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Zhang Dali (Chinese, b.1963)
LOT ID: 78537
Graffiti (Dialogue), 1999

Acrylic, Spray Paint, 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 on recto
Lot description
"Graffiti (Dialogue)" (1999) is a vibrant spray paint and acrylic self-portrait, painted in black, bright pink, and neon green. This painting belongs to the artist's well-known "Dialogue and Demolition" series of graffiti self portraits, in which the artist defiantly spray-paints his own image across the canvas, just as he does on the walls of abandoned buildings in Beijing.

In 1989, Zhang Dali (a.k.a. "18K" and "AK-47") traveled to Italy, where he first discovered graffiti and first spray-painted his "tag": an unmistakable self-portrait with simplified facial features and bald head, in profile. Zhang returned to China in the early 1990s and began his famous "Dialogue and Demolition" paintings and photographs, to which this work belongs. Zhang’s graffiti works, whether on canvas or on wall, are themselves performance pieces, with spray paint acting as the antithesis of traditional Chinese ink painting and calligraphy. Zhang's paintings and photographs have been exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2011); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (2012). His work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, among others.
Graffiti (Dialogue) by Zhang Dali
  • Graffiti (Dialogue) by Zhang Dali
  • Graffiti (Dialogue) by Zhang Dali
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