Over 60 internationally recognised street & visual artists including Hyuro, Escif, David De La Mano and Robert Montgomery have taken part in the world’s first coordinated ad takeover in 12 countries as part of #SubvertTheCity – a week of creative action that saw artists and the public imagining a world beyond consumerism. The artworks installed in advertising spaces share images and ideas of hope & solidarity in order to challenge the politics of fear and division that is gripping western societies.
Street artist Kaff-eine and her cheeseagle team created an onsite art installation as much-needed shelter with two notorious dumpsite slum communities in Manila, Philippines. The global premiere of their ‘Happyland’ documentary and exhibition will be held at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Melbourne, May 2017 Kaff-eine and her international team reunited with two notorious and impoverished dumpsite communities of Baseco and Happyland, Manila, creating and installing a collection of ‘art tarpaulins’ that featured Kaff-eine’s portraits of 10 community personalities. The resulting open-air exhibition celebrated the communities, while also providing them with much-needed resources for shelter.
Prize-winning Australian stencil artist Luke Cornish, aka E.L.K recently showed his exhibition of Syrian-inspired artworks, ‘Road to Damascus’ at Sydney art gallery Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary. For over a decade, Cornish has created artwork in the public eye that forces the viewer to reflect on their thoughts and actions and the impact their lives have on others.
Turning over the soil on perceptions of race, religion, conflict and the human condition, Cornish echoes the sentiments of American singer Bruce Springsteen, considering it his job as an artist to ‘observe and report’.
Cornish extends his social commentary across borders and boundaries, with his work often taking him to the worlds most troubled and troubling places. In June 2016, Cornish traveled through Syria with Sydney’s Anglican Church Reverend Dave Smith, on his ‘Boxers for Peace’ mission. The life-changing journey brought him insights into the lives and stories of the people he encountered.
Despite the poverty and plight of the war-ravaged civilization, Cornish was able to experience first-hand the hope, generosity and defiant positivity of the people of Syria. Taking these reflections back and pouring them into his work, Cornish was then invited to return to Syria to exhibit the show at the Damascus Opera House.
Set on returning to the country, Cornish set about collecting donations for art supplies in Australia for his work with the children of Syria, but in doing so, found he encountered issues with PayPal obstructing any contributions with the label ‘Syria’ or ‘Syrian’ attached. His visit to the area wasn’t without incident either, as he found himself arrested in the wrong area at gunpoint, without the correct papers for his visit. However, the experience has left him un-jaded as to the warmth and humanity of the ordinary people he met along the way.
Cycling and mental health awareness project Headset open their first show, Wednesday 29th March 6pm – 9pm. The exhibition shows until Sunday 2nd April at M2 Gallery 4/450 Elizabeth St Surry Hills
The awesome force of nature that is Swoon headed back to Haiti to get stuck into her latest project, helping repair and rebuild the communities as part of the Konbit Shelter project. In her own words, she tells us about the work she is doing there:
“With great joy, we have begun to build our bamboo home in Haiti. Architect Joana Torres and I arrived last week, joining forces with the team in Cormiers. There’s a lot of excitement in the air, and much to be done over the next few months.”
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
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.
The latest issue is out now and available to buy online before it hits stores next week right hurrr:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.