Opening this Saturday nite, January 10th is the debut of tag team street art duo & vandal squad most wanted list members PORK & SPAM’s “Monsterheaven” exhibition at Supertouch’s official NYC enclave FUSE GALLERY. Peep the details, and don’t be late:
“Contradicting the dark cavernous environment in which Fuse Gallery sits, Monsterheaven, a site-specific installation, serves as a ‘heavenly niche.’ Using satire to explore the tension between beauty and horror, a maze of plywood clouds hangs from the ceiling with seemingly evil yet playful creatures interspersed. Creating a sensation of looking down from the heavens, many small stencil and collage works hang below eye level on the wall while other three dimensional works and video scatter the floor. A harp plays in the corner while an ambient mix of divine chanting and growls is overheard throughout. PORK and SPAM rob horror of its power through humor, finding the sublime median between darkness and levity, blending the beautiful and the banal in this dark depiction of life's comedy.” HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Undoubtedly, a legion of young hipsters, streetwear fashionistas, and luxury goods junkies would be left scratching their heads in bewilderment if pressed to elaborate on the legacy of STEPHEN SPROUSE. Luckily, the legendary downtown art shrine known as DEITCH PROJECTS, in collaboration with Parisian luxury brand LOUIS VUITTON has provided an immersive introduction to the late artist's indelible legacy in the form of their epic "Rock on Mars" retrospective exhibition that opened its doors to a cadre of NYC's illuminati last nite. A pioneering designer who cut his teeth in the fertile late '70s & early '80s downtown scene (his earliest client was downstairs neighbor Debbie Harry), Sprouse daringly infused day-glo graphic elements of crucial counterculture scenes like graffiti, punk, and hippies into an array of groundbreaking and always rock-centric fashion statements over the course of his roughly 20 year career. Forever plagued by soaring highs and crushing financial lows, the designer was rescued from the brink of obscurity by Marc Jacobs when the designer tapped him to create a new line of instantly sold-out designs for Louis Vuitton in 2001, effectively revitalizing his name in the process. Unfortunately, lung cancer would claim the Sprouse's life in 2004 exactly at the precipice of a major comeback that would never be. Funded by Louis Vuitton as a grand homage to the oft-underappreciated visionary, the Deitch exhibition collected previously unshown fine artworks originally created by Sprouse for an unrealized show called "Rock on Mars," with vintage fashion drawings and iconic clothing designs to provide the most comprehensive overview of the artist's prodigious oeuvre ever assembled. Opening to the public this weekend, the show is the first must-see event of the New Year, shining a much-needed light on an otherwise gloomy art scene still coping with the "morning after" of 2008’s crippling economic collapse. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
It seems KAWS has finally hit the big time with his artwork for the special edition packaging of KANYE WEST's new "808s & Heartbreak" album hitting Times Square this week. Based on a painting featured in KAWS' recent NY show at GERING & LOPEZ GALLERY, the cover is available for a limited time on physical copies of the CD at select retailers.
As Christmas 2008 looms ever closer, we take a moment to remember one of our favorite pieces of holiday artwork, TOM SACHS' legendary nativity scene starring Hello Kitty, The Simpsons, and McDonald's:
"Tom Sachs's turbulent entrance to the New York gallery scene coincided with a Christmas window display he designed in 1994 for the department store Barneys. His nativity scene combined the Japanese merchandising wonder Hello Kitty as Baby Jesus, Bart Simpson in triplicate as the Three Kings, and the pregnant Madonna Ciccone as the Virgin Mary. Right-wing Christian groups went on the warpath, the allegedly blasphemous scene appeared on the title page of the New York Daily News, and the controversial ensemble was removed after only one day. From this point onwards, the international art world focused its attention on Tom Sachs, acclaiming him, with his typically American home-made replicas of consumer and cultural icons, as the most legitimate successor to Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol" —Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
NYC art legend and Supertouch buddy TOM SACHS has finally opened the doors to his ONLINE STORE just in time for (last-minute) holiday shopping. Featuring an offbeat array of such must-have items as the "Kill All Artists" T-shirt, Sach's epic tome from his 2006 show at the Prada Foundation in Milan, old school "Tom Sachs" skate wheels, antagonistic "Nuke The Swiss" stickers, and white Bic lighters—many of which are produced in-house at the mad scientist artist's downtown lab— the store is a one-stop-gift shop for that discerning art lover on your Kwanzaa list. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Fresh off the opening of his solo show for "Zee Germans" in Berlin last month, New York's resident mad scientist TRAVIS LOUIE unveiled "Strange Neighbors," his latest series of impeccably-rendered furry freaks last week at ERIK FOSS' East Village hotspot gallery, FUSE NYC. Expanding his menagerie of fictional & beastly gentleman, Louie played with scale in this new 16 painting series, all of which measure in at a diminutive 5" x 7." The best part about the show? The prices. At a time when your average downtown resident is contemplating a 2009 filled with meals of government cheese, each of Louie's mini weirdos can be had for only $1,625—while they last, that is. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Brooklyn-based anatomically named artist ELBOW TOE is commemorating the Great 21st Century Depression of our modern age by creating a fresh body of fine art based around the central character of the "Everyman," who has just made his debut on the wall in downtown Williamsburg. In the words of the artist:
My current body of work is an allegory about memory's power to hold us back or move us forward. The central character in this parable is a 6' x 10' linocut of an Everyman, who has lost it all and wanders the plains with all his belongings strapped to his back. He navigates a world in crisis by learning from his past. The remainder of the characters that he encounters are individuals lost in regret. I have developed these paintings and prints during the American housing and credit crisis of the past year. In contemplating where we are and where we might be, I have found myself looking back at history, remembering the Great Depression, and considering what effects it had on the American psyche. The uncertainty that existed then is present now, and I am addressing the kind of escapism through nostalgia that can occur in the midst of calamity. Every character that the Everyman sees is gripped by this need to escape their present circumstance. They are people lost in a memory at the very point when they should be paying attention to what lies ahead."
HAVE A LOOK: Read More
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.Read More
Postmodern neoclassical painter KEHINDE WILEY wears his vintage European aesthetic influences on his sleeve, and in "Fallen," Wiley's new show of massive-scale (up to 25 feet!) oil paintings at downtown NYC's DEITCH PROJECTS, his inspiration has never been more literal. Based directly on a wide variety of classical European paintings and sculptures by old masters like Diego Velasquez, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Auguste Falguiere, and Stefano Maderno, the "fallen" heroes of Wiley's new series mimic their source poses almost exactly albeit in the ultramodern context of the urban hip-hop vernacular of urban Manhattan. Wiley's own explanation for the series is really quite simple: "Down is an answer to the negative views of young black men in American society. It recognizes an idiom that can be seen from a distance as a negative form transformed into something more fabulous and joyful." To give Supertouch readers a better insight on Wiley's process, the works from his new series have been presented below alongside their classical source material for closer comparison. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Painter KEHINDE WILEY's use of highly detailed floral motifs as backgrounds for his intricate portraits is legendary, and now the artist has translated this inspiration literally into a new line of clothing that will be making its commercial debut at the end of the year. Speaking to GQ magazine, Wiley explained: "In Nigeria I bought these amazing fabrics from open-air markets. I brought them back, photographed and sourced them for painting, then wondered what to do with them. I ended up working with the designer DAPO JAMIU-SOYOYE. You know that Michelin Man-style puffy coats? We made a series of those out of the fabrics and are going to sell them in a pop up store in New York in December '08 or January '09." HAVE A LOOK: Read More