Pasting pieces of intimacy in the public space
Alias’ work represents mainly children, some teenagers, some adults; individuals that are alone, dealing with situations. It is a quiet introspection, which the artist captures in black and white graphically stylised figures, to which he sometimes adds some dense red colour.
In one image, we can see a kid wounded by gunshots looking at us, as if he was telling us, “you are my witness that I have been shot”. A child is sitting on a bomb, another one is hiding his face coming back from school, or on his way to school, a girl is praying, her eyes looking at the sky, a kid is sitting on a swing with his back turned. Rather than directly dealing with war or politics, Alias is focusing on how individuals are personally affected by their environment. It is like zooming on individuals and seeing things on their scale; zooming in on children in particular and observing how they experience that world and context they live in.
There is a lot of compassion in Alias’ work as he delicately infiltrates the urban environment to reveal the existence of loneliness and personal crisis behind larger catastrophe.
Discreetly suggesting compassion
Alias has been carefully choosing specific spots and objects in various cities for the past twelve years, where he applies his stencils where his images are going to take place. On building walls or untransformed recycled materials, Alias has been capturing emotions that are not only his subject but also his material as much as paint or street walls may be. While a lot of street art pieces are big and highly noticeable, Alias’ stencil paintings are discreet. Both the chosen spots in the streets, and the material he finds, are an integral part of his work. He has a way of finding special spots that are going to contribute to the expression alongside the image itself. Conveying a very personal feeling he is dealing with. Those spots are as unique as what he is depicting.
By isolating people from the social background or situation they are in, Alias is triggering a direct emotional impact. All his subjects appear as little universes, neutral lands that all seem to want peace. It is the type of compassion you can find in the work of great artists like Bill Viola. It is art that makes us feel human suffering we can all relate to and that instills in us both condolence and reverence.
Building canvases for lonesome figures
Within the last years Alias did not only explore the world and leave his artistic tracks on the streets around the globe, he also developed his very own language when it comes to building indoor works.
Collecting and selecting materials from the urban environment the artist builds his own canvases that serve as a vivid backdrop for his multilayered stencils. By using found objects like rusted metal plates, old grit or disused signs, he injects his artworks with a kind of collage setting that lives from its untransformed recycled materials, which then tell their very own stories. With this technique Alias transports an idea of the original roughness of street art directly into the gallery, and transplants the urban context of his work inside the protected setting of the art world.
Alias’ latest works didn’t only impress with size, it’s his growing spectrum of subjects and protagonists that leaves an important mark. Where the focus was predominantly set on kids and teenagers in the past, more and more adults are now entering the spotlight - brothers in mind which might have learned to be more comfortable with this kind of self-imposed solitude over the years. Loneliness and violability certainly still are prominent topics in Alias’ intimate images of isolated individuals, and maybe they’re even more visible than ever due to the increasing darkness that dominates his self-built canvases.
- 2014 - Group Show "Paper Works" - Open Walls Gallery - Berlin (Germany)
- 2014 - Blooom Artfair (Solo) – Cologne (Germany)
- 2014 - Fragile Lives, Shattered Dreams (Solo) - Scarlett Gallery - Stockholm (Sweden)
- 2014 - Group Show "Stencil Bastards #3" - Starkart Gallery - Zürich (Switzerland)
- 2014 - Group Show “Collection” - Open Walls Gallery - Berlin (Germany)
- 2014 - This is not Street Art - Hauz Khas Village - New Delhi (India)
- 2013 - Group Show "Knoten" – Hamburg (Germany)
- 2013 - Stroke#8 Artfair – Berlin (Germany)
- 2013 - Stroke#7 Artfair – Munich (Germany)
- 2013 - Group Show "Dissidents" - Open Walls Gallery - Berlin (Germany)
- 2012 - Solo Show "Alias #4" – Hamburg (Germany)
- 2012 - Stroke#6 Artfair – Berlin (Germany)
- 2012 - Group Show «Silence Is A Lie» – Berlin (Germany)
- 2012 - Group Show «Paris Zone Libre» – Paris (France)
- 2012 - Stroke#5 Artfair – Munich (Germany)
- 2011 - Contemporary Istanbul Artfair – Istanbul (Turkey)
- 2011 - Group Show "Dissidents" – West Berlin Gallery – Germany
- 2011 - Blooom Art.Fair – Cologne (Germany)
- 2011 - Stroke#5 Artfair – Berlin (Germany)
- 2011 - Stroke#4 Artfair – Munich (Germany)
- 2011 - Group show "Beyond Good and Evil" – West Berlin Gallery (Germany)
- 2010 - Solo Show "My Belly is Mumbling" – West Berlin Gallery (Germany)
- 2010 - Stroke#3 – Berlin (Germany)
- 2010 - Reclaim Your City – Neurotitan – Berlin (Germany)
- 2010 - UPFEST Urban Painting festival – Bristol (United Kingdom)
- 2010 - Group show "Wir In Milan" – SpazioConcept – Milan (Italy)
- 2009 - X LAB Gallery – Berlin (Germany)
- 2009 - Strike the Streets – Rome (Italy)
- 2009 - Graffitolog – Cologne (Germany)
- 2009 - Urban Affairs’ Extended – Berlin (Germany)
- 2008 - Urban Affairs – Berlin (Germany)
- 2008 - Hinterconti – Hamburg (Germany)
- 2008 - Alias goes Mono – Mono Concept Store – Hamburg (Germany)
- 2007 - Vicious Gallery – Hamburg (Germany)
- 2007 - Group show "Free Your Mind, your hands will follow" – Basar One – Naples (Italy)
- 2007 - Backjumps the live issue #3 – Galerie Tristesse – Berlin (Germany)
- 2014 - FREE OZ - Streetart zwischen Revolte, Repression und Kommerz, Assoziation A
- 2013 - Street Art in Germany, Timo Schaal, Riva Verlag
- 2013 - Street Art Berlin Read the article
- 2012 – Huffington Post
- 2012 - "Street Art by Alias" - TeNeues
- 2012 - Mehr als ein Viertel , Assoziation A
- 2011 – Berliner Morgenpost
- 2011 - Verband Kinder und Jugendarbeit, Hamburg
- 2010 – Berliner Zeitung
- 2010 - Roadkill von Helene Hegemann, Einaudi
- 2010 - Street Art Cookbook, Dokument Press
- 2009 - Kai Jakob, Street Art in Berlin, Jaron Verlag
- 2008 - Kai Jakob, Street Art in Berlin, Jaron Verlag
- 2008 - Zimmermann, Berlin Street Art, Prestel Verlag
- 2008 - Russell Howze, Stencil History X, Manic Press
- 2008 - J.P. Schildwächter, StreetArt Hamburg, Junius
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Seattle (USA)
- The Arts Fund – San Fransisco (USA)