Manga Meets Politics at ‘Artpusher: I Love Mangahattan’

Last Thursday, we were lucky enough to be taken on a private tour of Artpusher’s recently-closed  show ‘I Love Mangahattan‘ at MeadCarney, Mayfair. For those of you who don’t know his work, Artpusher is one of the new wave of European street artists whose works look sharp both in the gallery and on the streets.

Artpusher’s influences range from his father, an accomplished watercolour painter in his own right, to Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol and Koons, along with Street Art gurus the likes of Ron English, Banksy and Blek Le Rat. These inspirations can be seen in the size, scale and detail of his photorealistic works, which draw on pop art, street art and comic books (specifically Japanese manga) to create large-scale cityscapes focused on the consumerism of New York and Times Square. His works draw the eye to commercial inconsistencies; brands are warped, logos destroyed and reassembled. Irony practically drips off each piece and the humour is apparent. His are definitely works you spend awhile on rather than zoom past.

‘Broadway Sure Thing,’ Artpusher, 2015

What impressed me about Artpusher’s work was the attention to detail and high skill level throughout. I think its fair to say, as a longtime Street Art fanatic, that a decent amount of new work lives in the school of irony with no clear message or idea. Contrarily, these works evidently stem from a more mature artist, one who is comfortable with subversion as a medium for political comment – not just someone who goes “Capitalism: bad; Banksy-like stencil: good”.

Some of his work cuts very close. His signature piece, ‘Je suis Danois‘, for example, comments on selfie-culture in light of the Charles Hebdo tragedy. As an artist who’s studio was adjacent to this year’s February Danish shootings, a viewer can feel his rejection of these atrocities framed through the cliché millennial medium of a selfie.

‘Je Suis Danois,’ Artpusher, 2015

Although the show officially closed on 2nd May, parts of it may still be up so if you hurry you should be able to have a look!

– Sam Senchal

Artpusher: I love Mangahattan‘ was on view at Mead Carney until 2nd May; 45 Dover Street London W1S 4FF; Open Monday – Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 12PM-5PM; Admission: FREE

4 thoughts on “Manga Meets Politics at ‘Artpusher: I Love Mangahattan’

  1. I was also one of the lucky ones to catch the show while it still ran, and i can second that the works lives up to this fine review, even up close!


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