Close Encounters show with ukadapta

UK Adapta

ukadapta have organized a group show in Tokyo that opens this week. Should be good. The line up is a varied of British urban art with Best Ever, D*face, Word to Mother, Luc Price/Cyclops, Matt Small and more.


More info from ukadapta:

Adapta Gallery’s third curated project will be held on November 12th – November 29th 2009, with a show in Tokyo called Close Encounters. The show consists of 8 British-based artists, including Best Ever, Cyclops, D*Face, David Bray, Matt Small, Sickboy, Word To Mother and Vesna Parchet.

The variety of work on show is eclectic, and that is precisely the reason why we chose them in the first place. From D*Face’s two-dimensional graphic art to the rich textures of emerging artist Vesna Parchet’s styled character-based paintings, a plethora of mediums, emotions and messages are employed for the viewer to digest.

This particular show is very close to our hearts as we are finally able to put together an amazing line up of artists to produce works for our Tokyo readers and Japanese collectors to see in person.  We have been interviewing and working on projects with so many talented British creatives over the years and to  finally curate our own show in Tokyo for our main audience is a true honour.

On the opening night, we will also have special guests: Usugrow, Jeff Soto, Shohei Takasaki, Yoshiki & Nagayama also showing their works.

Close Encounters

Exhibition venue : Time Out Gallery, Liquidroom 2/F, 3-16-6, Higashi, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo

Opening Date : 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, 12 November, 2009

Exhibition runs  : 13 November 2009 – 3 December, 2009

In case you happen to be in Tokyo, there is a map on the show’s website.

Vensa Parchet
Vensa Parchet
Best Ever
Best Ever

Photos courtesy of ukadapta

Represent show at Blackall Studios

Represent Photo © Ian Cox Blog Copy

The last time I mentioned the Represent show was towards the start of October, so if you happened to forget about Thursday’s opening, I’ll forgive you. But if you’re in London and you don’t make it to Represent before the show closes November 11th update: the show has been extended and now closes November 20th, well I’m just not so sure.

Represent has been curated by Matt Small and it’s a show of portraiture. Matt is one of the artists and people that I most respect, so I was curious to see what this show would bring. You figure that a talented painter should be able to identify other talented artists. Well Matt definitely can.

The line up includes some names that I’m familiar with like Swoon, Best Ever, Elbow-toe and Case, but there were plenty of people I was either less familiar with or whose names I had never heard before like Peter Michael and Yuko Nasu.

While I can’t say that every painting was a winner, it the most refreshing show I’ve seen in London all year and maybe the best group show.

Matt Small Photo © Ian Cox Blog Copy
Matt Small

Of course, there were two original paintings from Matt Small in the show, including this one which is the first time I’ve seen him paint glasses.

David Walker Photo © Ian Cox Blog Copy
David Walker

I like this piece by David Walker just enough to not call him on for using paint drips to look “street.” Sometimes drips make a painting look better. I would be curious though to see what this painting would be like without the drips, the girl could have more of that really cool metallic look which is sort of hinted at in this piece but overshadowe by drips.

Swoon Photo © Ian Cox Blog Copy

This is one my all time favorite pieces by Swoon. It’s certainly in the top 5 pieces on wood that I’ve seen. I don’t have the cash or wall space for this, but I hope it finds a good home.

Swoon Photo © Ian Cox Blog Copy

Best Ever
Best Ever

Okay so the name might be a bit presumptuous, but the duo Best Ever get better with every painting.


Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the world who realizes how amazing Case can be. This painting, Rosemary, is even better in the flesh. So many photo-realistic graffiti writers just end up making portraits of dead hip hop stars or doing commissions for Nike, but Case actually has an artistic mind behind his talents.

Represent is at Blackall Studios on Leonard Street, London and closes on November 11th update: the show has been extended and now closes November 20th. Get there while it’s still open! I may even go back for a second look.

All photos by Ian Cox

Represent: a portraiture show


A really solid line up for Represent which opens November 5th at Blackall Studios in London. The show highlights portraiture and includes some of my favorite artists like Matt Small and Swoon. Should be good.

Two galleries worth a mention

Two gallery shows to mention today.

First, a show that surpised me. Last time Jaybo had a solo show in London, it wasn’t for me. Naturally, I didn’t rush to see Jaybo’s new paintings at Signal Gallery. Earlier this week, I made it over and I have to say I liked this new work much more.




Still not something I’m super pumped about, but at least I enjoyed stopping by, and there were one or two portraits of girls (like the one above) that I could see on my walls at home.

And the second gallery I need to mention is one that I’m very curious and excited about. As Black Rat Press closes up shop for the summer and the Matt Small paintings come down from the walls, you will still be able to find work from Matt and fellow BRP artist Luc Price over in New York City at Glowlab. July 30th is the opening of X: The Multiples Exhibition at Glowlab. Here’s the PR on that show:

Glowlab is pleased to present the group show X: The Multiples Exhibition, bringing together thirteen artists producing works linked via their mode of production. The artists included have published, screen-printed, photographed, performed and sculpted pieces that are identical either in manufacture or concept. The show’s title refers not only to the mathematical function of multiplication, but also to the crossing of aesthetic, commercial and conceptual boundaries when art is made in multiples.

So basically, Matt and Luc are showing screenprints. Matt’s prints are always as lovely as his paintings, which is exciting, and I have no idea what Luc is going to do, as his recent gallery work has been so different from his street work as Cyclops, and he has never done a print (to my knowledge) under his real name before. Looking forward to the pictures.

Last Weekend in London – Black Rat Press and Laz Rathbone

Let me be the first to acknowledge that, seeing as I spent the weekend in Los Angeles, I am the last person who should be writing this post. That said, RJ himself would have done a fantastic job covering the London shows that just opened so I feel there needs to be at least some mention of them on his blog.

Below are a handful of images from Ways of Seeing (Swoon, Matt Small, Brian Adam Douglas) at Black Rat Press and Scratching The Surface (Vhils) at Lazarides Rathbone. All photos come courtesy of Ian from Wallkandy.

I was very excited about the show at Black Rat, and, as expected, the three artists delivered a strong body of work. Matt Small’s multi-paneled piece is amazing (sorry, no picture! Go to Ian’s flickr!) and I’ve heard particularly good things about Brian’s pieces from those who saw them in person. My only disappointment was that, although the space was beautifully lit, the show lacked the installation component I had been hoping for.

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Matt Small
Matt Small
Brian Adam Douglas
Brian Adam Douglas

Now to Laz, where Vhils’ London solo debut simply looks incredible. As if it weren’t already obvious, Alexandre has now made it clear that he is going to be a very important artist for our generation.

vhils alexandre farto

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vhils alexandre farto


Ways of Seeing at Black Rat Press

Let’s say you own Black Rat Press. You want to do a group show with three of your artists who challenge people’s preconceptions about painting and street art. Who do you choose?

That’s right. You bring together Swoon, Matt Small, and Brian Adam Douglas (aka Elbowtoe).

Swoon is a female wheatpaster who spawned an entire school of street art in New York City, and she spends her time building rafts and crashing art festivals.

And any art critic who says urban artists don’t know how to paint doesn’t know Matt Small. A few years ago, Matt was a runner up for one of the top prizes in the British art world.

Elbowtoe has had a presence on the street art New York City for years as part of the school of lino-block cutters that Swoon influenced, and now as Brian Adam Douglas he is making intricate collage works that look more like impressionist paintings than thrown together magazine clippings. For me, the collages can be hit or miss, but when they work, they really work.

Well that’s exactly what “Ways of Seeing Is,” BRP’s next show which opens on July 2nd.

The official word from Black Rat Press and some photos after the jump… Continue reading “Ways of Seeing at Black Rat Press”