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Denis Ouch


Brooklyn N.Y.

Project type

Stencil Art

OUCH’s first artistic efforts took place in the 90s in St Petersburg, Russia. A decade when the country was passing through the conversion from Communist USSR, the world's largest state-controlled economy into the free market. Simultaneously, the unregulated democratization of social, political, and financial culture took place. This drastic transformation has profoundly affected OUCH’s conceptualization of the world around. Post-Soviet visual space, most notably within the advertising world, was inundated with images of Western lifestyle, cultural icons, and influences. Their messages of affluence, success, and joy de Vivre were outwardly distant to the young street artist. Debilitated by years of state governance and ruthless censorship, Russian artists were struggling at metaphorizing values that were brought about by the new Capitalist reality.

OUCH was one of the first few trailblazers of the Street Art scene in St. Petersburg. His initial output was mainly emotional slogans graffitied on walls of public buildings. Since then, written statements became a vital element of the artist’s work, attesting to his admiration of the power of language, Russian, Spanish, English, French, or Japanese. At that time, OUCH began his search for universal vocabulary, allowing him to portray human values.

In 2001, OUCH relocated to New York. While working towards his degree in Economics, he decided to peruse a full-time artistic career. Starting as a self-taught solitary urban trespasser tagging his name on the walls of New York, OUCH soon gained attention for his posing large-scale murals. In the early 2010’s OUCH expanded his endeavour to clothing, paper, and canvas. OUCH is charmed by the democratic qualities of the pop scene and his ability to deliver a powerful message through symbols of mass culture. The artist interprets vocabulary and iconic subjects to reflect on the nature of human progress and its underlying value.

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