Mysterious graffiti artist Gully hits Dubai
See secretive French artist Gully’s first ever solo exhibition at Dubai’s Opera Gallery.Peter Iantorno October 1, 2015
Making the transition from the street to the gallery can’t be easy for any artist, but for the mysterious Frenchman known only as Gully, it was a step he was always going to take.
After starting out like any other street graffiti artist, he developed a unique style, which encapsulates both the viewer and the artwork into the same space, creating the feeling of ‘an artwork within an artwork’.
Referencing the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, his clever works both poke fun at and pay tribute to the artists who Gully himself considers to be “absolute masters”.
You wouldn’t think it by looking at his refined works currently on show at DIFC’s Opera Gallery, but prior to being recognised as the talented artist he so clearly is, Gully spent a decade painting the streets of Paris.
“It was a period of my life that helped me come into myself and become who I am,” he says, of the time he spent painting on highways, train tracks and trains themselves. “It was a fabulous transformation time for me – one that only happens once in a lifetime and that every adult has to go through.”
Though Gully looks back fondly on his days as a graffiti artist, he is glad to have moved on to bigger and better things now. “Today I’ve matured and I’m thirsty to build, to dig, to understand,” he says. “Signing my name is no longer enough and the graffiti scene became too small, too constrained for me.
“My inspiration progresses gradually, as I perfect my craft, little by little as my life unfolds, as my desires change; my inspiration isn’t something palpable; it’s guided by my desire and my need to express myself and share.”
Gully: Beyond the Canvas is on at Opera Gallery, DIFC, until October 15. Visit operagallery.com