Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"Blurring the Lines" old skool #graffiti show...LA

It seems that 40,000 sq feet of street art isnt enough for Roger Gastman, co-curator of the MOCA "Art in the Streets" exhibition currently open in Los Angeles. He's spread its wings and curated an overspill show in Culver City in a more modest space.

Saturday night, Corey Helford Gallery opens its “Blurring the Lines" exhibition. This is the gallery’s first exhibition of "graffiti art masters." With so many already represented in DTLA it must've been hard to chose just three legendary artists. The lucky trio are CRASH (NYC,) FREEDOM (NYC) and RISK (LA.)

"'Blurring the Lines' is a dynamic intersection of legendary East and West coast writers, where the lines that divide urban art and the new contemporary fine art world converge." Corey Helford Gallery

The public reception for “Blurring the Lines” will take place on Saturday, April 30 from 7 to 10pm, and the show will be on view until May 18, 2011.

Read more about the artists below - information from Corey Helford Gallery's press release.

"Renowned New York graffiti artists CRASH and FREEDOM will take over the main floor with recent works inspired by their iconic imagery that was shown along alongside art luminaries Jean-Michel Basquiat, FUTURA, and Keith Haring during the 80s. A master at subway art, CRASH was also one in a handful of New York writers who painted murals on the streets during the early 80s while exhibiting at prestigious galleries worldwide. At the same time, FREEDOM moved into a larger space in Manhattan, an abandoned two mile stretch of tunnel designed by Robert Moses that would become the legendary Freedom Tunnel, launching a sixteen-year run of world-famous paintings and drawings.
For his first major gallery exhibition in almost twenty years, FREEDOM notes, “While CRASH and I have worked together over the years, this will be our first gallery exhibition together since 1987, which is exciting.” Upstairs in the loft, famed Los Angeles graffiti artist RISK, whose bus installation is prominently featured outside of “Art in the Streets” at The Geffen Contemporary at MoCA, will unveil “Styles for Miles”. Created on canvases constructed from vintage license plates, RISK’s new works represent his graffiti career as whole, tying together elements from his origins writing on freeway overpasses to his commercial projects and gallery and museum exhibitions." Corey Helford Gallery

Artists' biographies
Chris Pape / FREEDOM
Born in 1960, Chris Pape began painting trains as a teenager in New York, and in 1979, he adopted his worldfamous moniker FREEDOM. Pape began exhibiting in galleries in the early 80s showing with CRASH, Jean Michel Basquiat, FUTURA and others. In 1989, with the emergence of the “Mole People”, he chose to abandon his gallery career and focus on painting and drawing the homeless known as the Freedom Tunnel series. In 1996 the tunnel was closed off and the artist painted his final work titled “Buy American”. Considered by many to be the leading archivist of the New York subway graffiti movement, Pape reemerged as an author and filmmaker, continuing to paint commissions based on the eclectic works in the Freedom Tunnel for collectors worldwide.

John Matos / CRASH
Growing up in the Bronx, John Matos began his career at the early age of 13. He was first noticed through his murals on subway cars and dilapidated buildings. As he got older, he transferred his art from the street to canvases and has exhibited his work in museums worldwide. In 1996 Matos painted a signature Stratocaster for musician Eric Clapton and gave it to the artist as a gift. Clapton used this guitar throughout his 2001 tour. In total Matos has created five guitars for Clapton and was commissioned by Fender Musical Instruments for 50 guitars he titled the “Crashocasters.” Today Matos is not only recognized as a fine artist, he is also regarded as a pioneer of the graffiti movement. Matos’ work is included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn as well as private collections worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit

Kelly Graval / RISK
In a career spanning 29 years, RISK has impacted the evolution of graffiti as an art form in Los Angeles and worldwide. RISK gained major notoriety for his unique style and pushed the limits of graffiti further than any writer in L.A. had before: He was one of the first writers in Southern California to paint freight trains, and he pioneered writing on “heavens,” or freeway overpasses. At the peak of his career he took graffiti from the streets and into the gallery with the launch of the Third Rail series of art shows, and later parlayed the name into the first authentic line of graffiti inspired clothing. RISK has continued to work on numerous Hollywood projects for movie and music video sets, including the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and videos for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Bad Religion and Michael Jackson. Today, RISK is still involved with graffiti, surrounding himself with writers and supporting them in their art, and exhibiting at galleries and museums worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Controversy continues to follow MOCA's "Art in the streets" #ArtInTheStreets

Even before the "Art in the Streets" exhibition opened its doors at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA it was surrounded by controversy.

First, it was MOCA's self-censorship of Italian artist Blu's work. Was it truly an proactive act of sensitivity towards the museum's war veteran neighbors? Was it a publicity stunt by Deitch? Whatever it was, we were all talking about what happened.

Blu mural which was replaced with the painting below (credit: Unurth)

The media debate has since moved on to ask, "what does the 'Art In the Streets' show promote to the hordes of visitors and street artists visiting downtown Los Angeles?" According to the LAPD, the show is telling graffiti artists it's open season in the Little Tokyo neighborhood where MOCA is located. "Over the last two days, dozens of tags, including monikers and larger so-called bombs have blighted several commercial buildings behind 1st Street as well dumpsters and light poles within a stone's throw of the museum entrance."

Now, I write this as a ardent follower of hip hop and graffiti art. Despite the over-powering act of self-censorship mentioned above, it seems very little has been done to manage the possible increase of street artists attempting to make their mark in the neighborhood, encouraged (or provoked) by the amazing exhibition MOCA has organized.

So far, during my visits to MOCA I haven't seen one official notice on MOCA property - inside or outside - expressing a concern for neighbors' property in the hope of curtailing the high spirits of street artists as they enter or leave MOCA. It would be a small step in the right direction. Instead, the media are regurgitating what the police are reporting.

DO NOT BOMB IT notice at the screening of "Bomb It"

Coming down hard This past weekend's arrest (and incarceration) of Revok, one of the graffiti artists featured in the MOCA show (and French artist Space Invader's arrest the previous week) highlights a major challenge for MOCA which cannot be ignored. Street art in its rawest form is vandalism. The law is clear about its stance on that and has been making itself heard by these two high profile arrests. Whether the illegal acts are also public art is never part of the debate. The LAPD are law enforcement, not art critics.

To MOCA I'm a major fan and follower of graffiti and street art since the 80s, but this New York Times article does the culture and MOCA no favors. It's a major P.R. issue that needs managing. And this debacle should've been foreseen. Presenting graffiti in a historical context (Cornbread and Taki 183) shows its illegal past, but to have the New York graffiti wall (below) stereotypes graffiti as mindless individuals "getting up" at the public's expense. Those throw-ups and tags are definitely graffiti, but I doubt it's considered art by the majority of your members and visitors.

If the show is "Art in the Streets" then let's see more Lee Quinones, Mr. Cartoon, Mode 2 who elevate graffiti to an art form and are all recognized for their contribution to legitimacy debate. MOCA had the opportunity to not only present street art in a historical context, but also create a dialog with critics to show how graffiti can be equal, if not better, than other more accepted genres. Sadly, MOCA somehow missed this small window to build a bridge between the artists and their critics.

New York graffiti corner, MOCA
And to the street artists, as Saber tweeted on April 21st, "To the artists and supporters of . The authorities have us all under a microscope. DONT BE STUPID! @ "

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All City: LA's celebration of street art continues...

This past weekend I passed by All City: LA Street Art show near the LA River. It was an apt setting since all the artists featured were strictly illegal street graffiti artists and for some, the first time their work had been hung on a wall! I was already familiar with Risk (one of the artists representing LA in the "Art in the Streets" at MOCA,) Vyal and Cache's work around the city.

The show runs until May 7th, but you should go visit this Saturday April 30th as there's a *free* screening of "Bomb It," Jon Reiss' documentary on the graffiti scene featuring tons of artists and in the other corner, Joe "the graffiti guerilla" Connolly!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Profound advice from your favorite rapper

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tipster Chronicles...going back to '79-'82 New York #graffiti #ArtInTheStreets

Anita Rosenberg's "Tipster Chronicles"

When you think of hip hop graffiti documentarians props are rightly paid to the early photographers like Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfont. Their images of graffiti in public spaces and on trains eventually led them to the graffiti artists themselves who embraced these white, middle-class photographers from Manhattan into their clandestine world. And history was made with books like Subway Art, Style Wars, Spraycan Art and Hip Hop Files.

"Subway Art" 25th anniversary edition (credit: Arrested Motion)

Back in those days, Anita Rosenberg was also on the scene for a few years between 1979-82 photographing the emerging downtown art scene as it welcomed the renegade graffiti artform into their galleries and establishments. Rosenberg's approach was different to Cooper or Chalfont's. She was the first graffiti society photographer following the parties and gallery openings of her small group of very influential friends in the East Village.

Stevio and Anita at Fun Gallery event in 2009, Meltdown Comics, LA

Who's Who To this day, her circle of friends remain a Who's Who of urban culture due to their pioneering work in the late 70s and early 80s: Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, Kenny Scharf, Charlie Ahearn, Futura and Zephyr; and legends who passed too young Dondi and Keith Haring.

Rosenberg's book, "Tipster Chronicles," was given that name by her then boyfriend, Zephyr (although it was just a scrapbook back in the 80s.) And if you know you hip hop trivia, you'll know it was Zephyr, along with Dr. Revolt and Sharp, who painted the legendary "Wild Style" mural for Charlie Ahearn's film of the same name. And you'll also know that Wild Style is hip hop 1.01 for generations of youth!

"The players on the scene always get the spotlight, but it's the folks in the wings who make the show roll. In the wild early 80s our East Village art scene was like a new born baby...She [Anita] saw us as important in our own right, long before the media did, and she shot these extraordinarily candid phots of the artists from the FUN. Later many became legend. Many died. But Anita got the intimate shots when we were young and pretty." Zephyr

You can read an interview with Anita Rosenberg on Miss Rosen's wonderful blog. It touches on some of the "Tipster Chronicles" stories that will transport you back to the days when New York was a melting pot of border-crossing cultural entrepreneurs.

Limited Edition The small book is self-published and limited to only 140 copies ($32) so cop yourself one at either the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA store (signed by Anita) or directly at her website.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#Cinefamily represents #ArtInTheStreets

This evening, Cinefamily in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles presents "Downtown '81," starring Jean Michel Basquiat and made in around the same year. Hope you can make it.

Last Friday, Cinefamily and Levi's hosted the first of a series of films to celebrate the "Art in the Streets" major exhibition of graffiti and street art presented by Los Angeles' MOCA.

The inaugural film had to be Charlie Ahearn's "Wild Style." There's not much to say about this film that hasn't already be said. Just enjoy these video clips from the evening's extra curricular activities.

"The Cinefamily is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. Our home is the Silent Movie Theatre, one of Hollywood’s most beloved and beautiful cultural landmarks. There, The Cinefamily will provide a destination spot for Los Angelenos and others to rediscover the pleasures of cinema.

Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theater." Cinefamily website

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One year on...Guru of Gang Starr

It's been a year since Guru, aka Keith Elam, passed away before his time of cancer.

Over these 12 months I've seen so many posters, t-shirts and other tributes. It made me wonder if any of the companies that created and sold these items actually donated anything back to Guru's family or estate? Ask the question out loud and publicly if you're buying any of these products!

Guru's death may have sparked an increase in Gang Starr music sales which would benefit the estate, but none of the tribute products' profits would flow to the estate. A tribute may be the highest form of flattery, but in these instances it seems to be simple profiteering and in a deceased legend's name.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

#UNleashed Magazine: "Before Art was Street" #ArtInTheStreets

"Before Art was Street" 
by Stephen Pang (re-published with permission from UNleashed Magazine)

 If you Google ‘street art’ you will find no end of references. On Amazon alone there are over 4,000 books to choose from or you could drown in over 45 million Google search results. But, despite its visibility, street art is a relatively new art phenomenon with no formal training or career path. How quickly street art has been absorbed into pop culture and recognized by art galleries and institutions is a testament to its visual potency and the 'Art in the Streets' exhibition at Los Angeles’ Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is the latest endorsement of this prolific art form.

But where did this genre of art come from? The term ‘street art’ was, arguably, first coined in the late 70s and used to create a catch-all ‘super category’ for art whose only commonality was that it was displayed in public spaces, rather than behind the closed doors of the traditional art galleries. Public art, in itself, wasn’t new. What was new was the acceptance of street art by galleries, auction houses and museums.

In the late 70s, before Banksy, JR or Shepard Fairey, there was no street art, only aerosol graffiti. And it was a blight of the inner city, no more so than in its Mecca, New York City. To the establishment, the words ‘graffiti’ and ‘art’ were rarely uttered in the same breath. However, something changed in the early 80s. Out of that illegal graffiti scene emerged a few graffiti artists were breaking away from painting subway trains and exploring other venues for their art and trying to penetrate the established art gallery world in Manhattan. This is the period when uptown New York hustle met downtown Manhattan avant garde and two people who were instrumental in creating this cultural cocktail and channeling its energy were the graffiti artist, Fred Braithwaite, aka Fab 5 Freddy, and East Village queen, Patti Astor.

At the time, both were pursuing their artistic goals in different circles, but their entrepreneurial spirit and ability to make things happen united them. In 1981, at a screening of Patti’s punk rock art house film, ‘Underground U.S.A.’, Fab 5 Freddy introduced himself to Patti. Little did they know that this chance encounter would lead to the beginning of the Fun Gallery, the world’s most influential street art exhibition space, and be pivotal in developing the careers of so many of the world’s most renowned street artists.

At the time, Fab 5 Freddy was making conscious moves to infiltrate the art gallery world and transform his graffiti background into a career. “In the beginnings in the ‘80s I was not trying to offer myself as a graffiti artist because I didn’t see myself doing illegal graffiti when I was trying to make works on canvas. I wanted to be an artist and be in that space and it was something I initiated on my own and after I connected with Lee Quinones [of Wild Style fame] we had a big show in Rome in 1979 [at Claudio Bruni’s gallery].

“This is how I ended up on the downtown scene and meeting other art people (Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf) that became good friends of mine before the Fun Gallery…and we thought [the East Village] is a place where we could come together and make things happen.”

What Fab 5 Freddy and his peers had unknowingly created was the original social network. Instead of college students, this network was made up of a ‘new pocket of energy’ of fresh, passionate artists who were just coming onto the scene and were now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Patti Astor who was already well known on the East Village scene through her underground films. “Our scene, at that time, was a lot more cliquish…it was really, really a small scene…and you hung with each other and we didn’t venture too far outside our realm. In the areas of the East Village and the Lower East Side is where you would really do well.”

Patti Astor explains how unique the East Village was in the ‘70s and ‘80s and how it constantly reinvented itself and never stood still, “…there were three separate eras to the East Village culture. When I got there [in 1975] the big thing was going to [the club] CBGBs to see the local bands Blondie, Talking Heads, Television and Ramones. The next thing was the film-making and Mudd Club era – I made my first film, ‘Underground U.S.A.’, in 1976 - and that period carried on through to 1981…when the art thing happened.”

At this time, the East Village scene was very white and hip hop had not yet percolated from the uptown neighborhoods into Manhattan. Patti explains, “You have to give Fred [Braithwaite] credit as the main ambassador for hip hop to get out of the South Bronx and out to the rest of the world... It seems unbelievable now, but at that time no one downtown had heard about rap music, breakdancing or graffiti art….” However, the passion and creativity was instantly recognizable and Patti identified with hip hop. “It was pretty easy to get, what we did have in common was we don’t have any money so we’re going to create what we can out of what we have. There’s not much difference [between] making a $500 [budget] jungle romance super-eight movie and hooking up your turntables to a street light in the Bronx.”

Fun Gallery sign recreated for MOCA (credit: Stevio)

It was this shared do-it-yourself mentality that fueled the ‘accidental beginnings’ of the Fun Gallery. After Patti had befriended Fab 5 Freddy in ‘81 she met the graffiti artist Futura who shared a studio with Fab and Lee in Alphabet City, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Manhattan at that time. Futura offered Patti one of his paintings, but she decided against accepting it and instead asked Futura to paint a mural in her East Village living room since that would be a proper gift and couldn’t be bought or sold. This mural painting turned into a one-day art event with Kenny Scharf joining the party to customize the apartment’s appliances as Patti made potato salad for guests. This display of bleeding edge street art wasn’t a formal curation or collaboration of street art styles – it was just friends getting together and creating something out of nothing.

Futura c. 1983 (credit: Bonhams)

This was the first of many occasions that Patti attracted the attention of the art world. Patti recalls the day, “The big shocker at this particular event was as we looked out of my living room window at the bums sat on garbage cans we see Jeffrey Deitch (art buyer and now director of MOCA in Los Angeles) and James Curtis, better known as Diego Cortez (curator, art critic and MVP of the downtown scene), step out of a cab and that’s how I met Jeffrey [Dietch.]

After the first show, Patti Astor wanted a more dedicated venue and she heard about a small 8 foot by 25 foot space on East 11th Street from her friend Bill Stelling, who became her partner in the Fun Gallery. This new gallery had no name at the time of the first show (by artist Steven Kramer) in August 1981. In true democratic style Patti said that each artist could choose the name of the gallery for their show. It wasn’t until the second show that Kenny Scharf came up with the name that would live on forever…the ‘Fun Gallery’.

However, the Fun Gallery wasn’t the only game in town in the early ‘80s. The city was embracing other spaces which were less white and exclusive and more inclusive of the surrounding communities. Speaking about Fashion Moda in the Bronx and ABC No Rio in the Lower East Side, Fab 5 Freddy explains, “Just think about [them] as alternative spaces which were opened up by some radical artists and activists…they were trying to set up an alternative to the established art world that was doing boring, lame stuff.”

Art Forum (credit: Arcanabooks)
After several one-man shows (by artists Fab 5 Freddy, Kiely Jenkins, Futura, Jane Dickson, Dondi White and Arch Connelly and Lee) and Rene Ricard’s article in Art Forum magazine, the Fun Gallery relocated to a larger space nearby on East 10th Street in Fall ’82. Kenny Scharf opened in September, with Keith Haring showing in February ’83. At its height, the Fun Gallery was attracting a record crowd of 800 people to the East Village.

But, this was the beginning of the end of the scene. By 1983 over 25 galleries had opened over a 12 block radius and the demand for space caused rents to skyrocket. What had began as the antithesis of the established SoHo galleries like Mary Boone and Leo Castelli was, increasingly, starting to resemble them. This combined with the faddish nature of art collectors and unscrupulous gallery owners made it difficult to keep the Fun Gallery dream alive. “We used to call them the art world barracudas…the art advisors who were constantly looking for the next big thing.” In 1985, the Fun Gallery closed its doors.

Over 25 years on, Jeffrey Deitch’s move to MOCA has reunited the East Village clique who has descended on the West Coast for the ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibition that opens at Los Angeles’ MOCA this Spring. Deitch is at the helm, and is joined by author and producer, Roger Gastman, and curator and film director, Aaron Rose. Patti Astor will co-curate the museum’s ‘80s section and Fab 5 Freddy joins her as a contributing consultant to the show. Patti describes the moment when the idea for a celebration of the Fun Gallery became reality, “I had been pursing Jeffrey [Deitch] for quite some time to do a Fun Gallery show in conjunction with my [yet to be published] book and finally he said ‘Let’s do it! Let’s have a Fun Gallery within the [MOCA] show.’”

So, what can we expect to see at the MOCA show? Patti explains, “There are three rooms and I have a recreation of the Fun Gallery façade. I have the front window of the building…it looks really beautiful. I unbelievably got the same Jean-Michel Basquiat painting that was in the front window when we had the Jean-Michel show…no one thought I’d be able to get that painting, including me!

Fun Gallery original crew installation (credit: Stevio)

“The front room is the Fun Gallery original crew who are the artists who had one-man shows (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Zephyr, Kenny Scharf, Fab 5 Freddy, Dondi, Lee, Futura 2000, Kiely Jenkins and Jane Dickson.) Then I have a Kenny Scharf Black Light ‘closet’ room and I have the Fun Gallery Old School room…it refers to the pioneers of the artists who painted the trains [including Phase 2 and Blade.]”

Fab 5 Freddy @ MOCA press day (credit: Stevio)

Fab 5 Freddy reflected on the upcoming MOCA show and the artist who followed the 80’s scene, “I think it’s good that a new group of artists have come in and found interesting ways to work on the street. It definitely follows a continuum…one thing couldn’t have happened without the other. That’s the critical thing to understand.”

The Art in the Streets exhibition runs from April 17 to August 8, 2011 at the Geffen Contemporary at Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It moves to the Brooklyn Museum in New York from March 30 to July 8, 2012.

Copyright 2011 by Stephen Pang/UNleashed Magazine.

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Respect the forefathers: Cornbread and Taki 183 @ MOCA #ArtInTheStreets

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Pics from press day @ MOCA #ArtInTheStreets

Jeffrey Deitch talking with Taki 183 and Cornbread

I just got back from the members' opening of "Art in the Streets." But, earlier this week I got an invite to the "Art in the streets" press day which I wanted to share. That in itself wasn't that interesting, after all we've been reading snippits of the press release and seeing the press office approved images for a few weeks now.

Artists in attendance The reason for coming down was to see all the artists in attendance. I spent a few hours meeting artists, their families, other journalists and fans like myself. The artist group shot at the end of the afternoon captures the excitement of this exhibition. It was orchestrated by MOCA and Aaron Rose, but Martha Cooper got impatient and she broke rank to get a more energetic photo of her own!

Martha Cooper hijacks the group photo shoot (front: Cornbread, Mare 139, Duster, Sharp, Anita Rosenberg)

Here are a selection of images of the artists and crew.

And some other images from the exhibition in all its glory. The "Donut Time" installation by Steve Powers, Reas and Barry McGee is a crazy, multi-level mini world that drags you back in time to the 80s.

80's LA transit bus painted by Risk

Blade tribute outside MOCA

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Save our vinyl - Record Store Day 2011

Worldwide record stores celebrated the vinyl record for Record Store Day.

My latest purchase? From the back of J-Live's truck...his "Best Part" vinyl album. Not quite a store, but it still amounts to something. If you didn't swing by your local record store then head there soon and show some love. Buy some plastic or gift cards for friends. Support vinyl before it's too late!

To keep you fed, here's DJ Nucleus from the UK and his breakbeat mix, "New Sureshot B-Beats." This one-time cohort of DJ Break Lacey (R.I.P.) ain't to be messed with!

  Nucleus-NewSureShot-B-Beats by Nucleus

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Behind the scenes @ MOCA #ArtInTheStreets

I got a privileged look behind the scenes at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA installation of the "Art in the Streets" show last week.

AMAZING! I'm been sitting on these pics until now so I didn't give the game away! The artists and MOCA folks put a lot of work into this show. Yesterday I was invited to the press event and got a load of pics of the finished installation that I'll share on the weekend for everyone who can't make it to LA.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

UNleashed Magazine is out! #ArtInTheStreets edition

The magazine is fresh off of the press. And it's a weighty, 124 page tome with full color images of amazing street art.

Copies of the magazine have been circulating since last night's launch party in honor of Fab 5 Freddy who I interviewed for the magazine. Other interviews include Patti Astor, Nick Walker, Futura, TATS Cru, Kenny Scharf, The London Police and Logan Hicks.

And each page is packed full of wonderful, glorious images of street art from Fab 5 Freddy's latest Swarovski crystal encrusted pictures to Logan Hicks' photorealistic stencil paintings.

Stay tuned! I will be re-publishing the stories I wrote over the next few weeks as the MOCA "Art in the Street" exhibitions gets underway.

PS If you're going to be at the MOCA members' opening of the show on Saturday 16th April then the publisher will be handing out copies of the magazine on the night. 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Martha Cooper redux #ArtInTheStreets

Martha Cooper (credit: Hypebeast)
For next week's "Art in the Streets" exhibition at MOCA Martha Cooper is reunited with her Subway Art cohort, Henry Chalfont (albeit in separate rooms.) Although, this museum show is a major achievement, what could be considered a more ambitious project involving her work is happening in 'midtown' LA.

"Martha Cooper: Remix" is a mixed media show of her photos and on display at Carmichael Gallery in Culver City. As the name suggests the show involves taking her classic and well-known images and having them remixed by artists whom she has photographed or worked with over the years. Think of a 'who's who' of east coast graffiti artists: Bio, Nicer and B-Gee (TATS Cru,) Blade, Cey, Claw, Crash, Daze, Dr. Revolt, Futura, Lady Pink, Mare 139, Quik, Sharp and T-Kid. They are joined by John Ahearn (Charlie's brother,) Aiko, Mark Bode, Victor Castillo, Jane Dickson, Shepard Fairey, Logan Hicks, The London Police, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Neck Face, Nunca, José Parlá, Kenny Scharf, Swoon and more.

The outcome is surprising, exciting and has produced some captivating images...

(credits: Hypebeast)

Read a great article about Martha Cooper and the show written by New York's Miss Rosen published by La Lettre de la Photographie.

Artists I have had relationships with over the years and I thought it would be fun to have them make their own art that was based on my photos. Over the years a lot of artists have asked for permission to use my photographs in some form or another. While some photographers might not like this, I always felt flattered. Over the years I have seen a lot of flyers that have used my pictures in various ways. It is heartwarming to see a new generation of people using my work to make art.” Martha Cooper interviewed in La Lettre de la Photographie

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