It’s a mega link-o-rama this week because I’ve been traveling from last Saturday until Thursday morning.
Here’s a video of Morley’s show at Lazarides Newcastle. When I first saw Morley’s work about a year and a half ago, I thought it was hilarious and touching. Now though, while I appreciate that he has tried to literally make his gallery work 3D and therefore a bit different from what he does on the street, I’m kinda bored of it. Anybody else feeling this way?
The small town of La Louvière, in Belgium is host to a brilliant Urban Art exhibition being held at “Centre de la Gravure et de’limage imprimée” (The Center for Engraving and the Printed Image). Showing through September 2, 2012, “Vues sur Murs” (Wallscapes: Prints in Street Art) features an impressive list of international artists, many making new work specifically for this exhibit and also hitting the town with huge pieces.
Invader, C215, Jef Aérosol, EVOL, Ludo, Denis Meyers, Obêtre, Muga, Doctor-H, Sten & Lex, Swoon and OBEY (Shepard Fairey) are all featured in this show which spans three floors of the gallery. The show’s curator, Marie Van Bosterhaut, had the seed of the idea in 2009 after seeing an OBEY print at the home of a collector. She contacted Fairey’s people for what was initially planned to be an OBEY retrospective…
“But then it appeared it might be more interesting to invite more artists using printing techniques in street art,” said Bosterhaut of the project’s evolution. “It was really great to have all these artists working inside the museum, and also outside. There was like a great energy.”
While some of the artists knew each other, others met for the first time. “This created some small surprises,” said Bosterhaut. Evidence of this is seen in one of the exhibition’s highlights located on the top floor. There, Berlin-based EVOL has transformed several structural columns, which protrude at various levels into the exhibition space. They now appear as EVOL’s signature-style buildings and “artists like Denis (Meyers) & Ludo made some tiny stencils or billboards, creating a kind of interaction between the artists,” Bosterhaut said.
Another highlight of the show is Brussels-based artist Denis Meyers. Mostly known for the large faces he paints, he also prints unique stickers and uses hand-made woodcuts and rubber stamps to produce a wide variety of work which all screams out with his signature style. Many of his sketchbooks are also on display as well as other elements which offer a peek into the artist’s process.
Long-time French favorite Jef Aérosol‘s large iconic work greets you at the entrance of the exhibit but some of his smaller, printed images are framed on the sides and offer a more intimate experience with the artist. Jef also hit the town, painting a three-story-tall face of rocker Jimi Hendrix.
In addition to his brilliant mini-billboard, the Paris-based paste-up master Ludo and his unmistakable green paint occupy a notable section of the top floor, including a full-scale bus shelter (crappy tags included.) For the real experience though, pick up the map supplied at the front desk and follow it to the various “treasures” left by artists around the city. Ludo has posted three large pieces out on the town.
A favorite of mine is “C215” (Christian Guémy.) The Parisian stencil artist painted a large mural for the show. There are also many photographs of his stencil works, and several other painted “objects,” including three mailboxes, a shoeshine box, and a metal sign among other things.
The pioneering Italian artistic duo of Sten & Lex display some of their strong, black & white portrait posters, but the real treat from them requires a 10 minute walk to a parking lot down the road a bit. There, a dramatic and elaborate composition of black & white zig-zagging lines reveal a face that fills the wall and towers over the cars and shopping carts.
Of course the anchor of the exhibition is an extensive collection of OBEY works by American artist Shepard Fairey. In addition to a short documentary video, the display spans his career from his quirky beginnings making “Andre the Giant has a posse” stickers, to the slick, celebrity and political-themed posters pumped out by the Obey Giant Worldwide Propaganda factory today. There are dozens of his limited-edition prints with their graphically-pleasing imagery, and even a trio of OBEY skateboard decks. A definite treat for any Fairey fan.
The show concentrates on the printing aspects of urban art but there’s a ton of other multi-media work to see there as well. Too much art to mention in this article, including great stuff by Invader, Obêtre, Muga, Doctor-H & Swoon.
IF YOU GO: Smack-dab in-between Paris & Cologne, La Louviere is about a two and-a-half hour drive from each, and just 45 minutes south of Brussels. Definitely worth the trip. But remember, it’s only showing through September 2, 2012 – so get going!
Photos by Lance Aram Rothstein (many of these photographs were shot with Film Cameras. Long Live Film!)
Martyn Reed, the man behind Nuart, is finally opening up a gallery space. Reed Projects, like Nuart, will be based in Stavanger, Norway and draw in contemporary artists from the world of street art and beyond. The Re-Jects will be the first show at Reed Project and it features a sampling of artists from past editions of Nuart: Vhils, Dolk, Escif, Evol, Brad Downey, Dan Witz and Roa. Nuart has never come across to me as something done half-assed, so I’m sure Reed Projects will be no different and I can’t wait to see how it develops. The Re-Jects opens this Thursday (7-10pm) and runs through June 22nd.
I discovered Evol‘s wondrous stencil work in an outdoor passageway two years ago in Washington D.C. and became an instant fan of the hugely talented Berlin-based artist. I finally made it over this past Friday to Jonathan Levine Gallery to check out his current work on exhibit. If you are anywhere near NYC’s Chelsea gallery district, the show is certainly worth a visit before it closes this Saturday. Here are some images:
This week the Occupy Wall Street live streams have been very effective at distracting me from Vandalog, which I’m not too upset about. The violent and suppressive eviction of Occupy Wall Street is certainly more important that the latest swindle that some art gallery is trying to pull. Nonetheless, I have been paying attention even if I haven’t been writing, so here’s what’s been going on in the street art world this week:
This Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, Todd James and Steve Powers are showing their work from their installation Street from the Art in the Streets show at MOCA in LA earlier this year. Other members of Powers’ ICY Signs studio will also be showing their work.
Swoon musical project in New Orleans, Dithyrambalina, is coming along. Artists involved in the collaborative installation are performing a show called The Music Box on November 19th and December 10th. Here’s a trailer, which includes some of their October 22nd performance. Beautiful work, but I’m sure it’s something that really needs to be seen in person.
Usually I have something to say here about my week, but it’s all kind of a blur and I’ve been struggling to find any words to describe what’s been going on or excuses for not blogging about everything interesting I’ve seen this week. So let’s skip the pointless pleasantries and here’s the stuff I missed:
Some thoughts from Alone One on graffiti and street art coexisting (and the inherent superiority of graffiti, according to the author). While I agree with the author that, in the case pictured, Aakash Nihilani and Posterboy did the smart and respectful thing by utilizing a piece of graffiti in their street art rather than covering it unnecessarily, the all-to-common argument that graffiti is always always always superior to street art really upsets me. Is there something beautiful/powerful about a tag that street art cannot capture? Sure. Are there street artists (and young graffiti writers) who stupidly go over important graffiti? Definitely, all the time. But warning that street artists can never go over graffiti under any circumstances is narrow-minded and naive, especially today when so much work blurs the line between street art and graffiti. It’s too bad when such a talented writer has such a narrow view of things.
You know what’s really nice? Sleep. Hence, this weekend is a blessing. For now, life is school school school and more school. Hopefully there’s still a trip to NYC in my near future though… Here’s what has been going on around the internet and on the street:
OverUnder and Chris Stain have gotten things started at Living Walls Albany. OverUnder’s portrait looks kinda like an Ethos piece, but it still looks cool. And Chris’ tribute to the 9/11 first responders was painted on wood and has just been moved to the New York State Museum.
A few years ago, there was a castled painted in Scotland by some of Brazil’s best street artists: Nina, Nunca and Os Gêmeos. It was supposed to be temporary, but the owners of the castle want to keep it.
Jim Carrey and Shia LaBeouf are both trying to do some street art. Yep, the guy from Ace Ventura and a Disney Channel star are now technically street artists. Melrse&Fairfax says, “Interesting how street art seems to be more and more an exciting ‘escape’ for celebrities.” I’d like to replace interesting with some other word or words…
Is it time for another link-o-rama already? The week has flown by. Except for when I had to read the multiple formal press releases I received this week which promoted artists’ gallery shows by talking about a recent campaign of wheatpasting that they were doing solely for the purpose of promoting their shows. Bleh. By contrast, Stinkfish has been in London for a bit and just seems to be getting up with posters, spraypaint and other materials because it’s fun. Here’s some of the things I’m not going to be kinda bitter about this week…
Anthony Lister has beengetting upin LA. Okay, to be honest, one of those annoying press releases was promoting a new Lister show. That opens tonight in LA and runs through August 29th. I’m looking forward to seeing some pics. To be fair, the posters that Lister put up to promote the show were on advertising space (albeit probably illegal street level billboards) and he probably paid for them, so at least he’s not putting up ads over street art but rather over other ads, but the press release and hype around some ads was kind of unnecessary. And now to not be bitter!
Speaking of advertising, Jordan Seiler/PublicAdCampaign has been testing a new iPhone app that replaces real-world ads with art by people like Ron English and John Fekner when you view them through your phone. A fun little experiment for sure.
Stavanger’s Nuart festival is well under way right now with some huge walls finished or in progress. This year’s Nuart is called The “Landmark” Series, and artists are not taking the challenge lightly. While in Stavanger last year, I thought that the city had been pretty transformed by street art, but now things are getting bigger than ever. A few weeks ago, Elisa posted here about Dotmasters’ Toy piece, but that’s just the start of what’s been going on.
And I mentioned this piece by Blu and Ericailcane a while back, but didn’t actually post photos, so here are some photos of it: