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JULY 2017, n198


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JUXTAPOZ ISSN #1077-8411 JULY 2017 VOLUME 24, NUMBER 07 Published monthly by High Speed Productions, Inc., 1303 Underwood Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124–3308. © 2016 High Speed Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Juxtapoz is a registered trademark of High Speed Productions, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the author. All rights reserved on entire contents. Advertising inquiries should be directed to: Subscriptions: US, $29.99 (one year, 12 issues) or $75.00 (12 issues, first class, US only); Canada, $75.00; Foreign, $80.00 per year. Single copy: US, $6.99; Canada, $6.99. Subscription rates given represent standard rate and should not be confused with special subscription offers advertised in the magazine. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 0960055. Change of address: Allow six weeks advance notice and send old address label along with your new address. Postmaster: Send change of address to: Juxtapoz, PO Box 884570, San Francisco, CA 94188–4570. The publishers would like to thank everyone who has furnished information and materials for this issue. Unless otherwise noted, artists featured in Juxtapoz retain copyright to their work. Every effort has been made to reach copyright owners or their representatives. The publisher will be pleased to correct any mistakes or omissions in our next issue. Juxtapoz welcomes editorial submissions; however, return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts, art, drawings, and photographic materials if they are to be returned. No responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. All letters will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to Juxtapoz’ right to edit and comment editorially. Juxtapoz Is Published by High Speed Productions, Inc. 415–822–3083 email to:

Cover art by Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz Exclusive for Juxtapoz 2017

Ermsy mumbles. Beer speaks, _______ Instagram: @ermsy


Lagunitas is looking for artists to collaborate with. Maybe for our next ad. Maybe for our next concert poster. Maybe an animation, mural, or a video. Or maybe sumpin’ we haven’t even thought of yet. Send us your link and let’s see where it goes …


ISSUE NO 198 AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR, WE FEEL THE NEED TO TOUT the powers of public art, in all its glorious forms, in this introductory letter. We get back from a trip to Stavanger, Norway for the annual Nuart Festival, discuss lineages between street art with other interventionist histories, talk about the public’s hunger for well-curated and thoughtful public art, and are compelled in these pages to convince cities around the world to bring this agenda to their homes. Nuart has long been one of the most forward-thinking, relevant and thoughtful street art festivals in the world, and this year, they transported their festival to the streets of Aberdeen, Scotland for a mix of academia, muralism, smallscale street works and films. And, for the first time, not as an artist, but as a member of the lecture program, I was stopped on the street by residents who had that same excitement and curiosity about the potential of public art that was felt when we dedicated an entire issue of Juxtapoz to it in May 2012. This art makes most people feel good about their cities and themselves! Isn’t that the point? When I talked to Nuart founder Martyn Reed about my enthusiasm for the vitality of public art programs in cities, and how his festival meshes with my feelings, he gave an insightful answer. “Our stated mission is pretty simple. It aims to make art part of everyday life, to free it from established hierarchies, or at the very least, loosen the grip a little, and to show the guardians and gatekeepers of contemporary art that there is a vast, untapped audience for visual culture.”

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One of the longtime keys to this success has been the festival’s open dialogue and objectivity. Reed is constantly exploring the idea of a “festival” within the origins of classic interventionism, the awareness that street art’s ascension to the most popular international art form does not go unnoticed. The festival is both a platform to reflect on what came before, but also explores what is utterly unique about street art culture in 2017. There is no denying the massive crowds at the opening on an early Saturday morning, with hundreds of people exploring city alleys and building facades on tours led by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jamie Rojo and Steven Harrington. This movement is popular in ways art has never been popular. It’s inclusive in ways art has never been. And that is the key: inclusion. Juxtapoz has long aimed to be a smart but accessible edition of the art world at large, and an event such as Nuart energizes us. This month, as you read about artists who make transformative work, including innovators like Gorillaz, Invader and Lucy Sparrow, remember that art is healthiest when it speaks to everyone. Enjoy #198.

above Jaune for Nuart Aberdeen Photo by Ian Cox




THE 3 RD DEGREE, THE BUILDING/PERFORMANCE SPACE where my studio is located, is on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was one of the first rehabilitated apartments in the town’s massive revitalization beginning in 1999, and my husband, Robert Ryan, lived there throughout the early 2000s. After he moved out we kept the space, serving as rehearsal and recording studio, show venue, makeshift gallery, and finally now, my private workspace. The murals on my studio walls were painted by our good friend and visionary artist Daniel Higgs, who came in over the course of three years to do it. They have cemented the

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space as a legendary destination in our area. Because the 3rd Degree building is in the center of the downtown area of Asbury Park, and only four blocks from the beach, it has served as a source of inspiration in our community. I'm happy to continue working there, maintaining its creative spirit in the face of the ever-changing, evolving landscape of Asbury Park. —Meghan McAleavy

Read more about Meghan McAleavy’s embroidery and textile work on page 32.

above Portrait by Sara Stadtmiller

Cut Away(s) a solo exhibition by

Alex Ziv

7.8.17 - 7.29.17

804 Sutter Street | San Francisco, CA 94109

The Moleskine Project VI curated by Rodrigo Luff and Ken Harman


July 8 - 29

Ryan Malley Jeremy Mann a Alessandra Mari n r u b h s a Brian M i n o z z a M o c Mar Nadezda Aaron Nagel Bagger 43 Phil Noto Shawn Barber Oldenkamp h Zac s Johan Barrio Quintana n a D tt Kelsey Becke Jane Radstrom rklund Benjamin Bjo Michael Reedy Jana Brike Matt Ritchie l Adam Caldwel Nick Runge Kim Cogan Jana Schirmer r J.A.W. Coope Daniel Segrove Nico Delort Beau Stanton Dulk tiana Suarez a T o Jeremy Eneci Henrik Uldalen her ValentinFisc Nicolas Uribe Jayde Fish Nate Van Dyke y Vanessa Fole ilio Villalba m E Greg Gandy s Brian M. Vivero GATS r e k l e W d i Dav es Frank Gonzal n e W e c i l e H elsky Matthew Grab entz W n h o J i Naoto Hattor on Timothy P. Wils s s e H a c i s s Je rs e t n i W . C N. ns Justin Hopki no a r b m a Z e t a g K ltber Stella Im Hu on Miles Johnst chev a v l a K r o t k i V l Hope Krol l Aaron Li-Hil z e p o L o i g Ser Travis Louie Alex Louisa

SPOKE SF // // 816 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA 94109




All images courtesy of Lucy Sparrow/ for 8 'Till Late 2017 Including installation sketch All works made of felt

THERE IS GOING TO BE A MOMENT, LATE ON A FRIDAY evening in NYC, during the run of Lucy Sparrow’s 9,000 piece bodega pop-up, 8 'Till Late, where someone is going to walk in and want to buy a cigarette. And Lucy is going to, straightfaced, hand someone a felt Marlboro, and the unsuspecting customer will, indeed, come to the realization that they are in a world of… felt. For the past seven years, UK-based Sparrow has taken the universal moments of daily life, trips to the corner store, sex shop or deli, and transformed them into installations of felt, where each item is constructed as both parody and ode to consumerism, but also a reimagining of the intersection of art and life. 8 'Till Late will be her first major exhibition in the US, nestled into the Meatpacking District, around the corner from one of the world’s most famed art institutions, the Whitney Museum of American Art. In volume and scope, Sparrow is making space outside of the art world, while concurrently placing herself right in the middle of the conversation among universe-creating visionaries. Evan Pricco: You sound busy. What are you doing right now? Lucy Sparrow: I'm painting Doritos as I'm talking to you. I've got three flavors on the go. Cool Ranch, Nacho Cheese, and Jalapeño.

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Explain to us what you are working on for NYC. I'm working on 9,000 felt pieces of food to go into a fully fitted-out convenience store. So that means, well, today, I spent most of the day in fridge number two. I've got a drinks fridge, and this is a savory fridge. I was literally on top of the fridge today, all day, sewing the roof on. So all the fixings are covered in felt as well. There's hopefully not gonna be a single bit of the room which isn't covered in felt. Except the ceiling. You're five weeks out, so how many pieces have you done so far? I reckon I'm on about 6,000. But, actually, most of them are done, they just need painting. When you started the idea for the New York bodega, did you have a general idea of how much you would put into it? Or, once you started doing your research, did you think, "Oh, damn, this is going to be 9,000 pieces." I mean, is there a particular understanding of what you're getting yourself into? The number one overbearing rule I have is that each project has got to be bigger and better than the one before. That's kind of the rule of felt.

So, in this case, it has to be bigger and better than The Cornershop in the UK, The Gun Show, The Sex Shop, and The Deli at Scope in Miami… Yeah. It all sort of goes from there. I also made the decision quite early on that everything will be sold off the shelf. Because that was the only thing that sort of let Cornershop down, really. I didn't know how popular it was going to be. I was like, "Oh, I'll just have six cans of beans," and then it's, like, fuck, I needed 300 cans of beans! So now, everything is going to be sold in the store, people can literally go in and put stuff in the shopping basket and buy it. It can literally function as an actual bodega? Yes, unless I get totally mobbed, which I'm slightly... I'm really more worried that we're going to clear out in the first week, than if no one comes. So your felt factory is coming to New York from your UK studio, then? Just in case you need backup product? Yes, 100%. I'm bringing the sewing machine, so it's gonna be that shelves are clearing and I’ll be trying to restock them at the same time. I don't know how that's gonna go.

in London, I wouldn't be able to do that again. In the States, I get this new audience. People aren't gonna come in and be, like, "Of course, this is the felt girl who made the felt Cornershop, unless they're specifically going there. I think people are gonna be like, "What the fuck is this?” I'm hoping for that real surprise element, because that actually did happen with the first Cornershop. People lost their shit because they weren't expecting it, and that's amazing if I can keep it going. Where is the installation going to be? It’s at 69 W. 12th Street in the Meatpacking District around the corner from the Whitney Museum and Standard Hotel. It's what I've always wanted. There will be a felt hot dog stand on the corner, sort of like welcoming people in. Was there a particular bodega on which you’re basing this? I've seen some pretty good ones in the Lower East Side and

And are you going to be working the bodega everyday? Yes, 8AM until late, so the store's called 8 'Till Late. Otherwise it's not genuine, is it? It's supposed to be crazy. It's supposed to be like, "Oh my God, we've been here for 16 hours!” I'm going to do that for an entire month. Well, if you’re an actual employee at a bodega, you're there 16 hours a day and nobody questions it. But because you're an artist, someone's gonna question it. I think it would actually be illegal for me to work 16 hours right? Unless I owned the bodega myself. I work 16 hours a day anyway, so this won’t be too much of a change. In the UK you are known, and you have actually worked all your installations. If you did something there, would it not feel like a surprise anymore? Maybe this is my chance to go for surprise. I think if it was


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quite a lot in Brooklyn, but it was really a sort of a mishmash of all of them together. I wanted that kind of tired branding, so that's why it's called 8 ’Till Late. The narrative is basically that it's an off-brand 7-Eleven that's been franchised, but sort gone downhill a little bit, things are a bit tired. Boxes aren't undone and stocked in the shelves very well, and the uniforms are a little dated. It’s set in the 1990s. This is more about you, you as Lucy Sparrow, who's going to be sitting in there... you do play a character, in a way, and you are asking people play along with the whole experience, right? I love it when people play along, but I'm kind of surprised when it happens. I remember when someone came in to Cornershop, and with a deadpanned face said, "Can I have a lottery ticket?" And I sold them a lottery ticket and they literally just took it out of my hands, a felt lottery ticket, and walked out of the store. And I was, like, "Is that person mental? Are they playing along really well, or are they taking the piss out of me?" I don't know which one it is and there was quite a lot of that. I had this one couple that came in and they'd made their own felt checkbook and they tried to pay with a felt check. They researched the show, made a felt checkbook, and came to pay for their groceries with a felt check. I’m curious about you in relation to your on-site projects, because there is this tradition of artists creating their own universes and worlds, most recently like Damien Hirst’s project in Venice, or anything Banksy does. Those artists don’t have to be present to make it all work for the audience, but you personally are part of the experience. Does that add a little pressure? I don't feel like it exists without me it. Not in a kind of God complex way or anything, but I feel like I've got this huge responsibility as narrator. I'm maybe the person holding the puppet strings, sort of bringing it to life. It's so ingrained in me, and I'm so ingrained in it, there's no separation between the two. If you sent the felt factory to San Francisco and I ran it, it wouldn't work. That's right. I need to be there, and I don't like being away from there. If I'm away, I'm missing it. It’s like not attending your own party or something. What am I going to see when I walk into 8 'Till Late? So, from the outside, there'll be a fruit and veggie stand. They all greet you as you come in, and they've got faces because they're the only things that are alive. They're the only living things apart from the cockroaches and the mice in the meat counter. And flies; we've got a fly zapper. You walk in the door, and on the floor is checkered linoleum, sort of retro looking. To your left, you've got a video rental for movies. You can get every kind of grocery that you could imagine, like hot dogs. There's a pretzel tree, the hotdogs are actually rolling on a hotdog roller, so they're

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being heated up. On one counter, there's a pizza slide that is spinning around so you can actually go and get a fresh slice of pizza. There's a deli counter that has sausages hanging from the ceiling and big lumps of cheese. But then, amongst all that, you've got your normal groceries: your alcohol behind the counter, your cigarettes. You've got a drinks fridge that's full of cold beverages. You've got newspapers sort of hanging over the door when you come in. So, wait, hold on. If I want to buy a hot dog, and I want condiments on it, I’m buying a felt hot dog with editioned condiments? Someone will be serving that to you. I mean, it’s 9,000 pieces of original art. I just like the idea of New Yorkers stumbling into this place looking for a cigarette on a Friday night. You're gonna have people that are stumbling out of the neighboring Biergarten thinking they've taken acid or something. That's a real possibility.

8 'Till Late is open for business June 3–30, 2017.


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NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Artwork credit: Cody Jimenez , Wonder, Oil on panel, 36” x 48”




PARRA x CASE STUDYO “GIVE UP” TOMATO LAMP We just love this little dude or dudette. This isn’t the first time Amsterdam-based Parra and Belgian design studio, Case Studyo, have teamed up, or even the first time they’ve bought the Dutchman’s tomato work into fruition as a limited edition, collectible sculpture. But the band is back together for the first time since 2015, taking pop/skate/graphic imagery and lighting it up, literally, with the Give Up Tomato Lamp. As Case Studyo told us, “May the tomato shine a light on your dark days…” We’ve never thought of tomatoes in that way, but we’ll take all the help we can get. Three brightness intensities, sized at 12” tall, it’s available late June 2017.

RADIOHEAD OK COMPUTER 20TH ANNIVERSARY “OKNOTOK” BOXED EDITION Remember the old proverb advising that some things get better with age? Radiohead’s classic 1997 album, OK Computer, became more relevant and iconic over two decades, perhaps unfortunately for those of us who considered the robot-voiced poem of “Fitter Happier” as just a phase we humans would grow out of. The band is celebrating the anniversary with special OKNOTOK releases, and as Stanley Donwood/Thom Yorke art fans, we are defi nitely into the boxed edition, which contains three heavyweight, black 12" vinyl records, a hardcover book with over 30 artworks, a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of 1997-era notes, and a sketchbook with 48 pages of Donwood and Yorke's preparatory imagery. Paranoid androids await the release on June 23, 2017.

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THOMAS CAMPBELL x ELEMENT “WOMPUS” COLLECTION If you were going to explain Thomas Campbell to an alien, it would be a long list of descriptors: painter, record label founder, collage artist, filmmaker, photographer, sculptor, skateboarder, surfer, designer, and, as Element notes, a “stuff maker.” Clearly, Campbell is a prolific figure in the art world, so his WOMPUS capsule collection with Element has a bit of everything as well, including irregularly-shaped skate decks, apparel, bags, pins, stickers and patches. Basically, just like Thomas, a little bit of everything under one name.



Photography Troy Holden: Somewhere around 2011 or 2012, I was given a camera. What started off as a curiosity is now how I spend the majority of my free time. I have a small family and work in an unrelated field, so my photographs are made mostly during the "in between" times throughout the day.

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STARTING IN MID-2011, SAN FRANCISCO’S EVERchanging demographics began to alter even more rapidly in a new and homogenous direction. It was Tech Boom 2.0. The mayor welcomed the transformation as he granted fortuitous tax breaks to several large tech companies that helped send the city’s housing market skyrocketing indefinitely. The subsequent displacement of many long-time residents occurred, including legions from the arts community, forcing them into exodus. While some eccentrics who have always represented San Francisco’s population still remain, they’ve become an endangered species.

photography. Subconsciously, the noticeable change left Holden with an urge to document the fleeting old vitality and unusual characters still remaining. While San Francisco is a relatively small metropolitan city, Holden’s focal point remains even smaller and specific to the downtown midMarket area that consists of a stretch of several long blocks. Still working a day job in close proximity, the photographer utilizes most of his free time before and after work, and even on lunch breaks, to find his photos on Market Street. You can probably find him lurking around on weekends, too. Having had his long overdue first solo exhibition only months ago, Holden’s practice seems to finally be getting the attention it warrants. —Austin McManus

Around the time this new mutation of San Francisco emerged, Troy Holden discovered point-and-shoot


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Process I shoot for one or two hours (longer on the weekends) every day. My focus is on the downtown neighborhoods of San Francisco and the mundane and absurd moments you see while walking through the streets. My photographs are made with a small pocket camera and 35mm color film. Walk slow and frame fast!

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Ideas A candid moment or group of unrelated moments is much more interesting to me than a clever photo or posed portrait. It's not easy to make sense of all the chaos of a crowded street. Your subject might turn their head or look down. You may waiver or have second thoughts. Random interference may bolt in between you and your subject just before release of the trigger. There's an endless list of uncontrollable possibilities. The challenge of overcoming it all is what attracts me to this type of photography. Good photos are incredibly difficult to make look like a casual snapshot.


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Larry Clark Untitled, 2013 Screenprint on skate deck Ed. 44/70 Opening Bid $200

Takashi Murakami Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Green Monogramouflage Canvas Speedy 35 Bag, 2008 Opening Bid $1,250


practicing contemporary embroidery inspired by traditional Masonic lodge banners. From commissions to private work, McAleavy, a self-described fabric-hoarder, has transformed the medium from antiquity to modernity. Evan Pricco: I grew up with a bunch of pennants in my room as a kid, like those old felt sports pennants, and collected a ton of them. Did you collect anything like this? Meghan McAleavy: I've been a fabric hoarder since the age of 15. Somehow I became a magnet for old textiles, and in high school was obsessed with thrift shops and would buy old clothes just to cut them up for their fabric. Anyone who knew me and came across interesting fabric would give it to me. And, for some reason, I would never want to use the real gems, being afraid that there was something better I could make out of it. I wouldn't dare throw any leftover scrap out either, which is kind of a bad because I've been hauling around huge garbage bags full of fabric for the past 20 years. While I was at the Whitney Biennial with a friend, we saw Cauleen Smith’s banner installation, and your name came up. You make fine art out of a design practice, but it's also something that leads you to design jobs. What category do you consider yourself to be a part of? First and foremost, I am a seamstress by way of freelance textile art. This gives me the opportunity to work in a large array of design and development. Craftsmanship is, and has always been, something of utmost importance to me. This goes hand-in-hand with strong design sensibility and aesthetic execution—the same processes that go into making fine art. I don’t necessarily see a divide between fine art, craft, and design. The processes for these are the same across all mediums. For instance, if you look at fraternal artwork and lodge symbolism, it is anchored in craft, but highly expressive artistically. Growing up in New Jersey, going to school in Burlington before heading to the Oregon College of Art & Craft in Portland, you are now back in Jersey, in Asbury Park. How was the experience in Portland? Did you go to art school with a specific career arc in mind, or did something click for you there? The minute I turned 18, I couldn't wait to get out of New Jersey. I never wanted to go to college either but was pressured into it by my family, and the only way I would go was if it was an art school.



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THERE IS SOMETHING SO CLASSIC AND REGAL ABOUT a banner hanging from the rafters. Not in a Boston Celtics sort of way, but more looking back to an era when Kings and Queens and their kingdoms fought on the British countryside. Shakespearean, if you will. Maybe that is why we are so attracted to the textile works of Meghan McAleavy, an artist

What drew me to apply to OCAC is actually funny because, at the time, they were one of the only art colleges where you didn't need SAT scores to get in. Also, it was as far away as I could possibly get from New Jersey. I knew I wanted to major in fiber arts because I had been sewing since I was a young child. My grandmother was a big influence on me, although crocheting and stitching was more of a hobby for her. For my 14th birthday, she gave me her old sewing machine, a mid-1900's tabletop machine. I taught myself how to use it and started making my own patterns for clothes.

OCAC was the right school for me because I wanted to learn more techniques within fiber arts, such as weaving and surface design. Honestly, I never thought I'd actually be able to make a living from it. I was all over the place with what I wanted to make and do because it was all so exciting. One thing I didn't learn in college was embroidery, which is something I taught myself. Not through books or the internet, just trial and error. I've always been that way. If I want to make something, I'm going to figure out how to do it on my own. I'm super stubborn that way. Portland was great during the time I lived there, with a rich arts and music community. My graduating class had only 25 people in it. Most of my peers were significantly older than me, and being surrounded by mature artists, many of whom had established backgrounds in the art community, was truly motivating. The instructors I had there were some of the most influential people I've ever met, both personally and artistically. I feel so grateful for that unique educational experience. Honestly, I don’t think anything like the old OCAC exists anywhere anymore. Not too long

after I graduated, I decided to move back East to be closer to my family. Since moving back, I have connected with an amazing group of creative people. I guess I never really appreciated how lucky I was to live so close to the ocean, NYC, and this community. What's your favorite assignment or project to work on these days? I've been working on a few pieces for a show that my friend Rich Cali is curating here in Jersey. It will be the opening of two friends’ new space called Axiomatic, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, featuring artists such as Thomas Porter, Dan Mecuro, Rich Cali, Robert Ryan and Tim Kerr. I'm trying to innovate with new ways to display my work. I'm experimenting with making my banners into actual shapes that are used in an installation. In this body of work, the central piece is a seven-pointed star with a skull embroidered inside, symbolizing the concept of, "As above, So below." This center banner is in the shape of a heptagon framed with short bouillon fringe. Surrounding it are seven smaller circular banners, also framed with fringe. Inside each one is a gold

above (clockwise from left) For Guy Le Toulouse, France Applique and embroidery on satin 2014 For Marble Bar Detroit, Michigan Applique and free motion embroidery on satin 2016 Detail of For Zach Nelligan Mainstay Tattoo, Austin Embroidery and applique on satin 2015 Detail of For Heather Bailey Black Heart Tattoo San Francisco Embroidery on satin 2015


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star with the symbol for each of the seven sacred planets embroidered. This piece will be displayed on a wall painting, framed within a painted black circle. How would you describe free motion machine embroidery to someone who doesn't know what that is? Most of my banner work is a combination of appliqué and free-motion embroidery. Free-motion embroidery is when you attach a special foot to a standard sewing machine and lower the feed dogs which pull the fabric through the machine. Lowering the feed dogs allows you to move the fabric in any direction, giving your hand the control and not the machine. A darning foot will move up and down as you sew, allowing minimal pressure on the fabric so it is easily controlled by hand. I use both straight and zigzag stitches to create the embellishment. I also recently acquired an industrial free-motion machine. This one has no foot and no feed dogs. On this machine, the zigzag stitch width is controlled with a knee lever. It’s fast, too, capable of sewing 2000 stitches per minute, so the fabric must be stretched inside an embroidery hoop. I like to combine appliqué and embroidery to create a sense of depth and texture in my work. Appliqué is when pieces of fabric are cut out and layered on top a larger piece to create an image. The edges are then sewn down using a satin stitch, which is basically a very tight zigzag stitch. I use freehand machine embroidery to embellish the appliqué. Are all the designs yours? Many of the commissions I receive are from fellow designers, artists, tattooers, or businesses, so a lot of the time it's a collaborative process. They come to me with their idea, and, in most cases, send me a line drawing of one of their designs or tattoo flash. Sometimes they have a very specific idea on how they want it laid out, but most of the time, I will design the overall banner shape. Luckily, commissions have been keeping me very busy for the past six years, but I'm looking to take a break from them this coming fall to focus on my own work again.

Ben Venom, and you, to name a few. Do you feel the same? Does it feel like a revival, at least at the fine art level? With the internet, it's easily accessible to discover new textile artists, but there is also a long history of beautiful textile work and traditions that this is grounded in. I feel that now, there are only a handful of people who are actually carrying on the tradition of fine art and textile design. Hopefully, in the future, more people will delve deeper into the craft and become dedicated to the form, weeding out hobbyists and trendy mimicry.

Do you take requests? If I sent you something to embroider and turn into a gigantic banner, like I was in Braveheart, can you do that? Anything is possible. I almost never refuse an idea, even if it's something completely out of my comfort zone. I love a good challenge. To me, every challenge, in turn, is extremely rewarding for my growth.

That being said, there are some very inspirational textile artists who respect the craft, such as Ben and Erin. It's inspiring to have instant access to the incredible work of emerging textiles artists and to be able to share our work. At the moment, I have two embroidery heroes who have been working hard at this for a long time, Ellie Mac from the UK and Kathie Sever and her crew, Ft. Lonesome, in Austin, Texas.

What is the weirdest embroidered request you’ve gotten? Years ago, someone gave me a list of their favorite things and hobbies and asked me to incorporate them into letters of their last name. Like to shape the letter C into the image of a sleeping cat. This is actually the only time I flat-out turned down a commission.

Think deeply now, do skulls look better on a pillow or a banner? When I think of seeing a skull on a pillow, I think of something maybe they'd sell in Target. So I'm going to have to say a banner because it’s less commercial and more esoteric.

It feels like there is a really great generation of textile artists working right now, young ones, like Erin M. Riley,

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above Sacred Luminaries Appliqué, embroidery and vintage fringe on satin 2017




Images courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco below Michniewicz-Tuvée (French, active ca. 1868–ca. 1905), Designer Woman’s hat ca. 1892 Label: “25, Place Vendôme / Michniewicz-Tuvée / Paris” Rabbit felt, ostrich feathers, silk satin ribbon, and faceted jet buckles

BEFORE BEANIES AND BASEBALL CAPS, THERE WERE bowlers and bonnets, which both began as sturdy headgear, providing protection from work in the fields. Gradually, hats blossomed from country roads to city boulevards, appearing in promenades and boutiques. Two cornerstone paintings from museums in San Francisco and St. Louis inspired Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade, an engrossing trip back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when ateliers hummed with the activity of fittings and shopping. Paintings and pastels by Degas are joined by the works of Mary Cassatt, Édouard Manet, PierreAuguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Federico

Zandomeneghi, as well as the hats—beautiful, bizarre and bodacious, in a show traveling from the St. Louis Art Museum to San Francisco’s Legion of Honor on June 24, 2017. Yes, the Impressionists did paint pretty. Who wouldn’t want to wander throughout the gardens of Argenteuil or consider wondrous water lilies? But remember this renegade group adamantly eschewed historical renderings in their mission to move beyond the Masters and learn from the nuances of nature. In addition to cherubic children, they portrayed modern life, with bold depictions and use of color, and, for that, were lambasted by the critics. Edgar Degas, the “pontiff of the sect,” was attracted to the ballet, where he was able to capture, not only beauty, but mood and movement in a single vignette, much of it backstage, as in The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage. He did the same with the millinery trade and shared a special kinship with women, especially the hat-makers and their practice. Which brings us to a collection of vintage hats and those two linchpin paintings that inspired this exhibit about artisans, workers, consumers and urban life. The Fine Arts Museum’s Melissa Buron, Associate Curator of European Painting, and Laura Camerlengo, Assistant Curator for Costume and Textile Arts, shared insight with me about what you will see viewing this sumptuous show. As we bemoan the demise of brick and mortar, step into this turn of the previous century when women entered the workforce. There was an increase of one million female workers in France, a majority employed in the garment trade in Paris, many of them milliners. Melissa Buron explains that, “The aim of the exhibition is to show how there is this element of Impressionist painting, which has been really overlooked, which is the relationship between the artists and the milliners. This is all part of a moment in French history that saw the rise of consumer culture, shopping, and ready-made materials, so it’s a new lens to look at paintings that you might know well, but this gives them a new framework of consideration. It’s really important that artists, including Degas, who was not known for liking many people (contemporaries, friends or family!) He had great respect for the milliners and believed them to be artisans in their own right.” Not surprisingly, the profession, although the highest paid in the garment industry, had a strict division of labor, from errand girls and formers, who constructed the armature, to trimmers, to the premieres, who managed the shops and worked with the owners. Who is the woman portrayed in one of those two anchors of the show, Manet’s At the Milliner’s? Black brushstroke filigree draping her bare shoulders, Buron wonders about “The mystery of why she would be posed in this state of partial dress and why she would have so much of her skin

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exposed. But if she’s a milliner in her own house, then she can be pretty casual.” An esteemed milliner might prefer the privacy of her home to show her creations. Throughout the show, especially with Degas, his empathy for the woman as a fellow artist is evident, as he shows them with intense absorption in the work, hatpin clenched and fingers deftly trimming. Buron points out that, “one of the hallmarks of Impressionism is the fascination with modern life. The identity, the changing industry of fashion, was a very visible element to that, especially in the paintings by Degas, who really depicted the milliners. We have paintings that bring more of the life of Paris to the show, the many layers and the many kinds of women. Degas had a respect for them, he visited them and had an affinity with them.” Yet, she reminds, “With Impressionism, we all need to remember that, at this time, this was radical contemporary art. It was not understood, and it was rejected.” But not the hats! In describing the breadth of the show, Melissa relates that, “It evokes the period, the paintings and really shows the artistry of the hats. We knew we had a great collection, but Laura was able to really use this project as an impetus to do really great research on the hats and dig a bit deeper.”

Laura Camerlengo apparently has access to a great walk-in closet. She smiles and admits, “We have a great collection of hats that parallel the exhibition nicely, dating to the 1880s to about 1910. And we’re lucky, in certain situations, that we know who wore our hats. It gives an interesting look into what elite San Franciscans were wearing then because it includes people like Rosalie Meyer Stern and Ella Wall Goad, a millionaire’s daughter, who was written up because of her extreme wealth.” And, purportedly, kissable lips. But to adorn that pretty head was exacting work, from stitching to taxidermy, meaning these hats will be in cases. Fascination with natural history and preservation frequently appeared, so the milliners did develop this skill in taxidermy. Look for an owl perched atop! On a more practical note, plumage provided warmth and water resistance during fall and winter. The components don’t break down and still contain active arsenic and mercury. As Laura also details, “In the 1890s, you saw two things, interest in height, and a heavy use of color, so there is much imagination. Hats had an interesting mix of materials, so you see things like chenille being blended with straw to create a fancy raffia. Rabbit fur would have been prepared using mercury, which helps break

above (from left) Édouard Manet At the Milliner’s (La Modiste) Oil on canvas, 29” x 33.5” 1881 James Tissot The Shop Girl Oil on canvas 40” x 57.5” 1883–1885 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Gift from Corporations’ Subscription Fund 1968 Bridgman Images


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down the substrates. Basically, when you work with felt, you’re matting fibers together so it can be soft and pliable.” Through the exhibit, we learn more about Degas, who often used pastels to give his work an immediacy and achieve the textures of beads, feathers, ribbons and lace, employing a knife or fingernail to create surface. We watch his work take on the influence of rich colors from Eugene Delacroix and solid flatness from Paul Gauguin, presaging a look forward to abstraction. But his focus is always on the human drama of engagement or introspection. Of course, we had to ask each curator which piece evoked her favorite story. Laura Camerlongo “I’m especially fascinated by the hats and bonnets for which the wearer is known, such as the 1885 bonnet in the Museum’s collection that once belonged to Ella Wall Goad (1868-1947), the daughter of millionaire lawyer William Frank Goad. In the 1880s and ’90s, she was frequently and effusively praised by local press for her charm and beauty— especially her lustrous blonde hair and clear complexion. The bonnet is made from precisely arranged strips of light brown plain and silk-embroidered wool felt, and trimmed by twists of brown and red-brown silk velvet ribbon, and sprays of light and dark brown feathers. If you think about Ella wearing the bonnet and its brown hues framing her face and contrasting her flaxen features, it really helps bring both the object and its owner to life.” Melissa Buron “I have a soft spot in my heart for The Shop Girl. James Tissot is a French artist who leaves Paris around 1872 and goes

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to London, where he lives for a decade, has a successful career and falls in love with a woman who has a complicated personal story. He paints her in many pictures, but she dies at age 28 of tuberculosis, and he’s very heartbroken by this loss. He leaves London, and goes back to Paris to resuscitate his career—but how? So he does these very large-scale paintings and calls them The Women of Paris. The choices that he makes are interesting, as he’s not just going for portraits of elites, but showing the fabric of society and where women are being seen—women at the circus, women performing as acrobats, and painting the shop girl. He was going to write stories of these paintings, completing almost 15, though some are lost to history. What’s interesting is that Tissot’s mother was a milliner and his father was a linen draper, so all his life, he had exposure to fashion and the textile industry. He really has a personal story with these kinds of spaces. What I love about this painting is that he really brings you into this setting, inside this store, and it evokes the atmosphere of what it would have been like to be there, as he’s so good with the details. Art historians have pointed out that where the ribbon drapes on the floor, it makes a heart.” In loose chronology, 40 paintings and 40 hats from all over the country, and yes, men’s bowlers and straw boaters, reflect place and time, and as contemporary hat-designer Philip Treacy remarked, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.”—GV

Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade is on view from June 24 to September 24, 2017 at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

above (from left) Maison Virot Woman’s hat ca. 1900 with alterations Plaited straw over wire frame; silk velvet and maline; silk roses, leaves, and ferns Edgar Degas The Milliners 1882–before 1905 Oil on canvas 29.5” x 23.6” J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles, 2005.14




LAKWENA KNOWS HOW TO LAY IT DOWN JUST RIGHT with a perfect balance of color and content, bright messaging that sets you straight in a chaotic world where aesthetic beauty comes in all forms and is an expression of life and power. Having lived in both England and Africa, she has a wide world of influences, and she took a moment to expand on the magic behind the House of Lakwena. Colorful Memories Lakwena: Color, for me, is very emotional and beautiful. There’s so much that can be expressed through color. I think there’s definitely a longing for sun and warmth that is underlying my love of it. I have happy memories of my childhood spent in East Africa, and my earliest thoughts on coming back to English weather, when you’d get off the plane, and there are those big, strange, white-grey skies that are just completely overcast. They give me a headache. I’m also interested in how traditional advertising uses color to attract attention, to hypnotize. I studied graphic design, so I’m interested in how we use and manipulate color, and what it can communicate. Afro-Futurism Roots A musician once described my work as Afro-Futuristic, and I like this description. I was born in London, but my childhood was spent traveling around East Africa a little, and living in Ethiopia for a few years, which felt like a big right London 2016

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part of my life. Coming back to suburban London was a disappointment at the time, as well as culturally confusing. I spent a lot of my teenage years reminiscing as escapism. My work was a way of defining who I was, finding a visual identity, as well as trying to recreate happy memories by referencing things like African fabric patterns and street decoration. I was very drawn to Black Power conceptually, and looking at a way of expressing that visually. Trying to empower myself through my work—what did that look like? Strong, bold pattern and color, and powerful words. My dad used to give me and my sisters Kangas when he came back from traveling. These are an East African patterned fabric that you wear like a sarong. Every kanga has a written proverb of wisdom printed on it at the bottom of the pattern. That fusion of pattern and text is a really strong influence. And African street decoration, too—painted signs, painted houses, painted buses. Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers, Eduardo Paolozzi’s collages... Music I’m happiest when I’m listening to great music and painting. I was really into ’70s Congolese Soukouss music growing up. To me, that is the happiest music in the world. It’s wrapped up with great memories for me. I love disco and electro breakdance. A little bit of old school garage.

I am the Black Gold of the Sun by Nuyorican Soul... Monster Rally. Music is central to my work. I like the texture of it. I wish I could have a soundtrack to my paintings. I’ve been listening to a lot of William Onyeabor recently, and some vintage gospel music a DJ friend showed me. I love the power and the emotion, and the fact that it sits alongside a political movement. I watched an interesting and inspiring documentary about an English football team and picked up a song from that by a man called Gerry Rafferty, just one song that captured the spirit of this time and really warmed my heart. I often watch a film and then search for the songs from it, so I recently downloaded music from the film Invictus. This is relevant because it’s this idea of trying to tell an epic story through my work, which is what movie soundtracks are doing. I’m also super inspired by my sister Abimaro’s music. She’s a lyricist like no other. We collaborated really well on a piece for my show in LA, and are hopefully working together on something performative for a show this summer, so I’m looking forward to that mixing of visual art with sound! Nesting as an Artist I’ve just had a baby, so I’ve been spending a lot more time at home with him. Before I was back in the studio, I was itching to paint, so I started painting my living room wall. The Ndbele women in South Africa, who paint the walls of their houses, have always been a massive inspiration to me. They just strap their babies on their backs, which is what I’ve been doing. The fact that the patterns they paint also have meaning is really powerful. I wanted to paint words with meaning on the walls, so I’ve started with “Good Life,” from this ’80s song I love by Inner City. And my son Makelo’s first word was “Good!” It’s now turned into a full-blown project, the House of Lakwena, just growing bit by bit when I have time to add to it. Living Large Creating something bigger than yourself is exciting. It feels epic. It doesn’t feel elitist or exclusive. I feel like I’m proclaiming truth rather than lies. It’s like a stage, a platform where your voice can be heard. Working on a large scale is a bit like having a megaphone. I don’t like the onesided nature of communication in the public sphere with advertising, so making work in billboard-scale feels right for challenging that. I like the idea of monument and spectacle. I love math. I’ve always played around with drawing geometric patterns, and it’s very practical to scale up. I love the incredible scale of painting outdoors, having to stand back and take a look, the fact that you are in the elements. It feels very physical, raw. Like you are really living. You also have that immediate feedback. It’s public. Can’t get away from that. Painting indoors feels quieter. Safer. You can be more reclusive, which is sometimes a really nice thing. Private and secret. Hair Ties There’s a lot to say about hair. Hair was major for me

growing up. It was one of the main things that got me interested in Black Consciousness. So it’s not surprising that I ended up marrying a barber. We actually got to know each other while I was painting his barbershop, and then we collaborated on a collection of T-shirt prints, which we called Bros With Fros. The whole point was to document and celebrate this major part of the male African/Caribbean heritage, which is haircuts. So my husband, SliderCuts, does the cuts, and then I illustrate them, and we also write a little history of the cuts.

above The Best is Yet to Come Acrylic on MDF relief 4’ x 6’ 2015


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Pop Nostalgia Sesame Street used to do these amazingly illustrated features on different letters and numbers every episode, which definitely helped create my love of letters and numbers. And the nostalgic vibe of ’70’s and ’80’s illustration is something I still look back on for inspiration. There was a time growing up, when we lived in Ethiopia, and we had just two videos, so we used to watch them on repeat. One was Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner, and the other was a BBC version of the book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Now that I’m grown up, I’m a massive fan of C.S. Lewis. His use of storytelling to communicate deeper meanings is incredible. And Robin Hood takes me back to this sense of the epic, and grand stories of heroes and revolutions, which resonate really deeply within me. Fruitful Fonts Words come first for me, although I don’t always use them. How they look and what they mean are like an anchor for me. I’m not interested in weak words. I love hand-painted signs, tacky fonts and brush script. I’m very free and easy with what I like with fonts. I like whatever is fresh to me. I used to go to the library and find vintage typography

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books, and I’d photocopy pages from them. I created my own physical font library, just stapled together, my own selection. I still look at this for inspiration. Street Style My studio is on Ridley Road, which is a famous market in East London. It’s famous for its multicultural community, so there are loads of influences that I draw on. There’s pattern everywhere, on fabric and clothes people are wearing. There’s a really nice fusion of international cultures, as well as your standard London market vibe, so lots of gold jewelry, loads of hair shops, beautiful signage, handpainted and otherwise. I love going into Pak’s, the big hair shop at the top of the road, and just taking in all the colors and typography and patterns in the hair products and accessories. All of this feeds into what I put out.

Catch Lakwena’s new exhibit at KK Outlet in Shoreditch, London through July and August, 2017.

above I Remember Paradise Miami 2013






Blue Basquiat from the Kindred Spirits Series • acrylic & rubber on wood panel • 40” x 40” • 2017 • $6,500

“Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. That’s what makes it beautiful.” Fred Tieken






NUART FESTIVAL BRINGS MURALISM TO THE GRANITE CITY A CEMETERY OCCUPIES THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY center of Aberdeen, Scotland, that, upon first glance, resembles many of the great gravestone troves of the UK. With dates stretching back to the eighteenth century, most stones are illegible from years of weathering. But there is one, still clearly readable and remarkably kempt. Here lies the tomb of John Henry Anderson, the “Wizard of the North,” a famous Scottish magician. But why is the tomb so clean? Well, of course, Harry Houdini, who called Anderson his inspiration, arranged for the gravesite upkeep while Houdini himself was still alive. It’s these little stories, as well as the fact that the cemetery is a wonderful vantage point for a massive Herakut mural on Aberdeen Market that make Nuart’s newest festival in the northern Scottish coastal town so special.

above M-City

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For a city composed of granite, like nearly every edifice built at the time, full of Gothic and Brutalist architecture, and a gigantic William Wallace statue in the middle of town, Nuart’s curation of small street art interventions and murals is both a unique and fascinating marriage. Our tour guide for the trip, Aberdeen native and artist/curator Jon Reid, gave us insight on past art activations in the city, including Painted Doors and Release the Pressure, projects that breathe a creative life into the oil city. But Nuart’s experience in combining public art with academia, and its history of contextualizing and drawing lineages within Street Art history, provide access for the public to engage in ways rare in the contemporary art world. Works by Add Fuel, M-City and Fintan Magee, amongst others, and smaller, almost playful works by Jaune, Alice Pasquini

and Nipper brought the city to life for locals. Numerous people in the city found Jaune’s stenciled “worker” people and began to draw connections and find pathways to more art throughout town. Many cities around the world have seen their downtown hubs transform in recent years. As more and more young professionals move in, the changing demographics alter business and culture. Aberdeen is no different, so getting a good cup of coffee, eating a nice vegan meal, or getting a pair of sneakers is a matter of choosing where to stop. Contour and Cafe 52 sit directly on the square hosting Herakut and Julien de Casabianca’s massive murals, and there you can have an Americano or beer and burger. Aberdeen and sneakerhead staple, Hanon Shop, has an outpost in the square as well, making this an easy hub for everything. Wandering past some fantastic Brutalist buildings in the city (and we know that Brutalism is in vogue with

architecture nerds these days), which fit in so well with the granite Gothic structures all around Aberdeen, you will note how M-City and Fintan Magee’s murals both incorporate the city’s shipping history and unique coastline. As you wind around back, away from the harbor, and past the William Wallace tribute, the city’s new Release the Pressure graffiti project appears, incorporating a Victorian-era walkway into a public art path. After roaming through the surrounding tunnels, discover what we consider one of the best men’s and women’s shops in the world, Kafka, and pick up a coffee, meal, and maybe get some Friday night world music vibes at Foodstory Cafe. And this being Scotland, make a point of stopping into Aberdeen Whiskey Shop to get your grandad some of that famous Scotch. Make sure to also check out Spin for record shopping. Owner Jim Sandison has an incredible record collection and, as our our city guide relates, is a classic hoarder. Now he finally has a shop big enough to sell some of his collection.

above (clockwise from top left) John Henry Anderson’s Grave Hera in Action at Aberdeen Market Release the Pressure walkthrough Kirstyn Ann Fordyce for Painted Doors Alice Pasquini’s stencil work


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The ceramic tile patterns from both business and residential entryways are a charming characteristic of the town. Often these doorstep tile mats are hidden, but you can find a few if you look. This city tradition was captured wonderfully in Portuguese painter Add Fuel’s mural in the center of Aberdeen, viewable both from the highway and pedestrian walkway. The colors captured by Add Fuel blend into the city’s backdrop, beckoning color from the grey granite skyline. Check it out before catching a film at the Belmont, or visiting the Aberdeen Art Gallery, or even peeking into the Gothic church-turned-dracula-themedpub, Slains Castle. One of our favorite moments in Aberdeen was the tour of the legendary printmaking studio, Peacock Visual Arts. For context, they have made prints for the likes of Ralph Steadman, Mike Giant and David Shrigley, but also function as a print studio where locals can use the services to make their own prints and design projects. Hidden down an alleyway near the city’s harbor, it’s a major contributor to the art culture of Scotland and the greater UK, a real

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gem if you find it. (There is also a great IPA pub across the square, Underdog, which used to be famed house music and dance club, Snarfu). We can recommend a few other treats in Aberdeen, like buying a kilt, sipping a little whiskey, or heading a few miles outside the city center to see the wonderful coastline, where you just might find a secret Hera piece on one of the beaches in the ruins of an old fish smokehouse. Make sure to read every heritage plaque in the city, as the history goes back hundreds and hundreds of years. But mainly, check out all the great public art now up around Aberdeen. Nuart has long been one of the most progressive street art festivals in the world, and they paid Aberdeen a proper respect. —Evan Pricco

A huge thank you to Jon Reid for his tours and extensive knowledge of Aberdeen. And thank you again to the Nuart team for its inaugural Nuart Aberdeen festival.

above (clockwise from top left) Add Fuel Aberdeen Whiskey Shop Hera on the waterfront Robert Montgomery Peacock Visual Arts

Edvard Munch

Jun 24– Oct 9

Technically daring. Profoundly human. Meet Edvard Munch this summer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Presenting Sponsor

Major Sponsor

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Munch Museum, Oslo. Generous support is provided by Jim Breyer and Franklin and Catherine Johnson. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Image credit: Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–43 (detail); photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo



SAUL STEINBERG MINES THE LINE IN AN ISSUE OF THE NEW YORKER, IAN FRAZIER remembered Saul Steinberg in a big way with a few words: “His child self never left him, nor did his love of elsewhere… In my mind, the remotest place, the horizon belongs to Saul.” Similarly to the point, Steinberg described himself to an interviewer as “a writer who draws.” Truly a world citizen, he was born in Romania, studied architecture in Italy, spent a year in the Dominican Republic awaiting a visa, and arrived in the US sponsored by The New Yorker, becoming intimate with that City’s every cranny, as well as our quirky national mindset. The other American city of skyscrapers is the ideal location for Along the Lines: Selected Drawings by Saul Steinberg, currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, the largest school-museum campus in the country. One of the oldest accredited independent schools of art and design, past students (and independent thinkers) range from Georgia O’Keefe and Thomas Hart Benton to David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. The adjoining museum and school, with a Beaux

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Arts structure built for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, and the most recent addition, the Modern Wing, with its white aluminum “flying carpet” light filter, express the range of possibilities for students like Steinberg himself, who studied architecture in Milan, painted a 250-foot mural for the Brussels World’s Fair, drew countless cartoons and made paper masks for “protection against revelation.” The buildings alone are worth the visit, and the works of Saul Steinberg, whose foundation describes him as, “constantly crossing boundaries into unchartered territory,” vividly represent the dynamic culture of this place of learning and discovery. The 54 drawings display how a masterful mind can prod, please and provoke with deft use of an inked line.

Along the Lines: Selected Drawings by Saul Steinberg is on view at the Art Institute of Chicago through October 29, 2017.

above Saul Steinberg B Movie 1948 Gift of the Saul Steinberg Foundation

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Louie Cordero

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U n der H eav y Man n er s

Prefab77 GanGs, Tr i b es & Fr aTer n iTi es

M ay 13 — June 10, 2017 opening recep tion: Satur day, May 13, 6 — 8 pM

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IT’S BECOME A BIT OF A STAPLE IN THE SOUTH, one of the great recurring exhibitions and parties that we love to cover every year. The Baton Rouge Gallery hosts the national juried exhibition Surreal Salon, an annual celebration of both pop surrealism and lowbrow, which have both become historically significant art movements throughout the world. Jason Andreasen, Executive Director of Baton Rouge Gallery, has championed the scene for years, successfully bringing outsider art to Louisiana in ways that feel authentic and energetic. Along with the annual Surreal Salon Soiree, art is brought to life, encouraging all attendees to become part of the collective performance. This year, Greg “Craola” Simkins served as the Special Guest Juror, personally selecting each work for inclusion in the exhibition from among the many submissions received. In the end, 58 artists qualified for Surreal Salon 9, with “Best In Show” going to Alison Stinely for her work, Rib Meat. Asked to elaborate on the Salon, Craola and Stinely related the experience of judging and making art for this ode to the weird. Greg “Craola” Simkins I recently had the honor of being the guest juror at the Surreal Salon 9 exhibition and soiree at the Baton Rouge Gallery in Louisiana, of all places, which I have been told many times now, is the real LA. I had an idea of what the event was going to be like and was excited to see that it held up its reputation for masked partygoers and creative people everywhere sharing in the festivities. I felt the warmth and friendliness of the crowd and the staff’s kindness from the second I walked into the gallery to make my pick of "Best in Show," and up until I said goodbye after our last evening's dinner. Best in Show went to Alison’s amazing piece, Rib Meat, which was an epic masterpiece that takes you from a beautifully rendered 2D world into a 3D assemblage framing the piece, which continues the narrative of the work. It was such an eye-catching piece that it was an obvious choice. Alison Stinely on Rib Meat My current works investigate personal guiding mythologies introduced to me as a child, myths that grow and warp continuously. Traditional symbolism mixes with private imagery, illustrating my adoption of unreasonable belief systems related to religious orthodoxies, superstition and cultural ideals of femininity. My most recent body of work, Nocturnal Emissions, is loosely based on the myth of Lilith and her quarrels with prehistoric patriarchy. Rib Meat serves as an introduction to Eve, who—according to some religious texts—was Adam’s second wife, following Lilith’s departure from Eden. Although Eve is said to be one of the first women on Earth, she is portrayed with white skin

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and red hair; an anomaly akin to that of a blonde haired, blue eyed Jesus. Distortion of anatomical structures and a saccharine palette draw on both historical painting and the kitschy illustrations of children’s Bibles and Sunday School storybooks. Painterly qualities, coupled with dramatic sculptural elements, reinforce the intrusive content of the painting. The three-dimensional forms push beyond the rectangle, allowing the painted narrative to spill into the space of the viewer.

above Opening photos from Surreal Salon 9 Baton Rouge, Louisiana Photography by Julia Rose Photo right Alison Stinely Rib Meat Oil on panel with polyurethane foam, epoxy resin and latex enamel 61” x 78” x 24” 2015


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N 1998, JAMIE HEWLETT DREW A VIRTUAL BAND that became world famous. Gorillaz consists of four cartoon members with four distinct personalities: 2-D, Noodle, Russel Hobbs and Murdoc Niccals, who are brought to life by Hewlett and an ever-evolving crew of musicians. They just made the freshest comeback of the year with a new album and tour, Humanz, visually powered by Hewlett’s live animation, 360 music videos, detailed backstories, covers, and virtually every single element of the band’s stage presence. His impact on our generation’s visual culture runs deep, and Gorillaz is just one of his many projects, from comics to opera. In the age of artificial intelligence, a virtual band is appropriate, and Gorillaz have cultivated a soundtrack for a lifetime, with a 20 year history of showing up right when we need them most. They’ve helped an entire generation dance through the darkness, and in the words of Gorillaz guest star Vince Staples, “The sky’s falling, baby, drop that ass ’fore it crash.” Kristin Farr: Happy Birthday! It’s nice of you to do the interview today. Jamie Hewlett: Aw, thank you. I don’t have time for a day off. It’s all good. How has the band changed since their last release almost a decade ago? It seems like a lot of shit went down for them between now and then. A lot of shit went down, indeed. They’ve changed along with the world, I suppose. I dug them out of a little box that I kept, and the world had changed, and then, during the making of the album and the creation of the videos and music, the world changed even more. So they’re a little broken and disillusioned, and a bit more determined.

things different, to do something. Sometimes we need to wake up a little bit. Is that why the band got back together? No. That decision was made at the end of 2014. We agreed we were interested in doing another album, and then Damon [Albarn] was working on Blur, so he was already playing around with stuff, and then he started making the Gorillaz music in 2015. So it’s only been two years since we started putting it together. It’s a slow process, and I wasn’t in a hurry. It needs to be right and follow its organic path. The ideas are always around, but picking the right ones at the right time, and putting them together in the right order… it took a while to get there. You’ve been busy. Even just a 360 music video alone sounds like a lot of work. No one told me making a 360 video would be so hard. When you direct something, you show people what you want to see, and you cut what you want to, but with 360, the viewer has free will to look at whatever they want, so you have to build a complete universe, and you have to hope they’re looking in the right direction at the right time. You’re using sound and lighting effects, but it still doesn’t mean that people are looking at what you want them to, which is fine. It often means people watch the video three or four times to catch everything, so that’s not a bad thing. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun. I learned something new. And you broke a new YouTube record. Apparently it was the most watched 360 music video on YouTube, but I don’t know how many 360 videos there are

below Gorillaz Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn

We really need them right now. It’s funny, a few people have said that, which obviously gives me a warm glow all over to know that people are happy to have four cartoon characters back, and that, in some way, it helps. It’s strange. I never would’ve imagined that. All the Gorillaz albums have been a little political. We’ve always been trying to say something, but we’ve kept it hidden between the layers, not going on our soapbox and preaching what we think. But there’s always been a message in there, and the best delivery is to to let people discover it themselves. I think this album is probably sounding like the most political to date, and I think that’s because we can’t help ourselves. Everything’s just gone to shit in the last couple of years, so it’s coming out in the work. It would be impossible not to recognize or have feelings about the way the world has changed and the sort of shit that’s going on; hence the name, Humanz. It’s an appropriate title for an album because it’s sort of a question. The Z on the end of Humanz puts me in the mind of artificial intelligence, robots, programming, conditioning, brainwashing and control, so it’s kind of asking the question: Are we still human? Or are we humanz? Are we aware of what’s going on? It’s up to us to make a change, to make


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on YouTube. I think there’s probably five, so I’m happy. But at the same time, it’s not like it’s the biggest watched video on YouTube ever. That would be something to celebrate [laughs]. There’s still time. It’s just the beginning. There’s been a lot of work, but there’s a lot more to come. This entire year is gonna be Gorillaz stuff. Obviously, when I make a video, I work with animators, but everything else is done by me. That’s why I’m working on my birthday. Can’t get a break! How come you decided Murdoc would be naked in the first video? Well, because he takes a bath. And no one takes a bath with their clothes on, do they? The intention was to cover his penis, like you would never actually see it, but then we spoke with the legal department, who said, “No, it’s fine.” And then YouTube said, “It’s fine!” It’s just a penis. Every man has one. So we’re like, great, and off we went. And, of course, when the video was finished, they said, “Maybe not.” It was too big or detailed! I think they were imagining it might look like Mickey Mouse’s penis, but it was the real deal, and it was a bit too much. I thought that would be a first as well, the first animated penis on YouTube, but no. Just as it was about to go live, some poor guy at the animation company had to spend an entire day pixelating Murdoc’s penis. He

came to work and they said, “Guess what you’re doing today?” Not really a fun job. We’re scared of penises, we’re scared of nudity, but we’re happy to watch people killing and beating each other. Show a penis or vagina, and people get upset. Why is that? What’s wrong with us? Good question. Are the characters self-reflective? Oh yes, completely. The way we write the scripts, stories, characters and their backgrounds is usually based on real things that happen, and all the characters in the band are an amalgamation of everybody who’s part of Gorillaz. So often, when you have an adventure or an experience, or something crazy happens, it tends to get written into the background of one of the characters. Damon is Murdoc, basically. When Damon has an adventure, it tends to happen to Murdoc too. You can be uninhibited with the music when the virtual band members are the focus. Especially for Damon, it’s freeing to be able to experiment musically. There are four animated characters that make up the band, which allows him to work with whoever he wants to, and explore those relationships with music. It’s different for me because, as an artist, I can draw whatever I want. There’s not something I’m supposed to be doing where people will


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get upset if I don’t do it. I can always experiment. But if you’re famous for being in Blur, people expect a certain type of thing. With Gorillaz, we can do whatever we want. We’re completely free, and we don’t have to answer to anybody. It’s a wonderful luxury to have that labor of love and do your best work. That must be why the new album feels so good and authentic right away. It’s completely authentic, yes. We’re being completely honest, and I don’t think I could work any other way. I had a brief period of doing advertising work and I hated it. You get paid a lot of money, but you don’t get to be yourself, and you end up having to do what you’re told. I love being able to do what I want. It’s really a joy and exciting to be in control of what you’re doing. What will happen in the next video? A pretty strong narrative was launched in the first one. I can’t tell you what’ll happen, but we’re working with real time animation at the moment. It looks like old, traditional cell animation, and somebody puts on a funny little suit and jumps around, and the characters repeat what that person does. So that means we can do live interviews with the characters, and in the future, they could go on stage and perform, which is something we’ve always wanted to do. We want them to play their own concerts. The technology didn’t exist before, but now we’re almost at the point where they could. I’m going to use that technology for the next video. It might be a dance video. I’m thinking of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” still a great video. I fucking love that video. I’m into dance routines. It was really like a short film. That always inspired me. A little bit of a story at the beginning, and then you go into the song, and then you have a bit more of the story at the end. Something like that. You have a lot of people waiting on you to create the live shows for the tour. I’m working with a company called Block9. That’s another element where I have people to help, because without it, I’d be in an asylum by now. We’ve been putting together the graphics for the first show. As the tour goes on, we will be adding and updating, and introducing new visuals to the set, so it’ll be constantly changing and growing. That’s what we did with Plastic Beach as well. A good reason to see as many performances as possible! Tell me about the killer image on the cover of our magazine. I had to do a bunch of images that showed all the guests and collaborators on the album. That one shows just about everybody on the album on that wall. It’s very hard to do a cover with 30 people and the band, so I was working with a Last Supper sort of idea, which didn’t quite work out, so that’s the image with the most people in it. You and Damon made an opera, and there’s a German word for art like that, Gesamtkunstwerk, which means “a total work of art,” incorporating all art forms. Gorillaz can be described that way too. I’m a very visual person, my whole life is visual. I’m obsessed

with the way things look, so if it’s visual, I should be able to do it. Or I should be able to try anyway. Designing costumes and sets for an opera isn’t that different from comic books, which isn’t that different from animation or directing videos. It’s telling a story, really, so I’m not afraid to try different things. And it’s the same with music. If you understand music and rhythm, then you should be able to jump from opera to hip hop to classical. It is possible, and Damon can definitely do that. I hate doing the same thing all the time. I find it soul-destroying. I like to try new things, and I get excited by a challenge.

Catch Gorillaz on tour worldwide this summer and fall.


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WHEN 8-BIT TECHNOLOGY WAS FIRST INTRODUCED back in the 1970s, it shaped not only the future of computers, but affected countless other aspects of human creativity, from digital music to the net art movement. The bits and pixels quickly disappeared from computer processors and screens and morphed into different forms around us. And for one Frenchman in particular, this moment was life changing. Inspired by 8-bit games from the ’80s, (Space) Invader started re-creating simple, pixelated characters and placing them on facades around Paris. Touting not only their aesthetics but the entire gaming philosophy, he started collecting points and completing levels through an actual world invasion that has continued, unabated, for the last 20 years. 68 |

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Looking now, it seems that by introducing digital imagery to everyday physical environments, Invader created a bit of a glitch in the matrix, especially the art world matrix. After leaving his mark on the ocean floor as well as in outer space, 3,437 mosaics and 69 invaded cities later, Invader’s work is being shown in museums worldwide and is worshipped by an army of followers, fans and high-end art collectors. Only recently has he started painting on paper and canvas. This curious case of artistic development is the direct result of his unprecedented approach and practice, only confirming how unprepared the world was for an invasion of such proportion. In January 2017, Invader opened Hello My Game Is... at Musée en Herbe, a Parisian landmark with a unique approach to art, based on play and humor, adapted to all ages. With this exhibition, Invader turned the space into his personal playground, inviting young visitors and their parents to celebrate childhood and regale themselves within the artist's universe through arcade games, an interactive world map, Rubik's cubes, and a wall of magnets, all made of over a hundred original works. Sasha Bogojev: How did your recent show at Musée en Herbe come to life? Invader: Simply—they invited me, and I said yes. I liked the idea of invading the minds of a generation of children who would discover my work through this show, the same way that I invade physical territories. How do you like the way kids are embracing the show? Did you go and see them in action yourself? Yes, I saw them, because nearly every morning, there are classroom visits. It is just amazing. The rooms are full of children sitting on the floor and carefully listening to the guides, who know how to speak to them and make things interesting so they want to participate. I have tried to make this show full of references from the children’s world and culture. Like the big “Rubikcubist” Peter Pan piece and several installations where the children can participate. Everything is hung lower than in a classic museum, so I suggest the adults visit the show on their knees! How important is the play aspect for you after all these years? I created this project inspired by a 8-bit videogames, and I have kept that game aspect in my work and vocabulary. I'm doing “invasions,” and giving each piece an amount of points for a score in each city, etc. Do you remember what triggered you to start using the 8-bit video games aesthetic as a base for your work? Did you start with tiles straight away, or did that come later? Back in the 1990s, the first computers were coming to market. One of my friends was a real geek and he made me buy a computer, a Macintosh IIfx. I started to spend all my nights on this machine exploring that new world. I used it as a tool to work on Photoshop 2.0. Little by little, this digital aesthetic became familiar to me, and I wanted to use it in my art. I made a series of prints and paintings representing pixels, and then began to use tiles.


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As one of the most known street artists in the world, how does it feel to have such wide recognition? It’s a good motivation to have an audience recognizing your work. That said, I don’t want to be mainstream. I don’t want to make compromises and lose my identity. I try to find a good balance between mainstream and underground. I can't remember you doing any commercial projects with big brands. Were you ever offered one, and would that mean losing your identity? That is not what I mean. It is more that I don't want to be like a politician telling lies to please everybody and get more votes. I need to keep my integrity. When you become too mainstream, you try to please everybody, and you can get lost. With advertising, that is another thing. I'm not against doing a collaboration with a big brand one day, but only if I feel comfortable with it, and until now, I haven’t encountered such a brand. I've just declined collaboration with a big fast food company and another one with a bank. I would have gained a lot of visibility, and that certainly would have enlarged my following, but I don't want to be associated with them and be their accomplice. How important is it for you to know that people enjoy discovering your work? I guess an artist will always appreciate when people come across his work and enjoy it. Until a certain point... What point would that be? When you lose your soul and your identity because you just want to please a huge public. That’s when you might not recognize your own art. When they decide to try and take it home with them? How do you feel about your work getting ripped off the streets? That is another story. I'm always surprised and sad to see a piece of mine half ripped off by someone who tried to take it home. My street art is not only the mosaic itself—it works thanks to the spot. If you take it away from its location, it becomes regular tiles that you can find anywhere. All images copyright Invader previous spread (top left) PA_1039 Paris 2013 previous spread (bottom left) NY_176 New York 2016 previous spread (right) Rubik Orange Kid Rubik’s cubes 2016 right Installation view of Hello My Game Is... Le Musée en Herbe Paris 2017

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Some of the players on FlashInvaders, the cellphone app I created two years ago, are “reactivating” a few of my ripped off pieces. And those greedy thieves that tried to take down the artworks reactivated them to put them on eBay. I didn’t even touched those particular tiles. It’s ridiculous! It’s a fool’s market! What keeps you motivated to keep creating positive works? Have you ever created any dark or negative aliases or pieces? Weird question... I thought everything was black or white. Good or evil is only in Star Wars movies! Fair enough. I meant that your work comes across as very playful. Were you ever interested in creating something


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left Rubik Maleficent Rubik’s cubes 2009

above LDN_147 Londres 2016


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that is maybe more serious, like a social commentary, political engagement or provocation? If you look carefully at my corpus of work, you'll find out some things which could hardly be described as very playful and light. The point is that I like to play on the contrast effects. My Bad Men series or the piece with the Twin Towers on fire, for example, they are both made of colorful toys, Rubik's cubes. When I'm doing my street invasions, I most definitely feel like an outlaw, and believe me, I'm not always welcomed! Doing some playful artwork from funny subjects is a way to balance the vandal aspect of my work. But you might be right, I could be more radical and political in my art. I guess that’s something I keep for my private life. How would you compare the challenges of invading a new city versus preparing a major museum show? I probably shouldn’t reveal this, but invading a new city is always more exciting for me than working on a new show. But the comparison is good anyway because, at the end of the day, it is more or less the same amount of work. That is why I don't do so many shows. I want to continue invading the streets of the world.

Which part of invading a city makes it so interesting, so special for you? Is it the rush of doing something illegal, adding a new city to the list, or something else? As corny as it sounds, it is the freedom to keep on writing my own story, to do what I want to, where I want to. I want to discover new cities and landscapes and leave them with my artworks for everybody to see and enjoy. What is the current body of work that you're working on? I always have something new happening in my studio. These past few years, I have made many drawings on paper. I'd like to work on canvas one day; mosaic and tiles are sometimes a nightmare because they are very heavy.

above NY_150 New York 2015 left (clockwise from top left) PA_1266 Paris 2017 LDN_144 London 2016 HK_52 Hong Kong 2014

Right, I don't recall seeing a work on canvas from you. Have you ever made one? No, I guess because I was focused on mosaic tiles, and like a famous artist from the fifteenth century, Domenico Ghirlandaio, said, “Mosaic is painting for eternity!”

Invader’s new exhibition, Hello My Game Is… is on view at Musée en Herbe in Paris through September 3, 2017.


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AMY CUTLER RELATES HER WORK TO A LOW WHISPER, YET THE sentiments should be heard loudly. In her secret world, salt-of-the-earth women work hard, solemnly powering through their fantastical chores with thankless determination. They are an amalgamation of folk traditions, illustrating contemporary experience through the lens of myriad cultural sources researched and experienced by the artist. She is a constant observer, collecting visual identities for her own studio alchemy where the witching hour is prime for her stories to ripen and unfold.


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Kristin Farr: What are your current fascinations? Amy Cutler: Opium dens and volcanos are two things that hold my interest right now. I’m interested in exploring ideas of the suspended state of numbness and the tension of eruption—very related somehow. What’s the first thing you would do if you woke up among the women you’ve been painting? I would change my clothes so that I wouldn’t stand out. They have a subtle dress code, and my contemporary clothes would be off-putting. I have a suspicion that they wouldn’t be too welcoming. What does this mean to not be welcomed in a world I created? I might need to rethink things. What would their colony be called? What is their shared purpose? They would not see themselves as a colony but as the only existing group of humans. There would be a large network, which means they would not be isolated. Maybe they would describe individual groups by region. Their shared purpose is working towards a self-sustainable utopia where there is no need for war. Pretty much the model for every dystopia. Ego always gets in the way. What do they eat? No processed food or fad diets for sure. Chocolate would be their main indulgence.

You Were Always on My Mind is about the memory of faces and the acknowledgement that our thoughts are made up by the influence of many other people’s ideas. There are many disembodied hands and eyes displayed in the background, and they make reference to a recurring dream I’ve had about misplacing both. What are some other personal secrets you’ve revealed in a veiled way? My last installation, Fossa, which is a collaboration with musician Emily Wells and hair stylist Adriana Papaleo, explored burden. I often express burden by physical weight or tension. Hair was the most prominent element in the installation—over 900 feet of braided hair. Hair reveals so much about a person’s identity. It also holds the most basic genetic information about a person’s DNA, which links them to their past and their current health. Fabric bundles or hobo sacks are also prevalent in my work and function as a symbol of transition while concealing or protecting something. Tell me more about the hair. I used hair i as a conduit of sound. I created a “legend” drawing, which shows a community of women that grow and groom their hair to use it as the primary resource in their self-sufficient community. It is aligned with an agrarian society, but removes the need for both plants

All images copyright Amy Cutler courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects New York above Saddleback Gouache on paper 30” x 22-3/4” (image size) 32-3/4” x 25-1/4” (frame size) 2002 opposite Fossa Graphite on paper 55-1/4” x 47” (sheet) 2016

Saddleback is a great representation of how hard we can make things for ourselves. The humor and metaphors in your work often feel like a sisterly wink and nod about the female experience. Why are you drawn to the metaphorical layers? A lot of my work is mined from older sketchbooks. I need ideas to ferment. Ideas seem to reach their peak ripeness at about five years. Through that distance in time, I’m able to gain perspective on my own personal experiences. This is where the layering of metaphors often enters. There is always something current that I am investigating, but it is connected to something in the past. Humor makes the scenario easier to digest. If the work was super serious and direct, it would be quite depressing and unenjoyable to make. There must be room for interpretation so that my stories are not restricted to my personal inspirations only. My hope is that they have a life of their own. An advantage to creating opened stories is that people often fill in the details with their own experiences. This is when the work starts giving back. My work is very personal, and people often offer up very personal interpretations, which are very revealing. The interpretations of the work seem more fluid. What’s an example of a metaphor for a personal experience that has shown up in your paintings? Birds have always represented the migration of thoughts, and often those birds congregate inside a head—the head being the home of thoughts. I recently made a series of heads that open up like medicine cabinets. All the contents are revealed on shelves. This comes from the need to prioritize and organize. I think a lot of my anxiety is fueled by chaos and indecision.


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and animals. I’m fascinated by communities of selfsustaining organizations. I’ve looked at many nineteenthcentury photographs of logging communities. These images are so compelling and relate so much to other infrastructures found in nature—micro and macro views of our world. Maybe that is why many images from the time of the industrial revolution captivate me. The physical mechanisms are exposed and have many parallels to things humans have no control over. Have you seen Mika Rottenberg’s Cheese video installation, with the long-haired sisters? Amazing! I love all of her work, but seeing Cheese at the Whitney Biennial blew my mind. I definitely felt a kinship to that piece. Me too! It was a decade ago but it really stuck with me. Your work has a mash-up of influences, Eastern and Western, contemporary and historic. What juxtapositions do you find yourself working with most often? As an American with no strong ties to any ancestral traditions, I am curious about other cultures, and I’m drawn to working with pre-industrial imagery because of the poetic nature of the exposed mechanics. The clothing and architecture are made by hand. Nothing is hidden in the process. I think a lot about climate change and globalization. This is where the mash-ups are justified. I live in a part of Brooklyn that has a large Bengali population. Jackfruit is always available. Just seeing this large fruit inspires so many thoughts. What is some of your other prominent source material? Memories, misunderstandings and anxiety are the most immediate source material. I write down things that pique my interest and do some research that usually leads me in different directions. I work from my imagination, but will refer to images or objects for details. Sometimes I will watch films or research images online. I do a lot of people-watching. The city and traveling has had huge influence on my work. I’m always hunting for different features. I become obsessed with certain details like the curve of a neck or the length of the exposed part of the septum. These things reappear in my work often. An excellent place to “shop” for features is on the subway. Sometimes, if I spend extended amount of time with someone, they will pop up in my work unexpectedly. Sometimes I can just walk into a local foreign foods store for inspiration. There are so many things that are interesting and spark strange narratives. The pickled goods aisle is always fascinating. I live on the tenth floor, and my neighbor who lives in a two-story, free-standing house was building a free-standing bathroom in the middle of the small, paved backyard. This is curious and could become source material. Do you feel like making art can be an out-of-body experience?

There are moments of clarity and instinct that feel uninhibited by time. These moments often come late at night, when I always tell myself not to overthink things. I guess it’s referred to as “being in the zone.” How do the personalities of your characters get revealed to you? My favorite part of starting a new piece is always painting or drawing the face of the person or animal. I’m certain their expressions are a direct reflection of my current mood. The face always leads the way to the posture, costume and ornamentation. It’s a dance. Sometimes the work will hang on my studio wall as floating heads until I can imagine what each character is trying to express.

above Celeste Gouache on Japan paper 13” x 10.5” (sheet) 2016 opposite Peddling in the Poppies Gouache on paper 21-3/4” x 15-3/4” 2016

What are your favorite textiles and what is their significance in your work? I have always worked with the figure and dressed them. It was very limiting to work from my imagination when it came


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above You Were Always On My Mind Gouache on paper 22-1/8” x 23” 2013

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right Siberian Jackfruit Gouache on paper 41-1/4” x 29” 2007


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to textiles. Everything was stripes and dots. I looked through a batik book in the early ’90s and was forever changed. A whole new world opened up to me. My palette exploded, and different cultures became very prominent in my work. Through textiles, I brought my characters into different terrains and explored many hybrid scenarios. I focused on ceremonial dress and traditional costumes. And I’ve created a variety of subtexts. It became another layer of the story. There are so many cross-cultural connections found in textiles because they travel on the backs of people as they migrate. They are loaded with history. I’ve worked with Japanese textiles a lot. I’m drawn to the themes and adaptability. I took a Shibori class a few years ago to get a better grasp on how some of the patterns are made. It’s a very interesting process.

below Temporary Theory Graphite on paper 22-1/4” x 22” 2016 opposite Remedy Gouache on paper 22-1/8” x 20-3/4” (sheet) 2014

I know Persian miniature painting is also an interest of yours. What do you like about it? Persian miniatures are like little time capsules. They’re made for an audience of one, and they only reveal themselves when you stand close enough to see everything. I’m intrigued by the scale and their sense of time and twisted perspective. Their vibrancy and detail are captivating. Have you painted murals? I would love to design a mural, but the feat of actually

painting one terrifies me. I’m in awe of artists who can translate an image into such an enormous size. Public art is an important part of society and it seems like what I do is completely opposite. The idea is very intriguing, though over-editing to appeal to the committees involved must be hard. Murals are broadcasts, and my work is more of a low whisper. I enjoy challenges that take me out of my comfort zone, so I would not turn down the opportunity. What are some challenges you’ve assigned to yourself recently? Palette restriction. While working on the hair installation, I took a break from painting, but continued to focus on graphite drawings throughout the duration of the project. Now that I am back to painting, I have to start slow. I was a little too eager to embrace color, and I threw myself into a painting that was over the top, and I hated it in the end. Lesson learned. Let’s talk about your plastic animals. I have an extensive collection. I use them as my models. Sometimes I need a quick reference on the mechanics of how their body might move. It’s ideal to be able to hold it your hand and explore different angles. Has motherhood become a topic in your work since you began that experience? It has slowly entered. Remedy is about my inability to breastfeed after an emergency c-section. It was quite a journey. Random people were quick to offer advice and warned me about the demise of my son’s well being. In the painting, the breasts hang like pendulums from the arrows that pierce their chests. This is a nod to Amazonian warriors who were said to have cut off their right breast to have better bow control. Three women on stilts line up to prescribe their remedies. It’s a very disorientating time. I’m only five years into motherhood, so I’m sure there is more to come. I have sketches that explore my cesarean delivery experience, but they haven’t made their way into a painting. I remember the doctor saying, “You will now feel like you are being stepped on by an elephant,” as a way to prepare me for the sensation of my son being born. I was not expecting that kind of prompt and am happy to report it felt nothing like that, but the anticipation was great. You paint women, and the current American administration has a painfully antiquated view on our rights. Has this climate had an effect on your work yet? I think my current investigations into numbness and volatility via opium dens and apocalyptic landscapes seem wellsuited for the current climate.

See new work from Amy Cutler at the 20th Anniversary show for Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects through August 11th, 2017.

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S IT POSSIBLE TO BE BOTH A MINIMALIST AND maximalist on the same surface? This is the sense you get when exploring the work of Dutch artist, Jeroen Erosie, who uses a clever mix of space and color to fill every inch of a sketchbook, canvas, and city wall with bright colors and shapes that are aesthetically gorgeous and gorgeously consuming. From illustration to bicycle graffiti, to murals and gallery work, Erosie has an architectural mind that has turned his whole career into what is almost a conceptual art practice. It’s abstract but direct. “I guess it means there is no fixed position,” Erosie tells me, “There's only curiosity.” Evan Pricco: First thing’s first, I loved the new mural you did in Caen, France for the Palma Festival. Coming from the graffiti world, was it weird or even challenging to start doing commissioned murals? Or was it liberating? Jeroen Erosie: Thank you! Actually, it wasn’t weird at all. There are multiple elements from graffiti where the recent murals originated, but there are two ways in which they, at least to me, are still pretty close to doing a piece, tag or throw up like I used to do. First, the fact that most of the work beforehand is done in my sketchbook, with many pages of gradual development, trying things out, finding a certain swing, and discovering while drawing. The symbols I draw still look a bit like graffiti lettering sometimes, but they could be contours, diagrams or architectural elements. They always come very direct, every square is filled with an

intuitive drawing, in a chain reaction order, almost like how I would sketch my pieces or do tags in an iterative process. This contrast between the rational grid and the intuitive forms is what intrigues me. Secondly, I have been searching for some time to find a way of working that enables me to feel the same satisfaction of doing graffiti, but without it actually fitting into what graffiti generally means. I’m looking for that joy of execution, directness, the fast, intuitive result, and the scale, among other things. From these horror vacui walls [Editor’s Note: horror vacui literally translates to “fear of the empty"] to my perfect circles or bicycles, there is always that graffiti basis but with a different touch. So it doesn't feel that different, although the result is open to much wider interpretation. In a way, it reflects my attitudes relating to graffiti. Graffiti, to me, has always been a means to develop, to discover… not an end in itself. It’s perfect timing that you just mentioned horror vacui, because I was talking to our founder, Robert Williams, about how his work has this “fear of the empty” quality to it. Have you always been that way? I guess it always fascinated me to do very detailed, elaborate work as an illustrator. And, again, graffiti can also be seen as a public, spatial horror vacui; the organic visual filling-up of space. The horror vacui themed walls I did were like a combination of these two worlds; using the line of a opposite Dérive VII Collage on wood panel 12” x 16” 2016 left Sketchbook spread 2014-15


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above (from left) Unsolicited Eroded City Cycles sticker Eindhoven, The Netherlands 2004 Horror Vacui #13 Berlin, Germany 2012

drawer and the all-out gesture of a graffiti writer. But also they reflected on the general excess in commercial visual language, touching upon the theme of “What is the point?” “What is is the meaning?” It sometimes can be a tricky thing; the more you show, the more it loses meaning or focus. The black-and-white horror vacui walls followed on the “random image generator” walls I did before that. Colorful, layered patterns of generic illustrative themes that were playing with the overall generic styles of triangles and patterns I saw everywhere—that big, fat, worldwide internet influence. I felt I had to push this for some time to get it out of my system, kind of a reactionary approach that gradually led to my more abstract, introvert work later on. You mentioned the bicycles earlier, which you do in such a way that they are like a version of a graffiti throw-up. But they also showed up in your older illustration and mural work, too. I know when we were planning to do the Juxtapoz show in Berlin, you preferred train travel as opposed to flying as an environmental practice.

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I assume the bikes function as a statement of life in the Netherlands, but also in regards to how we act as consumers? There are more bikes than people in the Netherlands, so bike riding is very normal for everybody. In traffic, the cyclist is treated as equal to a car driver. We have ultra smooth and elaborate cycling lanes just for bikes, which is a very healthy and democratic approach. The bicycle project started from riding a bike while going out tagging and then constructing and drawing bikes in general. I've been riding bikes since I was a kid, and that freedom of riding is endless and quite important to me. I felt a strong need to explore this in my art, as well, around 2001. I think it was the beginning of my artistic career because, at the time, I was just doing illustration work and commercial projects. The “bike tags” originated, again, from a need to combine the illustrator and graffiti writer in me; doing a pure line drawing and a pure tag all in one.

I thought of it as a really subtle way of being a political artist. They are not in-your-face, but more of a subconscious message to the viewer. Or maybe you just really like bikes and I’m overthinking it. The bikes were a reaction to more and more controlled urban planning in the city of Eindhoven. The city council wanted to take away all the bike parking possibilities in the city center that obstructed the flow of shoppers, something I thought was quite annoying. A city center by definition should be the place to visit by bike. I decided to put the bikes back, in a way. It was both a reactionary and a personal project. I'm amazed to see what global bicycle culture has become in the past 15 years. Every decent city in Europe, for instance, has elaborate city bike projects and bike lanes where there used to be none. Cycling is becoming bigger everywhere, and it should be. There are simply way too many cars in cities everywhere.

Where did you grow up? This could be a segue into what got you into graffiti. I grew up in the south of the Netherlands, in Eindhoven. One of the few small cities that, thanks to Phet 15, actually found a way into Henry Chalfant’s infamous Spraycan Art book in the 1980s. The city is the fifth largest in the Netherlands, and that small-town mentality probably made it an interesting place in the late 1980s and ’90s. Many people teamed up instead of competing with each other; there were many bands, DJs, producers, graffiti writers and artists all influencing and knowing each other, meeting at concerts or the many illegal parties that Eindhoven was known for.

above (clockwise from top left) Horror Vacui painting series Mixed media on canvas 2009 2 Pac or not Tupac Illustration 2007 Collaboration with HuskMitNavn Copenhagen, Denmark 2011

There was already a pretty active graffiti scene in the mid-’80s, something that I noticed as a young kid. The bold shapes, characters and colors were everywhere and I loved it. It wasn't until maybe 1992 or 1993 that I actually started graffiti myself, after the first big wave of writing, and just about in the middle of the more hardcore train


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and Amsterdam subway bombing. I enjoyed that scene, but wasn't specifically part of. It was such a vibrant time; musically and visually, everything felt like a discovery. Compared to now, it seemed almost like the opposite. There were very limited reference points. Next to having MTV as a big source of information, or the one or two radio shows you had to listen to and tape every week, everything was physical instead of virtual. Going to different cities to see local graffiti in real life and taking pictures, getting your hands on that specific book or magazine (I still have the early Juxtapoz magazines that were only available in one or two shops in the country), finding that one cherished record in a shop, meeting that one person in a hall of fame that you ended up knowing half your life. The mid-’90s was the time of experimenting, mixing things up: trip-hop, jungle, drum and bass, IDM, house,

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techno, grunge, gabber… things were just happening. I guess this was reflected in the stuff we were doing: not sticking to one theme but having an open mind in allowing different influences. In Eindhoven, we had a nice mix of people moving around in different scenes back then, mostly graffiti writers with a curious attitude like the people of Betamaxxx, Space3 and SOL crew, amongst others. We had a blast. What's the culture like in Eindhoven now? I split my time between Rotterdam and Eindhoven mostly, as well as doing projects abroad. Both cities have a similar past; both cities were bombed severely in WWII, and both cities dealt with the lack of a picturesque city center differently. Eindhoven has become, like many other smaller cities, a more gentrified, controlled place. It has lost a bit of its character, that bottom-up mentality. City marketing by advertising agencies with slogans replaced a true creative


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heart. I guess times changed. Luckily, it's still a place of great people doing great things, which is the most important city quality anyway. I have been going to more and more street art festivals in recent years, and for you, who has been involved in street culture for longer than the term "street art" has been used, were you surprised when you began to see just how global and popular all this became? I never expected to ever be doing what I do now when this all started for me in the 1990s. Of course this street art movement is linked to constant development in counterculture; from Provo/Nozem youth culture or the Situationist movement in the 1950s and ’60s, to protest punk culture or social struggles that developed into graffiti in the ’70s’and ’80s, to street art in the ’90s and 2000s, or internet culture as we know it today. I guess the impact of the internet shaped street art much more than the actual streets it was happening on. Before the internet, it was still much more of a real life and elusive experience.

below CityLeaks Festival Cologne, Germany 2015

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That internet impact started for me around 2004 with Fotolog, an early HTML Facebook-type photo-sharing webpage. Suddenly you saw stuff from, let's say Barcelona or São Paulo, on a daily basis. It was all reduced to pictures, not experiences, day in and day out. It offered an amazing insight into so many lives, although you never

met these people for real. It was very addictive, though you were only supposed to post one picture a day. It was a completely new way of communication. It made me realize how big the impact of internet would be on our lives, how much it would eventually shape our shared visual consciousness, how quickly it would make the world smaller. Street art seems to have become the love child of graffiti and the internet, a subcultural hyper-reality. Think about how many more people know Banksy's work than actually saw his pieces in real life? The JPEG became the work, not the stencils in the alleys of London. Personally, I always had a bit of a bittersweet relationship with the term "street art." It seems that since the term exists, it became a reason to make a certain type of work, or to pigeonhole a certain type of work, instead of making personally motivated work and see where it fits afterward— or to just not care about its label at all. The term itself became way more important than what it could stand for. In fact, it could mean anything nowadays. A label will never replace a personal signature or development. To me, that's all that matters. Simultaneously, apart from the terminology, I see a super powerful global movement, reaching so many people, giving so many people a voice, pushing so many boundaries by so many artists, splintering and redefining genres again and again. I guess every period has a certain momentum that is

expressed through a specific type of art, leaving traces of human interaction and personal perception that define that era. The past decades saw a big impact from graffiti, street art, post-graffiti, or whatever the name is. That impact on many levels is the most important, not how it's labeled. You did illustration as a job, you went to art university, you did graffiti, and all of this set you up to be a unique voice, experimenting with the ways that all different kinds of art can interact. Do you remember when you started finding your voice? I never really got too comfortable in that sense. I went to the Willem de Kooning art school in Rotterdam in 1995, did an exchange at SVA in New York in 1997, graduated in 1999. At the time, I was already keeping my street-related work separate from art school, allowing me to switch between the different worlds. Being a full-time illustrator in the early 2000s didn't completely satisfy me. The things that were happening in the streets of many cities in Europe were much more interesting to me, this logo and symbol-based graffiti that was part graphic design, part illustration, part art and yet none of these things at the same time was what I was attracted to. Stickers, silkscreen posters, riso prints, stencils, rollers, exactly this undefinable genre mix was the power.

This started already around 1996, and from around 2004 on, I remember this being called "street art" more and more. It started to appear in commercials, on backpacks, in ads. Around 2002, I was in my transitional phase, going from being an illustrator to a more free visual artist, experimenting with different approaches. In this period, I did many of my bicycle drawings and other transitory illustrative and typographic projects, steadily leading to a more abstract visual language at the end of that decade.

above (from left) Current Mood II Mixed media on canvas 39” x 47” 2017 Dérive VI Mixed media on canvas 63” x 75” 2016

I guess I had several phases in the past 20 years that were more or less definable as a signature style, but I think I was generally too curious to really stick to a specific approach for too long. I felt there were already many people doing this one specific style, especially in the street art context. I am more interested in researching possibilities than a final, definitive outcome. I always thought that sticking to a signature style was something for later, so perhaps that's where I am at now. Who knows?

Jeroen Erosie is part of What In the World: The Juxtapoz Edition at Urban Nation in Berlin, on view through June 2017.


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ON AN UNCHARACTERISTICALLY HOT MAY AFTERNOON in Oakland, California, I visited Cate White at the home and studio spaces she shares with her partner, Rory, who appears in the majority of her paintings. Charismatic, deeply introspective and welcoming, Cate’s possesses those qualities we value in those in our lives. We conversed on a multitude of topics ranging from gentrification, the feeling of being an outsider, elitism, coffee addiction, fluorescent paint palettes and Oakland police sex scandals. A little about art, a lot about everything else. The rest of our banter is detailed here, a similar dialogue, with a little more about art.

below Dre Looking at Me Looking at the Mike Brown Memorial Acrylic on canvas 72” x 60” 2015

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Austin McManus: You grew up on the California coast in Mendocino County, then predominantly around the Bay Area and have now been in Oakland for a while. Living in Oakland must be drastically different from life in Mendocino.

Cate White: I actually grew up in inland Mendocino County on a ridge above Anderson Valley. I make the distinction because the inland culture is way different than the coast, as in way more redneck than hippie. I wore Wranglers and rode around in jacked up 4x4s, and I didn’t quit chewing Copenhagen ‘til I was 33. I lived on the coast in my 20s, moved to San Francisco at 30, and have lived in the same spot in the 'hood in Oakland for the last eight years. I never felt at home living in the Bay Area until I moved to Oakland— the 'hood actually felt very familiar. It’s the closest thing I found down there to the way I grew up, so it’s not as different as you might think. It’s a class thing, I guess. So, what I like most about it are the friends I’ve made, especially Rory, who figures hugely in my art and my life. Living so up-close to the struggle with the people I spend my time with expanded my consciousness and shed light on why I could never get excited about the comforts, pastimes and security available

to me as a college-educated white person. Those things are too removed from real-life suffering for them to have meaning for me. So my social world in the 'hood made me understand the nagging feeling I’ve always had that something isn’t right. I always thought it was because I was a fuck-up, but I came to know that it was because something really isn’t right. Is it true you didn’t start painting until you were 30-years old? Yeah, it's true. Like I said, I was kind of a fuck-up ‘til then. Painting pretty much saved me. Where you live in West Oakland has seen significant change in the last few years. What have you noticed about the community at large? White people jogging. It's a disgrace. But seriously, gentrification is such an insult on top of the injury of being ghettoized in the first place. All the expected shitty things: people being evicted, closing of the recycling center ‘cuz rich people don't want to have to see poverty, noise complaints about churches that have been there for decades. It's so painful to watch. A new solo exhibition in San Francisco is on the horizon for you. Tell me a little about this new body of work and what most excites you about it? It consists of some work I did at the Roswell Artist-inResidence program and the work I’ve done here since I got back in November. I’m just excited to see my work evolving so fast. I struggled along in the Bay Area for 15 years, trying to keep painting and make money to eat. So being given some support—first from The Headlands Center and then in Roswell—has let me be more ambitious in what I can pull off. I can approach a painting for the long haul instead of trying to get something out in sporadic bursts between working for money. They've gotten way bigger in scale and I’m able to spend more time on refining details, while still retaining the raw, messy quality—that won’t change. Content-wise, I’m excited to see nature enter into the mix. I never knew how to paint nature without it looking Bob Ross-ish, but all this time being in nature, in Roswell and now working a lot up at a shack I’m renting on the Mendo coast, has helped me figure out how to paint nature the way I feel it, a chaotic, psychedelic, healing life-force. This show coming up at Guerrero Gallery is merging the gray-trashy-urban vibe with a crazy-fluorescent-nature one, and finding the nature in the 'hood in the form of life-force imagery and hedged shrubs. And there's some 'hood in nature, too, like Rory in the outdoor shower. Tell me more about your yearlong residency in Roswell, New Mexico. I visited Roswell once, for a day, which, by chance, was the date of the State Fair. It was a very bizarre experience. What’s your personal take on Roswell, and how did you spend your time? Roswell made me all nostalgic for my redneck youth, listening to the old timers in their hick accents talk about heavy machinery at the bar. I rode around with a cowboy and had my first chew of Copenhagen in ten years and shot his guns into a sand dune. There were Trump signs everywhere, but the guys at the computer repair shop liked Bernie. Actually, a lot of the Trump voters I met liked Bernie. I did past-life

regressions with a psychic lady in her trailer on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere and found out why Rory and I are so bonded—past life shit. Rory came to visit and I made a painting of us in a cliff-dwelling with our past-life child selves in there with us. I still need to make the painting of him shaking hands with an alien at the alien museum. It was just as bizarre as the rest of my life, but productive. You can’t

above Country Lyfe Acrylic, house paint and glitter on canvas 48” x 72” 2017


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go wrong with being set up for a year in a house with your own studio and money for basics. Plus, the other residents were such good artists and fun people, and I don’t usually like many artists or people. It also made me realize how badly I need to have breaks from the city. So, as soon as I got back, I rented a little shack from some friends up on the Mendo Coast and this angel man came along and built me a studio, so I’m splitting my time between Mendo and Oakland. Rory and I are sharing the Oakland house, so I have a little studio room for when I’m down there. One painting I’m really interested in of yours is the one of you naked, glowing phone in hand, at the Mike Brown memorial. I know this painting was inspired by a visit to Ferguson, Missouri, but can you give me some additional context to this piece and to the Both on Earth series as a whole?

After Darren Wilson wasn’t indicted for killing Mike Brown, I, like so many of us, was feeling enraged and powerless. This is when I was at The Headlands on the Tournesol Award, so my job was to make paintings for the show at the Luggage Store. I wanted to respond somehow with painting, but didn’t want to make an obvious “racism is bad” painting, which everybody who’s gonna see my work already knows and agrees with. So I decided to go there to see what new thing I could learn—about the situation and about myself. I stayed with Wanda, a lady who lives there, and made a painting of us in her kitchen called Wanda Describing a Painting She Thinks I Should Make. I met this guy, Dre. We hung out for a few days, and he showed me around and told me about what it’s like to live there. When he took me to the Mike Brown memorial and parked the car, I saw all these white people driving by, taking pictures with their phones.


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He asked me if I was gonna go out and take a picture. I had been taking pictures the whole time for painting ideas, and was, like, “This seems wrong, like I don’t want to be a death tourist.” And he said, “No, go ahead and take the pictures. Put it on Facebook. Make a painting. People need to see this.” So I did, and that painting depicts that moment with all its confusion about gazes and power. I want people to have to dig deeper into themselves when thinking about the power dynamics involved in race, class, injustice and all those things we are all implicated in. A lot of my work asks this of the viewer. As a white artist depicting black bodies (among many other things, though race is a major topic of conversation), I’ve found that the conversation around race and representation in the streets is often in conflict with the conversation among educated art world people. Since conversations about power that don’t include the so-called powerless are incomplete, I want to call attention to this disconnect. I am having these conversations in both worlds, Both on Earth reflects my experience. One of those paintings, Christmas Prison Visit, depicts just that, with a friend locked up in Louisiana on

an extreme 40-year sentence for stealing some money, railroaded by a corrupt DA and judge. I’m ecstatic to say that he will walk free at the end of this month. All he needed was a lawyer and some money to pay her. I found one and did a GoFundMe, and for $2500, he will be free after serving 17 years instead of the full 40. So, a lot of the works in that show were pretty specific narratives of situations I wanted people to know about and talk about. And then the next step is to do something about it, which people did by donating to the lawyer fund. There were also paintings of imagined characters dealing with various human fears and struggles, which is the substrate that culture is built upon. To understand how cultural forces work, we have to first look at how they work in us. There was a lot of "boths" in that show: internal and external, cultural and personal, imagined and real, black and white, joy and despair, rough and refined.

above Me and Rory Talking About Painting Acrylic, house paint, spray paint and glitter on unstretched canvas 73” x 48” 2016

You were quoted somewhere saying “counter the cultural trance of normal,” which really resonated with me. I don't think I have anything to add to that other than I think that the more honest we are about how we really feel, the more this trance is broken.


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below Rory and His Mother and His Z Acrylic, house paint, glitter and fluorescent pen on canvas 80” x 60” 2017

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I know you’ve been criticized in various ways for your approach to subjects like race and class. What are some of the misconceptions people have about your work? The main misconception is that I’m on the outside looking in on a marginalized community and representing people without their input. Going back to “countering the cultural trance of normal,” I think it's hard for some people to comprehend a college-educated white person being part of the 'hood community in real way—this isn't seen as possible or normal. But it’s normal for me and everyone involved in my painting project. I have various methods for conveying the close nature of our relationships in the work, such as including pieces that depict our private, domestic conversations. But sometimes people miss that, and all they see is black bodies and their own projections about them. I am consciously challenging these projections by making these paintings as personal and intimate as I can, hoping that people can see each other as individuals in addition to our skin colors, and maybe ask why it’s such a stretch to think that black people could have a real and equal friendship with a white person not

from the 'hood. Of course, being white and college-educated gives me a leg up in many ways that my friends don’t share, but part of what we’re doing is using my access to share the stories we create together. Occasionally I've also heard the fear that by having black people in my work, I'm taking opportunities from POC artists—like that's their social relevancy coin to use. I understand this concern and I have it too. I've considered only painting white people, but that would exclude about 70 percent of my reality, and I feel like that would be caving in to the cultural expectation to maintain segregated social roles. What I know I can do is to try to uplift other artists and to name these concerns outright so that they're out in the open where they can be addressed. How was your experience as an artist in residence in the Marin Headlands? Everyone I know who has had the opportunity to go to The Headlands Center for the Arts has spoken so highly of it.

It was great. Having the time and space to work without having to hustle so hard was just what my work needed to go to the next level. I will be forever grateful for that award. Right when I got it, I was about to give up on an art career and go back to school for something I could make money at. Well, I’m glad that didn’t happen! What was that “something” going to be, do you think? I was thinking some kind of counseling. I have to have honest conversations about real things one way or another. I'm glad it's happening with the painting. How do you like to spend your time when not doodling or painting? Honestly, I'm a very anxious person who has a hard time enjoying things. I go on solo backpacking trips in the wilderness to clear my mind. I can read for a whole day. I'm kind of a workaholic, but I admit I have a problem and I'm trying to change. Can you recall the last time you saw a piece of art that really resonated and touched you?

Honestly, I have a really hard time being touched by art. I'm much more touched by things in life, like visual stimulation and human interactions. I look at art more like a craftsperson, like what can I learn that I can apply in my own work. What has been your biggest fear with pursuing art as a career? That nobody would value what I have to share.

above (from left) Christmas Prison Visit Acrylic on wood panel 36” x 48” 2015 Can You Feel His Soul Acrylic and house paint on canvas 18” x 24” 2017

And what would you ultimately like your audience to take away from your work? Whatever will help them become more aware of their blind spots, more compassionate and human. It's different for different people. Some need to have the feeling of not being so alone in the world. Some need to be provoked out of their power-serving beliefs. I hope that my work can "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted."

Cate White new exhibition, Hello Cruel World, is on view through June 3, 2017 at Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco.


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below Miami, Florida 2015

AT ITS BEST, ART IS A GAME OF SUBTLETY AND nuance, discrete and elusive, ideally left to masters who can strike that precarious balance between the literal and the poetic, between truth and its shadowy fiction. But then there comes along a bold and belligerent bomb-thrower who says “fuck you” to understatement and ambivalence, who doesn’t dance around meaning, message and emotion like some magical sprite but springs to action and just plows through the possibilities of painting like some raging bull in a ceramic-choked craft barn. Tristan Eaton is just such a monster artist, supremely skilled and terrifyingly creative, a blast force of nature so ambitious and audacious in his work that you don’t just step back to take it all in, you cower.

opposite The Son Spray paint on wood 48” x 96” 2015

At some point, our culture will have to take a fair reckoning of what this muralist movement means, both in terms of its place along a legacy of powerful and moneyed patronage,

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and in regards to its dubious relationship with the forces of real estate and urban development. However art must cozy up to its benefactors, what will be most evident about this time is that an evolution in artist tools and skills allowed the city to become a canvas on both a global and monumental scale previously unimaginable. Then, perhaps, long after the blur of incessant street art festivals around the world and endless digital stream of eye-candy diminishes, when maybe even the startling newness of this moment comes to seem passé, we will recognize the very few who truly dominated the genre, and Tristan Eaton will surely be at the top of that list. If there is a caveat about Eaton’s art it is that somehow it is too easy, like he is some hyper rendering machine. Indeed, he’s so good at what he does, that it does look a bit easy, but what is seemingly effortless is the culmination of one

of the most doggedly determined studio practices I have ever witnessed; and none of that was ever easy along the way. Nor should we, especially in considering the rebellious potency of Tristan’s latest work, confuse easy with facile. Complexity is woven into Eaton’s visual spectacle, playful and seductive as all appearances allow, grounding the bold bravura and daring pictorial ruptures seamlessly, reassembling with a deftly inquisitive imagination and a meticulous craft. In terms of public space, as he has in the past with a dizzyingly diverse array of commercial work, Tristan Eaton gets away with murder, breaking the formal rules of art and design with the same smart-ass grace with which he subverts visual language. Rooted in a kind of hip hop swagger and hardcore aggression, Eaton’s paintings make the impossible, balls-out leap to culture’s biggest stages as if they were some wanker arena rock band. But for anyone who ever wants to know how the hell he got this good at what he does, it’s worth retracing some of the history to see how his adeptness and virtuosity comes from the same dumb-ass energy of fools spitting out rhymes on street corners or punks making noise in a garage. And while most every artist you meet somehow thinks his or her life story is unique, revelatory and fascinating, Eaton’s backstory is actually utterly mind-blowing. Scattered across different cities and cultures, and punctuated by wildly assorted jobs and myriad personal and family situations, his art today speaks to the dislocation and fragmentation of his life, working to piece together the shards of his unlikely experiences. To begin, we find him living and working now, in Los Angeles, something of an odd and overdue homecoming, since he was actually born on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Rather too real and in-your-face to be of a Southern California upbringing, his circuitous journey begins early when his parents bundle up all the family in the middle of the night to leave home without warning. If it sounds like some twist in a cult religion tale, it is—his parents were Scientologists. So deep were they into that nonsense scam, in fact, that Tristan’s dad was busy producing a movie for L. Ron Hubbard, and as Eaton recalls, “The movie deal went south, so we pretty much fled for our lives.” Their escape hideout turned out to be the farmhouse of his mom’s cousin in the south of Wales, suiting the young Eaton boys in the way that rural boredom is supposed to be healthy for kids but rarely is unless you like buggering sheep. Eventually, Mom found work as an actress in the theaters of London’s West End, and Dad managed to open a blues restaurant called the Lazy River, so off to London they went. As the family struggled financially, Tristan and his brother Matt (an amazing artist in his own right) made their own problems as hoodlum skaters and petty thieves, and sometime after multiple arrests and business failures, it was time to move again. Tristan’s father, who had deep family roots in the Michigan newspaper industry, managed to finagle an advertising manager’s job up in hillbilly Northern Michigan, where the young artist was able to add a healthy dose of hippie counterculture and psychedelics to his personal cultural stew.


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“HOWEVER, THERE WERE A COUPLE DANGEROUS HIGH-SPEED TURNS ALONG THE WAY.” above (from left) The Psychic Spray paint on canvas 24” x 36” 2015 Peace By Peace #2 Spray paint on canvas 36” x 48” 2015

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When opportunity opened for that great, beautiful failure of urbanism called Detroit, Tristan Eaton found his first true home in a city with which he fell madly in love. Finishing up high school there and subsequently enrolling in the the College for Creative Studies, Eaton got busy, creating his own comic book characters, giving graffiti a shot, working as a teenage illustrator for the local press, creating an endless stream of concert, rave and techno flyers for the local music scene, and even designing toys for Fisher Price. It was in that scene, at the grand opening of a game-changing gallery called C-Pop, that I first met Eaton. Though his friends and mentors in the local art community like Glenn Barr, Mark Dancey and Niagara inevitably treated him like a very

talented but impossibly annoying bratty younger sibling, no one doubted that the kid was going places. For a young artist in the late ’90s, that meant New York City. Well, NYC is tough in ways that the roughest aspects of Detroit, London and Los Angeles don’t quite parallel. A land of immense opportunity, it’s really a career meat-grinder that beats you up until you learn to love the pain. After quickly failing out of the School of Visual Arts, Eaton made a bareknuckle living painting motorcycles for acid, mastering that genre, while trying to scrape together some modicum of momentum as a freelance illustrator. Looking back, Tristan realizes the “false security and arrogance” built up from his

Motor City successes granted him the bravado of Big Apple dreams, and sure enough, he hit pay-dirt in the new millennium when he designed the Dunny for a then-fledgling artist toy company called Kidrobot. Success came fast and furious, not simply by accruing more design gigs, but in emerging as a major force in a new kind of industry called creative branding. Eaton’s clients over the next dozen years are too lengthy a roster to list, but amidst all the major sneaker companies, record labels, TV stations and the like, he still seems most proud of the three posters he did for President Obama for his 2008 Vote for Change campaign, worthy companions to friend Shepard Fairey’s Hope posters. Faith does not pay, but this might be the highlight, despite so much other really famous work, and could be, in part, because it was for the best of clients. Eaton relates, that unlike so many of the rest of us during that time, “I loved to go out as a graffiti artist and bomb the city, but I had to run Thunderdog Studios, the big artist branding company I founded—I felt I had to provide for my parents and I was running from poverty.”

Tristan Eaton has tried a lot over these years, and he accomplished an amazing amount in that time. If there was one thing he never managed in all of this, however, it was really being himself as an artist. Look at what could be argued to be his singular signature work in these pages— the very fact that we see a massive and messy plurality is a testament to the process he undertook to come to get here. This style of painting, a kind of super-sized collage of elements that seemingly owe as much to the late, great Jim Rosenquist’s formalist emphasis on the mundane as to his own manic need for fantastic invention, is, in fact, the culmination of a lifetime’s work across all manner of representation. How he came, deliriously, to put it all together in such dynamic fashion is likely the kind of genius that became pure luck, and there’s no point in asking him how he arrived at this because likely he wouldn’t even know himself. However, there were a couple dangerous highspeed turns along the way.

above Rebel Roots Commissioned by Rebel8 Los Angeles, California 2016


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The first radical step Tristan Eaton took in veering off his immensely successful commercial practice was something of a stupid hoax motivated by the heart of an angry philosopher. Trustocorp, a massive campaign of off-kilter street signs, billboards, mock products and situational advertising launched simultaneously in cities across America, was like the discrete interventions of street art amped up by the branding strategies of multinational consumer capitalism. Like a flurry of idiosyncratic zen koans meant to riddle the doubt lying within our façade of certainty, Trustocorp was a kind of word art which Tristan acknowledges was about letting “(my) ideas live or die on their own without my personality… finding a way to put out a message in a place where people automatically trust it.” The other detour was as common and it is predictable, Tristan was lured back to the land of his birth by the bad promise of working for the mightiest mouse, the corporate spawn of Walt Disney. Yes, the chump actually went to LA to do a Disney cartoon, and like so many great artists from Salvador Dalí to Kenny Scharf, it got made and never seen. Broke, and nearly broken, Eaton disbanded his design empire, got back to living like a starving artist and, with nothing else to lose, decided to do the one thing he had always wanted to do: make his own art. In full disclosure, I’ve kind of always liked Tristan’s family a lot more than I like him, so when he tells me of his tenure running a studio, “I have to do something to know that I don’t want to do it,” I can’t help but think of his late father and the ways in which he, too, would understand, feeling pride being successful in his own right, making money on his own art. And this is where Tristan Eaton’s art can be so flippant, sarcastic and even silly while possessing real heart. “I felt trapped. I had so much I wanted to say, between the design studio and the street, and I didn’t know how to get it out.” This, then, is what we have as a style of “everything I want to paint,” the cohesion of a pathological creative-schizophrenia in what he described to us as, “a bold graphic work inspired by advertising, painting, graffiti, conceptual art and a lifetime love of comics.” As Tristan prepares to enter Paris for a major show and public mural project with Galerie Itinerrance in June, his work reminds us most dearly of how the revolution can, indeed, be sexy. “The anonymity of Trusto allowed me to be outrageously critical of the world,” he admits, and now, as so many others who have come to feel so strongly about the direction our world is taking, he is feeding a full historical menu of dissent, with “acts of protest and resistance, including the Haiti slave revolt, the Arab spring, Black Panthers, Vietnam War protests, female French resistance fighters, Detroit riots, etc.” All this goes into his recombinative blender, where differences find commonality in a marvelous mélange that somehow approximates that most elusive of all subjects, truth.

Tristan Eaton’s solo show at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris opens June 7, 2017.

opposite Big City of Dreams Curated by The Lisa Project New York, New York 2015 Photo by Joe Russo

above White Collar Power Spray paint on canvas 42” x 72” 2016


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WHERE WE’RE HEADED Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg @ Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago June 6–September 24, 2017 //

Imagine the myriad inspirations for the title of Takashi Murakami’s new blockbuster retrospective, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, but don’t count on getting a definable answer from the artist himself. Like an octopus busy operating with eight arms, this artist is busy with multiple endeavors at any given time (eight off the top of our heads include artist, curator, gallerist, filmmaker, designer, collector, sculptor, animator). And we’re sure this octopus is busy juggling and managing what is one of the most prolific contemporary art careers of the last 50 years. Funny thing is, Takashi, our co-curator for 2016’s Juxtapoz x Superflat only minimally acknowledged his artistic impact and cultural milestones when we spoke prior to his exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, which opens June 6th. “I have no feeling of pride,” Murakami says when we asked him about looking back on the work in The Octopus. “That's why I chose this title. I am actually embarrassed by my artistic expressions.” The show, arranged and curated by MCA’s Michael Darling, features over 30 years of work that spans Murakami’s career, including some from his early days being shown in North America for the first time. “This exhibition is an effort to shed light on the seriousness of Takashi’s practice and some of the things that have motivated him during his career so far,” says Darling. “I think my job is to show what a good artist he is at his core.”

Larry Sultan: Here and Home @ SFMOMA Through July 23, 2017 //

Picture Mom and Dad at a country club party, porn actresses taking a break by the swimming pool, and weary immigrants from Central America making their way to the Promised Land. Photographer Larry Sultan pays homage to such everyday scenes, and he’s currently being honored at SFMOMA. Here and Home contains work from multiple periods of Sultan’s life, focusing on four series: Evidence, Pictures from Home, The Valley and Homeland. A master of staged and documentary work, Sultan often blurred the lines between both styles as he examined reality, fantasy and displacement. Domestic, suburban and roadside scenes provoke surprise and conversation. Although born in Brooklyn and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Larry Sultan’s Here and Home is, indeed, right at home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived and work for most of his life.

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Andrea Joyce Heimer: Storied @ Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NYC Through June 25, 2017 //

“When I get an idea for a painting, it typically comes to me in word form first,” says Andrea Joyce Heimer. The reason the topic of words came into our conversation with Heimer are her brilliant painting titles. For example, from her new exhibition, Storied, at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in NYC, there is a work titled, A Long Time Ago In Great Falls Montana Where I'm From The Mariana UFO Incident Occurred In Which Three Silver Disks Burned Across The Sky Over A Baseball Diamond And Resulted In The First Video Footage Ever Taken Of UFO Activity And I Still Get The Shakes Thinking About It, The Disks And The Craned Necks And The Dusty August Day. “I was a writer before I made any serious attempts at painting,” Heimer notes. “Sometimes the result is poetic and long. other times nothing comes other than a truncated bit of the story. Either way, the visuals come after.” The connection makes perfect sense. Heimer’s visuals match her storytelling process, as each painting appears like a scene from a play, a narrative frozen in time.

Alex Garant: Proprioception @ Haven Gallery, Northpoint, NY June 24–July 30th 2017 //

We love the challenge provided by optical illusions in artwork, and could stare at a masterful Bridget Riley painting at the Tate Modern for hours. But we admittedly got zoned and bugged out by a recent session with a painting by Alex Garant. The Toronto-based painter is set to open a new body of work, Proprioception, at Haven Art Gallery in Northpoint, New York, with the same subtle yet visually intense process that has become her signature. “What first drew me to Garant's work was her extraordinary play on portraiture,” says Erica Berkowitz, co-owner of Haven, “She takes traditional poses from history and laces in contemporary styles of design and color making her work both timeless and current simultaneously. I’ve always had a love for the work of old masters. With portrait artists like Garant, modern and contemporary elements intermingle, allowing a more relevant connection for myself and her viewers.” Haven will also play host to Annie Stegg Gerard’s Halycon Garden during the same run as Garant, another accomplished painter with lush figurative instincts.

Over the Top: Math Bass & The Imperial Court SF @ Oakland Museum of California Through July 23, 2017 //

Founded in 1965 by José Julio Sarria, the Imperial Court has created its own inventive universe of customs and histories, electing annual monarchs and spearheading “charitable fundraising efforts for the alternative society, whose core supporters are drag queens and other members of the LGBTQ community.” The relics of this history, alongside the stunningly abstract works of LA-based Math Bass, emphasize the idea of invention and new symbolism in contemporary art. “Talking with the queens (from the Imperial Court), I was often reminded that the word queer evokes strong feelings for many people,” Math Bass writes. “These feelings are split roughly across a generational divide. It was long used as a slur or an insult and carries bad memories for many. A younger generation has flipped and embraced it as a fluid and open term. The word itself has been queered and reoriented.”


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HOW TO BECOME A BIG-ASS SWEETIE PIE THE FIRST TIME I MET SKINNER, I WAS A BIT NERVOUS. Kinda dumb, but based on his imagery, I assumed he might be somewhat of a menacing character. I was totally wrong; he was really kind, open and funny. Michael Sieben: Have you always been such a sunny guy, or have you received some sort of spiritual healing or awakening along the way? Skinner: You can't always judge a person by their art. Chet Zar makes creepy and dark paintings, but he's a saint, very wise and spiritually lovely. Thomas Kinkade painted little dreamy cottages and stuff but was a super miserable guy and peed on stuff in public -things like that-so you never really know who’s behind the art. I've been super misanthropic, bratty, selfabsorbed and depressed but couldn't take it anymore so dove headlong into changing my life. My wife has been incredible about encouraging me. Making changes, growing and opening up to progressing as a person is a lifelong pursuit. You really have to want to put the work into it and recognize your own patterns and resistance along the way. I really love your Instagram videos. What made you turn the camera on yourself? I'm surprised at how much people like them, but it makes me happy. Everyone should do it. Once I stopped taking myself so seriously, I felt free to really go to weird places where I may look bizarre or dumb, and I just stopped caring

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and started laughing. It's very indulgent and it feels very electrifying to put yourself in a position where you have to rely on yourself doing something funny in the moment. What's the gnarliest thing you've ever painted? Since gnarly is a cool-ass skateboard-type term, I would say the recent designs for Creature skateboards. They're like cosmic horror illustrations and I feel like they could be seen as gnarly. Have you ever had an idea that was too gross or dark to paint? No, but my friend is a nurse at a hospital and he told me that a weird tweaker guy came in and had to have a few dimes removed from his dick hole. What's the funniest comment you've ever received from somebody offended by your work? Dude, I had a grandpa guy say something, like, "This is art nowadays? This is shit! The boys in my barracks in WWII could draw better than this, and we were at war!" What are you working on right now that you're excited about? A Necronomicon pop-up book and a weird-ass YouTube show for Super Deluxe called Drawing With Skinner! It's very fun and it indulges my urge to socialize and be bizarre. It's like Pee-wee's Playhouse and Bob Ross with a lil' Wayne's World thrown in.

above Skinner Megagod Eternus Cel vinyl, airbrush, inks 24”x36” 2016




LARRY SULTAN: PICTURES FROM HOME “I wake up in the middle of the night, stunned and anguished. These are my parents. From that simple fact, everything follows.” Simple and perhaps most voyeuristic in process, Larry Sultan’s landmark Pictures From Home series, originally published in 1992 and newly repackaged by MACK Books, was among the most critically acclaimed of the photographer often labeled “King of Color Photography.” As intimate as this experience is, flipping through the pages and reading Sultan’s reflections about documenting his parents, this is more than just a personal exploration, but feels like the story of a specific era of America. Shot from 1983–1992 in Southern California, there is that singular kind of fantasy backdrop that only SoCal can provide, where the artificial boundary between staged life and real life is so blurred. Are Sultan’s parents actors or a living, breathing mom and dad? After immersing myself in the book for a few days, I find Pictures From Home to not only be a story of one man’s relationship to home and family, but a cryptic stageset where Irving and Jean Sultan become the story of an entire generation of America. An excellent, must-have reissue. —EP MACK,

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LONELY PLANET: STREET ART Finally—and I mean this sincerely—finally, there is a compilation of street art for tourists. Because if you are an art fan, and the chances are great if you’re thumbing through an issue of Juxtapoz, you want to know where to find good street art, graffiti and murals visiting a new city. Whether Berlin, San Francisco, Istanbul, or even the Nuart Festival in Norway, the Lonely Planet guide to street art identifies the where, what, why, and perhaps even a little bit of history. “It’s hard to find a city that doesn’t have some kind of organized mural program,” says artist Remi Rough in the guide’s foreword, “Purists might argue that street art has all gone a bit ‘mainstream,’ but it has become an intrinsic part of the cultural fabric of our cities.” Count me as an old purist who’s come around. I enjoy knowing the story, discovering murals, and exploring a city through art. With a mixture of interviews and city profiles along with a look at international festivals, Lonely Planet’s Street Art is a solid starting point for anyone about to go exploring. —EP Lonely Planet,

O GLORIOUS CITY: A LOVE LETTER TO SAN FRANCISCO BY JEREMY FISH There may not be an artist on Earth who embraces and embodies the the fabric of San Francisco quite like Jeremy Fish. From his studio in North Beach, Fish has adopted a folkloric storytelling method that weaves the historic and unique. When Fish was commissioned to create 100 new works of art as part of SF City Hall’s 100th birthday, he transformed himself into an artist in residence and got to work. The results became this collection of black-and-white drawings, O Glorious City: A Love Letter to San Francisco, documenting the legendary figures and landmarks, including his own list of unofficial mayors of the City by the Bay. Immersed in the skate and art cultures of SF for going on two decades, Fish embeds each blackand-white drawing with a signature ornate illustrative style that has made him an iconic artist. “Part of my motivation to do so much San Francisco-based artwork is to pay her back for all the great opportunities I’ve had that have changed my life,” Fish explains in the book’s introduction. One hundred drawings later, this is a proper thank you, indeed. —EP Chronicle Books,

















1 | Actor, comedian, musician and Portlandia star Fred Armisen said hello to Joe Coleman at the opening of Doorway to Joe at Cal State, Fullerton.

3 | Group hangout. Juxtapoz’s Evan Pricco, FWMoA President Charles Shepard, Thinkspace’s Andrew Hosner, Robert and Suzanne Williams, Copro Gallery’s Gary Pressman, art critic Carlo McCormick, and FWMoA curator Josef Zimmerman at the opening of Williams’s Slang Aesthetics! and accompanying group show, Juxtapozed.

2 | Art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch, who showed Joe’s work at the standout Unrealism show during Miami Basel week back in 2015, pays his respect to Brooklyn-based Coleman.

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4 | Maybe they will start a band? Robert Williams with artists in Juxtapozed, Alice Lepetit, Cinta Vidal and Laurence Vallières. 5 | Kazuhiro Tsuji stands proud next to his newest mind-boggling sculpture work, this time an ode to the great R. Crumb as part of the Juxtapozed group show. 6 | Grab a seat! Robert Williams had kids and adults lining up all weekend for signings, chats and from what we can tell, hero worship.

Photography by Lucas Celler (1–2) and FWMoA (3–6).






SOHO ARTS CLUB, NYC 1 | The adidas Showcase came back to NYC in April, featuring another group of talented, up-and-coming artists from the world of skateboarding. Jamie O’Brien makes some last minute adjustments to his photos.





2 | Joshua Elan’s photography, as noted by our photographer, is full of a “softness and vulnerability that isn’t typically associated with the sport.” 3 | adidas Showcase artists Desiree Billett (middle) and Jamie O’Brien with friend as opening night kicked off. 4 | The beautiful skate and architectural works of Shawn Roche were on display as well.

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NUART ABERDEEN 5 | Before heading back up on the lift for his two-mural super-project for Nuart Aberdeen, Fintan Magee gave us a moment of reflection.

GUERRERO GALLERY, SF 6 | Adam Eli Feibelman and Andres Guerrero of Guerrero Gallery gave Juxtapoz the tour of Adam’s newest solo show, Personal Provenance.

Photography by Erika “Saki” Sequeira (1–4) and Evan Pricco (5–6)


“WE THINK THE ATTENTION, FOCUS, AND CLARITY FOUND WITHIN THESE MANUALS ARE WORTH PRESERVING FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF NOT ONLY DESIGNERS, BUT POLICY MAKERS AS WELL.” —Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, on their project to reissue the 1977 EPA Graphics Standards Manual, a manual originally commissioned as a result of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

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Urban Nation presents: Project M 12 Berlin Opens May 19–June 25, 2017 Featuring: Hyuro, Grotesk, Serge Lowrider, Jeroen Erosie, Daan Botlek, Ermsy, Ekta, and Zio Ziegler




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