Kratom, or Mitragyna Speciosa, is a tree indigenous to Southeast Asia that produces the stimulant kratom. It has already been utilized for medical and traditional therapeutic purposes there for ages. Nevertheless, this natural product has become more famous in emerging economies within the Americas and Europe in the last decade.
While most of the street art that I discover on my adventures is clearly tagged, sometimes that tag is hard to decipher, and I need some assistance identifying the artist. By connecting with artists on Instagram, I’ve learned that they all seem to know and support each other, which is cool and very helpful. If I don’t know the artist behind a work that I want to put on the blog, and the first person I ask doesn’t know, then they know someone who does. This is how I ended up connecting with the creator of an unsigned series of works that I’ve been seeing on the streets, and documenting, since around Christmastime last year. Each of the paste-ups in this very distinctive series features one to three still life images accompanied by a one-word title, and the artist’s signature conspicuously absent. If you live in the east village or downtown, there’s no way you haven’t seen them. All I can say is that they speak to me.
CUE Art Foundation is currently hosting Dose, an exhibition of paintings by Beverly Fishman, curated by Soundsuit artist Nick Cave. The show is comprised of a series of luminescent, geometric forms that resemble the shapes of common pharmaceuticals. Straddling the line between sculpture and post-painterly abstraction, Fishman’s optically intense work functions as an avenue for social critique, probing the pharmaceutical industry’s aesthetic decisions and branding strategies.
Post Continues, with More Art, After The Jump!
When we were invited to an art opening last week at Other Criteria, Damien Hirst’s high-end gift shop / gallery on Broome Street in Soho, the first thing I thought of was, why have I not been to Other Criteria during its entire first year of existence? Seriously, WTF have I been up to? I wish could tell you.
Although one could spend a good amount of time browsing around and not touching every item displayed so seductively in the street level retail space, it turns out that Other Criteria has a basement gallery, and that’s where we found the provocative art of Mexican-American artist, Eduardo Sarabia. Let’s take a closer look.
Sarabia’s new exhibit is called Ballads and it consists of 3D paper dioramas inside wall-mounted glass vitrines, one large wall tapestry and several very large pieces of glazed pottery, all playing with themes related to Mexico’s dark underworld of drug trafficking and its related, widespread gang violence. Sex, drugs, guns and…parrots, yeah, it’s all there. Also there are some adorable little potted succulents included in the displays, which further enhance the feeling of authenticity. Because, Mexico!
This piece, which embraces the look and feel of traditional Mexican pottery, but with a little twist, is so great.
At the gallery, we ran into our friend, celebrity photographer and art expert Derek Storm, who is apparently friends with Sarabia, and he explained that the animals in these dioramas, whatever their Spanish name is, that is also a Mexican slang word for some kind of drug. So, imagine that Zebra, which is Cebra in Spanish, maybe that means Cocaine, or something. Or maybe he was joking around. Who knows, it’s a good story!
The tapestry seen in the background of the above photo, Amor Amor Amor is inspired by the “narcomantas,” which are crudely made coded messages hung on public areas in Mexico by gangs and drug cartels. Usually spray paint on a bed sheet type of thing. Sometimes the messages try to justify an event or even further explain an action of terror. Sometimes the cartels get blamed for something they didn’t do in the media and this is their platform to give their side of the story. Other times, they serve as simple warnings to rival gangs.
Emulating this style and aesthetic, Sarabia wanted to bring forward a positive message. Using the power of fascination with this phenomenon, the artist has been working with a tapestry studio to make these works. Each is made by hand and takes about 2 months to weave.
Eduardo Sarabia’s Ballads will be on Exhibit Through July 5th 2015 at Other Criteria, Located at 458 Broome Street, SoHo, New York, NY 10013. Hours are Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM -7:00 PM, and Sunday 12 Noon – 6:00 PM.
Do you like art and, also, drugs? I sure do. Generation X by NY-based artist Edie Nadelhaft is comprised of 9 individual, over-sized glass capsule sculptures — each filled with colorful plastic balls and emblazoned with familiar Social Media acronyms and emoticons — which are part of the artist’s Better Living Thru Chemistry series. You can see more of Nadelhaft’s work from that series at This Link!
Photographed at Lyons Wier Gallery, 542 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Ten Things I thought about while watching the Video for Milk Music’s video for “No, Nothing, My Shelter”:
1. My Favorite Pair of Black Ankle Boots
2. Burning Man
3. The Joshua Tree (Album)
4. Joshua Trees
5. Those Hilariously Awful Student Films We Made Back in College
6. College in General
7. The Stage Make Up of Various Members of Kiss
8. The Desert
9. All Desert Scenes From Breaking Bad
Like The Beatles before them, Milk Music has decided to stop doing live performances. Here is their statement to that effect:
“We, Milk Music, have decided to not plan anymore live performances for the foreseeable future. This is an artistic decision and should not reflect on our existence as a musical group. We’re currently exploring the wonders of video, as well as recording our next record, Mystic 100’s, a possible double album of intense beauty. A series of videos shall follow it’s release”
So, it’s not like you have nothing to look forward to. Enjoy!