CNN’s Report on Sara Shamma’s Show “Wold Civil War Portraits”
D*Face has donated a skateboard titled “Sticks & Stones” for Montana Skatepark Association’s 10th annual skate deck art auction ON DECK The piece is a hand shaped reclaimed 1920′s school desk, biro, resin with antique skateboard wheels all framed in a perspex display box.
The Montana Skatepark Association (MSA) is a growing non profit organisation of people who have recognised the value that free skateparks provide to communities in the state of Montana. The opening of ON DECK 10 and auction will be in conjunction with Missoula’s First Friday Gallery Night. All the decks (including some amazing surprises) will be available for viewing.
* Bidding wars will occur when there are active bidders bidding against each other on a deck. In those instances an MSA member will moderate a brief live auction to determine the high bidder.
All decks will remain on display throughout the month of May.
So, if you are interested in bidding on D*Face’s deck or any others, you will be able to do so online.
For further information click the links below
StolenSpace Gallery proudly presents ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit (American History X – Volume II)‘ a solo exhibition from British contemporary pop artist Ben Turnbull. His new body of work follows on from ‘American History X – Volume I -The Death Of America’ Turnbull’s hugely successful 2014 show with an undiluted take on the lone teen shooter phenomenon which has haunted the U.S for at least half a century. Guns and weapons are beautifully and intricately hand carved into vandalised bubblegum stained vintage school desks, taking us on an uneasy journey of juxtaposition between innocence and something much much darker.
SS: Let’s start from the beginning. How and why did you decide to become an artist?
BT: My life so far has been an endless zig-zag of accidents and coincidences. It’s important to make use of any and all the opportunities that life throws your way. I never truly had a plan to become anything other than someone that liked making stuff. We evolve into what we hoard and collect and what we admire and appreciate. There is a kind of catharsis to my art – I believe that is what keeps me working on the projects that I take on. I find myself drawn in to subjects that people are scared to confront.
SS: You said that you learnt “your skills from working alongside practicing artisans and craftsmen in a workshop environment”. Can you tell us more about this choice?
BT:Traditions and skills are just not being passed on any more. I think my generation is the last in line to experience this. I needed to work to survive as a young adult and by learning from the previous generation in a workshop environment I discovered how to carve, use silicone and fibre glass, create giant 16 part molds and gain the confidence to make my own mark. I am forever grateful to the artisans who took the time to teach and support me. I was fortunate to have worked with these people – the trick then is to turn those skills to your benefit. That is when you are applying your art to its full effect.
SS: Can you tell us more about the process behind your work?
BT: I begin projects as a journalist. Scouring for facts and researching the details. Historical subject matter is devoured – then instead of producing an article, I create a piece of artwork. Your interests become who you are. I truly believe that you can only approach a subject seriously when you have a complete and thorough understanding of it.
SS: Your main inspiration is the American popular culture. Can you tell us how you got so fond of it?
BT: I liked the idea that America was a foreign place, oceans away, but that they spoke the same language. There wasn’t much stuff from the USA to come my way in the 70′s or 80′s – mainly comics and TV. You had to really hunt stuff down in specialist shops. I collected ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ books, got up early on Sunday to watch ‘Land of the Giants’,found cult toys and memorabilia down at Camden Market. I was always interested in different things compared to my childhood friends – I guess it was an early indicator of looking for a different identity.
SS: The reference to the American social and political ideologies is constant in your work and it is always approached with a certain satirical wit. What is your aim in doing so?
BT: I treat this job no differently to any other I have had in the past and for me it’s all about- IDEA-TECHNIQUE-EXECUTION. Nowadays we see too much of one and none of the others. There’s a lot of stuff out there in the commercial Art world that severely lacks most of these qualities. I would be ashamed to show anything these days unless I have thoroughly edited and re-edited my thinking to come up with the best result I can.
SS: The title of your show is a Nirvana song title, as well as the title seemingly very fitting, did the music also express and inspire this volume?
BT: I actually saw Nirvana when they played on the infamous episode of the channel 4 series – THE WORD. The television studio was next door to a pub where we used to get our under-age drinking done! The truth is that aggressive music did have a big part to play in my American History X series. It’s our own likes and tastes that form us and our thinking. ‘And Justice For All’ for example was made whilst only listening to White Hills for 2 months. I became incredibly ill halfway through and this led to a different way of thinking which led to major life decision changes. Was this the music or me and my then circumstances?
Music is the art form that inspires more than any other. I’d like to think that if you looked at a piece of work in this show that you would get just one ounce of that emotion that we feel when we hear a song that moves us.
SS: Lately your work has focused on weapons that you encase in reclaimed wood or that you ironically show in the place of fire extinguishers. It seems to be that the widespread use of guns catches your attention a lot. Can you tell us more?
BT: Actually the encased gun idea was an early work which proved very successful but for the wrong reasons in my opinion. Artworks are there to be interpreted any way the viewer pleases but I brought this idea back to execute it more accurately. As I become more experienced I like to reinterpret previous ideas and make them more powerful. Its always a learning curve for me and I think artists like to incorporate their own trademarks and brands.
The locker is another example in this show – re twisting my vending machine idea, fine tuning it for a better finish and a more prominent statement.
SS: In the past you also used the collage for the ‘Supermen’ series. What is the affective difference with carving wood? Which style and technique do you feel most comfortable with?
BT: Its horses for courses with me! I don’t have one style or technique. I couldn’t function that way or I’d become bored. Every theme or project deserves it’s own material or medium for the job. Superheroes work well to represent superhuman firemen, sculptures suit propaganda ideas, desks suited the portrayal of children and gun crime. Having a broader spectrum of options allows much more room for manoeuvre. I don’t feel any different with any mediums. I have my own processes with them all and I just go through them in a very formulaic fashion. It’s just my way of working, I’m an 8hr a day grafter, I’m brought up that way.
SS: The subtitle of this show is ‘American History X – Volume II’. Is there more American History you want to tell through your work? Do you plan to add more volumes later?
BT: I owe a lot to the Director of the LICA for doing these projects in a series style. (Richard Smith, who wrote the foreword for my book – Truth, Justice and the American Way). When I worked with him on a retrospective show, I informed him of this ridiculously overambitious plan on the scale of what was before us (about 10 years work, giant sculptures and a selection of works covering around 5 exhibitions with 3 different galleries!). He just said, ‘Do Volumes!’ and that was it- American History X stuck. It was a much more clinical way of defining each topic so that lines weren’t crossed and it wouldn’t become confusing.
Keep it simple!
Volume III is already on the go – keep em peeled.
‘WORLD CIVIL WAR PORTRAITS’ By Sara Shamma
Curated By Sacha Craddock
11.05.15 – 24.05.15
Unit 8, Dray Walk
The Old Truman Brewery
London E1 6QL
A major solo exhibition of paintings by one of Syria’s best known artists, Sara Shamma, opens in London in May.
Live auction April 10th.
You can bid now on auction site @Paddle8 https://paddle8.com/work/kai-sunny/58742-the-passing-line-pen
The show will be benefiting the MTV staying Alive Foundation and Dallas Contemporary.
Other artists include: Michael Craig – Martin, Jeremy Deller, Damien Hirst, Ryan Gander etc.
“You never know when a mural will be scrubbed out or painted over,” said Lucy Schwartz, program manager for the Google Cultural Institute, the umbrella organization that this week launched an expanded version of its searchable database of photos simply called Street Art. “Our goal is to offer a permanent home for these works so users today and tomorrow can enjoy them and learn about them.”
The project launched in June 2014 with 5,000 images and 31 partnering organizations internationally. This week Google added 55 partners who have helped to document more than 5,000 more pieces of public art, all viewable atstreetart.withgoogle.com/en/. The collection includes Australia, Sweden, Colombia, South Africa —34 countries in all. It also includes mobile apps and listening tours, as well as a map on which visitors can click to browse local art.
A launch party was held at the former mochi factory in LA. The central art exhibit at the party was an “interactive, experiential, sculptural installation” by our very own Cyrcle. The plywood booth, in the shape of a hexagon, has black-and-white Jesus imagery on the outside and a padded, soundproofed room on the inside. Guests were encouraged to reveal their sins or deepest convictions, privately, into a microphone. An audio-manipulated visualizer translated their words into landscape-like imagery that appeared on a large screen outside the booth.
“I think a lot of the times when I am creating or making something, the overarching thought in my mind is, ‘What can I say or what can I do that will outlive me?’” Torres said. “Technology is now what carries history.”
StolenSpace Gallery proudly presents ‘Memory Of Our Life‘ a solo exhibition from Italian artist Pixel Pancho. This new body of work focuses on the circle of life and the different moments portrayed as we grow, learn and make mistakes, Pancho shows this parallelism within his whimsical characters. His work mirrors the same feelings and emotions we experience to conjure up reactions within the viewer.SS: Your name sounds really evocative, hinting at technology and recalling at the same time something from the past. Can you tell us why and how you chose it?
PP: The name was chosen a long time ago by myself and a close friend. We were in this project together but when he left he gave the name to me, so from then I’ve been calling myself Pixel Pancho.
SS: How did you start painting? And why do you like painting in the street?
PP: I first started to paint graffiti in the middle of the countryside, where I was living in Torino. I was painting trains and the old tool houses of the farmers.
SS: Can you tell us more about your main influences?
PP: My influences come from my curiosity, life experiences, failures, beliefs and more. I love the work of Isaac Asimov, Joaquín Sorolla, and Jenny Saville to name a few.
SS: Robots are the main characters of your artwork. Why are you so attracted to them? Have they been your favourite subject since the beginning of you artistic career?
PP: I chose the robot because the human body has been drawn by many artists already, so I decided to use a parallel subject that could get the same feelings and movement as us.
SS: You always mention the ‘humanisation of the robotic form’. Can’t we talk of the robotisation of the human being instead?
PP: I guess as I explained earlier, this is a parallel between human and machine. In our culture (not myself but general culture) we believe that God created us and we destroyed God after, then Human created Robot. So should we expect to be destroyed by robots? I leave this answer for the viewer..
PP: I try to have as many possibilities with my materials; the more possibilities and techniques, the more my ideas are translated for the viewer.
SS: You collaborated with various artists, such as Vhils in Lisbon. Can you tell us more about this experience? Do you prefer to work on your own or collaborate with other artists?
PP: I love work on my own but sometimes I love to collaborate with a good friend when the opportunity arises, usually this has happened naturally and I love it!
SS: How do you choose the spots where you paint in the street?
PP: It depends as sometimes I’m offered a spot and sometimes I need to search for a location according to my idea.
SS: How do you relate to and perceive the city? You painted in London. What feeling did you get from the city?
PP: The city is a cancer where people have forgotten about real life, for instance how to get food, I can’t stay too long living in a city. People living in the city become superficial and get too involved in the system, they lose the real nature and a lot of feelings. The city makes human become a parasite..
SS: Can you tell us more about your ‘Memory Of Our Life’ installation at StolenSpace Gallery?
PP: This is a project that I have had for some years. The body of work is about family relationships, life experiences and decisions we make during our life. We make decisions for our life, or does the system indicates to us which decision and route we should take? ‘Memory Of Our Life’ is based on this concept and developing these questions..