Weekly Highlights: August 24 - 30

August 31, 2015

While Dismaland is still a hot topic, and I’m sure it’ll stay that way even after the exhibition closes (on September 27th), Shepard Fairey was also in the spotlight in the week behind us. The creator of the Obama Hope poster, as the general public knows him best, reportedly caused $30,000 worth of damages on several properties in Detroit, during his visit in May. We will know more as his hearings progress in the upcoming days, but his case could become a milestone in the ongoing debate on vandalism. If convicted, Shepard Fairey could face some serious prison time and if he does, the focus of this story will then definitely be on that particular fact, rather than the 18-story mural he created in Michigan - the reason why he went to Detroit in first place.

Going back to Dismaland (because at this point it’s hard to avoid it even if we try), we were wondering if people missed the point of this twisted bemusement park, especially after some “we’re not impressed” reviews from The Guardian or the Business Insider. Speaking of street art, we have the selection of 10 most beautiful mural created during this year’s Sea Walls festival on the Mexican island of Cozumel, and we have a famous graffiti artist collaborating with a fashion company, yet again. Finally, the week couldn’t have passed without a trip to our Provoke! (NSFW) section, with some more nude photography for you to enjoy.

Scroll down and revisit the very best of the last seven days.

Nude Photography by Olivier Valsecchi

Throughout his work, Oliver Valsecchi is echoing the aesthetic of classical portraiture and fine art photography. His praxis is rooted in minimalism with highly detailed representation of figures portrayed on a dark background. His astonishing photographs bring a subtle take on erotic imagery focusing on the beauty of human body as seen in the classical aesthetic canon. Rather than exploring the lust and raw sexuality Oliver Valsecchi is offering a delicate view of the idea of bodily beauty. This is why he often chooses to depict his models as anonymous and impersonal, covering their facial expression and letting the composition of the artwork and the portrayed bodies to speak for themselves. Some of the finest examples of Oliver Valsecchi’s style are his Klecksography series which intersect sculpture and photography and his Dust and Time of War series which bring the powerful cosmological imagery of bodies rising from the ashes.

See the erotic images in Olivier Valsecchi Photography Series - Drifting - Explores Nude Twisted Bodies

Shepard Fairey Damages $30,000 Worth of Property

In May 2015, Shepard Fairey visited the city of Detroit to paint his largest mural to date. But besides the amazing 184-foot tall piece covering the 18-story One Campus Martius building, the American street artist also painted some other properties, and this illegal act brought him an arrest warrant. On July 14th, the Obey creator turned himself in at Los Angeles International Airport, but was spared jail time with a bail set for $75,000. Now, the Shepard Fairey vs Detroit police saga continues, as some new information about the case emerged on August 27th, at a pretrial conference held by a Detroit city attorney that Shepard Fairey did not attend. According to the Detroit city attorney, the author of the famous Obama HOPE poster and the renowned graffiti artist Shepard Fairey caused $30,000 of damages – and counting – done on six private and three city-owned properties in Detroit.

What’s next for Shepard Fairey? Read more in Shepard Fairey Hearing - Estimated Damages and the Continuation of the Case

Dismaland… What’s That All About?

Dismaland Bemusement Park was hyped from the beginning, more than any other project by any renowned artist in recent times. It is no wonder since Banksy is known for organizing some controversial and spectacular events in the past. The fans and the general public alike were eagerly awaiting to see how his biggest project to date turns out, ever since the first rumors started circling. However, now that Dismaland is open, the hopes and expectations seem to taper off. Announced as ingenious creation, for many visitors Dismaland turned out to be quite boring and unengaging experience. Or was that the whole point? In the last couple of days, many started wondering if Dismaland was nothing but one big hoax. When asked about the idea and inspiration for Dismaland project Banksy stated that “it’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.”

See our point of view in The Real Message of Dismaland - Hopelessness and Depression of Western Society

10 Best Sea Walls Festival Murals

With another edition of Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Festival behind us it is time to see what were some of the best pieces created for the festival. With 35 large-scale murals painted on the Caribbean Island of Cozumel, Mexico during the last month, it definitely wasn’t an easy choice to make. Just like in 2014 the festival was organized by the PangeaSeed, international association dedicated to the preservation of oceans and marine species in peril. Eleven artist from Mexico and twenty-four internationally acclaimed muralists joined forces with PangeaSeed and local activists to raise awareness and educate local communities in the field of nature conservation. Their magnificent works of art address the current environmental issues through a series of specific themes with all murals being based on interesting, yet disturbing facts about the current state of the ocean ecosystems and endangered marine species.

Check them out in Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Festival - Our Selection of 10 Beautiful Murals

Alec Monopoly x Forever 21 = Clothing Collection

Famous American chain of fashion retailers and Alec Monopoly, a well-known graffiti artist have made a great deal. They have collaborated on a limited edition collection of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. Alec Monopoly is best known for his top-hatted graffiti character of Monopoly Man. On the other hand, Forever 21 is one of the largest fashion companies in the United States, with some 500 stores all over the world. The collaboration between Forever 21 and Alec Monopoly will result in artworks that grace hooded pullovers, crew neck sweatshirts, short sleeve graphic t-shirts, canvas tote bags, nail art décor, note pads and more. For the limited edition collection that will come out from the collaboration between Forever 21 and Alec Monopoly, the artist will use his well-known characters (i.e. Rich Uncle Pennybags, the mascot of the board game Monopoly).

More details in Forever 21 x Alec Monopoly - A Collab for a Limited Edition Collection

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