Paris: D*Face – ‘Fornever’

D*Face Fornever

After painting a large new mural Turn Coat (covered) in the 13th District of Paris, D*Face unveiled his first solo show in France at Galerie Itinerrance. Entitled FORNEVER, the exhibition presented canvasses, sculptures, installations, HPMs, prints, and more. The British artist also experimented with a new medium – ‘Memory Trays’ – assemblages of found objects to bring a narrative dimension to his portraits. Thus, his subjects are plunged into the past as if they were nothing but an accumulation of memories, a discrete stencil is hidden inside a old novel, the faded picture of a pin-up comes out of a small pocket, or a key floats inside a glass bottle. The new imagery deals with how nothing is forever, with the old replaced with the new and the tensions that come with it.

D*Face Fornever

The first wall of the showing presented a ‘blue period’ with a multitude of formats from sculptures, such as ‘Riot Bottles’ and ‘Memory Trays’. This section featured sad characters, with an omnipresent blue colour palette, bringing out melancholy and the souvenir of lost time.

D*Face Fornever
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Opposite these lonely characters, a series of colourful canvasses focused on love relationships through different stages, and also echoed some of D’s monumental murals and album cover for the music band Blink-182. The themes of duality, love and violence appeared throughout the exhibition, from the Coke bottles transformed into Riot motolov cocktails or rose vases, to the rusted and painted saws featuring the male and female gaze.

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To describe the exhibition, D*Face mentions – ”From London to Los Angeles, Tokyo to Paris, I’ve lived and worked in cities my entire life, and if there’s one thing that all have had in common, it’s a tension between the old and the new. Progress seems inevitable, yet history and tradition remain treasured commodities – hard to let go. Likewise, artists throughout history, including myself, have faced the same obstacle – how do we evolve without abandoning what distinguished us in the first place? As the rate of change increases exponentially, so too does the value of society’s collective memory, along with the few relics which remain to uphold the past. It was my ambition with the Fornever show to set past and future in dialogue with one another.
To initiate this project, I chose to revisit the image of the Riot Coke Bottle, but this time as an imitation of the iconic petrol bomb – the poor man’s grenade. A familiar yet daunting object, it’s been used to spark the fire of countless revolutions throughout history, so for me it was an irresistible symbol for change – an incineration of the old in sight of the new. What remains then are vestiges of the past, salvaged, repurposed and marvellously outdated, they remind us that no matter how hard we may fight the wheel of change, nothing can last forever – there is only Fornever.”

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D*Face Fornever
D*Face Fornever

View the full set of pics here

D*Face – Fornever
Galerie Itinerrance
Paris

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Posted in Paris, Shows | Tagged ,

Paris: Lee Bae ‘ Black Mapping’

Lee Bae - Black Mapping

Perrotin Gallery in Paris is currently showing “Black Mapping” by Korean contemporary artist Lee Bae and looks back to the creative period of Lee Bae marked by the work of charcoal, in the form of paintings, sculptures and installations.

Since the early 2000’s Lee Bae is best known for his acrylic paintings associating a thousand variations of black and creamy white. Perrotin Gallery has chosen to highlight a lesser known creative aspect from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, which focused on the use of charcoal.

Lee Bae - Black Mapping

Lee Bae’s charcoal achievements are a crucial moment in the Korean artist’s career when he arrived in Paris in 1990, and the discovery of this new material is a turning point in his practice.

The choice of charcoal is due to several reasons: references to the China ink and calligraphy, but is also deeply rooted in the Korean tradition and reminded him of its origins.

Charcoal would allow Lee Bae to combine and align the two subjects that had always motivated him: a reflection on the material and a quest for blackness. In other words, on one hand the material in itself, for its sculptural qualities, and on the other hand, the material as a means of achieving tonality.

Lee Bae - Black Mapping

The installations of the Fire series are juxtaposed elements of raw material, burned and glued on canvas. Working the surface and revealing shadows, gradients and highlights, charcoal is a powerful creative element both literally and figuratively.

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Check a video by Simone Hoffman for Arte Metropolis that looks behind the scenes.

Lee Bae – Black Mapping
Until 26 May 2018
Galerie Perrotin
76 rue de Turenne
75003 Paris

Posted in Paris, Shows | Tagged , , , , ,

London: Mai 68 Posters from the Revolution

Lazinc - Mai 68 Posters

This May marks the 50th anniversary of the Mai 68 riots; a revolutionary string of student protests in Paris. Art was truly embedded in this revolution, with unique screen-printed posters being plastered along the walls of France.

Lazinc Sackville is currently exhibiting in London its own collection of these original posters for all to see. This unique collection of posters was last exhibited at The Hayward Gallery in 2008 and now forms part of Lazinc’s permanent collection of counter culture and propaganda works.

Lazinc - Mai 68 Posters

The 50 works are original, screen-printed posters produced during May and June in 1968 and plastered over the walls of Paris. The posters became the visual symbols of the revolution and they depict solidarity between France’s students and workers; opposition to De Gaulle and parliament; and the denouncement of a fascist regime.

One of the largest collections of this nature, the Lazinc Propaganda Collection includes Chinese Maoist posters dating back to early 1900’s, Black Panther posters, Russian Communist Posters from the 1970’s & 80’s, Cuban Revolutionary posters as well as British counter-culture posters from the 1960’s – 1980’s. These iconic works have been cited as the forerunners of today’s street art movement, and have been an inspiration to many of the contemporary artists Lazinc has worked with, including Banksy, Vhils and JR.

In addition films, imagery and memorabilia from the Mai 68 riots help contextualise the artworks in a historic setting, including archival photography, memorabilia and film footage captured during the riots.

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The gallery is also recreating a screen-printing room from one of the Atelier Populaire studios, the infamous workshop created in the occupied lithography studios of the École des Beaux-Arts set up by artists and students, .showing the working space in which the posters were created. Screen-printing was used due to the opportunity of mass-production and none of the posters were signed by individual artists.

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Lazinc - Mai 68 Posters
Lazinc - Mai 68 Posters

“I love posters and their inherent power. They have been used as a tool of control or rebellion by everyone from counter-cultural groups to communist regimes, to subjugate billions of people. I still feel that they have their place in today’s society, take something like Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster for the Obama campaign. A poster that in its own small way helped a black man to be voted as president of the USA, something no-one thought possible. The posters here were made by “Atelier Populaire”…
The whole idea was that anyone and everyone could contribute to the content of the posters, students, fishermen, postmen, factory workers etc. There would be assemblies where the poster choice would be made. These would invairably be printed through the day and night and then pasted up on the night-time, for the city of Paris to see what the issues at hand were. This was a pretty risky business due to the heavy-handed tactics of the French riot squad. This is a classic example of the disposed and dis-enfranchised using the poster to give voice to their concerns. The fact that time has not diminished them or their sentiment is a testimony to their power.” – Steve Lazarides, Co-Founder, Lazinc

Lazinc - Mai 68 PostersLazinc - Mai 68 Posters

The installation is left as if interrupted, posing the question of what the Mai 68 riots achieved and what is their contribution to art and history, the place of art within revolution?

Lazinc - Mai 68 Posters

View the full set of pics here

Lazinc Sackville
29 Sackville Street
London W1S 3DX

 

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , , , , , ,

Paris: D*Face ‘Turncoat’ Mural

D*Face Turncoat

British artist D*Face (covered) has just completed his second mural in Paris, at 155 boulevard Vincent Auriol, part of the ongoing open air museum in the 13th District with Street Art 13 Mural program.

This is the mural version of his painting ‘Turncoat‘, here on 25 meters high and 15 meters wide. This monumental work marks a departure in D*Face’s work. The portrait is made from a blue colour palette, while most of its pieces are based on a plurality of colors.

D*Face Turncoat

The artist, explained it as follows: “The colour scheme is new to me, it’s a new direction, each artist goes through his blue period, at the moment it must be my turn. . ” This palette represents a certain melancholy in his view of the world. The woman lips are tinted with a vibrant electric red, highlighting her power of seduction while her frowning brows and rebellious hair show her strong temperament. D*Face also added his signature wings and pop imagery to the mural.

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D*Face Turncoat

In parallel, the original painting ‘Turncoat’ is currently visible at the new solo exhibition ‘Fornever‘ at Galerie Itinerrance until 19 May.

View the full set of pics here

Posted in Paris, Shows, Street, streets | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paris: Felipe Pantone – Dynamic Phenomena

Felipe Pantone - Dynamic Phenomena

Chromatic and cynetic master Felipe Pantone is currently presenting his first solo exhibition ‘Dynamic Phenomena‘ in Paris at Magda Danysz Gallery.

Born in Buenos Aires, Pantone is an Argentinian-Spanish artist based in Valencia, Spain.  Internationally prolific, Pantone enchants with his majestic murals, sculptures or monumental installations.  Invited to the 2016 edition of the Maus Festival in Malaga (covered), the artist completely repainted a bridge overlooking the river Guadalmedina.

Felipe Pantone’s approach is to question the current era and its propensity to place new technologies at the center of our daily lives, making us dependent on a superabundance of images and symbols. He himself is passionate about the advent of the internet that gives instant access to the entire history of mankind. The problems he addresses are contemporary and universal: movement, the notion of time, saturation, alienation and destruction

Felipe Pantone - Dynamic Phenomena

Felipe Pantone - Dynamic PhenomenaFelipe Pantone - Dynamic Phenomena

With his exhibition “Dynamic phenomena”, Pantone imagines geometric subjects on modeling software, taking up the aesthetics of 3D creation, which he then reproduces in XXL size or on canvases. He brings them to life by superimposing his installations into disturbing optical illusions reminding of an explosion or an electric shock.

Felipe Pantone - Dynamic Phenomena

In a powerful dynamic, Pantone adds abstract and stroboscopic touches to articulate black and white geometric shapes creating a futuristic style with psychedelic accents and metallic colours.

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Felipe Pantone - Dynamic Phenomena
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View the full set of pics here

 

Felipe Pantone ‘Dynamic Phenomena’
Until 12 May 2018
Magda Danysz Gallery
Paris

Posted in Paris, Shows | Tagged , , ,

Paris: ESCIF ‘Open Borders’ at Palais de Tokyo

ESCIF - Open Borders

From May 4th, Palais de Tokyo in Paris will pay tribute to the history and legacy of the May 1968 events with a intervention by Escif, where he reproduced some of the famous writings from that period of student revolts. His creation completes the project, which was started in 2015 by Greek artist Stelios Faitakis, who realized two murals dedicated to the legacy of the situationist movement and civil unrest of May 1968. This intervention is part of the 10th installment of the LASCO Project (covered) curated by Hugo Vitrani, the Urban Art programme of Palais de Tokyo launched in 2012 which features artworks by over sixty international artists throughout its building.

ESCIF - Open Borders

Escif states: “I’m looking for the limit, how to paint a mural that is not a mural (…) The wall is a limit, a tool of power with which we plan, control and manipulate the space of cities. Graffiti abuses of walls by ridiculing them, by transgressing their original function. A painted wall is then no longer a limit but a transversal channel.”

ESCIF - Open Borders

Overlooking the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Spanish artist’s mural features trompe-l’oeil elements like country flags, doors, fire escapes, and wild vegetation throughout the back walls of the Palais de Tokyo, while tags and slogans lacerate the walls.

ESCIF - Open Borders

The written texts are inspired by the graffiti drawn clandestinely in the toilets of the institution which have been archived by the artist, as well as writings that accompanied the student revolts of May 68.

ESCIF - Open Borders

The general composition of the painting is a nod to the board game ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and plunges the player into a journey between vice and virtue. This is a perfect vehicle for Escif to question the part of situationism and politics plays in the art of writing on walls.

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ESCIF - Open Borders

View the full set of pics here 

ESCIF – Open Borders
From 4 May 2018
Lasco Project
Palais de Tokyo
Paris

 

Posted in Paris, streets | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Auxerre: Florent Maussion new mural for the RADD Festival

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

For the past three weeks French artist Florent Maussion has been painting a monumental mural on the silos of Auxerre (France) for the 10th edition of the RADD Festival opening on 25 April 2018.

Winner of the contest for the RADD 2018 theme “Which School for tomorrow?”, Florent Maussion’s sketch won the public and jury votes. The 600 square meters mural on the concrete silos features a child painting while surrounded by koy carp in a large blue-green background.

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

Some preparatory sketches and colour tests lay on the ground next to a model version of the concrete sentinels. The child portrait is inspired by a picture of the artist’s son.

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

He found his inspiration during his many trips to Japan. “I imagined a child, a schoolboy painting his own world. On his clothes, he wears a leaf of gingko biloba. This sacred tree of the East is a symbol of unity, hope and associated with longevity, it is also called the ‘tree of the grandfather and grandson’ because it carries the hope of continuation of the lineage including a prediction of immortality. ”

The artwork has many symbolics. Florent Maussion indicates “I chose to represent these freshwater fish to make the link with the Yonne river flowing at the foot of the silos. Koi carp are peaceful and familiar fish, peaceful in nature and easily accepting the cohabitation with other species, a symbol of love, virility, perseverance and strength. ”

Florent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - Auxerre

Up 30 meters high, the cherry picker offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Auxerre and beyond, but beware of the height and winds which can be tricky as the surface is round.

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After several days, the work is gradually taking shape with large blue and green trails and koy fish appears here and there.

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Florent Maussion - Auxerre
Florent Maussion - Auxerre
Florent Maussion - Auxerre

View the full set of pics here


Drone video by Martin Millot

Curated by Denis Roicourt, this monumental mural is part of the RADD festival  taking place from 25-28 April in Auxerre. Additional artists are also painting smaller walls through the city.
Full programme here

Posted in Festival | Tagged , ,

Interview: Colectivo Licuado

Colectivo Licuado

We followed Florencia Durán and Camilo Nunez from Colectivo Licuado, Uruguay as they painted a monumental mural for the Crystal Ship in Belgium.

Mastering spray paint with a hyperrealistic style, their creations juxtaposes culture and local traditions based on the context and environment in which they are working, adding their own style and a touch of art nouveau: skin tones, drapes, lighting and shadows are surreal.

With their mural, Colectivo Licuado paid tribute to Ostend, the city by the Sea. With two  two women, they wanted to illustrate a balance between the calm and the storm at Sea. The standing tall blond girl represents storms, with a lot of energy, drawing strings of winds, while the seated brunette is peaceful and having a protecting hand on the boat.

Colectivo LicuadoColectivo Licuado

We asked both of them a few questions to find out more:

B: Can you tell us more about your background?

CL: We knew each other studying industrial design 10 years ago. We always made student projects together , so we learned how to work as a team. Both of us always had interests in the arts. So years later we started painting in the streets as a hobby, but it quickly became our passion and our work, and we started to work really hard on this.

Colectivo Licuado
Colectivo Licuado

B: What is the situation in Uruguay towards street art/graffiti ?

CL: Street art is really new, less than 10 years. We are few of us, but little by little growing in numbers (be aware that we are 3 million people in all the country). So we are painting and growing together just to represent our country, because we are all really close.
There are more graffiti writers, they are really active and are also really close together.
In our opinion we need more big walls and more festivals that help us all to grow.

Colectivo Licuado

B: Colectivo Licuado is an artistic duo, so how did it started and what is your creative process?

CL: We started 7 years ago, like a hobby, but after our trip of South America, we realized that we could live from this and travel. So we started to work harder.
Nowadays, we think of an idea or message that we want to make in the wall. Lots of times it is something in relation to the environment of where we are going to paint the wall, some story, character, mythology. Then we always take some photos with a friend photographer, we ask for some of our friends to be our models, with a specific clothes and objects. Later with the photo we think about colours variations.

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B: What influenced you to start painting murals?

CL: We always drew or made something in relation to art, like photos and music. Once we started to paint in the public space it was really amazing to see people’s reaction. It is always a good excuse to share messages or our opinions and different people can see that, it is outside museums and galleries, it is for all and for the city, and it plays with the architecture. Also you always have a free canvas to practice and to show your work.

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B: What do you like/enjoy about painting in public spaces?
CL: We enjoy the opportunity to talk with many people in the streets, we enjoy the city in another way. It is also a chance to know other artists and cities. Each wall is a challenge for yourself and test your patience because are always some kind of difficulty.

Colectivo Licuado 
www.colectivolicuado.com

Posted in Festival, Ostend | Tagged , ,

Crystal Ship : New murals by Telmo & Miel (NL) in Belgium

Telmo Miel

For this year’s edition of the Crystal Ship Festival Dutch duo Telmo Miel created two murals in Ostend, Belgium. Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann are the names behind Telmo Miel artistic duo, based in Rotterdam.

We last saw them in London in October 2017 during their Thinkspace exhibition at Moniker Art Fair ( covered), so we were pleased to see them in the streets of Ostend.

Combining multiple elements in a single composition, they layer references to the human and animal worlds to create complex creatures and fantastic scenario.
For the festival Telmo Miel painted a matching series called ‘Welcome’. Playing with the curved architecture, they painted a girl with an umbrella with a little monkey on her shoulder. The first version is under the rain while the mirrored version is under the sun.

Telmo Miel
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Telmo Miel
Telmo MielTelmo Miel

View the full set of pics here

Check our full coverage on the Crystal Ship here

 

Posted in Festival, Ostend, Street, streets | Tagged , , ,

Urban Art Fair (Paris)

Urban Art Fair Paris

For its 3rd Paris edition, the Urban Art Fair brings together thirty galleries from eight different countries at the Carreau du Temple from April 12 to 15, 2018.

With a selection of French and international galleries, the Fair is presenting a panorama of different techniques and mediums in the urban contemporary movement with works of more than 200 artists.

In parallel the Urban Art Fair is collaborating with Urban Films Festival, and will be featuring films related to the urban universe, with a focus on street art and graffiti artists’ films.

Amongst the participating galleries and artists, here are some highlights.

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View the full set of pics here

Urban Art Fair Paris
12-15 April 2018
Carreau du Temple
Paris

Posted in Art Fair | Tagged , ,

Art Paris Art Fair: TILT Solo Exhibition

Art Paris Art Fair

With Switzerland being the guest of honour at Art Paris Art Fair (covered here), the Swiss Kolly Gallery focuses on the universe of French graffiti artist Tilt by dedicating a Solo Show. Tilt has won the First Prize of the Art Paris Art Fair, with “L’art est vivant – Promises prize”  

Art Paris Art Fair

With Tilt, work and life coexist closely, and its artistic, radical and singular vocabulary is marked by an anti-aesthetic approach based on destruction, disintegration and erasure.
Tilt likes to break codes, playing on the dislocation of plans, textures and density. The painting is abused. Tilt reveals a frontal vision of his artistic universe, where signs and references to the graffiti world are concealed, juxtaposed, in order to present a perfect synthesis of these street scriptures that he particularly enjoys.

Art Paris Art Fair
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Art Paris Art Fair

View the full set of pics here

Art Paris Art Fair
Le Grand Palais
Paris

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Interview : Matthew Dawn (BE)

We caught up with Belgian artist Matthew Dawn as he participates to the Crystal Ship Festival in Ostend, Belgium and discussed about his background and projects.

B: Can you tell us more about your background?

MD: I have a bachelors degree in “Digital Arts and Entertainment” – 3D art, game-coding and game design in lament terms. So nothing really street-art or fine-art related. Growing up, art and creativity in general has always been a big part of my everyday activities. I enjoyed sketching as a kid and teenager and love toying around with several instruments like bass, guitar and piano. Throw in some computer skills and know-how of video or photo-editing software and you have the base of my skill sets.


B: You have also worked on commercial projects with big companies such as Nike and Citroen? What learnings did you get from that experience?

MD: Commercial projects are good for putting money in the bank, not so good for expressing your artistic intent. A major insight I gained from those and several other experiences is how much my perception of money differs from theirs, I might find €1000 to be a lot of money whereas they barely shrug at spending €100.000. It taught me that it’s a matter of perspective and I can use that to my advantage.

 

B: What influenced you to start painting murals?

MD: It wasn’t really a choice, more something I rolled into naturally. I was already heavily into fine art and street art before I even picked up a spray can at the age of 21. I became friends with a couple of bombers and they took me with them because they’d seen my sketches. It was like “Hey you can draw, you should come with us. -Oh, okay. Sure.”
All that paranoia and stress wasn’t for me so I stepped out of the shadows and when to the legal walls in my area. I wanted to do full pieces and detail them at my own pace and really put the work in. From there on out it just grew, people approached me in the street, offered me some jobs that payed well at the time and it just got bigger and better from there on out.

B: What do you like/enjoy about painting in public spaces?

MD: It’s outdoors, gets me out of my studio. People come up to you, admire the work, compliment you. If you’re lucky they bring you warm drinks and cookies, all good vibes 🙂

B: What / who are your sources of inspirations or favourite artists?

MD: I look at pinterest a lot, I have big collections on there and it comes from everywhere, blogs, reddit,… but to name one or more artists that stick out,… man. I can’t there’s so many elements that I love of so many artists. I love Jeremy Man’s work ethic and dedication to the craft, I love Shawn Barber’s style, Rene Margritte’s work, James jean’s colors,…

B: Can you tell us more about your creative process?

MD: I start which ever way is fastest, doesn’t really matter to me how. Usually it’s some rough sketches in a slutty sketchbook that loves to get abused. From there I take it digitally, edit the sketches in photoshop or find photo’s online that match my ideas and create a collage out of them or go outside and take my own photo’s with myself or someone else as model.

Most of my personal work is built from live-drawing or photo reference.

B:Is there a specific message you want to convey in your artworks?

MD: I’m currently exploring the concepts of ego, ignorance, censorship, fame and success in my works and am loving the journey so far. I can have a specific meaning behind every piece but when I ask other for their views they always come up with things I have never  seen before myself or thought of so I don’t want to force my own view and just let the work do the explaining and let the people make up their own thoughts.

 

B: What are you creating for the Crystal Ship? Tell us more?
MD: I’m creating the third in my paper crown series which started after my promotional video of the TINYPINK went viral with +- 2M views.

B: What are your next projects as well?
MD: I’m planning a solo-show in the fall.

Matthew Dawn
http://www.matthewdawn.com

Posted in Interviews/ Studio visits, Ostend | Tagged , , , , ,

London: Miaz Brothers ‘Anonymous’ at Lazinc Sacksville

Miaz Brothers - Anonymous

Italian duo the Miaz Brothers return to Lazinc Sacksville for their third exhibition; Anonymous, continuing their Antimatter Series.

The show explores the concepts of anonymity and the metaphor of status in our existence. While both bodies of work portray beings, symbolic of a crosssection of society that scales class, location and time, the sixteen portraits for this new exhibition aims to present some transcendent answers for our present existence.
The artists’ work intentionally looks to the future and embodies that which is yet to come, which today remains indefinable.

Miaz Brothers - Anonymous

Using acrylic paint, the Miaz Brothers create enigmatic out of focus portraits, prompting the viewer to look beyond the line and to use both their own perception and imagination. Instead of explaining the meaning the meaning of their work, the artists encourage the viewer to develop their own relationship with the paintings.

Miaz Brothers - Anonymous

“It is an exercise for the inner spirit; a flexible experience of stretching the awareness of what we see and perceive; a stimulation for the consciousness and the limits of our idea of the world and its symbols. We are trying to force the viewer to interact with the image and to do so in a sensitive effort by filtering it through the perception and the process of identification to achieve something not fixed or limited but which is boundless and personal.” —The Miaz Brothers, 2018

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Miaz Brothers - Anonymous

View the full set of pics here

Miaz Brothers – Anonymous
Until 21 April 2018
Lazinc Sacksville
29 Sackville Street
London W1S 3DX

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , , ,

Paris: Art Paris Art Fair 20th Anniversary

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Art Paris Art Fair. Since its foundation in 1999, the fair has established itself as Paris’ leading modern and contemporary spring art event. The 2018 edition is playing host to 142 galleries from 22 different countries providing an overview of European art from the post-war years to the current day, while leaving room for the new horizons of international creation from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Open to all forms of artistic expression, this year’s guest country is Switzerland and the fair is also focussing on the French art scene, as well as featuring monographic exhibitions in Solo Show and emerging artists in Promises.

Here are some highlights from the Art Paris Art Fair 2018.

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View the full set of pics here

Art Paris Art Fair
5-8 April 2018
Grand Palais
Paris

Posted in Art Fair, Paris | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Crystal Ship 2018 – Part I

We have arrived on the city by the sea in Ostend, Belgium and participating artists to the third edition of the The Crystal Ship ( see line up here) are busy working on their murals and installations  across the city.

So here is a first recap of the walls in progress and installations we have seen so far:

Ben Slow (UK)


Telmo & Miel (NL)

A Squid Called Sebastian (B)

Colectivo Licuado (URU)


Dourone (FR) (See our interview here)

Etam Cru (PL)

Gaia (US)

Icy & Sot (IR)

Jaune (B)

Joachim (B)

Matthew Dawn (B)

Milu Correch (AR)

Oak Oak (FR)

Wasp Elder (UK)

View all the locations of the Crystal Ship on a map of Ostend HERE

The official opening starts on 7 April at Monacoplein from 2pm
Come back again soon for further updates on the Festival

Posted in Festival | Tagged , , ,

Interview: Dourone

We caught up with Spanish artist Fabio Lopez Gonzalo aka DOURONE as he participates in the 2018 Crystal Ship Festival to learn more about his creative process, his duo with Elodiellol their upcoming projects.

B: Can you tell us more about your background?

D: (Fabio)My background is a boy who lived far away from the center of Madrid and very far from his friends and for that reason he was a long time just drawing. When I was little I used to go to my grandmother’s house, I used to go shopping in the market and I always said “Granny, can we go down the drawing aisle?” That hall was a graffiti spot.

When I understood what that hallway was, I started to paint graffiti and since we did not have a group of graffiti friends we created the STA crew, that’s where all of 1999 started.

After my tour has been very varied, in my family there is a lot of creativity so I was never afraid to try different techniques, tools, etc. all my journey has been an apprenticeship and a self-taught evolution, since unfortunately I was not a very good student and I did not study Fine Arts or anything like that, it was also a very hard and very rewarding journey.

I always knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to something creative.

B: How was the situation towards street art/graffiti / legal and illegal graffiti when you grew up in Madrid?

D: When I started, I did not know very well what graffiti was, I did not listen the street art concept until much later.
My first graffiti was a tag but of 6 meters and the next day I bought a magazine from the store (authentic stiletto) and saw what the 3d was, the power line, a throw-up, a pomp, a wild style, a pastel model … and I also understood the rules of the game, in my time it was like this: a silver or throw-up can step on with a piece, and a piece can be stepped on with a mural, that on the one hand.
On the other side was the seniority and the quality of the work and on the other the level of vandalism of each crew.
When they stepped on you, there were the “fines” that consisted of staying at a place and time you had agreed on before, so that you could return the money or the spays that you had spent on the piece and if you did not pay the fine, you would hit with him, to gain respect based on fear.

Madrid in my time was a pretty tough spot, there were many crews and a lot of urban culture. I also think that there was a lot of respect for the older ones. Legal and illegal, the rule was that graffiti is not for sale.

B: Dourone is now an artistic duo, so tell me more about how it started and what is your creative process?

D: This is a nice story since the duo is created from a couple relationship ..
Dourone exists since 1999, when it started in graffiti, and in 2012, Elodiellol and I started our relationship and our professional history together.
We can say that when Dourone really becomes something more serious and professional.
Elodie is the part totally complementary to mine and that’s why I do not call it a duo, I call it 1 + 1 = 3, which means that between the two of us we reach create a third identity without nullifying us as unique.

We have both been learning together and putting everything in its place.

The creative process is the strangest part, I have to create it and put it on a support but I know that this creative process would not be the same if Elodie was not with me in all the conversations and exchanges of support and support in everything that I believe .
When we paint large murals we make them between the two and we get a coordination that works fluid and without errors, based on a lot of time working together.

B: What influenced you to start painting murals?

D: Since I was little I was very interested, so it was a natural process that took me to paint a mural.

In my time the graffiti artists were in the social group where I fit best because I love painting. Painting in public places was normal because graffiti is about that … and painting bigger also for me was a natural process: first you paint in a notebook later on a wall, then a facade of a building and then a tower …
It’s like first a silver, then a piece and finally a mural, for me it was about improving and learning.
When you paint large murals the creative process is much longer and you have a much more intense experience with your mural, and I am still surprised to see a large mural finished, it also has to be said that it is much more sacrificed, tired and sometimes the experience is made too long and it seems that it never ends.

B: What do you like/enjoy about painting in public spaces?

D: At first I liked the adrenaline of painting illegally and that they knew me more in the world of graffiti, then I liked the fact of painting on a wall.
I painted on quiet walls where I could spend many hours painting with my friends a well-worked mural, finally stop making letters to make more illustrations and I realized what it was to paint in a public place with a language that almost everyone understood or it came to influence people in some way.

Based on years of painting I have been accumulating many good experiences and that has been the engine to continue painting. Now it has become part of my life and my work, thanks to that I have been able to travel and meet a lot of people.

 

B: Your artworks featuring female portraits convey specific messages and values like Respect, Freedom, Trust, Can you tell us more?

D: As you say my female portraits spoke about respect, diversity and freedom. Those three values are very important to me in my life, but as I said, it goes by stages. Now I keep these three values and still learning from them but my work is being simplified and being more complex.
My new work deals with the beauty, composition, color and emotion that it transmits. Now I am very interested in emotions that are difficult to describe, it is a huge world since in each country and each customs has different words that define that emotion (rare)

B: Can you share anecdotal experience from painting a mural in another country? Have you seen any cultural differences through your travels?

D: I have many good and bad experiences but I can tell you two that are excellent.

The first one is from a mural we painted in Paris, and in the weeks they stepped on it with a tag. The tag had disappeared the next week. The next week they step on it with more tags and disappear again: someone was restoring the mural ..
All this story we were seeing through Instragram and we did not understand very well what was happening, so we went to the mural to see it and we realized that it was restored but not by a person who knew how to paint since it was very badly done but the final result was not bad.
The following year we returned to paint the same wall as every year, then a man of about 80 years old appears and tells us that he was expecting us that he liked what we painted a lot. Then he confessed that he liked a lot the previous mural and that he had been taking care of it and restoring it. At that moment we were amazed to know who was the person who had been fixing it because we would never have thought that this man would worry so much for a mural on the street.

And the other story was in France to but in Boulogne-Sur-Mer for their first street art edition festival.
We were painting on a 3 storey building and noticed that an old woman was looking at us from the windows of her house. The next day she came to visit us and bring us some sodas and biscuits without any word. She kept doing that every day until the very last day.
When she saw that we were about to finish it, she came to us and told us that she was living in this house, right in front of the mural we were painting since she was a little girl.
She took our hands and with tears on her eyes she told us:” You know that in this exact place you have your boom lift as you can see, there is a hole between the two buildings. You know why? In 1942, the Germans exploded a bomb right here. I witnessed everything… And now everyday, every time I will look through my window I will see your wonderful and colourful mural. Thank you so much for your present, you cannot imagine what it means to me..” We tried not to cry with her..

And yes of course, there are a lot of cultural differences from one country to another and that is what enrich our experience.

B: What are you creating for the Crystal Ship? Tell us more?

D: What I am creating for the Crystal Ship in an artwork that is based on one of those emotions difficult to describe. OPIA, ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye.

 

B: What are your next projects as well?

D: For this year there are already several closed projects such as the art fair participation in Paris (Urban art fair) a mural in Vannes in France (commission work).
And this year we are invited to participate to the Kaboo Festival in San Diego USA.
Now we are working hard to give us time to do all the projects we want to carry out this year.

More info on DOURONE

Posted in Interviews/ Studio visits | Tagged , | 1 Comment

London: Print is Power with Sisters in Print

Print is power - Sisters in Print

During the Other Art Fair in London, Aida Wilde (covered) and Sisters in Print held a series of workshops to share their skills and passion for printmaking, from cutting like a Ninja, print like a Butterfly to Macho only workshops.

Print is power - Sisters in Print
Print is power - Sisters in Print

The workshops featured all the techniques from monoprint, stencils, collages, screenprints and tools of the trade and their secrets.

Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print
Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print
Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print

While the fierce ladies focussed on their techniques and prints with vibrant imagery and powerful slogans, men couldn’t help but cut a bold happy willy…
Expression in all its forms and good laughs were in order

Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print

Big up to the energetic Queen Printmaker Aida, Juliette Stuart and the Sisters in Print, as well as GFSmith papers, Great Art UK and Screentec for providing the prints!

Print is power - Sisters in Print
Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print
Print is power - Sisters in PrintPrint is power - Sisters in Print

Full set of pics HERE

 

Posted in Art Fair | Tagged , ,

The Crystal Ship 2018 in Ostend (BE)

The Crystal Ship is a contemporary art festival bringing art to the seaside in Ostend, Belgium.
For its third edition over fifteen international artists will create large scale murals and art installations using the City by the Sea as their canvas. The new artworks will be added to the existing fifty murals and interventions visible through the city, making it the biggest mural festival in Europe.

The official opening will take place on 7th April 2018 in Monacoplein, Ostend

2018 Participating artists include:
A Squid Called Sebastian (B) – Ben Slow (UK) – Colectivo Licuado (URU) – Dourone (FR) – Etam Cru (PL) – Gaia (US) – Icy & Sot (IR) – Jaune (B) – Joachim (B) – Johannes Verschaeve (B) – Matthew Dawn (B) – Milu Correch (AR) – Oak Oak (FR) – Telmo & Miel (NL) – Wasp Elder (UK) – Zoer x Velvet (FR)

Here are some pics of the 2018 invited artists we’ve met across our travels:


Gaia

Etam Cru - NuArt
Etam Cru

Crimes of Minds - Ben Slow
Ben Slow

Icy & Sot - NuArt
Icy & Sot


Jaune
Wasp Elder
Wasp Elder


Butterfly Art News
will be reporting live from Ostend in Belgium on the new murals and present exclusive interviews from participating artists.

So stay tuned for more details coming soon…

The Crystal Ship
7-8 April 2018
Monacoplein
8400 Ostend, Belgium

Posted in Festival, Ostend | Tagged , | 1 Comment

London: Fourth Plinth by Michael Rakowitz

Michael Rakowitz

Following David Shrigley ‘ Really Good’ sculpture,  Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, has been selected to create the latest sculpture for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square using 9,000 tin cans of date syrup made in Iraq. The artwork is a reconstruction of the lamassu, a winged bull created around 700BC at the Nergal Gate of Ninevah, Iraq, nearMosul vandalised by Isis in 2015.

Michael Rakowitz has built an international art-world reputation over the past 15 years, fusing his autobiography as an American with an Iraqi-Jewish background with social and political observation and activism, as well as the odd absurdist link to pop culture.

During a family visit to the British Museum when he was aged 10, he recalls his first encounter with an Assyrian lamassu, like the winged bull only with a lion’s body. “Suddenly I found myself immersed in this space that was unlike any I had seen before,” Rakowitz recalls, “which was going past those lamassu and going into the throne room reconstruction from Nineveh and seeing the lion hunt of Ashurbanipal.”

Michael Rakowitz

The lamassu on the plinth is not a one-off but part of another long-term project, also called The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist. For this, Rakowitz is reconstructing the entire database of 7,000 works looted from the National Museum of Iraq in the aftermath of the US and UK’s 2003 invasion. All of the reconstructions are made from Middle Eastern foodstuff packaging and local Arabic newspapers.

The project grew from Rakowitz’s observation that the sack of the museum was the first event of the war about which there was a consensus. “It didn’t matter if you were for the war or against the war, this was a catastrophe,” he explains. “But that outrage about lost artefacts didn’t turn into an outrage about lost lives.”

He noted that many looted artefacts were votive statues. “One of the interpretations of those artefacts is that those were statues that the ancient Babylonians, the Mesopotamians, would bring with them to the temple of the god, and the idea was that you would leave the sanctuary at a certain point but you left that statue in your stead, as a surrogate for you, to continue praying. And when I saw the artefacts being looted, I said, ‘Well, now we have another surrogate: a lost artefact for the lost bodies’. All those things loop back into the human and environmental catastrophe.”


Michael Rakowitz
Michael Rakowitz

Rakowitz was already thinking about reconstructing the lamassu after seeing the footage of it being destroyed by IS. He had discovered its measurements by referring to the sketches of Austen Henry Lanyard, the British archaeologist who discovered the lamassu and brought two others to the British Museum — the ones Rakowitz had seen as a child. He was invited by the Fourth Plinth organisers to submit a proposal and remarkably, the plinth was the same length as the lamassu — 14ft. “I was like, ‘This is it!’ What else would I do?”

Michael Rakowitz

Instead of merely recreating the sculpture, the artist wanted to recreate the DNA of Iraki people who got killed as well, so he decided to use date syrup cans.

So why date syrup cans? Rakowitz first began working with them in a New York project in 2006, Return, in which he reprised his grandfather’s import/export business but attempted to deal only in Iraqi goods. He had found the date syrup in a grocery store in Brooklyn but it was labelled “product of Lebanon”. In fact, the syrup was made in Baghdad, put into large plastic vats, driven to Syria and canned there before moving over the border into Lebanon, where it was labelled and sold globally. That way, sanctions were circumvented and, post-2003, security tariffs avoided. But for Rakowitz the journey was another metaphor, of course: the dates travelled “the same exact path as Iraqi refugees”.

Michael Rakowitz

Iraqi dates “were considered the best in the world; what the cigar is to Cuba”, he says. But their demise reflects the tragedy of Iraq’s recent history. Date palm trees disappeared, “from 30 million in the Seventies, when Iraq was the chief exporter of dates in the world, to 16 million at the end of the Iran-Iraq war [1980-88], to three million at the end of the 2003 invasion,” he says.

Michael Rakowitz

So the plinth sculpture reflects a huge sweep through Iraqi history. “It’s telling the story of a destroyed Iraqi artefact, and what it’s made from is telling the story of a destroyed land, destroyed nature, destroyed ecology,” he says. “And the destruction of a symbol that was so elemental to the Iraqi people. Dates are the harbinger of good things to come: you put a date into the mouth of a baby in some places in Iraq so its first taste of life is sweet. And when you have the erosion of that sweetness, it’s not a good omen.”

This is the genius of Rakowitz’s sculpture: it is history, art history, social history and current affairs. Rich knowledge and impassioned polemic all bundled into a single, glorious yet poignant symbol looking over Trafalgar Square.

Michael Rakowitz

View the full set of pics here

Michael Rakowitz
The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist
from 28 March 2018
Fourth Plinth
Trafalgar Square,London

Posted in London | Tagged , , ,

Paris: INTI ‘Profane’ at Galerie Itinerrance

Inti - Profane

Chilean artist INTI retuns to Paris for a third solo show called ‘Profane’ at Galerie Itinerrance, featuring new paintings and an impressive site specific installation.

For years Inti kept on traveling all around the world to paint murals . His wall paintings often show the Kusillo, a character originated from the south-american carnival, or figures coming from religious imagery. These intense creations organized through rich and meaningful compositions allow him to approach social issues. The artist draws symbols from different cultures and various fields, he takes them out of their context to give them a new meaning by juxtaposition.

For «Profane», Inti selected a dozen of his murals he recently executed across the world from Lisbon to Miami and China. Based on the subjects represented on each of them, he adapted his artistic practice to the size of the canvas and changed some elements to better clarify his intention.

Inti also created an immersive installation by covering the floor with stencilled skulls while a spectacular Pietà sit prominently in the center of the gallery space.

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Inti - Profane
Inti - ProfaneInti - Profane

This 8.5 feet high installation is the result of a long work for Inti who experimented with a new medium. It took him 6 months of work and 12 hours a day to finish it. Beyond a technical challenge, Inti managed to represent in volume a traditional figure of religious iconography and reappropriated it with his own codes.

Inti - ProfaneInti - Profane
Inti - Profane

Through this new body of work, Inti addresses various issues , like the conflicts between science and religion, with a critical eye without expressing a definitive answer. The same way he spreads numerous iconography and symbols in each of his paintings, he injects in his compositions a multitude of elements and leave the spectator free to interpret them. «Profane» transcribe very well the journey Inti experienced since his last exhibition. His numerous travels can be felt through his openness to the world and his sensitivity.


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Inti - Profane

«Profane» challenges us to reflect on the banality of our beliefs and dogmas, as opposed to the delicate, ephemeral and natural beauty of life.‘ – Inti

Inti - Profane

View the full set of pics here

Inti – ‘Profane’
Until 31 March 2018
Galerie Itinerrance
24bis boulevard du Général Jean Simon
75013 Paris

Posted in Paris, Shows | Tagged , , ,

The Other Art Fair London: Hisham Echafaki

The Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki

The new edition of the Other Art Fair London curated by Saatchi Art features 130 international emerging and established artists from 22-25 March 2018 at Victoria House London WC1. Here is a selection of our highlights from the Fair.

French artist Hisham Echafaki(covered) returns to London with a new solo exhibition.  Presenting a new body of works including his signature three dimensional paintings that look like real animals, insects and fishes.

The Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki

In parallel Hisham Echafaki also created new paintings inspired by Dutch masters and gave them a modern twist using optical black and white and colourful effects, from circles, squares and stripes.

The Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki
The Other Art Fair - Hisham EchafakiThe Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki
The Other Art Fair - Hisham EchafakiThe Other Art Fair - Hisham EchafakiThe Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki
The Other Art Fair - Hisham Echafaki

View the full set of pics here

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The Other Art Fair
London 22-25 March 2018 
Victoria House
London WC1

Posted in Art Fair, London | Tagged , ,

London: Glenn Brown – ‘Come to Dust’ at Gagosian Gallery

 

Glenn Brown - Come to dust

The Gagosian Gallery is currently showing “Come to Dust,” the first major exhibition by British contemporary artist Glenn Brown in London since 2009.

For Brown, the past and present are treasuries of raw material, offering countless images, titles, and techniques to be combined, appropriated, and deconstructed. Based on art history, as well as of literature, music, and popular culture, Brown creates complex and sensuous works of art that are resolutely of our time.

The title of exhibition, is inspired by a song in Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline, which evokes the ineluctability of death. Multidisciplinary artist, the exhibition features oil paintings, drawings in period frames, grisaille panel works, etchings, and sculptures.

Sources include Rembrandt, Delacroix, Greuze, and Raphael, as well as Abraham Bloemaert, Francesco Mancini, Gaetano Gandolfi, Elisabeth Le Brun, and Bernardo Cavallino.

Glenn Brown - Come to dust

In Brown’s oil paintings, hybrid figures painted in intricate swirls reveal the sumptuous potential of oil paint. While these paintings give the illusion of corporeal volume and fullness, closer scrutiny reveals the surfaces to be smooth and flat.

Rather than using paint to depict skin with observational exactitude, Brown presents translucent brushstrokes revealing the flesh and muscles  beneath the surface.

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The choice of picture frames adds an additional layer to the richly layered visual anachronism. Inverting the normal order of image-making and framing, Brown treats the frames as readymades, creating drawings in response to the particular colour, size, design, and narrative detail of each. Thus, the drawings and the frames are integral to each other.

In the exhibition, an entire room of recent drawings is hung salon-style, some mounted in elaborate Renaissance gilt and carved wooden frames.

Glenn Brown - Come to dust
Glenn Brown - Come to dustGlenn Brown - Come to dust
Glenn Brown - Come to dustGlenn Brown - Come to dust

The sculptures are very impressive, elaborate masses built from precisely placed strokes of very thick oil paint. In some of them, the cold, sensuous curves of nineteenth-century bronze statues are still visible but engulfed by growths of pulsating, gravity-defying oil paint. The contrast between the cold, hard metal with  the soft, luscious paint is highly captivating.

Glenn Brown - Come to dust
Glenn Brown - Come to dustGlenn Brown - Come to dustGlenn Brown - Come to dust Glenn Brown - Come to dustGlenn Brown - Come to dust

“Come to Dust” immerses the viewer in Brown’s enigmatic world. The figures and forms of history mutate, overtaken by hypnotic  colours and light. Transforming the allure of Old Master paintings and drawings, bordering on profanity, Brown tells a much darker and more complicated story, fit for our times.

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View the full set of pics here

Glenn Brown – Come to Dust
Until 17 March 2018
Gagosian Gallery
20 Grosvenor Hill
London W1K 3QD

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , ,

New York: New Banksy invasion

We are always excited to see new works by elusive artist Banksy. He’s back to the streets of New York with a new stencil, featuring a rat running in a clock turned wheel, reminiscent of the incessant rat race.

It can be viewed between 14th and 6th Ave in Greenwich Village, so get there quick to see it in its glory before it gets ‘plexified’ or else.

New update:

On Thursday 15 March the famous Bowery Wall, which was previously painted by renown artists like Keith Haring, Os Gemeos, or  more recently Logan Hicks, unveiled a 70 feet new mural by Banksy, with the collaboration with graffiti artist Borf.

The mural protests the imprisonment of the Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Dogan, who was sentenced last March for painting the destruction of a Turkish town of Nusaybin, which was partly destroyed in 2015, with the country’s flag flying over rubble.

A screen shows a picture of Zehra Dogan’s painting with a message saying ‘sentenced to 2 years nine months and 29 days in jail for painting this picture’.

A series of hash bars like days in prison cell are numbered across the mural with one showing  Ms. Dogan looking at out of one of the cells, with her left hand gripping a bar that doubles as a pencil. “Free Zehra Dogan” is written in the bottom right corner

And there are more to come…. Stay tuned

Photo Credit: Banksy, nekyromero

Posted in New York | Tagged , , , , , , ,

London: Evoca1 ‘Caroline and the world on a stage’

Evoca 1 - Stolenspace

Dominican born street artist, Evoca1 (Elio Mercado) is currently presenting his first solo show in London at Stolenspace. ‘Caroline, and The World on a Stage’ explores the many conditions of human existence and the various misuses of power between people through the lens of a young fictional girl.

Evoca 1 - Stolenspace

Growing up in challenging social and economic conditions in the Dominican Republic, Evoca1 is acutely aware of these difficulties that arise through social division, as well as the power that art has to alleviate such adversity. Despite not attending art school due to his family’s financial situation, Evoca1 learned and developed his style as a n autodidact.

Multidisciplinary artist, Evoca1 is showcasing his most comprehensive body of work, from graphite drawings oil paintings, wooden sculptures and videos. He magically combines the childhood innocence and dreams looking at a circus with the darkness of abuse of power by society.

Evoca 1 - Stolenspace

Specifically about this show, Evoca1 has stated: “The oil paintings, drawings, sculptures and video performance in this show, serve as metaphors for our primitive world – a world which can sometimes resemble a ‘circus’. Through the eyes of a child, the puppet masters of our society are put on display and tried for their misuse of power and the calamity they create amongst us. The work mirrors our divided world in which people roll over all obstacles in their path in an attempt to gain popularity and experience “happiness” which is solely gained through the praise of others.”

Evoca 1 - Stolenspace
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Evoca 1 - Stolenspace
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Evoca 1 - Stolenspace
Evoca 1 - Stolenspace
Evoca 1 - Stolenspace
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Evoca 1 - Stolenspace

View the full set of pics here

EVOCA1 – Caroline & the Wolrd on a stage
Until 8 April 2018
StolenSpace Gallery
17 Osborn Street
London E1 6TD

Posted in London | Tagged ,

London: Studio Visit with Aida Wilde

Aida Wilde Studio Visit

We are happy to have a look inside the London studio of Queen printmaker and artivist Aida Wilde

‘Who’s afraid of Aida Wilde?’ says one of the signs in the studio, surrounded by a screaming cute neon pink dotted kitty with dark kiss make up. Screenprinting is her ‘Weapon of Choice‘, as ‘Print is Power’.

Aida Wilde Studio Visit

Born in Iran, Aida arrived in the UK in the mid 80’s as a political refugee. She has been a professional screen printer for the last twenty years and has been pushing boundaries of the screenprinting techniques and transforming this traditional art form into fine art.

Hailed by many as a screen-printing genius, her unique style expresses her ongoing battle to bring alternative elements together, the graphic and the classical, whether this is through neon pop colours ( pink preferably), texture (glitter, velvet…) or through image. Some examples include a flocking velvet effect on a leapoard print to make it feel and look like a fur rug, or the use of the screen as a mono-printing tool to develop her ‘Life: Still’ edition.

Aida Wilde Studio VisitAida Wilde Studio Visit
Aida Wilde Studio VisitRowdy & Wilde Aida Wilde Studio Visit

Her most famous works are her colourful slogan paste-ups that can be found in the streets of London, Berlin, New York, Malaga or Aberdeen, featuring light hearted topics as well as raising awareness on sensitive subjects like gentrification, education and women’s rights.

Aida Wilde Studio Visit

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In 2009 in response to the financial and economic crisis Aida created a pink, black and white spotty slogan ‘There’s A Credit Crunch Not A Creative Crunch’, which is being featured at the Victoria & Albert Museum since 2011.

Strong advocate of women’s rights, her work has been featured at The Women’s Art Library (see our coverage here).  Her HASHTAG series of works was used for the Brandalism  project (covered) and the global project Subvert The City, which saw the world’s first coordinated international ad takeover & over 60 creative actions in 38 cities in 18 countries around the world. Aida still continues with her facilitating role with various workshops and community projects through Print Is Power – Reclamation Nation & more currently, Sisters In Print (All female international print collective).

Empowered Printwork - Women Art LibraryEmpowered Printwork - Women Art LibraryEmpowered Printwork - Women Art Library
Aida Wilde Studio Visit

So to celebrate the 8th March 2018, Aida is releasing a special screenprint from her famous Hashtag series ‘ A HASHTAG MIGHT NOT SAVE THE WORLD BUT … WOMEN MIGHT’ for one day only.

Initially before the craze of social media, this print was also part of the Brandalism campaign in Paris in 2015 and the statement is more valid than ever.

So grab yours here

Pictures courtesy of the artist and by Butterfly Art News

Posted in Interviews/ Studio visits, London | Tagged | 1 Comment

London: Dan Witz – Mosh Pit Paintings

Dan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings

Following his apparel and print collaboration with Dior Homme last September, NY based artist Dan Witz (covered) is returning to London to present his ongoing signature hyperrealistic series ‘Mosh pits paintings’ which he started back in 2010, capturing moments when people are caught at their most intense, ecstatic, and animalistic state.

Based on actual photographs he shot in the mosh pits of hardcore shows, Dan Witz uses academic realistic techniques to depict the transgressive energy of the punk rock movement: figures intertwine and climb over one another with different stages of expressions during a mosh pit, from the pressure, pain and joy.

The solo exhibition features archival works alongside contemporary pieces. Dan Witz reveals that despite the obvious aggression of the punk rock pit, there is also an underlying sense of euphoria and unification shared amidst the crowd.

Dan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits PantingsDan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits PantingsDan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings
Dan Witz - Mosh Pits PantingsDan Witz - Mosh Pits Pantings

View the full set of pics here

Dan Witz – Mosh Pit Paintings
Stolenspace Gallery
17 Osborn St.
London E1 6TD

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Paris: Jean Charles de Castelbajac – I Want

Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want

Multidisciplinary artist and internationally successful fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac  (also known as JC/DC) is currently presenting a solo exhibition titled              ‘I Want’ at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris.

Since the 70’s and 80’s Jean Charles de Castelbajac has been creating clothes integrating popular iconography from cartoon characters by Walt Disney to the iconic Snoopy, and collaborating with multiple brands, allowing him to mix tradition with modernity.
During his visionary exhibition in 2009 “The Triumph of the Signs” in London, he combined brand logos with iconic canvases of art history and has been pursuing this incursion by creating a new hybrid aesthetic, chaotic and iconoclastic.

By bridging the gap between art and fashion for over decades, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has explored all sides of this universe of collaborations both as a fashion designer and as artist.

Through this new exhibition “I Want – The Empire of collaborations”, the artist closes the last chapter of this artistic path started in 2009 by exploring on the one hand the hegemony of this new collaborative empire and its contradictions, and on the other hand, arises as a curator of desynchronized collaborations provoked by the meeting of artists, different eras and styles: André Courrèges meets street artist Andre, while Picasso secretely meets with Keith Haring.  Fashion designer Virgil Abloh  (covered) of Brand OFF WHITE  lost his ‘Virgility’ …

Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I WantJean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want
Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I WantJean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want

JC/DC presents a portrait of the ‘Apotres Modernes’ / ‘Modern Apostles and dresses the Genealogy of Fashion with all the links between Brands and Designers.

Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want
Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want
Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I WantJean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want
Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want

A Mickey Mouse shaped canvas titled Kazimir, Walt & Raymond contains references to Russian painter Kazimir Malevich, Walt Disney and Raymond Pettibon

Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want

On the first floor, a series of portraits illustrate brand collaborations and ironically plays on words: Le Coq40 / CAC40 , French Kiss/Kith, Lacaste (the cast) / Lacoste, L’or & Elle (Gold and her) / L’oreal), Hell/ Shell, L’EGO / UNIQLO…

Next to the portraits gallery, a Wall / Mall showcases branded shopping bags painted with portraits or poetic statements.

Jean Charles de Castelbaljac - I Want

In parallel, the 68 years old artist never ceases to be a street art poet, and describes himself as a ‘Craieateur (playing on the words craie =chalks and createur = creator) leaving chalk drawings and quotes on the streets.

View the full set of pics here

Jean Charles de Castelbajac – I Want
Until 17 March 2018
Magda Danysz
Rue Amelot, Paris

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London: Marakami & Abloh Future History at Gagosian

Murakami & Abloh - Future History

Coinciding with London Fashion Week 2018, Superflat Master Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is partnering with American Creative Designer Virgil Abloh and presenting a series of collaborative works “Future History” at the Gagosian Gallery in London.

The exhibition features large-scale paintings, sculptures and an installation drawing references to signature Off-White™ motifs alongside Murakami’s iconic cast of anime characters, reflecting incisively on the signs of the current times.

Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History

Amongst the works, visitors can enjoy The sculpture Life itself (2018), a kind of architectural carapace designed by Abloh to house one of Murakami’s brightly sinister flower sculptures; a pair of paintings embellished with yellow Off-White™ branding and a spray-painted “O” as well as “HOLLOW” lettering on each one; black Flowers sculptures, and a glass house installation completely covered with black spray-paint and “LIFE ITSELF” on one side panel in white.

Murakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future History

In another instance, for Glance past the future (2018), the duo transformed Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s 1623 self-portrait by superimposing Murakami’s character Mr. DOB to affect a graphic blur of pink and black.

Murakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History
Murakami & Abloh - Future HistoryMurakami & Abloh - Future History

View the full set of pics here

Takashi Murakami & Virgil Abloh
Future History
Until 7 April
Gagosian Gallery
17–19 Davies Street
London W1K 3DE

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Toulouse: 100TAUR Massive Mural

100taur Mural

French artist 100TAUR just completed the largest mural in Toulouse, after a continuous five weeks under extreme weather conditions.

Located in the district of Minimes, the 400 sq meters mural has been commissioned by the Mairie de Toulouse, visible at the rue des Anges.

100taur Mural
100taur Mural

The mural features strange creatures and hybrid monsters, mythological references, and popular imagery, sometimes borrowed from pop-culture like Sponge Bob or Popeye but also from illustrious painters like Jheronimus Bosch and Picasso.

100taur Mural
100taur Mural
100taur Mural100taur Mural
100taur Mural

The artist ‘s signature animal, the slug, symbol of resilience, plays also a big part in the narration with multiple appearances. The painted wall is also adorned with 3D elements giving it more dimensions.

100taur Mural
100taur Mural

View the full set of pics here

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London: JR ‘Giants’ at Lazinc Sacksville

JR Giants

Ted Prize winner artist JR is currently displaying a solo exhibition titled “GIANTS” at Lazinc’s new flagship gallery in Mayfair, London.

The name of the presentation directly references the artist’s ongoing GIANTS project which made its debut during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he created enormous black and white prints of athletes jumping over Rio’s buildings, swimming in its ocean, and diving off its mountains like Greek titans. .

Even if pictures of the installations in situ might look good, it’s very difficult to recapture their impact.   So to give some sense of the scale of the project in the gallery space settings, the viewer has to walk underneath the massive paper head and shoulders of Sudanese high jumper Mohamed Younes Idriss, fixed to scaffolding, just to get in. 

At the same time, visitors can discover the artist’s process from start to finish with behind the scenes items like architectural plans that were created to support his large-scale installations, installation permits collaged into 3D-printed digital reliefs of the final images, and look at the artist’s digital photography techniques.

JR GiantsJR Giants
JR GiantsJR GiantsJR Giants
JR GiantsJR Giants
JR GiantsJR Giants
JR GiantsJR Giants
View the full set of pics here


JR – Giants
Until 28 February 2018
Lazinc Sackville
29 Sackville St.
Mayfair, London W1S 3DX
United Kingdom

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Toulouse: ICAREX-1 at the Chapelle des Carmelites

The Mairie de Toulouse and the Centre d’Art Nomade are currently presenting a monumental installation ICAREX-1 by an elusive anonymous artist at the Chapelle des Carmelites until 25 February 2018.

We were lucky to get immersed in the creative process of this secretive artist and followed through the six months building of the installation.

The challenge is to face mystery. In an era where everything is shown, detailed, revealed, the artist protects his anonymity and disappears behind his artistic creations. Always on the move and in search of absolute freedom, the artist remains voluntarily invisible and frees himself from society by changing his identity according to his artistic interventions, but leaves a sign < + + .

Prolific and multidisciplinary, the artist has invaded territories for more than 25 years through different forms and has been playing on several dimensions: the visible and the invisible, the exploration of the light and the darkness, the urban environment, the unauthorised and the institutional, the real and the virtual.

A real master of camouflage, the artist has been secretly pursuing his invasions following a precise satellite cartography: urban territories, institutions, road and motorway network, wind farms, Landart installations on land and water … These 'Attacks' are never the result of chance, but instead carefully chosen in a specific timed location, whether in Toulouse (known as the City of Space), Paris, Lichtenstein, Spain, Italy, Kabul , Jerusalem or virtual galaxies.

His totems of light, peaceful entities with stylized geometric forms, mythical beings of another dimension push the public to wonder, get curious, but also to start a treasure hunt to meet them. The public must look for clues, interact with others to find more information, decipher these riddles or simply open the door of the imagination and appreciate the present moment.

A politically engaged artist, his artistic creations also deal with war conflicts, as well as human migration and refugees, such as the collective exhibitions ‘Creve Hivernale’ he curated in Toulouse (covered here) on the emergency situation of refugees coming to Europe.

The historical monument of la Chapelle des Carmelites became an obvious location choice  for the installation because of its intimist dimension.

With ICAREX-1 ,the artist intervenes in echo with the environment: a monumental gilded metal arch mirrors the shape of the golden curved frame of the Annunciation painting, while the vertical golden gates remind of the golden columns of the Chapel.

A mirrored totem floating at nine meters high drops his skin  leaving ashes on the floor.

ICAREX-1 is a reference to pride, the strength and weakness of the human being, the insatiable need to go elsewhere, see otherwise, to go beyond ones current capabilities, to adapt to territories. Through the play of mirrors, the human being is confronted to himself.

The artist thereby continues his work on duality: life / death, the visible / the invisible, light / darkness, the heavenly side / the earthly side.

The chrysalis of latex evokes the process of inner metamorphosis necessary to surpass oneself. It is the death of the ego for a rebirth. The human being tends to go forward to the light, but often makes the mistake of clinging to what he already knows. Yet we must face our fears and go beyond the unknown to find the freedom to create our own life.

The presence of a special warning light that illuminates the installation evokes the urgency of life, the rhythm of life, such as the one from the firefighters on alert to save lives.

The mirrored totem seems to float in the air at nine meters high within open golden gates, like a passage to another universe.

The ICAREX-1 installation specially designed for the Chapelle des Carmelites subtly blends technical prowess and visual poetry. A pure moment of magic and wonder that the artist keeps secret.

Special Thanks to Francoise, Elodie, Sandra, Gat’s, Vince, Hugo, Michel, Manuel, Anne and the Chapell team,  the climbing men and all the support team that made this happen.

ICAREX-1
until 25 February 2018
Chapelle des Carmelites
1 rue Perigord
31000 Toulouse

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Toulouse: Miroirs Urbains

Miroirs Urbains

Curated by Bob Jeudy, Co-founder of the “M.U.R” in Paris and Ines Desquines, the exhibition ‘Miroirs Urbains’ opened in Toulouse at the Galerie Concha de Nazelle, featuring 30 works 2mX1m by 7 Urban artists, as well a selection of customised pink bricks from famous pink city re-visited by the artists.
The exhibition presents different generations of street art and graffiti and transposes the urban mirrors that you can meet daily in the streets of the pink city.

Participating artists include 78 Years old French spray paint pioneer Gérard Zlotykamien aka ZLOTY who painted figures from Hiroshima victims, as well as BAULT, CHANOIR, DER, SIKER, MONKEYBIRD CREW, HAZUL.

At the same time, a skate board exhibition is being displayed in support of the association Roule Petit Ugandais, the boards, mostly painted by Toulouse artists, which is also auctioned on the net (Catawiki), with the funds going to the creation of a skatepark and school classes in August 2018 in Mongolia.

With SismikAzot : Miadana : Sherio : Superstop: Tinho : Fanny Hall: Scred: Mysterious: Jhano: Remio: Xerou: Veks van Hillik : Azek: Romain Blvck: Nikko kko: Hookz : Futé: Alx : Lucho Morante : Padre : Korail : CF88: Barunca :
Sara Poix.

Miroirs Urbains Miroirs Urbains
Miroirs Urbains
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Miroirs UrbainsMiroirs Urbains
Miroirs UrbainsMiroirs Urbains
Miroirs UrbainsMiroirs UrbainsMiroirs UrbainsMiroirs Urbains
Miroirs Urbains
Miroirs UrbainsMiroirs Urbains
Miroirs UrbainsMiroirs Urbains

View the full set of pics here


Miroirs Urbains
Until 3 February
Galerie Concha de Nazelle
5 rue du Puit Vert
31000 Toulouse

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Paris: Street Art Guide

Paris is an open air museum! Looking up, we can discover amazing pieces from graffiti writing, humourous stencils , poetic collages or monumental murals. We take you through the best locations in Paris to enjoy art in the streets from the festive district of Oberkampf via the 13th arrondissement or the suburbs.

From Montmartre to Butte-aux-Cailles , you have to open your eyes because each crossing is a pretext for creation and in many places in Paris, colourful frescoes have covered  concrete walls.

In recent years, the 13th arondissement of Paris is the favourite spot for street artists and has today become a true open-air museum ! In the vicinity of the National metro station, in the rue Jeanne d’Arc and the boulevard Vincent Auriol, it is possible to observe more than thirty murals! The American artist Shepard Fairey has produced several of them, from Rise above Rebel ( which we helped organise with the Mayor of 13th District) and one bearing the French motto: ” Liberty, equality, fraternity “.

Next door, a mosaic of several meters high representing the whimsical doctor of television series Doctor House is signed by French artist Invader .  The artist also invaded the city with other 1600 mosaics, so look up when wandering around.

Throughout the neighbourhood, you only have to walk around to discover a masterpiece, from Tristan Eaton, Okuda,  Bordalo or the colossal fresco “Embrace and Struggle” depicting two men facing each other in 18th century clothes. , made by the Irish painter Conor Harrington.

East of Paris, the districts of Oberkampf , Belleville and Ménilmontant are high places of street art. Thanks to the action of associations like Le MUR , some facades even have their own artistic programming!  Every two weeks, a new artist is invited to paint at 107 rue Oberkampf (11th). The performance takes place during the day and in public, a real treat for the eyes!

Lek & Sowat

Going up in rue de Ménilmontant (19th), there is an iconic fresco by Jérôme Mesnager : characters form a round and sing to the glory of the musical past of the neighbourhood. Higher up in the same street is the facade of Pavillon Carré de Baudoin which is repainted regularly by renowned artists like Lek & Sowat.

Finally,  you can enjoy a bit of nature while admiring art by wandering through the park of Belleville (20th) where frescoes of street artists such as Seth or Pez adorn walls and pillars.
In the center of Paris, the Halles district to Serge Gainsbourg’s home are the artists’ playground.

On the Igor-Stravinsky Square (4th District) for example, a fresco of 350 square meters shows the enigmatic face of a man inviting silence: a monumental stencil work signed Jef Aerosol .

On the other side of the Seine, Rue de Verneuil (7th),  the house occupied by the singer and poet Serge Gainsbourg is regularly covered with graffiti , drawings, paintings and collages, paying tribute to the musician Since his death in 1991.

Finally if you fancy travelling in the vinicity of Paris, Vitry sur Seine is a town dedicated to Street Art thanks to the artists and local authorities.

Posted in Paris, streets | Tagged ,

London: Hassan Hajjaj – La Caravane

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

Somerset House is currently hosting Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane, a homecoming exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works.

The exhibition is the first UK solo show of his work in seven years, celebrating his multi-layered works which fuse traditional and contemporary North African culture with familiar Western imagery and iconography.

Hassan Hajjaj - La CaravaneHassan Hajjaj - La CaravaneHassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

Born and raised in Larache, Morroco, Hassan Hajjaj moved to London aged twelve and his artistic practice sees him spend much of his life travelling between these two countries and cultures. His artworks reflect his neo-nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers. These individuals inspire Hajjaj’s diverse artworks from photographic portraits to video installations, sculptures, music, design and handcrafted objects.
Infused with a bold palette, the materials Hajjaj uses include patterned textiles, furniture, clothes and props often created by the artist to inform our understanding of the person in the image. All of these elements, including the frames made out of everyday items in which his images sit, are chosen deliberately to highlight these individuals’ identities.
He is perhaps best known for his colourful photographic portraits, including the Kesh Angels series, from which many new works feature in the exhibition.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane
Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane
Hassan Hajjaj - La CaravaneHassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

Blending the glossy aesthetic of a fashion shoot with Moroccan tradition and street culture, these witty and poignant images, although outwardly light-hearted, challenge Western perceptions of the hijab and female disempowerment.

Another new body of work in the exhibition is My Rock Stars: Volume 2, a nine screen installation of distinctively dressed musicians. Each musician occupies an individual screen and takes it in turns to play their instrument, while the other performers turn to watch. The clothes and brightly patterned backdrops in each screen have been carefully selected by Hajjaj to highlight each player and their individual performance.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

Visitors can view the performances from Hajjaj’s signature Le Salon installation, which takes the form of a customised sofa, whilst the music travels throughout the whole exhibition.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

On 6 January a free special event will take place to celebrate the final weekend of the exhibition and Somerset House’s season of African Art, including live music and a family workshop inspired by elements of Hajjaj’s work.

Hassan Hajjaj - La Caravane

View the full set of pics here

Hassan Hajjaj – La Caravane
Somerset House
London

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2017 Highlights

With 2017 coming to a close, we look back at the highlights of this incredible year.

banksywalled-off-hotel-1

Elusive artist Banksy has been very prolific throughout the year and politically engaged:  between the opening of a new venture with the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, returning to Palestine after 10 years, highlighting the complex question of the UK leaving EU with a Brexit themed mural in Dover and revisiting the Girl with Balloon, paying tribute to Jean Michel Basquiat  at the Barbican in London, to creating a new play with Film Director Danny Boyle ‘The Alternativity’

 

Space Invader at Musee en Herbe in Paris

Following a roaring success, ‘ Hello My Game is…  Invader’ featuring over 100 works and continues to be extented  until 8 January 2018.

Hello My Game is...

The Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art is now open in Berlin, a unique center for exhibitions, research and exchange on urban art with over 150 artists on its launch.

Magic City – The Art of the Street continues touring after Dresden and Munich is now in Sweden, showcasing international street artists as well as local graffiti writers with their different practices and tools.

Magic City - Dresden

A big THANK YOU to all the artists this year for their creativity and involvement!

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Best wishes for the Festive Season

Thank you for your continued support !

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Video: Creve Hivernale II

 

December 2016.  A wasteland surrounded by barbed wire with a view on passing trains, home to travellers, migrants and less fortunate people. This is not a picture taken in a distant country, but actually in the center of Toulouse, South of France.

With Creve Hivernale II, local and international artists highlight the current socio -political situation, the refugee crisis with the inhumane living conditions in Europe by gathering outside and settling up in this wasteland for over a month, facing the cold and harsh elements to create immersive art installations, visual and audio performances using uniquely objects and trash found on the site, as well as collaborative artworks with children and families living there.

Participating artists include:

NADIA VON FOUTRE – JEAN DENANT – MANUEL POMAR – A4 PUTEVIE – MADEMOISELLE KAT – SID POLIEKOFF – MATHIEU TREMBLIN – TILT – MARDI NOIR –  UPGRAYYDD RECIDIVE– MOLO MOLO – CLAIRE SAUVAGET – BERTRAND FRAYSSE– DON QUICKSHOT– LURK WARM – BUTTERFLY – SOPHIE BACQUIE – LUCIE LAFLORENTIE – ANNLOR CODINA – NATALIE SVIT-KONA EIFYRAN

Posted in Toulouse | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Video: Banksy ‘ Alternativity’ with Danny Boyle

Following the reveal of two new street pieces earlier in Bethlehem (covered here) Banksy will be premiering  The Alternativity film on BBC Two this Sunday, the 17th of December,  an unique observational arts and documentary film directed by Danny Boyle.

This hour-long film follows director Danny Boyle on his travels to Bethlehem to capture a festive performance of the nativity, directed in collaboration between the Oscar-winning director and the local theater director, performance artist, actress and teacher at Bethlehem University, Riham Isaac.

The film premiere was announced with a new artwork from Banksy that mixes his commonly used chalk doodle style with more elaborate stencil and hand painted elements. In this particular case, the characters are doodled as simple stickmen figures, with obvious emphasis put on the drone hoovering above, one of the separation wall towers “watching” over them, and a can of CS tear gas, commonly used by the Israeli forces, laying in front of the stable. The image is a hint on the theme of the play and the movie, which places the story of nativity in the context of modern day Bethlehem, described by Banksy as “the least Christmassy place on earth.”

In advance of the screening, a short teaser presents the movie:

Also coming out this week end, an interview in the Financial Times where Banksy discusses about his many travels to Palestine and involvement in Bethlehem.

 

When asked by Financial Times Art Director Jan Dalley about the possible effectiveness of his art, Banksy mentions “There aren’t many situations where a street artist is much use,” he says. “Most of my politics is for display purposes only. But in Palestine there’s a slim chance the art could have something useful to add — anything that appeals to young people, specifically young Israelis, can only help.”

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Berlin: Barbara Kruger ‘Forever’

Barbara Kruger - Forever

US artist Barbara Kruger, who initially inspired the logo for Supreme, has created an immersive installation called ‘Forever’ for the Berlin gallery Sprüth Magers. This exhibition marks exactly three decades since her first solo show at Monika Sprüth Gallery in Cologne.

The new site-specific work occupies all four walls and the floor of the gallery’s main exhibition space, with immersive room-wraps and several new vinyl works. Their boldly designed textual statements on the nature of truth, power, belief and doubt embody the distinctive visual language that Kruger has developed over the course of her forty-year career.

Barbara Kruger - Forever
Barbara Kruger - Forever

Since the late 1970s, Kruger has established herself as one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. Beginning with her earliest works, for which she combined language with mass media imagery culled from books and magazines, she has turned a critical eye toward consumerism, desire, political will, and the often-hidden mechanisms of power operating within contemporary society. In the mid-1990s, Kruger produced her first multichannel video works and room-wrappings, tapping into a long-standing interest in architecture and expanding the scale of her installations to envelop viewers in disorienting, but thought-provoking, environments. Her exhibition in Berlin extends these investigations, which are as timely as ever in a moment pervaded by pseudo-facts and alternative realities.

With ‘Forever’ Barbara Kruger takes a critical look at technology and humanity through her “bold textual statements about the nature of truth, power, belief, and doubt.” The exhibition transports viewers to contemplate iconic words typed in monochrome boxes and their connotations in relation to the wallpaper of the smartphone.

Barbara Kruger - Forever
Barbara Kruger - ForeverBarbara Kruger - Forever
Barbara Kruger - ForeverBarbara Kruger - ForeverBarbara Kruger - Forever

View the full set of pics here

Barbara Kruger – “Forever”
Until 22 December 2017
Sprüth Magers
Oranienburger Strasse 18
Berlin

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Banksy’s ‘Alternativity’ in Bethlehem

Elusive artist Banksy is back at his “Walled Off Hotel” in the city of Bethlehem in Palestine with a new stunt to celebrate the festive season with a “festive spectacular” titled Alternativity, and continue to raise media awareness in one of the most troubled parts of the globe. Alternativity features a play directed by Rihaam Issac and Danny Boyle and other surprises.

As a nod to the biblical events, two versions of the Alternativity flyer feature a heavily pregnant Mary sitting on a donkey while Joseph is looking perplexed at the separation wall while the star is shining on the other side. How do they cross?

Nearby the hotel, Banksy just unveiled two brand new street pieces.

The first piece “Peace On Earth” is a text based work which reads “Peace on Earth *terms and conditions apply.” Located in front of the Milk Grotto Church. The clever text-based works juxtaposes the spiritual and universal ‘Peace on earth’ quote and religious Christmas Star with a consumerism message ‘Terms and conditions apply’, highlighting the sarcastic turn of our modern day society.

It also references to the delicate balance to maintain peace.

The second piece shows two stencilled angels, equipped with a crowbar and trying to breakthrough the separation wall. One of the angels is wearing a handkerchief to cover his face while the other has a little beanie in true vandal style to carry out their mischief. As usual with Banksy, its a perfect placement for this cute and cheeky artwork.

The piece was supposedly painted a few days / weeks ago and hidden in plain sight with a banner announcing the event.

Photos by John Cmakers

 

 

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London: ‘Everything at Once’ at 180 Strand

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lisson Gallery, the gallery is partnering with The Vinyl Factory to stage an ambitious group exhibition called ‘EVERYTHING AT ONCE‘, inspired by a quote by John Cage in 1966 “Nowadays everything happens at once and our souls are conveniently electronic (omniattentive).”

More than ever before, contemporary art, like life, assaults us simultaneously from all angles and from anywhere on the globe, existing also as multi-sensory visions of an accelerated world. Time and space are no longer rational or linear concepts and great distances can be traversed with an instantaneous click.

Through 45 new and historical works by 24 artists, ‘Everything at once’ is a multi-sensorial experience, an interconnected journey exploring effect and event, invoking immediacy and immutability in the 180 Strand building, home to the Vinyl Factory.

Participating artists include :
MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ – AI WEIWEI – ALLORA & CALZADILLA – ART & LANGUAGE – CORY ARCANGEL – TONY CRAGG – RICHARD DEACON – NATHALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG – CEAL FLOYER – RYAN GANDER – DAN GRAHAM – RODNEY GRAHAM – SUSAN HILLER – SHIRAZEH HOUSHIARY – ANISH KAPOOR – LEE UFAN – RICHARD LONG – HAROON MIRZA – TATSUO MIYAJIMA – JULIAN OPIE – LAURE PROUVOST – WAEL SHAWKY – LAWRENCE WEINER – STANLEY WHITNEY

In parallel to the exhibition, Ryoji Ikeda’s ‘Test Pattern [No.12]’ – commissioned by Store X The Vinyl Factory – is a discombobulating experience, in which black and white bar code-like patterns pulse in the darkness. The Japanese artist and electronic composer converts data from music and photography into monochrome binary patterns, immersing gallery-goers in a dazzling kinetic environment.

Everything at Once - 180 StrandEverything at Once - 180 Strand Everything at Once - 180 Strand

To kick off the exhibition, the ground floor contains important sculptural statements from the last century by Anish KapoorAt the Edge of the World II (1998) , a UFO like installation that floats above head height, receding seemingly impossibly into space and time – while Richard Deacon presents his own takes on materiality and multidimensionality.

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Ai Weiwei’s giant wallpaper installation stretches 50m along the building and depicts people’s continuing movement across the globe, paired with a landscape of blasted tree roots – together speaking of displacement, conflict and alienation, a reference to the ongoing global refugee crisis.

Everything at Once - 180 Strand
Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Cory Arcangel’s video projection features ‘MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane and Clouds’ depicting elements of a hacked video game from the early 1990s.

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Richard Long created a 60-metre long mud work called ‘Pelopennese Line’, using his hands dipped in slip from the river Avon.

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Stanley Whitney  is exploring the formal possibilities of colour within ever-shifting grids of multi-hued blocks inspired by music and dance.
Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Works by Ryan Gander present four metallic sentinels in dramatic postures displaying a range of emotions while remaining faceless, as well as a draped mirror and a stairway to Heaven.

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Everything at Once - 180 Strand

‘Minster’ totemic sculptures by Tony Cragg built from scraps of rubber, stone, wood and metal recall the spires of a cathedral .

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Susan Hiller’s installation entitled Channels,  showcases a series of 104 analogue television screens with a collection of audio accounts and oscilloscope recordings of people who have experienced death and returned to tell the tale. These vivid stories in many different languages constitute a remarkable contemporary archive, whether the accounts are regarded as metaphors, misconceptions, myths, delusions or truths.

Everything at Once - 180 Strand

Everything at Once
Until 10 December
180 The Strand,
London, WC2R 1EA

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London: Alexander Chappell – Nobody

Alexander Chappell - StolenSpace

London based artist Alexander Chappell debuted his solo show entitled ‘Nobody‘ at StolenSpace, exploring the path of anonymity in a society obsessed with being ‘somebody’.

Featuring 12 graphite portraits of graffiti writers: Astek, Bonzai, Chu, Conor Harrington, D*Face, Eine, Inkie, Insa, Joe Holbrook, Tizer and Xenz. Contrary to today’s obsession with fame, the depicted artists have led their artistic career through anonymity, using an alias and not showing their faces.

Alexander Chapell - StolenSpaceAlexander Chapell - StolenSpace
Alexander Chappell - StolenSpaceAlexander Chapell - StolenSpace

After photographing them, Alexander Chappell painstakingly recreated the portraits in fine detail using graphite and white marker. The depicted writers added their tagged signature in red on the framed portraits.
The show also features a self portrait of the artist, with a collaboration with Conor Harrington.

Alexander Chapell - StolenSpace
Alexander Chappell - StolenSpaceAlexander Chapell - StolenSpace
Alexander Chappell - StolenSpaceAlexander Chapell - StolenSpaceAlexander Chapell - StolenSpace

Alexander Chappell – Nobody
Until 19 November 2017
StolenSpace
17 Osborn Street,
London UK E1 6TD

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , ,

Berlin: Olek’s “Keep Going” Crochet Performance

OLEK - Keep Going Performance in Berlin

In conjunction with the official opening of the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, among the 150 invited artists, 35 were asked to do site specific installations in the Art Mile in Bülowstrasse. NY artist OLEK created an integrative neighbourhood project, where OLEK and her team took her crocheted art materials to the streets for a live performance.

OLEK looked for crocheters of all skill levels to join as performers. The public performance piece transforms the process of making art from a solitary act into a collective adventure. During three hours under the elevated subway between Bülowstraße and Nollendorfplatz stations, Team OLEK meditatively and silently performed “Keep Going” by crocheting bright pink naprons on a loop, while the crowd was passing through.

OLEK - Keep Going Performance in Berlin OLEK - Keep Going Performance in Berlin

In OLEK’s work, the use of the pink colour is a symbol of a bright future filled with hope, but also a fight for freedom and equality, human rights regardless of gender and sexuality.  Her art has always sought to bring colour and life, energy, and surprise to the living space.

Gathering people of all cultural backgrounds and gender, the crocheters of Team OLEK peacefully showed that we are stronger together, giving a sense of unity, love and community.

OLEK - Keep Going Performance in BerlinOLEK - Keep Going Performance in Berlin
OLEK - Keep Going Performance in BerlinOLEK - Keep Going Performance in BerlinOLEK - Keep Going Performance in BerlinOLEK - Keep Going Performance in Berlin

‘Keep going’ is a tribute to the never ending flow and circle of life, an act of resilience despite obstacles.

A video by Director Ulle Hadding documents the performance and observes Team OLEK as they continue crocheting peacefully while surrounded by an unstoppable traffic of people.

Posted in Berlin

London streets: Ludo

London streets: Ludo

French artist Ludovic Vernhet aka Ludo (covered) is back to the London streets with new large paste ups. Continuing his ‘Nature Revenge’ series, Ludo created three artworks on the theme of love, violence and fame using his signature neon green paint and monochrome paste ups. Featuring hybrid creatures mixing nature and technology and weaponry, Ludo highlights societal and environmental issues.

London streets: Ludo
Ludo – Have a Nice Day, London 2017

London streets: Ludo
Ludo – Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, London 2017

London streets: LudoLondon streets: Ludo
London streets: Ludo
Ludo – Love at first sight, London 2017

Here are further works from Ludo in the streets of London we enjoyed throughout the years:

London streets - Ludo
Ludo – London 2015

Ludo - Chaos Theory
Ludo – London 2014

Ludo
Ludo – London 2011

Posted in London | Tagged , ,

Bristol: Rowdy & Wilde at Clifton Fine Art Gallery

Rowdy & Wilde

One of Bristol’s most renowned street artist Rowdy is gathering forces with legendary London screenprinter Aida Wilde for a duo show ‘Rowdy and Wilde’ at Clifton Fine Art in Bristol.

Rowdy & Wilde

Aida Wilde was born in Iran and arrived in the UK in the mid 80’s as a political refugee. Aida’s artistic career has been a diverse one. She has been a professional screen printer for the last twenty years.

Her work has been featured at the Victoria & Albert Museum since 2011 and The Women’s Art Library (see our coverage here).  Her HASHTAG series of works was used for the Brandalism  project (covered) and the global project Subvert The City, which saw the world’s first coordinated international ad takeover & over 60 creative actions in 38 cities in 18 countries around the world. Aida still continues with her facilitating role with various workshops and community projects through Print Is Power – Reclamation Nation & more currently, Sisters In Print (All female international print collective).

Hailed by many as a screen-printing genius, Aida’s process is her art. She prides herself on her perfect printing technique and continually pushing the boundaries of this once traditionally considered art form. The artist’s skill is second to none when it comes to print making. Her unique style expresses her ongoing battle to bring  alternative elements together, the graphic and the classical, whether this is through pop colours, texture (glitter, velvet…) or through image. Aida’s most recent experiments feature the use of the screen as a mono-printing tool to develop her ‘Life: Still’ edition.

Rowdy & WildeRowdy & WildeRowdy & Wilde
Rowdy & WildeRowdy & Wilde

Rowdy, member of the Burning Candy crew, is an integral part of the Bristol graffiti scene. His work appears worldwide and can be found in the most unlikely places, from underground rural settings to highly visible urban reaches. Rowdy’s trademark crocodiles are often huge in scale and are indicative of the playful nature of the imagery in his work.

Burning Candy
Burning Candy Crew in London 2009

Rowdy’s abstract cityscape paintings show skyscrapers constructed out of the tiniest marks a spray-can can make, floating colour fields combined with 1980’s graffiti fades. Some are bustling and hectic, recalling markets and highways, motion and change, whilst others show a more meditative side to the city, haze and city lights hover within an expansive luminous ground.

Rowdy & Wilde

The two artists bring an explosion of vibrant colours with bright, uplifting, and innovative works to Clifton Fine Art Gallery: upon entering the gallery a screen printed leopard rug with velvet feel by Aida Wilde is framed on the floor while abstract landscape paintings by Rowdy and still- life and neon pink screen-printed artworks by Aida adorn the walls. Rowdy signature monumental crocodile wooden sculpture is a playful delight for small children and guests.

Rowdy & Wilde Rowdy & Wilde Rowdy & Wilde
Rowdy & WildeRowdy & Wilde Rowdy & WildeRowdy & Wilde
Rowdy & Wilde
Rowdy & WildeRowdy & WildeRowdy & Wilde

View the full set of pics here

Rowdy & Wilde
Until 4 November
Clifton Fine Art
12 Perry Road, Bristol, BS1 5BG

 

Posted in Bristol, Shows

Paris: FIAC 2017 Highlights

After Frieze, the art world is gathering once more for the 44th edition of the International French Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) in Paris. As the fair drew to a close this week end, we look back at the highlights amongst the 193 modern and contemporary art galleries from 30 countries filling the Grand Palais , like  Flame of Desire  a five meters high golden sculpture by Takashi Murakami featured at Galerie Perrotin.


Jeppe Hein


Andrea Bowers


Tomas Saraceno

John Giorno

Kohei Nawa

Photo Credit: Celine Neveux for Butterfly Art News

FIAC
18-22 October 2017
Paris

Posted in Art Fair, Paris | Tagged

London: Chapman Brothers – Disasters of Everyday Life

Jake and Dinos Chapman (covered), known for their provocative and pessimistic ruminations on human violence and barbarity , have created seven bronzes of suicide vests for Blain|Southern Gallery.

Made from images found online, the “life and death vests” are extremely detailed and real, apart from one which is based on a Hollywood film prop used in a Jackie Chan film.

The Chapmans’ work is often a response to the work of other artists. In this case, they were inspired by Jeff Koons’ Aqualung from 1985 (check our coverage on Jeff Koons retrospective here )

Jeff Koons Retrospective - Pompidou
Jeff Koons Aqualung 1985

The bronzes clearly address world events but the artists have declined to speak about the new works.  Each bronze is being sold as a one-off, apart from the one based on a prop used in the Jackie Chan film Rush Hour, which the brothers bought from a movie props website. That comes in an edition of six.

Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday LifeChapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life
Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life
Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday LifeChapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life
Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life

Also on display, Jake & Dinos Chapman continue to expand on their career-long preoccupation with Francisco Goya’s series of etchings, The Disasters of War. The Disasters of Everyday Life presents three full sets of Goya’s prints, each set substantially reworked in collage, watercolour and glitter by the Chapman brothers with their own wit to depict the absurdity of war.

Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life
Chapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday LifeChapman Brothers - Disasters of Everyday Life

Jake and Dinos Chapman
The Disasters of Everyday Life
Until 11 November 2017
Blain|Southern
4 Hanover Square London W1S 1BP

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , , ,

London: Moniker Art Fair 2017

Moniker Art Fair 2017

For 2017, Moniker Art Fair has undergone an exciting evolution, tripling in size to accommodate 40 gallery stands, a young galleries initiative, a benefit auction, an industry conference, a curated film programme, a VIP programme and a New York style pizza restaurant.
While Moniker has previously venue-shared with The Other Art Fair, this October they moved to a new floor of the Old Truman Brewery as they boldly re-instate their dominance on the East End arts hub, focusing this year on the origins of urban art.

Few art forms rely on collectives and collaborations as much as urban art; born in the dust of the locomotive age as far back as 1914, it has evolved to see modern-day monikers spring up on walls worldwide, shifting in style and message as international artists meet and influence each other. Just over a century later, Moniker Art Fair remembers where it all began, taking visitors on a journey from the root of the burgeoning international street art scene and its importance today.

Moniker’s eighth edition titled ‘Transient Tales’ is dedicating more than 9,000-square-foot of space to immersive art installations. Upon entering visitors discover an installation by documentarian, photographer and film editor Bill Daniel featuring a train track and a tunnel.

Moniker welcomes the best of contemporary and urban art galleries from across the world, showcasing artists working beyond norms and conventions. The UK is represented by the likes of returning exhibitors Stolen Space, RISE, Jealous Gallery and Curious Duke Gallery as well as debuts from Well Hung Gallery and BleachBox Gallery. Meanwhile, international galleries debuting include Thinkspace Gallery from California, Station16 Gallery from Montreal and Gallery Itinerrance from France.

Few artists also painted murals in the surrounding streets of the Moniker Art Fair, like Dutch duo Telmo & Miel.

Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017

In parallel Moniker also gives the opportunity to showcase younger galleries like UK-Art from Japan, Jewel Goodby Contemporary and 1963 Gallery from the UK.

Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017

A special section has been dedicated to installations by Ian Kualii and large photographs by Alex Fakso to name a few.

Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017

Moniker Art Fair 2017

In terms of results, Moniker reports record-breaking sales figures from its opening night, having sold around £300,000 of art on its preview day. The Californian Thinkspace Gallery, who had eight booths and three artist solo shows sold out two solo shows by artists Audrey Kawasaki and Kevin Peterson over £100,000 worth of sales in the first five hours.

Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017Moniker Art Fair 2017
Moniker Art Fair 2017

The Art Conference, Talks & Short Film Programme featured films by Lek & Sowat, and talks by Vermibus.

Moniker Art Fair 2017

View the full set of pics here

Next step will be New York, as Director Tina Ziegler announced earlier that Moniker New York will have its inaugural edition at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn from May 3 to 6 2018, to coincide with Frieze New York, and she hopes the art fair will continue to grow over the next five years.

Moniker Art Fair
5-8 October 2017
Truman Brewery London

Posted in Art Fair, London | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

London: Frieze Art 2017 Highlights

Frieze Art Fair 2017

For the  15th edition of the Frieze Art Fair in London we pick up some highlights amongst the 160 international galleries. You still have a few days to enjoy the Frieze sculpture park (covered here) featuring 23 international artists hosted in Regent’s Park.

Frieze Sculpture Park 2017

Often underrepresented in the art world, a need for rebalancing has been recognised by Frieze itself this year and a specially curated section showcases work by feminist artists from the 1970s and 1980s.  Andrea Bowers’ neon-glowing installation at Andrew Kreps, declares: My Body My Choice, Her Body Her Choice.

Frieze Art Fair 2017

Jeff Koons Gazing Ball sold for £2 millions at David Zwirner Gallery during the VIP opening.

Frieze Art Fair 2017

Gallerie Perrotin dedicated its booth solely to Kaws paintings and sculptures (including the sculpture park)

Frieze Art Fair 2017

Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017

For their Frieze Project, Lucy & Jorge Orta invite you to become part of a collective world citizenship with their passport project Antarctica World Passport Office. At their deconstructed wagon-esque installation – actually made from a customised ex-army trailer and various army surplus – you’re asked to symbolically transfer your individual national identity to receive access to the no borders community. There are only 5,000 passports available during the fair, so be quick to join the new nation.

Frieze Art Fair 2017

Hauser & Wirth created an unconventional booth featuring solely on works made in bronze with artefacts on loan from various British museums and institutions, together with loans from private collections. Visitors can discover sculptures by the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore and David Smith and more.

Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017 Frieze Art Fair 2017
Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017
Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017

At Frieze Masters, amongst the highlights are works by Lichtenstein and Jean Michel Basquiat ( in parallel of the current retrospective at Barbican ‘Boom for Real’).

Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017

Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017

But the main stand out was the recreation of Peter Blake studio, that brings together not only works for sale by the artist but also elements from his personal collection of paraphernalia that hugely informs his practice.

Frieze Art Fair 2017
Frieze Art Fair 2017Frieze Art Fair 2017

View the full set of pics here

Frieze Art Fair
5-8 October 2017
Regents Park London

Posted in Uncategorized

London: Glastonbury radical art at the Other Art Fair with ShangriLART

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair

As the world converges to London for the crazy art week with Frieze and all the exclusive shows and fairs, the activist artists from Glastonbury’s  ShangriLART have teamed up with the Other Art Fair to create accessible art for everyone and spreading a message of love, rebellion and humour .

Featuring works from Carrie Reichardt, Aida Wilde, Chris Hopewell, Darren Cullenn, Kennard/Phillipps, Pure Evil and Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood, the ShangrilART space at the Other Art Fair features immersive installations, live performance and giveaways, and showcases all of the mischievous political commentary that makes it such a unique creative space at the Glastonbury festival.

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Brexit inspired posters by Stanley Donwood

ShangriLART - Other Art FairShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Darren Cullen

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Carrie Reichardt

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Kennard/Phillipps

 

OAShangriLART - Other Art FairF 11ShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Aida Wilde                                                                  Mobstr

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair
Ben Eine and Charming Baker

ShangriLART - Other Art Fair

The Other Art Fair
Until 8 October 2017
Truman Brewery London

Posted in Art Fair, London | Tagged ,

London: Dan Colen – Sweet Liberty

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty

Newport Street Gallery is hosting a retrospective exhibition ‘Sweet Liberty’ by NY based artist Dan Colen. This is the first major solo show in London, surveying the entirety of the artist’s career to date and also featuring new paintings and large-scale installations.
Colen came to prominence in New York in the early 2000s alongside a group of young artists that was informally labelled the ‘Bowery School’. The group included Hannah Liden, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Agathe Snow and Dash Snow among others.

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty

Playful and nihilistic, Colen’s work examines notions of identity and individuality, set against a portrait of contemporary America. ‘Sweet Liberty’ spans a period of seismic change in US history: the earliest painting in the show, Me, Jesus and the Children (2001–2003), was begun days after the 9/11 attacks, whilst the newest exhibited pieces were made in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

Much of Colen’s work can be read as self-portraiture, or explorations of what the self means, particularly within the context of American masculinity. On entering the exhibition, the viewer is immediately confronted with The Big Kahuna (2010–2017), a giant American flag, with twisted flagpole and a 20-tonne concrete base, presented as if uprooted from the landscape. Barely contained by the gallery space, the flag was conceived as a self-portrait in 2010, after a challenging period in the artist’s life. Today, however, the political statement feels unavoidable; the flag’s bloated, patriotic machismo failed and laid to waste.

The show presents some of his well-known series of Gum paintings, made from countless individual pieces of chewed gum [Pop My Cherry! (2010). the use of trash objects appear widely in the composition of the paintings, the viewer can see a brush, a shoe amongst other objects.

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty

The second gallery features Colen’s multi-layered Scooby Doo sculpture, Haiku (2015–2017), where fantasy and cartoon characters are transposed into the ‘real’ world.

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty

The upstairs galleries feature a room full of hand blown glass chair cushions that look like pastel candy.

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty

A significant collection of the artist’s Board works, in which slogans and phrases are seemingly spontaneously spray-painted, as well as paintings from Colen’s newest series, Viscera, also feature in ‘Sweet Liberty’. Conceived as details of rainbows, Viscera (2016) and Viscera (2016–2017) bear countless layers of unadulterated pigment in fractionally different shades, which combine to create dense hues.

Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty

The presence of Colen’s extraordinary 2012–2013 installation, Livin and Dyin, is felt throughout the exhibition, in negative spaces punched aggressively through the gallery walls that expose the underlying brickwork. When Livin and Dyin finally reaches its denouement, it does so in the collapsed shapes of the cartoon figures of Wile E. Coyote, Kool-Aid Man and Roger Rabbit, as well as a life-size sculpture of the naked artist himself. Colen considers the all-American, male characters to be self-portraits of sorts.

Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet LibertyDan Colen - Sweet Liberty
Dan Colen - Sweet Liberty

He has explained that he imagines Livin and Dyin “as an orgy where you don’t know if it’s after or before climax, it’s about that edge – where does it begin, where does it end?” He continues: “This show is about those dichotomies – form and content, material and narrative – opposing or not necessarily related things that are both pivotal parts of one’s experience.”

View the full set of pics here

Dan Colen – Sweet Liberty
Newport Street Gallery London
Until January 2018

Posted in London, Shows | Tagged , ,