Lush and Dscreet – Patrick Swayze Graff Game

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Lush and Dscreet teamed up in Amsterdam to make this film about Bodhi, cus Bodhi rules! Lush is currently driving a converted boxtruck mobile gallery through Europe and doing shows whereever he can find free parking. Check the site to find out where hes at;   http://www.lushsux.com/

 

Sickboy – Make It Last Forever / Treasure Hunt – The Outsiders London

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To coincide with Sickboy’s technicolour transformation of The Outsiders London, the multi-disciplinary street artist has planned an extra curricular summer activity in the form of an exclusive Sickboy Treasure Hunt.

The weekend hunt will kick off this Friday 18th July with five laser-etched Sickboy coffins up for grabs, packed with artist ephemera, original sketches, exclusive Sickboy sticker packs and cosmic curio. The bespoke coffins, which are signed and numbered by the artist, will be buried in multiple locations around the capital marked with a Sickboy temple flag.

Secret location maps and further information regarding how to claim your treasure will be released Friday morning … watch this space and get those shovels ready!

Make It Last Forever runs from Friday 25th July until 30th August at The Outsiders London.

Film courtesy of Sickboy and Mark Warrington.

www.thesickboy.com

ANYFORTY – CHARITY GROUP SHOW – CALM

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ANYFORTY
Charity Group Show Supporting CALM “Campaign Against Living Miserably”
24th – 27th July 2014

Opening 6pm Thursday 24th

AnyForty are a British streetwear brand who specialise in artist collaborative products. In their first 6 years they’ve worked with the cream of the crop of contemporary illustrators and artists from around the world. Artists from the likes of Ken Taylor from Melbourne Australia, to 123Klan from Montreal, Canada.

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Back in the summer of 2010, AnyForty organised a charity group show at Start The Bus Gallery, Bristol. This event raised funds to run a summer program for the Knowle West Media centre, giving local Bristol kids the opportunity to work on creative projects all summer long, for free. 4 years later and AnyForty are dipping their toes back into the charity pool, this time working to support something a lot more serious.

Did you know the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 in the UK is suicide? And 77% of all suicides recorded in the UK are young males. These are shocking statistics, and this issue is something that needs to be raised and something the charity CALM is doing a brilliant job at. Young british men need to know there is somewhere to go to and someone to speak to when things get a bit too much. Being silent isn’t being strong.

AnyForty are looking to raise a huge donation for CALM in the memory of a good friend they lost to suicide in 2011, by selling prints from the extremely talented 27 worldwide artists who have donated their time and skills to create brand new artworks for the show. As well as selling prints, there will also be a carefully selected collection of the designs on limited edition t-shirts and sticker packs as well as an event program containing all artworks and artist info. AnyForty will be donating ALL the profits to the CALM charity organisation.

The AnyForty Charity Group Show opens with a launch party on Thursday 26th, with free live musical entertainment to be announced, alongside a pop up bar provided by Translate Bar, Shoreditch. Keep an eye on AnyForty’s social media platforms for more info on the event over the next few weeks @AnyForty on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The show is open everyday from 12 noon till 6pm and after the event there will be a week window from July 28th until August 4th where all artwork will be available to buy on AnyForty.com on a print to demand availability. Once that window closes, the artwork will never be available again. So don’t hang around, make a reminder and dig deep to support a great charity and great cause by buying some great artwork!

www.shop.anyforty.co.uk

House Of Vans – London

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Opening in August, the House of Vans in London will be the physical manifestation of the culture and creativity that have defined the Vans brand since 1966. Always embracing and fuelling creative expression through art, music, skateboarding, BMX, street culture and fashion; the space offers a solid platform for the local communities to experience and engage with Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ spirit. With creative expression at the forefront; The House of Vans London will showcase an art gallery, a VansLab artist incubator space, cinema, live music venue, premium café and bars, gifting suite and skater built and designed concrete bowl, mini ramp and street course.

www.houseofvanslondon.com

‘The Chop Shop’ – Get Onboard!

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‘The Chop Shop’ will be taking over an abandoned warehouse in the heart of Braddon (Canberra, Australia) for 4 months, with a total of 26 weekends of events, running up to the New Year. Billed as a place to support the arts, music, fashion, and the fringe culture; but without the wank. An independent community based house of fun. In amongst making the venue entirely out of recycled materials, Sancho (of Sancho’s Dirty Laundry fame) took some time to chat with our Canberra correspondent Damo to give us the low down…

DW: What is ‘The Chop Shop’?

Sancho: Oh oh, you know that episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where Bart emancipates himself and moves into a loft downtown and finds that Tony Hawk lives within the building in a max-chillax pad – complete with a skate ramp and throwing a party with Blink 182? Cross that with Hansel’s pad from Zoolander, and that’s the Chop Shop! Haha.

