Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
London is home to some amazing street art, but there is a lot going on indoors as well. Last Thursday, street artist Remi invited me to the opening of "A Força da Rua" at Shoreditch's theprintspace. Remi was one of twelve UK and Brazilian artists who contributed customized Gibson guitars and limited edition prints to the charity event. All proceeded benefited the Brazilian child welfare organization Action for Brazil's Children.
Each guitar exhuded its own powerful personality. Pure Evil created a fresh take on The Beatles' iconic Sergeant Pepper's album cover. D*Face painted a collage of police tape, skulls, and robots on his guitar. Remi's trademark smudgey swathes of color translated perfectly on this unusual medium. Kid Acne's pink and black critters parade across his Flying V.
In addition to the guitars, each artist contributed a batch of standout prints. Remi explained, "Originally, the proceeds were to be split equally between the artist, theprintspace, and ABC. Then Pure Evil spoke up and said, '100% of the charity or it's not a go.'" Thanks to the artist's generosity, the gallery was packed with prints by Inkie, Will Barras, Speto, Titi Freak and more.
Small details transformed the event from a simple opening to a full scale party. Two beverage stations downstairs served up free beer and Vitamin Water to a thirsty crowd. Downstairs, visitors sneaked a peek at the trailer for Lorna Lavelle's documentary, A Forca da Rua. The film explores the evolution ofthe project and the impact of ABC on Brazilian youth. London DJ Stopmakingme provided the soundtrack to the evening. Spinning tracks from Talking Heads and Sebastian Tellier, he got the crowd to move their feet.
While the opening made for an enjoyable evening, the project's contribution to ABC is undoubtedly the best part. Tonight, the guitars are up for grabs at London's Cuckoo Club; rumor has it that Eric Clapton has his eye on one. Can't afford a custom axe? The prints are on display at theprintspace until May 12. Take a look at this and other ABC events at its website and be sure to pay attention to its new community initiatives. Great stuff, guys! Tomorrow, I will be back home and ready to go. (I hope?)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
“When I first got into graffiti, my crew and I were very strict with each other. We did that to keep our styles up to the same level. As one of the most known crews in Athens, we all had to fit the part. The rules of the game were simple: no biting (copying other styles) and keeping our style as original as possible.”
“I started doing tags and vandalism in my neighbourhood. I got some cheap spray paint and did my first characters on a wall in 1997. There were not a lot of graffiti artists in Athens back then. We were the second generation, so it felt like it was an underground art movement. I became known for my characters when most of the other graffiti artists were painting letter-forms. Then I got into painting subway trains and my crew, SR SQUAD, toured Europe in the late 90’s painting in every European capital city. Nowadays, I am too mature for so much excitement, so no more adrenaline fueled good times for Grandpa Krah! But I still find the time to rock the streets with funky visuals.”
“I work in different ways, mostly freestyle experimental paintings with funky colours. (Translation: visuals created under the influence of some sort of intoxication or the consequences of watching to many sci-fi films as a kid). In the streets, I do a bit of everything, from illegal graff, legal murals, paste- ups, stickers and lock-ups. I also stick my sculptures on buildings around London.”
“I was out doing graff with Cyclops, Sweet-toff and Rowdy after an opening night at the Leonard Street Gallery when we bumped into Pure Evil. He showed me the new space in the basement of his gallery. Then he asked me when I was going to do a show there. I’d met him before at exhibitions and he liked my work and that I did it the streets. Since my show at Pure Evil, I have been invited to do lots of shows in galleries all over the UK and abroad. I am also with Little-Art-Book, an on-line gallery that promotes underground urban artist and sells limited edition screen prints. They have started organising some cool exhibitions in mad venues here in London.”
For more info about The Krah, check out his online portfolio. If you're down to buy, stop by his online store to get the goods.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sorry, Gothamist, but Illicit’s totally got you beat. We profiled Knitta before you got to it, but we still love you.
Take a look at this collection of photos from Tel Aviv.
Artist Katie Freeman uses colorful pastels to decorate her Knoxville, Tenn., neighborhood.
Is Boston's Shepard Fairey exhibit still open? Get it together, Kansas City.
Voice of America columnist Ted Landphair discusses the history of graffiti and some of its legal forms of expression.
Allen Hough professes his love for San Francisco’s Valencia Street art wall.
Graffiti in New York City’s Financial District is busting Wall Street’s chops.
Mark your calendars: if you’re in London on June 22, head to Royal Albert Hall for free admission to LOAD, its street art and graffiti exhibit.
Arizona artist in residence Nick Georgieu may show in galleries now, but his paper-based sculptures originated on the streets.
Australian journalist Lisa Perkovic explores the complexity of Melbourne’s ‘renewable galleries'.
Even The Wall Street Journal is up on its street art; Barcelona artist Sixeart discusses his career and the transition to gallery space.
The LA Times analyzes the evolution of the city’s street art and graffiti scene.
Faile put up a piece in Brooklyn last week, but some dumbass jacked it. Thanks.
Okay, nap time. I missed you all last week, so let's get back at it!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Since she first decorated Raye, her Houston, Tex., clothing boutique, Magda has recruited fellow crew members with clever monikers like P. Knitty and PolyCotN. She's traveled to New York City, London, and parts of Italy for various commissions and installations. Her brother brought a Knitta piece on a trip and placed it on the Great Wall of China. What started as a side project has now turned into Magda's full-time gig. Although she creates exclusively wooly street art, she switches up her own style to keep it interesting. "Now I'm into large scale creations," she adds. "I don't want to do one parking meter; I want to do 50!"
Law enforcement doesn't know what to make of Knitta. Magda says, "I've been approached by the authorities, but they're okay with it since I don't have a spray can in my hand. They don't really know what to do." With her crew by her side, Magda is driven by a desire to beautify her surroundings. She insists, "I felt that a stop sign would look better with yarn on it. It makes me happy and it makes other people happy. If it was negative, I probably wouldn't do it. I just feel like it's the right time for a project like this."
Knitta's projects encourage people to explore the world around them. "I think there's something very satisfying in that concept of stopping and smelling the roses," Magda says. "There are all these pieces of the urban landscape that we've grown accustomed to: fewer trees, more freeways. I think we really feel powerless in those situations; we stop complaining and looking at it. I feel like my knitting a light pole or a fire hydrant is better for me and for other people to see."
With new projects and trips in the works, Magda doesn't show any signs of stopping. This summer, she's traveling to Australia to put up some fresh pieces. The crew has a book in the works that will show readers the tricks and tools they need to start their own crews. What's Magda's advices for aspiring knitters? "Follow your dreams!" she exclaims. "I am 35 years old and a mother of three. This project has made me feel like I can do anything. I think that what's happening to me is magical. I'm watching these dreams come true."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
“The finished DVDs are smuggled in Brussels, Dresden and Munster in a well-stocked museum shops and design/graffiti art bookshops.” “We started the project in late January in Brussels, but only distributed about 10 DVDs the first time. No messages came through about a reported purchase or attempt to purchase. The stickers, however, are by us and by friends over the world, so we do occasionally encounter them sometimes on the Internet.” “xxCrew has been around for about seven years, and it’s been four years since our first Ragtag experience. Our early stickers were small and very simple scenes with figures or small stickers with texts. We like working on stickers, but we’ve also created major projects like the road sign series in Brussels.”
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
“I feel that if my characters express something. They express my feelings or emotions when I am sad, frustrated, angry, or melancholy. However, I want people to view them the way they want to see, not the way that makes sense to me.”
“I feel that here in Tijuana there's not much support for street art. However, there is a lot of good talent. My goal for the future is to expand to other areas and to do collaborations with other artists.”
“Right now, I'm doing a lot of large stencils, new sticker designs, wheat pasting posters, artwork made by pasting cardboard, decorating beer and wine bottles, drawing portraits for friends.”
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
“In November of 2006 I was developing a short documentary for a production class at Trinity University. Since I was completely devoid of ideas, my film involved following around my friend Phil, a fellow classmate, as he made his documentary about TUVAC, Trinity's community service organization.”“At the time, TUVAC participated in a city initiative called Graffiti Wipe-Out, which was exactly what it sounds like. Initially, I took no issue with the project, assuming it involved painting over gang tags and other crude forms of vandalism. This couldn't be further from reality.”
“This particular day involved whitewashing two long walls filled with extremely skilled and meticulous street art. Each mural was the work of a different artist, and varied in subject matter and style, but never in devotion or skill. The artists obviously came from all over the state (or country), and put a lot of thought into each work, often inserting local subject matter and topography. One featured a detailed overhead map of downtown San Antonio, with its famous Riverwalk snaking through the center.”
“My objective quickly switched from recording Phil's process to documenting as much graffiti as I could before it was destroyed forever. I covered as much ground as possible with my DV camcorder, but it was impossible to record everything with the limited time frame and overabundance of material.”
“As I filmed, a middle-aged man snapped photos with a disposable camera. He lived in the area and was also disappointed that the city was painting over these masterful pieces.”
“My favorite work was Tron (from the movie Tron), featured beneath the underpass. It contained the right combination of artistic skill and nerd cred which sets street art, and pop art in general, apart from other mediums.”“While watching Phil interview the woman in charge of the initiative, I could understand her intentions. The Graffiti Wipe-Out sought to beautify the city and improve the lives of its residents. I only take issue with the complete lack of thought and consideration in deciding what should be destroyed. These were amazing works, and the city should have celebrated them instead of having them removed.”