Archive for November, 2008


November 26, 2008  |  art, LA, News  |  Comments Off on LA///NEWS///RAYMOND PETTIBON LOOMS OVER HOLLYWOOD

Hollywood goes back to black & white…

Legendary punk artist/Black Flag branding mastermind turned bona fide gallery world phenomenon RAYMOND PETTIBON is currently looming large over Hollywood following the recent erection of his massive “I thought California would be different…” billboard as part of LA’s native 2008 CALIFORNIA BIENNIAL and its series of outdoor site-specific interventions. Too bad a continuous loop of Black Flag songs can’t be playing from the installation 24-7…




November 26, 2008  |  art, Berlin, First Look, Openings  |  Comments Off on BERLIN///FIRST LOOK: TRAVIS LOUIE’S “INHUMAN ODDITIES” AT MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY

Travis Louie’s self-portrait as a gentleman…

Last year venerable LA underground art institution MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY took a huge leap in establishing a satellite oputpost in the land of Bauhaus, and since then she’s been supplying “Zee Germans” with a steady supply of Pop Surrealism whether they like it or nicht. Last weekend saw the opening of new work by one of our favorite artists, namely TRAVIS LOUIE whose “Inhuman Oddities” exhibition of hyper-realistic sepia toned paintings reasserts his rightful claim as the master of Victorian Oddball Portraiture. So fine are Louie’s renderings in fact—right down to the painting surfaces—that in person they resemble real period photographs. Best of all, they’re still crazily affordable. HAVE A LOOK: Read More


November 26, 2008  |  art, News, Shepard Fairey, WTF???  |  Comments Off on NEWS///WTF?!? FILES///SHEPARD FAIREY NAMED GQ MAN OF THE YEAR

“Yo, just don’t forget about that ‘First Artist’ cabinet appointment you promised me!”

You can stop rubbing your eyes now, you read that headline correctly. That’s right, miraculous as it may seem, Supertouch‘s own SHEPARD FAIREY was named one of GQ MAGAZINE‘s “Men of the Year.” Selected for his Obama campaign artwork that helped push the Big O to the finish line the grimy wheatpaste street rat is now rubbing elbows with other men of the year Barack Obama, Leo DiCaprio, Micahel Phelps, and Sean Penn. Looks like Shep’s gonna have to step up his couture game and fast. Don’t think those Ramones shirts are gonna cut it anymore, buddy…

From GQ:


November 26, 2008  |  Animation, art, Art & Commerce, LA, Murakami, News  |  Comments Off on LA///NEWS///MURAKAMI TO OPEN HOLLYWOOD ANIMATION STUDIO

Murakami shows what it takes to get a studio opened in Hollywood (photo by Don C)…

Japan’s Warhol, aka: TAKASHI MURAKAMI, is now poised to become the country’s modern version of Walt Disney after news this week that he’s poised to set up a new animation studio in LA in summer 2009. Operating under the umbrella of KAI KAI KIKI, his artist management & personal production company, the studio will be located on North Highland Ave in close proximity to the nexus of Hollywood studio activity. Having proved his studio’s formidable animation chops with the Kai Kai Kiki-produced video for Kanye West’s “Good Morning,” and the “Superflat Monogram” short for Louis Vuitton, the company’s first pursuit will be the expansion of Murakami’s playfully fecal-friendly “Planting the Seeds” shorts starring his signature characters Kai Kai and Kiki that debuted at his “© Murakami” show in LA and Brooklyn last year into a feature-length film. Said Murakami about his new move into cartoons, “Animation and film have always been among my greatest influences, ever since I first saw ‘Star Wars’ and Hayao Miyazaki’s films. This studio represents a great step in the evolution of Kai Kai Kiki and gives me a closer proximity to the community of artists with whom I hope to collaborate as I continue my explorations of animated and live-action film.”





November 26, 2008  |  art, Brooklyn, Feature, Graffiti, News, NYC, Street Art  |  Comments Off on NYC///STREET LIFE///DAN WITZ’S “KILROY VARIATIONS”

5-east-village-nyc-2008.jpg One of Supertouch’s favorite promising Brooklyn-based artists is DAN WITZ, a classical painter who straddles the very disparate worlds of “fine” and “Street Art” with incredibly unique and separate bodies of work. Coming to prominence recently with a series of photorealistic “mosh pit” oil paintings, Witz has also made a home for his work in the streets with an incredible ongoing series of trompe l'oeil -style mixed media painted photo appliqués that depict his renditions of people imprisoned behind immovable grates and vents that are applied to the sides of, in Witz’s words, “ugly new buildings” as a sort of personal commentary on the dismal state of modern architecture and gentrification throughout the rapidly changing landscapes of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

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November 26, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Damien Hirst, London, News  |  Comments Off on LONDON///NEWS///DAMIEN HIRST LAYS OFF STUDIO STAFF

Damien faces the global economic crisis with his game face—and skull—intact…

After a record-breaking solo auction at SOTHEBY’S in September that raised a record $200 million USD, DAMIEN HIRST has announced this week that he’s laying off half of his staff of London-based assistants that create the bulk of his art in a factory-style setting under his Science Ltd. studio umbrella. Having explained in July that he would cease production of some of his most (in)famous series of works including the spin, butterfly, and medicine cabinet lines, after the last offerings of each were sold at Sotheby’s, Hirst has scaled back his workforce accordingly, perhaps in anticipation of upcoming artwork that he promises will be more painterly and hands-on with less emphasis on the manufactured sculptural tableaux he’s become famous for. Around 20 of Hirst’s assistants who are earn a reported $30K USD each, have been let go, and although workers have been told not to speak to the press, the artist’s spokesperson Jude Tyrrell explained, “As previously stated by Damien, he is finishing a number of bodies of works which is why temporary contracts have not been renewed. We have to be mindful of the current economic climate and how this may affect us in the future.” After all, art, above all else, must reflect one’s times, no?

In other Hirst news, have a look at Damien’s commentary on his recent entry into the BRITISH MUSEUM’s current “Statuephilia” show and the skull as a metaphor in his art:


November 24, 2008  |  art, Cuba, Feature, Graffiti, Os Gemeos, Road Trippin, Street Art  |  Comments Off on CUBA///ROADTRIPPING///FINDING OS GEMEOS IN HAVANA

osgcuba2.jpg A few years back Supertouch buddies/Brasilian art phenomenon OS GEMEOS (literally "The Twins" in Portuguese), along with fellow artist NINA visited Cuba and left their indelible mark throughout the streets of the city where time stands still. Our man on the road JASON NOLAN just got back from a slightly illegal run to the island nation where he found most of the murals still intact. HAVE A LOOK:

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November 24, 2008  |  art, Art & Commerce, Beijing, China, News, Openings  |  Comments Off on CHINA///ART & COMMERCE///THE ART OF CHRISTIAN DIOR IN BEIJING

“Worker Peasant Businessman Student Soldier,” by Zhang Xiaogang

The intersection of the fashion and art worlds has become an increasingly trafficked corridor of late, and the show “Christian Dior and Chinese Artists,” that opened at Beijing’s ULLENS CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART last week, seeks to satiate China’s seemingly endless appetite for both Western fashion and modern art. Featuring newly commissioned works that express the “essence of Dior” by leading Chinese artists Wang Du, Zhang Huan, Huang Rui, Li Songsong, Zhang Dali, Xu Zhongmin, Liu Jianhua, Zheng Guogu, Lu Hao, Wang Qingsong, Yan Lei, Zhang Xiaogang, Wen Fang, Shi Jingsong, Wang Gongxin, Quentin Shih, Liu Wei, Rong Rong & Inri, Tim Yip, Qiu Zhijie, and Ma Yan Song—displayed alongside epic couture pieces by the brand, the fashion house seeks to further glamorize its stunning aesthetic legacy with an art show of visual hits and misses. Highlights of the show include otherwise socially conscious artist ZHANG DALI’s portrait of Dior designer JOHN GALLIANO using repeating tonal “AK-47” text (although these homages are usually reserved for victims of gun violence); LI SONGSONG‘s two-story Dior purse constructed of fluorescent tubes; and WANG QINGSONG’s Last Supper photo featuring Dior-clad models and the artist himself in hospital pajamas as Christ. While the incredibly hot Chinese art scene has turned into a massive factory system with top artists churning out works created by an army of assistants (often sold directly through art auctions) at breakneck pace, the marriage of the two commodities seems to mostly work in this collaboration and surely hits the spot for the domestic audience for which it’s intended. God knows in this economy all major brands will have their sights focused firmly on China in the coming years with marketing blitzes that will surely make the branding extravaganzas over the last five years in Western markets seem like a warmup run. HAVE A LOOK:

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November 24, 2008  |  Editorial, Feature, Think Piece  |  Comments Off on THINK PIECE///LEGENDARY DESIGNER PETER SAVILLE WEIGHS IN ON PORN

savilleporn5.jpg A FEW THINGS I KNOW ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY by Peter Saville Pornography and Narrative There is something very mercenary about pornography. It's astonishingly to the point. The notions of narrative engagement don't really matter in serious pornography. Attempts at them are always inept. Actually, it's better to not bother. If I want to watch a film, I'll watch a film. I'm not looking to pornography for a narrative experience. Beginners tend to. But anyone with any intelligence can't really bear the ineptitude of the filmmaking.

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November 24, 2008  |  Design  |  Comments Off on NEWS///DESIGN///FOR THE LOVE OF SHELL CHAIRS

Have a seat, but check your wallet at the door…

Being admitted design snobs and chair porn junkies here at Supertouch, we couldn’t help but stand at attention when we learned that one of the most gorgeous midcentury seats of all time, the very clinically-named CH07 SHELL CHAIR designed by HANS WEGNER, was being reissued after decades of being MIA. The elegant three-legged shell chair was originally introduced in 1963 and only a few limited series were produced before the project came to a standstill. It wasn’t until the chair was relaunched briefly in 1997 after 34 years of oblivion that the seat finally made its mark on the design world. This special masterbuilt anniversary edition is limited to 250 pieces each of which bears a numbered sterling silver plate, and is crafted from “zebrano” veneer (so named for the wood’s stripes). The only problem? The price, of course. With the world economy on the verge of collapse, the nearly $5,000 USD pricetag this little beauty carries might be more than prohibitive for the average consumer. Of course, bad economies do breed dreamers…

And while we’re on the topic of shell chairs, now’s the perfect time to watch this little period film on the creation of the ultimate mid-century seat design, the EAMES SHELL CHAIR: