Los Angeles

Soze Gallery Presents: “Graffuturism” A Group Exhibition (Los Angeles, CA)

Graffuturism

Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

Since Graffuturism’s inception as a public blog and private Facebook group in 2010, there have been two major group exhibitions that featured associated artists: “Rudimentary Perfection” in Glasgow and “Futurism 2.0″ in London. Both were successful in their curatorial intentions and created a sense of community and motion for the movement. Soze Gallery also has been an early advocate hosting solo exhibitions in 2012 by Jaybo Monk, Moneyless, Remi Rough, Dale Marshall, and a two-man show with Augustine Kofie

and Jaybo. Recognizing the significance of the Graffuturists, Soze Gallery also presented the opportunity for Poesia to curate this exhibition, which he chose to simply call ““Graffuturism.” This exhibition has been eagerly anticipated as the first group show to be curated by Poesia, because he is the founder of Graffuturism.com and also a well-respected graffiti artist with a twenty-year history. Ending up in this unique dual position as artist and commentator, it has fallen on him to be the cultural instigator and diplomatic facilitator of this renewed interest, practice and discourse surrounding what he calls “Progressive Graffiti,” which has also previously been called “Abstract Graffiti.” At this juncture in the three-year history of the website, as well as in the thirty-year history of this over-looked aesthetic trajectory within the Graffiti movement, Graffuturism.com has become a hub and Poesia the dedicated and consistent chronicler and theoretician. With the internet as his podium and round table, he has been historicizing and canonizing these artists, young and old, who have been creating art outside the norms of traditional graffiti, esoteric forms of painting and sculpture that veer outside of the proscribed boundaries into the experimental, the abstract, the poetic, and the hybrid.Artists that fall under the term Progressive Graffiti are generally innately gifted draftsmen, who aspire to a Master’s Level at their craft. Overall this movement could be classified as a “High Style New Millennial Aesthetic.” The art they produce is derived from a dialogue that ricochets around within a pin-ball matrix constructed of coordinates lying between the historical and the contemporary, including high and low influences, fine art and graffiti studies, scholarly and street pursuits, intellectual and visceral marks. Whether the resulting output is graffiti, painting, murals, design, sculpture or installations, the pictorial elements are mutated and transformed through each artist’s unique vision into a personal vocabulary of cross-pollinated styles. Whereas the Street Art movement of the mid-2000s tended to focus on figurative stencils and wheat-pastes, this group of artists on the whole is more concerned with hands-on, singular creation, whether within an academic or street setting. Unlike Post-Modernism, the resultant overall aesthetic is a seamless personal statement, not a collaged juxtaposition of historic styles.

Because of Poesia’s dual roles within the movement, he as been in the unique position to attract this international line up of esteemed contemporary artists, which includes many of the significant forefathers from the seventies and eighties. As a result, by including so many of these original Masters, he has created a chronological continuum within the line up, which defines this historical thread from its earliest days. Therefore this group show has developed into a “survey” that historicizes and canonizes each artist within the Progressive Graffiti thread, as well as within the larger Graffiti movement. One of the earliest, and possibly the most influential to most these artists, is Futura. In the early eighties, after a ten-year career as one of the early seventies writers, he broke away from one of graffiti’s most sacred traditions, the letterform as subject matter. At that point he began to paint in what became known as an “Abstract Graffiti” style. With his groundbreaking subway whole-car “Break,” as well as on the canvasses he was painting at the time, he pushed an atmospheric geometric style to the forefront of his work and began to experiment with a wide array of experimental spray can techniques that had not been seen before.

Around this same time, other early NYC writers, who had also started their careers in the seventies, began to experiment with new hybrid directions not based in pure graffiti traditions. In 1985, Carlos Mare began to combine abstraction and Wildstyle within the medium of sculpture, which over the past couple of decades has expanded to include other mediums under the term Urban Modernism. Haze also began to cross over into the fine art domain and over the years has created a body of work that might be referred to as Iconographic Minimalism. Doze Green was also a significant member of the early community of writers who crossed over with an experimental style that included the use of archetypal icons, poetic typography, figurative motifs and painterly styles. West was also another early intrepid explorer, adopting a gestural expressionist style, applying the muscle memory of train and wall painting to the canvas with his long whole-body marks and splashy, dripping strokes.

This exhibition has also united artists from the second generation who took off along the path forged by those early pioneers. These artists started to formulate their progressive aesthetics in the late eighties, such as Delta, the European three-dimensional geometric letterform pioneer turned pure abstractionist; New Yorker Greg Lamarche aka SpOne, who has been able to establish an abstract typographic collage aesthetic parallel to his foundation as a graffiti writer obsessed with the hand-written letterform; Part2ism was one of the earliest UK experimentalists in Hyperrealism, as well as co-founder of the Ikonoklast Movement in the UK with Juice126, which also came to include abstract colorist Remi Rough in the early-nineties.

Also beginning in the late eighties on the West Coast of the US, the Wildstyle-reductionist Joker was one of the first graffiti artists to paint purely geometric abstractions and pushed for its acceptance within the graffiti community by founding the Transcend Collective in 1991 with She1, who was an abstract writer in the UK. Poesia, became a key member of the collective in 1995, exploring a more hybrid, expressionistic approach to Wildstyle, as well as taking it into pure abstraction, which he is currently pushing in new directions, as well as reaching back to the Baroque painters and reinterpreting their masterpieces as graffiti-dissected new millennial re-paintings. Over in Europe, first in Paris then Italy during the same time period, Marco Pho Grassi started out as a wall and train painter but quickly started mixing in abstraction and more painterly expressionist techniques much like Poesia, yet totally unknown to each other. Then in the mid to late nineties, back in the US along the West Coast, other artists with alternative, experimental mind-sets, who were aware of recent developments, were coming out with brilliant, refined hybrid styles, such as Augustine Kofie and El Mac.

Artists such as these had been forced to skirt the edges of graffiti culture as well as the fine art world for the past ten to thirty years. Due to the esoteric nature and hybrid aesthetics of their graffiti-based paintings, and their disparate locations around the globe, they had no way to band together or find an audience to support them because of the lack of enough interest in their local communities for their esoteric and singular aesthetics. On the other side of the tracks, they were also ignored by the fine arts establishment because of their association with graffiti culture and for unabashedly continuing their gallery-related practices under the term Graffiti, which they still did not entirely leave behind. But, as the world population grows and becomes more connected through the internet, these geographically disparate artists have found it easier to come together, work together, and share global opportunities with each other, rather than being confined to tiny local communities.

Now, as this historical thread comes of age and recognizes itself in the mirror of history and on the faces of its youth, as the pioneers of the culture are canonized and the younger artists are united, there are many more opportunities afforded them within the design market, auction houses and fine art world, as these communities continue grow in their recognition of the cultural value and influence of Graffiti and Street Art, as the most prevalent styles and art movements in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This particular Graffuturist group exhibition, as well as the previous two, are significant steps in the growth of awareness and activity. This is a significant exhibition because it connects all the artists across the continuum of this overlooked historical trajectory back to these forefathers to finally make the connections and give the recognition due to Progressive Graffiti in all its current manifestations and their historical referents.

Across the board, 2012 has been an explosive year for Progressive Graffiti. The synchronicity of all these group exhibitions and solo shows can only emphasize that there is increased activity by the artists and an amplified interest in the audience. Futura had his first solo show in ten years, which attracted a massive turn out of the wealthy and the fashionable, as well as the highly-respected hardcore members of the graffiti community, which is a testament to his growing importance outside the culture, as well as cementing his stature within it. Following on the heels of the success of his solo show, Futura exhibited with two other crucial esoteric Old School Masters, Rammellzee and Phase2, in conjunction with the Modernist Master Matta in the exhibition “Deep Space” in NYC. This exhibit was particular significant because it canonized these three graffiti artists within the fine art pantheon by successfully illustrating their undeniable aesthetic accomplishments in relation to Matta’s masterworks. Rammellzee also had a banner year, being included in the “Vocabularies Revitalized” exhibition at the MoMA, as well as being given a complete retrospective at the Children’s Museum, both of which were in NYC, not even to mention his solo show at the Suzanne Geiss gallery in 2011 called “The Equation.”

In London, also significant in its curatorial aims to canonize and historicize, as well as it’s grand scope, was “Futurism 2.0,” which compared and contrasted the Futurists and the Graffuturists in an exhibition, book and documentary. Another group show of significance was BrooklynStreetArt.com’s exhibition “Geometricks” which held high the torch of Abstract Graffiti in it’s title and Progressive Graffiti in its roster, which included Hellbent (the curator), Augustine Kofie, Drew Tyndell, Momo, OverUnder and SeeOne. One of the most significant of the many murals and “in situ” collaborations painted this year by Graffuturist-related artists was the abstract mural painted on the Megaro Hotel by Agents of Change members Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Lx.One, and Steve More, which is currently the largest mural ever painted in London. Also, a slew of solo and duo exhibitions opened every month around the world by many of the artists associated with Graffuturism and Progressive Graffiti: Poesia, Dale Marshal, Part2ism, Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Jaybo Monk, Mark Lyken, Moneyless, Carlos Mare, She One, Matt W. Moore, Jurne, Greg Lamarche, Delta, Hense, Rae Martini, Marco Pho Grassi, and Graphic Surgery. In order to see the full scope of activities though, one would have to go back through Graffuturism.com for a complete review.

Above and beyond the growing interest in Progressive Graffiti is the expanding interest in the over-all culture as well during these first two decades of the new millennium. Massive museum exhibitions encompassing the full spectrum of subcultures and historical threads within the Graffiti and Street Art cultures have also opened to wide acclaim. The success of ticket sales for “Street Art” in 2008 at the Tate Modern in London and “Art in the Streets” in 2011 at the MOCA in Los Angeles revealed the mass cultural interest of these art movements and all the art forms that are connected to them. The fact that these two exhibitions happened at all signifies the growing acceptance by the fine art community as well.

These museum exhibitions, as well as the trend towards many other smaller historical exhibitions, such as “Deep Space” and “Futurism 2.0” at the end of 2012, and “Pantheon: A history of Art from the Streets of NYC” in 2011, indicate a new interest in the study of the history and cultural significance of these movements. Other indicators are the release of high quality scholarly books, articles and movies, such as “Abstract Graffiti” by Cedar Lewisohn in 2011; “Beyond Graffiti” published in ArtNews in 2011 by Carolina Miranda; the 2005 documentary “Next: A Primer on Urban Painting” by Pablo Aravena; and “The Feral Diagram 2.0: Graffiti and Street Art” published in 2012 by Daniel Feral. These are all testament to the growing enthusiasm of scholars, historians, and theoreticians to examine, define and record the fifty year history of graffiti and street art, and recently in particular the Progressive Graffiti thread. Like any misunderstood movement before these, such as rock’n’roll, comic books, and cinema, eventually the art forms, the audiences and the scholars united to finally recognize the movement’s undeniable cultural value, relevance and resonance in all their forms from the simple and visceral to the esoteric and intellectual.

Text by Daniel Feral

On Friday, Dec 14, 2012, the eponymously-titled “Graffuturism” exhibition curated by Poesia, the founder of Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

The complete artist list in alphabetical order by first name is as follows: 2501, Aaron De La Cruz, Augustine Kofie, Boris “Delta” Tellegen, Carl Raushenbach, Carlos Mare, Clemens Behr, Derek Bruno, Doze Green, Duncan Jago, DVS 1, El Mac, Eric Haze, Erosie, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Futura, Gilbert 1, Greg “Sp One” Lamarche, Graphic Surgery, Hense, Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch, Jaybo Monk, Joker, Jurne, Kema, Kenor, Lek, Marco “Pho” Grassi, Matt W. Moore, Moneyless, O.Two, Part2ism, Poesia, Rae Martini, Remi Rough, Samuel Rodriguez, Sat One, Sever, Shok-1, Sowat, Steve More, West, Will Barras.

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Fatima Robinson and Rhea Scott Present: Cyrcle “Organized Chaos!” (Los Angeles, CA)

CYRCLE

 

WITHOUT ORDER NOTHING CAN EXIST!
WITHOUT CHAOS NOTHING CAN EVOLVE!

This eponymous mantra resounds throughout the incredible breadth of work in CYRCLE.’s second solo show, opening to the public on November 30th at 6608 Lexington Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90038.  The “ORGANIZED CHAOS!” theme binds the entirety of the show and defines the creative process that brought the art collective to their philosophy, relying on the metaphor of intertwined relation between bee and flower to illuminate the symbiosis between art and society. 

It is interactive.
It defies the boundaries of the archetypical gallery show.
It showcases a tactile experience and encourages participation.

The “ORGANIZED CHAOS!” show is the embodiment of what CYRCLE. has come to represent in the Los Angeles art community.  Refusing to constrain themselves to a particular definition, as street artists, graphic designers, or traditional fine artists, the collective is interested in what the function and form of the work itself demands.  

Artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his work on the 2008 Obama Hope campaign and his Andre the Giant OBEY propaganda, says: 

“People frequently ask me who the new upstarts are in street art… I’d say CYRCLE., but that would be underselling the diversity of their talents and the depth of their conceptual process. CYRCLE. work in many mediums and techniques, utilizing whatever approach most powerfully delivers the concept and aesthetic. CYRCLE. are surprisingly focused and rigorous for some young punks.”

JR, a 2011 TED Prize winner, who is currently expanding his Inside Out Project in Japan states, “CYRCLE. bring back the Power of working as a colléctive.”

In a physical manifestation of CYRCLE.’s signature brand of chaos, the viewer will be encouraged to become the bee and to initiate order within the chaos of the human movement occurring within the show, therefore creating a type of performance art within the actual pieces of the show itself.

The show is produced by Fatima Robinson and Rhea Scott, in association with Black Dog Films.
Check out all of their work at www.cyrcle.com

Public Opening- 11/30 7pm-11pm

Operating Hours 12/1 through 12/16
11-6pm T, W, Th, and Sunday
11-9pm Friday and Saturday
Closed Mondays

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Known Gallery Presents: Know Hope “The Weight” (Los Angeles, CA)

Know Hope

For his first solo show in Los Angeles since 2009, Know Hope continues his research and narrative, this time focusing on the notion of ‘The Weight’.

Portraying ‘The Weight’ in both a visual and symbolical nature, this exhibition observes on the various interpretations of what weighs down on us, collectively speaking.

Know Hope has recently been using the image of the flag in his work, attempting to look into the idea of patriotism-not necessarily from the directly-political aspect, but by focusing on the minor human situations that compose this larger issue.

The artist conducts this research from a standing point of aiming to understand how patriotism works; as an emotional mechanism, hoping to show the indifference between the personal and the political

Another primary concept portrayed in Know Hope’s work is the idea of ‘The Missings’, the empty spaces which he sees as a common denominator. The artist believes that there is a collective longing that exists in subjective manners (i.e. ‘a missing’, or an empty space) that we seek to fill, more specifically in this case by patriotism.

There is an emphasis on the process of adopting these ‘truisms’-being born into a charged reality and embracing these values without questioning; such as we do the flag and it’s role in our lives.

By creating a new body of work and a site-specific installation, all while keeping these things in mind, Know Hope presents ‘The Weight’, an observation on where we are now, how we got to being there, and how we manage the burdens that we bear.

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Gallery Brown Presents: Gregory Siff “Matter of Time” (Los Angeles, CA)

Gregory Siff

Gallery Brown is thrilled to announce Matter of Time, an exhibition of new paintings, works on paper and sculpture from artist Gregory Siff. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Gregory officially made Los Angeles home in 2009 where he has since established himself as a recognizable cultural influence.

Gregory’s distinct handmade style merges unique elements of abstraction, street, and fine art; his technique coalesces the voice of a fearless child with the wisdom of a seasoned warrior. His influences include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, RETNA, Ray Johnson, RISK, David Shillinglaw, Louis XXX and his father.

