The controversial Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei is depicted in this new mural along Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Los Angeles. (See other related posts on Ai Wei Wei.) Rendered in a style like a pencil illustration, the artist appears serious and pensive, as though he’s staring past you into the middle distance. Wei Wei’s head appears to float in the space of the white-painted brick wall, disembodied, iconic and alone.
The whimsical Binoculars Building — pictured below — on a quiet, mostly residential stretch of Main Street in Venice, in Los Angeles, was designed by architect Frank Gehry back in the 1980s.
It’s a local landmark and Gehry’s last building to be constructed in Los Angeles until the development of the Walt Disney Concert Hall two decades later.
In the interim, Gehry created the Guggenheim Bilbao and became one of the world’s foremost “starchitects” if not its greatest living architect.
The Binoculars Building was initially the home to the legendary advertising agency Chiat/Day (now TBWA/Chiat/Day), which grew too big for the space years later and vacated for much larger offices in nearby Playa Vista.
Since then, the building complex has been home to many creative tenants including Google. The giant binoculars, by the way, are by the artists Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen.
It’s still surprising that the building is not more widely known.
Among the artworks at the landmark exhibition of the artist FAILE at the Brooklyn Museum this summer is a massive, immersive installation done in collaboration with the infamous Brooklyn-based street artist Bast. The work is titled the “The FAILE and BAST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade” and it takes up several of the museum’s galleries.
The arcade is of the old-school 1980s-era style with pinball machines, pixelly video games and foosball tables all designed by the artists. The arcade’s decor and games are an edgy, playful, and noisy cavalcade of the FAILE and BAST aesthetic.
In a separate gallery with foosball tables, all of the available surface space is adorned with black-light posters. The videogames were designed by the artists and include one wherein the players must spur the cycle of urban gentrification of a derelict neighborhood into one with shiny new luxury condos.
The exhibition runs through October 4th.
As regular readers of Global Graphica know, we’re fans of Apartamento magazine. We always get excited when we see a new issue hit the newstands. It’s one of those rare periodicals these days that is almost exclusively a print experience; There’s an Apartamento website but it’s a mere presence. The magazine’s contents are only fully digestible in the actual printed edition of the magazine itself.
The current issue has been out for a few months already, but we just delved back into it while doing a little research and we got excited by it all over again. The issue looks great and features an interview and photos of artist Raymond Pettibon at home in his apartment in the new Frank Gehry “New York” building in downtown New York. Back in the day, Pettibon (pictured on the cover, below) created — among many other things — the iconic black-bars logo for the seminal American punk Black Flag .
Granted, it’s only the second week of the new year, but cheeky blog-post title aside, this freshly painted street art by the Newark, New Jersey-based street artist “Mr. Mustart” is one of the best, strongest, most visually arresting street artworks we’ve seen in the past six months or so. The mural is near the northwest corner of Mott and Houston streets in NoHo, in downtown New York City, and it’s another in the series of public artworks in and around NYC from artists associated with the Green Villain gallery and studios in New Jersey. Great stuff.
This sweet abstract-geometric mural on Eldridge Street in New York’s Lower East Side is a commissioned street art piece by NYC-based artist Jason Woodside. His work has become part of New York City’s landscape in a series of massive mural projects for the New Museum, British ad agency Mother NY, and at restaurants such as Galli, Rippers and Roberta’s Pizza, as well as in collaborations with Obey Clothing and patrons like Mister Spoils.
We recently started seeing a random few of these wheat-paste street art images of a young, Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson appearing on walls around downtown Manhattan. But then this past weekend, these seemed to multiply exponentially and appear everywhere, from the Lower East Side to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint. In the LES, we counted dozens of the “Young MJs” on Ludlow Street alone. These Young MJ wheat-pastes are the work of a mysterious New York-based “celebrity stylist” and artist who goes by the moniker “UnCasso” (a.k.a., “UnCuttArt”). The “Young MJs” come in a variety of colors . In some cases, as pictured below, a single, larger image is composited with several pieces in different colors. Needless to say, we love ’em. This isn’t the first time the “King of Pop” has inspired street art.
Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.
New York artist Bradley Theodore strikes again with a new piece of street art in New York’s Lower East Side. Continuing with his series of images depicting fashion-world celebrities as impressionistic, colorful skeletons, Bradley has painted this full-body portrait of style icon Nick Wooster on a door to the popular downtown bar-club-restaurant Hotel Chantelle on Ludlow Street.
One of the highlights of Frieze NY 2014, the juggernaut art fair launched by London-based art magazine Frieze, was a crushed Fiat car coated in pink nail polish. The artwork is titled “Skin Crime 3” by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury, and it was installed next to a giant mirror-like old-school Gilette razor blade titled “Blade” (of course). We’re a fan of Fleury’s ouevre, which explores themes of consumerism, shopping, fashion, luxury, beauty and marketing, often in striking vivid, colorful installations.
Side note: Fiat cars seem to be useful media material for European artists, as seen here in British artist Simon Starling’s “Ostalgia.”
Artist Magda Love is back in New York City with some wild-posting of her illustrated-graphic street art. This retro-cassette tape wheat-pasted art piece by Magda went up Wednesday morning (Tuesday night?) on Ludlow Street, in that stretch just south of Grand Street we’ve dubbed the “Ludlow Street Art Gallery” in the Lower East Side.
The late Paris-based Venezuelan artist Jesus Raphael Soto made a career of painting, sculpture and optical and kinetic art. It was the last of these for which he’s perhaps best known, such as this interactive, immersive “Penetrable” installed in the plaza in front of the Ahmanson building at the sprawling Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA.
In the past week or so, artist Dylan Egon has been putting up these awesome, cheekily sinister wheat-paste street art cut-outs of Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse character as a gun target around downtown Manhattan. The one pictured here is on Broome Street in SoHo. Absolutely brilliant. See more Dylan Egon posts.
A couple of weeks ago, we stumbled upon the magnificent “RGB Colorspace Atlas” (Volumes 1, 2 & 3) by New York-based California artist Tauba Auerbach at LACMA in Los Angeles. The artwork contains paper-page cubes and a book or “atlas” of digital offset prints of all the possible color variations in the RGB color model system. The work was recently acquired by LACMA as part of its permanent collection. We’re hearting it very much.
When we first saw this large street art piece by artist Serban Ionescu and David Nordine on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side in June 2013, they were literally watching the paint dry as they put finishing touches on their roller-shutter mural. At the time, the art work was shadowed and partially obscured by construction scaffolding, as their painting was on a building that was in the throes of renovations that would turn it into luxury condos. The scaffolding was taken down a couple of weeks ago allowing the work to be viewed anew in direct, natural light. We revisited the work and it looks awesome, as seen in the photo below. You can check it out in person on Ludlow Street between Grand and Hester streets in the LES.