Skewville’s Fame, Fortune & Desire – When Ad met Butterfly

March 31st, 2011 | By | No Comments »

I feel I’ve gone rather Skewville crazy recently since Ad landed in London about 3 weeks ago. But personally I believe this is justified, as amongst the increasing flood of street art, the twins are still producing work that is not only unique but is constantly evolving, adapting and pushing boundaries.

Before his show at High Roller Society, Butterfly caught up with Ad, sat him down in front of some rather hot gallery lights and grilled him about his art. The video she has produced is great and well worth watching!

SKEWVILLE – SLOW YOUR ROLL from Butterfly on Vimeo.


Category: Interview, Videos | Tags: ,

Weekend link-o-rama

August 31st, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Judith Supine

Judith Supine

It’s the last week of my summer. Why am I on my laptop? Okay, I’ll make this quick…

Photo by Luna Park


Category: Art News, Photos, Random | Tags: , , , , ,

Parasites and magnets: a story about street art and photography

July 27th, 2013 | By | 6 Comments »

P1030194

I am bored. In fact, I am not that bored, I am more disillusioned. But why?

Firstly I am slightly fed up of seeing a lack of creativity in much of the street art I am currently viewing in London, hence these photos of interesting pieces by Monkey and the ATG Crew in Hvar, Croatia I snapped whilst on holiday a couple of months ago. It may just be that I am looking in the wrong places, and don’t get me wrong, there are a huge amount of artists living and working in London that I admire, but it seems I keep seeing the same dull work from many others.

P1030182

But that is not quite why I am writing. It is a second point that has caused me to become even more disillusioned. Money makes the world go around and money always seeps into everything eventually, street art included. This is not necessarily a bad thing, artists need money to keep doing what they are doing in addition to feeding and clothing themselves, but at the same time money brings parasites.

These parasites, as I like to call them, come in various forms and varieties. You have flippers, forgers, and reclaimers, who just steal street art off the street to sell. Then there are others, such as agents, who I will never understand really. An agent, really?

P1030200

But there seems to be a final parasite that is increasing in numbers, and that’s the photographer. Actually photographer is a bad term to use, but they call themselves that so, so be it. A photographer to me is someone that is creative, an artist with a camera. Someone who sees a shot, frames it, and shoots it. Taking light, composition, angle and various other important aspects into account. A good photographer (at this point note Mark Rigney, Sandra Butterfly, NoLionsinEngland, RomanyWG, HowAboutNo, Martha Cooper, Ian Cox et al), makes an image come to life in a photo. They add something to a picture.

I see photographers as important for a couple of reasons, firstly as I have previously alluded to, they are artists in their own right and I am all for creative people who have something interesting to exhibit. But secondly, and more importantly to an extent, is their ability to document. Martha Cooper is the prime example and others have followed suit. My pictures in this post are a documentation of street art in Croatia and this blog is a documentation of street art from around the world. In essence it becomes a window to history and that’s why I have a penchant for photography.

P1030184

Yet over the last two weeks in particular, and over the last few weeks, months and years in general, I have become disillusioned. In no small part because of the increasing numbers of people printing Banksy images onto canvas and selling them at every market in London, but more recently by photographers tapping into the same practice.

Over the last two weekends I have attended two outdoor art events. One in Brixton, and one near Old Street. Both these events have included some fantastic, talented artists, and in particular, Brixton had a few great photographers who’s work I really admired. But both have also had those types of photographers who steal others’ creativity.

P1030179

Poor photos are one thing, but couple that with a market stall, price labels, and in one case fridge magnets and Oyster card holders and you have a recipe for disaster. Gone is the creativity and the innovation of a good photographer or even if the documentation that the mediocre photographer can provide. All you are left with is poor photos, bad cropping and product.

There has been a recent breakthrough on this subject with regard to Wooster Collective working their magic to ensure than Art.com offers commission to artists and show artists the photos they are hoping to use before they start selling them. This really is a massive step in ensuring that companies who deal in wall art act in a moral manner, but as RJ mentioned in his post on the subject, this is far from a complete problem solver.

