Thursday, March 31, 2011

French street artist JR takes over Los Angeles

Banksy isn't the only artist to have made the Los Angeles streets his own. French graffiti artist JR has also been covering the face of the City of Angels with Wrinkles.

French photographer, street artist and award-winning filmmaker JR arrived in Los Angeles last week to exhibit his latest artwork, entitled 'Wrinkles of the City'.

The project showcases his art in the form of wall-sized black and white photos wheat-pasted on buildings both big and small. The unique public art exhibit featured close-up views of people’s faces and left the city’s street art admirers and aspiring photographers abuzz with excitement.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Royal wedding graffiti appears in London but is it a Banksy?

A Banksy-style piece of graffiti inspired by the Royal Wedding has appeared on London's Bond Street.

The image shows a black and white picture of the Queen holding a spray can as she finishes painting Will + Kate inside a pink heart with paint dripping down.

It has been sprayed on scaffolding hoardings outside a shop. The stencil-type style has led to suggestions it could have been created by international artist Banksy, the mysterious graffiti master famous for his witty paintings and secrecy.

But its presence on temporary hoardings rather than a permanent building has led others to believe it is a copycat. Banksy has recently tagged in California, however, where he sprayed an LA water tank with the words: "This looks a bit like an elephant."

The royal wedding picture has not been included on his official website.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moses Graffiti (pt.3)

Moses: walls and trains graffiti from all over the world.

Click HERE to see the pt.1

Click HERE to see the pt.2

Saturday, March 19, 2011

UK graffiti artist EINE bombs San Francisco

If you’ve been walking around the Mission, Tenderloin or Nob Hill, you might have seen huge block letters showing up on walls and shutters.

It’s the work of London-based street artist EINE, who painted the 26 letters of the alphabet around these San Francisco neighborhoods and painted one large work, "We Rock Hardest," above the KFC restaurant on Polk and Eddy Streets.

EINE, a.k.a. Ben Flynn, uses both canvas and city walls to play with large-scale typography and the English language. His early claim to fame was to make “Vandalism” look pretty, literally. He wrote the word on a wall in London.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

5Pointz fans hope petition will save Queens graffiti artists' haven

Graffiti artists are known by the tags they scrawl on buildings, but yesterday they were hoping their real signatures can save the 5Pointz factory in Long Island City.

Local spray-painters are circulating several petitions against the proposed demolition of 5Pointz, an urban art mecca since the early 1990s.

But factory owner Jerry Wolkoff said yesterday that he still wants to replace the graffiti-caked structure with two residential towers.

"For years, there have been people in the community who have been asking me to take it down because it is an eyesore," he said.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Los Angeles wants to stop tagger from making money off art

LOS ANGELES—A graffiti vandal who caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to Los Angeles property is trying to make it in the legitimate art world—but the city attorney doesn't want him profiting from his notoriety.

The Los Angeles Times says the city attorney sued Cristian Gheorghiu and nine others last year. The suit seeks at least $1 million in penalties and a court order barring them from making money off artwork under their street names.

The 34-year-old Gheorghiu has an arrest record dating back to 1999. He was ordered to pay $28,000 in restitution after a 2007 felony conviction.

But Gheorghiu now sells legitimate artworks under his tag, "Smear."

Some graffiti vandals, such as the British Banksy, have become artistic sensations.

Peter Bibring, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, says the suit violates artistic freedom.

Taken from: Mercury News

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

5Pointz becomes more of an attraction ahead of possible redevelopment

With the future of a Queens landmark is uncertain, it's becoming even more of an attraction.

Dozens gathered Saturday at the 5Pointz building in Long Island City, which has been a public art gallery for graffiti for more than eight years.

But the building's owner, Jerry Wolkoff, wants to redevelop the land.

With more than 300 different works on the building, artists say it provides a space for graffiti like no other.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Street art and graffiti get museum exhibition in Los Angeles

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is presenting Art in the Streets, a major exhibition that follows the history of graffiti and street art, from April 17 to August 8, featuring the work of 50 seminal artists from around the world, including Fab 5 Freddy (New York), Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles), Os Gerneos (Sao Paulo) and JR (Paris).

The show offers a record of this distinctive public art, and of the influential artists and styles that have developed over the last half-century, from tagging to elaborate designs on subway trains.

Other New York graffiti artists in the exhibition include Futura, Swoon and the Fun Gallery's renowned artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who connected with the street art community.

Los Angeles street artists will also be emphasized, such as Mister Cartoon, RETNA, SABER, RISK, and Craig R. Stecyk III, as well as cholo graffiti and Dogtown skateboard culture. The show will open with a skate ramp designed by pro-skater Lance Mountain and artist George McFetridge.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Banksy’s Reflection of L.A. is truer than most

At its core, art is subversive, dangerous, anti-authority, and often times derided in the moment it is created. This was never truer than with the multi-talented street artist Banksy.

His recent splash of art that was spewed on our city is one that was probably sparked due to his directorial film debut, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" and its Oscar nomination in the Best Documentary category. The film would ultimately lose out to the financial meltdown doc, "Inside Job." The images that have popped up around the city consist of a young, machine-gun-wielding boy, shooting multi-colored, chain-fed crayons in a field of rainbow colored flowers with a smiling sunshine looking on in bliss in Westwood. Also on display was a titillating Sunset Boulevard billboard. Banksy drew an inebriated and happy handed Mickey Mouse groping the billboard model, while Minnie Mouse looked on with a cocaine-infused grin.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Teenager arrested in Gloucester Twp. graffiti case

GLOUCESTER TWP. — Since November of 2010, there have been over 30 incidents of graffiti througout the township, but police have finally made an arrest.

Osman Lopez-Rodriquez Jr, 19, of Hobart Drive in Gloucester Township has been arrested and charged with 32 counts of criminal mischief for spray painting the graffiti, according to police.

Police said Lopez Rodriquez is accused of spray painting the monikers “JR” and “JUNR” on various walls throughout the business section on Blackwood-Clementon Road. The graffiti was also spray painted on residential fences throughout the vicinity, police said.

Lopez-Rodriquez was processed and released on criminal summons.

Taken from: South Jersey Local News

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hard line on Glen Eira graffiti

GLEN Eira’s “concerning” graffiti is in the spotlight as Caulfield MP David Southwick takes a tough stand.
“Unfortunately there is no silver bullet to fix this problem but taking a hard line combined with prevention and education programs are desperately needed.”
He said Glen Eira Council could apply for up to $25,000 funding and community groups could apply for grants of up to $10,000 under the Coalition’s $29 million community crime prevention program.
Council spokesman Paul Burke said it would apply for the funding if it “assisted and complemented” the council’s existing programs.
But $210,000 had already been spent on a one-off cleaning blitz after a zero-tolerance approach was adopted in June 2009.
In five months more than 15,000sq m of graffiti had been removed from 1377 residential, commercial and industrial properties, he said.
The council had also spent $234,000 on removing graffiti in the last financial year.

Taken from: Caulfield Glen Eira Leader Wherelive

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Queens Graffiti Mecca faces redevelopment

The Five Pointz graffiti "mecca" in Long Island City, Queens
It’s a sad day for New York's street artists. Developers are planning to bulldoze Five Pointz in Queens, an icon of graffiti culture worldwide, and replace it with new high rises.

Since 1993, the former warehouse space in Long Island City has served as an informal training ground and gallery for street artists from around the city. The space is regularly visited by graffiti and hip-hop fans from around the world, earning it a reputation as a street art mecca. Owner Jerry Wolkoff has allowed the artists to use the space rent-free for over a decade, but not for much longer.