On a more serious note, the Chop Shop is here to enliven Canberra’s street culture. We’re not re-inventing the wheel, just filling a much-needed gap in Canberra. Essentially, we just want to provide a platform where we can showcase Canberra’s creative talent that gives our city character. Friday’s are dedicated Arts nights and Saturday’s are gig nights. A point of differentiation with this initiative is, unlike a gallery, we won’t be charging rent or taking commissions, 100% straight up back to the artists.

We’ll also be focusing heavily on arts from the fringe such as street, graff, tattoo, bike/custom car culture as well as running street food festivals, art markets, independent movie nights to name a few.

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DW: Why does Canberra need this?

Sancho: Canberra has a lot of opportunities for artists to show their works in a gallery setting, but they seem to only be taken up by a select few artists in the loop (We’ve been to so many cheese eating – wine drinking gallery openings with the boobie balloon appreciation society haha just joking). New artists are rarely given a chance or even noticed – this is relevant to moreso those that don’t fit into traditional art categories, or don’t have a piece of paper saying that they are qualified to do what they want, yet they are equally (if not moreso) talented and disciplined in their practice.

I guess we want to build this network – it’s always been there. Our team is born in the grassroots of local creativity and the aim is to transform the space from within this context.

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DW: How’d you come up with the idea?

Sancho: Ummmm, whilst arts festivals are a good opportunity in Canberra, we felt that there was room for a few improvements when it came to the ‘street art’ & graff component.

We’d all worked on previous projects together, so we partnered up to make a gallery for artists not for Scrooge McDuck to use artists’ for profit. Pat (Coy) has a background in architecture, carpentry and running bars, Sancho (Sancho’s Dirty Laundry) through independently running an arts store acquainted street artists + graffers aplenty whom she thought would be rad if there was a space they could meet and collaborate, and Benjamin Reeve (Artist & DJ extraordinaire) has worked on similar projects interstate and has helped greatly through the consultation process. Along with the warehouse being a pop-up gallery/events space, it’ll also serve as a pop-up events bar and we’ve also engaged with a mobile food vendor Patrick (‘Sly Fox Coffee’) – who will be working some magic menus. So with the dissatisfaction at the current state of affairs in regards to ‘street art’ and graff and the lack of spaces in Canberra to exhibit, the idea was born!

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DW: How can we help?

Sancho: This initiative has been months in the making with a few line-up changes behind the scenes. Currently, there is such a great mix of motivated self-starters working on this project that are so into it and keen to take a chance, there is no doubt the program of events is going to be tight!

We’re rolling the dice a little bit and we just need a little assistance to get us over the finish line. We’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign, you can peep the video to pick up what we’re putting down and get a better idea of what this project is all about:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/387896994/the-chop-shop

Such Canberra, such wow!

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Low Bros – Munich & Berlin

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Low Bros have been getting busy in Germany, recently releasing this new video from the Work’n’Progress – Urban Art wall project at WerkStadt Sending in Munich:

These images are of the work in progress…

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The following images are of their new mural, which Low Bros recently painted at Urban Spree in Berlin. (Photo credit: Phillipp Barth and parsprofoto)

Photo by Phillipp Barth_6

Photo by Phillipp Barth_2

Photo by parsprofoto_7

Photo by Phillipp Barth_1

Photo by Phillipp Barth_7

Photo by Phillipp Barth_3

www.facebook.com/lowbros

Just Another Project Space turns TWO!

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UPDATED – Alexis Diaz, Master of the Mixture

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Mere hours after hopping off a London-bound flight from Montreal, Puerto Rican animal-splicing artist Alexis Diaz got talking to VNA’s Jodie about how things are looking for his rapidly expanding career. Having made a splash in London’s Shoreditch area last year with his iconic Octophant, Alexis let us in on his upcoming plans for his current return visit and gave us an update on how things are shaping up in the street art scene of his home country.

Alexis Diaz

JS: Hi Alexis, thanks for talking to us! It’s great to hear you are coming back to the UK again after your last piece was so well received! What are your plans this time?

Alexis: On the 12th of July I plan to paint a mural and a canvas or two in Bacon Street, Shoreditch, however at the moment I am still pretty undecided of exactly what it is going to be. I am thinking of creating a couple of idea sketches and posting them to my instagram, allowing people to vote on which one they want to be painted!

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JS: Where did it all begin for you? What lead you to street art initially and who inspired you to get to where you are today?

Alexis: I began to work murals in 2010 under the name La Pandilla alongside my friend Jaun however two years ago we split to pursue our own interests. I have been drawing from a very young age but street art always caught my attention above traditional methods because I felt that traditional, paint-on-canvas style had its limitations. I could create a piece and have one person buy it, put it in their home and they’ll look at it, their family will look at it, even their friends might look at it, but in the end they will be the only people to see it. This wasn’t enough for me as I had always dreamed of creating art for all people to enjoy. I wanted to create art that was accessible and not linked to economic status; from the poorest to the richest. That’s what led me to work in the streets.

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Alexis: At the time in Puerto Rico the street art scene was very limited, only really realized using typical spray cans, any other mediums were generally either completely missed or even frowned upon so I felt quite limited. This was until I began to experience works by Keith Haring who was a big inspiration and encouragement which finally me to step outside aerosol and begin to paint the street using other means. This allowed me to get comfortable within a style of my own and develop a personal technique.

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JS: As you spoke about using personal techniques, what methods do actually use to create your works? And is there meaning behind your carefully considered combinations of completely different beings or are they aesthetically based?

Alexis: I work with small brushes and ink to create a mixture of realistic representation alongside a surrealist concept with bright backgrounds. The subject is always important to me as I create combinations of animals according to the ecosystem of the place I am working. I use local stories, feelings and my imagination and also evolution and impulses of the times to create a personalised response to wherever I am. It is a pretty exciting way of working and means that every place I go I produce something really individual.

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JS: What is the street art scene in Puerto Rico like at the moment and where do you see it headed in the future?

Alexis: As of 2010 unfortunately the art scene has diminished. Some friends and I set ourselves the task of taking back some wall-space left by the decline in both art and economy in Puerto Rico, especially in neighbourhoods around the Santurce area. We began filling these abandoned spaces which began to kick-start local artists also.
By 2012 I had begun to travel with my work, visiting many different countries. During this time I saw how the rest of the world had developed and recognised the ways in which everywhere else street art had begun to embed itself as a huge part of artistic and social culture.

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Alexis: I set out to create a festival of street art in Puerto Rico as I had seen be hugely successful elsewhere, calling in some international friends to help me plant the idea of street art as a seed and help it grown, encouraging an international focus and thus attract other artists to paint in Puerto Rico.
From this I created one of the first international urban art festivals, Los Muros Hablan which means The Walls Speak in Spanish. It has run for two years already and we have already had participation of incredible artists such as Connor Harrington, Roa, Da Least, Faith 47, Aryz, Jaz, Axel Void, Interesni Kazki, Inti and many, many more. We hold it in Santurce, where it all began for me. I use this festival as a chance to show gratitude to the neighbourhood which first gave me the opportunity to paint the streets, grow in skill and start the beginning of my career.
Puerto Rico has since grown to be an amazing outdoor gallery of street art, in my eyes one of the most important locations in the Caribbean for scene and free expression.

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UPDATES

Alexis has since posted his two plans for the London mural up for vote on his instagram account. In sketch form he has drafted out two stunning possibilities and raised them for judgement. Do check them out and have your own say on your favourite before the winning design is painted on the 12th!

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Los Muros Hablan

Alexis Diaz Instagram

“Inner Myths” by Shida – Opening Friday 4 July

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“Inner Myths”, a collection of new paintings and sculptural works by Shida is a dynamic record of Shida’s development as an artist who envisions infinite worlds. Influenced by the work of Frank Frazetta, Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Vrubel and Nikolai Kalmakov, for “Inner Myths”, as Australia’s most prolific young street artist, Shida reinvokes two centuries of art history in his characteristic style. Shida is considered an asset to Australian contemporary art, who is constantly challenging himself against the sources of his inspiration.

Shida took some time out to talk about his upcoming show….

SHIDA-EFLYER

DW:  Tell us a bit about your early years and how you got into art.

Shida: I have always drawn. Some of my oldest memories are of drawings that I did: maps and battlefields covered in hundreds of warriors; Ancient Greek triremes; and alien creatures, with their full inventory of armour and magic objects displayed (not so far from what I still do today). I continued this way until I discovered street art at age 14. I have always liked my own company, reveling in the fantasies I could enjoy through my mind’s eye, or give life to on paper, but with street art, this changed. What was once an insular world became a means of outward expression and social interaction. From there, my obsession grew, shifting fast from a hobby to an all-encompassing passion. In high school, I saved for a trip to Europe by selling my art, and by the time I returned, I was able to survive off it (in relative Mi Goreng noodle poverty).

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DW:  How would you describe your work?

Shida: I work with and across a large diversity of media, and my style changes depending on the means and context. What unifies my practice is a sense of physicality and expressive movement, in the methods that I use, and in the figures that I portray. It revolves around and stems from my imagination, with fantasy, sci-fi, darkness, lust and otherworldly, ethereal escapism being my main themes. Often my work is saturated with colour and quite psychedelic, whether it be video-based, sculptural, in paint, or otherwise.

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DW:  Tell us more about your upcoming show at Backwoods Gallery.

Shida: I approached my upcoming show “Inner Myths” by really grappling with and searching for sources of inspiration in art history, particularly in turn-of-the-century Post-Impressionism and Symbolist Art. Discovering the imagery of artists such as Nikolai Kalmakov was really exciting; we are seemingly so similar in our fantasies, though separated by more than one hundred years.

I was also struck by my affinity with Gauguin, a man in search of paradise and truly traditional roots. He was an artist who wholeheartedly believed in his genius, which is something that seems near impossible these days.

Perhaps the current state of contemporary art (especially in Melbourne) shaped the show. I see so much apathy and pop cultural satire in art. I’m put down and made to feel naïve, because I believe in myself, and the power of art. Maybe I’m a walking anachronism, but I can’t help feeling more inline with the past’s proud art mystics, and distanced from today’s post-ironic hipsters.

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DW:  How do you find the transition from street to gallery or vice versa?

Shida: For me it’s quite natural. Each has its own considerations, but they both show the same world. With studio work, you have to think about pieces being archival, and how they relate to each other as a body of work. You have all the time in the world, so you must struggle with not overworking pieces. It’s also difficult, because there are no excuses in the studio – you can’t blame the weather or the wall surface. There are no time constraints or community politics; if a work is subpar, it is solely your fault.

The street is a dialogue – you are competing to get your point across, and you must be clear and powerful in your delivery. You have to consider logistics and an entire list of factors, from legality, to how you are affecting the community. You can get rained out or beaten up, arrested or jeered at (“get a real job cunt!”). Nothing lasts on the street. You must come to terms with the fact that everything you have ever done will one day be buffed, capped, demolished or just fade away.

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DW:  Can you tell us what the scene is like in Melbourne?  I know you had some issues earlier in the year, from memory people were capping your pieces – what was all that about?

Shida: It’s been a crazy two years. I’ve learnt so much about my art and myself, and I’ve been both humbled and emboldened – I’ve definitely grown wiser. Let me start by providing some wider context, and later I will focus on what actually went down.

The ‘popularity’ and acceptance of street art has exploded in the past years. This has resulted in many of us ‘street artists’ creating successful commercial careers for ourselves. Now, this is great, and I am staunch in my belief that many of my contemporaries are amazing artists, deserving of this success. They should be free to work on the street, in galleries, and even with private companies as they see fit. However, this rise in popularity has brought with it many negative things as well, the chief problem being its polarisation of traditional graffiti writers and the new (or not so new) wave of street artists.

Where once it was rebellious and anarchic, street art is now used to ‘stop’ graffiti. It’s used as an advertisement for, or a stepping-stone into galleries. Some street artists won’t even paint a wall unless they are getting paid. This goes against everything that traditional graffiti continues to stand for. Murals gentrify communities and effectively raise the property value. Street artists promote and collaborate with brands and companies, lending (or selling) their street credibility. Meanwhile, graffiti stands defiantly; there are no ‘rewards’ – only punishments – and the message is clear: “You think this wall belongs to you? Well I exist here as well.” “If I’m free to do this, then you are free as well.” “Fuck you”.

I believe my work was capped in a response to this. PAA “Pure Aussie Artists”, in a matter of a few days, destroyed nearly my entire body of work on the streets of Melbourne. I’m no stranger to graffiti, and I have always respected graffiti (more than most), so I think their “Pure Art Assault” was misaimed, if not misguided. The fact that they chose to target me demonstrates that there was more behind their actions than just a rational opposition to the commercialisation of street art.

These guys were straight bullies out for fame. They hid behind their graffiti identities, targeting me because I was alone and because there was no way for me to win. Having said that, PAA have gone on to pretty much king Melbourne with really good style. The whole experience was humbling, and once the fantasising about murder and crushed skulls on spikes faded, I emerged stronger, less egotistic, but with greater resolve and understanding.

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DW:  What words of wisdom do you have for someone who is trying to get into the scene?

Shida: Respect and history is the first step. Learn about graffiti, learn about street art and never go over anyone’s work that you can’t burn. If you want to start street art to pursue a career in art, it is too late, don’t even try. Creating your own distinctive style is the key, when you are starting, its okay to bite, but your end goal should be something that is entirely you, something that stands out.

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DW:  What else can we expect to see from Shida in 2014?

Shida: World tour number 2!!! I’m going to be traveling for nearly a year, so if you are reading this, anywhere you are in the world and have a project for me then please email me!

DW:  Where else can people find you?

Shida: Tearing up the D floor.

https://www.facebook.com/shida.art

@shida_zrf