Last year we were lucky enough to be invited out to 1xRUN’s Murals in the Market in Detroit. The event was surprising in so many ways, from the time taken by the team to show us what the city was really about – the once-indomitable motoring capital of the USA, with a thriving industry that birthed a lot of modern Capitalist structure, that has since come back from being slammed into depression and decay – to the amount of heart and community that the organisers put into it. With barber-chair artist chats, a roster of local events and genuine support for the artists and workers involved in the festival and beyond, one message was clear, Detroit got soul.
While we were out in the States, Canadian artist Denial was recently over the border in Detroit for his part in the 1xRun ‘Murals in the Market’ project. We caught up with him there and skipped back over the border to check out his studio in Windsor, just across the water from the Motor City. Currently he shares his artist’s playground of a studio with the director of Australian print company Stupid Krap, Ben Frost, when he’s in the country.
In his own words, Denial takes us on a photo tour through his studio and neighbourhood…
The good folks at 1xRUN have just announced the inaugural Murals in the Market print series + original artwork exhibition, featuring 40 world-class local and international artists.
For Detroit’s first mural festival, the team at 1xRUN has been hard at work bringing together the world’s most sought after artists for two smashing exhibitions including a massive original artwork exhibition that explores the new contemporary art movement.
1xRun’s Murals In The Market festival continues, bringing with it some large-scale work from some of the best national and international artists. We caught a few shots from some of the pieces to wrap your eyes round…
Shepard Fairey will paint his largest mural to date in Detroit, on the recently purchased and soon to be renamed Compuware Building.
The 184 ft wide by 60 ft tall piece will go up some time during Detroit Library Street Gallery‘s “Printed Matters” exhibition, running from May 22 to August 31 across the street. The show features prints inside the gallery using slightly more unorthodox materials such as wood and metal, whilst an outdoor section of the gallery called ‘The Belt’ showcases a smaller mural, displayed for the duration of the event.
Shepard’s largest piece will be placed on the blank, vertical, yellow space shown in the middle of the building, which was recently joint-purchased by two large companies.
LSG displays modern and contemporary fine art, and has previously exhibited artists such as HUSH, Vhils and VNA cover stars Swoon and Cleon Peterson. Printed Matters promises to explore Shepard’s usual themes of iconography and phenomenology alongside his own musical and artistic influences.
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.
VNA 29 – Same, same, but different…
Buy your copy here: www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-29
As the art world continues to grow and develop, we’re trying to age gracefully too, with a move towards the broader culture that surrounds street art and graffiti.
This issue we go all out with a cover featuring the work of LA-based Cleon Peterson, whose violently bacchanalian work echoes the brutality he sees in society at large.
We hit Miami for the art fairs this year and while we were impressed with the overall scale and sheer size of Art Basel, Scope held a few gems too… Here’s a few of our favourite shots.
Above’s latest show, Remix, opened recently in Detroit at Inner State Gallery. In his own words, Above describes his mission in his explorative new pieces:
“The intention for my most recent body of artwork is to explore new directions and re-invent the arrow icon I have been creating for over the past 15 years.
The arrow icon is sharp and constructed of straight lines and angles, void of any curved elements. My intention is to contrast the existing sharp angles of the arrow, with the curved and circular cut lines, achieving a dynamic balance between the two with a new fresh look. Similar to that of a hair stylist making a perm on a head of hair that has always been straight.
‘Rise Up’ is Dave ‘MEGGS’ Hooke’s largest solo mural to date. At over 6,000 square feet, it towers over the eastern section of Detroit’s Russell industrial district and serves as an iconic symbol of the city’s ups and downs. The mural, which features an image of a tiger and the text ‘Rise Up,’ reveals a constant symbol of hope and strength that the city can identify with as it moves into a new era of change and regrowth.
“I hoped to convey the energy and momentum of self-empowerment and moving forward,” MEGGS explains regarding this milestone in his mural career. “The tiger is a symbol that all Detroiters relate to and feel proud ownership of – it’s a symbol that’s born from Detroit’s glory days and one that survived its unfortunate downfall.” MEGGS also expresses his respect for Detroit graffiti, “It was great to be able to share this wall with three local Detroit heavy hitters – props to Tead, Elmer, and Rawr.”
The ‘Rise Up’ mural, which concludes MEGGS’ five-week residency and solo gallery exhibition with Inner State Gallery and 1XRUN, was created as his homage to the city of Detroit. “It was my way of giving back to a city that had welcomed me, inspired me, and allowed me to take from it to create my own artwork and experience,” he says. Aside from being his largest public piece of artwork, MEGGS’ eclipses his previous works with new textural techniques and intricate details to reference the multi-faceted landscape of Detroit.
Ironically, the mural commenced a week after Mayor Mike Duggan announced a controversial crackdown on graffiti, forcing the city to fine numerous business owners who had actually commissioned artists to paint murals on their buildings. MEGGS faced logistical hurdles and numerous encounters with police and city workers, but the response was overwhelmingly positive and he was allowed to proceed and complete the largest wall in his street art career.
Photo’s courtesy Mike Popso, Miya Tsukazaki & Sal Rodriguez