UK travels link-o-rama

Paul Insect and Dscreet in London
Paul Insect and Dscreet in London

I’ve been traveling a bit and I’m in London at the moment, so here’s me playing some catch up:

  • There seems to be a big question mark on the freshly launched Street Art Project from Google. I’ve been getting friends outside of street art sending me links to the NYTimes article about the project and asking what the hell to think, and everyone within street art that I’ve spoken with seems unsure of what to think about the thing. I’m also unsure so far. On the surface, sounds great: A major institution offering to archive, tag, map and promote the best high-resolution photos of street art around the world. But the more I think about it, the less exciting it sounds: Only a select few contributors (from the amazing Living Walls to the questionable Global Street Art), essentially replicating the functions of flickr without the ability for anyone to participate, using art to whitewash the reputation of a controversial company… Honestly, if I had the opportunity to contribute photos to this project, I probably would just because of the possible selfish promotional value, but at the same time I’m not sure that this project is of any real worth the the street art or graffiti communities. I don’t know. I’m just not sold on the idea that this is the best strategy or documentation or archival. Anyone have any thoughts on this thing?
  • Banksy has updated (and upgraded) his website. Notable updates include the updates to the Q&A section and an embed of this video, titled “Better Out Than In – the movie,” which is essentially a slightly edited version of his Webby Awards acceptance video. The question now is whether that short video is really “the movie,” or a trailer for an upcoming movie. Street Art News seems to think it’s a trailer, but I don’t see Banksy having hinted one way or the other.
  • Ken Sortais aka PAL Crew’s Cony had a show on in Paris earlier this month. The show has closed now, but it’s worth checking out the photos. The sculptures are very George Condo-esque, but Sortais has some real talent. The work isn’t completely removed from his graffiti, but he’s certainly not using his graffiti reputation or skills as a crutch for these gallery works, something that happens all too often with less talented artists as they move from the street to the gallery.
  • All of London is talking about the Roa and Ripo shows opening today at Stolenspace Gallery. I’m looking forward to the opening: Two artists whose work I enjoy, and it will be my first time at Stolenspace’s new location.
  • Next week four of the great early photographers of graffiti will be on a panel hosted by Jay J.SON Edlin at the Museum of the City of New York as part of the City as Canvas show. That’s one event not to miss. I may even come up from Philadelphia for it, so if you’re in NYC, you have no excuse not to go. Use the discount code in this flyer to save a bit on tickets to the event.

Photo by RJ Rushmore

Banksy + 5: October 17th

Banksy in Brooklyn. Photo by carnagenyc.
Banksy in Brooklyn. Photo by carnagenyc.

Today’s Better Out Than In piece only lasted for a few minutes after it was announced before it was defaced, which is too bad because it’s really a great example of how a simple intervention with the right placement can be great. Banksy is one of the best at this sort of thing.

Today Swoon, Zap, Mygalo, Sweet Toof, Paul Insect and one unknown artist make up our + 5:

Swoon. Photo by Alex Ellison.
Swoon in London. Photo by Alex Ellison.
Zap in Paris. Photo by vitostreet.
Zap in Paris. Photo by vitostreet.
Mygalo in Paris. Photo by vitostreet.
Mygalo in Paris. Photo by vitostreet.
Sweet Toof and Paul Insect. Photo by liborius.
Sweet Toof and Paul Insect in London. Photo by liborius.
Iztok Alf Kurnik in Cádiz, Spain. Photo by Iztok Alf Kurnik.
Unknown artist in Cádiz, Spain. Photo by Iztok Alf Kurnik.

