Skewville’s Playground Tactics

As expected, Skewville‘s latest show looks like it kicks ass. Playground Tactics is on now through February 4th at White Walls Gallery in San Fransisco and the Skewville twins have once again put together a perfect combination of smaller drawings, paintings, sculptures and large installation work. It’s playful, but what better way to do art about a playground? Curbs and Stoops have pics of the installation, and here are some of the paintings, drawings and smaller sculptures…

Also, Factory Fresh in Bushwick is hosting a retrospective of Skewville’s work next month. Skewville’s 80th Birthday: A Retro Retrospective opens on February 3rd and runs through March 11th.

Continue reading “Skewville’s Playground Tactics”

Skewville is taking on San Francisco

Skewville at Nuart 2009

My second favorite identical-twin street art duo, Skewville, have a show opening this month at White Walls in San Francisco. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Depending on my mood and the particular work I’m looking at, Skewville sometimes surpass Os Gemeos as my favorite identical-twin street art duo. Their 2011 shows in Chicago and London were big hits (and the “Check Uself” mirror was a highlight of the show MaNY and I put together last spring), so White Walls could not have picked a better show for their first show to open in the new year. Playground Tactics will include dozens of artworks, including an installation. The show opens on January 14th from 7-11pm, and runs through February 4th.

Photo by RJ Rushmore

Preview of The Underbelly Show (and NEW LOCATION)

The Eternal Infancy of Art by Ron English for The Underbelly Miami

On Monday, The Underbelly Project announced two big things: 1. They did a Paris version of The Underbelly Project, which we’ll have more about soon, but The Huffington Post has info on for now; and 2. They’ve changed the location of The Underbelly Show opening this week in Miami to 78 NW 25th Street in Wynwood. That, and an exclusive preview of that show, will be the focus of today’s Underbelly post.

The Underbelly Show may be the new kid on the block during Miami Art Basel, but it has arrived as a force to be reckoned with. It will featuring brand new work from over 30 artists who participated in the New York and Paris Underbelly Projects, as well as a host of other installations and events. This is not just another gallery show during a busy week. It’s an experience. Starting with the RSVP-only opening party on Tuesday, Thursday will see a Secret Wars battle, Friday the space opens to the general public and includes the launch of a limited edition version of The Underbelly Project’s book We Own the Night, which won’t be on sale in stores until next year. And that’s just the stuff I can tell you about. I can’t even guess at what else the Underbelly crew have got planned, but this is definitely the one must-see thing in Miami this week.

While setting up the show at the original location on Collins Avenue this week, the team realized the amount of art and their vision was too big for that space, so they moved to a warehouse in Wynwood at 78 NW 25th Street.

In a rare statement, the usually silent Workhorse told Vandalog:

The scope of the Underbelly Miami show grew larger than we had expected. Originally our idea for the location in South Beach was to showcase selected works in a high traffic area so as many people could see it as possible. As the works started to come in, we realized that we were going to run out of wall space. One of the Swoon pieces is 21 feet wide by 13 feet tall. The L’atlas piece is nearly 12 feet tall. We have over 70 pieces of work and most all of them are 4×6 feet and larger. The work is massive. So we began to look for additional space and realized it was best to move the show to Wynwood so that we could feature the works without being crowded and crammed onto the walls.

Undergound Brooklyn by Skewville for The Underbelly Miami

Photos courtesy of The Underbelly Project

Underbelly resurfaces: The Underbelly Show

Surge, Gaia, Stormie, Remi/Rough and in The Underbelly Project

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 posted a lot about 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 Beach Wynwood.

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, Miami 78 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.

Photo by RJ Rushmore

Chicago, meet Skewville

As far as I can tell, Pawn Works have brought Skewville to Chicago for the first time. Not My Type opened last week and looks to be just what we’ve come to expect from Skewville: A colorful celebration of fun. Most of the work is in the gallery, but Skewville also customized a full-sized school bus, painted this mural and tossed some kicks. And it looks like Skewville is trying to take back “Your Ad Here” from Shepard Fairey. Of course it’s not a term that Skewville coined, but there’s this little feud between the two concerning on the phrase.

