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, …).

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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…

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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)

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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!

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Jean Dubuffet

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Joseph Albers

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Sam Francis

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Mel Bochner

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Alex Katz

 

BRING IT ON BASEL!

xx. CHC

Bambi – The Female Banksy… if you will

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“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).

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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…

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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!

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Happy Hunting!

Best,

CHC

The Ugly American: Saber @ The Outsiders Gallery, London

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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!

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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?

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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. 

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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)