Weekend link-o-rama

MOMO for Open Walls Baltimore

I think we actually did a pretty good job this week on Vandalog covering what needs to be covered, but here are the few things we missed:

Photo by MOMO

All City Canvas – Mexico City’s Urban Art Festival

Herakut. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.

From April 29th to May 6th, Mexico’s capital city was hit with some paint, color and talent. The good news is that Mexico’s All City Canvas had a fantastic line up, who appear to have done fantastic work. Artists participating included Roa, Escif, Herakut, Sego, Interesni Kazki, Vhils, Saner and El Mac. The bad news is that unless you were one of the lucky few who were able to see it in person, the rest of us had to bare with the insta-nostalgia, lo-fi photo processing of Instagram since this was primarily how images of the murals were being released online. Interestingly enough, Gonzalo Alvarez, one of the project’s creators, acknowledged that “many artists in Mexico have no money to travel to other countries, and many of their influences come from the pictures they see on the Internet.” All City Canvas’ PR people could be commended for adhering to Alvarez’s philosophy and releasing the images where the masses seem to be (namely Instagram). But to broadcast art to its global audience through heavy photo filters is kind of like putting ketchup on a steak. Perhaps this argument is irrelevant if the intended audience was the Mexican youth who were able to witness street art in person instead of online. That was the philosophy, right? Quality photos had eventually been released. I suppose I am a bit apprehensive to see Instagram used as a marketing device for art or as my only means of seeing a piece. But that is a total digression from what this post should be focused on.

All City Canvas was awesome. Take a look at these almost completely unedited photos. Or go to Mexico City.

Herakut. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Street Art.
Roa. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.
Vhils. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.

In conjunction with the festical, gallery Fifty24MX in Mexico City is exhibiting a number of the artists participating in All City Canvas in a show entitled “Piezas“. The show opened on May 10th and will be running until May 27th, featuring work by Aryz, El  Mac, Interesni Kazki, Roa, Saner and Sego. Check out photos of the exhibition here.

Interesni Kazki. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.
Interesni Kazki. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.
Saner. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Street Art.
El Mac. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Street Art.
Escif. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Street Art.
Sego. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Street Art.
Sego. Photo courtesy of All City Canvas.

Photos courtesy of All City Canvas and Brooklyn Street Art

Preview: Herakut at 941 Geary

If You Hate Me Live This Way, Don't Make Me Live This Way

Today sees the opening of Herakut‘s latest gallery opening at 941 Geary in San Francisco. Entitled Loving the Exiled, the show features new paintings by the German duo that examine the mythical relationship between humans and nature. The show runs until 29 May.

Here are some of my favorite works in the show. The full show preview is available on the gallery’s site.

Be A Caterpillar Again
What A Stupid Gift

All images courtesy of 941 Geary

Weekend link-o-rama

ND'A in Bushwick

This week I’ve got a rather major correction to make. A few days ago, I wrote about a piece by Jeice2 where it looked like he went over a bunch of tags with with a poster. Turns out, the poster was just taped on for the purpose of a photograph, and so the graffiti was not covered.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been looking at this week:

Photo by Mike Pearce

After the Laughter: Herakut at LeBasse Chinatown

"After the Laughter" by Herakut

Herakut‘s recent solo installation at LeBasse Projects attracted quite a crowd to their Chinatown location. The exterior featured a carnival atmosphere–one with popcorn and cotton candy machines whirring and popping–but those belied the darker works on view inside.

It’s difficult not to compare Herakut and Os Gemeos after they had dueling openings on February 25th, but it’s worth noting that each was successful for different reasons, and in different ways. Although both featured triumphs of scale, and moved the bar up on what street artists can (and perhaps should) pull off in gallery spaces, Os Gemeos relied on playful lighting, bold color choices, and some instances of technological cleverness while Herakut combined their dark fairy-tale images with a flair for the dramatic.

The largest pieces in the show came straight from the stage of Downtown L.A.’s Palace Theatre, where Herakut collaborated with Lucent Dossier on “When Lucent Found Herakut” earlier last month. In fact, members of the troupe worked the crowd over the course of the evening, dressed in masks designed by the German duo. A unicorn was present, a monkey too. I was put off by this at first; I felt it distracted from the art on the walls. It took me time to see that the artistry involved in the mask-making is a large part of what Herakut do, and these simply delivered life-sized recreations of their trademark women and children wearing animal head hats.

"You Seem To Be Forgetting That There Is A Monkey in You, Too."

One of the most intriguing aspects of the show were the statues (also adorned with hats) that were done either completely in casting stone, or with papier-mâché and tape, as was the case with two different deer pieces. However, the standout work was a canvas: a portrait of a child wearing a monkey’s head atop its own. The point where both merge is taped over–as is the chin–and it’s left to our imaginations how this fusion came about, or perhaps even how violent it was. The text reminds viewers that we “seem to be forgetting that there is a monkey” in us, as well.

It is this awareness of nature–not simply of the natural world, but also of our own human natures–that suffuses this show. It’s in everything from the small prints to the larger pieces. As with some Herakut, the work is not always the most comfortable viewing, but it is clear-eyed: a persistent reminder that part of what makes us human is the presence of the animal within.

“After the Laughter” runs through March 17 at LeBasse Projects Chinatown: 923 Chung King Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90012.

More images after the jump…

Continue reading “After the Laughter: Herakut at LeBasse Chinatown”

Wooster Collective curates at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

For (I think) the first time, Marc and Sara Schiller of The Wooster Collective have curated a show at a commercial gallery. For about a decade, the Schillers have been behind the most popular and well-respected street art blog on the web, they’ve been behind such events as 11 Spring Street and they are reputed to have one of the best collections of art by street artists in America, so I’m excited to see what they’ve put together for this show. Hybrid Thinking includes some Wooster Collective regulars and some surprises: Dal, Herakut, Hyuro, Roa, SIT, Vinz.

Artwork by SIT

Hybrid Theory opens this Saturday (7-9pm) at Jonathan LeVine Gallery and runs through February 11th.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Hush and OneThirty3 Projects’ installation

Earlier this month, Hush and OneThirty3 Projects held an installation at Hush’s OneThirty3  space in Newcastle, UK. The show featured a new installation by Hush and the works of photographers and film makers documenting previous installations in the space by artists such as Titifreak, Paul Insect, Sickboy, Herakut and Gaia.


Photos courtesy of Hush and OneThirty3

Herakut Hits “The Wall Along Wilshire”

Herakut, "Good Can Come From Bad Can Come From Good" (Complete)

The Wende Museum has been doing some very interesting things lately, including the creation of an outdoor gallery wall (complete with framed work) on Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles, but its current project on Wilshire looks to be the most intriguing yet.

Now standing directly across the street from LACMA are several weathered sections of the concrete Berlin Wall. “The Wall Along Wilshire” is part of “The Wall Project,” the museum’s ongoing cultural history program.

For the front of the wall, the artists paired with Thierry Noir (one of the first artists to paint the Wall in 1984) were Kent Twitchell, Farrah Karapetian, and Marie Astrid Gonzalez. Yet, the museum also saw fit to invite several street artists to paint the back of the sectionals, asking Herakut, RETNA, and D*face to do the honors. It is expected that the other street artists will start Thursday or Friday evening, but Herakut have already completed their work.

I arrived last night when they had just finishing painting. One half of Herakut, Jasmin Siddiqui (Hera) explained that the Wall holds a very special significance for Herakut, not just because they are from Germany, but because she grew up in the West, while her partner, Falk Lehmann (Akut), grew up in the East.

“It’s amazing how small it looks now,” Jasmin said as she surveyed their work, “and it’s hard to imagine it kept so many people apart.”

Their piece on the left-most sectional, “Good Can Come From Bad Comes From Good,” was informed by the transformative circularity of history, and features two pregnant women crouched together in a yin-yang position. Their piece on the right-most sectional, “We Are All Just Kids, Right?” depicts a thin schoolboy tapering into a teddy-bear-like black and green shadow. Both showcase the dark, illustrative quality of their work, and are all the more poignant given the history of the material they are painted on.

“The Wall Along Wilshire” will be in front of 5900 Wilshire until November 13, 2011, where a private reception will be held with the artists from 1 to 4 p.m. After that, the sectionals of the Wall will shift to The Wende Museum’s permanent collection at 5741 Buckingham Parkway, Suite E, Culver City, CA 90230.

Herakut, "Good Can Come From Bad Can Come From Good" (Yang, Phase 1)
Herakut, "Good Can Come From Bad Can Come From Good" (Yang, Complete)
Herakut, "Good Can Come From Bad Can Come From Good" (Yin, Phase 1)
Herakut, "Good Can Come From Bad Can Come From Good" (Yin, Complete)
Herakut, "We Are All Just Kids, Right?" (Boy)
Herakut, "We Are All Just Kids, Right?" (Shadow)

Photos by Ryan Gattis