January 05, 2010
December 13, 2009
Everytime I check in on Ripo I'm amazed at the amount of work he's put out. Like this rad new piece slapped up on the banks of the Barcelona port.
Aside from Ripo's clean lettering is his success in saying something with his letters. Here's an excerpt from Ripo's site about the below pic.
For years this was a spot I could go to paint with friends and visitors with little stress except the wind blowing our pieces across the wall. Literally hundreds of artists had painted this kilometer stretch of cement (front and back) separating the Barcelona port from the Mediterranean Sea. Layer upon layer of beautiful artwork was created, faded by the sun and seawater, and repainted, giving life, color, meaning, and history to what would have been a barren stretch of cement. That is until they finished constructing the new towering W Hotel a few months ago. Along with this luxury hotel came one of the biggest washes of Grey paint and powerblasting I’ve ever seen. The ENTIRE wall, front and back, was cleaned to a boring grey slab. So Much History had been Erased so that those at the hotel can feel like we were never there.
December 08, 2009
Being a fan of Filippo Minelli is like loving cheese pizza. It's plain yet satisfying; Filling yet you could go always go for more. Screw Pepperoni when you got Minelli!
Travelling through politically and socially unstable places Minelli draws from his surroundings to literally draw on his surroundings. His ironic graffiti has made the NY Times as well as adorned the Israel/Palestine Wall. He's even managed to paint the side of abandoned oil tankers during coup d'etats in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. To say the least, Minelli gets around.
In his series 'Contradictions', as seen above, he magnifies the digital world through their god-like painted logos and introduces them in places devoid of the most basic of technologies. The gritty contrast all the while prodding us, the users of such technologies, to question what is our fascination with these interfaces. I for one am guilty and feel my detachment from the real world as I place more time into Facebook, Flickr, or this blog. Of course, the other side of the coin is that such interfaces allow an extended connection to a larger audience. Minelli's social experiment, dubbed contemporary conceptual graffiti on his site is as much a mouthful as it is a mindful.
His latest project called 'Silence' is a slight detour from his focus on Sagmeisterian typography and towards the instant gratification of spray paint in it's most simple of forms: the straight line. A few works from 'Silence' hint at the Op Art work of Felice Varini or the simplicity of Albin Ray's latest video. While others are reminiscent of graffiti precedents such as MOMO's monumental one-liner project 'Tag Manhattan'. Regardless of the who's who, Minelli's 'Silene' is definitely audible. And just as his previous work suggests the obsolescence of technology being as near as the now defunct structures he uses as canvas, the 'Silence' uses the digital vernacular to cross out where we've been and what we've seen.
So consider this article as mission accomplished.
All images courtesy of Filippo Minelli through a Creative Commons License. More on his flickr page and personal site.
Images >>>>>---> Apple logo, spray paint on wall, Beijing, China (2009), Facebook and Microsoft in Bamako, Mali (2008), Democracy on Tugboat in Nouadhibou, Mauritania (2008).
October 11, 2009
October 17, 2008
March 27, 2008
I know that I get lost in thought while painting, biking, and generally quite often. I want to begin to focus on this state of being and study the ritual that I go through to induce such trances.
My case study will begin specifically with graffiti on NYC doors as I document my own form of zen and the art of street-cred maintanence. I will begin making comparisons between NYC graffiti'd doors and the Japanese Kamidana as well as tags and the Senjya Fuda. Here I hope to progressively move forward and make other connections finding historical forms of trance-induced identity tourism. Or make more links to Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.
Looking into history, Japanese pilgrimages can be divided into two general types. The first type is exemplified by the pilgrimage to 33 Sites Sacred to Kannon in Western Japan and the pilgrimage to 88 Holy Sites of Shikoku, in which one makes a circuit of a series of temples or holy places, sometimes separated by great distances, in a set order. The order of visitation is an important feature of this type of pilgrimage. The second type is a journey to one particular holy place. Pilgrimages in this latter group include the famous Kumano Sanzan (Wakayama), the Ise Shrine (Mie), Mt. Koya (Kii Peninsula, Wakayama), Mt. Fuji and other holy mountains in Japan.
In common usage the term junrei usually refers to the first type only. It is thought that pilgrimages were first undertaken in the Nara Period (710-794 AD), but the custom did not become popular until the Heian Era (794-1185 AD).
The senjya-fuda tradition apparently became popular during the Edo Period (1603-1867), when many believed that good fortune would come to them while their sticker remained attached to the temple or shrine gate. Despite modern rules that forbid pilgrims to paste these stickers on the temple/shrine gate, the senjya-fuda tradition still thrives in other ways in modern Japan. Many commercial shops will make customized stickers just for you -- i.e., with your family name, crest, and image of your choice. The Japanese paste these stickers just about anywhere, on their cars, on cell phones, post boxes, gifts, etc.
A tangential concept amongst graffiti, pilgramages, and trances is linearity to form muliplicity. The best tags I encounter are the most simple and often times what are defined as "one liners". The fluid momement of the lettering runs parallel to the concepts set forth by Guy Debord and the Situationist International when experimenting with dérive. Through SI's experiments with geographical drifting I want to see how ritualistic identity tourism on NYC doors leads to dérive remix.
One final note is the latest show at the MOMA called Design and the Elastic Mind. At its entrance is a piece by Hektor which I saw a while ago on a graffiti site. It basically uses two motors to pull a spray can attached by cables to draw images. It works of x, y coordinates and can draw just about any preloaded image. What was interesting was that they used it to write out the title of the show in a very basic typeface. However instead of turning the can off when it finished a stroke and went to say, dot an "i" or cross a "t", it continued to make the mark, showing all the connectivity in the structuring of our alphabet. I saw this as a departure point to follow the above concept on ritual and linearity.