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‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Benjamin Work

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Part three in our ongoing ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ roles out today, with a comprehensive chat with artist Benjamin Work. Benjamin is of mixed Scottish and Tongan ancestry, and intially struggled to find a sense of belonging and gravitated towards the pop-cultural influences emanating from Los Angeles in the 1990s, such as skate, fashion, gang and graffiti culture. Today, Benjamin’s journey to learn more about his Tongan ancestry has led him to discover images of antique Tongan weapons finely carved with often overlooked symbols of warriors and royalty. These key figures in motion, form the majority of Benjamin’s works with strength and power and occasionally, the Lupe, a pacific bird of peace, feature in his works. He continues to explore the power of kula (red) and uli (black) and their connections to titles, Christian beliefs and youth gangs in Tongan thinking and practice.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’?
Benjamin: It’s a statement from a group of creatives that marks a place in time (tā) and space (vā). We are situated in a unique and rich part of the globe that has been subject to many misconceptions throughout the ages, so we are one part of that voice telling our stories from this region of the world. Just like our forefathers who were explorers venturing into uncharted waters, also with us, as we explore what it looks like to be Post graffiti in the Pacific Region.

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‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Route52

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Next up in our ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ series is Route52. Route52 (Brendan Kitto) expanded from the activities of skating and graffiti to the documentation of what he perceived as important youth culture. With age, this concept was further refined. His need to document process and happenings, capturing a time and place, became his point of difference in graffiti documentation, since most people at the time would only photograph the final result. This patience to capture THE shot in urban popular culture and fashion, has enabled him to exhibit his photos in both group and solo shows. With respect to the past and moving forward with the future, Route52 embraces medium format, 35mm and digital photography, with his own in-house black and white development dark room.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of Post-Graffiti Pacific?
Route52: Being able to take the next step into the art arena with friends I have been doing graffiti with over the past 10 – 15 years.

Damo: Can you talk us through your piece, and how you responded to the brief from conception to finalisation?
Route52: There was no brief really, apart from bring your best. I concentrated on a body of work that that I have been working on over the last 4 – 5 years, which is the protests that have been happening regularly over that time.

I chose to work with images from the deep sea oil drill protests and visited parts of New Zealand’s West Coast to shoot images of the landscape that would be affected if a oil spill was to happen.

Damo: How does your piece reflect the ‘dawn of a new movement in art’?
Route52: I wouldn’t say my piece is the dawn of a new art movement, I would like it to make people think of the larger issues rather than their favourite contestant getting voted off a reality TV programme.

Damo: How do you define street art? Has your inclusion in Post-Graffiti Pacific changed your view on this?
Route52: I have no idea on how to define street art , I painted graffiti.

Damo: How does it feel to be included in an exhibition among several of your contemporaries?
Route52: It is great to be alongside people I now call my friends, people I looked up to whilst learning the ropes of graffiti and to be here with them now is surreal sometime.

Damo: Did this influence you in any way?
Route52: It totally did, started from the bottom now we are here.

@route52
www.route52.co.nz

‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ is now on show at aMBUSH Gallery, Central Park, Sydney.

Risk – Old Habits Die Hard – Monograph

Legendary Graffiti Writer RISK has released a 350-page monograph. Detroit printmakers, 1xRUN & cultural curator Roger Gastman have joined forces to publish the definitive book on one of the pioneering Los Angeles graffiti originators.

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1xRUN is pleased to present the definitive book on Los Angeles graffiti originator and icon RISK. Old Habits Die Hard recounts a career spanning over four decades with RISK detailing his history, failures, success and of course the many brushes with the law. Old Habits Die Hard is available for purchase online now from – href=”http://www.1xrun.com/runs/Old_Habits_Die_Hard”>www.1xrun.com/runs/Old_Habits_Die_Hard

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‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Askew One

As part of ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ currently on show at aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney’s Central Park we have been lucky enough to have a quick Q&A with some of the contributing artists. To begin this ongoing series we present to you, Askew One.

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With a strong self-taught background in graffiti, graphic design and videography, Askew One’s geographical isolation of Auckland, New Zealand, hasn’t held him back from presenting his work to the world and he is now considered to be one of the leading figures of graffiti and urban contemporary art from the Pacific region.

Using skills in photography, graphic design, graffiti and traditional painting, Askew One captures his audience with visually complex and pleasing paintings whilst drawing attention to the economic and environmental issues affecting the smaller Pacific nations of Oceania.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of Post-Graffiti Pacific?
Askew One: I’m stoked to see this show come to fruition. From many late night debates amongst my friends over drinks, trying to define who we are as artists to first connecting with the aMBUSH guys and them giving this chance to share this revelation.

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HangFire – Write Now

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HangFire are hosting a group exhibition focusing on the skill and craft of typographic and letter form artwork. Featuring original artwork, screen prints and sketches from international, national and local artists.

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Preview opening on Friday July 24th, 7pm – 10pm at HangFire, 49 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1EN

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The HangFire guys will putting together a more in depth look at the artists over the next few weeks, follow their facebook page for more up to date interviews and insights:

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www.facebook.com/events/537054983113771

www.wehangfire.com

‘Here and Now’ – Scott Albrecht

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‘Here and Now’ is a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Scott Albrecht, featuring a collection of works on paper, wood panel, and dimensional woodworks.

‘Here and Now’ showcases Scott’s latest work which plays off of his graphic style of intricate typographic woodworks, colorful patterning and found object re-appropriation. Taking inspiration from recent events in his life that have resulted in larger shifts or change happening around him. The work is aimed to highlight these situations in varying degrees – from coping with the unforeseen, to recognizing the opportunities from what is available.

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BLO (DMV) – DREAMS HAVE NO TITLES – Solo Show

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BLO (nacido en Francia y establecido en Berlín) es un cirujano de hoy en día. Empalma desnudos de Man Ray con épicas Estatuas Renacentistas para crear graciosas figuras sagradas envueltas en ráfagas de abstracción cósmica. Clavadas con alfileres en el tiempo, como mariposas tropicales en el lienzo.

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“El Asesinato de la Pintura” de Joan Miró no es la primera referencia que asoma a nuestra mente al mirar la piedra maravillosamente concebida por BLO, sus antigüedades alegóricas y geométricas. Así, bajo el resplandor de la graciosa luz de los tonos pastel, se encuentran gestos de paraísos míticos que implosionan. Junto a zancadas futuristas de una estatua o un desnudo reclinado, un híbrido sin género de una época ya olvidada, un momento de tierna y fría pasión.

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BLO is a modern day surgeon, born in France and based in Berlin he splices between Man Ray’s nudes and epic Renaissance Statues creating graceful, sacred figures enveloped in bursts of cosmic abstraction. Pinned in time like tropical butterflies to the canvas.

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“The Assassination of Painting” is not the first quote to come to mind from Joan Miro when looking at BLO’s beautifully rendered stone, geometrical donned antiquities. Yet underneath the light, graceful glow of the pastel hues, one finds gestures of imploding mythical paradises. Alongside futuristic postures of a statues stride or a reclining nude, a genderless hybrid of a long forgotten time, a time of cold tender passion.

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THE FREEDOM TO PAINT IS THE FREEDOM TO DESTROY REALITY.

P.V.Rafferty

www.swintonandgrant.com

damentalvaporz.com

www.blo-paintings.com

Shepard Fairey – VNA Interview

VNA Issue 15 interview and art in the streets from Shepard Fairey.

Fresh from the vaults, this never-before-published footage has not seen the light of day, until now… With special thanks to the teams at Studio Number One, Subliminal Projects and Obey Clothing.

Filmed & edited by Charlie Inman – www.charlieinman.com

www.obeygiant.com

www.studionumberone.com

www.obeyclothing.co.uk

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VNA 30 – Limited Edition – Futura Box Set

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VNA 30 is here. This is a landmark issue with an extra special artist for the cover – a true godfather of graffiti, Futura, formerly known as Futura2000. He talks candidly about the stratospheric highs and crushing lows of his dramatic life and career to date.

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As always, VNA have produced a Limited Edition run of screen-printed magazines, lovingly prepared by our friends at White Duck Screen Print and this issue is no exception. Each boxset features Futura’s artwork screen-printed on the box and magazine cover and inside you’ll find included a set of four die-cut stickers and and an exclusive wooden model of Futura tag on Brooklyn Bridge.

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The box sets will be available to buy excusively at the London launch this Thursday 4th June from Great Eastern Bear, 8a Great Eastern St, Shoreditch, EC2A 3NT. We’ll have some complimentary beers from Brooklyn-based brewmasters, Sixpoint, as well as a few select paintings from some of the artists we know and love and some spicy snacks courtesy of Soffle’s Pitta Chips.

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As if all that wasn’t enough, D*face will be painting a billboard to guide you to the event space, supported by our friends at Ironlak and Chrome & Black, and local dancefloor destroyer, LOL Cool J will be spinning tunes to make you move to.

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www.greateasternbear.com

www.chromeandblack.com

www.soffles.com

www.sixpoint.com

www.ironlak.com

Elizabeth Gossling – BURN – Tintype Gallery

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.

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