Truisms of Today

Basel or no Basel, people have hit the streets, with what I like to reference as Trusisms – hence having some truth implied.

The concept of “Trusisms,” originally entered the art scene with Jenny Holzer in the 70s. She made lists of “truths” put forth to the people with art that appeared like advertisments. Thus, she wheat pasted lists of Truisims on walls around New York City, occupied billboards in Times Square, and placed her art on marquees of theatres (see below), and more (she also hit other major cities as well – London, Munich, Oslo, Amsterdam, …).

jh2

But now, in the 21st century, people are gratifying their messages on the grounds. Thus, you must now not only look up, but look down.

See examples from Miami’s Wynwood District and New York’s Gallery District in Chelsea of what people are making you contemplate…

20141206_165623

20141011_15223920141206_164744

 

Is there always a tomorrow? Is modern art so expensive – yes to some, no to others… And should LOVE be the reason to breathe? Or are there more reasons to breathe besides love… like family, friends, your passions, etc.

Thus take these ideas that are going around the streets that make you question the truths behind these ideas proposed to you… and THINK.

XX,

CHC (@cultureheARTs)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – BASEL!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” (cue song for .1 seconds before it gets too annoying) for any art addict. It’s ABMB aka ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH. It is a dream come true. Galleries from near and far bring their best works. Artists, celebrities, collectors, and dealers unite to put on the best show. And from what I’ve seen so far, it is going to be an AB FAB week.

While I have to admit I have only been to Context Art Miami, a satellite fair, many booths were not even close to short of bringing their A game. And trust me, they brought it. Many brought their A+ game. NO JOKE.

From seeing works of Dubuffet, to Joseph Albers, Mel Bochner, Alex Katz, Sam Francis, and more (yes, this is a satellite fair and not Basel itself – shocking to me, I know) I was impressed to say the least.

Check out some pics below of the FABULOUS WORKS… and remember, this is just the beginning!

unnamed-9

Jean Dubuffet

unnamed-7

Joseph Albers

unnamed-5

Sam Francis

unnamed-8

Mel Bochner

unnamed-6

Alex Katz

 

BRING IT ON BASEL!

xx. CHC

Bambi – The Female Banksy… if you will

Amy-After

“There are so many ways to exercise influence and power in the art world but one thing is abundantly clear: Women play a leading role.” – artnet

Around two weeks ago, a list was published of the most influential women in the art world. Shocker, performance goddess Marina Abramović was number one (I LOVE YOU MARINA). You go girl. The next few women while incredibly important, are almost expected…

That is until you see the number 5 most influential woman. BOOM. It is BAMBI.

“Who” might you ask? Well, Bambi of course. No, not the Disney character.

This influential figure is often cited as the female version of Banksy. Like Banksy, she remains a mystery. While she may be physically unknown, there are a few facts that Bambi’s agent, Walton Fine Arts, states in her bio. For starters, she is a graduate of St. Martin’s College in London, a university with a very prestigious genealogy of famous artists and designers, like the late Alexander McQueen, the fabulous Stella McCartney, the boombing London based Indian artist Raqib Shaw and others. Peter Doig. Gilbert and George. Antony Gormley. Eduardo Paolozzi… Basically, she is LEGIT.

Known for creating relevant works to the cultural situation she is surrounded by, Bambi often uses people we are familiar with to make her point. For example, when Amy Winehouse died, Bambi created an iconic site-specific piece in Amy’s hometown of Camden, now a known landmark (see image above). She is also known for her ever so entertaining portrait of Will and Kate (see image below).

3094

While looking at Will and Kate and Amy you may thing how are these so daring? Remembering the late Amy Winehouse was an incredible tribute, but associating “Marmite” and Will and Kate, the future rulers of England is quite scandalous – don’t you think?

Here are more “scandalous” yet thought revoking pieces she left for us to contemplate…

rude-pope-made-in-chelsea

bambi-viii

 

Enjoys!

