Word to Mother can’t afford to be broke

Word To Mother is busy preparing for his upcoming show in San Fransisco at White Walls Gallery, Can’t Afford to be Broke. After years of successful solo shows in London, it’s great to finally see Word To Mother getting the attention he deserves in the USA too. The show includes new original pieces on wood, painted baseball bats and zines with a screenprinted cover.

Can’t Afford to be Broke opens on May 12th (7-11pm) and runs through June 2nd.

Photo courtesy of White Walls Gallery

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

Videos of Roa in SF

Roa at White Walls Gallery

Here are a few videos of Roa‘s recent time in San Fransisco painting walls and doing a show at White Walls Gallery (there’s a bit of overlap as the first video is by Colin M Day and the next three are a separate series by Spencer Keeton Cunningham):

ROA – White Walls from Colin M Day on Vimeo.

ROA from Spencer Keeton Cunningham on Vimeo.

ROA part II from Spencer Keeton Cunningham on Vimeo.

ROA part III from Spencer Keeton Cunningham on Vimeo.

Photo by y3rdua

Big things at White Walls and 941 Geary

Roa in Mexico City

White Walls Gallery and 941 Geary, sister galleries in San Fransisco, have two interesting shows opening in April.

Starting on Friday, 941 Geary will open an “indoor mural” installation, aka lots of artists painting the walls inside the gallery. Eine, Roa, Chor Boogie, APEX, Casey Gray, D Young V, Skinner, Hush and Blek le Rat have contributed or will contribute to the project as it continues to evolve over the course of a few weeks. So that could either be really cool or a complete mess. We’ll see. Here’s to hoping it works well.

Over at White Walls, Roa is installing a solo show. That show opens on April 9th. Roa’s recent installations in London got glowing reviews almost across the board, so this large solo installation will be one not to miss.

Photo by Roa

Eine in San Fransisco – “Greatest”

Ben Eine’s first major solo show since David Cameron gave President Obama an Eine artwork as a gift opened last week at White Walls Gallery in San Fransisco. While normally I would say that while I like an Eine canvases here or there and definitely love his murals, a solo show of 40-some pieces which get repetitive pretty quickly is not something I would enjoy, but with the tongue-in-cheek title of Greatest, I’ve come around to really liking this one. Is Eine the greatest artist or street artist or graffiti writer or screen printer or greatest anything of all time? Nah. He’s good. Few murals have had a stronger impact on me than his SCARY mural in Shoreditch. I’ve got a couple of prints from him. But I wouldn’t call him the greatest. And I don’t think he would call himself the greatest either. But David Cameron sure made him look like the greatest something. Especially when that gift to Obama was actually a trade for an Ed Ruscha print. Damn. Hype has been surrounding Eine for a year and people have been calling him the greatest, but he knows the hype won’t last forever and has even mentioned it in an interview or two, so why not play up the hype with a knowing smile? Well, that’s just what he’s done at White Walls. Check it out:

Hey, maybe, by being so clever, Eine is the greatest… Nah, just great.

Photos courtesy of White Walls Gallery

Ben Eine paints SF before show at White Walls

Eine in San Fransisco

Ben Eine is in California preparing for his show at White Walls in San Fransisco. (The, I think, ironically titled) Greatest opens on March 12th and runs through April 2nd.

The show consists of two parts. First, the indoor side at White Walls: There will be 10 new works on canvas from Eine. I’ve always preferred Eine outdoors to indoors and thought of the indoor work similarly to how I see Invader’s gallery art: as reminders of what we’ve seen and loved outdoors, so we’ll see how that part of Greatest goes. The other half of the show is that Eine painting a full alphabet with permission on roll-gates in San Fransisco and will continue to do so for a couple of weeks, so that’s great. Eine holds a special place in my love of street art because he was the first artist besides Banksy whose work truly grabbed on on the street, so I’m pleased to hear that San Fransisco will be getting a little taste of Eine. The roll-gate letters don’t quite grab the viewer like SCARY did for me, but they do brighten up the streets. I’m looking forward to seeing how San Fransisco reacts a new Eine alphabet.

Also, I think this is his first solo show since Obama was given one of Eine’s paintings as a gift.

Photo by Steve Rhodes

ABOVE and Blek le Rat at White Walls

This should be interesting. White Walls is doing two shows simultaneously next month. One is Faces In The Mirror with Blek le Rat. The other is Transitions with ABOVE. Blek is the grandfather of outdoor stencil art, and ABOVE is a”post-Banksy” stencil artist. I think this will be Blek le Rat’s first major show since the art market went kablewy, and it’s ABOVE’s first solo show.

I’m very curious to see what these artists are going to do here. You can’t ignore Blek le Rat’s historical importance for street art, but ignoring that, he’s just a guy who cuts stencils. Introducing new iconic imagery won’t be easy, but people will complain just as much if he just makes the same old rats and Caravaggio stencils. And ABOVE works hard to consider placement in his artwork. Will his stencils lose all their power indoors, or will he rethink everything and skillfully consider the placement of his artwork in a gallery space?

Well here’s what White Walls has to say about everything:

White Walls is proud to present a joint show: Faces in the Mirror by Blek le Rat and Transitions by ABOVE. This exhibition brings together the original pioneer stencil artist and his younger counterpart utilizing stencils to create public art in over 40 countries around the world. Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 1st 2010, from 7-11 pm.

This homage to stencil art marks Blek le Rat’s first show in San Francisco as well as the debut indoor exhibition of ABOVE. The meeting of these two artists is a passing of the torch from the original stencil artist to a younger generation of urban artists following in his legacy. Blek let Rat first pioneered stencils in the early 80s as a bold, attention grabbing form of street art that was never before seen. ABOVE is the prominent stencil artist of the new generation, drawing on Blek’s methods to project a social message into the urban environment.

Blek le Rat resides outside of Paris, the very city he claimed 30 years ago as a platform for social commentary. He was the first of his time to employ stencils and spray paint for fast, high contrast images on city walls. Faces in the Mirror is a collection of Blek’s iconic imagery of beggars, sheep, rats, and Michelangelo’s David with an AK-47, combined with never before seen images such as Mona Lisa. These forms open conversation about consciousness, social relation, mass media, and commodity fetishism. Known as the godfather of stencil graffiti art, Blek le Rat has been the great inspiration for artists worldwide including Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, WK Interact, and ABOVE.

ABOVE has devoted the past 8 years to creating street art in 45 countries around the world, refusing to take his focus off the streets even for gallery exhibitions. It is only because of Blek le Rat’s strong desire to show alongside him that ABOVE finally conceded to his premier indoor exhibition. Transitions is based on three themes from his outdoor works: sign language arrow mobiles, wordplay murals, and colorful figurative stencils. The overarching sentiment is one of optimism, honor, overcoming struggle, and a desire to rise above.

Please join us for the opening reception of Faces in the Mirror by Blek le Rat and Transitions by ABOVE on Saturday, May 1st, 2010, from 7-11pm. The exhibit will be on view through June 5th, 2010, and is open to the public.