Oh my goodness! I am so excited to report that the new, third season of Baskets (one of my Top Five Favorite TV Shows) starts on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 on the FX Network Automation. Check your local listings for channel information and airtimes!
Over the course of three weeks in September (though the exact beginning and completion dates are unknown to me), I watched Brazilian street artists (and twin brothers), Os Gemeos, paint the above murals, which cover the exposed facades of two buildings that border a vacant lot, located on the north side of West 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The murals portray two rival break dancing crews from the ’80s. I imagine that this fun piece, which is a great example of Os Gemeos very distinctive style, will stay up until someone decides to put up a building. Which could happen at any time.
This is what the murals looked like when I first walked past them, during the weekend of September 9th.
And here is the progress one week later, on September 16th. You can see that the Pandolfo Brothers (Os Gemeos true identities) have started to incorporate structural characteristics of the buildings into the mural and its characters!
The Boom Box located in the lower left corner of the western mural is painted to extend onto the attached storefront.
And a building chimney vent has been transformed into another character’s hat — very fun!
The painted denim jacket that the girl is holding up also contains a tribute to the late graffiti legend Dondi in a design by Todd James. Very meta! Once again, the globally famous graffiti twins have come out with a delightful piece of public art that is over the top!
Each year, at least one of the Chelsea galleries hosts an exhibit so impressive and over-the-top in size and scope that we like to refer to it as Art Disneyland for the duration of its run. One year, it was Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, with its multiple, mirrored infinity room installations. Another, it was Takashi Murakami’s In the Land of The Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow: a sort of Greatest Hits of the Japanese Superflat artist. And last year, we would nominate Mike Kelley’s mind-blowing Superman Origin Story that filled the cavernous spaces of Hauser & Wirth with otherworldly delights. Those were all fantastic exhibits worthy of multiple visits, no doubt about it.
This year’s Art Disneyland is over at is Lehmann Maupin on 22nd Street, and you have just under 2 weeks to check it out before you miss out. Silence of the Music, starring the whimsical, elevated street art of Brazilian artist duo Os Gemeos was virtually impossible to gain entry to during its opening reception on September 8th, and four weeks later it’s still drawing huge crowds and endless tour groups. It’s easy to see why as soon as you enter the gallery.
At their first New York solo show with Lehmann Maupin, twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo have transformed multiple rooms into an immersive installation that combines drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements. These newest works represent an evolution of the style Os Gemeos has honed over decades, while also returning to their early experimentation with diverse mediums, including new oil paintings. This exhibition offers a heightened multi-sensory experience that embraces the power of human imagination and the vast possibilities in visually interpreting the subconscious.
Os Gemeos broke onto the art scene in the late 1980s as graffiti writers in their São Paulo neighborhood of Cambuci, and are now internationally recognized for a figurative style that typically features their signature yellow characters, thin dark red outlining, and intricately patterned designs. Initially influenced by the graffiti movement coming out of New York, they were ultimately inspired by the ingenuity and resourcefulness evident in their working class neighborhood. They made their art accessible to the community as a way to contribute a sense of optimism in the midst of the economic disparity, violence, and drug use that proliferated.
They believed that the popular Brazilian art movements of the time, which favored conceptual, minimalist, and concrete art, were limiting to a wider audience. Instead, they embraced work by self-taught artists like Arthur Bispo do Rosario, who created all of his work from a Rio de Janeiro mental institution during the 1930s. Following a 1993 visit with the prominent San Francisco-based artist Barry McGee, the twins developed a rigorous studio practice while continuing to make murals. This allowed them to extend their unique artistic vision beyond the streets to an international audience that includes galleries, museums, and private collections. Os Gemeos’ practice continues to be marked by a commitment to the accessibility of art and to exposing the realities of the working class while also celebrating its resilience.
Silence of the Music extends Os Gemeos’ approach to an exhibition as a total work of art, a concept exemplified in their Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston solo exhibition in 2012. Conceived as a site-specific installation, each room contains a unique grouping of paintings and objects that cover the wall, floor to ceiling.
The exhibition pays tribute to music in particular. Included in their B-Boy room are boom box paintings — canvases with embedded speakers that play tracks linked to the imagery on the canvas — and interactive sculptures that play LP records.
For Os Gemeos, the era during the 1970s and 1980s was an influential time of discovery and sharing; the improvisational structure, descriptions of everyday life on the streets, and bravado in sharing these stories that this golden age of hip hop fostered is intrinsically linked to their practice.
Here’s a little video I took of the kinetic sculpture pictured above, which is called O Iluminado (The Illuminated)!
Similar to the surrealist artists of the early 20th century, Os Gemeos seek to defy conventions and push boundaries in art and society through the unbridled exploration of the subconscious and imagination. In direct contrast to the surrealist notion of a solitary dream space, however, the twins have described a shared intuition and subconscious experience that is translated visually through their collaborative process. They often allude to this notion of duality with their incorporation of the sun and moon, which is representative of masculine and feminine forces.
The room Kiss is painted in bright hues that exude a sunny splendor and is anchored by a mechanical sculpture, representative of the masculine, which plays compositions arranged by Os Gemeos together with their brother.
A sculpture affixed to the ceiling directly above it, depicting a female, moon-shaped face, seemingly kisses the floor sculpture to trigger the music played. This imagery and their installations are meant to conjure a lucid dream state and empower the audience to consider their own subconscious.
Os Gemeos’ symbolism extends to their characters as well, whose indiscriminate yellow tone is meant to defy racial associations, an artistic decision meant to emphasize unity and the establishing role that diversity plays in their native Brazil and abroad. The twins often incorporate masks, instruments, and musicians in their work as a way to visualize the folk customs, festivals, and crafts that represent the myriad of cultural influences that make up the social and cultural landscape. Silence of the Music combines folk art, pop culture, and urban detritus in order to offer an expansive impression of the artists’ unique artistic perspective and creative process.
Os Gemeos Silence of the Music will be on Exhibit Through October 22nd, 2016 at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Located at 536 West 22nd Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
I pass this mural often on the way to the Chelsea Art Galleries, but yesterday was the first time I’ve stopped long enough to photograph it. A collaboration between Brazilian Street Artists and twin brothers, Os Gemeos, and American graffiti artist Futura, this fun piece went up in early 2015.
Located Adjacent to the Play Yard of PS 11, at 320 W 21st Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), in Manhattan.
The Brazilian mural artists – twin brothers – known as Os Gemeos have painted another one of their epic murals in the East Village on the south-facing facade of 26 Second Avenue at 1st Street, on the vacant lot that formerly housed one of the of rare gas stations that you never see in the city. The mural went up around the third week of August.
The hip-hop influenced old school B-Boy appears to be emerging from inside the building through the concrete wall, while carrying an eighties-style boombox. The new mural will likely remain intact until the new ten-story residential development begins to rise next door. Sigh.
Everyone’s favorite Pacific Northwest music source, the East Portland Blog has once again dug deeply into the Worley Gig archives from the (pre-blog) Year 2000 and come up with this tasty morsel where I dissect the song “Desire” by one of my favorite Rock of the ’80s bands, Gene Loves Jezebel. Come and Get It right now by clicking This Link!
On This Date, September 15th, in 1981: Thomas Dolby released his second solo single, “Europa And The Pirate Twins,” from his debut album, The Golden Age Of Wireless. The single reached the #48 spot on the U.K. singles chart and the #67 spot on the U.S. singles chart. In “Europa And The Pirate Twins” Dolby makes use of a fantastic word economy to tell the story of a man who pines for a long-lost adolescent friendship with a woman who has grown up to become a famous starlet. For my money, it is one of the most gorgeous and painfully sentimental songs every written.
Thanks to The P5 Blogspot: This Day in 80s Music for the tip!
Yesterday I went to see the film The Prestige, which I’d been REALLY looking forward to seeing for weeks even after reading a lukewarm review in Salon.com. As much as I’m all over Salon.com, that reviewer must be dead from the neck up, because The Prestige rocks. I don’t want to give anything away, because the movie kept me guessing right up until the very last minute. All you need to know is that the story involves two rival magicians (played by the very hot Hugh Jackman and the even hotter Christian Bale) and an illusion known as “The Transported Man” which becomes the obsession of Jackman’s character. David Bowie even gets the chance to flex his impressive thespian muscles in the semi-meaty role of inventor and electrical pioneer Nicola Tesla. Scarlet Johansson is on hand as required eye candy. The film also features gorgeous cinematography, and a pleasingly dark undercurrent which will appeal to all you Halloween enthusiasts out there. I advise you to go see The Prestige as soon as possible.