C215 at Stolenspace and unveiling Vitry

February 19th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

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C215 has gone back to what he does best with his recent show at Stolenspace Gallery in London. For the last few years, a lot of C215′s larger and more significant work has been full of vibrant color. For some artists, color works with what they are doing and they have a great sense of it. For others, less is more. While a lot of people do some to like C215′s colorful pieces, they weren’t for me, at least compared to less colorful stuff. I’ve always preferred his work in black and white or muted tones. With Back to Black, my wishes for less color have been wonderfully fulfilled.

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Back in Black opened on the 7th, but I’m just posting about it now because there’s another event happening in conjunction with the show that I’m excited about… This Friday, a new book will be launching at Stolenspace in conjunction with C215′s show. The book, Vitry Ville Street Art, shows off some of the street art and murals in Vitry-sur-Seine, a Parisian suburb where C215 has been quietly bringing street artists for years. I wouldn’t say that the work in Vitry-sur-Seine is a secret, but it definitely isn’t widely known compared to the hype that so many more formal street art festivals get. I haven’t seen this new book yet, but I hope it helps shed light on an underrated little street art hub.

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Category: Books / Magazines, Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

Viral Art is now available at ViralArt.net

December 16th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

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Two weeks ago, I announced that Viral Art: How the internet has shaped street art and graffiti, my new ebook, was set to launch on December 16th. Excerpts have appeared on Hyperallergic, Complex.com and Brooklyn Street Art, I was interviewed over at Graffuturism and the book even got a shout-out from Shepard Fairey. Well, today’s the day. Viral Art is live and you can read it now at ViralArt.net and download it as a PDF or find it in the iBooks Store now.

I want to thank everyone who has been sharing the news about Viral Art these last two weeks, especially everyone who supported the Thunderclap campaign. Just this afternoon, there have been over 200 posts about Viral Art across Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. So, a big thank you to everyone who participated in that. Promoting this book is an entirely grassroots effort, and I’ll be forever grateful for your help.

In case you didn’t catch that last post or you’ve forgotten, here’s a reminder of what Viral Art is all about…

What is Viral Art?

It’s an ebook that you can read online or download to your computer or ereader. It’s full of text, hyperlinks, photos, animated GIFs and embedded videos.

What is Viral Art about?

Viral Art traces how the histories of street art and graffiti have been shaped by communication technologies, from trading photos by hand to publishing books to sharing videos online. It’s the most comprehensive look to date at how the internet has affected street art and graffiti. Conceptualizing the internet as a public space, I conclude the book by arguing that the future of street art and graffiti may lie in digital interventions rather than physical ones.

Why does Viral Art matter?

If you want to understand street art and graffiti, you have to understand how books, movies, magazines, photographs and the internet have affected artists and fans. Viral Art gets into all of that.

Today we live on our laptops and smartphones, so I argue that the best way for street art and graffiti to stay relevant is for artists to take over the public space of the internet. It’s a claim sure to cause controversy in the street art, graffiti and internet art communities.

Viral Art isn’t just another street art book cheer-leading the movement on. It’s history and theory with a critical stance, and my plea to keep the core values of street art and graffiti alive in a digital world.

What else is inside?

In researching for this project, I interviewed over 50 members of the street art and graffiti communities. In Viral Art, you’ll find brand new interviews, quotes and anecdotes from Banksy, Shepard Fairey, KATSU, Poster Boy, Ron English, Martha Cooper and many more.

Another cool touch is the cover, which you can see at the top of this post. It’s an animated GIF designed by General Howe, featuring artwork by Diego Bergia, General Howe and Jay Edlin, as well as photographs by Martha Cooper and myself.

What does this “book” cost?

Nothing. You can read Viral Art for free at ViralArt.net. There are also PDF and EPUB versions available for download.

How can fans support the book?

This book is the result of two and a half years of mostly-unpaid labor. It’s being self-published. My marketing budget consists of a few bucks for ads on Facebook. Major publishers spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars marketing everything they produce, but this project has no book tour or publicist or anything like that. There’s only your support. If Viral Art sounds interesting, or you read it and you think it is interesting, please tell your friends.

Where can people read Viral Art?

Just go here to read it online, or you can also download it to your computer or ereader.


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Announcing Viral Art, my new ebook

December 2nd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

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Today I have some news that I hope you’ll find very exciting, although you may have already heard a bit about it if you’re following me on Twitter. I’ve been waiting two and a half years to say this… Viral Art: How the internet has shaped street art and graffiti, my new ebook, comes out in just two weeks. Starting December 16th, the entirety of Viral Art will be available to read for free online at ViralArt.net. For now, there’s a brief excerpt published on Hyperallergic, and two more excerpts will be going up on other blogs between now and the 16th.

What is Viral Art about?

Viral Art traces how the histories of street art and graffiti have been shaped by communication technologies, from trading photos by hand to publishing books to sharing videos online. It is the most comprehensive look to date at how the internet has affected street art and graffiti. Conceptualizing the internet as a public space, I conclude the book by arguing that the future of street art and graffiti may lie in digital interventions rather than physical ones.

Why does Viral Art matter?

If you want to understand street art and graffiti, you have to understand how books, movies, magazines, photographs and the internet have affected artists and fans. Viral Art gets into all of that in depth, from the early days of graffiti through today.

Today we live on our laptops and smartphones, so I argue that the best way to keep the core values of street art and graffiti alive is for artists to take over the public space of the internet. It’s a claim sure to cause controversy in the street art, graffiti and internet art communities, but it might be the best way to save all three from irrelevance.

At Vandalog, we try to take stands and to go beyond just posting the latest pretty pictures. In that same vein, Viral Art isn’t just another street art book cheer-leading the movement on. It’s history and theory with a critical stance, and my plea to keep street art and graffiti relevant in a digital world.

What else is inside?

In researching for this project, I interviewed over 50 members of the street art and graffiti communities. In Viral Art, you’ll find never-before-published interviews, quotes and anecdotes from Banksy, Shepard Fairey, KATSU, Poster Boy, Ron English, Martha Cooper and many more.

Another cool touch is the cover, which you can see at the top of this post. It’s an animated GIF designed by General Howe, featuring artwork by Diego Bergia, General Howe and Jay Edlin, as well as photographs by Martha Cooper and myself.

What’s all this gonna cost?

Nothing. You will be able to read Viral Art for free online. There will also be PDF and EPUB versions available for download.

How can fans support the book?

To help get the word out about Viral Art, you can join the campaign on Thunderclap.it. Thunderclap is kind of like Kickstarter, but instead of asking for money, I’m asking you to send out a link on the day that Viral Art goes live. Joining the campaign that will let you automatically tell your friends about Viral Art through Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr on December 16th.

This book is the result of two and a half years of mostly-unpaid labor. It’s being self-published. My marketing budget consists of a few bucks for ads on Facebook. Major publishers spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars marketing everything they produce, but this project has no book tour or publicist or anything like that. There’s only your support.

If you can help spread the word about Viral Art by joining the Thunderclap, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you. And of course, I hope you’ll read the book come December 16th.


Category: Books / Magazines, Featured Posts, Vandalog Projects | Tags:

The Art of D*Face: One Man and His Dog

November 3rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

ArtofD*Face

As Shepard Fairey suggests in his artful introduction to this first-rate survey of D*Face’s artwork and life, D*Face is a master of art that is both subversive and skilled. And of particular appeal to me is that despite his commercial success, the artist continues to use the streets as a canvas.

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Like so many artists I’ve spoken to and interviewed, D*Face hated school and survived it through drawing and doodling anything — from bubble letters to cartoons — all over his school books. Through a mix of fortuitous circumstances, hard work and extraordinary skill, he  emerged from a working-class family to become one of the globe’s most successful urban artists. Prodded by his determination not to ever work at a job he hated — as he had seen his mom and too many folks do — he was saved by the skateboarding culture that introduced him to graffiti.

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He began tagging while looking for spots to skate, and with the discovery of Thrasher Magazine, Subway Art and Spraycan Art, he was on his way to forge a successful career as a street artist, fine artist and designer. And with the launch of his gallery, Stolen Space, in 2005, he’s paved the way for other artists, as well.

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Always experimenting and evolving, D*Face represents the best of urban art. With his particular fusion of pop culture and graffiti meshed with his rebellious streak and ingenious  imagination, D*Face draws both our eyes and minds into his vision. With its dozens of first-rate images and engaging text, The Art of D*Face: One Man and His Dog — published by Laurence King Publishing — is a model of an artist’s monograph. It came my way just as Banksy left town and it was the perfect antidote!

Photos courtesy Laurence King Publishing


Category: Books / Magazines | Tags:

Melbourne Monthly Madness – August 2013

September 30th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

Sorry this post is so late. I’ve had an injured hand, so typing has been a pain, literally… Here’s my round up for August. I’m calling this month the Video Edition, cos I don’t think I can recall a month where so many awesome videos came out… Here we go…

To start off check out this great video from Jack Douglas. Jack is a talented Melbourne street artist and tattooist; this video shows some of his street and tattoo work. His characters are always awesome.

Another rad video featuring local writer BOLTS smashing some walls across Melbourne with his always super tight style.

Do you know what a “bogan” is? It’s an Australian colloquialism, this video from Melbourne writer AEON (created alongside VNA magazine) gives you a perfect explanation of the Aussie Bogan, lost in London.

LINZ from Queensland visited Melbourne and painted this great piece. LINZ also talks about his time as a writer and how things have changed so much over the years.

This video from Spacerunner is definitely my favourite video for the month. SIMR and Rides showing us how it’s done painting one of Melbourne’s trains in the dark of the night.

Check out this video featuring interviews with Rone, Sandra Powell and Andrew King discussing their views on street art in galleries and the streets and the general attitude towards the art recently in Melbourne.

Rone was in Portland Oregon recently for Forrest for the Trees festival.

A new video from LUSH.

And finally Reka painted this epic 8 story wall in Copenhagen.

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Weekend link-o-rama

September 21st, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Unit 12, maybe. Photo by Dani Mozeson.

Unit 12 or Unit 112, maybe?

This link-o-rama is super helpful for me, because all week I’ve been working on my upcoming ebook instead of blogging. Hopefully the ebook will be out in November… Anyways, links:

  • I love that this show at LeQuiVive Gallery reframes a certain kind of work that often gets lumped in with street art or urban art as Neu Folk Revival, which describes the work much better than calling it street art or urban art or low-brow art. Some real talent in this show: Doodles, Troy Lovegates, Cannon Dill, ghostpatrol, Zio Ziegler, Daryll Peirce, Justin Lovato… It opens next month.
  • This piece by Part2ism needs to be seen. And look closely. That’s not just paint on the wall. Very interesting. I am glad to see Part2ism on the streets again, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Once again, he has shown that he is ahead of the rest of us. This piece doesn’t look like graffiti. It doesn’t look like street art. It looks like art on the street, and that’s much too rare.Swampy has relaunched his website and posted a video diary sort of thing. I’m very curious what people think about it. Have a look and let me know.Check out this concept from Jadikan-LP: Art that only exists within Google Maps. Click the link. Explore the room. I normally hate lightpainting or “light graffiti,” but I absolutely love this piece. As far as I’m concerned, the internet is a public space and Jadikan-LP has invaded it with artwork, so this project is street art.
  • CDH wrote a really fascinating article in Art Monthly Australia about the commodification of street art. While I don’t agree with him entirely, I think it’s a must-read because at least it sparks some thoughts. It’s one of the best-written critiques I’ve read of the capitalistic nature of contemporary street art. Over on Invurt, they have posted CDH’s article as well as a response by E.L.K. (who CDH calls out in his critique). In his article, CDH called out E.L.K. for using stencils with so many layers that the work isn’t really street anymore, since stencils were initially used for being quick and a piece with 20 layers isn’t going to be quick. It’s just going to look technically interesting. Well, E.L.K. shot back in his response and made himself look like an idiot and seemingly declaring that all conceptual street art and graffiti is crap. There were arguments he could have made to defend complex stenciling or critique other points of CDH’s article, but instead E.L.K. mostly just attacked CDH as an artist. Anyway, definitely read both the original article and the response over at Invurt. The comments on the response are interesting as well.

Photo by Dani Mozeson


Category: Art News, Books / Magazines, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Melbourne Monthly Madness – July 2013 (belated)

September 2nd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

Apologies for the delay posting this. I have had to hold off posting it due to Illegal August.

HAHA - Photo by David Russell

HAHA – Photo by David Russell

Metro Gallery started off the month with the opening of their group show “Writing on the Wall” with works from local and international artists such as Swoon, Rone, Matt Adnate, HAHA, Word to Mother, E.L.K, Dabs Myla and D*Face and more. Some shots from the opening below and more here.

Rone - Photo by David Russell

Rone – Photo by David Russell

Word to Mother - Photo by David Russell

Word to Mother – Photo by David Russell

The day after the opening Metro hosted more live painting, this month featuring work by Unwell Bunny, Two One and again E.L.K. More shots here.

Unwell Bunny - Photo by David Russell

Unwell Bunny – Photo by David Russell

Two One - Photo by David Russell

Two One – Photo by David Russell

E.L.K - Photo by David Russell

E.L.K – Photo by David Russell

Chaotic Gallery’s 1st show BRUISER by Creature Creature was a cracker. A massive turnout for the Southside’s newest gallery. The works were amazing; a combination of the two artists styles which mesh so well together, featuring influences from the samurai era throughout. Check out some of my favourite pieces below and more here.  Also check out some of their recent paste ups, which I also love, here.

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

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King Brown issue 9 launch party

July 31st, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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NYC is having a good couple of weeks for magazine launch parties. Today was the Very Nearly Almost issue with Faile on the cover, and August 10th is the launch of King Brown issue 9. This issue comes in a bag with designs by Unga of Broken Fingaz and Ed Templeton and the magazine includes features on Ed Templeton, Unga, Nychos, Huskmitnavn, Dabs Myla, Ghostpatrol and others. Issue 9 will be launched at Schoolhouse Gallery (330 Ellery St Brooklyn – Flushing Ave stop off the JMZ) on August 10th from 6-10pm. The launch party will include music by Fake Hooker and live painting by The Yok, Sheryo and Nychos. All good things. Except that I won’t be there, so please have fun for me.

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Photos courtesy of King Brown


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Sunday link-o-rama

July 28th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Jaz, drawing entirely with charcoal.

Jaz, drawing entirely with charcoal in Buenos Aires.

Had a quick holiday in New York City combined with a nasty cold to delay posting this link-o-rama, but I’m back so here we go…

  • Dave aka nolionsinengland has been a friend and also one of my favorite street art/graffiti photographers for many years now. I’m very excited to see that he’s now offering street art tours of London in addition to his street art photography workshops. There aren’t too many people who can take me on a graffiti or street art tour of London, but Dave has shown me around before and he still schools me every time we meet up. This guy knows his stuff, and regular reads of this site have seen his photos on here for years. I haven’t taken this tour of course, but from every experience I’ve had with Dave over the past 5 or so years, I cannot recommend him highly enough.
  • Another longtime friend whose work I’ve admired is Know Hope, so I’m overjoyed to see him getting some serious recognition in the UK with a solo show coming up at Lazarides Gallery’s Rathbone Place location. Like Os Gemeos, Know Hope make work that grabs me and sucks me in to his world, and that’s a rare and beautiful experience. The show opens August 2nd.
  • Banksy’s No Ball Games street piece in London has been removed from the wall and is due to be sold next year. The profits from the sale will be going to charity, but I’m curious if that means the profits for person who owns the wall, or if the group organizing the removal and sale are also forgoing any profits. The company that removed this wall is the same one that managed the sale of Banksy’s Slave Labour street piece earlier this year.
  • Very nice NSA-theme ad takeover.
  • Gold Peg and Malarky are showing together in Stoke on Trent in the UK on August 3rd. It’s not often that Gold Peg shows her work indoors, so this is a really special treat.
  • Faile are on the cover of the latest issue of Very Nearly Almost, so there will be launch events in both NYC and London. The NYC launch is July 31st at Reed Projects and the London launch will be 8th August at Lazarides.
  • This year’s Living Walls conference/festival line up has been announced. The festival (my personal favorite in the USA) will be August 14th-18th in Atlanta. Caroline and I will be there, as well Steve and Jaime of Brooklyn Street Art. I highly encourage you to make the trip out if at all possible. Artist painting this year include Jaz, Inti, Know Hope, Freddy Sam, Trek Matthews and many more. More info about the conference (including all the things planned besides the murals) here. Also, you can donate to the conference here.
  • Remi/Rough recently put together a book of sketches that you can read online. Most artists who have met me know that I’m always carrying around a blackbook, and that I love to collect sketches, so this project of Remi’s was a real joy for me. It’s really fascinating to see what’s going on behind the scenes with this work.
  • Caroline and I went to this show in Brooklyn on Saturday night. I was really impressed with EKG’s drawings. A few of them definitely reminded me of Rammellzee. Col’s screenprints on wood were also interesting as a change of pace for someone who I’ve always known as a master with spray can.
  • Have I missed something? These new Titifreak works for his upcoming show at Black Book Gallery look very different from the Titifreak I remember. Still great though. I hope I get a chance to see this show while I’m in Denver next month.
  • Surreal awesomeness from Dome.

Photo by Jaz


Category: Art News, Auctions, Books / Magazines, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fiasco Creative Art Magazine review

June 29th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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Recently, I received the latest edition of London-based Fiasco Creative Art Magazine. Fiasco has a lot of promise; with full-color glossy pages, it’s hard to detect this is only the second issue. The quality is somewhere between a full-fledged magazine and your average art zine. For this issue, there are interviews with ACE, Hello Monsters, Abject One and Michael De Feo. Although the street art photography isn’t formally labeled (that is to say, the artist has perhaps signed the piece but regardless the magazine doesn’t cite them), the zine is full of interesting snaps of what’s been happening on the streets of London.

I used to spend hours in book stores flipping through every street art book, absorbing every image, and of course wanting to reread them all at home. But let’s face it: art books are expensive. Receiving a quarterly zine is a great way to get the same or similar content of those books but more recent and for less money. Is it as long or durable as a book? No, but they’re probably still worth saving. Fiasco is just £5 (just under $8) per issue and the last edition came with a poster by ACE.

Follow Fiasco on Facebook or tumblr.

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Photos by Ross Beasley


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