Street Art and Social Change: M-City on Industry and Environmental Cost


This week we’re looking at an environmental justice piece! Polish artist, M-City, was recently in the Netherlands painting. This mural was painted in Breda, where the artist used his signature style of high-impact graphic imagery with underlying meaning. The image is of some sort of industrial beast, trudging through a forest, cutting trees down as it goes. The metaphor is very clear with this wall – the environmental cost of our industrial age. Working in greyscale, the only color in the piece is the red blood on the jagged scissors that are cutting the trees. M-City is a master at the use of specific color and placement! Be sure to check out M-City’s other work on this page.

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Street Art and Social Change: Vermibus Adbusts Fashion Weeks Around the World


Berlin-based Spanish street artist and activist, Vermibus, is strategically on tour right now to four major cities around the world coinciding with their Fashion Weeks. For his latest urban interjection and social critique project, called “Unveiling Beauty”, the anonymous artist is adbusting his way through the cities of London, Milan, New York City, and Paris during their influential Fashion Weeks. Central to his work is the questioning of consumerism, lifestyle, merchandising, sexism, capitalism, and the constant bombardment of advertisements in public spaces.

Unveiling Beauty – Teaser from Vermibus on Vimeo.

His method and style is unique – he goes into the street, unlocks ad windows, takes the ads back to his studio, manipulates them with solvents and brushes, and then goes and replaces them in the street.


Call it adbusting, culture jamming, civil disobedience, or decommodification, Vermibus’ art seems to peel back the perfectly sterile fake airbrushed representations of humans we all see in the street adverts every day. In fact, his art often stops onlookers in their tracks more than the normal image would. The ghostly images are of what may be under the masks of perfection. We’ll let him do the talking:

“As points of reference in the fashion industry, Fashion Weeks form and lay down specific standards of aesthetics and beauty, and market them via their advertising: just one more strategy in the globalization of Western consumer culture.

The beauty-cult is as firmly established on the catwalks of every Fashion Week as it is in the advertising they generate. The fashion industry uses the body as a tool in order to sell products, sell consumerism. The image of the body in advertisements limits and oppresses an individual’s true beauty, concealing it behind the false rhetoric of its own liberation.

In a new project, Unveiling Beauty, Vermibus will reflect on this use of the body, and on standards of beauty imposed from above, within the framework of the Fashion Week circuit, via a new series of public interventions.

Unveiling Beauty, as the name suggests, reveals the beauty that lies hidden behind the make-up and the retouching that are used within the fashion industry and also as it publicly stages itself through advertising.
This September, Vermibus will follow the route of the most influential Fashion Weeks, traveling to New York, London, Milan and Paris. And he will analyze and reveal the true beauty that lies hidden behind the various campaigns that are forced upon the public spaces of these cities.”

His art questions the effects of constant consumer advertisements on the psyche of our societies. His talent, motivation, and diligence are truly admirable. We greatly look forward to seeing the rest of the series! Keep it up, Vermibus.

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“Memento Mori” Opening Reception with C215 & Logan Hicks Recap

The opening of our most recent show “Memento Mori” brought people from all over to view the amazing stencil works by C215 and Logan Hicks. These intricate pieces consist of layers upon layers of meticulous work by these talented artists who picked the memento mori theme to showcase and shed light on the medieval latin term that some people might not know much about. Memento mori, Latin for “remember (that you have) to die” is a theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the opening reception to support these wonderful artists. The show will hang through October 21st and is Free and open to the public Tuesdays-Saturdays from noon-6pm. For catalog requests/ inquiries about pieces please contact

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Street Art and Social Change: “Trail of Tears” by D*Face in Fort Smith, Arkansas


The Unexpected Festival has just wrapped up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a production of the good folks over at JustKids. The mural festival was organized to revitalize the downtown and waterfront of Fort Smith, by bringing vibrant murals to city walls in 8 days by 7 artists from 6 countries. Artist lineup includes: ROA, Vhils, ASKEW, Ana María, Maser, Bicicleta Sem Freio, and featured artist for this week’s article, D*Face! As one of the most active and recognized artists today, D*Face has been busy busy for years now, traveling around the world producing both large-scale murals and noteworthy gallery shows. In a different direction than his usual high impact pop-art style, the British artist took a more subtle approach on one of his two pieces for the festival that speaks to people and place, culture and history. Entitled “Trail of Tears”, this mural depicts a single white line heart painted on a raw red brick wall with many arrows around it and one within it on a red bullseye. Well designed and thought provoking, the piece can be taken many ways by viewers. However, the meaning is in the title – “Trail of Tears”.


After some research D*Face wanted to paint a tribute to local Native American history of the area. In 1838 and 1839 the Cherokee Native Americans were forced from their lands, across the Mississippi to present day Oklahoma as part of the Indian Removal Act. Because of this violent and tragic forced removal, the migration of the people is referred to the as the Trail of Tears. Perhaps the heart with one arrow in it is their original, lost land. Perhaps it is the new home they had to make. How do you perceive it? Thank you, D*Face, for touching on a heartbreaking social event from our past that we are still see the repercussions from today. Here at 1AM we see the message of let us not forget, so we may learn and not repeat.


(photos © Rom Levy, story awareness via Street Art News)


“Memento Mori” Art Opening with C215 & Logan Hicks

1AM Gallery is pleased to present “Memento Mori” a new collection of works by the profound stencil artists C215 and Logan Hicks. Memento mori, Latin for “remember (that you have) to die” is the medieval Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.

Join us for the opening of this exhibition Thursday, September 17th, 6:30-9:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. Click Here to RSVP. For inquiries or art catalog email

Left: C215 | Right: Logan Hicks

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Street Art and Social Change: FAILE Installs “Wishing on You” Prayer Wheel in Times Square


Brooklyn-based artist duo, FAILE, just installed this anti-consumerism prayer wheel in in the heart of American capitalism – Times Square, New York City. FAILE, comprised of Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, were granted the installation as a Times Square Arts project. Currently, they also have an exhibit across the East River in the Brooklyn Museum, entitled Savage/Sacred Young Minds.


Prayer wheels are traditional to Asian cultures and give those who walk by and spin them much the same effect as orally reciting prayers. Though FAILE’s prayer wheel does not send out silent meditative thoughts on harmony, kindness, empathy and peace. Instead, their wheel and alter is nearly covered in images and text that speak to the social reality of the American present. Words and phrases like “Celebrity”, “Secret Places”, “Lottery”, “XXX”, “Artificial Flowers”, and “Truth & Lies” cover all surfaces. When one spins the wheel (which is apparently very heavy and difficult to do – on purpose???) loud voices try to get your attention and neon lights glow. The prayer wheel is a kaleidoscopic portrayal of Times Square’s history to the present day, where consumerism, pop culture, desire and spectacle entangle together. FAILE has always stood in the way of modern society, holding a mirror to us all, showing our social reality in a different light through their art. We always look forward to their next intervention!




(FAILE – artists Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil)

(all photos © Jamie Rojo)

Street Art and Social Change: The Mediterranean Tunnel by MTO

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French artist, MTO, recently created this magnificent dual-mural, spanning in the Mediterranean. MTO, known for his hyperrealistic style of spray painting and politically charged imagery, painted these two walls in two completely different location: Sliema, Malta and Sapri, Italy. Titled “The Mediterranean Tunnel”, the piece(s) use the physical space of the spanning sea as part of the conceptual intention of the work. MTO is addressing recent European immigration issues with this intervention, and in conjuncture he shared two news articles about the issue on his Facebook page: Malta Independent, Huffington Post. Be sure to stay up on the always critical and powerful work of MTO through his social media, and stay tuned with us here every week for updates on how art on the street is changing the world!



Street Art and Social Change: Faith47 Gives NYC Some Love

faith47 - lay your weapons down, nyc 2015

South African artist, Faith47, has just completed a large mural on the streets of New York City, entitled “Lay Your Weapons Down”. Painted on the side of a four-story building, the South African artist adorned the facade with this image of a couple in an intimate embrace. One of the world’s most recognized female artists, Faith47 steers her work toward issues of social justice with imagery that is loaded with symbolism and meaning. Much of her work touches on women’s rights, and social and political concerns. With her muted color schemes, Faith47’s murals can be unintrusive or deeply felt by passersby, inviting moments of poetic heartfelt reflection. She has the powerful ability to provoke questioning of our social reality and the complexities of the human condition. Take a moment and let this recent mural of her’s wash over you and see what comes from it. That is the intent of her work – to stir feelings with the hopes of making the world a better place. It’s always a pleasure to see new work from the talented, Faith47!

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Behind the Scenes with Eddie Colla

We’re getting excited here at 1AM for our upcoming solo show “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Eddie Colla opening this Thursday, August 6th from 6:30-9:30pm.With a great range of art pieces coming through from this very prolific artist, this show is not to be missed! Make sure to RSVP here and for any questions or would like to request the catalog please email

Here are some behind the scenes shots of the 1AM crew setting up for this great show.










Photos by Kelly Koehler-Gorman |  Written by Adriana Sparkuhl
Travel Photos courtesy of Eddie Colla & 2wenty

With a solo opening around the corner, 1AM went to Oakland on a sunny morning to visit with Eddie Colla at his studio. Nestled deep between highway, truck routes, and train tracks, Eddie works diligently in a large industrial warehouse space filled with printing materials, stacks of equipment, and a slew of artwork, floor to ceiling. He met us wearing a navy automotive coverall with a nametag that said Alan.  

“Nothing Lasts Forever” is a new collection based off the art he has been doing for the last nine to ten months. While Eddie has been known to create bodies of work using materials found on Oakland roadsides, this exhibition consists mostly of work on wood panel, allowing the process to be less influenced by the surface.



Eddie’s commitment to running a gallery until late 2014 has given him a pretty serious travel bug. Within the last year, he rolled through the southwest and New Orleans, visited Paris twice, jumped into Mexico, and spontaneously hopped on a plane to see Thailand for the first time. He’s been seeing dollar signs as airline tickets, and took along with him a wealth of creative juices. Eddie highlights some these experiences with us.

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