Competent and unoriginal street art by July

March 28th, 2013 | By | 8 Comments »

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July is a technically competent artist, creating stencils using 2 to 4 colors that generally include some sort of social or political commentary. For the same reason people are amused by Dolk, Icy & Sot, Blek le Rat and so on and so forth, people might have similar reactions to July as they do with those other artists. For more works by Banksy July check out their facebook page. For some more direct similarities to other artists, see here and here.

Wouldn’t it be great if artists moved beyond being technically competent and actually came up with interesting ideas too?

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Photos by July


Category: Photos | Tags: , , , ,

Going to the gallery

August 9th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

There are a bunch of shows open now or opening in the next month that I’d like to mention, but there are only so many hours in the day. So here’s a bit of a round-up:

  • Détournement: Signs of the Times is a group show that just opened at Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC. It was curated by the legendary Carlo McCormick and features artists who “subvert consensus visual language so as to turn the expressions of capitalist culture against themselves.” Some of those artists in Détournement are Aiko, David Wojnarowicz, Ripo, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers, TrustoCorp and Zevs.
  • Chris Stain and Joe Iurato are showing together for a two-man show at NYC’s Mighty Tanaka. The show opens on Friday. These are two great and underrated stencil artists. I highly recommend checking out this show, particularly given the superb quality of Stain’s recent indoor work.
  • Sweet Toof has a solo show opening this week at High Roller Society a pop-up space in Hackney Wick, London.
  • Contemporary Wing’s (Washington, DC) latest group show, opening on the 16th, is an exhibit of secondary market work, but there should some nice stuff, including work by Shepard Fairey, WK Interact, Gaia, Faile and Blek le Rat. I must admit that I’ve included a piece in this show, but I’m not going to say which one (so if you want to help me out, just buy the entire show…).
  • Finally, Dabs and Myla have curated a show at LA’s Thinkspace Gallery which will open September 1st. In addition to their own paintings and installations, the show features 32 of their friends, plus a solo show in Thinkspace’s project room by Surge MDR. Those shows open September 1st.

Photo by Susan NYC


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Walls & Frames: The Review

May 5th, 2012 | By | 1 Comment »

Even though Walls & Frames by Maximiliano Ruiz has been out for a few months now, I have finally gotten around to reading it cover to cover and writing a proper review. With so many street art books (and how expensive the hardcover ones are out there today) we think it is important at Vandalog to try and write honest reviews about what we come across.

I have been really excited about the release Walls & Frames, not just because of the hand painted dust jackets sold during the book launch, but because the topic it covers is one that I have researched and continue to do so in depth. As street art continues to become more and more popular as a mainstream art genre, the transition of street art into a commodity is an interesting aspect of the genre. Each artists that comes from or works in both mediums deals with the transition in their own way, and I finally thought there was a book that was going to ask the tough questions to artists about working indoors. How do you feel about your work as a commodity? Do you have a different process with canvasses versus walls? How do you justify the price tag of your work if it doesn’t take as much time? Do you only paint outdoors to promote the sale of your work? These and more are what I thought was going to be addressed in Walls & Frames, but unfortunately, the book falls short of asking any of these questions and puts forth an array of 101 artists work (some of whom have never even gotten up in the streets). From the title alone, I at least hoped, at the very least, that the Ruiz would juxtapose artists’ outdoor work with their indoor pieces as the images and let the reader assess the differences, but alas, all of the images are of work that has been shown or sold by galleries around the world. Sadly, even just with a quick flip through, one will find Walls & Frames just another well designed coffee table book in which to impress your friends.

Right from the outface, the book is clearly more of a compilation of images rather than a critical perspective on the transition of street art. The only writing from Ruiz is in a two page preface, which states the obvious saying that street art has become a global mainstream phenomenon solidifying itself as a true art form. Using the phrase street art as an umbrella term throughout, there is no distinction about what constitutes street art and who is a street artist. Instantly confusing, the term is used a categorical phrase in order to group the names featured in the book, whether they have painted outdoors or not. The term is molded somewhat through artist quotes within the book, but does not directly address the overarching question that nobody has really answered yet: what can be described as street art in this day and age?

From the preface, the 101 artists are showcased alphabetically with their name, birth place and date as well as a quote about their work. Of course, the ones I find most interesting are those who actually address the topic of their street versus their fine art. Greek based artist Alexandros Vasmoulakis, who has successful created canvasses as amazing as his large scale abstract street art had to say the following:

My paintings are strongly influenced from my initial street artwork. However, when I exhibit my work in the gallery space, I consider myself a painter rather than a street artist. The street art market can be sweet and cozy for every young artist, nevertheless it could be a wolf in disguise. Generally, I do not really pay much attention to the location of my work. My first intention is to make something strong and worthy. This can be enough.

Thankfully, a majority of the quotes from artists are at least related to the transition from the streets to the gallery. Each artist had something different to say about the topic. Some like, Axel Void, don’t make any distinction, but many say the streets inspire their work with styles, materials or the environment. Others, like Bom K, separate the two as completely different creative entities to express themselves. Ben Frost discusses how he is mostly a gallery artist now because it takes so long to create a single piece while someone like Blek Le Rat paints on canvas since it is permanent while his street work is ephemeral lasting only a few days or hours.

While I may wish for longer read on the topic, the book is a starting point for others to continue Ruiz’s work. And besides, who doesn’t like to look at some pretty pictures once in awhile?

All images courtesy of Gelstaten


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

Weekend link-o-rama

November 5th, 2011 | By | No Comments »

Jaz and Laguna in Madrid (click to view large)

This week just keeps getting better. Looks like we’ve got a bit of NYC coming to Philadelphia with a show curated by Matt Siren. Here’s what I meant to blog about this week:

Photo by Jaz


Category: Art News, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Michael de Feo curating a show in Connecticut

October 3rd, 2011 | By | 3 Comments »

Dan Witz

On Every Street is a show opening this Thursday at Samuel Owen Gallery in Greenwich, CT. Curated by Michael de Feo, it features the work of dozens of street artists. On Every Street includes a diverse of street artists both in style and (from Hargo to Tony Curanaj) and when they were active outdoors (from Richard Hambleton to Gaia).

Here’s the full line up: Above, Aiko, Michael Anderson, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, C215, Tony Curanaj, Michael De Feo, D*Face, Ellis Gallagher, Keith Haring, Ron English, Blek le rat, Faile, Shepard Fairey, John Fekner, JMR, Gaia, Richard Hambleton, Hargo, Maya Hayuk, Don Leicht, Tom Otterness, Lady Pink, Lister, Ripo, Mike Sajnoski, Jeff Soto, Chris Stain, Swoon, Thundercut, Dan Witz.

Images courtesy of Michael de Feo


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Dreweatt’s latest auction disguised as a hotel exhibition

September 27th, 2011 | By | 1 Comment »

Charming Baker "Panda Boy remix" (2007) (£6,000 - £8,000)

This week sees the opening of Autumn’s most high profile street art “exhibit” at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. I say exhibit loosely since Urban Contemporary is a ten day show culminating in the 150 works being auctioned off by Dreweatt’s on October 10. As usual, there is a mix of crap and some rare works that haven’t been seen in a while. The two that stood out for me is JR’s Adama, Montfermeil, Portrait d’une generation (2006) and the Charming Baker Panda Boy Remix (2007). Not only is the piece an early Baker, but this is also the first time (I cannot find evidence to say otherwise) one of his works has cropped up in the secondary market. Other artists in the show include D*Face, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Blek le Rat and Eine.

The show opens September 30th at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch.

D*Face "Pop Tart" (2007) (£4,000 - £6,000)

Shepard Fairey "Johnny Ramone" (2008) (£6,000-£8,000)

All Images courtesy of Dreweatt’s Bloomsbury


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

Weekend link-o-rama

August 12th, 2011 | By | No Comments »

"A Study In Fecundity" by Elbowtoe

I’m baking alive here in Atlanta for Living Walls, but damn things are coming along nicely. Nanook and Gaia have finished a couple of walls, including this one. But Living Walls is a busy event, so I’ve been missing out on a lot this week, including some big news from Banksy. Check all that out here…

Photo by Elbowtoe


Category: Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview, Photos, Products, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A very special alley in Melbourne, Australia

June 21st, 2011 | By | No Comments »

A note from RJ: This is Luke’s first guest post on Vandalog. He will be helping us cover street art and graffiti in Melbourne, Australia.

This is an amazing little alleyway in Melbourne. Check out some of the local and international talent. (There’s so much goodness down there so apologies to anyone that I’ve missed.. Next time..)

Whilst it’s not as famous as some other Melbourne streets, it’s by far my favourite. No surprise why this is, this alley is the entrance to the famous ‘Blender Studios‘ http://www.theblenderstudios.com/ (Have a read on their site, Blender is an instrumental part of the history of Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene).

Ok, Here we go:

Vexta

Ghostpatrol

Reka (Everfresh)

Sync, Phibs (Everfresh), HAHA & more

Read the rest of this article »


Category: Featured Posts, Guest Posts, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Street Art Show at Opera Gallery

May 26th, 2011 | By | 8 Comments »

Rich Simmons "Homeless Superman"

I normally am not this much of an ass, but this was too good to pass up and not post. I have heard about this show at Opera Gallery for awhile now, as I am sure most of you have as well. I may have been able to overlook the ridiculous name of the show, The Street Art Show, because of the incredible line-up: Keith Haring, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Banksy, Blek Le Rat, Seen, Ron English, Logan Hicks, Crash, The London Police, Nick Walker, How & Nosm, Saber, ROA, D*Face, Sweet Toof, Mr. Jago, b., Swoon, Kid Zoom, ALEXONE, Anthony Lister, Alexandrous Vasmoulakis and Rich Simmons, but then I remembered that this is still a show put on by Opera Gallery, the home of the beloved Mr. Brainwash. They do put on good show as well as some really shit ones, and I really do want this to be good, but that association still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Plus I cannot help, but feel a bit suspicious since the show is launching on the heels of Art in the Streets.

The Street Art Show seems to be more for the collectors’ benefit who are still salivating over the interest in the LAMOCA show and want to buy more/start buying some pieces for their own collections. Well, at least Mr. Brainwash isn’t an option this time around, although i am sure he will be again soon enough.

The show opens June 17th at Opera Gallery in London.

Photo courtesy of Opera Gallery


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

Big things at White Walls and 941 Geary

March 31st, 2011 | By | No Comments »

Roa in Mexico City

White Walls Gallery and 941 Geary, sister galleries in San Fransisco, have two interesting shows opening in April.

Starting on Friday, 941 Geary will open an “indoor mural” installation, aka lots of artists painting the walls inside the gallery. Eine, Roa, Chor Boogie, APEX, Casey Gray, D Young V, Skinner, Hush and Blek le Rat have contributed or will contribute to the project as it continues to evolve over the course of a few weeks. So that could either be really cool or a complete mess. We’ll see. Here’s to hoping it works well.

Over at White Walls, Roa is installing a solo show. That show opens on April 9th. Roa’s recent installations in London got glowing reviews almost across the board, so this large solo installation will be one not to miss.

Photo by Roa


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