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The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: urban art

"An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? I find this idea simply amazing," says street artist Jim Bachor. Bachor's current series "Treats in the Streets" fills potholes in his home town of Chicago with playful mosaics of icecream and popsicles. Using the same materials as ancient craftsmen, they are made with thousands of colorful pieces of glass and marble set in mortar which protects each piece. The icecreams are part of an ongoing project where the artist takes pothole suggestions from his fans online, and then fills them with images of things like fish, candy, cereal, french fries, and words like "pothole."
Denver’s Black Book Gallery presents exhibits two artists this month; Martin Whatson and Hama Woods. “About Face” is Oslo artist Martin Whatson’s first solo show in the United Sates. The series features work created to push the viewer to accept change. He gives context to the chaotic nature of graffiti while using it as an element on social commentary, humor and destruction. Studio mates with Whatson, Hama Woods Hama Woods’ The Grey Area” will be her first solo exhibit outside of Norway.
Italy based street artist Teo Pirisi, known as "Moneyless", is constantly seeking to evolve his already abstract style of work. For his last major solo exhibition (covered here), he sought inspiration in geometrical shapes and patterns. These, he feels, are the fundamentals of life that at their core represent a multitude of possibility. As such, they appear throughout his graffiti writing, painting, drawings and found object installations. For his current exhibition, "Fragmentations," at BC Gallery in Berlin, Moneyless reduces this concept to its most simplified form.
Shepard Fairey (interviewed here) is now working on his largest mural to date in Detroit. Located at ONE Campus Martius at "the Belt" and measuring 180' x 60' feet, it is a permanent fixture to the area playing host to his upcoming solo exhibition, "Printed Matters". Opening this Friday at Library Street Collective, the show will feature a variety of Fairey's latest printed materials, serigraphs on paper, collage, and editions on paper and metal. Check out our coverage of the mural in progress after the jump.
Portugal-based artist Bordalo II (previously featured here) is drawing attention to environmental issues with his latest series, "Big Trash Animals". The animals can be found in various cities in his home country including Lisboa and Estarreja, and as far reaching as Berlin, Germany. These new pieces take his core concept of giving waste a new life even further by spreading an important message.
German street artist "1010" turns buildings into dreamy, bottomless pits of color with his murals. His two most recent, titled "Enter the Vortex", are part of the international street art festival Memorie Urbane in Fondi, Italy. They represent his signature style of layering colors two dimensionally to create a 3D optical illusion that tricks the eye.  The result turns something beautiful and mesmerizing out of blank, unattractive spaces.
We stopped by Urban Nation in Berlin last week to check out their latest project, M/7, in collaboration with Brooklyn Street Art. It is the 7th in a series named after Berlin's UN haus building, which we've been following here over the past several months. A portraiture show in essence, curators Jamie Rojo and Steven P. Harrington invited 12 Brooklyn based street artists to create a portrait of his or her particular "Person of Interest": Dain, Gaia, Don Rimx, Swoon, Specter, Esteban Del Valle, Chris Stain, Nohcoley, Cake, El Sol 25, Icy & Sot, Onur Dinc, Kkade, Nevercrew, Dot Dot Dot, and Anreas Engludn. This makes the exhibition a sort of cultural exhange program that brings together the artists with local residents of Berlin, and encourages them to consider their surroundings.
The work of Brooklyn based artist Li-Hill can be compared to a thunderstorm of images which dissipate into surrounding blank space. Like the element of "Carbon", the title of his series currently on view at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Li-Hill's illustrations break into tiny pieces that makeup a whole. The show is named after its inspiration. He chose to portray animals which are directly threatened by climate change due to carbon emissions. Jaguars, caribou, grizzly bears, wolves, and vultures are just a few represented in fleeting monochromatic graphite drawings smeared with aerosol, a carbon-concentrated material.
Photos by Birdman Portugese artist VHILS recently teamed up with Lebasse Projects to create two new murals located in LA's Chinatown district. The murals are part of their ongoing Contrast Series, which aims to build on the cultural value of local areas and honor their roots. In this behind-the-scenes video, VHILS comments on how images made for Chinatown's community have a broader significance. "This idea of creating by destroying is, in the end, inherent to all human beings... even the most beautiful poem destroys the white paper."
Throughout his career, Franco Fasoli aka JAZ has treated his work as a search for identity, primarily between his native Argentina and Mexico. He represents a mix of cultures in motifs like masks, football, popular rituals and clashes between opposing parties, as in his mural about the 2014 Iguala Mass Kidnapping. This sort of confrontation is the main theme of his solo show, "CHOQUE" (English: "Collision") now on view at Celaya Brothers Gallery in Mexico City. His exhibit offers different interpretations of this idea through culture, beliefs, ideals, and artistic techniques.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new year for POW! WOW! Hawaii, named for the impact of its art and viewer's reaction to it. To celebrate the first day of this leading mural festival (covered over the years here), Thinkspace Gallery has curated a group exhibition now in its second installment, "POW! WOW!: Exploring the New Contemporary Movement" at Honolulu Museum of Art School. POW! WOW! is not just an explosion of murals around the island of Oahu, but also showcases new talents in music, creative spaces, provides a lecture series, and many more events. The show's participating artists capture this excitement in works that reflect the nature and culture that Hawaii represents.
In today's world, we're constantly being watched by surveillance videos, big businesses, even in the privacy of our own homes via the internet. It's the most socially driven, and also unsettling, time in human history. Belgian artists Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man have created an installation takes this idea to an entirely new perspective. Like something out of The Lord of the Rings, their interactive EYE installation of 5 large foreboding pupils see all.
