Angelo Milano, founder of Studiocromie and FAME Festival, is one of the most brilliant crazy people I know. When it comes to art and culture and politics, we don’t always agree, but I have a deep respect for him. Angelo is one of a handful of people to whom I can confidently say, “Whether or not I see what you see in this artist or this artwork, if you say it’s special, it’s special.”
Today, Angelo emailed me about an artist whom he thinks is special: 108. Frankly, we haven’t really covered 108 at all on Vandalog (just one passing mention), but I’ve admired his murals for years. Later this month, Angelo will be holding a 108 solo show in Grottaglie, Italy.
108 is an Italian street artist who, like Angelo, developed in a small Italian town, away from the hustle and bustle and hype. Arguably as a result of that, his work doesn’t cater to the whims of the street art bandwagon, nor even really the Graffuturism bandwagon, which is the closest comparison that could be made. Instead, according to Angelo, 108’s work was a precursor to the current wave of abstract muralism in Italy. 108’s murals are fantastic abstract combinations of boldness and subtlety. His canvases, which admittedly I’m not quite sold on, are reminiscent of Miró. How many artists in the street art or graffiti worlds can say that?
108’s show, Solstizio D’Inverno, opens next week at Studiocromie Grottaglie, Italy. To echo Angelo’s message, “to the interested ones, don’t miss it.”
Just because Colossal Media paints murals based on designs by people like KAWS and Faile doesn’t mean there should be any love for them. They paint advertisements. That is their business. If they paint some murals on the side, that doesn’t excuse billboards invading public space. Unless you think BP sponsoring art exhibits excuses oil spills and pollution…
Also what’s up with KAWS’ work being used for a mural (I hesitate to say he did a mural, since it appears all he did was license his imagery)? He’s spent the better part of this site’s existence distancing himself from street art and graffiti and his public art has consisted of sculptures and flyposted advertisements (if you consider that public art).
Maybe I’ll be able to ask KAWS about all this myself soon, since presumably he’ll be in Philadelphia for his show at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Arrested Motion has a bit of a preview, but I think the link really worth checking is PAFA’s website (and this archived version of the same page from mid-August) because of this section of the show description which has since been removed: “Placing KAWS’ sculptural works throughout PAFA’s historic galleries will further the ‘graffiti effect,'” and the edit of (emphasis added) “KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s.” to “KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as an artist in the early 1990s.” So that’s interesting.
FAME Festival is no more, although ad hoc projects will continue to be organized in the town of Grottaglie, Italy by festival organizer Angelo Milano. It’s definitely sad news, but Angelo is always ahead of the times. Maybe this glut of street art festivals is just too much. Maybe it’s time for something different. Let’s hope Angelo figures it out. I can’t wait to see what he tries next.
Tonight at Brooklyn Street Art‘s movie night at the Living Walls Conference in Atlanta, BSA’s Steve and Jaime showed a bunch of interesting films, but one really stood out for me. I think I saw the first few seconds of this video months ago and wasn’t drawn in, so I ignored it. But, watching the whole thing, I see I clearly made a mistake. Nearly a dozen artists took over this abandoned building in Jaffa, Israel earlier this year and covered it in art. Then, they invited their friends to come and see what they had done. The installation was called Feel in the Cracks. The project reminds me of FAME Festival’s abandoned monastery, where much of the best work of the festival is hidden away, only available for those willing to explore.
I’ve got to hand it to Wonky Monky, Untay, Slamer, Signor Gi, Ross Plazma, Nitzan Mintz, Natalie Mandel, Latzi, Kipi, Dioz and Dede for going out and taking over this building, but then being pretty public about it. Plenty of abandoned buildings get painted, but then to host a public party pointing out that fact seems pretty exciting and ballsy to me. It’s a very loud and very blatant call for people to take space and improve it, whether they have the legal right to do so or not because perhaps there is a morality about the use of space that overrules legality.
Earlier this year, MOMO and Angelo Milano (the man behind FAME Festival and Studiocromie) went to Jamaica and Cuba on a sort of art-making journey / vacation. MOMO posted some photos from the trip last month. This week, Angelo posted a short documentary film about the trip. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of FAME Festival or MOMO. Check it out:
Also, MOMO has a solo show that just opened with Studiocromie in Grottaglie, Italy. Juxtapoz has some great photos of that show, which looks absolutely stunning.
Okay I’m gonna write this quickly and get outside, because it’s basically been cloudy and rainy for two straight weeks in Philadelphia and now there’s finally some sun. But just in case the weather where you are isn’t so nice, here are some links:
I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet, but Jowy of Subway Art Blog has started a new podcast, Jowy’s Blackbook, and gilf! is the guest on episode 1.
Rowdy has a new print out. I really like that the print is laid out on the page so that the whole thing looks like a blown-up polaroid photo. The print is pretty massive though, which could make it difficult to hang.
Ron English has a new resin version of his MC Supersized toy available on his website (technically this is the MC Lover variation of the character). Not that there aren’t already about a million variations of this character out there, but it’s great to see such an iconic image by English available for just $40.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have selected Revok and Pose to paint the Bowery/Houston wall if I were the curator. Especially not right after How&Nosm and Crash. And as the mural was coming together, I kept thinking that it looked like it wasn’t really coming together. But then I saw the finished piece. Revok, Pose and the other members of MSK who joined in absolutely nailed it. The result is a mural that fans of graffiti and random New Yorkers can all love. This is one time where I’m very glad I didn’t speak out sooner, because my initial thoughts were completely wrong. I just with the wall itself weren’t a hoarding that pops a few feet off the building, inevitably making anything painted there look a bit like a billboard, but I guess that can’t be helped (after all, there’s an Os Gêmeos mural behind that hoarding).
For most of last week, I was in Stavanger, Norway for the 2012 Nuart Festival. Naturally, even though I was there in part as press, I spent very little time on my computer and didn’t do any blogging. So, expect a full post or two about Nuart later this week, but for now here’s what I missed writing about while I was away:
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of great work that loosely falls under a category of graffiti which is abstract but focused on geometry, and maybe a bit minimalist (Editor, Bino, Homer, ABCDEF). Well, it’s important to remember that of lot of these guys seem to be influenced by the great MOMO, who recently returned to Italy’s Fame Festival to paint there. Here are a few pieces from that visit.
This post on Hyperallergic pretty much exactly echos my thoughts about a Kickstarter project that hopes to raise $1 million to temporarily cover New York’s water tanks in art by celebrities and celebrity artists (and a couple of cool artists too, admittedly).
Street Art Is Dead used to be a blog that mostly complained about the bullshit involved in street art. Now there’s a newish blog with that name that indiscriminately posts photos of street art despite quality.