SAI is pleased to present American graffiti scene since the 1970’s and and is universally renowned throughout the ages as a pioneer of street art. ‘INSIDE OUT’ will be on display at SAI from Friday December 9th to Sunday December 25th 2022.
The modern black-and-white world of Eric Haze, formed of broad and dynamic brushstrokes, has contributed greatly to the diversification of American art and culture. Forging his path alongside fellow pioneers of the street art scene, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Futura 2000 and others who were also active in the 1970’s and 80’s, Haze established himself as one of the leading street artists of his time. He later expanded his artistic horizons into the realm of graphics and design; creating logos and album covers for labels and musicians such as Tommy Boy Records, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and many more, leaving a lasting impression on the nascent Hip Hop scene.
With his roots firmly grounded as a street artist, his iconic and unparalleled turns of expression continue to fascinate a worldwide audience. Working in Japan for over 30 years now, including opening three flagship shops in Tokyo for his brand at one time, Haze has played an important part in the development of streetwear as we now know it. His unique position as both artist and designer also sees that he is continuously approached with offers to collaborate and serve as art director on projects with major brands, such as designing sneakers for Nike and New Balance, product design for G-Shock and Honda, as well as designing apparel for street brands such as STUSSY and HUF. Haze has also entered the world of luxury fashion through his work with brands such as SACAI and JIMMY CHOO, as well as designing the uniforms for the U.S. Ski Team at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.
This exhibition, featuring all new works, will present two contrasting styles that represent the two opposing sides of Haze’s identity as an artist. The first, which has become a signature style of Haze, uses the recurring symbols of a star and arrow motif to create graphic and abstract compositions, the second is a new series of figurative works that are a reflection of his life and experiences thus far. Haze began his figurative works after following in the spirit of his mentor, the late Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter, Elaine de Kooning. For Haze, his creative output is imbued with an expressive philosophy that looks to both the past and the future, with this exhibition providing an opportunity to see his wholehearted devotion to the process of creation and forming a dialogue between these convergent styles of painting.
This duality of Haze’s perspective is reflected in the title of the exhibition ‘INSIDE OUT’; a reference to the dichotomy between his ‘INSIDE’ works, the iconic abstract works which are a visualization of the patterns and motifs that reside within his mind, and his ‘OUT(SIDE)’ works that are figures and scenes outside of himself. For Haze, his abstract works are a purely instinctual exercise in creation, whilst his concrete works are more considered images that depict his own experiences and those of others. The juxtaposition of these two styles that embody his mind and his senses, promises to resonate beautifully in the special space where these two styles intersect.
The exhibition will also feature a collaborative work by guest artist HAROSHI, one of Japan’s leading street artists. The pair have shared a strong bond for many years thanks to their relationship with the late Keith Hufnagel, founder of HUF, and have worked together to create an artwork that will be on display at the gallery. In addition, pre-sales of the new model in the Eric Haze BE@RBRICK collaboration series, Fragment design collaboration T-shirts and many more merchandise items will be available exclusively at the gallery.
‘INSIDE OUT’ will be a simultaneous showcase of Haze’s two contrasting artistic concepts that will make full use of SAI’s expansive exhibition space. With further exhibitions in London’s Saatchi Gallery and in Shanghai scheduled for 2023, Haze continues to play an active role within the contemporary art scene and we hope you will take this rare opportunity to experience the innovative work of a pioneering street artist.
Artist Statement
‘It is really kind of amazing to still be so well received and working on this level in Japan after all these years. Having had design and brand businesses in Japan and Asia for almost 30 years now, people are probably more familiar with my history and work as a designer than a fine artist. This is a great and welcome opportunity to show the audience a more personal side of my recent work, including some very new directions that have happened naturally over the last 5 years. Hopefully this exhibition, along with the pop up shop and a number of collaborations, will give a balanced view of where both my fine art and brand essence have arrived at this point in time.'

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