Matter of Time is an examination of fame, idolatry, memory, determination, kingship and heart. Gregory’s half-whispered thoughts are painted out in full roars on found material, handmade panel and canvas.

Gregory’s first solo show in 2011, G, at La Fonderie in Los Angeles was quickly followed by There & Back at Siren Studio’s Rooftop Sessions to much acclaim. Commissions include The Standard Hotel and De La Barracuda Wall. In New York, his work was featured in The Deitch Projects Art Parades. His work has also been exhibited in London, Dublin, Italy and Vancouver, and has appeared in Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Paper Mag, The LA Times, Complex and Glamour. Most recently, Gregory won the 2012 Los Angeles Red Bull Curates: The Road to Art Basel, Miami where his work will be featured.

“I make paintings to hang on your wall, I play characters you meet in your dreams, and I write stories you heard when you were falling asleep as a kid.” – Gregory Siff

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Lab Art Gallery Presents: “Babes & Bears” Becca and Philip Lumbang. (Los Angeles, CA)

Babes and Bears

DATE:
OCTOBER 18TH – NOVEMBER 15TH .2012

ADDRESS:
LAB ART GALLERY, 217 S. LA BREA AVE. LOS ANGELES CA 90036

LAB ART Gallery hosts a collaborative show by renowned street artists, Becca and Philip Lumbang titled, ‘Babes and Bears’ which opens its doors to the public on October 18th and runs until November 15th.

Taking her work to the streets since the late 80’s, Becca is considered pivotal in pioneering the street art movement’s transition from graffiti to art status. Her work has been exhibited across the country over the last two decades, and her ubiquitous, carefree images of women, girls and animals, which decorate our urban landscape, have attracted fans and notable art collectors alike and added a feminine touch to a primarily male dominated art form.

“ I try to bring my characters to life, I like to have company and that’s what my paintings are, they’re tangible. It hurts when pieces have a short shelf life on the streets, especially since they’re one-of-a-kind. That’s the gamble I take going in and every time I go out. It’s definitely worth it”. Becca

Philip Lumbang’s humorous bears have become a frequent sight on the streets of LA; grinning back at passers-by and generating “good vibes” as is the intention the artist ‘sates’. Lumbang is heavily influenced by his childhood days of watching TV and illustrated cartoons, which now manifest through his art. The craftsmanship and subtlety of his style has garnered much attention amongst collectors and his peers.

“TV is like my homie. I loved cartoons; I still love watching cartoons to this day. I still buy toys. I’m just a big kid that really never grew up; just one who now has to pay bills.” Philip Lumbang

“Babes and Bears is a fusion of Becca’s whimsical style with Philip’s playful bears. We are elated that these two artists will be sharing the primary presentation space of LAB ART to create a burst of magic.” Rachel Joelson, Co-Founder LAB ART

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Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D Young V prepare for “Epilogue”

Street Artists Push Past Comfort Levels to Create New Show and Video

As the post- “Citizens United” restructuring of civil society gets into full swing and democracy is effectively hollowed out before our eyes, Street Artists Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla, and D Young V are contemplating an eventual collapse of society and what it might look like – and have created an art show about it.

Epilogue is an immersive installation based art show,” explains Leeman as he describes the almost cinematic way they are seeing their presentation and the promotional video we are debuting for them today. Not explicitly horrifying, the implications of a lawless violent society that no longer feels “futuristic” makes this trailer uncomfortable and a breath of fresh air.

Still from promotional video for “Epilogue” (© Taylor Morgan)

“What we did with the video was a new feel for us in that we did not show the artwork nor do a traditional narrated artist interview but instead looked at the video as a piece of art itself,” says Leeman as he talks how the three Street Artists really pushed their work for the show to imagine what it would be like to start making art after we’ve burned everything down. Maybe they’re just sticking to the theme or testing their individual resourcefulness but it is interesting to see them skipping the oil paints and canvasses and instead choosing reclaimed billboards, fire stencils, even hand painted assault rifles for the varied display.

Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D young V “Epilogue” (photo © Shaun Roberts)

Are these guys really rattling their Jungian subconsciousness with a death of Western society foretold or have they been spending a lot of time on NetFlix in the apocalypse section? If you hear Hugh describe the preparation they’ve undertaken at Hold Up Art, it all sounds pretty serious. “Its processes and concept have been inspired by America’s gun loving culture, the corporate behemoths considered “too big to fail”, and another pending financial meltdown. It has pushed the three of us as artists away from what we have come to identify as our own individual styles.” We give them credit for going there, and for challenging us in a new way to go with them. The murkier the answers, the more alive the imagination can be when triggered by these symbols and images.

Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D young V “Epilogue” (photo © Shaun Roberts)

A death mask from Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D young V in “Epilogue” (photo © Shaun Roberts)

Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D young V “Epilogue” (photo © Shaun Roberts)

Hugh Leeman, Eddie Colla and D young V “Epilogue” (photo © Shaun Roberts)

“Epilogue” by Taylor Morgan  (VIDEO)

“Epilogue” opens this Saturday Sept 8.  Click here for more information regarding this show.

A print variant for the”Epilogue” show that will be released through Hold Up Art starting Sept. 8th

 

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Perry Rubenstein Gallery Presents: Shepard Fairey “Americana” (Los Angeles, CA)

Shepard Fairey

AMERICANA
New Paintings by Shepard Fairey

RECEPTION: Saturday, August 25th
7pm – 10pm

Perry Rubenstein Gallery (LA) presents a special project by Shepard Fairey and Neil Young in celebration of the recent release of Young’s new album with Crazy Horse, “Americana,” which features reinterpreted classic, American, folk songs. Fairey has created eleven new paintings, each one inspired by the songs, such as Oh Susannah, This Land Is Your Land and Clementine. The new Shepard Fairey paintings will be on view to the public at Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles starting August 25th. In addition, Shepard will have a limited quantity release of the Americana Print Edition Box Set at the opening on August 25th at Perry Rubenstein Gallery. The Box Set will include a collection of screen print versions of all the new paintings, more info and official release date on the prints to come shortly, so STAY TUNED!

The “Americana” project developed as a result of Shepard Fairey’s relationship with Neil Young and his long-time manager Elliot Roberts. Fairey created a portrait of Young for the artist’s May Day show in 2010, based on his view of the musician as a social commentator philosophically aligned with people like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Joe Strummer. Young and Roberts then asked Fairey to design the art, CD and DVD packaging for the 25th anniversary of Young’s Bridge School charity. Fairey states, “Neil really liked the art and I was thrilled he asked me to collaborate by making paintings inspired by the songs on his “Americana” album. I’m a huge fan of Neil’s music in general, but when I heard the album I realized how much the subject matter of several songs reflected the aspirations and tragedies of those pursuing the American dream tied into issues relevant to the 99% movement which I have been supporting.”

Fairey says he listened to the music and lyrics to come up with concepts for visual representations of the songs. Then for each song, Fairey presented Young with ideas about a visual image that would best capture the meaning and/or protagonist/s in each song. The artist enjoyed hearing how Neil interpreted aspects of the songs that moved him the most musically and lyrically. Fairey states, “I showed Neil sketches, and then we discussed the ideas and refined them. He was very open to my ideas and encouraged me to go with what inspired me the most. Latitude for interpretation is something that Neil utilizes and seems to value as an important way for the listener/viewer to personalize their interaction with art and music. I also was excited about this project because the concept of re-interpreting pre-existing songs filtered through Neil’s unique sensibility parallels what I have often tried to do as a visual artist by building upon iconic images that are an accessible part of the cultural dialogue.”

Each of the new Fairey paintings resonate powerful messages presented in the songs, some depicting a hopeful outlook on the pursuit of a better tomorrow, while others reflect the hardships that come in trying to achieve that dream. One painting related to Clementine, which captures the words of a mourning lover whose “darling,” the daughter of a California Gold Rush miner, drowned. Here she is represented by the levitating body of a young woman draped in white, with the text “And Gone.” Another painting is related to the 1848 minstrel song Oh Susannah that features a dungaree-wearing banjo player with the text “DON’T YOU CRY FOR ME.” Other works feature a wanted poster (Travel On); an iconic image of Queen Elizabeth embroidering an American flag (God Save the Queen); and, a lonely tree, stripped bare of its leaves, in a desolate landscape (Tom Dula).

For Young and Crazy Horse’s rendition of the famous 1940 Woody Guthrie song known to every school-aged child in America, This Land Is Your Land, written in response to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America, Fairey has depicted the hopeful face of a youth, set against a dramatic Western Landscape. Three rows of sharp, barbed wire cross the boy’s path with the text “NO TRESSPASSING / THIS LAND IS MY LAND.” The text is derived from a variant verse Guthrie added as a social commentary during a 1944 recording session. Fairey’s paintings are mixed media on canvas, including techniques such as stenciling, collage, and screen-printing. All of the paintings measure closely to the 30 x 44 inch dimension, which is one of Fairey’s standard choices of size. “Americana” is Neil Young with Crazy Horse’s first album together in nine years and is being released on June 5 on Reprise Records.

Perry Rubenstein Gallery
1215 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
T (310) 395-1001 / F (310) 395-1019
http://www.perryrubenstein.com

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LALA Gallery Presents: “Public Works” A Group Exhibition (Los Angeles, CA)

LALA Gallery

Dear Friends:

We are thrilled to announce the opening of our second show, PUBLIC WORKS, at LALA Gallery on Friday, August 3, at 7:00 pm.

This groundbreaking two-part exhibit, a collaboration with LA Freewalls and MacDonald Media to benefit Art Share LA, features murals by renowned contemporary artists in one of public media’s most controversial spaces – the billboard. Contributing artists include How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Ron English, Seen, Shepard Fairey, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar, and Zes.

The first part of the exhibit will feature the murals up-close-and-personal at LALA Gallery from August 3 to 17. The murals will then be on display on billboards throughout Los Angeles on a rotating basis during the next year.

Come take a look. We’ll see you there.

  • Daniel Lahoda
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Known Gallery Presents: Saber “Beautification” (Los Angeles, CA)

Saber

 

SABER / BEAUTIFICATION
Opens: July 28, 2012 | 8-11pm
Runs: July 28 – August 11, 2012

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
info@knowngallery.com

Among the thousands of people who make up the graffiti community around the world, there are few names that carry the same legendary quality as SABER. Born in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, SABER was raised by creative parents and discovered his passion for art at an early age. At 13, his cousins introduced him to graffiti when they took him to see the spray paint-covered Belmont Tunnel. From that moment on, he was hooked. After honing his skills on local walls, SABER joined MSK, and was later inducted into legendary piecing crew AWR.

SABER was already a fixture in the Los Angeles graffiti scene by 1997 when he completed the largest graffiti piece ever created. His piece on the sloping cement bank of the Los Angeles River was nearly the size of a professional football field, and took 97 gallons of paint and 35 nights to complete. In a famous photograph—taken by his father just after it was finished—SABER stands on the piece and appears as a tiny speck amid a giant blaze of color. It catapulted SABER to legend status in the graffiti world.

SABER began exhibiting in his fine art in 2002. His monograph, SABER: MAD SOCIETY, complete with stories of his graffiti misadventures, was released by Gingko Press in 2007 and is now in its second printing. In October 2010, SABER released a video in which the year’s heated debate about health care was spray painted over the American flag. While some saw it as desecration, SABER advocated for health care reform in the video, revealing that he had epilepsy and was un-insurable. This work led SABER to create a large group of American flag paintings called the Tarnished series.

 

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Known Gallery Presents: REVOK “Gilgamesh” A New Body of Work. (Los Angeles, CA)

REVOK

Known Gallery presents
REVOK
Gilgamesh
July 28-August 11, 2012

Known Gallery is pleased to present Gilgamesh, a new body of work by REVOK opening on Saturday July 28 and on view through August 11.  This exhibition will mark REVOK’s second show with the gallery.

