I got to work not long after that and decided on a straight forward message to announce my arrival: Arrivee (translation: (I have) Arrived). This piece is also painted next to the front door of a housing project in Vitry, so a fitting word to see when you're stumbling home.
I first arrived to Vitry-Sur-Seine, a suburb slightly outside of Paris. I stayed a few days there with my friend C215 and he took me around to see some of the walls that have been getting painted around town as more and more artists are coming through there. Here are a few pieces spotted from C215, Shida, and Roa, as well as some nice old signage.
The second wall reads Davantage qu'il ne semble (translation: More than it seems). Our eyes complete the letters even though they run off the wall and onto the metal slatted door on the right.
On a sunny February afternoon, I visited the studio of London based artist Sickboy, as he prepares for his solo exhibition at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco (opening Sat, Mar 17th). Famed for his street art throughout the world, this is Sickboy's debut solo exhibition in the United States. As he continues to paint one of the three canvases currently pinned to the wall, I ask him how he's getting on in the lead up to the show, about his history in street art, and his progression into galleries.
Your show is called 'Wonder Club'. What is the Wonder Club?
It's a few different things to me. I have a lot of crazy dreams, and I wanted to base the work around these dreams, as a personal surrealism. It's given me more room for freestyle. A lot of the content is based on childhood memories and fairytales. There's quite a whimsical theme running throughout.
So do you feel the work for this show is more personal than before?
Definitely. As you move through life you shouldn't lose track of what is important to you. I want to highlight the fun element in my work. A lot of the pieces are made up of drawings from sketch books that I make while having fun; hanging out, eating and drinking with friends.
You told me earlier that you're working seven days a week. With so much preparation to do for the show, how do you balance working between the studio and the street?
I try to make it all roll into one. Painting outside is like an exercise for me. I stay true to my graffiti roots and allow those experiences to fuel the paintings. I'm not knocking the kinds of artists who replicate what they do on canvas in the street, but I'm just kind of more lazy when I paint outside. I do it for the fun. I do it for the experience of hopping over hedges.
Os Gemeos opened there latest show, Miss You at Prism Gallery in LA this past Saturday. They continue there exploration of the surreal and gravity in this latest body of work.
The installation took 6 weeks to complete and the results are a fully immersive experience that gives the public a taste of the magical world that flows from the twins' spray cans. Upon entering the gallery, a floating yellow head invites you to peer into the glowing blue hole from the bottom, briefly taking you out of the crowd into an infinity mirrored isolation chamber with music being pumped in. Glowing yellow drips float upward out of the ground and floors, walls and ceilings are all covered in paint and murals creating a truly remarkable experience. Giant detailed murals grace the walls of the stairway and there is a collaboration with older brother Arnoldo, as well as some very special knitted pieces by their mother. They also re-imagined their interactive projection room from the 'Fermata' at Museu Vale in Brazil.
The amount of detail in the exhibit is a truly astonishing feat which is impressive even before one sees the collection of new works that were created for the show! All things considered, the twins have created what I believe to be a masterpiece of a show, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it coming to fruition.
Street artist Above sent us a copy of his new book Passport (published through Zero Publishing). In fact, he sent us the limited (200) boxed edition which comes in a huge/ smartly designed monster sized passport complete with a print inside. Not sure how to store it on a book shelf as it would need to be leaned against a wall it's so huge.
The book chronicles his career as he traveled the world first adding his arrows to electric lines and walls to his interest in stenciling as it got more and more popular. Our favorites in the book would be the signage he did with RIPO.
ABOVE started traditional graffiti of tagging freight trains in California in 1995. ABOVE moved to Paris at the age of 19 where he started painting his trademark arrow (pointing above) all around the city. Since then ABOVE has been consistently traveling around the world doing many large self-financed "tours" with each tour exploring a new medium or style of artworks. ABOVE has been successful in putting his street artworks in over 90 cities in 60 different countries around the globe.
Not all "street" art needs to be on the street... David de la Mano of Uruguay emailed over some recent work he did on some miscellaneous cement sitting on the beach in La Floresta, Montevideo. Like it.
Black Herds of The Rain is a film documenting Conor Harrington's trip home to Ireland in the summer of 2011 to paint 3 walls. The journey and subsequent paintings are inspired by Austin Clarke's poem The Lost Heifer. --> video by Andrew Telling
Hey there, I just got back from a short residency down in a small town two hours north of Mexico City called Tequisquiapan. I was asked to come down there to meet some of the crew of the Clipperton Project, which basically is going to be a crazy boat trip in March with scientists and artists going out to a very remote atoll in the Pacific called Clipperton Island. Anyways, I thought you might like to see some photos of the town and the graffiti that I was surprised to find there.
I found this whole crew of kids working on this wall on the outskirts of Tequisquiapan. I guess this huge wall borders a guys house, he said he invited these guys to come paint it and that he would rather have that then the political paintings that usually get painted on it without his permission.
This was a spot where people used to wash their laundry. Supposedly there is a place in every town in Mexico where people see the ghost of a woman who drowned her own son to revenge her cheating husband. This is where people have seen her in Tequisquiapan
Alan and I also taught some painting workshops at a local school.
When an old political group is ousted, they just put a small X over it.
WALLS & FRAMES: FINE ART FROM THE STREETS Edited by Maximilliano Ruiz
Published by Gestalten, Germany.
24 x 26 cm
The FedEX man just sung through FFDG with this treat for us to share with you. A thick ass book featuring some of the best "street artists" out there today. We add quotes next to street art, because it's debatable whether all of these artists are street artists or not, although, it could be said that many came from a street art/ graffiti background- or aethestic. Whatever the situation, it's a great book and thanks to Gestalten for sending us a beautiful copy for us to enjoy. You can get your own copy for only $37 at Amazon. It's well worth the price.
Walls & Frames launch parties will be hosted at Gestalten Space Berlin on December 1st and at Pictures on Walls London on December 8th. For the occasion each launch party will showcase a limited edition of original hand-finished book sleeves made by Walls & Frames featured artists.
Blek has been doing street art/ stenciling throughout Europe since the 80s. This January marks his 60th birthday, and Blek has been creating art over the last 30 years. Dancing, graffiti, figures and a horse here and there.
Australian born, New York based artist KID ZOOM (Ian Strange). Returned home to Australia to build a massive full-scale replica of his childhood home from memory at Cockatoo Island's prestigious Turbine Hall in Sydney.
KID ZOOM : HOME is Strange's first exhibition in his homeland of Australia in 3 years and represents a multi-layered home-coming for the artist. Coming home to reflect on his origins as an isolated teen in the Australian suburbs the installation also involves a film work of Strange blowing up and then smashing 3 iconic Australian cars.
As you enter the house it becomes a gallery inside which is showing the film of the cars being destroyed.
I would drive around with friends in similar model cars with friends when I was younger, painting, getting in trouble and occasionally crashing them. The Holden Commodore is also a staple of the Australian suburbs, you'll see one parked in the driveway of nearly every outer suburbs home in Australia. For me it is a symbol of suburban culture and under-ambition. The rejection of the suburbs and the desire to simultaneously destroy and create your own environment at the same time as enjoying its safety is the contradiction I'm reacting to. I think suburban angst led me to being an angry graffiti writer when i was 16, but with this installation I've been able to return home to create a more refined work using that same emotional catalyst and perspective from having somewhat escaped. -Kid Zoom
This day may have been inevitable, but now it's finally here. In its attempt to take over the world - or at least everything that can be bought and sold in the world, Amazon is launching an art gallery.
This summer Amazon is planning to launch a Fine Art Gallery where customers will be able to purchase original artwork offered by a select group of invited galleries via Amazon.com. ~continue reading
A new HBO documentary looks at the work of street artist JR, whose giant portraits force people in troubled areas to confront the humanity that's all around them... On the day JR found out he'd won the $100,000 TED Prize, the French pasteup artist found himself in China being questioned by police for doing his thing on the streets of Shanghai. ~continue reading
Street artist JR HBO documentary premiered yesterday, May 20th
Art lovers, collectors and gallerists will gather on Thursday for Hong Kong's inaugural edition of Art Basel, sealing the city's status as an international art hub and Asia's leading art destination... Hong Kong has surged to third place in the global art auction market behind New York and London and Western galleries are falling over each other to open franchises in the former British colony. ~continue reading
Wowzas, there's a lot of art happenings this weekend, and while you're making the rounds, be sure to stop at SFAI's MFA show Currency opening Friday, May 17th at the beautiful old SF Mint Building (88 5th Street).
SFAI's 2013 MFA graduates—working in painting, photography, printmaking, film, sculpture, installation, digital media, performance, and across media—will present work that embraces the Institute's signature spirit of experimentation and conceptual risk-taking.
Opening reception: Friday, May 17, 7–9 pm & running through Sunday 11-6pm daily. -- complete details
London based Pedro Matos opens the solo show Building Castles Made of Sand this Friday in Los Angeles at the Martha Otero Gallery featuring a new series of oil paintings on canvas and azulejo panels - a traditional Portuguese medium of hand-painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tile work.
San Francisco -- CCA opens their 2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition this Thursday, May 16th at their SF campus. Every year another graduating class produces steller work. One of the best SF art events worth getting to, but be sure to get there early as there's always a long line. ~details
The Book and Job Gallery (San Francisco) really stepped it up with the opening of Daniel Chen's loveBlast on May 4th. Complete with a doorman, piano player, old fashioneds, and some really nice paintings, I could hardly believe I was at the Book and Job. The paintings varied in size, and the show was balanced nicely between them, the spray-can work on the walls, and the smaller drawings displayed throughout. The kind notes Chen wrote on the walls are certain to brighten your day, and the rest of the work is definitely worth a look. It was a very classy evening and I hope they continue to intersperse shows like these into their schedule in the future
FFDG opened up the group show featuring original works by the artists of the world famous Skull & Sword tattoo last Friday here in San Francisco. Thanks to the huge crowd who turned out to support these four incredibly talented artists. Here is a taste of the show, and be sure to swing in to view in person. The show runs through June 8th.
Gary Baseman's retrospective "The Door is Always Open" at the Skirball in LA opened recently to massive crowds in a huge celebratory opening party. The exhibition is so complex and personal, delving into Baseman's background, family history, and all the layers of prolific work that he has done over the years. After the opening festivities winded down, I caught up with Baseman for an interview. We discussed the underlying meaning to some of the components of the show and how it felt for him, coming from such an honest personal perspective in putting this massive show together.
Fertile Menace, a new show of Mark Mulroney's (NY) work opened at Ever Gold on May 4th and it's not one to be missed. It is intelligently hilarious, with jokes riffing off sex, Foucault, and the body, and while it makes you laugh it's also going to make you think.
Our buddies Jay Howell, Andreas Trolf, and Jim Dirschberger are hyped as their show, which they've been working on for like 2 years, premieres on Nickelodeon Saturday. From the trailers we've seen so far and from what Jay has told us about, the show is going to be pretty epic. Congrats to those radical fellas.
Following his solo exhibition "The Collected" at Gallery Wendi Norris, painter Amir H. Fallah is in the throes of developing more new works for upcoming international exhibits. We spent some time in his studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles recently, discussing his process and inspiration.
We were first introduced to the photography of Spanish born NYC based Bubi Canal when he emailed us his great video Trust in Me a couple years ago. His solo show Special Moment recently ran at NYC's Munch Gallery in February, and he recently released his newest video Chrystelle below.
Although I missed the opening of Northern-California photographer Michael Garlington's newest show, Constructed Realities, I was fortunate enough to see the work still up during the Metaphysical fundraiser a couple weeks back at 111 Minna. Metaphysical fundraiser, an auction to benefit Wayne Ernzer. --- The ghoulish photographs in their heavy, hand-made frames are reminiscent of photos from the old west, and the glass crucifixes, complete with fetuses and guns, emphasize the accumulated time within the works themselves. Whether you're looking at the frames, the photos, or both, this show deserves a visit, and a walk through the golden archway Garlington constructed around the front door.
