Weekend link-o-rama

Don’t Fret in San Francisco

It’s back to school in a few days for the college-aged Vandalog bloggers. Caroline moving to New York City tomorrow, so say hello if you see her around.

Photo courtesy of Don’t Fret


Stephen Powers, who has a show coming up at Joshua Liner Gallery

There are a lot of shows coming up soon worth checking out. Here are some of I wish I could check out in person…

  • This week, the Iranian brothers Icy and Sot will have their first New York solo show, and it’s only open this Thursday through Saturday. Made in Iran will be at Openhouse, 379 Broome Street, New York.
  • Lush also has a show opening in NYC this weekend. His will be a show of drawings at Klughaus Gallery. It opens on August 25th from 6-10pm. Lush’s show are practically a place to expect surprises, so best get their opening night before a blog like this one ruins the shock value for you on Sunday. If you do miss opening night, the show runs through September 7th.
  • Next month, Stephen Powers aka ESPO will have his first New York solo show in over 7 years. A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures opens September 7th from 6-9pm at Joshua Liner Gallery.
  • Galo Art Gallery in Turin has a great two-man show coming up with Bue and Chase. Brothers from Different Mothers opens September 9th from 5:30-9pm.
  • aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney, Australia has a big group show coming up with 67 artists including Anthony Lister, Askew, Does, Numskull, Vexta and The Yok. For Black and White All In Between, all the artists have painted on canvases of uniform sized and only used black ink. The show opens on August 31st from 6-9pm.
  • Jonathan Levine Gallery‘s next three solo shows open on September 8th and you will not want to miss any of them: Judith Supine, Audrey Kawasaki, and Jeff Soto. All three shows open from 7-9pm on the 8th. And speaking of Levine, I caught their current show earlier this week and it is great. Go it see before it closes.
  • Gold Peg’s Release The Wolves go-karting project in South London will have a gran-prix expo on September 1st. It’s gonna be some crazy and fun stuff. And art too, but I think that’s secondary.
  • Shepard Fairey is finally showing those paintings he did for Neil Young’s latest album. The few pieces I’ve seen photos of are impressive. Americana opens at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (which recently moved to LA) on August 25th from 7-10pm.
  • Finally, this last one is a mural festival, and it promises to be a big one… This year’s Urban Forms festival in Lodz, Poland includes Os Gemeos, Aryz, Inti, Otecki, Lump and Shida. Certainly the most-anticipated work of Urban Forms is the promised collaborative mural between Os Gemeos and Aryz. The events run from August 24th through September 30th and will bring the total number of murals organized in Lodz by the Urban Forms Foundation to 22. I can’t wait to see the photos of these pieces.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery

Os Gemeos at the ICA Boston and around the city

The Giant of Boston. Photo by Weeklydig. Click to view large.

Last week, a small show by everyone’s favorite set of identical twin graffiti artists opened at the ICA Boston. The show is not the massive, playful and immersive installation you might expect from Os Gemeos, rather it is a much more traditional show in a white-walled room. I went to Boston hoping for an installation to rival their museum shows in Brazil or at least comparable to their 2008 show at Deitch Projects. But, in its own way, a white-walled show makes sense.

Curator Pedro Alonzo described the show as an attempt to show that Os Gemeos’ work could hold up in a traditional museum setting with just a few paintings being hung on walls and plenty of space between each picture. Another person suggested to me that hanging a white-walled show is a way to prove that Os Gemeos’ work will continue to be interesting long after the twins are dead and no longer make new installations. I think they are right, but I just wished that Os Gemeos picked another time to prove themselves, perhaps a time when I wasn’t taking six hours of buses to see their show.

So I went into the show with expectations that could never be met, but I did find something else there. Alonzo’s bet has been proven right: As hundreds or perhaps thousands of collectors around the world already knew, now the world too knows that an Os Gemeos painting may look great when put into one of their installations, but it can be absolutely brilliant just hung on a wall by itself too.

The piece originally made for Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape. Photo by Lois Stavsky

The two weakest pieces in the show are actually both pieces that are just the sort that might shine as components in an installation. One was made for Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape, a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego also curated by Pedro Alonzo. The story that Alonzo told about the piece turned out to be a lot more interesting than the work itself. The twins were in San Diego prepping for the show when they saw a bunch of tablesaws and similar tools that aren’t as widely available in Brazil, and they were inspired to use material that would have otherwise been discarded (including bits leftover from Swoon’s installation) to make something. Only problem is, the result of their recycling just doesn’t look like much alone on a white wall and without the story.

Upside Down Sunrise. Photo courtesy of the ICA Boston.

Thankfully, most of the paintings work well in a traditional gallery, and a few are absolutely brilliant. In particular, I practically couldn’t look away from Upside Down Sunrise and an untitled painting of vandals on the New York subway tracks (which happens to be owned by Lance Armstrong). For any graffiti nerds out there, it is probably worth seeing the show just to see how many names you can recognized painted into the subway piece.

Photo by Lois Stavsky

Of course, there’s also the sound installation, a corner of the gallery filled with brown and yellow faces shouting and singing, if the right buttons are pressed on the accompanying piano. I just hope there’s someone there during the show’s run to play it, since I doubt that visitors will be allowed to.

Photo courtesy of Arrested Motion (more of their photos here)

And for those of us who wanted a little more, the twins did not disappoint outside. They painted two murals (and a van) in Boston.

The smaller of the two murals is on the Revere Hotel, and features two writers tagging the wall. It’s a great little piece to be surprised by. I think I overheard one man trying to contact the police about just what the hell was going on, but most of the people whom I saw come across the mural were loving it.

Os Gemeos at the Revere Hotel. Photo by RJ Rushmore. Click to view large.

Both in scale and awesomeness, the piece on the Revere is nothing compared to The Giant of Boston, Os Gemeos’ largest mural in the United States by painted surface area, but it’s been causing a bit of controversy. The Giant of Boston is located at Dewey Square, and you really can’t miss it. But just what it is has proven to be not very evident to people who are not already familiar with Os Gemeos. The masked is most likely a protestor or a vandal, as the twins have painted in the past, but at least hundreds of Boston residents have looked at The Giant and seen a “terrorist” or a “towel head.” A photo of the mural was posted on the Facebook page of a local Fox station, and literally hundreds of people have posted similar ignorant/racist responses. Bostinno has more on this controversy.

Photo by Lois Stavsky

I do not think that this show is what most Os Gemeos fans were hoping for, and it certainly wasn’t what I was hoping for, but damn it I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time I was in the gallery or looking at either of their murals. There’s some good work, and Alonzo isn’t wrong to want to show that the work can hold its own in a white-walled space or brighten up the streets of Boston. Now, I’m just hoping that both murals stay up for the full 18-months that they could potentially be around for. Os Gemeos’ show is open at the ICA Boston through November 25th.

Photos courtesy of Arrested Motion and the ICA Boston and by Lois Stavsky, Weeklydig and RJ Rushmore

Weekend link-o-rama

FIGHT by Rub Kandy

I’m off for a few days of traveling. Expect lots of pictures. Here’s what we missed on Vandalog this week:

Photo by Rub Kandy

Sever on street art?

What is Sever trying to say with this piece? Honestly, I am confused. That Twist head in particular looks really well painted, but the actual meaning of the piece is unclear. Is he taking a shot at street art in general? If so, Vandalog readers know that I would be ready to listen and probably even laugh. But I’m just not sure what the joke is, or if Sever is making a joke at all. Maybe I’m an idiot and the meaning of this piece is apparent to everyone but me (maybe even because it’s aimed at bloggers like me), but I have some questions…

Did Sever intend this as a diss to all street art or just contemporary street art, and what does he think of the artists whose logos he included? Does he like them and just dislike the latest street art? Does he dislike all street art? Is this piece is street art itself? Does Sever do street art now too? If so, what does that mean? Is this not a diss about street art at all but rather just a bunch of iconic images mashed up together because such a piece would obviously go viral? Is street art dead?

I’m curious to hear what, if anything, Sever will say about this piece. He is a member of MSK. Some members of MSK have transitioned over the last few years into doing art that looks more and more like street art on an aesthetic level while still retaining their roots in graffiti. Sever has done some of that as well, not just with this piece, but also with these two and probably others. What differentiates members of MSK who are embracing the aesthetics of street art from the Johnny-Come-Lately street artists whom Sever seems to be bemoaning with this piece? Is it that the members of MSK have years of experience with illegal graffiti (they definitely have that experience)? Is it that the members of MSK are more skilled than other artists (they definitely are skilled)?

Pretty much all that I can say for sure is that Sever knows how to paint and knows some icons of street art/character-based graffiti. The rest of what I’ve got right now are questions. Does anyone out there have answers? If so, please leave a comment.

And if you’re looking for some art where street art is the butt of the joke and the joke is a bit more clear, try Lush, mobstr or Katsu.

