With their vigorous, brightly-hued fusion of pop imagery, comic art and graffiti elements, Pose and Revok, along with support from other MSK crew members, have fashioned — perhaps — the most dynamic mural to ever grace the famed Bowery and Houston wall. Along with their current exhibit, Uphill Both Ways at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, their artwork is a testament to graffiti’s ongoing evolution and vitality.
And in their tribute to the legendary Nekst and to the true spirit of graffiti, the two have, also, left their mark on the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn:
Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky
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.
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.
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).
Diego Bergia‘s latest animation based on combining video games and graffiti is a parody of Street Fighter 2 starring Revok and Mike Giant. This could really easily come across as corny, but I’m absolutely loving it. It’s for his project LEPOS: The Primary Invasion.
Rizzoli recently published the official book documenting The Underbelly Project, We Own the Night: The Art of The Underbelly Project. If you haven’t heard of The Underbelly Project, check out my firsthand account. Basically, over 100 artists were taken down to an abandoned subway station beneath New York City to put up artwork and explore hidden depths of the city. Artists involved in the project include Revok, Roa, Anthony Lister, Faile, Ron English, Dan Witz, Gaia, Know Hope, Haze and many others.
In December, a collector’s edition of the book was sold at The Underbelly Project’s show in Miami. Until now, that show was the only place to pick up a copy of this special edition of We Own the Night. The collector’s edition version includes a hardcover copy of the book, nine photographic prints from the project, and comes in a handcrafted and laser-engraved oak box. This package is an edition of 100, plus 10 APs, and a handful were held back in Miami to be sold later. Now, the remaining collector’s editions are available online for the first time exclusively at The Vandalog Shop.
The Underbelly Project is one of the most fascinating projects to ever happen in the street art or graffiti worlds. While there are photos all over the web showing what the project looked liked, reading We Own the Night is just about the only way to get a sense of what it was actually like to participate in The Underbelly Project. I saw The Underbelly Project in the flesh, but hearing other people’s stories shed new light on it even for me. I’m extremely pleased that The Vandalog Shop will be selling the collector’s edition of We Own the Night, giving people who couldn’t make it to Basel Miami a chance to pick up a copy. My copy of We Own the Night was the best thing I’ve received under a Christmas tree in years, and I hope other people will enjoy the book and the photographs as much as I do.
Here are a just a couple of the photographs included in the set:
Other images include work by Roa, Anthony Lister, Skullphone, Kid Zoom, Revok, Ceaze and Jeff Soto.
Only a few of these collector’s editions are remain, and The Vandalog Shop is the only place you’ll find them online. They are available for $250.
UPDATE – LOCATION CHANGE: The Underbelly Show has moved to 78 NW 25th Street in Wynwood, Miami to accommodate the large scale of the artwork in this show.
The Underbelly Project is back. Last year, I posteda lotabout the project where 103 artists from around the world secretly painted an abandoned/half-completed New York City subway station. After that initial burst of press here and around the web, The Underbelly Project organizers stayed silent. With only occasional vague tweets from a mysterious twitter account and the appearance on Amazon of an upcoming book about the project. Yesterday though, The Underbelly Project announced that they will be participating in this year’s Basel Miami Week madness with a pop-up gallery in South BeachWynwood.
The organizers of The Underbelly Project and The Underbelly Show, Workhorse and PAC, have this to say about the show:
Workhorse: The New York Underbelly was an important chapter for us, but the story hadn’t been comprehensively told. The Underbelly Miami show gives us a chance to present the broad scope of documentation – Videos, photos, time-lapses and first hand accounts. The project is about more than just artwork. This show gives us a chance to show the people and the environment behind the artwork.
PAC: While the experience each artist had in their expedition underground can never be captured, it is my hope that this show will highlight some of the trials and tribulations associated with urban art taking place in the remote corners of our cities. Too often the practice of making art in unconventional venues remains shrouded in mystery and I hope this exhibition will shine a faint light on those artists who risk their safety to find alternative ways to create and be a part of the cities they live in.
