It’s not the size, it’s how you use it


In this era of monumental murals, it can be easy to forget that bigger isn’t always better. In a series of new wheatpastes, WK Interact has taken to the doors of New York City. These life-size pieces are bursting with WK’s trademark energy, and they pack more of a punch than murals ten times their size.


These wheatpastes remind me of an old story from Richard Hambleton, although I can’t remember quite where I read it. It goes something like this… Hambleton was once standing on a New York City street corner, preparing to paint one of his shadowmen. Only, there was a man across the street who just seemed to be standing there. Hambleton kept waiting for the man to leave so that he could begin painting. Eventually, Hambleton crossed the street and walked towards the figure, only to realize it wasn’t a man at all but one of his shadowmen painted on the wall!


True, WK’s figure’s are black and white, but Hambleton’s were just silhouettes. Surely a few passersby are going to catch these pastes in the right light and out of the corner of their eye and mistake them for the real thing. That’s an experience that a megamural can rarely deliver. Not to mention these pieces are probably perfect selfies.


WK Interact can work big, but this series is a great reminder that he doesn’t have too. These new wheatpastes are better because they are “small.” You can find them on the streets of New York City. Happy hunting.




Or, if you’re not in New York, check out more from this series on Street Art News.

Photos courtesy of WK Interact

WK Interact pays Tribute to D-Day in Paris


A blend of violence, motion and power, WK Interact recently completed this ~400 ft (144 meter) long mural at Paris’ Geode. The wall is a fitting tribute for the 70th anniversary of D-Day; a day that marked a critical turning point in WWII, which initiated the liberation of France. A war which WK’s grandfather fought in.

Barcodes wouldn’t have been around at the time of D-Day, but I find their inclusion among the amalgamation of numbers, blueprints and acronyms as symbolic of the depersonalization of soldiers in the process of programming them to be killing machines.

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Photos by WK Interact

Going to the gallery

There are a bunch of shows open now or opening in the next month that I’d like to mention, but there are only so many hours in the day. So here’s a bit of a round-up:

  • Détournement: Signs of the Times is a group show that just opened at Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC. It was curated by the legendary Carlo McCormick and features artists who “subvert consensus visual language so as to turn the expressions of capitalist culture against themselves.” Some of those artists in Détournement are Aiko, David Wojnarowicz, Ripo, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers, TrustoCorp and Zevs.
  • Chris Stain and Joe Iurato are showing together for a two-man show at NYC’s Mighty Tanaka. The show opens on Friday. These are two great and underrated stencil artists. I highly recommend checking out this show, particularly given the superb quality of Stain’s recent indoor work.
  • Sweet Toof has a solo show opening this week at High Roller Society a pop-up space in Hackney Wick, London.
  • Contemporary Wing’s (Washington, DC) latest group show, opening on the 16th, is an exhibit of secondary market work, but there should some nice stuff, including work by Shepard Fairey, WK Interact, Gaia, Faile and Blek le Rat. I must admit that I’ve included a piece in this show, but I’m not going to say which one (so if you want to help me out, just buy the entire show…).
  • Finally, Dabs and Myla have curated a show at LA’s Thinkspace Gallery which will open September 1st. In addition to their own paintings and installations, the show features 32 of their friends, plus a solo show in Thinkspace’s project room by Surge MDR. Those shows open September 1st.

Photo by Susan NYC

Magazine covers by Shepard Fairey and WK Interact

In a funny coincidence, Time Magazine commissioned Shepard Fairey to illustrate their “Person of the Year” issue cover and Arrested Motion reports that Wired commissioned WK-Interact to illustrate their cover. In a further coincidence, Time’s Person of the Year is “The Protester” and Wired’s cover article is “#Riot: Self-Organized, Hyper-Networked Revolts—Coming to a City Near You.” Unfortunately, Wired changed their mind and used this cover, delegating WK’s art to staying inside the magazine.

Regarding Fairey’s cover for Time Magazine, the responses have been mixed. Here’s Fairey’s explanation of the work, an article criticizing it and an argument for it’s success for having mass appeal.

WK-Interact’s aborted cover for Wired is a real shame. The reasons for the change are not known, but I have seen the cover they used and it pales in comparison to WK-Interact’s work. My low-quality photo of the actual cover does not really do justice to how lame it is compared to what could have been. Sticking with the “rebellious street art/graffiti” vibe, even the Wired logo has been made to look it has been poorly stenciled onto the page, as you may be able to see more clearly in this close-up shot. I don’t know if Wired made their decision before or after news of Time’s cover came out, but maybe the Wired editors just thought that two street artists designing covers for major magazines in one month was too many. It’s too bad though, I think WK-Interact’s cover would have been much cooler than Fairey’s is.

Images courtesy of Arrested Motion and Obey Giant

Where to look at SCOPE Miami

Maya Hayuk, who will show at New Image Art Gallery's booth

The SCOPE art fair’s Miami iteration should, as always, have a few booths of interest to Vandalog readers to year. SCOPE opens on the 29th and runs through December 4th. Make sure to stop by these booths: Mallick Williams for Skullphone and Love Me/Curtis Kulig; Jonathan LeVine Gallery for Olek, WK Interact and Aakash Nihilani; Dorian Grey Gallery for Richard Hambleton (and maybe LAII); and New Image Art Gallery for Maya Hayuk and Retna. Of course, all those galleries will be exhibiting other artists as well, those are just some highlights. And there should be plenty of else of interesting. For the last two years, SCOPE has been where I’ve seen some of the most interesting indoor art in Miami.

Maya Hayuk, who will show at New Image Art Gallery's booth

Photos courtesy of New Image Art Gallery

WK Interact’s Project Brave mural

The other day, I mentioned that WK Interact was collaborating with New York firefighters on a mural in Brooklyn. The Project Brave mural has been installed at 149 Kent Ave and North 5th St in Brooklyn and is scheduled to stay through October 11th. Matthew Kraus made this video of the mural:

WK Interact. Project Brave. 2011. from Matthew Kraus on Vimeo.

Matthew also has an extensive set of photos of the mural on his flickr.

Photo by Matthew Kraus

Weekend link-o-rama

Snyder, a tribute to Kase2 (RIP) by Krush, Dame and Evol and other pieces

You know what’s really nice? Sleep. Hence, this weekend is a blessing. For now, life is school school school and more school. Hopefully there’s still a trip to NYC in my near future though… Here’s what has been going on around the internet and on the street:

Photo by Snyder

Holiday link-o-rama

WK Interact in Paris

Here’s what went on while I’ve been spending time with family, which I hope is what lots of you have been doing this week as well:

Photo by WK Interact

Miami Madness

In a lot of ways, Hargo sums up Miami's art fair week

With so much of the art world migrating to Miami this week in a frenzy, there seem to be too many events and parties (and I promise not to blog about the parties in detail. This isn’t a gossip site) and exhibits and festivals and everything else to keep track of. Here’s a roundup of some of the things that I’m most interested in seeing (or not seeing).

Things that have already been mentioned on Vandalog:

And things that I haven’t already blogged about:

  • Elisa Carmichael has her list of Miami must-sees, which includes a Dan Witz book signing and a Trespass book signing with Marc and Sara from Wooster Collective and Carlo McCormick.
  • Sorry to bring this up, but Sanrio’s exhibition of Hello Kitty art is just annoying. They got some great artists like Jim Houser to paint Hello Kitty characters. I’ll be avoiding this show like the plague.
  • I mostly go for Ryan McGinness’ really abstract work and this isn’t that, but McGinness fans will probably want to check out his solo show.
  • Barry McGee will be showing work and signing books at Ratio 3’s book in Basel Miami.
  • Jonathan LeVine Gallery has a pop-up show as part of Wynwood Walls. Some of the artists include AJ Fosik, Judith Supine, Doze Green, Dan Witz and WK Interact.
  • FriendsWithYou are filling a park with giant blow-up sculptures.
  • Last year, OHWOW Gallery’s It Ain’t Fair show was one of the most interesting shows in Miami. Once again, they have a killer line up for the show including José Parlá, Rey Parlá (José’s brother who is, I believe, a filmmaker), KAWS, Phil Frost, Barry McGee and Neckface.
  • OHWOW Gallery are also opening a bookstore at The Standard Hotel in Miami.
  • New Image Art’s pop-up show includes Neckface, Judith Supine and Os Gêmeos. Probably going to be a must-see.
  • Tristan Eaton and his partners are launching Contra Projects with a wide-array of events this week including a tent/lounge space, a mural (by Mr. Jago, Tristan Eaton, Ron English and others) and a TrustoCorp carnival aka TrustoLand. More info on the Thunderdog blog.
  • Carmichael Gallery, Joshua Liner Gallery and others will have booths at SCOPE, and I think Maya Hayuk is painting a mural there, which should be awesome if I’m remembering that correctly.
  • And of course there’s all the fairs I haven’t mentioned, because there are just so many. So many. Too many. It’s gonna be art overload. But if I’ve missed anything that you think is particularly special, please leave a comment.

Photo by Hargo