Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Turnout – Michael Van Swearingen 2. ENTER via Graffiti TV 3. Carlos Mare – 12 Levels of Graffiti: Easy to Complex
BSA Special Feature: Turnout – Michael Van Swearingen
Motion Designer Michael Van Swearingen somehow converts graffiti culture into a loveable squishy clean place to break the law, and breaks your heart gently doing so. “Tobin and Sven are street artists involved in a shady lifestyle as middle-men. After Tobin announces leaving his criminal past behind, along with the city, they proceed to finish one last drop off of an unmarked bag. Upon entering a graffiti soaked alley way, they’re confronted by a police officer and make a run for it. Ducking and diving through the glowing alley, they make their way towards a trainyard. With the cops following close behind, a split second decision decides their future.”
Turnout – Michael Van Swearingen
ENTER via Graffiti TV
Mexican graffiti futurist is a cyber punk influenced by Japanese style. Part of the 217 crew, Enter here shows you some of his tricks on this new flick from Graffiti TV.
Carlos Mare – 12 Levels of Graffiti: Easy to Complex via WIRED
NYC Old Skool graffiti originalist Mare 139 schools us all on the 12 Levels of graffiti. Everybody listen up.
They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this
neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.
Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.
Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.
Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene.
The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art
As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.
When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal
street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies
sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged
the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s
where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the
scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first
glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic
Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in
America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a
fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long
line of underground classics.”
The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.
With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.
Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.
spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director
Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding
the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it
With 150 artists whose practices span five decades
and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in
this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial
team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz
Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David
CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the
graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the
Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).
“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as
a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was
coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have
imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains
and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really
“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.
“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.
One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.
“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”
Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.
Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations
The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.
The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.
also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the
sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a
kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables
from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by
writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight
on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and
original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.
are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of
changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim
overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.
is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to
signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the
train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started
making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he
recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag
freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have
perplexed other travellers.
came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of
cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal
interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they
saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”
it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot
high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is
hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to
show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow
coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during
the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly
confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.
Digging Deep to Take Risks
to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness
by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks;
a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the
writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said
he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but
felt they were too “safe”.
“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”
Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”
color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of
space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography
and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded
many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early
photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was
obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in
inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.
New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.
Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to
his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who
used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid. “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the
studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he
says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the
Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”
An expanded version of the show that first mounted
in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the
American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history
– in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That
makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.
“It’s both a historical and current look at where
the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says
co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big
name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets
and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two
floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with
museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind
of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”
So is Beyond the Streets
a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist
Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown
Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt
cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize
what kind of art this is.
“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so
even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he
says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll
let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t
want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”
Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.
Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York
Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. INTI “Soleil”. Blinded by the Light. 2. Martha Cooper: Queen der Street Art 3. Elisa Capdevila x Anna Repullo. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project 4. Mare 139 : L’ avenir” Graffuturism. Group Exhibition. 5. FAUST: L’ avenir” Graffuturism. Group Exhibition.
BSA Special Feature: INTI “Soleil”. Blinded by the Light.
OMG WHERE does Chop ’em Down get their music from? Finally we said it out loud.
Yes, the monstrous archive of top-notch video that they are amassing of Street Artists and others creating work in the world is scintillating, the gut-punch editing is riveting, the pickings are lush. But time and again Zane nails it into next week with the music choices. Bless you brother.
INTI “Soleil”. Blinded by the Light. Video by Chop ’em Down Films for Peinture Fraiche Festival. Lyon, France.
Martha Cooper: Queen der Street Art via ZDF German TV (in German no subtitles)
Our sincere thanks to Susanne Lingemann and ZDF German TV for this great piece on Martha Cooper during the premiere of Selina Miles’ movie “Martha: A Picture Story” at Tribeca Film Festival. Next stop Sydney!
Elisa Capdevila x Anna Repullo. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project
Easily the winner of wackiest choice of concept and music for the year so far is this wiccan themed duo in Spain painting walls across from each other on an underpass. Something to do with sensuality and competitiveness and … witchcraft? Good painting tho.
L’avenir Graffuturism Group Exhibition
A special collection of works opened on April 26th under the banner “Graffuturism”, guided by its creator and advocate, the artist Poesia. The lineup includes a number of artists along the street art/graffiti /contemporary continuum such as Augustine Kofie, Tobias Kroeger, Carlos Mare, Doze Green, Jaybo Monk, Faust, Kenor, and Matt W. Moore – each with distinct graphic voices of their own. Below are a couple of brief profiles from the show follow here.
