Between two projects launching at Creative Time and preparations underway for two major personal projects (more on one of those in just a moment), Vandalog has been pretty quiet lately. Taking a step back has allowed me to get excited about all the good things happening in street art, graffiti, and public art over the last month or two, and there’s lots more goodness still to come in through the fall. So here’s a bit of a round up of what I’ve been working on, the great things some friends of Vandalog are doing, and all the interesting stuff that people who I were were my friends are doing.
Over at my office job at Creative Time, we just launched Doomocracy, an immersive artwork by Pedro Reyes. Basically, it’s a haunted house in Brooklyn, themed around the state of American politics. I’llet the folks at artnet News explain. I’ll just add that I am consistently amazed by the epic projects that the production team at Creative Time is able to pull off. Tickets to Doomocracy are free, but right now they’ve all booked up. You can sign up here to get an email if we release more tickets.
Simultaneously, we’ve also got the Creative Time Summit coming up in DC next week. Dozens of amazing speakers coming together to talk about art, social justice, and the state of democracy. And tickets to that are still available. See you there?
In January, I’ll be returning to Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia to curate ALL BIG LETTERS, an exhibition about the tools, strategies, motivations, and innovations of graffiti writers. It’s an honor to be curating a show at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, where I worked for almost four years while I was in school there. More info on ALL BIG LETTERS as that approaches.
Wooster Collective is releasing a book to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their historic 11 Spring Street exhibition. Although I missed the original 11 Spring Street, I’m looking forward to celebrating the project with this book.
Luna Park, one of the most important photographers of contemporary street art and graffiti, is releasing her first book. (Un)Sanctioned: The Art on New York Streets will launch next month as part of the 10 Years of Ad Hoc Art show at Brooklyn’s 17 Frost Gallery, and you can pre-order the book on Amazon. This is LONG overdue. We all know that there’s a glut of generic street art and graffiti photography books already on the market, but (Un)Sanctioned seems likely to be an essential purchase on par with Trespass, Subway Art, and Stuck Up Piece of Crap.
Update: gilf! sent me this screenshot from a post on Instagram by @willnyc. @13thwitness is Tim McGurr, the son of Leonard McGurr aka Futura. Futura designed the original Supreme logo. Futura’s daughter Tabatha McGurr blogged for years on the Married to the MOB website. @willnyc’s post went up before Kidult’s image. A case of “it’s a small small streetwear world” and “Suepreme” was an inevitable and obvious gag for people to pick up on, or (and this is a total conspiracy theory) a case of collaboration between Supreme and Kidult, facilitated by Tim McGurr? Thoughts? This isn’t the first time Kidult has been suspected of working for the brand he is supposedly skewering. And of course, even if Supreme didn’t hire Kidult, there’s the argument that even a “Suepreme” parody t-shirt is still a great advertisement for the real Supreme.
Other artists have taken to commenting on the ridiculousness of this suit as well, most notably Kidult. The artist known for painting his name on storefronts (including Supreme’s NYC shop) who have appropriated graffiti aesthetics for fashion or advertising purposes is going to be giving away free t-shirts on his website today with the above “Suepreme” graphic.
Especially given my distaste for Supreme’s annual destruction of graffiti and street art through flyposting (I believe they call it an advertising campaign), I was pleased to see these parodies of their ads by Kidult.
Yesterday RJ and I got sent this video of a a mural being put up in Sydney sponsored by Lipton Iced Tea. Despite tagging over some work already put there, the mural isn’t half bad. Apparently this is part of an ongoing series sponsored by the brand to create urban art projects in Australia while showcasing their partnered artists talents.
It’s no secret that art and advertising have been hand in hand ever since graffiti style became popular in the early 1980’s. But where is the line drawn between advertising art and art for advertising? And as such, can the work stand on its own as an entity to be appreciated or is it less appealing because it has brand association?
The video led us to further question other examples of this practice in the past and how audiences reacted to the works. I can think of several just near my flat alone- Tron Legacy painted ad on Great Eastern Street and the large scale Converse painted ad that went over the Eine piece on the Village Underground. Last week Vandalog posted about the annual Supreme paste ups depicting a celebrity photographed by everyone’s favorite “alleged” model molester, Terry Richardson. This year it was Lady Gaga who graced the streets of cities and my Tumblr dashboard as the photograph went viral. An annual event though, these flyers usually get bombed on their own by artists. In their own right, these photographs are artworks and can stand next to any Rankin or Chapelle portrait. But does the added connotation of being associated with Supreme lessen its artistic value? And what about artists like Faileand Poster Boy and Aakash Nihalani who amended the Lou Reed Supreme ads? Are those also further removed from the brand because the artist chose to alter the ads of their own volition?
I just wanted to put this idea out there and would love to hear what you guys think.
And they’re baaaaack. The supreme street team is at it again this time plastering new york with Lady Gaga’s beautiful visage. Of course you can expect the people working for Supreme to vent their pent up vendettas against other artists while out plastering this bull shit.
If you’re not familiar with Supreme, they are a clothing company who seem, at first glance, pretty hip or whatever. Unfortunately, they are also known for being big fans of flypasting. Their advertising campaigns always seem to consist of photos of celebrities wearing their clothing. These adverts get stuck up in locations which also happen to be perfect for street art or graffiti (often times even going over street art or graffiti).
This practice has caused artists like Gaia to speak out against them or go over them. Recently, other street artists have picked up on this idea rather creatively. This most recent campaign has been a photo of rock legend Lou Reed. Within days of the campaign starting up, Faile were out changing around the ads to their liking. Now, another artist/artists (probably PosterBoy and Aakash Nihilani) have gotten involved: