Scurrying back and forth to work under sludgy February skies, I decided it was time to inject some colour into my life. And what better way to do so than to experience Okuda’s street art exhibition, Lost Olympus, at the Stolen Space Gallery. Mixing with surreal, mythological characters proved just the company I needed to lift the spirits on an otherwise mundane, Thursday evening after work.
Who is the man behind Okuda’s street art?
Born in Spain in 1980, Okuda started out as a street artist in Santander, transforming old factories, roads and railways with his vibrant colours and shapes. He rose to international fame in 2009 when he had the opportunity to tour with the IAM project in gallery shows in New York, Berlin, London and Paris. Okuda’s work is classified as pop surrealism and mixes vibrant geometric prints with Picasso-esque architectures that blend bodies and forms together.
On entering the exhibition, my eye’s immediately drawn to the clashing tangerines, crimsons and verdant greens which jar and attract in equal measure. Polka dots, prisms and stars and stripes all seamlessly merge to create surreal, dreamlike figures and states. Female goddesses predominate and I love this Indian Soul who gazes wistfully from distant galaxies.
On a similar theme, “Refugee Goddess” is both timeless yet topical and forces us to examine our preconceived judgements of what it means to be a refugee.
The tongue ‘n’ cheek “Trump’s Angel reflections” provides hope for the future with a marching stag in the background hinting at possible progress in a new direction.
I return to the grey streets on Osborn Street with a spring in my step. The vibrant colours, shapes and positive symbolism expressed in Okuda’s work can’t help but boost the spirits. Spring definitely feels that little bit closer now.
Lost Olympus is on until the 26 February 2017 at the Stolen Space Art Gallery, 17 Osborn St, London E1 6TD. Nearest tube station: Aldgate East. Entry is free.