1AM Mobile App’s “Best of the Week”

Buildings are getting a facelift with 1AM Mobile App’s Best of the Week.  As the street art movement grows, so do the size of the murals.  Bigger is better?

Photo by chadsf from London

Photo by chadsf from London

Photo by transfert from Montreal

Photo by transfert from Montreal

Photo by Alpha from Oahu

Photo by Alpha from Oahu

Photo by Yonelvira from Los Angeles

Photo by Yonelvira from Los Angeles

Street Art and Social Change: Ron English on American Mass Consumerism

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(photo © Jaime Rojo)

At the legendary Houston Bowery Wall in New York City, prolific street art figure, Ron English, has completed his most recent large-scale mural which holds a mirror up to mass consumer America. English’s child Hulk figure, Temper Tot, is centered in the piece, with the American flag behind him. Though the flag is not its normal tri-color form. Upon closer inspection, your eyes traverse along the red and white stripes to find them made of  dozens of English’s POPaganda imagery – mashups of pop-culture imagery, between the highs and the lows, the goods and the bads. Images used to make up the stripes include Diabetic Coke adverts, Kid Kool’s Nicotine Enriched Candied Cigarettes, American Depress credit cards and other subversive images that jab at America’s unhealthy sociocultural addictions and their disastrous effects. English has mastered the use of this kind of imagery, with his refined painting skills and use of humor to pack a hard-hitting punch to current cultural norms. Also noteworthy of this piece (going back to its location at the Houston Bowery Wall), is that English’s mocking imagery of American capitalism and greed is exactly what has pushed out the original artists that made the legendary wall what it is now. Gentrification has all but wiped out the neighborhood that nurtured the Houston Bowery Wall, which has displayed works by some of the greatest figures in the history of the street art movement: Keith Haring, Os Gemeos, Faile, JR, Scharf, HowNosm, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, and Barry MacGee.

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(photo © Jaime Rojo) 

(awareness via street art news. all photos by Jamie Rojo)

Announcing Our Next Show: CMYK

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1AM Gallery is pleased to present our show for June, “CMYK”, showcasing brand new works by graffiti writers and artists RPES, PEMEX, and AMUSE126. The demand for colors in today’s art market is substantial, with shades ranging infinitely along the color wheel. CMYK aims to contrast this freedom of colors and experiment with simplified styles and techniques. CMYK was selected among the many color options because it is a universal color pallet. For this exhibit, each artist will create pieces where they use only a single color. This simplification will not only reflect the relationship each person has with that one color, but it will also showcase their unique artistic style. If anything, CMYK emphasizes that colors are not solely accessories for art, but fundamental building blocks to promote an artist’s message.

For more information, visit www.1AMGallery.com. If you have any questions or would like to request media related material, please email ANU@1AMSF.com.

Dope Freights And Bombed Boxcars

Nothing has catapulted the creation and movement of graffiti as quickly as the New York subways did in the 1970s. Thanks to the subway cars, writers were able to spread graffiti as New York’s defining artform. NYC’s subway past began with notable graffiti writers, who began tagging the transit system and sparked the mass emergence of graffiti throughout the city.

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Writers and trains have had an intangible connection from the inception of graffiti. The subway system served as a platform for graffiti writers to display their artwork to the public in an unprecedented way. Picture it; your artwork zipping by millions of eyes every day instead sitting stationary on a wall, this development was revolutionary!

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To honor this timeless tradition in graffiti history, 1AM Gallery will be hosting the “Top of the Lines” Show featuring a private collection of model trains.

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This Friday roll into the gallery to see the best of the best graffiti on scale trains from 65 artists! Join us April 24th, for the opening reception at 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM and checkout these killer trains! Email anu@1amsf.com for more information.

