JR and José Parlá collaborated on a mural on the outside of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, where they have a two-man show opening next week. Glad to see Parlá working outdoors, but it always strikes me as a bit odd since he tries to distance his work from graffiti. I guess when there’s a show to promote… Although to be fair, the show is about a series of collaborative murals that JR and Parlá made together in Cuba.
JR’s Inside Out project booth in Times Square is a huge hit. He’s been covering the street with photos of people who stop by his little photobooth, and it looks awesome. The billboards in Times Square were even (briefly) givenover to JR for the project. The whole thing is a fight against outdoor ads and for public spaces for the public, but JR manages to make his point without beating people over the head with politics. Instead, JR just shows people a better world and makes them smile. I’m not a JR fanatic, but I absolutely love this project.
A 26 minute documentary called “The Wrinkles of the City” will be premiering at The Standard Hotel in Miami this Basel Week. The film follows JR and JoséParlá‘s experience last year during the Havana Biennial. During which, the two collaborated on portraits of 25 elderly Havanan citizens. The elders were selected, interviewed and photographed, and put up with JR’s signature wheatpaste portraiture interlaced with Parlá’s calligraphic detailing. Along with the film, there will be a book release which features some essays and some behind the scenes shots. The results were breathtaking.
Carmichael Gallery‘s next show is Playing Field, a group show of secondary market works. It opens this Saturday, June 18th and runs through August 9th. The line up hits most of the big names you’d expect to see as well as a few surprises: Banksy, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Sixeart, Os Gêmeos, Mark Jenkins, JR, KAWS, Barry McGee, José Parlá, Judith Supine, Swoon, Titi Freak, Dan Witz.
These sort of shows tend to be either really good or really bad. I’m liking the above piece by Barry McGee, so I’m thinking this should fall on the really good side of things. But LA residents can see for themselves starting on Saturday. The opening is from 6-9pm.
This might have been one of the least productive weeks of my life. Just one of those weeks. Here’s some of the stuff I didn’t post about while procrastinating 30 minutes of homework for 3 hours on Thursday:
You may be familiar with José Parlá‘s recent artwork, like the above canvas. And you may also know that Parlá used to write graffiti under the name Ease, primarily in Miami. But you probably haven’t seen much of that graffiti. Until this week, I’d only seen maybe one or two Ease pieces. Just a few days ago though, Depoe sent me a great link: It turns out that the website Miami Graffiti has dozens of photos of Ease graffiti by Parlá. So maybe I’m on the only one out there for whom this is new informatoin, after all this website isn’t a secret, but I hadn’t seen this work before and really enjoyed checking it out.
Thanks again to Depoe for the tip (and check out his recent series of etchings. I’ve got a few of his etchings and they are the first thing I see on my wall when I get up in the morning. Great stuff.)
Getting back in the swing of things at school this week. Fair warning, today is the first meeting of a class I’m taking about conceptual art. I’m excited and the professor seems awesome, but just fair warning: That class could bleed over into the rest of my life and lead to an increase in bullshitting from me here on Vandalog. Unfortunately, I haven’t sorted out a proper internet connection yet since getting back to school, so I’ve been a bit lax this week. Here’s what’s been going on:
This isn’t street art or urban art or low brow or anything really related to Vandalog, but one of my favorite artists, Hiroyuki Doi, has a show on in New York right now. Definitely check it out.
This “news” article reads like a press release for Bonhams, but there is one surprising bit of information in there: Apparently the Shepard Fairey Peace Goddess, which sold earlier this month at Bonhams for £27,600, is the highest price ever paid for a Shepard Fairey work at auction. I would have thought he’d reached a higher number by now, but I guess most of the work that goes to auction tends to be prints and HPMs, not the large collages or retired stencils that might have otherwise already reached that number. UPDATE: Of course, the article is wrong. That isn’t the highest price paid for a Shepard Fairey work at auction. Not sure if this price is the highest, but it’s much higher than the Bonhams result. So I guess that article is just a giant press release. Sorry.
Well I’ve been back in London for about a week now, and I am beginning to understand why people think it’s so grey. When you live here, you get used to it, but wow I’ve only been away for a few months and already I think the constant greyness is annoying. Still, it’s good to be home. Here’s what the world has been up to while I’ve been watching it rain.
