Tel Aviv Comes To London

Found this wall yesterday across from The Art Lounge. It features work from Mike Marcus, Klone, Foma, and Zero Cents. Mike Marcus lives in London now, but he started out working in Tel Aviv. And Klone, Foma and Zero Cents and some of Tel Aviv’s best known street artists. The only one who seems to be missing here is Know Hope (who, coincidentally, pointed out that Zero Cents and Foma have work in this photo).

Tel Aviv in London

New Mike Marcus Photo

Exciting news from Mike Marcus. I think the progression of moving more of his photography to the street is a real positive.

tMike Marcus Exogamy 2

Street artist and photographer Mike Marcus will release the first print from his new ‘Exogamy #2’ series on February the 12th 2009.

The image features a triptych of intersexual hybrid figures, each a digital “genetic” synthesis of the artist’s own self-portrait with that of a woman who he encountered in his daily life. In this case, he met each of the donor females via a different Internet social network.

There will be an accompanying release of 33 unique large format public works; one placed in each of the London boroughs. This is indicative of a new creative direction for Marcus, marrying his ‘street art’ and ‘fine art photography’ careers into one unified practice.

The edition consists of 85 20×16 inch silver gelatin photographs on 300gsm fiber based semigloss paper, individually hand printed by the artist in the darkroom from a digital internegative. Each print is hand finished to archival standards, signed and numbered verso and expected to last for over 150 years.

Street Art London Charity Raffle

Great news for all the street art print lovers reading this: Mike Marcus and the Street Art London flickr group are organizing a 12 week charity print raffle starting this week.

Each Saturday, a different artist will volunteer a work and suggest a charity which the proceeds will go to. A photograph of this work will be posted to the group and tickets will be available until the following friday via paypal at £1 each. There will be no limit set on the amount of tickets available and each individual can purchase as many as he or she wants.

The winning ticket will be picked at random at the end each week the full proceeds will be transferred to the chosen charity.

The schedule for the next 12 weeks is as follows:

Saturday 27th December – Mike Marcus
Saturday 3rd January – Gemma Compton
Saturday 10th January – Xylo
Saturday 17th January – Shuby
Saturday 24th January – Banksy (tickets available to group members only)
Saturday 31st January – Cake
Saturday 7th February – Paul le Chien
Saturday 14th February – Klone
Saturday 21st February – Part2ism
Saturday 28th February – T.wat
Saturday 7th March – L.E.T
Saturday 14th March – Grafter

Mike Marcus' print
Mike Marcus' print

Find more info here, and check out Mike Marcus’ print (being raffled right now) here.

Great In ’08: Mike Marcus Says…

As part of Vandalog’s “Great in ’08” series, which will be running every day for the rest of the month. Check out previous posts here. Street artists from across the world have been given one post to give away to one artist who they feel has been doing great work recently. Today it’s Mike Marcus‘ turn.

Who is one artist doing really great work right now?

Mike Marcus: Oh shit! Thats a tough question. I don’t think that I would be able to answer with just one name.

In Israel when I was asked that by journalists, I invariably mentioned Know Hope. I still think that he is doing beautiful, touching work. It really comes unfiltered right from his heart. It expresses his vulnerabilities, fears and passions although I do think that he has become a little less diverse as his commercial success increases. He’s a totally lovely person too.

When I was in NYC I was unexpectedly blown away by Revs. He is an artist that I never bothered really thinking about (probably because of his graffiti roots) but when you see his stuff in the context of the city you realise that he is making the rules that others follow. His work is monolithic yet personal, really exciting to stumble upon.

In London I really like what Paul le Chien is doing. I think that its early days for him and his work already shows fantastic promise. He doesn’t give a fuck (go on, publish the word fuck – you know you want to 🙂 ) about the stylistic conventions that street art seems to be developing. He mixes blatantly homoerotic subjects with well crafted tattoo-art inspired backgrounds. I think that over the next year or so he will start adapting his work to fit better with the street medium and spread out away from Soreditch into other parts of London. I would like to see him go big too.

Can I mention Hera too because she’s cute? 🙂

Revs. Photo by mercurialn
Revs. Photo by mercurialn

See more after the jump… Continue reading “Great In ’08: Mike Marcus Says…”

The Coveted Red Dot

Mike Marcus has started a great new project where he’s painting red dots on pieces all around London (galleries put red dots next to pieces that have been sold).

Photo by Sandrine Plasseraud
Photo by Sandrine Plasseraud

Here’s an excerpt from Mike’s blog post on the project, which makes some very valid points on the state of street/urban art:

Like many fine artists eventually do, I have reached a point where I want to devote myself to my practice full time. In order to do this, I need to make enough money through public funding and print sales to cover my needs for rent, food, art materials and the occasional beer. Obviously the urban art scene is a good place to target because so much money is being spent. For this reason I devoted much of the past month to marketing myself in this sector.

As this period draws to a close, I have to say that I have been left a little disappointed. Of the long conversations I have had with collectors and dealers, I have come to the conclusion that the scene wants to consume (both commercially and intellectually) safe art. Because of the supreme lack of imagination shown by its aficionados, todays urban art seems to be a retrospective of yesterdays street art, a parody of itself.

What happened to the radical movement where we could say what we wanted without being moderated by galleries? Weren’t we meant to be subversive? These days it seems that we are more conservative than the art establishment which we reacted against. Somewhere during the change from “street” to “urban”, the movement lost its passion and subsequently its message.

I think Mike is right about this (to an extent). His work is certainly on the controversial side, and I think some of his most controversial stuff is his best. Unfortunately, it also gets ripped off the walls after 30 seconds and I don’t know many street art collectors who would want to put such controversial work in their homes.

Mike has decided to push the boundaries, and street art says he’s pushed too far. Isn’t that the point of street art? Are street art fans getting complacent and boring?

Anybody go to Pictures on Walls today? I enjoyed it, but after reading Mike’s post, I’m starting to see it differently. What boundaries were being broken? Isn’t that what attracted us to street art in the first place? Artists were tearing down the art establishment by giving away their art, now they are trying to become the art establishment.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love street art, I just think we need to be careful. Street art needs to remember what it is supposed to be. I love that street art took over the Tate Modern, but the Tate needs to adapt to us, we shouldn’t adapt to suit it.