While I was in Stavanger… link-o-rama

Ron English working on his mural at Nuart

For most of last week, I was in Stavanger, Norway for the 2012 Nuart Festival. Naturally, even though I was there in part as press, I spent very little time on my computer and didn’t do any blogging. So, expect a full post or two about Nuart later this week, but for now here’s what I missed writing about while I was away:

Photo by Ian Cox


Weekend link-o-rama

Aryz in Næstved, Denmark. Click to view large.

Just a question: Anyone wish an air-conditioned home want to trade places with me until things cool down? Anyway, here’s some linkage to what’s been going on with art this week:

Photo by Henrik Haven

Graffiti Vinyl – Wall to wall music

“Stone Age” by The Rolling Stones

It’s a great pleasure to introduce my good friend (he DJ’d at my wedding), author and vinyl obsessive Mr Tim O’Brien. He and I share a love of a funky tune and the graffiti you find on record covers but Tim has done more research into the field than anyone I know. His physical collection of graffiti vinyl has to be second to none and through his numerous essential blogs it a subject he generously shares with the world…
– Tristan Manco

Hello, my name is Tim and I have a problem with vinyl…

The humble album cover tells the whole story of graffiti. From the earliest tags to the latest styles, the album cover has used them all. Any styles in-between, it’s used them too. Go into any record shop, search long enough and you’ll come across some graffiti-based album art. Look in any of the Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock, House, Indie, Electronica sections and you’ll find graffiti based album art. Look to some of the most famous artists of all time – James Brown, The Rolling Stones, The Jam, Run DMC – and you’ll find graffiti based album art. Go through the bargain bin and you’ll find disrespected tunes with great graffiti based covers. Don’t forget, if the owner/assistant/loiterer gives you a hard time, for some obscure and unfathomable reason, you can always get them elsewhere.

“Walk This Way” by RUN DMC
Ultimate Breaks & Beats

The first time graffiti album art caught my eye was in HMV, Oxford Street, in the late 80s. The shop was clearing out their vinyl and in a back room they had rows of Ultimate Breaks & Beats LPs. The artwork really captured my imagination, classic as it was and is. Straight away I loved the colours, design, themes and styles and have done ever since, the music on the LPs too. HMV were switching to selling CDs of course. 25 years later and CDs are on the way out, vinyl is still going strong and the Breaks & Beats series looks as fresh as ever.

The inspiration for these blogs came courtesy of a lucky break/some small success with the publication of Naked Vinyl in 2003, thanks to Chrysalis Publishing. For a while I was on the same label as Blondie, kind of and it was a fun time. The graffiti vinyl blogs followed from there and are well on the way to becoming a follow up book in their own right. This is pleasing in lots of ways, firstly because computer servers don’t destroy enough trees for my liking and also because album art is such a great way to showcase the ongoing creativity of graffiti/street art.

“Wotupski” by Jellybean

The best thing about graffiti vinyl is that it includes artwork by classic artists like Futura, Seen and Keith Haring, plus lots of different graff/street art styles, and lots of modern graffiti based design too. While, I’m happy to say, the Thames & Hudson titan of street art, our very own Mr Tristan Manco, has designed (with the artwork of Banksy and others) his own graff vinyl covers too. These come courtesy of his freelance design work and are pictured here in all their glory.

“Think Tank” by Blur
“Pure Braziliance”

Most of the covers were bought in the UK or online. With special mentions going to the Notting Hill Soul & Dance Exchange, Rarekind Records, Brighton, West Pier Records, Brighton and FOPP, Cambridge. The mighty Worldwide Empire of Discogs is, of course, due a mention too. Some of the vinyl was, and is, pretty pricey and a few of them I still haven’t been able to find – the, stunning, graffiti picture sleeve of Tyrone Brunson’s The Smurf and the Trouble Funk, 7”, graffiti picture sleeve, of Pump me up, spring to mind. So, if you’ve got them, please send them on to Vandalog for safe-keeping.

The graff blogs created include three themed around graffiti vinyl – an overview with info and links, a gallery and the story of graffiti vinyl:

Graffiti Vinyl

The Graffiti Vinyl Gallery

Graffiti Vinyl – A Tag-time Story

Plus one that’s about graffiti’s place in relation to design and wider culture:

Graffiti Design

These compliment the original Naked Vinyl and Naked Vinyl gallery blogs:

Naked Vinyl

Naked Vinyl Gallery

“Three Wize Men” by GB Boyz

Some of the above blogs are archives and complete, while others will have content added on an on-going basis. Finally, if you get a chance to check my google blogger profile, you’ll find some more blogs based around other left-field themes. New blogs will be likely added as inspiration strikes.

Photos courtesy of Tim O’Brien

Weekend link-o-rama

FIGHT by Rub Kandy

I’m off for a few days of traveling. Expect lots of pictures. Here’s what we missed on Vandalog this week:

Photo by Rub Kandy

Keith Haring x Obey Collaboration Preview

Since I heard about the Keith Haring x OBEY collaboration, I have been waiting to see the end result. Thankfully, this Autumn I won’t be sporting OBEY’s usual snap back but an array of worn in tees and hoodies emblazoned with some of Haring’s most iconic images. The line will even boast a leather varsity jacket and a military m65 style that resembles the coat that Haring used to wear while painting in the 80’s.

For Shepard Fairey, this partnership between OBEY and the Keith haring Foundation is his way of paying homage to an artist, businessman and ground breaking street artist. The line blatantly points out the likeness between the artists in their subject matters and foray into commercial projects, allowing the mainstream to own their artwork in another form than just paintings. Most importantly, however, is that OBEY is bringing Haring’s art work to a new audience just over 20 years since his passing. This is what Shepard had to say about the collection and inspiration behind it:

“Though Keith Haring died only two years after I started making street art, his art and practice had already made a profound impact on me. At art college and on the streets of NYC in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Keith’s radiant baby and other images could be seen on the tees of all the flyest hipsters. Keith Haring was a prolific artist with a distinct style of drawing and painting that was simultaneously refined, but primitive, deliberate but lyrical and energetic. Haring believed “the public has a right to art” and this philosophy informed his populist approach to spreading his art and messages. He pursued his art with a deeply personal vision, but also as a champion of social justice and a belief in the interconnectedness of humanity. Haring demonstrated the power of art on the streets, but he also put his art on t-shirts and record covers. He even opened a retail space in NYC called The Pop Shop. Eventually Haring’s artwork became widely respected, displayed, and sold as “fine art”. Haring rose from the 80’s NYC graffiti scene to not only affect the art world, but to dramatically impact pop culture. Inspired by Keith Haring’s achievements, I pursued my art career with the optimism that my goals could be attained.”

Check out some of the stand out pieces of the collection below. Some of the items are available now on OBEY Clothing with the full mens and womens collection arriving throughout the next few weeks in the US and UK.

Continue reading “Keith Haring x Obey Collaboration Preview”

Bushwick’s Low Brow Artique Opens with “Welcome to the Neighborhood”

Bushwick’s new Low Brow Boutique is a street artist’s and street art lover’s dream. Offering a first-rate selection of aerosol art supplies, it also houses a gallery and store that features a range of artwork in different media by artists whose primary canvas is the streets.  The brainchild of Bishop 203 – who’s left his mark for years on everything from freight trains to stickers – Low Brow Boutique officially opens tomorrow Saturday evening at 7 pm at 143 Central Avenue in Bushwick.  When we stopped by this afternoon, the Yok, Sheryo and See One were busy gracing its exterior and Rhiannon Platt, who curated the opening exhibit “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” shared some of the artwork with us. Here are a few images:

The Yok and Sheryo at work
See One at work
A small sampling of supplies
Willow artwork on exhibit
Cern artwork on exhibit
Elle artwork on exhibit

Other artists in Low Brow Artique’s opening exhibit include: Clown Soldier, Enx, Sheryo, the Yok and See One. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

Weekend link-o-rama


The week isn’t over yet, but this week’s news is going to be old if I don’t mention it soon. Here’s some of what I missed this week:

Photo by SMKjr

Competition time: Tickets to the D*Face/Smirnoff collaboration launch

D*Face and Smirnoff have teamed up to create an inventive limited edition collectable bottle. To celebrate the exciting collaboration, D*Face and Smirnoff will be hosting an exclusive party encompassing a surreal art experiment in East London on Wednesday 13th June where attendees will each receive a piece of art by D*face.

Vandalog is able to offer one lucky winner a pair of VIP tickets to invite-only party.

To enter, just leave a comment with the name of the gallery that D*Face owns. Make sure to leave your real email in the comment, so that we can be in touch. Only Vandalog will be able to see your email. The winner will be selected among those who answer correctly and notified via email on Wednesday morning.

Weekend link-o-rama

Don't Fret

Lots of news to share this week and I’m late with this post, so let’s get on with it…

Photo by Don’t Fret

INSA uses crowdsourcing to paint LA mural

Last month, INSA was planning to go to LA to paint a mural, but he needed money for a flight and other costs of getting to and staying in LA. To raise the money, he sent out an appeal to his fans through his blog and offered a series of 12 paintings for sale (shown here). Anyone who bought a painting would also get their name painted on the mural, a photo of the mural, a thank you letter and an INSA goodie bag. By reaching out directly to his fans, offering the works at a discount and explaining exactly how the money would be used to fund more art, INSA was able to raise enough money to get to LA. Here are some photos of INSA’s latest wall with LA Freewalls. Check out more on INSA’s blog.

Photos by Todd Mazer