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Ill Communication II

Ill Communication II @ Urbis

30 July – 31October 2004

One of the world’s largest exhibitions of street art, Ill Communication II hits Urbis this July - even bigger and better than the first time round, displaying the most contemporary street art by artists from cities around the world.

Curated by Urban Art Official, Ill Communication II is an international large-scale exhibition featuring all new work created specifically for Urbis by some of the world’s best known street artists; many of whom are now household names due to their transition to the advertising and graphic design industries.

Ill Communication II features ten artists from cities including Sao Paulo, Berlin, New York and Tokyo - all of whom will be creating new work in Urbis for the exhibition which will span the ground floor and first floor gallery space.

Mark Brennan, Curator of Ill Communication II says:

“The selection of artists for Ill Communication II are from a broad range of disciplines that all come under the umbrella of Graffiti. The exhibition will show how varied this vibrant young movement is using materials such as posters, spray can, roller brush, photography, film and graphic design. Each artist will convey the same energy for producing work in Urbis as they would the street, the main difference being that they will have the time and means to fully recognize their ideas. Urbis is known for their focus on the cities of today and tomorrow, and the city streets are where these artists have come from, making this the perfect venue for such an exhibition.”

The first Urbis hosted Ill Communication exhibition in 2003 was the catalyst for much debate, with media and visitors alike questioning whether ‘graffiti’ was art or mere vandalism – with one unifying outcome, that people wanted to see more of what was on display.

Scott burnham, Urbis Creative Director says:

“Street art is one of the most powerful elements of urban culture and one of the most vibrant forms of art, becoming the dominant visual influence in design campaigns from advertising to fashion labels. By working directly with some of the world’s most recognised street artists, Urbis is providing people with an opportunity to explore the street art scene taking place literally on the streets of cities around the world.”

Two of the artists are female, which further highlights the progression and popularity of this traditionally male dominated art form. Swoon (New York City) is inspired by traditional graffiti and the urban environment in which she lives; choosing to display her street art where the public can engage with it. Ill Communication II will be the first opportunity to view Swoon’s work in an indoor gallery space.

Marok (Berlin) has been described as a cult leader of street art designs and publishes Lodown, which explores skate-snowboard-graffiti culture. Os Gemeos (twin brothers from Sao Paulo) are prolific street artists who produce spray paint and emulsion paint pieces influenced by their daily lives immersed in Brazilian culture. Kami (USA) is a recent addition to the mainstream of street based art. Inspired by his Japanese upbringing and American culture, Kami blends traditional calligraphy with a modernist approach utilising clean and controlled brush strokes. Dave Kinsey (Los Angeles) is perhaps the most instantly recognisable name amongst the ten artists, and undoubtedly one of the forerunners in moving street based art into a gallery environment.

Artists include:

Dave Kinsey (LA)

Swoon (NY)

Fakso (Milan)

Os Gemoeos (Sao Paulo)

Skwerm (NY)

Kami (Tokyo)

Sasu (Toyko)

Loomit (Munich)

Shok1 (London)

Marok (Berlin)

Admission: £Free

Urbis is open daily 10am – 6pm

For further media information please contact Peggy Manning on (0161) 605 8212 or email

Ill Communication book: A limited edition collectors book, Ill Communication features exclusive photographs, sketches and images of the exhibition work by eleven of the world’s most highly respected street artists.
Available from mid August and can be found in the Urbis Shop, priced at £9.99

Ill Communication II events

Labelling Graffiti

Screening & discussion

Friday 30 July, 6.30 – 8.30pm


Limited availability. Booking is essential.

More information to follow

Locating Graffiti

Screening & discussion

Saturday 31 July, 4 – 6pm


Limited availability. Booking is essential.

More information to follow

Urbis is open daily 10am – 6pm
The £30m construction and development of Urbis was managed by Manchester City Council Special Projects Team and are funded as part of the £42m Manchester Millennium Quarter by the Millennium Commission, the European Regional Development Fund, Manchester City Council and the Department of Local Government, Transport and the Regions (DLTR) and the Northwest Development Agency.

Peggy Manning

Marketing Co-ordinator


Cathedral Gardens


M4 3BG

T: 0161 605 8212

F: 0161 605 8201


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