at the Trace Gallery Zürich | Juni - July 2013

KKADE’s influences are wide-ranging; while he remains true to his urban roots, the visual language of Jugendstil as well as the regular patterns of baroque design inspire him equally. In particular the curlicues and embellishment of product advertising or theatre posters in the Belle Epoque were a high point of luxurious, seductive typography that he references. Leather offers him a surface that appears timeless, which is difficult to define – it could be antique but could equally be a new hide. Using a soldering iron, he is able to burn surprisingly fine lines and marks in the surface; they are distinct but remind one also of printed lines. Like images on etching plates that are created by acid corrosion, KKADE’s burnt lines are not quite as crisp, but offer different, more nuanced qualities than a pen or paintbrush. And the low contrast of brown line on tan leather reminds the viewer of classic examples of one colour print such as US dollar bills.

Using this seductive surface, KKADE combines the different elements in his graphic repertoire. It is a painstaking and time-consuming method, in contrast with the immediate impact of the end result. ‘Broken Fonts’ does not describe a problem, but the possibility of suturing different ingredients and thus creating exciting hybrids of style, of genre and most of all, of text and its expression.