In the summer, the city of Vienna, Austria quiets considerably as renowned opera houses and classical institutions take a break from their year-round fanfare of traditional cultural ventures. But on the streets, a nascent art festival is making major waves despite this year only being its second iteration. HilgerBROTKunsthalle is a spacious gallery nestled between other contemporary art spaces in a former Ankerbrotfabrik (bread factory) building. The space – opened by esteemed gallerist Ernst Hilger – organizes the annual Cash, Cans & Candy festival and its concurrent gallery exhibition, an operation dreamt up by curator Katrin-Sophie Dworczak. Running for the months of summer and into the start of fall, the festival consists of new murals by a myriad of artists well-known in the ever-evolving contemporary street and urban art scene.
In a 200 year old building in Mexico City’s central historic district, illustrator, graphic designer and street artist Smithe brings to life scenes from another world. Downstairs from his studio, there is a cantina that still houses a bullet fired from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s gun. The street outside is on the route of the city’s largest civic demonstrations, which regularly block traffic to the area. Some 20 million people live their lives in the near vicinity. When Hi-Fructose visited his studio and showroom for the Tony Delfino clothing line, for which Smithe serves as creative director, the 26-year-old artist said his work is meant as an antidote, albeit temporary, to this urban madness.
Chinese-born, South Africa-based artist DALeast was recently in Poland painting a new mural for the Street Art Doping mural festival in Warsaw. This is one of the few murals he has painted as of late, as he has been focusing on studio work this year. DAL’s distinctive style evolved from his effort to paint large pieces without using much paint, a technique he came up with back in his homeland. As time went on, this technique became his unique, recognizable signature.
Soze Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles came to our attention over a year ago and has been steadily turning out bold shows by established and emerging artists, usually of the street art scene. By bold, we mean artists here sometimes go left field in favor of experimentation and collaboration. Among those who have shown on Soze’s walls, both inside and out, are Miss Van, Ciro, Moneyless, Dave Kinsey, Cyrcle, Retna, Victor Castillo, and Dan Quintana to name a few. The gallery is now moving shop to West Hollywood, starting this Saturday with “Further Adventures in Abstraction” by graffiti artist Remi Rough.
Prolific French artist Christian Guémy aka C215 recently opened a double solo show interpreting the cultural history of contemporary France. Showing both at Itinerrance Gallery in Paris and Le Palais Benedictine in Fecamp, “Douce France” is a two part show that examines French culture and history. Featuring both positive and negative aspects of country’s past and present, the show includes stencil portraits of important figures from the worlds of politics, literature, music, sports, cinema, architecture, science and popular culture in general.
Based in Valencia, Spain, street art duo Pichi & Avo recently traveled to Belgium for the Rock Werchter festival, a music festival with a public art component titled North West Walls. Curated by Arne Quinze, North West Walls sought to create land art installations that will live on long after festival-goers leave the grounds.