Mural by RUN
Mural by RUN

This month sees Hackney-based Italian artist RUN’s first solo exhibition, at the Hang-Up gallery in Stoke Newington, though in reality his work has been on public display for years. 

RUN made his first big wall painting in 2001, and since then has daubed his signature interlocking faces and hands on walls in such far off lands as Senegal and China. 

But to get the full RUN experience, East London really is the place to be. Whether it’s the Mount Rushmore-esque quintet of puffy cheeked figures on the towpath to Hackney Wick, or his recent ‘map of modern diseases’ adorning Bateman’s Row in Shoreditch, RUN’s work is ubiquitous, with the urban landscape his ever changing gallery space. 

Dancer Master is a multi-media exhibition featuring an exclusively-made body of work. The notion of place looms large for RUN, and explaining his inspiration for the show, he says: “Many years ago when visiting south India, a taxi driver that was driving me around the streets of the city of Colombo took me to a Hindu temple. 

“Pointing to a statue of a divinity he said ‘Here lies the dancer master’. The statue was beautiful; full of colours, with hands and arms that were made to give the viewer the impression of a dance of the spirit.”

Amid the sometime greyness of the city, RUN’s colourful creations emit an air of mysticism and spirituality that sits at odds with many Londoners’ time poor lives. It is perhaps this contrast that gives his art power, so it will be intriguing to see how RUN’s paintings fare exhibited in the more conventional and controlled setting of a Fine Art gallery.  

Dancer Master is at Hang-Up Gallery, 56 Stoke Newington High Street N16 7PB from 21 June – 9 August. 

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