While I was cut off from the world…

BETTEN in NYC. Photo by a friend of the artist.

Since the end of May until a few days ago, I’d been more or less cut off from the street art world. I was driving around Europe with my friends. That’s not particularly important, though I would like to thank Logan Hicks, Ripo, Paulo, C215, Nunca and (especially) Angelo for spending time with us.

Here’s some of the things that I missed while I was away…

  • Penny’s latest piece kicks ass
  • Os Gêmeos have been crazy busy, so here’s one of the things they did: A few paintings at FAME Festival.
  • And Blu has been to FAME recently too.
  • I’m loving a lot of the pieces Skewville’s show Shift Work Disorder at Factory Fresh.
  • Some local residents completely misinterpreted the meaning behind some Shepard Fairey murals and painted them over. Actually a really interesting story. I suppose that when it is a reality of everyday life, people don’t like to be reminded that the police will “kick your ass and get away with it.”
  • Lazarides’ latest show in LA is Eurotrash with Vhils, Micallef and JR. Hi-Fructose has pictures.
  • Alison Young’s book Street Studio had a launch party in Melbourne.
  • High Roller Society has a massive group print show on right now. I stopped by on Saturday. If you like affordable prints and drawings, check this one out.
  • Daily Mail reports that Banksy has painted some pub in Primrose Hill. Reality: It’s a PR stunt by the pub’s owner, but at least now they have some artwork on their walls.
  • The New Grand Tour, a group show including Jose Parla, Rey Parla and Rostarr, is open now at Bryce Wolkowitz in New York City.
  • Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman, former gallery directors at Deitch Projects, have started up their own gallery in NYC called Hole. I’m not exactly sure how much street art or graffiti you’ll be able to find at the Hole when it opens later this month, but they sent me a press release, so presumably they haven’t ditched street art entirely. The Wall Street Journal has more.
  • Hrag Vartanian has started an interesting discussion on Hyperallergic about a new piece by Mark Jenkins which could easily be mistaken for trash. And by the way, if you don’t already read Hyperallergic, you should start. It’s perhaps my favorite art blog at the moment.
  • Armsrock has a solo show on right now at Signal Gallery. I’m going to check it out tomorrow, but based on the photos on Arrested Motion, I couldn’t be more excited. Armsrock is massively talented and just keeps getting better.

Burning Candy updates

Tek33, Gold Peg and Sweet Toof. Photo by Tek33

There are a few little bits to mention today about my friends in Burning Candy. The crew have been keeping pretty busy lately.

  1. The above wall (thanks to Tek33 for putting me up) is the latest in at least 3 large walls painted in London by members of BC in the last month or so. Nolionsinengland has photographed the other two.
  2. Important note: I worked at High Roller Society for one day last week, but it’s not a regular job or something I expect to repeat since I’m moving soon. The crew’s Candy Shop show at High Roller Society kicks ass. It’s a small space, but Burning Candy have really made full use of the gallery. The installation is really fun to explore. There are so many little bits that it’s unlikely anybody noticed every minor detail that the crew had put into the assemblage of paintings, stickers, sculptures, drawings and found objects. There are photos on High Roller Society’s flickr, but I think that this weekend was the show’s last and it is now closed. But double check with HRS I guess, because I could be wrong.
  3. The crew is traveling. Sweet Toof is painting in New York City and a standard Mighty Mo/Sweet Toof has appeared in Amsterdam.
  4. Sweet Toof’s got an interview in this week’s le cool.

James Jessop at High Roller Society

James Jessop‘s latest solo show, Beauty and The Beast, opens this Friday (March 19th) at High Roller Society in London. I’m very bummed that I’ll be out of the country for the opening of this show (more on that in a few days). Honestly, I don’t care for the painting that HRS has put in the press release, but usually I really enjoy James’ artwork. Demonology and Subway Ghosts are two of my personal favorites. Beauty and The Beast will only have four paintings in the entire show, but James’ paints on a pretty huge scale.

From High Roller Society:

After recent solo exhibitions in São Paulo and Copenhagen, four of James Jessop’s finest works will see their UK debut at High Roller Society, the newest gallery to London’s progressive East end. Titled BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, this solo show reveals Jessop’s trademark style: large-scale spoof horror paintings that present a visual feast of transcribed B-movie posters, 60s sex/sleaze paperback book covers, and 1980s New York subway graffiti. The exhibition launches on Friday, 19 March 2010, with the release of a limited edition 5 colour screen print based on his notorious King Kong painting series.

Jessop burst into the London art scene in 2004 with terrifying impact at Charles Saatchi’s infamous New Blood exhibition which featured an epic 5 metre-long panoramic painting entitled Horrific. Since then, Jessop‘s repercussions have continued with bigger and bolder studio work and a consistently strong dual street presence through his own rigorous dealings in graffiti. “My whole life has been mixing up graffiti with high art,” he states, “the message in my work is to make a painting that has huge impact”. Jessop feeds off of his obsession with certain sub-cultural movements, such as graffiti and drum n’ bass, the energy of which fuels his work, regardless of where it is executed. “It is never ending, I love this way of life, painting everyday, doing graffiti at night… I am living my dream.”

A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Jessop’s energy is nonetheless skillfully controlled and highly focussed. Every minute area in each of his paintings is considered in order to achieve the best visual effects. Varied impasto textures, fluid brush strokes, vibrant colour combinations, and delicate glazing techniques are executed differently throughout each piece, and help to emphasize the texture of every element in the composition. Jessop’s painting approach and many of his intertwined components are clearly influenced by key movements throughout art history such as the Renaissance, the Baroque, and Futurism. Yet, like a B-movie needs junk food, Jessop’s cross-movement style integrates Uni Posca paint pens, spray-can effects, and the familiarly bizarre imagery of popular culture.

Jessop’s big-screen works were recently part of the Animals Contemporary Visions exhibition held at the Martini Arte Internazionale in Turin, where he was subsequently invited to be the 2010 Artist in Residence at the Cultural Centre Cesare Martini, in Cavagnolo, Italy. Before undertaking this venture later in the year, James Jessop’s frightfully astonishing selection of works to date will be showcased at High Roller Society until 24 April.