Opium, who last visited the Colab Gallery in 2018, as part of the Friends of Fine Vandalism exhibition and who wonderfully commented on the main question of `who actually owns public space’, with his work as a writer, is still active on the streets today. His work captivates through its unique style, which has a rhythm leaving you in a good mood. Whether in the strong presence of his old-school versions or the absolute abstraction of his painting – the use of colorfulness underlines this impression pervading his entire work. Influences from comics cannot be denied. With associations to Marvel, it is noticeable that this artist does not hide in a Clark Kent manner - but is wonderfully direct and authentic in his work. Clarks are merely a theme here in the form of shoes, which are simply used as a further medium to be designed with font variations.
Opium’s characters are absolutely his own creations, which all seem to be having a good time as well. Whether armed with a can or with turntables at the mixing desk, they show connections to the artist’s personality. This connection is not surprising either, as Opium revels in his music and graffiti with admirable consistency and natural ease. The artist’s skill lies above all in the combination of this consistency with the variability and playful exploration of different media. Consequence and impartiality colliding - an exciting mixture.
Since 2004, the artist has participated in many important graffiti happenings throughout Europe. Nevertheless, he follows his own path with his paintings. Opium has an intoxicating effect on us, viewers are picked up and exhilarated with a refreshing positive mood, which we are looking forward to, in the current show, especially with regard to the works brought along. The development of Aldo Oliviero, who was born in Naples in 1978, is therefore just as constant and of steady nature and therefore fits wonderfully into the format of Welcome Back. In all the artistic positions shown, skill has been there from the beginning - the luxury of retrospection right back to the initial position, is once again made clear by Opium’s participation. Welcome Back Opium.