Archive for January, 2012
José Guadalupe Posada has influenced you. Whether you are conscious of it or not his figures have crept in to the public mind and thus yours. This point was illustrated through a display of contemporary objects displaying either a direct reference or, even more directly, one of his original figures.
Walking through the south side entrance of the Nelson Atkins Museum, just to the right in the hallway sits an exhibition unassuming but unparalleled in it’s significance. This is just the second bilingual exhibit in the museum’s rich history, the first being an altar I featured earlier made by Jessica and the Mattie Rhodes crew that was actually dedicated to Posada. This was made possible by the Mexican Consulate, the works are on loan from them and more of Posada’s work is or was hanging at the Mexican Consulate of Kansas City’s offices.
The works are small and detailed. A wide variety of works are shown. Some tell stories, others reflect Posada’s beginnings as a revolutionary newspaper comic artist. All are important.
Sorry for some of the pictures being less than desirable quality, it seemed like I might be doing something wrong taking pictures. Besides you should really just go. Between this exhibit and the recent “After Ghostcatching” video I was able to catch before it left, it’s easy to say that the Nelson has retained it’s timeless elegance post addition and has really got something in new museum director Julian Zugazagoitia. The guy has been on fire
If you live in Kansas City or ever visit, don’t pass up a chance to visit the Nelson ever again.
Jose Posada Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Guadalupe_Posada
I have some pictures from the Nelson’s second floor I’ll post up soon. I forget quite often to visit the second floor since to new wing has opened. After last visit, I might just start going up to the second floor first…..
Hey hows it going everybody? Been a second, sorry, but I am finally “with keyboard.” That said, I have a post waiting in the wings that popped up for a second I just have to do some writing for, some flicks upcoming from Wiley’s trip up here. Still have to get some batteries for the real camera, but if you live in Midtown, Downtown, City Market, or off Troost we made you some art. It’s out there for you. A nice love sign across from the Strand on Troost for the old fashioned out there, a nice Wiley skull on a dumpster as you head to Ponaks and the lot of famous mexican joints on the Boulevard. Feel free to link pics in the comments from a flickr or whatnot if you have them cause it’s possible.
Anyways, I had no clue who Harry Nilsson was until last night. I’ve finished some shows lately and put a random documentary based on …… wel really no reason. Pretty much from the first moments I liked the guy and his music and grew to even more so by the end of the documentary. How someone could smoke that many cigarettes and still sing like everyone’s favorite choirboy on sunday is mind boggling. Most everyone Has Netflix nowadays so i won’t tell you more, just trust me. Pretty damn cool.
So to make you want to watch the documentary “Who is Harry Nilsson (And why is everybody talking about him?)” heres some of my new favorite songs and some random flicks past and present….
Some snapshots from the recent SSION show at Recordbar. I always go see this band when the come back to town on tour. I love the majority of the music they play, it reminds me of college, and they always play super close to my house……
Quick preview: Some snapshots and info on the special exhibit of Jose Posada prints brought to you by the Nelson and the Mexican Consulate.
Been a few delays, but the shop should be open for business real soon.
I met Nice One in 2008 and we immediately sprayed paint and drank beers together. He was a super nice guy, very talented, who was in town to take part in the “Sorry for the Miscommunication” show curated by Nicole Emmanuel at both the Leedy and Third Eye Galleries. The show was dedicated to the memory of his buddy Solve, a street artist who had been murdered tragically. After Nice left town, I kind of lost track of him until one day I see an article praising and advertising his CUAS show in Chicago. Through that I was linked to his website. It was easy to see that Nice One had evolved since we last spoke, changing mediums and making himself hard to miss on the streets of where ever he travels. I wanted to know more about his evolution as well as beginnings so I asked him some questions I figured I’d go ahead and just share with our sparse audience. Without further ado, here are the largely unedited emails Nice One and I sent back and forth accompanied by my favorites images from Nice One’s flickr.
Q: first thing is first…
where you from, whats your name…
part of why I wanted to interview you is because of the evolution you have under gone as an artist since we first met, which wasn’t even that long ago. So help me give the very few readers we have some background. What got you into making art?
What then led you to street art?
And what led you towards these fucking brilliant wheat pastes?
A: I grew up Denver in a diverse neighborhood primarily Hispanic and black. Moved to a suburb of Chicago in the late 90’s and made the move to Chicago in 2004 and have been here ever since.
I had a wild home life. We were hoarders and my mom sewed most of my cloths as a child. Just imagine mounds of stuff, toys, cloths, and things of all sorts not being stored or put away just collecting in piles around the house. My moms sewing room was the same way. I was so young I didn’t think anything of it; it was normal to live in that fashion even though it was definitely border line hoarding. But I remembering all the colors and patterns, scattered all over the floor, stacked on the haphazard shelving around the cutting table in the sewing room. That sewing room was probably my biggest influences in color and pattern, along with a healthy dose of 90’s nickelodeon cartoons.
I was skuzzy skateboard kid by the mid 90’s. Denver was a utopia for skateboarding, not like it is today with countless parks, but street spots everywhere. Skateboarding got me thinking about my surroundings differently and all the skateboards and videos had me interested in the art. I was looking at Ed Templeton and Barry Mcgee characters before I even knew who they were. At that point I was drawing characters, fucking around and having fun, not taking art or anything to seriously, being a little skater punk. Enjoying life, Blowing things up, starting fires colonies of fire ants, collecting cans to buy cans of soda.
graffiti and street art didn’t happen tell I moved to Chicago. The first people that I connected with were melt, saro and soon after that Solve, Swiv, Cyro, Skame, Brooks Golden and others. I was painting with people who painted graffiti, and people that put up posters and street art in general. I had a mix of both scenes. I was painting trains one night with Golden, the next putting up posters with melt and Saro, then screen printing stickers with Solve and Swiv. I wanted to try it all when I first started and it was fortunate to have the opportunity to. It left everything a possibility and didn’t pin me down to one thing.
Q: The airbrush seems to really take you’re work to another level. Is it essentially a smaller version of spray painting? Did you have a learning curve or did it come pretty natural?
A: I acquired an airbrush and compressor from a haunted house in Chicago in 2009. I love haunted houses growing up and I had this sweet gig painting a haunted house that Fall. They set me up with an airbrush and compressor painting sets, props, masks, and other general awesomeness. When it came to give back equipment they told me to just keep it. That following winter I started making posters. It was the best of both worlds, the immediate gratification of spray paint, but the control of working and sculpting a finished piece at home.
Airbrush came pretty quick to me, but I’m a process guy so I love a new tool or toy to figure out. I also had the advantage of getting the kinks out of using the airbrush and working with it before I used it for my own projects. It’s similar to spray paint on a basic level but the paint is very different. The Opacity and transparency of the paint is similar to water colors in its abilities to build layer and its lack of forgiveness. When I use spray paint if I don’t like something I paint over it. With the airbrush planning and basic sketching is key because once I put down that initial outline there is no going back, only moving forward and adding on.
Q: Another super cliche but necessary question… What artists are you following or whose work to you see as influential to you and yours?
A: Oh god this question. Uhh, artist I’m looking at … I feel like I’m always looking really. I’m such a no good Internet stalker. I’m a freight nerd at heart, Hours and hours, page after page, car after car. It’s a bad habit, but I romanticize it in my head to legitimize the time. I love sitting shotgun driving around Chicago, smoking cigs, and taking pictures. I love seeing a Do it & Gee Wiz freight or a new Steve Powers mural. Here in Chicago I’m looking at Chris Silva, Lauren Fleece, Brooks Golden, Goons, Amuse, Cyro, Swiv, Lucx, ed Paschke, Karl Wirsum. Outside of Chicago I’ve been looking at OverUnder, Saner and Sego, Interesni Kazki, Dalek, Osgemeos, Parskid, Aryz. These artists get me excited to be an artist.
Q: In looking at you’re wheatpastes, something that seems to run consistent is a stream of things that are super imaginative transportation devices…. There is a fair amount of propellers, crash landings in progress, allusions to movement…. Who are these guys behind the masks and where are they going? Is there a linear plot in the fantasy world you’re depicting or are the decisions just instinctual?
A: The fantasy of the Nice People is instinctual and non-linear. Inference of people seeing them makes the plot, the illusion of movement or action helps begin the story. My characters are an extension of myself and I use them to interact with the community. The vehicles I think come from living in a middle class commuter city. I want to catch the eye of that kid riding to school or the cab driver on the daily grind. Give them something that’s bright, colorful, elusive, and not ask anything of them. I see these characters and vehicles and there fun interactions as a way to empowering people. In any city, other than possibly Portland, I think reality is waved in our faces on a daily basis, between work, school, the kids, the house, the bills, our imagination can become an after thought. I try and counteract that with something overtly bright and colorful to spark that imagination in people.
Q: So the CUAS show…. I had read an article about these shows in Chicago a while ago, and it seemed like a pretty awesome idea, but for those not familiar, what is it? How was the experience?
A: The CUAS show was a collaboration with Chicago Urban Arts Society and the Pop-Up loop program. Pop-Up Loop creates galleries and window displays out of empty storefronts in downtown Chicago. The show was called “Tax Free” and it was a window display on the corner of state and Adams (202 south state street). The building with these window displays has been abandoned for some years and has been in the process of trying to be preserved as an architectural landmark, I think… no one quote me on that. But imagine being on one of the busiest street in Chicago, then to a vacant building that’s been stripped down to its bare structures. It was like being in nothing in the middle of everything. I found it to be a great space to be creative, and it also helped me bridge that gap between public art and gallery without completely leaving the street.
Q: And to close this badass art interview out, what are you’re upcoming plans for 2012? Do you have a whole bunch of sweet shows before the end of the world or did you just get a bomb shelter stocked with canned food to wait out the apocalypse?
Were all going to be vaporized by Giants, so why not go out with a bang! Only bigger and better in 2012! Planning to be traveling a bunch in this coming year, maybe next time we talk it will be in person. Take care Tom! Stay up in 2012