Bigindicator

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Final Days: Oceanic
by ArtSlant STREET
Fintan Magee, Askew One at RexRomae
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Last Day: Thésis, Jesús Benítez
by Eva Recinos
Jesús Benítez at FIFTY24SF Gallery
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Vice & Virtue: Stolenspace's Summer Show
by Laura Havlin
StolenSpace Gallery
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Opposite Parts of the Same Whole
by Vivian Mocellin
Zezão at Zipper Galeria
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Floating World: Part One: KEFE at Shooting Gallery
by Eva Recinos
Ferris Plock & Kelly Tunstall at Shooting Gallery
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The House of Illustration Opens Its Doors with Works by Quentin Blake
by Laura Havlin
Quentin Blake at House of Illustration
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2501: “Nomadic Experiment Anatomy of Restlessness”
by Kimberly B. Johnson
2501 at Soze Gallery

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by ArtSlant STREET

Fintan Magee, Askew One at RexRomae
London - The latest intermittent gallery to tap into London’s burgeoning commercialised urban scene is the initiative of a self-styled Parisian power couple who also run the somewhat controversial Street Art News. Oceanic is a two artist show of works by Askew One and Fintan Magee, both originally from Australasia, and the characteristics of the Pacific region are the connecting premise for this new week long show. New works, an editioned collaborative print and new murals are on show inside a beautiful space in the heart of the East End (where else). (Image on top: Courtesy RexRomae) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140726171150-img_48022
by Eva Recinos

Jesús Benítez at FIFTY24SF Gallery
San Francisco - A woman stands nonchalantly amongst creatures that look like a crocodile with giant teeth and a grasshopper with two heads. The other critters around her are less easily explained. One stands on its hind legs and seems to sport a flower with one eye as a head. This is the world of Mexican illustrator and muralist Jesús Benítez. Taking inspiration from science fiction — and the work of Moebius and Roger Dean — Benítez crafts scenes that explore the possibilities of a strange future. In this new world, all boundaries are broken down within humanity, technology and nature. “Thésis” is the artist’s first solo show in North America and showcases the artist’s strange vision. Benítez works in everything from painting to sculptures to murals. No matter the medium, the artist’s dystopian visions are thrilling yet disconcerting. If the future is anything like Benítez creates it, it will look imaginatively created even while it feels dangerous and mysterious. For any inquiries, email gallery@fifty24sf.com. —Eva Recinos (All images: Jesús Benítez; Courtesy of the Artist and FIFTY24SF Gallery) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140723045935-marine-stadium1
by Lori Zimmer

Miami - The long abandoned Miami Marine Stadium in Key Biscayne has been a favorite hot spot for local and international street artists since it closed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Because of the ever-changing murals, the site has become an unexpected open-air gallery, adding incredible color to the secluded inlet once used for speed boat racing. Recognizing this renewed interest, the city of Miami, along with the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium and the National Trust, are planning to revamp the stadium back into use within five years. But before the stadium is restored and a lush new park is created, the site will be home to the ARTHistory Mural Project, a rotating exhibition of invited street artists, curated by one of their own: stencil artist Logan Hicks. The Marine Stadium, which was built by Cuban architect Hilario Candela in 1963 is a very special place for viewing art. Perched directly on the warm waters of Biscayne Bay, the stadium is a place of serenity: small boats and dolphins regularly pass by, the Miami skyline glitters in the background, and the overhanging roof of the stadium casts an unusually cool shade that provides relief from the hot Miami sun. Away from the city, the stadium is like a mirage, splattered with vibrant colors of graffiti artists, murals and tags covering just about every surface in site. These pieces, done by countless graffiti artists, inspired the idea to bring a curated roster of artists to paint together, and become inspired themselves. On June 28th, curator Logan Hicks’ first vision for the inspiring architectural structure took place with a live painting session by nine world-renowned street artists: Doze Green, RONE, Elbow Toe, RISK, Joe Iurato, Ian Kuali’i, Abstrakt, Luis Berros and Evoca1. Each artist chose a spot among the massive concrete walls to create a site-specific work over the course of two days, which will be transformed into a line of prints for the ArtHistory Mural Project. The prints sales will directly benefit the revamping of the stadium, and also be on display in a print show at Miami’s Gregg Shienbaum Gallery in September. Originally from New York, Rock Steady Crew’s Doze Green fuses his iconic free-flowing lines, figurative abstraction and ancestral references in his piece with a bold Miami sunset, ocean and shore, which contrasts in solid, simplistic forms. Green’s protégé, Ian Kuali’i, translated his years of study under his master into delicate cut paper, creating a mural that is fit for a canvas. Leaving circles of the pieces that were painted before him, Kuali’i hand cut two delicate subtractive pieces depicting detailed skulls. Carefully wheatpasted to the concrete wall, the colors from the previous mural are revealed, paying tribute to those who have painted there before. Brooklyn’s Elbow Toe created a small render of a figure wading in water, paying tribute to the hurricane that dehabilitated the stadium. RONE was flown in from Melbourne to create one of his photorealistic faces, clad in blue to harmonize with the sea and endless blue sky. Out of LA, RISK continues to push the evolution of graffiti, calling Mark Rothko to mind with his vibrant color fields made with spray paint. Local Miami artist Luis Berro’s lush mural pays tribute to the sweet smelling orange trees found all over the region, and local Abstrakt’s boldly colored paint-splotched eyes give the stadium a anthropomorphic quality, watching you as you explore her. The third Miami artist, Evoca1, uses delicate chiaroscuro to create a piece symbolizing man versus beast. Stencil artist Joe Iurato created a small mural collaboration of his stenciled figures along with pattern by Logan Hicks, as well as small wooden cut outs of these figures placed around the stadium. The incredible ARTHistory Mural Project shows the influence that street art has on culture today, holding the power to reawaken interest in a forgotten architectural gem simply by calling attention to its beauty. The murals by Doze Green, RONE, Elbow Toe, RISK, Ian Kuali’i, Joe Iurato, Abstrakt, Luis Berros and Evoca1 will remain until September 19th, when Ron English, The London Police, Crash, Logan Hicks and Tristan Eaton will return to create a new set of murals. Prints of the murals can be found here http://arthistory2014.com —Lori Zimmer (All images: Courtesy of Logan Hicks) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140721184908-jim_houser_saint
by Laura Havlin

StolenSpace Gallery
London - Internationally recognisable heavyweights sit alongside new names-to-watch at Stolenspace’s Saints & Sinner’s-themed group show Centring a group show around the seemingly polar opposites of vice and virtue, saints and sinners, the summer group show at Stolenspace near London’s Brick Lane area actually makes the point that the two notions: a) come loaded with religious, particularly Catholic, connotations, with Catholic iconography and angelic beings motifs that are repeatedly employed; and b) that, in fact being a saint or a sinner may actually be two sides to the same coin, as explored by Alessia Iannetti's dark and troubled-looking angelic beauty in Just One Kiss, or Asha Zero’s GHS, a hand-painted work so finely detailed it looks like a photo collage sticking together human body parts to make up a new whole. Elsewhere in the show, Alex Yanes’ Desaturated Totem sculpture is a delirious, cartoonish take on the ancient religious imagery, while Beau Stanton’s Relic is a darkly comic take on the Catholic saint and martyr portrait style, with the subject a sinister skeleton. Pixel Pancho, 'Liberum Arbitrium Hominus Mendacium Sine Libertate Donata Fortes Viros' Optio II, Acrylic on wood, 100 x 70 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Saints & Sinners is at Stolenspace gallery until August 3rd, and includes work from Broken Fingaz, C215, Charles Krafft, Joram Roukes, Pixel Pancho, Reka, Snik, Sylvia Ji, The London Police, Usugrow and many more. Vinnie Nylon, 'Smurfette David', Acrylic on marine ply framed in vintage frame, 60 x 45 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Alessia Iannetti, 'Just One Kiss', Graphite, water colour and ink on wood, 30 x 30 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery C215, 'Peace', Stencil and spray paint on canvas, tray framed, 60 x 80 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Curtis Kulig, 'LAFAYETTE LONDON V', Ink on paper, float mounted, box framed, 57 x 75.5 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Ryan Callanan, 'Saint Nozzle', Chrome Edition of 5, Framed AP, 42 cm x 54 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Shida, 'The Succubi Ascend', Acrylic on board, tray framed, 39 x 28 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Asha Zero, 'GHX', Acrylic on board, 60 x 45 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery Kip (Broken Fingaz), 'Assemble/Dismantle', Silkscreen and water colours on paper, framed 51.5 x 42 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery —Laura Havlin (Image on top: Jim Houser, 'SNT', Acrylic & collage on panel, 20.3 x 20.3 cm; Courtesy of the Artist and StolenSpace Gallery) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140720144740-1
by Vivian Mocellin

Zezão at Zipper Galeria
São Paulo - Zezão may not have patented his blue like Yves Klein did, but to anyone who has wandered around the streets of São Paulo, the Zezão blue is unmistakable in both its nuance, purpose and language. Made manually, his light blue is consistently used to color his flops – the name he has given to the arabesque drawings which are a kind of stylization of his signature, deriving from letters distorted so intensely that they started looking abstract. What few people realize is that these now iconic images are reminiscent of the times when Zezão was strongly involved with the pixação* movement. He was already a recognized pixador when he came across a documentary on Basquiat, which awakened his desire to start experimenting with abstraction. The flops represent then a shift in his production. Zezão, exhibition view; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria This new attitude caused estrangement to other pixadores and it was this incomprehension and the desire to experiment that led him to the undergrounds of the city where he found space and freedom to develop his new language. Against the predominant discourse, Zezão himself never put street art and graffiti in contradiction though, for him, both deal with the idea of transgression, and his biggest transgression might have been precisely attempting to blur the separation between these two movements. His flops may be seen as a synthesis between the typography and graphism of the pixação and the aesthetic and appeal of street art. Choosing a color to identify his work was an influence of the graffiti duo “Os Gemeos”, who have consistently used yellow and red to mark their production. For Zezão, blue was a desire to convey peace, hope and possibility in the abandoned and degraded city spaces where the flops were painted. Placing his works in these locations has also set him even more apart from other graffiti and street artists who commonly choose places of high visibility for their works. By throwing color and art into the marginal spaces, he gave his work a socio-political dimension calling attention to urban issues such as abandonment, urban decay, violence, pollution and poverty. Zezão, exhibition view; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria Decay, violence, and poverty are part of Zezão’s everyday, after he set up a studio in the heart of an area known as Cracolândia – a district located downtown next to historical buildings and museums, but considered the crack capital of Brazil with hundreds of drug addicts wandering around. Called “Overground Art Studio Gallery”, the space is part of the revitalization wave which is taking over São Paulo’s center. It serves as a studio for Zezão but also as a space for collaborations and for introducing emerging street artists, such as Indio, a former homeless man who was called to help on the cleaning of the place and surprised everyone with his artistic vein. But Zezão’s flops also inhabit other spaces. At Zipper Gallery, in a noble area of São Paulo, the light blue graffiti of his entrance piece contrasts with the bright yellow of the building façade and invites the passersby to come in. The gallery’s location and its ascetic ambience are radically different from the context where his graffiti first proliferated – in potholes, manholes and sewers. And to differentiate it from the work that he still does on the streets he calls all objects done in the context of exhibitions or enclosed space: fine art. Zezão, exhibition view; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria Most of the pieces on show at Zipper are site-specific assemblages built with materials harvested in dumpsters, such as old pieces of wood, frames and urban road signs. They are put together directly on the white wall in an instinctive process which dispensed any previous design, and with the exception of one, all of them have a flop graffitied over. These pieces seem to be informed by the aesthetic language of the Brazilian favelas, the gambiarra, which can be loosely translated as “to make do” or “quick-fix”. Outside of favelas, this aesthetic has been also informing a great deal of Brazilian contemporary art production, becoming pervasive in the Brazilian imagination and quotidian, even. In the realm of the fine arts Zezão has also found space to experiment and develop other languages. In the opposite side of the exhibition room, we find another assemblage, also made of repurposed wood but in direct contrast with the previous pieces. This time the wood was completely standardized, sanded and painted black, completed with black tape applied directly on the wall. No flops grafittied, just black wood and tape spreading on the white wall. The image that emerges seems to represent a metropolis, its skyline and also its subterranean connections. When seen from distance it forms such a schematic image, a graphical abstraction. Zezão, Exhibition View; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria The curatorial text suggests that these seemingly conflicting depictions represent the city seen from near and from far. Close are the favelas: their disorder, their creative chaos and abundance. Far is the geometry, sobriety and functionality of the metropolitan city. None of these depictions is completely accurate, but none can be said inaccurate either. They are like opposite parts of the same whole, contradictory and complementary at the same time. They live in intense dialogue and tension with each other, and it is just when put in perspective together that one can make sense of both, and thus make sense of the city they portray. Nobody better than Zezão, who lives these two facets of the city so intensely, to put them in perspective for us and make us walk out of the gallery with a renewed view of São Paulo. * Pixação is a form of graffiti tagging native to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, consisting in wall writings made of tar, and is distinctive for its cryptic style and unique typography. Zezão, Exhibition View; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria Zezão, Exhibition View; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria Zezão, sem título, acrylic on wood, 70 x 100 x 4 cm, 2013; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria Zezão, untitled, acrylic on wood, 155 x 260 x 12 cm, 2014; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria —Vivian Mocellin (Image on top: Zezão, Exhibition View; Courtesy of The Artist and Zipper Galeria) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140716053748-j
by Eva Recinos

Ferris Plock & Kelly Tunstall at Shooting Gallery
San Francisco - The Japanese art form ukiyo-e is centuries-old but today it still influences artists in various genres. Something about the colorful scenes and carefully rendered details inspired by this art form breathe new life into contemporary art, like that of art duo Kefe. Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock combine their knack for portraying characters like enigmatic female figures and fantastical creatures in acrylic painting, murals and more. The couple works both as a unit and individually. Kelly even painted a mural at one point while pregnant with their son. The duo’s whimsical works oftentimes use a variety of materials like spray paint, gold leaf, pencil, collage and more. They’re no strangers to San Francisco—you might have caught their work earlier at FFDG, 111 Minna Gallery and previous shows at Shooting Gallery. Their upcoming show “Floating World Part 1” showcases a few of their enchanting works with a second part coming later in the month. Ferris Plock, Claude, Acrylic on wood panel, 17x23"; Courtesy of The Artist and Shooting Gallery Kelly Tunstall, Up, Graphite & acrylic on wood panel, 14x17"; Courtesy of The Artist and Shooting Gallery Kelly Tunstall, Blown, Graphite & acrylic on wood panel, 18x24"; Courtesy of The Artist and Shooting Gallery Kelly Tunstall, Sweets, Graphite & acrylic on wood panel, 5x6", 2014; Courtesy of The Artist and Shooting Gallery Ferris Plock & Kelly Tunstall, Toy Boat, Graphite & acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 36"; Courtesy of The Artists and Shooting Gallery Ferris Plock, 4 Eyes, Acrylic on wood panel, 16 x 20in; Courtesy of The Artist and Shooting Gallery —Eva Recinos (Image on top: Ferris Plock & Kelly Tunstall, Sea Fox, Graphite & acrylic on wood panel, 36x72"; Courtesy of The Artists and Shooting Gallery) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140715092212-wall
by Maja Milic

Q&A - Croatia's capital city Zagreb does not boast a big scene for street art; as is the case in most more alternative approaches to arts in relatively smaller cities, it usually depends on certain individuals to keep the scene alive. In Zagreb, one of those individuals is OKO. She built up her name on the streets of her hometown, even though it might not have been her intention. From the simple motif of an eye patched around the facades of buildings that started to appear in 2005, up to the recent showcases of her work in museums, galleries or festivals, her style evolved during the years and today she is best known for two different visual tropes: the black-and-white old school graphics of well-dressed animal creatures and the other full-color childish ghosts and beasts. For her, all of them are alive and have unique personalities. Guardian energy and protection symbolism are an essential part of her drawings. She simply and honestly loves drawing—which might be the reason she's become one of the main figures and most prolific street artists to emerge from Zagreb. OKO, in the streets; Courtesy of the artist We all know what OKO means (in Croatian,"eye") but what does it mean to you? There is a story from my childhood connected with a drawing of the eye which is following me ever since. So the whole thing started as a symbol that represents the opening of the eye and seeing everything with the inner being, to not judge on first sight. You’ve now taken your drawings into many different media. You do skateboards, tattooing, design for Adidas / Nike / Puma, your work was shown at many music & art festivals and finally in the museums. Did it all start in the street? Was the street the first media where your work started to appear? I have been drawing from an early age. I used to illustrate a school magazine in primary school and that was basically my first job (trust me, it's really funny when you're 10 and spend your weekends in school drawing different stuff for all the text you get to read as a preview for a magazine). Art high school just led more to that direction. I used to be amazed with theater. That’s why I chose scenography in high school, but after I finished it times and situations were weird and life takes you to different directions... I started to work so I could support myself and didn’t think I would ever do art as a profession. Like I already said, life takes you weird places... So after 7 years I just figured out I need to try the Art Academy. It was a mystical place for some "other" humans who perceive life on a higher level (well, at least that was the idea in my head). Happily I got in, and the whole "saint" idea started to fall apart. You figure out they are just regular humans with all their humanly behavior and for me that was a shock. I expected something bigger, something more holy. That’s when I started to draw a lot, and everywhere. In trams, in class, at home, just to be in my head, to keep my "holy" idea safe. Along with that I started to put things in the streets. I don’t know how it started to happen, but little by little things were going somewhere. I have no plans for where or how high, but I try to keep myself on the ground and "just draw" like I used to. Everything else will happen by itself, like always in life. OKO, Warehouse skate park Zagreb; Courtesy of the artist Where did it go from there? For a few years I didn’t want to be part of museums or any other exhibition. In those times I started to get depressed about art: what does it mean, what’s the purpose, why are we doing it, is it completely useless? I stopped drawing for 6 months and decided I wouldn’t do art anymore, never again in my life. But, like always, when you try to run away from something that is your being, you just keep bumping into it. So I figured out—that’s me, that’s who I am and I can't escape it, at least not in a peaceful way. So I just started to draw again, growing up little by little, level by level. I realized museums are not bad. If you don’t let anybody influence you, or any other "job" for any company, if you don’t make compromises against your own idea, then it's fine. When you can stand in front of your work afterwards and not feel ashamed, that means you made a good decision. Every time the "painting" wins over you. You feel it. There is no faking in that. And if you leave your battlefield losing the battle, you can't walk like a hero. And everybody can see that. OKO, Wall of Zagreb squat Medika; Courtesy of the artist Can you tell a bit more about the street art scene of Zagreb, how it was before and how it looks like now? The street art scene in Zagreb… Well, I moved to London 6 months ago, so for the moment I don’t know. It was always a small scene. It used to be a good group of people in one moment that had great energy and that "punk" attitude around it. Then I think something went quiet for a bit, and now it seems that it's getting up again. I don't know honestly. I used to be a part of a group: energy was up, chilling was up, drawing was up, sk8 was up… It was just street life. Now I usually go alone. It started to be something private and I like it that way. I do hang out with other artists. When I travel around Europe and do big festivals, we all hang out, everybody drawing on their own machine, big walls... There's good working energy around it. And a lot of laughs. Who influenced you and what was your motivation to go out into the streets? Well, I always wanted to do it, and just one typical day over a beer things started. I went with my friend to copy my image, cut it and start. It was a great feeling to walk around at 4am and put stickers around. The city is empty, it's quiet and you just feel alive. When you walk 'till dawn and you see the sun setting up, you just can't have a bad day after that... OKO, Victoria and Albert Museum; Courtesy of the artist You moved to London recently, how was that? Yes, I moved few months ago. It was just a natural urge to see bigger things. And I did... London is a killer. All big cities are. You need to fight with them. It's a constant battle. Sometimes you feel alive, sometimes you just want to be under your blanket. It's a natural thing. All in all, it's a growing experience. I know I leveled up, and I will see how much probably when I go back to Croatia for a bit... I'll figure it out. Artists really don't have an address. You live everywhere. I'm not a person that likes changes, but at the same time I feel that’s life, hitting you all the time. So probably I will be everywhere... Will you continue your work there? I see you exhibited already in some London museums. Where & how was that? I always live in my studio, always [do], probably always will. So surely I paint or draw there. Do I plan to stay