April 5, 2014
April 4, 2014
Anton Perich is the underground, a man whose innovative brilliance shaped the course of American art for the last quarter of the twentieth century; he who invented the electric painting machine (an early predecessor to the inkjet printer) in 1977-1978 was also the man who introduced public access television (an early predecessor to reality TV) to New York City in 1973.
Born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Perich was in Paris from 1965-1970. He recalls, “I was associated with Lettristes from 1967 to 1970. I worked with Lemaitre and Isou, painting, writing poetry, shooting films, doing the shows. Lettrism was my school. I was educated by the two greatest artists and thinkers of that time. Of course Isou predicted the 1968 revolution and went mad. We did some performances at L’Odeon, it was occupied, Non-stop 24 hours spectacle. I spent few nights there.
“I think that the Revolution of 68, the Paris Spring is grossly misunderstood today. It was not the flesh and blood revolution, no guillotines. It was the revolution of spirit, of the young, so unique in the history of revolutions. It paved the way for other bloodless revolution in the Eastern Europe. Imagine, the Communism died the bloodless death. Tell it to Stalin, or Lenin.
“I lived my own revolution there. I became something else at 23. It is difficult to transform oneself, only fantasy and revolution will do it. And spirit. And resurrection. And the fire in Paris streets. And ‘sous les paves la plage’. The greatest slogan ever written.”
Read the Full Story at THE CLICK.
April 3, 2014
KEL 1ST is the original, a pioneer and an innovator of the old school. Once again he is leading the way, bringing graffiti to the people in a new app, 2Many2Name. He has graciously agreed to share his thoughts on graffiti in the age of digital reproduction.
Miss Rosen: Why an app ?
KEL 1ST: I chose an app for a number of reasons, one I have always looked to integrate technology with Graffiti. In 1990s it was with VoiceoftheGhetto.com as the first urban outpost on the web. Where I was creating CD-ROM based apps that tied into the web for content. Today it is a straight app for mobile devices, phones and tablets. It is also a direction that publishing is headed toward.
Apps are the future of many forms of communication and information consumption. So I have invested many years of my technical career into creating and integrating technology with a subject I happen to love, Graffiti.
An app gives me the opportunity to do things you cannot do in a printed book. One very big reason for an app is it can be updated and the cost to the customer is zero. As with a book, you would have to buy it all over again.
How does graff translate into the digital realm for artists and fans alike ?
The transformation to digital does not replace the painting. But rather enhances the artist skill, creative thought and exploration process. Many opportunities are accessible in digital that require almost no added expense. This leads to a rapid iteration flow, and lots of kool ideas just roll out!
The 2Many2Name app is right there with the artist while they are exploring their creativity in software by offering downloadable color palettes. These color palettes can be used in professional software applications like Adobe Creative Suite.
What do you find most innovative about technology as it related to graff ?
Technology has found its places in Graffiti in so many ways, the types of spray nozzles available for varying types of new paint and in software. The software today in the hands of a savvy and creative person will generate works that can easily become the next “Burner” on a train or wall. In very quick fashion, you can see color combinations, study sketches and edit to perfection. Its different when you have you use your mind in an abstract way to “see” these things. Which was the way I had to create my work before technology was accessible.
Why the number 2 ?
The reason I chose the number 2, is because I had done a personal study of the trends in Graffiti when I was writing. I felt that books in general miss historical details about our history and the pioneers who contributed to its growth. Graffiti is global, no doubt about that!
I have always believed that this is a WE thing not a ME thing. Not that I have a problem with publishing a book about myself or any individual. There is a value to that story as well. But it does not cover or shine on the things I am bringing to the forefront with the 2Many2Name book app series.
The 2 is a significant character in the development of wild styles. It presented very attractive and powerful attributes that easily become the most complex pieces. This is a hidden gem in the historical timeline of graffiti and wild style masterpieces. As a big fan of those masterpieces and the very talented minds that painted them. I pay homage to them and the many friendships that grew from that with this app and the ones that follow.
Who is on it ?
I took a cross selection of generations of wild style masterpieces during the time I was very active and inspired. On the app you will find works of Dondi, Kool 131, Kade 198, Case ll, Slave One and myself. These names are a fraction of the list of significant and important contributors to the development of graffiti wild style masterpieces. That has affected a global audience of followers and pracitioners.
What are the original source materials ?
I have a good library of pictures I had taken back then, finding and selecting the right ones was challenging. The great part of this project for me was revisiting all those works and remembering the stories. Certainly has inspired me to paint again and often.
Can you talk about color schemes and how they figure into Wild Style energy ?
The colors were the driving light of energy in the pieces as we refer to them as “BURNERS”. There are details that make the piece “burn” by carefully choosing the “right” colors. Something complimentary or mixing extremes to create the new “hot” color palette.
Color has an even greater role today than it did when I painted. We had a small exotic palette of colors. In contrast today we have numerous shades of each hue to choose from. I am not so sure that having so many shades is good. You tend to create your best when you have the least of something this becomes a natural to innovate and improvise as you create your best work. That gets lost I think in translation with too many options. A very good example of that is the “2Much” by Kade 198, TMT Crew. He used a small palette of colors, not more 5 or 6 and his piece is amazing.
Those were the kind of conditions that stimulate your creativity on many levels. It is not just the color you have to consider but the style and flow of your masterpiece. Of course there are environmental elements that also enhance our energy in the creation process.
Also about the structure of the letters / number themselves, and the way you’re approaching Wild Style as typography ?
Graffiti resembles many forms of communication, advertising, marketing, and typography. It is about the letter, the word, the name, and the message.
But this wasn’t at the forefront with us when we were out there. To us it was just “Getting Up”. By today’s translation it’s using typography and the various forms of communication, to “Get Up”. All in addition to spray paint, markers, pens and pencil.
One way we chose a particular tag was to find letters that had a strong look, sound and relationship to the word. This gave it the prominent appeal. It would also be easy to do great masterpieces and have an equally strong “tag”/signature.
Graffiti is the modern urban typography, it is a language that is evolving and gaining a very large base of writers to support it as it grows in all areas.
Check out 2MANY2NAME at iTunes
April 2, 2014
“Keeping a secret was never really my thing,” Adèle Jancovici writes in the beginning of Maripola X, the first edition from Le Livre Art Publishing. As publisher, Jancovici collaborates with artists to produce editions in various forms, be it books, prints, and other media that offer a public space for the private thought.
Jancovici likens herself to a movie producer working in the 1940s, envisioning the finished work as the space of collaboration between herself and her artists. Like any great producer, Jancovici understands that art is a vehicle from which a voice and a spirit emanates and has the ability to influence all those who come into contact with it.
“People should look up to artists with reverence for being so vulnerable and for being so secure with their intent. Women pour out their guts while men hold it inside. Men are outside, women are inside, a yin yang of complementary energies, just like vulnerability and strength. Though I see myself as in the middle, I feel much more masculine in my work. As publisher I am there to protect my artists, to make the Le Livre Art Publishing a safe space for them,” Jancovici reveals.
Read the Full Story at
L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
April 1, 2014
It is estimated that ancient inhabitants first migrated from Africa by way of Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea (PNG) between 50,000-70,000 years. Around 7000 BC, agriculture developed in the highlands, making it one of the few areas in the world where people independently domesticated plants, and by 3000 BC, merchants from Southeast Asia began to trade plumes of bird of paradise native to the island.
Sharing an island with Indonesia, PNG rests just miles from Australia. Home to 6.3 million people, PNG is considered one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world with 848 different languages listed for the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers. PNG is also one of the most rural counties, with only 18% of its population living in urban centers. Although the nation has the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world, as of 2011, at least one third of the population lives on less than $1.25USD per day.
PNG is one of the world’s least explored countries, both geographically and culturally, making the work of Stephen Dupont even more salient and prescient in ways we cannot yet fully comprehend. His newest book, Piksa Niugini Portraits and Diaries (Radius Books/Peabody Museum Press) is a two-volume slipcased set that documents PNG’s most important cultural and historical zones: the Highlands, Sepik, Bougainville, and the capital city of Port Moresby.
Read the Full Story at
L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
March 31, 2014
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
What do you think an artist is?
…he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking,
passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world,
shaping himself completely in their image.
Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.
We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth
at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner
whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.
Art is not chaste.
Those ill prepared should be allowed no contact with art.
Art is dangerous. If it is chaste, it is not art.
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place:
from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper,
from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
You don’t make art, you find it.
Everybody has the same energy potential.
The average person wastes his in a dozen little ways.
I bring mine to bear on one thing only: my paintings,
and everything else is sacrificed to it…myself included.
Artwork by Eriberto Oriol
Quotes by Pablo Picasso
March 29, 2014
March 28, 2014
Arlene Gottfried is a force of nature, a whirlwind, a quiet storm of power, beauty, and strength. From her soul pours forth not only some of the most distinctive portraits but a voice… A voice that comes from deep, down inside the bone, from the marrow where blood is born and truth is known…
A voice that vibrates with a force that tells of a spirit that transcends the physical realm and lifts us up, high, higher, highest as we become one with love. A woman of voice and vision, Gottfried overflows with a mystic energy few embody but all can feel. She is a medium, a vessel, a channel through which this current flows from heaven to earth. She remembers how it all began, so many years ago, the pathless path that led her to The Eternal Light Community Singers on who were singing at a Gospel fest on New York’s Lower East Side.
Read the Full Story at THE CLICK.
March 27, 2014
What you cannot see is always there when you look, and it is by our inner compass that we are drawn to an understanding of the world. For Nick Hand, that understand was to be found along five hundred miles of the Hudson Valley in New York. With a bicycle and a camera, Hand traveled over the hills and mountains and through the countryside, much of which is still raw, rugged, and wild. And it was on this journey that he set forth to connect with the artists and craftspeople that continue in the traditions of an earlier age, an analogue era that reminds us of how much the world has changed.
As Hand observes, “On a bicycle you take everything in, you can stop anywhere, you don’t miss a thing, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation.” The result of his travels is an intimate volume that reminds us of the pleasures of connecting with people whose passions inspire us. Conversations on the Hudson (Princeton Architectural Press) presents the photographs and conversations Hand had with the artisans of a time and a place that reminds us of an America of the agrarian past, of a generation committed to cultivation of the craft. Whether a seed librarian or a sheep farmer, a boat restorer or a stone sculptor, the people featured in this book give us a window into their beautiful and charming worlds.
Read the Full Story at
L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
March 26, 2014
I used to live for the depths of surface
and perhaps for the surface of depths.
Then I got into deep diving,
mining the mind,
and I got into the depths of depths.
Jokes on me cause
all roads lead to the unknowable,
and so after heavy lifting
I find a feather
floating in the breeze.
March 25, 2014
One day, I was in a terrible mood so I began a search on the Internet for images tagged with the words “Killer Bitch.” Nothing good came up, so I revised my search to “Killer Barbie” and that is when I discovered the work of photographer Mariel Clayton.
Clayton is a self-taught photographer who composes stunning tableaux featuring, amongst other series, scenes of Barbie as a serial killer. These carefully constructed images take the familiar iconography of the world’s most glamorous doll and subvert it into a new conversation filled with black humor. Clayton’s work allows us to reconsider our assumptions about constructions of the feminine particularly as it relates to childhood, violence, beauty, and sexuality.
Clayton observes, “For me, it’s about what [Barbie] DOESN’T represent. She is no indicative of any normal, healthy, average woman for a start, no matter how ‘tweaked’ her plastic form is. So right from the outset, she is already a false idol (for want of a better word). A lot of her defenders stress that it’s the ‘idea’ of Barbie, that she represents possibility, of empowerment, of choice rather than actual aesthetic beauty, but I disagree. If that were true, then all the other ethnic dolls in the line would be just as popular and they’re nowhere near so—it’s because she is an unattainable, idealized version of what beauty should be that she is so popular. She is not just an icon, she is THE Icon.
“I think there is an unspoken theme that seems to run throughout childhood, “You should just be yourself and people would like you, you are special… but you’d be more liked and more special if you did looked like [this]‘.
“Barbie definitely plays into that, by being one of the first toys that a child can identify with and mold their personality and vision of themselves around. Children act out their perceptions of their environment through the dolls. It’s not just about ‘playing dollies’, it’s about processing what they see and translating it through what they make dolls say and do, but with such a poor representative medium.
“For me, Barbie is the antithesis of Beauty. Aesthetically, yes, she has been sculpted to achieve all the correct symmetry and proportion that is supposed to be desirable, but at the cost of any type of persona or voice. She is nothing but how she looks… and that’s really sad to me, and very, very ugly. This whole idea that yes, you like Barbie can grow up to be an architect, or a film star, or a vet… but only if you’re very thin and very pretty. That to me only represents a total absence of real beauty. Beauty is depth, is experience, is so much more than coordinating your eyeshadow to your manicure.
“Barbie can never be representative of anything more to me than an unrealistic example of what someone thinks we should want to aspire to be. The more cynical part of me thinks that at it’s heart, it’s a means of hooking little girls on this idea of the importance of ‘being pretty’ so that as they grow up they will keep buying into the marketing done by beauty products etc so that the money will keep flowing in to the cosmetics industry that pushes aesthetic value over real substance.”