Check out some photos from inside Not My Type after the jump… Continue reading “Chicago, meet Skewville”

Your Ad Here – Shepard Fairey fights back at V1 Gallery

The Skewville-modified Icon by Shepard Fairey

About two years ago, Skewville made a simple modification to a Shepard Fairey piece in Bushwick. It simply said “Your Ad Here.” There is no doubt that Shepard Fairey’s Icon logo is a logo for a brand, and that while it may be art and/or graffiti, it is also an advertisement for everything Obey (clothing, fine art, screenprints, a design studio…). Skewville was taking a swipe at Shepard his that piece, but now Shepard has taken the phrase “Your Ad Here” and is using it as the title for an upcoming solo show at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen. It seems nothing can escape the reach of Shepard Fairey’s appropriation, not even his critics. Of course, the flipside of “your ad here” is that Shepard Fairey began his stickering campaign as a college student and younger than I am now. He proved that anyone with balls and commitment can (eventually) advertise themselves on a tiny budget and still become a household name. So I guess that’s sort of what he’s going for. Shepard’s journey from an underground artist to a mainstream supposed sell-out is addressed in this recent interview on The Huffington Post (by the guys at Brooklyn Street Art).

Your Ad Here opens on August 5th at V1 Gallery and runs through September 3rd.

Photo by Becki_Fuller

Up Close and Personal from Vandalog and MANY

How and Nosm. Photo by Michael Pearce

Thursday night was the opening of Up Close and Personal, and it was a pretty great (although my opinion is biased since I helped curate it). We’re open through Sunday evening, so if you’re in New York, please stop by and check it out and let me know what you think. Up Close and Personal is taking place at an apartment on the Upper West Side; it’s not the traditional setting for art, but trust me, buzz and somebody will let you in. We’re at 217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, between Broadway and Amsterdam.

Here’s some photos from last night:

Troy Lovegates aka Other. Photo by Michael Pearce
White Cocoa. Photo by Michael Pearce
Skewville. Photo by Michael Pearce
R. Robot. Photo by Michael Pearce
Aiko. Photo by RJ Rushmore
Know Hope. Photo by RJ Rushmore
Radical. Photo by RJ Rushmore

Photos by Michael Pearce and RJ Rushmore

Specter, Olek, Leon Reid IV and Skewville outside the New Museum

Leon Reid IV gets ready to work. Photo courtesy of Factory Fresh

Factory Fresh and Trust Art are putting together a mini Bushwick Art Park this Saturday as part of the Festival of Ideas for the New City‘s StreetFest. Leon Reid IV, Specter, Skewville and Olek will be showing installations. You can check out the mini Bushwick Art Park on Saturday from 11am-7pm just outside of the New Museum at 235 Bowery in New York. Here’s a little teaser of what you might find at the art park:

Skewville. Photo courtesy of Factory Fresh
Leon Reid IV's new sculpture, "Pedestrian Shuffle". Photo by Leon Reid IV

Photos courtesy of Factory Fresh and by Leon Reid IV

Vandalog and M.A.N.Y. present Up Close and Personal

In two weeks, Vandalog and Murals Around New York (MANY) will be putting on a pop-up show in a New York City apartment. Up Close and Personal mostly came out of two ideas: 1. Street artists tend to work large outdoors and we wanted to challenge people to make art on a small scale and 2. We’ve all seen artwork in galleries that either would only look good in a gallery but not in a home, or is just too big to fit into a typical apartment and we wanted to see something different from that. With Up Close and Personal, the show itself is taking place in an apartment on the Upper West Side, and we have capped the size of the artwork at 30 x 30 inches, with an emphasis on going as small as possible.

I’ve worked with Keith Schweitzer and Mike Glatzer of M.A.N.Y. to curate this show, and we’re really excited with the line up that we’ve managed to put together: Aiko, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Don Leicht, Edible Genius, Elbowtoe, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jessica Angel, John Fekner, Know Hope, Logan Hicks, Mike Ballard, OverUnder, R. Robot, Radical, Retna, Skewville, Tristan Eaton, Troy Lovegates aka Other and White Cocoa.

Up Close and Personal opens May 12th from 7-9pm. We’ll also be open from 7-9pm on the 13th. Then noon-9pm and noon-7pm on the 14th and 15th respectively. Particularly on the 12th, it is possible that we’ll be shifting people in every half hour or so, since the space is a small apartment. The show is taking place at 217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, NY 10025 – Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues.

Hope to see you in a couple weeks!

Chris Stain