Weekend link-o-rama

February 23rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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As I tweeted the other day, my mind is kinda stuck on how much I wish the Parra show at Jonathan Levine Gallery opened today and not on Saturday so that I could go see it. So while I’ve been distracted by that point, here’s some of what I almost missed this week:

  • KATSU’s April Fools prank is a bit early, but still pretty funny.
  • The Outsiders / Lazarides has some really nice prints by Ron English. They are variations on his Figment image, aka Andy Warhol wig and a skull.
  • Barry McGee, Chris Johanson and Laurie Reid are showing together at City College and SF starting today.
  • Here’s a new piece from the always-interesting 0331c, but if you don’t know 0331c’s work, here’s an introduction.
  • Nice video of Eine updating one of his walls in London from saying PRO PRO PRO to PROTAGONIST. Interesting comment about street art being a thing that “looked like it would offer what graffiti promised but didn’t deliver.”
  • Nychos x Jeff Soto = Yes!
  • New work from Isaac Cordal.
  • Woah. Nice work from How and Nosm in San Fransisco.
  • Jonathan Jones is up to his old tricks of dissing Banksy to get more hits for his column, and I’m biting. He writes, “Banksy, as an artist, stops existing when there is no news about him.” Even if that is the case, is that the end of the world? Does that relegate Banksy to “art-lite”? No. Banksy is one of the most talked-about artists in the world. I would bet that the same criticism was leveled against Warhol, who I believe Jones likes. Banksy’s manipulation of the media, playing it like a damn violin sometimes, is some of his greatest artwork of all. He manipulates the media to spread a message. The best example of this was probably him going to Bethlehem to paint on the separation wall because he knew that the media would cover it. He was able to play the media to draw attention to an issue that he felt strongly about. Banksy’s paintings are sometimes great and sometimes not. But his ability to make people fascinated with him and his paintings is just as much of an art, and that shouldn’t discredit him.

Photo by Luna Park


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Finals are approaching link-o-rama

December 16th, 2012 | By | No Comments »
OX in Paris

OX in Paris

This weekend I’ve been without solid internet access, and Caroline and I have both been knee-deep in exams and final essays for the last week, so here’s a belated link-o-rama…

Photo by OX

 


Category: Art Fairs, Art News, Festivals, Photos, Print Release, Products, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Interview: Jeff Soto

August 30th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »


Jeff Soto will be opening his fourth solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery on September 8th, alongside the simultaneous solo shows of Audrey Kawasaki and Judith Supine. The show, entitled Decay and Overgrowth, explores life, death and the passage of time. In this interview, Soto tells Vandalog about the emotional journey this past year has taken him on, including the death of two of his grandparents, and how these events provoked his consideration of mortality; which would become a central theme of this show. 

V: In your own words, can you tell us about the underlying themes of Decay and Overgrowth?
JS: I started researching my ancestry about seven years ago, well, even before that really. As a kid I knew my grandparents fought in WWII and my grandma would list off all the things we had in us- Irish, Italian, Sioux, Dutch, etc.. These stories were interesting to me. So from an early age I was aware that there is some history there, and at some point a teacher I had showed us family trees. When I was a teenager I saw Norman Rockwell’s family tree painting where the kid’s ancestors were pirates and Native Americans and cowboys. It got me interested in who my ancestors were, and how all my living relatives were related.
The last few years I have researched and got deeper into who these people were. Decay and Overgrowth comes out of this research. Finding all these relatives really drove home the point that we are born, we have kids, get married, live our life and die. And then the kids repeat the same pattern. Our offspring who come into the world like new flowers, growing and flourishing, eventually meet the same fate as any other living thing. We start aging, and at some point we all will die. We turn to dust, go back into the Earth to nourish it, and then the cycle repeats. I don’t see it as morbid at all, and I hope the paintings don’t seem too death obsessed! Even though I’ve unofficially titled my show “The Skull Show”.

V: This is a solo show, but you’re showing at the same time as Audrey Kawasaki’s and Judith Supine’s solo shows. How do you feel like this combination of works either compliment or juxtapose one another?
JS: I respect both of them. I know Audrey a bit but have never met Judith. I think as a whole our work is very different but individually we’re each very strong in what we do. Should be a fun show with something for everyone. I am predicting a large turnout.

V: Was this exploration of mortality more of a catharsis for you or a way of explaining death to your children?
JS: It’s more for me I guess. They’re too young to fully understand death. We do not hide it from them at all, you know, like if one of our fish dies or we find a dead rabbit on a walk, we talk about it. Two of my grandparents passed away in the last year, and they went to the funerals even though they’re young. I never really thought about death because it was not around me. Or maybe it’s an age thing- now that I’m in my mid/late 30’s and I have two kids that depend on me, it’s on my mind. Seeing my little brothers grow up and my parents age has been a trip.