Street Art and Social Change: MTO on Artistic Freedom, Censorship, and Google

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French hyperrealistic street artist, MTO, took a break from his usual highly detailed style for his addition to the Memorie Urbane 2015 Street Art Festival in Gaeta, Italy. His piece, entitled “We Live on Google Earth,” was painted on a massive 471ft long wall. It is a direct critique on artistic freedom, censorship, and Google’s control of internet information. MTO painted “Google ERROR 404 – MURAL NOT FOUND” on the large wall. The 404 or Not Found error message is an HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested. Along with this wall, MTO created a fictional front page of news headlines, set in the future on Friday May 22nd, 2020. The fake headlines include: Water Prices Reach Record High, Middle East: Palestine is No More, France Continues European Union Exit, and an article on Justin Bieber’s decline into depression after his career ending. But the main sardonic news headline reads “FIRST CASE OF ARTISTICAL CENSORSHIP BY GOOGLE CORP.” A blurb follows:

“In the small city of GAETA, Italy, a giant 125m (471 ft) wide mural by French street-artist MTO has been silently censored by Google CORP. Is this the first case of artistic censorship on our good old Google Earth? One thing is for certain, it’s sure to open a huge can of worms, as governments around the world consult their top legal minds and grapple with the implications for freedom of artistic expression. The censorship happens against a backdrop of growing international revolt against Google’s global supremacy in information control. NATO is now thought to be looking at all options to overturn the decision and thereby prevent a massive worldwide protest in the artistic and journalistic worlds.”

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MTO is also addressing Google’s involvement with the street art scene since their 2014 launch of the Google Street Art Project (a part of their larger Google Cultural Institute). The launch of the project was with the purpose of sharing and preserving street art (the impermanent nature of it). But with the inclusion of images comes the questioning of what gets included and what doesnt? Who is making these decisions?  Well, Google states that “we’ve partnered with street art experts to bring you 5,000+ images and around 100 exhibitions in the Google Art Project.” And they have said that within one year’s time they have doubled the number of inclusions to over 10,000 images. Still, this is what MTO is raising awareness toward –  the control of information (images of painted walls) online. We see street art buffed or painted over for many reasons in real life. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, where online information control is number one, censorship may begin online.

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(photos by MTO and Flavia Fiengo)

Artist Spotlight: C215

C215 is one of those legendary street artists you want to keep on your radar. He’s always on the move creating new art. One day he’ll be painting in Paris and the next he’s transforming the streets of New Delhi. His stencil work spans the globe and captures the essence of the people who inhabit the streets. His main subjects consist of people who are often forgotten or rejected by society and capitalism.

C215 in New Delhi

C215 in New Delhi

C215’s stencils mostly come from his own photos, but he also collaborates with friends and other photographers for images. His stenciling styling can be seen in two forms. One taking on simplistic layering of two colors to evoke the straightforwardness of his message. The other bursting with color and consisting of 5 or more layers.

C215 in Essaouira, Morocco

C215 in Essaouira, Morocco

“Even though his technique is meticulously refined, C215’s work transcends the formal and seems to get to the core of compassion and belief in the human spirit. Encountering C215’s pieces on the street always makes me happy” Shepard Fairey.

C215 in Brest, FR

C215 in Brest, FR

We are excited for C215’s upcoming show at 1AM gallery in September! Please email ANU@1AMSF.COM for art inquiries and catalog requests.

1AM Mobile App’s “Best of the Week”

The street are alive with color.  Here are photos from the 1AM Mobile App community that aren’t afraid to show it.  Fortune favors the bold.  Get the action now by joining our 1AM Mobile App community.

Photo by knkknk in San Francisco

Photo by knkknk in San Francisco

transfert_MontrealPhoto by transfert in Montreal

art2empower_LAPhoto by art2empower in Los Angeles

xLe_OaklandPhoto by xLe in Oakland

Artist Spotlight: Hellbent

What lies at the core of Hellbent’s art with its brightly color strips and contrasting patterns? You might be surprised to hear that the answer is music. Not only did he base his street name off of the punk musician, Richard Hell, but he names his works after songs that he listens to while creating them. His intense love for music spans a variety of genres that include punk, country, and indie rock.

Hellbent's Denim Supply Ralph Lauren Wall Project

Hellbent’s Ralph Lauren Wall Project

Besides his floral patterns and incredible stencil work, Hellbent’s work is sometimes distinguished by a jaw bone. He explained that the jaw bone idea came to him after reading a story about Freud’s battle with jaw cancer. The story goes that Freud was saved from a sudden hemorrhage by his hospital roommate – who happened to be a dwarf! Hellbent explains that the jaw also suggests the importance of basic human functions such as speaking and eating.

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For “A Major Minority 2015“, Hellbent created three pieces inspired by Joy Division songs. A closer look at each piece reveals subtle intricacies and beautiful patterns that are unique to Hellbent’s style.

"Candidate (Joy Division)" by Hellbent

“Candidate (Joy Division)” by Hellbent

"Interzone (Joy Division)" by Hellbent

“Interzone (Joy Division)” by Hellbent

"She's Lost Control (Joy Division)" by Hellbent

“She’s Lost Control (Joy Division)” by Hellbent

Stop by the gallery to see this Brooklyn-based artist’s work until the end of the April.

For prices and more information about Hellbent’s art, please email anu@1amsf.com.

Street Art and Social Change: El Mac Paints for US/Mexico Border Injustices

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As an independent binational art project, El Mac has finished two large murals in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuaha and El Paso, Texas. The LA based artist draws influence from the Chicano and Mexican cultures he grew up with. These influences are clear in his work, which he creates using contemporary graffiti and photorealism techniques. Mac worked tirelessly to complete these works, with the help of his comrade, David ‘Grave‘ Herrera. His signature, ripple-like effect of painting, is achieved by using only fat caps on his spray paint cans, and meticulous precision. For these two walls he painted on either side of the US/Mexico border, he focused his work on those who have been caught in the violence of the borderlands. His piece in Ciudad Juárez, entitled “Juarense y Poderosa,” is of a young woman named Diana who lost her mother to kidnapping.

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His piece across the border in El Paso, entitled “Ánimo Sin Fronteras,” is of a man named Melchor, whose son was disappeared by corrupt police.

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These walls represent the countless others who have been affected by the injustices and violence of the corrupt United States and Mexican governments. “I felt a responsibility to paint these murals, to create images of inspiration and empowerment. In my own small way, with my own voice and platform, I hope to honor those that have suffered the effects of this ongoing injustice.” – El Mac

(video shot and edited by Eric Heights)

(images via El Mac)

Street Art and Social Change: Olek Crotchets a Women’s Shelter in India

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

 

Polish born, and now Brooklyn based street artist, Olek, has been hard at work in the city of Delhi, India. Her signature work of crochet wrapping objects and buildings on the street has brought her around the world, and she has focused her work on many important issues regarding social and environmental justice. Olek’s project in Delhi is directed toward social inclusion and women’s empowerment. With a team of helpers (many local women who already crochet and follow Olek’s work), a local women’s shelter in New Delhi was fitted with a large crocheted cover. The shelter is one of  almost 2oo in a city of 11 million, and provides a safe space for homeless women and families. The focus of her work was to raise awareness toward the social disparities of gender, class and caste. In an interview with Brooklyn Street Art about St+Art Delhi, organizer, Giulia Ambrogi, shared that:

“[…] Artworks in the streets is already a sort of revolution. Public spaces, especially if peripheral, are most of the time neglected and are crowded mostly by lower social classes. The process of creating huge artworks for everybody’s eyes and the attitude of the artists and the team of involving everyone and gathering people under the signs of art-making and artworks – which is absolutely new in India, is an empowering breakthrough or a certain kind. By calling women artists we enhanced this prolific dynamic. It meant that we introduced a change, showing both to men and women that no matter the gender and the class, everyone has the same strength and rights of living, appropriating and positively acting in public spaces. Olek’s work brings back tot he streets a tradition that is usually practice by women in the private and closed envirnment of their homes. Also, this work highlighted the power of people, especially women, when they cooperate together.”

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

 

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

 

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

 

Olek’s recent work in Delhi has been a part of the St+Art Delhi festival. The festival brings together Indian and international street artists for a month of murals, installations, performances, workshops, walks and talks on the streets. The objective is to promote street art and graffiti on Indian landscapes, as well as provide a collaborative platform for artists from all over the world.

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

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Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

 

(story awareness via Brooklyn Street Art)