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Zhang Dali (Chinese, b.1963)
LOT ID: 75354
Graffiti (Dialogue), 1999

Acrylic, Spray Paint, ink on canvas.
39.37 х 31.5 in. (100 x 80.01 cm.)
Signed, in Chinese and English, dated, and inscribed in English "Dialogue", all front right on canvas.
Lot description
"Graffiti (Dialogue)" (1999) is an important and incredibly exciting, vibrant self-portrait by one of the most famous and world renowned Chinese Contemporary artists working today, Zhang Dali (whose street names are "18K" and "AK-47"). Created with acrylic and spray-paint in black and in neo-pop bright pink and green, this painting belongs to Zhang's highly sought-after and rare "Dialogue and Demolition" Series of early self portraits created by 'defacing' a blank canvas, where the artist defiantly spray-paints his now iconic 'street tag' consisting of his own cartoonish portrait with simplified facial features and his bald head in profile, just as he has done in real life across hundreds of walls and abandoned buildings in Beijing, China. "Graffiti (Dialogue)" measures 39.37 x 31.50 inches (100 x 80 cm is in excellent condition, and comes to artnet Auctions directly from a Private Collection, China.

In 1989, Zhang Dali (China, b. 1963)traveled to Italy, where he fist discovered graffiti, as it is forbidden in China and where he first spray-painted his now iconic 'tag' . Zhang returned to China in the early 1990's and began his famous "Dialogue and Demolition" paintings and photographs to which this painting belongs. Zhang’s graffiti works both on canvas, and on the abandoned buildings marked for demolition are themselves performance pieces, with spray paint acting as the complete antithesis of traditional Chinese ink painting and calligraphy.

Zhang's paintings and photographs have been featured in hundreds of international Museum and Gallery Exhibitions including the 2011 Venice Biennale; 2011: “New Photography 2011,” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and also in 2012: “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. His photographs from this series are in elite US Public Collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY) and Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY). The work of Zhang Dali is held in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY, US and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, US amongst many others.
Graffiti by Zhang Dali
  • Graffiti by Zhang Dali
  • Graffiti by Zhang Dali
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