Il Trifoglio Nero are set to showcase Truth & Consequences, Lee Quiñones’ first solo show in Italy since 1980. As Sacha Jenkins notes in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition, ‘Lee has always used his art to address the heavier thoughts and fears of humankind — his subway works, for instance, could ponder anything from nuclear holocausts to the middle ground the Earth might provide between say heaven and hell. The body and blood of Truth & Consequences is a proud extension of this sentiment.’
Lee Quiñones has been at the forefront of American graffiti art and is universally regarded as a leading figure in the development and transition of Post-Graffiti within the contemporary art world. Today, while displayed for an art-world audience, his work has landed in both public and private collections around the globe.
Along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lee Quiñones was one of the key innovators during the early days of New York’s street-art movement. In keeping with his tradition of innovation, Quiñones was also one of the first street artists to transition away from creating murals on trains and begin creating canvas-based paintings. The 1979 exhibition of his canvases at Claudio Bruni’s Galleria Medusa in Rome introduced street art to the rest of the world.
Much of this influence was due to Fred Brathwaite who sought out Lee in 1979. Lee credits Brathwaite – known as Fab Five Freddy- for single-handedly fusing uptown hip-hop flavor with the gritty downtown punk aesthetic. Lee starred in director Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style, a film loosely written about Lee’s life, endearing him to a generation of hip-hop fans that premiered in 1983. His work also appeared in Tony Silvers and Henry Chalfant’s 1983 documentary film Style Wars. The art and music of the time further meshed as Lee, Fab Five Freddy and Jean Michel Basquiat designed backdrops for Blondie’s infamous “Rapture” video. Lee’s body of work extends across a massive scope – from canvas to large murals and installation to elaborate commissions. His collaborations with companies include a 25th anniversary edition of the Adidas shoe as part of a series including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Missy Elliott, of which his edition sold out worldwide in half a day. He has also worked with Ford Motor Company, Nike, IFC TV, Viacom, Absolute Vodka, and Automobile Magazine among others. Lee has lectured at universities and cultural institutions including New York University, Columbia University, the University of New Mexico, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Institute of North American Studies in Barcelona, Spain. Lee has twice been recognized at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors awards show and he was a recipient of the Jam Master Jay Award for the Arts in 2007. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he raised $65,000 for the Boys and Girl’s Clubs of America by riding a bicycle from New York to Miami. For his humanitarian efforts, October 27th is officially Lee Quinones Day in New York, an honored bestowed by both Manhattan and Brooklyn borough presidents.
Quinones’ paintings are included in numerous public and private collections around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Groningen and Boijmans Van Beuningen Museums in the Netherlands. He has exhibited at PS1 in New York, at Documenta #7 in Kassel, at the Museum of National Monuments in Paris and at the Staatliche Museum in Germany as well as with numerous galleries including Barbara Gladstone, Sidney Janis, Rudolph Zwirner, Galerie du Jour / Agnès B and the Lisson Gallery.
Lee Quiñones: Truth & Consequences
18 April – 23 May 2009
Opening Reception 18 April 18.00
DJ set by Rich Medina
Catalogue available featuring texts by Sacha Jenkins, Dave Greenberg and Fred Brathwaite