Remi Rough (b. London, 1971) deals with visual semantics, distilling fragments of the world around him into powerful abstract compositions.
Grid, Remi Rough's digital fantasy for the Fantasies of Exhibition Road online exhibition was inspired by conversations with Dr Laila Ait Bihi Ouali at Imperial College London. Dr Ait Bihi Ouali's research measures how the characteristics and design of the built environment and transport systems can cause or alleviate feelings of fear, increase or decrease travellers' satisfaction and wellbeing.
Unlike ‘pure’ abstract painters such as Malevich and Mondrian, Remi’s pseudo-sculptural paintings and large- scale murals are instilled with a ‘street-wise energy and tension born from early experiences as a young graffiti writer, painting walls and trains across the world. Those familiar with the almost impossibly intricate interplay between geometry, line and colour seen in late-80’s ‘wildstyle’ graffiti will undoubtedly discover deconstructed visual clues to the artists schooling. Both colour and music have played important formative roles in the development of abstract art – Kandinsky is widely believed to have had synesthesia – and both Plato and Baudelaire wrote of the visual arts using auditory terms. The instinctive use of colour and geometric form in Remi’s work can often result in what might be described as the graphic notation for some unseen urban symphony, such as in the visual scores of Hans-Christoph Steiner. It may come as no surprise then, to learn that Remi is also an accomplished music producer. The effect is perhaps best experienced when witnessing one of his vast murals, where geography, geometry and architecture align to immerse you fully in the multi-dimensional mind of the artist.
With site-specific projects such as the Ghost Village in Scotland, numerous publications and a gallery career spanning over 36 years and as many international cities, Remi Rough is building a legacy that – as with all great innovators – may only be truly appreciated with the passage of time.