Shida’s work explores the interlinked relationship between ritual, sexuality and love. Psychedelic entities are entwined in ceremonial acts, transcending the boundaries of known reality. In a world where society’s issues are becoming increasingly gendered and people are seemingly more divided than ever due to the rise of identity politics, Shida seeks to turn this tide like an ancient shaman with each of these works being, in essence, an invocation, an energetic manifestation, a prayer to joy.
Barry McGee was possibly the highlight of the day; after bailing on everyone (including Acclaim) for his press appointments in order to get his daily dose of surf, the reclusive artist came through with a somewhat unorthodox presentation. Predictably focusing on graffiti, he skittered through a slide show that was basically the equivalent of a graff-heads porn collection, interspersed with wavy anecdotes and comments from an alternate reality.
The Q&A for Forum B raised some interesting notions on social media and new technology from Geoffrey Lillernon, which made his actual seminar presentation seem washy and self-indulgent in its focus, which was primarily aimed at his own personal, whimsically rebellious art-house projects.
Mark Drew’s passion for hip hop and little insights into his own personal life made for an entertaining show, focusing on his recent ‘Deez Nuts’ project and zine and the subsequent ongoing legal fallout – offering to give us some creative input further down the line, ‘from jail’.
Shawn Stussy was the star of the show in Forum A, with pretty much the entire room bowing in deference to one of the self-acknowledged O.G.’s of the streetwear. His verbose concerns of anyone wanting to be involved with his new S-Double label seemed to ring a little hollow. Like, I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet NO-ONE will be interested in any new projects from one of the forefathers of the scene. After a 15 year break. It’s not like that’s a fashionista’s wet dream or anything…
We caught up with Booooooom.com founder, Jeff Hamada for a little sociological take on his own particular platform (more to come on this one)
Ronnie Fieg provided an amusingly anecdotal floor with his stories about growing up as a young, jewish kid from Queens, who now champions Asics after his mother failed to buy him the trendiest kicks of which he dreamed. The 30 year-old has sacrificed marriage and kids to follow his dream (but probably not skimped on fun and girls along the way, one suspects…)
Sneaker Freaker founder, Simon ‘Woody’ Wood, was probably the most legit talker of the day. No doubt this guy has one of the most prodigiously in-depth knowledges of trainers in the world – both Ronnie Fieg and PM Tenore asked for his confirmation during their speeches – and his chat was definitely on point today; the main message being do what you love, the rest will follow…
Dabs Myla, the sole incarnation of two souls bound in love and creativity, were the epitome of a duo so profoundly intertwined, they made Batman and Robin look like enemies. The cute couple spent their time finishing each others sentences and providing an insight into what really makes a partnership tick – trust, honesty, hard work and knowledge. Keep it locked for a more in-depth update from these guys.
Melissa ‘Skel’ Jaksic is a legend. She recently painted Oxford Art Factory alongside Shannon Crees, Alex Lehours, Anthony Lister and Sprinkles for the VNA launch in Sydney. Her creative projects include work for Absolut, Outpost, Paste Modernism and Secret Wars (now Secret Walls). She also helps run Ben Frost’s online print store, Stupid Krap, in her spare time. We caught her in between beers for a look at how she gets her kicks…
‘Skel’ means, basically, a bit of a lowlife, is that your persona as an artist, or your representation of what artists can be?
I got the nickname Skel from one of my crackhead friends back in my hometown. Because, at the time, I was a bit skinny and I guess they thought they were being crafty, seeing as I was Skeleton-like and it rhymed with Mel. It wasn’t until one of my friends linked me to the definition of Skel on Urban Dictionary that I saw it had all these alternate worldly meanings that, funnily enough, still applied to me as a person. I think everyone has the capacity to be a bit of a lowlife, and my work generally focuses on the darker side of people’s psyches, so I guess Skel is more a representation of what people can and sometimes want to be, but can’t because of societal pressures. The Dr. Jekyll to my Mr. Hyde I guess…
More jump off after the jump off
StreetFest, is the first live art street festival in UK. StreetFest performers are drawn from a across the artististic spectrum ranging from creative painters, architects, designers, illustrators, skaters and writers who express themselves during the day through live demos, screenings and shows. This niche festival pulls together design styles and crews from all over the world.
It was 3rd October 2009.
More info: streetfest.net