We’re pleased today to bring new works from David Walker in studio as he prepares for his first US solo show at Black Book Gallery in Denver, “Shake Your Skin Loose”. A departure from his style that many have seen in murals in many cities, these new works are less literal, more impressionist; a product of his own “shaking loose” of expectations for his work.
The works on paper particularly remind us of the public spots where paper advertisements are posted – getting damaged by time and weather, ripped off time and again to make way for new ones, revealing traces of the old. With heavy paint overlaid with irony and personal phrases, they’re are more raw than we are used to seeing the controlled and thoughtful Walker, making way for emotion and imprecision.
“In the age of social media where the treatment of others is inhuman at times and the currency is judgement: Like/Dislike, Left/Right, Us/Them, Pretty/Ugly – All done in a millisecond,” says Walker en route to the new works. “I feel like portraiture and painting or ‘slow media’ is becoming more vital. A good painting can elevate its subject, command inspection, ask questions of the viewer.”
“Whether sitting completely still or sleeping we are internally pulsating as our physiological systems constantly work to keep us functioning,” says the gallery text accompanying the show. “Our nervous system crackles with electricity, blood vessels expand and contract from head to toe in perfect harmony while our mind swirls with contemplation”
Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.
The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Redshow that evening.”
The veils that separate our intellectual distinctions of art practice and theory are so quickly and easily pierced when viewing creative expression as lying upon a continuum. Somewhere between free improvisational, unauthorized, radical self expression (mark-making, graffiti, perhaps) and juried, approved, charted public art (institutional murals, perhaps) lie a thousand shadings of aesthetic expression – and myriad degrees of relationships between artist and passersby.
Today we look at a commissioned public work by mural artist Karl Addison, who has previously engaged in less structured, free will art-making in the public.This kind of painting takes planning (over a year) and a number of people in Denver to approve it (20 or so panelists) before he could make his first mark.
Concept, budget, timelines, sketches – each element carefully considered with input from office holders and planners, a public project on a federal light rail station with permission is anathema to the approach of taggers and bombers of trains. Which is not to say that all bombers are antagonistic of public taste or wishes.
Additionally, unlike many but not all Street Art festivals which simply plop down artists on empty walls without a proviso to even educate themselves about the community they are visiting, Addison says a main consideration was whether the community likes or approves of the work they would be left to live with. “I love working with local communities and the people that inhabit those places – they are the ones that take the ownership and passion for their public artwork to the next level.”
So here are new work-in-progress images from photographer Henrik Haven of Addison’s station, one of 8 new Federal RTD Stations along 11 miles of new track in Denver that will open this October. Addison says the forms of giants and small people are meant as placeholders, everyday archetypes if you will. His particular interest is color theory and the effect his careful washes and blends will have on train travelers.
“The giants are overlaid on a smooth gradient of color blending from a rich warmer purple, to soft creams and ice blues, to a deep rich purple into blue,” he says. “The color transition goes into green and lighter subsection exceeding to the far left along an Ashlar Stone facade.”
In the most integrated consideration, he hopes that his work is soothing, and he painstakingly created each effect to ensure it. “Each cinder block is painted one by one with the same color blends as the gradient – a map of larger color blocks so the viewer can start to translate the 90 colors used.”
Brooklyn artist and designer Scott Albrecht usually works with collage or wood for his fine art of geometric patterning that hearken an arts and craft modernism of the 1970s. Now he has just completed a mural in Denver reprising his smaller works at a much larger scale – with a little help from the family.
“My favorite part of the whole project,” says Hyland Mather, director of Andenken Gallery, “he had quite a bit of help from his extended family in the area. His uncle Dicky and his cousin Kimmy came out and painted with us for a whole day, so rad.”
If you look at the middle band of Albrecht’s new mural you may be able to see the word “Here”. The mural is part of a run-up to a graffiti and Street Art event in Denver this September called Colorado Crush.
The “Beautiful Times” tour by Amanda Marie and X-0 has brought them back to Denver Colorado where it began. We shared with you images and a semi-travelogue for their earlier installations along this summer tour in Denver and Philadelphia. In this final installment of their easy-going art-making project we find them in Brooklyn and the upstate small town of Beacon, New York, where many New Yorkers went to settle in the 2000s, creating a kinship that continues to today.
An now a quick look at their respective public works in Brooklyn, most of it in the DUMBO neighborhood. “We got our paint for this leg of the journey at a place called Park Delicatessen,” X-O says as he lists the items on offer there – and would you care to guess which ones he likes most? “Here is what they sold there…skateboards, flowers, spray paint, and smart sexy porn zines,” he relates. “Are you freaking joking? This is the most perfect shop ever.”
Heading north up the Hudson River, the two found that, “After being fully infatuated with the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn, it was an unseen and uber appreciated change of pace to have our next stop in Beacon,” says X-0.
They liked to small town sophisticated vibe and couldn’t believe how nice the people were. “Amanda painted an amazing ‘campground’ scene alongside the Beacon Natural Market,” he says, and he made a new ‘lost object piece’ in the same spot that a Ron English piece had run on for a while. “I also made one small #emogarden called ‘real sweet noise’ while waiting for Mando to get done with her big wall.”
Going back to Colorado after being pretty much city struck for the last few weeks was a welcome return.
“Immediately I escaped to the Rocky Mountains and made some ‘string stretches’ in the woods. One of the most successful was a gravity piece I’ve called ‘Gravity Log 1’. I left the cotton twine…Is that littering? Hmmm.”
Amanda Marie and X-O have begun a road trip across the US – a summer spraycation for two artists who approach public space from different perspectives yet are complimentary somehow. It is not completely unheard of to trek across country painting – just ask any number of freight riders. It is probably kind of rare to name the campaign like and raise money for charity.
So, “Beautiful Times” is underway in Denver, and they already had a small venue change. Amanda Marie found a wall in nearby Greeley, and she began what X-O described as “quickly smashing a wall with one of her dreamy dream scopes.” While she was busy doing that, X-O was scoping for random wood to build his piece, or what he calls doing “recon”.
“I was busy doing recon to collect the wood and other random materials necessary for building my ‘Lost Object’ piece in the garden of Futuristic Films in Denver. Whilst grabbing my coffee at the local caffeine haven, Crema Coffee, owner Noah Price offered a tour of a space across the street where they are starting a large bar and food truck renovation… looks amazing… and had pretty much everything X-O might ever dream of for materials … recon successful,” he reports.
So here you can see Amanda at work on her dreamy dream scope and X-O on his “Lost Object” piece. Looks like beautiful times indeed.
“Beautiful Times” is a collaborative project between artists Amanda Marie and X-O. Their goal is to raise awareness about the world we live in and to protect our children and wild flowers. To learn more about “Beautiful Times” Click HERE. To donate HERE.
BOS, Bushwick Collective, Juicy Fest, RedHook Studio Tours, Northside Festival, Welling Court… BK and QNS are bombed with artists in June – and today’s throwdown in Bushwick is just one tab on the 12-pack to pop and spray all over your friends on a hot summer day. When it comes to street art we’re in this new legal mural phase right now and when you head out to Bushwick Open Studios today you will see freshly painted and in-process walls. Don’t worry, we’re still seeing a lot of uncensored freewheeling self-selecting artistic installations of the unsanctioned variety – and that sector is alive and well. See you out in the street!
Here our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring
Adam Fujita, BustArt, Cb23, Chris Dyer, Dain, Dasic, Don Rimx, Ethos, FoxxFace, Jerk Face, Labrona, Meca, Meer Sau, Milo, Muro, Osch, Princess Hijab, QRST, Ricardo Cabret and Son, Sem, Skewville, Stinkfish, Stovington 23, Txemy, Vexta, Zaira
If you are lucky enough to be in NYC this Sunday, get out of the house and head over to East Williamsburg and Bushwick. You’d have the chance to see many of these murals in person and perhaps and artist or two while applying the final touches to his or her wall. Click HERE for more info on The Bushwick Collective block party taking place today. And HERE for the Juicy Art Fest which is not happening until June 5, 6 and 7 but artists are currently busy at work on their murals and it is only a short walk between the two.
Friday, June 7th, 2013
Free & Open to the public
June 2013 marks our 3rd Anniversary!
Summer has arrived in Colorado and with it comes beautiful blue skies, long nights and the return of Borf. One of America’s most infamous and ingenious young artists; Borf is a part of all of us whether we like it or not. Borf represents for the rebellious and mischievous nature inherent in everyone yet expressed by few. Rarely will you find somebody with the ability to communicate in a visual context a message inside a message as effortlessly as Borf does.
In his solo show “They Made A Desert And Called It Peace” Borf will be exhibiting pieces from his critically lauded “Rothko’s Modern Life” series, as well as a new series of jokes painted on salvaged wood panels imported from Detroit. Both parts of the show reveal the artist’s wry humor as he grapples with some existential and societal qualms.
Phoenix muralist JB Snyder is known locally for his color-rich abstract grids on sides or facades, as well as canvasses, often compared to stained glass. So it was a holy moment when he stopped by to see Jetsonorama with a few cans of aerosol to participate in his “Painted Desert” project.
“JB was stoked to learn about the project and asked to come up to leave some love on the rez,” says Jetsonorama. He liked it so much he’s planning to do two more. Coming up this fall will be New Yorker Chris Stain stopping by to do some work as the project winds down. In the next week or two, there may be another big name BSA readers are familiar with. Guess who? We’ll be the first to let you know if it happens, damn straight!
Special thanks to photographer Emily Caldwell for these shots of JB Snyder at work.
This weekend is a perfect storm of shows that are opening on the East, West and points in between.
Up Close And Personal: RJ Curates Street Artists Into an Upper West Side Apartment (NYC)
In the intimacy of a private residence in the Manhattan suburbs of UWS, RJ Rushmore of Vandalog fame along with Keith Schweitzer and Mike Glatzer of newly minted M.A.N.Y. have mounted a fresh new open house show just off Broadway. An exquisitely curated show with marquee names and a few newbies the selection is solid in quality and unusual in it’s scale.
Troy Lovegates aka Other (image courtesy of the curators)
Participating artists include:
Aiko, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Don Leicht, Edible Genius, Elbowtoe, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jessica Angel, John Fekner, Know Hope, Logan Hicks, Mike Ballard, OverUnder, R. Robot, Radical, Retna, Skewville, Tristan Eaton, Troy Lovegates aka Other and White Cocoa.
Aiko’s cans are on proudly on display at the bachelor pad, and that’s not all (image courtesy of the curators)
Dates: May 12th– 15th, 2011
May 12th, 7 – 9pm
May 13th, 7 – 9pm
May 14th, noon – 9pm
May 15th, noon – 7pm
Note: Due to the limited exhibition space, people may be admitted in block times every half-hour.
Location: Apartment on the Upper West Side (217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, NY 10025) – Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues.
Cost for entrance: Free
Go to Hellbent and John Breiner Tonight in Brooklyn (NYC)
Mighty Tanka is presenting a show with two Brooklyn based artists: Hellbent and John Breiner.
Mr. Hellbent says of the show: “The best part of making a show like this is to finally see it up on the wall and the way that everything interacts. I have been thinking of these pieces as parts of a quilt, different fabrics being stitched together. The different colors, floral stencils, animals, and jaw bones melding together and playing off one another, even down to the different depths and sizes of panels, but until it was hung they were just pieces, not yet a whole. Its given me an opportunity to show the different elements that i am working with and how they have grown out of one another and to display all the different carvings and stencils patterns together, where on the street they are separated in different locations.”
To learn more about “Smiled Distress” at Mighty Tanaka tonight please click on the link below:
Matt Siren and My Plastic Heart present “Ghost in the Machine” (NYC)
25 spirits in the material world have made tributes to Street Artist Matt Siren’s Ghost Girl character for this show on the Lower East Side tonight. The custom toy show transforms the character that appears in doorways around New York, each putting its own unique spin on his character.
The show includes work from 64Colors, Royce Bannon, Steve Chanks, Chauskoskis, DarkCloud, Deeker, Gril One, J*RYU, Jester, Keely, Abe Lincoln Jr., Map-Map, Marka27, Brent Nolasco, Lou Pimentel, Reactorss, Marc Reusser, Todd Robertson, Robots Will Kill, Chris Ryniak, Matt Siren, Scott Tolleson, Julie West, Wheelbarrow, Wrona
Click on the link below to learn more about this show:
Brooklyn’s AD HOC has a New Puppy in Los Angeles (LA)
On the West Coast the dynamic duo and husband and wife Garrison and Allison Buxton have curated a group show “I have a dream, I have a nightmare: Friday the 13th” at The New Puppy Gallery opening this Friaday from 7:00 to 11:00 pm
Artists include: Alison Buxton, Beau Stanton, Bill Fick, Broken Crow, Bunnie Reiss, Chor Boogie, Chris Stain, CRASH, Dabs & Myla, Daryll Peirce, David Loewenstein, Don Leicht, Ezra Li Eismont, Garrison Buxton, Hellbent, Joe Iurato, John Breiner, John Carr, John Fekner, Jordan Seiler, Know Hope, Lady Pink, Michael De Feo, Mikal Hameed, Paul Booth, Peat Wollaeger, Ray Cross, Rex Dingler, ROA, Robert Steel, Sean Starwars, TheDirtyFabulous, & Thundercut.
WHERE:2808 Elm Street, Los Angeles, California 90065
English Kills Group Show Saturday, “The Mother Ship” (NYC)
Chris Harding, owner and ringmaster of the Bushwick Brooklyn-based space station English Kills brings out his strong stable of artists for this group show aptly titled “The Mother Ship” opening this Saturday at 7:00 pm. It’s not necessarily Street Art – but this is a hotbed of new ideas so it is always worth your trip.
Participating artists include:
Brent Owens, Andy Piedilato, Vilaykorn Sayaphet, Jim Herbert, David Pacheco, Hiroshi Shafer, Gyles Thompson, Sarah H. Paulson, Holly Faurot, Tescia Seufferlein, Peter Dobill, Steve Harding, Judith Supine, Lenny Reibstein, Andrew Ohanesian, Jason Peters, Don Pablo Pedro, Steven Thompson, Andrew Hurst and Rob Andrews.
English Kills is located at:
114 Forrest St. Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Specter is a “Repeat Offender” 5/14 at Pawn Works in Chicago (CHI)
Brooklyn based artist Gabriel Specter’s solo show “Repeat Offender” opens this Saturday at the Pawn Works Gallery.
Opening Reception Saturday, May 14, 2011/ 6-10pm
1050 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622
London Police in Denver, “Amsterydynasty”
In Denver Colorado Black Book Gallery brings back the glamour of the 80’s with The London Police and Handiedan in a show titled “Amsterydynasty”
666 Dollar Show
Opening Reception March 4th at 7pm
Artists will be in attendance
Open to the public
The March exhibition at Black Book Gallery is going to be a powerhouse display of three well-established, international street artists: OTTOGRAPH, GALO and 2501, all accomplished in their craft and all bringing their big style and influence to Denver.
Big style is not just a metaphor. Ottograph, Galo and 2501 all work large. 2501, for example, reads spacious surfaces like animate objects and then gives them the dignity of character they deserve with paint. Born in Milan as Jacopo Ceccarelli, the name 2501 marks a deliberate style shift and focus on blending wall painting, paint on canvas, sculpture and video. Circulating between Milan, Sao Paulo and Berlin, 2501s work is best recognized in massive, highly detailed mural paintings. They are pretty amazing and give new meaning to the term, urban renewal.
Ottograph, also a large-scale muralist, has been slinging paint since the age of ten. Starting out in Amsterdam, where he is from, and then moving on to become an internationally sought after artist, Ottograph has established himself squarely in the middle of the global street and graffiti art movement. Simultaneously though, Ottograph has bridged the fine art gap with his work, an advantage that comes with age and time dedicated to painting. The Modern Art Museum of Antwerpen (Belgium) is home to a giant Ottograph mural. Ottographs contribution to street art extends beyond his own work, as he is also a community leader, having organized several cooperative painting commissions and operating the website I Paint Everyday www.ipainteveryday.com to encourage the tedious, yet necessary practice of serious painting.
Hailing from the same underground culture in Amsterdam, street artist Galo, will be the third of the group showing at Black Book Gallery in March. Originally from Italy, Galo moved to Amsterdam in 1998 to start his career and fell into opportunity after opportunity to paint. This is where Galo developed the bulk of his artistic abilities and a network that would take him on a world-class tour of painting, spanning ten years and four continents. Galo now resides in Italy and has recently opened the first official street gallery in Turin, The Galo Art Gallery (Ottograph was commissioned to deck the interior out). Galos signature characters are recognizable by their bulbous eyes, long jaws and open-teeth smiles, most of the time intertwined into a tessallation-like graphic, spanning whatever surface it is that catches Galos attention. In part, he is known for his willingness to tag anything in sight.