All posts tagged: Joe Black

BSA Film Friday 06.28.13


Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening: “Faces of Bowie” Show at Opera London, Revolutionary Egyptian Street Art, Leandro Erlich’s House in London, and FAITH47 at Memorie Urbane.

BSA Special Feature:
Faces of Bowie

Whether it’s zombies, punk, The Rolling Stones, or Martin Scorcese, pop-culture theme shows have been gaining popularity of late. Right now the Opera Gallery location in London is featuring a show that pays homage to David Bowie with portraits by a number of Street Artists among others.  It also happens to tie in neatly to a larger retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum entitled “David Bowie Is”.

Curated by gallery director Jean-David Malat, the show includes works by Lita Cabellut, David Mach, Joe Black, C215, The London Police, Mac1, Jimmy C, Kid Zoom, Mr. Brainwash, Kan (Da Mental Vaporz), Juan Barletta, Hisham Echafaki, Jef Aérosol, D*Face, Marco Lodola, André Monet, Nick Gentry, Zoobs, Eduardo Guelfenbein, Paul Alexis, Jean-Paul Donadini, and Richard Young.

Images above of works by The London Police, Jef Aerosol, and D*Face at “The Faces of Bowie” © Opera Gallery

Egyptian Street Art – More Than Aesthetics

“It’s not possible to have a revolution without art”, says SIKO, an Egyptian Street Artist in this video that gives a sense of the power that art in the streets can have for transforming a dialogue.  While we do not know the origins of the makers of this video and are somewhat unfamiliar with the politics involved, it nonetheless conveys what we have always known about graffiti and Street Art – it is a reflection of society back to itself. With the advocacy of opinions and viewpoints sprayed and wheatpasted across the public sphere, it can be a catalyst for change and at the very least, a vehicle for speech.

Living on the Ceiling – A House by Leandro Erlich in London

An installation by the Argentine artist, this new house is on the street – flatly. Passersby are encouraged to scale the walls and contemplate perceptions about reality, and gravity.

FAITH47 at the Memorie Urbane Street Art Festival

Produced by Blind Eye Factory, this short video watches Faith 47 as she creates her piece for the Italian festival this spring.

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Opera Gallery Presents: The Many Faces of David Bowie. A Group Exhbition (London, UK)

Opera Gallery

The many faces of David Bowie

Parallel to the major exhibition “David Bowie is” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Opera Gallery London will unveil a collection of David Bowie-inspired art for their summer exhibition. The highly anticipated group show will offer a contemporary vision of ‘Bowie Mania’ with one-off masterpieces including tributes from some of today’s leading contemporary and street artists, including; Mr. Brainwash, Joe Black, Eduardo Guelfenbein, Nick Gentry, Marco Lodola and The London Police.

The Many Faces of Bowie will pay homage to the iconic rock star with artwork featuring a delicious juxtaposition of styles showcasing each artist’s unique interpretation of David Bowie’s unprecedented influence and inspiration on their lives.

Full List of Artists Participating Include: Lita Cabellut, David Mach, Joe Black, C215, The London Police, Mac1, Jimmy C, Nick Walker, Kid Zoom, Mr. Brainwash, Kan (Da Mental Vaporz), Juan Barletta, Hisham Echafaki, Jef Aerosol, DFace, Marco Lodola, André Monet, Nick Gentry, Zoobs, Eduardo Guelfenbein, Paul Alexis, Jean-Paul Donadini, Richard Young.

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“Mutate Britain” installs “One Foot in the Grove”


The British have such a funny sense of humor – or HUMOUR, that they call this new mega-street-art-show opening in London called  “One Foot in the Grove”.

Or Hpfumourre, in King Oxibald English.

The New Mutate Britain Exhibition One Foot In The Grove Is Launched
Artist ‘Matty Small’ puts on the finishing touches yesterday. (photo Oli Scarff)

The “One Foot in the Grove” exhibition of street art by ‘Mutate Britain’ – I think this is the second year – is getting underway Friday, and preparations have begun IN EARNEST.

The New Mutate Britain Exhibition One Foot In The Grove Is Launched
The K-Guy working on a stencil (photo Oli Scarff)

The exhibition features: sculptures, paintings, stencils and graffiti from some of the world’s most well-known street artists, and Bortusk Leer. (kidding!)

The New Mutate Britain Exhibition One Foot In The Grove Is Launched
SickBoy did a loverly re-facing of this trailer. Which reminds me – I better buy  plane tickets home for Thanksgiving before the prices go up! (photo Oli Scarff)

Situated on the edge of a public transport line, the event hopes to draw over 20,000 visitors and is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from October 9, 2009 till October 25, 2009.

The New Mutate Britain Exhibition One Foot In The Grove Is Launched
A giant floral skull hovers over these 2 unsuspecting lads sitting on …. Suburu seats? (artist:Part 2-ism)  (photo Oli Scarff)

Who’s in this show, you ask?
Read them and weep. (Well you won’t weep, just being dramatic.)

Mutate Britain says there are over 12,000 square feet of street art, sculpture and installations featuring: Joe Rush , Obey , Alex Wreckage , Fark FK , Dotmasters , Pete Dunne , Zeus , Snub , Cyclops , Sweet Toof , Best Ever , Part2ism , The Krah , Nick Walker , Teddy Baden , Dr D ,Bleech , zadok , Giles Walker , Remi Rough , Bortusk Leer , Blam , Pure Evil , Milo , Andy Seize , Carrie Reichardt , Milk , Dora , Dep , Alex Fasko , Stickboy , Mr Insa , Mac1 , Miss Buggs , Strappa , Josephine , Mr Wim , Swarm , Misecellany , Joe Black , Auction Saboteur , Busk , Bonsai , Rabodiga , Probs.

photographer Oli Scarff’s site

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Miss Bugs Mugs the Masters (and the Flickr-ites) for Fun

Street Artist Dives Shallowly for Inspiration

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 Fairey sliced across Kate's breast (Miss Bugs) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
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)
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.

Hometown heros Faile may have lifted their
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 (photo Jaime Rojo)

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.

Miss Bugs (photo Jaime Rojo)
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.

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Images of the Week 04.05.09

Images of the Week 04.05.09

All tapped out (Aakash Nihalani and ?) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Skewville leads the way (Skewville) (photo Jaime Rojo)
And where was this one taken? (Skewville) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Pistolero (photo Jaime Rojo)Erika and the 4 handed Pistolero (The Dude Company, Pistolero) (photo Jaime Rojo)

That Dali is always trying to get your attention (Joe Black) (photo Jaime Rojo)
That Dali is always trying hog the camera (Joe Black) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Col from Robots Will Kill (photo Jaime Rojo)
Col from Robots Will Kill (photo Jaime Rojo)

Yo, son, she is Tree Chic! (photo Jaime Rojo)
OMG, she is Tree Chic! (photo Jaime Rojo)

Miss Bugs (photo Jaime Rojo)
The Ears Just Scream Mickey (Miss Bugs) (photo Jaime Rojo)

Bishop 203
I love me some good down-home old-timey organ music! (Imminent Disaster, Bishop 203) (photo Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Bugs and Joe Black at Brooklynite Tonite

Miss Bugs and Joe Black at Brooklynite Tonite

They’re calling it “2 Many Artists”, as if there were such a thing.

While the Queen is back home poking tentatively at her new iPod wheelie, Miss Bugs and Joe Black crossed the ocean to come here and mash up the cultural icons and clip art and whatever else is handy on the Kings Highway.ssbugs

And to round out the Royal Family references, it’s Prince Paul on the wheels of deal.

That will be all.

Brooklynite Gallery

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Miss Bugs and Joe Black at Brooklynite Gallery


“2 MANY ARTISTS” APRIL 4 – MAY 2, 2009

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 4th from 7:00-9:00pm, with special guest legendary hip-hop producer PRINCE PAUL spinning on the wheels of steel.

Miss Bugs and Joe Black‘s work is a public summit on the infallibility of comic books, fairy tales, and emerging artists – a cut to the core of blue chip art and born-into pop culture.  We, Brooklynite Gallery, give you “2 Many Artists”: Cut it up how you want – that’s what they do, paying tribute to legions of artists. British collaborators Miss Bugs and Joe Black lead a grim but loving procession through hives of art world iconography.

For Miss Bugs“2 Many Artists” celebrates their role as middlemen, spinning toward answers in the marketplace where art titans and street artists remake each other.  Who owns art and why do people make it? With a warped sexiness, their work is fantastical and tangible as a bloody nose. Miss Bugs is an image-maker using collage and layering silk screens with other found materials to generate stories.  Often the work is not about Miss Bugs, but the images themselves, displaced from their usual habitat.

Joe Black wields Lego’s like arrows — which is funny because they end up facing everyone head on.  His technique of assembling photorealistic images from found objects is extremely advanced. The scarily precise formal elements are mirrored content-wise.  His specific icons and way of depicting them highlight a sinister piece of pop culture and the art world that, through infinite generations, will not leave.

Brooklynite Gallery is located at 334 Malcolm X Blvd. (between Decatur & Bainbridge Streets) Brooklyn, NY 11233, just two blocks from the Utica Ave. subway stop on the A or C subway lines, in Stuyvesant Heights.  Gallery hours are Thursday – Saturday 1:00pm -7:00pm or by appointment.   For all press inquiries and info about the artists contact Hope McGrath at 347-405-5976 or

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