Starting the year with “Strategies for a Revolution”, Shepard Fairey exhibits in Italy at Wunderkammern.
Contemporary society is so subsumed into the corporate model that street artist/fine artist Shepard Fairey still appears revolutionary in his basic demands for equity, dignity, and justice.
Thirty plus years have evolved his language of propaganda into a signature amalgam of Russian constructivist, punk rage, the so-called underground, and an evermore refined eye for high-note linework and ornate graphic patterning. Here in Milan, the Wunderhammern similarly have an eye for the finer sensibilities, after curating many primary and secondary street artists in the last 10+ years on community murals and in gallery exhibits; and have been financially successful enough at it to open this new second location in Via Giulia, auspiciously welcoming Fairey into this not-so-brave new Covid-bashed world.
Embracing his visual language and socially political wit, “Strategies” includes a series of unpublished works selected by Shepard, a review of the themes that resonate most now in this context personally and generally. It’s a good time to gaze at the messages, the art of delivery, the tenor of these works – all while assessing this time that feels like a turning. A re-set. A time no doubt that will include revolution.
“Urvanity seeks to explore and thus imagine possible future scenarios for this New Contemporary Art,” they say boldly in the manifesto for this art fair/cultural platform in Madrid. A thrilling nexus is created here in this college campus of architecture where art from the streets is evolving in such ways that it is invited to come in from the street.
Whatever your perspective is on this evolution, we encourage the conversation – which usually contains elements of tribalism (various), resistance, acceptance, even euphoria. During breaks from hosting the BSA Talks this weekend we are also skipping and swerving through the crowds to look at the art that galleries have on offer.
Here we offer a very quick sample of some items that have caught our eye, looked fresh, or were indicative of larger movements in the so-called “scene”. And we use the word “scene” very loosely, because there is really not such thing as a homogeneous scene, only a constellation of them which are intersecting, coalescing, and redefining themselves. Some pieces are remarkable.
Here is the past, existing side by side with the future.
“I wanted to go back to the millennial roots of public and monumental art,” MP5 tells us about the inspiration for the new intervention in Torpignattara entitled “Millennials”. The Naples born Roman artist draws upon contemporary themes as well as classical in their 2D black and white iconic paintings, always with a hint of theatrical scene-making.
In reference to the new pillars that appear to be holding up the roof on this building, MP5 tells us that the inspiration came from the carved female forms of the The Caryatid Porch at the Athens’ Acropolis around 400 BC.
Reinterpreting classical mythology with an eye on contemporary political and cultural crises and developments has driven much of MP5s work in public murals in many cities in countries such as Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Sweden.
With “Millennials” the artist has just finished in Rome as part of her exhibition “Of Changes” at Wunderkammern Gallery, MP5 says they enjoyed the interaction the folks from the neighborhood while she painted. “Some sounded enthusiastic. Others asked me lots of questions about the meaning of it. In the end everybody was very nice and people from the neighborhood brought me food and treats all the time – or they would just pass by to check if everything was ok.”
Our special thanks to Wunderkammern for these exclusive images to share with BSA readers.
For his first Italian solo show Still Lifes of Space Time, Thomas Canto is creating a site-specific installation at Wunderkammern and hoping to take the audience into a more participatory experience of dimension. Using video projection mapping the planes intersecting and turning will produce a 3 D effect inside the gallery that may evoke how a pedestrian experiences the navigation of an urban environment. Though not explicit in the show’s description, you will see similarities to the current Street Art movement some are calling graffuturism.
Canto told Alessandra Ioalé in Street Art Attack last year that he learned about color and gesture through graffiti and by looking at the work of graffiti artists like Futura 2000, Lokiss, Mode 2 and other American graffiti legends. “Quickly developing interest for other tools and techniques, I was soon to deviate, switching from spray-can to brushes, from wall to canvas whilst keeping urban themes drawn from graffiti, “ he said.
“The oversized shapes of the tags will mutate in vortexes and abstract universes and the walls will turn into infinite cities.” In addition to his early graffiti influences he says he draws influences from Constructivism, Suprematism, Op Art and Urban Art.
Canto’s abstractions and entangled framed planes work well outside as much as the gallery and he created installations last year for the Nuit Blanche in Paris the Outdoor Urban Art Festival in Rome. The French artist will also present new mixed media artworks of painted wood and canvas incorporating nylon wires and plexi-glass boxes and a limited edition lithograph will be released along with a critical essay by Achille Bonito Oliva.
Delving into the esoteric, nearly conceptual milieu of Street Art, Sten Lex (previous Sten & Lex) are best known for their systemically/randomly destroyed enormous black and white photographic portraits. Using a stencil technique we are pretty sure they pioneered, they have used the physicality of the discarded pieces of stencil for years, partially pealed and left to hang and blow in the breeze, still attached to the “finished” piece.
In one further experimentation with technique along the journey to a final work, the Italian duo open a new show at Wunderkammern tonight in Rome entitled Matrici Distrutte (Destroyed Matrices). To prepare they have done a few installations in the city that may or may not be recognizable on the street as deliberate pieces of art, further burrowing their process into pattern, texture. In this case, the matrix of their stencil is destroyed, as is your expectation of simple representational imagery. To further understand the direction these new works are going, we are looking forward to reading the critical essay for the show, written by Samantha Longhi of Graffiti Art magazine.
Starting to think about what we are thankful for this week as we approach Thanksgiving. So many of our neighbors here in New York are going to be truly thankful that immigration reform, the first in about 28 years, will begin to protect many families and workers from the threat of arrest and being torn apart. For those doing the math, we are talking about probably hundreds of thousands of our neighbors who are sleeping tonight a little better, even if the economy is still pressing people down. “It’s fair to say that we have never seen anything quite like this before in terms of the scale,” said Peter J. Spiro, a Temple University law professor in a Times piece.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing new artists pop up on the Street Art scene, and witnessing some voices getting stronger. Honestly, with the everchanging feast on the streets, you can never get bored in New York. Actually that is still against the law as far as we know – getting bored in NYC.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 2 Face, Icy & Sot, JB Rock, Jerk Face, L’Atlas, LUC, Madame Moustache, Nénão, Nerr, Rita MacDonald, Specter, SPQR, Stikman, Trap, Zed1.
School’s back in session, the Jews just celebrated a new year, Kobra painted new portraits of Warhol and Basquiat in Williamsburg, and if you were at Brooklyn Museum last night you got to see Street Artist and muralist Don Rimx and us live – and us with markers in our hands looking completely lost.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, Apples on Pictures, Conor Harrington, Dain, EKG, Funky13, Jack the Beard, Jeff Huntington, Jesse James, Matthew Reid, Mr. Prvrt, Os Gemeos, Pyramid Oracle, Ramiro Davaros-Coma, Sam3, Square, Stikman, and What Is Adam.
““I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable.” ~ Maya Angelou ~
Remember when we had our big group show in 2009 called “Crush”? It was the first time Aakash Nihalani did a three-dimensional piece on a backing – instead of simply applying it to a wall – effectively doing his first free-standing gallery piece.
The stylized pink tape and mirrored phallus went along with our street lust theme and it reflected the stuff he was doing on the street at that time; pulling out geometry and dimension from our every day surroundings right before our eyes. Newly graduated from college the previous year, Aakash brought his piece to us and stuck it to the wall with – more tape.
Five years later Aakash is an international artist and is having his first Italian solo show at Wunderkammern entitled “Vantage”. Today we take a look at a new wall he just completed in Rome in time for tonight’s opening, part of a series that has included Dan Witz from Brooklyn, Rero from Paris, Agostino Iacurci from Rome, and will be finished after Aakash by Jef Aérosol.
The new piece utilizes the fluorescent color and geometric three-dimensionalist vernacular that has characterized his work from the beginning and truly sets him apart from others who originated from the New York street art scene.
The hyperrealist is in this two and a half-thousand year old city drilling and pasting little portholes onto porticos, with illusions and reflections of countenances looking at you from behind them. For Public and Confidential his new show at Wunderkammern, he spent some time in the streets, where he has made a name for himself by tripping the eye, flagellating your fears, popping into your periphery. With his tattooed tapestry wrapped like sleeves around his arms, the wizened Witz studiously attaches his windows to darkness while on canvas he continues in route to mastering light.
“These Boots Are Made for Walking” Nancy Sinatra (VIDEO)
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Saturday at Corey Helford (LA)
Ludo in Rome Saturday
Ryan Seslow and Borbay
Cheap Art at the Affordable Art Fair This Weekend in LA
FAILE ON FILM: From Ride5 Films (VIDEO)
RETNA with Primary Flight in Miami (VIDEO)
Herakut for NUART 2011 (VIDEO)
En Masse at “Art San Diego” 2011 by Fred Caron (VIDEO)
First we’d like to ask that all the Ladies get up from the desk and do some strutting around the office in high heel boots. That should liven up an otherwise grey winter day right? Come on boots, start walkin’ !
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Saturday at Corey Helford (LA)
Inspired by the relative ease of reproducing masterworks by so-called “copy villages” in China, as well as the reductivist assessment the market does to an artist’s body of work, Street Artist Pure Evil is knocking out versions of Jackie and Liz with black eyes dripping to the floor, just for fun.
Says the artist, “Edward Albee’s film ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ starring Taylor and Burton brilliantly illustrates a nightmare couple who use alcohol to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other. I was amazed at the film and so I did a painting of ‘Richard Burtons Nightmare’ / Liz Taylor’ and a print in 2 POP colourways and 2 months later, Liz died…”
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Opening on Saturday at Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, Los Angeles.
For further information regarding this show click here
Cheap Art at the Affordable Art Fair This Weekend in LA
Almost 300 emerging and established artist show work this weekend in LA at the Affordable Art Fair. With prices from $100 to up to $10K. Be on the look out for C.A.V.E. Gallery at booth C-8 and for Thinkspace Gallery on booth B-9.
For further information, complete list of exhibitors, schedules and directions go to the Affordable Art Fair site here
Wunderkammern presents the young urban artist Ludo for his first solo show in Italy,: nature, both magnificent and menacing, challenges humankind from the walls of the city.
On show in Rome from 21st January at Wunderkammern, where he is making his first appearance
in Italy, the young French artist Ludo is one of the most innovative and promising on the urban art
scene. He has left his mark in major cities throughout the world (Paris, London, Zurich, Oslo, New
York, Los Angeles and Chicago), with surreal and bewildering works that are perfectly integrated
with the context in which he places them.
Ludo’s creatures emerge from reassuring greyscale images blended with acid green that is poured
onto paper, sending out a message of humility for contemporary society. Elegant and vindictive,
the artist’s creations belong in fact to the series Nature’s Revenge and Bugs: plants and insects
drawn with botanic precision, which have evolved into mechanical, chemical and technological
hybrids as a way of defending themselves against people’s aggression.
With his latest series, entitled Co-Branding, major brands like Chanel, Dior, Calvin Klein, H&M and
Benetton are transformed into aggressive and inappropriate images that nonetheless seem
perfectly in line with the aesthetic canons of contemporary publicity, thus contrasting consumers’
inurement to bombardment by multinational brands promoting luxury and much more.
On the occasion of his exhibition at Wunderkammern, Ludo will present a series of works on paper
and canvas from the series Nature’s Revenge and Co-Branding, as well as sculptures created
specifically for the gallery. Images of a proud and haunting nature, where the aesthetic canons of
advertising are filtered by the artist’s ironic and mocking eye.
via Gabrio Serbelloni 124, Roma