Street Art and Social Change: SpY Creates an Urban Intervention on Barriers

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Spanish artist, Spy, was recently in Santiago, Chile, where he created this piece entitled “Barriers”. The artist used metal safety barrier fencing to create this impassable urban intervention, which invokes thoughts on control, division, and enclosure. The fencing is spiraling out from a central point to create an impassable circle in a plaza of a deprived neighborhood in Santiago. The artist began his career in public art in the mid-eighties as a nationally recognized graffiti writer, who shortly thereafter started to explore other forms of artistic communication in the street. SpY is creates with paint, natural elements, and urban form. He is an artist not limited to one genre, style, method, or concept. SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience. A true master of social commentary through urban intervention, SpY could be the urban response to the master of natural assemblage, Andy Goldsworthy. Be sure to check out his work on his site and keep up with us for future coverage on the critical thinker, SpY!

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Nothing Lasts Forever

Introducing “Nothing Lasts Forever” a solo exhibition by Eddie Colla fresh off an extended international tour, opening August 6th, 6:30 – 9:30pm in San Francisco. From childhood we are instilled with a strong desire to obtain the unattainable – “Forever” as the mark of quality, persistence, or true emotion. We often drag this desire into our relationships, our view of the world, even our consumer habits. It is a flawed aspiration and unrealistic, as it is the desire that never arrives and goes against the natural order of the world.

Since 2005, Eddie Colla’s wheat pastes and stencils have been found throughout public spaces in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Eddie’s work first began to garner national recognition when his street art began incorporating images of Barack Obama throughout the 2008 Presidential election. His growing popularity landed him attention on internet blogs, features in six published books, and participation in the “Manifest Hope Art Gallery” shows at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and at the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. Eddie’s designs have been transformed many times over, from stickers, album and magazine covers. His work has also been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and many others.

“Some people view what I do as vandalism. I assume that their objection is that I alter the landscape without permission. Advertising perpetually alters our environment without the permission of its inhabitants. The only difference is that advertisers pay for the privilege to do so and I don’t. So if you’re going to call me anything, it is more accurate to call me a thief.”

Please join us to witness the opening of this very unique exhibition. For art catalogs or questions email artsales@1amgallery.com

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“The Longest Winter” by Eddie Colla

 

Street Art and Social Change: “No Land for the Poor” Mural in Greece by WD

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As the world watches the economic negotiations happening in Greece, the masterful artist, WD (Wild Drawing) gives voice to the silenced with his mural entitled “No Land for the Poor”. With cut backs in the public sector, closing businesses, and an unemployment rate of at least 25%, Greece is in dire straights. Greece is now in it’s third bailout in five years and only time will tell how this recent deal may help. Some of those hardest hit by this economic reality in Greece are artists, and they have been doing what they are good at – raising awareness and asking questions through acts of creation. Street artists have been voicing their opinion on the Greek financial crisis for years now, and most recently WD has added to the conversation with this mural in Athens. This colorfully vibrant and illustrative piece was completed in four days with a telescopic roller by the artist. With the written quote, “Dedicated to the poor and homeless here & around the globe”, WD connects the Greek struggle with similar struggles around the world. Perhaps the artist (who is based in Athens, by the way) is using his work to show what some economists, activists, philosophers and political commentators are saying is a growing distrust of capitalism. We look forward to seeing what WD brings next!

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Street Art and Social Change: ROBBBB Pasteups in Bejing

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Chinese artist, ROBBBB, has recently been busy creating pasteups in his home city of Beijing, China. This new set of images are a part of his “Morbid Society” series, in which the artist critiques the current social reality of China. He has always been interested with those living at the “bottom” of society, and this series holds a mirror up to Chinese society, addressing modern ideals in the country. ROBBBB started in the arts world in drama school as a stage artist, but transitioned to urban art after a stay in Venice. Now the artist is based back in Beijing and enjoys creating works in the street, specifically on ruined buildings. “Street art is a kind of space art,with its special way of occupying space and even reform the space,” he states. The ruins influence his art, as much as his art brings energy back to the ruins. Be sure to check out his website and follow his work in China and abroad!

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Street Art and Social Change: Isaac Cordal, Small Men, Society and Disconnection

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The less commonly practiced genre of street art, sculpture, is a unique category. Breaking the confines of 2D, sculptural street art can be as beautiful, poignant, and powerful as it’s siblings, painting and pasting. Perhaps its the installation of sculptures on the street without permission that sways most to paint and paper. It takes a great deal more coordination, planning, and funding to be able to haul a large piece into the street, install it, and leave without causing much of a scene. Nevertheless, artists step up to the challenge and work with the limitations.

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This week we are looking at Spanish artist, Isaac Cordal, who has been based and working in Berlin. Cordal’s work is captivating – if you can see it. He is a sculptor on the miniature scale. Cordal creates small cement figures (often frumpy balding business men) and arranges them in site-specific scenes in streets around the world. His work is critical and thought provoking, inviting viewers to look inside themselves and ask big questions about the state of the world and what is most important. “The art work intends to catch the attention on our devalued relation with the nature through a critical look to the collateral effects of our evolution.”

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Cordal created this body of work as part of the Łódź 4 Cultures Festival, held in Łódź, Poland. The festival is an annual event, artistic and social, referring to the founding history of Lodz: city built by hands of Germans, Jews, Russians and Poles. The small cement figures are each standing on their own balcony, overlooking the street below, detached, yet hopelessly connected. Cordal’s miniatures are almost a congratulatory visual prize for those who have their eyes up and are aware, and not glued to their phones moving from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Be sure to check out his website, and follow his travels and actions around the world!

(awareness via Brooklyn Street Art and photos © Isaac Cordial)

Street Art and Social Change: Shepard Fairey and D*Face on Freedom in Berlin

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The Urban Nation Project M/8 is underway in Berlin and the mural are going up around the city. This round of the project (which aims to bring together artists that shape and enrich urban spaces in neighborhoods) is curated by London gallery, Stolenspace. The theme chosen by Stolenspace for the show and murals is “Freedom”, which can be seen in the works produced by invited artists: Cyrcle, Miss Van, Maya Kayuk, The London Police, Word to Mother and EVOCA1. The murals of D*Face and Shepard Fairey, in particular, encapsulate the theme. Pictured here, D*Face’s mural of an angered soldier is a segment out of his indoor contribution to the show, where the solider is screaming “Peace!?” Shepard Fairey’s mural, positioned directly to the right of D*Face’s, is entitled “Israel/Palestine”, and depicts a woman peering out from behind a curtained barrier. Take the two by themselves and they provoke thoughts and reflections of peace, oppression, and freedom. Take the two murals together and their placement and duality balance wonderfully on the facade of this building in Berlin. Fairey’s work has always been politically charged, with strong opinionated imagery critiquing social injustices, colonization, climate crisis, consumerism and capitalism. This is a new realm for D*Face, who usually creates works that reflect themes of popular culture, and not so directly address political stances. From the color palette to the movement and form of these pieces, the complementary balance between them is applauded!

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(Photos by Birdman)

What Would You Defend?

Introducing “Free to Be” a new show opening July 9th at 1AM Gallery. Independence Day is about your commitment to freedom of choice and liberty, we all have certain values and attributes we want to uphold and share with the world. Here at 1AM we’re asking our artists to show what values they thrive to share through their artwork by picking a corresponding theme. You will see the artists in “Free to Be” speak boldly about what’s important to them through their work. Email Anu@1amsf.com to request a catalog.

Here is a sneak peek of artist Sam Rodriguez‘s work.

"Freedom To Think" By Sam Rodriguez

“Freedom To Think” By Sam Rodriguez

"Freedom To Speak" By Sam Rodriguez

“Freedom To Speak” By Sam Rodriguez

5 Reasons why developed cities can’t escape mother nature…

The concrete jungle is common amongst many of the larger cities.  Often sheltered from wildlife, we found these 5 great street art pieces that seem to inject the notion that the we aren’t alone and the wild is not to be forgotten.  Check out the 1AM Mobile App for other great finds, or start your own urban expedition with the app as a guide.

Photo by shimmyyy in San Francisco

Photo by shimmyyy in San Francisco

Photo by StreetartUK in London

Photo by StreetartUK in London

Photo by Alpha in San Francisco

Photo by Alpha in San Francisco

Photo by dgrader in Melbourne

Photo by dgrader in Melbourne

Photo by transfert in Montreal

Photo by transfert in Montreal

NATE1 Repping That Bay Area Style!

We are proud to announce our newest limited editions to hit the 1AM Prism Boutique from San Francisco’s own NATE1.

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His work has transformed from graffiti murals to canvas paintings that encompass the urban landscapes of San Francisco.  Nate represents Bay Area to the fullest and his artwork will make you leave your heart in San Francisco as well.

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You can take home a piece of the Bay in one of Nate’s three prints we have for sale in the boutique > “Heading Down Clement” > “Sutter Fillmore” > “Battle of the Bay” or email kelly@1amprism.com for more information.

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Street Art and Social Change: Pejac Conceptualizes Democracy in Hong Kong

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Spanish artist, Pejac, recently visited Hong Kong, where he created a few small art pieces – small, but large in representation. Last September Hong Kong had the world’s attention as a social movement erupted in the city from social unrest. Freedom of speech and democracy has long been stifled in the country, and it was a decision regarding proposed reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system that fanned the flame of foreseen ongoing social oppression. The protests, marches, occupations and acts of civil disobedience began from organizing students and youth, and quickly lead to include more support from other citizens. Labeled as the Umbrella Revolution because of self-defense tactics used by protesters from fire hose spraying by police, the movement lasted over two months.

Pejac decided to visit the city and reflect on the social movement through is own acts of art. The artist is known for his conceptual fine and street art creations. Instead of producing large works of art, small pieces were produced – small but powerful. A street artist often works with the city, choosing specific locations for their context and creating works that speak to that spot. In a country that keeps a close watch on its citizens and their actions, street art can be difficult to produce, especially on the large scale, and very difficult if it is charged with political critique. So, to evade censorship or worse, Pejac brought his big thinking to the small scale and created these three works of art.

 

Re-Thinker

Pejac painted his rendition of Rodin’s The Thinker on a window in his hotel room. The figure is sat upon the towering buildings of Hong Kong in the background, thinking, which Pejac feels is an act which residents are restricted with.

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Tagger

Located in central Hong Kong on Hollywood Road 97, this small piece is of a small dragon tagging a heart on the wall with its fire breath. The dragon in Chinese mythology is seen as a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. Pejac actually employed the use of a blowtorch for this creation. In this case Pejac has shrunk the creature to a docile size, stating “This ferocious mythical animal that can cause hurricanes and floods, here becomes a domesticated pet.”

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Oppression

Pejac created MSN Hotmail Butterfly and enclosed it in a small glass jar, which he set in front of the Central Government Complex of Hong Kong. The site was chosen because it was where a lot of the demonstrations of the Umbrella Revolution were focused. He states: “It works as a metaphor of the imprisonment of free speech and communication in Chinese peoples’ lives. The butterfly is not killed but trapped, being able to see and feel, but left to slowly die.”

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(photos via @pejac_art and story awareness via Brooklyn Street Art)