Tag Archives: Japan

VNA Issue 35 – OUT NOW!

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VNA has grown from it’s humble beginnings as a free black and white zine with the help and support of people like D*Face –who enabled the distribution of the mag at his StolenSpace gallery way back when it first started ten years ago. So it’s only fitting that 10 years on he features on the front cover – shot by Shamil Tanna – for the second time.

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The latest issue is out now and available to buy online before it hits stores next week right hurrr:
www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35

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Inside Issue 35, you can see the philthy skills of Phill Blake, the gravity defying work of Spanish artist Cinta Vidal and the awesome muralism of Canadian young blood, Jarus.

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Also featured is the Japanese skate punk legend, Haroshi, giving an insight into the recycled skateboard sculptures he makes with heart and soul, and Croatian painter Lonac.

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From the Antipodes comes work from Japan-based Aussie artist, Mark Drew, with his blend of hip hop and remixed rap quotes over Peanuts paintings, alongside Melbourne-based Cam Scale, bringing a homegrown history of his life growing up in the bush.

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Great Dane Søren Solkær gives a look through the lens into music photography and artist portraiture and Floridian Tatiana Suarez highlights her local background and a glimpse into the world of her haunting characters.

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Last but not least are Shepard Fairey – return of one of our previous cover stars to give the lowdown on some highlights and milestones of his career – and Wayne White – master of puppets and tongue in cheek painter, fresh off the back of his latest epic show, Wayne-O-Rama, in his hometown of Chattanooga.

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www.verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-35

Spencer Keeton-Cunningham – FAREWELL SAN FRANCISCO : A 12 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE AT HERON ARTS

Spencer Keeton Cunningham – FAREWELL SAN FRANCISCO : A 12 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE AT HERON ARTS

Born in 1983, Spencer Keeton Cunningham grew up in Portland skateboarding and painting from a very young age. Cunningham graduated from the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. After leaving San Francisco in 2014, the prolific artist began working from the road on a self proclaimed permanent painting tour which took him all over the world including the North and South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, and the outback of Australia. Other countries Cunningham has exhibited and painted in include China, Japan, Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon, Mexico, The Netherlands, Cuba, Tasmania, Hong Kong, Alaska, The United States, and Hawaii. Coming back to San Francisco to exhibit frequently, Cunningham has remained on tour for over 29 months and is now forced to pack his things and go. – Heron Arts

This is Cunningham’s first ever solo exhibition in San Francisco. Along with his solo works, there will be paintings for sale from his close friends, painting collaborators and roommates: Erlin Geffrard aka Kid Kreyola, Daisy Ortiz, and their son Daylin Geffrard. The four lived together in their house in San Francisco for numerous years and exhibited frequently in San Francisco and abroad, notably in 2013 at the Wenying Highland Art Museum in Guangzhou, China.

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Twoone – Urban Spree Residency

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Berlin-based Japanese artist Twoone (Hiroyasu Tsuri) inaugurates the first ‘Urban Spree Art Residency’ which inverts the codes of an exhibition and invites the public to witness the process of creation of indoor and outdoor artworks. The opening reception on July 23rd, at 19.00h, presents the works originated during the residency and marks at the same time the vernissage of the exhibition. Closing day: July 24th, 12:00 – 19.00h, 2016. Location: Urban Spree Galerie, Revaler Str. 99, in Berlin-Friedrichshain.

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VNA 33 – Out Now!

VNA 33 is here and available to buy online – verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-33

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For the cover of this issue, we bring you Seb Lester, a typographer and calligrapher living in the heart of Sussex, UK, who’s literally exploded into the public eye. He’s killing it across social media as well as in that funny old thing they call real life.

Always willing to keep broadening our horizons and testing our readers’ own boundaries and tastes, we have some fresh new talent alongside some of the more established names.

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The B-Boy Sculptures of Taku Obata

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Born in 1980 in Saitama, Japan, Taku Obata creates larger than life wooden sculptures referencing breakdancing stances using traditional Japanese carving techniques. Having formed the crew UNITYSELECTIONS in 1999, Taku went on to receive a masters degree in sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008 and won the grand prize at the Tokyo Wonder Wall Grand Prix that same year.

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VNA 32 is here!

VNA 32 is hot off the press!

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Our much-celebrated cover is from Japanese-American artist Audrey Kawasaki. A firm favourite of ours for a long time, she blends together a beautiful mix of delicate female forms with a dark manga influence. Incorporating Art Nouveau-inspired pattern work, wood grain and soft colours with subtly tortuous and erotic undertones her exotic hyperrealism is otherworldly.

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This issue’s Diggin’ In The Crates sees the return of the hugely talented Jeff Soto to give us the rundown on some of the highlights of his extensive career and some of the directions he has explored over the course of his professional life.

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Cute French couple Ella & Pitr give us a glimpse of their amazing partnership of eight years, showing how they double up on their creativity, travelling worldwide to paint while still holding it down as parents.

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Dipping deep into the Antipodean pond, we look at the amazing, huge murals of Aussie, Fintan Magee and look through the refined lens of Nicole Reed’s camera. While we’re out that way we also hunker down with New Zealander Askew to chat about Pacific Island life and world politics.

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Our main men in London, photographers Claude Crommelin, Mark Rigney of Hookedblog, NoLionsInEngland, and Paul Gray stomp the streets of London to find the finest examples of art in the streets, while Paul Green covers the Bristol scene to shine a light on the West Country.

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The regular Instagram feature throws a spotlight on the slick snaps of Australian photographer, p1xels, with a nice mix of urban exploring, graffiti, architecture, inside and outside art and street scenes.

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Mr Penfold holds it down for the UK, with his cartoon-style and colours as he gains confidence in his abstract illustrations. Also from the UK, we have fine pencil work from Steph Morris, getting freaky over sneakers as she shares her obsession.

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Repping it hard for the girls, Polish painter Natalia Rak demonstrates her enviable skills across multiple mediums, from canvas to concrete.

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We go through the looking glass to view art from the other side with Patrick Hull of Chicago-based Vertical Gallery in our Gallery Talk feature. Staying in the US, we also have man of the land, Spencer Keeton Cunningham, with his blend of skate styles and doodled motifs. And last but not least, heading further north, we check in with Canadian Sandra Chevrier and her awesome mix of comic book and photorealistic portraiture.

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All in, there’s plenty to shout about and more than enough to fill the pages of our bigger-sized pages. Get yours online and in store now.

verynearlyalmost.com/shop/vna-issue-32

USUGROW – ORGANIC CONTRACT

A skull and flower motif, dynamic pointillism, fine attention to detail, original calligraphy that transcends cultural borders. This is the long-awaited second Japan solo exhibition of USUGROW,a cult-favourite in the world’s underground art scene…

DIESEL ART GALLERY is pleased to announce ORGANIC CONTRACT ‒ Artworks of Usugrow, opening August 21st (Fri.) and running until November 13 (Fri.). Usugrow started working as an artist in the early 90′s, while engaged in the underground music scene. Through art related to music, skate culture, and apparel design, Usugrow’s artistic activity steadily expanded worldwide. His work couples a dynamic and delicate pointillism and line work depicting a motif of skulls and flowers, with an original calligraphic style developed over years and overflowing with a feeling of statelessness. He takes skulls, which typically bear a negative connotation, and draws them from a different perspective as a thing of beauty; and he takes letters, something that people come in contact with routinely every day, and adds to them an extraordinary sensation and feeling of elation. Those who set foot in this space Usugrow creates may each find their own new sense of value and beauty in this feeling of discomfort.

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James Jarvis “No More Negative Space” Solo Show @ HHH Gallery in Tokyo

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London-born artist James Jarvis is having a solo show with HHH gallery in Tokyo. This new gallery was co-founded by Japanese artists Haroshi and Usugrow, and few other locals engaged in creative activities such as book-making, event planning, music-making and film making. After their inaugural special exhibition showing large Haroshi sculpture, “No More Negative Space” is their first official show.
The artist whose most famous character toy, Martin, has an iconic status in Japan, prepared a series of new drawings exclusively for this event. For the artist himself, drawings are “means of understanding the world rather than as an aesthetic construction for transcribing or recording an image”. In his drawings he is “trying to draw a character that has no ‘character’. A thing, an animate object, that is as generic, as unrepresentative of anything as possible.” Covering personal problems, everyday situation, philosophical questions as well as personal interests such as skateboarding, “No More Negative Space” includes series of works through which he is trying to understand the world, and the everyday phenomenons in it. The show is opening on April 25th and will be staying on view until May 31st, with an opening reception and live painting scheduled on April 26th.

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Ernest Zacharevic – Studio Visit – Henrik Haven

Henrik Haven recently took a trip to Ernest Zacharevic’s studio in Penang to snap some shots of him and Martin Whatson working on a new series of collaboration pieces for the Different Strokes group show.

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Different strokes is a large group show curated by Giancarlo Petrucci (Graffiti Prints) in conjunction with Hin Bus Depot, which features new work by Ernest Zacharevic (Lithuania), Sandra Chevrier (Canada), Icy and Sot (Iran/NYC), Martin Whatson (Norway), Beejoir (UK), Alexface (Thailand), BON (Thailand), Snik (UK), Nafir (Iran), Sabek (Spain), Levalet (France), Roamcouch (Japan) and Gabriel Pitcher (UK) – more coverage of that coming soon!

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TwoOne – ‘OUTSIDERS’

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TwoOne is one of Australia’s leading street artists and ‘OUTSIDERS’ is a body of work completed in a new Berlin studio.

‘OUTSIDERS’ opens this Friday at 6pm (Oct 10th) at Backwoods Gallery.

TwoOne has been kind enough to chat and tell us a bit more about he exhibition and his processes. Keep reading as there is a terrific process video too!

Damo: Tell us a bit about yourself, how you got into art, and how you describe your work to someone who hasn’t been lucky enough to encounter it before:

TWOONE: I’m originally from Japan, move to Melbourne at age of 18. I then lived and started working as artist in Melbourne for 10 years. I moved to Berlin early this year.

I work with lots of different material, and form, and my style changes depending on what I use. There is loose theme that goes through my work, which is psychological portrait.
Psychological portrait is visual translation of people’s emotions, and personality, often usings animals as symbols.

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