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All artworks by <strong>SMASH</strong>137 | Photography by .... | Text by Montana Cans

<strong>SMASH</strong>137 aka Adrian Falkner<br />

– A language of his own<br />

<strong>SMASH</strong>137 aka Adrian Falkner has walked a<br />

path in graffiti that nobody has walked quite like<br />

he has. Born in 1979, the Swiss contemporary artist<br />

and graffiti writer has many correlations with<br />

the story of many traditional graffiti artists. A path<br />

that often documents the discovery of spray paint<br />

with the hand-in-hand development of personal<br />

style at a similar point in life. For Falkner, it was at<br />

the age of 11 in 1990 in his hometown Basel that<br />

he connected these two dots and landed at a third<br />

point we know as graffiti writing. He described in<br />

his own words that he used letters as a scaffold<br />

for a long time which eventually made way to abstract<br />

painting. As early as 1997, seven years after<br />

his graffiti practice had started, he was already<br />

recognized as a talented artist by the Museum of<br />

Fine Arts in Basel resulting in his first solo exhibition,<br />

A walk on the wild side.<br />

The significance of his graffiti history is unmistakable<br />

in the artist‘s later works, which exude<br />

an echo of the streets, even when confined within<br />

a gallery. However, <strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s ability to shift seamlessly<br />

from wall to canvas while maintaining his<br />

distinctive style is a testament to his artistic versatility<br />

and evolution. One of <strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s earlier and<br />

very popular projects, „Smash Trash,“ beautifully<br />

exemplifies this evolution. For 365 days, he breathed<br />

life into daily black and white sketches, each<br />

piece showcasing his innovative approach to letter<br />

work. These creations, seemingly simple at first<br />

glance, revealed their complexity through fluid lines<br />

and intricate details, testifying to <strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s deft<br />

ability to weave together the raw energy of graffiti<br />

styles with timeless aesthetics.

This booklet brings you into contact with<br />

<strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s recent explorations, presenting<br />

a selection of pencil sketches on paper. While<br />

they echo the spirit of the „Smash Trash“ project,<br />

these new creations offer a closer look at the<br />

ongoing evolution of the artist‘s unique style.<br />

Immerse yourself in these sketches, appreciate<br />

their intricate details, and revel in the bold simplicity<br />

of <strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s artistry. This booklet also<br />

presents <strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s recent Pieces, painted on<br />

the walls of Napoli, Italy. These pieces represent<br />

his quest to find the perfect letters fitting the form<br />

of a spray can, leading to the creation of the 25th<br />

Montana BLACK Artist Edition by <strong>SMASH</strong>137.<br />

Enjoy this intimate journey through the pages, a<br />

journey that illustrates the fusion of raw urban expression<br />

and the refined beauty of reduction.<br />

<strong>SMASH</strong>137‘s oneline style – a seemingly infinite,<br />

uninterrupted, free-flowing stroke – forces the<br />

viewer to confront and engage with the piece. The<br />

rhythm and the motion embedded within these<br />

lines are simultaneously wild and harmonious,<br />

reflecting the beautiful paradox that is graffiti art.<br />

The strength of his artwork lies in its simplicity:<br />

clean outlines that boldly stand in stark contrast<br />

to the raw surfaces they adorn. This juxtaposition<br />

between highly aesthetic lines and unrefined<br />

backdrops communicates a powerful message<br />

of reduction, an exploration into the beauty of<br />

minimalism. Echoing Zen principles, <strong>SMASH</strong>137’s<br />

work exemplifies the profound strength and<br />

power inherent in simplicity, inviting the viewer to<br />

appreciate the purity of form and the eloquence<br />

of understatement.


Artworks © 2023 by Adrian Falkner (<strong>SMASH</strong>137).<br />

All rights reserved. No part of the artwork presented in this booklet<br />

may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by<br />

any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic<br />

or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the<br />

artist. For permission requests, please contact the artist.<br />

Published by MONTANA-CANS<br />

Häusserstr. 36, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany<br />

www.montana-cans.com<br />

Carbon neutral printed in Germany, Offset paper 150g/gsm

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