Talking "OVERTHRONE! Pooring Reign" and "DougLyfe" with CYRCLE. RE-UP
If this is the first you are hearing of CYRCLE., Shepard Fairey has this to say about the guys - "People frequently ask me who the new upstarts are in street art... I'd say CYRCLE., but that would be underselling the diversity of their talents and the depth of their conceptual process. CYRCLE. work in many mediums and techniques, utilizing whatever approach most powerfully delivers the concept and aesthetic. CYRCLE. are surprisingly focused and rigorous for some young punks."
I was able to attend opening night of the inaugural solo exhibition at StolenSpace London by LA based collective, CYRCLE. The show, titled: "OVERTHRONE! POORING REIGN," aims to explore symbols of power and the control over our minds. The "OVERTHRONE!" campaign has been a significant theme in CYRCLE.'s work for over two years. The exhibition at StolenSpace will run until the 6th April and unveils two new bodies of work within this overarching concept, "RULERS WERE MEANT TO BE BROKEN" and "SCRAMBLE FOR POWER".
Through a process of deconstruction, CYRCLE. inverts specific symbols to signify an overthrow of the reigns of power. According to the artists, the aim is: "a subliminal call to action... to overthrow the powers of doubt and oppression in the mind so we, the individual, can let go of fear and take power back!"
There are already a number of reviews online, and a plethora of professional and amateur photos from opening night and afterwards. I would suggest visiting in person before it's too late. The work needs to be seen in person for the message to be conveyed fully. If you are unable to get to the East End do have a glance at the work via the Stolen Space site here.
My aim with this feature is not to review the exhibition, which really needs to be experienced as online photos do not do the work justice, but more to speak with the guys candidly and ask them about the future.
Who are the Dougs?
We are the Dougs, and they are the Dougs, and quite frankly you may very well be a Doug yourself. A "Doug" is a term of endearment... if you are "trying to make it" in any capacity in any field, you are a Doug. If you are a small animal or child you are a Douglet. If you have "made it" you are the Douglas... You have officially made it to the yacht club.
What would you say are the benefits of social media to what you guys do?
The world can experience the artwork and see the lifestyle without physically being present... duh (winky face) ;)
How do you feel "Overthrone!" translates in a country with a serving monarchy, and was there ever any doubt that it would, or even should be shown here in the UK?
OVERTHRONE! Pooring Reign was our first solo exhibition in London. Doubt is always present however we choose to overthrow doubt and move with faith. Everyone seemed open to the concept. At no point did we feel we offended anyone, in fact many people called it a breath of fresh air. Ironically the title OVERTHRONE! is not to be taken literally. It is not even a "recognized" word. It is a call to action. To overthrow the mythologies of power and persuasion, and the reigns they have over our minds.
Tell us about your relationship with Stolen Space, how it started and maybe your interest in other artists they represent.
We were contacted by Stolen Space over a year ago, with interest in participating in group showings. After good reception, we were invited to do a solo show in their new and current gallery location. We have become friends with several participating artists, and love the whole team at stolen space! They are some good blokes and blokets.
How would you say things differ between California and London, in both the street and gallery art scene?
Well for one the weather ain’t quite the same, that’s for true. The street art scene is much more dynamic. The architecture of London creates a unique canvas for the artist. There are good and bad galleries wherever you are, whether in London or across the pond. On that note... there is good art and bad art.
You work across several mediums; does this ensure you reach the biggest audience?
I guess that is one way to put it; however it may not be our purist intent. We are conceptual artists, our concept drives the aesthetic. Whatever medium best delivers the message and meaning becomes the medium we use. We are not afraid to pick up new tools and explore foreign methods. We are not trying to impress those who are masters of one; we are just trying to communicate a message in the best way possible.
Are you able to make more of a statement in your murals or gallery work, is this the intention or just a part of what you enjoy doing?
That’s a tricky question. In the gallery we have the opportunity to create a novel; in a mural we have maybe just a chapter. However the gallery show usually lasts a month, the mural can last forever, or at least as long as the elements are willing to let it last.
Can art change the world?
Art does change the world. An artist’s sole responsibility, our burden if you will, is to challenge what is acceptable.
Can you give us some insight into your interest in and use of art history in your work?
We are more interested in history rather than art history, however there are many artists of the past and present that have influenced and inspired our work. The past presents us with things that we can challenge, because our past creates the mythologies which haunt our present.
Please tell us about some of your influences be it in art, music, fashion or wherever relevant.
Rick Owens, Julius, Nike, Greek and Roman mythologies, Tokyo, Pharrell, Skateboarding, HBO, The Cohen Brothers, David Lynch too much to list this would take forever. HA
What can you tell us about your upcoming capsule with Billionaire Boys Club?
The capsule centres around our previous three part concept, CAPTURE THE FLAG! which deals with the Mythology of the Cowboy and Native American Indian. The two opposing forces seemingly present in the past mythologies of all civilizations... light and dark, good and evil, order and chaos, right and left... etc. Sometimes we are a Cowboy, Sometimes we are an Indian, Sometimes we are both!
Aside from the above, what's next for CYRCLE in 2014 and beyond?
BLACK CYRCLE winter 2014, that’s all I can say about that. A lot of murals in Europe and Canada this summer, Vancouver, Montreal, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Istanbul and??? Hopefully that’s all. We will return home to LA for our second iteration of the OVERTHRONE! concept ... SCRAMBLE FOR POWER! More will be revealed on that in the coming months.
To finish, what would you choose as your entrance music to this year’s Wrestlemania XXX?
Electric Light Orchestra, Showdown
Peace, Love, Light, Doritos...
Davey & Rabi
In addition to the works that were part of "OVERTHRONE! - Pooring Reign" the guys released a limited edition of 100 print entitled "Turn That Crown Upside Down", with all proceeds going to fund Davey's sister's medical care as she battles a rare syndrome known as Ehlers-Danlos. Like Davey says via the guys' Facebook post - "it's a love thing."
I want to thank Davey and Rabi for the interview, and also Ben for his assistance and basically not blocking my email address.
I also would like to thank Eve, Beth and Monica from Stolen Space for helping me secure print #75 to go along with my moniker of Bossman75, and not blocking my email address.