Photos by Rone
Despite an afternoon of heavy rain last Thursday, a large crowd was on hand to watch security struggle (literally) to open the doors of the Sickboy’s 3 day London show – Heaven & Earth. However that delay, plus the relatively slow name checking procedure, mattered for no one as they caught a glimpse of the collection of visual delights that lay beyond.
First up, upon peering into the large open room your eyes were drawn to a caravan standing proudly in the far corner. Kitted out in the famous red and yellow Sickboy colours, it soon became apparent that this was actually the bar dishing out a variety of booze, and not surprisingly a large queue quickly formed.
But whilst your gaze initially descended upon the brightly coloured mobile holiday home come drinks dispenser, it was impossible to ignore the plethora of meticulously-detailed paintings, riddled with their religious undertones that covered the walls. Appropriately titled with names such as “King of Undesire”, “Critically Zen”, “Forget” and “Forgiven” these colourful masterpieces encompassed Sickboy’s own notion of heaven and earth. Fantastically detailed with sickly looking characters, rockets, angels, tags, trains, and the odd temple, this body of work was exceptional and a perfect example of how a street artist can translate their work from street to gallery. In fact many other artists should take note!
Prior to the show Sickboy allowed his website visitors to confess all, and get any sins they may have committed off their chests. Promising to display each and every one, these unedited misdemeanours were projected onto a big screen for all to read. I rather enjoyed the West End drug dealers who admitted to lacing their wares with a bit of laxative to ensure a messy end for their clients. And of course there were plenty of sexual references to teachers and their daughter’s, girlfriends and their mum’s.
For all those last minute sins, or for those that just couldn’t think of one before the show opened, a large confessional booth equipped with a priest was on hand. Although to be honest I am not sure how many visited the booth to confess or to just explore and view more of Sickboy’s artwork which adorned both the outside and in. Maybe if the priest was hidden behind a screen some may have been more forthcoming, I certainly found it a little weird to just be stood in a small room with another bloke, let alone go ahead explain any times I may have misbehaved.
Whilst the show was billed as one based around four major installations, I personally felt they seemed to blend into each other and consequently it was hard to see each as individual entities. However I have to admit that that was not necessarily a bad thing and the fourth and final of these installations was perhaps the one I was most looking forward to – a collaboration with 12 of Sickboy’s fellow artists and friends. It came in the form of a series of wooden bricks, a medium Sickboy has visited before, which were then stacked to form a wall. Designs and editions varied but I was most taken by the Word to Mother and Paul Insect collabs and a couple of the Conor Harrington’s. From a sales perspective the installation certainly seemed popular, but it may have just been the due to the sheer size of the space that I felt it became a little lost, maybe it was the fact that the bricks were not over the top. Nevertheless I really liked the concept and execution of the individual bricks.
In short this was Sickboy at his best and by far my favourite show of the year so far, and I am sure that many in the packed out venue will agree. This was street art meets gallery, street artist becomes fine artist. It’s just a shame it only lasted 3 days.
For more information about Sickboy head over to his website, and make sure you check out the gallery section as Ian Cox has done a much better job, that I have, of taking photos of each of the pieces from the show.
Photos by Shower.
Best known for his iconic red and yellow ‘Temples’ sprayed onto walls and wheelie bins worldwide, Sickboy returns this Thursday (November 3rd) with only his second major London solo show. Personally I’m quite suprised it is only his second!
Inspired by semiotics and symbolism, Renaissance paintings and the surreal landscape workings of artists like Hieronymus Bosch, this new body of work promises to demonstrate “a deeper development of the artist’s visual vocabulary.”
A celebration of earthly sins and heavenly fantasies, the show is to be comprised of four major major installations, including a walk-in confessional booth and an additional exhibit of confessions from members of the public anonymously revealed before the show.
But for me I am most looking forward to seeing Sickboy collaborating with a who’s who of eminent artists on a third element; D*Face, Eine, Anthony Lister, Paul Insect, Vhils, Conor Harrington, Xenz, Word to Mother, Will Barras, Eelus, Mudwig and Hush.
With the final surprise installation to be unveiled on the opening night, this show sounds like one not to miss. But be quick as it only lasts 3 days, located at Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, and ends on Sunday 6th November!
For a bit more info about the show and for those of you who would like to know more about Sickboy then I recommend 3 interviews he has recently completed with Londonist, The Playground and Zeitgeist Magazine.
Something for all the family is a show that The London Police have curated at GO Gallery in Amsterdam. The show includes Shepard Fairey, Logan Hicks, Will Barras, Lunar, Swanski, Joe Holbrook and Vanwa. It opens on Saturday, September 3rd from 5-8pm, and runs through October 20th. Check out more preview pieces for the show on the GO Gallery website.
Photo courtesy of GO Gallery
Temwa, a charity working on community-based projects in Malawi, is holding an art auction in Shoreditch next month. Art for Africa will take place on December 4th at Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch. There’s a long list of artists involved, but some of the highlights for me are probably going to be Mr. Jago, Toasters, SPQR, Will Barras, Eelus and Xenz. Go here for more info.
Photo courtesy of Temwa
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to speak with Will Barras while Dem, Ericailcane and him were doing some live painting for Original Cultures in London:
Last week, Carmichael Gallery took over the Ogilvy & Mather offices in New York for Re-creation II, a show with installations and/or paintings from Will Barras, Simon Birch, Boxi, Ethos, Mark Jenkins, Labrona, Aakash Nihalani, Nina Pandolfo and WK Interact. The show will be on until the end of July, so there’s plenty of time to stop by if you’re in New York.