When we first heard from Spanish artist David de la Mano, he was just wrapping up a mural at Djerbahood Street Art festival, one of the world's largest. Since then, he's been to Madrid, Cardiff, and Wales- home to his latest mural with Sheffield based muralist and artist Phlegm. He has also painted murals in Montevideo (Uruguay), Sadnes and Stavanger (Norway), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lima (Peru) and Florida, just to name a few. De la Mano doesn't consider himself a "street artist"- he's first and foremost an illustrator with work in the street. In his own words, he's an "explorer of human behavior", represented in masses of people, their conflicts, and visual contradictions.
On Friday, September 12th, Soze Gallery will host double solo exhibitions by Los Angeles based Devin Liston and Gosha Levochkin (of DevNGosha, covered here). Titled "GROWN UPS" and "LOST" respectively, the event celebrates their first time exhibiting together since 2012- and highlights their unique dialogue as collaborators. Together, the two artists create a subtle dichotomy by focusing on two parts of a combined expression. We take a look after the jump.
Urban Spree Gallery in Berlin is now making preparations for their huge street art show opening September 18th, “DUBL TRUBL”. Curated by artist Dscreet, the exhibition will boast 80 names you might be familiar with- Miss Van & Ciro, Ghostpatrol & Merda, Lush & Dscreet, Tizer & Ebot, Anthony Lister, Dabs and Myla, Pure Evil, and many more. The project is aptly named in anticipation of ‘doubling up’ artists who will be collaborating in addition to showing new work. We previously reviewed Miss Van and Ciro’s collaborative work last September, making this an anniversary of sorts. The artists in this show are paired because of their clashing styles, rather than similarities, celebrating the spontaneity and improvisation that comes with collaboration. It’s always fun when artists who don't normally work together join efforts.
Bigger is better, unless you’re Slinkachu. The UK-based artist (previously posted on our Tumblr here) started placing his tiny figures around London back in 2006. Slinkachu sources these from a company that supplies model train products, and vintage 1960s toys, which he embellishes for his own purposes. He’s a big fan of artist Chris Ware, whose works also tend to use a vivid color palette and are full of meticulous detail. When we say tiny, we mean barely a centimeter high. Slinkachu has to use a magnifying glass to add details to his little people. If it wasn’t for his compelling photo series, they would be left completely undiscovered to passersby. He has photographed these humorous, miniature scenes all over the world in places like Cape Town, Doha, Berlin, and New York, to name a few. During the course of documenting his work, Slinkachu began to question: Just what happens to art that’s been abandoned on the street?
Ben Frost’s new exhibition “Know Your Product”, which opened Saturday at Soze Gallery, might have also been titled “Know Your-self”. His new work is a deceivingly simple take on pop culture and what connects us. Through popular cartoons like Hello Kitty and Bugs Bunny painted on packaging, particularly pharmaceuticals, Frost is making an observation about our common "additions". There’s also the possibility that Frost is poking fun at the things his viewer relates to. Prescription drugs are, after pot and alcohol, the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older. So, it’s not surprising that they struck a chord with Frost. Read more after the jump.
German urban artist Katharina Grosse doesn’t limit her vibrant artworks to a wall- she colors the world around her. Color is absolutely essential to her graffiti that covers buildings, mounds of dirt, and installations that evoke natural wonders like the Northern Lights. Her strokes don’t follow the contours of the chosen environment. They follow that of her own hand as she moves through the space, telling an abstract, emotional narrative. If it looks as though she hovered over the Earth with a spray gun, you would be right. Grosse’s process often involves dangerously leaning over scaffolding or being suspended from a crane. Throughout her career, her materials have varied from the conventional to unconventional; acrylic on canvas paintings and gallery walls to plastic and styrofoam alien-like formations. See more of her work after the jump.
Polish-born urban artist Adam Klodzinski, aka #SOAP, paints large scale aerosol graffiti that looks uncannily like photographs. The only giveaway is his unique signature. It’s not a tag, but a stylized mini self portrait lovingly called “Little Adam” painting the work. #SOAP has been experimenting with this style since 2006 and will finally hold his debut solo show “Four Elements” at the London Westbank Gallery on June 11th. Influenced by Hip Hop and Pop Art, the exhibition incorporates the same photo-realism, Surrealism and 3D lettering inspired by his graffiti peers and Salvador Dali. Take a look after the jump!
Bone, linseed oil, citrus extract from orange peels, earth paints and crayons- these are the materials of choice for Canadian urban artist Stefan Thompson. Thompson is studied in environmental science and looks to his surroundings for his medium and inspiration. Somewhere along the way to practicing art, he realized paint was toxic and set out to replace it with eco-friendly alternatives. Whether you find yourself walking through the city or woods near his studio, you might stumble upon a birch tree scorched into a mass of his organic characters. Among the work he’s exhibited is nontoxic acrylic paintings in surprising colors, stick sculptures like his Grassdeer, and reliefs of animals in driftwood, to name a few. Read more after the jump.
Los Angeles based street artist Bumblebeelovesyou colors the urban landscape with stencils of children that deliver an important message. Why take the namesake of a bee? This little insect has been attributed to human survival and development because of its role as a pollinator. The bee’s endangerment due to pollution, urbanization, and other factors could mean devastation. Bumblebeelovesyou began with hanging paper mache beehives in phone kiosks, pointing to the link between rising cellphone usage and change in bee migration. Since then, his work has developed into a range of paintings, sculpture, and installations with a social and environmental focus. By telling his personal coming of age story for anyone to see, Bumblebee reminds us of the value of innocence, away from industry and technology.

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