Another London “art dealer” chops up a mural

January 27th, 2016 | By | 1 Comment »
finished

Photo courtesy of Stik.

London-based street artist Stik is internationally known for painting cute stick figures that just generally make people smile. It’s a harmless bit of good that he does. Sometimes he even collaborates with kids in the towns where he paints. He’s the most heartwarming kind of muralist. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Stik used his art career to lift himself out of homelessness. Who would ever do something to mess with Stik?

Andrew

Andrew Lamberty. Photo from lamberty.co.uk.

Meet Andrew Lamberty, founder of Lamberty Antiques. His Twitter profile says that he sells “James Bond furniture for the discerning villain.” He has decided to mess with Stik.

The Institute of Art and Law Blog has a good explanation of the story up to this point. It goes something like this:

  • Back in 2011, Stik painted two murals on shipping containers in Gdańsk, Poland.
  • The murals were commissioned by the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk, and were a painted in collaboration with 10 local young people.
  • In late 2014, the containers disappeared. Later, it was discovered the owner had sold them for only $4,000. That’s approximately market rate for two standard shipping containers without murals on them, suggesting that nobody in Gdańsk was aware of what was about to happen.
  • In October 2015, 10 pieces of the containers reappeared (representing 16 out of the 53 figures originally in the murals), chopped up and on display at Lamberty’s gallery in London. The asking price was £10,000-12,000 per section.
  • Initially, Lamberty’s website include the claim that “All of Stik’s street works that come into Lamberty are fully approved by the artist.” This was not true, and is still not true.
  • In late October, Lamberty posted a statement on their website about the situation. As hard as they might try, it does not make Lamberty look good. Some choice quotes from that statement:
    • “Lamberty legally purchased these works with full documentation. We removed them from a harsh outdoor climate, where they were deteriorating, and prepared them for indoor instalment.”
    • “Lamberty has requested that Stik recognise and endorse the removal of these pieces – in exchange we have offered to return the works over decorated by local children for the enjoyment or benefit of the local school community.” You read that right: Lamberty is holding some of the Gdańsk segments hostage, and his price is that Stik authenticates other Gdańsk segments for Lamberty to then sell.
  • Today, in January, Stik is still fighting to get the works back from Lamberty and stop the sale of the mutilated and unauthenticated mural.

So here’s how the situation appears to me: A scumbag went to Poland, bought a community mural from a private owner, mutilated that mural by chopping it into little pieces, tried to sell those little pieces for a profit, got caught being a scumbag, and finally decided to make everything better (read: save his detestable investment) by trying to pressure a kindhearted artist into sullying his reputation and authenticating inauthentic artworks.

The current state of the shipping containers. Photo courtesy of Stik.

The current state of the shipping containers. Photo courtesy of Stik.

But what makes these Lamberty pieces inauthentic? Assuming these pieces are the shipping container that Stik painting, they were once Stik murals. And now they are not. How? By chopping them up, Lamberty has irrevocably changed the meaning of the artwork. What was once a message of solidarity (50-odd people holding hands) is broken apart into lonely, separated people. Only a fool would call that the same artwork. What is Guernica if you only see the oil lamp? What is The Great Gatsby if you only read page 103? Therefore, these works are not authentic Stik paintings (at least not anymore than someone trying to sell you page 103 of The Great Gatsby is selling you a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald). This is moral rights 101.

Lamberty’s defense, that he paid for the shipping containers before cutting them up, is like saying that it’s okay to own a stolen car, as long as you paid someone to steal it for you. Oh, and then you cut that stolen car into 53 pieces and tried to sell each of piece separately as one fully-functional new car. And then you tell the car’s original owner than you’ll return half pieces, but only if they will tell the police that nothing was stolen in the first place.

It’s time for Lamberty to do the right thing. He should immediately return every piece of the Gdańsk shipping containers to Stik or to the people of Gdańsk. He should also pay for Stik to paint a new mural in Gdańsk. If Lamberty won’t do that, he and his gallery need to shut up and stop pretending to have the moral high ground here.

As for the rest of us, we just need to keep one thing in mind: Buying unauthenticated street pieces is not okay, and the people who sell street pieces tend to be shady, even by art dealer standards. Why deal with with shady people? Support your favorite artists by buying direct from them or the galleries that represent them. It’s really that simple.

Photos courtesy of Stik and from lamberty.co.uk


Category: Art News, Featured Posts, Gallery/Museum Shows | 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: , , , , , , , , , ,

Stik’s first NYC solo exhibit at Dorian Grey Gallery

December 11th, 2013 | By | 9 Comments »

stik-set

Earlier this fall, a 50-foot-high mural — depicting a stick figure posed with a triumphant salute — surfaced on the corner of Avenue A and 9th Street, directly across from Tompkins Square Park. The work of UK-based international street artist Stik, it is a fitting tribute to the neighborhood and the free-spirited folks who have inhabited it for so long. Stik is now back in town for his first NYC solo exhibit at the Dorian Grey Gallery with canvas work, drawings, sculptural works, and a range of printed materials, including his print release ‘Liberty’ and the political journal ‘The Bottled Wasp Pocket Diary 2014’ which features STIK’s art.