With Gilgamesh, the artist has refined his technique of cutting up and reassembling found objects that once had a life of their own. All materials are scavenged from abandoned homes, churches, businesses and buildings in Detroit, Michigan, the city where REVOK has taken refuge.  The artist extracts the beauty in urban decay, from dilapidated buildings and rubble of the past.  An integral part of the process of acquiring his materials is exploring the neighborhoods, going into abandoned buildings, investigating forgotten places and sometimes in the course, encountering the people who once lived there.  The artworks are then named after the street addresses from which he excavates his materials, leaving the stories embedded in the assemblage.

A modern approach to Americana, REVOK creates geometric collages from these recovered relics, forming patterns, shapes and textures that are a direct result of years of wear and tear.  REVOK finds inspiration in what others might deem as useless.   As a fearless graffiti artist who has largely mapped and plotted the world, he turned his focus to the ruins of the Motor City, a vacant playground of beautiful architecture. REVOK’s experiences as a graffiti artist have fostered an appreciation for the things that surround us everyday, but for most, would go unnoticed.

“I’ve always struggled with permanence.  Out of twenty-two years as a graffiti writer, from my entire body of work, less than 1% exists, and the permanence of graffiti, particularly in Los Angeles, is more temporary than most places in the world.  It has always been one of the main motivations of graffiti writers to create work that’s going to last.  We want to create work that’s going to live for a long time.”

REVOK recently shared his artistic ambitions on a larger scale by creating the Detroit Beautification Project, inviting 25 artists from around the world to revive the forsaken city and provide encouragement for the community.

Garnering inspiration from the four thousand year old poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which recounts the Sumerian king’s quest for eternal life, REVOK has resurrected a city’s past using its disregarded remains. The flotsam and jetsam have now become memorialized artifacts through REVOK’s meticulously crafted handwork, giving new meaning and immortality to what were once ordinary objects.

REVOK constantly struggles to overcome the connotations associated with the type of artist he is, which in the past, has been met with overwhelming opposition and with the intent to eradicate his life’s work. REVOK’s work reflects not only his story as an artist, but also the story of a civilization and its people.

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Size Matters: INSA Kills Biggest L.A. Free Wall

The great thing about a California King Size mattress is you can fit six people on it comfortably. Five if you need to accommodate beer, corn chips, coffee cake, and a bong.

The point is California is a quintessential long-ass big-ass state that rivals many entire countries in terms of the size of the overall economy, the miles of beach, quantity of Mexicans, and metric tons of silicone injections. That’s why it hardly surprises us when Daniel Lahoda reports that recently his LA Freewalls project crossed the 100th wall mark and that INSA just completed the biggest project so far. Clocking in at 9,300 square feet, the Street Artist covered more space with paint than the Kardashian sisters use preparing for a poolside photo shoot. But these results are spectacular and the scale is quite fitting for this city.

Our thanks to collaborator and photographer Todd Mazer, who doesn’t just capture the action here. He rhapsodizes with it before revealing the full project at the end. Enjoy the largesse.

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA. Wow, that’s a big set of cans. Which ones would you take? (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Todd Mazer)

INSA (photo © Daniel LaHoda)

INSA had a mission to complete on the walls of this building. He also has a philosophy and a work ethic when doing his craft. Click on the link below to read how he came about to see this project completed:

http://www.insaland.com/blog/mission-to-la/

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Known Gallery Presentes: Augustine Kofie “Working an Angle” (Los Angeles, CA)

Augustine Kofie

Known Gallery Presents:

Working An Angle

Recent works by Augustine Kofie

 

[This will be my first solo show at Known as well as my first solo in LA since my 

Futurism exhibition at Zero1

 Gallery. I’m truly honored to have the chance to share a lot of these more dense collage works with my LA peoples, especially since my last 2 large shows were out of town. 30+ works as usual including dense collage and assemblage on wood with yardstick framing, paintings on canvas and hand painted multiples will be on display for 2 weeks.]

Opens: May 26, 2012 | 8-11pm
Runs: May 26 – June 9, 2012

 

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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