All posts tagged: Martin Wong

“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

Last night the graffiti and early Street Art history from New York’s 1970s and 80s was celebrated by the City of New York – at least in its museum. Criminals and outlaws then, art stars and legends today, many of the aerosol actors and their documentarians were on display and discussed over white wine under warm, forgiving, indirect lighting.

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DAZE in the background sliced by a wall of cans at the opening of “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

“City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection” is an exhibition as well as a book released last fall written by Carlo McCormick and Sean Corcoran, with contributions by Lee Quinones, Sacha Jenkins and Christopher Daze Ellis, and all the aforementioned were in attendance. Also spotted were artists, photographers, curators, writers (both kinds), art dealers, historians, family, friends, peers and loyal fans – naturally most fell into a few of these categories at the same time.

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“The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York welcome text with pieces by Futura 2000 and Zephyr to the right. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

“City as Canvas” is possible thanks to the foresight, eye, and wallet of collector Martin Wong, an openly gay Chinese-American artist transplanted to New York from San Francisco, which is remarkable not only because of the rampant homophobia and near hysterical AIDS phobia at the time he was collecting but because the graffiti / Street Art scene even today throws the term “fag” around pretty easily. A trained ceramacist and painter whose professional work has gained in recognition since his death of AIDS related complications in 1999, Wong is said to have met and befriended a great number of New York graffiti artists like Lady Pink, LEE, DAZE and Futura 2000, who were picking up art supplies where he worked at the Pearl Paint store – a four story holy place on Canal Street that thrived at that time.

 Brooklyn-Street-Art-Sharp-Paints-a-Picture-copyright-Martin_WongThe show contains black books full of tags and drawings as well as canvasses and mixed media Wong purchased, commissioned, and painted, including a portrait of graffiti artist Sharp wearing a respirator and standing before a canvas he’s working on entitled Sharp Paints a Picture (1997-98).

The mood at the museum was celebratory as guests looked at the 140+ works from Wong’s collection; a cross between an art opening and a graffiti trade show, with enthusiastic peers and fans waiting patiently to speak with, pose for pictures with, and gain autographs or tags in their black books from artists in attendance. The only officers that could be seen were holding back the line of guests to make sure there was no overcrowding of the exhibit.

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The famous Martha Cooper photograph of Dondi in action in the train yards. “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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A Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Artist LA2 with Ramona “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Keith Haring (Smiling Face) from 1982 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Lee Quiñones speaking with a never ending stream of fans before his canvas Howard the Duck, 1988, at “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Digital prints of images shot by photographer Henry Chalfant brought the trains alive. On top is an image of a train with Sharp/Delta 2 from 1981 and below is “Stop the Bomb” by LEE (Quiñones), 1979 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

 

 

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Fun Friday 08.10.12

Happy hot sticky Friday live from New York! Lots of cool stuff on the street and in the exhibition spaces this weekend – just bring a water bottle. Here are some of our picks for you on BSA.

1. Détournement, Carlo McCormick at Jonathan Levine (NYC)
2. Chris Stain and Joe Iurato at Mighty Tanaka (BKLN)
3. Peeta Solo at ArTicks (Amsterdam)
4. “You & Me” – Low Brow’s Second Group Show (BKLN)
5. Miss Van at Copro Gallery “Wild at Heart” (Santa Monica)
6. Part2Ism “New Horizons & Future Love Songs” at Red Gallery (London)
7. “Who’z Got Game!” ? at Sacred Gallery (NYC)
8. Numskull ,”Dance Like a Video, Sting Like a Gif” at Mishka (BKLN)
9. “Primeveal” group show Carmichael Gallery (LA)
10. Futura Live Painting  (Richmond, VA)
11. KFC Loves The Gays with John Goodman (Video)

 

Détournement, Carlo McCormick at Jonathan Levine (NYC)

Carlo McCormick, Paper Magazine Senior Editor and NYC cultural intuitor, is guest curator at the Jonathan Levine Gallery with a show titled “Détournement: Signs of the Times” Carlo has assembled an interesting list of artists to tell his story with the works of AIKO, Dan Witz, David Wojnarowicz, Dylan Egon, Eine, Ilona Granet, Jack Pierson, John Law (Jack Napier), Leo Fitzpatrick, Mark Flood, Martin Wong, Max Rippon (RIPO), Mike Osterhout, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers (ESPO), TrustoCorp, Will Boone and Zevs.

Mining a vein that has been here in front of us all the time, the composition of the selected works reveals a powerful undertone about how we engage and communicate with our artwork, and hi-jack the messaging of others. Says McCormick, “We do not need to follow these signs, we need to make our own so as to find a way out of the mess we are in.”

It’s also one of the few shows that seamlessly blends Street Art and non-street art practices without needing to draw a distinction for its own sake. This show is now open to the public.

Posterboy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Chris Stain and Joe Iurato at Mighty Tanaka (BKLN)

Tonight at Mighty Tanaka Gallery in DUMBO the inevitable pairing of Street Artists Chris Stain and Joe Iurato finally takes place. With a show titled “Deep in the Cut” these two stencil artists will bring the knives out for the love of art and the perfection of their craft. Style and mannerism distinguish the differences between these two, and Stain has been at it much longer with a lot of work on the street, but metaphor and empathy to the human condition is the overlap in these guys work. Grab the F train to DUMBO and come see what new common ground emerges from this combination.

Chris Stain. An old all time favorite on the streets of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato for Fountain Art Fair 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Peeta Solo at ArTicks (Amsterdam)

Italian Graffiti and Fine Artist Peeta has been writing his tag on walls, trains and many other surfaces since 1993. Like a few of his generation who have been stretching graff style past it’s outer limits and morphing it with abstraction, his work has slowing gelled into it’s own distinctive style. He focuses his lettering and his tag by feeding it through Chinese and Islamic calligraphy as a departure from the traditional Latin and Greek lettering. A collaborator of New Yorks RWK collective, he resides in Venice and tonight opens his solo show in Amsterdam at the ArTicks Gallery.

Peeta in Brooklyn with fellow RWK Chris. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“You & Me” – Low Brow’s Second Group Show (BKLN)

The Low Brow Artique Gallery in Brooklyn has decided to enter the matchmaking business and Saturday their second show titled “You & Me” artfully combines the work of two at a time. While many of these artists have worked collaboratively on the street in the past, crossing freely between sanctioned and unsanctioned Street Art and graffiti, the results of merging their styles and techniques always creates new creatures with the combined DNA. Sometimes it’s a mutt, and sometimes it is purebred brilliance. Artistic couplings here include: Cash4 & Smells, Chris & Veng (RWK), EKG & Dark Clouds, Matt Siren & Fenix, OCMC & This Is Awkward, Royce Bannon & Russell King, and Veng & Sofia Maldonado.

Sofia Maldonado and Veng collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cash4 and Smells collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Smells and Cash4 on the streets of Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Miss Van at Copro Gallery “Wild at Heart” (Santa Monica)

Miss Van, the French Street Artist and fine artist has a new solo show “Wild at Heart” in Santa Monica, California this Saturday at the Copro Gallery and the ladies are again strutting their stuff across her rich canvasses. Painting since the age of 18 Miss Van has chosen her appearances carefully while being very active within the smaller pool of female Street Artists, maintaining a continous presence with her unique doll-characters, a rich color palette and plenty of erotica.

Miss Van was included in the now famous “Art in the Streets” exhibition on April 2011 at MoCA Los Angeles.. April 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend:

Part2Ism has a new solo show “New Horizons & Future Love Songs” at the Red Gallery in London, UK and it is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.

Wanna know “Who’z Got Game!” ? Head over to the Sacred Gallery for this group exhibition opening today in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.

Numskull will “Dance Like a Video, Sting Like a Gif” at Mishka tonight in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.

“Primeveal” a group exhibition including Emol, Stinkfish and Zio Ziegler opens tomorrow night at the Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA. Click here for more details on this show.

Futura will paint live in Richmond, Virginia this Saturday.

Screen Shot from Futura’s Hennessy NYC Video.

Master Graffiti Artist and fine artist Leonard “FUTURA” is touring the country to promote this project with a spirit maker and this Friday he will stop in Richmond, Virgina where he will paint live on a canvas inside the ABC Store located at 101 North Thompson Street. The live painting will commence at 2:00 pm.  It is a rare opportunity to catch Futura in action.

A recent ad featuring Futura for this campaign (not a sponsor)

KFC Loves The Gays with John Goodman

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Jonathan Levine Gallery Presents: “Détournement: Signs of the Times” A Group Exhibition Curated By Carlo McCormick. (Manhattan, NYC)

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Détournement : Signs of the Times
Group Exhibition curated by : Carlo McCormickAugust 8—25, 2012
Opening Reception:
Wednesday, August 8, 7—9pm

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to presentDétournement: Signs of the Times, a group exhibition curated by Carlo McCormick, featuring work by a number of artists, including: AIKO, Dan Witz, David Wojnarowicz, Dylan Egon, Eine, Ilona Granet, Jack Pierson, John Law (Jack Napier), Leo Fitzpatrick, Mark Flood, Martin Wong, Max Rippon (RIPO), Mike Osterhout, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers (ESPO), TrustoCorp, Will Boone, Zevs

CURATOR’S STATEMENT
A détournement is a detour of sorts, but not so much along the scenic route as over the tougher road that goes more directly to the truth. A more proximate translation from the French might be a derailment, but I’m not sure English is so well suited to get both the violence and hilarity of the term. Since coined by the Lettrist International in the 1950s, it has served various generations as a common strategy by which to subvert consensus visual language so as to turn the expressions of capitalist culture against themselves. The most typical folkloric version we encounter of a détournement is when someone writes a word at the bottom of a stop sign, so that with say just three letters this mundane road command might read “Stop War.”

Employed brilliantly by the Situationists, whose great philosopher Guy Debord laid out the socio-aesthetic framework for this practice, détournements twist the terms of mimicry in ironic parody using the a semblance of the easily recognizable to dissemble and redirect the literal meaning of signs so as to construe a more honest picture of their deceptive intentions. As such they are a mediation of the media, a way of transgressing the fine art of persuasion that dominates our visual landscape to offer alternative readings and deviant possibilities to the hegemony of mainstream corporate culture. A natural response to the lies and coercions we are fed on a daily basis, the détournement has been the reactive impulse of all those who question reality, from the Punks who adopted it in the 1970s through Culture Jammers, Adbusters, contemporary street artists and the winding legacy of protest movements from WTO to Occupy.

This exhibition is meant to both celebrate the lineage of détournement and bring attention to some of its current practitioners who embody its continued vitality through their art. We live in a forest of signs that are meant to confuse, distract and numb us to the more dire consequences of the human condition as it is. We do not need to follow these signs, we need to make our own so as to find a way out of the mess we are in. I cannot thank these artists enough for their contributions towards helping us find another way.

ABOUT THE CURATOR
Carlo McCormick is an esteemed pop culture critic, curator and Senior Editor of PAPERmagazine. His numerous books, monographs and catalogs include: TRESPASS: A History of Uncommissioned Urban ArtBeautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street CultureThe Downtown Book: The New York Art Scene 1974-1984, and Dondi White: Style Master General. His work has appeared in numerous publications including: Art in America, Art News, and Artforum.

The gallery is located at 529 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm. For further information, please visit:www.jonathanlevinegallery.com, call: 212.243.3822, or email:info@jonathanlevinegallery.com.
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