All these Aakash Nihalani artworks look great next to each other:
My favorite part of Re-Creation II has to be all of the things that WK Interact did:
Lots more photos of the show on Carmichael Gallery’s flickr…
If you follow Elisa Carmichael on twitter, you may have noticed that she’s been dropping some hints recently about a big secret show that they’ve been planning. Well here it is: Re-Creation II features artwork from Will Barras, Simon Birch, Boxi, Ethos, Mark Jenkins, Labrona, Aakash Nihalani, Nina Pandolfo and WK Interact. I know Seth and Elisa have been working like crazy to pull this all together, and it sounds like it’s going to be amazing. They’ve flown some of their favorite artists to New York to work on installations in the space, and with the show running for so many months, plenty of people will have a chance to see what’s created.
In collaboration with Carmichael Gallery, Ogilvy & Mather New York will host Re-Creation II, a global exploration of emerging art, from March 5th through July 2010.
The exhibit will be held at the new Ogilvy & Mather headquarters on New York City’s West Side at 636 11th Avenue. Re-Creation II will showcase some of the most important emerging contemporary artists from around the world.
Large-scale murals, installations and original canvas, sculpture and mixed media works will be on display from Will Barras, Simon Birch, Boxi, Ethos, Mark Jenkins, Labrona, Aakash Nihalani, Nina Pandolfo and WK Interact. Many of these artists, who are based in the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, Brazil, the US and Canada, have never shown in New York before, and have never shown together.
Ogilvy & Mather will transform five floors and the lobby space of its new headquarters in The Chocolate Factory into a museum-quality exhibition space. As viewers ascend each floor, they can experience the upward momentum of the artwork. Re-Creation II is the second exhibit to be hosted by Ogilvy & Mather in its new space. It follows the inaugural Re-Creation exhibit, which featured the work of 12 emerging artists who use recycled materials to create unique forms of art. That exhibit will also be viewable through the end of March.
The opening reception of the exhibit will be held on Friday, March 5 with several of the artists in attendance at Ogilvy & Mather. The exhibition will run through July 31, 2010. Opening on March 5th in the middle of the Armory Art Fair week, the exhibition will run through the end of July 2010.
Doors are open to the viewing public, by appointment only, Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm by contacting Jun Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a side note, this is the 1000th post on Vandalog. Almost a year and a half in, we’ve averaged over 2 posts per day, posting almost every single day.
As I mentioned last week, Dem, Ericailcane and Will Barras have a show coming up next week at StolenSpace Gallery in London as part of the Original Cultures art and music festival. Since then, a bit more information as started to emerge…
‘Original Cultures – The Show’
Ericailcane, DEM & Will Barras12.02.10 – 07.03.10
In collaboration with Original Cultures, a new international non-profit cultural and arts initiative, StolenSpace presents an exclusive exhibition of new works from famed European artists Ericailcane (Italy), DEM (Italy) and Will Barras (UK).
This exhibition will form part of the Original Cultures London 2010 event and run from February 12th until March 7th. This will be the trio’s second collaborative project following their work during Original Cultures’ first event in Bologna, Italy, in June 2009 which saw them create an exclusive animation and shadow-based installation. As visiting guests, Ericailcane and DEM will take the lead bringing to StolenSpace a collection of brand new paintings and other media. Will Barras meanwhile will be exhibiting a new animation and associated designs he is producing exclusively for the show. Together these three artists have received worldwide acclaim in recent years, exhibiting from Los Angeles to Sweden via Hong Kong and Eastern Europe.
Exclusive to the exhibition will be the release of a limited edition collaborative screen print by the three artists and printed by StolenSpace, as well as a series of 6 picture discs produced by Original Cultures and featuring art from Will Barras, Ericailcane and DEM and music from Om Unit (UK), Tatsuki (JP) and Tayone (IT), the three musicians involved in the OriginalCultures project. These picture discs, six 10”s, will be framed and sold with a separate 7” featuring two exclusive tracks from each musician. These discs,combining visual arts and music in a rather unique package, are exclusive to the exhibition.
An opening party will be held on February 11th with Will Barras in attendance. Ericailcane, DEM and Will Barras will be present at the gallery on March 4th for a closing party which will feature live painting from the trio in and around the gallery.
Original Cultures London 2010 will take place from February 27th until March 5th, 2010. This is a week-long event that brings together 7 artists from the UK, Italy and Japan and the fields of music and visual arts for a series of activities (workshops, exhibition) in venues across East London. The artists are Ericailcane (IT), DEM (IT), Will Barras (UK) and Hiraki Sawa (JP) for the visual arts and Om Unit (UK), Tatsuki (JP) and Tayone (IT) for music. During this time new and original collaborative works will be created, culminating on Friday March 5th in a one-of-a-kind audio and visual showcase featuring all the art created during the week and performed live. This is Original Cultures’ second such event, following the project’s debut in June 2009 in Bologna, Italy. The London event has support from Hackney Council.
A non-profit project based in the UK, Italy and Japan, Original Cultures connects cultures through modern performing arts, focusing on the fields of music and visual arts. More information, video, audio and a full schedule is available at www.originalcultures.org.
I for one am really looking forward to this show and the live painting event in March.