My Turn: Group Show at the Carmichael Gallery

Bumblebee, Sleeping Child Stencil

As Lois mentioned, “My Turn” (curated by L.A.-based Bumblebee) opened at the Carmichael Gallery recently, showcasing global artists deserving of wider audiences. Although the show’s title and theme failed to carry through to the works on display, it’s worth noting that Bumblebee showed admirable range in selecting fellow artists from the UK, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, and the Ukraine.

Interesni Kazki stood out as capably transitioning indoors without losing the magic that makes their large-scale work so spectacular. Building on their solo opening at Mid-City last year, the duo contributed separate pieces this time (each attributed to either WAONE or AEC), employing acrylics, rather than aerosol, in all but one piece.

Moneyless also showed strongly, with geographical works that utilized similar techniques to his yarn sculptures. (In fact, I’d be very interested to see what Moneyless could do if given free range in an entire gallery.) Though I love the idea behind Jaz’s animal transformations, they weren’t nearly as impressive on a smaller scale. However, what was impressive about the show was the diversity of work on offer–from Hyuro’s detailed pen work to Klone’s watercolors–bringing a solid perspective on where street art is going, and how it might continue to transition into gallery spaces.

“Play Me” runs through April 7 at the Carmichael Gallery, 5795 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232.

Bumblebee, "Black"
Interesni Kazki's AEC, "Star"
Interesni Kazki's WAONE, "Portal"
Moneyless, "Untitled"
Jaz, "Lions"
Klone, "Sabbath Bride"

Photos by Ryan Gattis. More photos available here

Open Walls Baltimore Kicks Off

Open Walls Baltimore is a project that I have been personally coordinating with the not for profit Station North and is supported by the PNC foundation and a generous Our Town grant from the NEA. The intention is of course to produce great art on the streets and put on for my city that I love so much. Yet, of course, as every public art project must be, the OWB initiative will hopefully produce more than just spectacular murals. This is about an investment in a neighborhood that is burdened by 150 vacant homes and bridging the gaps between the artist community that calls Station North home and the residents of Greenmount West. Inspired by my experience with both Wynwood Walls in Miami and Living Walls in Atlanta, this initial and very exciting start will hopefully result in a continued support for public art and experimental intervention that can become more holistic as time moves forward. The current line up is as follows: Interesni Kazki, Maya Hayuk, Swoon, Specter, Doodles, Jaz, Ever, Freddy Sam, Mata Ruda, Nanook, MOMO, Vhils, Sten and Lex, Chris Stain, Jetsonorama, Overunder, and others. The website is now live. More to come!!!

Photos by Martha Cooper

El Mac, Pablo Delgado, Interesni Kazki and more in VNA 17

I was finally been able to set aside some time this past weekend to ready Very Nearly Almost‘s issue #17. As usual, VNA have confirmed why they are my favorite magazine covering street art. For their latest issue, which is admittedly not that new so sorry for the delay, VNA interview some of the most interesting figures in street art, including El Mac and Interesni Kazki. Juxtapoz also recently had an interview with IK, but I get bored with Juxtapoz’s interview and found VNA’s interview interesting, so that’s saying something. As long as you ignore the interview with Goldie, VNA has once again shown their commitment to producing a magazine which is equally timely and timeless. They speak with some of the best-known names in street art today, but the magazine will be almost just as readable in a year or more.

The interviews with El Mac and Pablo Delgado were particular highlights for me. El Mac is well-spoken and just seems like a smart guy, which is always nice to learn. And Delgado is a figure who seemed to pop up out of nowhere in London and get bloggers and photographers all wondering “Who the hell is this guy putting up awesome tiny pieces all over Shoreditch?” practically overnight.

There’s also an interview with Malarky which should act as good documentation of his work on Brick Lane given that a lot of it won’t be around for much longer.

For the most part, I read other art magazines because I have to if I want Vandalog to be any good, but I read Very Nearly Almost because I enjoy it.

You can pick up a copy of VNA #17 online.

Photos courtesy of Very Nearly Almost

Something special from Interesni Kazki

Interesni Kazki, aka the Ukrainian duo of Waone and Aec, opened their first solo show in the US last week at Mid-City Arts in LA. The show, titled Nothing Special, consists of canvases that each artist painted separately. Here’s a portion of the show, and you can see the rest on Interesni Kazki’s blog:

"Pink Dream" by Waone
"Green Card" by Waone
Part of "Luxury,Crusade,Riot" triptych by Aec
Part of "Luxury,Crusade,Riot" triptych by Aec

Photos courtesy of Interesni Kazki

Weekend link-o-rama


This week the Occupy Wall Street live streams have been very effective at distracting me from Vandalog, which I’m not too upset about. The violent and suppressive eviction of Occupy Wall Street is certainly more important that the latest swindle that some art gallery is trying to pull. Nonetheless, I have been paying attention even if I haven’t been writing, so here’s what’s been going on in the street art world this week:

Photo by Damonabnormal

Interesni Kazki: Objects of the Universe

Ukranian duo Interesni Kazki (AEC and WAONE) are having a solo exhibition opening September 29th at the Avantgarden Gallery, in Milan. ‘Interesni Kazki’ loosely translates into “Interesting Stories” or “Interesting Colors”. The show’s name, Objects of the Universe, was inspired by the two’s cosmological/mind-trip subject matter: “As in a kaleidoscope, the shapes follow one another and float inside a suspended time, losing their original signification and adopting new meanings.”

Heavily symbolic stuff, some of it can reveal hidden images when flipped upside down, or viewed from a different perspective. Interestingly, every single piece contains a secret to decipher. All the fun of Highlights Magazines in a socially appropriate setting!

Photos courtesy of AvantGarden Gallery

Interesni Kazki exhibition in Paris

Interesni Kazki are pretty much what people think of when they think of street art in Ukraine, so I’m excited to see that they are bringing some of their work to Gallery All Over in Lyon, France. The duo’s imagery is somewhere between Date Farmers and Os Gêmeos, but still all their own.

For the first time in France, Ukrainian artists AEC and Waone from Interesni Kazki will exhi- bit their last work in the gallery All Over, in Lyon, for a show called “Paranoya & Shtrihi”. Their enchanting world of animated objects, symbols and characters will be displayed with work on canvas, papers, and murals. Opening will be on thursday the 4th of february and the show will runs until the 4th of march 2010.

AEC (Aleksei Bordusov) and Waone (Wladimir Manzhos) are two precursors of graffiti in Eastern Europe. Both grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, where they developped their art among the collective IK they created in 1999. At first, these initials corresponded to Ingenuous Kids, a crew of 11 friends who practiced graffiti. As their art evolved over the years, in 2005 the two friends continued their passion under the name of Interesni Kazki (that we can trans- late as “interesting tale”) in order to slowly break with traditional graffiti codes. They stood out for example, by excluding lettering from their paintings in order to represent fantastic and surrealistic characters. This new art bears a certain relationship to the South American Muralism movement, whose practice consists of painting murals with political content over the walls of cities, especially on public buildings.

They usually work together, which allows them to be better organized, and therefore even more efficient. They also use very large areas such as entire building facades, a dozen of which have already been completed in Kiev, as well as more than 50 other paintings all over Ukraine.

All these paintings share the fantastic sphere proper to Interesni Kazki representing the imagery of fairy tales, magic, space, mysticism, science and religion. This world of living objects, symbols, and magical beings is “an all-embracing image of the universe” which denies the ordinary and senselessness. Through this paradoxical universe the two artists wish to represent reality the way they perceive it and in turn allow the spectator to discover his or her own respective reality.

Here’s some of their artwork: