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‘The Great Beyond’ – Joram Roukes

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This new body of work by Joram Roukes touches subjects of exploration and escapism. His predominantly large scaled oil paintings reflect everyday life situations, observed, filtered and reassembled in a collage like fashion. The resulted paintings pose a fragmented yet cohesive view on today’s society and human behaviour.

Originally from The Netherlands, 32-year-old painter Joram Roukes is inspired by his unique and ever-evolving view of the world. Inherently nomadic, Roukes has travelled to, and lived in many places across the world, and is an adventurous explorer by nature. His juxtaposed style of painting reflects that exploratory trait, as it also never can remain stagnant. His artwork often shifts and changes perspective, subject or style, and in turn, forces the viewer’s perception to shift and change, provoking the viewer to question what they see vs. what they know. His narratives are complex and layered, much like his aesthetic. With an extensive background in art history and global cultures, Roukes often pulls from a wide range of popular culture references and influences, readily seen in his schizophrenic painting habits. With his varying qualities and techniques taking turns in his collage-style painting, he is able to utilize his many influences in art and in culture, to represent his take on the world, while confusing the viewer just enough to make them see the many realities of Roukes’ painted world.

This exhibition is now showing at StolenSpace Gallery until 28 June 2015.

Gris1 and Kan are opening “Humanity” in Geneve

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Atelier des Bains gallery in Geneve will be opening two men show featuring Kan and Gris1 from Da Mental Vaporz crew (interviewed in issue #28). “Humanity” will include 5 new paintings of each of the artist, one collaborative piece as well as a piece painted on the wall of the gallery.

The theme of this body of work created exclusively for the show are human values and the ways everyday exposure to violence is influencing them. Through their distinctive style, French artists are depicting their vision of this phenomenon. Using fat markers Kan is dotting images taken from news channels, stripping them off details and creating pixelated screenshots of mainstream media imagery. Gris1 on another hand is combining different symbols, visual languages, mediums and techniques from urban and popular art, creating collages that form emotive images about the subject. The idea of exhibition is to invite the viewer to question the issue of violence that shapes up our humanity.

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Photo credit Terez (Gris1) & Nicolas Gzeley (Kan).

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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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Swoon’s “The Road By Walking” Benefit Gallery Show for the Heliotrope Foundation

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Our cover artist Swoon (issue #25), recently started a new non-profit organization, the Heliotrope Foundation, dedicated to using art to create lasting social change. These days she joined forces with Dean Collection, for an exclusive event that will be opened on 13th of May in NYC @ 287 Gallery (287 Tenth Ave, NYC).

The Road By Walking is a gallery show of Swoon’s prints, drawings and scale models, based on her community projects in Haiti, New Orleans and Braddock, PA. Through her projects Swoon and her team are using art to make lasting social change in communities recovering from natural disasters and other urgent social crises. This show will be unique opportunity to have a look behind-the-scenes of these unique projects, showing never before shown sketches, architectural models and signature portrait prints.

The attendees of VIP reception on 13th of May have a chance to receive a limited-edition print only available at this event along with their ticket purchase. All proceeds from this event will benefit The Heliotrope Foundation, and a selection of works will be available on Paddle8.com starting on May 1.

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Anthony Lister paints a large mural in Detroit

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During his current US tour that included a solo show in Miami, Anthony Lister recently visited Detroit to work with 1xRun and Inner State Gallery. Along with other projects that are yet to be announced, Australian artists painted this 100 foot long mural just down the street from their offices.
Working his way with rollers and limited palette, our cover artist (issue #19), created this great signature piece continuing his superheros series of works. Through repetition of shapes and contours, Lister created the illusion of dynamics in this expressive piece. Bordering with abstraction, this large mural is an example of his creativity and refreshing style to be seen on the streets.

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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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Aryz Is Opening Paral-lel Solo Show in LA

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Almost precisely 2 years since his last solo show in San Francisco, Aryz is back in California, working on his LA debut show – Paral-lel. Our cover artist (issue #27), created a whole new body of work exclusively for this show, as a follow up to his most recent murals.

Transferring the beauty and rawness of sketch to a large scale, the artist is further exploring his distinctive style with this show, focusing on the imperfections and personal side of art. Paral-lel will consist of two separate show rooms, symbolizing two geodesic lines that never meet in the same plane. The first one will be exhibiting classic style paintings in which Spanish artist mixes academic painting along with contemporary techniques and mediums, while the other one will consist of high energy, expressive works. The artist who established himself as a respected muralist is rarely showing in galleries, so this unique event is expected to get a lot of attention from his fans and general audience.

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Shida x Black Canyon Projects

The guys over at Black Canyon have stayed busy since collaborating on the new issue of Kingbrown Mag – they’re kicking off a new print series (Black Canyon Editions) with a release from the mighty Shida, who is currently based in Poland. Available here.

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To mark the occassion Mik Shida put together a photo diary, featuring recent snow covered European painting adventures… here are a select few photos….

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Ben Turnbull: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

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Ben Tunbull is a British contemporary pop artist whose work is informed by Americana. Creating art from comic books into collages, satirical works based on children’s toys and objects, and hand carved pieces.

Turnbull’s work is self described as ‘Angry Pop’. – Raising questions of harsh truths whilst targeting difficult subjects. Associating characters and narratives from popular media the work reflects a more honest interpretation of American social/political themes.

Following on from ‘American History X – Volume 1- The Death Of America’ Turnbull’s hugely successful 2014 show, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is an undiluted take on the lone teen shooter phenomenon which has haunted the U.S for at least half a century.

Guns & weapons are beautifully and intricately hand carved into vintage school desks. The carvings and etchings are engrained in violence on bubble gum stained desktops taking us on an uneasy journey into the competitive nature of an American High School disease.

The immaculate design and hand crafted works employed in the show reveal hidden truths of U.S gun policies literally sunk into the graffiti strewn material. Tackling repetitive themes from the ‘Texas clock tower sniper’, up until the ‘Sandy Hook tragedy’, the exhibition highlights the horrendous reality and regularity of these shocking crimes.

On show at StolenSpace Gallery from 16 April.

Ramon Maiden: ‘Turbo Faith, Ladies Of The Night & Dandy Delinquents’

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Ramon Maiden is an artist who creates work that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but also delivers an underlying message and purpose to its viewer. Each photograph or image Maiden collects is transformed for a reason. From the famous Vargas pin-ups, vintage postcards and calendars, to holy Saints and religious characters. Sometimes his reasoning has social, political or religious influence, yet at other times it is solely to reference Maiden’s own opinions of society drawn from his childhood. Ramon Maiden updates and modernises historical figures, tattooing them on paper in order to give them relevance in todays ever-changing society.

Maiden was born and raised in Roquetas – the Bronx of Barcelona – a working class neighbourhood located on the edge of the city’s limits. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s it was known for it’s high levels of crime and nonconformity. Even as the Olympics were catalysing the resurgence of Spain’s wealth, the economic situation at the time was far from optimal here, and heroin did a lot of damage. It was considered to be both the birthplace and the breeding ground of the Barcelona junkies (‘kinki’s’); the authentic junkies, the ones that truly had nothing to live for. They were the scruffy, tracksuit-clad, women-watchers. They were the Spanish ‘Robin Hoods’ – but they took from the rich and gave to themselves. The neighbourhood thugs had very particular laws of camaraderie, the main being that there would be no stealing to occur in their own neighbourhood; they were the true dandies.

In ‘Turbo faith, Ladies Of The Night & Dandy Delinquents’ Maiden will be exhibiting a new body of framed drawings, his collectable hand painted wooden artist hands as well as a selection of his products.

On show at StolenSpace Gallery from 16 April.