Artist Spotlight: Okuda San Miguel

Okuda San Miguel is a Spanish artist known for his unmistakable style of multicolored geometric prints. Critics point to pop surrealism as a signifying essence that emerges from Okuda’s work. The art that he creates is constantly emphasizing the conflict between nature and our roots. Themes that tie into his work generally revolve around contradictions between existentialism, the universe, the infinite, the meaning of life, and the false freedom of capitalism. For Okuda, inspiration comes from normal everyday things such as travel, film, music, and the environment. For “A Major Minority 2015”, Okuda skillfully molded anthropomorphic forms and symbols into three captivating pieces.

"Bear Hunted" by Okuda San Miguel

“Bear Hunted” by Okuda San Miguel

"Deep Chiuaua" by Okuda San Miguel

“Deep Chiuaua” by Okuda San Miguel

Deep Chihuahua” and “Bear Hunted” portray his classic use of bright geometric renderings. The grey-human shapes represent Okuda’s worries about humanity’s false sense of freedom.

"Bear Queen" by Okuda San Miguel

“Bear Queen” by Okuda San Miguel

Bear Queen” is exceptionally unique because it is a canvas tapestry crafted of yarn. By simply looking into the eyes of the queen, it is easy to see the power that Okuda evokes through his themes.

Art for "A Major Minority 2015" by Okuda San Miguel

Art for “A Major Minority 2015″ by Okuda San Miguel

Outside of “A Major Minority 2015”, Okuda recently participated in Urban Art Biennale 2015 in Germany. This was a significant show for the artist because Urban Art Biennale is an exhibit of over 75 international artists who’re helping to demonstrates how classic street art can easily merge with traditional art forms while maintaining the roots of the urban art world.

Okuda San Miguel's work at Art Biennale 2015

Okuda San Miguel’s work at Art Biennale 2015

Come experience the vibrancy of Okuda’s art for yourself at the 1AM Gallery from now until April 22nd. For prices and art inquiries, please contact anu@1amsf.com

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)

Holy Names University spends the morning tagging!

High school students from Holy Names University‘s summer program stopped by 1AM bright and early to practice sketching out their new graffiti writer names and paint a mural with our teacher. Opting to produce their mural on canvas so that they could bring it home with them, the group ultimately chose to inscribe the uplifting message of “Speak up!” across their canvas and it ended up looking aesthetically inspiring as well! Holy Names Workshop July 2014 Holy Names Workshop July 2014 Send the gallery an email at privateevents@1amsf.com to start the conversation about your next team-building event!

Street Art & Social Change: Banksy Visits Gaza

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The enigmatic and highly political British stencil artist, Banksy, recently visited Gaza to paint some walls. But there is much more to this trip than just another street artist traveling to a far away destination or on a global tour spraycation. Gaza is not the destination point of many people wishing to travel the world. In fact its very difficult. Those wishing to visit are not allowed, just as those who live there are not allowed to leave. Banksy snuck into the Palestinian territory through a network of illegal underground tunnels, packing only spray paint and a camera. His intention? To paint on the bomb and bullet pummeled walls of Gaza and use his fame and following to share what living conditions are like there. He is not new to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He first visited the West Bank in 2005 and again in 2007 when he brought his annual London art show, Santa’s Ghetto, to Bethlehem, Palestine. The has openly stood in solidarity with Palestine in all of his projects there, each time using his art to bring attention a place that he sees so much oppression, violence, and human rights violations.

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons — they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.” – Banksy

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This visit he has painted a picture of Niobe, from Greek mythology. Niobe is the symbol for eternal mourning. She was punished for arrogance with the killing of her 14 children and husband who took his own life. In her sorrow she turned to stone, to be forever grieving. Banksy also stenciled children swinging around a surveillance tower like it was a carnival ride. A bit of his philosophy was shared with his signature red paint and childlike handstyle, reading: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful — we don’t remain neutral.”

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The artist also painted a giant kitten with a pink bow on a crumbled building wall, pawing at a ball of rebar on the ground next to it. Banksy commented on the piece with, “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

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A culmination of his trip is in his 2 minute video of the experience which has the title of “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination.” In the artist’s signature cheeky, blunt, and savagely honest style, the short video has a tourism style to it – “Welcome to Gaza,” it starts. “Well away from the tourist track… Nestled in an exclusive setting… Watched over by friendly neighbors” The film gets to the reality of the situation with hard-hitting facts like after each of these seemingly innocent bits of information about Gaza – “Development opportunities are everywhere (no cement has been allowed into Gaza since the bombing).” Banksy can seem to catch some flack from people both in and out of the street art/graffiti world, but he does what many do not – risks it all to raise awareness toward concerns that he feels deeply about. The artist has hit a superstar status but does not sit back and revel in his glory. He is hard at work, going to dangerous places and painting walls for social justice and social change. He is a true artist and activist! It makes us wonder what the world would be like if more artists, celebrities, cultural iconic figures did more with their fame and took direct action on matters that mean something to them. Keep it up, Banksy!

Sneak Peak – “Take Flight”

Want to experience a weightlessness where time is a blur and all that exists is art and air? Then take a sneak peak at some of these pieces for our upcoming show “Take Flight“. We’re excited to present works by some very talented artists who took part in the new reality TV show Street Art Throwdown. Join us in celebrating one of our instructors, Cameron “CAMER1″ Moberg, and his fellow contestants and artists AganaAnnie PreeceGrimnastyIvan “Gath” PreciadoJenna Morello, and Leba. You’ll want to see this before it flies by. Come to the opening reception on Thursday, March 12th at 6:30-9:30pm. 

Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery - Ivan Preciado

By Ivan “Gath” Preciado

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By CAMER1

Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery

by Leba

Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery

by CAMER1

Please email ANU@1amsf.com to preview the art catalog.

Street Art and Social Change: Blu Paints in the Americas

Blu in Sucre, Bolivia.

 

Legendary Italian street artist, Blu, has been traveling and painting in South and North America this last February. The artist began his career by painting graffiti in the city of Bologna, Italy, in the late 90x. He later began to experiment with more image based large-scale work with the use of telescopic rollers and house paint. His work has often been political and connected to communities in struggle. Blu created two large murals in the countries of Bolivia and Mexico. Both walls question the motives of the governments, with corruption being tied to corporate greed, the illegal drug industry, and putting monetary value before the people. His piece in Bolivia shows how the current government places money before the people on the scales of justice. His piece in Mexico shows how lucrative monetary ties to the United States, the drug industry and violence are protected by the Mexican government. We love the work of Blu, and especially his intention of using his art for social change!

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Blu starting the wall in Bolivia.

Blu in Mexico City.

Blu in progress painting in Mexico City.

 

Vertical gets into graff!

Learning how to both perfect their graffiti writer tag using markers and spray paint on a plastic wall we engineered outside, an early-rising team from Vertical took 1AM by storm. While they didn’t choose to take a canvas mural home with them to their office, they did however help paint an old-school mural outside with the phrase “Just like that” boldly emblazoned across it, which ultimately turned out great. Vertical Workshop July 2014 Vertical Workshop July 2014 Send us an email at privateevents@1amsf.com to get the conversation started about your next team or department event!

Viator makes their mark at the gallery!

Viator may send its customers traveling around the world, but they were clearly at home spray painting and tagging at 1AM. The team chose to produce their mural on canvas so that they could take it back to their office to showcase and they asked for the phrase “Travel with an insider” to anchor the mural! Viator Workshop July 2014 Viator Workshop July 2014 Shoot us an email at privateevents@1amsf.com to get the conversation started about your next team-building event!

OPSWAT invades 1AM!

Putting the SWAT in OPSWAT, the company’s team was an artistic force to be reckoned with when they came to the gallery for an evening of team-building! The team didn’t take a canvas back to their office, but they created an awesome mural on our plastic wrap outside with the word “Metascale” written across it. OPSWAT Workshop July 2014 OPSWAT Workshop July 2014 Please email us at privateevents@1amsf.com to set up your team-building workshop with our gallery!

Inamorata – Behind The Scenes

We’re putting up fresh paint and new artwork today at the gallery in preparation for the “Inamorata” show opening tomorrow. Curated by Amandalynn, “Inamorata” showcases the feminine spirit and the fire ignited in an artist by his or her muse. In preparation for the show, we’re giving you a little glance into the finishing touches going on in the gallery today. Meet the artists and get a first look at the new art tomorrow, February 5th 6:30 – 9:30 PM. Please email ANU@1AMSF.com to request art catalog.

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