Archive for February, 2008
After a long slow season, last nite saw the rebound of the sneaker scene in LA with the debut party for DR ROMANELLI's new shoe for CONVERSE (RED) at their CONVERSATIONS event as part of their 1HUND(RED) ARTISTS initiative. Created in partnership with (PRODUCT) RED, Converse's year-long global artist initiative was timed to both commemorate the brand's centennial celebration in 2008 and help fight health crises worldwide. Converse contributes 10% of the net wholesale price of these shoes to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and specifically fund HIV/AIDS programs in Africa that focus on the health of women and children. With this in mind, Romanelli created his signature kix with a band-aid motif as a fashionable message. "The 1HUND(RED) Artists project really motivated me to create something unique and I choose the band-aids as a fix for positive change." Onboard to keep the party moving was DJ PAUL SEVIGNY andÃ‚Â Supertouch's own LUPE FIASCO who rocked what might have been the most intimate private concert of his career in support of the campaign. Also on site was an original art installation by MEGAN WHITMARSH who created a beautifully trashy wonderland just for the event. Other artists and designers who have created artwork for the campaign include Hiroshi Fujiwara (Japan), Jeremyville (Australia), Michael White for Dondi White (USA), Colletivo Design (Brazil), Grandpeople (Norway), Mike Schall (USA), Supakitch (France) and UPSO (USA). Romanelli's signature kix drop in March at UNDFTD, LA and DQM in NYC. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
LA-based painter SYLVIA JI's morbidly beautiful women are as alluring as they are complex, and when a new army of them went on display at Culver City's COREY HELFORD GALLERY late last week, they were greeted by a throng of adoring fans who fell hard for their noir charms. Titled “Por Vida" the new show of acrylic on wood paintings, many of them large-scale, further explores 26-year-old Ji's fascination with love, death, and fleeting beauty, all colored with heavy doses of symbolic imagery for good measure. A veritable who's-who of the LA art scene turned out to support our girl who sold the gig out in no time at all. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Modern Day Mexico City (aka: Ã¢â‚¬Å“DFÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“Distrito Federal) is one of the most unique and complex urban environments on the planet, where the ancient meets the ultra-modern in a sprawling megalopolis of crime, wealth, beauty, and decay that has to be experienced in person to be believed. Colorado-based artist EVAN HECOX unveiled his own vision of the city at the freshly-minted KINSEY/DESFORGES GALLERY in Culver City last week when Ã¢â‚¬Å“DF (Distrito Federal),Ã¢â‚¬Â a show of new paintings, drawings and large-scale woodblock prints depicting daily life in the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest city went on display. Too bad they couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fit a taco truck in the gallery. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Supertouch's own SHEPARD FAIREY is taking his BARACK OBAMA endorsement seriously and went big this week with a massive new—and somewhat disappointingly, legal—billboard on the side of his new world HQ building on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park. Apparently a bumper sticker on the back of Shep's biodiesel Volvo wagon just wasn't cutting it anymore...
The LA art scene's been on a hot streak lately and REDCAT GALLERY's new exhibition of work by graphic artists ED FELLA and GEOFF McFETRIDGE, "Two Lines Align," only fans the flames. Curated by CalArts' Michael Worthington with the intent of exploring "the shifts in the perceived cultural worth of art and graphic design over time by placing Ed Fella's and Geoff McFetridge's design careers end to end to make one chronological line" succeeds in exploring the lineage between both artists whose 34 year age gap positions them at distant ends of a professional spectrum. While both share an obviously congruous affinity for clean design and simple linestyle, 70-year-old Fella's career began at a time when commercial design & fine art still enjoyed an uneasy relationship, an obstacle that had all but disappeared by the time 36-year-old McFetridge appeared on the scene. Or, in the words of Worthington, "While Fella's career reflects how graphic design has historically struggled to define itself in relationship to art, McFetridge follows a path wherein the integration of art and design is taken for granted." Artspeak aside, it's a phenomenal installation that should not be missed by anyone with even minimally functioning eyeballs. And now that Murakami has packed up and left town, it's the de facto art wonderland for kids. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Ah, what can we possibly say about the man/bear that is JULIAN SCHNABEL that hasn't been said before somewhere, somehow? Having ascended to the uppermost echelons of the Art world on a silver cloud, the man who Basquiat hated (really, he did) has become an institution unto himself and now wears the hats of filmmaker extraordinaire and real estate mogul to boot. His appearance in LA at GAGOSIAN GALLERY last week for the opening of "Christ's Last Day," his solo show of gigantic paintings reproducing a series of random vintage X-Rays that the artist found last year while directing "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" sent ripples through the otherwise fragmented local scene who clawed their way to catch a glimpse of the mighty hairy one last Thursday nite. Among them was GARY BASEMAN, who got a lot closer than most non-female admirers. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
We've gotta hand it to whatever agency created these ads for ARRIVE ALIVE, an anti-drunk driving organization that plans to install these stickers ofÃ¢â‚¬â€to borrow a phrase from KanyeÃ¢â‚¬â€"drunk & hot girls" in sexually explicit states of drunkenness in men's & women's bathrooms in major cities in what must be an attempt to deter "Girls Gone Wild" types from getting behind the wheel after a nite behind the Margarita bong. We've already seen the men's room version in person here in LA and can only imagine what homegirl must have been drinking to crawl into the little boy's room and set up camp next to the urinals. The money shot is definitely the backdoor view of honey's thong as she coughs it up in the ladie's room stall. We can only imagine the amazing bathroom graffiti these sleezy decals are going to inspire...
As always, our boy on the scene in NYC, STUNTBOY (aka: Erik Foss) has been a very busy boy the past few weeks getting ready to drop OG downtown art legend JACK WALLS' first ever solo show, "Ada: A Series of Collages" at his East Village art spot, FUSE GALLERY. Best known as Robert Mapplethorpe's companion & muse throughout the 1980s until the photographer's untimely death, Walls now serves as the head of the Mapplethorpe Foundation and created his collages for this show using an image from Mapplethorpe's storied back catalogue. As usual, the opening crowd was a who's-who of downtown art stars, rockers, and scumbags just like it should be. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
New York City's epic Guggenheim Spiral is currently playing host to one of the most inspiring art shows of the decade with CAI GUO-QIANG's midcareer retrospective extravaganza, "I Want to Believe." Known especially for his use of explosives in a hugely varied array of work in equally divergent mediums, the 51-year-old chameleon is one of the most crucial modern artists of our age and one of the shining lights of the Chinese art world. Born and educated primarily in Fujian Province before moving to Manhattan in the early 1980s to continue his education at P.S.1, the artist possesses the kind of rare vision and raw talent that allows him to move from painting to sculpture, to grand mixed-media installation work with impossible fluidity, creating masterpieces of epic grandeur and subtle detail that must be witnessed in person to be appreciated. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Supertouch buddy and curator-at-large AARON ROSE brought a paired-down selection of artists from his BEAUTIFUL LOSERS crew including Barry McGee, Ryan McGinley, Clare Rojas, Raymond Pettibon, Mike Mills, Ed Templeton, Ari Marcopoulos, Phil Frost, Deanna Templeton, and Matt Leines to Milan, Italy last week for the opening of the romantically-titled group show "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue," at the city's vanguard PRIMO MARELLA GALLERY. Rose's own art noise quartet, THE SADS performed live at the opening where members of Milan's streetwise cultural elite mingled with Italian illuminati in celebration of a rag tag group of American lowlifes. HAVE A LOOK: Read More