“Graffiti Girls” is a stunningly beautiful portrait series by Austin TX-based artist Kevin Peterson. His blend of both hyper realistic portraiture and natural graffiti penmanship is a new one, and his command of both styles is impressive. Peterson uses the rough and jagged shapes of wall tags to directly juxtapose the soft beauty of young girls; the ragged and worn versus the innocent and clean. Though subject and backdrop are polar opposites, the girls seem empowered by the art behind them, instead of shying away from it. They may live in a world that’s tagged up, but they aren’t scared of it. The color and design of the spraypaint behind them seems to enhance the girls’ beauty and personalities, especially with Peterson often coordinating the tags with the girls’ outfits. These portraits help to make the argument that graffiti is becoming a more normalized form of public art, and though it’s not always pretty, younger generations growing up in this world are used to its presence, instead of threatened by it.
Rae Martini‘s work combines expressionistic urban texture with graffiti-infused flourishes of color. Throw ups, tags, and gradients are partially obscured by grime of every variety. Everything’s happening at once. What’s great about these is that they present an evolved aesthetic within the realm of graffiti without abandoning some its more classic techniques. See more from the Italian artist after the jump.
A little over a week ago, we featured an interview between James Jean and Jeff Staple. This week, check out another vid of Staple stirring up some insightful chatter with a talented artist.
NYC artist Jose Parla is known for bringing the most subtle graff references to his abstract expressionist paintings. Tags and drips meld seamlessly with texture and scale in his atmospheric work, eschewing the familiar graffiti-aesthetic-as-gimmick-syndrome.
Full interview after the jump.
Renowned Brazilian brothers/collaborators Os Gemeos, known for their huge street art murals featuring vivid colors and strange, yellow dudes, just opened a show at Boston’s ICA. While the bros are in town, they’re getting up with two large pieces that are starting to look like some of their best work yet. If your grandmother still thinks that public art is a nuisance, then show her these gorgeous process photos. And if you’re on the east coast, a road trip may be in order before the summer’s out. The show at ICA/Boston runs until November, 25.
This isn’t the first time anyone’s ever used long exposure photography to make compositions with light, but Jasper Geenhuizen (Netherlands) is doing some of the best I’ve seen. Strong colors, and perfect set up and location. This is how you do it right. There’s no gimmick to these either- I would dig these pictures with or without the light work. They emit a damp, nocturnal atmosphere that’s not easy to reproduce. In Geenhuizen’s words, “Everybody can make light graffiti, but it is truly art to be able to combine the light with the place.” Hope to see much more from this guy going forward.
Based in Paris, Mademoiselle Maurice creates colorful installations on the street by conglomerating a bunch of origami. A lot of “street artists” love to talk about how important the ephemeral nature of their work is. Well Mlle. Maurice’s delicate origami doesn’t look like it will last long in its original state. But somehow these works seem really natural in their setting, like a growth of delicate lichen on the shadowed side of a rock. It’s almost as if they appeared on their own. Be sure to check out her website for many more images and projects. (via)
Brazilian artist ALMA has been getting up a lot lately with these haunting, stark, sometimes figurative pieces that move in and out of decaying urban environments in an incredibly natural way. I like that he mixes it up between extensive, symmetrical work that kind of reminds me of Richard Colman, and flat black stuff that’s really hard to define but affective nonetheless. South America is always killin’ it.
Check out this interesting PSA from 1976 that explores graffiti during a time when the art form had just blown up in public consciousness. This video really allows you to appreciate the status which graffiti has achieved today, even if we’re not all the way there yet. Though it presents many views on its subject, the piece comes off as biased. Make sure to look out for gems like “kids who write on toilet walls have psychological problems – let’s help them straighten out their heads.” Watch the 13-minute video after the jump.