Drawing for the Masses is a group show of about a dozen international street showing, not just any drawings, but personal drawings and prepatory sketches that would be the blueprints for eventual murals. While a rough sketch of an existing mural may not seem that exiting, 999 Gallery assures you that these works are sometimes more precious to the artist than the public work since these were not intended for others to see. So, stop by to see see the personal work of 108, AndrecoBorondo, Gaia, 2501, Guy Denning, Hitnes, Lucamaleonte, Martina Merlini, Moneyless, Ozmo and Tellas.
LA’s Thinkspace Gallery is coming to my city of Philadelphia soon for a show they’ve curated at Philadelphia’s Gallery 309. LAX / PHL will include work from dozens of artists including Dabs Myla, Gaia, Ghostpatrol, La Pandilla, and Pixel Pancho, but the highlight is likely to be an installation by NoseGo. Thinkspace Gallery is suggesting that this show includes artists from the “New Contemporary Art Movement.” I call it that movement “The artists that Juxtapoz might cover,” but whatever. The point is, there’s gonna be a lot of really impressive artwork at this show.
LAX / PHL opens on Saturday, May 11th from 6-10pm, and runs through June 21st. There will be a second opening reception on June 7th from 6-10pm to coincide with Philadelphia’s First Friday art events.
A young Canadian Instagram user was arrested for a photo she posted of a piece of street art because they thought she made the piece. Well, if I ever go to Montreal, I guess I should be careful about what I post to my Instagram.
Gaia was in Newcastle, UK last month for some murals organized by Unit44. I’ve got photos of the wall here, but I think the video Gaia made with Unit44 is even more interesting. In it, he speaks about the challenges of being a muralist/street artist trying to do more than just impose advertising (aka street art) onto communities. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he makes some very valuable and interesting points.
A few weeks ago, Acrylic Walls shared photos of their mural residency in South Africa, which includes artists Gaia, Freddy Sam, Jaz, and Know Hope. Local Freddy Sam has brought together international artists for, what I termed, a love letter to South Africa. However, sometimes love bites back.
One local took to Gaia‘s wall to voice his disapproval of the piece with not enough buff paint. Being an advocate for community and public space, Gaia used what some would view as heartbreaking into an opportunity to engage with the surrounding neighborhood. A hand erasing his Edwardian-animal hybrid has been accompanied by the phrase “revisionisme, uit te vee,” or “to erase revisionism” in Afrikaans. By commenting on the methodologies behind his piece, Gaia acknowledges the temporality of his work as well as its effects on those who, by their proximity to the piece, become forced viewers.
Over the last two years, Gaia has traveled the world, from Europe to Asia, South America to Africa, and all across the United States, not to mention he also brought in artists from across the globe to Baltimore for his mural festival Open Walls Baltimore. Gaia’s effort to connect his street art with the historical context of its location has resulted in homages to architects, images representative of carefully researched histories, and murals that have meaning to the people who will interact with them everyday.
Recently, Gaia published a zine entitled “Second Cities” that speaks to the street art experience; both of the artist and of the audience. He addresses the dialogue that is created by street art in its physical context. With that context, readers follow Gaia with a personal anecdote on how he disguised himself as a construction worker and attempted to put up a large wheatpaste on a failed housing project in Chicago as cops watched.
Gaia illustrates the importance of cities’ infrastructure and the frequently interesting yet ill-regarded histories of the places he tries to beautify.
The best part of all is that the zine is available and free for download here.
Beginning in late December of 2012 and stretching into the new year, Freddy Sam brought together a group of artists known for creating art that engages their surroundings. The project, titled Acrylic Walls, is associated with his organization A Word of Art, which has been fostering contemporary art in the area through community outreach since 2009. While this project has the familiar ring of other blockbuster mural programs, such as Open Walls Baltimore, Freddy Sam has added a component that hopes to reach a larger audience than those who will immediately come into contact with their murals: a diary-like Tumblr for all on which all of the artists can contribute.
The Tumblr for Acrylic Walls allows all of the participating artists to post photos from their adventures as they travel from city to city painting and engage themselves with their surroundings. Whether they are recounting adventures in stick and poke tattoos, museums, or sharing stories of people they encounter, each artist brings a dimensionality to not only themselves, but this program through their photography. By sharing funny moments alongside those of poverty and historicism, Acrylic Walls gives an intimate and insightful view of personalities of the artists as well as the cities where they find themselves.