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POW! WOW! Hawaii 2017 Photo Round Up

After touring globe and beautifying the streets of eight different cities, contemporary art initiative POW! WOW! returned to its hometown in Oahu, Hawaii for its 2017 festivities. Taking place between February 11th and the 18th, artists headed over to the Kaka’ako neighbourhood to create a bunch of new murals and installations. As much as the festival is about art, it’s also about music, community and culture.

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These images tell the story of the island life behind the murals, as well as showing some of the brightest and best artistic talent out there right now. Some images are from a trip to Papahana Kuaola, a non-profit organization in Waipao that provides aina based learning experiences focused on connecting the area’s past with a sustainable future.

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Artists from overseas this year included: Careaux, Cinta Vidal, Dan Witz, Defer, The Draculas, Drew Merritt, Evoca, Glazed Paradise, James Jean, Joram Roukes, Kevin Lyons, Maya Hayuk, Michelle Tanguay, Mr. Jago, Oakoak, OG Slick, Ouizi, PichiAvo, Shok-1, Tara McPherson, Tavar Zawacki (Above), Telmo Miel and Woes, alongside local Hawaiian artists Beak, Ckaweeks, Dak1ne, Devour, Gavin Murai, Hoven, Jasper Wong, Jeffrey Gress, Kai Kaulukukui, Kamea Hadar, Kaplan Bunce, Katch, Lucky Olelo, Maek, Mason Rose, Mung Monster, Ran Noveck, Prime, Puff, Rolando Venegas, Solomon Enos, Soker, Uglykids, Whomu and Wooden Wave.

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MAYO – STAR LYRIC THEATRE

Late in 2016, Rone held his solo show ‘Empty’ in Melbourne’s old Lyric Theatre, the last event to be shown there prior to demolition. Between finishing the show and returning the keys, Rone invited a select few into the space to collaborate and beautify the theatre a little more prior to the wrecking ball.

One of these artists, Mayonaize, internationally renowned tattooist and calligraffiti extraordinaire painted and documented a mandala filling the entire floor space. He documented this entire process through both film and photography. Damo went down to Everfresh Studios to chat with Mayo about this project.

Damo: Could we initially start by you introducing yourself and talk a little bit about you background and your artistic practice?

Mayo: I am known as ‘Mayo’ or ‘Mayonaize, my backgrounds are in both graffiti and tattooing. I am basing everything these days off of more calligraphic approach and trying to push that lettering thing as far as I can. At the same time I am trying to not to pigeon hole myself, but it doesn’t seem to be working. It could be a bad thing… I’m not sure.

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Credit: p1xels

Damo: Why Mayo or Mayonaize?

Mayo: I was desperate for a new graffiti word. I used to write any words – words that had meanings or connotations I didn’t necessarily want to be tied to later on down the track. When I thought about it I realised that I didn’t want to get stuck with some word like ‘snake’ or something. I feel that some people have got words that don’t suit them. I watched the film ‘Style Wars’ and Duster said, ‘Graffiti, it’s like a game, it’s like here are your letters go do something with it.’ It really stuck with me. I came across the word Mayo thought I’d try make something out of it. It just turned out that ‘mayo’ was a funny word to use in graffiti, I kind of liked the word and the sound of it. Then I did an exhibition and this was how I was going to stop the cops from catching me, I was like ‘I will just call myself ‘Mayonnaise’.

So then it just turned into ‘Mayonnaise’. Instagram came along and I used ‘Z’, because ‘Mayonnaise’ wasn’t available. I kind of keep Mayonaize for the legal stuff I do and ‘Naise’ for keeping them them off my scent (laughs).
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Swoon Hits Haiti!

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:

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“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.”

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50 Years of Bodé Style! Cobalt 60 Augmented Reality

Mark Bodé is set to launch a new Augmented Reality Graphic Novel, based on one of Vaughn Bodé’s earliest works, Cobalt 60.

In the late Sixties, Vaughn Bodé was one of the most influential and controversial artists in publishing. Creator of such iconic characters as Cheech Wizard, Da Lizard, and Cobalt 60, Vaughn’s Eisner and Hugo award-winning artwork caught on with the early street artists of New York, as well as with underground comic and satire publishers. This included National Lampoon, who ran his Cheech Wizard strip for years.

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ALL BIG LETTERS

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

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Nick Smith – Parlance

Following two previous sell-out solo shows at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, conceptual artist Nick Smith returns with a brand new body of work.

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Employing Smith’s signature ‘colour-chip’ methodology, Parlance reinterprets existing images of celebrities and iconic pop culture figures, giving them new life and meaning.

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JUSTKIDS x D*Face & Shepard Fairey – Plaza Hotel Las Vegas

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Global art curator, Justkids, in partnership with Life is Beautiful Festival, continues to infuse art to the ever-growing outdoor art gallery in Downtown Las Vegas. This time choosing the 21 story tower of the iconic Plaza Hotel & Casino as the playing field for American artist Shepard Fairey and UK artist D*Face.

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CRUMPLER x T-WORLD

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Crumpler and T-world are excited to announce their latest collaboration, showcasing some of the brightest and most creative talent on Australian shores. Crumpler know bags, and T-world are obsessed with T-shirt graphics. It made sense for the Melbourne born and bred businesses to curate this ongoing exhibition of products. Crumpler and T-world will be celebrating Series One with a launch party on Thursday 16th February from 6-8pm at their Flagship store, 40-44 Degraves Street, Melbourne.

“It’s a collaboration that was bound to happen. If you’ve ever run into me at an event, exhibition or simply in the street, chances are you will have seen me holding my trusty Crumpler bag. As a Melbourne advocate, I am proud for T-world to be partnering on this project and exposing some of the most innovative artists and designers from this city.” – Eddie Zammit, T-world (and VNA contributor!)

Series One: Tin&Ed

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Tin&Ed are a creative practise, dedicating their lives to blurring the lines between art, design, play and work. Crumpler are absolutely delighted to be working with them once again – having given them some of their rst jobs straight out of university almost a decade ago.
This series is an intergalactic travel-inspired collection featuring three T-shirt graphics and one Squid backpack. Their T-shirt graphics feature ag designs for all beings throughout the universe. In their world, practice makes imperfect.

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Martha Cooper x VNA Limited Edition Box Set!

It’s been a long time coming… We’ve chased Martha from New York to Berlin, Miami to South America and finally, we are proud to bring you the Martha Cooper x VNA Limited Edition box set.

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We’ve sourced paper, run test prints and bounced proofs back and forth over the course of 6 months to produce an amazingly detailed black & white screen-print of one of Martha’s photos on the cover of issue 34.

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It’s taken us a while to confirm all the components of this set (an edition of /150) – from the special signature camera pin badge, to the screen-printed cover and lovingly signed photo prints – and both ours and Martha’s quality control has been super high throughout – there is even an exclusive list included in each set with caption details of each of Martha’s images in the magazine.

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We’d like to thank Martha publicly for her assistance and co-operation throughout this lengthy and difficult process, as well as special shouts to Louis @ Spraying Bricks, Nina @Joshua Liner Gallery, Rik @ Ripe Digital and Joshua @ White Duck Screen Print – without whom this would not have come together.

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So now, the wait is over, the prints are signed, the sets are numbered and the boxes are packed and they are finally available to buy exclusively, online, from 2pm GMT time today.

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Get your set before they disappear!

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Martha Cooper photograph courtesy of Susan Welchman.

VNA Issue 35 – OUT NOW!

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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.

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The latest issue is out now and available to buy online before it hits stores next week right hurrr:
www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35