In one of the cases I came across, I asked if the photographer had got permission from the artists. He said yes of course, the majority had agreed and that they are extremely grateful for their work getting promoted.

I would have loved to have been there when the guy asked Banksy, Eine, Phlegm, Mr. Brainwash, Os Gemeos and others if he could use their images to make money for himself. I hardly believe they are happy that others are making financial gains without paying any dues, in this case commission.

At a time when there are so many good artists releasing high quality affordable screen prints and even originals, it annoys me that some members of the general public are paying out sums of money for awful images. The stall at the street party near Old Street always had a large crowd around it with people paying good money for pictures they could have taken themselves and printed at home.

The moral of this story is that if you are reading this thinking about lining the pockets of one of these so called photographers, then I urge you to invest that money in your own camera, get outside and take some photos yourself. And if you need a bit of training then get yourself along to one of NoLions photography workshops if he organises a few more soon, fingers crossed he does, as they were very well received. Be creative, don’t let others steal what in essence is meant to be free art for all to enjoy.

This problem is not going to disappear completely, but you can all do your bit by not handing your money over to these parasitic photographers, and don’t let your mates do it either. In fact, I believe this is where street art tours come into their own as they get the general public into places where they can take their own documentary images. It is summer, so get yourself outside, walk around, see what turns your head, and just be creative.

P1030203

Photos all by Shower. Not purchased in any way. Taken himself whilst on holiday in Hvar, Croatia. And they will not be printed onto magnets any time soon!


Category: Featured Posts, Random | Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

July 13th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Buff Monster and Hoacs

Buff Monster and Hoacs

Enjoy the weekend:

Photo by Lois Stavsky


Category: Art News, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Print Release, Products, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

May 3rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Smells, Cash4, Don Pablo Pedro and Keely

Smells, Cash4, Don Pablo Pedro and Keely

Last class of the school year yesterday. Now for finals. Can’t wait… Here are some distractions in case you’re in a similar boat:

  • NoseGo has some new prints available today with Unit44. These are not giclee prints, but rather archival pigment prints, a significant step up in quality as I understand it.
  • The fantastic ceramic street artist Carrie Reichardt is organizing this show in London.
  • Great sculptural installation and indoor mural by Pixel Pancho in Mexico City.
  • Loving this collaboration between Kofie and El Mac.
  • S.butterfly has photos of the Bom.K show in Paris. Wish I could see this one in person.
  • And Kaws has a solo show in Tokyo at the moment. It’s Kaws, so feel free to check out the photos, but you pretty much knows what’s coming.
  • JR and José Parlá collaborated on a mural on the outside of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, where they have a two-man show opening next week. Glad to see Parlá working outdoors, but it always strikes me as a bit odd since he tries to distance his work from graffiti. I guess when there’s a show to promote… Although to be fair, the show is about a series of collaborative murals that JR and Parlá made together in Cuba.
  • JR’s Inside Out project booth in Times Square is a huge hit. He’s been covering the street with photos of people who stop by his little photobooth, and it looks awesome. The billboards in Times Square were even (briefly) given over to JR for the project. The whole thing is a fight against outdoor ads and for public spaces for the public, but JR manages to make his point without beating people over the head with politics. Instead, JR just shows people a better world and makes them smile. I’m not a JR fanatic, but I absolutely love this project.

Photo by Hrag Vartanian


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Print Release, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

March 23rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Ludo

“Abstract Ace” in Paris by Ludo

It’s a bit late, but it’s link-o-rama time…

Photos by Ludo


Category: Events, Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview, Photos, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paul Insect – “Out of Chaos”

November 26th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

“Butterfly Face Hoodie”

As a great follow-up to their Ron English show, the next show at Opera Gallery’s New York location is a solo show with Paul Insect. Out of Chaos is Paul’s first solo show in New York City, despite seriously great and equally successful solo shows in London and LA in the past. The show opens November 29th from 6-9pm. I’m going to miss it, but I have a good excuse: I don’t live in the state. If you do live in New York, you’d best be there.

