TrustoCorp have a show opening this month at LeBasse Projects in Los Angeles. The Future is Blight opens April 13th from 6-9pm and runs through May 11th. The show will tackle issues of income inequality in LA. TrustoCorp say, “Underneath the glossy veneer of tabloid magazines and Hollywood movies, the former middle class is struggling, families are facing poverty and America is slowly becoming a third world country. In the absence of any real help or solid solutions, there is hypocrisy, greed and hopelessness. Through our work, we hope to call attention to this reality, crack a few smiles and hopefully make some people think along the way. After all, when the mistakes of the past are repeated, the future is blight.”
Australian street artist CDH is thinking about the preservation of street art in a responsible manner and trying to get the effort going in Australia. Definitely an interesting, and controversial, read.
Herakut‘s recent solo installation at LeBasse Projects attracted quite a crowd to their Chinatown location. The exterior featured a carnival atmosphere–one with popcorn and cotton candy machines whirring and popping–but those belied the darker works on view inside.
It’s difficult not to compare Herakut and Os Gemeos after they had dueling openings on February 25th, but it’s worth noting that each was successful for different reasons, and in different ways. Although both featured triumphs of scale, and moved the bar up on what street artists can (and perhaps should) pull off in gallery spaces, Os Gemeos relied on playful lighting, bold color choices, and some instances of technological cleverness while Herakut combined their dark fairy-tale images with a flair for the dramatic.
The largest pieces in the show came straight from the stage of Downtown L.A.’s Palace Theatre, where Herakut collaborated with Lucent Dossier on “When Lucent Found Herakut” earlier last month. In fact, members of the troupe worked the crowd over the course of the evening, dressed in masks designed by the German duo. A unicorn was present, a monkey too. I was put off by this at first; I felt it distracted from the art on the walls. It took me time to see that the artistry involved in the mask-making is a large part of what Herakut do, and these simply delivered life-sized recreations of their trademark women and children wearing animal head hats.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the show were the statues (also adorned with hats) that were done either completely in casting stone, or with papier-mâché and tape, as was the case with two different deer pieces. However, the standout work was a canvas: a portrait of a child wearing a monkey’s head atop its own. The point where both merge is taped over–as is the chin–and it’s left to our imaginations how this fusion came about, or perhaps even how violent it was. The text reminds viewers that we “seem to be forgetting that there is a monkey” in us, as well.
It is this awareness of nature–not simply of the natural world, but also of our own human natures–that suffuses this show. It’s in everything from the small prints to the larger pieces. As with some Herakut, the work is not always the most comfortable viewing, but it is clear-eyed: a persistent reminder that part of what makes us human is the presence of the animal within.
“After the Laughter” runs through March 17 at LeBasse Projects Chinatown: 923 Chung King Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Back again this year at Village Underground in London, the Moniker Art Fair is opening today and will be open through Sunday. In contrast to the Frieze art fair (also on this weekend in London), Moniker is free and focuses on work by street artists and low-brow artists. This year, galleries exhibiting at Moniker include Stolenspace, Scream, LeBasse Projects, Shea & Ziegler (Frankie Shea of Moniker/CampBarbossa teaming up with Tina Ziegler) and Andenken Gallery.
The program at this year’s fair is packed, so make sure to check it out before heading over, as there are a number of special events like print releases and artist talks going on. Hooked Blog is running tours of the fair and the surrounding street art on the weekend, something I had a lot of fun doing on a more informal basis last year.
In addition to gallery booths, the fair includes project spaces for individual artists. This year, Matt Small, Beejoir, Best Ever, Peeta, Dabs and Myla will be showing work in the project spaces.
The above painting by Herakut is in Vernissage 2011, the current group show at LA’s LeBasse Projects. The show is open now through January 15th. Besides Herakut, Sharktook, Yoskay Yamamoto and others have work in the show.
Herakut’s latest LA solo show, Hope’s Reply, will be taking place at LeBasse Projects next month. I think it’s safe to say that people can expect typical Herakut goodness, so make sure to be there for the opening on September 18th. Campbarbossa was kind enough to send over a couple of teaser shots: