Weekly Highlights: July 13 - 19
It would appear that the guy who marked these past few weeks in the world of street art is Shepard Fairey. He went to Detroit, painted his largest mural to date, then he painted some other places that he apparently shouldn’t have, so the Detroit police charged him with vandalism. After making the headlines and asking questions about whether a legend of street art – and street art itself – has really come a long way or it was all just a trick, Obey turned himself in and is now facing some not-so-naive jail time. The debate will go on, and we can now only wait and see if this saga will go on even further. One thing’s for sure: the arrest of Shepard Fairey might stir things up among street artists, but it will definitely not prevent them from creating their work on the streets.
Besides Fairey, the past week was marked by, you’ll guess, another article from our Provoke! (NSFW) section, and this time it was the nudes by the one and only Edward Weston. As we’re used to seeing his impeccable shapes and forms of vegetables, it was great to revisit his artistry of the nude, equally impressive and remarkable. Fans of spooky things rejoiced after the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York announced the Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular exhibition, “where the mind is caught into a peculiar place between wakefulness and dreams…” We haven’t forgotten that summer means a lot of street art festivals worldwide, so we made sure you don’t miss the 10 best of them – and we’re so glad you appreciated it! Finally, to conclude our Art Travel Special dedicated to Barcelona, we talked to Anna Dimitrova, gallery manager at Montana Gallery, about the city’s unique art scene and the importance of her gallery.
Sit back, scroll down and enjoy the very best of last week on Widewalls.
The Surrender of Shepard Fairey
What caused all of this fuss in Detroit? Well, it’s only the largest mural of the artist’s career! Fairey painted this majestic piece on an 18-story building One Campus Martius, formerly the Compuware building, in Motown. So you can imagine a mural of this magnitude is surely going to catch a few looks and attract much attention, both positive and negative. And that’s not quite all that he was charged for, apparently he also did some smaller work on other buildings, allegedly causing $9,000 worth of damage throughout the city of Detroit. Raising much discourse on the never-ending subject of whether this should be interpreted as art or vandalism, art aficionados stepped up to defend their fellow man, claiming his work as an undeniable product of artistry. As on the other hand, Detroit officials tried to justify the felony charges and an especially high bond amount for the famous artist, by referring to his track record and the “mess” that he had left there. Apparently, not even “Elephant Snot”, the mostly used graffiti removal-tool, was up to the task of removing Fairey’s work. They attempted to clean it off, but wheat paste, a glue used to stick posters, doesn’t respond well to graffiti-removal tools, so they had to paint over it.
The Nudes of Edward Weston
Edward Weston started photographing the nude models in the beginning of 1920’s and continued the series in the next twenty years. His figure studies are often made of his friends, family and the people he was in a personal and emotional relationship with. The timeline of his nude series coincides with the peak of the modernism in the US and Edward Weston was one of the pioneers of the movement in the field of photography. He first started his career in a pictorial style but swiftly changed his interest towards the more realistic and detailed approach to photography exploring the modernist aesthetic requirements and focusing on the complex search for the ideas of objects rather than the objects themselves in their physical and ephemeral state. Or as he states in one of his journals “The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself”. That explains why so many of his figure studies concentrate on the effort of catching the substantial idea of beauty beyond the surface of the bodies portrayed.
See the images in Shapes of Natural Force: Edward Weston Nudes
Best Summer Street Art Festivals
Looking for a place with stunning street art and a beach? Parties and sightseeing? Usually accompanied by live music performances and workshops, the street art festivals are the places where creative forces of renowned mural masters unite to create something spectacular. The melting pots of art, skateboarding and music attract a large number of artists and visitors from all around the globe. Often located on beautiful islands (it’s summer after all) these events are young, proactive and want to make a positive change in their community. And in many cases, the entrance is free! From the Sea Walls Festival in Mexico, with the goal of saving ocean life to one of the widespread Meeting of Styles festivals, these cities will be the meccas of street and contemporary art during the summer. We present you ten upcoming street art festivals around the world, in chronological order.
Check them out in Street Art Festivals To Follow This Summer
Opus Hypnagogia at the Morbid Anatomy Museum
When we think about art we usually have in mind those artistic endeavors that bring out the hidden beauty of the objects or people represented in the artworks. But what about the darker side of the artistic practice, one rooted into eerie experiences of the artist that are not easily rationalized, dealing preferably with the mystical entities and uncertain mental phenomena? What about the effect of the uncanny or the aesthetic of ugliness as Karl Rosenkrantz used to call it? Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular is the upcoming exhibition organized by Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York and it explores this particular kind of art, one that emerges from the cryptic, dreamlike experiences. The exhibition will feature an extensive array of works and therefore we are thrilled to give you a comprehensive preview of this show.
Interview with Anna Dimitrova of Montana Gallery Barcelona
As part of our last month’s Art Travel Specials, we wrote about the unique art scene of Barcelona – a city made of art and where art can be seen on every corner. As street art enthusiasts, we were also curious to know about the city’s painted walls and dedicated spaces, and one of them is Montana Gallery. We had the opportunity to talk to Anna Dimitrova, the manager of Montana Gallery Barcelona, who told us about the experience of Barcelona’s art scene first hand. During our talk, we discussed Anna’s own love for urban art, as well as her most interesting encounters and the beginnings of Montana Gallery and Montana spray can brand. We also learned about the amazing places in Barcelona where you can see great art, but also the gallery’s exciting future!
For more of urban and contemporary art, sign up for My Widewalls! It’s FREE!