2014 Melbourne Catch Up and Wrap Up

February 8th, 2015 | By | No Comments »

WOW! It’s been way too long between posts! I feel bad that I’ve not been sharing all the goodness that is Melbourne over the last few months, so here’s a catch up of what I’ve missed and other cool stuff happening in and around Melbourne. Also my New Years resolution for 2015, more posts on Vandalog! :)

Streets and Walls

There’s never a shortage of new stuff going up in Melbourne, here’s a selection of some of my faves snapped by Melbourne’s finest paintspotters over December. In summary – Lister was in town briefly, he painted and did a few ad takeovers, some super fresh graff by some local and visiting legends. My faves are Jack Douglas’ monster, Senekt’s fluro body parts, RASHE’s pieces, a couple of dope Putos pieces and of course the absolute burner by Bales and Skale.

Lister 3. Photo by Dean Sunshine

Lister. Photo by Dean Sunshine

Lister. Photo by Dean Sunshine

Lister. Photo by Dean Sunshine

Read the rest of this article »


Category: Books / Magazines, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Help fund Escif’s new book on Indiegogo

December 23rd, 2014 | By | No Comments »

20141214155023-portada_00b

Conceptual street artist Escif is in the midst of an already very successful crowdfunding campaign to produce his first book, titled ELSEWHERE. Escif is one of the more interesting and groundbreaking street artists to have emerged in recent years, and it’s great to see his book already seeing so much success. You can support the project and pick up a copy on Indiegogo.

Photo courtesy of Escif


Category: Books / Magazines, Fundraiser | Tags:

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING: stikman is releasing his first book today!

December 9th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

DSC_0301 copy

Just in time for the holidays, I am thrilled to announce the release of the first book from the elusive artist stikman, entitled SIGNS, published by my new art book project Dirt Worship Publishing. For over two decades, the anonymous artist stikman has plastered his character on the pavements and walls of major cities and small towns across the US. Finally, there’s a book celebrating a selection of this elective artist’s work.

SIGNS documents a collection of stikman’s art on street signs across the United States, highlighting the huge variety in stikman’s work like his innovative methods and materials, clever placement, and diverse references from folk art to fine art. “stikman has retained his freshness by constantly reinventing his iconic character, unafraid to experiment with new mediums and configurations,” says graffiti photographer and blogger Luna Park.

He has gained something of a cult following among street art enthusiasts and pedestrians alike. “When I stumble across a stikman, I feel as if I’ve found a treasure,” says legendary street art and graffiti photographer Martha Cooper.

Typically, finding a stikman in the wild is a feat of chance. A few eagle-eyed photographers have made his image accessible to the masses. And now, for the first time ever, stikman and Dirt Worship Publishing have compiled a selection of his work in an official book.

signs1-3

You can get your copy of SIGNS in time for Christmas by placing your order through The Vandalog Shop anytime before December 18th (for domestic orders only). The standard edition is available for $30, plus shipping and handling. A limited edition deluxe version of SIGNS, limited to just 75 hand-embellished copies and featuring an exclusive inkjet print on archival paper (6.5” x 8”), is also available for $50 plus shipping and handling.

IMG_0689 copy


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

Review: “Don1, the King from Queens” by Louie Gasparro

September 25th, 2014 | By | 1 Comment »

DON 1 Bronx BBC

Note from the editor: Just want to say thanks to my friend Jay “J.SON” Edlin (author of Graffiti 365) for writing this book review on a topic that he’s much better educated on than I. – RJ

Both Don 1 (born Joseph Palattella) and Louie Gasparro (a.k.a. The Original KR-1) are Italian- Americans who grew up in Astoria, Queens and participated in the graffiti movement. A decade older, Don 1 attended The High School of Art and Design in the early to mid seventies while Gasparro attended Long Island City High in the early 80’s but hung out regularly at Art and Design, forming allegiances with many of the artists from the Subway Art / Style Wars generation.

Don1, the King from Queens: The Life and Photos of a NYC Transit Graffiti Master is Gasparro’s poignant homage to his childhood hero. The book contains rough grammar, some off angle and at times duplicative photos of Don’s and others’ pieces, as well as quotes from several writers seldom referenced in other books or article on graffiti. Conspicuously absent are any mention of Hip Hop (seems Don 1 dug rock ’n roll and disco), comments from neo-experts and the ruminations of out-of-the-loop journalists who love to bandy about social theories defining the method to graffiti’s madness—perfectly imperfect. Present are highlights from Don1’s mid-70’s photo archive shot with a 35 millimeter camera at a time when Kodak instamatics ruled the day. Early LEE TF5 burners from the BMT’s made my eyes water as did Dean and Jester’s work from the RR’s. Don’s own black book sketches show the work of a master light years ahead of his time, but it was the Billy 167, Butch 2, Kase 2, Aztec and Padre drawings made my purist heart sing.

DON 1 Bode Bot

Although Don 1 influenced some pretty famous writers whose names start with the letter D (Daze, Dondi and Dime 139), his reputation has been that of a graffiti writer’s trade secret. Perhaps this book will change that. Even as a self-professed graff know-it-all, I must confess to being completely schooled by Gasparro on Don 1’s place in history, having never seen his name run and learning what little I knew from Daze, who penned the book’s foreword, and Gasparro himself.

Written by KR 1, about Don 1 and using the Don’s material for the visuals, the book oozes graffiti from top to bottom.

DON burner RR Vette

Don 1 wrote for a couple of years, mainly on the somewhat obscure RR line. Historically, Queens and The BMT’s in general get too little attention from documenters, and this book kills those two birds with one stone. Don 1’s innate artistic abilities drew him to Art and Design High School. Graffiti quickly found him and he learned the craft with alacrity. Al Diaz aka Bomb 1, a fellow A and D student who would become one half of the SAMO team along with Jean Michel Basquiat, took Don 1 to his first lay-up.

 

DON Bowery w Joint

Don 1 rose to the top of the heap in a very brief time. Though his meteoric ascent to style master, first in the black books of the Art and Design cafeteria and ultimately on the insides and outsides of the RR subway cars, subsided when he began getting paid illustration jobs from magazines and hitting the disco dance floors with the ladies, Don’s potential seemed limitless.

Tragically, Don 1’s promising future died on the night he snorted some white crystalline powder he mistook for cocaine. Unfortunately, the powder he mistook for cocaine proved to be PCP. The mix-up instantly transformed Don’s life into a living hell, one that he could never recover from. The drug took not only his sanity, but his artistic abilities as well. Don 1 would have languished in obscurity, had it not been for Gasparro’s Columbo-like persistence in tracking him down and gaining his trust.

DON I'M BACK!

Don 1 had once been a snazzy dresser, a ladies man and president of MAFIA (Master Administration For Incredible Artists), a crew he founded with a name befitting of a Don. Post-PCP Don 1 became a recluse, rejecting the outside world, perhaps because he knew how great he once had been and preferred to be remembered that way or better yet completely forgotten.

DON Blackbook 3

I don’t know what’s more amazing, the fact that Louie Gasparro was able to coax Don 1 into meeting with him or that Don 1 had meticulously preserved his black book and subway photo archive from his peak years despite the nightmarish turn his life took.

In the past few years, legendary 70’s graffiti writers have been dying off at an alarming rate, gone and forgotten too soon, their stories often left untold. Gasparro’s book is a labor of love, marking the long overdue resurrection of Don 1.

Gasparro’s moving profile of The Don evokes bittersweet memories of a time when you could enter a train yard or subway tunnel with a few cans of paint and leave with a crown.

Don1, the King from Queens: The Life and Photos of a NYC Transit Graffiti Master is available now on Amazon.com

DON P.S.4

Photos from Don 1’s archive, courtesy of Louie Gasparro


Category: Books / Magazines, Guest Posts

This summer Droid 907 is Sick of Society

September 23rd, 2014 | By | 1 Comment »
Sick of Society by Droid 907

Sick of Society by Droid 907

A little over a year ago, I interviewed Droid 907 for the release of his first SOS zine, Sex or Suicide. This summer, through Carnage, he is sharing his past year of adventures riding through the United States. As with the previous volume, Sick of Society exists on the fringes of the mainstream where Droid 907 finds comfort from a society he abhors. As much as the title gives a negative connotation, the pages of the zine are instead filled with intimate portraits of those the writer cares for, including friends both here and departed. Using typewriter gifted by Amanda Wong, the author redacts locations, crosses out spelling errors while leaving in others, adding characterization to himself while continuing his narration. His continued fascination with analog technologies can be seen not only in the text, but through the production of the zine itself. Unlike the Internet, print production contains a finite means of dissemination (albeit large editions of 400). Within the hand silkscreened pages and closed-edition volumes, Droid completely placed himself on the fringes of society in which he exists and documents. Fittingly, when sent interview questions, the Sick of Society author returned with pages fresh from his typewriter rather than a Word Document.

Photo by Droid 907

Photo by Droid 907

Rhiannon: So, the last typewriter for S.O.S. was found by the train tracks. What did you write Sick of Society on?

Droid:

INTVW_backgrnd

R: With equally a pessimistic title as the first zine, what makes you Sick of Society?

D:
INTVW_1

SOS page w text

SOS Page from Droid 907

Read the rest of this article »


Category: Books / Magazines, Featured Posts, Interview, Photos | Tags: , ,

C215 at Stolenspace and unveiling Vitry

February 19th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

photo 4 copy 2

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.

photo 1 copy 3

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.

photo 2 copy 3

Read the rest of this article »


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

Viral Art is now available at ViralArt.net

December 16th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

viralartcover-640

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.


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

Announcing Viral Art, my new ebook

December 2nd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

viralartcover-640

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.

DFACE 6

DFACE 1

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.

DFACE 7

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.

DFACE 3

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.

Read the rest of this article »


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