CV & About

Born 1974 in Helsinki
Lives and works in Helsinki

EDUCATION:

     BA(hons) Graphic Design, University of Arts London, UK 

EXHIBITIONS:

2018

Writing My Diary,
Kunsthalle Helsinki

2016

Make Your Mark Gallery,
Helsinki

2015

China Heights,
Sydney, Australia

2015

HAM Metro gallery,
Helsinki,  Finland

2014

ARCOmadrid,
Madrid, Spain

2013

Make Your Mark Gallery,
Helsinki, Finland

2012

Unruly Gallery,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2010

Napa Galleria,
Helsinki, Finland

2009

Napa Galleria,
Helsinki, Finland

GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2019

Impossibilty of an island,
Herrick Gallery,
London,UK

2018

Artmosphere 2 – Urban Art Biennale,
Moscow, Russia

Graffiti,
HAM Helsinki Art Museum,
Helsinki, Finland

Art is Where the Heart is,
Galerie Droste,
Paris, France

Three Positions in Modern European Painting,
Golden Hands Gallery,
Hamburg, Germany

2017

Rakkaudesta vapauteen,
Kerava Art Museum Sinkka,
Kerava, Finland

Vallaton,
Vantaa Art Museum Artsi,
Vantaa, Finland

Dreamaholic – Art from Finland,
Miettinen Collection, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art,
Bremen, Germany

2016

15 Years Anniversary Exhibition,
Galleria Orton,
Helsinki, Finland

1984. Evoluzione e rigenerazione del Writing,
Galleria Civica di Modena,
Modena, Italy

Out of Sight,
Proof Gallery,
London, UK

Process & Progress,
Foley Gallery,
New York, USA

2015

Works on Paper,
China Heights Gallery,
Sydney, Australia

Multiples,
Le Fix Gallery,
Copenhagen, Denmark

Impossible Spaces,
Kunstpakhuset,
Ikast, Denmark

RZO, EGS, Aeon & Nug,
Fluorescent Smogg Gallery,
Barcelona, Spain

Inside / Outside,
Quadart,
Dornbirn, Australia

Abstract Vandalism,
Galerie Gabriel Rolt,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Unruly Goup Show,
Dog and Pony,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mapping the Streets,
Somerset House,
London, UK

2014

Art Stena,
Saint Petersburg, Russia

At Arm´s Length,
Örebro Konsthall,
Örebro, Sweden

WuTang is For Children,
Londonnewcastle Project Space,
London, UK

2013

5 years of GSB,
Gallery Steinsland Berliner,
Stockholm, Sweden

Le Fix Gallery,
Copenhagen, Denmark

Make Your Mark-kollektiivi,
Galleria Orton,
Helsinki, Finland

2012

Leave the beef on the BBQ,
Guerrero Gallery,
San Francisco, USA

Det här är inte konst,
Sundsvall Museum,
Sundsvall, Sweden

Stendahls Syndrome,
Stockholm, Sweden

Street Art,
Myymälä 2 Galleria,
Helsinki, Finland

Street Art – The New Generation,
Porin taidemuseo,
Pori, Finland

Tribute to Moebius,
Montana Gallery,
Barcelona, Spain

2011

Universal 2,
Napa Galleria,
Helsinki, Finland

Hang The Prints,
Gallery Steinsland Berliner,
Stockholm, Sweden

Get the Papers,
Galleries Goldstein,
London, UK

Egs & Petro,
Make Your Mark Gallery,
Helsinki, Finland

2010

WMD – International Graffiti Collective,
Napa Galleria,
Helsinki, Finland

2009

Topsafe,
London, UK

2008

Friend & Co Gallery,
Bristol, UK

2006

The Same Line,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Publications:

2018

EGS, Writing my Diary,
Pirkko Tuukkanen (ed.): Finnish Art Society

2017

The Art of Writing Your Name: Urban Calligraphy and beyond
Christian Hundermark, Patrick Hartl,
Publicat

2016

The Art of Rebellion 4 – Masterpieces of Street Art,
Christian Hundermark,
Publicat

2015

Abstract vandalism
Unruly Publishing

2014

EGS – 3 letters
Spray Daily

2013

The World Atlas of Graffiti and Street Art,
Rafael Schacter,
Yale Press

Graffiti Cookbook,
Tobias Barenthin-Lindblad,
Dokument Press

2011

Crack & Shine International,
Fredric Forsythe,
FFF/Topsafe Books

Graffiti Burners,
Björn Almqvist,
Dokument Press

2010

Action Painting – Bringing Art to the Trains,
Kristian Kutschera,
Stylefile

2009

All City Writers,
Andrea Caputo,
Kitchen 73

2003

Overground 9 Scandinavian Graffiti Writers,
Jakob Kimvall,
Dokument Press

1998

Helsinki Graffiti,
Tuomas Jääskeläinen & Anne Isomursu, Matti Pyykkö

Public collections:

Aalto University Executive Education,
Helsinki

Helsinki Art Museum HAM

Jaakko Lindgren Collection

Miettinen Collection

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma / Finnish National Gallery,
Helsinki

Pekka Mattila Collection

Finnish State Art Commission

Vantaa Art Museum Artsi,
Vantaa

Timo Miettinen collection

Public works:

Wall Painting,
Commissioned by the HUS Hospital,
Helsinki, Finland, 2017

Three wall paintings,
Commissioned by the Finnish National Gallery: Vantaa prison,
Vantaa, Finland, 2016

Wall painting,
CAC Malaga Contemporary Art Center,
Malaga, Spain, 2015

 

Egs (1974, Helsinki) is remarkable not simply because he has painted all over the world; over five continents and more than forty countries from Bucharest to Buenos Aires and Shanghai to Santiago. He has also painted with everyone from all over the world; from Ket to Lodek, Rainman to Risk, Petro to Pike and Honet to Hes.

A self-proclaimed graffiti anthropologist, Egs has been pivotal in the historical documentation and dissemination of the graffiti practice itself: an artist- archivist spurred by an intense desire to explore both the formal and folkloric truths of graffiti, to uncover its deeply social and material foundations.

While Egs’ output is becoming increasingly abstract, his ongoing illicit work has resulted from a long and intense study of the graffiti form, in which he has juxtaposed the different eras that he loves through his collagist style.

He started out in the mid 1980s as part of the first wave of graffiti in Finland; by 1988 he had travelled to Stockholm and Paris to discover and document their burgeoning scenes. Although he lived in one of the most geographically distant parts of Europe, Egs was fascinated by the regional connections graffiti generated and travel became integral to his life. His inquisitive interest in these different aspects of regional graffitti led him to form close links in France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and England by the early 1990s.

The bonds he formed through this collaborative global work are therefore as much a part of his personal practice as the homages he makes to graffiti folklore, as he puts it, through every ‘wave, star, drip or block’ he paints. Travelling the globe to both paint and investigate, to build relationships and share knowledge with other diverse practitioners, he has developed an almost unmatched insight into the vast graffiti culture worldwide. His work shows an acute understanding of the endlessly manipulable possibilities of the alphabet, as well as the various movements, styles and traditions of graffiti itself.

Egs’s World Map triptych, a pen-and-ink rendering undertaken in his classic “inkblot” style, is deeply influenced by the calligraphic essence of graffiti. Twisting and reshaping the topography until it proclaims his own name (albeit abstracted almost beyond recognition), the maps exemplify Egs’s inimitable chirographic style of graffiti, his ability to twist and reshape the letterform into infinite arrangements and shapes. With silver and black also being his favorite colours to write graffiti with – not only to help his letters stand out, but due to the fact they “cannot be fixed or camouflaged with other colours” – Egs use of the deep black Indian Ink in his fine art work further connects these two modes of practice, forcing the viewer to see the equivalent purity and complexity of his graffiti images. Moreover, through using the tool of a syringe to paint, he intimates both toward the outcast role of graffiti as well as the backstage environments where this art is often created; in the dark alleys, the slums and wastelands littered with these objects. The maps Egs has produced here are not only an abstracted versions of the world map however; they also play with the idea of europeans conquering “new” continents and dividing them with pen and ruler, each ruler creating countries that never existed before, each king creating new conflicts with every stroke of their pen. They reference the power of ink to effect our environments, the ability of paint to radically change the way we understand space.

– Dr. Rafael Schacter
Department of Anthropology , University College London, author of The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti
(Yale University Press) and Order and Ornament (Ashgate)