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Posts Filed Under Street Art

Crawling Up The Walls

Filed Under: Street Art

Famed street artists/masochists Blu and David Ellis recently completed another one of their exercises in redefining the word “painstaking” for the Fame Festival. It’s been making the rounds in the Blogodome the past few days, but I can tell you this much if you haven’t seen it yet… it’s a pretty good replacement for mushrooms.

It’s a truly stunning work of art combining painting, video, installation, and even some demolition to create a sort of moving, growing painting that is truly more of a mixed media creation than simple animation. The environment is critical to the entire piece and certainly adds to its ability to consistently surprise the viewer.

In a word, awesome. In another, thanks a lot Mom for yelling at me for drawing on the walls as a child and crushing any chance of me actually enjoying adult life.

 
aaron

10:00 AM on September 29th, 2009 | 

Posted by aaron

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Tag Teaming It

Filed Under: Street Art, Urban Living

Just when you were starting to think that maybe graffiti would be a fun endeavor to try, notorious L.A.-based crew, the Metro Transit Assassins, goes and gets themselves arrested. Conveniently, the contraband confiscated in the process only proves once and for all that graffiti really is a fun endeavor to try… until you get thrown in jail. And isn’t that just the case with everything fun these days? And by everything, I mean pretty much just drugs.

mta1

The MTA is responsible for L.A.’s single largest tag, a monstrous three-story-high, half-mile long signature on the concrete banks of the Los Angeles River. You know, that festering trickle of runoff and slime, a brook at best, babbling only because of the ferocious bacterial life within, that skateboarders sometimes do really cool tricks over? Regardless, the MTA so kindly graced L.A. with a veritable landmark and how does the city repay them? By putting them in cuffs and confiscating all their guns and weed. Pretty fucking ungrateful if you ask me.

mta2

mta31Their work is not your typical crudely drawn ejaculating penis or alien giving the finger scrawled in alleyways and along the subway tracks. One has to be pretty fucking good, and organized, to deface something as huge as the L.A. river bank. And it shows — one of the suspects arrested drives a $60,000 BMW, and another member of the crew, well-known graffiti artist Smear, has recently sold pieces to wealthy collectors. Their operation is, or was anyway, on a scale equivalent to that of their massive acts of public beautification. Indeed, the term “high rollers” works on so many levels here that I think I just popped some of the pun receptors in my brain.

Meanwhile, the cost to clean up the tag is also proportional — the city estimates it will run about $3.7 million to remove the three lumbering block letters, as extra measures must be taken to keep the 400 gallons of paint used to create the tag from running into the river. After all, one wouldn’t want to contaminate all the blood-encrusted syringes and filthy condoms that live there.

Nonetheless, these guys are in some shit now, and it’s considerably deeper than the Los Angeles River.

 
aaron

1:27 PM on February 4th, 2009 | 

Posted by aaron

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Abandon Hope

Filed Under: Pop Culture, Street Art

shepard_fairey_obama1When street culture inevitably becomes mainstream culture, what will be the new underground scene? Gardening, perhaps. Or more likely, reading. Something really uncool, that’s for sure.

By now everyone has seen Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster (pictured right), which he created before Super Tuesday as an independent promotion for the rising presidential hopeful (get it?!?!). Its popularity grew faster than even Obama’s, and soon the poster was everywhere.

From street wear and street culture blogs, where Fairey’s work is more typically featured, to mainstream political blogs, and of course, slathered on random buildings across New York’s East Village, the image was almost as pervasive as the general consensus amongst rational human beings that George W. Bush really needed to go the fuck back to his home on Planet of the Apes and stop ruining ours.

Naturally, Obama’s campaign, in its tide-turning understanding of modern marketing, picked up on the poster’s viral success and contacted Fairey to produce two more posters for official use, this time bearing the slogans “Vote” and “Change.” Fairey’s portrait went on to be used on the cover of TIME Magazine’s 2008 Person of the Year issue, and in fact, Fairey was even included as one of GQ’s people of the year. Lucky fuck. Literally no other time in history would this have been possible; for somebody’s work, that would largely be considered vandalism and a form of graffiti by the scowling majority, to not only be positively recognized but then actually utilized by a fucking presidential campaign… well, change really must have come to America. Read More ›

 
aaron

3:14 PM on January 22nd, 2009 | 

Posted by aaron

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Bansky Boosts Price of Otherwise Shitty Dive

Filed Under: Street Art

It’s funny that street art, which has existed for years under the category of “vandalism,” can, in today’s shifting art climate, actually increase the resale value of a building… even when that building is a total, indisputable piece of crap.

whitehouse_pub

The oversize roach hotel above is The Whitehouse Pub in Liverpool, which is now more of a grandpa’s-dead-tooth gray than a white house, but hey, time makes fools of us all. Honestly, the building should probably just be condemned instead of sold, but on the other hand, I can certainly see why somebody would be interested in getting rid of it. I think I can smell the abundant bum toilets inside through the very Internet.

The building is currently on the market for £495,000, however, the 20 foot tall rat painted on the side is believed to be Banksy’s largest work and real estate agents are saying the price of the pub will soar as a result, perhaps to a lofty £1 million. A ludicrous sum which will naturally be the most amount of money spent on a polished turd in history. Actually, scratch that — the The Matrix Reloaded’s budget was way higher than that.

Personally, a million pounds sounds like a lot of money to pay to simply catch a host of infectious diseases on a rusted nail once you get inside the squatter’s paradise, especially considering most people try to avoid those even when they’re for free. In the end, I suppose it’s just more proof of Banksy’s increasing momentum, or, at the very least, proof of the artist’s clairvoyance as I can take a guess as to what you’ll find inside the pub. That’s right — giant rats. And also AIDS. And a staggering case of buyer’s remorse.

I guess the thought is that any amount of paint that covers up the pub’s exterior is an improvement. It could be wallpapered with “i luv cock” scrawls and the price tag would probably just stay the same.

[BBC News]

 
aaron

4:00 PM on November 4th, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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Public Service Announcement

Filed Under: Politics, Street Art

Vote!

Vote!

No, it’s not another True Blood advertisement! Yuck, yuck. No, it’s a viral ad that incites panic and forces impressionable masses to conform to a dubious civic behavior — voting.

This is a Japanese version of Jenny & Dean’s “Vote” sign that’s popping up all over NYC and other blue cities that hardly need chic signage to steer them away from Sarah Palin. But now that I have your attention, if you’re from California, please remember to request your vote by mail paperwork. Aside from voting for the president, there’s a pretty significant proposition on your ballot. Proposition 8 is a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in California and, in effect, will nullify tens of thousands of legal marriages already sanctioned by the state. Thanks to an incredibly organized and well funded movement supported by the Mormon church (no joke), the proposition’s passage is now a toss-up.

So if you’re from California, and aren’t going to be home on Nov. 4th, then you should really take a second and fill out this form. Also legalize weed.

[A Truly Frightening Prospect]

 
lou

10:13 AM on October 27th, 2008 | 

Posted by lou

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Pulp Fishin’

Filed Under: Pop Culture, Street Art

If this recent ad from IFAW’s anti-whaling campaign doesn’t immediately seize your attention, you’re either colorblind, totally blind, an Eskimo, or not a really hungry Eskimo.

IFAW Ad in Sydney, Australia

IFAW Ad in Sydney, Australia

It is disgusting, IFAW. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of that poor mermaid. Read More ›

 
aaron

2:45 PM on October 22nd, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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On Handling The Truth

Filed Under: Street Art

Street art is so fantastic because it allows underground artists who may not be pursuing endeavors which the mainstream contemporary art world considers commercially desirable to get their messages out, transform urban environments in a significant way, and introduce original, thought-provoking and visually interesting art to a broad audience by its very nature. Happening upon this new installation by Polish street artist Truth in Prato, Italy must be pleasantly surprising — that said, jellyfish are some mean gelatinous motherfuckers, not to mention just weird and vaguely creepy.

truth_italy

Truth’s work has a serious impact, much of it is large scale, and all of it stands in stark contrast to the vast majority of street art. Truth’s installations are abstract, cubist sculptures made out of colored polystyrene blocks. Some of the creations work with their surroundings, while others do quite the opposite.

His work commands your attention like watching the iTunes visualizer stoned, maybe even more, but I’m not a scientist and can’t do those kind of calculations in my head. Plus, I’m a bit busy watching the iTunes visualizer stoned anyway. Read More ›

 
aaron

11:23 AM on October 15th, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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I Spy Something… Different

Filed Under: Street Art

What do you do when a half pipe suddenly transforms into a soccer field? Don’t call Optimus Prime, that mofucker don’t know how to skate! If you happen to be in Madrid, you stand a better chance of looking to street artist SpY for your answers… you know, considering he was the one who did it, and is usually the culprit when it comes to inventive reworkings of ordinary urban objects around the Spanish capital.

spy1

Although his art today consists primarily of thoughtful and fun reappropriations of typical urban elements, SpY has been active since the mid eighties and was first established as a graffiti artist. Doubtlessly informed by his changed perceptions of the environment around him and keen observation skills acquired through years of graffiti, SpY is now a constructive force in Madrid, beautifying average streets more than any vibrant planter or fresh coat of paint ever could. Read More ›

 
aaron

1:57 PM on October 9th, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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Where Vandalism Meets Art Meets Advertising

Filed Under: New York, Street Art

Are American capitalism and consumer culture rubbing off on Banksy?

banksy1

The latest stop on the infamous British stencil artist’s impromptu American tour is none other than New York City, a veritable mecca of street art in its own right — the only odd thing is that it seems Banksy might not even be there. In the past week, New York has seen two huge wall murals reeking of the pseudo-anonymous artist’s drawing style go up seemingly overnight, however, he didn’t paint them!

Both pieces, “I Love NY” located at Wooster and Grand Street, and “Let Them Eat Crack” on Broadway and Howard, were commissioned by Banksy and are, in fact, entirely legal. Personally, while I find both pieces amusing, attractive, and thought-provoking, methinks the message gets a little diluted when they’re paid for, painted by somebody else, and maybe most importantly, covering illegal street art in the case of “Let Them Eat Crack,” which happily rolled over a large tag by graffiti artist Katsu. Read More ›

 
aaron

10:11 AM on October 6th, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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Living Unbuttoned in Stockholm

Filed Under: Street Art

After two years of preparations, Levi’s just debuted illustrator Mia Nilsson’s art wall for their 501 “Live Unbuttoned” campaign. Together with Vice Magazine, Levi’s sifted through 200 potential candidates before deciding on Mia Nilsson for the project. Nilsson’s illustrations are typically playful and nostalgic, reminiscent of the types of drawings one would find in an old children’s book. Her wall for Levi’s is no exception, featuring a diverse cast of fun characters all wearing, you guessed it, Levi’s 501s.

Located At Grevturegatan 8, Stockholm

Located At Grevturegatan 8, Stockholm

It’s interesting to watch the advertising industry catch up to underground culture. Street art is sometimes a way to fight or recontextualize advertising, and at the very least always an available method of questioning it. With this campaign, and campaigns like it, we see a blurring of the lines between street art and advertising as we currently understand it.

[Hypebeast]

 
aaron

10:45 AM on October 1st, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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