This year Wywood Walls turned five and to mark the special occasion curator Jeffrey Deitch called on on the finest ladies in the field for Women on the Walls. International artists Aiko, Miss Van, Fafi, Maya Hayuk, Lady Pink, Faith47, Lakwena, Kashink, Sheryo, Olek, Toofly, Claw Money, Jessie & Katey, Myla, and Shamsia Hassani all created murals or showed in the adjacent exhibition space. The participating artists have come from cities such as Cape Town, Paris, New York, and London. Part gallery part mural exhibition, the project acts as a history guide to the great presence of women muralists.
Women on the Walls is a dream come true and also a proverbial screw you to people who say that the reason women artists are often overshadowed in the media is due to a dearth in street art. That, to be blunt, is bullshit. Older artists and the younger generation they inspired came together in the Wynwood district of Miami this Art Basel to prove their stronghold in the public art community. The scope of media alone proves their mastery of the craft as spray paint, yarn, text, stencils, and free handed characters all co-mingle to form a variety that has something to please most tastes.
Not only is the perfect storm of artists curated in this year’s Wynwood Walls enough to be in awe of, additionally Martha Cooper has shared some breathtaking progress photos. As artfully as the walls are decorated, each image thoughtfully reveals the personas behind the iconography. Each picture displays the strength of these women, whether unveiling the sheer amount of effort behind a production to those who stand boldly in front of completed pieces. Cooper shows that these women are heroes, or warriors as Toofly depicts, taking on whatever challenges lay in their wake and simply killing it.
One thing I’ve noticed through my lack of productivity as of late is that there are a ton of graffiti orientated films and documentaries out there. For the most part many of them are really great to watch and INFAMY is one such bi product of documenting the graffiti scene that really caught my attention. Whilst it may not be all that new to some of you, I was so impressed by the documentary I felt compelled to post something about it here.
INFAMY is an intense journey into the dangerous lives and obsessed minds of six of America’s most prolific graffiti artists. The movie takes you deep into the world of street legends SABER, TOOMER, JASE, CLAW, EARSNOT, and ENEM. With brutal honesty, humor and charisma, these artists reveal why they are so willing to risk everything to spray paint their cities with “tags,” “throwups,” and full-color murals. From the streets of the South Bronx to the solitude of a San Francisco tunnel, from high atop a Hollywood billboard to North Philadelphia for a lesson in “Philly-style tags,” from the Mexican border to a Cleveland train yard, INFAMY doesn’t analyze or glorify graffiti – it takes you there and brings it to life.
Check out the 10 minute clip above (The rest can be found on Youtube if you look hard enough!).
One of graffiti’s best known female writers, Claw, will be showing at Eastern District in New York next week. I haven’t seen much of her gallery work (I believe she’s done a bit before, though I’m not sure), but given her successful clothing line, I’m sure she knows how to transition to new mediums.
Claw Money -Solo Exhibition-
May 8th-May 12th
6-8pm Friday May 8th 2009
43 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY -Claw Money
“Claw Money is a legendary Graffiti Artist, best known for her signature icon, a paw with three claws. This paw could be spotted all over New York during her days rolling with the prestigious graff crews, TC5, 5C, and her own crew, PMS. Until 2008, she was the Fashion Editor for Swindle Magazine.
Keeping up with Claw these days is no easy task. Between maintaining her eponymous clothing and accessories line, which has a celebrity cult following (M.I.A., Kayne West, Amy Winehouse, Santo Gold, Pete Wentz, and Cameron Diaz, just to name a few) and writing furiously for her irreverent fashion blog Blogue, Claw still somehow finds the time and energy to inject major brands like Nike, Calvin Klein, Boost Mobile, K2, Ecko Red, and Colette X Gap with some of her legendary street cred.
Some of Ms. Money’s recent projects include Doug Pray’s 2006 graffiti documentary Infamy and her first monograph, Bombshell: The Life and Crimes of Claw Money, published by PowerHouse books. The 2007 book, which archives a collection of graffiti, high style, and wild times, is already in its second edition printing. Most recently Claw has been on a world tour promoting two collaborative sneakers with athletic giant, Nike. The two styles, a peacock feather-adorned Vandal and lace-infused Blazer are Nike’s first artist releases for women by a woman, setting a new precedent for female streetwear collaborations in an extremely male dominated market segment. In 2009, she has collaborated with jeweler Gabriel Urist to create a range of peacock feather earrings and pendants, the demand for which has been unprecedented. What’s next from Claw Money? That’s anyone’s guess, but stay tuned and she surely won’t disappoint.”