MR. A HITS SHANGHAI: Club owner, editor and street artist André Saraiva, aka André, opened an exhibition of new works at French gallerist Magda Danysz’s Bund-side gallery on Saturday night.
Over four days, the Swedish-born, French-raised artist traveled through China and used repurposed doors, cardboard and ceramics as surfaces for works, including several featuring his longtime alter ego “Mr. A” happy face — André’s signature since 1989.
Traditionally a proponent of line, text and clean-edged geometry, more recently André utilized traditional Portuguese baked tiles to make a whole tiled wall in the heart of Lisbon in 2016 and the ceramic tile works on show in Shanghai are an extension of this new way of working with tile, which André said is an interesting way of exploring permanence for an artist whose oeuvre is notoriously ephemeral.
“Graffiti, when you put it in the street, never stays very long. Ceramic is the strongest technique we know about to hold color, it doesn’t fade,” he said.
In the past, André has collaborated with brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bally, Tiffany & Co. and Sonia Rykiel. As well as his long-running career in graffiti, André is known for owning clubs, hotels and restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Shanghai and St. Tropez.
“I like to do things, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a collaboration with a brand or a club, whether it’s artworks on cardboard or a Louis Vuitton scarf, it’s all a way of telling a story,” he said.
The exhibition is slated to run until September 16.