Clayton’s photographs are carefully constructed images that have a luxurious feeling, perhaps in part due to the high level of detail and thought that goes into the creation of each tableaux. It may also be due in part to the very nature of this plastic world, where everything—down to the Louis Vuitton purses—is reproduced in the highest quality detail. The juxtaposition of Barbie’s lavish plastic lifestyle with Clayton’s macabre sensibility results in images that are both provocative and humorous. They maintain their sense of the ridiculous because although garish, they are not grotesque—they avoid the pornography of violence that so many photographers embrace.
While most of the response to the work has been positive, Clayton’s Facebook page was recently shut down for explicit content. As she explains, it was not shut down because of the violence, but because she had simulated sexual acts taking place, which reveals another layer of hypocrisy of American culture.
As Clayton points out, “My work really isn’t that deep,” though I would have to disagree. I think it explores the superficial in a powerful way. Her photographs deconstruct false realities to create something equally false, and in doing so force us to release ourselves from assumptions of what reality is. If all constructions are false, then all constructions are true, and Clayton’s photographs of Killer Barbie give women—who once played with Barbie—new possibilities for what adult playtime can be.
Clayton brilliantly concludes, “I want to tear away that image of the vapid, smiling, mindless pretty shell and fill it up with something, malevolence seems as good as anything, and it helps to underscore my point that behind everything, underneath everything, lurks something else, it cannot be just about the surface.”
March 23, 2014
This is the me that you just met,
the me drinking martinis to erase mahhself.
That me already happened,
and that’s the story I’m here to tell.
It holds me in its grip,
tight yet tender,
and it commands me,
even when I get it wrong,
You need to keep going.
The only way out
is the way you came in.
I always knew it would be a book,
because what else could it be?
A fractured fairy tale,
a mirror shattered seven years ago,
from which I am free
free from the spell.
Cue the airy gusts of the track’s opening bars,
then the light fingering of the keyboard that plugs in to the wall.
Feel the earth sweep away from under your feet.
I’m not writing this.
It’s not me, it’s the voice inside my head.
Dig. Here’s the deal.
I’ll just be real with it.
I’m not sure where to start.
Do I start in the very very beginning.
Or do I start at that moment three years ago?
March 21, 2014
There is only one Eliane Laffont, she is a woman of vision with a heart for adventure and a passion for photography. She, who would have been a writer, had she not married Jean-Pierre Laffont a French photojournalist. Destiny had other plans for Laffont, as she found herself creating a dynamic space for photojournalism in the United States marketplace. She came from Paris with the work of six photographers in tow, and she launched the U.S. operation of Gamma Agency from the highest throne.
Laffont recalls, “Only in America can this happen. My first day at work, I bought a copy of Time magazine on the street,I looked at the masthead and called the first name: Henry Grunwald, Editor in Chief at the time. His assistant clarified that I should speak with the director of photography. She said, ‘Hold on, I’m going to connect you,’ and because the call came from Mr. Grunwald’s office, I was given an appointment that day. I called at 10:30 in the morning and at 3:00 in the afternoon I was meeting with John Durniak.
“It was 1968. Those were the interesting years. Look and Life magazines had closed and John Durniak wanted to re-create the big picture stories and photo essays at Time Magazine. He also wanted to develop the international pages. And this is exactly what I showed him that day: the war in Vietnam, the students’ unrest in Paris, the 6-day war in Israel, the agricultural reform in Chile, Lebanon, Iran… I showed him black and white prints and he looked at them all very slowly in silence. After ten minutes, he turned to me and said, ‘Who are you?’
REad the Full Story at
March 20, 2014
It began in the stacks. Sean Corcoran, Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York, came across a collection of black books Martin Wong had donated to the Museum in 1994, just five years before he would die from AIDS in San Francisco. The black books were the site of sketches and drawings, works on paper that were passed from head to head, giving writers a look at what their contemporaries were doing with marker in hand and giving them a space to contribute to the conversation.
In total, Martin Wong (1946-1999) donated 55 black books and more than 300 mixed media paintings on canvas, cardboard, paper, and plywood. The work Wong collected includes early permutations of designs that would later appear on trains and buildings throughout New York City. And though those paintings are long gone, their legacy lives on.
Now at the Museum of the City of New York, “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection” presents 105 works by legendary writers DAZE. DONDI, FUTURA 200, Keith Haring, LADY PINK, LEE, and SHARP among others, alongside historical photographs by Charlie Ahearn, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Jon Naar, and Jack Stewart. Paired together, the paintings, drawings, and photographs take us back to a time and a place that, though not far away at all, no longer exists in our daily lives.
Read the Full Story at
L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
March 19, 2014
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.