Opening today and running until August 28 is a new group show at 941Geary (White Walls, Shooting Gallery, Gallery Three) entitled from the Street Art to the Cube. There are some pieces that I am really loving for this show, especially the following pieces by Greg Gossel, Dan Witz and Best Ever.
Yet, and this is my real issue with many group shows, there is not one cohesive theme to the exhibit at all. Street art is not really a theme anymore, when there are so many facets. This particular show just jumps around so much with the works, that I do not think it works at all. Plus, within the past few months other galleries exhibited many similar pieces (or other editions) from this particular show by Miss Van, Blek la Rat and Best Ever. When you are constantly seeing the same artists name mentioned every month, the work starts to blend and is not fresh anymore. Even worse, as RJ kindly pointed out to me, that most of the artists in this show are not even street artists, not even “once upon a time.”
I guess my point is exactly that- there is not really an interesting angle that catches my interest, which is a shame because group exhibitions either showcase high profile talent really well or brings to light a batch of new artists. This show does neither.
I’m not big on blogging about products here. Mostly because a lot of graffiti/street art related products are kind of silly (see: the graffiti mug). But Uncommon makes what seem like very cool cases for your iPhone. I’ve never seen one of these in person, but I might buy one. The artist line up is pretty solid.
Uncommon lets you design your own case using your own artwork or artwork from their catalog. The concept is interesting enough, and the lineup of artists is just perfect: Ron English, San, Mode2, David Ellis, Tinho, Anthony Lister, Herbert Baglione, Date Farmers, Usugrow, Dennis McNett and Monica Canilao just to name a few (and these are just the artists they are starting with, who knows how many more will be added in the future). One of the great things about these cases is that the artists haven’t contributed just one image each, some have contributed a dozen. And while those in a hurry can buy a “premade” case (like those pictured above), creative risk takers can customize their case by placing the graphic themselves: you can blow up the imagine so that the all you see is Ronald Mcdonald’s giant head painted by Ron English or shift the design so that a Date Farmers drawing appears at the top, center or bottom of the case.
Here are two cases I designed from the same image by David Ellis:
The cases aren’t cheap ($39.95), but that seems like a small price to pay when you spend hundreds of dollars on a phone and most other cases make it look so ugly.
Okay I really hate these posts, so I avoid them as much as I can, but I just have to write how I feel about Greg Gossel. I’m sure he’s a great guy, but his work is just too much like Faile‘s. Today, Arrested Motion posted an interview with Gossel, and Gossel even addressed this concern of mine, so I must say that’s nice of him.
Here’s what was said:
AM: While I don’t take chat room bickering and pigeon-holing seriously, you have been referred to as “the poor man’s Faile”, what are your thoughts on this comparison and on artistic influences in general?
GG: Yeah, to be honest, that’s something that definitely bothered me when I initially heard things like that, but these days I really try not to pay too much attention to a lot of that stuff. Those guys do great work and have been very successful with a really recognizable style. I understand that there are some obvious stylistic similarities between their work and my own, so I see how the comparison is made. I think it’s human nature to make comparisons, whether it be art, music, or anything else. I’m the same way when listening to an album, or checking out a new artist, so I think it just kind of comes with the territory that if you’re creating work and putting yourself out there, you’re always subject to those types of comparisons and criticisms. There are some people out there who spend a bit of time online checking out my work, and would rather label me as some sort of imitation of Faile, rather than take the time to learn much about my past work or how I got to where I am today. But ultimately, I know that my own work will continue to change and evolve over time as it has over the past 5 years, so I really just try to stay focused on continuing in my own direction, and not worry too much about some of the negativity and criticisms that are floating around out there.
So that’s Gossel’s view of the situation. I’m going to assume most readers are familar with Faile’s work. Otherwise, you can look here. Now, Faile’s influences aren’t that hard to spot either, but just have a look at Gossel’s work:
Okay, so that piece is pretty influenced by Faile, but his latest work, which can be seen in that Arrested Motion interview, is the sort of thing that could actually be mistaken for early Faile work. I really don’t like the idea that this guy’s work is looking more and more like Faile. Maybe that’s just me though.