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)

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

Kiki Valdes – Riding Dualism

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KIKI VALDES
RIDING DUALISM

Reception: Wed, November 19th 2014
The National Arts Club / Marquis Gallery
15 Gramercy Park South, New York, New York 10003
6 – 8 PM / RSVP is required 
ridingdualism@gmail.com

For his FIRST one-person exhibition in New York, Kiki Valdes presents new paintings that explore the phenomenon of dominance and the translation of experience into image and form. Continuing his inquiry into the evaluation of popular culture in the context of established American settings, Riding Dualism proposes a step further whereby traditions are re-explored and roles often reversed.

Valdes’ work often draws a corollary between the content and action with surroundings punctuated by arid landscapes and fragmented spaces. In his work “Bullish in the Desert”, the interaction between the dark colossal animal and the brightness of the hovering ghost-like figure is offset against the brightness of the warm tones of the landscape. This painting as well as others in the series, investigates the poetics and memories of the perpetuating Western American culture, re-enacting the artist’s own experience in the wilderness of Arizona.

Simultaneously entertaining and strikingly composed semi-abstract paintings, Kiki Valdes’ works are critical interrogations of the duality between the individual and the system, or in this case the ‘animal’. Tracing the conflicting broadcast of everyday uprising, the unleashed beast in “Angry Horse” exposes the overthrow of ongoing endorsed system, projecting the viewers in a mental state of a no-man’s land where the dignity of the animal and individual are one. Kiki Valdes approaches the lore of the American cowboy with an intimate immediacy, enabling his contemporary experience to exist within the continuum of civilizations.

Kiki Valdes was born in Miami, Florida in 1981, and lives and works between New York, New Jersey and Miami. A Cuban American painter, Valdes’ work explores the multidimensional complexities of people, religion, American-life, sex, and superstition. His canvases tend to overlap on top of various unresolved paintings and capture a sense of association, rhythm and conflict. Kiki often refers to his paintings as studies; instead of art history’s draw toward the female or still life, Valdes explores the use of 1990’s cartoons with expressionistic tendencies. His appropriation of Disney/Nickelodeon characters is a starting point for him to redefine his understanding of the subject. The work can best be described as a marriage between abstract expressionism and cartoons.

“Kiki Valdes: Riding Dualism” will be on view at The National Arts Club, New York from November 3-29th 2014. A reception will be held on November 19, 2014 from 6-8 PM.

Press Contact: RidingDualism@gmail.com

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)

Basel-ed Out. Still.

For many, ART BASEL Miami is a massive PARTY. For some who are not buyers, yet MASSIVE fans of truly GREAT ART… this may have been the most exhausting but incredibly exciting week for you. And now that it’s over, we all still need a vacation.

But let’s not forget the art that we saw that came in from every corner of the earth. Here are some images we captured from galleries all across Basel…And we LOVED every minute of it!

Check it out!

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Marina Abramovic (Rhythm 4)1452203_10201503831093270_82938410_n

Jenny Holzer (Men Don’t Protect You Anymore)575310_10201503820973017_1912698743_n

Yinka Shonibare1463457_10201503836533406_2136920761_n

Daniel Buren1479459_10201503831933291_2134694445_n

Ai Wei Wei1470131_10201503834453354_447477375_n

I mean, is this not spectacular??? AND this is only a few of the hundreds of thousands of artists shown. And not only that, this is like .000000001% of the art shown.

Spectacular is an understatement. Was it worth the exhaustion? ABSOLUTELY. I would do it all over again in a he(ART)beat.

Well kids,

Have a FAB Holiday and New Years!

XX,

CHC (follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)

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

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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.

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XX, DP

New Camden, London Graffiti Spotting: Otto Schade

Some new Otto Schade’s are up in Camden and we think they are incredible. His most recent show was in MIAMI, at Gregg Schienbaum Fine Art but we were lucky enough to see his work firsthand here in LondonTown! The first work is a portrait of Amy Winehouse, the Camden born singer who led a tragic life but without a doubt had an INCREDIBLE voice. The second piece of Otto’s we came across was Rhino Zero. Both pieces are created through various layers of stencils and sprayed on. The works utter exceptional detail and aesthetic beauty. Don’t you think?

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We he(ART) them. Don’t you?

XX, DP
P.S. Follow us on Instagram @cultureheARTs and follow Otto and his work as well @OttoSchade.

#RIPREEFA RALLY and HOW TO HELP HONOR HIS LEGACY

A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF WHAT WENT ON AT THE #RIPREEFA RALLY via our friend Jane S. (instagram – spindalis305):reefa1

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On Saturday afternoon hundreds of friends, family, and community members gathered together on the corner of 71st and Collins in Miami Beach to honor our dear friend Israel Hernandez taken from us way too soon at the age of 17.  His crime?  Doing what he loved most creating art. Despite the oppressive heat of a typical Miami day in August, legions of people came together to talk about and celebrate Israel and share memories, and tell how important how he was in their lives.  It was unbelievable to hear how a 17 year old young man could have touched so many lives in such a short time. He was a very active participant in the Miami skateboard scene, art, and graffiti communities. We gathered peacefully despite our anger and outrage. One by one, friends and family spoke about Israel and his art and what an amazing person he was. At the family’s request there was no chanting—only a bit at the end of” no justice no peace.” Local residents spoke about what a blight the abandoned McDonalds building is and expressed outrage that such a tragedy could occur over a kid putting up a little bit of art. So many of the most well-known graffiti artists were there (although very uncomfortably since they don’t like to be anywhere near a large group of police officers).

