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  • Press Release by @just_a_spectator

AGAINST THE GRAIN: GATS Solo Show in NYC June 3 - 25th, 2017


AGAINST THE GRAIN - a solo show by GATS

Opening Reception: June 3rd - 6 - 9pm // On view: June 3rd - 25th, 2017

SPOKE NYC is pleased to announce an upcoming solo exhibition with Oakland-based anonymous graffiti

artist GATS (Graffiti Against the System). GATS is known for his iconic mask imagery which comments on a plethora of political injustices. “Against the Grain” will be GATS’ inaugural exhibition with SPOKE NYC, in which he will be continuing his distinct graffiti insignia through a variety of mediums while incorporating elements from found objects.

In “Against the Grain” , GATS continues utilizing his iconic mask imagery, which represents a global identity that breaks down all barriers and prejudices. Known primarily for large-scale graffiti work in public spaces, GATS has re-contextualized his work for the gallery space by working in a variety of mediums he may not otherwise be able to on the streets. By utilizing a variety of found objects as a canvas (ie. a vintage child’s sled, skate decks and a wooden trunk) , GATS allows the viewer to pause and observe his intricate insignia and iconography while creating unique surfaces and compositions. Many of the objects carry specific meaning to the artist, giving a nod to graffiti artists’ use of fire extinguishers as a brush, or driftwood, which represents the artists desire to reconnect with nature. Lettering is incorporated throughout the works, paying homage to individuals he admires and notable political movements in history.

About his work, the artist states, “On a micro level I’m thinking about the chain link fence standing between me and the wall I need to paint. On a macro level I’m thinking about the conceptual borders between nations preventing us from collaborating as citizens of the world. My gallery work is usually referencing graffiti and thus naturally questioning the social construct of property.”

Please join us for “Against the Grain” - the inaugural SPOKE NYC solo show by GATS, opening Saturday, June 3rd with an evening reception from 6pm – 9pm. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, June 25th, 2017. Complimentary beverages will be served. For more information, additional images, or a collector’s preview, please email us at:​



GATS (Graffiti Against the System) is an anonymous graffiti artist based in the Bay Area. He utilizes his iconic imagery to respond to injustices in society, particularly tensions between citizens and law enforcement. The artist has no formal training, yet does not consider himself to be self taught. Rather, he considers himself to be a part of his community, learning from those around him throughout the years. His work can be found in various locations around the world, from Palestine to the Philippines.


ABOUT THE GALLERY I SPOKE NYC + SF SPOKE is an art space specializing in new contemporary painting, sculpture and illustration with an emphasis in accessible programming. Started in 2010, the gallery now houses two locations, one in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighborhood and one in New York City’s Lower East Side. Each space rotates monthly exhibits that feature a wide variety of solo and group shows, many of which feature an international roster of represented artists.


FB EVENT PAGE : SPOKE ART : GATS : I 210 Rivington St. New York, NY 10002 I I 212 477 4759


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