The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton Presents

"UP FROM THE UNDERGROUND"

October 4 to 22, 2017

Opening Reception and Live Graffiti Show Featuring V.P. DEDAJ aka VIC 161 and Domenick S. Vetro aka TAG: Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 6 to 9 p.m.

"UP FROM THE UNDERGROUND" is a graffiti exhibit featuring the works of internationally renowned artists Domenick S. Vetro aka TAG and V.P. DEDAJ aka VIC 161. At the opening reception they will create a new piece on a 8’ x 16’ wooden canvas that is pieced together with four panels and mounted on a huge easel that the gallery is building.

Their collective story is one of TRACKS. From the subways to the art world. From Belgium to the Bronx. From crayons and pencils to sprays, oils and acrylics. Two artistic journeys that track a lifetime. TAG and VIC 161 meld influences of cartoons, animation, surrealism, abstraction and pop art into their oeuvres. For this exhibit, they will present art from the eighties through 2017.

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"Dead Man's Hand" by Domenick S. Vetro, 1988. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of The White Room Gallery.

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V.P. DEDAJ   AKA VIC 161

Born in Bruxelles, Belgium in 1959 and artistically inclined at an early age, V.P. was executing well-defined pencil sketched portraits of anyone who would sit for him by age 4. The family’s emigration to the United States in 1967 landed the 8-year-old in the Fordham section of the Bronx at the height of the psychedelic era and POP ART movement. 

The Fordham Road shopping district offered the young budding artist a fount of inspiration in the form of vibrant Rock & Roll, “black-light” posters in the windows of “head-shops” and the elaborately colored wardrobes of the hippies crowding the boulevard.

The pivotal shift in V.P.’s artistic expression was fueled in 1968 by the sight of a Peter Max designed billboard. Armed with magic markers and acrylic paints, V.P. recreated the vibrant designs from Max’s billboard, the music posters in store windows and the paisley patterns of the shirts the “flower children” favored, as well as the names and slogans painted on the walls of the neighborhood.  

The early seventies brought with it a wondrous sight passing overhead on the sides of the elevated trains. NYC Subway Graffiti had arrived.  Looking up and seeing the esoteric names intricately rendered in multi colored swirls and strategically placed on the sides of the trains completely enthralled V.P.’s creative and adventurous spirit.

Compelled to be a part of this fascinating movement he watched and rode the subways, deciphering the names and studying the “styles” on the steel rolling art gallery. Using his artistic influences and skills with markers, V.P. created his first moniker “SONIC-ACE” and obsessively drew it in colorful flowing letters to develop his own style. 

By 1974, he would change his moniker to “VICTOR-161” and paint hundreds of train cars and soon be admitted into the world-famous graffiti clique “WILD STYLE” - an honor bestowed due to peer recognized artistic and stylistic abilities. Akas included T-BOLT-123, SULFA-ONE, FANTA-ONE, BOND & ACES. He retired from painting NYC subway trains in 1977 with occasional excursions in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999 & 1992.  

He continuously expanded his artistic pallet, studying Art History & Graphic Design in college while seeking knowledge from masters in chosen fields of art.

His works have shown in independent galleries nationally and are sought after by international collectors, with numerous private commissions. He has been featured in several best-selling books and magazines focusing on graffiti art as well as his status of having been a part of the 1970’s “Golden Era” of NYC Subway Graffiti.  

V.P. works with a variety of mediums including aerosol paints, oils, water color & acrylic paints, often combining mediums as well as blending POP, graffiti and abstract styles of painting onto wood, canvas and metal.

His professional artistic background includes commercial art and design, logo design, silk screening, printmaking, large commissioned public murals, sign painting, pin striping and airbrushing cars, sculpting, metal fabrication, woodcarving and tattooing.

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"TRESPASS" by V.P. DEDAJ aka VIC 161. Spray enamel, oil, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of The White Room Gallery.

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VIC 161 at work. Courtesy of The White Room Gallery.

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DOMENICK S. VETRO    A.K.A TAG

TAG, Da’ Bronx Bomber was born, Domenick S. Vetro in 1962. It was his mother who first nurtured TAG’s relish of art; purchasing his first airbrush. Even before that, as a toddler, TAG was found hidden under his crib with paper and crayon in hand.   The ability to hide later served TAG well in evading the authorities as he tagged and pieced NY.

By age 17, TAG was known for his hand tag in bus yards and other public surfaces running from his hometown to NYC. Growing up in the Bronx in the 70’s wasn’t easy. Many artists found it smart to stick together, thus forming `writing crews.” 

TAG was affiliated with Throgs Neck Crew (TNC) and United Artist (UA).  Not only is TAG an accomplished artist capable of using multi-mediums, but he uses his environment with an if it’s not available—make it available attitude, crafting his own fat caps, markers and mixing his own inks.

Among TAG’s business achievements are successful airbrushing businesses in both NY and Florida, tattoo studios in NY and private commissions. TAG’s become a well-versed tattooist within his ten years of experience. His tattoo art, as all his other works, speak for themselves.

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“TAG’S HAND” by Domenick S. Vetro aka TAG. Mixed Media. Courtesy of The White Room Gallery.

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TAG at work. Courtesy of The White Room Gallery.

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BASIC FACTS: "UP FROM THE UNDERGROUND" will be on view at The White Room Gallery from October 4 to 22, 2017. An Opening Reception and live graffiti show takes place on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 6 to 9 p.m. The White Room Gallery is located at 2415 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.  www.thewhiteroom.gallery.

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Copyright 2017 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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