Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Banksy and the Elephant Outside The Room

    Banksy’s use of a live elephant for his L.A. show in 2006 is well documented and highly controversial, but recently it’s his ‘elephant’ outside, nestled on the hills between Santa Monica and Malibu, that has been the focus of attention. What has come to light is the most extraordinary t....
    Banksy’s use of a live elephant for his L.A. show in 2006 is well documented and highly controversial, but recently it’s his ‘elephant’ outside, nestled on the hills between Santa Monica and Malibu, that has been the focus of attention. What has come to light is the most extraordinary tale of the mercenary selling of street art works and a genuine act of kindness from the illusive artist himself. In late February 2011, Banksy was in Los Angeles to promote his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Sometime during his visit, he spotted an old, abandoned water tank high on a hillside. White, cylindrical, as long as a bus and with a large tap protruding from one end made it look a bit like an elephant. So, Banksy climbed up and sprayed a caption along its side: “This looks a bit like an elephant.” The image was put up on the artist’s site and officially confirmed as a Banksy, but what nobody knew was that somebody lived inside. The resident, a local eccentric who describes himself ‘as self-sufficient not as homeless’, was living happily in the tank for a few years prior to Banksy’s adornment. He was known to pretty much everyone. Even the police, apparently charmed by this friendly eccentric, would leave him alone, sometimes calling up to the tank to say hello. Extraordinarily the US postal service even delivered mail to his exclusive address: 15145 Pacific Coast Highway.  He was at home on 21 February, when he heard someone moving around outside. “I looked out of the hatch, and there were two guys there. I asked what they were doing, and one of them said ‘we’re just making a joke’. I climbed down the ladder, looked at the writing, and I said, ‘Hey, that looks pretty cool!’ I introduced myself, and the English dude told me his name was Banksy. I didn’t know who he was, so I didn’t think twice about it.” Despite the serendipitous encounter with an artist many would love the chance to meet, it would seem the lure of a verified original Banksy just sitting there on a hill is too much for an art market desperate to cash in.  People go to great lengths to acquire Banksy’s public works; inciting gold rush fever over the hope that a crumbling wall is now, potentially, worth more than the entire building it is part of. The story is all too familiar as seen recently when a work was removed from a wall in North London and sold for £750,000. Only last week, in fact, another of the artist’s murals was sliced from wall of a shop in Tottenham.“ "Graffiti art has a hard enough life as it is… before you add hedge-fund managers wanting to chop it out and hang it over the fireplace. For the sake of keeping all street art where it belongs I’d encourage people not to buy anything by anybody unless it was created for sale in the first place.” - A statement issued by an exasperated Banksy a few years ago. Needless to say the sharks circled, ownership was claimed and the tank removed (with its home contents inside) ready to have a price tag attached; all for the love of art, apparently. The fact that Banksy wantonly sprayed his ‘joke’ on a structure that turned out to be a man’s home could be seen as reckless as those who swiftly came in and uprooted it. Did Banksy inadvertently make the man homeless. Surely not, but it raises very interesting questions – notably about ownership, but also the location and positioning of street are pieces and the responsibility of doing so by the artist. When Banksy heard of what happened, astoundingly Banksy came to the rescue. The artist gave him enough to get him on his feet, find an apartment and pay the bills for a full year. “There ain’t no better man than Banksy,” the self-sufficient man says. “He was an angel to me. He helped me more than anybody helped me in my life. He helped me so fast, I didn’t have to spend a single day more on the streets. It was like a miracle.” Meanwhile, this whole episode has inspired a play, Banksy: The Room in the Elephant, which begins its run at the Edinburgh Festival and the man at the centre of it all has become the subject of a documentary by two Texan filmmakers who have followed him on and off for the past five years.  And the tank itself... which seemed destined for some rich man’s sculpture garden. Banksy removed the photo from his website, and when the owners contacted the artist’s people for it to be certified as a genuine, he refused. Without authentication, the Banksy Elephant has became nothing but an empty water tank. In recent months, it was sent to the scrapheap. “The writing on the tank wasn’t art, it was just lettering. The art was what was inside the tank. I regret that it’s gone: it was meant to be seen.” If you are interested the work of Banksy and would like further information or to discuss other artists or work that we have available in the gallery please call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world  $test =
  • Hold Your Horses: Name That Painting

    6-piece French-American band ‘Hold Your Horses’ created a hilarious collection of filmed pastiches of classic artworks from throughout art history for the video of their track ’70 Million’. It opens with a loose rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ and continues with ....
    6-piece French-American band ‘Hold Your Horses’ created a hilarious collection of filmed pastiches of classic artworks from throughout art history for the video of their track ’70 Million’. It opens with a loose rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ and continues with recreations of Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’, Caravaggio’s ‘The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist’ and Vermeer’s ‘Girl with A Pearl Earring’. See how many other masterpieces you can name…  $test =
  • Word Up Winner: Win a Limited Edition Print from Ryan Callanan's Upcoming Solo Show!

    We have an unbelievable competition for Street Art fans, FatBoy Slim fanatics and Ryan Callanan admirers.  To celebrate Ryan Callanan’s upcoming solo show 'Word Up' at our sister gallery ink_d (2nd-26th August), we are offering the chance to win a signed limited edition print by ....
    We have an unbelievable competition for Street Art fans, FatBoy Slim fanatics and Ryan Callanan admirers.  To celebrate Ryan Callanan’s upcoming solo show 'Word Up' at our sister gallery ink_d (2nd-26th August), we are offering the chance to win a signed limited edition print by the man of the moment. The highly collectible print, ‘Right Here Right Now’, has been made by Ryan exclusively for his solo show. The 50 x 70cm signed silkscreen will be available to purchase at £200 from ink_d gallery but we have been donated an Artist's Proof by Ryan to give away to one lucky winner.  To be in with a chance to win this iconic artwork before it sells out all you have to do is take a photograph of yourself in front of Ryan’s 'Right Here Right Now' mural on the wall of the artrepublic Brighton gallery. Then upload it to our Facebook page or tweet it to @artrepublic with the hashtag #WordupBrighton. Good luck!  Closing date: 26th August.  Read more about Ryan Callanan's Right Here Right Now mural Find out more about the Word Up exhibition at ink_d gallery View all Ryan Callanan prints View our Brighton gallery page $test =
  • Ryan Callanan: Right Here Right Now

    Contemporary artist Ryan Callanan called into Brighton last week and left his British big beat mark on artrepublic. Ahead of a major new solo exhibition at our sister gallery ink_d, Callanan has created an incredible street art piece showcasing the very best of his rare sign writing skills and hi....
    Contemporary artist Ryan Callanan called into Brighton last week and left his British big beat mark on artrepublic. Ahead of a major new solo exhibition at our sister gallery ink_d, Callanan has created an incredible street art piece showcasing the very best of his rare sign writing skills and his signature lyric art. The bold black and yellow work features the words ‘Right Here Right Now’. ‘Right Here, Right Now’, of course, is a major record by the legendary Brightonian Fatboy Slim. It was released in April 1999 and Ryan’s appropriation of the song in this piece is born from his interest in text, words and lyrics, as well as his blossoming collaborative relationship with the DJ. The uber-cool urban duo recently worked together to create ‘Acid Drop’, a massive party to celebrate the 30th birthday of dance and clubbing magazine ‘Mixmag’, which included dropping 100+ unique signed and numbered smiley artworks on the streets of East London.  Ryan Callanan began incorporating lyrics from his childhood and youth in his art several years ago. The musical sources have been diverse and have included some classic 1990s hip hop, such as ‘C.R.E.A.M.’  [Cash Rules Everything Around Me] by New York group Wu-Tang Clan, and ‘Insane in the Brain’ by American hip hop group Cypress Hill (from which the popular lyric ‘Insane in the membrane’ comes). The response to these highly original and poetic pieces has been incredible with music producers and writers buying up whole editions and heavy interest from major record labels.  Callanan’s upcoming solo show will be a development of his lyric work, continuing to explore their personal and cultural significance, as well as the opportunity they provide him to stretch his artistic process. Ryan Callanan worked as a professional 3D sign writer and has now reinvented and elevated the traditional art of sign writing into a contemporary art form.  Working with materials, techniques and styles usually associated with traditional pub signs (bas-relief, glass, resin etc.), his artwork demonstrates highly technical skills. In this street art piece you can see that Callanan used a stencil and spray paint to create the composition and base layer. Then each chiselled letter was drawn, shaded and highlighted by his own very steady hand. The accuracy and consistency of the lettering has been achieved from his years of sign writing, training his eye to see perfect spacing and construct the sharpest shading. The signature smiley faces of his nom de plume RYCA, were hand drawn with a trusty black marker.  Under the glare of the scorching Brighton sun and curious crowds there wasn’t any room for error for the dedicated artist who dexterously whipped up this new street art gem. The wall of artrepublic Brighton is now a proud testament to his incredible sign writing skills, perfectionism, and acute ability to record popular culture. Ryan Callanan’s work is certainly worthy of admiration and a closer look.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest new on Ryan Callanan’s upcoming solo show. View all Ryan Callanan work Visit artrepublic Brighton Image credits: Courtesy of Gareth Gooch Photography 2013 $test =
  • Charming Baker: Coolest Dad in the Art World

    Check out this fantastic little film ‘As a Gorilla’ featuring Charming Baker and his brilliant 13 year old son, Harvey Baker. In between shots of the two of them driving through LA in matching sunglasses with low flying aeroplanes above, Baker’s son discusses the themes of his father’s w....
    Check out this fantastic little film ‘As a Gorilla’ featuring Charming Baker and his brilliant 13 year old son, Harvey Baker. In between shots of the two of them driving through LA in matching sunglasses with low flying aeroplanes above, Baker’s son discusses the themes of his father’s work with impressive discernment and shrewdness. Looking at the paintings and sculpture from his unique, youthful perspective, the film offers an exploration into Baker’s work that has never been seen before.  We particularly love it when Charming asks Harvey if he’s brushed his teeth! How we wish Charming Baker was our Dad and we could curate his next LA show.  View all Charming Baker prints View our Charming Baker biography $test =
  • Shane O'Driscoll at Cork Printmakers

    Here’s a brilliant little video profile of one of our new artists Shane O’Driscoll.  See him at work hand pulling screen prints and hear how he describes his art, which is often drawn from fragments of his travels. We think this talented Irish artist, screenprinter, and graphic designer....
    Here’s a brilliant little video profile of one of our new artists Shane O’Driscoll.  See him at work hand pulling screen prints and hear how he describes his art, which is often drawn from fragments of his travels. We think this talented Irish artist, screenprinter, and graphic designer is one to watch… View all Shane O'Driscoll prints View our Shane O'Driscoll biography $test =
  • A Pearl of a Print

    Pure Evil’s latest limited edition release is a real British beauty. ‘Pearly King in Battersea Park’ is a signed giclee print on 300gsm Hannemuhle paper from an edition of 100. The print depicts a traditional Pearly King, with splendid spray paint butterfly wings, looking at his refl....
    Pure Evil’s latest limited edition release is a real British beauty. ‘Pearly King in Battersea Park’ is a signed giclee print on 300gsm Hannemuhle paper from an edition of 100. The print depicts a traditional Pearly King, with splendid spray paint butterfly wings, looking at his reflection in a Battersea Park river.  Pearly Kings and Queens originated in the 19th century and are an organised charitable tradition of the working class culture in London. Their founder Henry Croft was born and raised in a Victorian workhouse orphanage. He left at 13 to become a road sweeper but became enamoured with the street fruit sellers (costermongers) and their flashy suits, decorated with pearls down the seam of their trousers. Croft went a step further and covered an entire suit with pearl buttons, drawing crowds and collecting pennies for the orphanage where he grew up.   This nostalgic print celebrates London’s rich history with its diverse sub cultures, including Pearly Kings and Street Artists – both with their own distinctive style, iconography and slang. Apparently, in Pearly King rhyming slang ‘Bunny’ (Pure Evil’s signature) means ‘talk’ (taken from ‘rabbit and pork’).  View all Pure Evil prints $test =
  • Brighton Beats: New Musical Graffiti Mural

    About 10 years ago the landlord of the Prince Albert, Chris Steward, suggested that the whole exterior wall of his pub be painted with dead rock heroes. Now graffiti artists REQ and Sinna are finally turning his vision into a Brighton graffiti masterpiece. Chris Steward is commissioning....
    About 10 years ago the landlord of the Prince Albert, Chris Steward, suggested that the whole exterior wall of his pub be painted with dead rock heroes. Now graffiti artists REQ and Sinna are finally turning his vision into a Brighton graffiti masterpiece. Chris Steward is commissioning and curating the project, choosing musical icons that reflect his personal interests.  The mural features 24 dead stars including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, John Peel, Amy Winehouse and Freddy Mercury. REQ told ‘The Argus’ newspaper, “You do get lots of people walking past saying: ‘Why isn’t Janis Joplin up there? Where’s Biggie and Tupac?’ Everyone’s got their own list of icons and ultimately Chris is the curator and we’re the creators.” REQ and Sinna are the talented graffiti artists spray painting the icons to life in the enormous, three –storey mural. Sinna One is a Brighton based artist and illustrator who works within freehand mediums and is heavily influenced by graffiti, comic culture and sci-fi.  Old school aerosol artist, graffiti doyen and experimental hip hop visionary REQ is the perfect choice for the project. Born in London, REQ is a Brighton based artist schooled in the New York subway graffiti tradition. His graffiti career started in 1984 in Brighton’s derelict areas but he soon started painting internationally on stage with the Norman Cook banks ‘Beats International’. “The two [music and art] are just different methods of saying the same thing”, says REQ. REQ has developed a portrait style of his own within the spray can medium which he calls ‘photo-realistic’. The Prince Albert mural, featuring numerous portraits copied from record sleeves and photographs will showcase the strength of his raw spray paint aesthetics. Combined with Sinna’s bright and bold colour palette the musical mural is bound to become an urban art landmark.  The collaboration between the Brighton graffiti artists and Prince Albert owner has allowed 3 weeks to complete the project. Now in its final stages the enormous street art creation is looking spectacular. Chris Steward has said “everyday 1,000 of people have been standing outside looking at it.” With a growing portfolio of incredible street art pieces and our very own artrepublic gallery, Brighton is definitely the UK’s number one destination for urban art.  Visit artrepublic Brighton artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world  $test =
  • Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait

    An exhibition of photographs and personalised items owned by the singer Amy Winehouse has opened in London’s Jewish Museum in Camden. It features family photographs, clothes, books and other memorabilia and has been curated by the singer’s brother Alex and his wife. Amy Winehouse died....
    An exhibition of photographs and personalised items owned by the singer Amy Winehouse has opened in London’s Jewish Museum in Camden. It features family photographs, clothes, books and other memorabilia and has been curated by the singer’s brother Alex and his wife. Amy Winehouse died this month two years ago, aged 27. The extraordinary Pop star has since become the subject of several of our artists work, such as ‘Amy Winehouse – Rehab’ by It’s Pop It’s Art, ‘Amy-White’ by Screen Prince and ‘Twenty Seven-Silver’ by Russell Marshall.  This exhibition offers an intimate portrait of the fascinating star. Alex Winehouse has said “We weren’t religious, but we were traditional. I hope, in this most fitting of places that the world gets to see this other side not just of Amy, but to our typical Jewish family.” View all It’s Pop It’s Art prints View all Screen Prince prints View all Russell Marshall prints  $test =
  • Pure Evil for Fred Perry

    Graffiti art giant Pure Evil is one of the distinguished fans invited by Fred Perry fashion house to personalise a reproduction of their iconic 1952 shirt.  Pure Evil has amusingly embraced the sporting aesthetic of the white shirt and added his own street art twist by reproducin....
    Graffiti art giant Pure Evil is one of the distinguished fans invited by Fred Perry fashion house to personalise a reproduction of their iconic 1952 shirt.  Pure Evil has amusingly embraced the sporting aesthetic of the white shirt and added his own street art twist by reproducing his ‘New Logo for The Hackney Looting Team’ across the front. The image is taken from his controversial artistic offering to the London 2012 Olympics and features a hooded looting rioter stealing one of the Olympic Rings. We think it would be the perfect present for any Pure Evil collector, street art fan or fashion fiend!  The customised classic polo will be available as part of a special online auction to celebrate 60 years of Fred Perry. The auction is in aid of the Amy Winehouse Foundation and runs until July 21st. The proceeds will help the Foundation, set up in Amy’s memory, to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people. View all Pure Evil prints View the Fred Perry auction $test =

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