Melbourne Monthly Madness – July 2013 (belated)

Apologies for the delay posting this. I have had to hold off posting it due to Illegal August.

HAHA - Photo by David Russell
HAHA – Photo by David Russell

Metro Gallery started off the month with the opening of their group show “Writing on the Wall” with works from local and international artists such as Swoon, Rone, Matt Adnate, HAHA, Word to Mother, E.L.K, Dabs Myla and D*Face and more. Some shots from the opening below and more here.

Rone - Photo by David Russell
Rone – Photo by David Russell
Word to Mother - Photo by David Russell
Word to Mother – Photo by David Russell

The day after the opening Metro hosted more live painting, this month featuring work by Unwell Bunny, Two One and again E.L.K. More shots here.

Unwell Bunny - Photo by David Russell
Unwell Bunny – Photo by David Russell
Two One - Photo by David Russell
Two One – Photo by David Russell
E.L.K - Photo by David Russell
E.L.K – Photo by David Russell

Chaotic Gallery’s 1st show BRUISER by Creature Creature was a cracker. A massive turnout for the Southside’s newest gallery. The works were amazing; a combination of the two artists styles which mesh so well together, featuring influences from the samurai era throughout. Check out some of my favourite pieces below and more here.  Also check out some of their recent paste ups, which I also love, here.

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell
Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell
Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell
Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell
Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell
Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Continue reading “Melbourne Monthly Madness – July 2013 (belated)”

Tim Hans shoots… Swoon


Caledonia Curry aka Swoon has to be one of my all-time favorite artists. Her wheatpastes have inspired a generation of street artists, and her work indoors and outdoors touches hearts in a way that many artists aspire to but few achieve. Earlier this year, Tim Hans met up to Swoon for the latest in our continuing series of photo-portraits of artists by Tim, and I asked her a few questions over email.


RJ: You always seem to have a lot on your plate. What projects are you working on at the moment?

Swoon: Today I am gonna finish a paper cut out that’s hanging on my wall and needs my attention… what else?

I have a big installation coming up at the Brooklyn Museum that I’m pretty excited about, it opens in April 2014, along side Ai WeiWei and Judy Chicago, so I am honored to be in such good company, as well as just excited to create a big project in New York again after all these years.

And then besides a few other small projects in the works, the rest of my energies revolve around the big 3 that have dominated my life for the last couple of years – Konbit Shelter, sustainable architecture in post earthquake Haiti. Braddock Tiles, restoring a formerly abandoned church in Braddock, Pa to become an arts based learning center. And Dithyrambalina, musical architecture for New Orleans!

Whew! I get tired just thinking about it all!


RJ: You just finished a community mural with Groundswell, right? How does that process compare to your usual public art or street art projects?

Swoon: Actually the mural is still in progress. We will be installing a version of it together on the Bowery wall in Manhattan in October. What I love about groundswell is the thoroughness of their process. Everybody benefits from a groundswell mural, all of the youth artists that are involved, as well as the community members who get an awesome colorful mural that they helped to inform and create. It’s been amazing watching them work.

RJ: So many of your projects (Miss Rockaway Armada, Swimming Cities, The Music Box…) seem to be able inspiring people to be creative themselves. Why is that such a focus of yours?

Swoon: I’ll answer this one in a story.

So, one night in New Orleans we had an event to introduce our ideas to community organizers from various neighborhoods. There was a woman there named Linda Jackson, a resident of the Lower Ninth Ward who has been working tirelessly to bring her neighborhood back since the storm. This woman was fierce and I really admired her. She came up to me and said “Whatever I have to do to welcome you to into my community, I will. I got your back if you guys decide you want to work in the Lower Nine.” I asked her a bit about why she thought a project like musical architecture could be good for her neighborhood and she said “You know, it’s gonna really help these kids. We have kids with no parents, latch key kids, and kids whose parents are addicted to drugs, and in that situation creativity can save a kid’s life.”

Right then a light bulb went on in my head.  I don’t know why I had never put this thought together until this conversation, perhaps I had been avoiding it, but all of the sudden I understood something about my own life — and perhaps something about why I do the work that I do — and I said, “It’s true, my parents were hardcore drug addicts and my mother stayed an addict for the whole of my life. When I was 10 years old, and I found painting, it absolutely saved me.”


RJ: What is it about block printing that keeps you interested in the medium after all these years?

Swoon: I was just saying this the other day, that I find it funny that no matter how many blocks I carve, each time I start to carve one I get excited to begin it. I just love the process. I love the transformation that happens to the drawing through carving, and I love the permutations you get to experiment with when you have a bunch of different prints to work with.


RJ: What was the last great book you read?

Swoon: Hmm, well, I just watched a documentary and started on a book I found from watching it, and to be honest the documentary was only barely watchable, and the book may or may not turn out to be great, but both of them are on a subject that is so incredibly important that I dearly hope they keep up their work.

The doc was called Punishment: A Failed Social Experiment, and it centers around the way that the prison system, and indeed the idea of punishment are both dysfunctional in philosophy and in practice, and then tries to highlight the work of some people like the psychiatrist Bob Johnson who worked for years in the maximum security prisons in Britain and believes that even the hardest criminals can heal psychologically given the proper help. It’s a whole mind shift toward the idea that retribution is barbaric and unacceptable, and that our only real goal is to help people heal and to stop violence from continuing in our communities. Seems a really promising direction.



Photos by Tim Hans

Beautiful Decay: NYC’s withering wheatpastes

My favorite wheatpastes rarely lose their beauty. They just continue to evolve until they, sadly, wither away. Here are a few:

Imminent Disaster in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Imminent Disaster in Bushwick, Brooklyn — 2013
Swoon in Gowanus, Brooklyn
Swoon in Gowanus, Brooklyn — 2012
Swoon, close-up, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Swoon, close-up, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn — 2013
Cake in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Cake in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2010

Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

Swoon’s print release for Braddock Tiles


In her ongoing effort, since 2007, to revitalize the suburb of North Braddock, Pennsylvania, Swoon has recently launched a print shop Braddock Tiles. Through creating and selling prints of images donated by 50 artists, Swoon is trying to raise funds for the construction of a new roof for the town’s community center made of 20,000 handmade, honeycomb-shaped, ceramic tiles. The prints are priced at a reasonable $45 and each at an edition size of 250. Definitely worth the purchase, in my opinion. You can have a look at the collection of prints here.

Butch Anthony
Butch Anthony
How & Nosm
How & Nosm
Chris Stain
Chris Stain
Cash for your Warhol
Cash for your Warhol
Logan Hicks
Logan Hicks

Photos courtesy of Braddock Tiles

Swoon, Greg Lamarche, Oliver Vernon, David Ellis and more at Joshua Liner

Swoon, Thalassa, screenprint on mylar with coffee stain and hand painting
Swoon, Thalassa, screenprint on mylar with coffee stain and hand painting

Since 2006, Joshua Liner’s Chelsea gallery has consistently featured an amazing range of works by first-rate artists. His new venue – a huge, bright ground-floor space at 540 West 28th Street – is ideal, as the artworks beckon you in from the street. These are a few of my favorite pieces – by artists who also work in public spaces – from his current exhibit, Direct Address: An Inaugural Group Exhibitionthat closes this Saturday. It is worth a visit.

Greg Lamarche aka SP1, Free for All, Aacrylic and graphite on found wood
Greg Lamarche aka SP1, Free for All, acrylic and graphite on found wood
Oliver Vernon, Renegade Trajectories, acrylic on canvas
Oliver Vernon, Renegade Trajectories, acrylic on canvas
David Ellis, All That Glitters, kinetic sound and light installation
David Ellis, All That Glitters, kinetic sound and light installation

Photos by Dani Mozeson

Toe The Line for PS 132

Joe Iurato

Logan Hicks has organized an online auction to benefit the PTA at his son Sailor’s school, PS 132 in Brooklyn. Toe The Line includes contributions from Joe Iurato, Swoon,  Shepard Fairey, Chris Stain, Dabs and Myla, How and Nosm, Eric Haze, Faile, and others. Logan’s girlfriend and Sailor’s mother Kristen Zarcadoolas is the PTA president of PS 132, and they organized the auction after after yet another funding cut at the school.

“There is a lack of resources at every level within the public school system and I want to do all that I can to ensure that my son has a proper education,” says Hicks. “There is a moral responsibility to do everything possible to help support the public education.”

The auction went live just a few hours ago. You can see all the works and bid here.



Photos courtesy of Logan Hicks

“Petrichor” by Swoon

Click to view large

Caledonia Curry aka Swoon‘s latest solo show opened last night in her home-state of Florida. Petrichor (a word I was unfamiliar with but she says means “the first scent of rain on parched ground”) is an installation at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Fine Art Gallery in Bradenton, FL. The show runs through April 3rd. Petrichor was made for Curry’s father, who lives near the college.

Click to view large
Click to view large
A portrait of Swoon's father
A portrait of Curry’s father. Click to view large.

More after the jump… Continue reading ““Petrichor” by Swoon”

SMoA brings guerilla curating to the streets of London

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.


The map of the exhibited works are available here and the hours are… well, unlimited.

Photo by Street Museum of Art

Kickstarters from Swoon and Nosego

Nosego (left) and Swoon (right)
Nosego (left) and Swoon (right)

Both Swoon and Nosego are involved in active Kickstarter projects that are fundraising right now.

Swoon is headed back to Haiti for the latest iteration of the Konbit Shelter Project. That Kickstarter is looking to raise $30,000 to build their third building in a small town in Haiti. The money will primarily go to purchasing building materials and paying community members to help the Konbit Shelter team with construction. This time around, the hope is that the team will be able to use building techniques that are more affordable and sustainable than ever before. After the third building is finished, a book will be published explaining the techniques that Konbit Shelter has been honing for the past three years so that they can be used by others. You can contribute to that project here. Rewards include lots of beautiful artwork. And here’s a video about the project:

Nosego’s project is a sort of followup to the highly addictive iPhone game Catball Eats It All, a game which extensively features artwork by Nosego. The new game being developed is Rusty the Rainbow Whale. Again, all the graphics will be based on paintings by Nosego, and the plot of the game sounds a lot like him too: Rusty the Rainbow Whale can make a giant rainbow by eating tasty hamburgers, and he waits to make a rainbow so large that it makes everyone in the world smile simultaneously, so he has to eat a lot of hamburgers. The project needs $5,000 to help fund the game’s development. You can help fund the game and learn more by going here. Rewards include lots of Rusty-related products and artwork, or even your very own Nosego mural.

Photos by RJ Rushmore

Weekend link-o-rama


It’s the weekend…

Photo by Jade