Over 60 internationally recognised street & visual artists including Hyuro, Escif, David De La Mano and Robert Montgomery have taken part in the world’s first coordinated ad takeover in 12 countries as part of #SubvertTheCity – a week of creative action that saw artists and the public imagining a world beyond consumerism. The artworks installed in advertising spaces share images and ideas of hope & solidarity in order to challenge the politics of fear and division that is gripping western societies.
Prize-winning Australian stencil artist Luke Cornish, aka E.L.K recently showed his exhibition of Syrian-inspired artworks, ‘Road to Damascus’ at Sydney art gallery Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary. For over a decade, Cornish has created artwork in the public eye that forces the viewer to reflect on their thoughts and actions and the impact their lives have on others.
Turning over the soil on perceptions of race, religion, conflict and the human condition, Cornish echoes the sentiments of American singer Bruce Springsteen, considering it his job as an artist to ‘observe and report’.
Cornish extends his social commentary across borders and boundaries, with his work often taking him to the worlds most troubled and troubling places. In June 2016, Cornish traveled through Syria with Sydney’s Anglican Church Reverend Dave Smith, on his ‘Boxers for Peace’ mission. The life-changing journey brought him insights into the lives and stories of the people he encountered.
Despite the poverty and plight of the war-ravaged civilization, Cornish was able to experience first-hand the hope, generosity and defiant positivity of the people of Syria. Taking these reflections back and pouring them into his work, Cornish was then invited to return to Syria to exhibit the show at the Damascus Opera House.
Set on returning to the country, Cornish set about collecting donations for art supplies in Australia for his work with the children of Syria, but in doing so, found he encountered issues with PayPal obstructing any contributions with the label ‘Syria’ or ‘Syrian’ attached. His visit to the area wasn’t without incident either, as he found himself arrested in the wrong area at gunpoint, without the correct papers for his visit. However, the experience has left him un-jaded as to the warmth and humanity of the ordinary people he met along the way.
Cycling and mental health awareness project Headset open their first show, Wednesday 29th March 6pm – 9pm. The exhibition shows until Sunday 2nd April at M2 Gallery 4/450 Elizabeth St Surry Hills
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Continue Reading →
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:
“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.”
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.
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
Following two previous sell-out solo shows at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, conceptual artist Nick Smith returns with a brand new body of work.
Employing Smith’s signature ‘colour-chip’ methodology, Parlance reinterprets existing images of celebrities and iconic pop culture figures, giving them new life and meaning.
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.