Opening tonight at the East Village’s Dorian Grey Gallery is CLUB 57 & Friends featuring some of the early pioneers of the 1980’s East Village art scene and the CLUB 57 performance space. Both original works and legendary photographs are on display. Here is a small sampling:
Dress designed by LA II aka LA Roc, photo by Lois Stavsky
The opening reception is from 6 – 9pm this evening at 437 East 9th Street between 1st Ave and Ave A. The exhibit continues through October 9th. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 – 7pm.
Wow. It’s actually Friday night already? This week went by really fast. I think I’ve been sleeping too much. Well, while I was sleeping, these things nearly slipped me by:
A film is being made about The Underbelly Project, and they are looking for reactions from the public. This Sunday, New Yorkers get have their reactions (positive or negative) on film. More info on the film’s website. I’ve been interviewed for this a couple of times, and I can’t wait to see the finished film.
Shepard Fairey is guest-editing the latest issue of PAPER Magazine. Great price for an art/culture magazine by the way: I just realized that a two-year subscription to PAPER Magazine is $15! Juxtapoz costs more than that per year just for a digital subscription (more issues per year though)!
Graffoto are raving about Mantis‘ solo show in Hackney Wick. Honestly, I saw a few photos in the preview and thought something along the lines of “What? These are paintings and they aren’t funny or clever and they aren’t amazing. This isn’t what I love about Mantis at all!” Well I stand corrected. While I still think a lot of the paintings are pretty unappealing, there are some great drawings and even a nice painting or two. The man can draw!
Black Rat Press have just sent me a few images as a preview to their upcoming group show Now’s The Time. The line-up is pretty sick. Black Rat have really found some fantastic paintings from some of the world’s top street artists (past and present) including Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Keith Haring, Swoon, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Os Gêmeos. The show opens Thursday April 22nd, and I expect the gallery is going to be packed. Here’s what I can reveal so far:
That’s got to be the best Angela Davis (edit: okay apparently this isn’t of Angela Davis, but it still looks amazing) I’ve seen from Shepard Fairey.
Swoon keeps getting better and better and better. Definitely my favorite living artist.
While it’s only a drawing, how often do you get a see a Basquiat in person? This is something special for sure.
Black Rat Projects (formally Black Rat Press) finally has their first show of 2010 opening in a few weeks. It’s called Now’s The Time. It’s a group show and it brings together artwork by some of the top names in street art’s history: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Banksy, Barry McGee, Faile and Os Gêmeos. I’ve heard about this show coming together over the last few months, and I like to joke that the idea behind it is strikingly similar to The Thousands, but two artists really separate this show from The Thousands and other similar exhibition that have been put on in the past: Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s not often that a gallery has put on an exhibition of what is claimed to be the world’s top street art and been able to include those two essential artists in the line up alongside newer artists artists like Faile. This is going to be a very interesting show. Now’s The Time opens April 22nd at Black Rat Projects in London.
Lot 230: Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimated £70-90,000
RJ’s thoughts – Meh. It’s an okay sketch. For the £70,000 estimate, wouldn’t you rather have a kickass José Parlá?
Lot 233: Kate Moss by Banksy. Estimated £25-35,000
RJ’s thoughts – I’m not a fan of the Kate Moss prints, but I seem to be the only one in the world who isn’t. Also, how cool is it that Sotheby’s gets the joke has lots 232 and 234 are both by Warhol?
Lot 284: Bomb Hugger by Banksy. Estimated £25-35,000
RJ’s thoughts – Usually I don’t like the poorly executed original works that Banksy made around this time, but this one I love for some reason.
Lot 285: Amoured Car by Banksy. Estimated £25-35,000
RJ’s thoughts – Pretty much the same as my thoughts on Bomb Hugger, except that the reason I like this piece is the title.
Lot 269: Untitled (Robots Amaze) by Barry McGee. Estimated £30-40,000
Elisa’s thoughts – Both this piece and Lot 271 could be tough sells as they are not “typical” McGee works, plus they’re installations, but this one is certainly fun. It’s not for me, but I have to admit that it’s a cool piece to observe in person – it has that eerie aura to it that all animatronics have. But how does one get the tag on the wall? Does Barry come over and do it for you himself? That would be cool. Otherwise, how does the piece work? I’ll also add that it is interesting to see both this lot and Untitled (Car Boot) at auction – whether you like the work or not, it shows the wider art world that Barry’s scope is greater than his gorgeous trademark clusters and individual portrait pieces.
RJ’s thoughts – From what I hear, the piece doesn’t come with the “Amaze” tag, and if you want one, you have to paint it yourself. That is so disappointing. This will only sell to a museum or somebody who wants to donate it to a museum, if it sells at all.
Lot 270: You Told That Joke Twice by Banksy. Estimated £100-150,000
Elisa’s thoughts – This is a strong, intelligent piece from Banksy. The estimate is high, considering the market, but it’s a big piece and I hope it performs well as it shows Banksy off at his best. I love it.
RJ’s thoughts – Yeah it’s a high estimate, but as Elisa says, it’s quite a big painting. And it’s one of my all time favorite Banksy’s. Definitely one of his strongest works. And in terms of the art market, it definitely helps that this piece was in Banksy’s book “Wall and Piece” and that it’s a total one-off.
Lot 271: Untitled (Car Boot) by Barry McGee. Estimated £15-20,000
Elisa’s thoughts – This works as a cool installation piece within a larger exhibition context and links to the great larger car installations Barry is known for, but on its own it looks a bit dead and pretentious. It should go to a museum, some other kind of institution, or else a McGee fanatic who owns hundreds of pieces and can put lots of other work around it to give it the life it deserves.
RJ’s thoughts – I think that a museum could do better, maybe will a full car, but a really ambitious collector with some McGee clusters already could make this piece the centerpiece of their collection.
Lot 18: Cash Crop by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimated £600-900,000
Elisa’s thoughts – This is an interesting piece because it reflects an important period in Basquiat’s history. It’s a very introspective, personal piece, which makes for a tension that appeals to me, but it’s not his strongest work.
RJ’s thoughts – Agreed, it’s not his strongest work. I wouldn’t care if this was on my wall or not, except for the fact that it was painted by Basquiat. “Year of the Boar” sold at Phillips de Pury back in October for £1.1 million, and that painting looked 10x better to me.
Lot 19: Vandalised oil #001 by Banksy. Estimated £60-80,000
Elisa’s thoughts – This is an iconic crude oil from Banksy. If you’re a fan of Banksy and like this series, I say go for it.
RJ’s thoughts – Pricing for Banksy’s crude oils can be so screwy that it’s nearly impossible to know what a fair market price is, but this is definitely one of the better ones.
Lot 138: Two works – Untitled by Kaws. Estimated £10-15,000
Elisa’s thoughts – In my opinion, there is no artistic merit in works like these. The estimate is about right, but it’s beyond me why someone would pay that for them.
RJ’s thoughts – I’m not a Kaws collector, but we all know one (or are one). For Kaws fanatics, these two pieces would be great additions to a collection. But yeah, otherwise, who else cares? They’re just his skulls by themselves. It’s more like buying a Nike logo, not an OBEY Giant poster.
RJ’s final thoughts – Overall, wow. Maybe not all of these pieces are amazing, but the artists are all top-tier. There are no unproven street artists in these sales.
Artnet.com is having an online urban art auction, which began July 7th and runs through July 23rd. The catalogue contains works by many of the major names in the scene, from the 80s through today, such as Dondi, Crash, Haring, Basquiat, Barry McGee, Banksy, Nick Walker, Faile and Shepard Fairey. There are also some strange, albeit nice, inclusions such as Mr. and Jim Houser, as well as some weaker urban choices, but on the whole this auction is definitely worth checking out as there is a good range of pieces in it.
It is also quite well-presented and easy to use; you can either scroll the catalogue page by page or search by artist. The biographical information is nice to have and I like the inclusion of sales results for comparable work – this is particularly handy if you are considering placing a bid.
I have highlighted a few of my personal favorites. Clicking on the image will take you to the lot.