Tag Archives: Scenes

#ArtPop Literally at Pop’s of Brooklyn

“Good burgers, good fries” and “GREAT art” go hand in hand at Pop’s of Brooklyn. The most interesting aspect is they give you crayons, markers and colored pencils and a copy of their logo to re-imagine with whatever your drunken imagination can come up with. Take a closer look at some of the images below. And if you’re in NYC, make sure to stop by one of their locations and add your image to the wall of fame.

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Red Bull Curates San Francisco

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Red Bull Curates kicked off a new season of Canvas Cooler Project exhibitions on January 31 in San Francisco. The exhibition drew nearly 1,300 visitors to Public Works in the city’s Mission District to view work by 20 Bay Area artists. The artists were given the assignment to interpret the clean surface of a Red Bull cooler according to the aesthetic of local San Francisco bars, lounges and restaurants. Two of the artists were awarded for their standout, interpretive coolers: Akira Beard andSlvster. Each won the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work at the SCOPE Art Fair during 2013 Art Basel in Miami in December. For both artists, it will be their first time exhibiting at a major international art fair…

 

 

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KingPop Flexes at FLUX

Autumnal breezes on the East-West platform at Edgewood-Candler Park ~ before this, I’d strolled the neighborhood named for the park, after a brief stretch of the park itself, after Historic Druid Hills. Lovely, underrated urbane city to walk, Atlanta. The MARTA train arriving now to whoosh me away through buildings and trees, through the urban forest to its core.

I’m revved to sneak a peak at the first solo art exhibition by William Floyd aka KingPop, at House of Adrene in Historic Castleberry Hill, and it coincides with FLUX. Though I helped pre-organize the event and have spent time in Royal Flush Studios, where studio co-owner Mr. Floyd creates in a huge warehouse in West End, I come with eyes wide open.

The enclave of Castleberry Hill is the official arts district of Atlanta, and FLUX night is the big annual art event in the loft-filled neighborhood. First formed in the mid-1800s, Castleberry Hill was initially a collection of saloons and brothels called “Snake Nation.” Now, it’s where many of the South’s topnotch artists live, work and play.

House of Adrene, a Castleberry fashion boutique in normalcy – which also happens to sell Mr. Floyd’s clothing line, Pop Culture Clothing – has been transformed into a gallery space for Mr. Floyd to display diverse skills, primarily those of his as a fine art and pop painter. Though the clothes remain on display and for sale throughout the space, the transformation into art viewing gallery mostly works for me.

Yours truly originally agreed to curate the show, but also brought in Jeff Prisant, the general manager of an excellent Stone Mountain Village gallery called Butterfly House Studio, to assistant curate and in all practicality manage the show-time operations. Exciting for me to still be a small part of FLUX night, while maintaining a level of once-removed journalistic integrity.

Mr. Prisant, an artist himself, says of becoming a gallerist and art curator, “I was tired of being on the sidelines and wanted to get more involved in the action, helping other artists and getting great art out to the public. Being of service to an emerging talent like William, being down here on FLUX night, it’s pretty special.”

On FLUX, the idea for this type of whole area projection and light show originated in Paris, France, where it is known as Le Flash. Atlanta initially borrowed the name, and Le Flash grew to substantial recognition in America’s southern capital. A few years back, the event organizers renamed it FLUX – a much more original title, obviously. Though the event suffered a noticeable dip in attendance the first year after the rebrand, it rebounded nicely and has steadily risen in popularity since.

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The rich red wine I quaffed pairs nicely with this weather, I’m thinking, as I reach Garnett Station, after changing trains at Five Points, which is Atlanta’s little version of Grand Central. And, I’m quickly up the block and walking into Castleberry Hill under a clear blue sky.

Time to preview some art before the crush of the crowds. The first bit of good art I notice upon entering the boutique is store employee Taprice Martin, the type of gorgeous Atlantan who’d stand out in any crowd.

She introduces me to Alphonzo Cross, the president of MATCH, the Castleberry Hill Merchants Association. He proclaims, “Castleberry Hill is creative, full of potential and occupied by caring residents and vibrant businesses.”

I recognize I’ve always felt a humming buzz of artistic vitality upon my visits to FLUX (and Le Flash). The potential has been what was most evident to me on my other infrequent trips to the area, when it was quieter and less crowded but still alive with good activity. I vow to return often.

Tonight Floyd’s work will be teamed with beats by popular Atlanta DJ crew Watch The Duck, their big single “Poppin’ Off” an unofficial theme for KingPop’s big coming out party. I find that KingPop excels most when he inhales urban or jazzy moods, hip-hop beats or big city grooves. Like many before him working in a pop medium, he paints for the masses. Every icon of music you’d expect or hope to see in a pop piece is colorized and displayed here, amidst majestic architectural paintings.

My second favorite piece displayed features a MARTA train veritably Soul Training through a skyline looking as if touched by van Gogh. Nice to see some of Mr. Floyd’s pop predecessors represented: a painting of Keith Haring, of Andy Warhol, several of the striking Jean-Michel Basquiat.

I first met KingPop at an artists’ market on my anniversary trip to Serenbe and was immediately drawn to his magnetic personality and charm. Soon after, he was one of a dozen artists in my ART BOX pARTy group show at dooGallery. And of course my favorite work hung here is the poetry book cover I commissioned him to paint, ATL’s finest rocket ship buildings blasting off and burning under a blazing Deep South sunshine…

Nepotism. Fairness. Is he this good or is my judgment gone, clouded by closeness? I exit the side door to clear my head and briefly peruse an attached new hair studio with the stylist-proprietors, their fun space reminding me of Warhol’s Factory in its shininess. I decide to have a beer across the street, to enter into another realm in a funky restaurant space.

Back in the boutique cum-gallery briefly after, I decide to leave while still asking myself what it is I’ve seen. How can I fairly tackle KingPop’s talent?

My judgment finally un-clouds in front of the loud college football sounds of my TV, and I send as critic my trusted sister Anna and her nice new beau to Castleberry in my stead. Her first night ever at the sprawl of FLUX is an overwhelming every venue visit, and I’m suddenly feeling a bit nervous to hear her reaction, late night, as I reach her by phone.

She confirms, “KingPop was one of the more standout artists of the entire show: phenomenal graphic work.” We’d both label him an artist to watch.

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TONE’s solo exhibition at Dock St Market in Leeds

UK based urban pulp iconographer TONE kicked off his solo exhibition at Dock St Market recently (Nov 1). He was kind enough to send us a few snaps of the vibe. TONE’s bright and graphic inspired art works looked amazing. The show runs through November so if you’re in the area make sure to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primavera 2012 is perhaps the most rewarding, when it comes to festivals

Barcelona is one of those places that you never want to leave. The weather is perfect, the food incomparable, the atmosphere and attitude so genuine it will turn one chartreuse with envy. I have traveled abroad on many occasions—with friends and family—but never have I felt such a sense of welcome as I did during the elder days of May and the infant days of June that made up one of the greatest weeks of my entire life.

Barcelona is just how I imagined it would be: antiquated architecture juxtaposed beside modern design and 21st-century coolness. Our hostel, a towering steel mammoth that boasted such amenities as a picturesque terrace and ocean-view dorms, seemed at the same time fitting and yet somehow unfortunate, propped semi-gracefully against the notorious Sagrada Familia on one side, and the aptly-referred “Giant Dildo” on the other. Barcelona is an inexplicably cohesive city—in architecture and general attitude—as it seems to flawlessly blend relentless tradition with an intangible hunger for progress. The magnificent port city balances the two radically opposite ideals with astounding ease, thus causing an American tourist—like myself—to question the very reality of one’s experience within the city limits. Even now, a good month or so after my adventure into Barcelona, I still question the authenticity of my time there.

Barcelona boasts a certain gratitude to all that inhabit it, including citizens, visitors, and passers-through alike. Having visited many other European countries before Spain—including Italy, France, and the Netherlands—I was struck not only by the city’s beauty, but also by the level of easiness that its citizens seem to operate on so effortlessly. Coming from New Orleans, I am used to the easy-going way of life; it’s basically inherent to all those who live or visit here. It felt like a second home to me, except it was one that I never had visited yet I felt that I had arrived late for some reason.

 


I’ve been to my share of music festivals in my life. I fell in love with the concept when I traveled to Bonnaroo after my high school graduation, and since then I have either attended or frequented several other festivals: Coachella, SXSW, Ultra, Treasure Island…each festival offered their unique take on festival life and stood firmly behind their individual principles. The Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona was, without a doubt, one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was also perhaps the most rewarding, when it comes to festivals.

Bonnaroo has been my yearly excursion and trusty standby for the past seven years or so, it being the first festival I ever attended, and also they have yet to present a truly terrible lineup. I love being down on the farm (that’s what Bonnaroo regulars call Bonnaroo; it takes place on a 700-acre farm in Tennessee every June), but at Primavera I felt a certain kinship with the people around me and with my surroundings that I had never felt before in a festival environment.

At Bonnaroo, since the lineup is so varied, you always run into those people who are only there to see a certain act (i.e., back in 2008, Pearl Jam and Metallica headlined Bonnaroo, thus the farm was filled with frat assholes). Primavera had a completely different vibe to it. It may have been that there was an option to purchase single-day tickets to the event (thus ensuring a different crowd for each day), but for some reason Primavera seemed different. Perhaps it was the sheer variety that Primavera offered in terms of music, but nonetheless I felt—for the first time really—that we were all there for the same reason: the music.

Some festivals can get bogged down due to scheduling conflicts and those inevitable buttholes who come to see one or two bands and ruin it for everyone else by being totally wasted during those select shows, ruining the whole experience. Primavera never really allowed for that to happen, especially since there were about seven stages scattered across the gorgeous Parc del Forúm. The schedule was artfully designed that one could see virtually every band they wanted to, despite a few inevitable conflicts. For the most pat, however, I found that I had no real veritable dilemmas between artists I wanted to see, which is just plain miraculous when it comes to festivals that are this size.

Let me paint you a little picture. The festival site was a gorgeous architectural park that lay at the foot of Avenguida Diagonal—a fairly busy thoroughfare in Barcelona—adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. The main stage boasts panoramic views of the surrounding shoreline, while the pivotal Ray-Ban stage offered sea views as a backdrop, viewable from several vantage points including a built-in amphitheater. At one end there was a giant solar panel—most likely powering the electricity for the entire venue—and at the other, a massive concrete lot that fed into the slightly smaller “other” main stage. Though it was a hike to get from one stage to another, conflicts were minimal and the whole experience was worth the slight overlap that occasionally occurred.

Unlike American festivals, which usually start the music around noon each day, Primavera—cohesive with the Spanish way of life—started much later, starting around six-o-clock in the evening and going till the wee hours of the following morning. During the sunset hours, chiller and more ambient groups would perform. Canada’s future-pop duo Purity Ring opened the festival for us, and was swiftly followed by Brooklyn art-pop group Friends and Philadelphia’s electronic virtuoso Grimes. During the twilight hours we also caught sets from Dirty Beaches and the incomparable Rufus Wainwright. Wainwright’s set mixed a delightful blend of old songs and new, set against an impressive Barcelona sunset over the sea.

Nighttime was when Primavera really came alive. During the early hours of night were sets from Britain’s The xx, Goth-pop mainstays The Cure (who played a 2.5 hour set, mind you), and Baltimore dream-pop gurus Beach House. Each night’s schedule was constructed beautifully to coexist with the later acts of the night. Beach House opened Saturday night’s festivities beautifully, mixing artful guitar and beautifully drippy vocals amongst tracks from the duo’s two most recent albums. Electronic acts such as Saint Etienne, Justice, M83, and LFO drew large, fanatic crowds and enveloped us in sweet, relentless sound that begged us to sway and groove to the merciless hooks each act selflessly provided.

“Electronic acts such as Saint Etienne, Justice, M83, and LFO drew large, fanatic crowds and enveloped us in sweet, relentless sound.”

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the whole Primavera experience was that which the early morning DJs and electronic artists presented to us as a collective. DJ sets by Erol Alkan, Scuba, and Aeroplane were fantastically literate and impossibly smooth, and we danced as if we were slaves to the music. Perhaps the most impressive sets belonged to those electronic artists who were brave enough to play live sets that consisted of their own artistic vision. Highlights include the infectious dance beats of Neon Indian and the deafening bass of London import Benga, but perhaps the most astounding live set came from Barcelona’s own John Talabot. Seamlessly incorporating stylistic vocals, animal sounds, and transcending beats, Talabot had the gaping crowd virtually hypnotized, as we swayed almost uncontrollably to the dizzying complexity of sound he so effortlessly produced.

