Largely self-promotional link-o-rama

August 10th, 2015 | By | No Comments »
stikman in Philadelphia

stikman in Philadelphia

Apologies that this particular link-o-rama is full of self-promotion and conflicts of interesting, but I do think these are all interesting projects and I hope you do too:

  • It takes a lot to get my excited about a mural festival, but this year’s Wall\Therapy in Rochester, NY looks great. It’s difficult to put on a mural festival. One short cut is to work with obvious artists. Your festival will look like 50 other festivals, but the walls will probably seem impressive. Wall\Therapy has not gone that route. This year in particular, they put together a surprising and diverse line up to create an arguably cohesive body of new work, and the quality of the murals is still strong pretty much across the board. Check out Brooklyn Street Art’s photos and review for the full story.
  • From the selections I’ve read, I’m still not sure how I feel about the book What Do One Million Ja Tags Signify? by Dumar Novy, but a philosophy book centered on the work of a prolific graffiti writer seems like something that should at least catch the interest of Vandalog readers.
  • Phlegm is in the middle of his latest art-making experiment, spending a month making art in the woods of rural England. I’m loving the results so far, and of course the concept of challenging himself in this way.
  • Shepard Fairey’s latest print about corporate greed and campaign finance reform is about to drop. It’s a nice print, and I’m always glad to see Shepard tackling this important but not particularly sexy topic. Plus, the profits from this print go to two great organizations fighting for campaign finance reform. I’ll just note that Shepard is working on a couple of projects right now for my employer, but campaign finance reform and political corruption really are topics that I care a lot about.
  • Speaking of my employer, I recently got to work on a really fun project with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and Ben Eine. Back in June, Eine came to Philly for a few days and painted almost 40 of his classic shutter letters. Philly now has a complete Eine alphabet, and then some. Eine’s work can be found throughout the city, but the shutters are definitely clustered in South Philly around Southeast by Southeast, a community center and art space for the neighborhood’s large Southeast Asian refugee community. Brooklyn Street Art has more on this project.
  • And one more Mural Arts project to mention: JR recently installed a huge mural right in the heart of Philadelphia as part of Open Source, our public art exhibition curated by Pedro Alonzo. The mural is a portrait of Ibrahim Shah, a local food truck chef who came to Philadelphia from Pakistan about a year ago. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a great profile on Ibrahim. I love how this mural looms large on the side of one of the biggest buildings right in the center of Philly, but isn’t actually that visible from the ground except from a few choice locations. Sounds like that could be a problem, I know, but the mural actually pops out from behind buildings in the most surprising places, and catching a glimpse of it winds up being a thrill, a bit of hide and seek. Plus, that game plays into the meaning of the mural, which is about how immigrants are a big part of our cities, but aren’t always celebrated or allowed to be made visible.
  • Okay, actually, Mural Arts has something coming up with Steve Powers too, but hopefully it will last longer than these signs in NYC! No surprise, a great series of street signs by Powers, installed legally as part of a project with the NYC Department of Transportation, seem to be being ripped down and stolen by greedy collectors or maybe thieves hoping to make a buck. It’s no surprise, but it is still disappointing.
  • A few days ago, I appeared on Al Jazeera English as a guest on their show The Stream. Gaia and I joined their panel to talk about street art. You can watch the full episode, plus some bonus online content, here.
  • If you’re in New York City, do not miss Faile’s exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s on now, and visiting is a really exciting experience. Vandalog contributing writer Caroline Caldwell currently works as an assistant at Faile’s studio, but even hearing bits and pieces from her as things were coming together did not prepare me for the awesomeness that is Savage/Sacred Young Minds. Without a doubt, the highlight of the exhibition is the latest and (I think) largest iteration of Faile and Bast’s Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, with custom foosball, pinball, and of course video games. It’s just an unabashedly fun experience. Arrested Motion has photos of much of the exhibition.

Photo by RJ Rushmore


Category: Art News, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Print Release, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Shoreditch, Part I: Phlegm, Alexis Diaz, C215, Run, Stik, Pez, David Walker and Matt Adnate

December 8th, 2014 | By | No Comments »
Phlegm

Sheffield-based Phlegm

As Shoreditch, an inner city district in London’s East End, continues its transformation from a working class neighborhood into London’s most creative hub, its walls attract not only the best of its local artists, but those from across the globe. Here are a few  images captured on my recent visit — more to come!

Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz

Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz

French artist C215

French artist C215

London-based Italian artist Run

London-based Italian artist Run

Local artist Stik

Local artist Stik

Bogota-based Barcelona-born artist Pez and London-based David Walker

Bogota-based, Barcelona-born artist Pez and London-based David Walker

Australian artist Matt Adnate

Australian artist Matt Adnate

Photos of Phlegm, Alexis Diaz, Pez & David Walker and Matt Adnate by Lois Stavsky; of C215, Run and Stik by Dani Reyes Mozeson


Category: Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

PUBLIC by FORM Gallery – Perth – Western Australia

August 10th, 2014 | By | No Comments »
ROA - Photo by ROA

ROA. Photo by ROA.

I’m back after a brief blogging hiatus. I’ve been meaning to post my review for this great event that happened back in April over in Western Australia for a while now…

Leaving a cold wet 17 degrees in Melbourne, I was pretty damn excited to fly to Perth on the 10th of April, right in time for the grand finale of PUBLIC by Form Gallery in Perth, Western Australia, which I posted a preview of a while ago.

I arrived to a perfect sunny 30 degrees and soon as I hit the ground, I had a good feeling about Perth, I hadn’t been before, but something felt right. I went straight to the hotel and dropped off my bags, and went for an explore. Within a few hundred metres of my hotel, I could see the amazing Phlegm and ROA murals in progress. I made a beeline straight for them. Upon entering the car park I also saw the work of many other great artists. The works were spread throughout the CBD and inner city suburbs. Here’s a selection of some of my favourite pieces from the event.

ROA - Photo by Bewley Shaylor

ROA. Photo by Bewley Shaylor.

Pixel Pancho - Photo by Dean Sunshine

Pixel Pancho. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

Pixel Pancho - Photo by Pixel Pancho

Pixel Pancho. Photo by Pixel Pancho.

Pixel Pancho - Photo by Pixel Pancho

Pixel Pancho. Photo by Pixel Pancho.

Phibs - Photo by Luke Shirlaw

Phibs. Photo by Luke Shirlaw.

Hyuro - Photo by Luke Shirlaw 2

Hyuro. Photo by Luke Shirlaw.

Hyuro - Photo by Luke Shirlaw

Hyuro. Photo by Luke Shirlaw.

Phlegm - Photo by David Dare Parker

Phlegm. Photo by David Dare Parker.

Alexis Diaz - Photo by Alexis Diaz

Alexis Diaz. Photo by Alexis Diaz.

Alexis Diaz (detail) - Photo by Alexis Diaz

Alexis Diaz (detail). Photo by Alexis Diaz.

Amok Island - Photo by Amok Island

Amok Island. Photo by Amok Island.

Ever - Photo by Ever

Ever. Photo by Ever.

GAIA - Photo by Dean Sunshine

GAIA. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

GAIA and Ever - Photo by Brendan Hutchens

GAIA and Ever. Photo by Brendan Hutchens.

Lucas Grogan - Photo by Dean Sunshine

Lucas Grogan. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

Lucas Grogan - Photo by Jean-Pierre Horre

Lucas Grogan. Photo by Jean-Pierre Horre.

2501 - Photo by Luke Shirlaw

2501. Photo by Luke Shirlaw.

Maya Hayuk - Photo by Jean-Pierre Horre

Maya Hayuk. Photo by Jean-Pierre Horre.

2501 vs Maya Hayuk - Photo by 2501

2501 vs Maya Hayuk. Photo by 2501.

Beastman and Vans the Omega - Photo by Dean Sunshine

Beastman and Vans the Omega. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

HEAVY Projects - Photo by Dean Sunshine

HEAVY Projects. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

HEAVY Projects - Photo by Dean Sunshine

HEAVY Project. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

HEAVY Projects - Photo by Dean Sunshine

HEAVY Projects. Photo by Dean Sunshine.

HEAVY Projects - Photo by HEAVY Projects

HEAVY Projects. Photo by HEAVY Projects.

While the event spanned over ~30 days, the main event was the painting of Perth’s 1st ever giant murals over the last 3/4 days of the event. In total there were around 30 murals painted for the event, spanning across the City of Perth. I was very impressed by the organization of the event by the FORM Gallery crew. With a logistical nightmare trying to coordinate over 45 artists, paint and equipment, all in 35 degree heat, the FORM Crew did an amazing job, Well done guys!!! A very friendly and hospitable crew. Thanks very much for taking such great care of us while we visited.

There was a great selection of artists from ac cross the globe representing all different styles and genres. Unfortunately there was no graffiti, but I suppose street art was a big stretch for conservative Perth, so graffiti may have been avoided for this reason. For a city not really known for street art, the public reaction was encouraging. People of all ages and walks of life filled the city over the weekend. I love walking around randomly and listening to some of the conversations and questions people ask each other. In particular I was really impressed by the public’s reactions to the HEAVY PROJECTS installations (interactive works of art that use Augmented Reality on smart phones and tablets). Here’s a short video the guys out together to document the event (plus some footage from a previous project).

Re+Public: Austin + Perth from The Heavy Projects on Vimeo.

On the Friday night there was also a great show at FORM Gallery – PUBLIC SALON showing off canvases from the contributing artists, some great work on display, check out some shots here.

And finally. This great video by Chad Peacock is a really accurate representation of the event and well put together. Damn it takes me back!!!


The FORM guys also took a number of artists to visit the Pilbara, a very special part of top end of Australia with breathtaking views and incredible nature (also sadly known for mining – the 2 don’t really go hand in hand). A few of the artists had a paint while there, I particularly like the piece by Remed.

Remed - Photo by Ben Fulton-Gillon

Remed. Photo by Ben Fulton-Gillon.

2501 and Remed - Photo by 2501

2501 and Remed. Photo by 2501.

2501 and ROA - Photo by 2501

2501 and ROA. Photo by 2501.

2501 and Alexis Diaz - Photo by 2501

2501 and Alexis Diaz. Photo by 2501.

After all of the above, any street art fan in Perth would have to be pretty happy, but it didn’t stop there. FORM has continued putting up murals in Perth, with Creepy (aka Kyle Hughes-Odgers) painting at Perth Airport (a sponsor of PUBLIC) and also Vans the Omega and Beastman’s new piece that went up last week.

Kyle Hughes-Odgers - Photo by  Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Photo by Kyle Hughes-Odgers.

Kyle Hughes-Odgers - Photo by Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Photo by Kyle Hughes-Odgers.

Vans the Omega & Beastman - Photo by Jarrad Seng

Vans the Omega & Beastman. Photo by Jarrad Seng.

Vans the Omega & Beastman (detail) - Photo by Jarrad Seng

Vans the Omega & Beastman (detail). Photo by Jarrad Seng.

What I loved most about the event wasn’t just the art, and was not unique to PUBLIC; is the sense of community I felt. This is something I really love about the street art scene. I got to catch up with some great old friends, and made some new ones who I will undoubtedly randomly catch up with again somewhere around the globe.

Fingers crossed that this event is on again next year. I will be there with bells on!

If you are in Perth, check out the full list of artists and the mural map. FORM has also put together this short book called PUBLICation available for Purchase at the Gallery and viewable online for free here. FORM have also started “PUBLIC Urban Art Walks” to give fans a guided tour of the city, well worth checking out.

Ok, so that’s enough, right? Actually no, there’s more. And it’s massive. Due to some logistical 😉 issues SANER was unable to make it over for the original dates. I was gutted to hear this when I found out, but when I found out FORM are still bringing him over in August to paint in Perth and also the Pilbara, I was pretty damn excited! I’ll make sure to cover this later in the month.

Photos courtesy of: ROA, Dean Sunshine, Bewley Shaylor, FORM, Pixel Pancho, Luke Shirlaw, David Dare Parker, Alexis Diaz, Amok Island, 2501, Ever, Brendan Hutchens, Jean-Pierre Horre, HEAVY Projects, Ben Fulton-Gillon, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Jarrad Seng.


Category: Festivals, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PUBLIC – Art in the City – FORM – Western Australia

April 10th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

A little while ago I heard whispers of something big happening in Perth, Western Australia. I usually only cover Melbourne based art and events, but this is an exception and needs to be shared. I’m heading over to Perth tomorrow so I will be covering the remainder of the event for Vandalog.

PUBLIC started on the 5th of April and continues through to the 13th and will feature street art, projections and installations across the city. 45 amazing artists will paint over 30 giant murals and walls over the fortnight.

The line up is mind blowing and an Australian first, with names like 2501, Phlegm, Yandell Walton, Hayley Welsh, Jordan Seiler, Jerome Davenport, Amok Island, Ian Mutch, Casey Ayres, Chris Nixon, Darren Hutchens, Martin E Wills, Paul Deej, Daek William, Stormie Mills, Hurben, ROA, Ever, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Peche, Natasha Muhl, Phibs, Beastman, Lucas Grogan, Andrew Frazer, Hyuro, Mekel, Mow Skwoz, Drew Straker, Jaz, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Maya Hayuk, Reko Rennie, Pixel Pancho, Jetsonorama, Gaia, Alexis Diaz, Nathan Beard, Remed, Vans the Omega, The Yok and Sheryo and more.

Here’s a couple of work in progress shots I stole from Sam Gorecki via Invurt. More here.

Pixel Pancho - Photo by Sam Gorecki

Pixel Pancho

Phlegm - Photo by Sam Gorecki

Phlegm

ROA - Photo by Sam Gorecki

ROA

Phibs - Photo by Sam Gorecki

Phibs

The Yok and Sheryo - Photo by Sam Gorecki

The Yok and Sheryo

Maya Hayuk - Photo by Sam Gorecki

Maya Hayuk

Lucas Grogan - Photo by Sam Gorecki

Lucas Grogan

More to come once I get to Perth.

Photos by Sam Gorecki


Category: Festivals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Bestiary, a new show from Phlegm

January 24th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

-1

Well this looks like it’s gonna be a special one… The Bestiary is the latest show from Phlegm. Lately I’ve been trying to avoid just recycling content from Arrested Motion and elsewhere, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. In this case, I just had to give this show some love. Rather than a commercial show, The Bestiary is an installation that seems more in-line with what Phlegm might do if given the right abandoned building and enough time. The concept for the show sounds like something Roa might do if he painted imaginary creatures: A sort of painted curiosity cabinet containing both real and fantastical beasts. The Bestiary is an invitation towards understanding Phlegm’s universe, where his creations will all be organized for inspection as if in a science lab. If The Bestiary comes together and works as a cohesive show, it could be a magical event.

The Bestiary opens on February 1st and will run through March 4th at Howard Griffin Gallery in London.

-2

Photos courtesy of Howard Griffin Gallery


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: ,

Zed1 and Phlegm in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

October 3rd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
Zed1 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Zed1 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

With so much quality street art and graffiti concentrated within the same neighborhoods — generally those edgier ones or on the edge of gentrification — I am delighted that Zed1 and Phlegm have brought their visions to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. A rather staid middle-class neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay now boasts two of the finest pieces in town.

In from Italy, Zed1 has been getting up these past few weeks in Brooklyn and Queens. More images to come soon, but these two are the ones that found a home in Sheepshead Bay:

zed

zed

And a few weeks back, UK-based Phlegm painted right nearby. While I had assumed his signature characters were burying themselves in books, the word on the blogosphere is that they’re deep into their tablets!

Phlegm

phlegmwall2

Sheepshead Bay native Joe Bouganim, the owner of Bottleneck Gallery, organized these walls.

Photos by Tara Murray 


Category: Photos | Tags: , , ,

Parasites and magnets: a story about street art and photography

July 27th, 2013 | By | 6 Comments »

P1030194

I am bored. In fact, I am not that bored, I am more disillusioned. But why?

Firstly I am slightly fed up of seeing a lack of creativity in much of the street art I am currently viewing in London, hence these photos of interesting pieces by Monkey and the ATG Crew in Hvar, Croatia I snapped whilst on holiday a couple of months ago. It may just be that I am looking in the wrong places, and don’t get me wrong, there are a huge amount of artists living and working in London that I admire, but it seems I keep seeing the same dull work from many others.

P1030182

But that is not quite why I am writing. It is a second point that has caused me to become even more disillusioned. Money makes the world go around and money always seeps into everything eventually, street art included. This is not necessarily a bad thing, artists need money to keep doing what they are doing in addition to feeding and clothing themselves, but at the same time money brings parasites.

These parasites, as I like to call them, come in various forms and varieties. You have flippers, forgers, and reclaimers, who just steal street art off the street to sell. Then there are others, such as agents, who I will never understand really. An agent, really?

P1030200

But there seems to be a final parasite that is increasing in numbers, and that’s the photographer. Actually photographer is a bad term to use, but they call themselves that so, so be it. A photographer to me is someone that is creative, an artist with a camera. Someone who sees a shot, frames it, and shoots it. Taking light, composition, angle and various other important aspects into account. A good photographer (at this point note Mark Rigney, Sandra Butterfly, NoLionsinEngland, RomanyWG, HowAboutNo, Martha Cooper, Ian Cox et al), makes an image come to life in a photo. They add something to a picture.

I see photographers as important for a couple of reasons, firstly as I have previously alluded to, they are artists in their own right and I am all for creative people who have something interesting to exhibit. But secondly, and more importantly to an extent, is their ability to document. Martha Cooper is the prime example and others have followed suit. My pictures in this post are a documentation of street art in Croatia and this blog is a documentation of street art from around the world. In essence it becomes a window to history and that’s why I have a penchant for photography.

P1030184

Yet over the last two weeks in particular, and over the last few weeks, months and years in general, I have become disillusioned. In no small part because of the increasing numbers of people printing Banksy images onto canvas and selling them at every market in London, but more recently by photographers tapping into the same practice.

Over the last two weekends I have attended two outdoor art events. One in Brixton, and one near Old Street. Both these events have included some fantastic, talented artists, and in particular, Brixton had a few great photographers who’s work I really admired. But both have also had those types of photographers who steal others’ creativity.

P1030179

Poor photos are one thing, but couple that with a market stall, price labels, and in one case fridge magnets and Oyster card holders and you have a recipe for disaster. Gone is the creativity and the innovation of a good photographer or even if the documentation that the mediocre photographer can provide. All you are left with is poor photos, bad cropping and product.

There has been a recent breakthrough on this subject with regard to Wooster Collective working their magic to ensure than Art.com offers commission to artists and show artists the photos they are hoping to use before they start selling them. This really is a massive step in ensuring that companies who deal in wall art act in a moral manner, but as RJ mentioned in his post on the subject, this is far from a complete problem solver.

In one of the cases I came across, I asked if the photographer had got permission from the artists. He said yes of course, the majority had agreed and that they are extremely grateful for their work getting promoted.

I would have loved to have been there when the guy asked Banksy, Eine, Phlegm, Mr. Brainwash, Os Gemeos and others if he could use their images to make money for himself. I hardly believe they are happy that others are making financial gains without paying any dues, in this case commission.

At a time when there are so many good artists releasing high quality affordable screen prints and even originals, it annoys me that some members of the general public are paying out sums of money for awful images. The stall at the street party near Old Street always had a large crowd around it with people paying good money for pictures they could have taken themselves and printed at home.

