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VNA 30 – Out Now

VNA 30 is here, a landmark issue for us, it deserved an extra special artist for the cover – no less than Leonard McGurr, aka Futura, the artist formerly known as Futura2000.

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To get your copy – you can pick one up at your local independent newsagent, national WHSmith’s in the UK, Barnes & Noble stores in the US and of course, online here: www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-30

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XENZ – The Moon On A Stick – Fluorescent Smogg

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Fluorescent Smogg is pleased to announce a site-specific showcase of meditative work by London-based artist Xenz. The Moon On A Stick presents a new series of focused monochromatic illustrations and marks a brief departure from the artist’s vibrant idiosyncratic style.

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Work-Shop’s ‘Adventures with Anthony Lister’ and ‘Day of the Deb’

For those of you who missed it, Anthony Lister recently held a whirlwind class at Work-Shop Sydney, ‘Adventures with Anthony Lister’. The video below gives you a sneak peek at what went down.

Melbourne, now it’s your turn but with a twist. Deb’s ‘Day of the DEB’ on 26 April at Work-Shop Melbourne’s new digs sounds too good to miss. You have been warned….

Anthony Lister x The Workshop Au from Billy Zammit on Vimeo.

Evie Cahir and Gemma Topliss: ‘Heavy Leisure’

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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.

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Samuel Gomez – Interview

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.

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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.

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Urban Nation – PM7 – BSA Persons Of Interest

Brooklyn Street Art recently kicked off the 7th part of Urban Nation’s Project M series. We caught up with BSA directors Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo to get the lowdown on their part of the project.

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VNA: So, why did you guys put this together?

Steve: We had a couple of goals when putting ‘Persons of Interest’ together – one was to counter the cultural imperialism that can happen in these large street art/mural festivals around the globe right now. It is sort of in response to a critique we have heard in the last few years as an international circuit of recurring Street Art “names” go into a host city and leave work that people can’t relate to personally. We wanted to leave work that people in Berlin could feel connected to.

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Jaime: We also asked each of the 12 artists to do research and produce a portrait of someone who lived in Germany or who lives in Brooklyn and is from Germany – a cultural exchange that highlights the real connection that Brooklyn and Berlin artists communities have had for decades, something we’re both personally familiar with as artists. The results have been nothing short of amazing (and gratifying) to us, because each of the artists chose people who they also relate to – realist and Dadaist artists, social and political activists, a writer and poet, an icon of the silver screen, Turkish immigrants, even a German photographer who lives next door to one of the artists in Brooklyn.

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Lapiztola in London – Democracia Real Ya!

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.

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TUES – Interview Graffiti World Record in Dubai

What happens when you bring over 100 graffiti artists together to paint one wall in one city? No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Dubai saw no punch ons or turf wars last November for the city’s ambitious attempt to break the record of the World’s Longest Graffiti Scroll.

Alongside over 100 different artists from 26 countries, the Ironlak Family made international art history by trekking their team to Dubai to take part in the painting of the record breaking scroll, measuring over 2.2km long. Created in celebration of the United Arab Emirates’ 43rd year as a country, the canvas scroll stretched across Jumeriah Beach to mark the shape of the country. The team’s efforts became a globally recognized street art and graffiti event titled ‘Rehlhatna’.

VNA catches up with Ironlak’s own TUES to chat about the crossing of graffiti artists from around the globe for a collective project.

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Ben EINE – ‘Hand In Hand’ – ARTSPACE Dubai

Ben EINE recently unveiled his latest mural on the British Embassy, Abu Dhabi in the presence of his excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.

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Ahead of his debut solo show in the Gulf region, EINE has created a 40-metre outdoor artwork on the perimeter wall of the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. In a truly ground-breaking moment for the art scene in the region, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan joined Her Majesty’s Ambassador Philip Parham and British Council Country Director, Marc Jessel to inaugurate the wall, with His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan taking up a spray can for the first time, to personally ‘tag’ the wall.

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