Thursday night was the New York launch party for Patrick Nguyen and Stuart Mackenzie’s fantastic new book Beyond The Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art. If you don’t have a bad back or weak arms, I highly suggest that you pick one up (this beast weighs about 5-1/2 pounds). Even if your book collection is a small one, this tome definitely has a place in it and is bound to be a new classic.
Artists, curators, and contributors such as Dzine, Elbow Toe, Gaia, Saber, Ron English, Logan Hicks, MOMO, Faile, Sweet Toof, WK Interact, Jose Parla, Jonathan LeVine, Patti Astor, Hargo, Butterfly, Mikeion, Marc & Sara Schiller, Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant were all on hand to sign books. I am also proud to say that a photo of mine was included in the Swoon section of the book – though I definitely let a few people down when I had the sad duty of informing them that I was not in fact Swoon.
Shepard Fairey is the latest artist to take over the corner of Houston & Bowery, with his wheat paste & aerosol mural called “May Day”. The mural is a promotional piece for Fairey’s upcoming show, of the same name, at Deitch Projects. Sadly this with be the gallery’s last show before closing when Jeffrey Deitch heads to Los Angeles to take over L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Opening Reception on May 1st, 6-9pm May 01, 2010 — May 29, 2010 Deitch Projects 18 Wooster Street, New York City
Deitch Projects is pleased to present May Day, an exhibition of new work by Shepard Fairey, as its final project. Titled not only in reference to the day of the exhibition’s opening, the multiple meanings of May Day resonate throughout the artist’s new body of work. Originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth it represents, May Day is also observed in many countries as International Worker’s Day or Labor Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations coordinated by unions and socialist groups. “Mayday” is also the distress signal used by pilots, police and firefighters in times of emergency.
I do not envy anyone that has to follow up the mural painted last summer by the Brazilian twins Os Gemeos, as the criticisms (and some tags) will be inevitable, but if anyone has the skin thick enough to handle it, it’s probably Shepard Fairey. Despite that fact that I absolutely loved their mural, I also think that it is good to see some new, large scale work in this city. That’s sadly something that we don’t have enough of here.
It’s been a busy month for Italian artist, Blu, who put in some stellar work at this year’s Fame Festival in Grottaglie, Italy. An artist who consistently impresses in both the scale and content of his pieces, Blu shifted gears to paint his first US mural on the exterior of Deitch Projects‘ Long Island City gallery. Yesterday I caught the artist putting some finishing touches on his latest masterpiece, working under a plastic tarp to escape the rain. This sunny mural – a commentary on the state of the US economy? or on the intersection between art and commerce? – is a welcome shot of color on the otherwise bleak East River waterfront.