The moral of this story is that if you are reading this thinking about lining the pockets of one of these so called photographers, then I urge you to invest that money in your own camera, get outside and take some photos yourself. And if you need a bit of training then get yourself along to one of NoLions photography workshops if he organises a few more soon, fingers crossed he does, as they were very well received. Be creative, don’t let others steal what in essence is meant to be free art for all to enjoy.

This problem is not going to disappear completely, but you can all do your bit by not handing your money over to these parasitic photographers, and don’t let your mates do it either. In fact, I believe this is where street art tours come into their own as they get the general public into places where they can take their own documentary images. It is summer, so get yourself outside, walk around, see what turns your head, and just be creative.

P1030203

Photos all by Shower. Not purchased in any way. Taken himself whilst on holiday in Hvar, Croatia. And they will not be printed onto magnets any time soon!


Category: Featured Posts, Random | Tags: , , , , , ,

MURAL Festival, Montreal, Canada (part 1)

June 20th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
DSC_0785_01

ROA

MURAL‘s first edition is what we can call a success. Montreal had never run such a massive urban art event … MURAL brought together some incredible local and  international artists for 4 days of explosive creativity. Running up and down Saint-Laurent Boulevard to admire and document all the murals was delightful. After given you an idea of the murals in progress last Sunday, here are the completed murals of ROA, Troy Lovegates (aka Other), Escif, Omen, Phlegm, Reka One, Pixel pancho, A Squid Called Sebastian, Le Bonnard, A’shop.

DSC_0777_01

ROA

DSC_0793_01

Troy Lovegates (aka Other)

DSC_0826_01

Escif – Barré means “Locked”

DSC_0775_01

Escif – Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Read the rest of this article »


Category: Featured Posts, Festivals, Guest Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

MURAL Festival in Montreal, Canada: Work in progress

June 15th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
DSC_0662_01

Pixel Pancho – work in progress

For the last few days, the first MURAL Festival edition has taken over more than 20 walls in Montreal, Canada, located around the oldest boulevard of the city called “the main”, namely Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Running from June 13 to 16, MURAL offers to the public the opportunity to see some of the big masters of street art at work. Street artists, graffiti artists and muralists have been bringing all their energy and their incredible talent to refresh the streets. Among amazing international artists are the best Canadian ones. The list is long, but impressive: Pixel Pancho, ROA, Phlegm, Escif, Reka One, Gaia, LNY, Ricardo Cavolo, FinDAC & Angelina Christina, Labrona, Troy Lovegates (aka Other), Omen, Jason Botkin, Chris Dyer, EnMasse, Stare, Squid called Sebastian, Le Bonnard, Paria Crew, A’shop, Wzrds gng.

Read the rest of this article »


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SMoA brings guerilla curating to the streets of London

December 29th, 2012 | By | 1 Comment »

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 5.15.31 AM

The Street Museum of Art has launched its second venture in “guerilla curating” in London’s artsy district of Shoreditch. Like their first exhibition, it’s basically a self-guided street art tour with museum-like wall labels. The exhibition’s title, “Beyond Banksy: Not another gift shop“, is likely a tongue and cheek reference to the commercial attention that street art has received in London these past few years, with Banksy at the forefront of the movement. In all fairness, Banksy has become enough of a household name that he and Exit Through the Gift Shop are frequently my reference points when speaking about street art to people outside this niche community. For that, I am thankful that I get to SMoA advises that the name is not meant to undermine the work of the beloved stencil artist, rather it is to encourage those who have Banksy as their token understanding of street art to the diversity of the other talented artists on the streets. This exhibition highlights works by artists such as C215, Christiaan Nagel, Eine, Mobstr, Pablo Delgado, Phlegm, Roa, Run, Skewville, Space Invader, Stik and Swoon.

snia

The map of the exhibited works are available here and the hours are… well, unlimited.

Photo by Street Museum of Art


Category: Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,