Andrew H. Shirley’s Traveling Sideshow Visits Superchief Gallery for Halloween

October 25th, 2017 | By | No Comments »

Screening in Reno, NV. “This Wasted Land” by Greg Henderson. Costume by Wolftits. Wolfsuit by Briana Barber. Photo by Alisha Funkhouser.

The word sideshow comes up several times in conversation when discussing the traveling installation centered on Andrew H. Shirley’s Wastedland 2 film. The touring exhibition is as much of a whirlwind as the artist himself, connecting collaborators from across the country in an ever-evolving project.

Sculpture by UFO and William Thomas Porter at the Wastedland 2 screening at the Knockdown Center. Photo by Jaime Jarvis.

While the upcoming screening of Wastedland 2 this Friday at Superchief Gallery is the first screening with an emphasis on audience participation through costumes, the film had previously shown in New York City at the Knockdown Center. At this venue, from the moment I stepped into the installation it felt like a family reunion, a theme that is echoed throughout the film. It was a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and decided it was probably all the personal connections I had with the people and left it at that. However, when I went to interview Andrew, I had to ask if he could illuminate why even people I knew who were not personally familiar with the crews involved still came away with this sense of kinship. Shirley explained, “In many ways Wastedland 2 created not only a new platform of film exhibition, but perhaps exemplified the idea of collaborative action and support from a community that is sometimes over looked as far as how genuinely loyal and generous they are. The graffiti community not only looks out for each other, but they are a family that looks out for people in need- in many ways.” From assisting in the entry of buildings to a floor to call a safe home for the night, the filmmaker was quick to name all of the people and places who helped him out. It may not have been a direct connection, but maybe a friend of a friend, because as he stated they are the family that always looks out for one another.

Beyond these overarching themes, I was curious about how the process varied city to city, having only attended the Knockdown Center screening myself. Read the rest of this article »


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview | Tags: ,

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: , ,

A punk’s fantasy: Droid907 directs for Japanther

March 26th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

Droid has been described eloquently as, “giving punk meaning again.” In the ultimate dream partnership, in my humble opinion, Droid 907 directed, edited, and wrote the video for Japanther‘s new single “Do It (Don’t Try).” The video follows as he writes out the song’s lyrics in his signature style. He then surreptitiously places the stickers around Bushwick while the band belts out “Do Do Do Do Why Fight It?” The juxtaposition of lyrics with illegal art underscore the song’s do or die attitude, one that Droid faithfully lives by.

It is also important to note that the video ends with a shot of a “Droid = Afrika” sticker. This piece pays homage to one of the crew’s deceased friends, writer Afrika.


Category: Videos | Tags: , ,

Sex or Suicide: Droid 907 says either way you’re fucked

April 19th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

SOS_van

When I originally approached Droid 907 about his latest zine, Sex or Suicide (Either Way You’re Fucked), it was described as simultaneously the most honest book about graffiti and a collection of lies. This inability to distinguish which stories are strange enough to be true or perhaps so outlandish that they must be fabricated heightens the experience. From tomes written on a buffed square of an abandoned facade to gritty, type-written pages, Droid explores the limits of his medium, in both graffiti and storytelling. Through these pages, the often enigmatic but ever present force of New York graffiti slowly peels back the layers behind his “Droid” persona, or perhaps adds more if the stories are in fact fabricated. With 40 pages of travels, redacted locations, and a cover silkscreened by Bushwick Print Lab, S.o.S. is Droid’s most visceral text to date.

SOS_final_04

Following a few month span in the artist’s nomadic lifestyle, readers are placed in media res, with no prior knowledge of the author’s relationships with those he encounters. You are suddenly left on the side of the tracks with no contextualization, in an anarchistic manner that mirror’s the text’s aesthetics. To help illuminate the backstories of a few of these individuals, as well as his own artistic practice in creating Sex or Suicide, Vandalog conducted a brief interview with Droid.

Read the rest of this article »


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

Goya 907: Dispatches From the Crud-Cake

April 18th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

TONY003

A perfect combination of endearing and grimy, Goya 907’s characters have long been one of my favorite pieces to spot. An active former New Yorker, his pieces will surprise you in places ranging from abandoned buildings to a sticker on a street corner that you must have walked by a thousand times, only to notice it now. Even though he may no longer reside here, Goya’s graffiti is still an integral part of New York’s landscape. Particularly of note in the artist’s studio pieces is his customization of his iconic image. Using the basic structure of claw hands and little stick legs, this skeleton becomes customized with traces of people Goya encounters in his daily life. Whether it’s his friend’s favorite boots or an arm tattoo, these pieces change his cartoon from a representation of self to an endearing representation of others.

