicy Gallery – Hoxton Arches: Arch 402, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD

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