“L’ avenir” Graffuturism. Group Exhibition. Mare139.
“L’ avenir” Graffuturism. Group Exhibition. Faust.
Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.
JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.
Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.
Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.
“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”
SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.
“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”
Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.
Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.
Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.
“The Language Of The Wall. Graffiti / Street Art” Pera Museum. Istanbul, Turkey
No Street Artist is a prophet in his own land, to paraphrase the Latin “Nemo propheta in patria”.
To see a large show of new Street Art in a museum right now don’t think of New York. Surprisingly a vibrant and impactful art scene that has foundational roots in NYC streets and culture is once again celebrated more often by major museum exhibits elsewhere in the world.
In Istanbul they even invite you to paint on trains.
The nine year old Pera Museum is currently hosting 20 artists from America, Germany, France, and Japan, along with some more local talents and is featuring photographers whose New York work is considered seminal such as Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, and the California skate culture documenter Hugh Holland.
The detailed study of New York graffiti, train writing, hip-hop culture, and the evolution that pushed this current explosive growth of Street Art are all evident in the curation and choices by Roxane Ayral. Language of the Wall is cognizant of the weight of graff history while looking squarely in the eye of the present and considering the interdisciplinary nature of today’s scene, the show is at once expansive and tightly lyrical. The swath of new works inside the museum and out on the streets of Istanbul is a mix of respected older graff writers and some of the newer practitioners including Futura, Carlos Mare, Cope 2, Turbo, Wyne, JonOne, Tilt, Psyckoze, Craig Costello (aka KR), Herakut, Logan Hicks, C215, Suiko, Evol, Gaia, Tabone, Funk, and No More Lies.
Over the course of the installation, Martha Cooper traveled the city and captured the new works by the artists and she shares with us her shots and some of her observations.
“Mare worked with a local foundry to produce 3 big welded sculptures and 2 little “B-Boy” ones,” says Ms. Cooper. “The foundry was able to produce pieces of metal with Islamic patterns, which I found impressive. This was the first time Mare was able to design the metal in this way.”
“Tilt painted a garbage truck with his iconic throwup,” says Ms. Cooper, of the actual truck he painted on the street. “The garbage men gave him an official shirt to wear and he painted their names (and mine) on the truck. He also painted an entire bus that had been cut apart and hung on the wall of the museum.”
“Suiko is from Hiroshima, Japan. We were in the museum on the anniversary of the bombing on August 16th,” says Martha. “Hiroshima, synonymous with nuclear bombs, now sells spray paint for graffiti bombing. Crazy world!”
“Imagine you had to teach your kids never to laugh” is the translation of the text, which Martha says was Herakut’s response to a Deputy Minister’s outrageous statement that women shouldn’t laugh in public.
Street artist Gaia did very labor intensive pieces inside and outside the museum “commemorating those that have lost their lives in construction murders due to lack of safety, regulation and corruption,” he says. For more information on Workers’ Families In Pursuit of Justice please go to http://iscinayetleriniunutma.org/ .
“Psyckoze is famous for being the king of the Paris catacombs. He knows every nook and cranny,” reports Ms. Cooper. “I once spent the night there—scary and completely confusing if you don’t have a guide. Psyckoze made an installation replicating a room in the catacombs reproducing paintings that were actually there.”
“KR did his extinguisher thing inside the museum and it turned out great—sort of a delicate blizzard of criss-crossing spray. I liked this shot of the cleaning lady in his room – Who’s to decide what needs cleaning?” asks Martha.
A highlight of the events was the opportunity for many of the artists to legally hit a number of train cars in the yards, and archetypal right of passage immortalized by a handful of New York photographers in the 1970s and 1980s like Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, among others. Martha was at least as excited as the artists and felt like she was in a movie she had seen before, but with new enthusiastic actors and actresses – and without the fear of being arrested.
Hey bro and sis! Here are some of our favorite picks for the weekend around the global way as we head into the final holiday and New Year beauty that we hope everyone is surrounded by. Happy 7th night of Hanukkah to the Jews, and Happy ongoing holidayz to the Christmas and Kwanzaa and Solstice people.
