Spotted at Context Art Fair at the Javits Center in NYC!
Today’s Europe faces a big new challenge. The current refugee crisis will become a defining issue of our generation. Pussy Riot feels this European challenge as their own. Over 750,000 refugees have arrived in Europe so far in 2015. Many more are coming. They are mostly escaping from war or persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan. Thousands are dying on the way. In the UK, for example, refugees cannot apply for asylum from outside the country – so they are forced to travel there illegally.
Why can’t we live in a truly global world, not one with locked borders, razor wires and refugee camps? History has shown that migrants can be innovative and entrepreneurial. Look at the US for an example of a whole culture built on the input of immigrants and migrants. Thousands of ordinary people across Europe are trying to help, but most governments are not matching their efforts. We believe in solidarity with human beings in need, wherever they are from, whatever their background. This is not a question of politics or nationality, but of saving human lives. The music video “Refugees In” is dedicated to the refugees. Thia powerful piece was filmed on September 25th, 2015 during the Pussy Riot performance at Banksy’s Dismaland with the generous help from director Ralf Schmerberg and music producers bretonLABS, Ten Ven and Alexandre Parsons.
Pussy Riot have joined forces with London-based art-group The Connor Brothers (Mike Snelle and James Golding) who have started the NGO “Refugee Response Foundation” to help the refugees in Calais. Pussy Riot will visit Calais in January 2016 to build shelters in association with students from the architecture department at Cambridge University to help the housing problem. If Europe closes the borders hundreds of thousands of Muslims, putting on the line everything they have to escape radical Muslim state, will never be able to see another world. Some of them will join that very ISIS, being embittered and disappointed in the good will of European states. We should accept and save those who flee countries occupied by terrorists. The time of grief for the dead should not become a time in which we betray the belief of millions in the humanity of the European world. Our grief should not teach us to aim for revenge, war and hate. It should teach us to help and show real compassion for each other.
Pussy Riot is now recording several pieces of music, the main idea is to oppose the right-wing conservative curtain that seems to be falling globally, no longer just affecting Russia but countries across Europe and the US. Neo–facist parties in Europe, Donald Trump in the US, the rise of Germany’s AfD; it’s fucking scary. And it’s the reason and it’s the time to be loud and proud of your feminist, LGBTQ and pro-refugees values.
Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot concludes, “We are planning to release a lot of disturbing videos next year. We hope that you will not like them.”
Hey, did you make it to Dismaland? Neither did I, but here’s an exhibit you can see to help assuage your pain. Better In Than Out presents a comprehensive exhibition of Banksy’s artwork spanning a full decade. The exhibition includes works on paper, unique paintings and an original graffiti wall; including approximately 50 works beginning with an early-career canvas painting created in 2000 and rounded out by prints published in 2010. Most of these pieces we have seen before, but that’s what makes them classics! This showing of Bansky works celebrates the two-year anniversary of Banksy’s month-long residency in New York City.
Banksy has become synonymous with street art; legendary through controversy and mystique, the proverbial masked man has been prodding authority for over a decade while simultaneously inciting a palpable intrigue from the masses. By conveying his simple yet powerful messages, Banksy’s imagery from the streets has become iconography of today’s pop culture.
Whether his subjects are that of social commentary, sarcasm, anti-establishment, mock-propaganda or a call for governmental anarchy, Banksy seems to capture an audience from all backgrounds regardless of sex, race, nationality, or economic status. Although nothing is safe from his wrath, it is safe to say that Banksy has propelled a unique following and market unlike any in the art world.
As you can see in this exhibit, Banksy has created, and recreated, many of his famous images as paintings, limited edition prints (less than fifty total images produced), and even sculpture. Taglialatella Galleries’ Better In Than Out brings Banksy to you in exhibition form, displaying works that were created for fans and collectors to enjoy.
Banksy’s Better In Than Out is on view only through October 31st, 2015 at Taglialatella Galleries, Located at 231 Tenth Avenue (between 23rd and 24th Streets) in the Chelsea Gallery District.
This “Instagram Fodder” by humorist street artist Hanksy is located on the northeast corner of Kenmare and Mulberry Streets in Soho, NYC.
While not necessarily a household name, Mr. Brainwash is arguably one of the most commercially successful street artists alive, and certainly one whose art panders to the lowest common denominator, Hallmark-Greeting-Card-sensibilities of the general public. What his heavily appropriated artworks lack in originality, Brainwash makes up in Chutzpah and being backed by a team who are geniuses at marketing and selling his brand. Right now — for how long, who the fuck knows — you can explore a warehouse-sized exhibit of Brainwash’s Greatest Hits at a pop-up space on West 14th Street, directly under the High Line Park. Entitled Life is Beautiful, the exhibit is the French-born, LA-based artist’s follow-up to 2010’s all-encompassing exhibit/happening, Icons; which was up for most of that year, it seems. Was it worth the wait? You betcha.
It is easy to criticize Brainwash’s Instagram-Nation-mentality visual puns and platitudes, but it is hard not to fall in love with pieces as hilariously snarky as this depiction of Tiger Woods playing through on Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World that i saw on socialproof.xyz. Talk about taking the piss out of beloved cultural icons.
Norman Rockwell’s classic Americana portraiture also gets a liberal dose of the Brainwash Treatment, hybridizing these well-loved images with modern memes and technological gadgets.
If you are my age or older, you probably grew up with Rockwell’s art in your house. In a way, this generational mash-up gives Brainwash’s art an ideal cross-over accessibility, making it a fun exhibit to bring your parents to. In fact, I daresay there is something here for everybody.
Do you like Star Wars? There are Star Wars characters in this exhibit.
Look at all this stuff! It’s like Bansky’s attic blew up in your face.
Some of the art is disguised as stuff that you can sit on. Can you sit on this? Try it and find out.
This cabinet stuffed with vintage toys appealed to my collector/hoarder mentality.
If you look long enough, you’ll probably see something you used to own, before it was purchased for a nickel from the Goodwill, or scavenged from a landfill.
Maybe you remember the celebrity portraits created from meticulously pieced-together broken vinyl LPs that made up about 50% of the Icons exhibit. Well, they’re back for an encore appearance in Life is Beautiful. Some, like this ubiquitous image of Jimi Hendrix, now have psychedelic paint thrown onto the hair, for an updated effect.
Yeah, you remember these guys.
Is it artsy recreation of a Midcentury Living Room, or is it a comfy place to rest? Again, why not see what you can get away with?
Here, Brainwash offers a few redesign ideas for your kitchen.
Renaissance Caitlyn Jenner manages to be both topical and mind blowing simultaneously.
And of course the art is nothing if not hyper-self-referential.
Another rehash from Icons but, like an old friend, always fun to see again.
I wonder if Damien Hirst gets a cut of this one?
These stylized portraits of the cast of Seinfeld are probably my favorite pieces in the show.
This one made me nostalgic for the Cow Parade. If you don’t know what that was, you should Google it.
I finally made in it to see the Life is Beautiful exhibit at 2:30 PM on a Friday, after three unsuccessful attempts; meeting a closed and locked door each of the previous times. So, if you feel lucky or have time to kill, why not see if your timing is right and you arrive on a day and time that someone with keys decides to open the door. Hours are not posted on Brainwash’s official website, nor can they be found anywhere on the storefront itself. So it is really a crap-shoot that can get old fast, depending on your tolerance for being jerked around.
Don’t forget to hashtag the shit out of your photos.
The exhibit has moved to much smaller space just a few storefronts east of its previous home, and is now a Pop Up “Store” with hours clearly posted on the doors, as seen in the photo below:
If you weren’t making the scene at 104 Delancey Street — the former site of a Chase Bank — this past weekend, then you missed out on your chance to see street artist provocateur Hanksy’s Group Show and Pop Up Happening, Best of The Worst! It was a good time.
For the uninitiated, Hanksy is an “unknown” tagger/artist who emulates the style of Bansky while often incorporating the likeness of actor Tom Hanks. Best of The Wurst not only featured perhaps 20 or so of Hanksy’s punny slogans and celebrity icon parodies, but also included a separate pop up Street Art Gallery within the large gallery space, as well as Free Beer and Asian Dumplings, a Skate Ramp, Photo Booth, Free Vintage Pinball Games, a DJ, and a Clown making Penis Balloon Hats. Just being serious.
The event kicked off Saturday evening at 6 PM, when the doors opened and — thanks to Geoffrey arriving early and holding a space in line for me! — we were inside the graffiti covered walls of this cavernous space within ten minutes. Adding an atmospheric backdrop to Hanksy’s works were contributions from Street Artists such as Left Handed Wave, Frank Ape, Magda Love, Clint Mario, Gilf!, CB23, Don’t Fret, Lexi Belle, Nda, Elle, Roycer, Joseph Meloy, Beau, Claw Money, Tony Depew, and Col Walnuts.
Here are a few of my Favorite Hanksys of the Evening:
In the left rear corner of the space, visitors could check out the Gag-Osian (get it?) Street Art Gallery, with its separate exhibit, Purgers & Acquisitions: Selling Out Tomorrow’s Urban Art Stars, Today. This area displayed small canvases and sculptures by a variety of Street Artists of varying degrees of popularity, priced to sell!
Affordable Hanksy Swag, in the form of limited edition prints and T-Shirts, was also available.
Look at everyone having a fun time and enjoying the art!
I spent about an hour inside before I needed air and decided to head home. As I walked back up the street, I noticed the Sucklord lurking in a nearby doorway, being interviewed by god knows who. All in all, it was a most enjoyable evening.