The name, "Ninu Nina" stems from the alien language spoken by Robin Williams in "Mork & Mindy" ( a popular 1970's comedy show).

gallery nine5 presents Alben: New Paintings & Sculptures

gallery nine5 presents Alben: New Paintings & Sculptures

Ile de Paques, Stenciled spray paint on canvas75 x 51 1/2 in / 190.5 x 130.8 cm.
Exhibition on view at gallery nine5: October 15 - 29, 2010
Alben, (born in Normandy in 1973) identifies strongly with graffiti and street art. The artist’s bold canvases are saturated with Pop iconography from the 1950s to the present day. Hollywood icons, monarchs, kitsch items, canonical artworks, vintage cars, superheroes, and images from the artist’s childhood all combine to create artwork rich in enigmatic symbolism.
Self-taught, the artist works primarily in spray paint and individually crafted stencils—each one made by hand. In a manner intentionally referential to French modernist artist Arman, Alben builds up a dizzying accumulation of images in his works. However, Alben’s use of diverse words, figures and references function to create multiple layers of hidden symbols and meanings.
The October 2010 exhibition will also feature a number of Alben’s new sculptural pieces.
Works by Alben are held in public and private collections throughout Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, Bordeaux, London, New York and Chicago. He lives and works in France and New York.

What are your greatest inspirations and influences?

My first teachers, who directed my artistic approach, were American pop artists and French realists. All had the genius to uproot their time to take ownership of specific practices that have today become their trademark. I think of Warhol’s silkscreen representations of repeating images. I think of Arman also, and his use of accumulating objects in resin. Cesar, with his cuts and expansions, had a major impact on my way of conceptualizing forms in space. He opened up endless creative possibilities. Finally, I cannot leave out Basquiat, whose seemingly simple work has an incomparable virtuosity in its controlled concentration of images, like bombs on the same canvas.

Where are the most interesting places you’ve exhibited?

At the risk of sounding like a demagogue, I have no favorite space. To exhibit in such places as the Grand Palais, or to participate in ARTCURIAL auction sounds impressive from a business standpoint. There is a time for that. But interest may also lie in the possibility of exhibiting on an oceanfront. Everything depends on the goals I initially posed. Most recently, I am having a solo exhibition at gallery nine5, which is definitely more focused on professional immersion in New York.

Who are your favorite artists?

I answer that by saying that the genesis of my art was more about entering into a membership of technical process that iconography related to specific periods.  Thus, I lean towards those artists who are most notorious and current.

  • Jeff Koons, who has this ability to erect mundane objects in monumental work. I greatly admire the boldness of the approach and the beauty of the process.
  • Damien Hirst attracts me with his extremely heterogeneous iconography. It brings to mind a sort of mad scientist; I like that it is constantly changing.
  • Finally, I cannot forget Banksy, a true craftsman of the stencil. He is, in my opinion, one of the primary figures of his time because of his strong technical prowess and his inventive and conclusive powerful images.

What are your favorite galleries?

GUY PETERS Gallery with its local branch in Saint Paul de Vence, La Galerie Laurent Strouk in Paris, and Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York. These are the artistic movement witnesses of the moment.

What are your favorite websites and blogs?

I’m not someone who locks himself into favoritism. I do not believe in being in an exclusive position. However, in an effort to answer the question, I can direct you to appropriate sites that deal with current concerns.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?

I would love to meet them around my paintings. Discuss, inform, and evoke. I like being able to share different opinions.

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