Tag Archives: FEATURED

BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON : ARTIST LINE UP

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.

Lil Crazy Legs. Photo © Martha Cooper.1983

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.

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Defaced! Money, Conflict, Protest

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?

Defaced! , Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Until Sunday 08th January 2023

Banksy in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, a new stencil has appeared in Kyiv in a special location: Independence Square. It bears all the hallmarks of elusive artist Banksy: one layer stencil featuring a boy and girl adapting to war playing seesaw with an anti-tank obstacle. It was left unfinished, as it seems that the grey paint was a first layer to avoid rust on the anti-tank obstacle.

Photo credit: Max Ganz

Update 9 November

Banksy continues his trip through Ukraine. This time in a residential district of Borodyanka, a town located north west from Kyiv that was partially destroyed at the start of the conflict.

This time the multilayered stencil features a child throwing a man on the floor like a judo match.

For info Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was a black belt in Judo, was removed from his position of honorary president of the international Judo Federation (IJF) in May.

Photos credit Ed Ram / Getty Images

Banksy has now confirmed the artworks on his website. Despite the chaos, the gymnast is still standing

CAPITALE(S) 60 Years of Urban Art in Paris

Butterfly Art News is pleased to partner with the Ville de Paris for the Exhibition ‘CAPITALE(S) – 60 ans d’art urbain’, hosted within the Hotel de Ville, Paris City Hall, and running from 15 October until 11 February 2023. Free entry, but booking is essential here

Through the creations of more than 70 artists, works from prestigious collections, archive documents, photos and videos, in situ interventions, painted walls throughout the city, CAPITALE(S) presents a wide panorama of the Urban Art Movement and the importance of the Parisian scene spanning across the past 60 years.

The exhibition starts with pioneers from the 60’s and 70’s like Jacques Villegle, Raymond Hains, Ernest Pignon-Ernest or Zlotykamien.

Then the early 80’s feature the white man figures of Jerôme Mesnager, robots by Speedy Graphito and the proliferation of stencils by Miss Tic, Blek Le Rat, Mosko, Jef Aerosol, Epsylon Point.

This period of intense urban activity allows the emergence of artists’ collectives such as VLP (Vive la Peinture) affiliated with the punk culture or the Ripoulin brothers.

French-American teenager Bando (b. in 1965) introduced graffiti in France after writing in New York, followed by the New York City Rap Tour in 1982. Graffiti writers invade the banks of the Seine and adorn the palissades of the Louvre construction site. Stalingrad, a spot found by graffiti writer Ash, becomes the Hall of Fame for the prolific graffiti scene until 1989, featuring writers like Mode2, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Lokiss, Nasty, SKKI and numerous graffiti crew. In parallel  Psychose paints in the catacombs and the underground sewers system.

In 1987 Keith Haring paints the emergency staircase of the Hopital Necker to provide hopes of brightening the spirits of sick children in the world’s first pediatric hospital.

Like in the US, graffiti was severely repressed in Paris in the early 90’s. American artists like Futura, A-One or even Rammellzee gain recognition from the European artistic community and present their works in galleries and museums in Paris.  JonOne will settle permanently in Paris.

In the 2000’s, urban art has become a global movement with a multitude of techniques: from graffiti to street art, paste ups, stickers, stencils, mosaics and more. International artists are coming to Paris to leave their mark:  Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Banksy, Vhils.   

French artists have also gained international recognition: Andre, Invader, Zevs, JR, Dran, Lek and Sowat, Seth, L’Atlas, C215, Ludo, RERO, Philippe Baudelocque to Levalet.

Specially for CAPITALE(S), Invader has put two new aliases to be flashed for all the Flash Invaders addicts and shared a fully updated map of his invasion of the streets of Paris.

The exhibition presents also immersive and playful experiences.

Kashink, Kraken and Madame have created 3 entirely virtual works, hidden in a secret room of the exhibition: “The Fifth Wall“. A hunt for clues in Augmented Reality can be found through QR codes to be scanned under the works.

Visitors can try out graffiti with a digital spray can through GRAFFITI DIGITAL Picturae.

