Before the media has everyone believing that the current SWINE FLU scare is likely to lead to a "28 Days Later"-style end-of-the-world zombie bloodbath, remember that way back in 1976 we went through the same hype fest as eloquently documented in these amazing PSA spots from the period.
For better or worse, London remains the undisputed nexus of the "street art" universe where art stunts reign supreme and the city's young upstarts avidly compete in a constant battle of one-upsmanship in the public eye. This Firday nite painter ADAM NEATE in conjunction with venerable gallery ELMS LESTERS PAINTING ROOMS have joined forces to up the ante a bit in presenting "The London Show," a conceptual event whereby the entire city of London will become an impromptu gallery of the artist's work after he deposits 1,000 free pieces of art in the metropolis' endless maze of nooks and crannies:
"As dusk falls on Friday 14th November, Adam Neate will be claiming the streets of London as his personal “gallery” by leaving 1000 artworks scattered across the city. Teams of distributors will begin under cover of darkness at the furthest edges of the capital, working their way towards the centre by daybreak on Saturday, randomly distributing individually numbered ‘unique’ multiples. For one night only, “The London Show” adopts the whole capital as its gallery space and rethinks the idea of the ‘private view’. There won’t be any queues to see the work, no chilled wine, the artist himself won’t necessarily be present - just one thousand chance encounters that make up a conceptually pre-meditated potlatch. Adam Neate reckons to have left around 6,000 paintings on cardboard on the city’s streets over a period dating back many years. But that was at the height of his anonymity and now, with his star in its ascendancy in the British contemporary art scene; his distinctive style has become instantly recognizable. 'The whole concept when I started the free art thing was challenging the notion of art as a commodity and its worth in society,' says the artist. 'Now I’m taking that to another level, testing the viability of separating art from commerce.' To create the works, Neate has worked with a silkscreen printer to ‘mass-produce’ the same number of paintings in a couple of weeks that it would have taken him a year to make by hand. “I’m interested in that Warhol idea of the brand as assisted readymade. Apart from creating the master image in stencil, I haven’t had to touch these works at any point in their production, even the signature is rubber-stamped – and although they’re multiples, each one is compositionally unique.” Printed on cardboard and shrink-wrapped in cellophane, there’s a deliberate attempt to blur the boundary between painting, print, and product. “I remember as a kid going into Woolworth’s and seeing laminated prints of that famous Tretchikoff painting ‘The Chinese Girl’ and thinking it was great that people could have that iconic image at home for next to nothing. I’m hoping that for some people who come across one of these new paintings, they’ll pick it up not because they recognize it as one of mine, but just because they connect with the image and would like to hang it on their wall.” When they get it home, each new owner can decide whether their chance acquisition of an art work by Adam Neate has greater value with the shrink wrap left on (pure product), or taken off (pure painting). Whichever they decide, they still own one thousandth of an extraordinary public art project."
High concept or just hype? You be the judge...
YBA founding father, Diamond Skull mastermind, "highest paid living artist" record holder, and all-around art gangster DAMIEN HIRST has decided to forgo the formal gallery world and sell his new body of work via auction. Sidestepping longtime gallery rep LARRY GAGOSIAN for London's SOTHEBY'S auction house, the 43-year-old Turner prizewinning artist intends to open his work up to set some new sales records when he puts enough new art to constitute two gallery shows on the block in a two-day auction in London on September 15 and 16. The centerpiece of this sale, titled “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever,” is his new masterwork, "The Golden Calf," a monumental sculpture of a bull submerged in formaldehyde inside a gold-plated stainless steel and glass box. The animal's head is crowned by a solid gold disc, its hooves and horns are cast in gold, and the piece is expected to fetch at least £12 million. When asked why he decided to open his new art to an international auction market, Hirst stated simply, “the world's changing.” Larry Gagosian has already declared that he'll be front-and-center at the sale bidding among the faithful. It's Damien's world, we just live in it...
To call last nite's opening of newly minted and ridiculously named "artist" MR BRAINWASH an "art show" would be a disservice to artists everywhere and even Mr Brainwash himself. Instead, let's call it what it really is: a grand art prank of epic proportions. A heist. A spoof. A joke. Or maybe just the biggest, funnest, sloppiest high school art fair of all time. But let's not call it an "art show." Unfortunately, the majority of the Hollywood zombies lined up around the block for the better part of four hours awaiting entrance didn't quite get the joke...Read More
Opening to the public today, London's CANS FESTIVAL saw a massive queue of thousands of fans vying for a closer look at English Street Art mastermind BANKSY's latest offerings. Of course, over 40 other artists from around the world participated in the stencil art-only jam inside an unused Eurostar terminal at Waterloo on the capital’s South Bank including Ron English, Blek Le Rat, Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, and Dot Masters. The general public is invited to participate as well, and any punter showing up with a stencil and some paint will be allowed to leave their mark within the festival's legal boundaries. HAVE A LOOK (OVER 150 PHOTOS!): Read More
In case you've been living under a rock, London is playing host to the CANS FESTIVAL this weekend, a huge show of stencil art with over 40 international street & graffiti artists participating, including movement figurehead and onetime rebel BANKSY, who masterminded the entire affair. These photos represent the first look at his work in the show. Located in an unused Eurostar terminal at Waterloo on the capital's South Bank, the very legal festival intends to showcase one of London's most popular tourist attractions in a safe, controlled setting. We're not exactly sure why it's called the "Cans Festival" instead of the more obvious "Stencil Festival," but we are surprised Sir Banksy himself is taking center stage in the show. The gangster move would have certainly been for Banksy to shun participation in the festival while dropping an illegal bomb of massive proportions elsewhere in the city as a movement-leading show of force. Who knows, it's a long holiday weekend in Fogtown, perhaps our man's got something up his sleeve yet. Meantime, here's what Banksy had to say about organizing the show: "Graffiti doesn't always spoil buildings, in fact it's the only way to improve a lot of them. In a few hours with a couple of hundred cans of paint, I'm hoping we can transform a dark, dirty, neglected hellhole into an oasis of beautiful art. I've always felt anyone with a paint can should have as much say in how our cities look as architects and ad men, so getting to cover an entire street with graffiti is a dream come true, or as some people might call it, a complete and utter nightmare." The show is being sponsored & organized by PICTURES ON WALLS, an East End printmaker that produces limited-edition screenprints by Banksy and Faile, among others. Tonite marks the VIP first-look debut of the show with A-listers like Kevin Spacey strolling through the tunnel, cocktails in hand, admiring the Street Art in spacious privacy before the sweaty masses are admitted on Saturday with an expected 75,000+ fans expected to descend on the show. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the weekend...
We're not going to devote a lot of time and space to the unauthorized second-hand sale of consigned works that is the current "BANKSY ROBS HONG KONG" show presented by FABRIK CONTEMPORARY ART at the HONG KONG ARTS CENTER that opened last nite, but for the curious, here's a look at what Banksy's first organized foray into the Asian market looks like. Since the artist and his camp had no part in the exhibition, no new works were presented and the show consists mainly of pre-owned prints and other limited-edition serigraphs with few original pieces of art on display. Of particular interest, however, were some never-before-seen chunks of the warehouse installation Banksy painted for the afterparty of his 2002 "Existencilism" show at the 33 1/3 Gallery in LA that were later removed and preserved by an astute private collector. As of this writing, all works in the show had been spoken for and prices were as insane as any other Banksy sale, with some works reaching the $500,000 mark. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
As we reported earlier in the week (See text below), London's dominant nuevo riche street artist BANKSY was the star attraction at venerated auction house BONHAM's contemporary art sale this week. As expected, the bidding met or far exceeded the broker's conservative estimates, and a look at the list of works below reveals their redlined sale prices (keep in mind that many of these works were originally purchased for $500—$,1000, and are single color spray stencils that took no longer than 5 minutes to create). Have a look, and for current Banksy owners, start contemplating that secondary market flip that'll put an extra wing on your crib: Read More
With all the massive ad campaigns, urban billboard forests, ubiquitous building wraps, and endless publicity stunts that inundate our senses on a daily basis, it's pretty hard for advertising to impress us here at Supertouch, but two very distinct international campaigns did just that this month. Hyping the forthcoming Read More
Have you ever heard of artist ANTHONY MICALLEF? If you're like the majority of LA art aficionados, the answer is most likely "no." So how is it possible that this vaguely recognizable (and very talented) British painter has set up a "pop-up gallery" on the corner of Hollywood and Highland and managed to sell out a huge show of paintings and sculptures—pulling in well over a million dollars—all in one nite? The answer: “The Banksy Syndrome." Repped by Banksy's London-based art dealer, STEVE LAZARIDES, it seems that Micallef & Co. has copied the same formula as the London-based street artist in creating a heavy PR blitz by renting their own location, spreading a heavy aura of "secrecy" about the event's debut date and location, inviting a veritable who's-who list of local celebrities and gawkers to an advance VIP preview, and charging through the nose for Read More