1. 215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)
2. “Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)
3. Fresh Low-cost Original Silkscreens at “First Worldwar in Silkscreen” Group Show (BKLN)
4. “Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)
5. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)
6. “Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)
7. New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)
8. Dave Kinsey “Everything at Once” at Joshua Liner (Manhattan)
9. Brett Amory at 5 Pieces (Switzerland)
10. RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)
11. Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)
215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)
French Street Artist C215 has a new solo show titled “Orgullecida” at the Montana Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. The artist has been for awhile using a lot of color with his multilayered stencil work – expanding his established vocabulary bravely in a way that most artists are too afraid to do. His portraits are placed well, are individually hand-cut, and sprayed with a sense of the humanity he’s always giving center stage. This show is now open to the general public.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)
A phrase lifted from restaurant franchises that serve food like you are livestock at a trough, “Kids Eat For Free” is a mini survey of train riders who know the back sides of the country well. Under the moniker of The Superior Bugout, curator Andrew H Shirley continues to explore fresh talent from the emerging margin, and this group exhibition features work by North Carolina’s NGC Crew. Now open, and don’t forget the kids!
For further details regarding this show click here.
The best way to support your local artist is to give their stuff as a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Soltice present. No kidding. Everybody wins. Tonight a show of original silkscreens at totally reasonable prices is at Low Brow Artique in Bushwick. For tonight’s opening of their silk screen print show where you’d be able to purchase prints for $20…yes you read it right $20 bucks buys you art from 25 artists – many of them with work on the street – from Sao Paulo, Brooklyn, Buenos Aires and Berlin. Participating artists include: Selo, Markos Azufre, Hellbent, El Hase, ND’A, XOXU, Daniel Ete, Salles, Baila, Anderson Resende, DOC, SHN, XILIP, Serifire, Vero Pujol, Marquitos Sanabria, Diego Garay, Desastre, and Head Honcho.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)
This is like an exclamation point for the end of the year. No kidding.
POESIA, founder of Graffuturism, the term and website, continues to explore the depths of “Progressive Graffiti” or, as it was previously known, “Abstract Graffiti”. With great intelligence, passion and an acute eye for detail, POESIA brings to the forefront the importance and beauty of this emergent new direction that is impacting the Street Art and graffiti scene (with ramifications for others).
“Graffuturism” opening tonight at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles and promises a smart-headed visual feast of shapes, patterns and color from a mini-galaxy of talent from all over the world. Perhaps more significantly, it’s a bit of a decentralized movement that has been centralized for you. The artists list includes: 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 and Will BarrasSoze Gallery in Los Angeles .
Also New York chronicler and enthusiastic lover of the graff/street art scene Daniel Feral will be there with a special edition of the Feral Diagram in glicee prints, and a couple other formats (salivate). An ambitious exhibition like this is rare and not easy to come by so if you are in Los Angeles you must go.
For further information regarding this show and to read a great essay for the show written by Daniel Feral click here.
“Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)
Self-appointed moral custodians (mostly white men) have traditionally hampered the exploration of sexuality in formal art history and the academic canon of what gets celebrated and revered continues to evolve more quickly now. The sea change that modern social liberation that was once revolutionary is now a given, but the debate of the appropriate role of sex and sexuality in the arts is far from over. We may have just quashed one Trojan horse of social conservatism in the White House, but the radical right wing has pulled the center pretty far in the last decade and some have even said there was a war on women launched legislatively throughout 2012. So we are pleased to tell you about fine artist and Street Artist Robyn Hasty AKA Imminent Disaster, who has a new show in collaboration with Alex Pergament entitled “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”. Furthering her exploration of photography Ms. Hasty has semi-retired her now well known hand cut paper pieces and lino prints on the street and traded the cutting knife for the camera. With this show of photographs, sculptures and performance art she’s aiming to tear apart the inhibitions associated with the sexual act. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets” opens tomorrow at Weldon Arts Gallery in Brooklyn.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)
Freshly snapping back to New York from their successful truck trip to Miami, Klughaus Gallery brings Brooklyn natives RIME and TOPER for their new exhibition titled “Snap Back – Dangerous Drawings About New York”. The storytelling show features illustration and painting inspired by personal stories. Says RIME. “This show aims to tap into our life experience coming up in New York.” Show opens Saturday.
For further information regarding this show click here.
New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)
The White Walls Gallery in San Francisco are fortunate to host Australian artist New2 with his solo show titled “In One Hand a Ghost, The Other an Atom”. New2’s work on the streets is complex and dynamic with aerosol, but his handcut collage work for the gallery is moreso somehow – maybe because of a painstaking process of arranging thousands of hand cut pieces of paper. This show opens on Saturday.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also happening this weekend:
Dave Kinsey with “Everything at Once” at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details.
Brett Amory at the 5 Pieces Gallery in Berne, Switzerland opens on Sunday with his solo show “Lil’ Homies”. Click here for more details.
RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)
Art in the Streets from MoCAtv
Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)
Street Artist Swoon is looking to return to Haiti to build more shelters for people in the rural part of the country. This video gives a great look at the families and community who are helped. You also can participate by donating to the Kickstarter campaign to help Swoon make it happen.
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.
Happy Friday! Not much to do this weekend, sorry – Aside from these eighteen possibilities.
1. Maya Hayuk at Cooper Cole (Toronto)
2. NohJColey “In the Midst of Living” Friday (BKLN)
3. Judith Supine at Jonathan Levine Saturday (Manhattan)
4. Swoon Opens Pearly’s Beauty Shop Sat (Long Island City, Queens)
5. Brooklyn Busts Open Studio Doors for “GO” Courtesy Brooklyn Museum
6. “Epilogue” at Hold Up (LA)
7. “Disamiguation” at Carmichael (LA)
8. Mind Trip with ETAM at Inoperable (Vienna)
9. Bien Urbain Festival (Besancon, France)
10. Graffitimundo “Walls of Buenos Aires” at Newcastle Project Space
11. ESPO “A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures” at Joshua Liner (NYC)
12. TRXTR “Lucked Up” at Get Up Gallery (Vegas)
13. Group show “This Art is So Street” (Philadelphia)
14. “Public Display” at Agnes b. (NYC)
15. “100 Story House” with Leon Reid IV at JJ Byrne Park
16. RERO Image Not Available at Fabien Castanier in Studio City, CA
17. RONE at White Walls (SF)
18. Ben Frost at Shooting Gallery (SF)
Maya Hayuk at Cooper Cole (Toronto)
Street Artist, Fine Artist and Brooklyn resident Maya Hayuk has a solo show at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, Canada is now open to the general public. Ms. Hayuk paintings are saturated with color, catching the prism from the crystal and permuting it into a multitude of geometrically inspired patterns and shapes, realize on canvas and walls across the land. Crisply precise, or improvised and free wheeling, Hayuk let’s her mind and her palette run with enthusiasm for the raw creative spirit.
For further information regarding this show click here.
To read our preview and for more images click here.
Judith Supine at Jonathan Levine Saturday (Manhattan)
Judith takes over the project room at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Manhattan for a triple header with Audrey Kawasaki and Jeff Soto sharing the bill. Get there early because the line will be long so you can see them all and appreciate this opportunity to see why Judith Supine is “Too Much for One Man”.
For further information regarding this show click here.
To read our interview and studio visit with JS as he prepared for this show click here.
Swoon Opens Pearly’s Beauty Shop Sat (Long Island City, Queens)
Nails done by a painter? Hair diorama by a sculptor? Makeup by a conceptual artist? When was the last time that at the SPA you got pampered by a bevy of talented, happy, fun, funny and not shy fine artists? Never?
A fundraiser for the Braddock project, Street Artist and fine artist Swoon has dreamed a perfect SPA party for you, inviting and recruiting many of her close artists friends to make you feel special and to look glorious. “DJ’s Roofeeo, Dirtyfinger, Manhate, and 3 Kings International Sound will make your body move and your fresh coat of glam shine while you explore indoor and outdoor dance parties, music, installations and performances by Lady Circus’ Anya Sapozhnikova, Marshall LaCount, Shenandoah Davis, Audra Pace, and Yea, Well, Whatever all situated in a stunning visual landscape.” This Saturday pick your outfit and be prepared to have the experience of a lifetime.
For further information regarding this event click here.
Brooklyn Busts Open Studio Doors for “GO” Courtesy Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum continues to plug into community and show love for the blossomed artists neighborhoods that are transforming Brooklyn into the true creative powerhouse rivaling Manhattan, which is looking so “last century” across the river. BAM is a loved museum that regularly gets “it” by bringing community in, thanks to the efforts of many, including the talented curatorial team headed by Sharon Matt Atkins who opens the conversation and knows how to listen to the beat on the street and make a huge institution relevant to a new generation.
This time Ms. Atkins and the museum’s Chief of Technology, Shelley Bernstein are taking inspiration from the thousands of artists who work and live in Brooklyn, creating the largest open studios event we’ve heard of in DUMBO, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Gowanus, and Red Hook this weekend. You can vote for your favorites by nominating three artists for inclusion in an exhibition at the museum. The museum’s curators then will visit the ten artists who received the most nominations and they will select two or more artists to have their work shown at the Brooklyn Museum for and Exhibition opening on December 1.
1735 artists have responded to this call. How many can you visit? You have this Saturday and Sunday to GO AND SEE ART.
For further information regarding this project click here.
“Epilogue” at Hold Up (LA)
“Epilogue” is a trio exhibition opening this Saturday in Los Angeles at Hold Up Art Gallery with Street Artists Eddie Colla, Hugh Leeman and V Young D have combining talents to explore themes of their vision of a coming collapse of society. Fun times!
For further information regarding this show click here.
To read our preview for this show and to see a video click here.
Also happening this weekend:
The Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA is hosting Carlos Mare, Rae Martini, Remi/Rough, Sixeart in a group show titled “Disambiguation” opening tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.
ETAM, the Polish duo open a new show, “Mind Trip” at Inoperable Gallery in Vienna, Austria is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.
BIEN URBAIN the Art Festival being held in Besançon, France has begun and it will continue until early October. With a great inclusion of Street Art in its abundant program this year they invited Mark jENKINs et sandra FERNANDEz (USA), hYURO (Argentine), MOMO (USA), ElTONO (France), EsCIF (Espagne), sAM3 (Espagne), Agostino IACURCI (Italie), Guillaume BERTRAND (France), pascal RUEFF (France), Graffiti Research lab (France), pascal RUEFF (France), jIEM (France), Caroline AMOROs & Co (France) to paint murals. Click here for more details on this festival.
The walls of Buenos Aires have moved to London with Graffitimundo show “The Talking Walls of Buenos Aires”. Interested to hear what they have to say? Head over to the Newcastle Project Space and put your ear to the walls and your eyes on the art. This show is now open. Click here for more details.
“A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures” is the title of the new show by Stephen Powers AKA ESPO now open at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.
TRXTR is in Vegas, with a new show titled “Lucked Up” at the Get Up Gallery. Now open, click here for more details on this show.
Curly’s curatorial debut takes place in Philadelphia with a group show titled “This Art is So Street” opening tonight at the Stupid Easy Gallery. With the inclusion of a certain Mr. Brainwash is in the line up of artists with talent and skills, Curly might be sending a secret message. Let us know if you decode it. The artists are: LNY, NoseGo, Don Pablo Pedro, Darkclouds, The Yok and Sheryo. Click here for more details .
The fashion label and store(s) Agnès b is on “Public Display” with a group show curated by ASVP opening Saturday at their store on Howard Street in Manhattan. The participating artists include: D*Face (London, UK), Faile (Brooklyn), Gaia (Baltimore), Hellbent (Brooklyn), Invader (Paris, FR), Miss Bugs (Bristol, UK), ND’A (Brooklyn), QRST (Brooklyn), and ASVP (New York). Click here for more details on this show.
Artists Leon Reid IV and Julia Marchesi‘s new public art project “100 Story House” will be open to the public on Saturday at the JJ Byrne Park, 5th Avenue btwn 3rd & 4th St. Park Slope, Brooklyn. Bring Books if you go! Click here for more details on this exhibition.
French artists RERO is a wordsmith with an extensive experience as a graffiti artist. His new solo show titled “RERO: Image Not Available” opens on Saturday at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Studio City, CA. Click here for more details on this show.
Australian Street Artist RONE new show “Darkest Before The Dawn” at the White Walls Gallery in San Francisco opens on Saturday. Click here for more details on this show.
Ben Frost is in San Francisco at the Shooting Gallery with his new show “See Inside the Box for Details“. Click here for more details on this show.
Carmichael Gallery is pleased to present Disambiguation, a group exhibition featuring new works by Carlos Mare, Rae Martini, Remi/Rough and Sixeart. The exhibition will be on view in the Los Angeles gallery space from September 8 to October 6, 2012, with an opening reception on September 8 from 6-9pm.
The spirit of the street, the communities that are created and gathered therein, and the subsequent movements that are formed and fostered have assisted in setting the foundations for the work of the artists presented in Disambiguation. Years of experience sharing their vision in a public forum combined with daring experimentation in form and material has resulted in four exciting contemporary abstract interpretations of the traditional graffiti form.
New Yorker Carlos Mare captures the moving human form in both two and three-dimensional form. By applying his study of Modernist and Futurist masters Marcel Duchamp, Wilfredo Lam and Kazimir Malevich to his observations of the gestures and attitude of b-boy veterans such as Ken Swift, Mare has honed a practice that translates the patterns, rhythms and beats of dance and modernism into sculpture and drawing.
Italian painter Rae Martini is equally inspired by Futurism and its obsession with the machine. His formative past as a young graffiti artist translates into abstract works that emulate the grit and texture of the streets, often using fire and dirt to create the desired effect. The dual presence of intricately patterned layers and pure minimalism is achieved by a persistent process of adding to and substracting from the initial image, creating a surface reminiscent of a storied urban wall.
Attention to the formal elements of fine art, in particular that of Minimalism, is central to the work of Remi/Rough. His color palette is selected through deceptively simple arrangements of lines and angles that bring a variety of hues into unexpected encounters with each other. By working on canvas and sculpture, he transports the movement and style of train writing into the gallery space.
Sixeart’s mixture of psychedelic abstraction and comic book-inspired figuration has become an essential element of the urban fabric in his hometown of Barcelona. His work has a childlike innocence combined with an almost hallucinogenic sense of second sight. “Sinister tragicomedy with notes of psychopathology and touches of acid” is one definition the artist himself has offered of his unique style. “My own universe of characters comes from a happy childhood and a close contact with mother nature,” he explains. The dreamlike quality of his work shows an affinity with Surrealist artists such as Joan Miró, another native of Barcelona. About the artists:
Carlos Mare was born in New York, NY in 1965. He was a notable member of the golden age of subway graffiti in the 1970s and 1980s, painting under the moniker “Mare”, an abbreviation for “Nightmare”. He wrote alongside many of the style masters of his generation, among them Kel First, Dondi White, Crash, Kase2 and Noc167. This experience, along with his interest in modernizing the graffiti art form, has led him to reinterpret the concepts and aesthetics of style writing. Recent exhibitions include Martha Cooper: Remix, a group exhibition at Carmichael Gallery in 2011, Art Is Study: 36 Years of Process and Practice at Pratt Gallery, New York City and Physical Graffiti: Art of the B-boy Dance at Skalitzers Contemporary Art, Berlin, both in 2012. Mare has also designed several awards, including the B-Boy SPY Award for the Rock Steady Crew, the 2005 and 2007 Red Beat Battle Awards, and the award for the annual BET/Black Entertainment Awards show.
Mare currently lives and works in New York.
Rae Martini was born in Milan in 1976. His first sketches at the age of 12 led to a career in street and train bombing that began in the late 80s and has lasted a dozen years. The development of both his graffiti and fine art is documented in 24 Carat Dirt, a 208 page hardcover book edited by Damiani and accompanied by a short film. The project was sponsored by clothing and lifestyle brand WeSC. Martini exhibited at the 54 Venice Biennale International Art Show Special Project, Pavilion Italy – Lombardia, Palazzo della Regione, Milan, Italy and participated with the Graffuturism group for In Situ during Art Basel Miami Beach, 2011. Additional exhibitions have taken place at the Don Gallery, Milan, the Unruly Gallery, Amsterdam (2012), Castel Nuovo – Fondazione Valenzi, Naples (2010), Museum Recoleta, Buenos Aires (2008), Santa Maria della Scala Museum, Siena (2008), MAC – Contemporary Art Museum of San Paolo (2008) and PAC Museum – Contemporary Art Pavilion, Milan (2007).
Martini currently lives and works in Milan. Remi/Rough
Remi Morgan, alias Remi/Rough, was born in South London in 1971. Since his debut art show in 1989, he has gone on to exhibit in London, Paris, Perth, Tokyo, Santander, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Berlin, Ibiza and more. Remi is a founding member of artist collective Agents of Change and took part in their award-winning Ghost Village Project in 2009. His work has appeared in the books Graffiti World, Abstract Graffiti and Untitled III. In 2008, Remi was invited to speak on the history of UK graffiti in front of a sell-out auditorium at the Tate Modern as part of the museum’s street art exhibition. The following year saw the publication of his first monograph, Lost Colours and Alibis, which he followed up with How to use colour & manipulate people in 2012.
Remi/Rough currently lives and works in London.
Sergio Hidalgo, alias Sixeart, was born in Barcelona in 1975. Having painted from an early age, he has developed a highly personal visual language that comprises a host of recurring figures and animals. In addition to making sculpture, screen prints and works on canvas, he has collaborated with fashion designers to create clothing based on his distinctive style. In 2008, Sixeart was commissioned by the Tate Modern in London to paint a mural on the building’s iconic river façade alongside fellow artists Os Gemeos, Faile, Blu, Nunca, and JR. This was the first major public museum display of street art in London. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Alice Gallery, Brussels and N2 Galeria, Barcelona.