Since the end of May until a few days ago, I’d been more or less cut off from the street art world. I was driving around Europe with my friends. That’s not particularly important, though I would like to thank Logan Hicks, Ripo, Paulo, C215, Nunca and (especially) Angelo for spending time with us.
Here’s some of the things that I missed while I was away…
Some local residents completely misinterpreted the meaning behind some Shepard Fairey murals and painted them over. Actually a really interesting story. I suppose that when it is a reality of everyday life, people don’t like to be reminded that the police will “kick your ass and get away with it.”
Kathy Grayson and Meghan Coleman, former gallery directors at Deitch Projects, have started up their own gallery in NYC called Hole. I’m not exactly sure how much street art or graffiti you’ll be able to find at the Hole when it opens later this month, but they sent me a press release, so presumably they haven’t ditched street art entirely. The Wall Street Journal has more.
Hrag Vartanian has started an interesting discussion on Hyperallergic about a new piece by Mark Jenkins which could easily be mistaken for trash. And by the way, if you don’t already read Hyperallergic, you should start. It’s perhaps my favorite art blog at the moment.
Armsrock has a solo show on right now at Signal Gallery. I’m going to check it out tomorrow, but based on the photos on Arrested Motion, I couldn’t be more excited. Armsrock is massively talented and just keeps getting better.
A few days ago we updated you on the collaborative wall that JR and Vhils have been working on in downtown Los Angeles, to coincide with the EuroTrashopening next week. Now we’ve got some pictures of the finished product! You can check out the walls on Spring Street between 6th & 7th.
Lazarides LA newest show – EuroTrash sets up a stellar line up of some of the hottest European artists around right now. Using the overlooked, misunderstood and mundane elements of everyday life, EuroTrash aims to captures its audiences attention with the distinctive style and alternative approach that artists JR, Conor Harrington, Antony Micallef and Vhils bring with them. Sharing a vested interest in their individual and collective surroundings and society, they poetically express a desire for universal appreciation – despite the tacky connotation that is usually associated with the term “Euro Trash”.
Frances very own JR (seen above) is known for immersing himself within cultures where struggle and conflict are rife. He presents his monochromatic photographs, often over 20 feet high on unconventional exhibiting arena’s to highlight humanist matters that are often overlooked. Cork born painter Conor Harrington (seen at the top) on the other hand, goes against the grain of the fast pace of graffiti art preferring to opt for the slower process of oil painting. Interested in opposing elements, illusion of power and the emotional side of masculinity, soldiers and conquerors exist within Conor’s colorful and abstracted landscapes, yet never forget his street roots.
London based Antony Micallef’s (seen above) energetic work both celebrates and despises contemporary society. The world portrayed by Micallef is one of contradictions as Barbie becomes the Virgin Mary adorned with a Chanel necklace and cutesy paraphernalia, Angel’s wield guns and Soldiers wear flower power printed uniforms. Portuguese artist Vhils (seen below) works with manipulating surfaces, whether it is the brick façade of buildings with masonry equipment or layered fly posters that he peels away, he transforms these varying planes to reveal mystifying, striking portraits that explore a cities dimensions
It’s highly unlikely that many of you have ever heard of the Portuguese collective known as VSP (Visual Street Performance). But some of our avid readers may recognize the name of one of their members known as Vhils. For those of you who aren’t already in the know VSP have been holding a yearly exhibition for the past 5 years in the capital of Portugal, Lisboa. This year however the crew decided to take things up a notch by showcasing their skills to the city of Porto for the very first time. Whilst the display only took place over the course of 4 days, street artists from across the nation flocked to the event to catch a glimpse at the some of the best street artists Portugal has on offer. Check out some photos from the event below!
Street art news seems to come in cycles, right now there is a lot of news coming in. Here’s a few highlights:
Sam3 has a new book out with Studiocromie and it looks great. More info at Feed Your Wall.
Shepard Fairey’s opening at the Warhol Museum looks amazing, but as Richard Lacayo points out, the AP case might have run into another snag for Fairey since the AP has countersued again on the basis that either Fairey only spent about 5 minutes “transforming” the photo into his poster or he is lying again and didn’t forget which image he based HOPE on. One thing Lacayo and the AP seem to have forgotten is that Fairey has a bunch of assistants. I don’t know how his studio functions, but it seems a fair assumption that Fairey sent his assistants a photo and they developed poster from there, or they gave him an already cropped photo based on his specifications and he went from there. It’s definitely not as simple as Lacayo is making it seem.
An overdue post. Fame Festival opened almost 2 weeks ago now and I haven’t properly covered it. There were a few of us who traveled to see the festival (some from as far away as LA), and if you couldn’t make it for the opening, I have to recommend it for a weekend getaway or something. Everybody had a great time. There was good food, good company and good art.
The gallery component of the festival was nice, but the highlight of Fame isn’t the temporary gallery exhibition but all of the street work. Artists have painted all over the small town of Grottaglie, Italy. Here are some of my pictures:
While it is great to wander around the town and see so much street art almost wherever you look, the highlight of Fame Festival is the monastery. There is an abandoned monastery where I am told the local teenagers usually go to bunk off school, and it has been transformed by artwork. It also happens to be where the Blu/David Ellis film Combo was filmed.
To enter this monastery, you have to go down a road out of town, walk past what I think was a small vineyard, find the wall that surrounds the monastery and follow it until you see some red drips of paint. Then you climb over the wall by standing on a shaky pile of rocks. The other side of the wall looks like a park that has been left to grow for a few decades. There are a few paths where you can see that plenty of people have walked, and you have to find the correct one to follow. Eventually, you realize that you’re on the roof on the monastery and you have to find your way inside. Once you’re finally inside though, it is immediately worth the trouble of finding your way there. I spent maybe 1.5 hours there and still didn’t see all of the artwork. Here are a few of the pieces I did find though: