The bots are coming for your tweets

May 10th, 2015 | By | No Comments »
The profile page for the Twitter bot @anagramatron

The profile page for the Twitter bot @anagramatron.

It’s no secret that Twitter bots can be pretty entertaining and/or confusing. Sometimes they’re artworks or jokes. Sometimes they’re somewhat useful tools or coding experiments. Generally speaking though (and excluding spambots), Twitter bots don’t actually interact with other users. You could follow @everyword, but it wasn’t going to follow you back or respond to your tweets. And most of the bots that will respond to your tweets won’t respond unless you’ve reached out to them in some way first (like @DearAssistant). There are, however, a handful of non-spambot Twitter bots that will find you even if you’re not looking for them. These bots are examples of invasive viral art, art that exists only online but acts a bit like street art or graffiti, treating the Twitter stream as public space and public tweets as content to appropriate or engage with.

So what do these invasive viral art Twitter bots look like and do? They all seek out other users’ tweets to engage with, and from there things can go in a few different directions.

Darius Kazemi, one of the most prolific and best-known creators of Twitter bots, has @VeryOldTweets. The bot simply “retweets one of the first 7500 tweets (first 90 days of Twitter) four times a day.” The tweets of Twitter’s earliest users are recontextualized as a semi-random look back at “history.” As much as the bot is interesting to random outside observers, there’s also the engagement of the users whose content is being appropriated. I would find it weird and a bit shocking if a tweet of mine from almost a decade ago was suddenly retweeted.

The most obviously “artistic” Twitter bots of this sort relate to poetry and word games.

Colin Rofls has @ANAGRAMATRON and @HAIKU9000. Both bots mine Twitter and then combine “matching” tweets from separate, otherwise unrelated, users.

@ANAGRAMATRON finds tweets that are anagrams and then retweet the matching pairs. For example, on April 9th, @pranksterstyles tweeted “i did my nails before”, and on April 19th, @warneholly tweeted “I’m so drained by life”. When @ANAGRAMATRON found that the pair matched, it notifies Rofls, and with his okay, the bot retweeted both tweets. @ANAGRAMATRON’s retweets are approved by Rofls so the process isn’t completely automated, but that’s mostly to keep out spambots. It’s still the algorithm doing most of the work. As Rofls notes, “[anagrams are] especially interesting because they’re so hard to come up with manually.” Really, without any cheating, who was ever going to think up the pair “i did my nails before” and “I’m so drained by life”?

Similarly, @HAIKU9000 searches for tweets that each fit the rules to be one line in a haiku, and then combines three such tweets into one poem/tweet with credit to its sources, pulling together disconnected Twitter users and appropriating their words in a way that was probably not the author’s intent.

Maybe I’m just too naively optimistic, but I wonder if any of the users appropriated by @ANAGRAMATRON or @HAIKU9000 have ever connected with one another after their tweets were brought together by the bots. I asked Rofls how people respond to his bots, but the result was disheartening. He said, “Mostly they don’t, to be honest. Very occasionally they’re thrilled, sometimes confused, but mostly just silent.”

Rofls was inspired to create @ANAGRAMATRON after seeing Ranjit Bhatnagar‘s @pentametron, a very popular Twitter bot with this fantastic bio: “With algorithms subtle and discrete / I seek iambic writings to retweet.” Like @ANAGRAMATRON, @pentametron searches out matching pairs to retweet, in this case tweets in iambic pentameter that get retweeted together as rhyming couplets (“You fuel my desire to succeed.” / “How many chances does Hernandez need!”)

And then there’s the (currently inactive) Accidental Haiku from Cameron Spencer, which used to find entire tweets that could be broken down into a single haiku. For example:

The other major category of bots search for certain keywords and offer an (often unexpected) canned response, usually related to pop culture. Maybe not as intricate or clever as the anagram and poetry bots, but a pleasant or confusing surprise for users nonetheless.

Colin Mitchell has been a bunch of these kinds of bots, but unfortunately most are currently inactive/retired (@mirror_magick, @for_a_dollar, @iaminigomontoya). My personal favorite from Mitchell is perhaps the most predictable, but it’s also still active: @Betelgeuse_3. Simply tweet the magic words (“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice”), and see what happens… Like this guy did.

The most famous bot in this category is probably @DBZNappa. Do you know how often people tweet about something being “over 9000″? Apparently, it’s all the freaking time, because @DBZNappa responds to all of those tweets with “WHAT?! NINE THOUSAND?!”, from a Dragon Ball Z meme, and the bot has tweeted well over a million times since it when live in November 2009. Daniel Lo Nigro, who created the bot, describes it as “a pretty good example of a simple ‘search and reply’ Twitter bot, that could easily be extended to do more useful things.”

A personal favorite of mine, although now inactive, is @StealthMountain, which responds to tweets that use the phrase “sneak peak” instead of”sneak peek”. The one beautiful thing about this bot now being inactive is its last tweet:

Good catch, @StealthMountain.

Of course, there’s no better bot to end on than the most hilarious and low-brow: @fart_robot. The bot searches out mentions of farts on Twitter, and retweets them to its 12,000+ followers with the note: “FART ROBOT APPROVES.” For example:

While not all of these bots creators (Daniel Lo Nigro for example) consider their bots to be artworks, I disagree. Or, the very at least, I think bots like @DBZNappa can/should inspire artworks. It’s fascinating that you could just be going about your day, tweeting whatever silly thing you might tweet to your followers, only to have your words appropriated by @pentametron or to be perhaps mildly embarrassed by @fart_robot, which is not unlike walking to work and being surprised by a piece of street art or graffiti. Most people might ignore that piece or street art or an odd retweet, but for some, the occurrence catches them at just the right moment and it affects them.

We live our lives in the public spaces of the internet. Let’s put art there. I hope there are more Twitter bots to come.

Category: Random | Tags:

Sharing Inspiration: Noxer for Frontal Labotomy at Tender Trap

April 29th, 2015 | By | No Comments »
Lance de los Reyes

Lance de los Reyes. Photo by Darryl Nau.

Since reopening in Greenpoint, Tender Trap has hosted an ongoing series of shows curated by Andrew H. Shirley. The Frontal Labotomy series takes place biweekly in a 3′ by 4′ display case in the middle of the bar.

Russell Murphy

Russell Murphy. Photo by Paul Reubens.

Shirley explains:

The idea came to me from staring at my bedroom wall. I was thinking how psychologically explicit the assortment of objects and art I have displayed are- how they tell a story of me and my emotional being. I wanted to be able to create a setting where artists could display themselves the same way. That said, it’s totally up to them how they want to inhabit the box. It’s completely hands-off in the sense that I don’t have any involvement in the content outside of asking individuals to participate in the residency. In the future, I’m looking to curate people from backgrounds outside the world of art- plumbers, vagrants, clowns, convicted felons, and crossing guards in attempt to let the public look into their lives in a more intimate way.


One of Noxer’s pieces for Frontal Labotomy. Courtesy of Noxer.

Tonight, April 29, Frontal Labotomy rotates and New York writer Noxer takes over the space. The opening reception starts at 7pm. Know for bringing his “black man robbing” character to graffiti, drawing, and puppetry, viewers can expect a mixed-media approach to the 4′ x 3′ space, including the above image.

Photos by Darryl Nau, and Paul Reubens, and courtesy of Noxer

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

How many street artists can Hyundai rip off in 30 seconds?

April 28th, 2015 | By | 11 Comments »

Screenshot from the Hyundai ad

Major hat tip to Ian Cox for coming across this one, as well as Caroline Caldwell for alerting me to Ian’s find and for research help.

A car commercial currently airing on UK television for the Hyundai i20 appears to steal the work of at least half a dozen street artists in just 30 seconds. Here’s the ad:

I guess this just goes to show you what advertising executives mean by “inspiration”.

How many stolen pieces can you spot? Spoilers after the jump.

Read the rest of this article »

Category: Featured Posts, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The story behind this crazy Tod Seelie photograph

April 27th, 2015 | By | No Comments »


Tod Seelie is one of my favorite photographers, and his recent book is something that I seem to take off the shelf and show to just about anyone who stops by my place. You might be familiar with his work for any of a dozen reasons, but Vandalog readers are probably most likely to know his photographs of Swoon’s rafts, or his documentation of Bike Kill. His most recent body of work is Outland Empire, shot earlier this year in Southern California during a residency with Superchief Gallery.

In Outland Empire, Seelie explores the eccentricities and underground of Southern California, from the streets of LA to the characters in Slab City to crazy to the literal underground of storm drains. Seelie’s photographs oscillate from depicting the forgotten vestiges of humanity to wild moments full of energy, always with his unique eye and penchant for exploration. Outland Empire is a reminder that the world is more than just carefully manicured people and places. There’s still a bit of dirt and magic out there, for now.

In May, we’ll be exhibiting an expanded version of Seelie’s Outland Empire series at LMNL Gallery, a space I help run in Philadelphia. The show opens this Friday from 6-9pm.

There are a bunch of photos in Outland Empire that I’d love to get the back story on, but the above photo in particular seemed relevant to Vandalog, so I asked Seelie about it. Here’s what he had to say:

I shot this image while with some friends deep in the storm drain tunnels of LA. There is a spot, over a mile deep, where the floor is slanted so the water is more concentrated to one side leaving a “beach” area for hanging out. I have been down here with friends a few times for various things, dinner parties, live music, (there was flaming tall bike jousting, but I wasn’t there for that) and painting graffiti. It’s a very chill spot and worth the wet feet.

For more stories and photos from Outland Empire, check out this post on Hopes&Fears.

Outland Empire is also being exhibited this week at Tender Trap with Superchief NYC.


Photo by Tod Seelie

Category: Featured Posts, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos | Tags: ,

Sunday link-o-rama

April 12th, 2015 | By | No Comments »
"the beauty of un-advertising" by VladyArt in Catania, Italy

“the beauty of un-advertising” by VladyArt in Catania, Italy

Got a few things that caught my eye recently, so I’m going back to the old link-o-rama format for a day:

  • A group of anonymous artists installed a bust of Edward Snowden at a park in Brooklyn, but the piece was almost immediately taken down by the city. Luckily, as the artists noted to ANIMAL, “The fact that a risk was taken, the fact that an image comes out of that event that can be passed around can never be undone. So you can rip the statue out, but you can’t erase the fact that it happened and that people are sharing it.” It’s all a bit reminiscent of when the British government forced The Guardian to destroy hard drives containing files leaked by Snowden, even though there were other copies of the files outside of the UK. Of course the sculpture wasn’t going to last. Take it down or leave it up, it hardly matters. We have the photos.
  • Faile and Bast are showing at the Brooklyn Museum in July. So I’m looking forward to that, and you should be too.
  • But if you’re looking for something up now in NYC, definitely stop by Roa’s solo show at Jonathan Levine Gallery. ANIMAL very cleverly made a series of GIFs of the show. I had a pretty similar reaction to this show as I had to Roa’s show at Stolenspace last year in London. Basically, I went in with a negative attitude of thinking I’d seen the work before, and I left happy as a kid in a candy store because Roa’s pieces are so damn fun to experience and play with. It’s a really stupid fear/attitude that I have about Roa’s shows, and it’s one that the work always seems to overcome, proving my preconceived notions wrong. Good stuff, as always.
  • And if you’re in Paris, Know Hope just had a show open there.
  • Check out this spot-on anonymous critique of crappy stencils in Shoreditch by terrible street artist Bambi.
  • It’s great to see Aakash Nihalani getting some love from Juxtapoz for his interactive work.
  • Niels “Shoe” Meulman is retiring his use of the term “Calligraffiti”, because he feels his work is now better represented by the term “Abstract Vandalism,” now that his work is moving away from letters and becoming more abstract. Okay, he’s evolving as an artist, but really: who cares? That’s a pretty standard evolution these days for artists coming out of graffiti. Two reasons this is interesting. First, he’s published a short manifesto of Abstract Vandalism, which I love, and I highly recommend picking up a copy for the great little tidbits like “The difference between art and vandalism is only in the eye of the law upholder.” Second, Shoe is giving up admin control of the Calligraffiti facebook page, which has over half a million likes. In a few days, Shoe will be selecting new admins for the page, artists whose work he feels is in line with Calligraffiti now that his work is not. You can learn more about that, and suggest yourself as a new admin, here.
  • Gotta love Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada’s latest pieces.
  • I’ve never really cared for MTO‘s realistic figurative murals, even though they do play with space in an interesting way, but he’s really piqued my interest with a new piece for Memorie Urbane 2015 in Gaeta, Italy. The piece is a conceptual look into the future, a future where Google controls what information we have access to (oh wait, maybe this isn’t so futuristic…) in public space. The mural is a response to the Google Cultural Institute’s Street Art Project, which ostensibly acts as a digital archive for street art and murals. The project is highly curated and controlled, begging the question: Who decides what’s included, and what isn’t? MTO’s piece also hints at a future where augmented reality is the norm. The re:art has a great article with photos and analysis of MTO’s mural. For now, I’ll just add: I can’t wait for this mural to show up on Google Street View.

Photo by VladyArt

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

#RexisteMX and the radical distribution of protest art

April 6th, 2015 | By | No Comments »


#RexisteMX, an anonymous collective of Zapatista-trained activists with a focus on using street art may at first appear to be your standard street artists with a political message, but that’s not quite right. For one thing, the internet is essential to their project, even though they’re trying to spread messages on Mexico’s streets. The group’s main artistic output consists of poster and stencil designs, which they post on the internet for free, explicitly encouraging others to cut their own #RexisteMX stencils, use #RexisteMX posters at protests, or remix and reuse the designs.

A #RexisteMX design posted for download on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

A #RexisteMX design posted for download on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

You may think you’ve heard about street artists doing this sort of thing before. Off the top of my head… Shepard Fairey has been giving away or selling his stickers for decades, and the “Urban Renewal Kit” on his website includes three classic OBEY designs that anyone can download for free; group like Artists Against Police Violence have repositories of high-resolution downloadable protest art from a wide array of artists; the Guerrilla Girls have a handful of free downloads on their website but the group definitely has strong feelings about strict copyright controls; and Just Seeds released a series of downloadable artist-designed posters advertising the People’s Climate March.

But #RexisteMX goes a step further than most similar projects from artists, even artists taking an activist stance. Fairey, Artists Against Police Violence, Guerrilla Girls, and Just Seeds all encourage people to use their work, but only within strict limits. Shepard does allow some remixing of his work, but that’s more about fair use, parody, and promoting Fairey’s own OBEY GIANT campaign than letting people take ownership of his content and encouraging new artistic creations (although that is a nice side-effect). There are plenty of artists participating in activism and lending their skills to various causes, but generally speaking the artist still more or less maintains control of their work.

However, #RexisteMX’s strategy isn’t unique among activists. There’s Occupy* Posters, for example, and CrimethInc uses a custom license similar to a Creative Commons license for their work. Which leads to the conclusion that the members of #RexisteMX are activists using street art as a method, rather than street artists participating in activism.

A #RexisteMX design posted for download on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

A #RexisteMX design posted for download on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.

The collective actually does actively resist the label of art, saying “Rexiste is an idea, not an artist. We prefer personal anonymity and creative commons; our designs and ideas are open spaces to be shared, reappropriated and reinterpreted. We don’t make art, we create collectively, we feel collectively. We exist because we resist.” And they provide anyone who is interested with the opportunity to resist too.

Ironically, by avoiding the label of artist and the trappings associated with that, as well as relying on the internet to distribute their work, these activists are taking street art back to its roots as a tool for self-expression by anyone with an internet connection and the simplest tools.

Stickers by #RexisteMX

Stickers by #RexisteMX

Photo and designs by #RexisteMX

Category: Photos | Tags:

A bucket of black paint in the heart of Mexico

April 2nd, 2015 | By | 2 Comments »
Censored mural by Ericailcane. Photo by RexisteMX.

Censored mural by Ericailcane. Photo by RexisteMX.

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from the anonymous artist/activist collective RexisteMX. I want to thank RexisteMX for drawing attention to and providing this local perspective on a recent case of censorship in Mexico City. – RJ Rushmore

Everything started on a February evening when a bucket of black paint and a roller met a wall in Mexico City, a wall that had just been painted by a well-known artist as part of a local gallery’s street art festival. That evening, the festival succumbed to fear, a deep fear that runs through the veins of this country, permeating citizens’ hearts and souls.

#ManifiestoMX is a street art festival organized by FIFTY24MX, a gallery of “young art”. For the festival, they invited artists such as Blu, Swoon, Ericailcane, JAZ, Bastardilla and Saner to create murals around Mexico City. The goal, in their own words, was to create murals that “pointed out themes about the protest and the awareness of the contemporary situation in Mexico. Using art as a social tool to complain, debate and propose.” The artists were there “to express through murals their opinion.”

Mural by Blu. Photo from FIFTY24MX.

Mural by Blu. Photo from FIFTY24MX.

Mural by Bastardilla. Photo from FIFTY24MX.

Mural by Bastardilla. Photo from FIFTY24MX.

At first, this project awakened a great interest among local artists and fans of street art. For the first time, we would be able to see international icons of critical art and resistance creating murals in our neighborhoods.

One of the #ManifiestoMX artists best known for critical and politically charged muralism, as well as the resistance to the commercialization of art, is Ericailcane. It was his mural that sparked a controversy at #ManifiestoMX and brought the deep-seed fears of so many Mexican citizens to light.

Ericailcane's original mural in progress, photo from FIFTY24MX, and President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto wearing the Mexican Presidential sash.

Ericailcane’s original mural in progress, photo from FIFTY24MX, and President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto wearing the Mexican Presidential sash.

Ericailcane’s mural was a critique of Enrique Peña Nieto, “President” of Mexico, pictured as a circus monkey who dances to the tune of applause and clanging pesos. Powerful, right? Perhaps because that’s the truth about a man who found his way into government thanks to the applause of television and the power of the money, buying the votes of the poor; maybe because it is the reality of a Mexico governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has worked hard to dismantle the country’s democracy and kill indigenous people to steal their natural resources, all the while feigning a war against drugs that leaves thousands of civilians dead while the drugs are still running and reaching the United States. It was an honest mural. Too honest for a Mexico where the government has made its people fear that anyone who thinks differently from the PRI might be silenced or disappeared, just like the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.

Ericailcane's mural post-censorship. Photo by RexisteMX.

Ericailcane’s mural post-censorship. Photo by RexisteMX.

On the morning of February 22nd, we went to photograph Ericailcane’s mural, but we were surprised that instead of the tricolor band shown in FIFTY24MX’s photo, which was how the mural made clear reference to Enrique Peña Nieto, there was a thin black line around the monkey’s neck. We tweeted at the organizers and asked why there had been censorship, but the only thing we got was silence. Silence and more censorship. Later, we noticed that the comments addressing the mural’s censorship were being deleted from FIFTY24MX’s Facebook page. The pressure on the gallery intensified as the question echoed across social networks: Why was there censorship at ManifiestoMX?

Only after continued pressure on social media did the organizers of ManifiestoMX at FIFTY24MX respond briefly to say, “The owners of the building asked for the colors of the strip to be changed so the piece would not be taken down,” and “they are people of another generation who are accustomed to living in fear, and you have to respect that.”

Screenshot from FIFTY24MX's Facebook page. Click to view large.

Screenshot from FIFTY24MX’s Facebook page. Click to view large.

Case solved, right? As long as the government didn’t paint out the mural, what does it matter? But PRI has been in power forever. This censorship only proves that the PRI are not a political party; they are now a way of life. It’s a daily terror, so why worry?

That fearful February evening, the owner of a wall, the gallery, and the artist accepted self-censorship. With a bucket of black paint and the fear to question or be critical, an artwork was painted out. Why? Because fear is natural and respectable; because urban art is cool; because it’s “in”; because being critical is good so long as it keeps selling, so long as it doesn’t cross the imaginary lines drawn by the state; because in Mexico art is only supposed to be a hollow shell without content, something pretty that doesn’t say anything.

Contradictory to his gallery’s practice of deleting comments reacting to the censorship on FIFTY24MX’s social media pages, Emilio Ocampo from FIFTY24MX told the Huffington Post, “They wanted us to change the colors to black. But you know what? We like that censorship, and the reactions it produced. That also means that the message bothered someone. We love both images: with the tricolored ribbon and now with black.”

And what about us, the spectators? Do we like censorship? Is censorship good now? Do we reproduce it? Do we accept it? In the face of censorship, do we protest, or we do remain silent? Is it that censorship is not so bad? Is it just part of our daily lives now, so we have to accept it? And what if we, like FIFTY24MX, like censorship? How do we express our “Manifesto”? Do we self-censor and paint nothing? Do we paint something controversial and then censor it? Or is that anti-censorship? We’re lost now.

“We think this incident is a reflection of the self-censorship that we decide to live in,” FIFTY24MX’s co-director Liliana Carpinteyro told the Huffington Post. But others, like us, believe that the normalization of censorship is a reflection of a country that we do not choose to live in. We cannot produce art that reveals or pushes boundaries at the same time that we follow the rules of a government that is keeping us silent, disappearing us, killing us. To start making critical art in Mexico, we must expel the tendency towards self-censorship that the PRI has instilled in all of us.

We should paint in a country where we do not accept silence about censorship, whether imposed directly by the government or self censorship out of fear. We can’t let another bucket of black paint cover another mural that we all know speaks the truth and points towards our shared dream of freedom. Ericailcane’s mural cannot stand as a monument to self-censorship. It has to be a starting point for discussion and debate. Its desecration will not silence us from further reflection or action. We must continue using critical art to transform our reality.

Ericailcane's mural. Click to view large. Photo by RexisteMX.

Ericailcane’s mural. Click to view large. Photo by RexisteMX.

Photos by RexisteMX and from FIFTY24MX

Category: Art News, Featured Posts, Guest Posts | Tags: , , , ,

Le Jardin Rouge

March 30th, 2015 | By | No Comments »
jardin rouge - marrakech - streetart

Krito. Photo by UrbanPresents

The Jardin Rouge is an artists’ residency center located in Morocco, near Marrakesh, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Created by the Montresso Art Foundation, the idea was to have a place of exchange and creation open only to artists, with no other purpose than seeing them evolve and grow in their creative process. The residency boasts an amazing environment and very comfortable working conditions, and it is open to both well-known and emerging artists. The only requirement is to have talent. And those who have passed through “Le Jardin Rouge” have that in spades! Lucky for us, the owner has a particularly strong passion for urban art, and the residency offers urban artists complete freedom of artistic expression.

It sounds like paradise, and that’s not far from the truth. The photographic work of Bart, from UrbanPresents, makes me fall in love with this place. The landscape, the light, everything is there to sublimate the work of the artists, whether in the park (which covers is 13 hectares!) or inside a building that also serves as an exhibition space.


Reso and GoddoG. Photo by Damien Mauro,

French artist GoddoG was recently an artist-in-resident at Le Jardin Rouge. In his own words…

It was super welcoming. Le Jardin Rouge is one-of-a-kind. The main purpose of my visit was to deepen my technique on canvas by linking my work on walls with my work on canvas. The 10-week residency helped me develop my technical skills, and allowed me to concentrate on my work while expanding it. In addition, Le Jardin Rouge is a place to meet other artists and exchange opinions, which helped me develop further as an artist and as a critical thinker.

Read the rest of this article »

Category: Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Aïda Gómez wins at street Tetris

March 28th, 2015 | By | No Comments »

tetris montaje small

Aïda Gómez saw a deteriorating wall in the Berlin subway and thought what we all think when we see a city’s infrastructure falling apart: “This is terrible. I can’t believe I just paid money to wait for a train in this place if they can’t even fix the walls…” Well actually, no. Gómez wasn’t quite so sour. She saw an opportunity to inject some fun onto the subway and use art to repair the wall. She did this:


Okay, I’m not sure “street Tetris” is really a thing. I suppose I just made it up, but if it were a thing, Gómez just won. She calls this project Mind the Gap. It reminds me of the Astoria Scum River Bridge by Jason Eppink and Posterchild, which I also really love.

Also, here’s a GIF version:


Photos by Aïda Gómez, GIF by RJ Rushmore

Category: Animation, Photos | Tags: , ,

Cash For Your Warhol is coming to Philadelphia

March 23rd, 2015 | By | No Comments »


For years, I’ve followed the saga of Cash For Your Warhol, the Boston-based art experiment that’s been bugging art collectors, confusing the general public, and entertaining the street art world for years. Now, Cash For Your Warhol is coming to Philadelphia with a show at LMNL Gallery, where I’ve been curating shows since last fall. No Questions Asked! opens at LMNL on April 10th.

Cash For Your Warhol is the brainchild of artist and photographer Geoff Hargadon. The project began in 2009 in response to the financial crisis, and to an art market that treats paintings and sculptures as investible assets similar to real estate and gold. Through stickers, stencils, plastic signs, and billboards, Cash For Your Warhol has been a subtly hilarious part of the urban landscape and the art market for over half a decade. In 2012, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh even added a few of the signs to its permanent collection.

The Cash For Your Warhol project is such a simple and effective critique of art market and financial industry absurdity. From the moment I first saw the signs, I was hooked. The project is even more fascinating now that you can find Cash For Your Warhol art in galleries. That’s something I love, but I never expected. With No Questions Asked!, it’s all come full circle in a perfectly surreal way. Plus, it’s an opportunity to exhibit some of Hargo’s photos, and he is one of the best street art photographers active today.

No Questions Asked! will be Cash For Your Warhol’s first exhibition in Philadelphia. The Cash For Your Warhol team did, however, visit earlier this year to install work around the city. The exhibition will include photographs from that visit, an interactive sculpture, and the complete collection of the 24 Cash For Your Warhol signs created since 2009.

As the opening of No Questions Asked! approaches, keep your eyes out for CFYW to make its message heard in Philadelphia in a big way. In the meantime, remember to dial (617) 553-1103 for all your Warhol-selling needs.

See you at the opening on April 10th!


Photo by Cash For Your Warhol

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , ,