Over The Desk – A VNA Book Review

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Not something we usually do, and probably won’t get around to doing again for quite some time, but we thought we’d review some of the books that we’ve had spread over the desk acting as upmarket coasters for the past month.

It’s also probably the only time you’ll see publications about animal porn next to books that include the Vatican’s ltd edition record releases. Unless perhaps that sort of thing goes on at the Vatican when their librarian’s car isn’t being used to smuggle hundreds of kilos of illicit drugs. Who knows…

T-post 96 – Alife – T-post

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Now-retired Alife head honcho, Tony Arcabascio has stepped down from the pioneering clothing brand to concentrate on publishing. His latest focus is Swedish-born heavy-hitting monthly t-shirt zine, T-Post; a wearable magazine, with each ‘issue’ focusing on a different story or brand.

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No. 96 brings the Alife brand to the fore, looking at what made the clothing company cool when it first started and why it’s still one of the best brands to have come out of downtown New York 15 years on. In this issue, Tony A sits down with now-owner, Treis Hill, to talk about some of the crazy times between the start of the brand and the handing over of the reigns to Treis, from the lootings of the NYC blackout, right through to the latest collabs and projects Alife have lined up with musicians like Wu-Tang and Cypress Hill.

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www.tpostmag.com / www.alifenewyork.com

Juxtapoz – Psychedelic – Gingko Press

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A trippy journey through the arcane world of psychedelic art. Respected art magazine, Juxtapoz trawl their archives to bring together a fine selection of the best artwork and illustrations, with a foreword from Jux’s own illustration and erotica editor, Hannah Stouffer.

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Starting off with early literary explorations of Huxley, followed later by writers like Ginsberg and Burroughs, Psychedelia really came into its stride in the ‘60’s as people’s ideas of freedom and rebellion rose alongside their heightened senses. In this book, Juxtapoz joins the dots between the writers of the previous centuries and the modern-day talent of artists such as Roid, Skinner, Maya Hayuk and Kelsey Brookes.

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www.juxtapoz.com

Broken Fingaz – Sex Picnic – Broken Fingaz 2014

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Israeli crew, Broken Fingaz, are keeping one foot in the grave with their latest zine, ‘Sex Picnic’. As to be expected from the Haifa hellraisers, this is one warped rendition of their aerosol-eroded senses of decency. Needless to say it’s full of pictures of skeletons getting freaky with buxom animorphic nymphs.

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Tant and Unga have gone full bore on this edition with a 40-page full colour risograph print and there’s even a limited edition box set complete with a screenprint, BFC patches, a sticker pack and t-shirt of your choice. Whether you’re as deranged as Jimmy Savile, or simply a bit necro-curious, Sex Picnic is the one-stop shop for all your undead orgy fantasies.

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www.ghostowncrew.com / www.brokenfingaz.com

The Street Art World – Peter Bengtsen – Almendros De Granada Press

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Lund University lecturer, Peter Bengtsen is probably one of the most academically qualified people to wax lyrical on the subject of street art. In this publication, Bengtsen explores the relationship between street art and the mainstream art world, looking at the crossover point and the conflicting attitudes within the street art community regarding classical art history and institutions.

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Bengtsen looks at the impact of street art and its ability to challenge attitudes and perceptions of public space, as well as the effect of the digital age on the scene. Various figures in the street art world are examined to illuminate the progress and development of street art, from bloggers and enthusiasts, to gallerists and collectors, highlighting both ends of the spectrum from process to publicity. This is an intelligent insight into much more than meets the eye in everyday street-activism.

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www.academia.edu/6999602/Bengtsen_P._2014_._The_Street_Art_World

Collector’s Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics – Stuart Tolley – Thames & Hudson

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Acclaimed designer, Stuart Tolley, cut his teeth working for magazines such as Sleazenation, going on to found design agency Transmission. This book is a look at over 170 example of contemporary music packaging, looking at everything from the ultra-rare publications of The Vatican Secret Archives right through to independent productions from Massive Attack and international recording pop artists like Coldplay.

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Featuring the most innovative and interesting designs from around the world, this book features some key insights into the design process. A must-read for anyone with a hard-on for product design and a great reference journal for all in the commerce industry. Broken down into 4 sections, Collector’s Edition covers Boxed, Multiples, Hand and Extras, looking at formats, materials and finishes in each of the products. Some stellar interviews with industry heavyweights such as Stanley Donwood make this a great read.

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www.the-collectors-edition.com

‘A Study of Hair’ – Alexander Mitchell

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‘Oh Bondage’ – detail – Alexander Mitchell

This September, Backwoods Gallery is proud to present ‘A Study of Hair’, the third installment in what is to be a decade-long project.

The 2012 and 2013 exhibitions focused on two of the most important vectors of emotional communication: hands and eyes. This year’s theme, hair, is the most challenging of the series so far, and promises to generate an even more diverse range of interpretations.

This year’s artists will include C215, Dave Kinsey, Faith47, Inkie, Jonathan Guthmann, Mark Bode, Merda, Miso, ROA, Stephen Ives, Shohei Otomo, TwoOne, Usugrow, Yusk Imai and Alexander Mitchell.

In its completed form, the ‘A Study Of…’ project will document over 350 artworks from all corners of the globe. The curator’s (Alexander Mitchell) intent is to create an historical source with enough breadth to contextualize a generation of artists, many of whom work primarily outside the framework of established institutions.

Damo managed to catch curator and contributor Alexander Mitchell for the down low…

Damo:  You have taken on the ambitious ‘Study Of’ project, and when we spoke previously you mentioned that the goal is to create an archive of studies by some of the best artists in the world, creating a unique historical source as well as an inspiration for future artists over a period of a decade.  Here we are in year three of the project, can you tell us whet the brief you provided to artists was on this occasion?

AM: Each year it’s been the same brief with the theme and key dates swapped out. But whats cool is that after two shows everyone feels more comfortable taking a lateral approach, which was always my goal. The theme of this years exhibition is hair.

Damo:  Why hair?  What are you expecting to see from the artists based on your brief?

AM:  Starting out, I wanted to be able to communicate the concept behind the series, both to the artists and our audience. So I decided that the first few exhibitions should be anatomical studies. I started with hands and eyes, both are key symbols in visual art and pretty good metaphors for the creative process. I think both these shows established the concept behind the series reality well.

For the upcoming study show, I’ve chosen Hair. Hair is still anatomical, however it’s open to a much more lateral interpretation. This means, in future exhibitions, we can follow with more abstract themes like color, form or movement and still have a sense of consistency running through the shows. I really looking forward to those shows and think it would be a cool way to involve abstract artists like SheOne, Mr Jago and KR.

Damo:  How do you go about selecting artists for the project?  You have some big names this year, including Roa, Faith 47 and C215.

AM: When selecting artist, I try to cover as many styles as possible. I’ve known most of the artists in for almost a decade but I’ve tried to add some fresh faces to the lineup, new artists that I’ve recently worked with or people whose work I just admire and reached out to cold.

The big trap, having curated shows for as long as I have is that you find yourself working with increasingly smaller clique of the same artists. I think is due to a combination of familiarity, nepotism and convenience and it’s a reductive mindset to get into. So I’m making a effort, both in group shows and at Backwoods Gallery to bring new artists into the community.

Damo:  You have included a personal piece in the exhibition, can you tell us a bit more about it?  What medium did you use and why?  Was it odd curating yourself in such a big group exhibition?

AM: It did feel a bit odd putting myself in the Hair show, but i’m happy with my contribution and it’s cool to be on the other side of the equation for a change. Right now I’m working in photo collages, the work is about rage.

Damo:  This is your first contribution to the ‘Study Of’ project.  What motivated you to partake now?

AM: I took a break from art in the early 2000’s in order to curate shows. Melbourne’s scene was peaking at that time and being it’s de facto curator become a full time job which eventually resulted in Backwoods Gallery. Now Backwoods is almost standing on it’s own two feet and I have time for my own projects. My studio and process is setup, so the timing was right.

Damo:  What can we expect to see from you in the next 18 months?  You have set up a studio in Tokyo, can we expect an exhibition soon?

AM: Yeah, I have no idea where this is all going.

@a_h_mitchell

@backwoodsgallery

APESEVEN – DEIFIK

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‘DEIFIK’ brings you a new body of work by Sydney based artist APESEVEN.

Taking heavily from recontextualizing natures patterns, DEIFIK uncovers the divine organic design in skeletal structural systems. Complex biofeedback driven landscapes take form and flight with redevelopment of old structures to provide the framework for new life.

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Opening at the Just Another Project Space – 2A/127 Greville Street, Prahran (entry off Grattan St) on Thursday 2nd October 6-9pm

www.justanother.com.au

WE AArt – Photoset

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Henrik Haven, aka Henrik Lamar travelled to Aalborg (Denmark) to shoot some of the process at WE AArt – a public art event, featuring new murals by Aryz, Alexis Diaz, Escif, Liqen, Waone and AEC of Interesni Kazki, Franco Fasoli aka Jaz, Fintan Magee, Kenor and Don John. Here are some of the shots from the set up:

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Being one of the larger Danish cities, Aalborg deserves an interesting and inspiring urban space. The reality of today is that very little contemporary art enriches Aalborg – or the people living in it. Street art – public art – already exists in Denmark, and can be seen in particularly larger cities. WEAArt is, however, the first festival in Denmark to focus entirely on murals.

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30. Don John

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03. Aryz

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06. Escif

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11. Kenor

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16. Franco Fasoli aka Jaz

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20. Alexis Diaz

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22. AEC (Interesni Kazki)

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26. WAONE (Interesni Kazki)

01. Aryz

WEAArt is a project intending to create and add new ways of expressions, as an inspiration and innovation for rethinking our view of public space in the city.

A space created to surprise, marvel and excite – and susceptible to alternative artistic arenas.

WE AArt is a private initiative.
WE AArt are: Lars Bonde and Mads Mulvad
WE AArt is a project than will run for the next three years.

http://weaart.dk/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/WE-AArt/648573245250249?ref=hl

http://henrikhaven.tumblr.com/

Vilnius Festival – Aryz & Tankpetrol Photoset

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Henrik Haven popped over to Vilnius Street art festival to pap some of the walls over there, here’s a little round-up of some of what he saw…

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Aryz

First time in Vilnius, Aryz has created a mural from the scratch, without any preparatory sketch. Initially the owners of the building, a public medical centre, expressed their wishes not to have any skeletons, skulls or cigarettes in the mural, since it might be offensive to their aging clientele. However, in the end Aryz signature skeletons appeared and the mural is now a hit with elderly ladies passing by to the medical centre.

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Aryz has incorporated Lithuanian words “Kaip Ne Žmogus”, meaning, “not like human” into his mural. The phrase was written by the local graffiti artist on the wall before it was buffed by the council few years ago. Beautiful reference completing the concept of the mural as well as earning him a wide respect in Vilnius graffiti scene.

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Tankpetrol @ Lukiskiu Prison

Lukiskiu Prison is the toughest prison in Lithuania and the only one where prisoners for life see their days go by. In 2014 Lukiskes is celebrating 100 years old anniversary. Surrounded by urban legends and also facing an ex-KGB interrogation facility Lukiskes is a landmark building. Vilnius Street Art Festival in partnership with Urban Nation invited Polish artist Tankpetrol, currently based in Manchester, to create a piece on the outside perimeter of the wall interpreting themes of the oppression and the freedom.

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Tankpetrol has created a stunning piece with his signature stencil style that immediately became a hit both with Vilnius inhabitants and with the prison staff that loved Tankpetrol’s choice of colour. “Green is a colour of hope. We hope this artwork would help to change how the public see’s our institution, we are not here to oppress, but to protect.” – said the head of the prison.

www.facebook.com/VilniusStreetArtFestival

@vilniusstreetartfestival

www.streetart.lt

Meggs – Spoiled Rotten

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Opening to the public Friday, September 19th from 6-10pm, Inner State Gallery is proud to welcome Australian artist David “MEGGS” Hooke for his solo exhibition Spoiled Rotten. The exhibition of over 40 new paintings and sculptures explores the wondrous decay of social morality stemming from modern society’s obsession with pop culture and overindulgent materialism, and continues MEGGS’ perpetual fascination with dualism and finding beauty in tragedy.

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The city of Detroit plays a major influence in MEGGS’ philosophy behind Spoiled Rotten, as he created an entirely new body of work during his five-week residency at Inner State Gallery and 1xRUN. The exhibition highlights Detroit as an inspirational juxtaposition of a spoiled past and its position as a new canvas for growth and rebirth. MEGGS’ use of deteriorating signage and locally sourced materials from the city’s abandoned and forgotten places emphasizes the revival of social pillars such as community and the idea that destruction and decay breed new beginnings.

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David “MEGGS” Hooke is one of Australia’s most progressive and committed street and fine artists. MEGGS is recognized for his unique, expressive, and energetic style with references to pop-culture, the natural world, and socio-cultural issues.

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His technical use of color and movement combines clean, bold, illustrative elements with intuitive, textural, and free flowing design. By constantly searching for the harmony between form, abstraction, order, and chaos, MEGGS pours his all-or-nothing personality into every inch of his work.

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His life manifesto is that the ‘journey is the reward’ and his work reflects his eternal search for balance. MEGGS’ emphasis on constant growth and passion for travel is demonstrated by his continual exploration of artistic techniques and mediums.

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www.houseofmeggs.com

#meggs #houseofmeggs

FLUX – O.Two

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As a precursor to a large-scale commissioned wall for La Sirene (the largest concert venue in the west of France) and Port Atlantique La Rochelle, O.Two has made a collection of ten new paintings to be exhibited in association with Winterlong Galerie in the Centre Intermonde in La Rochelle, France on Thursday, September 18th until 30th.

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O.Two will be the third in a line of eight artists over eight years to create a piece for the wall, originally conceived in 2012 and designed to illustrate the evolution of modern music – from 1960 to present day.

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The piece will be unique for O.Two, being the first time he will combine figurative portraiture with his abstract work on such a scale.

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http://www.fadetogloss.com

http://www.winterlong-gallerie.com

The Writing On The Wall

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1281254871/the-writing-on-the-wall

The original book of London graffiti. Out of print since 1976, now reissued and expanded, with new text and unseen photographs.

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After 38 years out of print, Roger Perry’s unique survey of London graffiti of the mid ’70s is finally going to be available once more. Just as relevant nearly forty years on, Perry’s book is as much a cultural history of London at the time as it is a graffiti book.

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Before the ‘wildstyles’ of New York came over to this fair isle, graffiti was the reserve of poets, comedians and counter-culturalists. The graffiti in this book has more in common with Blake than Basquiat. Through Perry’s lens, we are offered a glimpse of a Notting Hill that gave rise to the counterculture movements and underground press of the ’70s.

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Shepard Fairey x Urban Nation Berlin

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Urban Nation has entered the 6th edition of its ongoing Project “One Wall” to which they invited Shepard Fairey to Berlin – this is part of the UN trying to bring together artists , curators, creatives and communities from all over the world to support creative projects worldwide.

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Shepard Fairey has just completed this belter of a mural in Berlin for the project, shot by Henrik ‘Lamar’ Haven. More progress shots after the break…

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www.urban-nation.net