Art Basel 2014: Miami

(Via: Justin Pile)

Today is the last day of Miami Art Basel 2014, Our good friend Justin Pile has visited some galleries along the Basel path. Over 250 of the world's leading galleries participate, drawing over 70,000 visitors each year. Running from December 4th to the 7th, the three day event is part of the Basel Art experience, a program that also has Hong Kong as an event site. Notice some of the Banksy's!

 Peep pics of the three day event below:

(Pictures courtesy of: Justin Pile)


ENZO X NIO Say Goodbye...

Via BrooklynStreetArt:

"New York Street Art watchers over the last three or four years have been familiar with the polished irony and gentle sarcasm that Enzo & Nio purvey on often appropriately chosen walls, lamp posts, electric boxes. A collection of inside jokes rendered in a handful of styles, the duo has used photorealism, collage, cartoon, and sloganeering to speak to social ills things like consumerism, surveillance, and our passive acceptance/glorification of violence in the culture, and their own fixation with the archetypal cat and mouse game between graffiti makers and the law. With wheat-pastes and custom stickers that are cryptic, poetic, smirking, inverting, almost invariably un-permissioned, each new E&N occasions a second look and a piqued moment of curiosity.

BSA has published perhaps a hundred or so images of the pairs’ work over these past few years and with recent rather public news on Gallo’s Facebook page announcing their split, we scrambled through our collection to discover that we had, well, quite a collection. The nature of the Street Art conversation is one of continuous re-invention so we can’t all be shocked by change but as this mostly ephemeral scene evolves, we take a moment to recognize the space on the timeline that has marked Enzo & Nio’s eclectic and original voice delivered with a sense of marketing. Witty, salty, poignant and yes funny, here are some examples of their work on the street."

Photos (C) Jaime Rojo from BSA.



TANC is the one who is next in line in this round of Water Based Studio Works. His works fits within the tendencies of contemporary art, and even if it keeps its distance to his productions in the street, the aesthetics of his scribbles can remind you of graffiti with a more vandalistic character. 
A old building block of offices converted into a studio is the laboratory for this parisian artist which shares space with L'ATLAS. PABLO COTS and JONONE are some of the other studio mates in the building... which in its turn shows us at what level of professionalism that the urban artists in Paris is surrounded by. It might have something to do with the city's concentration of artistic history. 
In this new edition of Water Based Studio Works we enter in his unpolluted studio to examine his techniques and see how MTN Water Based converts into a perfect tool for his personal needs in the process of creating.
TANC es el siguiente en pasar por la ronda de Water Based Studio Works. Su trabajo encaja en las tendencias del arte contemporáneo y, aunque mantenga distancias con su obra en la calle, la estética del garabato puede llegar a recordar a las sensaciones del graffiti más vandálico.
Un antiguo bloque de oficinas reconvertido en estudio es el laboratorio de este artista parisino que comparte taller con L'ATLAS. PABLO COTS o JONONE son algunos de los compañeros de edificio… lo cual es bastante significativo a la hora de entender el nivel de profesionalización al que llegan los artistas urbanos en la capital francesa. Puede que tenga que ver la histórica sensibilidad artística de la ciudad.
En esta nueva edición de Water Based Studio Works, entramos en su impoluto estudio para examinar su técnica y como el MTN Water Based se convierte en una herramienta ajustada a sus necesidades.
More info:
MTN WATER BASED Studio Works x C215


CETE X VEW's SPY v. SPY In New York City


It was done by CETE and VEW, two graffiti artists born and raised in New York City. ANIMAL got in contact with the outlaws over email, via a trusted source.
For obvious legal reasons, they didn’t give us their real names or ages, but were more than happy to discuss their creative exploits. After all, spray painting a subway train or “making graffiti” is a crime that carries potential felony charges, when coupled with “criminal mischief” and “criminal trespass.”
It’s also a guaranteed way to get on the authorities’ most wanted list. The MTA’s Eagle Team patrols the yards, while the NYPD’s Vandal Squad monitors the streets. Virtually everyone in the graffiti scene regards both anti-graffiti squads by their latter designation, and doesn’t differentiate between the two.

The writers told ANIMAL that they spray painted the R train in December, and unlike their European counterparts, they didn’t wait for the cover of snow to get up. CETE and VEW said it took about 11 cans and around one hour to paint the train panels. They took turns looking out for each other, but they weren’t in a rush. “We were in the yard for like two hours, chilling,” said CETE.
“As writers we are like spies,” VEW commented about their Spy vs. Spy comic strip motif. ”We gather and analyze information. We are observant and we execute. In and out. We get the job done. And always aware of the other spies (Vandal Squad) that are out to get us. It just seemed like the perfect theme.”

CETE had a more philosophical take on their collaboration. “That’s how me and VEW is,” he said. “He’s positive, I’m negative, with the same ambition.” Their yin and yang-like perspectives permeated the conversation.
“No, I’m not scared,” said CETE about the threat of getting arrested. “I know what I’m getting into.”
 ”Yes [I'm] very afraid,” VEW disagreed. “No one wants to get caught. But you have to realize and understand that what we do comes with consequences, so you just got to be on point for as long as you do this, and if you do get caught, you can’t get mad.”
It’s not often that the public gets to see graffiti on New York City subway cars. Ever since the MTA instituted a strict policy of removing spray-painted trains from service over two decades ago, it has become an increasingly rare phenomenon. When it does happen — even if only in photos — it’s viewed in almost mythic proportions.
“I don’t care how clever or how beautiful or artistic it is,” said MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg. “People expect the subway trains to be clean and free of graffiti and that’s why we don’t allow a train to run.”

According to the Daily Newsthere have been nine hits on trains in layups — places where trains are temporarily parked since the new year rang in. So far, there has only been one train yard infiltration, which ANIMAL exclusively reported on Friday.
The hardcore writers who still paint trains do so for varying reasons. For VEW, it’s fundamental to the art form. “I paint trains because it’s the very essence of graffiti,” he said. “And for any real graffiti writer, the thought of hitting a train is inevitable. And it just feels so right. Even if it runs or doesn’t. That feeling can’t be bought or emulated.”


Is Damien Hirst Behind The Banksy Machine?

In 2006, Damien Hirst and Banksy seemed to be on opposite ends of the art world spectrum. Hirst was a brand, an art phenomenon worth roughly £100m pounds (a year later he debuted his “For the Love of God” diamond-encrusted skull, which allegedly sold for £50 million or $80 million). Banksy was a faceless graffiti artist who was well known because his identity was unknown. “I have no interest in ever coming out,” he was quoted saying in a New Yorker article at the time. “I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is.” Hirst was arguably one of the art world’s most “self-opinionated assholes,” and Banksy denounced the world in which Hirst reigned as ”a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak.”

Producers Distribution Agency/Everett Collection

Despite this ostensible aversion to personal fame and publicity, Banksy agreed to be featured in Hirst’s 2006 show at the Serpentine Gallery in London, “In the darkest hour there may be light." Speaking to The Guardian about Banksy's work, Hirst praised the pseudonymous graffiti artist. “I’ve always thought he was great. The streets are boring...anyone like Banksy who makes it entertaining and treats people like people instead of consumers is brilliant.”
It was the beginning of a collaboration that has fueled rumors about Banksy’s identity and associations—particularly amongst those who speculate that "Banksy" is in fact a sort of performance art collective funded by art world mandarins. Bettina Prentice, founder and owner of Prentice Art Communications, thinks Hirst has an Oz-like role—the man behind the street art curtain—in Banksy’s work. The theory stems in part from their playful, if strange relationship. Two years after the exhibit, Banksy’s “Keep It Spotless” collaboration with Hirst sold for more than $1.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction, Banksy's highest reported sale. In his 2009 show at the Bristol Museum in England, Banksy showcased another original Hirst spot painting with a large rat stenciled over it.
“There are rumors that Hirst finances Banksy, who is in turn constantly highlighting the importance of Hirst by defacing or referencing his work, and he doesn’t reference a lot of other artists,” says Prentice. One such reference is Banksy’s painting of a graffitied stain glass window—a play on Hirst’s “Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
It’s hard to believe that Banksy’s public artworks, like his latest month-long, self-declared “residency” in New York City, “Better Out Than In,” are cheaply produced. Every stencil or mural is painted surreptitiously, with multiple hands on deck to construct his more elaborate stunts, like the slaughterhouse delivery truck packed with stuffed animals and puppeteers that toured the Meatpacking District and other parts of the city. This doesn’t include the rest of Team Banksy—mainly publicists—working to protect the artist’s anonymity. Is it so farfetched to suggest that Hirst, the wealthiest artist in the world, might be financially orchestrating Banksy’s projects?
Others think Hirst is one of many players in Banksy’s factory—a well-oiled PR machine perpetuating the artist’s ruse. “I think it’s the ultra-wealthy that have created him,” says James Top, one of New York City’s graffiti art pioneers. “[His work] couldn’t be pulled off by a couple of smart guys without that sort of clientele behind it. Top says the fact that Banksy has succeeded in remaining anonymous is proof of the people backing him. “Once you get to his status and no one is secretly taping you, and nobody has tried to exploit this yet—come on now?”
Like Hirst’s work—and Andy Warhol before him—Banksy’s art is no longer simply that; it has become a cultural (and financial) currency. His work in New York City has ranged from his signature cheeky stencils (a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, which responds with a thought bubble reading, “you complete me”) to more political statements (a black silhouette of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, an orange flower blooming from one of them). It’s no surprise that his residency sparked a media frenzy and the ire of Mayor Bloomberg—precisely the type of furor Banksy hopes to provoke. When confronted about the artist’s graffiti at a press conference, Bloomberg responded: “Running up to somebody’s property or public property is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted.”
Others think Hirst is one of many players in Banksy’s factory—a well-oiled PR machine perpetuating the artist’s ruse. 
Banksy was predictably elusive in an interview with The Village Voice about “Better Out Than In,” ignoring questions about his identity and whether or not the residency would turn out a profit. He was only forthcoming about its mission: "There is absolutely no reason for doing this show at all. I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There's no gallery show or book or film. It's pointless. Which hopefully means something."

And it does mean something, but not what Banksy is suggesting. His art wouldn’t be so highly valued—both aesthetically and monetarily—were it not for the “marketing wing” that has perpetuated his fame. Yes, the artist sold original canvases to a few lucky tourists in Central Park for $60, but it’s how much the rest of the world is willing to pay for it that matters. Whether Banksy wants to admit it or not, that art does come with a rather hefty price tag attached. 


JR Turns Times Square "Inside Out"

The French street artist known as JR wants to display your face in Times Square next week. For his project "Inside Out New York City," he plans to install a photo booth truck in the bustling tourist trap, creating poster-sized self-portraits that will be pasted on the ground in Duffy Square.
JR's Times Square decorations are part of his global project, Inside Out, which he launched after he won the TEDPrize in March 2011. In his latest installation in Times Square the first set of black-and-white images -- snapped ahead of time in the roaming photo booth truck -- come from neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy. Next week, anyone will be able to put their faces on the concrete.
"The subjects of JR’s work don’t serve his personal statement or message, but represent themselves," Neil Callender writes in Tokyo Arts Beat. "In his use of the photo booth and his readiness to let others make the images, JR renounces the idea of himself as artist. Instead he has become like a curator; and the world is his gallery."
On April 20, a documentary film about the artist's global project called "Inside Out: The People's Art Project" appeared in the Tribeca Film Festival. Be sure to snap your own photo in Times Square from April 22 - May 10 and be a part of the project!



"Whenever I'm in New York my home base is the Lower East Side, so for this next little teaser I chose the iconic Arlene's Grocery as a backdrop. More importantly though, this clip introduces the one and only Bronx King CES to the LEPOS arcade project. Along with REVOK and GIANT, I've got three legendary motherfuckers down with this. BIG shoutout to them. Thank you!"


TheWheatpaste.Doc by MaicknucleaR

From MaicknucleaR:

The Wheatpaste.Doc is a Brazilian documentary about wheat paste. By Interviewing some of the Brazilians artists we slowly build the scene of this very unique branch of the street art in Brazil that is the wheatpasting. We follow them around town recordin their actions in the fourth largest city in the world. From the girlie zen works to the spirit of war and protest. This is an awsome documentry about these street Artists.


Direction, edition and camera by MaicknucleaR
Time: 20 min. PT-BR (english subtitles). HD.

With: Laura Guimarães, Miurrauze, Thiago Império, Sickera, Mozart Fernandes, Gosh, ANIC, Svop, Luiz Lend, Radical Sem Dó Crew, Nakedz Crew and others.
Soundtrack of Fronteira Hits; Zamba.
Recorded in december of 2012 in São Paulo


NYorkers Presents: Steve Powers (ESPO)

From NYorkers
 I’ve known Steve Powers for years and he never fails to impress or surprise. I told him that we wanted to do a New Yorkers feature on him and he told me to come to a new address in Brooklyn that I've never been to. When I arrived, I was surprised to see that he had set up shop in a 5000 square foot space in downtown Brooklyn. Even more intriguing, but in character for Steve, was that he had somehow convinced some community board to provide this space to him for free. Like the title of his book, Steve is a master of “The Art of Getting Over”.