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ALL BIG LETTERS

Curated by Vandalog Editor-in-chief RJ Rushmore on the 50th anniversary of modern graffiti, ALL BIG LETTERS approaches the medium as fundamentally entangled with its tools. Investigating graffiti as a site of stylistic innovation where the sense of place, the excitement of sport, and the search for fame intersect, the exhibition considers primary yet lingering questions about the medium: Why does graffiti look like that, and why is it on my wall? ALL BIG LETTERS suggests that every aspect of graffiti can be understood as an effort to maximize reputation through novel uses of instruments and other innovations.

Video Produced by Peter English
Archival Video of Jordan Seiler by Aymann Ismail / Courtesy of Slate Magazine
Smart Fools Video by Smart Crew
Music by Watermark High

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VNA Issue 35 – OUT NOW!

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VNA has grown from it’s humble beginnings as a free black and white zine with the help and support of people like D*Face –who enabled the distribution of the mag at his StolenSpace gallery way back when it first started ten years ago. So it’s only fitting that 10 years on he features on the front cover – shot by Shamil Tanna – for the second time.

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The latest issue is out now and available to buy online before it hits stores next week right hurrr:
www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35

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Inside Issue 35, you can see the philthy skills of Phill Blake, the gravity defying work of Spanish artist Cinta Vidal and the awesome muralism of Canadian young blood, Jarus.

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Also featured is the Japanese skate punk legend, Haroshi, giving an insight into the recycled skateboard sculptures he makes with heart and soul, and Croatian painter Lonac.

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From the Antipodes comes work from Japan-based Aussie artist, Mark Drew, with his blend of hip hop and remixed rap quotes over Peanuts paintings, alongside Melbourne-based Cam Scale, bringing a homegrown history of his life growing up in the bush.

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Great Dane Søren Solkær gives a look through the lens into music photography and artist portraiture and Floridian Tatiana Suarez highlights her local background and a glimpse into the world of her haunting characters.

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Last but not least are Shepard Fairey – return of one of our previous cover stars to give the lowdown on some highlights and milestones of his career – and Wayne White – master of puppets and tongue in cheek painter, fresh off the back of his latest epic show, Wayne-O-Rama, in his hometown of Chattanooga.

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www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35

Heerlen Murals – Photo Round-up – Henrik Haven

Henrik Haven has been kind enough to share his coverage of Heerlen Murals, which has been organising a wide range of interventions, murals and activities from August to December 2016 in and around the centre of Heerlen, Netherlands.

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This year’s theme is called “There’s more than meets the eye” and it deals with the diversity and the ‘do-it-yourself’ mentality of the artform. The artist were challenged to produce work that have either a worldly or local context.

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Standing with Standing Rock – Spencer Keeton Cunningham

Since early November, American artist Spencer Keeton Cunningham has been back and forth visiting
Standing Rock, a place where hundreds of native tribes banded together to halt the Dakota Access
pipeline in North Dakota. While traveling to and from Standing Rock Cunningham painted large
scale murals spreading awareness about the movement of Standing Rock in Massachusetts, San
Francisco, Portland and Seattle. His painting in Seattle, located on the SODO track, is a 200 foot
collaboration with local artist, Josh Keyes.

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While at Standing Rock, Cunningham helped document the actions by water protectors in film and
photo while he also painted signs and paintings on site while at the camp in support of the Standing
Rock Sioux’s battle against what the natives and supporters on camp called the black snake.

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Advertising Shits In Your Head

Over the past few weeks and months, you may have noticed a new form of activism stealthily creeping in to subvert advertising with different messages and slogans. The disruptive medium, also known as ‘subvertising’, is often as humorous as it is unnerving.

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Anti-advertising book ‘Advertising Shits In Your Head’ is a thoroughly researched and referenced publication and describes in the first part how outdoor advertising is hugely undemocratic as well as incredibly harmful to both the individual and society. In the second part the book looks at the various strategies of subvertising bodies Public Ad Campaign, Brandalism, Dr. D and Special Patrol Group, and explores the history of subvertising as a form of culture jamming that has its roots in the Situationist International.

“Once advertising has shit in your head, you’re going to need something to clean it up with; I couldn’t recommend this book more highly.” – Dr. D

Dog Section Press is currently crowdfunding for the printing costs of Advertising Shits In Your Head – you can get involved here:

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/advertising-shits-in-your-head

We were lucky to get this ace interview from Dog Section Press Editor Vyvian Raoul about the ideas and manifestations of this new wave of artivism.

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‘Bring Cash’ – Lushsux

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Concluding year of controversy, council disputes, censorship, dank memes and delicately treading a political gray area — LUSHSUX is presenting his final statement for 2016, a secret show called “BRING CASH”.

Visitors to the exhibition will be blindfolded and escorted, via black van, to a secret exhibition location where they will have a strict 30 minutes to view the artwork, before being hoodwinked and returned to the rendezvous location.

As the founding artists of the Memeist art movement, LUSHSUX’sartwork has hit a consistent nerve with the Australian people, allowing him to present a commentary on socio-political issues ranging from the violently divisive political environment of the U.S election, celebrity culture, freedom of speech, media bias to the meteoric rise of memes as a political force and form of civic protest.

“BRING CASH” will be LUSHSUX’s decisive conclusion and the final punchline of 2016.

Open from the weekend of November 25th. All guests will be required to purchase a ticket, book a time slot and sign a consent form that gives the gallery permission to confiscate all recording devices, blindfold, restrain and transport them to and from the exhibition. Amongst over things.

Come prepared for a confronting experience, designed by Australia’s most provocative artist and don’t forget to bring cash.

visit www.backwoods.gallery for details.

Movember – LING

The Movember Foundation is the only global charity solely focused on men’s health. They raise funds that deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs to enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.

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photo: p1xels

Awareness and fundraising activities are run year-round by the Foundation where they encourage men to become more aware of their health, talk more with their friends and be more active, improving their health and wellbeing. The annual Movember campaign in November is globally recognised for its fun, disruptive approach to fundraising and getting men to take action for their health.

Since Movember started in Melbourne in 2003, millions have joined the movement, raising $770 million and funding more than 1,200 projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention.

Melbourne artist Ling recently hit Melbourne’s Hosier Lane to paint Movember ambassador Kirk Pengilly and raise awareness for this very important cause.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Ling – ID / GH.

Principally I am a graffiti writer, although increasingly find myself looking at any and all creative outlets as possibilities to further myself and my output.

Why do you do what you do?

I’ve always found the painting and the creative process as something that has kept my mind on a level playing field. When I can’t paint for a period of time I start to get anxious or when I’m in a negative head space I always find that painting is a steadying influence. In that respect it’s therapeutic.

Recently I’ve been painting otherwise worthless objects gold to generate the perception of value. Historically gold has always had an allure that attracts people. Where you may have walked passed something everyday without a second thought, it suddenly compels you to stop, comment, photograph, share etc. whilst the object in question is still completely worthless, destined to be left to the elements or hauled away to be destroyed. It’s interesting seeing how this changes the way people interact / perceive with what is otherwise rubbish and mundane.

I’ve also been painting more and more character based pieces based on bygone childhood figures from the 80’s and 90’s. Icons that represent something that is now seen as cheesy, outdated and playing on that by adding equally cheesy details in speed dealer sunnies and 80’s graphics. It’s always entertaining to do produce serious paintings using subjects that are deemed comical and share with a wider audience.

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photo: p1xels

Can you tell us a little about your piece for Movember and the inspiration behind it?

The Movember piece came about through a chance connection with the organisation. My family has been impacted by both testicular and prostate cancer, so I jumped at the chance to get involved and offer my services to create something unique that would assist the cause in raising awareness around cancer and mens health.

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photo: p1xels

What does the Movember campaign mean to you?
My family has been impacted by both Testicular and Prostate Cancer. Both scenarios had outcomes that were as positive as can be. The mitigating factor in both instances was a proactive approach to health. Insisting that GP’s perform the relevant tests and taking the necessary steps to investigate physical / mental changes means I still have a dad, a brother and that my niece and nephew still have a father and grandfather. If my piece for the Movember mural helps further the campaign message then I’m more than happy to be involved.

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photo: p1xels

Where can people go to find out more or to help?
Movember.com

What else can we expect to see from you for the rest of 2016 or moving into 2017?
Produce more. Bigger. Better.

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photo: p1xels

@LingerID

‘Visual Disobedience’ – a Q&A with Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey’s most recent career survey, ‘Visual Disobedience’, is currently on show in Hong Kong thanks to the HOCA Foundation. Our man in Australia, Damo, went to Hong Kong to check out the show and had a one on one with the man himself.

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Shepard Fairey “Peace Dove (Red)” 2012. Mixed Media (Stencil, Silkscreen, and Collage) on Canvas. Copyright Shepard Fairey / OBEY GIANT ART. Courtesy of HOCA Foundation. 

Damo: This is your first career survey being held in Hong Kong. Why Hong Kong and can you explain the concept of the show a little bit?

Shepard: It’s my first career survey in Hong Kong; this will be my 5th museum show. The reason this is happening here in Hong Kong is because the people behind the HOCA Foundation are fans of my work and have collected my work. They asked me over a year ago if I would be willing to put together a career survey and come over here and do some mural projects because they understood that outdoor art is really is important to me. We discussed my schedule and what art I would need to borrow from collectors versus what they had and things that I would have to provide for my own archive. There are 290 pieces of work in the show. So it’s a lot of work.

What’s exciting to me is I think Hong Kong is a really fascinating place in that it’s this hybrid of Asian and Western cultures, and this is my third trip here. I was here in 2000 and did a lot of street art here and worked with some guys who had a gallery and a magazine and did some streetwear. I was back in 2006 for some more street art and clothing projects. This trip I’m getting to do clothing projects, public artworks that are more permanent, this museum show and my usual street art. So in a way this is I think is the trip that embodies every aspect of my practice and philosophy. So that’s why I’m excited about here.

I think it’s important for people to understand both the evolution and the consistency of my work. A big concept of my work is repetition of certain motifs so there is accumulative effect but also that I address things that are happening in the world; current events and my style evolves. So what I like with this show is that you can see from the very beginning to the present through the different pieces that are here. That is a real privilege to get to share with an audience because most people experience my work in a very fragmented way.

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Installation View, Visual Disobedience at the Pulse, Hong Kong. Presented by HOCA Foundation. Copyright Shepard Fairey / OBEY GIANT ART. Courtesy of HOCA Foundation. 

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Spencer Keeton-Cunningham – FAREWELL SAN FRANCISCO : A 12 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE AT HERON ARTS

Spencer Keeton Cunningham – FAREWELL SAN FRANCISCO : A 12 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE AT HERON ARTS

Born in 1983, Spencer Keeton Cunningham grew up in Portland skateboarding and painting from a very young age. Cunningham graduated from the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. After leaving San Francisco in 2014, the prolific artist began working from the road on a self proclaimed permanent painting tour which took him all over the world including the North and South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, and the outback of Australia. Other countries Cunningham has exhibited and painted in include China, Japan, Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon, Mexico, The Netherlands, Cuba, Tasmania, Hong Kong, Alaska, The United States, and Hawaii. Coming back to San Francisco to exhibit frequently, Cunningham has remained on tour for over 29 months and is now forced to pack his things and go. – Heron Arts

This is Cunningham’s first ever solo exhibition in San Francisco. Along with his solo works, there will be paintings for sale from his close friends, painting collaborators and roommates: Erlin Geffrard aka Kid Kreyola, Daisy Ortiz, and their son Daylin Geffrard. The four lived together in their house in San Francisco for numerous years and exhibited frequently in San Francisco and abroad, notably in 2013 at the Wenying Highland Art Museum in Guangzhou, China.

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