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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

Headset Apparel Exhibition

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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

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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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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.

Nick Smith Cara Delevingne Esquire Magazine 2016

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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Blek Le Rat – ‘After the Apocalypse’ Print Release

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Our good friend Blek Le Rat has just released a brand new website, and to coincide with the launch of this has also released the next print in his rat series – ‘After the Apocalypse’.

Blek’s first stencils were black rats, seen to be running along the walls throughout the centre of Paris. The rat, also an anagram for ‘art’, is in Blek’s mind “the only animal to survive the apocalypse“.

‘After the Apocalypse’ is a two-color screen print on 300gsm Arches paper; 23 x 31cm; signed, numbered and limited edition of 300. Each print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

‘After the Apocalypse’ is available here, but as you can imagine be very quick!! The last two rat series have sold out very quickly and are now highly sort after by collectors.

@blekleratoriginal

Ernest Zacharevic “Splash and Burn” print release

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Tomorrow, Friday 20th of January @ 3pm GMT Ernest Zacharevic will be releasing his self-produced lithograph “Splash and Burn”. The release will be used to generate funding for a self curated art campaign launching in spring 2017 in association with The Sumatran Orangutan Society.

“Splash and Burn” is an 11 layer, hand-finished lithograph depicting a young boy with a burning match in hand, atop a Rhino folded from an American dollar bill. The playful image is a continuation of his work inspired by children at play and each print is hand-finished using matches and an antique oil lantern. Printed on the BFK Rives 270gr paper measuring 90cm x 68cm each lithograph comes signed and numbered by the artist and will be available in an edition of 130 via ErnestZacharevic.com.

ErnestZacharevic.com
Orangutans-SOS.org
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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.

Releases: Gonefellow “Rude Farmer”

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One of the things that makes the urban art scene so exciting and addicting is how unpredictive it can be and how it doesn’t comply to any rules of classic art. One of the good examples of that is the mysterious artist Gonefellow who has been raising a lot of dust with his recent releases on social media and beyond.

Not long ago he released and sold out “Graffiti Truck The Parody” print (seen bellow), using Banksy’s “Siren Of The Lambs” truck as the main image while commenting on the trend of “salvaging” his public work. Supported by Castle Gallery, he is now releasing a 2nd print release titled “Rude Farmer”. Using another iconic Banksy image as a reference, “Rude Copper”,  the image depicts an elderly man showing a middle finger “to all the animal abusers”. Everything started as a simple drawing (seen bellow), which soon escalated in an idea about producing a limited edition of 100 unsigned prints that will cost £100 + shipping with all the proceeds going to PDSA animal charity. The print was printed by Modern Multiples LA and was planned to release in January, but Castle gallery is already taking the pre-orders via email.

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Ludo’s “Victory” print release

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French artist Ludo will be releasing a new lithograph titled “Victory” on Wednesday, November 30th @  6pm (GMT+1) via EnjoyTheViolence.com. The print features an image of one of his recent paintings that are on view in Miami @ Jonathan Levine and Juxtapoz Magazine group show.

The print will be released in a low edition of only 50 + 5 AP’s (black background), all unique pieces measuring 65x55cm. Using lithography image as the base of the work, Ludo hand painted the background and green accents on each copy, using 3 layers of acrylic and making each copy unique. The edition was produced @ the legendary Idem studio in Paris, comes embossed by the studio stamp as well as signed and dated by the artist.

EnjoyTheViolence.com
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