Photo by Jsinghur

Retna at the historical Bowery/Houston wall

Photo by i_follow

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”

Miss You: Os Gemeos at Prism

Os Gemeos "Miss You"

Few things in the L.A. art world generated interest and excitement like Os Gemeos‘ recent solo opening at Prism Gallery. I hadn’t heard or seen people this excited since MOCA’s “Art in Streets” last year, and that show undoubtedly served to bring more recognition to the Brazilian twins. It paid off on Saturday when, despite a piece of paper taped to the gallery door that the show would be starting at 7 p.m. (and not the previously advertised 6 p.m.), a line had already begun to form outside around 4. When the butcher paper came down off the glass gallery walls, a few gasps went up, and when the doors finally opened early, few could hardly wait to get in and experience it for themselves.

Now, I should say I often feel the term wonderland is overused–particularly in regard to art installations–but the remarkably immersive artworks on offer in “Miss You” makes this description nothing short of apt. In some cases, this immersiveness was literal, as viewers could enter a side room and play with a collection of touch-screens, or duck inside an enormous box painted with a face to find a blue-lit, completely mirrored space that felt acres bigger than it was. Yet, nowhere was that feeling more evident than on the faces of the visitors streaming in around me. Everywhere I looked, I saw gazes of wonder. Children squealed and wove their way through distended light bulbs anchored to the floor, which brings me to an important part on this show: it was both deeply fun, as well as family-friendly, and it showcased what truly game-changing artists (who just happen to have a significant amount of experience with scale on the street) can do when given total control in a gallery. Continue reading “Miss You: Os Gemeos at Prism”

Weekend link-o-rama

Jade in Ecuador

It’s still technically the weekend for a few hours, so writing this is the perfect procrastination tool before I get down to doing homework. Hopefully you can take advantage of these links in a similar fashion:

  • Phlegm has a new print available. Quite a beauty.
  • A Love Letter For You, a film related to Steve Powers‘ project of the same name but also not the standard documentary you might expect, will be released soon. Here’s the trailer.
  • It’s definitely NSFW but also definitely worth checking out: F*CK ART at the Museum of Sex.
  • I’m guessing Vandalog will cover this in more detail with a full post and not just this tiny mention, but here are a boatload of shots from Os Gemeos’ show in LA.
  • Unurth happened to post cool optical illusion pieces this week by e1000ink and Rub Kandy.
  • Few things I’d rather see on a truck than a horse by Reminisce.
  • High Rise Murals is sort of a new project from Monorex. It organizes all of their murals (read: massive painted outdoor advertisements) under one banner. They launched High Rise Murals in two ways: By having INSA paint a mural and painting a massive Coca-Cola advertisement over some great graffiti. After someone very publicly shamed them, High Rise Murals selectively buffed the advertisement to make it look intentional and not about the massive tag (HW stands for the location of the advertisement, Hackney Wick). Over Twitter, Monorex said that they “are now in phase 2, re commissioning wall with artists.” This phase is also known as phase oh crap, we really screwed the pooch on this one and it’s time to backpedal. Monorex claim that phase two was always the plan, but I don’t see any reason to believe that. Artists need to get paid and painting advertisements can be a lucrative way to do that, but I think we can all agree that painting over graffiti and street art to replace it with advertising is not cool. Let’s hope High Rise Murals have learned from this experience and stop going over murals and art with advertisements.

Photo by Jade

This week in LA: Os Gemeos, Anthony Lister and Herakut

Herakut, Os Gemeos and Anthony Lister (interviewed) all have separate shows opening in Los Angeles later this week, so basically I’d like to be in LA right now.

Anthony Lister’s solo show is at New Image Art Gallery. Work for this show will focus on the beauty of dancing ballerinas. It opens on Thursday the 23rd and runs through April 27th.

Anthony Lister @ New Image Art (2012) Teaser… from Carlos Gonzalez on Vimeo.

Herakut are exhibiting at LeBasse Projects‘ Chinatown location with a show titled After the Laughter. The show will include sculpture, photography and wall installations. After the Laughter will open on February 25th from 6-10pm (with Herakut signing copies of their new book from 6-7pm) and runs through March 17th.

Os Gemeos’ show Miss You will open on Saturday the 25th from 6-9pm at PRISM and runs through March 24th. Miss You is almost certainly LA’s most anticipated show by street artists or graffiti writers so far this year. Do. Not. Miss. This. (sorry Herakut). If you are not sure about seeing this show, just have a look at some of Os Gemeosprevious installations.

Photos courtesy of New Image Art Gallery, LeBasse Projects and PRISM

Weekend link-o-rama

Troy Lovegates

Link-o-rama. ‘Nuff said.

Photo by Troy Lovegates