Rudimentary Perfection: Birth of a Movement

<strong>Mark Lyken</strong> says <strong>Rudimentary Perfection</strong> is the UK’s first ever Graffuturism exhibiton. But what is this Graffuturism? And what exactly is happening?

Feature by Rosamund West | 24 Jun 2011
  • Matt W Moore

This July, Recoat Gallery in Glasgow are presenting an exhibition that promises to be the first of its kind. Entitled Rudimentary Perfection, it features the work of ten international artists united under the banner of Graffuturism, who’re being flown in from around the world to create murals on walls across the city. Recoat will provide a map, so visitors can travel around and view all the sites in the week leading up to the opening event. The hope is that the majority (or fingers crossed, all) of the murals will remain long after the exhibition ends.

It’s a major undertaking, and one that will hopefully provide Glasgow with some permanent urban art. Mark Lyken, artist and mastermind behind the operation, certainly hopes so. “For Glasgow to have this happening around the city is incredible," he says. "To have all these guys in one place is pretty unbelievable – there’s already a buzz about it just because they’re all together. They’ve been quite disparate up to now – this is the first Graffuturism show so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact that has on the whole genre.”

But what is this Graffuturism of which they speak? Says Lyken, “It’s a new emerging movement that’s an offshoot of graffiti. It’s a term that’s been coined by an artist called Poesia who’s in the show. He has a blog called Graffuturism that showcases work by graffiti artists who’ve done some more abstract work. It’s not a collective, more a loose term to describe what’s happening anyway – what’s been happening for years.”

This banner word reflects a development on the graffiti scene, with the adoption of a name christening a movement and thereby giving people who aren’t immersed in that world the opportunity to see and understand what’s going on. As Lyken says “This is the first time the term has been sort of formalised. It’s quite hard to formulate an opinion on something really new. If it was graffiti – people would know what that is. We need to find a way to present this new idea to people. I always struggle with naming things and them having labels but if you don’t name it then how do you present it?”

How indeed. Perhaps with an exhibition showcasing ten of the brightest lights of this new (or newly named at least) movement?


SheOne ( from London 
Duncan Jago ( from Bristol
Jaybo Monk ( from Berlin
Poesia aka the man who named the movement ( from San Francisco
Derm ( from Edinburgh
Morten Andersen ( from Denmark
Mark Lyken aka the curator ( from Glasgow
Nawer ( from Krakow
Matt W. Moore ( from Portland, Maine
Augustine Kofie ( from Los Angeles

Rudimentary Perfection, Recoat Gallery 2-31 Jul

Opening event Fri 1 Jul

Murals throughout Glasgow – maps are available from Recoat Gallery