there? Who knows… I try not to plan. That’s what I learned. You need to let go and let life flow, to not be too tight, and because I'm quite a control freak and usually always work like a machine, it's not always easy for me to let go. That's probably a lesson I need to learn now. Regarding exhibitions in London, how it turns out I have one exhibition every month. It's not that I planned it like that, it's just happening. When I moved I had the Victoria and Albert Museum thing, it was amazing… It's a huge space, a huge museum, and it's full of art of people around the world that you sometimes feel you don’t belong here and that you are a part of the whole humanity. It was packed. I never had anything with so many visitors around. It was about 6000 people there and it's weird. The good thing is that people don’t know how I look like, so you can always pretend you're one of the visitors and then it's easier. Any plans for the future? A lot of them, but I'm trying not to force myself. I have ideas what I want to achieve. Will I do it or not is just on me, so it's better not to talk about it too much. For sure I will try to draw and travel everywhere. The world is really a massive space to paint. OKO, Hand-painted skateboards; Courtesy of the artist What I first think of when I think of your stuff now is the monochromatic animal-headed well-dressed people. Are they humans or animals? Why are they so well dressed? I have 2 different styles of drawing. One is those black and white animals and the other is full of colors childish doodles. Both work for me so I just follow how I feel when I take the ink. Why are they well dressed? Because I love to dream about a better world, about justice "giants" that do stuff according to early human and moral ways, a better version of humanity. Did you have the intention to make it your trademark? Even if not, I'm sure a lot of people equate you with it. Do you feel good or bad about it? I never planned to make it my style. People think what they want. Sometimes it's weird because people start to expect something from you, put you in some box and start to talk to you, give you advices and directions you should take. Art is not illustration. No matter how illustrative it can look sometimes, it's your own personal story and perception of the world. In that way sometimes, probably almost always, those "images" are quite fragile, because all of us know how fragile our inner world is. We are all giants, but we don’t have courage to show that most of the time. OKO, drawing; Courtesy of the artist What are your other motives? Motives in drawing… Who knows... Life... For the last few months I'm really interested in medical herbs and all ancient medicines that old cultures used to make to heal themselves, probably to try to heal humanity on some other level than just with big guardians. What's the last piece you did? Last big one I did on 9x30m wall in Toulouse in France. It was a big show and a lot of artists from around Europe were there. It was fun, great people, great artists. For the moment I'm painting new paintings in my studio because I have an exhibition in 2 weeks, so I need to try to make them by then. They’re big canvases. The battle between them and me is on. Some days they win, some days I do. We will see who will win in the end—will I exhibit a painting or an empty ripped canvas. Is drawing kind of therapeutic for you? Drawing is always therapeutic. I think all art is. It's kind of an escape from life around us. When you don’t live, you don’t have anything to “say” or “paint”. OKO, Brainimal for Vizkultura; Courtesy of the artist How do you deal with all the ideas/research/decision making or simply said mental work? How do you choose the theme? Do you research for that? Is there some deeper metaphoric meaning, some history involved? Don’t know. We're probably more complex beings than just one layer humans, so our minds have a world for themselves which is sometimes working for us, sometimes against us. Hearts have other ways. And “real” life around us has its own ways also. So sometimes you feel like you're standing in the middle of some crossroads and yelling like crazy, at least in your head. It's hard to explain how you do what you do. You're just doing it. Probably the whole thing is trying not to overanalyze it, otherwise you kill it even without starting it. When I get some kind of idea what’s happening, then I research. Depending on what idea it is, sometimes it requires old medicine study, sometimes old religions, sometimes science, poetry, music, geography, humanity or nature. I love science. I can't fail to be surprised by it. It's magical… Particles... One of the giants I really admire is Nikola Tesla. I'm sure you went through a lot of phases in your work. After all the thinking and (probable) changes where are you now with your work and what did you learn? Phases…. Surely it brings you up in the air and then slams you on the floor. I think art is a constant surviving mode on. What did I learn? To try to free myself from expectations, from others and then from myself. Because that’s the killer, that’s the one that keeps you tied and your brain can't breathe. You don’t feel anything except constant frustration. Probably that’s the biggest thing I've learned, in my opinion—to keep myself free, not to be a prisoner of my own mind. OKO, drawings; Courtesy of the artist What do you do except drawing? Drawing and painting is what I do. Every day. Everything else comes out of it. So skateboard or tattoo or any other design comes from that. You don't want your face to be really seen in any pictures that appear. Does it mean people should focus on the work? I hide my face because I think it's not important. I show it partly on some pictures. Lately I'm doing a lot of photo-shoots that actually show my face but covered in white paint or in glitter or who knows what's it going to be in the future. In that context it makes sense to show it, painted like that… It represents something in a particular moment. But otherwise I think it's not important because my ideas don’t have a body. It's one of those collective energies floating around and when you try to put a face on it, it loses the magic in my opinion, it becomes human. There are a few artists that I really admire, and despite the idea that I know how their face looks like, I hope I will never meet them in real life. Somehow it makes more sense when their ideas and things they say belong to a collective energy (gaia). That way everybody feels it personally, it's part of you, part of me. It's not mine, or yours... OKO, in the streets; Courtesy of the artist OKO, Warehouse skate park Zagreb; Courtesy of the artist OKO portrait; photo by Kristijan Smok OKO in her room; Courtesy of the artist OKO is part of a group exhibition at Loud & Western Building London, Until 25th July 2014 http://www.deal-big.biz She will also be in Switzerland soon to promote her skateboard designs for Faust Skate Company. —Maja Milic (Image on top: Courtesy of the artist) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
20140715081610-the_twits
by Laura Havlin

Quentin Blake at House of Illustration
London - The physical home of the Illustration organisation opens its doors with founding member Quentin Blake’s Inside Stories. The new home for illustration talent, emerging and established, British and international, opened its doors in London last week. The House of Illustration, which has been established as a group championing illustration talent since 2002, putting in group shows and running education initiatives, was originally established by illustrators Quentin Blake and Emma Chichester Clark. Situated near King’s Cross, in central London, the venue archives and exhibits everything from picture books, animations, fashion illustration, scientific drawings and advertisements. Quentin Blake, From 'Candide'; © Quentin Blake The first physical residency for the organisation opens its doors with a celebration of the iconic cartoons of Quentin Blake. Blake, who, in 2003, pledged his back catalogue of 4,000 original drawings and 250 books, now comes good on his promise with a showcase of some of the highlights from his extensive archive. Inside Stories features Blake’s illustrations for iconic books, such as Roald Dahl’s The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World; David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress; illustrations for books by John Yeoman, Russell Hoban and Michael Rosen; as well as previously unseen and unpublished illustrations and sketches. Quentin Blake, From 'The Wild Washerwomen'; © Quentin Blake House of Illustration director Colin McKenzie says, ‘Inside Stories is the perfect show to open our new gallery. Quentin Blake is an illustrator of world renown whose work is instantly recognisable to millions.’ Blake added, ‘Illustration has been one of the most distinctive strands in the history of British art and I’m delighted that there will now be a dedicated space where everyone can view, discuss or learn about illustration; British and international; past, present and future.’ Quentin Blake, From 'How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen'; © Quentin Blake Quentin Blake, From 'Clown'; © Quentin Blake Inside stories runs until November 2, 2014. http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk —Laura Havlin (Image on top: Quentin Blake, From 'The Twits'; © Quentin Blake) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
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by Kimberly B. Johnson

2501 at Soze Gallery
Los Angeles - Italian born artist 2501 recently graced the LA scene with his latest exhibition, “Nomadic Experiment Anatomy of Restlessness.” The cryptic title is all too fitting for a man with a fair bit of mystery surrounding his persona. From the gallery to the streets—hitting display cases to stucco walls—2501 has kept manically busy in his creative efforts ever since hopping on the scene. The man never stops; mural campaigns, major art exhibitions to endless design projects, he’s become a valued player in the art of never letting creativity go flaccid or stale. 2501; Courtesy of the artist Like many artists who’ve utilized routes of success that deviate from institutional education or the projected norm, 2501 broke the creative seal with graffiti. At the age of 14, he dropped his first tag as a youth in his homeland of Italy under the pseudonym Never. From there, the itch grew. He became a fixture in the graffiti scene of Brazil where he lived for three years, a place where his skills were honed alongside artists such as Prozak and Ciro. In more ways than one, he is an intimidatingly versatile artist. His ability to do justice to the often parallel worlds of “low” and “high” brow art makes him hard to peg and/or pigeon-hole. From every brush stroke to every dot stippled, from every commissioned mural to every illegal wall hit, he modifies his style to complement the task at hand, allowing the viewers a chance to experience his workspace and the environment with him. 2501; Courtesy of the artist He speaks on the dynamics of working with the streets vs. working in a gallery setting during an interview with Crist Espiritu of Doze Collective: “I think street and gallery are two different environments, that’s why I have developed another kind of style that I use all the time that I make and exhibit. These two styles can seem really different, but in reality are like the yin and the yang of the same concept: 'gestuality.' In the street it is pure instinct, short time to paint big walls. You are in the middle of the people. You paint like you walk… without thinking. In the gallery, your instinct is diluted with the time so it is a different moment and is more intimate. Months of preparation, the loneliness of the studio… it is completely different.” With his latest exhibition, 2501 has stretched his limbs in a linear direction. Seen throughout his international murals over the last two years, he’s adopted a style of painting that freely allows line formations to create patterns and textures as a foundation for the overall work. It’s partially abstract and rustically animalistic. Notes of zebra-esque creatures frolic over the façade of ceramic vases while somewhere in Italy, Poland or Russia, the foundation of those same lines are alive on a wall taking a completely different form. 2501, mural in Poland; Courtesy of the artist Somehow, the series ranges from feeling tribal, to illustrative, from minimal to highly involved. These are likely symptoms of an artist reaching a unique point in his career; striving for layered work that is both fulfilling to the artist and the viewer, but also offering a sense of chaos in its consistency. While the artist loves to leave his work open to interpretation by the audience, he can pinpoint the representation of those infamous wavy back lines as the “constant changing of perception.” For 2501, “nothing that you look at is exactly the same twice,” acknowledging the lines as being figurative examples of vibration, energy, and movement. 2501, “il protettore”, 2014, Ceramic color on ceramic twice fired and hand pulled gold leaf, 8 x 5 inches; Courtesy of the artist There’s something slightly romantic waiting to be pinpointed here: possibly the lack of static truly experienced in the art world, but most notably the streets. Things disappear altogether, alternate with time and fade with the sun. Art, like man, is multifaceted and transformative. Through observation and interpretation, we can enjoy the value and beauty in the complexities of both. 2501’s “Nomadic Experiment Anatomy of Restlessness” will be on view at LA’s Soze Gallery till July 17. 2501; Courtesy of the artist —Kimberly B. Johnson (Image on top: 2501, “la macchina”, 2014 , Ceramic color on ceramic twice fired and hand pulled gold leaf $1300 framed, 12 x 12 inches; Courtesy of the artist) Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f
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by ArtSlant STREET

Artist Spotlight - Heavy metal, drugs, moral decay…Yes, please! We’re loving what we’re seeing from L.A. artist Haunted Euth. Working across mediums, you can find his hard-core zombie character all over L.A. Euth cut his teeth on the streets with self-made stickers and wheat pastes after graduating high school in 2004. Since then he’s graduated from Otis College of Art and Design and to a host of other mediums including spray paint, acrylics, and woodcarving. Most recently, Euth has been working with poured concrete to create blocks of his work, which he then cements into place. They have by far the greatest lifespan out of all his pieces, but the best thing is that the pieces can actually become a functioning part of the environment. Lately, Euth has also been working on an acrylic and enamel series titled “Basically Obsessed,” that highlight his love for pattern, repetition, and the L.A. street scene. You can check out how he makes his stickers in 30 hardcore seconds here: http://vimeo.com/98877229. Also, be sure to look out for Euth’s woodcarvings. These he creates out of found and reclaimed wood and then leaves on the streets for the taking. You can see more from Haunted Euth on his website and tumblr. Submit your work for a spotlight feature! Read-more-graphic-0c90fea6dc5d183f7daca739bdcd0f1f