Month: April 2016

Street Art Spotlight: DALeast and Augustine Kofie

posted by – 04/25/16 @ 1:15pm

DALeast

Who: Street artist, painter, sculptor, and digital artist from China (currently living in South Africa)

Where: London, Morocco, Spain, Austria, Milan, and more

What: Paints animals using swift strokes or a combination of shard-like, fragmented shapes. For him, animals are an appropriate subject through which we can study the human condition.

Instagram: @daleast

Website: daleast.com

 

Augustine Kofie

Who: Self-taught LA-based street artist

Where: Portland, Mexico, Germany, Paris, Japan, and more

What: In trying to maintain a sense of balance in his work, Kofie synthesizes seemingly contradictory elements in his work, such as using earth tones to flesh out deconstructed, futurist shapes. He incorporates many influences, from music to architecture to typography, in his sketchy, draft-like works.

Instagram: @keepdrafting

Website: keepdrafting.com

Street Art Spotlight: Niels “Shoe” Meulman and Adele Renault

posted by – 04/19/16 @ 12:38pm

Niels “Shoe” Meulman

 

Who: Visual/street artist, graphic designer, and art director based in Amsterdam who often collaborates with Adele Renault both in making art and running Unruly Gallery

Where: Los Angeles, the Netherlands

What: Launched in 2007, his Calligraffiti movement, as the name indicates, is defined by the fusion of graffiti and calligraphy.

Instagram: @nielsshoemeulman

Facebook: Niels Shoe Meulman

 

Adele Renault

IMG_5756

 

Who: Artist who works on anything from small canvases to giant walls and, in collaboration with Niels Shoe Meulman, runs Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam.

Where: Brussels, San Francisco, Germany, the Netherlands

What: She paints hyper-realistic images of people and things that many people don’t take the time to observe closely to critically, from faces and the elderly to the homeless and pigeons.

Hyde-and-Turk--2-Will-2014

Instagram: @adelerenault

Website: adelerenault.com

 

The “Truth Booth” is going on a roadtrip

posted by – 04/12/16 @ 2:58pm

People waiting in line at the Truth Booth in Brooklyn.

Since it was first installed in Ireland in 2009, Hank Willis Thomas’s Truth Booth has travelled around the world providing audiences a space to disclose the/their/a truth. Prompted only with the words “the truth is…,” visitors to the the inflated speech bubble divulged personal information and thoughts ranging from serious financial hardships to a steadfast belief in unicorns. But while Thomas has taken the Truth Booth to the other side of the world and back, 2016’s destinations will remain within America’s borders.

In 2016, Thomas hopes to bring the piece to each of the 50 states (funded by this Kickstarter campaign). But why limit the inflatable’s domain to the United States alone? Because it’s an election year. And, as Thomas contends, an important one at that. Giving audiences the opportunity to voice their opinions and their truths, then, is more important than ever.

For Thomas, election years signify the times when it is most critical for people to listen to and understand other people. While other people’s truths may differ, they are nonetheless true, in a sense, as at least one person believes it. Elections in the 21st Century have proved to be some of the most contentious and dramatic in history, so we often get caught up in the theatrics and comedy of loud, frivolous debates and controversial, satirized characters. Thomas wants to draw our attention back to our individual voices and truths so that we may maintain unique perspectives and prevent other people (namely, attention-grabbing candidates) from speaking for us. Through the Truth Booth, Thomas impresses the idea that everyone’s truth is (in theory) valid.

Street Art Spotlight: Herakut and Rone

posted by – 04/07/16 @ 4:00pm

Our street art show and the beginning of the Nashville Walls Project is barely a month away, so over the next few weeks we will spotlight the artists to be featured at the gallery and on the walls of Nashville. First up: Herakut.

 

Who: Duo from Germany

Where: Their street art can be found internationally, from London to San Francisco to Melbourne.

What: Narrative in nature and predominately dark in color, the duo’s work often includes figures with oversized, emotive eyes that are accompanied by thought provoking text.

Instagram: @herakut

Facebook: HERAKUT


 

Next, Rone.

Who: Street artist based in Melbourne, a city with impressive amounts of street art on its walls.

Where: Melbourne, London, Malaysia, Miami

What: While he is well known for his stencil art in highly-trafficked areas of Melbourne, his most well known work incorporates close-up portraits of women’s faces who gaze upon passersby on the street below.

Instagram: @r_o_n_e

 

The 2016 Presidential Race meets the NEA

posted by – 04/05/16 @ 3:39pm

Barbara Kruger’s piece, inspired by Hilary Clinton’s campaign, virtually copies the artist’s famous “Your body is a battleground print” with a few (more political) adjustments.

The presidential race is everywhere – we see it on TV, hear it over the radio, and read it in the newspaper. Now, thanks to Artists at the Front, a project cultivated and promoted by the National Endowment for the Arts, the race is breaking into the art world: the four main candidates (Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and Cruz) will each be followed and studied by an established American artist, who will then create work that represents each politician and the policies they represent.

As Hyperallergic notes, this project is a first for the NEA, which until now purposefully distanced itself from controversy. In contrast to the agency’s previous projects, Artists at the Front involves already-controversial personalities and policies, particularly those of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Richard Prince will be working with Trump, and photographer Ryan McGinley will work with Sanders. Tagging along with Hilary Clinton and Ted Cruz will be Barbara Kruger and Romero Britto, respectively.

Perhaps most interesting is the artists’ commitment to the project. Prince, the “enfant terrible” of the art world,” admits that Trump is a fascinating character. While his policies and personality offend and divide people, Prince is attracted to the “interesting guy.” Besides the appeal of involvement with political characters, artists embraced the challenge of being selected for the project. As the article notes, a thorough vetting process tested the artist’s drive to be “at the Front.”

The project will also draw more attention to art policy and politicians’ involvement with the arts. Interestingly, the most talked-about candidate also has the most controversial stance on the arts. For decades, Donald Trump has demonstrated and vocalized a disregard and disrespect for art and its conservation. Again, this is a way in which the NEA, which Trump has vowed to defund, is inserting itself in a competitive political arena it used to always keep at arm’s length.