Every 6 months or so, I like to get a new blog theme for my blogs. I was way overdue with this one as I hadn’t updated it since May 2008. As usual when looking for an original WordPress theme, I went directly to Smashing Magazine as they always have the best looking designs for whatever you might be looking for. After digging around the website, I finally found what I was looking for: the ColorPaper theme designed by FTL.
If you live in San Francisco, you can’t afford to miss this FREE event.
Opening Reception: September 13th, 7-10pm
Exhibition Dates: September 13th – October 4th
White Walls Gallery
835 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Over 100 pieces will go on display at White Walls in a timely new show titled “The Duality of Humanity.” The show marks an evolution for the artist, whose unique form of reverse propaganda emerged from the spirit of the punk movement. With this show, Shepard touches upon, but also goes beyond the “calls to action” against mindless consumerism and war evidenced in previous shows like Nineteeneightyfouria, E Pluribus Venom and Imperfect Union.
The difference between this show and the previous ones is that now the optimism of a potential Obama presidency is in the mix.
His recent work reflects his own personal shift towards a new optimism, a direct result of his involvement with, and inspiration by, the powerful political ideals of Barack Obama.
The title of the show, “The Duality of Humanity,” is inspired by the peace-sign wearing US soldier in Vietnam, “Joker,” in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Fairey sees a strong parallel between the Vietnam war and the Iraq war.
Fairey says that:
this show addresses the human struggle between good and bad, hope and fear. One of the show’s central pieces is a child with a gun in his hand and a flower in his hat. The theme of soldiers and weapons bearing peace signs, or peace signs comprised of military effects, runs through many pieces in the show. Environmental themes also appear in some pieces, illustrating the tenuous balance between our dangerously uncontrolled consumption of non-renewable resources, and our well intentioned eco-concerns. Suffering and hope are seamlessly merged in a visual mash-up that defies expectations and easy answers.
“The Duality of Humanity” includes larger mixed media pieces on canvas and paper that have been covered with carefully collaged ephemera, self-printed patterns and found clippings from printed media. The backgrounds provide a seductive painterly texture and visual subtext, often allowing apropos words and images to bleed through the iconic images printed and painted over them. The multiple layers create a sense of depth, but also bring in temporal elements through preserved newsclippings, historic images and vintage printing effects. It is the images in the foreground, however, that give the work its power. They are crisp and provocative, communicating in a way that is direct and clear.
I have been a big fan of George Orwell ever since I read 1984. I remember the first time I heard about Orwell. I was 16 and we studied an excerpt from 1984 for our English class. I particularly remember this:
His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered that while he sat helplessly musing he had also been writing, as though by automatic action. And it was no longer the same cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals –
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
over and over again, filling half a page.
This also stroke me when I first read it:
The Ministry of Truth — Minitrue, in Newspeak — was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
I think what I like the most about Orwell’s 1984 is that it was truly a visionary book that decrypted exactly how governments would monitor us, later on.
My favorite thing about the book is how the Government creates a new language called Newspeak. The government deliberately deletes words from the dictionary and from people’s mind. Think about it, if you don’t have a word for “freedom”, how can you fight for it? If you don’t have a word for happiness or sadness, you won’t be able to express your feelings, thus you will be following the leader like a good sheep.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Orwell Diaries, each diary entry is going to be re-published in blog form on WordPress exactly 70 years after it was originally written. So, 9th August 1938 will be blogged on 9th August 2008 and so on.
The diaries will be published HERE.
I highly recommend you subscribe to the RSS feeds as it will be a very fascinating blog.
If you haven’t read 1984 and feel to lazy to read it, remember you can download a free audiobook of 1984.
Shepard was recently presented with the opportunity to illustrate some incredible photographs taken by photojournalist Al Rockoff. The images that were drawn to Shepard fit exactly with the current times and express same complex emotions many people felt during the Vietnam War and feel today with war in Iraq.
Al Rockoff’s photos reveal the brutality, but also the conflicted humanity seen in war. The risks Rockoff took to capture his images were often as great as the risks of the subjects he wished to document. I’m honored to be able to work with Al Rockoff. – Shepard fairey
Here is the latest piece of art by Shepard Fairey and his buddies. It was done in front of a bar called The Garter in Venice Beach on Lincoln Blvd.
Here is what Shepard Fairey has to say about Mr. Brainwash
Mr. Brainwash is an enigma. I want to hug him one second and smack him the next. He is awesome, infuriating, almost impossible to define, but if an artist is defined by relentless, obsessive passion, then MBW is definitely an artist. Which kind of artist though? When I first met MBW he was a film maker. He started documenting me putting art up on the streets and in galleries back in ‘99. He has hundreds of hours of footage and often risked his neck climbing with a camera to very dangerous spots. MBW’s camera was ALWAYS on. Theoretically MBW is coming out with an OBEY documentary eventually. Somewhere along the way I introduced MBW to Banksy, which seemed to lead him to transition from just a voyeur to a participant, and he began making his own street art. MBW told me he used to paint and had actually sold his art to Michael Jackson years ago. Knowing this art background and his obsessive nature, it does not surprise me how quickly MBW rose to prominence with his street art, becoming one of the most “up” people in LA in a short amount of time. Not all of the work was magnificent, but it improved steadily, reflecting the maxim that practice yields results. Meanwhile, in addition to his street art, as flows logically, MBW was also making canvases and screen prints that could be shown in a gallery. In his usual style, MBW could not just do a small art show, he had to go completely over the top and put together one of the largest, most ambitious, non-museum shows I can think of (more detailed description below). Of course nothing can go smoothly with MBW and over the weekend he wrecked his car and fell off a billboard breaking his foot. A less insane person would have postponed their art show, but he instead postponed his foot surgery and is continuing work. With the ambition and commitment MBW has, I’m pretty sure he’ll pull the show off, but if he doesn’t, to paraphrase Malcolm Mclaren, a glorious failure is better than an underwhelming success. I will be playing records and a jazz band will perform, so it is going to be a good party.
Opens June 18th at 7pm
6121 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036
What better than good friends, art, an open bar and a cool new location in Ghetto By The Sea Oceanside? Scotty, Jason, Tina, Sean and I went to Swiv Tackle Circus‘ 2nd exhibition to see new works by Lisa Solberg. Lisa’s collection is called “I Spy Yin Yang”. I didn’t get to take pictures of Lisa’s art but you can find some on her website. Hope she won’t mind me copy/pasting some of it…
Lisa Solberg about her and her work:
I believe in expressionism with a mural/street art facade. Raw, energetic, truthful and as little as possible. Refined and edited and purged until you have nothing left besides truth. Simplicity is a vehicle to expose authenticity. The pure and conscience reality in which we all strive in this mayhem world. My comfort level lives in a chaotic world, the beauty of the unknown and the absolution in a numerical equation. I am a slave to natural numbers and have shapes and colors swimming through my head…
The exhibition/party was musically driven with some sick house music spinned by DJ BlackAss.
So what is Swiv Tackle Circus? Well, let’s see how they describe themselves…
Dreams really do come true in the world of Swiv Tackle Circus! Debuting the strong yet delicate tightrope balance of a clean, well-lit gallery in one circustacular ring pulled to an uber chic, tantalizingly premium boutique in the other. Walk into a space so large, you feel you are under the big top with Ringmaster Blackass as your guide! Once a child, always a child. The future is a sophisticated palace and we are here to satisfy. Part gallery, part boutique, über Gallertique.
I love the “part gallery, part boutique, über Gallertique” concept. Swiv Tackle Circus is a place where you can enjoy good art and shop for some of your my favorite brands such as Obey.
The Gallertique is also all about philanthropy! They actively support the Keep A Breath Foundation, a nonprofit breast cancer awareness organization unlike any other. Their mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by informing young people about methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts they seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being. Learn more about the foundation here.
Tina and I went drove up to the city of demons angels this Saturday to go see Jim Houser’s exhibition at Merry K Gallery.
Artist Statement: (source: Jonathan LeVine Gallery)
Jim Houser’s paintings are the system by which he actively catalogs the images and noises which command his attention. His installations act to create a map of the contents of his head over the course of a particular period in time. His interests include: listening to the cadence of speech. science and science fiction. sickness and disease. plants and animals. sport. time travel. ghosts. the art of children. secrets. radio. codes and code breaking. words that sound beautiful and mean something terrible, words that sound horrible but mean something wonderful. codes and code breaking.
Here are some of the camera shots I took.
Jim Houser doesn’t have a website but you can see more of his work at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery.
Also read his interview by Shepard Fairey in Swindle Magazine.
Some people definitely have too much time on their hands…. like our friend Kyle for example who made a gigantic NES controller coffee table. The best part is that the controller actually works! Check out his blog for more pictures.