Tim Hans shoots… Dennis McNett

January 29th, 2014 | By | No Comments »


Back in November, Tim Hans stopped by Known Gallery just as Dennis McNett was setting up for a show there. As part of our continuing series of photo-portraits of artists by Tim, we’re finally publishing those photos and I emailed a few questions over to McNett. My bad on the delay, but I’m glad we finally have a chance to share these images and chat with one of my favorite block printers.

RJ: How has teaching printmaking at Pratt affected your own art?

Dennis McNett: I’m not teaching currently. When I have the last year or two, it’s usually only one class. I could go on a long tangent about the whole art school thing.

I wouldn’t say it has effected my own work. I’ve been making what I make and doing what I do since I was a kid. What I do walk away with from teaching would be passing on a medium, meeting some great students and being able to cheerlead for their ideas the way Richard Mock did for me. That makes it worth doing.


RJ: Your work seems to have such a focus on nature, or at least some version of nature. Do you get enough exposure to nature while living in the city?

McNett: Fortunately I get to leave the city quite often. My folks live in Virginia on a mountain and I’m able to go there at least 3 times a year. When I am able to be by the ocean (especially by the ocean), in the forest, in the desert, etc… I feel clarity, like my batteries are charged and truly inspired. I feel humbled by how perfect, beautiful, diverse, micro/macro and complex the whole damn place is. But, to answer you directly, No, I do not get to be in nature as much as I’d like to be and I’m planning to leave NYC for that and several other reasons.


RJ: Are you trying to do something largely different with your various static artworks and your performances, or are those two sets of work extensions of each other?

McNett: I feel like it’s all coming from the same place. The performance/happenings are a lot of fun. They are more about doing something anyone can participate in, contribute to and usually tell a story stemming from a “mythology” I started in 2006 about the Wolfbat. The 2D work I do alone in the studio, but sometimes that work pertains to the mythology. They could be artifacts like shields or characters from the stories. Sometimes the 2D stuff is just what ever comes to mind like a Leopardsnake (half Leo half snake) which I just daydreamed about and seemed fun to draw/create. Really I just do whatever I am feeling or thinking about at the moment and use what ever medium makes sense for the idea.


RJ: What is it about printmaking that appeals to you?

McNett: I’ve done sculptures, masks, performances, installations, graphics and woodcarvings. I think above all else, I just love the carved mark. I’ve been making carvings for over 20 years now. I can build and use a lot of other mediums but still just love that mark. I use prints of that mark on pretty much everything I make from 30ft ships, temples or just prints. With printmaking you can also make multiples and I use this to generate my own collage material/drawing material of my carved patterns and images. Once I have the drawing material I can cover large areas pretty quickly. It all just has the flavor I like to work with.


RJ: What have you got coming up next?

McNett: I’m working with the Philadelphia Mural Arts program in February. I’ll be building a sculpture, doing a mural and working with community kids the entire month. Then potentially Austin to do a project around SXSW, which may be another performative event. I a show in Houston in May. I’m considering moving out west after that.


Photos by Tim Hans

Category: Interview, Portraits by Tim Hans | Tags: ,

Dennis McNett at MOHS exhibit

April 23rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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Dennis McNett‘s show Wolfbats Are Real at MOHS exhibit in Copenhagen is looking great. If you want to see some of the best wood block work you’re ever going to see, be sure to check it out in person if you can. The show is open through May 18th.

McNett put up this wheatpaste while in Copenhagen. Click to view large.

McNett put up this street installation while in Copenhagen. Click to view large.

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Read the rest of this article »

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

Preview: Dennis McNett show show in Copenhagen

April 17th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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The fantastic Dennis McNett has a solo show opening on Friday at MOHS exhibit in Copenhagen, Denmark, so Henrik Haven went over to get some photos as McNett set up and worked on an installation. The show runs April 19th through May 18th, and is pretty much guaranteed to be killer if you have any interest in linoblock or woodblock prints. McNett is an absolute master. Check out more of Haven’s extensive preview photos after the jump… Read the rest of this article »

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

Weekend link-o-rama

December 8th, 2012 | By | No Comments »


It’s the weekend…

Photo by Jade

Category: Art Fairs, Art News, Books / Magazines, Events, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview, Photos, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bring Back the Boadwalks benefit auction

November 14th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

This weekend Bring Back The Boadwalks is holding a benefit art auction to raise money to help rebuild the Rockaways and Coney Island, two communities were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. The silent auction will have work from some major names including Futura, Swoon, Phil Frost, Faile, David Ellis, Shepard Fairey, and Dennis McNett, and 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to recovery efforts.

The auction will take place this Saturday, November 17th, at Trais Gallery at 76 Wooster Street (between Broome and Spring) in Manhattan.

More info on the Bring Back The Boadwalks website, and they’ve been posting photos of artwork that will be at the auction to their tumblr.

A unique screenprint donated to the auction by Faile

Photo courtesy of Bring Back The Boardwalks

Category: Auctions, Featured Posts | Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

April 20th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

ND'A in Bushwick

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:

Photo by Mike Pearce

Category: Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Print Release, Random, Site News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dennis McNett hits the streets of NYC

December 20th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

As mentioned a few days ago, Dennis McNett‘s solo show at Joshua Liner Gallery kicked off on Thursday with a crazy parade through the streets of New York City. Tod Seelie was there and took some great photos. Here are some of my favorites, but you can check out the entire set on his website.

Photos by Tod Seelie

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

Dennis McNett at Joshua Liner and a parade

December 15th, 2010 | By | 1 Comment »

New Yorkers, there is one place to be this Thursday night: Out with Dennis McNett making sure the rest of the city is alive. Dennis has a solo show opening at Joshua Liner Gallery, and that show will open with a parade through Chelsea with one of Dennis’ 26-foot long viking ships (shown above and below). The Passing of The Wolfbats promises to be quite the event. It’s described as a parade “to wake up the city’s sleeping spirits of creativity, expression, and personal soulfulness.” There will be costumed participants, McNett’s wolfbats, drummers and other musicians, dancers and of course, members of the public who want to join in the festivities. The parade will be taking place in West Chelsea this Thursday evening.

In addition to the parade, McNett also has a show inside at Joshua Liner Gallery opening on Thursday and I’m loving what I’ve seen from it so far. I think it is hard to dispute McNett’s technical brilliance in many things, and he’s developed a powerful and interesting iconography that he continues to develop.

Here’s a preview of the show:

I think that this show, particularly on Thursday in conjunction with the parade and the energy that should bring, has the potentially to be something very powerful. Until today, I was planning to take a bus to NYC on Thursday and another back to Philadelphia that night just to see it, but unfortunately school work has gotten in my way. Expect more photos on Vandalog next week after this has opened.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

A very street art Christmas: some holiday gift ideas

December 13th, 2010 | By | 3 Comments »

After procrastinating and procrastinating about writing this post, I missed Hanukkah and Eid, so I guess this is a gift guide for Christmas. Sorry for the delay.

Here are a few street art related products that have come out in the last year or so that I think are pretty cool. If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the street art obsessive in your life, hopefully this will help…

  • DB Burkeman’s book Stickers: Stuck Up Piece of Crap is one of the best art books I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you have even a passing interest in stickers. If you buy one thing off this list, it should probably be this book. The photo at the top of this post is for the deluxe edition which comes with signed stickers, but that version doesn’t come cheap.

  • Now, the flip side of that anti-fashion comment, I want to remind everyone that Vandalog still has shirts available from Gaia, Troy Lovegates and Faro. These very limited edition shirts are $30 each and you can buy them online.
  • Martha Cooper’s latest book is Name Tagging, a book about the Hello My Name Is stickers and graffiti. Personally, I prefer Going Postal, her book about postal stickers, but Name Tagging is a good quick read too. It has brief interviews with Twist, Sure, Cost and others plus plenty of photos.
  • These Buff Monster plush toys are on sale for $12.00 right now. Very cute.
  • If you want a unique iPhone case, either Incase or Uncommon seem like good options. Incase has that Jose Parla iPhone case and Uncommon let’s you customize your own case with designs from a number of artists including David Ellis, Dennis McNett and MQ.
  • I’ve only just started to read Trespass, but I’ve heard from others that it is a great book.

Or, if you’re a street artist, you could go out on Christmas, brave the cold, and do some art. Give a gift to the rest of us. Not enough street art happens in the winter months.

Category: Books / Magazines, Featured Posts, Random, Toys, Vandalog Projects | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Joshua Liner Gallery summer group show

August 13th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Joshua Liner Gallery’s summer group show opens this Saturday evening. Personally, I’m most looking forward to seeing new artwork from Swoon, Dennis McNett, Mac and Kris Kuksi, but list of artists in this show is extensive and impressive: Cleon Peterson, David Kassan, Dennis McNett, Evan Hecox, Ian Francis, James Roper, Jeremy Fish, Jessica Joslin, Kenichi Yokono, Kris Kuksi, Mac, Mi Ju, Mike Davis, Oliver Vernon, Pema Rinzin, Pete Watts, Ryan Bradley, Ryan McLennan, Shawn Barber, Swoon, Tat Ito, Tiffany Bozic, Tomokazu Matsuyama and Tony Curanaj. Oh, and the Swoon piece in the above photo is actually from the gallery’s Barnstormer show earlier this year, so don’t expect to see it in this show.

The show runs from August 14th through September 2nd at Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC.

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , ,