Contemporary artist WhIsBe has established a formidable reputation in both the renegade world of street art but also the mainstream art world encompassing the museum, gallery and arena of public installations. Regardless of where he works, the artist remains anonymous. His moniker, shorthand for “What is Beauty”, is at once innocuous and sweet and introduces more substantive themes of cultural examination and subversion that underline much of his body of work.

WhIsBe attended New York’s School of Visual Arts; however, the art techniques he utilizes are largely autogenous. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s ingenious use of commercial imagery coupled with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s disruption of public space, WhIsBe wanted to share his message with a broad spectrum of people, not only those who have access to museums and galleries, and began putting up self-sanctioned work in the street in 2011. He first gained international notoriety for his “McDictator” image—a mash up of Ronald McDonald’s iconic clown visage and Adolf Hitler’s body frozen in heil salute—commenting on, as The Huffington Post descries, “the McDonaldization of America.”

WhIsBe has since gone on to generate more and more content that sparks thoughtful dialogue and nuanced socio-awareness. Using a subversive formula of colliding seemingly innocent images with meaningful messages, WhIsBe’s subtle alterations to known designs irrevocably disrupt their meaning. For instance, in his iconic Vandal Gummy series, WhIsBe places the beloved sugary treat against a prison mugshot background, gripping an identity placard in between his gelatin paws. This juxtaposition between the nostalgic and the sinister has become a hallmark of WhIsBe’s body of work—in presenting attractive images that viewers initially feel safe absorbing, WhIsBe cleverly and strategically encourages them to examine their own critique of problematic institutions.

WhIsBe has partnered with charities and corporations ranging from the Art Works Charity Foundation to Charity Water to Red Bull and has exhibited work at notable events including: Art Basel through Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, Context & Art New York, and Art Southampton through the Keszler Gallery. In 2016, he collaborated with the New Museum in New York City to create a large-scale installation of three-dimensional, polychrome Vandal Gummies as well as a series of limited-edition prints. In 2017, publications such as business insider, Vice HBO and Forbes wrote articles focusing on the artist along with the MOCO Museum Amsterdam acquiring a seven-foot tall “Vandal Gummy” sculpture. Also in 2017, WhIsBe was invited among select significant contemporaries to create work for 4 World Trade Center's 69th floor and commissioned to place a seven foot tall “Vandal Gummy” sculpture for the buildings lobby centerpiece.

 

CV

2017 May - COntext & art new york - castle fitzjohns

2017 May - group show - World trade gallery

2017 April - world trade center tower 4 lobby sculpture installation

2017 March - #28 grams group show - Fort works art gallery

2017 February - Art Wynwood - oliver cole gallery

2017 January - Group Show - Oliver Cole Gallery

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2016 December - Art Basel - Castle Fitzjohns

2016 November - Group Show - Artspace 8

2016 August - New Museum Installation

2016 july - art mkt hamptons - castle fitzjohns

2016 May - “Misappropriation” Group Show - Castle Fitzjohns

2016 march - scope art fair ny - castle fitzjohns

2016 January - April, Castle Fitzjohns pop up aboard "grand luxe" mega yacht, Miami

2016 january - art palm beach - castle fitzjohns

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2015 December - “Scope” Art Basel - Castle Fitzjohns

2015 november - "Variety pack" installation at meatpacking dream hotel

2015 july - art southampton - castle fitzjohns

2015 May - Group Show - Gregg Sheinbaum Fine Art

2015 April - “Raw Pop” Group Show - Castle FItzjohns

2015 March - “Brand Loyalty; I’m Lovin’ It” Group Show - Gallery Nine5

2015 january - Castle fitzjohns pop-up abroad "grand luxe" mega yacht, miami

2015 january - art palm beach - castle fitzjohns

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2014 December - Art Basel - Castle Fitzjohns

2013 July - Art Southampton - Keszler Gallery

2012 December – Art Basel - The Street