Insta Round-Up: Inspiration from the Web

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I’ve discovered some of my new favorite artists from Instagram, which is a powerful tool for sharing street art. After all, street art is all about making art more accessible, so social media just helps to break down barriers even more. I’ve been super interested in work from artists everywhere from Colombia to Germany just from seeing snapshots on Instagram. I always end up following along with their work afterwards.

Here’s a quick round-up of the artists that have been on my radar this week:

Dennis McNett via Juxtapoz Magazine

@wolfbat with an extra addition to his mural at @rvastreetartfest

A post shared by Juxtapoz Magazine (@juxtapozmag) on

La Jaxx 

Zabou

hoxxoh 

Repost from @missaliward

A post shared by hoxxoh (@hoxxoh) on

Nosego via Thinkspace

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A Glimpse of French Graffiti Art in LA

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As oftentimes happens, I leave my camera at home right when I find something good.

This particular time, that special something was a piece from French graffiti artist TILT. He stands as a good example of the thriving street art scene in France which is just as happening as the one here in LA.

TILT employs a really cool technique in which he uses bubble letters – the stylizing of letters seen in a lot of old-school graffiti writing in New York, Los Angeles and other parts of the world – to create different shapes. Sometimes you can read them so they mean something, sometimes they don’t. They might shape something familiar, like this star, but it takes more work to decipher the letter or words hidden within. Can you spot ‘Los Angeles’ spelled out in this one?

At his show in Fabien Castanier in Studio City last year, he took the theme of American Food and gave it his own twist. “All You Can Eat” transformed the gallery into a visual feast with giant hot dogs and hamburgers made up of the bubbly letters. It was a great merging between gallery and street art not only because of the giant pieces that still held an urban, edgy feel but because of the videos TILT included. In those, you could see a white wall transformed into all-black by TILT’s spray can gracefully forming a number a number of shapes or a black wall turned into all white through the same process. It was a simple but strong statement about the power of one spray can paint color to transform an entire wall.

When I bumped into this piece in LA, it reminded me of the ongoing magnitude of street art. TILT’s site names a long list of places where the artist traveled to explore and “leave his mark.” The artist left the States after his show closed but thankfully he left this token behind for Angelenos – a reminder that street art really does use the world as its canvas.

I Want to be a Beautiful Loser

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Ok. So. Last time I posted I was asking if YOU were out there. If you were reading.

That was mid-year 2012 and we’re in 2013. So, actually, I have to prove that I’M still here. I haven’t posted in a veryyyyy long time but I hope don’t think that’s because I grew out of my love for street art and decided to stop writing. Preposterous. It’s actually the opposite – I started writing SO much more, started meeting a lot of artists and snapped enough photos that I had to purchase a new SD card with more memory capacity.

So why haven’t I been sharing any of this with you?? Mmm I don’t have an answer besides the semi-pathetic but still-true excuse that there’s not enough time in the day. But it’s better late than never right?

I’m not trying to brag and say I’m a seasoned writer and street art expert but I am SO grateful to have met a lot of really great people and stumbled across many pieces in the span of 2012. It’s ridiculous how I moved from writing a few occasional art show reviews for a school paper to branching out into other outlets in the publishing world and discovering more art. Any weekend I’m not at a gallery opening, I feel strange.

I could post plenty of photos from gallery shows – which I will, I promise – but a certain set of photos puts my point across better I think. As I photographed and wrote about more and more shows, I always kept in the back of my mind where I’m from and why street art first called to me.

If you drive near my place of residence you see plenty of trash. You see broken sidewalks. You hear sirens. This isn’t a sappy, pity-me scene. It’s reality. That’s where I’m from and I’m grateful to have grown up in a less-than-aesthetically-beautiful neighborhood that shaped me to be a loving person and a tough woman at the same time.

But when you walk on those cracked streets you can also find art when you look more closely. Yes, sometimes I encounter art pieces when I’m driving, not just aimlessly wandering, but the fact that I found art pieces in the middle of a neighborhood where you can’t find a gallery for miles is something that fueled my love for street art.

I was working on a project for a photography class and a friend suggested we visit an alleyway where he discovered art.

There, we took the photos I needed and then just wandered around the alley. It wasn’t a pretty sight, believe me – a pair of broken heels, a dirty Q-tip, a torn bed – but the art showed someone’s genuine efforts for creativity.

I recently watched the movie “Beautiful Losers” which follows well-known, successful artists like Shepard Fairey and Barry McGee and how they started. Basically, friends got together and started a small gallery in NY which was one big party. But they all stressed the idea of a need to create – a very human, automatic instinct to just MAKE something.

The movie got me itching to create and I wondered how that idea changed from NY to here in California and in a neighborhood with residents that perhaps can’t spend tons of money on art supplies or even known of a gallery to visit. I felt frustrated at the idea that in my neighborhood I couldn’t name one person that made art; I don’t remember it seeing hanging on the walls of  my babysitter’s house or even a family member’s place. I remembered that not until I went to private high school was art something that truly mattered. Even then, I didn’t feel the need to create – I learned to be careful where I walked, to work hard so I could make my parents proud and one day move my mom out of her house in a dangerous city. I didn’t learn to want to create; I didn’t learn to value and love art.

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Ultimately, I found art in the streets. It was there to make me learn to love and praise art and the process of creating. It was there to inspire me to make little pieces of art in my room, to walk into Blick with no clue about spray paint and pick random cans in weird colors.

I owe a lot to street art. Though I’ve met well-known artists and told them my love for their work it’s the nameless figures who created the art around my streets that I want to say thank you to the most. “Beautiful Losers” made me want to create and it reminded me that while the gallery holds art, the streets hold the people that inspire me to create freely, openly and without worrying about impressing anyone. Just creating.

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Hello, are you out there?

ImageI can’t believe it’s been two months since I last posted. TWO MONTHS.

Well, the reason I’m here is a complete stranger mentioned he was a fan on Twitter.

I didn’t think anyone was reading anymore, I figured the blog – after not being updated in FOREVER (well, not literally)  had just been forgotten.

Did you read that in a melodramatic voice? Because you definitely should’ve. Try it.

Anyway, huge shout-out to http://staatic.tumblr.com for inspiring this post.

It’s my last weekend in my hometown for a bit as I’ll be shipping off to NY soon and the above kind stranger hinted at the idea of an NY edition of this blog.

I’m down.

So without further ado, come this weekend I’ll snap pictures of any street art of street art-related material and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

While I’m gone there’s a few art shows still running, and soon opening, that I think you should check out (and that are somehow street art-related).

1. Colin Christian and RISK

Why: RISK is a legendary street art and graffiti name. And most of the pieces up at the gallery, as part of his “Old Habits Die Hard” show are done in neon. How much more convincing do you need? There’s also a random surprise upstairs that you can’t miss (literally). A lot of these works were also in a private, invite-only event where the works were inside someone’s home. Can’t get any cooler than that.

On the non-street-art end, Colin Christian giant plexiglass female statues will definitely catch your eye and maybe steal your heart.

Where: Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. Plenty of street parking and also restaurants and a movie theater nearby.

When: Runs until Aug. 4

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2. Saber and Revok 

WHY: Saber and Revok are also two very big names in the world of street art and graffiti. It’s a worn subject matter, but it really IS interesting to see the works of these mostly outdoor artists manifest themselves in the gallery’s white walls. I previously covered Zes and Retna’s show in the same locale and it was interesting to see the shift from large murals to pieces that meshed with the walls.

Where: Known Gallery on Fairfax not too far from Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. It’s a nice few blocks of culture – there is the SUPREME store right next door. I also stumbled upon Odd Future’s pop-up shop nearby and apparently one of the kids that skateboarded across the street during a green light was a part of the crew. The Hundreds is nearby, too.  Keep an eye out for plenty of street art on the sidewalks, walls and light poles.

When: Show opens July 28 at 8 p.m. and runs until August 11. Check out more information on the gallery’s site.

3. Ego Leonard

WHY: I had trouble first researching him and finding out just what KIND of artist he was – sculptor? some talk about being a guerilla artist? – but the second you drop off a giant LEGO man on an otherwise calm shore of Topanga State beach, you’re a street artist in my book. Visit the show to see the giant LEGO man himself and also check out paintings with plenty of LEGO people. There’s humor in plenty of the pieces but I got philosophical for a bit – are we really just as interchangeable and easily molded as LEGOs?

Where:  LabArt, the biggest street art gallery in Los Angeles. Also in a great cultural area. If you’re a date take her/him to Cafe Verona next door and the love (/whatever else you are searching for) odds will be in your favor.

When: Show runs until Aug. 5th

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Good things come in three, right? For my purposes, they do. Hope you like the post and I’ll try my best to snap photos in NY! And hopefully I can look as happy as this guy when I’m sitting scared out of my mind inside the plane. Here’s to more street art adventures!

A Different Kind of Zombie

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So I decided to dig up some of my old pictures and found one by the artist named Zombie.

Sorry to disappoint, but this post has nothing to do with the recent story about a man eating someone’s face off – or the subsequent jokes/fears that this equals the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.

I’m talking about a street artist who’s known for an image called ‘Future Jesus’ and whose name doesn’t come from the classic idea of a zombie. The artist doesn’t have passionate feelings about his moniker but attributes it to the feeling he gets roaming the streets at night posting up his art.

I ran into this piece during the daylight – and free from any flesh-eating creatures – and fell in love with it right away.

Despite the buzz being about his Jesus figure, I love this chick. She just popped into my line of vision as I rounded the corner. I love the details of her hair and shirt and I realized some of it was coming off the wall. It was one of the first times I encountered a paper-based piece on the street and out of curiosity I touched an edge that was coming off. The paper was pretty thick and also really dirty from being on the wall – something I found fascinating instead of gross. Who knows how the long the piece was there – or if it’s still there today – but one night someone came out here and put it up for everyone to see.

Thus, I conclude that Zombie and his street art counterparts are the best version of the zombie figure out there. And lucky for us, it doesn’t equal an upcoming apocalypse.

A Nice Nod from a Fellow Blogger

Every time I log back in, I give you guys (you there, sitting, standing, walking, reading) an excuse for why I haven’t posted in a while. And every time it’s a little generic and vague.

So, are you out there? Do you care to know why it’s been so long? Are the pics worth it, is the writing good enough?

Any blogger must/has/will have insecurities like all of the above so it’s nice when I get a little nod from someone, especially people who have successful blogs that I admire.

So big THANK YOU to Modes of Flight Blog for the recent nod – I’ve been giving the Universal Blog Award on this page’s behalf (aka UBA) and have to adhere (have to because I decided not to be more creative) to the following rules:

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3. Identify the top 2 family members who have greatly influenced your life (names or other titles are acceptable, even if they’re pets).

4. Identify the top 2 non-family members who have influenced your life (you may have personally been in some form of contact with them or are only familiar with them through popular media).

5. State what you believe would be the worst thing to happen to mankind, and what you will personally do to initiate the effort to prevent or control that issue.

6. State what you believe would be the greatest thing to happen to mankind, and what you will personally do to initiate the effort to achieve that goal (big or small; whatever is within your power to commit to every day from this point onward).

7. Nominate 7 other blogs to receive the award (why 7, because it’s the rounded mathematical average of 5, 10 and 7), and tell them that you’ve nominated them.

So here goes:

1. My mom and dad

2. (this one is SO tough, but this is them at the moment) Randall Roberts and my entire high school

3. I think the worst thing to happen to mankind is that we fall apart in terms of staying together. It’s obviously impossible for everyone to get along with everyone but the moment we stop trying or decide to hate each other is the moment we are really doomed. To prevent that, I always make an effort to understand people and be open to different personalities and let that be known to others. When I’m with friends, I make it clear that life is boring and wasted when you shut yourself down to others. It’s only when we’re all united that the world makes more sense.

4. I think the best thing is to realize our common humanity. It’s lame in a way, but I try to do that with this blog. I want you (the reader) to read it and like or dislike the pieces but ultimately realize that the world is a space to create. And it doesn’t matter who’s behind the spray paint can or other chosen medium. You see a piece by Herakut or Vyal or anyone and it speaks to you – there’s no barrier there whatsoever. That’s my effort – to expose people to the amazing pieces out there and to make the street a place that I think street art manage to make it – a common ground for anyone to come and go, for anyone to share an idea and for anyone to take away a true piece of inspiration.

5. Here are the blogs I nominate for the award:

1. Modes of Flight (maybe that broke the rule, but oh well)

2. Burp and Slurp 

3. The LotusLand Chronicles

4. Butterfly

5. Rodrigue Favre Photography

6. RENSLITTLEWORLD

7. thepencilcaseproject

That is all! Happy blogging and reading to everyone.

 

P.S. Forgot this tidbit from the original post:

NOTICE: absolutely NOTHING will happen to you, anyone else or anything else if you chose to not follow ANY of the rules in this post. It all in good fun!

Cheers!

I Present You with a Facebook Page!

If you’re reading this, thanks a bunch!! I might not update often but this blog has been awesome to keep up. 

So to kick everything up a notch, I’ve created a Facebook page! Please click ‘like,’ share with friends and stay tuned! I’ll be putting up new posts but also sharing art-related news and tidbits. 

Get your art on.

Link here!! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-World-is-a-Canvas/330210570352094