It’s Frieze week and London is in full swing with pompous art enthusiasts and decrepit rich men buying art and prostitutes all around the city. While most people get excited about the Fair itself, here at Vandalog, we like the satellite events happening that let the galleries go all out and give us a break from snobbery that encompasses Frieze. So besides Moniker and Lazarides’ Bedlam, Imitate Modern is joining the ranks of outsider shows with Just Be You Tiful – a solo show by Rich Simmons.
While most of our readers know Rich as Opera Gallery’ poster boy for commercial street art, this guy has really come into his own in 2012. While he may get a bad rep from all of the publicity that Opera threw at him, Simmons is one of the most hardworking artists I have had the pleasure of knowing. Always willing to lend a helping hand and constantly scrutinizing his own work, Simmons is his own worst critic (not the naysayers on the Banksy forum).
For Just Be You Tiful Simmons has been locked in the studio producing an entirely new body of work to showcase during Frieze at Imitate Modern. Known for its sold out Stik show last year, Simmons has impressed the gallery with his own brand of stencil and collage works. The master of the exacto knife, these intricate multi-layered canvasses are sure to turn a few heads when they find out this is Simmons’ new style especially the Sailor Jerry homages and naked pin-ups. Ooh La La!
Little over a week ago I was watching Word to Mother painting his outdoor piece for Moniker Art Fair. Allocated one of the 3 by 4 metre recesses he took to the piece with gusto. Layer after layer of tag and dub was laid down and a day later, a final coat of white was rollered onto the wall.
Appropriately dubbed, “The Wall”, the expanse of brick along Great Eastern Street has played host to a variety of artists, both local and international. Dabs & Myla, Best Ever and Malarky followed Word to Mother, but I could also name drop Steve Powers, Herakut, Nychos, SheOne, Shep Fairey and Know Hope among others. However soon after an artist completes a piece it is buffed or covered by another artist, pretty much like any wall I suppose.
But Village Underground hope this will all change following a Kickstarter fundraising project. Their aim is to raise enough funds to design, build and install bullet proof metal and glass frames over the recesses to protect the art work from theft and vandalism. In essence this will allow for artists to produce work in a variety of methods and on a mix of mediums. And with the addition of a digital wall and 10 million passing cars a year, “The Wall” will become London’s most public art gallery.
In a way I feel its a bit of a shame that the wall will be covered, but I’m sure you will agree that the project will certainly be interesting. Plus Village Underground, despite indicating that the artists will now obviously be able to sell their work, maintain they are working on a not-for-profit basis. It’s good to see that this project isn’t just about making money for them then!
For more info, including a nice little video, and to donate head here.
Usually I have something to say here about my week, but it’s all kind of a blur and I’ve been struggling to find any words to describe what’s been going on or excuses for not blogging about everything interesting I’ve seen this week. So let’s skip the pointless pleasantries and here’s the stuff I missed:
Some thoughts from Alone One on graffiti and street art coexisting (and the inherent superiority of graffiti, according to the author). While I agree with the author that, in the case pictured, Aakash Nihilani and Posterboy did the smart and respectful thing by utilizing a piece of graffiti in their street art rather than covering it unnecessarily, the all-to-common argument that graffiti is always always always superior to street art really upsets me. Is there something beautiful/powerful about a tag that street art cannot capture? Sure. Are there street artists (and young graffiti writers) who stupidly go over important graffiti? Definitely, all the time. But warning that street artists can never go over graffiti under any circumstances is narrow-minded and naive, especially today when so much work blurs the line between street art and graffiti. It’s too bad when such a talented writer has such a narrow view of things.
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.
It’s been a crazy week in London. Moniker and all that. But here’s what has been going on with street art elsewhere:
Okay, so I will mention one thing about Moniker: Graffoto seems to be the first to post a review, and what a review it is. Doubtless, Vandalog will be posting something in the coming days, but in the mean time, check out Graffoto to see all that Moniker goodness.
Mudwig is part of the Meta Snout show opening today at High Roller Society in London.
As promised in Tuesday’s post, here’s more from the set up process at Moniker Art Fair. Unfortunately I had to stay home on Wednesday, but I was out taking photos on Tuesday and of course plenty of other people like Hooked Blog were out taking photos.
And there are some Moniker videos to mention as well. The folks from Babelgum have been working non-stop doing editing at the fair. Here’s their time-lapse of Eine’s mural:
Calculate isn’t really for me and I’ve heard more than one person suggest that Eine should have repainted his Vandalism image which was on this same wall, but Eine fans seem to be liking this new piece as well.
S.Butterfly made this video interview with Steve Powers:
All in all, Moniker is shaping up to be everything that I and it seems everybody else have been hoping for. The fair opens on Thursday night from 7-9 and I’ll be running tours of the fair on Friday at 11:30 and 1:30, so I hope to see as many people there as possible.
Village Underground is where it’s at this week. The Shoreditch warehouse off of Great Eastern Street is host to Moniker Art Fair. Hookedblog has a much better description of the fair than what I could throw together right now, but the fair opens Thursday night and it’s going to be a highlight of the street art calendar in London this year. Big names from around the world have are taking part in this fair and there’s lots of great art to see and fun events planned (including some tours led by me on Friday afternoon at 11:30 and 1:30). I’m on my way out the door to go see how the set up is going today, but here are some photos that I took yesterday as things were getting set up:
Expect more photos tonight or tomorrow and hope to see people there on Thursday…
Well it was the first week of midterms for me, so lots of time was spent locking myself in my room, turning off the wifi and just studying. On the plus side, had a great meeting today trying to get some grant money from my college to bring street artists to campus and I took a nap on what might just be the world’s comfiest couch. So here’s what I haven’t had the chance to blog with all that school stuff going on:
I’ll be running a modified version of my street art tours next Friday at the Moniker Art Fair. The tour will be free and we’ll being checking out the fair as well as some of the street art in Shoreditch nearby. That will be from 1-2:30 11:30-1pm and 1:30-3:00pm next Friday afternoon at Moniker.
The latest in the line of shows Yosi Sergant (previously involved with Manifest Hope and Manifest Equality) has worked on, Re:Form School looks to be another massive group show advocating a good cause. It is open in New York this weekend only.