Interview with a “street art expert”

Banksy Bandaged
“Bandaged Heart Balloon”. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) will be hosting an auction that includes pieces by BanksyFaileKenny Scharf, BambiAiko and Terror161/J.SON that have been pulled (sawed, ripped, unscrewed, hammered off, etc.) from the street and brought to the auction house in Miami. Two pieces from Banksy’s recent NYC residency “Better Out Than In” are up for auction, including a car door from the Crazy Horse installation, and the bandaged heart balloon. You can have a look at the full catalog here (warning: it’s a PDF) or go here to follow the auction live.

Some of you might be thinking “Hey, those were for the public to enjoy!” or “Why should an unaffiliated auction house profit from the work/legal risks of these artists?” Good questions. But consider this… Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a literal piece of New York City from the safety of their home?

Ethical qualms aside, FAAM contacted Vandalog with an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up: An interview with the auction house’s official “street art expert” Sebastien Laboureau of Moonstar Fine Art Advisors. Since many published authors and curators with extensive knowledge of street art and graffiti still don’t consider themselves experts, I decided to see what I could learn from a real street art expert…

Caroline Caldwell: At what point would a street artist be considered a ‘sell out’? If possible, provide examples.

Sebastien Laboureau, Street Art Expert: Art has a market, and street artists also sell their works, as long as artists stay true to their personal style and create from their hearts the concept does not apply. Recently many works from street artists sell at auctions, and in galleries because this art is contemporary and talks to a wide audience and public. Banksy is the leading street artist, and he sells hundreds of works everywhere in the world every year at increasing prices.

CC: The Banksy’s “Bandaged Heart Balloon” from her residency in New York City is a portion of the wall that was physically removed and transported to Miami. How do you suggest or imagine people display large pieces like this in their homes?

Expert: Street art is amazing in the way that there is no set medium, street artists can work on canvas, metal, walls, doors. The beauty of it is to keep it in its original medium, we find that collectors enjoy buying and displaying street art because it feels like the work is created in their home.

What "" might look like in a home. Photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, using photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman.
What “Crazy Horse Car Door” might look in a home. Photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, using photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman.

CC: How much of the art available in this auction was actually relocated from the street to the auction house?

Expert: Quite a few came directly from the streets, including two Banksy walls, a metal roll down gate by Kenny Scharf, and another large security gate by Lady Aiko & Terror 161. The great thing about these works is most of them were created in the street and will live a second life now. They will be preserved for eternity.

CC: If a street artist paints work on a canvas, should it be considered ‘street art’ or just ‘art’?

Expert: I do not feel the need to differentiate between the two, all is art, street art is art regardless medium it is created on.

CC: What is the difference between a ‘street art’ and a mural?

Expert: Street art is a style of painting and a mural is large scale work done on a building, one is genre and other is a medium.

"Kissing Coppers"
“Kissing Coppers”. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

CC: Who was the first authentic street artist to refer to themselves as a “street artist”?

Expert: The reality is that street art has always been around us. Some say street art was born in the late 70’s in New York City through graffiti art in public places. Some called it vandalism, some are still calling it vandalism… THIS IS ART!

CC: Should street artists in New York have NYC at the end of their Instagram handle?

Expert: Street artists should have any handle they please, to show where they have come from or where they are working.  New York City is very active in street art, but Miami has also become a street art mecca, with so many murals painted over the past year with an incredible quality and concentration in the Wynwood District. Street art is everywhere, in the London suburbs, in Barcelona, Paris, everywhere! And even in museums now.

CC: Would it be advantageous for street artists to align their personal brands with current trends in urban wear?

Expert: Historically, street art has been linked to hip hop. Fashion has always been intertwined with art. There is no limitation into what can and should be done!

CC: Is illegal street art graffiti?

Expert: It is still illegal in many parts and areas of the world, but more and more artists have been granted areas where they can create their works. Art is above any law, as art is life! Art pertains to our everyday life, and everywhere I look when I see art I see beauty.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 3.40.00 PM
Lady Aiko & Terror 161 on a metal gate originally located on the street in Wynwood, Miami. Photo courtesy of FAAM.

CC: Should there be a different word for street artists who are female?

Expert: There are more and more female street artists. We have great examples at our auction including Bambi and Swoon. Swoon has a museum show set-up in the Brooklyn Museum in April. Kazilla is a very talented street artist from the Wynwood who will be showing works and has brought local street artists together for the exhibition. There are many others! Once again, it makes no difference! ART IS ART!

CC: How long do you need to do the street arts before you’re considered a street artist?

Expert: There is no lead-time. A street artist is an artist that happens to use the streets as their canvas, there is no school. Some artists are better than others, but once again, there is no diploma to become a street artist!

CC: What’s the best city to get blog coverage in?

Expert: Miami is now becoming the street art mecca! But street art is everywhere in the world now.

Photos courtesy of Fine Art Auctions Miami (FAAM) and photo illustration by RJ Rushmore, featuring photos courtesy of FAAM and by Bart Speelman

Tim Hans shoots… Vexta


We’ve interviewed Vexta, now a New Yorker by way of Australia, twice before, so why not a third time? Last summer, she invited Tim Hans and I to rooftop in Brooklyn to meet up as part of his continuing series of photo-portraits of artists. What we found there was not just Vexta, but a semi-secret gathering of street artists taking over this random rooftop and just having a fun time together. Thanks to Vexta, Tim ended up photographing a bunch of artists whose photos we have been posting over the last few months. Rhiannon Platt recently included Vexta on a list of “15 Women Who Are Killing It in Street Art Right Now,” so of course Rhiannon was the perfect person to interview Vexta for this post. – RJ

Rhiannon Platt: Tell us a little about yourself.

Vexta: I’m from Sydney, Australia… though I came up in the street art scene in Melbourne where I live for a long time. I moved to Brooklyn about a year and half ago… since then though I’ve been traveling a lot painting walls, making art for music festivals and other exhibitions, commissions and projects in India, Mexico, Australia and across Europe. My artwork is pretty psychedelic and I guess I’m most interested in ideologies surrounding ultimate freedom and the interconnectedness of all matter and how that can relate to us in a real world way.

Rhiannon: Why did you choose this image in particular?

Vexta: It was a while back when I painted this… it wasn’t too long after Pussy Riot had been put in jail in Russia and in general there just felt like this global oppression of human rights and women’s rights… I start thinking about protesting and the connection to graffiti culture and started painting a series of people in bandanas and ski masks… the bandana part of that painting is made up of these diamond stencil shapes. I’ve been using these in my work for a while and they signify transformation and the atomic particles that make up all matter… so they create another layer of meaning too… like a physical representation of communication and the need for it. I like to leave a certain ambiguity in my work though so there’s space for people to bring their own meanings.


Rhiannon: You paint abandoned or repurposed spaces a lot. How was painting this space in Brooklyn different?

Vexta: I haven’t painted that many rooftops because in Australia we don’t have that many locations like that… It kinda felt like painting an empty warehouse only in the sunshine with a view of Brooklyn.

Rhiannon: What was particularly important about painting on this roof?

Vexta: So it was a rooftop accessed by my friends Icy & Sot’s place. We had been talking for a while about getting a group of us together and painting it. So one day we had a bbq up there, spent the day hanging out and painting. I think there was maybe 8 or 10 of us up there painting that day. It’s those moments when street artists come together as a community and inspire each other and make new connections. That part of our world is important – Making art for ourselves and each other, making an empty space beautiful together.

Rhiannon: What did you take away from this experience?

Vexta: Some new friends & happy memories and I left behind a small piece of beauty with some ideas and feelings imbedded in it…


Photos by Tim Hans

Tim Hans shoots… Icy & Sot

Icy - Sot_TImHans

Last summer, Tim Hans and I visited a rooftop in Brooklyn. Tim was there to photograph (if I’m remember correctly) Vexta for his continuing series of photo-portraits of artists. But what we found there was a gathering of street artists all painting and having fun in this very unexpected location. The rooftop project was organized by Iranian stencil artists and brothers Icy & Sot, who have called New York City home for a couple of years now. Regular Vandalog readers will remember the fantastic new mural of theirs that I posted about in late December. I recently asked the brothers a few questions…

RJ: How are you both doing?

Icy & Sot: We are doing better, keeping ourselves busy with work.

RJ: It was inspiring to see your recent mural on the LES. What does that wall mean for you?

Icy & Sot: It’s simple, we hate guns, obviously for personal reasons plus all the related crimes we see in the news all the time. It’s just frustrating to see how easy is to get a gun in the US.

RJ: Why do you use stencils?

