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Air

Air

Frédéric «AIR» Gutierrez was born in Clichy in 1972. At the age of 12, when television broadcasted H.I.P.H.O.P, he was immediately interested in Hip-Hop — an emerging culture of the United States that combines music, dance and graffiti. In 1986, he started to create his art in his environment: the streets, the buses, the trains, the railroads, up to the Parisian metro. Day and night, everything seems reachable to him. He is fascinated by this discovery, by the transparency effect of inks, by the overlays of paint on different surfaces. He is inspired by French pioneers such as DARCO and SCALE who took charge on Paris Saint-Lazare line. It quickly becomes an addiction, a constant hunt for new mediums.

In France these are the beginnings of a new artistic trend. It is also a very intense period, made up of clashes between rival gangs, and chases with the police officers. Two years later, he left for the «Mecca» of the New York graffiti. He felt the need to understand what he was doing. Yet, he didn't know what he was doing. This initiatory journey will inspire others. He will improve by meetings and sharing with his “fathers”… London, Munich, Amsterdam, Montreal, Brussels, hip-hop and graffiti are everywhere. His painting evolves through his encounters and his travels.

In 1991, he joined the group DUC (Da Underground Criminalz), one of the most influential "crews" of West of Paris, besides Sino, Shuck2, Sect… With his lifelong sidekick DJ Kefay, they host a radio show, “Kool and Radikal.” They introduced graffiti and the whole hip-hop culture to a whole new generation. Air travels the world and paints graffiti alongside the famous names of this artistic trend. A few years later, he created with Sino, zantz, emir and Somi, a magazine called «Keep it Real», which pages highlight French hip-hop artists. Then again with Sino, recently settled in Montreal, they became the first North American importers of specialized paintings for graffiti.

As he likes to say, graffiti saved his life. His interest in drawing led him to his current job as an Artistic Director, and he distanced himself from the seamy stories of some districts. He is also the creator of many logos and productions related to this culture. In 2000, in London, Montreal and Paris, he participated at the beginning of painting exhibitions on the theme of graffiti. The beginning of a recognition in the world of art.

Today, he separates his time between his job and his artworks. His work on canvas is the reflection of 30 years of graffiti. It reveals the main ideas of graffiti, the letter, the energy it can emit in situ, the movement in which it is always linked, the atmospheres it is associated with, and its complex simplicity. His works contain 30 years of history, practice and a perpetual search for «true» graffiti.

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