Watch this space for more content from BDAB’s trek across NYC. Above is Banksy’s Hammer Boy painted during his “artist residency” in the city back in 2013, Better Out Than In.
This post is a little late, but you know what they say, “Better late than never.”
Hanksy (@hanksynyc) is an anonymous street artist born to Internet fame through his humorously infectious wheatpasted posters found on decrepit walls, mostly in New York City, that poke fun at American popular culture. His type of humor is the kind that is so stupid that it’s funny, and I’m not saying that maliciously. You’d agree with me after seeing pieces from Hanksy like “Kanye Brest” and “Dope Francis”. Even the moniker that he chose, “Hanksy”, is obviously a hijacking from the most famous street artist of our time, Banksy. You can often find Tom Hanks’s grinning wheatpasted face nearby Hanksy’s tags, if you’re wondering about the other popular culture reference.
You know how I’ve been bemoaning the death of street art? Well, Hanksy might have heard my complaints because he put on a rather noble endeavor in Los Angeles a little over a week ago in an abandoned mansion that should give street art fans some hope. He invited 50+ artists to this mansion to paint and takeover almost every inch of the place, leaving behind a visual anarchy of graffiti, murals, installations, and performance art. Some recognizable names in the US scene and abroad, like Craola (@craola), Morley (@official_morley), Skid One (@skidonedms), Mear One (@mear_one), Fanakapan (@fanakapan), etc came to destroy these walls. There was no sponsor, no entry fee, and certainly no commercial efforts to sell wares. Artists had worked in the mansion for weeks, but it was viewable to the public for only one day, October 10th from 6pm to 10pm. There was even an after-party at the neighboring rundown house, which anyone could attend after contributing a small donation at the door.
Ephemerality? Check. Raw, dirty, and disorderly? Check. Graffiti and murals? Check and check. We got ourselves a proper street art party, boys.
I am still a little torn about how I feel about this show. It’s nearly captured the rebellious, DIY, ephemeral essence of street art, but what makes street art different from all other art is that it is publicly persecuted and it is this persecution that drives the creativity and relevance of the genre, which a legal show cannot ever hope to achieve. Let’s take for example Iranian street art and the fatal persecution that these street artists face for their art. If you take out the context of personal risk and political struggle, then their images lose all power and are nothing but silly little stenciled pictures on walls. However, once the context is restored, the images are suddenly imbued with power and potency. However, that is not to say sanctioned shows like Hanksy’s don’t have their own utility in the sphere. Perhaps it could be a gateway for attendees to research said contexts.
Well, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Check out the pictures from the show and decide for yourself how shows like this fit into the current state of street art. Let us know what you think in the comments.
I’ve posted about Pressimus before, and I’ve been using it regularly ever since, which is why I’m even more excited about this news: BDAB is featured on the front page of this new technology platform!
Here are 3 reasons why you should try it out too.
- It’s the best way to track and find the latest, trending, relevant news. The powerful algorithm behind this technology smartly aggregates from various news media outlets to deliver to you what you need to see at any given moment.
- It’s so easy to share the latest, trending, relevant news. You just read the most insightful article from a thought leader of your interest? With the simple click of a button, you’re ready to press this news to all your followers with a short review from yourself.
- You can weed out the crap you couldn’t care less about. If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, you’re already familiar with the pain of indiscriminately consuming all content being pushed out by the person or group that you follow. With Pressimus’s intelligent hierarchy of information, you have the means to follow only topics that you care about. The hierarchy goes like this: Person (That’s you or the people that you follow) –> Publication (I have publications based on my various interests e.g. art and business)–> Stream (You can further differentiate your interests into various topics e.g. news and Instagram) –> Press (This is equivalent to an individual post)
You might have noticed a page on the header above “Instagram/Pressimus Feed”. This is where we post the most interesting pictures from Instagram using Pressimus’s platform for micro-blogging. You’ll find additional content on this page, so make sure to visit it regularly. We update that page more often than the main page because Pressimus makes it so easy.
Note: I’m not associated with Pressimus in any way nor am I being paid by them. I genuinely think it’s a good technology, so I’m telling everyone else about it.
Pharrell, a long time admirer and collector of Murakami (@takashipom), visited the artist’s studio in Japan to promote the upcoming show titled The 500 Arhats at Mori Art Museum in the Roppongi Hills. Murakami explains his motivation behind the masterpiece of the same title, a 3meter x 100meter painting, as to manifest the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan as the arhats of Buddha.
For me, the actual highlight of the video was seeing a snippet of the factory system of assistants that are working on his paintings. How is he supervising this production while maintaining his vision and quality of the work intact? BDAB already got their flight tickets and housing booked for the show, so stay tuned for more coverage.
Don’t be alarmed! The first minute of this video starts off like an educational science video you might’ve seen in high school, but I swear it’ll blow your mind if you keep watching. Kelsey Brookes (@kelseybrookes) has been hiding chemistry in his paintings under our noses this whole time. Chemistry holds a special place in my heart, so thank you, Kelsey.
Those in highbrow art circles detest saying the words “street art”, instead electing to call it “urban art”, which suits their refined tastes more. Urban art sounds so fake though, since street art isn’t relegated to urban areas and is a generally less encompassing description. A quick Google trends search shows that the searches for “urban art” has been in decline since late 2013, while “street art” peaked in May 2012 and has stayed stable since. It’s an interesting trend where you can see how the trajectory of interests in the genre has been changing. Here’s another surprising trend though.
I would have guessed the UK or US to be the #1 searcher for street art, but UK is #3 and US is all the way down in #7. #1 is actually Australia with New Zealand trailing behind them. If I think about it, it’s not that surprising seeing as I can already list off quite a few native Australian street artists off the top of my head, like Meggs, Anthony Lister, and Mark Whalen. Any Ozzies in the house right now?
Shepard Fairey (@obeygiant) is how I became an art collector, which in turn is why this blog exists today. I bring this up because I finally got to meet the artist and attend his talk last night at the New Roads School in Santa Monica with Moby interviewing him to coincide with the book release, Covert to Overt: The Under/Overground Art of Shepard Fairey. The talk spanned a wide range of topics, from his childhood and punk rock to some controversial thoughts on street art and politics. My highlight from the talk was when he showed off his Jersey (read: Joisey) accent impersonation for a large part of the Q&A session.
Read on for a rapid fire of the most interesting bits from the talk.
Even before arriving at the exhibition venue, I wanted to hate it. I knew I’d hate it. The website alone is repulsive enough (don’t even get me started on the “graffiti” font), but imagine a large studio space filled with uninspired, derivative, tired and trite art (Haring and Basquiat were rolling in their graves this weekend), unapologetically braggadocious dealers (“Sorry, can’t talk. I’m closing 2 deals with some major clients right now.”), comically stereotypical faux-rich art collectors (“Here let me show you. I paid 50k for this last week!!!”), and droves of casual perusers whose first exposure to “street art” was this poor excuse of a money grab advertised to the public as “the first-ever global street art fair” that took place in West Hollywood over the weekend. That was “Street Art Fair International” in a nutshell.