CES - That’s My Name Talking
Opening July 16, Fort Gansevoort is a new cultural hub for art, design, and food, founded by curator Adam Shopkorn. Located on the top two stories of the building, Fort Gansevoort Gallery will present its inaugural exhibition That’s My Name Talking, drawings by celebrated Bronx-based graffiti artist CES.
On view through August 15, That's My Name Talking is the first show to present the artist's small-scale ink drawings, providing a window into the blend of classicism, surrealism and street culture that characterizes the work of the legendary graffiti artist. Citing early inspiration from artists like Salvador Dali and James Rosenquist, the 40 intimate drawings on view offer a counterpoint to CES' well-known large-format spray paint works. Made over the course of the past three years, they were inspired by the deceptively ordinary objects CES encountered in the world around him. CES has engaged a visual language dominated by everyday items imbued with symbolic power – fruits, vegetables, junk food and liquor. The artist's signature is concealed within each image in a nod to his graffiti origins. In the realm of graffiti, a signature, a tag, is in itself a work of art.
"By 2012, I had done so much graffiti and wanted to know that I could still draw," said CES. The more time you spend with a can and a cap, the more you're inclined to ask yourself, "Can I get back to having a pen in my hand with a piece of paper?"
Fort Gansevoort founder, Adam Shopkorn has followed the work of CES for over 20 years, having first discovered it on the walls of the Major Deegan Expressway as he traveled to school. "I was fascinated by the proliferation of his work and began to notice it everywhere," said Shopkorn. "I recently saw this series of drawings and I fell in love with a body of work I had not known CES was making. The small works achieve a level of delicacy that stands in complete contrast to the hard-edged quality of his graffiti. I am delighted to inaugurate our gallery with the work of a New York legend and to expand the public's understanding of his art."