20/02/2009-06/03/2009: Gio Black Peter - This Is My Gun
STYX Project Space is proud to present the first German solo exhibition of New York-based multimedia artist and musician Gio Black Peter, "This is My Gun".
If New York in the 21st century suffers from an identity crisis mitigated by a myriad of social, economic, and political factors, the city's countercultural life has managed to maintain an edge thanks to the work of multi-faceted artists such as Gio Black Peter. He continues a legacy of outsiderdom that refuses assimilation into the mainstream American culture industry, while simultaneously exploiting the fruitlessness of such conceptual binaries, effectively producing a medium-spanning oeuvre, the accessibility of which lies in its very roughness.
Born Giovanni Paolo Andrade Guevara in 1979, Gio immigrated with his family to New York at the age of five from Guatemala. In the words of the artist, "I've been making art for as long as I 've been pissing. When I was a little boy I spent my time fucking, drawing, and writing stories."
After spending much of his adolescence hanging out in New York's club scene, Gio first entered the spotlight as the star of James Bolton's independent feature film, Eban and Charley, in 2000. Since then, he has pursued art and music in equal measures, while occasionally returning to his acting roots, most notably as co-star of Bruce LaBruce's Otto; or, Up with Dead People!
The visual universe of Gio Black Peter engages in equal measures with the highly sexualized politics of queer outsider culture and the colorful syntax of the street. He is prone to using a combination of found materials, such as New York City subway maps, and traditional media, such as acrylics and oils, in creating a cacophonous deluge of collages, installations, paintings, and drawings. Many of the works shown in Berlin were created specifically for the exhibition at STYX Project Space.
In addition to his solo output, Gio Black Peter also collaborates with artists Slava Mogutin and Brian Kenny as part of the artist group SPUTNIK 3.
In 2008, Gio's band, the Black Peter Group, released their first EP. Co-written and produced by Andrew "Friendly" Kornweibel, It's Fucked Up! fuses such diverse musical influences as punk rock and hillbilly 2-step into a collection of highly danceable tracks and features Gio's distinctive vocals. Like Gio's artwork, It's Fucked Up! is reminiscent of the old New York - a graffiti-covered urban jungle where a feeling of lawlessness reigned and every night out promised a wild new adventure.
Thus, an exhibition of Gio Black Peter is perfectly suited to the city of Berlin, which has in recent years garnered comparisons to New York in its glory days, and more specifically the squat-like environs of STYX Project Space, where street style meets the white cube. The opening of "This is My Gun" will also feature a live performance by Gio.
Opening Reception and Performance by Gio Black Peter:
20 February 2009, 7-10 pm
6 March 2009, 7-10 pm