JR is continuing his work LA, as part of a push before both MOCA’s Art In The Streets show and the announcement of how JR plans to use his TED Prize. While the LA Weekly has been documenting JR’s murals, official images from JR are now showing up on his website.
I came across Street Art View only the other day, which is pretty pathetic considering the number of Facebook and Twitter posts on it. Right now I am teetering on how I feel about it. Powered by Red Bull (who seem to have their hands in street art related activities a lot recently) and Google Maps, the site allows people to virtually “tag” graff and street art as depicted on the Street View. Thing is though, isn’t most of the work already covered/altered/buffed/etc.? Just an initial look, there is work from JR and Banksy that are no longer on the streets. For historical purposes, I guess this is a good idea because you can find exact locations or learn where they used to be. But in the present, works change so much, that tagging something on the map misleads people looking to see works. Also, since the Street View is already created, won’t new works not be able to be seen at all? This is like a “Where is Waldo” of street art from a certain time period. I personally enjoyed finding the wizard more enjoyable.
This map is a lot like Marxism to me- sounds good in theory, but shit in practice.
I also hear there is an Iphone app in the making (already created?) that you can take a photo of a piece and it recognizes the artist when people upload the same work and tag it as an artist? I read this somewhere a few weeks ago, but don’t remember where. I bet the cops will have a field day with that application.
JR seems to be going non-stop with putting put murals in LA right now. The LA Weekly are covering that pretty well, but the above wall deserves a special mention. It’s part of the Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA, the same building where Blu‘s mural wasbuffedlastyear. This isn’t the same wall, but it’s the same building and JR did this mural for the same even, MOCA’s upcoming street art show. This is interesting because of the outcry over the buffing of Blu’s mural. There was definitely speculation that artists would pull out of the show over issues of censorship and to stand in solidarity with Blu. JR is the first artist since Blu to put up a wall as part of the MOCA show, which opens in April. Not to gloss over the events with Blu, hopefully this is a sign that the show will continue on without any more glitches and be a success. I suppose the other side of this is that someone could say that JR is turning his back on his principles or something, but I think that the TED folk generally are pretty smart about who they give large grants to.
It was sunny and 65 today in Philly. It’s going to be back to snow by next week, but in the mean time, it looks like those of us on the East coast are having a great end to our week are hopefully spending some time outdoors. If you do happen to be inside this weekend though, here are some things worth checking out:
Happy new year! Between snow in NYC and the general slowness around this time of year, not much going on this week. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been enjoying though:
Over on Hyperallergic, Hrag has an interesting review of Faile’s Perry Rubenstein show (now closed). He argues that they are great sculpture and so-so painters. If you agree with Hrag, it adds to the argument that Faile are essentially good designers/businessmen since they still make paintings which probably sell better than sculptures. I never had a chance to see the show in person, but I liked the photos I saw of the paintings. Of course, Faile’s best artwork from 2010 was that temple sculpture in Lisbon.
Hyperallergic and Don’t Panic have interview with Voina, the group of activists artists in Russia that Banksy supported with his most recent print release.
Toasters have a film coming out next year. I’m not sure I need to see 90 minutes of Toasters, but the trailer looks cool.
This essay on the origins of street art is an interest read.
Like cities around the world, Atlanta is increasing efforts to buff graffiti. At first, their proposal sounds like the city is at least trying to avoid removing “good” street art and “good” graffiti, but a. that’s hypocritical and b. Atlanta residents only have until January 17th to come up with a list of pieces that they don’t want the city to remove. That’s not nearly enough time, and any “good” graffiti painted after January 17th, is also at risk of being buffed. The city seems to be trying to please both sides here, and that’s just not going to work. If you live in Atlanta, help figure out which walls you want saved before it is too late.
Just got back from Jordan Seiler’s show at Vincent Michael Gallery. I’ll have more on that in the next few days, but I found an awesome store in the same area as the gallery: Jinxed. It sells cool toys and the like. Here’s what I didn’t write about this week while I was busy procrastinating and thinking about The Underbelly Project.
Elisa and maybe other Vandalog writers are going to disagree with me on this, but I’m not really digging Aakash Nihalani’s new work at his solo show in New York. I guess I just prefer Aakash outdoors.
Okay, this is just annoying. When you give people freedom to say anything, of course some asshole is going to be racist once in a while, but that doesn’t mean free speech should stop. These are college students, they should be able to think this through beyond the immediate things going on around them. Or just paint the damn tunnel in murals of people of all races and creeds holding hands?
I’m racing through my computer science homework right now and also throwing this post together before it gets to be too late. I have to be up early tomorrow to get to Washington D.C. for The Daily Show’s Rally To Restore Sanity. I probably shouldn’t been spending my entire day on my way to and from that rally, but it’s going to be an insane day. So between planning getting 50 students to the rally and teaching a course on street art at my university (not an official course, there’s no homework or exams and I don’t get paid), things had to slip through my fingers this week:
Amazing news this week about JR, the French photographer/street artist. He has just won the TED Prize, a $100,000 prize (to be used for some sort of positive purpose, not just to buy an amazing car) from the people who put on the TED conferences. TED have done a nice interview with the artist on their website. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you how I always say I am somehow mentally incapable of determining if a photograph is “good” or not, but I’m told that JR is a good photographer and he definitely is doing some important work trying to help people.
It’s not common for important philanthropic prizes to go to people whose work involves criminal trespass and who make statements like the following: “You never know who’s part of the police and who’s not.”
But the TED conference, the California lecture series named for its roots in technology, entertainment and design, said on Tuesday that it planned to give its annual $100,000 prize for 2011 — awarded in the past to figures like Bill Clinton, Bono and the biologist E. O. Wilson — to the Parisian street artist known as J R, a shadowy figure who has made a name for himself by plastering colossal photographs in downtrodden neighborhoods around the world. The images usually extol local residents, to whom he has become a Robin Hood-like hero.