Specter continues to impress with his large-scale, hand-painted, one-of-a-kind paste-ups. His work is visually arresting and a welcome break from the increasingly superficial, “branded” street art that has become popular lately. His pieces go beyond being merely beautiful, they make a strong, political statement.
Of this latest series he writes on his website, “I often deal with socially marginalized people and places, an example of this is my ongoing project titled “If I Saw You in Heaven” where I address the issue of homelessness and our apathy towards it by introducing larger than life portraits of these individuals, making their image a celebration of humanity instead of a blight.”
“Another project, “Discarded” also deals with these forgotten elements by highlighting the waste of our society. Large quantities of disposed food items left to rot characterize the excess that interplay with neglected properties, creating a story of the undervalued detritus of our culture.”
This past Saturday marked the opening of the artistic duo Peru Ana Ana Peru’s first solo exhibition “...And Then We Jumped into the Abyss of Numbers: Memories in Absurdity From the Bowels of Peru Ana Ana Peru” at the Brooklynite Gallery. Many people may be familiar with their work on the streets, which mainly consists of boards & wheat paste, but may not have known what else these two are really capable of…until now. The show consists of paintings, sculpture, video, & mixed media installations, as well as a good dose of humor. The crowed was packed from start to finish, so even if you were at the opening, I suggest a trip back to Brooklynite to give their work the attention that it deserves.
While I was in Boston, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Nick Z & Josh Falk of Project SF. Originally intended to be an informal alliance among graffiti writers, Project SF has evolved into a well established & respected international artist collective, whose work can been seen everywhere from album covers to magazines and galleries.
My first stop of the day was to the studio of Josh Falk. Within a few minutes of being around him, it became clear that Josh’s artistic talents are not limited to the walls and canvases that he paints on. He also happens to be an accomplished photographer whose flicks of cityscapes are frequently incorporated into his canvases. He was nice enough to give me some tips & let me play around with his photography equipment for a while, which ended in an impromptu photo shoot.
Josh’s work is currently on display as one of the featured artists at Fourth Wall Projects’ current exhibition, Devastate Your Real Estate
A little later in the evening I stopped by the studio of Nick Z. I had first run into Nick’s work earlier in the day, at the hidden Boston gem that is Bodega, where he currently has a several of his canvases & a full wall mural on display.
Nick’s work has been shown in galleries from Hong Kong to Montreal, but this summer he came back to his home town of Boston for the a solo exhibition, Don’t Hassle Me I’m Local, at Fourth Wall Project. Link here for an interview with Nick on trustboston.com
Nick uses playful, child-like imagery to express deeper feelings of wonder, hope, wants, needs, paranoia, physicality, and love. Like Josh, he employs several different mediums, depending on the project at hand: from spray paint for murals to small scale pen & ink drawings on paper.
It was a real pleasure to meet both of these talented artists and I look forward to seeing more from them and Project SF in the future.
I spend a good portion of my work days shuttling around between Chinatown & Harlem on public transportation. Needless to say, taking the train is rarely a pleasure for me … except on days when I discover hidden treasures such as these:
This weekend took me back to West Philly to check up on the progress of the Steve Powers mural series “Love Letters“. While the rainy, gray day kept me from taking as many pictures as I would have liked, it was really thrilling to see how far this project has come since the first can of paint was cracked just a few short months ago.
If you find yourself in the Philadelphia area any time soon and would like to see the murals for yourself, you can download a map of mural locations.
While visiting the project headquarters, I had the pleasure of meeting James, a Philly based artist & designer working on everything from the administrative to the community relations aspects of Love Letter. The amount of thought that has been put into the project is clear, but James was able to provide me with a much greater understanding of exactly how deep the community involvement in this project runs. Even beyond the community meetings & the recruitment of local artists, Steve Powers and his collaborators remain engaged in an ongoing dialogue with local business owners and residents to ensure that the art around them has meaning and purpose to the people who will see it every day. Apparently they have been quite successful in this mission, as I hear that there is already talk of keeping the murals in place well beyond their originally planned expiration date.
While the murals are receiving much of the public attention, there is also a free sign school that is being offered by the project. It’s purpose is to teach the basics of sign making to a new generation of West Philadelphia artists while creating new, free signage for businesses along the Market Street corridor.
For a much funnier and more insightful look into the Love Letter public art project, check out the official blog, written by Steve Powers.
Oh, and if you have a new or well functioning Mac computer that you are no longer in need of & would like to donate, don’t be shy!
Tonight Pandemic Gallery is celebrating the opening of their new show, curated by Shai Dahanan of the Abztract Artist Collective. Work from 12 of Abztract’s Featured Artists will be displayed on skateboard decks and wood panels.
Pandemic Gallery Sept. 25th, 2009 7 – 11 pm 37 Broadway, Brooklyn NY (between Kent and Wythe Ave)
Let’s compare: Mr. Burns is Springfield’s richest and most powerful citizen; his current net worth has been given as $996 million. He uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for consequences and without interference from the authorities. Michael Rubens Bloomberg is New York’s richest and most powerful citizen; his current new worth has been given as $16 billion. He uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for consequences, as IS the authorities.
Destroy + Rebuild collaborate around the themes of urban infrastructure and graffiti. They’ll be painting live beginning at 7pm, but their work remains on view at Destination Art Space through September 27th. Come out and support!