Vancouver artist Indigo has put together a show, Unintended Calculations, of artists who started in traditional graffiti and have moved towards abstract paintings. The show takes place next month in Vancouver with a gallery show as well as some murals at the Moda Hotel. While the show includes well-known artists Remi/Rough and Kofie, I’m most interested to see what Scott Sueme does. I don’t know much about Sueme, but I’ve heard that he is really pushing things forward in Vancouver with his graffiti, and I liked his recent wall at Primary Flight.
Unintended Calculations opens the first week of March. Check the show’s website for more info.
One of my roommates came by a few minutes ago and asked “So, did shit hit the fan?” He knew I was posting something about Underbelly yesterday, but he’s not really the artsy type so he didn’t know quite what it was.
Well indeed shit has hit the fan, but mostly in a good way so far. The Underbelly Project made it into The New York Times and The Age. Also, Ian Cox and Luna Park have posted their photos on their respective blogs. And their photos are much better than mine, so check them out.
It seems most people are liking the project, even if some have some reservations. As one commenter on my last post pointed out, maybe you had to be there to experience some of the awesomeness, but it’s still pretty cool. I think that’s a fair assessment. Some artists’ work is best viewed in person, and the best artworks in The Underbelly Project tend to fall into that category. Posterchild put up an interactive sculpture, and Dan Witz’ art is definitely more powerful when it comes as a surprise and in person.
But there’s been one criticism that I absolutely don’t buy: That The Underbelly Project was conceived and executed purely for commercial gain. Yeah, later this week I’ll be posting a trailer to a documentary about the project, but the organizers, who I think are two very bright people, would have to be complete idiots to do this project if their only interest was a sick book deal. Yeah, there are street artists and graffiti writers out there who do illegal work to get attention and doing well-promoted street art can sell a painting or two. I’ve called out people on doing things like that before. That said, the scale and risk of The Underbelly Project is greater than what could be often by any likely monetary rewards. It would be much easier and less risky to either fake the entire project in a warehouse somewhere or just do something that relies on one or two big events instead of a year of secrecy and dangerous activities. I highly doubt that The Underbelly Project will be an efficient way to make money for the participants, even with any future books or films or anything like that. When I was first told about The Underbelly Project, it was little more than an idea, and the idea was to create a secret street art and graffiti Mecca, not to make a million bucks.
Here are some more photos from down in the tunnel:
I’ll continue this week to post more photos, but you can check out a more full set of my images on flickr.
This mural by Titifreak, Peeta, Indigo and Faith47 was painted last month in Vancouver. I love how it turned out, especially Titifreak’s bit. The wall was painted for a certain event there, but since I have nothing good to say about the manipulative group that organized the mural, I’m not going to give them publicity by linking them up or naming the event. The art looks good though.