I’m not sure who does the Dasani Air street art — which has been floating around the east village since 2013 — but this one (spotted on Bowery just below Houston) was new to me. I’ve seen it with Queen Elizabeth sucking on a canister of Dasani Air (clearly parody of Coca Cola brand’s Dasani Water) but Batman is pretty popular as well.
Cey Adams, a New York City native, is an icon of Hip Hop and graphic design. Trusted Brands is an exhibition of his new collage works on canvas examining branding in contemporary culture. Adams‘ use of collage and design principles creates rich textures of easily recognizable logos structured along subtle grids, which are becoming comparable to his signature. Adams’ delicate technique and balanced compositions celebrate the history of graffiti, graphic design, Pop Art and Hip Hop.
Trusted Brands explores icons of brands that have impacted his thinking and ideology from youth. Adams emerged from the downtown graffiti movement and exhibited alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars that tracks subway graffiti in New York. He was the Creative Director of Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings and co-founded the Drawing Board an in-house visual design firm. He created visual identities, album covers, logos, and advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and many others.
Cey draws inspiration from 60’s pop art, sign painting, comic books, and popular culture. His work focuses on themes including pop culture, race and gender relations, cultural and community issues. Trusted Brands transforms images and graphics that he grew up with. “These are all brands that my parents trusted and then I ended up trusting. I wanted to do something that really kind of revisits that.”
Trusted Brands by Cey Adams will be on Exhibit only through March 28th, 2015 at Rush Arts Gallery, Located at 526 W26th St Suite 311, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you like Coca Cola and World Politics and have a twisted sense of humor, then UNIX Gallery in Chelsea is currently hosting an exhibit you will enjoy. Always Shameless, an exhibition of new work by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino is instantly polarizing for its depiction of life-sized Political Leaders including Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush displayed in Coca Cola Refrigerator Coffins. Surely, this visual alone will inspire hours of lively discourse.
Walls at either end of the the Coca Cola Case Display are mirrored, creating an infinity effect and indicating that the line of corrupt leadership “goes on forever,” according to Gallery owner Alex Cesaria, whom I spoke to at the opening reception this past Thursday. The figures of each well known leader (most now deceased but some still living) are all astoundingly lifelike (although a few have noticeably over-sized heads, take that however you want).
According to the exhibit’s press release, Always Shameless is the culmination of a project Merino began in 2011 with Always Franco, a life sized sculpture of uniformed Spanish dictator Francisco Franco preserved in a Coca Cola refrigerator. The Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, an organization dedicated to preserving Franco’s legacy, quickly sued the artist over the sculpture as well as for a second sculpture the artist created of the dictator. Merino went to trial twice to defend his freedom of speech and won both cases. As an aside, I can’t help but recall the long-running punch line on early seasons of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update News segment, reporting that “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead.” If you are too young to remember that, it doesn’t matter.
Despite the legal setbacks, the artist has continued his series of sculptures of political figures for the exhibition. The title of the show, Always Shameless is a play on the 1993 Coca Cola slogan “Always.” Merging the political nature of the artist’s sculptures with the branding of a universally recognized product brings these ultimately dark and poignant works into the more accessible forum of popular culture.
Merino’s work undoubtedly reflects his struggle as a politically active and controversial artist. Speaking directly to the issues of manipulation and control throughout the 21st century, his works challenge the artistic and social limits his subjects have set upon their respective societies. Their legacies have been preserved simply through our participation in keeping their reigns alive. Jonathan Jones of The Guardian noted, “it seems incredible that General Franco is still oppressing artists in Spain from beyond the grave.”
As a terrific kick off to the summer, Always Shameless is a Do Not Miss Exhibit!
Eugenio Merino’s Always Shameless will be on Exhibit Through July 12th, 2014 at UNIX Gallery, Located at 532 W 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you live in any urban area such as New York City, you’ve seen trucks lie these parked on the streets, covered in graffiti and looking rather derelict. There’s no denying that they are part of the landscape for a city dweller. I like them.
One of the current exhibits at Jonathan LeVine Gallery is Kevin Cyr’s Right Place, Right Time, which includes a larege collections of new oil paintings on panels that range in of sizes from about 8 x 10 Inches to several fee across. These realist paintings depict vehicles seen by Cyr on the streets of Berlin, Brussels and Paris. The Right Place, Right Time series acts as a counterpart to In Praise of Rust, Cyr’s 2012 exhibition, in which he documented old vehicles seen on the streets of New York City — primarily vans and commercial delivery trucks covered in graffiti, rust, dents and other imperfections.
According to the exhibit’s Press Release, “Transportation, travel and exploration — ongoing themes throughout Cyr’s body of work — are particularly prevalent here, as the artist traveled abroad to explore the streets of foreign cities in his research for new subjects to capture. Cyr’s fascination with these vans and trucks is based around the idea that they symbolize a place and an ethos. He finds himself discovering the character of each city he visits through its vehicles.”
Funnily enough, when we left the opening reception this past Saturday, a truck not unlike the ones immortalized in Cyr’s paintings was parked right outside on 20th Street. Art Imitates Life.
Kevin Cyr’s Right Place, Right Time will be on Exhibit through March 22, 2014 at Jonathan Levine Gallery, Located at 529 W 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
This photo is pulled from an 1977 Slingerland Drum Advertisement for their custom wrap kit, where they’d make shell wraps with whatever image you wanted on them. I’m not sure if some clever drummer out there actually made a Coca Cola Kit, but the photo sure is cool!
The Seattle Antiques Market is a fun place to buy or just browse a huge variety of antiques, vintage goods and mid-century design items that’s located adjacent to the waterfront. I took this photo when I was in Seattle this past summer. I’d never seen furniture made from old Coca Cola coolers but I think you can tell by the look of this chair, that this is a pretty clever idea. Right behind the chair is an equally neat sofa, but it has display boxes of silver spoons resting on it, so you can’t get the full View. Add this to your list of DIY Home Design Ideas!