35 of the 103 artists from The Underbelly Project will be exhibiting art in The Underbelly Show, plus video and still footage of the artists at work in the tunnel. Here’s the full line-up: Faile, Dabs & Myla, TrustoCorp, Aiko, Rone, Revok, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Mark Jenkins, Anthony Lister, Logan Hicks, Lucy McLauchlan, M-City, Kid Zoom, Haze, Saber, Meggs, Jim & Tina Darling, The London Police, Sheone, Skewville, Jeff Stark, Jordan Seiler, Jason Eppink and I AM, Dan Witz, Specter, Ripo, MoMo, Remi/Rough, Stormie Mills, Swoon, Know Hope, Skullphone, L’Atlas, Roa, Surge, Gaia, Michael De Feo, Joe Iurato, Love Me, Adam 5100, and Chris Stain.
For this show, the space will be transformed into an environment imitating the tunnel where The Underbelly Project took place, right down to playing sounds recorded in the station while The Underbelly Project was happening.
If you absolutely cannot wait until February to get We Own The Night, the book documenting The Underbelly Project, a limited number will be available at The Underbelly Show in a box set with 9 photographic prints and the book all contained in a handcrafted oak box. Additionally, you will be able to your book signed by the artists participating in The Underbelly Show.
The Underbelly Show will take place at 2200 Collins Avenue, South Beach, Miami78 NW 25th Street, Wynwood, Miami. There will be a private opening on November 30th, and the space will be open to the general public December 2nd-5th, with a general opening on the 2nd from 8-10pm.
Revok called out Fab 5 Freddy for appropriating (or in Revok’s words “stealing”) letters from other artists including Sever and using them in his own work. You can read Revok’s post here, and hopefully I’ll have some thoughts about it in a post on Vandalog over the weekend. A commenter on Vandalog actually noted that Fred was doing this about two months ago.
New York Magazine published an article, and not a particularly brief one, all about a painting that is supposedly by Jean-Michel Basquiat but was denied by his estate’s authentication committee. Well, while the writer of the article tries to get readers to sympathize with going through a potentially daunting and certainly not transparent authentication process, there was really no point for the whole thing: The painting is clearly by Phil Frost, something that the article doesn’t mention at all. So, umm… good work. Thanks to Known Gallery for pointing this all out.
Revok, Rime and Roid of the MSK crew have a show together opening this weekend at Known Gallery in LA. I know Rime doesn’t like being mentioned on sites like Vandalog, so let’s instead focus on two very talented writers: LA’s Revok and the UK’s Roid. Revok is probably best known for recently getting out of prison in LA for a graffiti-related charge, but one reason that case got so much attention is that Revok is a guy who gets up, and looks good doing it. If there are still kings in an internet age, Revok is one. Roid represents MSK in the UK, and has technical skills that few writers can match. This piece by Roid is one of my favorite pieces of graffiti I’ve ever had the chance to photograph.
The show is called Perseverance and will be open August 20th through September 12th. Definitely one for graffiti fans to check out.
Here’s a little preview… I think most of these pieces are by Revok, but I’m not positive. If you do know who did what, give me a shout.
While Revok has left prison in LA this week a free man (but with thousands of dollars in legal debts, which you can help out with by buying a t-shirt), two English graffiti writers have been convicted for committing criminal damage. Daniel Halpin claims that he gave up writing graffiti years ago and imitators have since picked up his Tox tag, but the jury felt otherwise. Even Ben Eine came to Halpin’s defense as an expert on graffiti, claiming that the Tox tag is extremely easy to imitate. Halpin has already spent 150 days in custody for this latest arrest, and it sounds like he’ll be sentenced to even more time when the sentencing portion of the trial occurs. Daniel Fenlon was also convicted in the same set of trials for writing CK1. The Guardian has more on Halpin and Fenlon.
I’ll just say this: I don’t think that graffiti writers or street artists should get prison sentences for their non-violent actions. I’m a fan of restorative justice. Get these guys painting murals or buffing graffiti or doing community service of some sort. It would mean less money is spent on graffiti removal and less people would be in expensive-to-run prisons.