‘It’s just drip', Mexico City-based artist CHITO says about his collaborative efforts with Givenchy. Earlier this year, creative director Matthew Williams’ enlisted the graffiti artist to tag the maison’s 2022 pre-collection with his instantly recognisable pup. Like him, Beijing artist Wu Yué has explored the world of fashion collaborations by lending his pop-surrealist work to brands like adidas and Comme des Garçons. It’s precisely their playful mass appeal, which makes them the perfect collaborators for fashion, and why it shouldn’t come as a surprise the two would partner up for a joint exhibition. Titled, Always Change, Never Change, the show marks both of their London debuts and is open to the public now at the OMNI gallery.
The two visual artists will be showcasing original works along with pieces they've collaborated on together. You can expect CHITO’s take on contemporary street culture with spray-painted canvases of his mascot from his 2017 series Distance Pups. Guarding the 2D works will be the artists foray into sculpture with a free-standing piece wrought from iron known as CHITO Pup. Among the malevolent, cartoon-like dogs will be Wu Yué’s intricate bleach and ink illustrations of pop-culture figures like Caspar the Friendly Ghost. ‘I learned more about collaborative composition and how my simple drawings mesh with realistic detailed ones’, CHITO explains about working with Wu.
In an ambitious move, Wu will be presenting an installation where he carves and engraves the surface of a white BMW E30 that will sit within the show space. This project was inspired by his family's move out of Communist China and the political protests that left a deep impression on the artist. ‘I try to sample all types of images to tell stories and create connections’, Wu explains. ‘We are complex beings made of very different things and influences, and using irreversible techniques makes the work a recording of a moment through an ensemble of strokes.’
More than just a way to display their work, the show has proven to be a fruitful partnership for the two artists. ‘I learned you just gotta do it’, Wu says of his time building this show with CHITO. ‘I’m usually more of an overthinking guy. CHITO’s work ethic and clear vision is very inspiring.’ As for his collaborator, the airbrush aficionado wants it to be clear that this show is simply the beginning. ‘We’re not stopping anytime soon’, states CHITO.
Always Change, Never Change runs from 7 July to 6 August at the OMNI gallery.