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Although the rally was thankfully very peaceful you could very much feel the tension in the air and how much everyone was suppressing their anger especially since we were surrounded by barricades and police as far as your eye could see. They were even posted on the rooftops of the buildings across the street which created a very eery and uncomfortable atmosphere.

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I have been spearheading an effort to help HONOR Israel aka Reefa (his tag name) by making #RIPREEFA STICKERS. This effort has been supported 100% by DONATIONS and I cannot believe how massive the response has been WORLDWIDE for these stickers. People all over the world are outraged that a kid could be tased and die for graffiti. This should never ever have happened for writing on a wall!

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If anyone would like to help honor the legacy of  Israel “Reefa” Hernandez,  I can be reached via my Instagram: spindalis305 and my email address 17stars@gmail.com which is also the Paypal address for donations. Please help us spread the word that justice needs to be served and tasing  unnecessarily HAS to be stopped. Thanks!
– Jane S.

RIP REEFA: Street Art Awareness

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Stop the Violence. RIP REEFA aka ISRAEL HERNANDEZ. MIAMI make the streets safer for artists and help STOP the VIOLENCE.

Read the story here.

TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS people will be collecting donations at 004Connec a Graff store in Wynwood and at the Viophilia Show. Please e-mail 17stars@gmail.com to find out how to donate if you can’t make it to these places. EVERY $1 counts.

A PEACEFUL event will be held in his honour this SATURDAY to raise AWARENESS.

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Pray for justice. This was unnecessary.

XX, DP

AHOL: The Interview

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Miami Street Art Sensation AHOL (@aholsniffsglue), who represents the #SSK crew, has got EYES all over the 305, literally. However, his most recent projects – #BiscayneWorld and his digitally chopped up images (which he creates on his cell phone with original pictures) deviate from what we are used to seeing on the streets. Before you read the interview we were so LUCKY to have with him, here is a video from his Sniper Show (below) which conveys a different kind of energy and intensity than that which we see painted on the walls of the 3-0-5. What we also don’t discuss in the interview is how this artist makes his work accessible to his fans – he leaves signed #BiscayneWorld prints all around Wade County – you just have to go on an adventure to find them with clues that he sends out via instagram!! I don’t know any other artist who does such a thing. He wants his fans to be engaged, and that is something that has CAPTIVATED our attention. Read ze INTERVIEW to find out why we He(ART) and admire this artist.

DP: While people in MIAMI may recognise your work, being a South Florida native, what other cities do you enjoy working in?

AHOL: I’ve lived in MIAMI all my life. I identify with my city.  I’ve gone to other states up the east coast and countries and spread some of my work but Miami is what matters to me.

DP: Your eyes are what I am most familiar with as is your style from spray paint, but what other symbols are commonly found in your works and what other mediums do you enjoy working with?

AHOL: I try and tie a lot of my stuff together. The eyes come from my characters, the characters tell a story of the common person. My pictures are Miami oriented and my digital cellphone photo chopped images are all Miami based (see image below).  I use any medium accessible to me. Possibilities are endless and SPONTANEOUS creation is my favorite.

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DP: My mom (who is now my biggest supporter and getting into the whole idea of street art) sent me an article regarding your accident. How horrifically tragic. I am truly sorry but I am SO happy that you have gotten back up and started working again. It is very inspiring. Do you think your style has changed since the accident. Do you look at your art differently?

AHOL: The accident sucked. I am truly blessed to be alive.  Many things have come from it.  I am now working with Gregg Shienbaum who supported my work through the accident and now I am proud to be a part if his gallery.  After the accident, my HUSTLE and DRIVE has been TURNED UP HIGHER THAN EVER. 

DP: I checked out your website and I see your paper works encompass a lot of geometric shapes and linear lines. Would you agree that this differs from your work on the streets?

AHOL: Those paper works were part of an urban landscape series I worked on that meant a lot to me.  They are very similar to my eyeball line work and attention to detail but in a more free calculated and uncalculated way. It’s hard to explain.

DP: Your latest mural is going up as we speak in Wynwood? What gallery is this for? And are you putting on a show in that gallery? If so, what are the dates for everyone to go and check it out?!

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AHOL: The blue mural (above) I’m working on is at Ocean Grown Glass Gallery on NW 2 and 27 Street in Wynwood.  They are going to be raising the bar in glass art in the area. They are awesome people and I am thankful they commissioned me to bless their walls.  I may be collaborating on something with them in the near future but its still in the talking stage.

DP: Where can we purchase your works? Your online store only sells clothing – but what if we want some prints?

AHOL: I sell some shirts on my site AHOLSNIFFSGLUE.COM.  All my fine art can be purchased directly from Gregg Shienbaum from his gallery in Wynwood Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.

P.S. If you like more info, GOOGLE my AHOL: FULL-TIME show and my SNIPERS SHOW, those were the 2 most recent shows that I went more conceptual and a bit off the wall.  I am really proud of those bodies of work. Thank you for following my work.  🙂

There ya have it folks. Keep following our dear friend on Instagram @aholsniffsglue, for more secret scoops regarding #BiscayneWorld are dropping soon… REMEMBER, HE’S GOT EYES ON MI-YA-YO. Keep them open. Remember, beauty is in the EYE of the beholder.

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XX, DP