Goya aka Tony Bones has a show tonight at Tender Trap in Brooklyn.

TONY004

For a short biography of the artist (one as comedic as his work) and details of the opening, curator Andrew H. Shirley sent this press release:

The Superior Bugout presents…
DISPATCHES FROM THE CRUD-CAKE
new artwork by TONY BONES

Opening Thursday April 18th 7-11pm
at TENDER TRAP
245 South 1st (btwn Roebling / Havemeyer) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Tony Bones grew up in Texas. He got his start painting graffiti around his home state and soon moved on to the rest of the country and beyond. Tony made his home in Brooklyn for several years but now lives in a cupcake by the Mississippi River in New Orleans. He has a hedgehog and a pickup truck.
*with Ray Mock of Carnage Zine setting up his zine table
**and music by DJ BOO RAPS of Rap Gang (it’s also his birthday!!!)

TONY_new

In addition to sending preview images, included was a list of upcoming shows at the Tender Trap. Based on his previous exhibitions, it looks like viewers are in for an interesting few months with a mix of graffiti, photography, and conceptual work.

The Superior Bugout 2013 art series at the Tender Trap:
May 2nd Tod Seelie
May 16th AVone
June 6th UFO907

GetInline

Photos Courtesy of Andrew H. Shirley


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

Preview: Graff Zines Hit the NY Art Book Fair

September 27th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

(Left to Right) Droid and R2, Droid and Avoid, and NGC

Opening to the public this weekend, the New York Art Book Fair brings together the academic art history books with the grittiness of zines. This year, several graffiti zines have teamed up to display their wares at the Pantheon Books table. With zines from Baltimore’s NGC crew, 907, and Subway Art Blog, this weekend will be one that you need to fit into your tightly wound schedules (don’t forget it’s also Dumbo Arts Festival). Vandalog was lucky enough to be able to preview these zines before the public and the results were astounding. In the week since I have received these zines I have found myself flipping through them over and over, rereading passages and revisiting my favorite layouts.

NGC

NGC

The sick rollers and pieces seen in my recent Vandalog posts are echoed within the pages of NGC’s zine. A few of the spots I was lucky enough to see are document within their zine as well as several that remain unseen. An excellent pairing of inside jokes and montaged pages of tags and personal photographs, NGC gives you a taste of what it is like to be writers in Baltimore. Like Natty Bo, it’s cheap, awesome, and sure to show you a good time.

Droid and R2

Droid and R2

Being only familiar with the street work of 907, I didn’t know what to expect when opening the pages of their zine. The cover is decked with tags by some of the top writers on the East Coast, giving a hint that you are probably in for a read that is going to rock your brain. Droid and R2 have brought some of their favorite cudi spots together with some premium interviews. Between the eye catching pictures and a particularly moving narrative about loss, Droid and R2 have pieced the perfect pairing of opposites for this release.

Avoid and Droid

Avoid and Droid

In addition to his release with R2, Droid and Avoid will be showing their zine from last year, which features stories from their adventures riding freights across the country. In the urban jungle where pretty much everything gets you arrested, their tales of run-ins and writing trains is enough to make any New Yorker want to eject themselves from the city for a taste of the fun.

Cover (Courtesy of Subway Art Blog)

(Courtesy of Subway Art Blog)

(Courtesy of Subway Art Blog)

Last, but not least, Subway Art Blog has teamed up with the graffiti writer-based zines to prove to New York that, yes, there is in fact still art in the subways. Now in it’s second issue, Jowy Romano has focused this production on etches and scratchitti. By bringing together graffiti writers as well as enthusiasts, the New York zine table provides short reads for visitors of all tastes.

To pick up copies of these zines visit table A12 (Pantheon Projects). The New York Art Book Fair will be open to the public this weekend from:

Friday, September 28, 12–7 pm
Saturday, September 29, 11 am–9 pm
Sunday, September 30, 11 am–7 pm

All photos by Rhiannon Platt unless noted


Category: Art Fairs, Books / Magazines | Tags: , , , , , , ,