The Status Faction [T$F] have been a force of the underground Los Angeles graffiti/street-art scene for the last ten years. And when one of their members moved to Atlanta [GA] they took over that city as well. They are unique in the fact that each one of their paintings usually incorporates some form of performance – like the time they showed up to a party in full swat team gear and then painted a giant wall without anyone's permission. Or, the time they decked out an abandonded house to look like suicide scene and then left the door open for everyone to peek in. For T$F, it's not being the coolest, or the best, it's just about going out every single night, hand pulling every silke-screened poster, pressing spray tips with their fingers, and not being afraid to get grime. T$F is the stand against the computer.
Words & Interview by Daniel Rolnik
Why did you guys start T$F?
During the turn of the millennium, we noticed a lack of Angelenos mixing street art with traditional graffiti. So, we abandoned most of our individual identities as artists to focus on promoting one unified name - The $tatus Faction. The soul of our goal was to form a collective where each member would be a jack-of-all-trades. A crew where everyone could do whatever they wanted, get away with it, be ever changing, and totally unpredictable.
Is that why your work is so diverse?
We strive to make a point of not being pegged as one trick ponies, by constantly reinventing ourselves. We don't want T$F to become a repetitive brand like some of the other crews out there, which are basically t-shirt companies now. So, for us, it's more about putting our hearts into every piece we make and that's why we like it all to have a handmade feel to it. The imperfections and minor differences between each piece are what makes it human.
So none of your work is done digitally?
A big part of our art has to do with the process of physically creating it, which you can't get from pushing a couple buttons on your computer and hitting print. We mean, what would most street artists do if computers were wiped off the Earth? They'd be totally lost.
I got to work not long after that and decided on a straight forward message to announce my arrival: Arrivee (translation: (I have) Arrived). This piece is also painted next to the front door of a housing project in Vitry, so a fitting word to see when you're stumbling home.
I first arrived to Vitry-Sur-Seine, a suburb slightly outside of Paris. I stayed a few days there with my friend C215 and he took me around to see some of the walls that have been getting painted around town as more and more artists are coming through there. Here are a few pieces spotted from C215, Shida, and Roa, as well as some nice old signage.
The second wall reads Davantage qu'il ne semble (translation: More than it seems). Our eyes complete the letters even though they run off the wall and onto the metal slatted door on the right.
On a sunny February afternoon, I visited the studio of London based artist Sickboy, as he prepares for his solo exhibition at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco (opening Sat, Mar 17th). Famed for his street art throughout the world, this is Sickboy's debut solo exhibition in the United States. As he continues to paint one of the three canvases currently pinned to the wall, I ask him how he's getting on in the lead up to the show, about his history in street art, and his progression into galleries.
Your show is called 'Wonder Club'. What is the Wonder Club?
It's a few different things to me. I have a lot of crazy dreams, and I wanted to base the work around these dreams, as a personal surrealism. It's given me more room for freestyle. A lot of the content is based on childhood memories and fairytales. There's quite a whimsical theme running throughout.
So do you feel the work for this show is more personal than before?
Definitely. As you move through life you shouldn't lose track of what is important to you. I want to highlight the fun element in my work. A lot of the pieces are made up of drawings from sketch books that I make while having fun; hanging out, eating and drinking with friends.
You told me earlier that you're working seven days a week. With so much preparation to do for the show, how do you balance working between the studio and the street?
I try to make it all roll into one. Painting outside is like an exercise for me. I stay true to my graffiti roots and allow those experiences to fuel the paintings. I'm not knocking the kinds of artists who replicate what they do on canvas in the street, but I'm just kind of more lazy when I paint outside. I do it for the fun. I do it for the experience of hopping over hedges.
Os Gemeos opened there latest show, Miss You at Prism Gallery in LA this past Saturday. They continue there exploration of the surreal and gravity in this latest body of work.
The installation took 6 weeks to complete and the results are a fully immersive experience that gives the public a taste of the magical world that flows from the twins' spray cans. Upon entering the gallery, a floating yellow head invites you to peer into the glowing blue hole from the bottom, briefly taking you out of the crowd into an infinity mirrored isolation chamber with music being pumped in. Glowing yellow drips float upward out of the ground and floors, walls and ceilings are all covered in paint and murals creating a truly remarkable experience. Giant detailed murals grace the walls of the stairway and there is a collaboration with older brother Arnoldo, as well as some very special knitted pieces by their mother. They also re-imagined their interactive projection room from the 'Fermata' at Museu Vale in Brazil.
The amount of detail in the exhibit is a truly astonishing feat which is impressive even before one sees the collection of new works that were created for the show! All things considered, the twins have created what I believe to be a masterpiece of a show, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it coming to fruition.
Street artist Above sent us a copy of his new book Passport (published through Zero Publishing). In fact, he sent us the limited (200) boxed edition which comes in a huge/ smartly designed monster sized passport complete with a print inside. Not sure how to store it on a book shelf as it would need to be leaned against a wall it's so huge.
The book chronicles his career as he traveled the world first adding his arrows to electric lines and walls to his interest in stenciling as it got more and more popular. Our favorites in the book would be the signage he did with RIPO.
ABOVE started traditional graffiti of tagging freight trains in California in 1995. ABOVE moved to Paris at the age of 19 where he started painting his trademark arrow (pointing above) all around the city. Since then ABOVE has been consistently traveling around the world doing many large self-financed "tours" with each tour exploring a new medium or style of artworks. ABOVE has been successful in putting his street artworks in over 90 cities in 60 different countries around the globe.
Not all "street" art needs to be on the street... David de la Mano of Uruguay emailed over some recent work he did on some miscellaneous cement sitting on the beach in La Floresta, Montevideo. Like it.
Black Herds of The Rain is a film documenting Conor Harrington's trip home to Ireland in the summer of 2011 to paint 3 walls. The journey and subsequent paintings are inspired by Austin Clarke's poem The Lost Heifer. --> video by Andrew Telling
Hey there, I just got back from a short residency down in a small town two hours north of Mexico City called Tequisquiapan. I was asked to come down there to meet some of the crew of the Clipperton Project, which basically is going to be a crazy boat trip in March with scientists and artists going out to a very remote atoll in the Pacific called Clipperton Island. Anyways, I thought you might like to see some photos of the town and the graffiti that I was surprised to find there.
I found this whole crew of kids working on this wall on the outskirts of Tequisquiapan. I guess this huge wall borders a guys house, he said he invited these guys to come paint it and that he would rather have that then the political paintings that usually get painted on it without his permission.
This was a spot where people used to wash their laundry. Supposedly there is a place in every town in Mexico where people see the ghost of a woman who drowned her own son to revenge her cheating husband. This is where people have seen her in Tequisquiapan
Alan and I also taught some painting workshops at a local school.
When an old political group is ousted, they just put a small X over it.
WALLS & FRAMES: FINE ART FROM THE STREETS Edited by Maximilliano Ruiz
Published by Gestalten, Germany.
24 x 26 cm
The FedEX man just sung through FFDG with this treat for us to share with you. A thick ass book featuring some of the best "street artists" out there today. We add quotes next to street art, because it's debatable whether all of these artists are street artists or not, although, it could be said that many came from a street art/ graffiti background- or aethestic. Whatever the situation, it's a great book and thanks to Gestalten for sending us a beautiful copy for us to enjoy. You can get your own copy for only $37 at Amazon. It's well worth the price.
Walls & Frames launch parties will be hosted at Gestalten Space Berlin on December 1st and at Pictures on Walls London on December 8th. For the occasion each launch party will showcase a limited edition of original hand-finished book sleeves made by Walls & Frames featured artists.
Blek has been doing street art/ stenciling throughout Europe since the 80s. This January marks his 60th birthday, and Blek has been creating art over the last 30 years. Dancing, graffiti, figures and a horse here and there.
When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.
Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading
"Six Degrees" opens tonight, Friday Jan 16th (7-10pm) at FFDG in San Francisco. ~Group show featuring: Brett Amory, John Felix Arnold III, Mario Ayala, Mariel Bayona, Ryan Beavers, Jud Bergeron, Chris Burch, Ryan De La Hoz, Martin Machado, Jess Mudgett, Meryl Pataky, Lucien Shapiro, Mike Shine, Minka Sicklinger, Nicomi Nix Turner, and Alex Ziv.
"[Satire] is important because it brings out the flaws we all have and throws them up on the screen of another person," said Turner. “How they react sort of shows how important that really is.” Later, he added, "Charlie took a hit for everybody." -read on
Jacob Magraw will be showing embroidery pieces on cloth along with painted, gouache works on paper --- Rachell Sumpter paints scenes of colored splendor dropped into scenes of desolate wilderness. ~show details
NYC --- A new graffiti abatement program put forth by the police commissioner has beat cops carrying cans of spray paint to fill in and cover graffiti artists work in an effort to clean up the city --> Many cops are thinking it's a waste of resources, but we're waiting to see someone make a project of it. Maybe instructions for the cops on where to fill-in?
The NYPD is arming its cops with cans of spray paint and giving them art-class-style lessons to tackle the scourge of urban graffiti, The Post has learned.
Shootings are on the rise across the city, but the directive from Police Headquarters is to hunt down street art and cover it with black, red and white spray paint, sources said... READ ON
SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details
ABOUT HEADLANDS Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.
Just want to say congrats to Fecal Face's Rachel Ralph for graduating from SFAI with her masters in curatorial studies. Also want to congratulate Alex Ziv who also just got his MFA in painting. Also a high five to the talented Mario Ayala who also just graduated from SFAI as well! --- All super talented artists (thinkers), and we're excited to see what the future holds for them!
We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...
If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.
Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.
Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.
Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.
Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.
San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.
Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.
Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.
The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.
With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding
I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle
Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.
Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.
For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.
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