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

Kickstart some whimsy

Swimming Cities of Serenissima (2009)

One of the best things that street art can do, which doesn’t happen often, is that it can truly engage with people and inspire them. There are two whimsical projects potentially happening this summer which, while not traditional street art, come from that same place. And they need some support or else they might not happen.

First, there is Release the Wolves, a go-karting project by Gold Peg and Pelucas. These two artists are trying to build a go-kart track and go-karts with local kids in South London. They need another £6,500 to make the project a reality. When I was living in London, Gold Peg was one of my favorite local street artists/graffiti writers, and this project fits her to a T. I remember the opening night of The Thousands, a show that I curated back in 2009, where Gold Peg decided that, rather than put a painting in the show like the rest of the Burning Candy crew (in addition to the mural that they painted), she wanted to give out ice cream at an ice cream stand. And so she made a custom ice cream stand and had her friends serve everyone ice cream. It was probably the most popular part of the show, until the ice cream ran out. That was great fun and a bit whimsical, but it was for a crowd of Shoreditch hipsters like myself. With Release the Wolves, Gold Peg is taking that same spirit of fun and exuberance and bringing it to kids who probably didn’t show up for ice cream at The Thousands. I hope she can pull this project off. To help make Release the Wolves happen, you can pledge your support here.

And then there is the latest installment in the Swimming Cities project, which is probably best-known as that crazy series of junk boat projects that Swoon had a hand in. While Swoon is no longer at the helm, Swimming Cities has continued. This year, the group is hoping to float down the Ohio River. The Swimming Cities team is hoping to raise about $20,000 in the next 15 days. It’s a lot, but Swimming Cities is quite a project. I was fortunate enough to ride on one of the Swimming Cities vessels in Venice a few years back. It was the experience of a lifetime, and even just seeing the performance that took place on the boats was spectacular. I cannot say enough good things about this project. I hope that they reach their funding goal and send out some positive energy all along the Ohio River. You can help Swimming Cities here.

Photo by RJ Rushmore