Will Barras and Rue Five: Crystal is the New Wolf (4 stars)

Will Barras and Rue Five: Crystal is the New Wolf

Photo: Will Barras

Tucked away near the Woodside Social, Recoat’s bizarrely titled two-man show presents an intriguing twist on street art. Featuring work by London-based designer and illustrator Will Barras and Stirling’s Rue Five, the exhibition includes a large-scale mural produced collaboratively by the artists in the space.

Assumptions about the show’s content are immediately confounded by Barras’ accomplished woodcuts and drypoint etchings – two mediums that don’t usually come to mind with this style of artwork. His vaguely surreal figurative subject matter often engages with contemporary topical events, as in the watercolour ‘Suspect Package’.

Rue Five’s work springs from a more personal source of inspiration. In his two displays he brings together various elements , such as drawing, painting, sewing, typography and photography. Strong, confidently drawn angular figures – some of which appear to be struggling to contain multicoloured tendrils that seem to be escaping from their stomachs – sit alongside Ruscha-like single painted words, while little tabs covered with graffiti style text dangle from behind the frames.

Taken together, these works form an intriguing narrative. This exhibition doesn’t travel the well-trodden and sometimes predictable path of graffiti and street art, making it, and Recoat, well worth a visit.

Recoat Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 6 Jun

Crystal is the New Wolf

  • 4 stars

Joint show of work from young Stirling artist Rue Five and established London illustrator Will Barras.

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