Fecal Face contributor Rachel Ralph (rachel(at)fecalface.com) has been profiling this Oakland based painter as he travels about Japan. In this segment, we feature some photos as he prepared for this show and residency at Spes-LaB in Tokyo which opened last weekend. Arnold will be featured in SFMoMA's Minna Street windows on June 8th.
Last Saturday, here in SF's Mission district, Guerrero Gallery opened two new shows with Philly based Alex Lukas and SF based Richard Colman respectively. Colman's work occupied the project space while Lukas' work and foliage was presented in the main space. Worth getting to if you haven't already.
Just got back to SF after a little trip south to Sayulita, Mexico. After 10 years without a vacation, me and the Mrs. headed south for some mental time off sitting in the sun, swimming and enjoying the watery Mexican beer. Here are some photos as we get back into the swing of things again.
Athens, Greece based designer, architect and artist Dimitris Polychroniadis emailed over more of his work which consists of mixed media, pop-humorous diorama sculptures that make a comment on the harsh realities my country and much of the world is facing at the moment.
FFDG will open a group show with the artists from the famed Skull & Sword Tattoo on Friday, May 17th (6-9pm). Artists: Grime, Henry Lewis, Yutaro, and Lango. Below are a series of videos on Grime for Vice's Tattoo Age produced in 2011. Fascinating look at one of the greatest tattoo artists alive today.
ARYZ (Spain) opened his newest gallery show at Fifty24SF last Friday and, if you live in the Bay Area, you need to go. This dude can obviously paint, and he doesn't need an entire building to show his impecable skill. The show has lots of small works on paper which contrast his highly-defined line work to his hard-edged painted objects. The contrast between the hard and soft was the most striking thing to me about his work, since I had never seen it in person before, and the washes blend with the thick paint seamlessly. The show also contains a larger work on canvas, a huge head suspended in the back of the room, and a big wood sculpture of a wolf figure. This diversity in such a small space was impressive, and those of us that went to the opening even got to meet the man in person. If you didn't make it out this weekend, check it out before May 31st when it closes and these works will be off to some very happy new homes.
Water McBeer is please to announce its latest exhibition "Precious" a solo exhibition by David Bayus (April 6 - May 4, 2013) -- David Bayus born 1982 holds his BFA from the Savannah College of Art and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. David lives and works in San Francisco and is a founding member of the basement collective. This will be his first exhibition with the world renown Water McBeer Gallery highlighting his most recent achievements with paint and digital media. David Bayus will be exhibiting 5 relatively large-scale mixed media works along with a collaborative object featuring Hungarian sculptor H.R KOONS.
The Shooting Gallery handed over the reins to the Red Truck Gallery (a New Orleans based gallery) which curated their new show, Hard Time Mini Mall and opened the it on Saturday night. This is my favorite show (so far) in the Shooting Gallery's new space and was packed full of art, a mini bar, and cowhide rugs. The Red Truck Gallery chose works with clear craftsmanship and it was easy to see in Ian Berry's denim assemblages and Chris Roberts-Antieau's awesome quilts. The space was completely packed, making it hard to see each piece individually, but this show deserves a second trip anyway. I look forward to spending more time with the chandeliers, automatons, and paintings before the show comes down on May 4th.
Toronto based photographer Nathan Cyprys emailed to let us know about his newest series "Neighbour State", and we were about to post it when we spotted this series on his site entitled "Ayre (of Distances)" and had to post this one instead. After you view this one, view "Neighbour State" on his site. Both are visually enjoyable.
Working from found photographs, Lyle's paintings are created through a reductive painting process where each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. Lyle begins this process by priming a panel with white gesso. He then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, Lyle renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.
Our buddy Henrik Haven, who brings us some goodies from his native Copenhagen, has been shooting some of his city's graffiti and street art. Last week we brought you part one of his camera's explorations.
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