Archive for March 22nd, 2012

March 22, 2012

Street Art


gimme some truth

Street art is art, specifically visual art, developed in public spaces — that is, ‘in the streets’ — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, sculpture, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, and street installations.

Typically, the term street art or the more specific post-graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art. Artists have challenged art by situating it in non-art contexts. ‘Street’ artists do not aspire to change the definition of an artwork, but rather to question the existing environment with its own language. They attempt to have their work communicate with everyday people about socially relevant themes in ways that are informed by aesthetic values without being imprisoned by them. NYC based artist John Fekner defines street art as ‘all art on the street that’s not graffiti.’

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March 22, 2012

Giant Robot

James Jarvis

Giant Robot is a bi-monthly magazine of Asian and Asian American popular culture founded in 1994. It covers history, art, music, film, books, toys, technology, food and skateboarding. The publication grew from its original format—a small, photocopied zine, folded and stapled by hand—to its current full-color format. ‘Giant Robot’ was one of the earliest American publications to feature prominent Asian film stars such as Chow Yun-fat and Jet Li, as well as Asian musicians from indie and punk rock bands. Today, the coverage has expanded into art, design, Asian American issues, travel, and more.

In the late 1990s, Giant Robot expanded their endeavor to an online retail store selling artist goods, designer vinyl dolls, mini-figures, plush dolls, stationeries, art, t-shirts, and many creative goods. The success of the commercial website enabled the establishment of a brick-and-mortar retail store in 2001; first in Los Angeles and later in San Francisco. A third store, called GR2, was opened in Los Angeles, and features work by young contemporary artists. Giant Robot further expanded to a fourth store in New York City, and a fifth in Silverlake, as well as a restaurant called gr/eats, also in Los Angeles. The GR2, San Francisco, and New York locations feature monthly art exhibitions from up and coming and established artists.

March 22, 2012

Mear One

mear one

Mear One, real name Kalen Ockerman (b. 1971), is a Los Angeles-based artist, famously known for his often-political street graffiti art. Commonly referred to as the ‘Michelangelo’ of graffiti, Mear One is commonly associated with CBS (Can’t Be Stopped – City Bomb Squad) and WCA (West Coast Artist) crews. As a graphic designer, Mear One has designed apparel for Conart, Kaotic, as well as his own Reform brand.

Mear One has done album covers for artists like Non Phixion, Freestyle Fellowship, Alien Nation, Limp Bizkit, Busdriver and Daddy Kev. In 2004, Mear One joined artists Shepard Fairey and Robbie Conal to create a series of ‘anti-war, anti-Bush’ posters for a street art campaign called ‘Be the Revolution’ for the art collective ‘Post Gen.’ As a famed L.A. street artist and prolific graffiti writer for over 20 years his partners have included Skate One, Az Rock, Tren, Item, Anger, Yem, and Cisco.

March 22, 2012

Dirty Hands

upper playground

Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe’ is a 2008 documentary film about painter and graffiti artist David Choe, directed by his long time friend Harry Kim. Over more than a decade, Kim filmed the most intimate and dramatic moments of his best friend David Choe’s colorful life as an artist.

Dirty Hands began as a film school project, but gradually expanded into a half-hour film entitled ‘Whales and Orgies,’ then a feature-length documentary. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2008, and had a theatrical premiere at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco in 2010.

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March 22, 2012

David Choe

Obama by david choe

David Choe [chwae] (b. 1976) is a Korean American muralist, graffiti artist, and graphic novelist from Los Angeles. He achieved art world success with his ‘dirty style’ figure paintings—raw, frenetic works which combine themes of desire, degradation, and exaltation. Outside of galleries, he is closely identified with the bucktoothed whale he has been spray-painting on the streets since he was in his teens.

Choe’s work appears in a wide variety of urban culture and entertainment contexts. For example, he provided the cover art for Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s multi-platinum album ‘Collision Course,’ and created artwork to decorate the sets of ‘Juno’ and ‘The Glass House.’ During the 2008 presidential race, Choe painted a portrait of then-Senator Barack Obama for use in a grassroots street art campaign. The original was later displayed in the White House.

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