Photos by carnagenyc, Alex Ellison, vitostreet, liborius and Iztok Alf Kurnik

Weekend link-o-rama

Paul Insect and Sweet Toof
Paul Insect and Sweet Toof (and Sope)

For me, school is back in session. Hopefully everyone else out there is still enjoying the tail end of the summer. Here’s some art to keep your weekend interesting:

  • Martha Cooper and I have announced our picks for the MOCAtv Upload More Art challenge. You uploaded your street art videos, and we selected our favorites. I used the opportunity to highlight videos of Enzo & Nio and A.CE. As you can probably guess when you watch me explain my picks, I made those picks during Illegal August, so those sorts of thoughts were on my mind. Martha Cooper also selected two videos to highlight.
  • Just because Colossal Media paints murals based on designs by people like KAWS and Faile doesn’t mean there should be any love for them. They paint advertisements. That is their business. If they paint some murals on the side, that doesn’t excuse billboards invading public space. Unless you think BP sponsoring art exhibits excuses oil spills and pollution…
  • Also what’s up with KAWS’ work being used for a mural (I hesitate to say he did a mural, since it appears all he did was license his imagery)? He’s spent the better part of this site’s existence distancing himself from street art and graffiti and his public art has consisted of sculptures and flyposted advertisements (if you consider that public art).
  • Maybe I’ll be able to ask KAWS about all this myself soon, since presumably he’ll be in Philadelphia for his show at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Arrested Motion has a bit of a preview, but I think the link really worth checking is PAFA’s website (and this archived version of the same page from mid-August) because of this section of the show description which has since been removed: “Placing KAWS’ sculptural works throughout PAFA’s historic galleries will further the ‘graffiti effect,'” and the edit of (emphasis added) “KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s.” to “KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as an artist in the early 1990s.” So that’s interesting.
  • I’ve never been a big fan of Elle’s work, but I do love this ad takeover.
  • And here are more ad takeovers, these from Jordan Seiler.
  • So many nice graffiti pieces on Ekosystem today.
  • I really like this new print from Shepard Fairey.
  • Pablo Delgado tiny pieces alway makes me smile.
  • Speak of small street art, here’s BSA’s take on the subject.
  • FAME Festival is no more, although ad hoc projects will continue to be organized in the town of Grottaglie, Italy by festival organizer Angelo Milano. It’s definitely sad news, but Angelo is always ahead of the times. Maybe this glut of street art festivals is just too much. Maybe it’s time for something different. Let’s hope Angelo figures it out. I can’t wait to see what he tries next.

Photo by Alex Ellison

Bast and Paul Insect, somewhere between animation and timelapse

Paul Insect and Bast made this video in NYC recently, showing a few pieces they painted collaboratively in New York. Like this recent piece by Paul and Sweet Toof, this piece isn’t quite a straight up timelapse of the pieces coming together and it isn’t quite a straight up stop motion animation like one of Blu’s videos. Instead, there’s a bit of timelapse and a bit of stop motion animation.

I like that each piece Paul Insect and Bast painted together for this project can be looked at on its own as a finished product, and the animation that we see is just a bonus. Animations like Blu’s Muto on the other hand create a lot of “waste” where there’s just a white blob of paint left after the animation progresses.

Here is Paul’s description of their film:

Bast and Pins spend a few days painting and pressing the button on an iphone in New Yorks abandoned buildings, trains lines and bridges to bring a short stop motion film.

Thanks to Home Depot & Lowes DIY Centre for there support. Paint used, Rustoleum & Home Depots $1 spray paint range. iphone 4 for the pictures.

Check it out:

BAST NY and Paul Insect in New York from PAUL INSECT on Vimeo.

Paul Insect brings his brilliance to NYC

Psychedelic saints

The first time I saw any artwork by UK’s Paul Insect was about six years ago on the Separation Wall in Bethlehem. I was instantly enthralled. Since then I’ve seen his art here in NYC printed on stickers and featured in a few group exhibits. But as RJ blogged earlier this week, Opera Gallery is currently presenting Paul Insect’s first solo exhibit in New York City. And it is ravishing — both aesthetically and conceptually. Meticulously crafted paintings, sculptures and installations on a range of themes — from the media and the environment to religion and identity — reflect the artist’s imaginative sensibility and astounding array of skills. Here are a few more images:

Anatomical silhouette
Clockwork America
Sculpture, close-up

The exhibit continues through December 21 at 115 Spring Street in SoHo.

Photos by Lenny Collado and Lois Stavsky

Paul Insect – “Out of Chaos”

“Butterfly Face Hoodie”

As a great follow-up to their Ron English show, the next show at Opera Gallery’s New York location is a solo show with Paul Insect. Out of Chaos is Paul’s first solo show in New York City, despite seriously great and equally successful solo shows in London and LA in the past. The show opens November 29th from 6-9pm. I’m going to miss it, but I have a good excuse: I don’t live in the state. If you do live in New York, you’d best be there.

I’m a fan of a lot of Paul’s work on the street and in the gallery (as are people like Damien Hirst and Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil Faile), so I’m excited that New York will finally be properly introduced to him (although he has had work in group shows at Opera Gallery in the past). Arrested Motion has photos from a studio visit with Paul Insect with more previews of what to expect at Out of Chaos. There are definitely a few pieces in the post on AM that could be mistaken for Banksy pieces or look heavily influenced by Banksy, but it’s worth noting that Paul Insect has some close ties to the Banksy camp and Opera says that Paul has been involved in “graphically developing [Banksy’s] work.” So, can you really blame a guy for making work that resembles the work of another person whose work he has helped to develop? While the Banksy-esque stuff isn’t usually my favorite of what he does, I’m also not going to call Paul Insect just another Banksy rip off artist either, because that’s not what Paul at all.

Photo courtesy of Opera Gallery

SPACE//FORM: a show curated by Sven Davis

Judith Supine

Sven Davis, probably best-known for being Arrested Motion‘s UK Director, has curated a show that will be taking place next month in Portland, Oregon. SPACE//FORM is a massive group show involving over 100 artists who were each given a 10×10 inch panel on which to work. The results are looking good. Plus, the show will include installations by Mark Dean Veca and Michael Murphy. Here’s the full list of artists:

Aakash Nihalani, Adam Normandin, Adam Wallacavage, Alex Lukas, Alicia Dubnyckyj, Amy Casey, Anthony Zinonos, Augustine Kofie, Ben Eine, Bill McRight, Blaine Fontana, Brendan Monroe, Brett Amory, Carl Cashman, Carl Riddle. Cheryl Molnar, Chloe Early, Chris Ballantyne, Chris Scarborough, Christian Mendoza, Christopher Derek Bruno, Clayton Brothers, Cleon Peterson, Dabs Myla, Dana Brown, Dave Kinsey, David Kassan, David O’Brien, Deedee Cheriel, Doze Green, Drew Tyndall, Eric Shaw, Eric White, Erik Mark Sandberg, Francesco Igory Deiana, Frank Gonzales, Gary Taxali, Geoff McFetridge, Ghostpatrol, Greg Eason, Greg Lamarche, Hamishi, Henry Gunderson, Ian Francis, Jacob Magraw Mickelson, James Marshall (Dalek), Jason Thielke, Jeff Depner, Jeff Soto, Jim Houser, Jordin Isip, Josh Keyes, Joshua Krause, Judith Supine, Kai & Sunny, Karin Krommes, Karl de Vroomen, Katrin Fridriks, Kenji Hirata, Kevin Cyr, Kevin Earl Taylor, Kevin Peterson, Kid Acne, Kozyndan, Kris Lewis, Kristen Schiele, Lex Thomas, Logan Hicks, Lola Dupré, Louis Reith, Lucas Price, LX One, Mario Wagner, Marissa Textor, Mark Dean Veca, Mark Schoening, Mark Warren Jacques, Mark Whalen, Mars-1, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Matt Leines, Maya Hayuk, Michael Murphy, Mike Stilkey, Moneyless, Nick Walker, Pakayla Biehn, Paul Insect, Pete Watts, Reginald S. Aloysius, Remi Rough, Rich Jacobs, Richard Colman, Ricky Allman, Rostarr, Russell Leng, Ryan Shaffer, Ryan Stewart Nault, Sage Vaughn, Saner, Seonna Hong, She One, Sidney Pink, Sinc, Slinkachu, Stephanie Buer, Sweet Toof, Teresa Duck, Tim Biskup, Tom French, Tristram Lansdowne, Wayne White, Will Barras, Winston Smith

SPACE//FORM opens September 6th from 6-10pm at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland and runs through September 29th.

After the jump, check out a preview of some of the work in the show, including pieces by Lucas Price, Paul Insect and others… Continue reading “SPACE//FORM: a show curated by Sven Davis”