A New Way to Work: Creative Identity Gets a Contemporary Makeover in LA
“Identity” is a nebulous term, subject to shift and surprise over the course of a lifetime. This month, nine international artists pin down different definitions in I Don’t Wanna Be, I Am, a traveling exhibition opening at Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) in downtown Los Angeles. Curated by Ink and Movement (IAM)—a Madrid-based art project that aims to “spread contemporary art and bring it to the public”—the show is currently on view until June 18, 2022.
True to its name, I Don’t Wanna Be, I Am explores personal and collaborative creative identity through a wide, international lens. The elusive nature of both identity and creativity result in a mixture of striking works from world-renowned Spanish painter Okuda San Miguel, Argentine artists Elian Chali and Franco Fasoli, and Spanish artists Martí Sawe, Misterpiro, Nano4814, Sabek, Sixe Paredes, and Spok Brillor.
Many of the exhibiting artists work in post-graffiti, a contemporary movement that straddles the divide between public and studio practice. One of them, Okuda San Miguel, shares his thoughts on collective creative identity: “Ever since I started painting graffiti, I have always worked with other artists. Collaborations are the norm in this world, and there is a real sense of brotherhood. Working with other artists is like taking my art to other worlds.”
Teeming with geometric shapes and prismatic hues, the works in I Don’t Wanna Be, I Am are also a treat for the eyes. Appropriately, a percentage of sales will go toward the Coloring the World Foundation, whose mission is to support diverse art projects that improve quality of life for communities in vulnerable positions.
Having stirred waves across Europe earlier this year, I Don’t Wanna Be, I Am is currently on view at Corey Helford Gallery in LA until ; the exhibition is back on the international circuit with an upcoming trip to Dubai in October.
“Ever since I started painting graffiti, I have always worked with other artists. Collaborations are the norm in this world, and there is a real sense of brotherhood. — Okuda San Miguel
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).