If you’ll notice that there were a good number of posts on Vandalog this week, you’ll notice the opposite thing next week. With family in town visiting and moving in with some friends and starting the couch-hopping segment of my summer in just a few days, things are rather busy. And so is the art world. Here’s what I have been reading this week:
Everyone’s talking about this Shepard Fairey thing, but frankly I don’t really care. Dude was being hassled and got a bit irritated and snapped. We all do it. Oh and didn’t everyone know that he has assistants to put up his street work?
Were you at the launch of Very Nearly Almost on Thursday? Well we probably didn’t see each other, since I was out of there by 8pm! Damn jet lag. Dunno how it lasted so long. Anyway, I’m in London for the summer now. I missed a link-o-rama post last week, so here’s some stuff you should check out but haven’t seen on Vandalog over the last few weeks.
I plan to pick up this book on San Fransisco graffiti in the 80’s and 90’s.
Faile have brought their random cube paintings to a new interactive level with their Puzzle Box pieces. There are original “puzzle boxes” for sale where you can rearrange the cubes any way you would like, or you can try the puzzles out online or through an iPod/iPad app. Check it all out here.
This piece by Cyrcle and Chad Muska is either one of the most annoying pieces of so-called street art I’ve seen all year, or a very clever conceptual piece that still fails. Either, it’s an ad for some Chad Muska shoes trying to be street art, or it’s a commentary on the apparent double-standard that many street art fans (myself included) have when it comes to encouraging individuals to place art on the street but discouraging advertises from using the streets in a similar way to sell products. Problem is, if this is some conceptual joke (which I highly doubt), it fails like a lot of attempts at conceptual street art because it requires an artists’ statement or so much prior knowledge that it is extremely likely to be effectively be an advertisement for the vast majority of viewers, negating any conceptual/humorous basis for the piece. Or I suppose it’s both an ad for his shoes and a commentary on that double-standard, but since I don’t like wheatpasted ads, particularly those that try to pass themselves off as street art, well then I’m just upset about that. Stick to skateboarding Chad.
As I mentioned yesterday, the LAPD and LA residents are getting their feathers all ruffled because street artists and graffiti writers have been getting up in LA a lot over the last week or so, particularly in the Little Tokyo neighborhood where MOCA’s Art in the Streets show is located. When asked about this activity, museum director Jeffrey Deitch told Culture Monster that it could be attributed to, “some of the young taggers who are anarchic…. It’s a language of youth culture, and we can’t stop it. It goes with the territory.” Well, as I also pointed out yesterday, those young taggers include some of the most established artists in Art in the Streets (including Barry McGee and Shepard Fairey). Well now it looks like two artists (most likely Invader and an assistant) have been arrested(correction: detained but not arrested) for putting up some work in Little Tokyo. The two suspected vandals have French passports, and they “were each carrying plastic buckets and inside there was glue or grout, plastering equipment and tiles.” That sounds like Invader to me, whose art is part of Art in the Streets (see photo above), but nobody has confirmed that it was Invader so this is just speculation on my part. If Invader and a friend do get arrested, I wonder if MOCA will bail them out…
Sure, Deitch is trying to be diplomatic by calling street artists anarchic taggers, but I find it a bit insulting. Yes, a museum exhibit of street art and graffiti is going to lead to an increase in street art and graffiti near the museum, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I just wish Deitch could try to put a positive spin on the new street art in Little Tokyo. As it is, he sounds a bit absurd celebrating street artist who have moved their art indoors and dissing street art when it appears outdoors, its rightful location.
Anyway, good luck to Invader, or whichever Frenchmen were arrested(correction: detained) for suspected vandalism.
Sometimes street art end up in odd places. The cover of Diplomat, a magazine targeting the community of diplomats in London, probably qualifies as one of those most unlikely places. And yet, their creative director Jeannine Saba has been working to bring street artists to the diplomatic community. In October 2009, before hardly anyone knew about him, Roa was the first street artist to make a cover for Diplomat. And this October, Invader was on the cover.
I asked Jeannine about Roa’s cover and she said that Roa was asked “to depict the pharmaceutical industry in the East and the West.” Here’s what he came up with:
I don’t quite see it, but I’ll trust Roa on this one. I just love the idea of having that magazine sitting on some MP’s desk.
Diplomat has more street art and graffiti planned for covers in 2011 too, including possibly Isaac Cordal, which would be awesome.
I know I mentioned this show in the Invasion of San Diego post, but I figured I would go into a little more depth with it, since it is opening July 18th to the public.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will be hosting one of the first street art museum exhibits in the middle of July. Citing the cultural influence of art in cities, “Viva La Revolucion” brings together some of the most high profile street artists today that have made an impact on city spaces with their socio-political works. Not only will the exhibit be one of the broadest street art museum displays ever curated, but the city of San Diego will also pay host to several public works created in currently unknown locations by some of the featured artists. Invader’s pieces are just one of the public works, with more pieces surly to follow by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos, and Blu and David Ellis, and possibly Banksy. I cannot wait to see what comes of this.
Here is a complete list of the artists participating:
These past few weeks Invader has been quite busy plastering San Diego with his signature tile creatures. Preparing for the “Viva La Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The show, while taking place inside and on the streets of San Diego, is set to open July 17th and is sure to be one of the most talked about street art shows this summer. As one of the featured artists, Invader will not only have pieces within the museum walls and all around San Diego, but created an interactive movie map of his Invasion of San Diego. Here is the trailer for the film thus far:
After the two previous highly successful shows featuring David Choe and Eurotrash (Conor Harrington, JR, Antony Micalleff, and VHILS), Lazarides LA announced that the third featured exhibit at their U.S. gallery will be collage artist, Jonathan Yeo. Known for his pornographic collage celebrity icons, Yeo reflects the out-of-the-box creative approach by the Lazarides team. The show begins July 9th, but for those deemed worthy enough to be invited before the public, the private viewing is July 8th.
I do find this choice, however, to be a surprising one. Yeo has rather large shoes to fill following the likes of Choe, Harrington, and JR who displayed some of their best work to date at these shows and in the greater Los Angeles area. Yeo’s work is not as well known as the others (most likely because of his lack of street presence) and is not priced nearly as high. I think this third show should have been a representative culmination of the Lazarides team, such as the internationally recognized Paul Insect. A dream show would have been Invader in LA. Invader has not shown since the early Fall, so I think it is about time to get the ball rolling, especially in the States. Imagine the coveted street art that the U.S. would get to see. That would definitely get us bloggers talking/searching/discussing/etc.
Oh well, now I get to see some boobs and vaginas cut and pasted from a financially failing Playboy magazine arranged to look like golfer/manwhore Tiger Woods. Yeo should have used pictures from the 157 cocktail waitresses/escorts/reality TV stars Woods’ slept with instead. Now, that would be impressive.
What celebrity or famous work do you think Yeo should attempt for this show?