• by Anne Schmedding

RABI created in September 2023 a new mural as part of the ONE WALL project, at Bötzowstr. 53, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, extending his exhibition PM/20_gen+esc at the new Satelite Gallery at Sonnenallee 126, Berlin-Neukölln, into urban space. As in his exhibition, he uses AR technology to project digital images onto the green screen components of the mural, creating an interactive experience.

RABI (b. 1984) David Emanuel Mordechai Torres is a first-generation American artist of Puerto Rican and Polish descent from Los Angeles. Growing up in both Iowa and Southern California as a child of two immigrants, Torres quickly found comfort in the multifarious atmosphere of American life. Themes of contradiction, escapism and duality, absurdism, and sociopolitical philosophy loom throughout his aesthetic.

The origins of RABI’S art stem from his early life as a graffiti writer and skateboarder. In 2009, RABI cofounded the art collective CYRCLE along with David Leavitt and Devin Liston, which gained international notoriety and allowed him to take his love for public art and installation to a worldwide audience. RABI has worked throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America. 

The new ONE WALL continues the series “generation+escape” that RABI first started during the COVID pandemic in 2020. The central motif of the mural is a digital character, which is depicted both in the mural and on the gallery wall. The figure is executed in a very painterly manor, the translucent washes of colour makes the figure feel like a scaled water colour as she is in motion spins across the wall. The figure in movement is intersected in contrast with bold lettering in RABI’s signature typography stating, “Leave your ego_at_the_door”.

The mural is an extension of the exhibition looking at commonalities of escapism and contradictions, highlighting our society’s obsession with self-image and the ironically ubiquitous bid for individuality. Posing questions: Are we a generation fated to chase freedom through escape? Can we accept the pervasive and persistent contradictions of the human experience?

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Video: YES, AND… productions

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