Elizabeth Gossling’s latest show , BURN, opens at Tintype Gallery, Islington – 16 April – 9 May 2015. An exploration of distraction, destruction and preservation, BURN re-invents the story of John Cura, a man who took photographs of television transmissions in the 50s and 60s. These ‘telesnaps’ represent a lost history in British broadcasting. Gossling imagines Cura mutating into Cura Obscura, a human camera evolving under the pressure and impossibility of capturing every moment on multiplying channels and screens as the speed and intensity of images accelerates. We caught up with her ahead of the show to get some insight into this latest exhibition.
This week, Backwoods Gallery presents an exhibition of illustrations by two young artists, Evie Cahir & Gemma Topliss, who are representative of the bright future of Australia art.
In ‘Heavy Leisure’, opening on the 17th of April, Cahir and Topliss will present a series of delicate, illustrative works. The collection re-evaluates the seemingly mundane moments, objects and routines of daily life, imbuing them with emotional undertones.
Evie Cahir’s illustrative works offer a new, more attentive regard on the banal but precious objects and moments encountered in daily life. Cahir is fascinated by the hidden meanings of routine and the interplay between light and shadow. Her artwork employs sophisticated composition, refined techniques and subtle humour to present her point of view in a truly unique and beautiful way.
Gemma Topliss explores the connection between the interior and the exterior, both spatially and emotionally. Her charcoal and graphite drawings are intimate, fragmented and personal. At only 19, Topliss is the youngest artist that has exhibited at Backwoods.
In the lead up to the exhibition, they both took some time to speak with VNA.
The guys over at Black Canyon have stayed busy since collaborating on the new issue of Kingbrown Mag – they’re kicking off a new print series (Black Canyon Editions) with a release from the mighty Shida, who is currently based in Poland. Available here.
To mark the occassion Mik Shida put together a photo diary, featuring recent snow covered European painting adventures… here are a select few photos….
In the lead up to ILLUSTRATED 2015, the brand new illustration and street art show arriving at the Old Truman Brewery this spring, we begin a new series directing you to some of the artists who deserve your attention right now. First up is Dominican artist, Samuel Gomez. As Creative Designer and Illustrator for some of the top US design agencies, his impressive commercial and editorial portfolio already includes work created for leading brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dove, Gucci, Unilever, Estee Lauder among many others. But its his personal work that has earned him international acclaim as a clever and considered visual storyteller. Creating colossal works depicting mechanical scenes, there’s no denying the very dark and ominous tone to Gomez’ artwork. It is bold and impacting at first glance, but at a closer look, delicate concerns rise to the surface. We interviewed Sam to find out a little more about the man behind the mechanics.
Your artwork explores a vast range of universal science, socioeconomic, automation and sustainability issues, through complex worlds in graphite and ink. What emotions are you hope to inspire in the audience through your work?
I encourage my audience to always be open: I hope they are able to see through the superficial to understand my story of a world where free from mechanical tasks and slave labour. At the same time, I hope to make them aware of the tipping point – when a fully intelligent and automated society may walk us blindly into the abyss of inequality, monotony and recklessness.
Damo: Who is Unwell Bunny? Can you talk us through your distinctive style?
UB: Unwell Bunny is the artistic alter ego of Ed Bechervaise, and an energetic free flowing artistic philosophy which is always evolving. The style I’d describe as hyper subversive urban pop, its a fluid clash of borrowed images, graffiti, and emotional narrative. Its full of energy and iconography and is a commentary on the time we live in.
Rosario Martínez Llaguno and Roberto Vega Jiménez make up the Mexican activist art duo, Lapiztola. Recently visiting London, they worked on an exhibition called ‘Democracia real ya!’, meaning ‘real democracy now!’ The exhibition was hosted by Global Justice Now (formerly the World Development Movement) and was held at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. We caught up with the guys at Lapiztola to talk about the project.
Unwell Bunny has a rather hectic show coming up in Paris. Watch this space for an interview as well as a video drop for the upcoming show. It’s going to be huge!
Known and respected throughout the graffiti scene for his past and present creative conquests, Australian artist JOHN KAYE has no problems getting up and going all out. More recently recognized for his ink illustrations and large-scale mural work, his art has been appearing in multiple galleries and showcases around the world.
We catch up with John to chat about his ideas, artistic integrity and creative influence.
VNA: Talk us through some projects you’re working on at the moment.
JOHN KAYE: My main priority at the moment has just been to draw or paint something everyday. It’s been going well so far. Other than that I’ve been lucky enough to team up with a few different people to work on some collaboration stuff that has been really fun and a massive learning curve. I’ve also been working on developing some limited run clothing that hopefully I can show everyone soon and I’ve been trying to save some money for a few trips I want to go on this year.
VNA: A lot of your illustrations and print series work features poetic lines with underlining themes surrounding crime, punishment and rail transport.
‘All You See Is Crime In The City’, ‘Find The Right Ways To Do The Wrong Things’, ‘From The Cradle to the Grave’, ‘Graffiti Gets You Nowhere’, ‘Better Seen Than Heard’
Obviously these topics are a source of experience and inspiration to you, can you tell us a bit about why?
JOHN KAYE: Traveling and graffiti have both been huge parts of my life. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the different graffiti everywhere I went. Generally everything I do is a form of personal expression. The work you are referring to all just relates to things that have happened around me at a certain point in time. As my experiences change, so do the things I create. If people relate to my work, or interpret it in a certain way, I think that’s a good thing. Although, it’s never really the initial intent.
VNA: Do you think your past experiences as an artist have affected your current style?
JOHN KAYE: Definitely. My experiences are the most valuable thing I have. It doesn’t matter if they are mistakes I have made, or things I have enjoyed. They will always affect what I do in some way.
VNA: Why do you think graffiti and street influenced artists are now becoming so prevalent in the mainstream art scene?
JOHN KAYE: The Internet has probably played a massive part in that happening. Everybody today has access to so much more information. Obviously people are constantly pushing boundaries and everything is always developing. So I guess as things evolve and change, people begin to pay more attention and the audience naturally grows.
VNA: It seems ironic that artists such as yourself who’ve come from such colourfully illicit artistic backgrounds are now being commissioned by the same individuals and associations who once strongly opposed the art form. What’s your opinion on this?
JOHN KAYE: Personally I’m very particular about who I choose to work with. I feel like the individuals and associations who once strongly opposed the art form haven’t really been converted into enthusiasts of any sort. All that’s happening is that they are becoming more aware of the possibility to use artwork to there own advantage.
In my experience when I’ve had offers to work with certain people, it’s easy to tell what their motivations are. Sometimes they are very genuine and other times it’s because they are looking to use controlled artwork as a solution to a problem, or something that they can benefit from. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that. I think it’s great that people are open minded enough to take these things into consideration. I just feel that it’s extremely important as an artist to understand why you are doing something in the first place, and then to continuously keep that in mind as you carry on with whatever you decide to do.
VNA: Tell us about home.
JOHN KAYE: Haha, okay. Home at the moment is a confusing subject. I feel like Melbourne is the closest thing to being home. When I was really young I moved around all the time between a bunch of different towns and cities. Nothing has really changed. I still have trouble spending very long in one place. Recently though, I’ve been spending the majority of my time on the Gold Coast. I have some very patient friends that have tolerated me leaving my belongings all over the place and have been kind enough to let me stay with them from time to time, which is lucky.
VNA: You’re heading to Melbourne next week, yeah? What’s on the cards?
JOHN KAYE: A friend of mine is opening a burrito bar with a skate bowl in Melbourne next month and I’ve been working on some illustrations for him, so it seemed like a good enough excuse. I try to spend as much of my spare time down there as I can. I really enjoy painting in Melbourne. The weather is nice and the days are long.
VNA: If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
JOH KAYE: If I can pick someone who’s deceased, I’d probably say Nicola Tesla. He had such crazy ideas and visions to create things that would have massive impacts and he continued to work towards them no matter how insane he appeared. If that’s not allowed, then I would probably have to go with Jay Z. Everything he does, he does well.
www.johnkayeart.com / @johnkayeart
A couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to drop in to the studio of Mr Remi Rough.
Remi (featured in VNA issue 18) has been involved in the London graffiti scene since the 1980’s and now as well as still being active in the mural scene he has carved a very successful art career with exhibitions in galleries in Paris, Perth, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong and more.
Nestled deep in South London’s Peckham/East Dulwich area, the studio was bustling with new work and a couple of older gems that where waiting to be taken to his new ‘Previously’ retrospective show at Morgan Furniture. This show is a little different as Remi explained as its a selection of older pieces ranging from 2009 – 2012 with some totally unseen work from that era.
The exhibition runs from the 11th -27th March Mon-Fri, 9.30-5.30
1 Dallington Street, Clerkenwell,
London EC1V 0BH UK
Have a look at some of our exclusive snaps from the studio visit…
CRISP is an Australian Street artist based in Bogota, Colombia. He was born to artistic parents, and grew up in rural Australia. From a very young age he drew, painted, sculpted, pottered, carved, photographed and created anything he could as a form of personal expression. He speaks with Damo…
Damo: Talk us through your style?
Crisp: I tend to use a diverse range of techniques and materials which effect my style on the street. I’m currently using the stencil style for painting walls plus some freestyle components to link them. I also use many tribal designs inspired from a variety of indigenous cultures around the world to paint my 3D moulded masks. Some of my murals and stencils are quiet political and send messages but then others are purely aesthetic and just for visual pleasure.