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12 Midnite, Heroism Addiction

12 Midnite, Heroism Addiction (2010), automotive enamel on board [Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 8-Apr 2]

12 Midnite: Taking Liberties

Elliott Louis Gallery
Vancouver BC – Mar 8-Apr 2, 2011

12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Greed

12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Greed, silkscreen on paper [Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 8-Apr 2]

12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Trouble in Godville

12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Trouble in Godville, silkscreen on paper [Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 8-Apr 2]


12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Defending Lost Ideals

12 Midnite, Gunland Series: Defending Lost Ideals, silkscreen on paper [Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 8-Apr 2]

Taking Liberties is the first commercial gallery exhibition by Vancouver pop artist 12 Midnite. After getting his start at at the alternate Helen Pitt and grunt galleries in the 1980s, he later founded several of his own, including Smash Gallery of Modern Art on Cordova Street, the New Tiny in Chinatown, and later, the Lowbrow Garage.

12 Midnite, born Shon Franks, began creating his hard-edge, pro-Canada imagery in 1984. He literally left his mark on the city with spraypainted symbols like his Lady Liberty – the Statue of Liberty toting a gun. Once described by Vancouver critic Art Perry as “that art rat and rockabilly pop painter,” he variously became known as the graffiti guy, neon guy, hot rod builder, painter and grunge musician. He loves driving cars, painting cars, and using cars in his artwork.

For a counter-culture artist, 12 Midnite's “Kustom Kulture” work is surprisingly polished. Like early pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who based his imagery on a comic strip style, 12 Midnite has been inspired by the clean minimalist style and smooth quality of line found in cartoons.

He freelances as a set painter for Disney Films and illustrator for Warner Brothers Records, and customizes motorcycles and hot rods with his trademark flames. The Elliott Louis Gallery exhibit includes neon-embellished wall installations, iconic enamel images on board, and silkscreen prints from 12 Midnite's Gunland Series.

www.elliottlouis.com

Mia Johnson


 Sun, Feb 6, 2011