Icy & Sot: We started using stencils back in Iran because it was quickest way to share our vision with the people in the streets, and now we are in love with stencils.

RJ: So Tim and I came up to your roof one day last summer to find probably a dozen artists painting and hanging out. What was this rooftop project about?

Icy & Sot: We had access to a very big rooftop (connecting an entire block) at our house. First we did a piece and then we decide to tell our friends to come and paint and hang out. We love our friends from the art community and was great to include the works of about 30 artists from different parts of the world.

RJ: What’s next for Icy and Sot?

Icy & Sot: We are planning to go to Europe in the summer to work on some walls and show our work there. And we are working on curating a group show, showing the works of NY artists in Iran and our friends from Iran’s work here in NY.

Photo by Tim Hans

Tim Hans shoots… Dennis McNett


Back in November, Tim Hans stopped by Known Gallery just as Dennis McNett was setting up for a show there. As part of our continuing series of photo-portraits of artists by Tim, we’re finally publishing those photos and I emailed a few questions over to McNett. My bad on the delay, but I’m glad we finally have a chance to share these images and chat with one of my favorite block printers.

RJ: How has teaching printmaking at Pratt affected your own art?

Dennis McNett: I’m not teaching currently. When I have the last year or two, it’s usually only one class. I could go on a long tangent about the whole art school thing.

I wouldn’t say it has effected my own work. I’ve been making what I make and doing what I do since I was a kid. What I do walk away with from teaching would be passing on a medium, meeting some great students and being able to cheerlead for their ideas the way Richard Mock did for me. That makes it worth doing.


RJ: Your work seems to have such a focus on nature, or at least some version of nature. Do you get enough exposure to nature while living in the city?

McNett: Fortunately I get to leave the city quite often. My folks live in Virginia on a mountain and I’m able to go there at least 3 times a year. When I am able to be by the ocean (especially by the ocean), in the forest, in the desert, etc… I feel clarity, like my batteries are charged and truly inspired. I feel humbled by how perfect, beautiful, diverse, micro/macro and complex the whole damn place is. But, to answer you directly, No, I do not get to be in nature as much as I’d like to be and I’m planning to leave NYC for that and several other reasons.


RJ: Are you trying to do something largely different with your various static artworks and your performances, or are those two sets of work extensions of each other?

McNett: I feel like it’s all coming from the same place. The performance/happenings are a lot of fun. They are more about doing something anyone can participate in, contribute to and usually tell a story stemming from a “mythology” I started in 2006 about the Wolfbat. The 2D work I do alone in the studio, but sometimes that work pertains to the mythology. They could be artifacts like shields or characters from the stories. Sometimes the 2D stuff is just what ever comes to mind like a Leopardsnake (half Leo half snake) which I just daydreamed about and seemed fun to draw/create. Really I just do whatever I am feeling or thinking about at the moment and use what ever medium makes sense for the idea.


RJ: What is it about printmaking that appeals to you?

McNett: I’ve done sculptures, masks, performances, installations, graphics and woodcarvings. I think above all else, I just love the carved mark. I’ve been making carvings for over 20 years now. I can build and use a lot of other mediums but still just love that mark. I use prints of that mark on pretty much everything I make from 30ft ships, temples or just prints. With printmaking you can also make multiples and I use this to generate my own collage material/drawing material of my carved patterns and images. Once I have the drawing material I can cover large areas pretty quickly. It all just has the flavor I like to work with.


RJ: What have you got coming up next?

McNett: I’m working with the Philadelphia Mural Arts program in February. I’ll be building a sculpture, doing a mural and working with community kids the entire month. Then potentially Austin to do a project around SXSW, which may be another performative event. I a show in Houston in May. I’m considering moving out west after that.


Photos by Tim Hans

Bom.K talks about his latest solo show “Confusions” at Known Gallery


With more than 15 years of putting up work in the streets of Paris, Bom.K had his first ever solo show about a year ago in Paris at Galerie Itinerrance. Recently, many have been excited over the opening of his second solo show Confusions at Known Gallery in Los Angeles. Fellow Da Mental Vaporz crew member Sowat described Bom.K in the run up to this show: “Haunted by the visions he sees while lurking the city, by the faces of those he bumps into at every street corner, on each train he rides, Bom.k has spent years completing an imaginary bestiary, full of the hellish creatures that surround him. Like Jerome Bosh, Chris Cunningham or Hans Ballmer, the human body and the deformation of the flesh are one of the major themes of his work.” I asked Bom.K a bit about Confusions and his work in general. Confusions opened on January 11th and closes today, January 25th.


Caroline Caldwell: Much of the work in this show involves human disfiguration and almost nightmarish reconstructions of flesh. What inspired these pieces?

Bom.K: Most works made for the Known Gallery where produced in an instinctive manner and with the always present concept of shocking the viewer.

I am always amused by manipulating the human body. I love creating figures that can’t really exist nor be imagined. My works are nothing but the smallest fractions of images that goes through my mind everyday in full speed.


Caldwell: What about Confusions are you most excited about? 

Bom.K: ‘Confusions’ was the perfect word to describe what was going through my creative process before starting to work on this show. I found myself forced to take a step back to see a wider picture of I wanted and what I had to do for this show to be really satisfied. First days of a new production are always doubtful or stressful but eventually confidence leads the way.


Caldwell: Can you talk a little bit about your sculptures? How did you get started creating your work in 3D?

Bom.K: This is all a little bit new for me. I started working on an ‘Aerotik’ model for my show at Galerie Itinerrance (April 2013, Paris) which led to a second model we should be releasing quite soon. It’s a new direction that I’m very excited to explore and evolve.


Caldwell: This is only your second solo show, though you’ve exhibited on the streets of Paris for years. How has working on your latest solo show felt in comparison to the previous one?

Bom.K: I consider myself very lucky to have had my shows with galleries that gave me total freedom of creation. I’m quite aware that gallerists takes risks with me as my works doesn’t exactly address the general public and this is something I appreciate and respect them for.

Just as the show in Paris, the one in LA confirmed for me that are many more art enthusiasts and collectors than I ever thought out there, that know my work very well. Talking and sharing ideas with these kind of passionate persons encourages me a lot.


Photos by Gro Sly

Tim Hans shoots… Zio Ziegler and Never

Zio and Never

One afternoon this past summer, Tim Hans went up to a Brooklyn rooftop and found a bunch of artists having fun and painting together. In November, that rooftop became associated with a horrible tragedy. While the murders that occurred nearby have nothing to do with the art that was painted there, it seems important to acknowledge how the space changed after these photos were taken. At the time, this rooftop was one of the most interesting and fun spaces for artists to paint in New York City, and Tim’s came way with some beautiful photos, so it seemed a shame let tragedy define that space and leave these images locked away. Two of the artists that Tim photographed on that rooftop were Never and Zio Ziegler, who were working on a collaborative piece. In our continuing series of photo-portraits of artists by Tim, and I asked Zio and Never the same set of questions over email.

RJ: How did you end up collaborating that day?

Never: The dialogue went something like this…
Zio: Ayo, I’m in Brooklyn with my homey Ian Ross. I like your SHIT, wanna hang out?
Never: Werd, I like your SHIT too. We should get a hotel, here’s my number…Sext me.  (We meet in person for the first time) Never: So what kind of SHIT brings you to NY?
Zio: I painted some SHIT on the side of a surf shop in Williamsburg.
Never: Werd, got any scrap cans? Some people are hanging out and painting some SHIT on a rooftop nearby right now. Wanna go?
Zio: SHIT yeah, Lets do it!

Zio: I’ve admired Nev’s work for a while, and we have a bunch of mutual friends, so I gave him a shout when I was in NY. I had painted the side of Pilgrim, and despite having food poisoning wanted to make the most of the NYC trip, and paint as many spots as possible. We met up in Bushwick, and started to look for walls, ended up on a rooftop and jammed out.

RJ: Do you usually like collaborating on murals?

Never: I do like collaborating on murals but I’m pretty selective of who I do that with. I don’t really consider what we did that day a collaboration as there wasn’t really any head-butting involved. I just did the same SHIT I always do and he put a skull under it. It was more of a quick little jam session than anything. At some point we intend to do a for real collabo. We’re both busy dudes, but we’ll make it happen at some point. And when we do, our highly acclaimed PR team will ensure that it’s picked up by every news outlet in existence. Just you fucking wait.

Zio: I don’t collab a lot, but when I do its because I really admire the other artists process and work. The piece and the conversation go in parallel and when that happens, it’s all good.

RJ: How does working with another artist change your own process?

Never: It forces you to try out different techniques than your own and helps you work outside of your usual comfort zone.

Zio: It allows me to expand my perspective, and see more possibilities in creating my pieces.

RJ: How have the events that took place so nearby your mural affected you or how you think of that piece?

Never: The work I did on that roof has nothing to do with the horrible event that happened up there several months after. I’m thankful I got to meet Icy and Sot and they were so kind to invite us to paint with them. More so, I’m thankful those two are still here with us today. It was a fun day with good company, that’s all there is to it.

Zio: The work has nothing at all to do with that terrible event, It’s awful and my heart goes out to everyone effected by that tragedy.

RJ: Which of you is cooler?

Never: Zio has more followers on Instagram than I do so he’s definitely cooler.

Zio: Never for sure, he’s got more friends on myspace.

Photo by Tim Hans

C215 in depth

Photo by r2hox
Photo by r2hox

While researching for my new book Viral Art, I conducted about 50 interviews with artists, curators, photographers and writers. Most were done in person or over Skype, but a handful were conducted via email. Only a handful of what came out in those interviews made it into the book, so now I want to publish a few of those email interviews in full here on Vandalog. In these extended interviews, you can probably see even more clearly than in Viral Art how I unashamedly ask leading questions, and the topics jump around a lot, but hopefully they are still interesting.

To start, we have C215. An abridged version of this interview appears in Viral Art. C215 was one of the street artists that first attracted me to the genre. His stencils peppered the streets of London right as I was discovering street art, and each one blew me away. His trademark style is hard to top for beauty and for capturing great details in just one or two layers.

Photo by _Pek_
Photo by _Pek_

RJ: How do you define street art?
C215: Street art is nothing else but urban poetry that catches someone’s eye. Being a street artist is impossible, because the city itself is the artist. Street art is a collective thing, participative and interactive, extremely linked to web 2.0 culture.

RJ: What was the Underbelly Paris like? How do you describe the Underbelly Project?
C215: For my part, it was an incredible time spent with very good friends. My vision is romantic. I had a nice time with some people Iove, others that I met and then admired after working with them. It was a beautiful collective project, led by beautiful artists.

RJ: Is it important to continue the tradition of illegal graffiti and street art?
C215: Graffiti consists in leaving tracks behind you, street art consists in placing art in the streets. You can do it with authorization, but the poetry of it would not be the same. There is something poetic in taking legal risk just to make your city more beautiful.

RJ: How did you start making art and how did your distinctive style develop?
C215: I began to paint when kid, but my style went strong the night I lost my grandmother. She was everything for me and supported me until her end. For a long time, I have had a borderline personality disorder, and when she disappeared my personality collapsed overnight. I was just lost, not knowing anymore who or where I was. I spent the night cutting a stencil of a homeless person’s face, to express my feelings. I cut it so detailed and with so many bridges that he looked crackled. This became my style for while. This style is now credited to me and imitated around the world, but comes from my self expression and from a very personal story.

Photo by RJ Rushmore
Photo by RJ Rushmore

RJ: Do you find it difficult to adapt your outdoor techniques to indoors? How did you go about it?
C215: I work indoors as little as possible, since I think my work is made for outdoors. I do not use stencils for doing patterns. I do not repeat images. I use them to go smaller than a spraycan cap, so to get details, and to create a proper artwork anywhere, very quick and without authorization. Galleries are white spaces that I find boring to paint in. It’s not new to paint on a white wall. What is new is to paint a nice work somewhere illegally, and spread it immediately to the whole world through internet.

Continue reading “C215 in depth”

Mini-interview with Graffuturism’s Poesia


Graffuturism is one of the best blogs out there for innovative work by graffiti writers. The site is run by Poesia, who has just curated a group show at San Fransisco’s White Walls Gallery based around some of the artists he blogs about. L’Avenir opens this Saturday the 14th and runs through January 4th. I’ve been a fan of Graffuturism for years now and Poesia and I have gotten into some great discussions on Twitter, but we’ve never really had a chance to chat, so I emailed him a few questions about the blog and the show in the run-up to L’Avenir.

Augustine Kofie
Augustine Kofie

RJ: In one sentence, what makes someone a graffuturist?

Poesia: Most likely an artist with a graffiti background who has evolved and progressed beyond his initial roots.

RJ: I guess I always thought about Graffuturism as having to do with graffiti writers going in an abstract direction, but with this show you’ve included a lot of artists known for figurative works and made it clear in your artist statement that the movement isn’t purely about an abstract aesthetic. Can you go into a bit more detail on the similarities you see between say Sainer and Clemens Behr?

Poesia: Many people get this part of Graffuturism confused, but I feel it is because graffiti artists tend to move in a more abstract direction due to graffiti’s initial abstract nature. When compared to street art that already is more representational, Graffiti was and is an abstract form of art already. But we have to remember that graffiti has always used representational images cartoon characters etc since the early days of graffiiti, most the artists that were more inclined to paint representational or figurative work would get character or background duty on walls. Many of these talented artists never learned proper letters because they were always busy painting the backgrounds for the letter artists. One of the positive byproducts of Street Art was that now all these talented representational painters who had painted graffiti characters forever now saw that they could take center stage and create their own work without letters. This was an important evolution of graffiti and thus an artist like Sainer is just as an evolved graffiti artist as Clemens Behr who moved into a more abstract avenue of work. Both have this history that has evolved and thrived in a new age where painting whatever you like is possible without adhering to the traditional rules of graffiti. To me they are the same even if aesthetically polar opposites. The reason why Graffuturism is seen as an abstract movement is more due to the fact that there were more letterbased artists than figurative artists that have gone onto progress thus the surplus of abstract artists versus figurative ones.


Continue reading “Mini-interview with Graffuturism’s Poesia”

Melbourne Monthly Madness – October 2013

This post is super late but definitely worth sharing with you all. I have been flat out working on the 2nd and final installment of ALL YOUR WALLS (last Wednesday through Friday – which was a HUGE success, I’ll be doing a full post on that soon). October’s post is short and sweet with some amazing content. Take some time to watch the videos and check out some of the awesome pics below.

This interview from Upstart Magazine with Australian stencil artist Damien Mitchell is a great way to start (Damien now lives in Brooklyn NYC). Damien gives a good insight into Melbourne’s scene and some great shots of some of the city’s best spots for street art and graff. Being a dog lover I’m a huge fan of the story behind the dog stencil.

This great short doco reappeared on vimeo after a long time in hiding. Melbourne Ink was filmed back in 2008 by Julien Sena and Romain Levrault while visiting from France. The video features the work of and interviews with some of Melbourne’s best artists; right in the midst of the massive explosion of street art in our city. Big ups to Fletch for the link!

Melbourne Ink from romain levrault on Vimeo.

Seeing this music video was a great surprise. Australian band Spiderbait recently released the music video for the track ‘It’s Beautiful’ (from their self titled album). A great video showing off some of Melbourne’s best lane ways and featuring the work of many Melbourne street artists and some music by a rad band.

Miso’s latest show ‘Bright Night Sky’ at Backwoods Gallery was amazing to say the least! Each piece created with a series of intricate pin pricks that come together to form beautiful pieces. Sold out before it opened, nice! These great shots show off some of her work and the awesome installation (in particular the fish eye shot).

Miso - Photo by Dreaded Cat Studios
Miso. Photo by Dreaded Cat Studios.
Miso - Photo by David Russell
Miso. Photo by David Russell.
Miso - Photo by David Russell
Miso – Photo by David Russell

My friend Lou Chamberlin launched her new book “Street Art Melbourne” in Hosier lane. Lou has been collecting shots of Melbourne’s amazing street art in our streets and lanes for the last 6 years or so, and the result is this great new book, showcasing some of Melbourne’s best artists alongside interstate and international visitors. Lou also invited a bunch of artists down and provided some paint to help colour the lane. I was asked to write the forward for the book which I was happy to do. Check out some of the work painted on the day here. You can preview the book and grab a copy here.

Lou Chamberlin - Street Art Melbourne Launch
Street Art Melbourne Launch. Photo by David Russell.

Kirpy painted his iconic Metcard stencil at Revolver. A common sight around Melbourne a few years ago, before it was replaced by the latest ticketing system. If you don’t get why it’s ripped then you probably won’t appreciate the stencil as much 😉 I love the crispness of the stencil against the texture of the wall, it sort of looks like it’s floating.

Kirpy - Metcard - Revolver
Kirpy’s Metcard at Revolver

Reka painted this awesome mural in San Francisco – a mad piece. He also did a great interview on the local news.

Reka - San Francisco
Reka – San Francisco. Photo by Reka.
Reka - San Francisco
Reka – San Francisco. Photo by Reka.

He also painted in Portland this Autumn themed wall, titled “The Fall”. I’m really loving the direction James is taking with his work, to me it seems like he is incorporating more traditional shapes and objects meshed with his awesome style that we know and love!

Reka - The Fall - Portland
Reka – The Fall – Portland. Photo by Reka.
Reka - The Fall - Portland
Reka – The Fall – Portland. Photo by Reka.

This recap of Project 5 in Sydney, featuring Rone and Adnate from Melbourne. A great little project with Rone, Adnate, Numskull and Jodee Knowles. All proceeds from the works went towards supporting a great charity (ICE). A good close up of the live work and interviews with the artists.

David Russell’s “Through the Lens” for October brings the goods from around town, as usual. Here’s some of my faves.

RESUME - Photo By David Russell
RESUME. Photo By David Russell.
Facter - Photo By David Russell
Facter. Photo By David Russell.
Slicer - Photo By David Russell
Slicer. Photo By David Russell.

And to finish up a couple of rippers from Dean Sunshine’s Top Ten.

Taylor White - Photo by Dean Sunshine
Taylor White. Photo by Dean Sunshine.
Two One and Senekt - Photo by Dean Sunshine
Two One and Senekt. Photo by Dean Sunshine.
Adnate - Photo by Dean Sunshine
Adnate. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

Photos courtesy of Dean Sunshine, David Russell, Dreaded Cat Studios and Reka.

Video Courtesy of Ambush Gallery, Upstart Magazine, Romain Levrault and Spiderbait.

Tim Hans Shoots… Jordan Seiler


Note from RJ: It’s been a little while since we posted any of Tim Hans‘ photos, but his series of artist portraits is still ongoing. Today we have our latest photo from Tim, one he took of Jordan Seiler at the site of one of Jordan’s ad takeovers. Rhiannon Platt asked Jordan a few questions. – RJ

Under the moniker of PublicAdCampaign, artist and activist Jordan Seiler aims to help the public regain control of their visual atmosphere. His latest project, Public Access, aims to give artists the power to change their visual landscape. The artist has reproduced keys for bus shelters and phone booths for several countries, beginning first in New York and recently expanding to Brussels for an exhibition with Harlan B. Levy Projects. Today is also the launch of the app Re+Public, an augmented reality app for iPhone and Android created by Jordan and The Heavy Projects.

Rhiannon Platt: When did you first start combating commercialism with takeovers?

Jordan Seiler: I began ad takeovers in December of 2000 with an entire station takeover at the 18th street 1/9 stop. It took about 32 posters to cover both platforms. At that point, and somewhat still to this day, it isn’t about combating commercialism but rather deciding for ourselves what our collective visual landscape looks like.

Rhiannon: What made you want to start Public Ad Campaign? Was there a specific instance that you can point to?

Jordan: My first takeover was motivated purely by aesthetics. I thought the station would feel quite different with a new set of images. It was only once that feeling manifested, and I began to worry about being caught by the cops, that I began to see the differences between commercial and public media production.

Rhiannon: How does your passion for ad-busting manifest itself in your other work?

Jordan: I know this sounds trite but I prefer the word ad-takeover to ad-bust. An ad-bust suggests a play on meaning, a decrypting of the encoded media message to reveal its weaknesses or faults. My feeling is that we are already very good at reading between the lines and seeing most commercial messages for what they are. Despite this critical insight we sill cannot seem to resist their allure. Ad-takeovers on the other hand obliterate the initial media message and in doing so demand the space be used for other conversations. I think this is a very important distinction because if we are going to wrestle with the impact of media messages on our society, we need a critical distance from which to start. Ad takeovers demand an ad free public space and by extension ask the question of what we might fill that space with. I think with most of my other projects that aren’t directly ad-takeovers, I try to ask the question of how we might collectively take up the responsibility of public media production by encouraging other people’s participation, and exploring new tools for public media production.

Rhiannon: Are you currently working on any projects?

Jordan: I am currently working on a project called Public Access where I make tools that can be used to open advertising locations around the world so that people can engage their public media space directly. This is an ongoing project and I hope to continue to add more tools and more accessible cities in the coming years. I am also about to launch the Re+Public AR mobile app with my partner from The Heavy Projects. Our newest collaboration with MOMO was a wonderful experience and we are excited to finally make the app widely available through iOS and Android platforms.

Photo by Tim Hans