Woodward Gallery Presents “Summer Selections” with Stikman, Kosbe, Darkcloud and many more

Alexander Calder and LAll, Pyramids and Oval

I made it over to Woodward Gallery last week to check out its current exhibit, Summer Selections. Described as “a selection of work by legendary and new contemporary masters,” it features some of my favorite street artists, along with such masters as Jasper Johns, Paul Gauguin and Robert Rauschenberg.  And what a treat to discover an original vintage Alexander Calder lithograph with drawings by LA ll!  Here are some more favorites from the exhibit that continues through this Saturday, August 4th at 133 Eldridge Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side:

Stikman, Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso
El Celso, La Luz
Kosbe, AH
Darkcloud, Vermillion Army
Thomas Buildmore, Spirit Animal

Photos of Calder & LAll, Kosbe, Darkcloud and Buildmore, courtesy Woodward Gallery; Celso photo, Tara Murray & Stikman, Lois Stavsky

Preview: Paint It Now at Space 1026

OverKill Studio’s Paint It Now has finally come to Philadelphia. The traveling series of Paint It Now exhibitions have been in Boston and Brooklyn, and the latest iteration of Paint It Now is due to open this Friday at Space 1026. The idea behind this series of exhibitions is that a group of artists have to work somewhat together as they all paint a series of white walls with only black paint. This time around, some of the artists include Gaia, el Celso, Stickman, Nose Go, Harlequinade and Buildmore.

Paint It Now opens on Friday the 4th from 7-10pm and runs through May 25th.

I stopped by yesterday to see how the show was coming together. From what I saw, the show is going to be close to that perfect mix of familiar faces and fresh talent that so many group shows strive for but few achieve. Check out our exclusive preview after the jump… Continue reading “Preview: Paint It Now at Space 1026”

So many shows about to open

Bom.k and Sowat of Da Mental Vaporz

There are so many interesting shows opening in the next week or two that I thought I’d just throw them all together into one post. Here’s what I think looks worth checking out:

  • Yesterday, the Museum of Sex in New York opened a show that sounds absolutely awesome called F*ck Art. It’s on through June 10th and features artwork by Aiko, El Celso, Lush, Mode2, Cassius Fouler, Miss Van and many more.
  • Love & Hate is a group show opening at StolenSpace this week and runs through March 4th. D*face, Dan Witz, Ronzo, Word to Mother, Jeff Soto, Eine, Charles Krafft and others are included.
  • Chris Stain, Veng and Taka Sudo will be showing together at C.A.V.E. Gallery, beginning February 11th. Brooklyn Street Art has a preview of Chris’ work.
  • Zes and Retna are together at Known Gallery in LA. LA TACO has the info.
  • Nick Mann aka Doodles, Brett Flanigan, Craig Rodgers and Dan Bortz are collaborating with one another in Oakland, CA.
  • Another collaborative group show will be in Da Mental Vaporz‘ (Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Dran, Gris1, ISO, Jaw, Kan, and Sowat) show at Melbourne. That show, Le Venin, will be at RTIST Gallery from February 16th through March 4th.
  • All Talk at Pandemic Gallery will include Aakash Nihalani, Cassius Fouler, Gabriel Specter, Jesus Saves, NohJColey and others and runs from February 17th through March 11th.

Photo courtesy of Da Mental Vaporz

Para Mi Gente – Chicha poster style art at Primary Projects

El Celso isn’t the only artist who is experimenting with Peru’s unique Chica style of posters, a style pioneered by the Urcuhuaranga family in Lima, Peru. In Miami, Primary Projects have a group show opening this Saturday in homage to Chica posters. For Para Mi Gente, more than 50 artists have contributed designs to a Chica-style collaboration. Shepard Fairey, El Celso, Tristan Eaton, Skullphone, Posterboy, El Tono and others have sent designs to the Primary Projects crew who will combine all these designs by hand painting them throughout the gallery. The artists have little control over how their designs will look on the walls, where they will appear, or next to what. This sounds like a pretty unique and risky show. It should look cool, and it will definitely mess with the standard notions of what gallery art should be and look like.

Here’s the flyer with all the critical info you may need:

El Celso headed to Pandemic Gallery

El Celso. Photo by C-Monster

El Celso‘s solo show ¡No Habla Español! is opening at Brooklyn’s Pandemic Gallery on March 11th. The story behind this show is pretty interesting. I’m just posting the press release because that explains it pretty well:

¡NO HABLA ESPAÑOL! is El Celso’s most personal show to date. This new series of works was inspired by a recent trip to Peru where the artist became obsessed with posters made in the “chicha” style. These hand-made posters line city streets all over Peru and generally feature an eye-popping neon color palette and commercial graphics-inspired lettering. They are generally used to advertise working class concerts and other events. During a recent trip around Peru, in 2010, Celso began collecting discarded and out-of-date fragments of these posters – known as afiches chicha in Spanish – from the streets of towns such as Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, Cajamarca and Lima (to name a few).

Further inspired by their look, he established contact with the esteemed Fortunato Urcuhuaranga at Publicidad Viusa, the print workshop that originated this iconic DayGlo look back in the 1980s. (Urcuhuaranga is a former radio DJ and he originally created these posters to advertise his station’s musical happenings.) Based on the outskirts of Lima, in the suburb of San Juan, Ate, this renowned family-run studio has produced posters for countless local Peruvian acts, as well as visual artists and arts organizations around the world.

In collaboration with the Urcuhuarangas, Celso created a series of posters inspired by the Peruvian chicha style. However Celso’s posters are a wry play on the idea of the advertisement: event posters created for non-events. Since last year, he has installed dozens of these on the streets of New York and Miami.

The posters look pretty cool, and the whole concept reminds me of one of my favorite comments in the film Beautiful Losers. One of the artists, whose name I forget, says something like “I love old advertisements. The kind that can’t hurt you anymore because they’re selling typewriters.” I think that is part of the idea behind El Celso’s posters, but then the question has to be asked about to what degree is street art advertising? So while I love the idea behind these posters, it’s difficult to say that they are not selling anything. After all, the posters say El Celso’s name and I’ve become familiar with these posters as they have appeared on the street, so I already knew a bit about them before reading about the show and that probably made me more likely to post about them on Vandalog. Still, I like the posters and I’m not gonna call out El Celso too severely unless he makes a poster specific to this show and starts pasting it up around NYC. That’s when, for me, things shift occurs from art with a bit of advertising to advertising with a bit of art.

And yes, obviously graffiti is advertising names too, but writers aren’t claiming to not be advertising. On the other hand, El Celso does seem to be attempting non-advertising, the type of advertising that can’t “hurt you anymore.”

Here’s a flyer for the show:

Photo by C-Monster