Archive for January, 2013

Ashley Macias ~ Alley Tour, 16th St

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

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By Ashley Macias

Soldierleisure, La Muñeca, and Isaac Caruso Comment On Obey’s Recent Work in Phoenix

Monday, January 28th, 2013

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When Obey’s works recently popped up around the city for a second time, the fervor of a national artist contributing to a blossoming street art scene was considerably more quiet. Compared to the first visit in April 2011 when posters appeared in Tempe in suspected promotion of the fourth annual StickerPhiends art show, there was less media coverage, less criticism from the art community, and less enthusiasm expressed by fans.

More important than the lack of excitement surrounding Obey’s works are the discussions they spawn. Do outside artists have a place in Phoenix’s mural scene, and if they do, is it appropriate for Obey to try and pass his posters as art when they’re also promoting his clothing brand? What many people do not know, but what is obvious to others, is that Shepard Fairey, the man behind the brand did not put these works up himself. What is commonly seen as his street art installations are more akin to guerilla marketing strategies carried out by a team of accomplices who promote his many business endeavors– including his clothing line.

In a 2012 interview for MadOne’s “StickerPhiends” zine, Fairey responds to questions concerning the relationship between his art and his clothing line.

A lot of people think I started doing the clothing line more recently, to like cash in on my street cred or something. I was actually making t-shirts the first week I made the original Andre the Giant has a posse sticker in 1989. I made five home screen shirts of the graphic to give to friends. And when I lived in Providence I screened shirts of all the same images I put up in streets and sold those to pay for all the vinyl and posters and everything [. . .]

So, I’ve asked three Phoenix artists to share their feelings on the subject. All of them have contributed to Phoenix’s mural/street art scene and have brought additional awareness to the benefits public art offers a city. Their answers reflect on how Obey’s work fits into the greater context of Phoenix, and ultimately, if they help to nurture or hurt a creative public art scene here.

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Soldierleisure

“Obeys work that has recently been pasted up can be a reminder of a what a prolific and super active street artist/company can do when a profitable apparel/lifestyle brand and teamwork is involved. Broad trips to cities, wheat pastings, parties, etc. next city, same thing. marketing.  I think the best way to look at it is as though it serves as a marker, or a reminder of what one guy started and now many follow. Do these images insult us because they are a reminder that we can go buy product online or walk to Urban Outfitters to get some Obey Shwag? consume this. This option, of course propels the option to look to the west and east for what is cool, instead of continuing to make our own here to offer up to the larger thing happening locally and worldwide. At one time, it would have been more impressive to see this type of thing here, but now a days, Phoenix has its own development happening, and more and more as each artist can look within themselves to find what it is they have to contribute to their city.

I think its great that the Ronad Reagan got some attention with a violin and some “stupid” spraypaint on it. That’s the spirit!!! These pastes are a like a hiccup in a way, since we have our own artists contributing to phoenix, in a healthy and skillful way that stands on its own. Little guy Phoenix is growing up but not old.”

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Isaac Caruso

“There’s an ugly but necessary whorish/commercial side to art and I think Shepard sending his posse is really a compliment to Phoenix. This validates our efforts for national notoriety and thankfully no one here wants our city to be a satellite scene for Los Angeles. We’ll keep being Phoenix no matter what. So, I think we should welcome out of towners but hit their cities back twice as hard!”

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La Muñeca

“As a young girl growing up in Southern California, seeing andre the giant pasted on the backs of stop signs and electrical boxes was my first exposure to street art of any kind. Even as a child I was curious about the image . . . who was the face of? Obey what, exactly? Who was putting these up and why? That being said, I think Shepard Fairey, among many many other graffiti and street artists alike, has done a lot to pave the way for artists today. Unfortunately, there are still ignorant people out there (even gallery owners!) who “like” famous street artists but look down on a young kid’s tag on the street . . . in my mind, tagging is the purest and simplest form of self expression, and an extremely important one.

As for Obey’s recent paste-ups in Phoenix . . . I myself have been guilty of sneering at his clothing brand . . .nobody said you can’t get rich, but it raises questions . . . does he use his profits to bring awareness to a cause or start up art programs for inner-city youth? Or is he just hoarding his money? I see absolutely no problem with an outsider coming to Phoenix and putting up art of any kind, as long as it’s done in a respectful way. Hell, the way I see it, I rather see an Obey poster than nothing at all on a blank wall . . . blank walls are something we have way too much of here in Phoenix. I love the fact that some of them got defaced, because it’s creating a discussion and forcing people to get off their asses and do something, even if they’re vandalizing someone else’s shit.

So to wrap it up, did Fairey send someone out here to put up posters as a way of promoting his brand? Maybe. But again, better an Obey poster than a blank wall or another McDonalds billboard. Are you pissed off that there’s Obey shit in Phoenix? Then stop whining and use that anger as motivation to do something better. Leave YOUR mark on the city and do something to make it a more beautiful place for us all.”

Lalo Cota on Por Vida Gallery

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

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Por Vida Gallery

Amanda Adkins’ Mural on Westwind Studios

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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A mural painted by Amanda Adkins with the help of various other artists on the side of Westwind Studios, located on 16th St in Downtown Phoenix.

Playa Hermosa ~ Alley Tour

Monday, January 21st, 2013

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Jason Griffith’s Tempe Chair Installations, Funded by the Tempe Neighborhood Grant Program

Friday, January 18th, 2013

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Jason Griffiths is an architect and assistant professor at Arizona State University. His recent chair installations, located at S College & La Jolla off Southern Ave in Tempe were funded by the Tempe Neighborhood Grant Program, which seeks to “[support] efforts to improve and enhance community spaces and cultivates opportunities for neighbors to commission artwork and other improvements.” In a Jackalope Ranch article he explains that,

“[the] eventual form was derived from looking at how two people might sit together and their relationship — one leaning on the other, facing slightly away from each other and so on. These relationships were also informed by the immediate environment like views towards the street, local bus route, shade, etc.”

Stephen Gittin’s Exclusive Look Inside the Now Defunct Madison Jail on 3rd Ave

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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The Madison Jail on 3rd Ave has been closed for seven years. When the jail was due to close, the inmates were given permission to draw on the walls before they were transferred to the new jail on 4th Avenue. Stephen Gittins, documentary photographer and owner of Capture12 Studios in Phoenix, has exclusive access to the jail and has shared these photos with me for public viewing.

Niba DelCastillo Showing in Carly’s Bistro for the Month of January

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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Niba DelCastillo, photographer and Phoenix Taco contributor is showing his work inside Carly’s Bistro, located at Roosevelt & 2nd St, for the month of January. Check it out and see Phoenix through a different lens.

“Los Tres Grandes”, Francisco “Enuf” Garcia’s Tribute Mural on Calle 16

Monday, January 14th, 2013

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Photo by Niba DeCastillo

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Los Angeles-based artist Francisco “Enuf” Garcia spent some time in Phoenix recently organizing “Los Tres Grandes”, a collaborative mural that pays tribute to the great Mexican muralists David Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, and Jose Orozco. The mural is located on the back of Barrio Cafe on 16th St, part of the Calle 16 Mural Project. Artists involved inlcude Francisco “Enuf” Garcia, Sinek, Joseph “Sentrock” Perez, Angel Diaz, Srvnt, Averian Chee, Jeff Slim, Ser V One, Pruf, Keisr, Martin Moreno, Armando, Durok, and Detor.

Angel Diaz on the Tumblewood Center for Youth Development

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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3rd St & Wiletta St

Painted by Angel Diaz and members from the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development