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Stanley Donwood – Dream Cargo Exhibition

StanleyD-exhib-web-page.fullwidtheventWe always try to deliver a unique look into a variety of art forms, cultures and mediums across the creative world, and it is with that in mind that we bring this completely one of a kind exhibition from Stanley Donwood, key cover artist for Radiohead. The Lawrence Alkin gallery has brought together the extensive project known as Dream Cargo, three years in the making, covering the entire works of apocalyptic sci-fi writer, J. G. Ballard. Donwood has carefully re-rendered the cover art for each and every Ballard story and had a lot of fun doing it too.

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Unwell Bunny – ‘Subtuition’ – Interview

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Damo: Who is Unwell Bunny? Can you talk us through your distinctive style?

UB: Unwell Bunny is the artistic alter ego of Ed Bechervaise, and an energetic free flowing artistic philosophy which is always evolving. The style I’d describe as hyper subversive urban pop, its a fluid clash of borrowed images, graffiti, and emotional narrative. Its full of energy and iconography and is a commentary on the time we live in.

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Lapiztola in London – Democracia Real Ya!

Rosario Martínez Llaguno and Roberto Vega Jiménez make up the Mexican activist art duo, Lapiztola. Recently visiting London, they worked on an exhibition called ‘Democracia real ya!’, meaning ‘real democracy now!’ The exhibition was hosted by Global Justice Now (formerly the World Development Movement) and was held at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. We caught up with the guys at Lapiztola to talk about the project.

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MEAR ONE – Urban Analogue – C.A.V.E. Gallery LA

This series of monotypes titled Urban Analogue by MEAR ONE was created over a seven-year period between 2003-2009 with the late great Southern California master printer, Pat Merrill.

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Each work from this series is unique, they are based on the artist’s subconscious exploration of his everyday structural and psychological environment growing up on the streets of LA. The spontaneous and liberating process of experimentation and execution inherent in this art form allows ad-libs of thought and subversive irony to flourish and which feature prominently in these works. Though more like his live art than his graffiti and tags, MEAR ONE draws from both practices to bring to this series a certain energy, speed, and fluidity from the streets that translate into remarkable movement, texture, and abstraction onto the surface.

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MEAR explains “As an artist one of the many interesting aspects of this personal journey is the ability to explore different mediums, and a great teacher recognizes these abilities and helps you do exactly that.”

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“Pat Merrill understood my natural affinity for the graphic arts and language that resonated seamlessly with monotyping. In printmaking you have to think outside of the normal realm of color, shape, shadow, and light gradients because everything becomes limited and decisive. Pat confronted me with several technical challenges, stripping me down of my traditional process, providing a new palette and tools, which in this case gave birth to the discovery of mark-making by scraping and removing as opposed to adding and applying. Through this reductive process I recognized in this medium something special and unique unto itself that even my studio paintings could not achieve.”

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“It was only when I accepted it couldn’t be like my paintings that I decided to make my printing reflect my process. With finished works you don’t want to show people your process, but if the intention IS the process itself then it suddenly makes the work far more exciting. And that’s exactly the point. If I’ve created something new and unique that no one was expecting, and that isn’t necessarily referenced by me, then I’ve done my job. Otherwise everything becomes a monotonous montage of what you are used to and nothing sticks out, nothing is spectacular. But Pat was insistent that I get outside of myself, find new ways of doing what I already knew so well, if only to renew and refresh the spirit.”

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“Pat Merrill was a master printer, artist, curator, teacher, scholar, philosopher, Vietnam veteran, a critical mind, an advocate for the peace movement. We shared similar world views that allowed us to vibe off one another throughout the creation of this series, and in many ways that dialogue is captured in this work. The end result, what it does for me as an artist, when I come back to my paintings it amazingly improves my realism, my structural design, or my understanding of the physical form so that there exists a symbiotic relationship wherein one supports the other. When Pat passed in 2010 he left behind this legacy of discovery. With the recent passing of another great master printer, Richard Duardo, a huge hole in Los Angeles culture was exposed and it is to these great teachers I dedicate this exhibition.”

www.mearone.com

Images courtesy of Birdman

Smates Interview – Five Years On

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” was Bart Smeets’ aka Smates’ reaction when we first told him it had been a whole five years since we last covered him here at VNA. In the meantime he has managed to achieve that closest held dream of every creative mind, to make a living from his love. Although, as he later mentioned, such an achievement has come at a cost. With an interview that was five months in the making, we touched bases with him again after all this time for an update on how things have progressed.

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Ben EINE – ‘Hand In Hand’ – ARTSPACE Dubai

Ben EINE recently unveiled his latest mural on the British Embassy, Abu Dhabi in the presence of his excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.

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Ahead of his debut solo show in the Gulf region, EINE has created a 40-metre outdoor artwork on the perimeter wall of the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. In a truly ground-breaking moment for the art scene in the region, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan joined Her Majesty’s Ambassador Philip Parham and British Council Country Director, Marc Jessel to inaugurate the wall, with His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan taking up a spray can for the first time, to personally ‘tag’ the wall.

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