XX,

CHC (@CultureHeARTs)

 

Lower East Side NYC Graffiti

If you are around the Lower East Side/Chinatown look up, look down, look all around – but actually. There is so much STREET ART to be seen. And this is just to lead you in the the direction of more FABULOUS urban works… From the notorious Kenny Scharf (first image) to Curtis Kulig (second image), and Invader (third image)… there is a full day of hunting down there (and it is a good time to go when it is cold to avoid the chinatown fish smell – yuck). But seriously, there are some EPIC pieces!

1939812_10202220173081372_1977289939_n

10171260_10202220172681362_664441217_n

10374071_10202510152650680_2990789476072851861_n

 

Happy Hunting!

Best,

CHC

The Ugly American: Saber @ The Outsiders Gallery, London

photo-2 copy

The opening of Saber’s The Ugly American had a record attendance level this past Thursday at The Outsiders Gallery in LONDONTOWN. This exhibition includes a large number of ABSTRACT GRAFFITI styles on canvas and wood. It is the gallery’s FIRST show of the NEW YEAR and WELL WORTH THE VISIT!

photo-2Saber’s works were divided between two floors. A total of seven trademark Stars’n’Stripes flags (Old Math Series) on stained wood, depicting the American Flag and the Union Jack, were BEAUTIFULLY displayed on the entrance level of the gallery (images above). Eight more works were displayed in the basement (so don’t forget to go downstairs)! Each work varied in size but stayed within a reasonable measurement for a gallery setting, in contrast to his works that can be seen in an outdoor environment. Yet, the use of spray paint, oils and charcoal to create these different graffiti pieces not only expanded the dimensional constraints but the overall depth of each piece. To some extent these small-scale works are even more beautiful than some of his pieces seen outdoors, as the artist now had the opportunity to use a variety of mediums.

The wood series has a more muted tonality with a more dominant use of the natural wood coloration, while the abstract graffiti canvases have VIVID splashes of colour amongst toned down tones (see images below). It gives the otherwise gray walls of the gallery a more lively conversation.

photo copy 2For Saber, these paintings are meant to give those spectators who know nothing about graffiti an opportunity to look at his work and say, “This is a beautiful painting.”

The title of the show refers to the popularized phrase in William Lederer’s and Eugene Burdick’s 1958 novel, The Ugly American, which revolves around  international perceptions of Americans. Saber states in his Press Release for the show, “It’s a reference to the excesses, and foul nature, that some believe Americans possess. Obviously this has similarities to modern Britain too, but… I come from this culture that’s so self centered, and self-preserved, and I want to expose the cracks in it.” He has been known to go AGAINST many of the OFFICIAL POLICIES in the US, particularly those surrounding the health care system, misuse of public funding, and cuts in the art sector. These themes are some of the key factors dominating his works. It is no wonder this well-received exhibition was brought to London by POPULAR DEMAND.

Do yourself a favour and go check it out!

à plus! MCC (Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

WHAT the HELLO: The Interview

… and BOOM. Just when we were not expecting to see this BRILLIANT artist intertwined between slaps and throws in LONDONTOWN, we came across our new friend from Down Under: What the Hello! What a refreshing way to start the New Year! See what he has to say about his art and brilliant advice he gives you future artists!

heaven hello

Walking around SoHo London, I came across your sticker (what I like to think of the popsicle man with two legs and an upside down face – see image below) which caught my eye right away. The detail and subject made it stand out from most other “slaps” you come across on the streets – no matter where you are in the world. What made you come up with this idea to put out sticker art as opposed to putting “slaps” with “tags” on them?

slap

Haha! That’s so fantastic that you see my character as a “popsicle man”, I’d never looked at him in that way before and I like it. I always kind of thought of him as a small man looking inside a giant upside down head, perhaps his own head and being pleasantly surprised at what he’d found. All a bit deep and meaningful.. and kind of wanky, but I think I like the “popsicle man” idea better!

Thanks so much for noticing my stickers by the way, it’s always nice to hear that people are noticing and appreciating them. I guess when I started making them I really wanted to create stickers that would stand out and promote my art, so I made them big, colourful and kooky, and hand coloured them all so that each and every one is an individual piece of my art. 

I don’t think “slaps” with “tags” are really my thing anymore, I grew up doing graffiti so I get the whole “tagging” thing but I’m just more interested in the art now. I definitely want people to recognise my name “What_the_Hello”, but it’s more important to me that people recognise my artwork. 

Well with characters like yours, your work is highly noticeable! Where does your inspiration come from? What subjects are you most inclined to work with? Basically, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

As an artist I think most of my inspiration comes from pop culture both past and present. Of course I’m inspired by other artists, but also things like the cartoons I use to watch as a kid, the comic books I would read under my bedcovers at night, the artwork on lolly wrappers at the local milk bar etc. I always try to create images that give you that feeling of familiarity, not a tangible feeling, but more of a feeling that somehow it relates to you or your life.

We see that your art has infiltrated the apparel industry (see below) and you often refer to your work as illustrations. You have been named “Lurzer’s 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide amongst others” and have been featured in Rolling Stone! That is a major accomplishment! Do you have advice on how to get your art out there? tee 2

I studied Illustration at NMIT in Melbourne back in 2003 which is probably why I still refer to my artwork as “Illustration,” but I kind of do bit of everything these days from tee shirt design and graphics all the way through to mural artwork. The best advise I could give to anyone trying to get there work out there is to be as prolific as humanly possible, just be a part of everything and anything you can be a part of. Today especially when there are so many social media outlets at our disposal, it’s really important just to be seen as “doing.”

Clearly, you have traveled to spread your art which we he(ART). While I found your sticker art in London as mentioned before, I know you are based in Melbourne. What is the art scene like down under?! I’ve never been!

Melbourne has a brilliant art scene and there is so much happening here all the time, the only trick is knowing how to find it all. Besides having a thriving street art scene which is there for all to see, Melbourne has loads of little galleries and exhibitions popping up around town all the time so keeping an eye out and an ear to the ground is essential.

Fabulous! Hopefully I will get to go and check out the scene in the near future. However, last but an intricate part of being able to interact with your art, where can we purchase or see your latest works?!

The best way to see some more of my artwork is by checking out my website www.whatthehello.net or by following me on Instagram @what_the_hello. You can get your hands on some of my hand coloured stickers, original art and giclée prints at my Etsy shop via my website. 

Basic RGB

Basic RGB

dragon

Basic RGB

Well kids, there ya have it! What the Hello here to inspire us all. No matter what passion you wish to pursue, remember to follow your He(ART).

XX, DP (follow us on instagram @CultureHeARTs)

And Just When I Thought I Saw Ample Amounts of Urban Art During Basel…

So as we all know, I am a graffiti hunter, or so I would like to think. And during Basel, it was one of the best times to not only see graffiti, but to see the artists take part in creating their masterpieces. And just when I thought I saw it all, I went back the other day, and of course came across NEW murals I had yet to see.

To begin, Wynwood Walls has two fabulous artists on display whom I ADORE.

The first being Santiago Rubino, an Argentinian artist relocated to Miami (represented by Spinello Projects) whose triptych exhibits discipline, beauty, and animation. Truly STUNNING.1483385_10201641399572396_1083791464_n

The second Wynwood Walls’ artist whose mural I admired was the FABULOUS Miss Van (French born, Barcelona based). The mural exhibits three women, or as she calls them, ‘Poupes.’ These women exhibit angelic yet devil like qualities. They are mysterious, yet inviting in their masks and hair-do’s that take on animal like qualities while dressed in a Victorian manner. LOVE.544128_10201641400812427_756649987_n

And speaking of LOVE, andddddd after writing my MA thesis on Jenny Holzer’s Truisms, it was incredibly interesting to see a LOVEISM mural by Miami’s own Hec One Love. If a TRUISM is defined as something that states something that is OBVIOUSLY TRUE, does a LOVEISM imply that there is OBVIOUSLY LOVE?1546335_10201641411492694_129236698_n

Lastly, I always am excited to come across a Shepard Fairey Mural. And while I know this piece has been around for a while, I was never able to find it. But, JACKPOT. I FOUND IT. And what better way to end this post than with a piece that encourages PEACE and JUSTICE?! 1488795_10201641445813552_1728443248_n

Well kiddos, that is all for now. Hope your New Year is just as incredible and inspiring as these works are.

Remember: Follow Your He(ART).

XX, DP (instagram: @CultureHeARTs)

Wynwood, MIAMI Street Art, Art Basel 2013

993440_10201435932395845_1242184990_n

It’s BASEL time! The bells are ringing for art lovers around the world. This much anticipated week, the first week of December, is not only bringing in art works from international galleries, but it is too bringing in international Street Artists to cover the walls of Wynwood, The Arts District in Miami.

An impressive turnout has hit the streets. From Australia (Rone) to Brazil (Eduardo Kobra and Alex Senna) to Nicaragua (Luis Valle) and South Africa (Chinese-born artist DALeast – whose hometown is Cape Town), and even some US artists (like the phenomenal and ingenious Kenny Scharf – above), amongst others, have come to show their A-GAME. The streets have become REFRESHED and AWAKENED with NEW murals. AND WE JUST LOVE IT!!

See for yourself!

Rone:

65020_10201435968116738_252828704_n

Eduardo Kobra:

1470279_10201435970996810_1868199164_n1477956_10201435971516823_622868818_n

Alex Senna:

1483341_10201435936595950_1961877187_n

Luis Valle:

1463001_10201435940836056_830091074_n

DALeast:

1462845_10201435929275767_1971946272_n

Kenny Scharf:

1450337_10201435937875982_2035015610_n

Also, DON’T FORGET to check out the REEFA memorial mural, in which a collaboration of Street Artist’s (including PEZ and Miami’s own AHOL SNIFF’s GLUE [@aholsniffsglue]) took part in, to commemorate the tragic life lost of Israel Hernandez, aka REEFA. #RIPREEFA. To find out how to HELP DONATE to #JUSTICEforREEFA click HERE.

1460138_10201435929795780_2065237219_n

Follow your he(ART). Get inspired. It’s that time of the year…

XX, CHC (follow me on Instagram @ CultureHeARTs)

AHOL and INFOE Present “STICK UP KIDS” In Memory of STREET ARTIST REEFA – WE NEED YOUR HELP

1381978_10200597356992610_41766273_n

Urban Artists and STICKER Aficionados Infoe (@infoe_stv) and AHOL (@AHOLSNIFFSGLUE) amongst many others in the Urban Art scene in Miami have made continuous efforts to keep the memory of Israel Hernandez aka Street Artist REEFA, alive, after he was tased to death for tagging an abandoned McDonald’s. Not only is this a bit dramatic on behalf of the Miami Beach Police Department, but it is incredibly TRAGIC, BRUTAL, and OBSCENE – RIDICULOUS too, may I add. In a conversation with AHOL regarding the event he honestly states, “There is still a lot that needs to be done for their case legally and bringing awareness. We are lending our names to the cause to help in any way we can.” And thus an ART SALE will be taking place this SATURDAY MIAMI. ALL PROCEEDS, YES ALL PROCEEDS, WILL GO TO #JusticeForREEFA. Here is the info below. Please share. JUSTICE NEEDS TO BE SERVED. RIP REEFA. You are always in our thoughts.

1381315_10200597349992435_472578718_n

1235117_10200597484275792_1389861354_n1391778_10200597484035786_35327040_n

XX, DP

Jimmy C: The Interview

Vitry finished1

Dearest CultureHe(ART)s – we know it has been a long time since we last posted, so we decided to come back with a BANG! SURPRISE! We got to interview the UTTERLY TALENTED Street Artist Jimmy C! Check it out!

You were born in England but grew up in Australia and studied down under, yet we see so much of your work in London… do you have just as much work up in Australia? What is the street art scene like there? I did used to have quite of work in Australia but a lot of it is probably covered over now. I was involved in the graffiti scene in Australia when I was younger, so painted a lot of walls at that time, mainly along the railway lines. I later went on to do commissioned mural works, so some of these walls are probably still up in various locations.

In relation to the street art scene, I was part of the graffiti scene back then, which was an exciting and energetic new art form at that time. It enabled me to find good friends like a family on the street. From what I have seen, the current street art scene is strong with many good artists, and I will aim to go back soon to visit.

How did you come across your infamous technique of drip/pointillist with spray paint? It looks incredibly difficult to master none the less, yet you execute it brilliantly! Does this inspiration come from Impressionism or did you come across it trying to break away from traditional types of street art? Also, do you create works in other techniques with spray paint or are you solely dedicated to your pointillist/drip technique? Thank you for your comments on this, and I first starting working with the dots when I was doing a lot of community arts workshops and mural projects in Australia. In one project I worked with an aboriginal artist who was working with the traditional dot painting technique and he asked me if it would be possible to do this on a wall with spray paint, and I said, I can’t see why not. I showed him how to make dots with the spray can and we went on to paint a wall together, combining our two styles. This led me to start thinking about dots and how to make images in this way. As my background was in figurative realism, my experimentation with the dots came to resemble a form of Impressionism or Pointillism with the spray can. In 2004 I made a series of work which I titled the Aerosol Pointillist series, but I felt that just working in dots was not really enough, which then led me to experiment with drips. That’s when I felt that I had found something more unique and personal, which I came to call the Drip Paintings, which were images made from layers of individual drips of spray paint. I also use a similar technique with lines that I call the scribble paintings. 

The works we have seen of yours are portraits of people – besides the famous people like David Bowie… who are these people? Do you know them or are they random by standards? What does it mean to you to create a portrait? And why do you choose mainly portraiture as your subject over other subjects? The human subject is the main source of inspiration behind my work, and almost all the portraits I have painted are from people I have met or had some kind of interaction with. The human subject in the context of the city is of particular interest to me, and I am trying to convey an essence of the human spirit through my painting with the consideration of hope, resilience, and compassion. I am also part of a tradition trying to seek new approaches to portraiture through painting.

Whitby2 new background2

What is your favourite city to work in? What is your favourite mural you have done? I like painting here in London, and travelling to paint is always a good experience. I have painted in many cities and have great memories, which is so often connected to the people you meet at the time. One of my favourite walls is at 5 Pointz (a) in New York, as it was an honour to have worked in a place that has always celebrated the culture and diversity of styles from the hip hop tradition. Another favourite wall is in Hasselt in Belgium (b), where I got to form some great friendships. 

A:

66. 5 Pointz, New York 2011 Aerosol sur mur

B:

Hasselt wall1

How do you define your style? A socio-poetical dripping (he)art.

What galleries represent you/where can your work be purchased?! We would love to know! Also, where can our followers follow YOU on social media? What are your twitter/facebook/instagram accounts for our dear friends to keep up with you on the reg(ular). I work with a gallery in Melbourne, Australia called Lindberg Galleries, and also a gallery in Lille in France called Galerie Raison d’Art. Work can also be purchased directly from my studio in London.

For more information check out Jimmy C’s website, LIKE his Facebook page, and lastly, FOLLOW him on Twitter @akajimmyc and Instagram akajimmyc.

Check out some more of his works below!

City cubist formsGirl with Spheres 3D 2Westminster Bridge1

WOW. WOW. WOW. WOWWWWWWWW. THANK YOU JIMMY C for taking time to participate in the interview and for sharing your he(ART) with us!

XX, DP and the CultureHe(ART)s Team

p.s. Follow us on Instagram: CultureHeARTs