Archive for February, 2009
For those not in the know, unlike his uncommunicative predecessor, BARACK OBAMA releases a weekly "State of the Union" announcement online with a breakdown of the week's major issues from a presidential perspective. Since 2009 is serious as a heart attack, we'll be relaying it here at Supertouch on the regular. No word in this week's installment regarding the possibility of pardoning Obama campaign artist Shepard Fairey, however. Maybe he saving that for Monday...
Gearing up for this month's upcoming TOUR DE CALIFORNIA, Supertouch homie LANCE ARMSTRONG makes a pit stop at the San Diego Air & Space Technology Low Speed Wind Tunnel this morning for some fine-tuning. Next up is the velo, stay tuned...
Supertouch's own SHEPARD FAIREY was arrested for alleged vandalism claims while attempting to enter the grand public opening of his first museum solo show at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON last nite. Currently he's out on bail and awaiting a court appearance in Boston on Monday:
"A street artist famous for his red, white and blue "Hope" posters of President Obama was arrested in Boston, where he was wanted on warrants for tagging property with graffiti.
Shepard Fairey, 38, was arrested Friday night on his way to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Fairey was scheduled to deejay a kickoff event at the museum for his first-ever solo exhibition, called "Supply and Demand."
Two warrants were issued for Fairey on Jan. 24 after police determined he’d tagged property in two locations with graffiti based on the Andre the Giant street art campaign from his early career, Boston Police Officer James Kenneally said Saturday.
Fairey, of Los Angeles, is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charges Monday in Brighton District Court, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney. Wark said Fairey would also be arraigned on a default warrant related to a separate graffiti case in the Roxbury section of Boston.
Fairey has spent the last two weeks in the Boston area installing the ICA exhibit, giving public talks and creating outdoor art, including a 20-by-50 foot banner on the side of City Hall, according to a statement issued Saturday by the ICA.
The museum described the reason for Fairey’s arrest as "his efforts posting his art in various areas around the city."
"We believe Shepard Fairey has made an important contribution in the history of art and to popular thinking about art and its role in society," the statement said. "We are enthusiastic to be working with him and are pleased to be showing the first museum retrospective of his work."
The museum said Fairey was released a few hours after his arrest, but that could not immediately be confirmed by authorities. A California lawyer who has represented Fairey in the copyright case didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the arrest." Click HERE to continue reading...
Long before there were Steve Job's flashy Mac World technology summits, prehistoric computer rival AMIGA staged a 1985 publicity event in which ANDY WARHOL created his first computer-generated portrait using a then wildly-futuristic digital camera and the Amiga's pioneering graphic filters. Fittingly, the portrait subject was DEBBIE HARRY and the results weren't too far off from his off-register silkscreen prints. From the looks of things, Andy was pretty satisfied with the results. In the end, however, Apple won the space race, as Andy never made the Amiga logo into an art piece...
While many local English governments have actually taken steps to protect illegal BANKSY murals within their city limits, the Council of Westminster City decided late last year to have "One Nation Under CCTV,"his largest painting in LONDON removed as a public statement against graffiti. While it still stands today, word has gotten to us from a reliable inside source that officials still have every intention of removing the piece and are currently planning to have it buffed. The mural—a public critique of London's ubiquitous closed circuit TV monitors that observe citizens throughout London 24-7—popped up in April of 2008 adjacent to a live CCTV camera that miraculously caught no glimpse of the elusive artist & his crew as they installed the giant artwork. When the decision to remove the artwork was announced in late 2008, deputy council leader Robert Davis asked "what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city? "I take the view that this is graffiti and if you condone this then what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city?" When questioned about the possibility of preserving the piece as a public artwork, he replied: "If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London."
Following the amazing Yoshitomo Nara exhibition at Blum & Poe this January, LA is off to a bright year visually—despite the otherwise morbid outlook—with a show of new drawings by ANISH KAPOOR at REGEN PROJECTS in West Hollywood this month. The Turner Prize-winning London-based Indian artist is in fine form in this exhibition of medium and large-sized gorgeously pigmented gouache on paper abstract "drawings" that are meditative in both form and depth and a notable departure from his more visible sculptural and architectural projects of recent years. Of course writing about abstract art is like "dancing about architecture" and the show's accompanying artspeak does a far better job of just that:
"Anish Kapoor's work brings together the formal concerns of post-minimalism with an eastern spiritual sensibility and explores the relationship between physicality and transcendence. Each drawing is typically begun near the center of the paper and develops spontaneously. The drawings are direct expressions that stress the primacy of the mark and the hand of the artist. There is a raw, gestural, and visceral character on one hand and a sublime refinement and control on the other. Within these works there is a coexistence of opposites: a simultaneous play of glutinous and dry surface, negative and positive space, lightness and darkness, shadow and void, presence and absence, stasis and potential activity. This duality creates a tension between formalist structures and an engagement with deep metaphysical elements of philosophy. Space remains undefined as forms swirl and light alludes to the spaces beyond. The vivid and saturated colors illustrate Kapoor's understanding that color has the ability to transform feelings and provoke emotions while being a physical presence unto itself. These drawings represent a more private and personal side of his practice. Symbolism and modernist abstraction coalesce and illustrate a movement beyond the decorative into the sublime."
HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Supertouch’s own billboard liberator RON ENGLISH was a busy man this election season, canvassing the US plastering copies of his graphically disturbing “Abraham Obama” hybrid portrait on city walls across the expanse of this great country. On hand to capture it all was director KEVIN CHAPADOS whose created the documentary film “Abraham Obama” to chronicle Ronnie’s great political journey including run-ins with like-minded counter culturalists Morgan Spurlock, The Date Farmers, Shepard Fairey, Jack Medicine, David Choe, Sam Flores, and DJ Z-Trip along the way. The film will premiere at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater on Sunday, February 15th at 12:30pm, with an additional screening on Wednesday, February 18th at 7:30pm. Don’t sleep…
Our own SHEPARD FAIREY has been a near constant presence on Supertouch of late, but what can we say, the last year has belonged to him. Capping off an epic string of career milestones beginning with his street level branding of the Obama campaign to being inducted into the Smithsonian and the attendant media blitz that ensued–most famously with his appearances on The Colbert Report and Charlie Rose, Ol' Shep managed to cap it all off last nite with the VIP preview of his career retrospective art show "Supply & Demand" at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON. Of course there were even more media microphones and cameras there (that's after doing two days of press before hand), but this time so was his loyal legion of diehard fans, which made it all worthwhile. Just to up the irony factor, local government just unveiled a massive Shepard mural outside the entrance of historic City Hall with the Mayor presiding over the occasion. Looks like art crime pays after all. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Opening up last week was MARK DEAN VECA’s phenomenal career retrospective “Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations” at the UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY/UCSD. Providing a comprehensive overview of the Shreveport, Louisiana native & current Altadena resident’s creative oeuvre, the multifaceted exhibition chronicles the diversity of the painter’s career from his early drawings and monochrome paintings to his creative collaborations with Nike, KAWS, Ford, and Burton Snowboards, before arriving at a selection of the artist’s stunning new work. The show also features two intensely detailed wall paintings indoors & out exhibiting his signature style of graphic assault. In the words of curator Steve Mitchell, “Veca works in the meticulous tradition of the fresco painter to produce an image that paradoxically evokes the immediacy of the graffiti artist.” HAVE A LOOK: Read More
The most breathtaking aspect of Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme collapse is undoubtedly the sheer breadth of the types of people and institutions affected. Now its impact is being felt in the art world as Boston’s BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY has announced it will be forced to close its progressive ROSE ART MUSEUM and liquidate its prestigious collection of modern art after numerous major donors and trustees lost big when Bernie went down. Faced with an estimated $79 million deficit, the decision to close up shop and go the Circuit City route has the art world—and a legion of Rose Museum donors—up in arms:
For the trustees at Brandeis University, the easy part is over. Without an apparent word of dissent, all 50 or so trustees approved a plan on Jan. 26 to close the university's 48-year-old Rose Art Museum and sell its entire 7,180-piece art collection, which was last appraised in 2006 at about $350 million.
Brandeis's endowment had plunged to $540 million at the end of 2008 from $712 million as of June 30 of that year, and it was earning significantly less than the 8%-plus annual return on investment it had posted on June 30. Some of Brandeis's trustees are believed to have lost money from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, limiting their ability to make up the difference. The school, which by law spends only its gains and not the principal of the endowment, reduced expenditures by $10 million and instituted various budget-freezing measures, but "we couldn't do any more belt-tightening without fundamentally changing the character of the university," said Peter French, Brandeis's chief operating officer and executive vice president. He noted that, as the trustees looked ahead at the next four or five years, they could see operating deficits of $10 million to $20 million a year and little likelihood of Brandeis regaining its $700 million endowment and 8% interest income until 2015. The art collection looked like a big source of potential revenue.
Now comes the hard part. The decision was heavily publicized and met with condemnation by museum and educational associations, as well as by individuals throughout the art world. OK, trustees and officials at Brandeis can ride that out; there's always some catastrophe somewhere else to divert people's attention. But current and future donors to Brandeis may hold a grudge a little longer, if they believe that objects donated to the university will be quickly turned into cash. Click HERE to continue reading...