New Clear Power, Shepard Fairey’s first solo exhibition in Germany addresses systems, forms, and notions of power in at the newly opened AMuseum , dedicated to the street art movement. The Amuseum was initiated by the artistic group Positive Propaganda, led by Sebastian Pohl and Overrated Art Inc.
For this exhibition Shepard Fairey decided to use a wide range of mediums (from mixed-media paintings on canvas, stencils, collage, illustrations, and prints) and juxtaposes colours with images, patterns and text, and feature icons like Keith Haring, Greta Thunberg and Edward Snowden to convey clear messages and raise questions as well as voice concerns about various notions of power.
The concepts of power represented in the subject matter of New Clear Power include abuse of power, power concentrated under capitalism, renewable power, political power, the power of creativity, power over information, and the power of controlling narrative. A primary focus of the work is a critique of fossil fuel industries and their contribution to climate change and environmental decline.
In parallel to the exhibition Shepard Fairey and his team with the help of Positive Propaganda, painted a 115 meters wide mural along a stretch of Munich’s city highway, featuring images relating to the oil industry and the urgency of transitioning to renewable sources of power.
Until 30 April 2023
AMUSEUM of Contemporary Art, Schellingstrasse 3, 80799 München
American artist KAWS is currently exhibiting at Skarstedt Gallery in Paris. TIME OFF marks the culmination of a series of paintings started in 2020, at the height of the confinement, and features a new large scale bronze sculpture.
The works on view in TIME OFF are introspective and reflect on the transient nature of time. In each painting, KAWS’s signature Michelin’s man character CHUM appears before the viewer with complex configurations of bright bands of paint acting as an additional barrier between us and the figure, with the notion of time feeling constricting or isolating.
This series depict KAWS’s interpretation on personal confinement and the passing of time and the uncertainty of events.
As KAWS continues to delve into these themes, the paintings in this series become progressively more elaborate and, at times, chaotic, which draw the parallel on the events we are experiencing.
In some works the bars break free of their architecturally rendered confines and shoot out in all directions across the canvas, causing CHUM to duck down or become shrouded by them, respectively. Other paintings reflects the uncertainty of how to navigate the space we inhabit.
Despite the persistence of doubt in these works, KAWS leaves his viewers with a palpable optimism for the future with the use of bright and vivid colours. Not all hope is lost. Despite confusing and uncertain times, the aim is to seek artistic beauty and make the most of what is around you.
Until 22 April 2023, Skarstedt Gallery, 2 Avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris
Saatchi Gallery reveals artist line-up for its monumental Graffiti and Street Art exhibition, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON.
From defiant train writers to powerful large-scale muralists, Saatchi Gallery is thrilled to announce over 100 international artists to be featured in BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON, opening this February. The exhibition, supported by adidas Originals, will be the most comprehensive graffiti & street art exhibition to open in the UK, and is set to take over all three floors of London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery.
Following successful exhibitions in Los Angeles & New York, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON will feature new works, large-scale installations, original ephemera and extraordinary fashion that capture the powerful impact of graffiti & street art across the world.
Curated by graffiti historian Roger Gastman, BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON will examine the fundamental human need for public self-expression, highlighting artists with roots in graffiti and street art whose work has evolved into highly disciplined studio practices, alongside important cultural figures inspired by this art scene.
Each of the exhibition’s chapters will explore exceptional moments in the history of this artistic movement; including the emergence of punk; the birth of hip-hop – marking its 50th anniversary in 2023; and street culture’s strong influence in fashion and film.
About the Exhibition:
Upon entering Saatchi Gallery, visitors will explore the graffiti-filled installation The Vandal’s Bedroom by American artist Todd James, whose works have been exhibited twice at the Venice Biennale.
In the first chapter ‘Music & Art Converge’, visitors will explore the socio-political turmoil of the late 70s and 80s, where the decline of cities met artistic resistance, a shift which was felt in both the US and UK. Youth culture responded by painting graffiti on walls and public transport, creating art that reflected and reimagined the times in an explosion of expression on the streets. It was about identity in the face of oppression, self-awareness, and self-discovery in a moment of a depleted economic outlook.
FUTURA 2000. Escape London. Painted on stage with The Clash. 1982.
Through music and art, London meets New York, featuring works including FUTURA2000’s legendary 30 ft. painting, made on stage with The Clash, displayed along with the unparalleled contributions from Malcolm McLaren, MODE2 and American photojournalist Martha Cooper. Visitors will also be encouraged to browse and enjoy music at Trash Records, an interactive installation within a fully recreated record shop.
No area of Saatchi Gallery will be left untouched; visitors will be immersed by works and ephemera on view across hallways, tunnels and staircases and will enter rooms exploring the birth of graffiti like never seen before. These spaces will showcase a wall of Jenny Holzer’s truisms; Henry Chalfant’s photography of NYC train writers in action; together with AIKO’s timeless stencilling of delicate silhouettes and Gordon Matta-Clark’s extraordinary archive of graffiti photography.
The ‘Dream Galleries’ chapter focuses on a selection of American and European originators, photo documentarians and cultural icons who helped contextualize and spread graffiti culture around the world. In André Saraiva’s Dream series, there is a visual articulation of how graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk, fashion and break-dancing all sprung from the late 1970s and early 1980s into the 90s and today, and became a hybrid celebration of underground culture. Featured artists also include Mister CARTOON, most famously known for his tattooing and Los Angeles murals; an extraordinary Beastie Boys installation featuring fashion and ephemera from the band’s prolific history; and LADY PINK’s feminist murals, illustrations and paintings.
The ‘Legends’ chapter will present icons such as legendary NYC artist, Eric HAZE, a torch bearer for generations to come; a new large-scale painting by abstract expressionist artist José Parlá; advertisement posters by KAWS, a prominent creative force; and unique ephemera by Keith Haring, one of the most popular street artists of the 1980s.
The ‘Blockbusters’ chapter will include works commissioned specifically for this exhibition by graffiti trailblazers Shepard Fairey, LA-based activist, and FAILE, a Brooklyn -based artistic duo taking over the streets of NYC since the late 90s.
Kenny Scharf. Closet #42 Bestest Ever. Photo by Charles White of JW Pictures. 2022.
‘Larger Than Life’ chapter will include a site-specific large-scale installation by LA-based icon Kenny Scharf who will present the largest to date Cosmic Cavern; an immersive and interactive installation consisting of Day-Glo paintings, ephemera, and reused materials found in the streets of LA. This chapter will also feature the signature puppet characters made from recycled materials by Paul Insect, one of London’s original street art pioneers.
The ‘Timeline’ chapter will take a deep dive into street culture history through archival photography, ephemera and fashion to contextualize the cross-pollination of influences across music, fashion and film. This chapter will also include a large wall vinyl by infamous feminist collective Guerrilla Girls – a deliberate nod to the fact that most street and graffiti artists, and indeed most well-known artists in contemporary art overall are men.
FAB 5 FREDDY. Spray Paint on Canvas
The closing chapters consist of ‘Social Commentary: Graffiti as a message’; ‘Art with Conscience’ containing works by hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, and; ‘Consideration Into Innovation’ showcasing Lisbon-based artist, VHILS, who innovatively utilizes repurposed materials to reimagine city walls.
In the final chapter, ‘The Next Phase’ visitors will engage with new op-art works by Valencia-based artist Felipe Pantone, whose high-contrast, geometric patterns continue to challenge perspective resulting in a distinctive aesthetic of the digital age.
Confirmed exhibiting artists:
10Foot, AIKO, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, BÄST, Beastie Boys, Beezer, Bert Krak, BLADE, BLONDIE, Bob Gruen, Brassaï, Broken Fingaz, C. R. Stecyk III, CES, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Christopher Stead, Conor Harrington, CORNBREAD, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dash Snow, DAZE, DELTA, DONDI, Duncan Weston, Dr. REVOLT, Eric HAZE, Escif, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Felipe Pantone, FUME, FUTURA2000, Glen E. Friedman, GOLDIE, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gregory Rick, Guerrilla Girls, Gus Coral, Henry Chalfant, HuskMitNavn, IMON BOY, Jaimie D’Cruz, Jamie Reid, Janette Beckman, Jason REVOK, Jenny Holzer, Joe Conzo, John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres, José Parlá, KATSU, KAWS, KC ORTIZ, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, KING MOB, LADY PINK, Lawrence Watson, Lisa Kahane, Malcolm McLaren, Maripol, Martin Jones, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Michael Holman, Michael Lawrence, Mister CARTOON, MODE 2, Ozzie Juarez, Pablo Allison, Pat Phillips, Paul Insect, POSE, PRIDE, PRIEST, Richard Colman, RISK, Robert 3D Del Naja, Roger Perry, Shepard Fairey, SHOE, Sophie Bramly, STASH, Stephen ESPO Powers, Stickymonger, SWOON, TAKI 183, Toby Mott, TOX, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Tish Murtha, Todd James, VHILS , ZEPHYR and more to be announced.
‘BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON’ is open 17 February – 9 May 2023 at Saatchi Gallery. Tickets from £15 available here: saatchigallery.com/tickets The exhibition is generously supported by adidas Originals. Additional support also provided by onefinestay and Los Angeles Tourism.
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge presents ‘Defaced!‘, the first major exhibition to explore a 250-year history of protest, using currency as a canvas and a vehicle for rebellion. Passed through many hands, cash is the ideal way to circulate a message while having a go or poking fun at those in power. Curated by Richard Kelleher, Defaced! takes a deep dive into a world of counterculture and protest.
Objects of rebellion made by the radicals of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, like Thomas Spence and the Suffragettes are shown alongside works by contemporary artists and activists including Banksy, Aida Wilde, Hilary Powell, Lady Muck, kennardphillips, J.S.G Boggs, Stik and more.
People deface money to battle oppression or to express their support for often bitter and violent struggles. Coins and banknotes represent the state’s authority in widely available, portable and hand-held form, making them ripe for attack. By defacing money, even the least powerful in society can have a go at the head of state or circulate their urgent cries of protest to others. For artists and satirists, money’s iconic imagery and wealth of associations makes it a powerful medium to address issues of social, political and racial justice.
The exhibition seeks out the stories behind the damage, which reveal some of the personal and hidden struggles experienced during major world events – from the French and American Revolutions to the First World War and the Nazi concentration camp system to the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Black Lives Matter movement.
A last section titled Money Now / Money Tomorrow mentions the development of money and its impact on our right to protest.
Money today is not just divided along lines of wealth but also in the forms of money to which people have access. With digital banking, credit cards and contactless payments, a reliance on coins and banknotes is now a marker of social deprivation rather than affluence.
Many people carry no cash at all – a decline hastened by the recent pandemic. There are also forms of money that remain invisible to most like the emergency cash issued in refugee camps.
In today’s world where the use of coins and notes are increasingly being replaced by digital payments, and against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis and current debates about personal freedoms, this exhibition is urgently relevant.
Losing the chance to register our protests on cash might seem an inconsequential loss, but what have we traded for the convenience and ‘cleanliness’ of digital money?
We are now increasingly prey to surveillance, data-collection and cyber crime, while the reasons that have prompted defacement over the last 250 years – oppression, injustice and the need for change – remain the same. Perhaps finding new ways to speak up is more urgent than ever?
After a year-long legal battle with EU courts, Banksy’s cover remains intact, and his work protected.
The news comes after a board of appeal reversed its 2021 decision to invalidate the trademark for the elusive artist’s iconic depiction of a monkey holding a sign around its neck that reads: ‘Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge’.
First created in 2002 in Brighton, the ‘Laugh Now’ graffiti was kept free of a mark up until 2018 when Banksy’s authenticating body, Pest Control, chose to register it. However, Full Colour Black, a U.K. greeting card company that relies on Banksy visuals to sell its products was not too pleased with the news and decided to challenge the mark a year later, claiming it was filed ‘in bad faith’.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) initially supported that claim in May 2021, arguing that the British artist’s work ‘was free to be photographed by the general public and has been disseminated widely.’ Banksy is also known for speaking out against copyright, saying it was for ‘losers’. Naturally, this statement did not help his case at the time.
After careful re-consideration, the EUIPO published a ruling last week, stating that they found no evidence of ill- intent from Pest Control and, consequently, Banksy.
Interestingly a few days later, Banksy published a post on his instagram account to his 11.6 million followers, accusing US fashion retailer Guess of stealing his work, and encouraging shoplifters to head to their flagship Regent Street store in central London and “help themselves” to the clothes .
Behind the mannequins wearing T-shirts, coats and accessories featuring his graffiti, there was a large background image of his Flower Thrower stencil, showing a masked Palestinian throwing a bouquet of flowers.
The Guess website promoting the collection says the clothes were “created in partnership with Brandalised”, a company which secures the rights to graffiti all over the world, which their website says offers fans the chance to buy “affordable graffiti collectibles”.
The collection has items for men, women and children, and uses Banksy images including the Queen with a blue and red David Bowie-style lightning flash painted across her face, his Livin’ The Dream Disney take down and Thug For Life Bunny. Prices range from around £35 up to around £225.
To top it up they also have stolen the artwork from artistInc Wel, known for his Ziggy Lizzy portrait in Bristol and misnamed it as Banksy.
Following Banksy’s post, shop staff covered the inside of the window with large sheets of plain paper, obscuring the display.
As Brandalised acquired licencing rights from Full Colour black Ltd, it will be an interesting to see how this will unfold.