Weekend link-o-rama


Okay I’m gonna write this quickly and get outside, because it’s basically been cloudy and rainy for two straight weeks in Philadelphia and now there’s finally some sun. But just in case the weather where you are isn’t so nice, here are some links:

  • I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet, but Jowy of Subway Art Blog has started a new podcast, Jowy’s Blackbook, and gilf! is the guest on episode 1.
  • Rowdy has a new print out. I really like that the print is laid out on the page so that the whole thing looks like a blown-up polaroid photo. The print is pretty massive though, which could make it difficult to hang.
  • And Escif has a new print as well.
  • Check out this post over at Melrose&Fairfax for some hilarious shit-talking about Anthony Lister. Apparently, Greg is not a fan…
  • MOMO has a solo show with StudioCromie/FAME Festival next week in Grottaglie, the little Italian town that is home to FAME Festival. This show is the culmination of a months-long project that MOMO has been working on with FAME Festival which included traveling to Cuba and Jamaica.
  • Ron English has a new resin version of his MC Supersized toy available on his website (technically this is the MC Lover variation of the character). Not that there aren’t already about a million variations of this character out there, but it’s great to see such an iconic image by English available for just $40.
  • I love this new mural in Poland from Blaqk.
  • Honestly, I wouldn’t have selected Revok and Pose to paint the Bowery/Houston wall if I were the curator. Especially not right after How&Nosm and Crash. And as the mural was coming together, I kept thinking that it looked like it wasn’t really coming together. But then I saw the finished piece. Revok, Pose and the other members of MSK who joined in absolutely nailed it. The result is a mural that fans of graffiti and random New Yorkers can all love. This is one time where I’m very glad I didn’t speak out sooner, because my initial thoughts were completely wrong. I just with the wall itself weren’t a hoarding that pops a few feet off the building, inevitably making anything painted there look a bit like a billboard, but I guess that can’t be helped (after all, there’s an Os Gêmeos mural behind that hoarding).

Photo by carnagenyc

Lush for Pictures on Walls

Lush‘s first print with Pictures on Walls will be available next week, July 3rd. As you can see in the above video, it’s not your usual screenprint, but a fold-in a bit like MAD Magazine’s famous back page fold-ins. The prints will come already creased, so don’t worry about messing that up if you’re not too good with folding paper I guess…

The 8-color screenprints will be available from POW’s website on July 3rd for £125 each, and it’s an edition of 100.

Weekend link-o-rama

MOMO for Open Walls Baltimore

I think we actually did a pretty good job this week on Vandalog covering what needs to be covered, but here are the few things we missed:

Photo by MOMO

Weekend link-o-rama

Ludo in Paris

It’s officially spring break, which meant the last week for me has primarily consisted of sitting at my desk where I read and type furiously until my eyes are tearing up and my fingers are sore. It also means I could only blog when procrastinating and that the next few days should be a chance to write some longer posts that I’ve been sitting on. In the mean time, here’s what I’ve been finding around the web this week:

  • The man who came up with the Broken Windows Theory died this week.
  • Great piece by You Go Girl on a bus.
  • If you like graffiti writers moving beyond text and generally pushing graffiti’s boundaries, make sure to check out this video of Askew.
  • Todd James has a new print out at Pictures on Walls.
  • Great group show coming up in London with Matt Small, MyMo, Sickboy, Fefe, Monica Canilao, Remi, Best Ever and more.
  • Stinkfish‘s work is on the cover of Diplomat Magazine this month thanks to Jeannine Saba. Here’s the cover.
  • David de la Mano did a fantastic job brightening up this spot in Uruguay.
  • Interesting article about street art that definitely makes a real difference in the world.
  • Plaztik Mag’s latest video features work by Skewville, Roa and Bast and is creepy/awesome.
  • The Living Walls Conference has two great announcements this week: 1. They are now a 501(c)(3), aka an official non-profit organization. 2. In addition to the annual conference, there will be 6 “Living Walls Concepts” mini-events throughout the year, starting in March.
  • Craig Ward wrote a letter critiquing Banksy’s critique of advertisers. Given: Banksy is one of the world’s best marketers himself. Beyond that, the letter is a bit of a mess and Ward points out that he has worked in advertising himself. Clearly, it’s written from the perspective of someone who has lost his perspective and seems to boil down to “There’s worse stuff in the world, so umm, please leave advertisers alone.” No doubt that there are greater evils in the world than the public advertising that seems to be the primary target of Banksy’s critique of advertising, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Additionally, one of Ward’s points as to why traditional advertising isn’t as bad as Banksy’s advertising is that traditional advertisers pays for the locations they use. With that argument, Ward completely disregards both the negative externalities of massive ad campaigns that occur regardless of how much the advertiser pays (compared to the documented positive externalities of Banksy’s street art) and the illegal nature of many advertising campaigns which do not pay the government for the space that they use. By his standard, hiring an assassin to kill someone might be better than doing it yourself, because at least there’s money involved and somebody is getting paid for their time.

