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Art & CULTURE MAGAZINE MARCH 11

ART &  REALITY     Also in this issue Art from South Korea and Singapore: Introducing the works of Nami Kim and Speak Cryptic

How Art Saves Sniffy from Serpent Death What to do if your country`s government decides to quit ? Modern Art and its Exciting Deviations


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YOMO Art  Gallery     Support  your  local  hero.   Designed  by  Aminta  Rother   Cover  by  Nick  Lu    

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The Romantic Encounter of Art and Reality Part 1: Art Saves Sniffy from Serpent Death By Jim Muir

YOMO March Exhibition: Introducing Nami Kim and Speak Cryptic

Explore the infamous world of Graffiti in one of Canada’s most pulsating cities: The Toronto Graffiti Walk By Monisha Sharma

What to do if your county’s government decides to quit? “Is there a Pilot in Belgium?” by Emmanuelle Lambert

Deviations in Contemporary Art By Maiteree Mann

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First things first.

HERE IT   IS,   IT’S   FINALLY   DONE.   AFTER   COUNTLESS   SLEEPLESS   NIGHTS,   THE   VERY   FIRST   ISSUE   OF   YOMO   IS   OUT.   I’M   ALREADY   VERY   EXCITED   TO   RECEIVE   FEEDBACK…POSITIVE   AND   NEGATIVE.   AS   MOST   OF   YOU   KNOW,   THE   YOMO   PROJECT  STARTED  IN   JANAUARY  OF  THIS  YEAR  WITH  A  BUNCH   OF  VERY  INTERESTING  AND  TALENTED  ARTISTS.     I   DECIDED   TO   CREATE   A   BI-­‐MONTHLY   MAGAZINE   IN   ORDER   TO   NOT   ONLY   INTRODUCE  SOME  OF  THE  ARTISTS  FEATURED  ON  THE  WEBSITE  BUT  ALSO  TO   DISCUSS  CONTEMPORARY  ISSUES  IN  THE  ART  SCENE.    

ONE OF   MY   FAVORITE   ARTICLES   IN   THIS   ISSUE   IS   “THE   ROMANTIC   ENCOUNTER   OF   ART   AND   REALITY.”   THIS   IS   THE   FIRST   PART   OF   A   SERIES   THAT   WILL   EXPLORE   THE   EXCITING   BUT   NOT   ALWAYS   EASY   RELATIONSHIP   BETWEEN  CONTEMPORARY  ART  AND  REALITY.    

ALSO GET  ADVICE  ON  WHAT  TO  DO  WHEN  YOUR  GOVERNMENT  DECIDES  TO   QUIT  AND  DISCOVER  HOW  THIS  COULD  RESULT  IN  AN  UNUSUALLY  ARTISTIC   REVOLUTION.  

WELL  I  HOPE  YOU  ENJOY  THIS  ISSUE  OF  YOMO…  

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THE ROMANTIC ENCOUNTERS OF ART AND REALITY Part 1: Art Saves Sniffy from Serpent Death by Jim Muir

THROUGH A  SERIES  OF  ARTICLES   I  AM  GOING  TO  TELL  YOU  THE  STORY   OF   A   WILY   CHAMELEON   WHO   HAS   BEEN   COVERTLY   CREEPING   INTO   YOUR   REALITY.   HIS   NAME   IS   ‘ARTHUR’,   ‘ART’   FOR   SHORT.   ART   HAS   A   WIFE   NAMED   'ELIZABETH',   WHOM   HE   AFFECTIONATELY   REFERS   TO   AS  

'ELI'. THEIR   LAST   NAME,   OF   COURSE,   IS   'TIST'.   THEY   HAVE   BEEN   MARRIED   A   LONG,   LONG   TIME   -­‐   CENTURIES,   MAYBE   EVEN   MILLENNIA.   FOR   EONS   THEY   WENT   QUIETLY   ABOUT   THEIR   BUSINESS,   LIVING   IN   GALLERIES   AND   MUSEUMS,   SUPPORTED   IN   THEIR   ENDEAVORS   BY   THE   STATE   AND   WEALTHY   CONNOISSEURS.   THEY   NEVER   REALLY   GOT   INTO   ANYBODY   ELSE'S   BUSINESS,   SO   PEOPLE   PRETTY   MUCH   LEFT   THEM   ALONE.   BUT  THEN  SOMETHING  HAPPENED.   SOMEWHERE  AROUND  THE   MIDDLE   OF   THE   LAST   CENTURY   A   GERMAN   PROPHET   NAMED   JOSEPH   BEUYS   HAD   A   VISION.   HE   SAID   THAT   ART   SHOULD   GET   OUT   OF   HIS   CASTLE,   AND   CIRCULATE   AMONGST   THE   MASSES.   HE   SAID   THAT   EVERYONE  SHOULD  BE  MORE  LIKE   ART.   THE  PEOPLE,  FOR  THEIR  PART,   WERE   DUBIOUS.   EVEN   MANY   OF   ART'S   CLOSEST   FRIENDS   WERE   SKEPTICAL,   BUT   ART   TOOK   BEUYS'   WORDS   TO   HEART.   HE   STARTED   DISGUISING   HIMSELF,   AND   GOING   OUT   INTO   REALITY,   WANDERING   AMONGST   THE   PUBLIC.   ART   REDEFINED   HIMSELF   TO   SUCH   AN   EXTENT   OVER  THE  YEARS  THAT  HE  EVENTUALLY  DEFIED  DEFINITION.  HE  BECAME   UTTERLY   UNRECOGNIZABLE.   OFTEN   WHEN   HE   DID   IDENTIFY   HIMSELF,   UNBELIEVERS   WOULD   CRY   OUT,   "THAT'S   NOT   ART!"   TO   WHICH   HE   WOULD  REPLY,  "YES,  MY  FRIEND,  IT  IS.  I  WALK  AMIDST  YOU  NOW.  I  AM   A  PART  OF  YOU,  AND  YOU  ARE  A  PART  OF  ME."  …  

“Gibson advertised that on a particular day, at a particular time and place, he was going to set Sniffy between two canvases and squash him with a concrete block to create a diptych.”

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In this  photo:  Jim  Muir  

EVEN MORE  SURREPTITIOUSLY,   ART  WOULD  OFTEN   CLOAK   HIMSELF   AS   REALITY   ITSELF,   SO   THAT   WHEN  

SAID THIS,   ART'S   EYES   LIT   UP.   IT   WAS   JUST   AS   THE  

THE PEOPLE   THOUGHT   THEY   WERE   OBSERVING  

SAID, "SHOULD   BE   A   REAL   MEANS,   IN   DAILY   LIFE,  

REALITY, THEY   WERE   ACTUALLY   ABSORBING  

ART

TO GO  IN  AND  TRANSFORM  THE  POWER  FIELDS  OF  

INTO THEIR   LIVES.   LIKE   MEDICINE   SLIPPED   INTO   A  

SOCIETY." I  SUPPOSE  IT  ALL  STARTED  COMING  TO  

CHILD'S CUP  OF  HOT  COCOA.    

A HEAD   IN   THE   MIDDLE   OF   THE   LAST   CENTURY,  

ART   AND   ELI   WILL   ALWAYS   LOVE   AND   SUPPORT   EACH   OTHER,   BUT   THEY   HAVE   BEEN   GROWING   APART.  ART  HAS  BEEN  STEPPING  OUT  ON  HER.  THEY   ARE  CURRENTLY  UNDERGOING  A  TRIAL  SEPARATION,   AND   A   DIVORCE   MAY   BE   IN   THE   WORKS.   AS   ELI   SAID,   "IT'S  NOT  JUST  THAT  HE  HAS  MOVED  OUT  OF   THE  GALLERY.  HE  IS  ACTUALLY  STARTING  TO  BELIEVE   THAT   HE   IS   PART   OF   REALITY!   HE   SEEMS   TO   THINK   HE   HOLDS   SOME   SWAY   OVER   SOCIETY!"   WHEN   ELI  

WHEN

PROPHET HAD   ENVISIONED!   "ART,"   BEUYS   HAD  

ART

STARTED

DOING

HIS

LITTLE

PERFORMANCE PIECES.   I   REMEMBER   THE   FIRST   PUBLIC   PERFORMANCE  

I

ENCOUNTERED.

IT

STOPPED ME  IN  MY  TRACKS  AND  CHANGED  EVERY   IDEA   I  HAD  ABOUT  WHAT   ART  WAS,  OR  WHAT  HE   COULD  BE.   IT  WAS  THE  FIRST  TIME   I  PERSONALLY   WITNESSED  ART  AND  REALITY  KISS.    

IT  

WAS IN  

WHEN

ART

VANCOUVER (CANADA)  

IN

TOOK THE   PSEUDONYM  

1990 'RICK  

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GIBSON'. GIBSON   ‘RENTED’  

A RAT   FROM   A  

PUBLIC INDIGNATION   IN   A   WORLD   SO   FULL   OF  

‘SNIFFY’.

POINTLESS DEATH   AND   DESTRUCTION?   ART  

SNIFFY’S FATE   AT   THE   PET   SHOP   WAS   TO   BE   SOLD   AS   SNAKE   FOOD.   GIBSON   ADVERTISED   THAT   ON   A   PARTICULAR   DAY,   AT   A   PARTICULAR   TIME  AND  PLACE,  HE  WAS  GOING  TO  SET   SNIFFY  

PENETRATED REALITY   AND   GOT   PEOPLE  

LOCAL PET   SHOP   AND   NAMED   HIM  

BETWEEN TWO   CANVASES   AND   SQUASH   HIM   WITH  A  CONCRETE  BLOCK  TO  CREATE  A  DIPTYCH.  

THE PUBLIC   OUTCRY   WAS   ENORMOUS.   IT   WAS   ON   THE   LATE   NIGHT   NEWS,   AND   IN   THE   NEWSPAPERS.   ANIMAL   RIGHTS   ACTIVISTS   GOT   INVOLVED.   EVERYONE   WAS   TALKING   ABOUT   IT.   THEY   DIDN'T   KNOW   WHAT   IT   WAS,   BUT   THEY   WERE   SURE   IT   WASN'T   ART!   AT   THE   DESIGNATED   TIME   AND   PLACE   HUNDREDS   OF   ANGRY   PROTESTERS   SHOWED   UP.   THE   POLICE   WERE  CALLED  IN  AS  THE  MOB  ATTACKED  GIBSON   SPECIFICALLY,   AND  

ART

GENERALLY.

BOTH WERE   GENUINELY   AFRAID   FOR   THEIR   LIFE.   SNIFFY   WAS   NOWHERE   TO   BE   FOUND.   GIBSON   HAD   ALREADY   RETURNED   SNIFFY   TO   THE   PET   SHOP,  AND  ONE  OF  THE  ANIMAL  RIGHTS  GROUPS   LATER   ADOPTED   HIM.   THE   ANIMAL   RIGHTS   GROUP   TOOK   CREDIT   FOR   SAVING   SNIFFY,   BUT   REALLY  IT  WAS  ART  WHO  HAD  SNATCHED  SNIFFY   FROM   THE   JAWS   OF   SERPENT   DEATH!   GIBSON   NEVER   ACTUALLY   INTENDED   TO   SQUISH   SNIFFY.   UNLIKE   HIS   COUSIN   CY   ANTS,   ART   WOULD  

THINKING.

THE   SNIFFY   CAPER   CROSSED   A   LINE   SOMEWHERE.  WAS  IT  ABOUT  ART,  OR  WAS  IT   ABOUT   REALITY?   IT   WAS   CERTAINLY   ABOUT   HYPOCRISY,   AND   IT   WAS   ABOUT   LIFE   AND   DEATH.   THERE  ISN'T  MUCH  MORE  REAL  THAN   THAT.  IT  AFFECTED  ALMOST  EVERYONE  IN  THE   CITY;   IT   WENT   WAY   BEYOND   ART'S   NORMAL   CONFINES.   IT   WAS,   FOR   ME   AT   THE   TIME,   A   NEW   PARADIGM   OF   WHAT   ART   COULD   BE.   ART,   I   THOUGHT,   CAN   BE   A   PART   OF   EVERYDAY   REALITY,   AND   A   MEANS   TO   TRANSFORM   SOCIETY.   THE   SNIFFY   SAGA   IS   JUST  AN  INKLING  OF  WHAT   ART  HAS  BEEN  UP   TO   SINCE   HE   STARTED   MESSING   AROUND   WITH   REALITY.   I   KNOW  

ART

FEELS SOME  

REMORSE ABOUT   THE   DAMAGE   DONE   TO   HIS   RELATIONSHIP   WITH   ELI,   BUT   I   REALLY   THINK   HE  IS  ON  THE  RIGHT  TRACK.   ART’S  ROMANTIC   ENCOUNTERS   WITH   REALITY   ARE   BRINGING   THEM   CLOSER   AND   CLOSER   TOGETHER   ALL   THE  TIME.                                                                                                                              

NEVER HARM   AN   ANIMAL   FOR   HIS   OWN   PURPOSES.    

THE  

PERFORMANCE WAS   OVER,   BUT   THE  

DIALOGUE HAD   JUST   BEGUN.   FOR   A   COUPLE   OF   WEEKS   THOUSANDS   OF   PEOPLE   BECAME   MORE   LIKE   ART.   THEIR   REALITY   WAS   JARRED   SLIGHTLY   ASKEW   AS   THEY   PONDERED   WHAT   TRYING   TO   GET   ACROSS.  

ART WAS  

THOUSANDS

OF

HUMANS DIE   EVERY   DAY   FROM   WAR   AND   STARVATION,   DISEASE   AND   NEGLECT.   RATS   ARE   SNAPPED   INTO   DEATH   BY   RATTRAPS   AND   PET   REPTILES   ALL   THE   TIME,   LET   ALONE   CRAZY   CY  

ANTS’

EXPERIMENTS.

PROTESTERS

FOR

WHERE THESE  

ARE ALL   THE   EVERYDAY  

OCCURRENCES? HOW   CAN   ONE   RAT'S   DEMISE   ATTRACT   SO   MUCH   MEDIA   ATTENTION   AND  

Read Part 2 of

this series in the

next issue of YOMO

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YOMOartists

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NAMI KIM ARTIST. PRINT  MAKER.  GRAPHIC  DESIGNER.   NAMI  WAS  BORN  IN  1979  IN  SOUTH  KOREA,   HOWEVER  SHE  HAS  LIVED  IN  SAN  FRANCISCO,   NEW  YORK,  THE  PHILLIPINES,  THE  MALDIVES,   AND  IN  CHICAGO.  THE  EVENTS  AND  OBJECTS   FROM  THESE  PLACES  AND  THEIR  RELATIONSHIP   TO  HER  PERSONAL  HISTORY  FASCINATE  HER.  

DURING THE  PROCESS  OF  CREATING  NEW  ART   PIECES,  SHE  RECONNECTS  WITH  THESE  PLACES   AND  EXPERIENCES,  AND  SHE  CONTINUES  TO   HOLD  THE  MEMORY  AND  TANGIBLE  FEELINGS   SHE  ENCOUNTERED  IN  THESE  VERY  MOMENTS.  

HER RECENT  WORKS,  INCLUDING  MAKING   SILKSCREEN  PRINTS,  HAS  BEEN  A  REAL  TURNING   POINT  FOR  HER.  SHE  IS  INTERESTED  IN  IMAGES   DERIVED  FROM  POP  CULTURES  AND  PERSONAL   EXPERIENCES.   NAMI’S  WORKS  HAVE  RECENTLY  BEEN  SELECTED   FOR  THE  KOREAN  AMERICAN  DAY  ART   EXHIBITION  AND  HAVE  BEEN  DISPLAYED  AT  THE  

CHICAGO DOWNTOWN  CENTER  IN  JANUARY  ’11   Exclusive  Interview  with  Nami  Kim     People  always  wonder  of  how  others  grew  up  and  what  influenced   them  to  take  certain  paths  in  their  lives.  Could  you  tell  us  a  little  more   about  yourself?     I  grew  up  in  South  Korea  and  had  a  big  family.  I  lived  with  my  parents,   older  sister,  younger  sister,  grandmother,  aunts  and  a  dog.     I  was  a  middle  child  and  always  tried  to  get  attention,  so  I  acted  weird   sometimes.  For  example,  I  cut  my  hair  by  myself  looking  funny  or  took   my  sisters’  stuffed  animals  and  destroyed  them.  I  was  a  troublemaker,   but  I  loved  to  draw  and  paint.  I  got  lots  of  awards  when  I  was  in   elementary  school.  I  really  miss  my  childhood.   1 2    


So, then  when  exactly  did  you  first  realize  you  wanted  to  become  an   artist?   When  I  turned  9,  I  won  the  first  prize  in  a  drawing  contest  in  my   elementary  school.  I  still  remember  the  feeling  when  people  clapped   their  hands  in  front  of  me…such  a  good  feeling.       Did  you  also  have  any  idols  when  growing  up?   YES,  I  do.  “New  kids  on  the  Block”  -­‐  They  are  my  idols  and  my  turning   point.  When  I  listened  to  their  music  at  age  13,  they  changed  my  life.       I  learned  English  really  hard.  I  sent  fan  letters  and  gifts  to  my  favorite   “New  Kids”  member,  Danny  Wood.     I  joined  a  fan  club  and  had  pen  pals  from  10  different  counties.  They   were  all  “New  Kids”  fans.  My  pure  American  dream  started.       The  works  you  create   are  very  unique,   interesting,  strange,   and  funny  at  the  same   time.  Where  do  you   get  the  inspiration  for   your  art?   I  traveled  a  lot  during   the  last  10  years  and   have  lived  in  four   different  countries.   New  people,  exotic   places,  food  and   culture  inspire  me.   I  am  fascinated  by  the   events  and  objects   from  these  places  and   their  connection  to  my   personal  history.     Like  a  Virgin  by  Nami  Kim  

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What is  it  that  you  want  to  express  or  achieve  with  your  art?   Mainly,  I  want  to  make  viewer  laugh  and  smile.  At  the  same  time   however,  I  want  to  make  the  observers  think  and  let  them  try  to  figure   out  what  I  want  to  express,  like  a  puzzle.  I  hope  my  art  forces  discussion   and  reaction  from  the  viewer.  Whether  positive  or  negative,  love  or   hate,  a  conversation  emerges.       When  you  decided  to  me  part  of  the  YOMO  project,  you  also  decided  to   donate  part  of  your  profits  from  art  sales  to  a  charity  organization.   Why  did  you  choose  to  support  the  Betty  Wood  Breast  Cancer   Foundation?   Betty  wood  is  mom  of  Danny  Wood  from  “New  Kids  on  the  Block.”   She  died  of  breast  cancer  and  Danny  created  the  Betty  Wood  Breast   Cancer  foundation,  remembering  his  mom.  I  want  to  support  them,   because,  he  changed  my  life.  That  little  Asian  girl  who  lived  in  Korea   finally  came  to  America,  making  art  and  following  her  dream.   Danny  made  me  who  I  am  now.  I  really  appreciate  that.  Now,  it  is  my   turn  to  give  back.    

CHECK OUT  SOME  OF  NAMI  KIM’S  ARTWORKS  IN  THE  CURRENT  YOMO   EXHIBITION  AT  WWW.YOMOART.ORG/ARTWORKS     THE  PRNTS  ARE  NOW  UP  FOR  SALE  AND  10%  OF  THE  PROFITS  WILL  BE   DONATED  TO  THE  BETTY  WOOD  BREAT  CANCER  FOUNDATION.     1 4    


“Let It  Be…”  by  Nami  Kim    -­‐  silkscreen  on  paper  

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SPEAK CRYPTIC

“SPEAK CRYPTIC”  IS  THE  MONIKER  OF  FARIZWAN  FAJARI,  AN  ARTIST  AND   ILLUSTRATOR  WORKING  AND  LIVING  IN  SINGAPORE.  HE  GRADUATED  FROM  THE   LASALLE  COLLEGE  OF  THE  ARTS  IN  2007  WITH  A  BACHELORS  DEGREE  IN  FINE  ART,   MAJORING  IN  PAINTING.  EXCLUSIVELY  FOR  YOMO,  FARISWAN  CREATED  THREE   ILLUSTRATIONS  THAT  ARE  UP  FOR  SALE  IN  THE  CURRENT  YOMO  EXHIBITION   SUPPORTING  THE  GIRL  EFFECT  CHARITY  ORGANIZATION.    

"THESE ILLUSTRATIONS  ARE  BASED  UPON   VARIOUS  REACTIONS  TOWARDS  DIFFERENT   SITUATIONS  THAT  HAS  TRANSPIRED  WITHIN  MY   IMMEDIATE  ENVIRONMENT.  IT  COULD  BE  BEST   DESCRIBED  AS  VISUAL  DIARY  OF  A  SINGLE   INSTANCE.  

THE  NARRATIVE  HOWEVER,  IS  PERSONAL  TO  THE   ARTIST  BUT  HE  HOPES  THAT  CERTAIN  SIGNS  THAT   EXISTS  WITHIN  THE  IMAGE  WILL  ACT  AS  A   CATALYST  TO  TRIGGER  OFF  THE  VIEWER'S  OWN   INTERPRETATION  OF  THAT  INSTANCE."  

-­‐SPEAK CRYPTIC     1 6    


“The Movie  Channel”  by  Speak  Cryptic  

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IS THERE A PILOT IN BELGIUM? by Emmanuelle Lambert

IMAGINE A   SMALL   COUNTRY   IN   WESTERN   EUROPE.   THIS  SMALL  COUNTRY  IS  DIVIDED  INTO   THREE   REGIONS,   ONE   SOUTH,   ONE   NORTH,   AND   A   THIRD   REGION   IN   THE   MIDDLE,   WHICH   HAPPENS   TO   BE   THE   CAPITAL.   NORTH   AND   SOUTH   SPEAK   DIFFERENT   LANGUAGES,   AND   MIDDLE  SPEAKS  A  BIT  OF  BOTH.     LET’S  TAKE  IT  FURTHER:  IMAGINE  THAT  GENERAL  

RATIFY A   STATE   BUDGET,   TO   NO   AVAIL.   SINCE  

ELECTIONS TOOK   PLACE   IN   THIS   SMALL   COUNTRY  

FAR AS   TO   SAY   THAT   SUCH   SITUATION   IS  

IN JUNE   LAST   YEAR.   A   RIGHT-­‐WING   SEPARATIST  

IMPOSSIBLE!

NORTH, THEREFORE   CLAIMING   MORE   AUTONOMY.   A   LEFT-­‐WING   SOCIALIST   PARTY   WON   IN   THE   SOUTH.   AND   IN   THE  MIDDLE,  BOTH  A  LIBERAL  RIGHT-­‐OF-­‐CENTER   PARTY   AND   THE   LEFT-­‐WING   SOCIALIST   PARTY   WON.       IMAGINE   THAT   SINCE   THEN,   ALL   THESE   PARTIES  

WELL,  WELCOME  TO  BELGIUM.       S URREALISM AT ITS B EST TENSIONS  BETWEEN   DUTCH-­‐SPEAKING   FLANDERS   IN   THE   NORTH   AND   FRENCH-­‐SPEAKING   WALLOOUNIA   IN   THE   SOUTH   HAVE   ALWAYS   EXISTED,   MOSTLY   COMING   FROM   THEIR   AUTHORITIES.   HOWEVER   THEY   HAVE   REACHED   A   WHOLE   NEW   LEVEL   OVER   THE   LAST   FEW   YEARS,  

PARTY WON   IN   THE  

HAVE BEEN   NEGOTIATING   TO   FORM   A   GOVERNMENT   ABLE   TO   CARRY   OUT   THE   NECESSARY   INSTITUTIONAL   REFORMS   AND  

THEN, THE   PREVIOUS   GOVERNMENT   THAT   HAD   RESIGNED  THUS  CAUSING  THE   JUNE  ELECTIONS,  IS   ACTING  AS  CARETAKER  GOVERNMENT  TO  HANDLE   CURRENT   AFFAIRS.  

NOW

ADD THE   SECRET  

INGREDIENT TO   THE   ABOVE   RECIPE:   THE   SMALL   COUNTRY   IS   A   FOUNDING   MEMBER   OF   THE  

EUROPEAN UNION.     HARD   TO   IMAGINE,   RIGHT?   YOU   MIGHT   GO   AS  

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MOSTLY OVER  BRUSSELS,  THE  CAPITAL.    

PROPER GOVERNMENT   IS   IN   OFFICE.  

SURREALISM IS   A   WELL-­‐KNOWN   BELGIAN   TRAIT,  

SURREALISTIC AS   IT   MAY   SEEM,   THE   CALL   HAS  

TRANSPIRING IN   THE   POLITICAL   ARENA   AT   THE  

LED TO  A  TREMENDOUS  RESPONSE  SO  FAR.    

MOMENT.

A COMMUNICATION   AGENCY   HAS   FOLLOWED   SUIT   WITH   A   WEBSITE,   FEATURING   PORTRAITS   OF   BEARDED   PEOPLE   (YES,   EVEN   VERY   CREATIVE  WOMEN!).     WILL  THESE  INITIATIVES  HAVE  A  TRUE  IMPACT   ON   THE   DECISION-­‐MAKING   PROCESS?   IT   IS   HARD   TO   TELL   AT   THIS   STAGE.   IF   IT   DOESN’T,   THE   BELGIANS   WILL   FIND   OTHER   WICKED  

  A P EOPLE ’S R EACT ION THE   BELGIANS   HAD   ACCEPTED   THE  

SITUATION,

UNTIL YET   ANOTHER   SERIES   OF   NEGOTIATIONS   FAILED  MID-­‐JANUARY.  THEY  ARE  NOW  STARTING  TO   REACT   IN   THEIR   PACIFIST   AND   SOMEWHAT   FUNNY   WAY.  

EVERYTHING   STARTED   WHEN   KRIS   JANSSENS,   A   YOUNG   FLEMISH   JOURNALIST,   POSTED   A   VIDEO   OF   HIMSELF   ON   YOUTUBE   VOICING   HIS   FRUSTRATION  

AS

WAYS OF   EXPRESSING   THEMSELVES   AND   GETTING   THEIR   POINT   ACROSS,   YOU   CAN   BET   YOUR  BEARD  ON  THAT!                                                                                

AND ANGER  AT  THE  INCAPACITY  OF  POLITICIANS  TO   END   THE   DEADLOCK.   THIS   VIDEO   HAS   SINCE   THEN   SPARKED  A  WHOLE  RANGE  OF  INITIATIVES,  SUCH  AS   THE  “SHAME”  MARCH  SUPPORTED  BY     A   WEBSITE   (HTTP://WWW.230111.BE/)   IN   THREE   LANGUAGES,  LAUNCHED  BY  THREE  STUDENTS  FROM  

VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT   BRUSSEL.   THE   MARCH   RD TOOK   PLACE   ON   JANUARY   23   AND   GATHERED   OVER  34  000  PEOPLE.     LESS   CLASSICAL   INITIATIVES   INCLUDE   THE   CAMPING16.BE  WEBSITE,  WHERE  YOU  CAN  PLANT  A   VIRTUAL  TENT  IN  FRONT  OF  THE   PRIME   MINISTER’S   OFFICE  ON   16   RUE  DE  LA   LOI  IN   BRUSSELS,  UNTIL  A   GOVERNMENT  IS  FORMED.   THE  IDEA  SEEMS  CRAZY,   BUT   TO   THIS   DAY   AROUND   144   000   PEOPLE   HAVE   JOINED  THE  PROTEST  CAMP.     HOWEVER   THE   MOST   TYPICAL   BELGIAN   REACTION   CAME   FROM   BELGIUM’S   BEST-­‐KNOWN   ACTOR,   BENOIT   POELVOORDE   OF   MAN   BITES   DOG   FAME.   IN   AN   INTERVIEW   ON   JANUARY   12,   POELVOORDE   URGED   BELGIAN   CITIZENS   NOT   TO   SHAVE   UNTIL   A   THE  

Watch Kris  Janssens’  video  with   English  subtitles  at:   http://universalsubtitles.org/en/vid eos/mQMJiwWDtPAG/     Check  out  all  the  beards  at   WWW.BEARDFORBELGIUM.BE    

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Does this mess with your eyes?? 2 1  


Photos by  Monisha  Sharma  

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THE TORONTO GRAFFITI WALK by Monisha Sharma OFF THE   TORONTO   FASHION   DISTRICT   BY   CHINA   TOWN,   IS   A   KILOMETRE  OF  UNADULTERATED  ARTISTIC  EXPRESSION.  THERE,  I   FOUND   MYSELF   BATTLING   SNOW   ON   A   COLD,   WINTRY   SUNDAY   AFTERNOON,   IN   THE   MIDST   OF   A   SPECTACULAR   COLOUR   EXPLOSION.   EVEN   IN   THE   SNOWSTORM   SEVERAL   OTHER   GRAFFITI   ENTHUSIASTS   HAD   DRAGGED   THEMSELVES   OUT   OF   THEIR   WARM   ABODES   TO   WITNESS   ART   TAKE   OVER   THE   CITY.  

THEY COULD   NOT   BE   FAULTED   FOR   THEIR   EAGERNESS.     THROUGH   LAYERS   OF   SYMBOLISM   OR   JUST   CAMPY   HUMOUR,   GRAFFITI   PAINTERS   OR   WRITERS   AS   THEY   LIKE   TO   BE   CALLED,   MAKE   THE   WALLS   OF   THE   CITY   COME   ALIVE.   I’M   DRAWN   IN   BY   A   TREASURE   MAP   THAT   IN   TRUE   GRAF   STYLE   IS   PLACED   NEXT   TO   AN   EXPLODING,   CRIMSON-­‐RED,   LARGER   THAN   LIFE   SCORPION   CREATURE.   FURTHER   ALONG   THE   ALLEY,   REFERENCES   TO   “STYLE   IN   PROGRESS”   –   AN   ANNUAL   LEGALIZED   GRAFFITI   EVENT,   OR   THE   UNPOPULAR   G20   SUMMIT   RECENTLY   HELD   IN   TORONTO  

“GRAFFITI HAS EVOLVED INTO A CULT OR SUBCULTURE OF ITS OWN WITH AN INTRICATE SET OF RULES”

COVER THE   WALLS.  

FROM

THE WHIMSICAL   TO   THE  

STAUNCHLY POLITICAL,   GRAFFITI   ARTISTS   SUCH   AS   SKAM,  

KANE, MIKE   GIANT   AND   REVOK   PRESENT   AN   OPINIONATED   COMMENTARY  ON  OUR  LIVES  IN  TORONTO.       THE   ART   OF   GRAFFITI   HAS   EXISTED   EVER   SINCE   MAN   HAS   KNOWN   HOW   TO   EXPRESS   HIMSELF   ON   WALLS;   FROM   CAVEMAN   ETCHINGS   MORE   THAN   THIRTY   THOUSAND   YEARS   AGO   TO   EXTRAORDINARY   SPRAY   PAINT   CREATIONS   ON   CITY   WALLS   TODAY.  

THESE

SKETCHES FIRST   ORIGINATED   AS   A  

MEANS OF   COMMUNICATION   OR   CENTREPIECES   FOR   CEREMONIES  AND  PLAYED  A  BIG  PART  IN  RELIGION.   IN  MANY   WAYS,   GRAFFITI   HAS   EVOLVED   INTO   A   CULT   OR   SUBCULTURE   OF   ITS   OWN   WITH   AN   INTRICATE   SET   OF   RULES.   MODERN   GRAFFITI   BEGAN   AS   A   REBELLIOUS   OUTCRY   AND   HAS   BEEN   CLOSELY  ALIGNED  WITH  PROPAGANDA,  REVOLUTIONARY  AND  

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ANARCHIST SLOGANS.   IT   BECAME   THE   VOICE   OF   ANTI   ESTABLISHMENT   SENTIMENTS   OF   THE   COMMON   MAN,   MOST   FAMOUSLY   THROUGH   DEPICTIONS   ON  THE  BERLIN  WALL  AND  THE  WEST  BANK  WALL.    

GRAFFITI CONTINUES  TO  BE  ILLEGAL  IN  MOST  COUNTRIES.   THE  LIFESTYLE  OF  A   GRAFFITI   WRITER   IS   PRECARIOUS   AND   THE   RISKS   FACED   ARE   FAR   GREATER   THAN   THE   NON-­‐ATTAINMENT   OF   ARTISTIC   VISION.  

GRAFFITI ARTISTS   ARE   ALWAYS  ON  THE  RUN  FROM  THE  POLICE,  COMPETING  CREWS  OR  EVEN  GANGS.   HARSH  FINES  AND  EVEN  JAIL  TIME  IS  NOT  RARE.  THE  CHANCES  OF  YOUR  WORK   REMAINING  ON  DISPLAY  FOREVER  ARE  MINISCULE  AS  IT  IS  BEING  PERFORMED   ON  A  STOLEN  CANVAS.   SOME  HAVE  REFERRED  TO  GRAFFITI  AS  BEING  THE  FINE   ART  EQUIVALENT  OF  IMPROVISATIONAL  THEATRE.   THE  JOY  OF  CREATION  IS  AT   THE   CORE   OF   THE   PROCESS   AND   THE   BIGGEST   PLEASURE   LIES   IN   THE   ACTUAL   ACTIVITY  RATHER  THAN  THE  OUTCOME.   THIS  UNPREDICTABLE  QUALITY  MAKES   THE   RESULTING   ARTWORK   MORE   BREATHTAKING,   AS   IT   IS   ONLY   THERE   TO   BE   CHERISHED   FOR   A   SHORT   WHILE.   THE   WALLS   OF   A   GRAFFITI   FILLED   ALLEY,   JUST   LIKE  LIFE,  ARE  DEFINED  BY  CHANGE.  

TWO BLOCKS  INTO  THE  ALLEY  LIES  AN  ENCHANTING   NATIVE   INDIAN  INSPIRED   GRAFFITI   PORTRAIT   OF   A   WOLF,   YOUNG   GIRL   AND   AN   EAGLE   AGAINST   THE   BACKDROP   OF   A   GRITTY,   INDUSTRIAL   CITY.   THE   CONTRAST   BETWEEN   THE   POWERFUL   COOL   BLUES   AND   WHITES   OF   THE   WOLF   TO   THE   STOIC   DETERMINATION  OF  THE  GIRL  IS  CAPTIVATING.   HOWEVER,  WHAT  DOMINATES   THE   WALL   ON   THE   SIDE   IS   A   WARRING   CONVERSATION   BETWEEN   TWO   COMPETING   GRAF   WRITERS.   IT   IS   APPARENT   THAT   THE   ORIGINAL   WOLF   GRAFFITI   WAS   WIDER   ON   THE   LEFT   THAN   WHAT   REMAINS   ON   THE   WALL.  

ANOTHER ARTIST  HAD  STAKED  HIS  CLAIM  TO  THE  WALL  BY  PARTIALLY  PAINTING   OVER  THE  ORIGINAL  ART  WORK.   NOT  TO  BE  OUTDONE,  THE  ORIGINAL  ARTIST   CAME  BACK  TO  PAINT  A  THIRD  IMAGE  ON  TOP  AND  LEFT  A  MESSAGE  FOR  THE   OFFENDING   ENCROACHMENT:   “TIT   FOR   TAT...   JUST   LIKE   THAT...   TOY”.   THE  

“TOY” REFERS   TO   AN   INEXPERIENCED   OR   DISRESPECTFUL   GRAFFITI   WRITER.   GRAFFITI   TODAY   IS   MORE   MAINSTREAM   AND   COMMERCIALIZED,   EVEN   USED   EXTENSIVELY   IN   ADVERTISING   CAMPAIGNS   SUCH   AS   IBM,   SONY   AND   MICROSOFT.   MANY  GRAFFITI  ARTISTS  HAVE  TAKEN  THE  LEAP  FROM  PAINTING   ON  WALLS  TO  DESIGNING  SKATEBOARDS,  CLOTHING  APPAREL  AND  SHOES.     EVEN  SO,  THE  HEART  OF  GRAFFITI  IS  STILL  ABOUT  MAKING  STATEMENTS.   THE   HAUNTING   LOOK   UNDERNEATH   AN   “AUTHORIZED   PARKING   ONLY”   SIGN   OR   TERM  

THE CAREFREE  BLISSFUL  IMAGE  ACCOMPANIED  WITH  THE  DECLARATION  THAT  

“I’M JUST  WALKING  MY  DOG,  SINGING  MY  SONG”  BOTH  DEMAND  ATTENTION   AND  ELICIT  AWE.   THE  VIVID  COLOURS,  VISCERAL  AND  UNAPOLOGETIC  IMAGES   IN   A   SNOWED   IN   DULL   GRAY   CITY,   TRANSFORMED   A   GENERIC   ALLEY   AND   SHOWCASED  THE  NEED  FOR  MORE  GRAFFITI  IN  OUR  LIVES.                                                                        

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Yup.

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Illustration by  Elena  Asimar  

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DEVIANT ART (don’t worry, this is not about the website) by Maiteree Mann

IF YOU   ARE   AN   ART   ENTHUSIAST   AND   GRAPPLING,   WITH   THE   HUGE   DIMENSIONS   OF   THE   CONTEMPORARY   ART   WORLD   TODAY,   LET’S   TAKE   A   LOOK   AT   THE   VOLATILE   DIMENSIONS   OF   WHAT   WE   KNOW   AS   ART   AND   HOW  THE  CONSTANT  DEVIATIONS  IN  ART  HAVE  CHANGED  THE  FACE  OF  CONTEMPORARY  ART.   IN  RECENT  TIMES  THE  ART  FRATERNITY  WORLD  WIDE  WAS  JOSTLED  BY  THIS  NEWS:   “ON   11   AUGUST   2010,  THE   EUROPEAN   COMMISSION  DECIDED  THAT  A  VIDEO  INSTALLATION  SHOULD  BE   CLASSIFIED   AS   DVD   PLAYERS   AND   PROJECTORS,   AND   A   LIGHT   INSTALLATION   AS   LIGHT   FITTINGS.”   BASED   ON   THIS  NEWS,  AS  PER   EU  LEGISLATION,  WORKS  OF  ART  THAT  USE  LIGHT  AND  VIDEO  INSTALLATIONS  DO  NOT   COME  UNDER  THE  PERIPHERY  OF  WHAT  CAN  BE  TERMED  AS  ART.   THEREFORE,  WORKS  SUCH  AS  THOSE   BILL   VIOLA'S   "ISOLDE'S   ASCENSION   (THE   SHAPE   OF   LIGHT   IN   SPACE   AFTER   DEATH)",   2005,   CANNOT   BE   CLASSIFIED  AS  ART  PER  SE.   WHILE   THE   DECISION   HAS   BEEN   WIDELY   COMMENTED   ON   AND   HEAVILY   CRITICIZED,   IT   BRINGS   US   TO   THE   QUESTION  OF  WHAT  REALLY  IS  THE  DEFINITION  OF  ART?  THERE  HAS  BEEN  MUCH  DEBATE  RECENTLY  ABOUT   WHAT   WE   PERCEIVE   AS   ART.   THIS   IS   PRIMARILY   BECAUSE   ART   TODAY   IS   NO   LONGER   CONFINED   TO   THE   CANVAS  OR  THE  OIL  PAINT  AND  WATER  COLORS.   GOING  THROUGH  HISTORY,  ONE  MIGHT  RECOLLECT  THAT   THE  ERA  BEFORE  THE   1960’S  SAW  ART  AS  VERY  TRADITIONAL  FORM  OF  PAINTING.   DURING  THOSE  TIMES,   ART   WAS   MUCH   MORE   CATEGORIZED   AND   PERHAPS   EASIER   TO   LOOK   AT   AND   UNDERSTAND.   ART   WAS   THEN   CLASSIFIED  INTO  MOVEMENTS  AND  STYLES  SUCH  AS  ABSTRACT  EXPRESSIONISM,  SURREALISM,  ETC.   IT  WAS   DEFINED   BY   THE   USE   OF   MEDIUM,   BRUSH   STROKES,   COLORS,   TECHNIQUES,   AND   CANVAS   UPON   WHICH   IT   WAS  PAINTED.   IN  STRIKING  CONTRAST,  TODAY’S  CONTEMPORARY  ART  MIGHT  NOT  HAVE  EITHER  THE  CANVAS  OR  A  BRUSH   AND   YET   BE   A   VERY   CREATIVE   FORM   OF   ART   EXPRESSION.   THIS   HAS   IN   FACT   OPENED   BOUNDARIES   AND   GIVEN   RISE   TO   EXCITING   NEW   WAYS   WORKS   THAT   MIGHT   NEVER   EVEN   HAVE   BEEN   IMAGINED   POSSIBLE   BEFORE.   BEGINNING  WITH  PROJECTS  LIKE   ‘9   EVENINGS:   THEATRE   &   ENGINEERING’.   EXPERIMENTS  IN   ART   AND   TECHNOLOGY   (E.A.T.),   WHERE   10   NEW   YORK   ARTISTS   COLLABORATED   WITH   30   ENGINEERS   AND   SCIENTISTS  FROM   BELL   TELEPHONE   LABORATORIES,  TO  CREATE  HISTORY,  CONTEMPORARY  ART  HAS  INDEED   COME  A  LONG  WAY.  

CONTEMPORARY  ART   OF  TODAY  CAN  BE  BEST  CATEGORIZED  AS  A  MIXED  MEDIA  COLLAGE  LIKE  FORM  THAT  IS   OFTEN  BROUGHT  TOGETHER  THOUGH  PAPER,  EMBELLISHMENTS,  PAINT,  MUSIC,  COLOR,  VIDEOS,  GRAPHICS   AND   VARIOUS   OTHER   MEDIUMS   THAT   ONE   MIGHT   HAVE   NEVER   ASSOCIATED   WITH   ART   BEFORE.   THOUGH   SOMETIMES   MARKED   AS   MURKIER   AND   DIFFICULT   TO   UNDERSTAND,   CONTEMPORARY   ART   AIMS   AT   BECOMING   MORE   ACCESSIBLE   AND   IN   TRYING   TO   DEFINE   TODAY’S   PSYCHE   MORE   THAN   TRADITIONAL   ART   PERHAPS  EVER  HAS  

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POST MODERN  ART  IN  GENERAL  AND  CONTEMPORARY  ART  IN  PARTICULAR  SPEAK  OF  PLURALISM  AND  ECLECTICISM.   A  LACK  OF  A  UNIFORM  ORGANIZING  PRINCIPLE  OR  IDEOLOGY  IS  WHAT  CHARACTERIZES  THE  PRESENT  DAY  ART  FORM.     SOON  AFTER  THE  MULTIMEDIA   EXPERIMENTS   IN  THE   1970S,   ART   SAW   A   WIDESPREAD   USE  OF  TECHNOLOGY-­‐BASED   MEDIA:   AMALGAMATION   OF   SOUND,   LIVE   PERFORMANCES,   FILM   CLIPS,   PHOTOGRAPHS,   ETC.   THE   WORKS   OF   ARTIST’S   LIKE   KRUGER,   WITH   HIS   WORDS   AND   PHOTOGRAPHIC   IMAGES,   AS   WELL   AS   KIEFER’S   PHOTOGRAPHIC   COLLAGES   ARE   EXAMPLES   OF   TODAY’S   ART   WORK.   CONTINUING   AND   DEFINING   THIS   VERY   TREND   IS   THE   DECLARATION   OF   SUSAN   PHILIPSZ   AS   THIS   YEAR'S   WINNER   FOR   THE   TURNER   PRIZE.   THE   TURNER   PRIZE   IS   THE   BIGGEST  ANNUAL  AWARD  GIVEN  FOR  AN  ARTIST  IN  BRITAIN.         THE  GUARDIAN  REPORTS:   “SHE  IS  THE  FIRST  PERSON  IN  THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  AWARD  TO  HAVE  CREATED  NOTHING  YOU  CAN  SEE  OR  TOUCH."     THE  FACT  THAT   PHILIPSZ'S  ART  IS  DEVOID  OF  VISUALS  IS  PERHAPS  A  STATEMENT  THAT  ART  TODAY  IS  TRULY  MULTI   DIMENSIONAL  AND  EVOLVING  IN  REGIONS  ONE  HAD  NEVER  DREAMT  OF.   MUCH  OF  THE  RECENT  PAST  AND  THE  COMING  YEARS  SHALL  PERHAPS  SEE  THE  AMALGAMATION  OF  ART  WITH  NEW   TECHNOLOGY   AND   SOCIAL   NETWORKING   IN   THE   PROMOTION   OF   SUCH   ART,   ONE   MIGHT   ASK,   WHY   NOT?   IT   NOT   ONLY  HELPS  ARTISTS  EXPERIMENT  WITH  THEIR  CREATIVITY  BUT  ALSO  HELPS  MAKE  ART  MUCH  MORE  AFFORDABLE.     WHILE  THERE  ARE  MANY  WHO  PREFER  THEIR  ART  WORK  TO  BE  REMAIN  WITHIN  THE  FRAMES  OF  A  CANVAS,  ONE  HAS   THE  FEELING  THAT  ASSEMBLAGE  ART  IS  HERE  TO  STAY.   PERHAPS,  A  SUCCESS  FOR  ART  AND  ITS  FUTURE  WOULD  BE   BRIDGING  THE  GAP  BETWEEN  THE  ADVENTUROUS  WITH  THAT  OF  THE  TRADITIONAL.  A  SPACE  WHERE  ART  GALLERIES   WORLD  WIDE  ARE  NOT  FILLED  WITH  ONLY  EXPERIMENTAL  ART  AND  GIVE  AS  MUCH  CREDENCE  TO  THE  TRADITIONAL   AS  THAT  OF  FLUID  CONTEMPORARY  ART.          

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IMPRESSUM Aminta Rother 1-20-21-301 Tabata Kita-ku, Tokyo JP – 114-0014 E-Mail: aminta@yomoart.org www.yomoart.org 3 1  

YOMO 03-11  

Art & Culture Magazine This is the first issue of the YOMO Art & Cultutre Magazine. It is part of an online project which raises funds for s...

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