A group of artists protested the removal of Blu’s mural outside of MOCA this week by projecting images onto the buffed wall. Here’s a news story and a video.
Kyle Chayka went on a bit of a rant about Banksy’s possible Oscar nomination, but he makes some good points.
Also on the topic of Exit Through The Gift Shop, the NYTimes is reporting that a man who has come forward as an original editor of Mr. Brainwash’s film Life Remote Control wants some credit for making the film that eventually sort of morphed into Exit.
Carolina A. Miranda wrote the latest cover article for the magazine ARTnews about the future of street art and it moving away from figurative work. You can read the entire article online. On the one hand, a move away from pop-art and figurative art seems to be counter-productive to the “art for the people” ethos at the core of so much street art, but it’s also certainly easier to turn a pop-art image into a marketing campaign while an abstract painting may do a better job of brightening up a grey wall without the artist and the viewer immediately thinking of dollar signs. I think street artists will just have to be careful to not become so conceptual that the possibility for people to understand or appreciate the art on some level without an artist’s statement is lost.
A mural by Shepard Fairey was partially painted over in LA by some other artists/writers. No big deal right? Happens all the time, right? Wrong, apparently. The mural was painted over by another artist showing at a gallery nearby. According to JetSetGraffiti, the artist has since apologized and will be paying for Shepard to repair the wall with a new mural. Okay, so should that mural still be there untouched? Maybe. Sounds like the local neighborhood liked it. Can it suck when things get dissed or buffed or written over accidentally or whatever else? Yeah. Should the artist have to pay for damages? Hell no! That’s the sort of thing that happens when you get arrested by the police for graffiti or street art, not something that art lovers should impose upon each other. The mural didn’t last forever. That’s the nature of street art. It sucks sometimes and there are ways to deal with it, but don’t make the vandal pay for damages!
After procrastinating and procrastinating about writing this post, I missed Hanukkah and Eid, so I guess this is a gift guide for Christmas. Sorry for the delay.
Here are a few street art related products that have come out in the last year or so that I think are pretty cool. If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the street art obsessive in your life, hopefully this will help…
DB Burkeman’s book Stickers: Stuck Up Piece of Crap is one of the best art books I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you have even a passing interest in stickers. If you buy one thing off this list, it should probably be this book. The photo at the top of this post is for the deluxe edition which comes with signed stickers, but that version doesn’t come cheap.
Now, the flip side of that anti-fashion comment, I want to remind everyone that Vandalog still has shirts available from Gaia, Troy Lovegates and Faro. These very limited edition shirts are $30 each and you can buy them online.
Martha Cooper’s latest book is Name Tagging, a book about the Hello My Name Is stickers and graffiti. Personally, I prefer Going Postal, her book about postal stickers, but Name Tagging is a good quick read too. It has brief interviews with Twist, Sure, Cost and others plus plenty of photos.
If you want a unique iPhone case, either Incase or Uncommon seem like good options. Incase has that Jose Parla iPhone case and Uncommon let’s you customize your own case with designs from a number of artists including David Ellis, Dennis McNett and MQ.
I’ve only just started to read Trespass, but I’ve heard from others that it is a great book.
Or, if you’re a street artist, you could go out on Christmas, brave the cold, and do some art. Give a gift to the rest of us. Not enough street art happens in the winter months.
With so much of the art world migrating to Miami this week in a frenzy, there seem to be too many events and parties (and I promise not to blog about the parties in detail. This isn’t a gossip site) and exhibits and festivals and everything else to keep track of. Here’s a roundup of some of the things that I’m most interested in seeing (or not seeing).
Things that have already been mentioned on Vandalog:
Last year, OHWOW Gallery’s It Ain’t Fair show was one of the most interesting shows in Miami. Once again, they have a killer line up for the show including José Parlá, Rey Parlá (José’s brother who is, I believe, a filmmaker), KAWS, Phil Frost, Barry McGee and Neckface.
Carmichael Gallery, Joshua Liner Gallery and others will have booths at SCOPE, and I think Maya Hayuk is painting a mural there, which should be awesome if I’m remembering that correctly.
And of course there’s all the fairs I haven’t mentioned, because there are just so many. So many. Too many. It’s gonna be art overload. But if I’ve missed anything that you think is particularly special, please leave a comment.