I’m a fan of a lot of Paul’s work on the street and in the gallery (as are people like Damien Hirst and Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil Faile), so I’m excited that New York will finally be properly introduced to him (although he has had work in group shows at Opera Gallery in the past). Arrested Motion has photos from a studio visit with Paul Insect with more previews of what to expect at Out of Chaos. There are definitely a few pieces in the post on AM that could be mistaken for Banksy pieces or look heavily influenced by Banksy, but it’s worth noting that Paul Insect has some close ties to the Banksy camp and Opera says that Paul has been involved in “graphically developing [Banksy's] work.” So, can you really blame a guy for making work that resembles the work of another person whose work he has helped to develop? While the Banksy-esque stuff isn’t usually my favorite of what he does, I’m also not going to call Paul Insect just another Banksy rip off artist either, because that’s not what Paul at all.

Photo courtesy of Opera Gallery


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

Weekend link-o-rama

October 26th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »

Rothko from beyond the grave by Freddy Sam

Not much to say this week except of course that I’m pumped for The Art of Comedy. Not too much news either, but some important stories…

Photo by Faith47 and via Wooster Collective


Category: Auctions, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

October 6th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Veni

Here’s some stuff I missed this week while sitting under a giant stack of books and papers to read, mostly stuff I was supposed to read for school but avoided because I was at Nuart last weekend.

Photo by Colin Chazaud


Category: Events, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview, Photos, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Waking up Vardø

August 10th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Note from RJ: We at Vandalog are excited to publish Tristan Manco‘s first post on the site, hopefully the first of many. Tristan is one of contemporary street art’s greatest champions and most-distinguished writers. Tristan curated by iterations of Cans Festival, worked at Pictures on Walls for half a decade, has written or in some way contributed to 8 art books since 2002 as well as numerous magazine articles in publications such as Juxtapoz. I’ve known Tristan for a couple of years, and he is one of the people whom I really trust when it comes to art.

Taking place in the 24-hour daylight of a Northern Norway summer on a small island town called Vardø north of the Arctic Circle – Komafest was always going to be a unique event…

Vardø is the oldest settlement in Northern Norway and in recent years has become depopulated with many buildings left empty, partly as a result of the collapsing fishing industry. The curator and organizer of the festival, the Norwegian artist Pøbel saw the potential of a street art festival to make a visual transformation of the town and to show the local people it was possible to make changes. While developing the idea Pøbel spent time getting to know the locals and with his unassuming nature and enthusiasm he began to gain their trust. Soon the public began to get behind the idea and offer up buildings for artists to paint on and volunteering to help in the organization. It became a truly grassroots movement rather than something imposed on the community.

The island, shaped like a butterfly, has an otherworldly atmosphere and is only accessible overland by a winding 3km undersea tunnel, which appears out of the ground like something out of a science fiction movie, but the real stars of the show are its traditional wooden buildings. Many of the wooden jetties, warehouses and buildings are abandoned, weather-beaten and in a state of beautiful decay. Although standing empty these heritage buildings all have owners who are often unable to afford their proper restoration. The idea of project is that the art that is created on them can awaken these buildings out from a coma, giving the festival it’s name – Komafest.

Steve Powers. Click to view large.

What I found inspiring about this project was the way the invited artists responded to the place. Each artist had some idea of what they might experience but in most cases their preconceptions soon changed once they began to speak to the locals and learn more about their environment. According to local fisherman Aksel Robertsen, Philadelphian artist Steve Powers had many ideas planned but scrapped them as soon as he began to meet the people and experienced the place for himself – all those encounters shaped his final murals; such as “Cod is Great” and “Eternal Light – Eternal Night”. The French artist Remed painted a mural on an old seafront warehouse, which took some of its imagery from the seascape but included the text Hellige Heks Fortuna, (Hellige Heks means Holy Witch in Norwegian). This references to witches dates back to the Vardø witch trials that were held there in 17th century resulting in many of the accused being burned alive at the stake.

More after the jump… Read the rest of this article »


Category: Featured Posts, Festivals, Guest Posts, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,