sticker collage fridge dc  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

Currently on view at the FridgeDC is DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0, an extraordinary ode to street art stickers. Curated by iwillnot and hosted and sponsored by the Fridge Gallery, it features over 100,000 striking stickers. They’re all here: handsome handstyles, curious characters, political posits and social statements. While in DC, I had the opportunity to speak to iwillnot.

When did you first become involved in the sticker art culture? And what attracted you to it?

It was about ten years ago. I liked the way I could easily transport stickers in my pockets and get them up quickly on the streets.

And what was it about the streets that appealed to you?

Getting my name and message across in a public space.

trump sticker art fridge dc  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

This is the third sticker art exhibit that you’ve curated at the FridgeDC. What inspired you to bring it indoors?

My son was born five years ago. I no longer had the time to hit the streets. Nor could I take the legal risks. DC’s laws are harsh. One can get fined $1,000.00 and be sentenced to 3o days in jail just for getting a slap up.

Gee… And with Trump here, the penalties could get even harsher.  How does this current exhibit differ from the previous two that you curated?

This is the first one that covers the entire gallery. There’s been more involvement, and — with a six-week run — it will be the longest-running sticker expo that I’ve curated.

trump and more sticker art  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

What were some of the challenges involved in curating such a huge exhibit?

It’s quite costly. Getting something like this together is expensive. And it demands endless hours of work, including time spent training volunteers.

How were you able to collect so many stickers? There are tens of thousands here!

When I first started posting my stickers online, Skam reached out to me to trade stickers. I’ve been trading with artists all over the world ever since. Every participant in the expo gets a return pack from me. It takes months to get them mailed out… but a trade is a trade.  After years of trading with artists I have hundreds of thousands of stickers.

Dont Trump Women and more sticker art  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

And how do you keep track of them?

I document each and every entry. I tag each one and acknowledge receiving it.

That must be some task!

It’s a year-round lifestyle.

political sticker art and more  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

How has the response been to this show? The opening was packed with folks of all ages!

The reaction has been great. People seem to have discovered an untapped passion for this art form. All year round, I’m asked about the “next sticker expo.”

How can folks see the exhibit?

It continues through New Years Eve at the FridgeDC, 516 1/2 8th Street SE, and is open Thursday-Saturday 1–8pm & Sunday 1-5pm.

DC sticker expo  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

Great! I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

Note: Among the many artists featured in the above close-ups are: SkamBeas, Klozr, Jamie XV, Ed Geiniwillnot Hugh BrismanSarah JamisonSladge & Konjak, 2front, Psyco, Nikolay Milushevda_weiss, 702er, P Lust, Zas, Chris RWK, nite owl, Feln One,…(more to come!)

Photo credits: 1 Tara Murray; 2 – 6 Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky

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nether street art baltimore edited 1 Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

While visiting Baltimore, we met up with Richard Best aka Xxist over at the Creative Labs – a DIY incubator for artists and creative entrepreneurs housed in a huge warehouse designed from up-cycled materials. There we had the opportunity to find out a bit about the city’s SectionI Project that he had founded.

Can you tell us something about the SectionI Project? Just what is it?

It is a non-profit dedicated to utilizing urban art to enrich our lives.  Among its missions is to provide artists with opportunities to produce and promote vibrant, progressive and creative forms of urban art, while serving and enriching their communities. 

How do you go about accomplishing this?

To do this, we seek vacant, underutilized and derelict sites and we work on transforming them into vibrant venues and cultural centers.  Among the key projects we are working on is the development of a huge urban art park in the heart of Baltimore, between Station North Arts and Entertainment District. This Section1 Urban Art Park will not only provide nearby communities with a much-needed recreational park, but also serve as a cultural center for the entire city of Baltimore.

nether street art mural baltimore Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

When and how did this project first begin?

It began in September 2012, while I was enrolled in Design Leadership – a dual masters program between Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and Maryland Institute College of Art. Upon graduation, I was provided with $10,000 in seed funding from Maryland Institute College of Art’s LAB Award. This seed funding was utilized to establish Section1 Inc.

This huge space we are visiting now — the Creative Labs – is a wonderful showcase for urban art — both outdoors and indoors — and provides space for artists to work, as well.

Yes. There are a range of work spaces, including those for woodworking and photography. One of our missions is to provide artists with studio space. Space of this kind is essential in meeting the growing needs of today’s multidisciplinary artists. Upon completion, the Labs will feature a wide variety of resources including a green screen, cyclorama, fab-lab, art gallery, design studios, conference room, paint booth, dark room, washout booth, art storage and over 5,000 sq. ft. of communal space.

Corban lundborg mural art baltimore Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

That’s quite impressive! How do you get the word out on what you have to offer artists?

It’s largely organic. Artists speak to one another and let each other know. We also advertise on Craigslist.

What you’ve done here is quite amazing. What are some of your biggest challenges?

One of our greatest challenges has been identifying the property owners of potential spaces. It is often quite difficult to track down who owns a space.

pablo machioli Alfredo Segatori street art Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

And what about funding all of this? How do you do it?

We are always looking to expand our team by engaging talented volunteers.

On the grounds here there is work not only by local artists such as Nether and Pablo Machioli, but by international artists, as well.

Yes! And through a partnership with Urban Walls Brazil, several Brazilian artists — including Mateu Velasco and Mateus Bailon – have painted here.

mateu velasco street art Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

How can folks contact you? To obtain more information? To visit? To become engaged in Baltimore’s SectionI Project?

They can reach me at Richard@section-1.org. They can also check us out on Instagram and visit our site online.

It’s looking great! Good luck with it all!

bailon streetl art baltimore Richard Best aka Xxist on Baltimores SectionI Project

Note: The Creative Labs is located at 1786 Union Ave in Baltimore, MD.

Images

1. & 2. Baltimore-based Nether, close-up from huge mural on the grounds of the Creative Labs

3. South Africa-based Corban Lundborg painted inside the Creative Labs

4. Baltimore-based Pablo Machioli and Buenos Aires-based Alfredo Segatori, close-up from mural on the grounds of the Creative Labs

5. Brazilian artist Mateu Velasco on the grounds of the Creative Labs

6. Brazilian artist Mateus Bailon on the grounds of the Creative Labs

Photo credits: 1-4 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 5 Tara Murray; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

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syko roxx graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

While in Baltimore last month, we had the opportunity to visit Urban Evolution, a first-rate gym that is also a graffiti lover’s wonderland. Pictured above is by Newark-based Syko Roxx. What follows are several more pieces — many by NJ-based writers — that have made their way onto the walls of Urban Evolution:

NJ-based Emo

emo graffiti urban evolution baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NYC-based Spot, KMS

spot kms graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based 4sakn

4 saken graffiti Urban Evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

Baltimore-based Meca with fragment of piece by Grope above it

Meca graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based Veer One

veer one baltimore graffiti At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

 NJ-based Tiper

tiper1 graffiti Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based Torch Fuego

Torch Fuego graffiti urban evolution baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

And Baltimore-based dlordink 

dlordink aerosol art urban evolution edited 1 At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

Note: Urban Evolution is located at  6801 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore, MD

Photo credits: 1-3, 5, 6, 8 & 9 Lois Stavsky; 4 & 7 Tara Murray

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dain portrait 1 DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

Showcasing established artists, as well as emerging ones, Fat Free Art recently opened in an elegantly gritty space on the corner of Allen and Delancey on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A dazzling solo exhibit presenting new works by the ever-ingenious Dain has inaugurated the space. Here is a sampling:

dain gallery 1 DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

Several more of Dain‘s distinctly beguiling women

dain collaged figure DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

dain portrait 720 1 DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

dain gallery wide viewJPG 2 DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

 And on the street — Allen and Delancey — with Cost & more

dain street art nyc  DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

Closer-up

dain closeup slant 1 DAIN Solo Exhibit Continues at <em>Fat Free Art</em> on the Lower East Side

The exhibit – produced in partnership with Street Art Direct — remains on view at 102 Allen Street through January 9.

All photos by Tara Murray

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rae bk new years eve  New RAE BK Exhibit, <em>All Systems Go</em>, to Launch New Years Eve with DJ Kool Herc at 99 Bowery

NYC’s prolific RAE BK will join forces with the legendary DJ Kool Herc at 99 Bowery on New Year’s Eve for an unprecented event. A brief interview with RAE BK about his new exhibit  and its New Years Eve launch follows:

This sure seems like a fun way to spend New Years Eve! What spurred you to do this? 

After everything that has gone on with this Presidential Election in the US, I decided the best way to bring in a 2017 is with a bang.  I hope it’s a way to at least turn the page for an evening for those who attend. The name of the exhibition is All Systems Go and it centers around the comparison of discarded objects and human beings.

What kinds of works can we expect to see? On the streets we’ve spotted everything from your stickers to your huge installations?

There will be about 40 pieces ranging from ‘found object’ sculptures to large scale canvases to paintings on paper.  These are works I have made over the course of eight months.  And what better way to say goodbye to 2016 than to have a living legend, the Father of Hip-Hop, DJ Kool Herc, to bring some bass and get people moving later on?

rae couple  New RAE BK Exhibit, <em>All Systems Go</em>, to Launch New Years Eve with DJ Kool Herc at 99 Bowery

Can you tell us something about the found objects that you have been working with? Where did you find them?

A lot of the parts I have collected and used to make the work have come from an area in Willets Point. Queens, NYC.   It’s about a 10- block section full of “chop shops,” huge pot holes and some really weathered people. The feeling is third-world for sure. For someone looking at it from the outside — like me — it’s like the land of the forgotten.  Mechanics look like they’ve put in a week’s straight worth of doing car repairs. Others are selling drugs and looking to turn tricks. The work I have created is as much a reflection of the materials as it is of the environment.  A lot of rusted metals, worn fabrics and scraps of plastics… Think “pop-artifacts.”

What was it like to work with these objects?

While working in my studio, I kept seeing the worn and weary faces of the people I encountered in the weathered parts. I adopted the philosphy of making the best of the materials you are given.  And these materials came from the people of Willets Point. People there do what they have to do to make a living. Whatever it takes. The interesting thing is that for all the rusted, decayed, crushed pieces I found, I also found stuff that had a nice gold or silver shine or burst of color that created a cool high-end, low-end quality to the finished pieces.

RAE Red Hook Receyled edited 1  New RAE BK Exhibit, <em>All Systems Go</em>, to Launch New Years Eve with DJ Kool Herc at 99 Bowery

How can one attend All Systems Go on New Years Eve?

Opening night will be a ticketed event with open bar and music spun on vinyl by DJ Kool Herc.  I will be giving away a small original piece of work just before midnight too. You can get tickets here.

And if we can’t make it to the New Years Eve opening, will we still be able to see your show?

Yes! The show will run for at least another week after that. Check my Instagram for updates.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; photos 2 & 4 from NYC streets, Tara Murray

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2  New RAE BK Exhibit, <em>All Systems Go</em>, to Launch New Years Eve with DJ Kool Herc at 99 Bowery

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banksy urban art in a material world edited 1 Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

Penned by Ulrich Blanché, Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World focuses primarily on Banksy’s relationship with consumer culture.  With its thoroughly-researched appendix documenting everything from Banksy record album covers to his exhibition catalogs, it is the first comprehensive academic study of Banksy’s art.  An interview with the author follows:

Your book, Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World, began as a dissertational thesis.  Why did you choose to focus your studies on Banksy? What is it specifically about him that so intrigued you?

I was first introduced to street art and stencils in 2006 on a trip to Melbourne, Australia. And while visiting a museum bookshop there, I discovered Banksy’s book Wall and Piece. I was instantly fascinated and found myself going through it page by page. I liked the way each of his pieces has a distinct message or lesson that is transmitted in a humorous way.  I knew then that I would like to research and write about his work.

Banksy stencil art  Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

You draw parallels between Banksy and the contemporary British artist Damien Hirst. You discuss their collaborations, as well. Can you tell us something about that?  What are some of the essential similarities between the two? What did each have to gain by collaborating?

It might still shock some people that Hirst, the personification of capitalism, and Banksy, the art guerilla, collaborated. They knew each other since about 2000, and Hirst supported Banksy early on. It was kind of like Warhol and Basquiat.  The established artist gains coolness and the newer artist gains credibility.  The two artists admired each other’s works – and both Banksy and Hirst shared a morbid and humorous sensibility. 

Among Banksy’s subjects are both capitalism and religion – often merged in a particular image.  Do any particular images stand out to you? And why do they?

Banksy does not really focus on religion except in relation to consumption. Shopping/ Money is the god of today. No particular work stands out for me. Some are weaker; some are better.

Banksy in NYC Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

To what do you attribute Banksy’s extraordinary commercial success?

I suspect that Banksy actually earns much less than people think he does. His income comes from the sale of prints, books, DVDs… The people who bought a Banksy for 50 quid 15 years ago or received a Banksy as a present have profited  tremendously.

As Banksy rails against consumerism, he — himself — is a master at manipulating consumers.  Why might we have become such a society of consumers? Any thoughts?

We are easily manipulated, even when we know we are being manipulated.

Banksy stencil art creative commons Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

How essential are the streets to Banksy’s success?

The street is his canvas – it is the means he uses to communicate. To remove the street from Banksy’s work is like removing a figure from a Rembrandt. If you manage to keep the context with photos, videos, background info, the work may survive indoors – once it’s no longer on the street. In Banksy’s words: “’I don’t know if street art ever really works indoors. If you domesticate an animal, it goes from being wild and free to sterile, fat and sleepy. So maybe the art should stay outside. Then again, some old people get a lot of comfort from having a pet around the house.”

Where is it all going? Will Banksy’s popularity and commercial success continue to rise? Will Banksy continue to use the streets as a canvas? Or will he become less dependent on them? What are your thoughts?

Street Art is over.  Most works on the street today are authorized murals or pieces in areas where the artist wants to be seen and photographed by the “right” people — whoever that might be.  Street art has become urban art for Instagram. Banksy will last. He will put a few works on the street every year and pull off a big event every few years. I hope he will publish another huge book of his works or lead a little revolution somewhere. That would be fun.

Banksy stencil art Shop Until You Drop Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

Originally written in German and published by TectumBanksy: Urban Art in a Material World has been translated into English and is available here.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; images 2, 4 & 5 Creative Commons & 3 captured by Lenny Collado in NYC

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In Chicago with Cornbread East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Earlier this fall, several Old School East Coast writers — including the legendary Cornbread – made their way to Chicago for a one-night exhibit and a day of painting alongside local Chicago artists. We recently spoke to Brian M Convery aka Booey who curated the exhibit that took place on October 15 at Loft Zero Gallery.

How did you guys end up in Chicago? What brought you there?

Skeme had told me about an opportunity to exhibit my artwork in a solo show at Chicago’s Loft Zero Gallery. I decided that I would prefer showing in a group exhibit — that I would curate — as it would be more inclusive.

How did you decide which artists to include?

I was particularly interested in showcasing the work of classic East Coast writers. And so I largely reached out to folks I know who were painting back in the day. It was my way of giving back to the community.

frito gear brian graffiti chicago 720 East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

What were some of the challenges you faced in curating an exhibit of this nature?

The greatest challenge was collecting all of the art I’d wanted to feature before heading out to Chicago. There were some kinks along the way. And then after twenty minutes of waiting in Newark in a rented van to drive five of us out to Chicago, Gear One called to tell me that Nic 707 was no where to be found!  But, eventually, it all came together.

What about the night of the exhibit? Any challenges? 

Having to compete with the Cubs who had a home game the same night!  We had to work on getting the info about our show out on Cubs’ message boards.

boar1 graffiti chicago East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Any particular highlights of the trip?

Having the opportunity to paint alongside several first-rate Chicago-based artists in Logan Square the following day. The interaction was awesome!

Can you tell us something more about that? How did it happen?

Constantine Ashford, the owner of Loft Zero Gallery, reached out to several local artists and made it happen.

dtel graffiti chicago East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

 What’s next?

I’ve been working on another show — Gold Standard — that will place this Saturday evening — December 10th at Lovecraft Bar NYC, 50 Avenue B. It will feature a range of artists from the legendary Taki 183 to such contemporaries as Tomas Manon and Gem 13.

Gold standard East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Good luck!

Images

1. Constantine Ashford, Booey and Cornbread

2. Fritos and Gear One at work; also featured on mural are Booey and Nic 707

3. Chicago-based Boar1

4. Chicago-based Dtel

Photo credits: 1 & 2; courtesy Brian M Convery; 3 & 4 Tara Murray

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 SVA invite handball Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Focusing on legendary writers of 1967 – 1972, Wall Writers is a comprehensive, feature-length documentary on graffiti “in its innocence.”  Conceived and directed by Roger Gastman and narrated by legendary filmmaker John Waters, its NYC premiere will take place this Friday evening at SVA Theatre.  A brief interview with Roger Gastman follows:

You’ve authored several key books on graffiti and have been deeply involved in its culture. What spurred your initial interest in graffiti? And how old were you at the time?

I was 13 years old and living right outside of Washington DC. A lot of my friends all had tags, and I needed to have one also. It was all around me. Everyone was doing it, and if you went downtown, you saw it everywhere. Names like COOL “DISCO” DAN covered the streets and the metro walls.

Your current project — Wall Writers – is an extraordinarily comprehensive documentation of the early days of graffiti. What motivated you to undertake this project?

I was working on the History of American Graffiti book with Caleb Neelon and I honestly got sick of everyone BSing the year they started writing. I knew enough about the history to know when I was talking to legit people and not. I figured so many of these people have never told their stories I might as film them. I had no intention of this film. I was just documenting.

ROCKY 184 and STITCH 1. Circa 1972. Photo courtesy of ROCKY 184 Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Can you tell us something about the process? How long did you work on it? What were some of the challenges you encountered?

I worked on the film on and off for 7 years. But it feels like my entire life. On projects like these some of the hardest part is finding photos and footage and other pieces of the puzzle that help you tell your story. The process would usually be to let it take over my life for 2-4 weeks at a time then go back to real life for a few months and dive back in. I could still be digging – but had to call it at some point. I know there is more out there and I hope someone discovers it.

How has the response to Wall Writers been?

So far we have had packed theatres everywhere. It’s been awesome. People have really enjoyed the film. We are even doing a show at the MCA Denver in February where we bring the book and film to life.

BAMA poses in front of his painting Orange Juice at the Razor Gallery. 1973. Photos by Herbert Migdoll. Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Wall Writers is premiering here in NYC at SVA Theatre Friday night. What can we expect? 

Friday is the big NYC premiere. I am very excited to finally show NYC the film. We will have most all of the NYC cast from the film there including TAKI 183, SNAKE 1, MIKE 171, SJK 171 and so many more. Come out and support!

It sounds great! And, yes, we’ve been waiting for it here in NYC!

Note: A pre-signed 350+ page companion book will be available for purchase. Tickets to Friday’s NYC premiere are still available here.

wall writers at SVA Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Interview by Lois Stavsky; featured images include:

2. Rocky 184 and Stitch 1, circa 1972, courtesy Rocky 184

3. BAMA posing in front of his painting “Orange Juice” at the Razor Gallery, 1973, photo by Herbert Migdoll

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                     stik street art UK London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

London-based Stik – one of our favorite street artists — recently announced that he had signed, dated and authenticated an original street art work to be auctioned at Phillips this coming Thursday, December 8.  We spoke to him about it:

Can you tell us something about this particular piece? Where was it first painted? And when?

This piece was painted in 2009 on the former Magpie Social Centre in Bristol, England.

What was the significance of the particular space to you at the time?

Bristol was the capital of street art at the time, and Magpie had always opened their doors to me when I took the four-hour coach trip down from London. Earlier this year, Magpie contacted me and asked me to help them raise funds to relocate after they were suddenly evicted from a building where they’d been for about a decade.

stik street art bristol London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

Selling artwork that had once been in a public space is quite controversial. Have you any thoughts about that?

By working directly with communities in order to manage their artworks, we are trying to preserve the true social nature of street art in a creative way that benefits that community without negatively impacting the artist. All proceeds go back to the community the artworks were painted for.

Have you authenticated other works? If so, can you tell us a bit about them?

Most of my murals have a strong social meaning and that is represented by where the proceeds are allocated. There have been two others — a satellite dish and a garage door from 2012 — that raised money for local organizations in Hackney, East London. This wooden panel from the old Magpie building will help build a new Magpie Project Space to support a new generation of artists.

stik street art London1 London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

Whom can folks contact if they are interested in acquiring the work?

This piece is going through Phillips London who have been very generous in their support for the sale. Lot 90, New Now Sale, Phillips London 8th Dec 2016. A log of all authenticated street pieces can be seen here

Interview by Lois Stavsky; images courtesy of the artist

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2 London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

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CHema Skandal paints Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

On our recent visit to Chicago, we discovered the delightfully playful aesthetic of the hugely talented and prolific graphic artist and music enthusiast CHema Skandal! An interview with the artist follows:

I love your artwork’s playful, spirited – often-irreverent – sensibility. What is your main inspiration? The roots of your aesthetic?

I grew up in Mexico City, and its distinct culture has inspired my aesthetic. I was influenced by everything I saw around me – hand-painted street signs, eye-catching graphic designs, everyday visual communication… Popular culture, in general, – and particularly music – is a constant inspiration. And since coming to Chicago, my work has been influenced by what I see here.

CHemaSkandal street art Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

On visiting Pilsen, we came upon a mural that you painted. When did you first paint on the streets?

Yes, that was precisely the first time I painted on the streets. The first mural I ever did is here in Chicago.

What inspired you to paint a mural in a public space?

That mural in Pilsen was commissioned by a city cultural program. It coincided with me wanting to explore and try a different medium like this. At the same time I met Oscar Arriola  and Brooks Golden (RIP) who brought me into street art and exposed me to many graffiti and mural artists. Reflecting on it, I had done some wheat pasting before while promoting concerts or sociopolitical topics.

CHema Skandal street art unmasked Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

How does Chicago’s street art and underground art scene differ from Mexico City’s?

A decade ago it was easy to find stickers and wheatpastings within Mexico City. But there have been mural and graffiti artists for longer, and really good ones…mainly in the outskirts. I don’t have this background, so I can not tell you much about this, but I think in many ways they are very similar. Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world, so you can find practically any type of art, whether independent or more affiliated to cultural organizations or brands. I feel that the scene here in Chicago is more open. Here I was embraced and welcomed by individuals and galleries alike.

Where else have you shown your work – besides here in Chicago and back in Mexico City?

I’ve shown in different places, from alternative spaces and libraries to galleries and museums. Among the cities I’ve exhibited in are: Toulouse, Lyon, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Addis Ababa, Kingston, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tokyo and here in the U.S.

CHema Skandal exhibit Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I studied Visual Communication & Illustration at U.N.A.M.’s National School of Art.

How do you feel about the role of social media in all of this?

I was the last one to use it! I think it can be overwhelming, but it has become a helpful platform for us artists to share our work and promote ourselves.

And is your artwork the main source of your income?

Yes, as of right now I am lucky my illustration work is steady. My projects range from publicity — like flyers, magazine illustrations and printed posters —  to commissioned art.

chema skandal mural art with people Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

Can you tell us something about your process?

Almost everything I create is by hand. I work with inks, acrylics and oils. I usually start a project like that and then transfer it to the computer to finish it off. I especially enjoy the painting process. I like the organic texture of what I can produce that way. I’ve also studied traditional printing techniques. Lately I’ve been getting back into block printing, one of the first mediums I learned. I find it interesting how you can reproduce prints and also the history of it.

Any favorite artists? Artists who’ve influenced you?

I like and admire many, mainly for their unique way they represent their visions. Among my favorites are: the late Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada; the American comic artist Charles Burns and the satirical street artist Banksy.. I also like American and Cuban poster makers from the 60’s.

CHema Skandal installation Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

How has your work evolved through the years?

I think as an artist you are always learning from others. I’ve discovered work that inspires me and makes me want to emulate a technique and try it. Most of the time during this experience you find something that fits your work, like with street Aart in my case. I am still exploring it. My work has changed, and I hope it keeps evolving.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

I think an artist is an amplifier of society. Artists should stimulate the feelings and ideas that are hard to digest. This can be very subjective, of course, but in the end that is where the individual’s sensitivity should focus on. An artist should reflect on the social movements of our time.

CHema Skandal street art characters Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

What’s ahead?

I would like to learn old painting techniques that are not in use anymore. And to find a residency in a far deserted island.

Sounds good!

 All photos courtesy of  the artist; interview by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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