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MANDO MARIE: ‘Can it be?’ as curated by Hyland Mather and DK Johnston

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American artist Amanda Marie, also called MANDO, uses stencil, traditional painting, and mixed-media collage to create works that harken back to imagery from classic childhood story books, yet slightly askew and out of traditional context.

Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, educated at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, her large scale street pieces and intimate studio works create narratives with recurring characters of children and animals.

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Hyuro For The Crystal Ship Festival in Ostend, Belgium

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Hyuro was one of 20 international and local artists that recently produced a series of fresh public works for the great The Crystal Ship festival, in Belgium’s coastal town of Oostende. Continuing her body of socially engaged and thought provoking works, Argentinian-born artist painted a signature image depicting women’s hands putting together a broken ceramic bowl.
Using pastel tones and her own trusty collection of brushes, Hyuro’s mural subtly blended with the facade of a solitary building, nicely composed within its format. The artist found an inspiration for her work in a fact that Belgium still holds the record for the longest time without government, as well as in its internal cultural and linguistic division. At the same time, the country’s capital is also a capital of the EU, which is slowly falling apart despite efforts to keep it united. This situation was nicely shown through a metaphor of rebuilding a broken ceramic which can never be put together into its original shape. By focusing on the action and the object while leaving the subject faceless and anonymous, Hyuro created a recognizable image that can be understood and applied universally, like most of her work painted worldwide. (Photo credit by @SashaBogojev)

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Heliotrope Prints Fundraiser – curated by Brooklyn StreetArt

Swoon x Heliotrope x BSA Pop-Up Opening Reception opens this Thursday, April 6 at 6 PM – 9 PM
at 88 1/2 7th Avenue, between 15th & 16th St., New York, NY – Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo / Brooklyn StreetArt

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The pop-up exhibit will feature newly released sketches by Swoon Studio and limited edition prints by six world-renowned street artists:

Case Maclaim
Faith XLVII
Icy & Sot
Li-Hill
Miss Van
Tavar Zawacki (Above)

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Spencer Keeton Cunningham – Indigenous Sovereignty Protects Land Air Water

Spencer Keeton Cunningham is having an opening reception for his new solo exhibit in Vancouver BC at Antisocial Gallery this Friday March 31st, 7-10pm. The exhibit is a benefit for water protector refugees Spencer befriended while at NODAPL Standing Rock camps before native Americans were forcefully removed from their treaty land.

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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.

Kaff-eine – Happyland

Street artist Kaff-eine and her cheeseagle team created an onsite art installation as much-needed shelter with two notorious dumpsite slum communities in Manila, Philippines. The global premiere of their ‘Happyland’ documentary and exhibition will be held at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Melbourne, May 2017 Kaff-eine and her international team reunited with two notorious and impoverished dumpsite communities of Baseco and Happyland, Manila, creating and installing a collection of ‘art tarpaulins’ that featured Kaff-eine’s portraits of 10 community personalities. The resulting open-air exhibition celebrated the communities, while also providing them with much-needed resources for shelter.

Fairodes by Kaff-eine

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Luke Cornish – A Traveller in Wartime

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’.

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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.

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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.

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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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