Archive for the 'R.I.P.' Category
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
The latest reports confirm that artist Mike Kelley , who was found dead in his L.A. home Tuesday, did commit suicide. Kelley’s creative roots trace back to his involvement as a college Michigan student in the self-dubbed “anti-rock” group, Destroy All Monsters. He departed the performance based band in 1976 to pursue a degree from Cal Arts. Since then, Kelley had gained prominence as a contemporary and multimedia artist, collaborating with Paul McCarthy and Tony Oursler. In 1992, his self portrait, Ahh…Youth, featuring the artist surrounded by raggedy away of stuffed animals, graced the cover of Sonic Youth’s biggest commercial success, Dirty.
Kelley’s work is slated to appear in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. He was 57 years old.
Rest in Peace.
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.”
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Giant Robot NY closes its doors for good today. I have shopped at GR for the past six years since it first opened around the corner from my home. It has not only been an invaluable source of hard to find publications and unique art items, but through their art exhibits and events, has served as an invaluable asset for many emerging artists and cultural hub for the community.
Stop by today to say your farewell, pick up some remaining stock at 40% off and check out their last exhibit with artists Susie Ghahremani and Kelly Tunstall.
Thanks GR. You will be missed.
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
(Image: Kostas Seremetis)
We are sad to report the death of pioneering graffiti, hip-hop, visual and performance artist, the one and only Rammellzee. Check out Fast Company’s profile and the tribute below, sent out today by our friends at Anonymous Gallery:
New York artist and performer Rammellzee (born in 1960 in Queens, New York) is credited with being one of the inventors of graffiti art as we know it. Through writing, drawing and painting on subway cars in spray paint and felt-tip pen in the late ‘70s, he became interested in the symbolic value of letters. Rammellzee named his style “Gothic Futurism,” describing the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet. When his style of writing became more mainstream in the world of graffiti, Rammellzee built his letters into flying armored vehicles, bursting forth with a style and philosophy all his own that he termed “Ikonoklast Panzerism”
He has continued to explore these ideas through a variety of media ever since, from the paintings that in 1988 Gerrit Henry described in Art In America as having “a Star-Wars-via-Jackson-Pollock look” to the legendary hip-hop single “Beat Bop” that was produced by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and became not just one of the most collectible hip hop releases ever, but a model for generations of witty and experimental musicians.
In 1982, he appeared in the seminal hip hop documentary Wildstyle by Charlie Ahearn. Rammellzee has shown in galleries and museums throughout the world including P.S. 1 in New York and performed in his iconic self-designed masks and costumes at the 2005 Venice Biennale. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, however Ramm always contended his highest achievements could be viewed from the train yards…
Friday, June 11th, 2010
(Image: Thomas Kellner, via)
Sigmar Polke has passed away from complications of cancer. Polke’s inprint can be traced back to his contributions to the Capitalist Realism movement that helped to revitalize contemporary art practices in post-war Germany. Though often recognized for his contributions Pop Art, his work wildly swayed between the figurative cultural appropriations of that style and abstraction. Polke was 69.
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
With Coachella crescendoing it’s almost exactly one year ago, we lost a tremendous talent and a wonderful person in photographer Shawn Mortensen. His phenomenal photos appeared in the finest publications and captured some of the most subtantive individuals of our generation. His portrait of Tupac Shakur was one of the rapper’s most definitive images. The middle-finder wielding Tupac with a joint in his other hand is still near the top of the all-time sales records for poster releases.
However, there’s a great many masterful portraits by Mortensen. His book Out Of Mind is the culmination of some of his best work. In one of Mortensen’s final artistic endeavors, he had returned to working with a Polariod format. Coming full-circle to a medium that had brought him into the field of photography, the polariod portraits that Mortensen produced in the last months of his life are very special among his impressive output.
Here we contrast the only two ‘double-signed’ polaroids that Mortensen ever produced – Keith Haring from 1989 and KAWS from 2009.
A portrait of KAWS appears in Out of Mind and Mortensen is known as publishing an edition of one for a private collector, as a gift. More on Mortensen from last year on Super Touch Art.
Monday, August 24th, 2009
Today, a friend lost his life in a scooter accident while driving across the Williamsburg Bridge, here in NYC. Word came in shortly after reading the day’s blog posts about the new Judith Supine piece on top of the bridge. Though not its intent, I can’t help but feel it’s an appropriate memorial to one of the nicest guys I can think of. Goodnight Josh Link- rest in peace and dreams. Our prayers are with your family.
Image: Wooster Collective/S. Duncan
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
After the passing of Julius Shulman last month, art book publisher, Benedikt Taschen, has published a fitting homage to the hugely influential photographer of Modernist architecture on the Taschen website:
“Julius Shulman was one of the greatest photographers and image makers of the 20th century. Even in a biblical age he was an inspiration for generations of admirers, fans and friends. His house was open for everyone and thousands of pilgrims from all over the world came to see him, the man who created the visual memory of Modernism. He was a generous, kind and caring human being with a memory sharp as the latest generation of computers, recalling every trip he made and every photograph he took. I loved this man and I was blessed to have him as my friend and as a TASCHEN artist.”
Shulman and Taschen’s friendship shines through in this video at the photographer’s Los Angeles home. With the artist now gone, perhaps the best way to remember him is through Taschen’s several invaluable publications, beginning with the now out of print Julius Shulman: Architecture and Its Photography (1998) and continuing with Modernism Rediscovered (2000), which was later expanded to the definitive 2007 three-volume edition. Continuing his commitment to the artist, in 1999 Taschen released a limited edition portfolio set, comprised of 12 different limited edition framed prints, each in an edition of 60, numbered, titled and signed by Shulman. While some are still available on the Taschen site, expect to see a spark in interest.
In 1998 Shulman received a lifetime achievement award from the International Center of Photography in New York. He died on July 15, 2009 at the age of 98.
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
A tribute to artist Dash Snow, who was found dead of a heroin overdose earlier this month, opens today at Deitch Projects’ Grand Street location. The open memorial includes works of art made by Snows’ friends in his memory, as well as pieces of the late artist’s own art, and invites the public to add their personal contributions during the run of the show.
Anyone who has followed the story knows just how many writters have been quick to praise Snow since his death. Charlie Finch took a moment to pen his own eulogy, which, in a typically bold fashion, presents a more cynical view of an artist that was often criticized during the short-lived span of his artistic output.
by Charlie Finch via artnet
You weren’t around
To say hello
To say goodbye
All your friends
Will wonder why
It took so long
For you to die
You took the plunge
To sift the grunge
And wonder if
You ever were
A stack of garbage
Is your bier
And we are left
To weep and moan
But not for long
Since you are gone
Dash Snow – A Community Memorial runs till August 15 at Deitch Projects, 76 Grand Street, NYC. Admirers and friends are encouraged to bring flowers, artworks, or writings in memorial.
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Image: Mario Sorrenti/Muse Magazine via 84/85
Dash Snow, a rising star in the decadent downtown New York art scene, was found dead in the Lafayette House hotel on Monday night from an apparent heroin overdose. He was 27. Snow seemed on the verge of wider success and notoriety, with representation by Peres Projects, exhibition credits including the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Saatchi Gallery, and London Royal Academy, not to mention a notoriously candid cover story in New York Magazine. Snow is survived by his two year old daughter, Secret.
Rest in Peace.