Palm Springs, CA
This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 
In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.
The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”


photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

Palm Springs, CA

This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 

In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.

The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz


New York City, New York
Tonight, duo Mint&Serf will be presenting their latest work at the Bleecker Street Arts Club in New York City.
Respectively born in Moscow and Brooklyn, Mint and Serf (a.k.a. The Mirf) are Mikhail Sokovikov and Jason Aaron Wall.  After meeting in the late 1990’s, the duo made the city and the streets of New York not only their canvas but also their muse, taking graffiti to another level by playing with layers, materials and movements. 
The continuous wilderness and the conflicted experience of what life on the streets can be has been a constant inspiration to the duo, whom we are prideful to count among our collaborators – the duo curated some of the in-room art for Ace Hotel New York back in 2009. 
Support, Therapy and Instability, a showcase of their most up-to-date paintings, will be ongoing until February 22.

New York City, New York

Tonight, duo Mint&Serf will be presenting their latest work at the Bleecker Street Arts Club in New York City.

Respectively born in Moscow and Brooklyn, Mint and Serf (a.k.a. The Mirf) are Mikhail Sokovikov and Jason Aaron Wall.  After meeting in the late 1990’s, the duo made the city and the streets of New York not only their canvas but also their muse, taking graffiti to another level by playing with layers, materials and movements. 

The continuous wilderness and the conflicted experience of what life on the streets can be has been a constant inspiration to the duo, whom we are prideful to count among our collaborators – the duo curated some of the in-room art for Ace Hotel New York back in 2009. 

Support, Therapy and Instability, a showcase of their most up-to-date paintings, will be ongoing until February 22.


On the streets of London.

On the streets of London.


LONDON // NEW YORK
Pond-hopping street art bible VNA is celebrating the release of their 23rd issue with limited edition screenprinted versions by the omnipresent-here-lately local duo Faile, whose recent collabo with the NYC Ballet led many to discover the place called Lincoln Center. The issue is stuffed like an olive with inspiration, including pictures and words by Morning Breath, Eelus, PeachBeach, Moose & Yeti and Agostino Iacurci among others. You can cop one of your very own at the New York launch party next Wednesday at Reed Space, or the London bashment on August 8th at Lazarides Gallery on Rathbone. 

LONDON // NEW YORK

Pond-hopping street art bible VNA is celebrating the release of their 23rd issue with limited edition screenprinted versions by the omnipresent-here-lately local duo Faile, whose recent collabo with the NYC Ballet led many to discover the place called Lincoln Center. The issue is stuffed like an olive with inspiration, including pictures and words by Morning Breath, Eelus, PeachBeach, Moose & Yeti and Agostino Iacurci among others. You can cop one of your very own at the New York launch party next Wednesday at Reed Space, or the London bashment on August 8th at Lazarides Gallery on Rathbone. 


INTERVIEW : SHEPARD FAIREY 
Shepard Fairey is an old friend, and one of the first artists to plaster the walls at Ace Hotel Seattle with their work. You know his name, your grandmother knows his name (probably), but we wanted to catch up with the dude, not the legend. Above you’ll find a spread from Gingko Press's OBEY: Supply & Demand depicting Shepard wheatpasting a mural in Downtown LA with the United Artists Theater — our new Los Angeles coat hook — in the background. Below you’ll find a few choice words from the artist himself, sans posse.
How are you, Shepard?
Good, just staying busy making crap — adding to the abundance of visual pollution we all struggle with daily.
Likewise. You’ve said that Obey stickers have always been an invitation to question and look for meaning, but aren’t intended to convey an implicit message. The Walrus’ Nick Mount wrote that, “Obey Giant is clever child of Duchamp, ironic conceptual art.” What relationship do you see between disruptive, ironic and humorous street art, and the Dadas who rejected prescribed narratives and embraced irrationality and trickterism to disrupt the dominance of state propaganda? Did you get all that?
Yeah, yeah I did. The project started off with a really silly sticker of Andre the Giant. That was something where I made an inside joke with some skateboard friends. What fascinated me and made it turn into a bigger project was the way that it became like a Rorschach test — in the Dada sense of throwing something out there that seemed like it had any number of interpretations. None of it was explicit. Who’s the Posse? Andre the Giant’s dead, who cares? It sort of invited people project onto it. In that sense the project’s always had a Dada side to it.
I’ve also connected it to various other things — Heidegger’s Theory of Phenomenology, which is the idea that people become so numb to their surroundings that they need novel encounters to reawaken a sense of wonder. It’s also like Situationism — the idea that people are dulled by routine. They need a bizarre spectacle to snap them out of their trance. I always liked those ideas.
The idea of a command to ‘obey’ but with nothing specific that they’re told to obey really seemed to irritate a lot of people. Some people understood that it was ironic. It really meant to question in an overt way how you’ve been asked to obey in a covert way or in an insidious way. All of that, the open-endedness, I thought would maybe get in there and fester a little bit.

Shepard’s 2010 installation on temporary plywood scaffolding in front of Ace Hotel New York.
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Recently a piece by Banksy in a working class neighborhood in London was actually chiseled out of the wall of a convenience store and sold at auction here in the U.S. A diverse cross-section of the neighborhood came forward to demand that the piece be returned and Banksy himself kind of broke character and went semi-public to support them. As an artist who has a family, who needs to pay for health insurance and generally make a living for yourself using your creative skills, what do you make of this relationship between street art, money, career and the art world? How does politics play into it? And what about the communities where these pieces live? Does the community have ownership?
It’s all very complicated. Some people say [street art] is all about vandalism and self-promotion. Other people see it as an altruistic gesture democratizing art. I choose to look at it that way.
The name of my book about my twenty-plus year career in art is Supply & Demand. My body of work as a case study illuminates a lot about supply and demand in a literal monetary sense and a cultural currency sense — the arc of how things go overground and take hold. A darker side of our society is that at the moment something can be commodified, somebody will commodify it. You can either understand that and try to make the best of it or you can pretend like you’re not part of it and probably be on the losing end. There’s always the question of when it’s worth saying, “I will turn down the money.” Those are always difficult choices people have to make.
When I see a Banksy on the street I think it’s a gift to the public. I’d rather it stay there. On the other hand, Banksy’s work is worth quite a bit of money. A lot of that has come from the cache of him stealing space. I’m not surprised that people want to steal the work and sell it. I would rather the Banksy piece be out there. He stole the space and they stole the piece, but I don’t look at it in the same way as I’d look at it if someone broke into your house and took the painting off the wall.
As a creative person you’ve been through some tribulations in the battles over image use. What do you think of the work of JR who uses the actual images of individuals without photo release? His work is pretty incredible and clearly has a radical intent. As an artist that’s now being commissioned and shown in galleries how weird is ownership in that context? Where does that usage get blurry?
I mean, I always think it’s great…if all the parties are happy with the situation, but at the same time art’s always been about making strong pictures and not about bureaucracy. A lot of times it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I see JR’s work as altruistic. I don’t think he’s in it for the money. He may make some money. It may be a by-product of the merit of what he does, but I don’t think he’s going out there trying to find people who he can photograph that are going to be easy to commodify.
One of the things that makes me sad about our society is people love the idea of being involved in something creative until they see somebody else get some benefit.
I work from historical imagery because of various issues I’ve had with the AP. I shoot a lot of my own photographs too. A lot of times this sort of raw material that’s available in our world, whether you’re photographing it or drawing from it, is seen as not having any value until a specific person runs it through their skill set and their vision and then it becomes valuable. For someone to then say that it wasn’t about that person’s abilities I think is wrong.

An Obey piece survives as the gateway to an illicit cat den of sin on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
Yeah, this theme has been taken up in hip hop and DJing a little right?
Yeah, I mean, I’ve always been a huge fan hip hop fan. Regardless of how much I respect James Brown or Parliament, I think that what Public Enemy did with their samples has equal and distinct merit. I’d buy Public Enemy records and I’d buy James Brown and Parliament records. It’s a win-win.
Definitely a win-win. Do you have a hero? In the art world, politics, music or your personal life…
Joe Strummer is probably my biggest hero. I think he was compassionate toward people’s struggles and really tried to represent that in his lyrics and the way he lived his life. Figuring out how to convey humanity through your art form while still being a badass and entertaining people and not sounding like some sort of hippy-dippy wuss is a real challenge. I think he did it really well. That’s my role model.

