Current Exhibition: WhIsBe x WEST
Contemporary artist WhIsBe has established a formidable reputation in both the renegade world of street art and the mainstream art world. His moniker, shorthand for “What is Beauty”, is at once innocuous and sweet and introduces more substantive themes of cultural examination and subversion that underline much of his body of work.
WhIsBe attended New York’s School of Visual Arts; however, the art techniques he utilizes are largely autogenous. Using a formula of colliding seemingly innocent images with meaningful messages, WhIsBe’s subtle alterations to known designs irrevocably disrupt their meaning. For instance in his iconic Vandal Gummy series, WhIsBe places the beloved sugary treat against a prison mug shot background, gripping an identity plaque in between its gelatin paws. This juxtaposition between the nostalgic and the sinister has become a hallmark of WhIsBe’s work.
WhIsBe collaborated with the New Museum in New York City to create a large-scale installation of three-dimensional, polychrome Vandal Gummies as well as a series of limited-edition prints. In 2017 the MOCO Museum Amsterdam acquired a seven-foot tall “Vandal Gummy” sculpture and WhIsBe was commissioned to create another seven foot tall “Vandal Gummy” sculpture as the lobby centerpiece of 4 World Trade Center in New York City.