Within two weeks, Wolkoff will formally submit redevelopment plans for review. The $350 million dollar project will include two residential buildings towering up to 40 stories high. The project will include shops and a supermarket, as well as a wall for graffiti artists to continue practicing their craft, and studio spaces for artists Wolkoff has formed relationships with over the years.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Graffiti artist's attacker gets three-year sentence

MONTREAL — To his sister, mother and father, he was Brian Kachur, a 19 year-old dearly attached to his family. To most of his friends he was Razor, a graffiti artist whose passion cost him his life.

On November 15, 2009, two teenagers aged 14 and 15 bludgeoned Kachur to death while he was working on another piece of his unique brand of art.

The reason for the brutal attack? The pair was angry he was covering their own graffiti.

Monday, March 7, 2011

LA employs new database to track graffiti vandals

LOS ANGELES — Authorities are creating a database that will be used to store photographs of graffiti vandalism, enabling investigators to track hot spots where such activity is on the rise, they announced Friday.

The city currently spends $10 million a year cleaning up graffiti, and last year painted over 31 million square feet of vandalized surfaces.

Clean-up crews are being equipped with smart phones and told they must photograph any graffiti they are going to remove.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ders & Vibes big mural

A great work by DERS (from Basel, Switzerland) & VIBES (from Brighton, GB)

(Click on the images to enlarge them)

Friday, March 4, 2011

OCEANSIDE: Rat Mural is not a Banksy

UPDATE: Rat mural removed in Oceanside

A mural of a rat flying a kite that appeared overnight on the side of a taco shop in Oceanside is not the work of internationally know graffiti artist Banksy, according to a public relations firm representing the artist.

The mural appeared seemingly out of nowhere Friday morning on a large, blank wall on the side of a building housing the Bull Taco shop on South Coast Highway.

Nancy Willen of Acme PR in Los Angeles said in an e-mail to the North County Times Wednesday evening that the mural was not by Banksy.

The owners of the restaurant could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant said it did not matter to her that the mural was not by the anonymous British street artist.

"We liked it even before we knew," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

She said the owners had no intention to remove the mural.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hallelujah! Graffiti artist Retna goes Global

Retna, the 31-year-old artist from Los Angeles, opened his first New York solo exhibition last week, and I got to see what it’s like to be an artist at the peak of his powers.

Retna, whose real name is Marquis Lewis, comes from a graffiti background. The nom de plume – derived from a Raekwon song – was originally given to a friend. “I gave him a sketch, and he went and battled some dude and he lost,” Retna said previously in an interview with Upper Playground. “He wasn’t even supposed to battle anyone anyway with my sketch that I gave him. And on top of that he lost, so that really pissed me off, so I took the name back.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Graffiti art's new Berlin Wall

Between Berlin and Halle, Germany, lies a 100m-long graffiti mural created by a woman that goes by the name of MadC.

If you travel by rail between Berlin and Halle, Germany, and pay attention to the passing landscape, you will eventually set eyes on a 100m-long (350ft-long) series of detailed scenes: a laboratory overrun by rats, a shipping port under dark clouds, galleons fighting through rough waters and a giant octopus, and a cityscape at sunset. The graffiti name of the artist, MadC, is ubiquitous.

“It's a wall for all of us who paint 10+ years and who put all their energy and heart into it,” says Claudia Walde, MadC’s alter ego, who painted the wall over the course of several months last year. The scenes are an allegory to the creative process and the challenge of painting outdoors in public spaces, and ultimately graffiti’s place within the city.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

‘How To Sell A Banksy’ Trailer

Generally, art is created, displayed and then sold. That tends to be the normal way of doing things. With the street artist Banksy, though, nothing is normal. Much of his work is displayed in public for all to see, and while it would ideally remain there as something beautiful as well as provocative, governing bodies don’t consider the outdoors an open canvas. Therefore, Banksy’s work regularly get painted over, removed or, in some cases, stolen.

That last case is the most interesting one because you can’t just drive down their street and steal a painting. Banksy’s work, however, is there for the taking. Stealing a Banksy with the express desire to resell it is the subject of How To Sell A Banksy, a documentary by Alper Cagatay and Christopher Thompson. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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