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Panik in the City

After several run-ins with police for his daredevil antics, artist Panik has swapped the Camden streets for a City gallery. His first solo exhibition is on at Red Eight in The Royal Exchange from 25 November

Co-founder of the ATG crew and renowned for his remarkable head for heights, Camden-born Panik has become one of London’s most sought-after graffiti artists.

Early on he made a name for himself as the ‘Rooftop King’, seeking out ever greater heights to make his mark.

Thanks to these daredevil antics, Panik’s work can regularly be spotted around London, tucked away in places beyond the reach of the clean-up teams.

After several run-ins with police for his daredevil antics, since 2005 he’s embraced studio work, channelling the energy, freedom and danger of the streets onto paper and canvas.

The influence of years working on the streets is immediately obvious in the use of bright, clashing colours and bold lines.

Panik art work
Panik art work

His style often reflects his roots, fusing London and European graffiti styles of the early 2000s with a unique self-taught approach to painting that dances between surrealism, abstract expressionism and psychedelic art.

After a long absence from the exhibition circuit, Panik’s new solo show Life Laundry is a timely opportunity to take stock of the unique challenges and emotions of the past couple of years:

“The work in this upcoming solo show primarily explores self development and the recognition of this,” explains Panik.

“But it’s also about the intricate ways in which we humans interact with the natural world in the 21st century. The art featured in the exhibition will be a mixture of three-dimensional woodwork pieces and large-scale canvas work.

“I haven’t exhibited in almost a decade, for one reason or another, but over the last year or two I’ve actually created more work in the studio than I’ve probably created throughout my whole lifetime.

"Owing to the pandemic, I’ve only ever viewed these paintings in my studio before they’re sent off to buyers, and my following has only ever seen them online.

“It’s really important to now be able to view my work in the physical realm, to create new energy and mark the times.

"After an incredibly active and bizarre couple of years I need to stand in a space surrounded by some of my most ambitious works, take deep breaths and acknowledge the journey.”

Panik’s exhibition is also an opportunity for Red Eight Gallery, which has represented Panik for the last two years, to show off its new home in the Royal Exchange.

The gallery specialises in identifying and supporting exciting new talent as well as curating exceptional work by bluechip artists. This new historic setting in the City provides an interesting counterpoint to the edgy contemporary art the gallery is known for. 

Panik’s new show solo show will be held at The Red Gallery space in The Royal Exchange for 8 days from 26th December. For more information, please visit redeightgallery.com.

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