Archive for the 'Graffiti' Category
Friday, January 20th, 2012
This weekend, DB Burkeman unveils the 2nd installment of the Stuck Up Tour, a traveling exhibit that accompanies the meticulous ethnography of Stuck Up Piece of Crap (Rizzoli), his book chronicling the history of sticker art in pop culture. Those in Chicago should brave the storm and head out to Maxwell Colette Gallery on Saturday Jan 21, for an afternoon (1-3pm) book signing featuring DB and celebrated photographer, Martha Cooper.
Coinciding with the show are a number of exiting new additions. First, there’s the free Stuck Up iPhone ap, which allows users to browse, upload and geotag stickers around the globe. It is a fascinating addition to the overall project. Next, a new video short called Gate Wars (watch below) presents a mesmerizing montage that weaves together a tale of competition and sticker rivalry amongst New York City’s locksmiths. It really is worth viewing. And don’t forget the swag! – go cop a truly cool t-shirt here.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
I arrived home from Basel Miami to some sad news by way of our friend Faust about the loss of his brother in arms, Sure. For the past decade Faust + Sure have arguably been most prolific and recognized names in New York sticker bombing culture. I don’t think I can walk more than a block here without seeing their lettering marking a newspaper box or sign pole. While graf writers take a lot of flack and are up against some of the most stringent anti-vandalism laws here in NYC, behind the scenes Sure, an enlisted Marine, was doing more for his country than most of us would even think about. Here’s Faust:
“It is with my deepest regrets to inform you that this morning I received news of the passing of my close friend Sure. Last night he was killed in Afghanistan where he was stationed as a Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Sure was born and bred in Brooklyn and recognized for his exceptional handstyle which brought together elements of classic New York graffiti with ornamental calligraphy. His script signatures could be found throughout the city and were a major influence on myself and countless others.
Sure also received great recognition as one of the most prominent sticker bombers of all time. Of the thousands of stickers he put up, nearly every one of them was individually hand done in an incredible array of styles. This was recently exemplified in Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art (Rizzoli) by DB Burkeman and in Martha Cooper’s latest book Name Tagging (Mark Batty Publishing) which features an interview with Sure.
Sure was like a brother to me. He was my partner-in-crime and my best friend. I am grateful for the time we had and that everywhere I go in New York City I see his name and know that his presence will be felt by many long after his passing.”
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Shepard Fairey is releasing the above print tomorrow, Nov. 4, in a signed and numbered edition of 450. The POW(ER) image was created initially created to accompany Carlo McCormick’s essay on the evolution of visual culture, appearing in Paper Magazine’s upcoming art issue, guest edited by Fairey. As the artist expalains, “the image is an homage to influential Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein…I discovered an image he had made of a woman holding a can of spray paint or hairspray. The image looked familiar to me, because a few years ago I re-illustrated the same piece of clip art that Lichtenstein referenced for his spray paint/hair spray painting. The connection was was too serendipitous to ignore.” At $45 these are bound to go fast. Be on the lookout here.
Monday, September 20th, 2010
New York based artist Aiko Nakagawa has sent along images of her new solo exhibit in Shanghai, China. The show is the culmination of a month long artist residency with Andrew James Art in cooperation with JIA Hotel Shanghai, who provide participating artists with free lodging and studio space. This is Aiko’s first solo exhibit since her NY show with Joshua Liner Gallery last year.
AIKO – Here’s Fun for Everyone
Sept 10 – 31
Andrew James Art
39 N. Maoming Rd.
Shanghai, China 200041
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Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
(Image and video via Banksy)
Looks like Banksy’s gone to the English Channel to stage his latest commentary on the disaster in America’s Gulf Coast region. Amidst the heavily trafficked attractions of the Brighton Pier amusement park, the world’s most recognized political prankster has installed a modified children’s ride, featuring a dolphin trapped in the muck of a leaking BP crude oil barrel and tangled tuna net. Video documentation surfaced on the artist’s site last night along with images of several other new pieces (including the ones pictured below), and in typical Banksy form, it is perversely humorous. Entitled Pier Pressure, the clip is set to the backdrop of old time carnival calliope music and depicts two children eagerly mounting the suffering animal while their guardian happily snaps a cell phone picture.
Monday, August 30th, 2010
After a month away overseas (more on that to follow), I’ve come home to New York. Before leaving I had gotten word that Barry McGee and company would be coming to the city sometime soon to lend their treatment to the Houston Street mural wall on the Lower East Side. I thought for sure I would miss it, but returned earlier this week to learn I had made it back just in time. So, after several weeks of being absent from TheArtCollectors, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to jump back into things. I hope you’ll agree.
In an amazing twist, life imitated art in New York Sunday night when Barry McGee and crew descended on the Houston Street wall. Beginning at midnight, McGee, together with longtime collaborator Josh Lazcano (Amaze), began a massive spray-painting spree, bombarding the surface with hundreds of simple red tags. Working through the cover of night, the team created the ultimate graffiti writer’s roll call and a strangely beautiful, if not challenging piece of commissioned abstract art. By dawn, it would go much farther than even they could have imagined.
In the coming weeks, reactions to the piece are sure to be mixed, and it didn’t take long for questions to begin. Police made their first visit around 2am, clearly not knowing what to make of the Tony Goldman sanctioned property previously occupied by a Ketih Haring replica, a meticulously illustrated mural by Os Gemeos and the design heavy graphics of Shepard Fairey. No, this couldn’t be legit, this couldn’t be art. After a minor interruption a permit was produced and the police were on their way. They’d be returning though.
By 4am (with some added contributions from Chino) Twist and Amaze had completely filled in the wall with the names and crews of graffiti writers past and present. Seeing the project near completion, spectators, assistants and overseers had left the scene, leaving the artists free to “touch up” a few things. They were soon disrupted by a carload of ass-shaking club girls who briefly hijacked the sidewalk for a personal photo op. Acting as official photographer, Martha Cooper quickly stepped in keeping control over the site, and we turned our cameras on the drunken booty bunch. Barry and crew entered the frame. However amusing it was, this was clearly not how those involved had intended to end the night. Whatever – DFW – this bullshit would all be over soon and they could get back to what they were here for and waiting till dawn to complete.
4:45am and back to work. As it ascended to a few of the harder to reach spots, the buzz of the boom lift was suddenly drowned out by screeching tires. We turned our heads left just as a passing SUV smashed full force into a graffiti-adorned box truck, briefly taking flight and coming to rest on its side. The smell of oil and gasoline filled the air as it trickled out and drenched the pavement. “Call 911,” “Get that fucking cigarette away from here!” A few passersby rushed in and attempted to tear back the shattered windshield to reach the driver. Trapped on his side in an airbag filled compartment, they eventually opted to use the back end as an escape hatch. Bleeding from his forehead, but able to walk, he was pulled from the rear of the vehicle and helped into an ambulance.
By 5am the street was blocked off by police and fire department, bringing more unwelcome attention to the wall. Ordered down from their perch, the artists were subjected to another round of police scrutiny, this time focusing on their recent early morning final additions and concerns regarding the exact zone the work permit covered. Things seemed uncertain, if not dismal over the next hour.
What the hell had just happened? Walking west from the wall, a few hundred feet down the street to the accident and back up again, I started to take it all in – the totaled truck flipped on its side, the broken glass, the flashing lights and sirens all set the backdrop of 850 sq. feet of graffiti. I felt a certain sort of chaotic energy and unnerving excitement, as if one of Barry’s frenetic gallery and museum installations had spontaneously slammed full force into the middle of Houston Street. By 6am he and his mates were in there clear and off to the airport to get the hell out of New York City. Me? I walked up the block and back home where I couldn’t fall asleep for another three hours.
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Thursday, July 15th, 2010
Despite years of circumventing mainstream art circles and rarely showing his work publicly, KAWS has built up a massively dedicated following of collectors who obsessively seek out his creations, from limited edition toys and clothing, to even more elusive original paintings and drawings. After eight years of absence in the U.S and five years since exhibiting internationally, 2008 marked the artists’ return to gallery walls. With three consecutive solo shows in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, KAWS unveiled entirely new bodies of work that signaled a young artist on the verge of his most productive phase to date.
His most recent display is is no exception to this trajectory. On June 27th, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, opened the doors to KAWS’ first solo museum exhibition, providing a retrospective look at his graffiti roots, fine art, and commercial projects, as well as brand new sculptural and installation pieces that stand as his largest and most ambitious to date.
TheArtCollectors spoke with curator Mónica Ramírez-Montagut about the process of creating the landmark exhibition. Read on for the conversation, click images for larger views.
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
JR installation in progress (Image: Geoff Hargadon)
Here are early images of several works in progress for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s upcoming Viva La Revolucion exhibition, including a glimpse of outdoor pieces in progress (sanctioned and not) and museum installation shots from Os Gemeos, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Space Invader, JR, and Vhils.
In addition, Invader has unveiled a trailer for The Space Invader Walk, a virtual piece which will be presented in the museum as a movie. Watch it here:
Viva La Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape opens this week with a members preview ($20 non-members) Saturday, July 17, and general admission beginning on the 18th. On Thurs, Aug. 12 the museum hosts a party featuring live music from Wavves (for the kids). (Click through for additional images)
Os Gemeos (Image: Allasia Brennan)
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Monday, July 12th, 2010
Brush Strokes, a joint exhibit from Barry Mcgee (under his Lydia Fong moniker) and Todd James opened this past weekend at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen. Though there are only a couple of collaborative moments, the themes explored by the two long time friends are a perfect match. Mcgee’s street photography and tag-like block lettered text paintings act as a crucial declaration of identity alongside confusing geometric patterns that mimic the mind numbing, dumbing down effects of constant entertainment and media bombardment. Laying somewhere between Saturday morning cartoons and a Noam Chomsky dissertation, the happy faced war planes, bloody sword wielding tanks and gumball filled soldiers of Todd James’ cartoon drawings provide a darkly satirical commentary on the culture of violence and militarism spoon fed by western media in easily digestible packages.
This is not the first time McGee and James have show together. In 200o the two worked with fellow graffiti turned gallery artist, Stephen Powers (ESPO) on their Indelible Market installation at the University of Pennsylvania Institute of Contemporary Art. The trio expanded the concept for Street Market, a large scale exhibition with Deitch Projects the same year, and were later reunited for the Beautiful Losers museum exhibitions.
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Sunday, July 11th, 2010
If you haven’t seen it yet, street art animator Blu has just unleashed another inspired short film. The frame-by-frame animation represents new ground for Blu, with the seamless incorporation of found three-dimensional objects into his already well know style of stop-motion surface animation. The project was completed with assistance from ARTSH.IT, with sound design by Andrea Martignoni, who has collaborated with Blu on previous animations. Impressive, bleak, and a must see.