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NO AD – Jordan Seiler Interview

Off the back of his awesome bus-shelter keys initiative, PublicAdCampaign, Jordan Seiler is taking back the streets and taking on the ads in the virtual world as well as the physical. Pioneering the way for real-life ad blockers, Jordan has spent years researching and mapping out all the New York subway adverts so they can easily be digitally replaced by a carefully curated selection of art from over 50 (and growing) different international artists. We spoke to him to get the lowdown on his subversive new app: NO AD.

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Meggs: on Detroit

On September 19th, Australian artist David “MEGGS” Hooke concluded his one-month residency at Inner State Gallery with the opening of his solo exhibition, Spoiled Rotten.

Process Big Balloon_Miya Tsukazaki

The exhibition of over 40 new paintings and multiples explores the wondrous decay of social morality stemming from modern society’s obsession with pop culture and overindulgent materialism. The artworks, all of which were created in Detroit during his residency, continue 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. 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.

Process_Life's Ups and Downs_Miya Tsukazaki

“Detroit is a city of duality more so than many other cities I have been to. I sought to incorporate this by using objects and surfaces that imply decay, in what I consider to be a beautiful way. Old wooden materials and signs with layers of paint tell a story of their own. Although the colors and textures are aesthetically beautiful, I think it’s about giving these materials a new life, a second purpose,” MEGGS said while working in the Inner State Gallery loft.

Process Mickey_Miya Tsukazaki

The genesis of Spoiled Rotten lies in MEGGS’ painting entitled ‘Life’s Ups and Downs,’ which features a split image of the inflated iconic yellow happy face balloon juxtaposed with its discarded, decaying, and deflated other half.

Scavenging Eastown Theatre_Miya Tsukazaki

“This concept started when I saw a deflated happy face balloon, which is an image I’ve been obsessed with lately. The ‘happy’ balloon is a classic icon that depicts playfulness, optimism, and the idea of, “Have a nice day!” Yet, the balloon is also a very disposable item and has a limited life span. It deflates. I think this is something that people can identify with and it ties into that idea of duality in Detroit,” MEGGS said.

Scavenging_Toys_Miya Tsukazaki

The exhibition also marked the debut of a new sculptural collaboration between MEGGS and artist Rafael Batista of Brooklyn, New York. Batista, who hand-sculpted each piece, gives new life to MEGGS’ happy face balloon images, taking them from canvas to 3D collectors’ items.

Scavenging_Eastown Theatre 2_Miya Tsukazaki

www.houseofmeggs.com

Photo Credit Miya Tsukazaki and Mike Popso.

‘A Study of Hair’ – Dave Kinsey

In the ongoing series interviewing contributors to ‘A Study of Hair’ opening at Backwoods Gallery on Friday, we speak today with Dave Kinsey….

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‘Michelle, Ma Belle’ – detail – Dave Kinsey

Damo:  for the uninitiated, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

DK:  Dave Kinsey, full time painter, part time designer, living la vida loca in the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Los Angeles.

Damo:  Can you tell us about your piece, and how you have responded to the artistic brief?

DK:  “Michelle” by The Beatles was playing while I was sketching the piece. I’ve always loved that song, and since my wife’s middle name is Michelle too, I had that all in mind. Such a calming sound to it.

Damo:  What medium have you used?  Why did you choose this medium?

DK:  I really enjoy working with acrylic and collage utilizing old books, discarded postal envelops. etc., which I feel melds nicely together on the canvas. I especially love working with vintage book pages because of their interesting visual tonality, fragility, and personal histories.

Damo:  Why did you agree to be part of the ‘Study Of’ project?  It is a very ambitious task – how do you think it will be viewed on completion?

DK:  I really liked the concept—it’s one of the few thematic group showings that really makes sense to me. It’d love to see a book produced after 10 years or so of this continued series.

Damo:  On a more personal note, what can we expect to see from you in the next 18 months?

DK:  I just finished a huge show that opened at Library Street Collective in Detroit and now I’m back in the studio working on new pieces for Miami in December and Cologne, Germany in 2015.

kinseyvisual.com

‘A Study of Hair’ – Miso

In the lead up to Backwoods Gallery ‘A Study of Hair’ Exhibition this Friday, 26 September we have been lucky enough to talk to some of the contributing artists.  Keep checking back as there will be drops for the next few days, and don’t forget if you want to see all of the work to contact sales@backwoodsgallery.com.  Today, we speak with Miso…

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‘Tangled 2’ – detail – Miso

Damo:  For the uninitiated, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Miso:  I’m so, so bad at answering this question!

Damo:  Can you tell us about your piece, and how you have responded to the artistic brief?

Miso:  Well, errr… I actually suggested the ‘hair’ idea to Alex, the curator, a while ago… and I think I found making the work actually a lot harder than any of the other artists, funny enough!  My hair is a bit of a bird’s nest, so I liked the idea of making a paper fold map of tangled hair, seeing how it got to that stage. A very clean map of something very messy.

Damo:  What medium have you used?  Why did you choose this medium?

Miso:  The work is a new experiment for me, making folded paper works – that are a little bit more sculptural.  The details are pin-pricks hammered into the paper, one by one, between the folds. It’s a medium I’ve been working with for a while now, and I really love the idea of drawing with nothingness – taking back from a blank sheet of paper, sculpting back – rather than adding on.

Damo:  Why did you agree to be part of the ‘Study Of’ project?  It is a very ambitious task – how do you think it will be viewed on completion?

Miso:  I suppose it’s really nice to be asked! It’s a very cool line-up to be a part of.  And it’s been a really, really great challenge – I think it’s a curatorial brief that made me make very different things, but work that I’m incredibly proud of – it’s not every day that a curator pushes you do that.

Damo:  On a more personal note, what can we expect to see from you in the next 18 months?

Miso:  Lots of publishing! More solo shows, and hopefully some architectural projects too.

@m_i_s_o_

 

‘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…

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Kid Acne – Rap Traffic

Back in 2001 with the help of Req One and his trusty ‘Drum Computer’ Kid Acne released his first rap album – RAP TRAFFIC.

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In his own words he tells us the story: ‘Although I released a bunch of other rap records over the years, this one is still my favourite. If you like beats programmed off-kilter and lyrics in a stream of consciousness – you might like it too!

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TWOONE – Studio Visit & Interview

Hiroyasu Tsuri, aka TWOONE, was born and raised in Japan. At the age of 18 he moved to Melbourne, Australia where he was awarded a Distinguished Talent Visa. He now lives in Berlin with his Australian wife and makes awesome art based around impressionist paintings of animals. His latest show opens alongside Reka’s at Stolenspace on Thursday 11th September. When VNA was in Berlin for the Urban Nation Project M series, we caught up with Hiro at his studio to talk about his journey so far.

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Reka Studio Visit & Interview

Reka is an Australian artist, now based in Berlin. His style is iconic already, but he still considers himself to be at the early stages of his career. We caught up with him at his Berlin studio while he was working on his latest show opening at Stolenspace Gallery, in London’s East End on Thursday 11th September.

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OnePoint – Interview

Development and evolution are some of the most important elements within every artist of every art form however they are perhaps most tangible in the work of the Czech artist, Point. With a collected wealth of experience, inspiration, ability and execution, his prolific art dominates the Prague art scene from subtle hidden “Pointies” on street corners to gigantic geometric behemoths in the middle of the street. We touched base for a chat with him and covered the important issues, inspiration, growing older and the colour red.

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