Category Archives: art news

Martha Cooper speaks on Art in the Streets

VNA got bumped into graffiti photographer, documenter and bonafide badass Martha Cooper on the set of Art in the Streets. Some pretty interesting thoughts, and kind of putting a voice to a name, which is always welcome. Something about sunny LA brings out the best and brightest in people.

You should also check out Very Nearly Almost, some constructive reporting and web curation, along with inside looks and just great personality behind the project.

Saber’s American Graffiti Flags

Arrested Motion once again managed to penetrate the inner sanctum of a seminal graffiti and fine artist, this time as SABER is gearing up for his solo show entitled The American Graffiti Artist. These reinterpretations of Flag, a piece created as a political statement in support of healthcare reform, are once again reimagined with drawn from graphical elements of LA graff.

It’s interesting to see that from the appropriation of a national image, these works are suddenly very geographically and art-historically situated. Once again, we are seeing that encroachment of graff into a new setting and with it, the shedding of old meaning and adoption of new symbology.

Photo Source: Arrested Motion

Vandalog’s review of Art in Streets

source: RJ Rushmore

Vandalog, run by RJ Rushmore, posted this review of Art in the Streets yesterday. Here’s an excerpt about AITS curator Jeff Deitch and the position he was in regarding Katsu and Blu’s mural, two pieces that were buffed despite seemingly falling firmly under the practical manifestation of this show:

And just this past week, Deitch’s inability to publicly defend and embrace illegal street art being committed near the museum has been laughable and depressing. Critics of the show are right to point out the hypocrisy of his position on the legitimacy of street art being produced today versus that of a few years ago. But just like it is the critics’ job to point out that hypocrisy, it is Deitch’s job to say politically wise things to reporters…

This piece is definitely food for thought, as much as people can enjoy street art in a vacuum, with Art in the Streets being wildly successful we have to look at the monetary and political ramifications of an underground medium now reaching to the mainstream. Via Vandalog.

23 Questions with RETNA

source: Known Gallery

If you don’t recall the name you’ll definitely know the style. LA writer turned typography wizard RETNA was caught up by Artinfo for a really interesting 23 questions.

Here’s a little snippet:

…What project are you working on now? MOCA’s “Art in the Streets” exhibition

What’s the last show that you saw? Kehinde Wiley at Roberts & Tilton and Judith Supine at New Image Art Gallery

What’s the last show that surprised you? “Art in the Streets”

Why? Because I had the opportunity to work with all the people that inspire me. Also because Jeffrey has the courage, despite all the trials and tribulations, to say this is the movement and it needs to be recognized.

source: Hypebeast

What’s your favorite place to see art? I’m curious to know if they have any shows in the afterlife.

Do you make a living off your art? Some people might think that. What’s a living now and these days?

What’s your favorite letter, in any alphabet? I like them all.

What is the most exciting public place you’ve ever put your art? The Masonic temple on Wilshire Blvd

What has been your most dramatic run-in with the law? I blocked that out of my memory. Now they call me because they want to hang out. I like that relationship a lot better.

What’s the most indispensable item in your studio? My soul

Where are you finding ideas for your work these days? The great people I have around me.

Do you collect anything? People and art…

Yeah, this guy does not mince words it seems. This morning we were reading through Art in America and it’s interesting to see the kind of differences in question style that blogs and publications seem to have. Given that the two settings and receptive models of art are almost completely different, (gallery vs. street) it’s interesting to see the how well that these artists can maintain an identity when the art world begins to absorb street art.

Invader @ MOCA via Hypebeast

Hypebeast has been killin it with some great compiled and self-taken photodocs on specific artists featured in Moca’s Art in the Streets. These photos really capture the single artist view rather than focusing on full exhibit shots. These are all names and “legends” that we’ve seen emerge into mainstream prominence in the past 5-6 years. In this case, Invader, via Hypebeast:

source: hypebeast

source: hypebeast

The isolation of these pieces on white walls is really kind of unusual to see, but it’s always good that the artist is appropriating new ideas and progressing. This time bringing the old-school hand pointer icon, and isolating individual invaders without their usual linoleum backdrops.

source: hypebeast

Loving the placement on this. Honestly we’ve been impressed with the layout of the exhibit, at least from a bystander’s perspective. Check out Hypebeast constantly for new artist profile updates at Art in the Streets.

Revok’s Art in the Streets web curation

source: Revok1

The beef that people have toward art blogging is often not adding value to the actual works produced by the artist. However, the reason that Ennui covers Art in the Streets, at least through Internet curation and telling you about who to hit for what kind of perspective,is to bring the jumbled, often enclaved curatorial style of art’s in-crowd, like Art in the Streets curators Jeffrey Deitsch, Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose in sharper focus, especially for readers wanting to see the significance, not just exhibit shots or production videos.

And don’t get us wrong, no disrespect to Deitsch and company for their awesome, awesome contribution to this genre and setting, but art that was borne from bystander fascination and cover of night deserves to be covered by every outlet, in whatever way possible. In this case, check out LA graff legend and blu collar self-starter Revok1‘s own curation of Art in the Streets coverage.

source: Revok1
source: Revok1
source: Revok1

Wow, that last one is LA at its finest. Revok‘s selections of photos in that post definitely lean more toward LA’s graff inspirations, as those works are closest to the heart of the writer’s career and style. From Revok1:

Here are a few photos from the incredibly overwhelming experience that is ART IN THE STREETS…

Some photos stolen from OS GEMEOS and ARRESTED MOTION

More photos soon when I get the chance to sit down at a computer and upload my own…

As we sift through the thousands of photos swamping the Internet right now, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the unique perspectives that the artists and documenters are presenting at this show.

Art in the Streets via Geffen’s Cameras

We wish this was just a little longer or got a few more shots in, but the idea is pretty cool, especially with Art in the Streets reaching critical mass in the last couple of days. Getting an inside view really shows how differently writers and artists approached their respective “walls,” this time, tailored for a gallery setting. Check it out here:

From Juxtapoz:

There was a lot of secrecy involved in the preparation of MOCA’s “Art In the Streets” exhibition. We are quite sure if you were an artist in the show, your mother couldn’t come see what you were doing until the press preview. That said, it also provided an opportunity for those setting up the entire show and documenting it to have a bit of fun, and MOCA created a film using the Geffen’s security cameras.

Art in the Streets is going to be riot, so as remote viewers and curators we’ll keep an eye peeled for interesting bits and pieces around the show, and leave the actual coverage to the local and embedded sources.