Adrian Falkner is building upon 20 years of ongoing success: Under his writer name SMASH137 he has achieved worldwide recognition. His graffiti can be seen on countless walls and his style is considered to be formative worldwide, as he combines technical precision with an innovative approach to the traditional vocabulary of graffiti writing. Curved lines and open areas, that blend smoothly into one another, along with striking colours characterize his works in the public as well as the distinctive „Cracking“. As one of the pioneers, SMASH137 develops this technique, where a spray can is pierced forcing the colour to be expelled uncontrolledly. Instead of accurately placing lines and areas, quick and steady working becomes inevitable. This dynamic process determines a new rhythm of colours, shapes and forms.
Turning away from traditional schemes is inherent to his consistently developing works for the interior. Since his first solo exhibition in Dusseldorf in 2008, he is concerned with transferring the intensity of graffiti to the canvas without being constricted by its rules. For a long time Falkner used his pseudonym SMASH as a formal framework for his abstract compositions – the strict aesthetics of the letterforms work as a counterpart to the freedom of the expressive line. The divergent determining factors and requirements entail that his studio paintings differ more and more from his origins, so at the end of 2014 he decides to renounce letters as an artistic element. The interplay between masterly technique and the freedom of lines forms the framework for his colour choreographies, which are complemented by the specific qualities of the spray can to creating: the floating lightness, with which it touches the canvas, and the distinct texture of its lines. Additionally, he uses acrylic, ink and oil crayon, to bring movement into his painterly ductus and create a surface rich in contrast. The latter will be furnished with a matt varnish, which leaves particular glossy sections to stand out. Thus Falkner succeeds to convey the dynamics of writing into multi-layered compositions which directs his painting into the present-day. What remains is an intuitive approach to art which he explains in an interview:
»When I’m really immersed in my work, I’m actually entering a realm of structuring lines and colours; paint strokes are to my left, my right, behind me and in front of me. I completely understand them and I can act from within them.« – Rémi Jaccard, 2015
*1979 in Basel (CH),
lives and works in Basel (CH)