Mateus brings found images back into free circulation, returning them in a new form to Kentish Town, while making its community feel free to encounter, take, and transform them.
“it’s great to be free” features works that London-based artist Juan Mateus (b. 1980) developed from images that he found on the pavement in Kentish Town four years ago. The box contained approximately 200 candid photographs and handwritten letters that featured the same group of friends going on holiday year after year. The way in which Mateus altered the format, the addition of white dots to the portrayed faces, and the way in which the posters are arranged through space magnify the main characteristic of the finding-an-image moment: its freedom. All these elements invite the viewer to take the image for free, to place themselves as subjects, to imagine and complete the stories that found images keep.
In the Café’s second floor a series of collages on sale are displayed. These juxtapose “it’s great to be free” images with another archive of images found on the streets of London since 2009.
Juan Mateus (b. 1980)
is an artist based in Highgate, North London. A recent Central Saint Martins graduate, Mateus has shown his work in several exhibitions such as “art in the house: juan mateus” at Art House Crouch End, London (2015), Barcú Art Fair in Bogota, Colombia (2017) and the “Art Gala ’18” at Maddox Arts, London (2018).
Elvira García (b. 1999)
is one of the Student Curators of the Royal Academy of Arts. She studies Culture, Criticism, and Curation at Central Saint Martins. Elvira pursues to build bridges towards new narratives that enrich both the audience and the artworks. Elvira is a curator at MAP Studio Café, hosting bi-monthly exhibitions commencing this month.