I’d like to point out two fake Banksy social media accounts that I’ve been enjoying late. The first is the @BanksyIdeas Twitter account. It’s full of ideas for future Banksy pieces that will hopefully never be made. The other is The Real Banksy, a tumblr account made by Cardinal Burns. They are a comedy duo with a new show on E4 in the UK, and the guys behind this video. Their suburban Banksy character will feature in every episode of the Cardinal Burns show on E4. Here’s one of their new Banksy sketches.
Shepard Fairey has worked with Neil Young to make paintings inspired by Young’s latest album. The work will premiere at Perry Rubenstein Gallery’s brand new LA space in June during a one-day private event. Of the one piece previewed so far, the work looks distinctly Shepard Fairey, but also distinctly un-OBEY. I like it.
Saber is upset and taking to Twitter because this fantastic mural was buffed. While Saber seems to think that the wall was buffed for something related to the show Sons of Anarchy, The LA Weekly has the least biased overview of what’s gone down. Whatever reason though, it’s a real shame that that mural was destroyed. I must note that I find it interesting how, in the past, Saber has been all about the rights of property owners to do whatever they want with their walls, but now he has suddenly changed his tone and begun speaking out against public advertisements now that work by his friends has been destroyed. Glad to see the change of heart, but I’m disappointed that it took such an unfortunate incident for Saber to see some of the downsides to public advertisements.
Galerie F, possibly Chicago’s next art gallery focusing on street art, has taken to Kickstarter to help fund the repairs to their space that will make it usable a gallery.
Word To Mother’s show at White Walls looks great. That said, Word To Mother still seems to be finding his voice. He, as usual, experiments with some styles that are little-more than his own riffs on ideas by Barry McGee, Phil Frost and possibly Saber. In the past, he’s fiddled with things very reminiscent of Swoon and Monica Canilao. But the funny thing is that Word To Mother already has a style that is distinctly his own and almost all of his best work is in that style. While yes, the baseball bats inspired by Phil Frost are cool, it’s the original works on wood featuring characters and bits of text that are the stand-outs and the pieces that are most unique to Word To Mother. I understand not wanting to be boxed in and the urge to experiment, but this piece which clearly developed by spending a lot of time looking at Barry McGee/Phil Frost/maybe Saber is not the way to experiment. Still, overall looks like another cracker of a show from Word To Mother.
Two bits of Kaws news this week: He has a show in Hong Kong that his fans are going ga-ga for. I love the red Chum painting, but otherwise I’m not really bothered, although I think Kaws is, surprisingly, someone whose work is best appreciated in person so maybe I’m just plain wrong for being unimpressed by the jpegs. The big news for Kaws though is that there will be a balloon of one of his Companions in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November.
What is Sever trying to say with this piece? Honestly, I am confused. That Twist head in particular looks really well painted, but the actual meaning of the piece is unclear. Is he taking a shot at street art in general? If so, Vandalog readers know that I would be ready to listen and probably even laugh. But I’m just not sure what the joke is, or if Sever is making a joke at all. Maybe I’m an idiot and the meaning of this piece is apparent to everyone but me (maybe even because it’s aimed at bloggers like me), but I have some questions…
Did Sever intend this as a diss to all street art or just contemporary street art, and what does he think of the artists whose logos he included? Does he like them and just dislike the latest street art? Does he dislike all street art? Is this piece is street art itself? Does Sever do street art now too? If so, what does that mean? Is this not a diss about street art at all but rather just a bunch of iconic images mashed up together because such a piece would obviously go viral? Is street art dead?
I’m curious to hear what, if anything, Sever will say about this piece. He is a member of MSK. Some members of MSK have transitioned over the last few years into doing art that looks more and more like street art on an aesthetic level while still retaining their roots in graffiti. Sever has done some of that as well, not just with this piece, but also with thesetwo and probably others. What differentiates members of MSK who are embracing the aesthetics of street art from the Johnny-Come-Lately street artists whom Sever seems to be bemoaning with this piece? Is it that the members of MSK have years of experience with illegal graffiti (they definitely have that experience)? Is it that the members of MSK are more skilled than other artists (they definitely are skilled)?
Pretty much all that I can say for sure is that Sever knows how to paint and knows some icons of street art/character-based graffiti. The rest of what I’ve got right now are questions. Does anyone out there have answers? If so, please leave a comment.
And if you’re looking for some art where street art is the butt of the joke and the joke is a bit more clear, try Lush, mobstr or Katsu.
Laurence Billiet sent over this photo of a piece she spotted in Paris, referencing Damien Hirst’s spot paintings. Hirst’s spot paintings have currently taken over all 11 Gagosian galleries in 8 countries. While some people may think that Hirst may be a lazy artist making art for lazy people, so far three people (including Tanley Wong of Arrested Motion) have completed the “spot challenge” and visited all 11 exhibits, so at least some of Hirst’s fans are pretty driven.
Chicago’s Maxwell Colette Gallery is kicking off the new year with STUCK UP: A Selected History of Alternative & Pop Culture Told Through Stickers, January 20th from 6-10pm. The show is curated by DB Burkeman, author of the ultimate book on stickers, and is a chance to see some of the best stickers from DB’s collection, including stickers by Barry McGee, Jenny Holzer, Banksy and Kaws. On January 21st from 1-3pm, the gallery will host a book signing with DB and seminal graffiti photographer Martha Cooper, who has had two books of her photos of stickers published.
In addition to Stuck Up, there will be work at the gallery by Chris Mendoza and a version of the Slap Happy charity project that DB and Paul Weston curated for SCOPE Miami last year.
Well, while I had myself more or less locked in a library underground for the better part of last week, the art world did not stand still. And so we have this special Tuesday edition of the typically friday event – the link-o-rama:
Banksy has loaned a sculpture to a museum in Liverpool. Meh. Another artwork that just as easily could have been seen at any urban art group show, but it’s by Banksy so the BBC and the rest of us should apparently care. What is this? It’s not just with Banksy. Bloggers in particular, we seem to have this urge to always be the first to say “Yeah, I saw that girl’s work first and said she was cool” and a fear of being caught in a situation where everyone except us thinks that some artist or artwork is great. And now I’m rambling…
Knock Knock is a new online magazine with a lot about street art and graffiti in Australia.
Kunle Martins aka Earsnot aka the founder of the infamous IRAK crew participated in Wynwood Walls this year alongside Jesse Geller aka Nemel. Martha Cooper has shots of what they got up to and then the Wynwood Walls video series has a great episode on them. For some people, it may be hard to avoid comparisons to this wall by Barry McGee. 12ozProphet says “The building painted by IRAK for Wynwood Walls is inspired by Barry McGee’s tag-filled murals… Earsnot and Nemel build on Barry McGee’s tag wall concept by filling the wall with a variety of monochromatic shades of overlapping tags creating the illusion of depth.”
Happy almost Halloween. It’s been a week of wasted energy, or so it seems. A potential legal wall that I was organizing has fallen through for the time being, but hopefully things are just delayed rather than cancelled. Here’s some of what I should have posted about this week:
Reported, this sculpture at Occupy London was made and left there by Banksy, but that claim is unconfirmed by Banksy so far. Nonetheless, Zeus added this modification to the piece. And Above has also made some work in solidarity with the Occupy movement. Similarly to K-Guy’s work at Occupy London, I’m conflicted here. On the one hand, it’s great when artists who know how to get headlines do so in solidarity with a political movement of sorts, but on the other hand these artists are of course latching on to the movement and associating themselves with it in a way that they know will get headlines and potentially help them sell some paintings. Of course the same could be said of many of the celebrity speakers who have been generally well-received at Occupy events. So there’s that dilemma to think about.
Last time I was in NYC, I saw this billboard for Hennessy cognac with designs by Kaws. Just interesting to see the flip from a decade ago when Kaws would have modified that billboard illegal to insert his work onto it in an effort to associate with the Hennessy brand, and now Hennessy pays Kaws to associate with their brand. Also, this new Kaws/Snoopy toy goes on sale today on Kaws’ website. Okay, one last bit of Kaws news: I love this new painting by him.
Is it time for another link-o-rama already? The week has flown by. Except for when I had to read the multiple formal press releases I received this week which promoted artists’ gallery shows by talking about a recent campaign of wheatpasting that they were doing solely for the purpose of promoting their shows. Bleh. By contrast, Stinkfish has been in London for a bit and just seems to be getting up with posters, spraypaint and other materials because it’s fun. Here’s some of the things I’m not going to be kinda bitter about this week…
Anthony Lister has beengetting upin LA. Okay, to be honest, one of those annoying press releases was promoting a new Lister show. That opens tonight in LA and runs through August 29th. I’m looking forward to seeing some pics. To be fair, the posters that Lister put up to promote the show were on advertising space (albeit probably illegal street level billboards) and he probably paid for them, so at least he’s not putting up ads over street art but rather over other ads, but the press release and hype around some ads was kind of unnecessary. And now to not be bitter!
Speaking of advertising, Jordan Seiler/PublicAdCampaign has been testing a new iPhone app that replaces real-world ads with art by people like Ron English and John Fekner when you view them through your phone. A fun little experiment for sure.
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.
I’ve never heard of Anton Steenbock, but I want to see more like this.
Glen E. Friedman has won his lawsuit against Mr. Brainwash for using Friedman’s iconic photograph of Run DMC. I still say I’d rather have seen MBW win this case. Not because I think MBW’s work based on that photo looked good, but because I’d rather see more room for artists to re-appropriate content and less restrictions on copyrighted material. What MBW did to Friedman’s photograph was transformative. The original photo is a great photo and an iconic one. What MBW did was make it look totally silly. And that should be covered by fair use, for the benefit of better artists.
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.