This week I’ve got a rather major correction to make. A few days ago, I wrote about a piece by Jeice2 where it looked like he went over a bunch of tags with with a poster. Turns out, the poster was just taped on for the purpose of a photograph, and so the graffiti was not covered.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been looking at this week:
Well, while I had myself more or less locked in a library underground for the better part of last week, the art world did not stand still. And so we have this special Tuesday edition of the typically friday event – the link-o-rama:
Banksy has loaned a sculpture to a museum in Liverpool. Meh. Another artwork that just as easily could have been seen at any urban art group show, but it’s by Banksy so the BBC and the rest of us should apparently care. What is this? It’s not just with Banksy. Bloggers in particular, we seem to have this urge to always be the first to say “Yeah, I saw that girl’s work first and said she was cool” and a fear of being caught in a situation where everyone except us thinks that some artist or artwork is great. And now I’m rambling…
Knock Knock is a new online magazine with a lot about street art and graffiti in Australia.
Kunle Martins aka Earsnot aka the founder of the infamous IRAK crew participated in Wynwood Walls this year alongside Jesse Geller aka Nemel. Martha Cooper has shots of what they got up to and then the Wynwood Walls video series has a great episode on them. For some people, it may be hard to avoid comparisons to this wall by Barry McGee. 12ozProphet says “The building painted by IRAK for Wynwood Walls is inspired by Barry McGee’s tag-filled murals… Earsnot and Nemel build on Barry McGee’s tag wall concept by filling the wall with a variety of monochromatic shades of overlapping tags creating the illusion of depth.”
The Tubú community is an indigenous group of families now living in the city of Bogotá, Columbia. Tubu Community is a project to help raise money to build a new home in Bogotá for a Tubú family. To learn more about the Tubú people, you can watch this video or read this info.
A new print from Stinkfish
At their webstore, Tubu Community has begun to sell prints and original art by South American and European artists to help with the effort. 100% of the proceeds from these sales go to the Tubú people. Blu, Bastardilla, Buytronick and Stinkfish have contributed original art and Eine and Stinfish have contributed prints, including a new 7-color screenprint by Stinkfish. Expect more products to be added to the webstore in the future.
This weekend I’ll be in Boston. If you have any ideas for what I should get up to, leave a comment. I’ll definitely be checking out Swoon’s installation at the ICA Boston. Here’s what’s been going on in street art while I’ve been locked in my room studying all week:
Mr. Brainwash has a show opening soon in LA, but it’s going to be full of other people’s art. Anyone can submit work to be wheatpasted around the exhibition. On the one hand, yay, artists can benefit from Mr. Brainwash’s stupid fame and hype. On the other hand, I guess Mr. Brainwash has acknowledged that he doesn’t have any ideas for art, so he’s just openly benefiting from the art of others to further his own art career. So it’s mutually beneficial, except that individual artists submitting work will gain a lot less from this arrangement than Mr. Brainwash will gain overall.
Roa, Pin, Pixelpancho and Blu are some of the first arrivals painting at the Draw The Line festival in Campobasso, Italy. All in all, over 100 artists will participate in the festival, which officially launches in September. In the mean time, artists are coming by to paint. There was some initial controversy about Blu’s piece, but that has since settled down.
A note from RJ: After writing this, I read Rub Kandy‘s interview in the most recent issue of IdN, where he speaks about street art that is created for and best experienced on the web.
What do Kidult, Blu, Maismenos and Katsu have in common? They are all examples, although not the only examples, of artists using the internet in a similar way to how graffiti writers and street artists have traditionally used the streets. These artists are each trying to spread a message at all costs. That’s standard street art/graffiti. But with these artists, a traditionally static artform is turned into a performance, what they do might be fake or impossible to see in person and, most importantly, they see the spread of their work online as at least as important as the physical pieces.
Check out these videos from Kidult (the first one is hilarious), Blu, Maismenos and Katsu…
With all of those videos, the resulting films are more important than the actual physical artworks. And yet, they were all done by street artists and graffiti writers and include (or pretend to include) art that is generally considered street art/graffiti. Who cares if anyone ever sees any of those artworks in person, or if they are even real? Even in the case of the real works that are depicted in those videos, most of those were seen by far fewer people, or at least art/graffiti fans, than these videos. In the case of Katsu’s tag on MOCA, that was buffed in less than 24 hours and it was a while before the existence of the tag and the story of it being buffed was even confirmed. The important thing for these artists is that the videos get seen. These videos and photos are more impressive than the actual work they capture. The intended audience for these street pieces is not the public on the street. These, and many other, pieces of street art and graffiti were created with an online audience in mind rather than a physical one.
So what does this mean for street art if the streets and a medium for viewing street art are being used in this way? Is street art just as legitimate when specifically designed, executed and documented for an online audience? What about graffiti? Does it even matter if a piece is real, so long as people see it? I would say that, at least when it comes to graffiti, it does not really matter if a piece is real or not. So long as it creates fame. Of course, fake videos won’t work at creating fame forever, but they are a temporary technique that can accomplish one of the goals of graffiti. It seems the case is more murky with street art. Certainly the street art in these is still art and probably still street art, just maybe not “street art” as the term is generally understood today. I consider the work in The Underbelly Project to be street art and graffiti, but others do not because it had to be viewed through photographs. Street art that is specifically designed to be viewed through the filter of documentation is still street art, but it’s an evolution too. As I’ve said before, I think hacking is 21st century graffiti, so maybe the internet is the new “street.” It’s quickly becoming a better avenue for artists to show their work to the public than real life.
Vandalog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Note: This license does not apply to the photos, animations, videos and certain other content used within posts on Vandalog and credited to others. Such content is copyright their respective copyright holders and is used either with permission or under a fair use claim.