Ok, So I am a few months behind on what’s been happening in Melbourne since the start of the year. Summer in Melbourne is always action packed with lots happening. Here’s some of my favourite work from January. February and March posts coming soon.
AllThoseShapes is always capturing all the happenings on the street. I’m loving Akemi Ito‘s stencils that seem to be popping up everywhere lately, I not only like the imagery but also his process drawing, inking and cutting each stencil from scratch. Good to see some new stencils. A great paste by Lifetime Stickyfingers and I love these abstract pieces by Quellle Atak and Madmax. AllThoseShapes also released his new book Figment – which is available here. A great book.
David Russell, chief photographer at Invurt, has really stepped up his game lately and has captured some amazing photos. I have also included a couple of shots below Dave’s by Roberth Pinarete Villanueva, a new photographer in Melbourne, to show the contrast in styles. I love what Roberth does and his shots give you an amazing and different perspective of the works. Roberth takes photos from all angles and then combines them, with stunning results.
Awesome pieces by Putos, Style, Straker and TwoOne. I’ve also included a shot of Keith Haring‘s mural painted in the 80’s which was recently restored (and if you look closely some idiot has tagged it already, hmmm).
One of the greatest early supporters of graffiti artists was Martin Wong, a painter who lived in New York City during the city’s Golden Age of graffiti. Wong collected the work of young artists working outdoors like Lee Quinones, Rammellzee and Keith Haring. Wong’s collection is perhaps the best existing set of artworks that together give a sense of modern graffiti’s early days in the city where it (effectively) began. In the mid-90’s, Wong donated the whole thing to the Museum of the City of New York. It’s a collection that early writers often tell me about with a sense of wonder, and they always suggest that I have a look at the collection because I could learn a thing or two from it. Now, works from the are about to be exhibited publicly at the Museum of the City of New York for the first time.
City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection opens next Tuesday the 4th at the Museum of the City of New York. I’m excited to see so much early work (nearly 150 pieces) in person, and to hopefully get a sense of how Wong saw the early graffiti scene. In addition to some early canvas work by artists like Lady Pink and Daze, the collection includes a subset of work that should be particularly interesting for those of us interested in the history of graffiti: perhaps the only collection of blackbook sketches in a museum possession. The show also includes a new short film by Charlie Ahearn and photographs by Ahearn, Martha Cooper, Jack Stewart and Jon Naar. In case it’s not already obvious, let me just state that this sounds like it will be a must-see exhibition for graffiti geeks.
Sorry this post is so late. I’ve had an injured hand, so typing has been a pain, literally… Here’s my round up for August. I’m calling this month the Video Edition, cos I don’t think I can recall a month where so many awesome videos came out… Here we go…
To start off check out this great video from Jack Douglas. Jack is a talented Melbourne street artist and tattooist; this video shows some of his street and tattoo work. His characters are always awesome.
Another rad video featuring local writer BOLTS smashing some walls across Melbourne with his always super tight style.
Do you know what a “bogan” is? It’s an Australian colloquialism, this video from Melbourne writer AEON (created alongside VNA magazine) gives you a perfect explanation of the Aussie Bogan, lost in London.
LINZ from Queensland visited Melbourne and painted this great piece. LINZ also talks about his time as a writer and how things have changed so much over the years.
This video from Spacerunner is definitely my favourite video for the month. SIMR and Rides showing us how it’s done painting one of Melbourne’s trains in the dark of the night.
Check out this video featuring interviews with Rone, Sandra Powell and Andrew King discussing their views on street art in galleries and the streets and the general attitude towards the art recently in Melbourne.
A huge fan of Middle Eastern calligraphy and modern graffiti, I found much to love at Calligraffiti: 1984-2013 at the Leila Heller Gallery. And, not surprisingly, among my favorite works were those by artists with strong roots in graffiti who are — or who have been — active on the streets. Here’s a sampling:
Tonight is opening night for Calligraffiti: 1984-2013 at the Leila Heller Gallery. The show is interesting for two reasons:
It examines connections between graffiti and calligraphy at a fancy gallery. Seriously though, this should be really fascinating. There will be work by El Seed, L’ATLAS, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, LA2, ROSTARR, Niels “Shoe” Meulman, Ramellzee and many more artists (including many with no history on the street or with graffiti, but rather with feet firmly rooted in more traditional modern and contemporary art).
It marks the return of Jeffrey Deitch to New York City, basically. He didn’t curate the show, but he did curate a version of the show at the same gallery back in 1984, and the New York Times reports “Mr. Deitch served as Ms. Heller’s sounding board” for this version of the show. Deitch recently resigned as Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles after growing the museum’s endowment from under $10 million to almost $100 million, although it seems as though he is staying on at the museum just a little while longer, through the completion of that goal of reaching a $100 million endowment and the process of finding a new Director.
From the great minds of The Heavy Projects and Public Ad Campaign, Re+Public has emerged as the collaborative effort to revision and “democratize” public space through the use of their Augmented Reality app. Two new videos have recently been released which show this technology in full effect: (above) the app reacts to preexisting murals by How & Nosm, Aiko, Retna, and Ryan McGinness at Miami’s Wynwood Walls by turning the murals into giant 3D animations, and (below) the app unveils the timeline of New York City’s Bowery and Houston wall, including the work of Keith Haring, Faile, Barry McGee, Aiko and others who have historically left their mark on the wall.
Speaking of protest art, some revolutionary graffiti and street art was recently painted over in Egypt and that’s been causing quite a stir, with Egypt’s prime minister backing the artists and even calling for more revolutionary graffiti.
What do people think about this work from ABOVE pointing out the 24% unemployment in Spain? A mural that simply points out such a depressing fact without any obvious rage or anything behind it seems to me like it’s doing practically the opposite of what murals should do, but maybe it’s a good way of making that fact more known. Thoughts?
Since I heard about the Keith Haring x OBEY collaboration, I have been waiting to see the end result. Thankfully, this Autumn I won’t be sporting OBEY’s usual snap back but an array of worn in tees and hoodies emblazoned with some of Haring’s most iconic images. The line will even boast a leather varsity jacket and a military m65 style that resembles the coat that Haring used to wear while painting in the 80’s.
For Shepard Fairey, this partnership between OBEY and the Keith haring Foundation is his way of paying homage to an artist, businessman and ground breaking street artist. The line blatantly points out the likeness between the artists in their subject matters and foray into commercial projects, allowing the mainstream to own their artwork in another form than just paintings. Most importantly, however, is that OBEY is bringing Haring’s art work to a new audience just over 20 years since his passing. This is what Shepard had to say about the collection and inspiration behind it:
“Though Keith Haring died only two years after I started making street art, his art and practice had already made a profound impact on me. At art college and on the streets of NYC in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Keith’s radiant baby and other images could be seen on the tees of all the flyest hipsters. Keith Haring was a prolific artist with a distinct style of drawing and painting that was simultaneously refined, but primitive, deliberate but lyrical and energetic. Haring believed “the public has a right to art” and this philosophy informed his populist approach to spreading his art and messages. He pursued his art with a deeply personal vision, but also as a champion of social justice and a belief in the interconnectedness of humanity. Haring demonstrated the power of art on the streets, but he also put his art on t-shirts and record covers. He even opened a retail space in NYC called The Pop Shop. Eventually Haring’s artwork became widely respected, displayed, and sold as “fine art”. Haring rose from the 80’s NYC graffiti scene to not only affect the art world, but to dramatically impact pop culture. Inspired by Keith Haring’s achievements, I pursued my art career with the optimism that my goals could be attained.”
Check out some of the stand out pieces of the collection below. Some of the items are available now on OBEY Clothing with the full mens and womens collection arriving throughout the next few weeks in the US and UK.
Keith Haring. Daze. Os Gemeos. Barry McGee. All of these artists have painted murals at the same spot at Bowery and Houston in New York City. The Street Spot has a history of the spot over the last five years, but it’s been being painted since at least the 1980’s. This week, Retna became the most recent great artist to paint at Bowery and Houston. Unfortunately, I’m not on the east coast right now because I would have loved to have seen this mural being painted, but plenty of New York photographers have been over to document the new mural both in progress on Monday and Tuesday and as a completed piece. Check out some of my favorite shots by Matthew Kraus after the jump… Continue reading “Retna at the historical Bowery/Houston wall”