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Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Hot Glue and Hot Dogs :: Kenny Scharf & Dearraindrop at The Hole

Kenny Scharf & Dearraindrop – Cosmic Cavern Hole (installation view) –  (All images via The Hole)

For their fourth exhibition, The Hole continues to push beyond the stuffy confines of traditional white wall presentation with a collaborative exhibition between influential pop-artist Kenny Scharf and the emerging art collective Dearraindrop. Heralded for his contributions to the NY pop-art scene  of the 1980s, the show not only exemplifies Scharf’scontinued influence on a new generation of artists, but his ongoing active participation from within such movements. Hot Glue Hullabaloo promises to be a playful and electrifying hot mess of mixed media installations, fusing the artists’ affinity for comic book art, technical painting, found trash, and crafts. Join the party tonight from 6-9pm.

Kenny Scharf – Hot Dog in Space, 2010.

Joe Grillo, Laura Grant and Billy Grant – Mutant Pop, 2010.

Joe Grillo – Egyptian Paramount, 2010.

Kenny Scharf and Dearraindrop – Hot Glue Hulaballoo
Oct. 28 – Dec. 4
Opening Reception: 6-9pm
The Hole
104 Green St.
NY, NY 1012

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Installation, New York City, Openings, Preview | Comment now »


Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Banksy Applies Pier Pressure

(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.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Europe, Graffiti, Humor, Installation, Outdoor, Politics | 1 Comment »


Monday, August 30th, 2010

Accidents Will Happen :: Barry McGee Hits Houston Street

(All images and text © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

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.

READ ON FOR MORE IMAGES Read the rest of this entry »


Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Preview :: Around Town with Viva La Revolucion

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)

Space Invader (Image: Invader)

Read on for more…. Read the rest of this entry »


Friday, June 25th, 2010

Preview :: KAWS Creates His Largest Onsite Mural for Aldrich

KAWS – The Wall (detail), 2010. (Image: Courtesy of the artist)

By now you’ve most likely heard about the debut of KAWS’ first museum exhibition,  debuting this Sunday at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. The retrospective will survey the artist’s earlier work, products, and most recent paintings, including some never before seen pieces. While, details have been quite tight, the first image from has finally surfaced, providing a glimpse at KAWS’ largest onsite mural to date. More to come….


Monday, June 21st, 2010

Amusing Ourselves To Death :: McGee + Rojas Together at Bolinas Museum

(Image: Bolinas Museum)

Barry McGee doesn’t watch TV.  “These are all things that Americans do, they sit at home and watch television, they go into work the next day and everyone talks about what happened on Taxi—that’s one of the last shows I watched on television, sorry.”

Mcgee is known for overwhelming his audience with an inundation of mind numbing geometric clusters that visualize the psychological and social effects of media bombardment. Like the troubled characters found in them, looking at these works can leave the brain both exhausted and confused in a cognitive haze that Jerry Mander predicted would ultimatley lead to the expansion of power by dominant controllers in society.

Have we been manipulated, or are we to blame? As Neil Postman later distinguished, Orwell’s vision of the future and Huxley’s Brave New World were not one in the same. One warned that we will be overcome by externally imposed domination. The other prophesized something far more unsettling – that we will come to love our oppression, freely trading in our capacities to think for the technologies and entertainment we cherish.

(Image: Bolinas Museum)

Mander urged us to be radical – to “kill our televisions” and dismantle technological civilization. Postman warned it was getting too late – we had already willingly given up and “amused ourselves to death.” Lately, McGee seems caught in the middle. His chaotic wall static has been disrupted, yielding to dense blocks of solid red, with only broken, fragmented shards of pattern remaining. These have given way to simpler forms – a few small floating cubes, a single triangle or an octagon. There are even recognizable objects like detergent bottles – the ultimate sign of the never ending mindless consumer choices that have replaced actual freedom of thought. If the pessimism of his work from the last few years rendered us helplessly adrift in a violent media frenzy, these newer installations show McGee pushing back against the noise, urging us to break through the clutter, recognize our own complicity, and regain control.

(Image: Gamma888)

Partner in life and art Clare Rojas explores similar new territory. The empty interiors of her recent paintings suggest spaces to be filled. Stripped of their belongings, we are pressed to find any identity in what remains in these barren rooms. In one painting a figure lays in bed staring at a TV on a nightstand. Another shows a simple house suspended against a white background. One sad looking woman sits at an empty table, while another  reaches out her hand towards a garden of flowers. In an alcove, a woman’s face is partially covered by window blinds. In the same area, walls are cleverly paneled in central air vents and light switch or outlet covers that take on the look of morse code dots and dashes. But what does it all mean? While McGee reveals the brainwashing of our collective conscience, Rojas projects the effects of this dumbing down onto the trappings of domestic living, where we’ve cashed in our free will for freedom at the checkout line.

(Image: Bolinas Museum)

It is interesting that the Bolinas exhibition is being presented with two separate titles. While this isn’t the first time the artist couple has shown together, the two have joined here to deliver what is there most seamless presentation to date. When asked by fellow artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright where he’d like to be in five years, McGee said he “[hoped] to be entirely removed from society by that time. Off the map. Checked out.” With Leave it Alone we can understand why, and with Rojas’ Together at Last it’s clear that if the time comes, the two will disappear hand in hand.

Lots more images over on TAC member Gamma888’s flickr

Barry McGee – Leave it Alone / Clare Rojas – Together at Last
June 19 – August 1
Bolinas Museum
Hours: Fridays – Sundays, 1 – 5 pm
48 Wharf Road
Bolinas, CA 94924
phone: 415.868.0330


Monday, June 14th, 2010

New FAILE Print on Sale / Portugal Project Revealed

Faile’s studio during preparations for their 2008 exhibit, Lost in Glimmering Shadows. (Image via Faile)

A few short weeks after closing the doors to their Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, more news comes in from the FAILE camp. A new print goes on sale tomorrow, June 15 at 12pm EST via PaperMonster. Titled Ecstasy, the silkscreen will be one of the final releases from the Lost in Glimmering Shadows series, based on imagery from FAILE’s 2008 show in London. Keeping true to form, the 12 color signed, stamped and numbered edition of 175 was screened and painted in-house, and measures 25″ x 38″

FAILE have also announced more details on their upcoming contribution to Portugal Arte 10. From July 16  to 15 August 15, the Brooklyn-based artists will display Temple, a full-scale church in ruins, set in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon.

UPDATE: Here’s the print, released for $775 and sold out  as of 6/15. Note that colors vary due to hand painted elements.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Editions, Graffiti, Installation, New Infos | Comment now »


Monday, June 14th, 2010

Inside Out :: Ernesto Neto’s Largest Installation Opens in London

Ernesto Neto – anthropodino, 2009, commissioned for the Park Avenue Armory, New York, 2009 (Image: James Ewing via)

In what is being billed as his most ambitious exhibition to date, Brazilian sculpture artist Ernesto Neto will open a new site specific, all-encompasing environment at London’s Southbank Centre Hayward Gallery this Saturday, June 19. Viewers will act as participants, exploring a sequence of connected spaces that merge sculpture and architecture, at times recalling biological systems. For this new exhibition, Neto will create his first outdoor installations, including a sculptural pool that visitors will be allowed to enter.

Neto’s installation is part of The New Décor, an international survey of some 30 contemporary artists whose whose work explores interior design as a means of engaging with changes in contemporary culture.

Ernesto Neto – The Edges of the World / The New Decor
July 19 – September 5
The Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010


Commissioned for the Oakland Museum of California’s new Gallery of California Art. On view now through 2013.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Installation, Museums, Public Art | Comment now »


Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Reflecting on Deluxx Fluxx

Most of us around here agree that there is little new in street art  that warrants gallery presentation. That’s not necessarily a criticism of the far too bloated genre. On the one hand, even the best graffiti art can suffer a loss of viability and meaning in formal display. On the other, there are the countless bandwagoneers who have taken to the streets in a soulless pursuit of financial gain within the art establishment – theirs has no legitimate claim to public view.  Simply put, good graffiti doesn’t mean good exhibition art, and bad graffiti is just insulting. These days it can be quite a chore to weed through the clutter – both inside and outdoors.

FAILE has consistently been one of the rare exceptions. The duo have rightfully established themselves at the forefront of contemporary street art, reaching far beyond their early formula of combining Lichtensteinesque comic book mash-ups with masterful in-house printing. Their more recent forays into sculpture and production have yielded a unique brand of pop-Americana that has rightfully breached the confines of the Lazarides camp, winding up in tried and true venues, like Art Basel and even Gagosian.

The Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, their latest offering created in collaboration BÄST, is far from their most compelling work. With recent installations in London and New York, the result is more interactive video art than functional arcade. The only challenge pinball wizards will find here is to make sense of the near seizure-inducing mash-up of Faile and Bast motifs, churned through the rudimentary capabilities of 1980s gaming processors.  Amidst a backdrop of black-light posters, the result is more spectacle than spectacular. One gets the sense this was done purely for kicks, and ideally it was not intended to be passed off as anything more – then again, the hefty price tags are a lot of cash to shell out on a box of fun. At the end of it all, while Deluxx Fluxx falls short of delivering what Faile are capable of, it hopefully signals the natural growing pains of a creative unit back-stepping along the way to something beyond nostalgic retro kitsch.

Up next for Faile, is Cathedral Project, a giant sculptural installation in the heart Lisbon, opening July 16  in conjunction with Portugal Arte 10. We fully expect to see something grand.