Many was there a morning when we left as the sun began to peek it’s eager head above the horizon of the eastern Mediterranean, and with a heavy heart we would drag our feet up the stairs of the amphitheatre, hoping to catch one of the eager yet surprisingly elusive cabs that would bring us back to our temporary home. Though each time we left, save for the last night, we knew that tomorrow would bring more joy, more uninhibited wonder, that we were likely to never experience again in our lives. Primavera simply translates to ‘spring’ in English. And although the weather was perfect, our spirits were higher than a kite, and our expectations either met or exceeded, it was not plainly “spring” to us. We were a part of another world. A world where we could dance until dawn, one where we could combat fatigue with determination, and we could experience what it really meant to truly love music. I’ve loved Bonnaroo for many years (I just attended my eighth), but nothing can compare to the sheer beauty and pure ecstasy that Primavera Sound has provided. I only hope I can afford to go back next year.

 

Talk about inside wanting out…

 We called it then… We’ll call it now

Everything is cyclical. Take my journey in the arts. What started as an indoor activity, has now taken to the streets and right back indoors for the recent ART BOX pARTY at dooGallery in Atlanta, GA. Curated by Han Vance, the show gathered several Atlanta INtown newspaper boxes and asked some of  the hottest young artists (GREATeclectic, KingPOP, Linda Costa, Paper Frank & More) to give them a facelift. Talk about inside wanting out.

 

 

Will OXHEART be the next Factory, a la Warhol? The next Club 57, a la Haring and Scharff?

The first time I heard about OXHEART was in February, in a bar on New York’s Lower East Side. “We want to do a party,” my friend Carlos said. A party? I love parties. How do I get involved?

 

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Mayer Hawthorne: New Age or New Face?

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

– Jim Jamusch

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Love Letter to New York & Bad Boyfriends

Your average abusive boyfriends are always a bad thing, so I’ve been told. Famous abusive boyfriends have an even worse type of demented ego. Most people won’t have an experience with a romantic interest that’s hand prints are on your neck, heart, and picture hanging on Hard Rock Cafe, but I did. He had a greasy accent that stenches of urine and admiration, cut up denim, and interchanged lust for violence. I was in a full-time love affair with a fucking psycho.

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While Dreamers do Dream Dreams that Come True, Atlanta Isn’t a City of Dreamers like Wonderland

In a land far, far away there is metropolis. It’s a metropolis filled with urbanites and artists striving so hard for Hollywood fame. It’s a barrel of people filled with high hopes and the criteria to be able to afford hope is getting higher and higher. This town I speak of is my home. This town I speak of is more commonly referred to as Atlanta.

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3. Protest Movements Don’t Start Large, They are Grains of Sand that can Become Pearls with Time; Why #OccupyWallStreet Matters

Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. The original call for this occupation was published by Adbusters in July; since then, many individuals across the country have stepped up to organize this event, such as the people of the NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage

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8. Prince William Ain’t Do it Right if You Ask Thee, If I Was Him I Woulda Sprayed the Town with Banksy

From Amy and Adele, to Riots and Rupert, with William somewhere in the Middleton, London was the City that kept it trill in 2011… the rhyme and reason for the subtly subwoofed season at the beacon of fringe culture and on the brink of collapse… London Bridge is falling down, and because of that it wears the crown… Prince William ain’t do it right if you ask thee, if I was him I woulda sprayed the town with Banksy…

Despite An Oppressive Atlanta Heat Wave, The Festival On Ponce Attracts Thousands

Atlanta heat waves are oppressive, and convincing people to leave their hermit-like conditions and venture outside is difficult, but the first-ever Festival on Ponce attracted thousands and gave local and national artists a great opportunity to show and sell their work.

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It’s Art Season In Atlanta


A home repair snafu resulted in me not working all day. Then a breezy Friday night in The ATL found me with many entertainment options for the weekend, all of which centered on the thriving art community. Kai Lin Gallery had an opening entitled Dreamscape; Ponce Crush was set to roll the following evening through three galleries on the Ponce corridor: Beep Beep, Young Blood, Kibbee; and Artlantis was a Saturday daytime event I regretted missing last year. Modern Atlanta had also just launched a multi-venue campaign called MA11. What to do?

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ADMIAS: “Lindsay Lohan” – A Richard Philips Film

Set to a fuzzed-out shoegaze background, the video shows Lohan emerging from a pool of water set against an expanse of ocean. She stares into the camera, the apparent symbolism emphasizing her rebirth and victory over those nasty drug and theft problems. Crashing waves and a fade out of Lohan’s face bring it all home. -Kyle Chaka, Hyperallergic

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