Today’s Banksy, which runs through midnight Sunday, is Better Out Than In at its most literal yet: Two collaborative works by Banksy and Os Gêmeos that could easily hang inside a gallery (and practically any gallery in the city would probably be happy to have them), but instead they are on display in Chelsea underneath the High Line park. As usual, the audio guide is a great addition to the work. Seems like Banksy is almost taunting all of the nearby galleries in Chelsea, while they are desperate for a few people to come inside, Banksy has a massive crowd trying to catch a glimpse of these two pieces outside (which are of course well-guarded lest anyone try to steal or harm them). Or perhaps art galleries are just terribly uncomfortable places to view art and they don’t actually want visitors anyway. More info on the whole situation at this site over at Hyperallergic.
Despite Washington DC’s zero tolerance policy, its public spaces continue to boast a range of “illegal” works from stickers and paste-ups to out-of-the-way graff pieces. On my recent visit, DC’s prolific sticker artist iwillnot gave me a tour of some works – all done, as he explained, “without permission.” Here is a sampling:
Yote is celebrating National Welcoming Week (which is this week) by putting up signs these that have the word “Bienvenidos” (Spanish for “Welcome”) superimposed over the Arizona state flag. According to the event’s website, National Welcoming Week is an effort to “promote meaningful connections and a spirit of unity between U.S. and foreign-born Americans.” This week is also the week that the last parts of SB1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, go into effect.
Here’s how Overunder describes the impetus for the project:
The Painted Desert Project began as Jetsonorama, aka Chip Thomas pasted one of his photographs on an abandoned roadside stand only to return months down the road and see the very same stand now open for business. Amazed, he pulled over and chatted with the folks only to learn that their impetus to re-open was based on seeing tourists stop to take photos of the art work. They figured it was the best captive audience they’d seen in years and the only thing to make it better was if there was another one for traffic going the opposite direction. Unabashadly Chip let them know about his altar ego Jetsonorama and the cogs started turning.
Before the paste could dry Chip and fellow street artist Yote had a plan to bring some of their favorite artist to the Painted Desert to paint run-down stands in an attempt to rejuvenate the life of those in need of business and as Chip states, “explore how this might build community.”
Overunder has more about his part in the project on his blog.
We hoped to connect artists with vendors working along the roadside in homemade structures where food and jewelery are sold. We attempted to familiarize artists with the culture before they started painting. Because of the location of this project where large walls are few, the emphasis was on establishing a connection with the community. Both Tom Greyeyes and Breeze are Native American and came to the project already sensitized. We’d hoped to get more local youth involved in working with the artists but will have to pursue this with future iterations of the project.
As much as I enjoy the mural projects going on around the world right now, things like The Painted Desert Project are fantastic low-key but potentially impactful counterpoints to the hype and huge walls that seem to accompany more urban festivals.
Jetsonorama is a talented photographer who took some spectacular photos of the artists at work and of the finished walls and signs, so it’s going to take more than one post to show everything. After the jump, we’ll start with work by Labrona, Breeze and Overunder… Continue reading “The Painted Desert Project – round 1, post 1”
Yote hit up Washington, D.C. recently, and while he put up a number of wheatpastes, I just want to focus on one particular block that he put in a few places. To me at least, Yote’s Corn image, unlike his animal pieces, doesn’t really tell a story or allow for much interaction with its environment or the public beyond an aesthetic presence. Instead, it feels more like a tag.
I’m a big fan of people like Mighty Mo, Sweet Toof and Bloke who essentailly use characters as their names, and tag with those, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a (character/image-based) wheatpaste before though that gave me the impression of being a tag. Just think it’s something interesting.
Yote is quickly becoming a very interesting artist. Since first getting up in June, he’s consistently been carving new and better blocks. I mentioned some of his animals here a few months ago. Here’s his latest piece, a wolf pup.
Yote is a relatively new street artist, with his flick stream only going back to June, but already he’s put out some work that other major street art blogs have been talking about. Figure it’s about time I gave Yote a mention.
He recently made a trip to Brooklyn and hit up some classic spots with his characteristic animals:
And here’s one of Yote’s earlier pieces:
What do you think of the work? Personally, I think Yote is really promising because he does have the technical skills down, but Dennis McNett and Gaia are both using wood and lino blocks to print images of animals and those artists have components in their art that make their pieces more than portraits of animals.