Wednesday, 22 August 2012

ARCADIA...... Nuff Said

Arcadia…. Where superlatives melt away and immersion tears through the limits. Boomtown Fair saw the latest incarnation of their infamous Spider set new standards in creativity, engineering and trans dimensional gobsmack.

Taking a perfectly sized area on the festival site with sides sloping into the heart of the beast, Arcadia had tweaked their awe inspiring structure into armour plated organics. Locking down volatile intensity, this was the 360 degree, all enveloping experience and proof if ever it was needed that this tight, down to earth and permanently outside the box crew are in a league of their own.

Built entirely out of scrap and discarded military hardware - Arcadia goes way beyond the realms of recycling and into the subatomic, shifting the charges of proton and neutron and the nature of matter itself from destructive former incarnations into the gloriously positive.

With a dancefloor centred underneath the structure and building momentum up the sides of the crater. With speaker stacks facing out in the round and satellite speaker stacks facing in from the primal ring of exploding Gothic lamposts. With lasers tracing the stars while bowel shattering pyrotechnics took your eyebrows off and blew you clean off your axis, the mutant creature of euphoric apocalypse was unleashed to stalk the landscape.

The crowd were pulled into the orbit of the Spider like never before – under it, over it around it and deep inside it as eye popping visuals flowed through visceral power into a mystical electricity. Words really don’t do it justice.

It nearly all went spectacularly tits up on the Friday night as quite frankly pathetic noise levels were forced on them by the powers that be (not the organizers we must add). It was so nearly a painful ‘what might have been’ as after all that work, design, effort and bonkers engineering, the jump into hyperspace that was just bursting to happen was compromised by the flick of a volume knob.

Thankfully – bass re entered the equation on the Saturday night after what we imagine must have been some seriously fraught negotiations. From the moment the show kicked in and the spider began to crackle with life – all the elements were there to show the incoming Perseids meteor shower a thing or two about spectacle. Aliens land in Boomtown??? Fucking right……..

As dry ice belched out from the skeleton of the structure in an inspired spin on the smoke machine concept and the amphitheatre of alchemy wove its way up the slopes turning base metals into magic – yet again – it was one of those ‘Were you there’ moments.

It never fails to astonish just how much Arcadia can push the boundaries and how a creativity honed entirely by subculture can blow mainstream constructs into oblivion. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – there is just nothing like it…. Pure, mind blowing next level. 

Here's the video from Boomtown

With thanks to Charlie Raven, Paul Holmes (Witness Images), Marianne Harris, Tom George and Luke Taylor for the photos

Monday, 13 August 2012

Sweet Revenge Exhibition by Sweet Toof in HW until Sunday

Renowned street artist Sweet Toof has been tagging streets with his signature gummy teeth since 2005. A credible street artist and deep thinker. Sweet Toof has redefined some of the old masters and given them a new lease of life with a new demographic.

We popped into The Colour Works for his most recent show…Running Until Next SUNDAY…

LSD Magazine's Wayne Anthony

'Sweet Toof’s painting starts with and evolves out of his street art; whether as a solo graffiti artist or in collaboration with the esteemed Burning Candy crew.  Typical tags, throw-ups, and more elaborate pieces become a whole language which informs his studio works as it does his colleagues.  Like the streets of 1980’s New York, London’s streets today are being reclaimed by an ever increasing army of street artists of which Sweet Toof is one of the most prolific and artful.  Out there, under the swirl of lamplights, billboards and urban detritus, ‘bubble-Gums’ and pearly-Teeth’ push themselves up through the pavement cracks and concrete facades like anarchic plants refusing the flimsy, rootless, cheap order of modern life.' High Roller Society Website

Sweet Revenge
On Until Sunday 19 August 2012, free entry
The Colour Works
117 Wallis Road
Hackney E9 5LN

                                    High Roller Society


Friday, 10 August 2012

Antonin Fourneau's Water Light Graffiti

Antonin Fourneau is the creator of this amazing new technique called Water Light Graffiti. A mositure-sensitive LED panel which illuminates when in contact with water. Various devices can be used to create unique light displays including special spray cans, bottles, squirt guns, human hands etc etc... Produced for DIGITALARTI FRANCE


LSD Magazine interviews Blek le Rat (issue 9)

His art transcended barrier after barrier, always one step ahead of originality’s curve. Everymen melted into pathos, taboos were broken, the halos were rattled atop cultural paragons and sepia monochromes breathed life into the rat race. Piercing figures bursting out of cold concrete bathed in the light of life, and the blight of strife. He fundamentally changed the way we see art and ourselves and a few paragraphs could never do it justice. So over to the man himself with immense respect.

What was the state of public art when you were coming of age?

In 1968 we couldn’t really talk about public art in the sense we understand it today - the only public art in Paris would have been large murals with heavy official backing. It started more during the seventies. But I don’t really relate to or particularly like huge painted facades. I just don’t think it’s that interesting in a city – it’s way too big and impersonal and certainly doesn’t touch me personally. I think the real question is the state of art in 1968, a momentous year in France that saw something close to a revolution with huge student protests and a vast number of strikes. At the time, the students of the Beaux Arts school of Paris created workshops where they did revolutionary posters to stick all over Paris throughout the month of May. I was 17 years old, and when I saw them, I was genuinely moved by them. It was mostly screen printed black and white posters with very strong messages, and they were my first insight into what a revolution could be. They definitely left their mark on me and they were the artistic reflection of a tumultuous, exciting time. Beyond that, I’d say street art didn’t exist in Paris in any form apart from the stock murals. It existed in the US, it existed in New York but it didn’t exist in France.

I don’t think London had any either. I mean during the 70’s there was maybe one or two artists that would work in the street but that’s about it. I used to go to London during the 70’s and I don’t remember seeing any public art - and there was no graffiti in the streets of Berlin, in Italy or in France. It’s really a movement that started in the US, from New York and that arrived in Europe during the 80’s but not before. I can’t really talk about public art unless you call public art the statues they put in front of schools - state driven and entrenched in an agenda. When I speak about public art, what interests me is an art that is free, a bit rebellious and forbidden, a forbidden art that is done secretly in the street.

Actually there was a form of graffiti back then but it tended to be heavily political. In France there has always been a great tradition of political graffiti throughout the centuries – where people would secretly air their views on the state, the king, the president or their neighbour all over a wall. When I was a child and the Algerian war of independence was raging over the embers of colonialism, I remember all kinds of messages and slogans appearing all over the city from both sides – be it ‘French Algeria” or “Algeria to the Algerians”.

Stencils were originally a political communication and propaganda tool. How aware were you of that legacy when you started stenciling and how conscious was that connection?

I was absolutely aware and the connection was conscious. I discovered stencils at the beginning of the sixties during a trip to Italy with my parents. While we were in Padova, I remember seeing a stencilled portrait of Mussolini on the city walls. It wasn’t a new or even a recent thing - it was a relic of the Second World War. And it was actually very well done - a profile of Mussolini wearing a helmet. I was maybe something like eleven or twelve and I asked my father why people did that, why did people paint directly on the wall, why they didn’t use posters - I knew posters but this I had never seen before. My dad answered it was propaganda, and that the fascists did it. During the Second World War, fascists did all their propaganda using stencils and they did it all with paint soaked rollers, as spray paint didn’t exist back then...



LSD Magazine says Banksy is a Fake

We were contacted by British newspaper Bournemouth Echo to comment on whether a recent stencil was an authentic / fake Banksy...and yes its a Fake!


'This image came across our desk today and we posted to our facebook group just 3 hours ago. So far over 7,000 people have looked at the image. Street art graffiti fans on our network are connected to global networks and therefore quite knowledgeable on this topic. We see no reason to endorse this stencil as Banksy. Its actually quite messy whereas Banksy paints much clearer lines especially when it comes to detail.
We know its debatable whether he does the painting himself and one could argue one of his team might've painted it. Banksy also has a tendency to move away from concepts already made public by his stencils. The original barcode series is much cleaner than this image.

None of the street art graffiti bloggers have posted anything about the image which makes its authenticity questionable. Banksy sources are completely ignoring the image leaving the media at large to play with this question. The person (s) that created this image probably did so as a way to get one over the media and gain some notoriety within personal circles. Stories about this fake Banksy goes toward giving the fake some financial value although we wouldn't pay for a piece. We'd be happy to accept one by post for free though.'

Wayne Anthony (Co-Editor)


Artist Don's Olympic Gold Quest

We went to Leake Street yesterday in hope of snapping some nice pieces. We choose the wrong day as they are currently shooting a movie down there and most of the tunnel is locked off. Wondering down to the crowded South Bank we bumped into workaholic Don (interviewed in LSD Magazine) and a gathered audience. Don has been painting various British icons for a couple of years now and a proper nice geezer...


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mark Bode's Visit to Amsterdam July 2012

Vaughn Bode (Legend)

It's the gallery equivalent of making a dramatic entrance. Although the crowd began gathering half an hour beforehand, the brown paper over the windows of ArTicks Gallery remained up until half an hour after the latest exhibition - Da Bodé In Amsterdam, Mark Bodé's first solo show in the Netherlands - was scheduled to begin. Anticipation and excitement built as hosts emerged with drinks for the growing throng, and when the paper was finally removed from the windows, it was the equivalent of a kid ripping the wrapping off a long-awaited present.

Mark Bode (Legend)

The array of lush colours and idiosyncratic characters within more than lived up to the expectations of the guests, and Mark Bodé was surrounded by excited fans from at least three generations of graffiti enthusiasts. A warm and generous man as well as a highly respected artist, Mark had time for everyone in attendance, from Dutch graffiti legend Niels Shoe Meulman and Mick la Rock to the small children who immediately blagged paper and pens from a host, threw themselves on the floor and began drawing their own versions of the Bodé panoply.

The instant appeal of Bodé characters has remained consistent since the late 70s, when the work of Mark's father Vaughn Bodé first began appearing in comics and magazines such as Heavy Metal and Esquire. Rapidly adopted by the growing graffiti movement of the same era, the Cheech Wizard, Bodé Broads and lizards began appearing in street art all over the U.S. and beyond. Vaughn had unleashed a cast of thousands that somehow, everyone could identify with.

Mark Bode

Da' Bodé In Amsterdam features both established characters that Mark developed with his father, and new ones that have sprung from his own imagination. No Bodé show would be complete without the Cheech Wizard, one of the oldest characters. He makes no less than six appearances here, including a sepia portrait on canvas and a cameo on a NYC subway map, where only the tip of his iconic yellow hat is seen pushing between the full breasts of a contemplative Bodé Broad. A series of pieces on Amsterdam metro maps also features prominently in the gallery, and it seems that the recent trend for graffiti art on subway maps is developing into one of the most collectible and exciting forms of the 

As dusk fell over the Singel canal, Mark and gallery director Joe Spencer boarded a boat to the afterparty which was held at the Grand Cafe Batavia. The crowd in and around ArTicks Gallery showed little sign of thinning, and instead was escorted by kilt-clad hosts to the Batavia. Room 5 was filled helium balloons, streamers, and posters of Vaughn Bodé with Mark which announced the theme of the afterparty - a celebration of what would have been Vaughn Bodé's 71st birthday, July 22nd. The enjoyment was clear on Mark's face, and when two specially made birthday cakes were brought out, his eyes were even shinier than usual. The afterparty continued into the small hours of Saturday morning.

                           PHOTOS: Mr Gig Photography
ArTicks Gallery Singel 88 Amsterdam, Nh 1015AD