The cover of The Bottled Wasp Pocket Diary

The cover of “The Bottled Wasp Pocket Diary, 2014”

On East 9th Street and Avenue A

On East 9th Street and Avenue A

The exhibit opens tomorrow, Thursday, December 12, at 5pm at 437 East 9th Street @ Ave A. with live painting by the artist. It continues through December 31.

Photos courtesy of the artist


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows, Print Release | Tags: ,

Stik in the East Village and in ARTWALK NY 2013

October 23rd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
Stik in the East Village facing Tompkins Square Park

Stik in the East Village facing Tompkins Square Park

Early last month, UK-based Stik spent a few days in NYC and left one more variation of his signature character on East 9th Street in the East Village. This coming Tuesday, October 29, he is participating in ARTWALK NY 2013, a benefit auction for the Coalition for the Homeless. Piggyback, a woodcut print on Japanese paper, was fashioned during his recent visit to Japan.

On a huge canvas at the Dorian Grey Gallery on East 9th Street

On a huge canvas at the Dorian Grey Gallery on East 9th Street

    Piggyback, woodcut print on Japanese paper, to be auctioned at ARTWALK NY 2013.

Piggyback, woodcut print on Japanese paper, to be auctioned at ARTWALK NY 2013.

 Photo of Stik on East 9th Street by Tara Murray; inside Dorien Gray Gallery by Dani Reyes Mozeson and Piggyback print, courtesy of the artist


Category: Auctions, Photos | Tags: ,

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stik in Chelsea and at Bushwick Five Points

December 18th, 2012 | By | 3 Comments »
Stik in "AgitPOP" in Chelsea, Manhattan

Stik in “AgitPOP” in Chelsea, Manhattan. Photo courtesy of Stik.

In NYC this past weekend for the opening of AgitPOP, a group exhibit curated by Anthony Haden-Guest, London-based artist Stik also made it to the Winter Mural Project at Bushwck Five Points.

Stik at Bushwick Five Points

Stik at Bushwick Five Points. Photo by Lenny Collado.

Stik signs fan's black book

Stik signs fan’s black book. Photo by Lenny Collado.

Photos by Lenny Collado and courtesy of Stik


Category: Events, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos | Tags: , ,

Stik curates Jordan’s first large street art festival

November 22nd, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Abu Sami’s Family in Jabal Al Qala’a overlooking downtown Amman

The Jordanian Jabal Al Qala’a community, situated on Amman’s highest hill, had a rare treat earlier this month. Through the efforts and support of the British Council, noted London-based street artist Stik brought his talent and passion to this historic district, where – Stik notes — “stray cats rummage through rubbish tips and children play in the streets.” In partnership with An Urban Reflection Residency Project and Creative Jordan: Platform for Visionary Ideas Festival, Stik, along with 10 local Jordanian artists, worked with local children to transform the visual landscape of this special space. Here are a few more images:

I love the way Stik and a growing number of street artists facilitate community art projects, using street art as a social tool. Since the festival was launched, the area has seen crowds of tourists, a fashion shoot and a hip-hop music video crew. For more images from this project, known as Outer Space in Al Qala’a, check here.

Photos courtesy of Stik and Alaa Qattam of the British Council


Category: Festivals | Tags: , , , ,

Stik hits Bushwick rooftop

October 19th, 2012 | By | 1 Comment »

In NYC for a few days this past week, the legendary UK-based artist Stik left his mark at Bushwick Five Points. Here are two more images:

Stik begins

Stik at work; mural by Concrete Jungle below

Photos by Lenny Collado, Dani Mozeson and Sara Mozeson


Category: Photos | Tags: ,

Rich Simmons at Imitate Modern

October 10th, 2012 | By | 6 Comments »

It’s Frieze week and London is in full swing with pompous art enthusiasts and decrepit rich men buying art and prostitutes all around the city. While most people get excited about the Fair itself, here at Vandalog, we like the satellite events happening that let the galleries go all out and give us a break from snobbery that encompasses Frieze. So besides Moniker and Lazarides’ Bedlam, Imitate Modern is joining the ranks of outsider shows with Just Be You Tiful – a solo show by Rich Simmons.

While most of our readers know Rich as Opera Gallery’ poster boy for commercial street art, this guy has really come into his own in 2012. While he may get a bad rep from all of the publicity that Opera threw at him, Simmons is one of the most hardworking artists I have had the pleasure of knowing. Always willing to lend a helping hand and constantly scrutinizing his own work, Simmons is his own worst critic (not the naysayers on the Banksy forum).

For Just Be You Tiful Simmons has been locked in the studio producing an entirely new body of work to showcase during Frieze at Imitate Modern. Known for its sold out Stik show last year, Simmons has impressed the gallery with his own brand of stencil and collage works. The master of the exacto knife, these intricate multi-layered canvasses are sure to turn a few heads when they find out this is Simmons’ new style especially the Sailor Jerry homages and naked pin-ups. Ooh La La!

Just Be You Tiful opens October 12 at Imitate Modern in London.

All images courtesy of Rich Simmons


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , , ,

Walking away with a Stik

January 6th, 2012 | By | 3 Comments »

Here’s something fun from Stik to start off the new year. You can find it yourself on Pitfield Street in East London.

Photo by Claudelondon


Category: Photos | Tags: