Prolific NY-based street artist ELLE has a joint show with Martha Cooper opening at Mecka Gallery, Brooklyn, on Saturday 26th April. The show is a collaborative effort involving some rare, unusual photos from Martha, combined with some heavyweight, multi-disciplinary artwork from ELLE. Expect fire-extinguisher mayhem, screen-printed paper catwalk dresses and poignant pictures of kids playing in the streets. We caught up with ELLE to chat about her artwork, inspirations and that awkward moment when your arresting officer asks you out on a date.
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.
Australia’s premier contemporary style and culture event, CARBON festival, kicks off its third year of forums this April with a lineup of inspiring creative entrepreneurs and artists hand-picked from all over the world.
Speakers flying in from around the globe to share their stories of struggle and success include founder of the acclaimed streetwear brand, Stussy; the one and only Shawn Stussy, who, apparently, has spent the last 12 or so years surfing in Hawaii, as well as the recently-turned septuagenarian senator of street art reportage, Martha Cooper.
Joining the melee will be the best daredevil duo since Batman and Robin, Dabs & Myla, and www.booooooom.com creator, Jeff Hamada, as well as Aussie artist and one-man social glue factory, Mark Drew, graffiti powerhouse, Barry Mcgee, and a whole host of other amazing minds.
Our old favourites New Era’s Australian brothers and sisters will be getting down and Adidas are slinging some weight behind the organizers at Acclaim Magazine too, so it looks like a monster weekend in Melbourne is to be had.
We’ll be down there bringing you daily round ups in between our daily beer intake and naps.
More info below:
Saturday April 13 – Sunday April 14, 2013
RMIT Storey Hall Auditorium, Melbourne CBD.
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