Thursday, October 31, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part 31

Well today is the final day of Banksy’s month long street art show taking place in New York and with it the final piece of Better Out Than In popped up in Queens. The balloon lettered throw up appeared around 6:30 a.m. and of course is already drawing massive crowds. The famed Bristol artist also gifted a design that’s intended to be printed on a shirt to commemorate the show, as is always the case with the provided graphic it’s free and up to you to do the printing. Funnily enough it resembles my own graphic I threw up for an earlier story on the exhibition.

For my money I’ve most certainly enjoyed the circus, some of the pieces are up there with the artists best works to date, rumor has it the LA is is up next for the month of December but only time will tell for sure.

Banksy had this to say about his experience of the thirty plus days spent in the Big Apple…

"Well, this is the last day of the show, and I'd like to say we're going out on a high note. And, I guess in a way, we are. [Cue "New York, New York"] This is a sideways take on the ubiquitous spray-painted bubble lettering that actually floats. It's an homage of sorts to the most prevalent form of graffiti in the city that invented it for the modern era. Or, it's another Banksy piece that's full of hot air.

So, what does the artist hope to have achieved with this so-called residency? "If just one child has been inspired to pick up a can of paint and make some art--well that would be statistically disappointing considering how much work I put in."

Banksy asserts that outside is where art should live, amongst us. And rather than street art being a "fad," maybe it's the last thousand years of art history that are the blip. When art came inside in service of the church and institutions. But art's rightful place is on the cave walls of our communities. Where it can act as a public service, provoke debate, voice concerns, forge identities.

The world we live in today is run, visually at least, by traffic signs, billboards, and planning committees. Is that it? Don't we want to live in a world made of art, not just decorated by it?

Thanks for coming.

KAWS Ups And Downs Portfolio

KAWS is set to drop his latest product in the very near future, I was lucky enough to get on the pre-sale list for the ten piece portfolio but had to pass as it was too rich for my blood. Still the pieces should please the die hards out there and if you got the cash and are a fan you can try your luck when a very limited amount of them are publicly made available through in the very near future (although if you have the cash for these you probably have already made arrangments.)

Details below…

The portfolio commemorates the opening of KAWS's exhibition UPS AND DOWNS, on view at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas, through February 9, 2014. 

Portfolio specifics:
Silk screen print on Saunders Waterford 410gm High White paper
Dimensions: Each image/sheet: 35 x 23 inches/88.9 x 58.4 cm.
A total of 10 prints, plus a cover sheet, in a lipped clamshell portfolio box, measuring 25.5 x 36.75 x 1.6875 inches, hinged on the 36.75" side, covered with Cialux 1581 (unframed)
Edition of 100 + 20APs
Signed and numbered "KAWS.. 13" on each of the ten prints

Retail price: $24,000, plus all applicable taxes and crating and shipping costs, to be estimated separately.

The portfolios are scheduled to ship in November. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part 30

Tomorrow should be the final day of Banksy’s month long Better Out than In street art exhibition in New York but we still have today’s to share, it came late in the evening and is a high profile Yankee’s stadium stencil piece.

In other news yesterday "re-appropriated" canvas has reached a current bid of $310,200.00 which when all said and done will go to the Housing Works organization.

Video: Son Lux – “Lost It To Trying”

Without a doubt one of my favorite tunes from 2013 is SonLux’s “Lost It To Trying” off of his recently released Lanterns LP. The exquisitely layered song now has a video to go with it directed by Jennifer McQuiston Lott that you can check out below…

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part 29

Only a couple days left of Banksy’s month long Better Out than In street art exhibition in New York. Today’s piece is called “The Banality of the Banality of Evil“ and is a high jacked/repurposed oil on canvas that’s located at the Housing Works thrift store on 157 East 23rd street. The painting will eventually go on auction with the money raised going back into the organization who's mission is "to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Listen: Warpaint – “Love Is To Die”

L.A. indie rock band Warpaint have been hard at work on new  self-titled album that will be out on January 21st. in the U.S. via Rough Trade. The band recorded and mixed Warpaint with sometimes NIN collaborator Flood and Atoms for Peace member Nigel Godrich.

"Love Is to Die" is the first single and reportedly will eventually have a Chris Cunningham video to go along with it, note he also supplied the cover art.

Banksy Hits NYC Part 28

It’s Monday and with it Banksy is running the final lap of his Better Out than In street art exhibition in New York. The latest piece popped up in Coney Island and features a robot character we haven’t seen before, what’s in store for tomorrow?

Banksy Hits NYC Part's 25, 26, 27

Weekend fun and more from Banksy who on Friday launched his latest animatronic creation as his month long street art residency here in New York rapidly approaches the finish line. Check the video below to see the grim reaper enjoying himself in a bumper car, the piece was set up for public display behind a cage in the Bowery where is lived for two days. A suitable soundtrack was provided on site by both an accordion player and a recording of Blue Oyster Cult’s classic “Don't Fear the Reaper” which traded on and off throughout the day. Those who made it over to see the piece in person might have noticed the man hiding inside the door structure controlling the bumper car via remote control.

Saturday saw a simple tagged message on the back of a truck in Sunset Park that Banksy cheekily proclaimed to be an alternative New York bumper slogan, many would agree.

Sunday ended up being an impromptu piece in Greenpoint Brooklyn after the planned op-ed column in the New York Times was declined for publishing by the institution. Of course Banksy provided the unpublished article to the public regardless which was a comment on ground zero’s everlasting eyesore of a construction site that you can read below.

On a side note the free morning commute newspaper here in NY, AM NY, had an extremely poorly and under researched opinion piece today that is worth the read if you don't want to learn anything new or perhaps care for an opinion that might possibly be akin to someone as well versed in the subject matter as let’s say your local bodega owner.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Listen: Childish Gambino - "Worldstar"

Childish Gambino has shared a new track from his forthcoming LP, Because The Internet, entitled “Worldstar.” Presumably the title is referencing the famous hip hop site of the same name. Regardless more progression from the multi-talented Glover and one of the many leaks I’m sure we will be enjoying before the December 10th release date.

Video: Run The Jewels - "Get It"

Killer Mike and El-P’s Run The Jewels project gets a new video for “Get It” featuring footage taken from their North American tour and some cameos.

Get It from Run The Jewels on Myspace.

Banksy Hits NYC Part 24

Banksy returned on Thursday after skipping his one and only day thus far in the month long street art show on the streets of New York. Apparently Wednesday was canceled after too much police presence, the NYPD still seems to be trying to put a stop to the exhibition but that didn’t stop the world’s most famous man with a can from gracing the Hells Kitchen Hustler club with “Waiting In Vain.”

Listen: Arcade Fire - “Reflektor” Full LP Stream

With Reflektor due out next Tuesday the Arcade Fire has shared (for a limited time) a full stream of the  two disk one hour and twenty-five minute LP via one very long repurposed lyric video of the 1959 film, Black Orpheus. It’s a whole lot to process with nine of the thirteen songs being over five minutes in length often galloping towards climaxes of cacophonous orchestral jams. A record most certainly for people who enjoy full LP’s more so than random radio singles so if that sounds like your cup of tea then like myself you will love this.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Listen: - M.I.A. - "Y.A.L.A."

M.I.A.’s latest tunes have been hit or miss for me for the most part but I am most certainly still curious and interested to hear Matangi when it finally drops. “Y.A.L.A.,” a play on the popular term Y.O.L.O. acts as an acronym for “you always live again” and is our latest taste of Mantangi, it undeniably has a Diplo sound to it and that’s usually a good thing when talking about M.I.A.

Banksy Hits NYC Part 22

Day 22 of Banksy’s “Better Out than In” a month long street art residency taking place in New York and Tuesday brought us a bit of an odd re-working/homage of the great Sphinx pyramid that rests in Gaza Egypt.   It was only a matter of hours before the owner of the Queens auto-glass shop had the piece removed from his property and sold to a gallery who made an offer he clearly could not refuse. 

 “No Turn Unstoned” and is roughly a 1/36 scale replica of the Sphinx and is made from smashed cinderblocks.

UPDATE: 10/23/2013 Banksy just released a statement saying that today's piece is canceled due to police activity. A joke, for real or perhaps The B-man just needed a days rest?

Video: Symmetry – “The Hunt”

Johnny Jewel's Symmetry project just re- released The Messenger on clear vinyl via Italians Do It Better. In conjunction with the release we also got a video for album cut "The Hunt" which you can check out below and  download an mp3 of from HERE. As with most things Jewel the visuals come courtesy of Alberto Rossini.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Listen: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

We got a radio rip stream of Arcade Fire's lush "Afterlife" from the band’s forthcoming Reflektor LP due out on October 29th, give it a listen below now and let us know what you think?

Banksy Hits NYC Part 21

It’s a brand new week as we head towards the last quarter of Banksy’s “Better Out than In” street art residency here in the Big Apple. Monday brings us a new piece located in the South Bronx and keeps things pretty lite and fun for a Monday. 

Banksy Hits NYC Part’s 19 & 20

Weekend fun from Banksy’s “Better Out than In.” Saturday was another video, this time Staten Island was the location and a simple juvenile concept executed cleverly was the result. Some might recall this humorous piece from last year when watching the video.

Sunday’s piece was some straight up stencil fun on the Upper West Side titled “Day At The Fair.” Once again showing he has an eye for using the existing environment to create something new and fun.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part’s 17 & 18

Day seventeen of Banksy’s  “Better Out than In,” street art show taking place in NYC is clever re-work of the existing environment in Bed Stuy Brooklyn, the piece was defaced extremely quickly after going up but some of the local community got together and made some repairs to the work restoring my faith in New Yorker’s.

“Are you the sort of person who enjoys going to art galleries, but wished they had more gravel in them? "Then this temporary exhibition space is for you. Housing just two paintings but also featuring a bench, some carpet and complimentary refreshments. Opens today through Sunday 11am til midnight.”

Today’s piece is located on West 24th street as is the collaboration NY’s first saw in last week’s issue of the Village Voice. These pieces are more or less the holy grail for street art enthusiast as two of the biggest heavy hitters in the game give us not one but two canvases. OsGêmeos compliments Banksy work quite nicely giving his often grey pallet a little color. While people might have been salivating over the Central Parkstunt, whoever ends up with these pieces is truly a lucky cat.

Onomatopoeia Playlist Series: Vol.1 "The Weight Of Gold"

Welcome to our latest experiment, the Onomatopoeia playlist series. I figured since the site has pretty much been bombarded with Banksy news as of late why not break away from it all for a moment and gift you, our readers, with an exclusive playlist to listen to and enjoy. I’m calling the first one The Weight Of Gold and it’s over three and a half hours of music from the past, present and future spanning a wide range of genera’s. Some of the tunes have been highlighted here in the past while others may be new to you.

Continue reading NSFW (heavy graphic sexual content)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Video: The Neighbourhood – “Afraid”

Hey look at that a post that has nothing to do with Banksy! What we got here is the latest video from California group The Neighbourhood, this was the clear standout track for me when I Love You first dropped earlier in the year, it’s also a track I associate with some painful memories but hey that's the beauty of art, it can mean different things to different people at different times. Check out the artistically shot black and white vid below now…

Opinion: Banksy, An Englishman In New York

Having lived in London in the middle of the decade, I had the luck of being at the right place at the right time to experience the birth and development of graffiti’s golden child, Banksy. Although it was only roughly thirteen years ago, back then most people didn't really give a fuck about the Bristol based artist. His pieces were easily available to those who wanted them and those that did want them tended to be people like myself, graffiti and street art enthusiasts who already had a history of supporting such movements whether it was through actual participation or via the wallet. I did a little of both.

As my time in the U.K. came to an end, Banksy’s star was beginning to rise. The mysterious artist had become the pride of the common man, still largely ignored by art institutions and art insiders. A lot of young Londoners were now both familiar with and enjoyed the many pieces scattered throughout the country. I got the overwhelming sense that people loved the work because it took complicated social-political issues and through humor presented what many of us where already thinking. By this definition Banksy is really one of the best graphic designers of all time, someone who can take the most complicated of ideas and present it in a graphic form that is instantly and easily digestible to all.

Still, even at these admittedly early stages of fame, Banksy and his work were always met with a sense of excitement by most. The work was there for all to appreciate, on the walls, curbs, bridges and streets of  Britain.

Fast forward to 2006. By this time I have moved to New York City, still finding myself excited by the graffiti scene and art in general. I had not given Banksy as much thought; life gets in the way sometimes, but this soon changed as I started to see his name pop up more and more in mainstream media. If I had to pinpoint Banksy’s rise in the United States I would say “BarelyLegal,” the now famous L.A. show  where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased many canvas’s was the true beginning of America’s interest in the Brit’s work. After all, Brangelina was the hottest celebrity couple at the time and if they were dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on works well then it had be cool. 

Eventually I got around to checking the listed values of pieces I had picked up years back and was shocked to see sticker prices that were 1000% more than what I had paid. I got the usual questions and comments from friends. “Will you sell them?” “What did you pay for them originally?” “You’re such  a lucky bastard to happen upon this get rich quick lottery.”

In the years since, I have obtained some more of Banksy’s work into my personal collection while losing some of those original’s to theft (sure it sucks but I’m not one to dwell on such things) always keeping an eye out for new street work with the same sort of enthusiasm I felt back in London all those years ago. Banksy even visited New York for a unique show in 2008 that got some attention which saw the artist try new and exciting things, but nothing could prepare me for the shit storm that has become Banksy’s latest show in New York, a month long street art residency titled, “Better Out Than In.”

If you need it spelled out for you or are just perhaps unfamiliar with Banksy’s philosophy on his fame and the artwork it’s this:

Graffiti works best out in public on the streets for all to see and interact with as opposed to a gallery setting where the affluent and wealthy reap most of the benefits, waxing poetic about works and a scene that they have little in common with, if anything. Perhaps even more ironic is the social-political commentary often made in the works seemed to be poking fun at these very same groups of people!

And so here we are today, just over the halfway point of “Better Out Than In” and I have gotten a pretty good taste of what to expect and how New Yorker’s will receive the world’s most famous prankster.

Banksy brings out the very worst in New York City’s unquenchable yet ultimately shallow thirst for art and creativity. Whether intentional or not, Banksy’s residency places the magnifying glass on New York City and its residents and I am saddened at what I see.  

Pieces go up and are destroyed or removed for resell purposes within 24 hours of being shared. In one case a couple of shady individuals started to charge the public to take photos of a piece keeping it under wraps unless you could cough up $20+ for the photo-op. Industrial sized doors have been removed from their hinges in “undesirable” areas, as they are not just keeping people out of factories and offices, but are also now an entrance(pun intended) into instant wealth.

Once word spread of Banksy’s Central Park stall where one could purchase an original canvas for as low as $60, all anyone could seem to talk about was how they wished they’d been there to cash in. This took me back to when people expressed the same sentiment with my own purchases. New Yorkers couldn’t hold down their disdain at the idea that a tourist might be taking what was rightfully theirs (who else would purchase art at Central Park?) But that’s really the genius of Banksy. His ability to point that aforementioned magnifying glass and put a spotlight on what is seemingly New York’s unlimited egotism and love of money and power.  Perhaps you don't agree and even think this isn't the case, but I would like to think that the stunt is the very point of the show, even if it is lost on many of the city’s residents as they gaze in awe for but a moment at the work, feeling some sort of spiritual awakening that is quickly forgotten once the skepticism and jealousy return.

What do the next thirteen days or so have in store for us? I personally can't wait to see, but would be pretty shocked if he ever returns here for a project of this scale again. After all, unlike Londoners all those years back who united behind the works and focused on the message before the monetary value and name associated with them, New Yorkers have started to resemble the inspiration for those earlier works, specifically the rat-like characters that were up to no good. And because this is New York, the rats are bigger, meaner and dirtier than most.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part 16

Day sixteen of Banksy’s  “Better Out than In,” street art show taking place in NYC and it comes in the form of  a fiberglass replica of Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined by a live human. The piece will travel around New York for the next week, specifically finding its way to the storefronts of various McDonald’s locations.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part 15

Day fifteen (we have hit the halfway point) of Banksy’s   “Better Out than In,” a month long street art show taking place here in NYC. Today’s piece is located in Tribeca and is a little dark but in a fun and creative way of course. As always the man uses the existing environment like no one else!

Banksy Hits NYC Part 14

Day fourteen of Banksy’s   “Better Out than In,” a month long street art show taking place here in NYC and the b-man has hit up Queens with his latest stencil.

“Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from 'Gladiator') but you know what? "I'm just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker" as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.”

Monday, October 14, 2013

Banksy Hits NYC Part’s 12 & 13

Weekend Banksy fun here in NYC for the month long street art show “Better Out than In.” So far the Sunday editions have been the best for me and October 13th was no different but first let’s check out Saturday’s work which made some good use of the existing environment in Manhattan with “Concrete Confessional.”

Sunday was some next level creativity as Banksy decided to set up a stall outside of Central Park selling some of his most iconic images on canvas’s for $60 a pop. That’s right originals for 60 bucks a pop. What was the catch? No advertising or fanfare was given to the stall or its location and with it hardly any sales. By the days end a little over $450 worth of canvas’s had been sold, perhaps the greatest commentary he could have made on the commercial art movement, Do people only buy the famed artist's pieces because of the value associated with them?