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ALL GOOD THINGS – LAUNCH PHOTOS

A huge thanks to everyone who came down last night for the show opening!

It was great to see so many familiar faces and so much love and support for VNA.

Massive thanks to all the artists who contributed to the show – 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, INKIE, 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

Bidding is well underway and we look forward to raising thousands for Macmillan Cancer Support. All items are available for worldwide shipping, tracked and insured, but we cannot calculate this until we have the winning bidder’s details so please don’t be put off by misleading info on the listings! Hit us up with any questions – info@verynearlyalmost.com or via artFido

All items are up online here and bidding closes at 12 midday Monday 1st May (GMT):

www.artfido.com/vnamagazine

Special shout outs to the Macmillan Cancer Support team, Eve, Jay and Lauren at StolenSpace, the superhuman Andy Vasy for his stellar work getting the work on the walls, Simon at Luardos for the delicious tacos, James Grant for shooting these great pics below, Soffles for providing tasty snacks and the legends from Sailor Jerry for pumping out wicked cocktails all night long.

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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

Lister Shop – New Print Release

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Good friend of VNA and adventure painter extroadinaire Anthony Lister now has a shop!! That’s right, an opportunity to buy all things Lister. The shop holds various works and experimental products of accessible price points providing an entry-point into becoming an art collector. Lister Shop is the only place to buy “SUCKY DIP” which is an an affordable and fun way to get an original artwork by Lister with a random selection lucky dip of original artworks on paper (valued between $300-$900).

It is also the place to pick up small works on paper which are often created through observation and life moments and are the beginning point of many canvas works shown in exhibition. These drawings are an insight into Lister’s process and owning one can be seen as a token of Anthony’s initial ideas and mapping for larger works.

Lister has today launched a new unique multiple print in a limited run of only 100. ‘Warm Yellow Dancer’ is a screen print, hand embellished with ink on 300mm x 210mm 245gsm museum quality archival paper. you can cope one here, but as always, don’t sleep!

@lister_shop

@anthonylister

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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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.

Brandalism & Friends launch ‘Subvertisers International’

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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.

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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