I recently attended the opening of Belgian-born artist ROA‘s solo show “Dominant Species” at 941 Geary gallery in SF. I’ve been following his work for a long time, watching in awe each massive piece that he erects on the streets of the world, depicting the prominent animal species of that area. The work through the keen eye of a naturalist – contrasted with the chaos of human existence and waste – has propelled ROA to prolific ranks in the world of street art.
“‘Dominant Species’ refers to humanity aside the history of the States, from the Spanish conquest that consequentially, and brutally, changed the native life up to the contemporary human invasion of the landscape.”
His installation at 941 Geary was jawdropping. Upon entrance, he confronted you with large piles of found objects and salvaged materials depicting a dystopian narrative of how civilization can run down the land it grew from. This included small enclosed spaces and video collaborations with Spencer Keeton Cunningham and Colin M. Day.
Above you see someone manipulating one of his pieces, which often show multiple anatomical layers of the same animal. Below I have mixed in a few of his street art pieces so you get an idea of the scale of his street work vs. his gallery work.
(All street art photos via ROA’s Flickr stream. All other photos and animations by Abby Wilcox)
If in SF, and you’re a dedicated street art lover, or just art lover in general, go check out this installation at 941 Geary. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The exhibit will be free and open to the public for viewing through November 3rd, 2012.