Artist Cristobal Diaz has created a GRAFF BOX, an immersive experience combining urban calligraphic production with playful digital devices featuring 250 artists.

While it is difficult to include the full scope of artists that have been active in Paris in the past 60 years within the City Hall, the four curators Magda Danysz, Elise Herszkowicz, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre and Marko93 have gathered following artists:

• Jacques Villeglé • Zlotykamien • Ernest Pignon-Ernest • Surface Active • Captain Fluo • Edmond Marie Rouffet • Blek le Rat • Miss.Tic • VLP • Speedy Graphito • Jean Faucheur • Mesnager • Mosko • Jef Aérosol • Bando • Ash • Jay0ne • SKKI • Keith Haring • Mambo • Nasty • Slice • Psyckoze • Lokiss • Shoe • Futura • A-One • Rammellzee • Jon0ne • André • Zevs • Dize • Invader • Shepard Fairey • JR • Vhils • Swoon • Banksy • C215 • L’Atlas • YZ • Seth • Tarek Benaoum • eL Seed • Ludo • Rero • Dran • O’Clock • Tanc • Lek • Sowat • Cristobal Diaz • Philippe Baudelocque • Levalet • Madame • Kashink • Vision • Pest • Greky • Sébastien Preschoux • Romain Froquet • Kraken • 9eme Concept • Les Francs Colleurs • Saype

There is also a prolific programme throughout the exhibition:

  • New murals will be painted at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin and in several Parisian districts,
  • A selection of pictures will be featured on the gates of the City Hall,
  • Workshops, conferences and screenings of films and documentaries.
  • A book accompanying the exhibition is available at Gallimard / Editions Alternatives

Big thanks to all the teams, artists, photographers, lenders and institutions that have participated to the exhibition, specially Clemence Demolling, as well as all the artists that have contributed to the scene over the past 60 years.

CAPITALE(S) – 60 ANS D’ART URBAIN

PARIS HOTEL DE VILLE ( Paris City Hall), 5 Rue Lobeau 75004 Paris

15 October – 25 March 2023

Free entry, but booking is essential here

Lek and Sowat Sandcastle for the LaBel Valette Festival

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Marking the fifth anniversary of the LaBel Valette Festival in France, artists Lek and Sowat have given a new identity to this 19th century castle, by painting all its surfaces and transforming it into a monumental sandcastle.

Located in Pressigny-les-Pins, around one hour from Paris by train, Château de la Valette sits on just under 100 acres of wooded land and is comprised of the castle, a chapel, and two three-storey dormitory buildings. After the colourful works of Okuda (2018), 3ttman (2019), the giant calligraphy of L’Atlas (2020) and the optical illusions of Astro (2021), this mythical duo open the LaBel Valette festival that will take place on August 26 and 27, 2022.

The LaBel Valette Festival, organised by UAC (Urban Art Crew) and U2A (Urban Art Agency), will take place on August 26 and 27, 2022 at La Valette estate in Pressigny-les-Pins.
The two days programme includes graffiti battles, a musical production competition, live painting, workshops as well as a series of music concerts. Full programme here

Check pictures of the work in progress below:

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek and Sowat were struck by the intense history of the ‘Domaine de La Valette’. Firstly belonging to the estate of a Count and a Countess, it then became property of Franco, followed by the Spanish republicans. It was later transformed into a college, then fell into abandonment. And was bought by an individual. The castle holds eventually a strong position of Street Art in France thanks to the LaBel Valette Festival project.

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

The artistic duo decided to work around the image of the sandcastle, which refers to the ephemeral nature of Street Art, and pixels, which evoke the aesthetics of the 80s.
Using bright blue and neon colours, they painted 10 000 square meters to transform the castle entirely.
Lek and Sowat ’s Sandcastle illustrates this year’s theme of the festival “Believe in your dreams”: A sandcastle can be erased by the rising tide but is rebuilt thanks to the venue of a new artist.  A sandcastle is fragile, requires attention and commitment. It is imagined, hoped for, then built.

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022