Photo by Ludo

Christmas group shows that aren’t at POW

Sweet Toof and Mighty Mo. Photo by Alex Ellison

This week seems to be the week of pre-Christmas art sales in the UK, or at least attempts at pre-Christmas art sales. In London, there’s the Taking Liberty’s pop-up shop open now through the 21st with a great group of political charged artists and 10% of sales going to Reel News as well as Season Ticket an “underground art fair” in Shoreditch from High Roller Society and Alex Daw opening on Thursday. Over in Newcastle, Unit 44 have a big party planned to celebrate their 1-year anniversary, also on Thursday, with new work from artists including SheOne, Hush and Stormie Mills. With Pictures On Walls‘ annual Christmas show being cool (keep an eye on their homepage for print releases this week) but allegedly nothing like the “good old days” of their Santa’s Ghetto events (not that I would know, as I wasn’t there then and I’m not in London now), it seems that a few groups may be trying to rekindle those once warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas cheer around street art, or they know that people like getting art for Christmas.

Here are fliers for all these show… Personally, I’m most excited about Season Ticket…

Photo by Alex Ellison

Banksy news update

Photo by S.Butterfly

We’ve got a few bits of Banksy-related news to share, so it’s all being lumped together here:

  • It looks like there will be a new Banksy print this Christmas March 2012 from Pictures on Walls (no surprise). The print will be based on this gorilla image, which was recently buffed accidentally. Even Pictures on Walls’ description of the print in a bit tongue-in-cheek about the recycling of this older image into a print with different glittery color options.
  • A number of people have emailed me after seeing this Banksy installation (photo by Just) at Pictures on Walls’ winter group show (which Just has plenty more photos of) because it looks a bit like this sculpture by Giles Walker and Peter Dunne from a couple of years ago. Personally, I prefer Dunne and Walker’s piece, but I don’t think the pieces are too similar for comfort. Could Banksy have seem the work by Dunne and Walker and been inspired partially by that? Definitely. But it’s not just an outright copy, and I’m often hesitant to say that any Banksy idea has been outright stolen from another artist, since most of his ideas rely on pretty simple themes and symbols, so it’s likely that others have tried similar things before whether Banksy knew about it or not.
  • It now seems unlikely that we will ever get confirmation from Banksy’s website that the piece pictured at the top of this post and covered on Vandalog last month is a Banksy. Foreignstudents.com happened to catch some photos of the work being put up. No faces of the artist or his crew, but the site did get images of a scaffolding being put up that covered the work while it was being done, and they say a man posing as a security guard stayed at the scaffolding for some of the time that it was up. So if this wasn’t Banksy’s work, someone may still come forward claiming responsibility. I’m confident however that this was the work of Banksy, so given these photos and any more that might be out there, taking responsibility seems risky for his anonymity.

Photo by S.Butterfly

Weekend link-o-rama


This week the Occupy Wall Street live streams have been very effective at distracting me from Vandalog, which I’m not too upset about. The violent and suppressive eviction of Occupy Wall Street is certainly more important that the latest swindle that some art gallery is trying to pull. Nonetheless, I have been paying attention even if I haven’t been writing, so here’s what’s been going on in the street art world this week:

Photo by Damonabnormal

Nuevo Mundo book launch in London

Another show in London this Thursday evening. This time at Pictures on Walls. It’s the London book release party for Nuevo Mundo, a book about Latin American street art that comes highly recommended. The event will include a signing by the author, Maximilliano Ruiz, as well as many of the artists featured in the book (Thiago Alvim, Yusk, Don Lucho, Inti, Kelp, Saile, Stinkfish, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Buytronik, Cix, Mones, Basik, Jade Physe Wesr).

Marks and Stencils Exclusive

Last night, Pictures on Walls opened their holiday show, Marks & Stencils, starring Banksy and Dran. For those of you who read Vandalog daily, you know that I am a MASSIVE Dran fan. When I first lived in London two years ago, I interned for Pure Evil Gallery and the first show I worked on was Je t’aime, an exhibit featuring members of the DMV crew. When I first saw Dran’s work then, I could see this guy was going to be a big deal, and judging by the likes of last night’s crowd- I was right.

In true, POW style, the pop-up exhibit took out all the stops. The space on the Berwick Street in Soho was completely transformed to exhibit as much work as possible. One of the issues that a lot of people debate now is how to exhibit street art on white walls and whether the meaning of the work changes or if it is even street art anymore, albeit done by “street artists.” POW somehow found a solution, albeit temporary, to this raging debate by making the space look like a messy artist’s studio fused with the outdoor components like traffic cones, gray cracked walls and exposed brick.

The space is broken in two levels, with the top styled more like a thrown together group show and the bottom floor transformed into My Everyday Life, a solo show of Dran’s work. The theme the exhibit is Scribouille (featured above) a character of Dran’s imagination who constantly makes art all of the time. The idea was taken literally with areas created to show a workshop, artist’s table and tools, a shopping cart full of cardboard (a material of choice for Dran) and the creation of one of my favorite works by Dran- a cardboard box opened up with eyes cut out and chalk drawings of child-like flowers. The walls were scattered with unframed canvases of Dran’s witty illustrative social commentary addressing everything from the British obsession with football and shortsighted scientists to men’s fascination with porn and a women’s need to control their partners. I laughed out loud most of the time, and I don’t think the absinthe being served was helping my uncontrollable laughter either.

On the end of the space, Dran uses cardboard boxes from around the world to explore socio-political notions relevant to each country. The series is not only innovative, but displays a tension between the light-hearted nature of the drawings and the heavy themes Dran is actually drawing upon. He just goes to show you that simplicity can pack the same thematic punch as heavy convoluted abstracts that attempt to comment on similar ideas.

Upstairs, the art work includes more pieces from Dran, as well as Zevs, Sickboy and of course, Banksy. All grouped together, it was difficult at times to guess which work was by which artist which was annoying at times, but the free show catalog was pretty good about explaining what was what. Sorry guys, I’m not RJ. I don’t know everything that was there. Actually though, if someone know who the Scrabble “Snuff Film” piece was by, drop me a line. It was underneath a ZEVS but I have no idea if it was his. I would assume though.

Anyways, POW put on a great display of graffiti/art that they cited as the work of “drunks and idiots.” All pictures in ornate frames, the photographs are were a clever way to show off work that have not really been seen, but are definitely a crowd favorite.

And of course, to talk about Banksy’s work in the show… Well for starters, there was not that much of it. I was a bit disappointed in the fact that what was displayed were an array of pieces that have similar brethren in an outdoor capacity (like the door, 3D rat or the “Boring” works). What I found more interesting, however, is the close artistic relationship that has seemed to form between Dran and Bansky. I couldn’t peel my eyes off of Dran’s “Mona Lisa” because of how much it resembles Bansky’s painting attack works from a few years ago. I am not saying they are similar styles, their aesthetics are as different as can be, but their mainstream simplistic way of conveying their own social commentary are extremely similar. They both use ideas of art history, children, apes, war and starvation in their pieces as symbols of current situations. It makes me wonder if Dran is just incredibly inspired by Bansky, or if Banksy is actually mentoring the young French artist. One day, hopefully there will be an outdoor collaboration of their work, but seeing two of my favorite artists of today showing side by side is enough for me right now.

Also, for all you Banksy fans who cannot get enough of the show’s curator, the artist’s new print is shown below. Taken from his recent outdoor homage to Keith haring, the print will be on sale in December through Pictures on Walls. “Choose Your Weapon” is a five colour screen print priced at 450 pounds.

All photos by Steph Keller. See the full set on flickr

Dran Invades London

I Have Chalks show

At the end of this month, Pow will play host to one of the biggest upcoming street artists in the game: Dran. Known for his cheeky socio-cultural illustrative commentaries, the young Frenchman has gained a loyal following both within the street art community an collectors alike. Two separate shows will take place, one in a secret pop-up location in Soho entitled “My Everyday Life” and the second is a print show at POW headquarters in Shoreditch entitled “I Have Chalks.” The pop-up show will center around of Dran’s fictitous characters, Scribouille, who does nothing in life but art. The secret location will be filled with Dran’s sculptures, installations and street work which are rare in solo form (He usually bombs with his crew Da Mental Vaporz)

“My Everyday Life” will open November 26th to the public and the location will be made known soon.

“I Have Chalks” will open at the print shop on December 2.

These are going to be the most talked about shows this winter, so make sure to check out the works of this rising art star. And I am not just saying that because I am a MASSIVE Dran fan.

Image for My Everyday Life show

Images courtesy of Pictures on Walls