V: What do you think your generation adds to the collective human experience?
JS: I think it’s too early to say. There’s good and bad things we’re going to add. I know that my generation seems more open to cultural differences among people. In the United States, overall we’re less racist than 40 years ago, and I think the next generation will be better than us. There’s still a long way to go but the situation is improving from the Baby Boomers and previous generations.
And of course the internet has made huge changes. For the first time in human history information is easily accessible to most people. It is empowering. Maybe it’s homogenizing us as well. It’s that whole globalization thing, we all buy the same products, listen to the same music and watch the same movies- are cultural differences starting to die out? Technology is good and bad I think. I’m 37, so I grew up with Atari which was fun, but only for about 30 minutes then we’d go outside and build a fort, climb a tree, make up a game… we used our imagination! I think that’s lacking in many kids and I wonder how it will change things. Maybe it already has. I graduated high school right as the internet was going mainstream- 1993. Our school had one computer that was online and the only thing we could access was college libraries in town. We had to search and hunt for our info, we had to go downtown and pour through a ton of books and along the way we would find other interesting books and much more thoroughly researched information. Now all the info is easily and quickly accessed in a nice little five paragraph web page. I do love Wikipedia, but 20 years ago you’d read a 300 page book on say, Cortés, now a kid in high school will read a concise web page on the iPad.  Maybe that’s not so bad, I guess the Wiki entry would have much more up to date info… see, technology that this generation is bringing is both good and bad.

Read the rest of this article »


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Event-o-rama

August 22nd, 2012 | By | No Comments »

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


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Arrested Motion curates: City of Fire

May 17th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

The team at Arrested Motion have curated their second show, and it is set to open in LA next month. City of Fire opens June 5th at Stephen Webster. The show includes work by Ron English, Kid Zoom, Pedro Matos, Nick Walker, Rostarr, Jeff Soto, Judith Supine, TrustoCorp and others. For more info about the show, email exhibitions [at] arrestedmotion (dot) com.

Photo courtesy of Arrested Motion


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Jeff Soto for Chevy

April 23rd, 2012 | By | 7 Comments »

Jeff Soto recently worked with Chevy on an ad for the Chevy Sonic. I’ve got some problems with advertising, advertisers working with artists and advertising that co-opts street art and graffiti to sell dumb crap. But I’m pleasantly surprised that this advertisement actually kind of works. At the end of the day, the world is left with a new mural by Jeff Soto, and that mural doesn’t have a massive Chevy logo on it, just an engine block. Is the concept a bit cheesy? Perhaps. Is calling the piece “street art” irritating? Sure, but expected. Even I oversimplify at times by calling murals (or in this case, pseudo-murals) street art. And the ad still way better than 90% of the street-art-related advertisements out there. So, an awkward kudos to Chevy for not screwing this up, I guess…

Also, Eine later modified the mural.

Via Arrested Motion


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New in The Vandalog Shop – Special edition Underbelly Project book

March 21st, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Rizzoli recently published the official book documenting The Underbelly Project, We Own the Night: The Art of The Underbelly Project. If you haven’t heard of The Underbelly Project, check out my firsthand account. Basically, over 100 artists were taken down to an abandoned subway station beneath New York City to put up artwork and explore hidden depths of the city. Artists involved in the project include Revok, Roa, Anthony Lister, Faile, Ron English, Dan Witz, Gaia, Know Hope, Haze and many others.

In December, a collector’s edition of the book was sold at The Underbelly Project’s show in Miami. Until now, that show was the only place to pick up a copy of this special edition of We Own the Night. The collector’s edition version includes a hardcover copy of the book, nine photographic prints from the project, and comes in a handcrafted and laser-engraved oak box. This package is an edition of 100, plus 10 APs, and a handful were held back in Miami to be sold later. Now, the remaining collector’s editions are available online for the first time exclusively at The Vandalog Shop.

The Underbelly Project is one of the most fascinating projects to ever happen in the street art or graffiti worlds. While there are photos all over the web showing what the project looked liked, reading We Own the Night is just about the only way to get a sense of what it was actually like to participate in The Underbelly Project. I saw The Underbelly Project in the flesh, but hearing other people’s stories shed new light on it even for me. I’m extremely pleased that The Vandalog Shop will be selling the collector’s edition of We Own the Night, giving people who couldn’t make it to Basel Miami a chance to pick up a copy. My copy of We Own the Night was the best thing I’ve received under a Christmas tree in years, and I hope other people will enjoy the book and the photographs as much as I do.

Here are a just a couple of the photographs included in the set:

Photo by Emile Souris

Kid Zoom. Photo by Ian Cox

Other images include work by Roa, Anthony Lister, Skullphone, Kid Zoom, Revok, Ceaze and Jeff Soto.

Only a few of these collector’s editions are remain, and The Vandalog Shop is the only place you’ll find them online. They are available for $250.

We Own the Night is also available in a regular paperback edition.

Photos by Ian Cox, Emile Souris and The Underbelly Project


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So many shows about to open

February 9th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Bom.k and Sowat of Da Mental Vaporz

There are so many interesting shows opening in the next week or two that I thought I’d just throw them all together into one post. Here’s what I think looks worth checking out:

  • Yesterday, the Museum of Sex in New York opened a show that sounds absolutely awesome called F*ck Art. It’s on through June 10th and features artwork by Aiko, El Celso, Lush, Mode2, Cassius Fouler, Miss Van and many more.
  • Love & Hate is a group show opening at StolenSpace this week and runs through March 4th. D*face, Dan Witz, Ronzo, Word to Mother, Jeff Soto, Eine, Charles Krafft and others are included.
  • Chris Stain, Veng and Taka Sudo will be showing together at C.A.V.E. Gallery, beginning February 11th. Brooklyn Street Art has a preview of Chris’ work.
  • Zes and Retna are together at Known Gallery in LA. LA TACO has the info.
  • Nick Mann aka Doodles, Brett Flanigan, Craig Rodgers and Dan Bortz are collaborating with one another in Oakland, CA.
  • Another collaborative group show will be in Da Mental Vaporz‘ (Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Dran, Gris1, ISO, Jaw, Kan, and Sowat) show at Melbourne. That show, Le Venin, will be at RTIST Gallery from February 16th through March 4th.
  • All Talk at Pandemic Gallery will include Aakash Nihalani, Cassius Fouler, Gabriel Specter, Jesus Saves, NohJColey and others and runs from February 17th through March 11th.

Photo courtesy of Da Mental Vaporz


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Jeff Soto underneath Paris

January 9th, 2012 | By | 1 Comment »

Jeff Soto just sent over these photos over from an excursion he went on in Paris. Be sure to click on the images to see a larger version of each one. Here’s what Soto says about the work:

Basically I have a friend who lives in Paris who is an urban explorer and documenter of graffiti. He knew I wanted to paint something illegal and underground and he had this spot in mind. It is an exhaust vent above the Metro line. I was originally going to paint in here, but decided against it when I saw the walls. It was perfect for chalk (which I don’t get to play with much but I love). In the brief hour or two of sleep I got before our mission, I had dreams about eyes, many eyes, so I decided I had to draw eyes all over the room!

Photos by Jeff Soto


Category: Featured Posts, Photos | Tags:

Underbelly resurfaces: The Underbelly Show

November 8th, 2011 | By | 4 Comments »

Surge, Gaia, Stormie, Remi/Rough and in The Underbelly Project

UPDATE – LOCATION CHANGE: The Underbelly Show has moved to 78 NW 25th Street in Wynwood, Miami to accommodate the large scale of the artwork in this show.

The Underbelly Project is back. Last year, I posted a lot about the project where 103 artists from around the world secretly painted an abandoned/half-completed New York City subway station. After that initial burst of press here and around the web, The Underbelly Project organizers stayed silent. With only occasional vague tweets from a mysterious twitter account and the appearance on Amazon of an upcoming book about the project. Yesterday though, The Underbelly Project announced that they will be participating in this year’s Basel Miami Week madness with a pop-up gallery in South Beach Wynwood.

The organizers of The Underbelly Project and The Underbelly Show, Workhorse and PAC, have this to say about the show:

Workhorse: The New York Underbelly was an important chapter for us, but the story hadn’t been comprehensively told. The Underbelly Miami show gives us a chance to present the broad scope of documentation – Videos, photos, time-lapses and first hand accounts. The project is about more than just artwork. This show gives us a chance to show the people and the environment behind the artwork.

PAC: While the experience each artist had in their expedition underground can never be captured, it is my hope that this show will highlight some of the trials and tribulations associated with urban art taking place in the remote corners of our cities. Too often the practice of making art in unconventional venues remains shrouded in mystery and I hope this exhibition will shine a faint light on those artists who risk their safety to find alternative ways to create and be a part of the cities they live in.

35 of the 103 artists from The Underbelly Project will be exhibiting art in The Underbelly Show, plus video and still footage of the artists at work in the tunnel. Here’s the full line-up: Faile, Dabs & Myla, TrustoCorp, Aiko, Rone, Revok, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Mark Jenkins, Anthony Lister, Logan Hicks, Lucy McLauchlan, M-City, Kid Zoom, Haze, Saber, Meggs, Jim & Tina Darling, The London Police, Sheone, Skewville, Jeff Stark, Jordan Seiler, Jason Eppink and I AM, Dan Witz, Specter, Ripo, MoMo, Remi/Rough, Stormie Mills, Swoon, Know Hope, Skullphone, L’Atlas, Roa, Surge, Gaia, Michael De Feo, Joe Iurato, Love Me, Adam 5100, and Chris Stain.

For this show, the space will be transformed into an environment imitating the tunnel where The Underbelly Project took place, right down to playing sounds recorded in the station while The Underbelly Project was happening.

If you absolutely cannot wait until February to get We Own The Night, the book documenting The Underbelly Project, a limited number will be available at The Underbelly Show in a box set with 9 photographic prints and the book all contained in a handcrafted oak box. Additionally, you will be able to your book signed by the artists participating in The Underbelly Show.

The Underbelly Show will take place at 2200 Collins Avenue, South Beach, Miami 78 NW 25th Street, Wynwood, Miami. There will be a private opening on November 30th, and the space will be open to the general public December 2nd-5th, with a general opening on the 2nd from 8-10pm.

Photo by RJ Rushmore


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