Competent and unoriginal street art by July


July is a technically competent artist, creating stencils using 2 to 4 colors that generally include some sort of social or political commentary. For the same reason people are amused by Dolk, Icy & Sot, Blek le Rat and so on and so forth, people might have similar reactions to July as they do with those other artists. For more works by Banksy July check out their facebook page. For some more direct similarities to other artists, see here and here.

Wouldn’t it be great if artists moved beyond being technically competent and actually came up with interesting ideas too?

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Photos by July

Made in Iran: Icy and Sot in NYC

This is a joint post by Luke McManus and Lois Stavsky

Icy and Sot have been doing lots of fresh pieces on NYC streets, so we were excited to check out Made in Iran, the first exhibit outside of their native country that they could attend. With influences ranging from Banksy to C215, they have created a distinct body of work including many pieces that reflect their unique political and social realities.

A particular favorite in the exhibit is an installation of old 12-inch vinyls that pay homage to deceased icons. We loved how the cuts in the vinyl mirror the hair of those portrayed.

Also impressive are a number of finely detailed stencils, including this one on an old Iranian packing box.

The exhibit continues through the 25th at 379 Broome Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy.

Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky


Stephen Powers, who has a show coming up at Joshua Liner Gallery

There are a lot of shows coming up soon worth checking out. Here are some of I wish I could check out in person…

  • This week, the Iranian brothers Icy and Sot will have their first New York solo show, and it’s only open this Thursday through Saturday. Made in Iran will be at Openhouse, 379 Broome Street, New York.
  • Lush also has a show opening in NYC this weekend. His will be a show of drawings at Klughaus Gallery. It opens on August 25th from 6-10pm. Lush’s show are practically a place to expect surprises, so best get their opening night before a blog like this one ruins the shock value for you on Sunday. If you do miss opening night, the show runs through September 7th.
  • Next month, Stephen Powers aka ESPO will have his first New York solo show in over 7 years. A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures opens September 7th from 6-9pm at Joshua Liner Gallery.
  • Galo Art Gallery in Turin has a great two-man show coming up with Bue and Chase. Brothers from Different Mothers opens September 9th from 5:30-9pm.
  • aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney, Australia has a big group show coming up with 67 artists including Anthony Lister, Askew, Does, Numskull, Vexta and The Yok. For Black and White All In Between, all the artists have painted on canvases of uniform sized and only used black ink. The show opens on August 31st from 6-9pm.
  • Jonathan Levine Gallery‘s next three solo shows open on September 8th and you will not want to miss any of them: Judith Supine, Audrey Kawasaki, and Jeff Soto. All three shows open from 7-9pm on the 8th. And speaking of Levine, I caught their current show earlier this week and it is great. Go it see before it closes.
  • Gold Peg’s Release The Wolves go-karting project in South London will have a gran-prix expo on September 1st. It’s gonna be some crazy and fun stuff. And art too, but I think that’s secondary.
  • Shepard Fairey is finally showing those paintings he did for Neil Young’s latest album. The few pieces I’ve seen photos of are impressive. Americana opens at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (which recently moved to LA) on August 25th from 7-10pm.
  • Finally, this last one is a mural festival, and it promises to be a big one… This year’s Urban Forms festival in Lodz, Poland includes Os Gemeos, Aryz, Inti, Otecki, Lump and Shida. Certainly the most-anticipated work of Urban Forms is the promised collaborative mural between Os Gemeos and Aryz. The events run from August 24th through September 30th and will bring the total number of murals organized in Lodz by the Urban Forms Foundation to 22. I can’t wait to see the photos of these pieces.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery

From Tabriz, Iran: Icy and Sot Focus on Human Rights

Based in Tabriz, Iran, Icy and his younger brother, Sot, began crafting stencils in 2006. Since 2008, their stencils have graced not only the walls of their city, but galleries in Iran and abroad. Particularly appealing about their work is their focus on human rights issues, particularly child labor. Here’s a sampling:

Images courtesy Icy and Sot