Etam Cru Invites Viewers Into Worlds of Surrealist Folklore


Opening December 12 at Thinkspace, Etam Cru’s “Galimatias” explores realms of surrealistic fantasy in an exhibition of collaborative paintings, murals and public works. Etam Cru is comprised of Polish artists Betz and Sainer, the name translating to “whatever” or “I don’t care” to suggest that their works be interpreted subjectively by the viewer rather than assigned a definitive symbolic meaning. In a similar spirit, the exhibition takes its title “Galimatias” from the French the word for gibberish.

The muralists use a wide variety of mediums, from graphite, oil and acrylic paints to spray paint and even canned house paints applied with rollers. Working in unique combinations of pastel and primary colors, Etam Cru’s compositions achieve a distinct folkloric and fantastical sensibility, portraying both animal and human characters while grotesque images and idyllic scenery coexist on the canvas.

“Galimatias” is Etam Cru’s first Los Angeles show. The duo graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland and have created public works all over the world including ten-story architectural murals.

In 2013, they made their first trip to the United States to create their internationally acclaimed mural “Moonshine” in Richmond, Virginia, for the Richmond Mural Project, deemed one of the year’s five best pieces of street art from around the world. Along with the Thinkspace exhibition, the duo will be creating a permanent six-story mural on a building in DTLA’s flower district.

Etam Cru’s “Galimatias” is on view at Thinkspace Art Gallery from Dec. 12 to Jan. 16, 2016.