Weekend link-o-rama


You know what’s weird? Hanging out with all your friends from high school and then actually seeing current high school students from your school. Those kids are so young! While I was freaking out about no longer being a teenager and enjoying the beautiful London weather (I’m serious about this one), here’s what I almost missed this week:

Photo by Luna Park

DMV at work in France

Here are some behind the scenes photos that Butterfly took in France this week of the Da Mental Vaporz crew transforming the GHP Gallery that Vandalog covered earlier this week. I really can’t wait for pictures from the show to surface. It comes as no surprise that we are fans of DMV at Vandalog and is not confirmed whether or not I am a bit of a fangirl when it comes to dran‘s work.

Banksy hits LA

Photo by Lord Jim

So with the Oscars less than a week away and an Oscar nomination under his belt, of course Banksy has hit up LA with some new work. Some of it’s good, some of it is barely worth a mention and all of it is getting lots of attention.

My personal favorite from this series of hits is the above billboard, the aftermath of which can be seen in this video. Expect it to show up on eBay any day now.

The other piece I really like is this Charlie Brown on a burnt out building:

Photo by Lord Jim

Hieronymus spotted the Charlie Brown piece getting covered by the property management company. His thoughts on the subject as well as on the general way that Banksy’s outdoor work has such a strange life these days are worth checking out. I would pretty much echo his sentiments. There’s also this video of the piece getting covered, but not much is clear except that the building owners want the work covered for now.

I think with either of those two pieces, they’d be worth mentioning even if they weren’t by Banksy, and that should be the measure by which his work is judged. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and massive amounts of attention have also been paid to every new Banksy in LA, even the two mediocre ones. First, there’s Dog Wizz, which is kinda funny I guess but definitely not top-notch Banksy work:

Photo by Hieronymus

And then there’s this piece which looks to me like something Mr. Brainwash would dream up after looking at Banksy and Dran’s stuff for a bit too long:

Photo by Lord Jim

Besides being a really weak concept compared to the rest of Banksy’s work with kids drawing, there are a few crazy things about this crayon-gun stencil: It was first “discovered” by Lauren Conrad from The Hills and she posted a photo on her twitter. As Hrag speculates, this was pretty clearly staged for maximum publicity for both Lauren and Banksy. Additionally, there’s this painting by Nils Westergard from about a year ago that is pretty similar, so if you like this Banksy but can’t afford to hire somebody to chop a wall out for you, you can always buy the Westergard version on canvas for $500. I’m not saying that Banksy ripped off Westergard, just trying to point out how simple the concept of a crayon-gun is (then again, you could argue that the simple concepts are what makes some of Banksy’s art so good). Finally, I think it’s pretty hilarious to see Banksy fans loving this piece when the first thing it made me think of is that infamous Mr. Brainwash image of Elvis holding a toy gun instead of a guitar. Honestly, the concept of this piece seems so MBW-esque to me, even though the style is obviously Banksy’s. Oh, and it looks like somebody trashed this wall already.

So that’s Banksy’s most recent LA advertising campaign. Some good art and lots of hype. Hopefully it all works in his favor, because I’d still love to see him win that Oscar on Sunday. I just re-watched Exit Through The Gift Shop last week for the first time since the premiere, and I liked it more the second time around. It’s not a bad film.

Photos by Lord Jim and Hieronymus

Dran “I Have Chalks”

More Dran news, because I personally cannot get enough of the artist’s work. Thursday night was the private opening of Dran’s solo show, “I Have Chalks,” in conjunction with Pictures on Walls. The artist took 100 of his screen prints and drew on each to personalize them. The theme is a fantastic idea because the individuality of such a talented artist is endlessly displayed in each. Plus, buyers only paid a bit more above the usual asking price for one of his prints and take home an original piece.

Unfortunately, I was not in town to see the show, but Mark over at Hooked Blog took some great photos from the opening. Enjoy!

Marks and Stencils Exclusive

Last night, Pictures on Walls opened their holiday show, Marks & Stencils, starring Banksy and Dran. For those of you who read Vandalog daily, you know that I am a MASSIVE Dran fan. When I first lived in London two years ago, I interned for Pure Evil Gallery and the first show I worked on was Je t’aime, an exhibit featuring members of the DMV crew. When I first saw Dran’s work then, I could see this guy was going to be a big deal, and judging by the likes of last night’s crowd- I was right.

In true, POW style, the pop-up exhibit took out all the stops. The space on the Berwick Street in Soho was completely transformed to exhibit as much work as possible. One of the issues that a lot of people debate now is how to exhibit street art on white walls and whether the meaning of the work changes or if it is even street art anymore, albeit done by “street artists.” POW somehow found a solution, albeit temporary, to this raging debate by making the space look like a messy artist’s studio fused with the outdoor components like traffic cones, gray cracked walls and exposed brick.

The space is broken in two levels, with the top styled more like a thrown together group show and the bottom floor transformed into My Everyday Life, a solo show of Dran’s work. The theme the exhibit is Scribouille (featured above) a character of Dran’s imagination who constantly makes art all of the time. The idea was taken literally with areas created to show a workshop, artist’s table and tools, a shopping cart full of cardboard (a material of choice for Dran) and the creation of one of my favorite works by Dran- a cardboard box opened up with eyes cut out and chalk drawings of child-like flowers. The walls were scattered with unframed canvases of Dran’s witty illustrative social commentary addressing everything from the British obsession with football and shortsighted scientists to men’s fascination with porn and a women’s need to control their partners. I laughed out loud most of the time, and I don’t think the absinthe being served was helping my uncontrollable laughter either.

On the end of the space, Dran uses cardboard boxes from around the world to explore socio-political notions relevant to each country. The series is not only innovative, but displays a tension between the light-hearted nature of the drawings and the heavy themes Dran is actually drawing upon. He just goes to show you that simplicity can pack the same thematic punch as heavy convoluted abstracts that attempt to comment on similar ideas.

Upstairs, the art work includes more pieces from Dran, as well as Zevs, Sickboy and of course, Banksy. All grouped together, it was difficult at times to guess which work was by which artist which was annoying at times, but the free show catalog was pretty good about explaining what was what. Sorry guys, I’m not RJ. I don’t know everything that was there. Actually though, if someone know who the Scrabble “Snuff Film” piece was by, drop me a line. It was underneath a ZEVS but I have no idea if it was his. I would assume though.

Anyways, POW put on a great display of graffiti/art that they cited as the work of “drunks and idiots.” All pictures in ornate frames, the photographs are were a clever way to show off work that have not really been seen, but are definitely a crowd favorite.

And of course, to talk about Banksy’s work in the show… Well for starters, there was not that much of it. I was a bit disappointed in the fact that what was displayed were an array of pieces that have similar brethren in an outdoor capacity (like the door, 3D rat or the “Boring” works). What I found more interesting, however, is the close artistic relationship that has seemed to form between Dran and Bansky. I couldn’t peel my eyes off of Dran’s “Mona Lisa” because of how much it resembles Bansky’s painting attack works from a few years ago. I am not saying they are similar styles, their aesthetics are as different as can be, but their mainstream simplistic way of conveying their own social commentary are extremely similar. They both use ideas of art history, children, apes, war and starvation in their pieces as symbols of current situations. It makes me wonder if Dran is just incredibly inspired by Bansky, or if Banksy is actually mentoring the young French artist. One day, hopefully there will be an outdoor collaboration of their work, but seeing two of my favorite artists of today showing side by side is enough for me right now.

Also, for all you Banksy fans who cannot get enough of the show’s curator, the artist’s new print is shown below. Taken from his recent outdoor homage to Keith haring, the print will be on sale in December through Pictures on Walls. “Choose Your Weapon” is a five colour screen print priced at 450 pounds.

All photos by Steph Keller. See the full set on flickr

Dran Invades London

I Have Chalks show

At the end of this month, Pow will play host to one of the biggest upcoming street artists in the game: Dran. Known for his cheeky socio-cultural illustrative commentaries, the young Frenchman has gained a loyal following both within the street art community an collectors alike. Two separate shows will take place, one in a secret pop-up location in Soho entitled “My Everyday Life” and the second is a print show at POW headquarters in Shoreditch entitled “I Have Chalks.” The pop-up show will center around of Dran’s fictitous characters, Scribouille, who does nothing in life but art. The secret location will be filled with Dran’s sculptures, installations and street work which are rare in solo form (He usually bombs with his crew Da Mental Vaporz)

“My Everyday Life” will open November 26th to the public and the location will be made known soon.

“I Have Chalks” will open at the print shop on December 2.

These are going to be the most talked about shows this winter, so make sure to check out the works of this rising art star. And I am not just saying that because I am a MASSIVE Dran fan.

Image for My Everyday Life show

Images courtesy of Pictures on Walls

Street Sketchbook: Journeys launch show

Last week in London was crazy-busy, but I’m glad I took a few minutes to get over to Pictures on Walls for the launch show of Tristan Manco’s new book Street Sketchbook: Journeys. To be honest, I haven’t read the book yet. I still have a few pages left in Street/Studio and then I’ve still got 2-3 other books in the queue before this one, but the show was good fun. There’s work from Roa, Ripo, Saner, Dran, Titifreak and a bunch of other talented artists, many of whose names I don’t remember. That’s the great thing about Tristan: he knows all these talented artists that most street art fans have never heard of, and this is a good showcase of those artists. But here are my favorite pieces from the show:


Sam3 actually has a new print at Paper Monster, but I think this wood block is 10x cooler.

Dran and Saner

Unfortunately, this show has closed already, but you can find some more pictures on my flickr.

More from Dran, Sowat and Bom.K in Spain

Click to view full size

In my weekend link post, I mentioned that Dran, Sowat and Bom.K from Da Mental Vaporz were getting up to a lot in Spain. I want to expand on that a bit. They painted the above mural at the Montana Colors factory and you can check out plenty of more detailed photos of that wall on Montana’s blog, but there’s also the gallery show that DMV were in town for. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Dran, Bom.K and Sowat were doing a 3-man show sponsored by Suben at Ras Gallery. If you’re interested in the work from that show, the price list is available online. Here are a couple of photos from an installation at the show:

Photos by Subenysuben.com

Weekend link-o-rama


So, I like to procrastinate. This week, I didn’t get to post everything I wanted to here because I was catching up on homework. I spent 12 hours on trains and buses last weekend, and didn’t get a single piece of homework done. Because of that, I haven’t been able to write about everything awesome in street art this week, but other people did:

  • Unurth had some fantastic posts this week: It looks like Swoon was in New Orleans, and Zilda has put up some beautiful wheatpastes in Brittany.
  • Also from Swoon, here’s some photos of work by her and C215 in Venice.
  • Similarly, Target posted some photos this week that you have to check out: Bruno Santinho’s placement is spot-on, and of course there’s Vhils’ wall for Nuart.
  • The Ma’Claim crew (Rusk, Tasso, Case and Akut) are in LA right now painting. Haven’t seen any pictures yet though. And if you’re in LA, they’ve be doing some live painting followed by a talk on Saturday. Sour Harvest has the details on all that.
  • Dran, Bom.K and Sowat have been up to some craziness in Spain.
  • Steph mentioned that Ron English has a massive show on in NYC right now called Status Factory, but I just want to remind everyone to check out the sculptures from that show. For me, some of the most interesting work Ron has done indoors. And to check out the entire show, of course Arrested Motion has the photos you want.
  • Jenny Holzer (one of the original street artists from way before I was born) has made some sneakers with Keds to support The Whitney. They’re out of a lot of sizes on the Keds website, but Bloomingdales.com seems to have a slightly better selection. Still, both sites are out of low-top black ones in my size, so if anybody has that in a 9, let me know.
  • Ross Morrison has been posting some stunning portraits of urban and street artists.
  • Sickboy and Shepard both have some new books (actually Shepard’s is an updated version of his recent Arktip magazine). Shepard’s looks nice and I like Sickboy, but I’m not sure I need a whole book from him just yet.
  • Quel Beast has his first solo show coming up on October 9th. Andrew Michael Ford is putting the show on at King’s Country Bar in Brooklyn. Should definitely be worth checking out. It’s always interesting to see how street artists bring their work indoors for the first time.
  • Nolionsinengland has photographed two awesome rollers: Mighty Mo & Gold Peg right next to Village Underground and Type with a sort of ESPO tribute roller I guess.

Photo by Elfo