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ALL GOOD THINGS

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As the saying goes, ALL GOOD THINGS must come to an end and, after 10 amazing years, Very Nearly Almost Magazine is shutting up shop.

Finishing on a high that has seen the front cover graced by some of the brightest stars of the contemporary art world, including D*Face, Invader, Shepard Fairey, Futura, Swoon, Martha Cooper and more, the team behind VNA have made the difficult decision to draw this chapter to a close with an exhibition and forthcoming book.

In celebration of the incredible people that have made the magazine what it is, VNA are presenting their 10th Anniversary group show with some of the team’s favourite featured artists. 50+ artists make up this hand-picked selection of the world’s top talent, showing in one of East London’s longest-running contemporary urban art institutions, StolenSpace Gallery.

Showcasing work from all over the world, ‘ALL GOOD THINGS’ is comprised of original artworks, exclusive artist proofs and hand-finished prints from some of the leading international artists – artists who have helped shape the scene as we know it today. The VNA team has also assembled a tailored collection of some of the brightest new painters making waves across the globe.

The exhibition is all up for grabs, with artwork auctioned off on artFido and all proceeds from the auction sales donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. Bidding will begin at midday Thursday 27th April, closing at midnight on Sunday 30th April at:

www.artfido.com/vnamagazine

On the opening night, our VNA Newsstand will be bursting with back stock, including tees, stickers and other goodies – all at bargain prices. Hidden in amongst the stand, there will be a complete set of the VNA archive, from 1 to 35, available to buy from our private collection, including limited edition PP’s – strictly one archival item per person to keep things fair!

As with anything VNA-related, there will of course be a drink or two. Our friends at Sailor Jerry have kindly furnished us with a choice of delicious bespoke spiced rum cocktails and a deuce of their finest mixologists.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll be providing some of the lovely Soffle’s Pitta Chips to soak up some of the booze and giving away over a hundred free tacos from Luardos – served from Insa’s hand-painted taco truck.

The show opens for public viewing from 6-9pm Thursday 27th April and daily until the 30th April 11am-7pm at: StolenSpace Gallery, 17 Osborn St, London E1 6TD

Artists include:

45RPM, AJ FOSIK, ARYZ, BLEK LE RAT, C215, CAM SCALE, CHLOE EARLY, CONOR HARRINGTON, CYRCLE, D*FACE, DAN KITCHENER, DAVE WHITE, DAVID SHILLINGLAW, EELUS, EINE, ELK / LUKE CORNISH, ERMSY, FAILE, FINTAN MAGEE, GAIA, GEORGIA HILL, GHOSTPATROL (DAVID BOOTH), HERAKUT, INSA, INVADER, JAMES JEAN, JOE HOLBROOK, KID ACNE, LISTER, M-CITY / MARIUSZ WARAS, MOBSTR, MR JAGO, MYSTERIOUS AL, NIELS ‘SHOE’ MEULMANN, PAUL INSECT, REMI ROUGH, RONE, RONZO, RUFUS DAYGLO, SHEPARD FAIREY (OBEY), SICKBOY, STENDEC, STEVE CROSS, TOASTER, THE LONDON POLICE, TILT, TIZER, TODD FRANCIS, TOM FRENCH, TRISTAN EATON (TRUSTO CORP), VHILS, WILL BARRAS

Bom.K – ‘Effets Secondaires’ Solo Show (Paris)

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Four years after his last solo show in Paris, featured graffiti artist Bom.K  from the DMV crew is returning to Paris for a solo show entitled Effects Secondaires (Side Effects) at Galerie Itinerrance opening on April 21st. The title of the exhibition refers to the sensations we managed to grasp from an artwork after enjoying the technique and subject. In addition, it also refers to one of the works in wood bearing the same name on the subject of overconsumption and the exhaustion of natural resources.

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The Lost Object – ‘Finder / Builder’

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The Lost Object works with discarded and abandoned materials, creating ‘Lost Objects’, a kind of collaboration between the artist and time and nature itself, incorporating the materials flaws and physical history into the work, creating something fresh and new.

“When I talk about collaboration with time and nature, I’m talking about how weather and age create many of the colours and textures in the work. The elegant forces that govern our natural world are constantly altering and effecting everything, I enjoy thinking of this as a collaboration.”

He tackles each piece with no set in stone plan, allowing the material to dictate the way in which it is used and changed.

“Essentially, I use a zen like approach to ‘lost object’ making. I’m searching for balance and harmony… The materials inform the outcome. I find what feels to be a visual balance, an aesthetic appropriateness, for whatever materials I use. It’s a form of game to me for sure, like building blocks or legos, even like chess. It is a form of meditation.”

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In his new show, ‘Finder / Builder’, The Lost Object continues with this Zen like practice but taking it towards the modern age, using more modern tools and incorporating aspects of the Binary System. Binary arithmetic uses only 1 and 0 (taken from the 5000 year old Chinese text, yin and yang) and is used in every modern computer, from iPhones to the technology used to control modern tools. In this way, Zen Philosophy is the dominant philosophy on our planet right now.

The Lost Object takes objects which the modern age has thrown away and creates something new, modern and beautiful.

‘Finder / Builder’ opens at Stolenspace on 6 April 2017 at 6pm.

Low Bros – ‘Wired’

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The Low Bros are an artist duo, made up of brothers Christoph and Florin Schmidt – formerly active graffiti writers Qbrk and Nerd. Incorporating influences taken from graffiti, hip hop, skateboarding, the Low Bros invite you to explore the ‘Low Bro universe’, an assemblage of signs and symbols embodying the conflicts of the modern age.

Their work comprises several reoccurring characters all constructed from bold geometric shapes and vivid patterns. As the viewer begins to deconstruct these forms, the complexity of their aesthetic is revealed with each symbol introducing another layer to explore. The contrast in the forms is as evident as the conflict with our human sensibilities…hardwired to progress but an innate urge to return to the past.Recognised for their vivid compositions and Retro Futuristic animal portraits, Berlin based duo Low Bros Present ’Wired’; the next chapter exploring social and individual Identity in a digital age.

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‘Wired’ marks a subtle shift in direction for the Low Bros, an adjustment in the creative scope of their work. From the nostalgic identity of a subcultural past, ‘Wired’ focuses the cultural identity of an evermore metaphysical present.

Through muted palettes and minimal compositions, ‘Wired’ centres the graphic form of the Wolf. The Wolf floats in no discernible space, often duplicated or fractured among recognisable objects from contemporary culture and nature. His surface appears to be made from hard, durable materials like concrete or marble. Like a fortress, his walls protect something vulnerable, as we explore his form, soft spots are revealed to us in pink fleshy tones. He further draws on these physical boundaries with the use of slick shades; emotional and intellectual barriers from the oncoming stares. In the surrounding negative space, we see thin copper wires shooting through the void. Despite their more engineered nature, symmetry and balance is apparent in their movement as they penetrate the space and figures alike; a unique network developing in each composition. The wolf is literally connected but what does this mean? Are the wires forming around him as a vine does a tree, or is he building and maintaining this connection himself?

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Stripped back, the Wolf has grown more powerful and his posturing counterparts from the past are nowhere in sight. His abstract, seemingly random world does not attempt to imitate life but has become symbolic of it, as have the objects which populate the space. The viewer in turn moves beyond the idea of connecting with the Wolf to learn his secrets or explore the narrative he exists in. Instead we are encouraged to reflect ourselves inside of this unrecognisable, yet familiar reality; question how we cultivate and project persona rather than identity and to whom. Like the Wolf, we are Wired..but does this make us more connected?

Opens 6 April 2017 at Stolenspace Gallery.

Seth – “In My Head” Lithograph

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Paris-based art agency AgenceSixPM will be releasing a new lithograph by French artist Seth on March 30th, produced @ legendary Idem Studio. Based on his image previous painted outdoor in China and indoor in Lyon, “In My Head” is a classic Seth image inspired by the world of children.

Depicting the back of the head of a young boy, the image shows a colorful portal inside kid’s mind. Representing their playful (rainbow colors), and unrestricted imagination (blue skies), the piece is somewhat more minimal, sharper and more focused than Seth’s usual works. The whole concept is accented with juxtaposition against the grim grey foreground that the subject is facing, symbolizing the real world around. Hand signed and numbered 15 colors lithograph will be available from March 30th and will be released in an edition of 125 pieces measuring 103,5 x 71 cm (40.75 x 27.95 inches).

AgenceSixPM.com
Instagram.com/seth_globepainter

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Blek Le Rat – ‘Ratical’

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Vertical Gallery celebrates their four year anniversary with Blek le Rat, the founder of the international stencil art movement. The exhibition “Ratical” opens on Saturday April 1, 6:00 – 10:00pm. The artist will be in attendance.

Blek Le Rat (Xavier Prou) was born in Paris, France in 1951. Considered one of the originators of the European street art movement, Blek le Rat inspired hundreds of artists around the world with his stenciled style. He is frequently cited as a major influence of artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey; and through his work in Paris he established a style of urban art that quickly spread through Europe and the United States.

Blek describes his early work as apolitical, explaining that he just wanted a way to stand out and to free himself from the feeling of anonymity caused by living in a major city. He was one of the first people to use stencils to make public art on the street using icons instead of writing his name. He started decorating the streets of Paris in 1981 with a rat stencil, hoping to create an invasion of rats – “the only free animal in the city”, while creating a style that would suit Paris and not copy the American style. His street name is said to originate from a childhood cartoon “Blek Le Roc”, also using “rat” as an anagram for “art”.

He studied fine art and architecture at Beaux-Arts in Paris, graduating in 1982. Before his graduation, Prou visited New York City and developed a fascination with the city’s graffiti and street art. “To me, the most interesting aspect of street art is the constant opportunities to be surprised and/or amazed. I lose interest when something becomes routine”.

Blek has created street art around the world, and has had exhibitions in Paris, London, New York, Milan, Melbourne, San Francisco, Munich, and Los Angeles.

Blek le Rat – “Ratical”
April 1 – 29, 2017
Opening reception with artist, Saturday, April 1, 6:00 – 10:00 pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

@blekleratoriginal

PORNO!

Melbourne is known worldwide for its graffiti, and has many crews with a number of big names. One of these names is PORNO. Having recently dropped his very first print, we thought it best to catch the man from his lair at Everfresh Studio to get the low down.

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photo: p1xels

Damo: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Porno: Sure. I write Porno… ISO, CDF, LED, STD, 321, ADC, INN, WS4, WSO, ID.

I’ve been writing graff for 22 years. I started painting in 1994. My painting was originally influenced directly through hip-hop, older friends, older brothers and the people I hung out with as a hyperactive kid.

I pretty much started DJing, B-Boying, trying to MC and was part of the start a crew called “ISO” which was a hip-hop crew. Many years later that I was only really interested in painting graff. I ended up working in signage and doing a design degree. From there on I decided I wanted to get into my own signage biz because it was the most relevant thing to painting at the time for me. I had worked for numerous signage companies, became a production manager, and became really interested in production, manufacturing and technology which changed a lot of my perception of my art and my processes.

Painting is how I first I started to intertwine with people of the culture. At one point I stepped away from painting all together for a couple of years (around 2006 or 2007). I got back into it around 2008-2009 when I decided I would set up my own signage business. I met with all the guys from ‘Per Square Metre’ and got back into graffiti painting with more positive people and a fresh outlook. I ended up setting up another separate studio after ‘Per Square Metre’ ended called ‘Safe House Studio’ where it was a similar sort of vein; a heap of graffiti artists and artists who ran their own businesses from there and worked together on numerous creative projects, murals etc. The studio got its title from a police raid which occurred within the first month of opening. One of the transit police officers claimed it was a graffiti safe house!

Eventually that closed down and I moved in at the Everfresh Studio, still running my signage business. Here, I’m surrounded by all these amazing paintings and people who are proactive enough to do what they want to do. It’s invigorating and essentially it’s really motivating.

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photo: p1xels

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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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‘KEEZUS: The Second Coming’ – 23rd Key

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‘The Second Coming’ is the second part of a two part series of works entitled KEEZUS that first debuted in 2014. The body of work draws on the exploration of the human condition, utilizing the stencil art process. It explores the theme of the ego, specifically the artists ego, and experiences.

It’s a dissection of what it is to be a stencil artist and will showcase the medium in a way that has never been done before. Each work concentrates on the inner battle we have with who we are, who we are perceived to be, and how they differ.
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