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How and Nosm
at Known Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by G. James Daichendt

Twin brothers and collaborators How and Nosm seem at first a mass of confusion only to unfold impressive scenarios.

Continuing through November 5, 2011

How and Nosm are identical twin brothers well known for their large-scale graffiti-based murals. A few massive examples of their work were facilitated in the Los Angeles Arts District as part of the mural project hosted by LA FreeWalls. The brothers, raised in Germany, are now based in the U.S. and have co-opted a recognizable red, black, and white design scheme initially sought for practicality. However, their exhibition entitled ”Achtung!” [attention] provides rewards for prolonged looking based upon the intimate installation. Sweeping contour lines outline their canvases and order up a mass of confusion. Initially these compositions look abstract, a conglomerate of geometric patterns, symbol-based characters. Color is enough to overwhelm the most patient viewer. Especially outside, the sheer magnitude and dimensions are impressive, but inside, the scenarios within each work unfold like a detective story.

In “Caged Birds Don’t Sing,” multiple narratives arise between the stylized figures and their surroundings. A noticeably large figure is sucking a liquid from a globe like a thirsty child. Inside his head, another series of figures perform acts of control and brutality as their bodies cross over into each other amongst cigarettes and bottles of alcohol. Working in tandem, the brothers paint much like their social exchanges. Finishing one-another’s thoughts, the crossover in their imagery compliments this process. Despite the engaging detail, the themes are not pleasant. Images of abuse, power, and control are consistent and the interlocking aesthetic, which presents a world beyond redeeming.

Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2011

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