Vandalog Visits New York

Last week I had the chance to spend 2 days in New York City. New York is where modern graffiti and street art originated (yes I am aware that Cornbread was from Philadelphia), so it was a trip I had been looking forward to for a while. I crammed as much art into my visit as a possibly could.

First, before getting to New York, I was in Baltimore for a day. While there, I had lunch with Gaia. One of the topics we spoke about, the perception of street art as a democratic process, turned into a post on his blog, and soon (probably after finals are over) I think I’ll be doing a similar post.

My first day in New York, I made sure to see a number of galleries. I’m sure I’ll forget to mention somewhere I visited, but here’s a summary.

First I went to the Jonathan LeVine Gallery for their Phil Frost show. I’m not the biggest fan of Phil Frost. I own one small piece by him, and I really like it, but for the most part, I just don’t get his work. I had never seen more than 2 or 3 pieces together at a time though, so I thought that maybe seeing an entire show would convert me to a fan. It did not. I’m still pretty indifferent to his work.

Next, I made a quick stop at the Doma Café and Gallery for a show by Erik Otto. I’d never heard of Otto, but it was recommended by Hooked. I was in a rush, so I only browsed the show quickly, but it was pretty impressive for artwork in a café, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for Otto in the future.

Naturally, Deitch Projects was a place I had to stop, and though I originally had little interest in Ryan McGinness’ show there, a few pieces definitely caught my eye.

After popping in at Glowlab and then seeing the amazing wall where the above video took place, I was headed to Williamsburg, the heart of NYC’s street art scene… Continue reading “Vandalog Visits New York”

Off To My Vacation in Cairo

Photo by mediageek
Photo by mediageek

I am headed to Cairo in a couple of hours for a family vacation and then to the states to visit a few universities, so I expect have only limited internet access for the next week and a half or so. I’ll get in a couple of updates in that time (including 2-3 interviews), but they will probably come in spurts and I definitely won’t be posting daily.

One place I’ll be headed is New York City. I’m going to be looking for things to see there (art and otherwise), so if you have any suggestions please email me – rj(at)vandalog(dot)com.

In the mean time, here’s a few things I’ve been meaning to post:

  • Boxi’s show at The Carmichael Gallery is going to have a cool print release to go along with it, and part of the edition will go onto eBay as soon as the show opens. ‘Sell Out Is The New Buy In’ is a print about the state of the current art market, so why not put it on eBay?
  • Not Banksy has been putting out some interesting work.
  • So have the guys in Tel Aviv.
  • And Gaia’s latest stuff is pretty cool (though I can’t get this video of his to play all the way through).
  • Urban Angel’s show 2000 and Down opened today.
  • Finally, these are two shows I will definitely be stopping by when I am in New York: Phil Forst and PosterBoy.

Photo by mediageek

Considerations by Gaia

I’ve never been to art school and even if I go to an “art school” it won’t be to study art. That’s what makes Gaia‘s new blog so cool. Considerations by Gaia includes the reading he’s currently doing at school as well as his class notes. Check it out. He’s got really good handwriting.

Also, while we’re on the topic of Gaia, his print at Black Rat Press’ print show is beautiful, and he’s put a version of the image up on the streets.


Photo from Gaia’s flickr

A Very Different Post About Gaia

Gaia New Yorker

If you took Gaia to a high school drawing contest he might place first or second, but put his efforts on the street and it becomes worth half as much as a real Swoon. It may be a testament to street artist Swoon’s influence and popularity, that an influenced artist can find a ravenous audience without a new style, technique, or thought for where/how to install it. As a derivative work, its more saccharine, dim witted, but just about as popular. Gaia plays the Monkey’s to Swoons Beatles.

That’s one way to think about Gaia. In fact, that diatribe is a portion of a faux New Yorker article which was wheatpasted right next to a Gaia piece.

By Gaia
By Gaia

On the other hand, Gaia might be really good. That’s what I’d say. His work is powerful and the melding of man and animal creates some very beautiful results. Gaia’s the first to admit that his work is influenced by Swoon, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. All artists have influences. I asked Gaia about his, and about his thoughts on people who say he is too much like Swoon.

Gaia: I think that it is quite apparent in my work that Swoon is a strong influence but I believe that the comparison is a little tired now because I really do feel that my pieces are distinguishable. I believe that these comments and mistakes also stem from a real lack of understanding of the the Street Art scene. Once the viewer has a true awareness and visual literacy for the work that is on the street, then such confusion is avoided. Continue reading “A Very Different Post About Gaia”

Great in ’08: Gaia Says…

As part of Vandalog’s “Great in ’08” series, which will be running every day for the rest of the month. Check out previous posts here. Street artists from across the world have been given one post to give away to one artist who they feel has been doing great work recently. Today it’s Gaia’s turn (if you missed it, he was L.E.T.‘s pick yesterday). This response was actually taken from a larger Q&A with Gaia that will be posted on Vandalog as soon as I get my university applications in (I’ll hit “submit” this Friday).

Who is one artist doing really great work right now?

Gaia: The one person who has been really making a splash is the writer Booker/ReadMoreBooks/Rancour/HoodRich. While he has been getting up for quite some time now, his recent slew of rollers that he has pulled off in the past year are astounding. Always imaginative, always clean, and he has such a unique and free style.

Skulls by Booker. Photo by Danny Dawson
Skulls by Booker. Photo by Danny Dawson

See photos of Booker’s work after the jump… Continue reading “Great in ’08: Gaia Says…”

Great In ’08: L.E.T. Says…

As part of Vandalog’s “Great in ’08” series, which will be running every day for the rest of the month. Check out previous posts here. Street artists from across the world have been given one post to give away to one artist who they feel has been doing great work recently. Today it’s L.E.T.‘s turn.

Who is one artist doing really great work right now?

L.E.T: The artist who’s great right now is Gaia.

By Gaia
By Gaia

Gaia has a piece at Ad Hoc Art’s Brooklyn Block Party which opened last night. It has work from nearly a dozen artists working with wood or lino blocks.

See photos of Gaia‘s work after the jump… Continue reading “Great In ’08: L.E.T. Says…”

Great In ’08: Street Artists Pick Their Favorites

Update: Check out the other posts in this series here.

Unless you live in a strange world where time does not exist, we’re coming to the end of 2008. As my contribution to street art’s end-of-year/Christmas/Hanukkah/winter solstice activities, I’ve organized a series of posts which will run from tomorrow until the end of the year.

What’s so special about these posts? I’ve asked a number of street artists one question: “Who is one artist doing really great work right now?” and given them the chance to respond and “gift” a post to the artist or artists that they’ve chosen.

Starting tomorrow, and continuing for the rest of the month (or at least until Boxing Day), I’ll be posting one of these responses every day, along with photos of work by chosen the artists.

Here’s a small selection of the artists who will be sharing some of their favorite artists with Vandalog readers in the coming weeks: