You Are Beautiful

You know you’ve seen it around, I mean the message is practically ubiquitous in the most quiet way possible. But apparently this is an anonymous group that has been disseminating this simple message. You Are Beautiful has released a website with an overview of murals and work dedicated to those three words. Thanks to Porous Walker for the tip.



Also, I’ve crossed over to the dark side so check out my blog on Juxtapoz

Street Art In Melbourne

Hi there, my name is Alison Young, and I write Images to Live By, a blog about street art. I’m also an academic at the University of Melbourne, and I’m in middle of writing a book about street art and street artists in a number of cities around the world. Thanks, RJ, for inviting me to do a guest post for Vandalog.

So I’m based in Melbourne, Australia, where there is a huge and diverse street art scene. RJ suggested that it might be interesting for Vandalog readers if I could write about street art in Australia… There’s way too much to cover in one or two posts, but I can certainly introduce people to some of the most interesting artists here at the moment.

One of these is Meggs. I’ve written a little bit on Images to Live By about Meggs, because there are many resonances between his work and that of the British artist D*Face and the Australian artist now living in New York, Anthony Lister, both of whom may be better known to you than Meggs. All three of those artists are interested in the connections between superheroes, masculinity, money and popular culture, and all three use their media to re-present comic strip figures as being in crisis or under stress (click here if you want to read more about this and here for a link to Meggs’s website for more info about his work).

Up till now, Meggs has probably not been too well known outside Australia, but folks in LA are about to get an opportunity to see his work, in a show entitled ‘Crime and Charity’ at Cerasoli Gallery in Culver City.

Here’s a brief description from the gallery about the show:

“In 2007 Australia’s Victorian State Government passed the ‘Graffiti Prevention Act’. This legislation extended the government’s zero tolerance approach to Graffiti and provided police new authority to search any person, vehicle or object they suspect to possess a graffiti implement, within close proximity of public transport.
Ironically, this legislation was passed while Tourism Victoria was using Graffiti and street art to promote Melbourne Tourism on television and web advertisements. Melbourne’s laneways are a big drawcard for tourism and it is undeniable that the diverse artwork is part of the city’s broader cultural appeal.

Graffiti and street art will never disappear. Despite the State Government’s negativity, there are well documented social contributions and benefits provided by many artists, cultural tourism being one. Unfortunately these are only recognised when it is conveniently leveraged for commercial gain.

‘Crime & Charity’ depicts the frustration Meggs feels in the face of this hypocrisy. The characters depicted in his artwork are hybrids of guilt and innocence, both frustrated and persecuted for being part of a culture that is simultaneously celebrated and condemned.”

The work of Melbourne-based artists Ghostpatrol and Miso is very different from that of Meggs, but just as Meggs’s work has been a huge part of making Melbourne’s street art scene what it is today (Meggs is part of the Everfresh crew, famous for putting up all over the city’s buildings), so has that of Miso and Ghospatrol. These two artists have worked in galleries and on the streets for the last several years. Their work primarily uses the skills of drawing and cutting: they create meticulously drawn figures often reminiscent of childhood fairytales. These are sometimes drawn onto unusual surfaces, like a row of pencils (Ghostpatrol, click on this link and scroll down to see some examples) or painted on to a wall like this:

Miso creates beautiful paste-ups, with intricate cut-out sections, on to a wall or a flat piece of wood. Her work sometimes reminds people of the images made by Swoon and Elbow Toe, but I think there are also really interesting evocations of fin-de-siecle artists like Egon Schiele in the magnificently textured images: have a look at Miso’s website for some images of her work.

Ghostpatrol and Miso work both individually and together, and have made paste-ups from photographs of themselves wearing fox masks to disguise their identities – hundreds of these paste-ups appeared around certain areas of Melbourne for a while, a wonderful expression of the street artist as fox (a creature of cunning and stealth which visits the city at night).


From foxes to bushrangers: one of the most famous figures in Australian history and iconography is the bushranger Ned Kelly, a 19th century outlaw figure hunted and eventually hanged by the Melbourne authorities. The artist Ha Ha (also known as Regan Tamanui) has said, ‘Street artists are the bushrangers of the 21st century’, because of the challenge to authority represented by illicit street art. Ha Ha’s work has been hugely important in defining the nature of street art in Melbourne, especially in the early 2000s, thanks to the prevalence of his stencils all over the city. Check out his website to get a sense of his work. He has a particular fondness for robot figures, but he is also interested in celebrity and notoriety:

Hosier Lane#16.JPG

In this image you can see a portrait stencilled behind the bars over a section of the wall in this laneway (Hosier Lane). The face is that of Mario Condello, an individual thought to be involved in Melbourne’s gangland wars, and who is represented here by Ha Ha in the same way that he stencilled his famous portrait of that other outlaw, Ned Kelly:

Image taken from Ha Ha's myspace site.
Image taken from Ha Ha's myspace site.

I’ll end by going back to where I started, with Meggs’s show in LA, which draws attention to the paradox of the state government here creating harsh new laws against graffiti and street art at the same time as it seeks to make money out of it by using images of street art in its tourism ads. All of the artists I’ve mentioned risk  these penalties every time they put up on the street, as is the case in most countries of course. But as you can see from the way that these Australian artists are representing themselves – as struggling superheroes, as foxes and outlaws – we are being given these fantastic images at a high cost: the weight of illegality upon the artists.

Progress Shots of the Mural on North Avenue

For the past two nights I have been working on a mural adjacent to a day care center for children in East Baltimore on North Avenue and Broadway. Since the primary audience will be the children and their parents, and since our small budget is being covered, I thought it would be a good chance to use a wild palette that I generally shy away from. 

 Here are some photos from last night’s progress. My portion of the painting will be completed tonight! A big, grateful shout out to John Aquila for organizing the session, Karl Miller for the photos and Carey for helping paint the image

Gaia Bear

On top of Car

Cow Projection 

Simply four colors of enamel paint, a ladder, brushes and a projector. For more photos check out my flickr. I’ll be sure to post documentation of the final results 

Os Gemeos Mural in Progress…

As reported earlier by Elisa, Os Gemeos started work on the corner of NYC’s Houston and Bowery. Now we bring you some of the heavy duty work that’s occuring and it’s looking good! The Latin sensations are bringing some intense colors ripe for summer.

AM popped by today and caught some cool shots of the mural in progress. Can’t wait to see what this will look like a few days from now. We’ll keep you posted. 

Cheers, Tan

For additional pictures check out the rest of the post here.

Discuss Os Gemeos here.

This Week On The Street (July 9 – July 16)

Some nice street art shows taking place around the world this week! Here are a few:

Thursday July 9

LA: Eine @ Carmichael Gallery, 7-10pm


Paris: Group Show (featuring Barry McGee) @ Galerie Olivier Robert, from 6pm

Friday July 10

NY: Willoughby Windows presented by Ad Hoc Art (event takes place at 89-106 Willoughby), 2-7pm. Check out Gaia’s preview of this event.

Toronto: Steve Powers, Greg Lamarche, Greg Gossel @ Show & Tell Gallery, 7-11pm


Berlin: XOOOOX @ Circleculture Gallery from 7pm

Saturday July 11

LA: Meggs Solo & Inkie-curated Group Show @ Cerasoli Gallery, 7-11pm

SF: Becca @ White Walls Gallery, 7-11pm

Denver: The Date Farmers and Albert Reyes @ Andenken Gallery

Brighton: Group Show presented by Prescription Art (event takes place at 115-116 Church St, Brighton)


Buenos Aires: Group Show @ Casa L’Inc Gallery, 7-11pm

Thursday July 16

London: Summer Group Show @ Urban Angel, 6-9pm


Hong Kong: Zevs @ Art Statements

Lucy McLauchlan at FAME Fest

I am going to presume that, as a reader of this blog, you are just as excited about FAME Fest as I am. For the second year in a row, Angelo Milano from Studiocromie has pulled together a lineup of some of the best street artists from around the world.

So far Conor Harrington and Lucy McLauchlan have hit Grottaglie with their work. Conor’s piece can be seen here. Take a look below at what Lucy did to a neighboring tower.


Conor and Lucy also got busy with some pottery. I love this aspect of the festival; I think it’s great that Angelo is working so hard to promote the town’s historic ceramics district and merge this traditional urban art form with contemporary street art.

Conor Harrington

Conor Harrington


Two more fantastic artists are about to make their mark at FAME starting tomorrow – more details soon!


Last Weekend in London – Black Rat Press and Laz Rathbone

Let me be the first to acknowledge that, seeing as I spent the weekend in Los Angeles, I am the last person who should be writing this post. That said, RJ himself would have done a fantastic job covering the London shows that just opened so I feel there needs to be at least some mention of them on his blog.

Below are a handful of images from Ways of Seeing (Swoon, Matt Small, Brian Adam Douglas) at Black Rat Press and Scratching The Surface (Vhils) at Lazarides Rathbone. All photos come courtesy of Ian from Wallkandy.

I was very excited about the show at Black Rat, and, as expected, the three artists delivered a strong body of work. Matt Small’s multi-paneled piece is amazing (sorry, no picture! Go to Ian’s flickr!) and I’ve heard particularly good things about Brian’s pieces from those who saw them in person. My only disappointment was that, although the space was beautifully lit, the show lacked the installation component I had been hoping for.

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Matt Small
Matt Small
Brian Adam Douglas
Brian Adam Douglas

Now to Laz, where Vhils’ London solo debut simply looks incredible. As if it weren’t already obvious, Alexandre has now made it clear that he is going to be a very important artist for our generation.

vhils alexandre farto

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vhils alexandre farto



Nope! No one can spell his name right, but my boy cahbasmn holds the eastern district of kings county down.

For more Grimey Goodness, Check out his Flickr. Shout out to Order, Jedi5, Nekst, Pezy and the likes

Best, Gaia

Roa – somewhere in the urban jungle of Belgium

This is a guest post by KrieBeL 

Somewhere in the urban jungle of Belgium, the animals of Roa live and die on the beautifull old walls of buildings in decay…    Some of them are endangered specimens (building projects) but others are allowed to stay a while.  Some of them make it to the streets too and are respected by the local people.

Roa - urbex graffiti - photo by KrieBeL

Roa urbex graffiti - photo by KrieBeL

Roa urbex graffiti - Photo by KrieBeL

Roa Urbex Graffiti

Roa urbex graffiti - photo by KrieBeL

More photo’s here

video here

if you have found some Roa animals in your city too, feel free to add them to the Roa animal graffiti pool on flickr.