The streets are alive with street art and pointed political protest. NYC citizens are joining the cities and communities across the country who are demonstrating furiously over the newest examples of systemic, latent, and explicit racism and police brutality that have characterized our society for so long. Of course it’s just one fire that has been waiting to spark as economic conditions run parallel with social inequity. In the face of sky-high unemployment, unpaid rents, increasing food insecurity, a “rescue” program that gave the store to the rich, and the ever-growing gap between hyper-rich and the chronically poor/ newly poor, the summer here looks like it could be torrid.
We won’t need or see a large number of street art festivals for a while. This show of politically/socially inspired artworks and text messages is probably just warming up on the streets and you can imagine that artists won’t find it appealing to be sitting on panels and pontificating about the genesis of mark-making, the original roots of punk anarchy, or how they are incorporating being woke or inter-sectionalism into their “street practice”. The creative class, however you define it, has suffered a huge blow and many are out of work, and patience. Based on what we have been witnessing here these past few weeks, you may predict that the more aesthetically inclined will seize the opportunity to make art for the city, on the city.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billy Barnacles, Combo-CK, Denis Ouch, Indecline, Jason Naylor, Lunge Box, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, and Woof Original.
1. “Anti-Social Networking” Show by Skewville at Black Book (Denver)
2. Oh MOMO You Didn’t! That’s right. (Philadelphia)
3. Street Art Tribute to Steve Jobs on Bond Street in Manhattan (VIDEO)
4. Swoon and Olek on the TV Machine (VIDEO)
5. Cape Town Crushes Rochester, New York (VIDEO)
6. Formaje In Romania (VIDEO)
7. HOPE and Craola in Connecticut (VIDEO)
8. Anthony Lister Plays with Fire (VIDEO)
“Anti-Social Networking” Show by Skewville at Black Book (Denver)
You’ve been Skewvilled again, this time with a number of their “friends, including BAST. The constellation of connections you can make will be revelatory. Like.
For more information about this show please click on the link below:
The post-graffiti abstract Street Artist MOMO is in Philadelphia for a small group show with Amber Dubois and Steven Riddle opening today at the Space 1026 Gallery. It’s an opportunity to see three painters exploring traditional issues of abstraction. Through their use of color, shape and form – each in their own distinct but related mediums of painting, collage and sculpture respectively. Check it.
Street Art Tribute to Steve Jobs on Bond Street in Manhattan
A poorly shot little video of this lenticular tribute to Steve Jobs, but you get the idea. Yesterday there were many tributes to the founder of Apple in front of the Apple stores in Manhattan, as many people were clearly affected by the creative genius of the guy over the last 3 decades. Our thoughts go to his family and friends.
Swoon and Olek on the TV Machine
PBS ARTS has a new short film with two female Street Artists SWOON and OLEK for their series “Off Book”. Watch it below- sorry about the commercial at the start of the video.
Cape Town Crushes Rochester, New York
This summer in July a group of four artists from Cape Town, South Africa traveled to Rochester, New York to collaborate on a series of murals with local artists. Watch Faith47, Make1one, Dal, and Freddy Sam at work. This privately funded project was sponsored by the Synthesis Collaborative, a non-profit based in Rochester.
Formaje In Romania
Here is a teaser for their upcoming show Cosmonotrips. Short but fun!
HOPE and Craola in Connecticut
The Beast Brothers presents HOPE X CRAOLA getting work done in New Haven, CT. Video by Carlos East.
Anthony Lister Plays with Fire
Anthony Lister talks to Frank 151 in West Hollywood, CA. while playing with fire. See our interview with Mr. Lister posted last week after you watch the video, if you like.
Nothing will stir up the ire of artists and their fans than another artist’s appropriation of style or technique. It’s considered “lame”.
And nothing will produce audible cries from artists, art historians, collectors, publishers, fans, and armchair lawyers about copyright infringement and utter lack of creativity than when wholesale appropriation is at hand. Of course sometimes it doesn’t hurt your market value to roil them all at once. Miss Bugs has “the touch” right now.
You’ll remember the Joe Black and Miss Bugs show at Brooklynite this spring, where Ms. Bugs opened the eyes of many with wide swipes of fairly newly minted pop imagery into the poppy pieces.
Obama by Fairey sliced across Kate’s breast (Miss Bugs) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
In promoting the show the term “2 Many Artists” was bandied about as a reference to the snip and clip musical mashup/bootleg pioneers of 2 Many DJ’s, who would be analogous to another hairy white guy named GirlTalk today.
A Mondrianic grid of transparency (Miss Bugs) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
This month a very large street art piece in Brighton, England by Miss Bugs has enlivened the debate about any number of things, including copyright issues, right down to the amount of imagination of the artist may possess.
Miss Bugs in Brighton
What seems to have gotten street art fans in a froth is that Miss Bugs is not using old campy print advertisements or bits of classic paintings as reference; rather, it is that the work is using very recent and pretty well-known pieces of STREET ART in the STREET ART.
In fact, barring Mr. Brainwash (MBW), Miss Bugs may be the first to appropriate images so historically quickly, so frequently, and so enormously.
Miss Bugs in a big way.
But then, that’s exactly what entertains others, “to me Miss Bugs is not so much appropriating, but b**ching up modern art, Hirst, Daffy Duck, Fairey, King Kong, Munch, Koons, DFace, Banksy whatever – it’s graffitin’ graffiti, vandalising vandalism…,” says a poster on a well regarded online forum.
Brooklyn hometown heroes Faile may have lifted their images from lesser-known sources, and thus the images quickly became associated with them and “owned” by Faile in the minds of fans (photo Jaime Rojo)
Miss Bugs doesn’t so much adapt the original Faile image as adopt it wholesale.
This calls into question the creativity of the artist in the minds of some. In fact, you may hear cries of “Emperor’s New Clothes” more often than during an Orange Alert in the “War-On-Terror” Bush years.
A dab o’ O’ for your mural? (Miss Bugs)
And then there’s the Holy Grail of Modern Street Art Imagery. Shep Fairey takes his hits, most of them because of his public stature, but chopping up an Obama “Hope” image and splaying it across the wall as a collaging effect makes the Fairey Faithful pale and weak from disbelief.
In the heart of Brooklyn street art circa 2008 (photo Jaime Rojo)
On this side of the pond we have some troubles this summer with what street parlance calls “Haterz” – those folks who are looking to shred the first year president at every turn, most likely because of our sad history of racism. To the supporters of Obama, seeing this iconic street art image so quickly mutilated only adds to the sting of the horrible epithets that are hurled from the neanderthals.
Oh, let’s see. There’s Picasso, Warhol, and Haring and I haven’t left her chest. What about the Munchy Mickey Mouse ears? Now those could get you in trouble. And the Rakkoon eyes? (Miss Bugs) (photo Jaime Rojo)
But let’s not all get our wheat-pastes in a wad.
Either you support free expression or you don’t, and frankly, this mixing of High with Low, Touchstones with The Banal, has been a fabulous feature of “the modern” now since Pop became Popular. Perhaps this willful free-association appropriation is simply a harbinger of what’s to come – or what is already happening elsewhere. Every piece of recorded history is now reduced to 1’s and 0’s and used as easily as paint from the tube.
Rae McGrath, owner of Brooklynite, speaking in reference to Miss Bug’s techniques, says, “I think they are remixing things to make them their own, but because the images they are using are current they get more scrutiny. (It’s an) Interesting debate that you can obvious take the side you feel strongly about.”
Miss Bugs continues to work.
Or maybe it’s not about the art at all. As one collector remarked to another on a forum online recently, “People do get testy once the (Miss Bugs) prints are market price, don’t they, Bob?”
Take a look at the GirlTalk video below and tell us about all the cultural “Sacred Cows” you’re going to defend and preserve.