“[SEN-1's] paintings touch on the complex layering of the American experience and reverence for cultural history in the most compelling way… With the world waking up to issues of racial injustice and diversity, this is only the beginning of a very important time in art history”
– Martha Folsom, Galerie d'Orsay Co-Director, Modern Luxury, 2020/21
Galerie d’Orsay presents our Virtual Collectors' Reception & Artist Talk with artist SEN-1 for his work in our show AN URBAN CONVERSATION: PARIS + NEW YORK, currently on view at 33 Newbury St!
SEN-1 is a visionary graffiti artist and New York City native whose art journey began by tagging New York’s number 1 train in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Like other artists of the early Hip Hop movement, SEN-1 yearned to represent himself and his community in the face of poverty and oppression.
Though SEN-1 was active during the birth of Hip Hop, his work is really on fire right now. He has just been featured in Modern Luxury’s 2020/2021 national Art Issue as a “visionary shaping the discourse of today.” Boston’s Museum of Fine Art 2020 show Basquiat and the Hip Hop Generation included works by many street artists that SEN-1 worked alongside in NYC. SEN-1’s artworks have been collected by the likes of Michelle Obama in association with her Let's Move organization, Fabolous, and Rita Ora.
Galerie d’Orsay Co-Director Kristine Feeks Hammond remembers, “when iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co. featured cans of spray paint as a backdrop for its jewelry in the windows down the street from our gallery, I knew doors and minds were opening.” It’s evident that the issues SEN-1 has addressed in his art for years are gaining traction and the American people are keyed into that conversation.
We've recorded our inspiring talk with SEN-1 for those unable to attend our live event below.
SEN-1 in An Urban Conversation: Paris + New York Virtual Reception:
An Urban Conversation: Paris + New York is a celebration of the artists, past and present, who are galvanizing cultural dialogues, challenging the standards of aesthetics, and pushing the possibilities of artistic expression.
SEN-1 tells us a major theme of Hip Hop and the street art scene is that if somebody copies or tags over you, you have to “up your game” to stand apart. A similar process happened on a much larger scale in the 20th century between PARIS + NEW YORK. In France, artists like Picasso & Matisse revolutionized art as we knew it, quickly displacing the old guard. In postwar New York, the upstart artists of the downtown arts scene, in turn, replaced their European forebears.
It’s a process that builds up, year after year—exactly the way a wall becomes covered in graffiti.
We hope you will join us in this conversation.