INTERVIEW : SHEPARD FAIREY 

Shepard Fairey is an old friend, and one of the first artists to plaster the walls at Ace Hotel Seattle with their work. You know his name, your grandmother knows his name (probably), but we wanted to catch up with the dude, not the legend. Above you’ll find a spread from Gingko Press's OBEY: Supply & Demand depicting Shepard wheatpasting a mural in Downtown LA with the United Artists Theater — our new Los Angeles coat hook — in the background. Below you’ll find a few choice words from the artist himself, sans posse.

How are you, Shepard?

Good, just staying busy making crap — adding to the abundance of visual pollution we all struggle with daily.

Likewise. You’ve said that Obey stickers have always been an invitation to question and look for meaning, but aren’t intended to convey an implicit message. The Walrus’ Nick Mount wrote that, “Obey Giant is clever child of Duchamp, ironic conceptual art.” What relationship do you see between disruptive, ironic and humorous street art, and the Dadas who rejected prescribed narratives and embraced irrationality and trickterism to disrupt the dominance of state propaganda? Did you get all that?

Yeah, yeah I did. The project started off with a really silly sticker of Andre the Giant. That was something where I made an inside joke with some skateboard friends. What fascinated me and made it turn into a bigger project was the way that it became like a Rorschach test — in the Dada sense of throwing something out there that seemed like it had any number of interpretations. None of it was explicit. Who’s the Posse? Andre the Giant’s dead, who cares? It sort of invited people project onto it. In that sense the project’s always had a Dada side to it.

I’ve also connected it to various other things — Heidegger’s Theory of Phenomenology, which is the idea that people become so numb to their surroundings that they need novel encounters to reawaken a sense of wonder. It’s also like Situationism — the idea that people are dulled by routine. They need a bizarre spectacle to snap them out of their trance. I always liked those ideas.

The idea of a command to ‘obey’ but with nothing specific that they’re told to obey really seemed to irritate a lot of people. Some people understood that it was ironic. It really meant to question in an overt way how you’ve been asked to obey in a covert way or in an insidious way. All of that, the open-endedness, I thought would maybe get in there and fester a little bit.

image

Shepard’s 2010 installation on temporary plywood scaffolding in front of Ace Hotel New York.

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BALTIMORE : ARABBER MURAL PROJECT

Gaia is a right-on dude who’s working with Mata Ruda, LNY and Nanook on this important mural project in Baltimore in support of the local arabber community. This project builds off of the mural produced by Gaia last fall for the arabbers on Fremont Avenue and will serve as a segue into transforming the yard into historic preservation site.

Arabbing as a practice began in the 19th century in Baltimore when easy access to stables and the shipyards of the inner harbor made selling fruit with horse drawn carriages an attainable entrepreneurial enterprise for African Americans in Baltimore. During the war effort and after WWII arabbing became an almost entirely African American trade. Competition from supermarkets and restrictions from modern zoning laws have endangered this heritage. Today there are only a couple sites left that serve as arabbing stables, with the Fremont Avenue location being one of the most prominent in the city. Today, arabbing serves as a viable living for a handful of men and their families whilst also serving a variety of communities including neighborhoods that do not have easy access to produce and whole foods.

Mata Ruda, Gaia, Nanook and LNY will use the story and experience of Baltimore’s fruit sellers to produce murals that will span the entirety of inside and exterior of the Fremont stables. The paintings are apart of a larger plan that will be implemented on behalf of the Arabber Preservation Society in the near future to make the site into a visitor center and provide the necessary renovations to the preexisting stable.

Kick down if you can to help them realize this project.





Residents of London borough Haringey protest the removal of Bansky’s “Slave Labour” mural from their neighborhood to be sold at a Miami art auction for between $500k and $700k. See the mural, learn more about the pride and inspiration it brought to Haringeyers and about the controversy surrounding its abduction at The Times.

Residents of London borough Haringey protest the removal of Bansky’s “Slave Labour” mural from their neighborhood to be sold at a Miami art auction for between $500k and $700k. See the mural, learn more about the pride and inspiration it brought to Haringeyers and about the controversy surrounding its abduction at The Times.


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