Pages

Links

Red Ballon Links

Categories

Archives

Meta

Autor: KaM©

~ 07/05/17

Just three days ago was the artist Keith Haring’s (59th) Birthday.
My blog post is to simply keep his memory fresh and alive! Many people have claimed to be influenced by him and many more have benefited from making such claims while they in broad daylight paint their version of ‘Street Art’ for the world to see.

That’s cool if you can get away with it and not get arrested.
Even Keith knew the job at hand was a risk so he made sure to have someone with him photographer Tseng Kwon Chi to document just about all of his activities and use the (one) arrest as a marketing tool to finally be Identified as the chalk using graffiti artist whose humanoid figures touched everyone who encountered them.

Keith Haring + KaM© customized Smurf character.

Autor: KaM©

~ 19/04/17

As the great Tupac Shakur once sang “I get around” even though it takes a great deal of effort. It just so happens that there was a break in the weather and it reached nearly 75 degrees on this day in early April.
I contacted my amazing personal stylist friend the “Do-Over Specialist” Victoria to accompany me to this somewhat controversial exhibition held on the 69th floor of one the World Trade Center buildings. The host of the evening was (WTG)World Trade Gallery est.1981 who curated the show selecting a grouping of artists who have an association with ‘Street Art’ which is no longer called ‘Graffiti’if you technically don’t use your tag in your paintings or reference Hanna Barbara characters.
Regardless of the reason the art was selected and the artists chosen I had a fantastic time just taking in the view from high above the city.
It was a night that only these photos do a small courtesy.

Artists KaM© And Do-Over Specialist Victoria Watznauer @4 World Trade Center New York.


‘Art Party’ on the 69th floor.
Photo: credit ©photoVW2017


Opening at 4 World Trade Center. Photo: photoVW©2017

Autor: KaM©

~ 28/01/14

(RED) Art for AIDS release. Kidrobot x Keith Haring.

Central Voice article featuring Haring mural & Karey Maurice.

Central Voice article featuring Haring mural & Karey Maurice.

I’m a couple of months behind in writing this article but; the theme of red is still very appropriate for the first month of the year. The color of red represents a lot of meanings all of which indicate a state of urgency either exhilarating,fearful or even meditative. I’ll start off by saying that in my case all the above descriptions apply so bare with me on this reporting of two events that have guided me in real time to a major change in my life experiences. The first thing was the release of a great article about me and my experience hanging around the late pop artist Keith Haring over twenty years ago now [Wow,where does the time go?] and, a new restoration project of one of his murals painted in Philadelphia during or around the same time I met him which is the irony of the whole thing because I never seen the mural until I looked it up in a retrospective catalog prior to seeing it in the Central Voice news article. At the same time Kidrobot™ x (PRODUCT) RED™ x Keith Haring foundation teamed up and create a limited edition designer toy mascot release to fight the global AIDS epidemic and I was invited to the release party @Kidrobot™ New York but was unable to attend because at the time I was in Philadelphia [more irony?] but I made sure I got my hands on two of the 7″inch figures before they sold out! Now,the flip side of it all is that I have been worried or (Seeing Red) about a situation that has been wearing me down slowly for quite some time and without sharing “TMI” (To much information.) I’ll just say that time will be the conduit in which I travel through a maze of O.P.S. (Other Peoples Shit.) and arrive at some place of peace and tranquility with all my special needs met. I remain optimistic as ever that everything will fall into place just like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Autor: KaM©

~ 06/05/12

Group exhibition curated by Leon Rainbow.

Next month I’m included in this urban art exhibition along with sixteen street & contemporary artists and two photographers that have documented the third coming of graffiti art and letter based abstraction along with stenciling, a spinoff genre to tagging.

The place, the Riverfront Renaissance Center is a very active place which provides not only artist exhibitions but educational programming for the local community to learn more about the benefits of all types of artistic practices.It’s a very large exhibition space with plenty of restaurants flanking either side of the building along it’s main street.
The last exhibition I was included in at this facility was also an urban art themed show in 2008 where I exhibited a couple of my designer custom toys/sculpture which received a bit of local press to my enjoyment.

This time I will also be exhibiting several of my new platform Qees,Frombie,Oshi the kid and the popular Dunny themed character with a few other surprises sure to spark the imagination of patrons young and old.

The opening reception will be held on June 15th from 6:00 until 9:00 pm and is free to the public. For more information visit the centers website at www.rrcarts.com or phone 856-327-4500><

New video of the exhibition by LUV1 images by Andrew Wilkinson.

Autor: KaM©

~ 06/09/11

Shepard Fairey in front of his now iconic Barack Obama poster.

Last month the Atlantic Wire reported that Shepard Fairey had been attacked in Denmark after the opening of  his exhibition there and the angry mob shouted “Obama illuninati” (whatever that means) as they clocked the graphic artist with right hooks.

When I first heard about the incident I almost jumped for joy for reasons associated with the white washing of real urban street culture  which Fairey along with a slew of other graphic artist have benefitted tremendously over the past two decades creating a subsidiary of the original graffiti genre that included “Hip Hop” music and circle break dancing, is now called “Street Art” where it is marketed exclusively in the media and supported by new contemporary art galleries around the world.

In an Interview I did together with photographer Jon Naar (Faith Of Graffiti) at this years Jersey Fresh Graffiti Jam @ TerraCycle®  in Trenton,NJ last month he pointed out that the movement has lost its sense of messaging (the pretext to text messaging if you will) or communicating to other fellow artist or friends in other parts of the city via subway trains & stations. Now its just painting images and filling up wall space with almost pure graphic images with the occasional social political statement.To me that is no different than the large billboard advertisements you see all over the place selling you a bag of potato chips or a hooker wearing your favorite colors as she walks down the street.

What I don’t get about these people who place stickers & posters all over the place is the fact that they are not selling anything so it seems, and then their messages and images are wack and so personalized, or worse, borrowed; that its just once again,advertisement. The difference is that these images are now transformed into products instantly and marketed to people who don’t live on the very streets they deface making it more visually obvious that there is some neglect or disrespect for the area there’re putting their garbage up and its usually called the ghetto or hood by the masses and the whole issue of exploitation for profit comes to mind.

Autor: KaM©

~ 30/08/11

Jersey Fresh Graffiti Jam @ TerraCycle courtyard Trenton, Nj

A few

A few weeks ago now I participated in Leon Rainbow’s massive graffiti writers jam right in my old home town of Trenton New Jersey where I now find myself on the outside now looking in.
I ran into my friends Jim Gordon and famous photographer Jon Naar who was interviewed along with myself by a documentarian from Brooklyn New York. I was told the interview runs for about fifteen minutes and discusses quite candidly the new street art movement that has overshadowed somewhat the original graffiti movement that originated back in the late 1960’s as a form of communication between urban communities.
I give Mr. Rainbow a lot of credit for keeping the passion of art alive and bringing it to the public (well sorta) so all can enjoy especially the children of the once booming industrial town that now yearns to establish a new identity for itself going into the twenty first century.
I wish I could capture the entire mood of the day in one photograph but that would be impossible given the scale of this event and its multi- sectional locations where painters painted their asses off and some local and transported rappers did their thing in the loading dock of the building.What a great day to be an artist and express yourself without worrying about getting caught.

Autor: KaM©

~ 28/06/11

"Art In The Streets" exhibition LAMOCA

It seems that this show is drawing more attention for its side effects and activity around the museum in downtown Los Angeles than the content inside its exhibition spaces.
There has been several arrests by LAPD of artists charged with vandalism and probation violations stemming from prior vandalism charges by the same artists, who’s name I don’t care to mention; you can find plenty of additional information regarding these cases in plenty of articles covering the exhibition.
I think the point is being missed when you focus on the criminal act of ”Street Art” but also, it doesn’t excuse the idiotic behavior of some artists who’s tasteless choice of displaying subexpressionistic art in less than desirable public spaces is ruening the genre and has gotten out of control.

“The Idea of being an artist in the twenty first century has become convoluted and over saturated with simple techniques and pomp and circumstance, and the circumstance in which I speak of is everybody’s an artist or photographer or film director just because the tools have been made easy to access and use to create “objects d’ art” for entertainment and not serious content about society.Because if we really think about it, and did get serious as people first then as artist about what we put out there as a message either on the streets or on the internet,we would see more of a responceability in the choice of placement and taste. Granted that style is always subjective but when it comes to the public perception of works of art we have no control over the power an image or word might effect someone else, the best you could do is honor the area your leaving your shit in and everything will work out fine.

This exhibition is going to travel to the Brooklyn Museum and open in March 2012 where it is expected to be a sort of home comming for the genre of “graffiti” now called street art which noticably began in the five boroughs of New York City back in the late 1960’s and 70’s until the mid 1980’s when city laws changed and more aggressive actions by the police pushed the medium underground and outside of the city,ridding on the popularity of Hip Hop music it traveled to the rest of the country and then the world.

Autor: KaM©

~ 10/03/11

Mr.Brainwash's copy cat approach to painting.

Call it divine intervention or just a simple wake up call to the subartistic movement of “Street art” that is making our city’s towns and even suburbs one big visual mess.
Leaving it looking like a kindergarden class (armed with spray paint) let out to early. I’m not against all forms of the genre just the tasteless and inappropriate copy cat nonsense thats no better than the large advertisements that are created by big corporations that insist on trying to sell us something.
In its attempt to counter the forces that be “Street art” has back fired and caused a stench that smells from the back alleys of Kolkata all the way to Los Angeles’s LAMOCA where it is then auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Just recently, the subject of “Street artist” Banksy’s new film “Exit Through The Giftshop” (nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary this year.) Thierry Guetta aka Mr.Brainwash is being sued by photographer Glen Friedman for copyright infringement of his image of legendary Hip Hop artists Run DMC and, it is said that more lawsuits are pending in regards to his inapporpriate use of other photographs he himself didn’t take for his debut exhibition ‘Life Is Beautiful” held in a abandoned CBS studio building in Los Angeles,CA three years ago. “> For more detailed information about this story just click on the link for the article posted in The artnewspaper on March 9th 2011. I think life would be most beautiful when you don’t have to steal other peoples images and call yourself an artist but hope to be respected by true painters who spend there entire life trying to perfect their craft.

Autor: KaM©

~ 18/02/11

“Every year for the past twenty one years, around this time I have two major reasons to reflect on the life I have been blessed to experience, and to now share with anyone who is interested in reading about it.
The first reason is that I was born an African American male which has its challenges but also a very deep connection to something that remains elusive to my comprehension due to the lack of information that;not even black history month can supply for me personally.
“My second reason is the fact that during my many adventures into New York City as a post teenager I had the pleasure to meet and become friends with the late Keith Haring who died this month on February 16,1990 of HIV/AIDS related illnesses.One of the last times I spent time with Keith was at an art exhibition at the Vrej Bagoohmian (a hush hush name in the art world) gallery where the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat was on display.
We greated each other and walked around the gallery together looking at the pieces and Keith asked me to tell him whether or not the paintings were original or prints, he had to touch them because his vision was failing him.His mood seemed encouraging but I knew underneath his exterior he was depressed because he knew he was going to die just like Jean-Michel (“but under different circumstances.) just two years prior and Andy Warhol only one year before that so he seemed a bit hurried and nervous, and I began to feel the same way;he said to me that Basquiat was the best as we continued to view the exhibition and then it was time for him to leave and we shook hands and said goodbye.
The very last time I saw Keith Haring was at his Pop Shop store while I was visiting New York doing my usual routeen of checking out the village and soho,I was surprised to see him and we shook hands and that was it.

I now have this reproduction of the original portrait I painted for him available on my Society6 online store.Just click on the link to the left to be directed to the sales page.

Autor: KaM©

~ 02/02/11

Time for some action!

“Do we need some assistance in establishing a well balanced “Cultural Democracy” in America? I personally feel we do but how its done is a touchy and debatable subject.Since the period of the Renaissance artist more or less belonged to a group or collective to further advance the achievement of their craft and create new aesthetics for public consumption.The same is true for seventeenth,eighteenth and nineteenth century artists a time when some of the greatest accomplishments in science & technology were achieved and adapted by modern painters who wanted to challenge the notion of what art could be and look like aesthetically,but also,comment on the culture in which they lived.

In our time (the 21st century) we still have groups of artists who belong;more or less,to movements or cliques that have become exclusive to society (culturally) but yet are highly visible on our streets,in our galleries and museums with great support from our media sources (art publications,cult magazines,film documentary) as catalyst.These artists get imprinted in our conscious minds and become famous for not being original, but mimetic; with their choice of medium and material, and literally deface public property, possible by being able to hide by the light of day and taking advantage of their race and blending in to mainstream society.

The competition hardly seems fare when you take into account that no general support is ever given to independent minority artist who used the same medium and partial methods thirty years prior and continue today to just prove their existence and dream of a better life for themselves and their families.

During the great depression a program was created called (FAP) Federal Art Project part of (WPA) Work Projects Administration who’s mission was to employ artists who were unemployed and met certain criteria and many well known artists benefited from this program and it basically was instrumental in giving the “Harlem Renaissance” its momentum and financial backbone until its restructuring due to WWII focused activities by the program.
I wonder should this program be reinstated, would we see a balance in the artistic community as far as artists being able to have successful careers and be represented in our galleries and cultural institutions, or would there be a backlash of protesters that would claim the policy to be too socialist and cry foul? “This is more than food for thought, its time for some action!

Newer Posts »