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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's Eve....Hotel des Street Art, San Francisco

If you are heading to San Francisco for New Year's Eve, then you can't find a better art-inspired hotel than Hotel des Arts in downtown near the Embarcadero which also acts as an art gallery.

Sam Flores, CA

You could be sleeping with David Choe, Buff Monster or London Police. My choice would be Sam Flores ;) But get you minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about the artists who designed the rooms of this boutique hotel!

Book'em Dano Check out the complete list of artists and rooms if you're looking to stay at Hotel des Arts.

Hotel des Arts
447 Bush Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Tel: 1.415.956.3232 or 1.800.956.4322
Fax: 1.415.956.0399

Find the best prices on

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Giftin' #5: Legit Los Angeles graffiti billboards #publicworks

Still looking for a unique present for your b-boy or b-girlfriend? This series of mini graffiti billboards produced by LALA Arts could be the answer! Hip hop giftin' idea #5!

How & Nosm, NYC

Risk, L.A., CA

Sket One, CT.

Driving across Los Angeles you will see how much billboards rule Los Angeles. They have even been replaced by L.E.D. megascreens which continue to pollute our environment and clear-headedness even more. So, it's refreshing, albeit illegal, when graffiti artists takeover a strategically placed billboard with an artistic message.

LALA Arts celebrates this act of counter-commercialism by collaborating with some leading lights of the graffiti scene in what is labeled "Public Works." Read more about this initiative below. Surprisingly, the Public Works art series has the support of the out-of-home media agency, MacDonald Media. Could this partnership be a way to control illegal defacing of commercial billboards? Who knows...?

LALA Arts has recreated some of these Public Works on miniature scale which will sit nicely on your bookshelf! Choose from Now & Nosm (NYC,) Risk (L.A.,) or Sket One (CT.) $100 each.

#PUBLIC WORKS from Jason Wawro on Vimeo.

"LALA Arts and MacDonald Media are excited to announce the launch of the second part of the groundbreaking Public Works project, which is currently on display on billboards and outdoor media throughout the greater Los Angeles area.  The show premiered at LALA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles in August,  where guests were invited to see the works up-close and personal. 
The exhibit includes both hand-painted and printed murals which will be displayed throughout Los Angeles on a rotating basis through the end of the year.  Contributors include world-renowned artists Ron English and Shepard Fairey, as well as How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Seen, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar and Zes. Participating L.A. billboard companies include  Clear Channel, Regency, Mahlmann, Lamar, Empire, and CBS." LALA Arts



Ron English, L.A.

Uglar, L.A.

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Bristol's Nick Walker gets a new job in a car park

Ok, Walker hasn't become a car park attendant, but he has been commissioned to paint the hip CityWay development parking garage by Indianapolis Museum of Art, IMA for short, and real estate developer, Buckingham Companies.

CityWay is a $155 million residential, retail and office development that is rejuvenating urban Indianapolis. Ironically, not so long ago the site itself was just Elli Lily & Co.'s car park next to the Amtrak station.

"On Tuesday afternoon, Walker used multiple stencils on a concrete post to paint “Vandal Child,” a tween-aged girl wearing a polka-dot dress and ski mask while holding two aerosol cans. 
While Walker at times spurs controversy with visual commentary on politics and religion (stencils of can-can dancers cloaked in Islamic veils, for instance), Buckingham executive Smith said his company collaborated with the artist for a relatively whimsical concept in the garage. 
“We want everybody and anybody to come see this,” Smith said." Indianapolis Star

This city developer and artist collaboration although innovative, it isn't new. Back in 2010 Las Vegas' CityCenter project imported several major artists, including Doze Green, to work on murals. Check out my blog post here.

The article from the IndyStar is a good read and tries to get inside of Walker's head. When asked if commissioned work is "incongruous with his art" Walker replies: "I’m comfortable with it...You have to earn a living, haven’t you? I’ve done my time on the street."

It seems that the photographer, Frank Espich, is also earning his living. You can purchase photos of Walker and his work starting at $4.99 for a 3" button pin on IndyStar's website.

If you are in Indianapolis then go see Walker's work as it will be formally unveiled later this month. If you don't get to visit here is a video of Nick Walker in action putting the finishing touches to his "Vandal Child" painting.

CityWay Discovery Center 
205 E. South St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Hours : Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 9am-1pm

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Giftin' #4: Obey x Haring clothing collection 2012

I'm a sucker for dope old skool reduxes. For my #4 Christmas shopping list post here's my latest obsession. Keith Haring resurrected by Obey. Now it's really, an old addiction renewed as I first discovered Haring when I was a teen in Bristol in the '80s. My fandom reached its height when I got to first visit the Pop Shop in New York's Soho just before he passed away.

I still have a couple of Haring Swatches in my collection and a dope, but bright aqua-colored jacket with a Haring snake embroidered on the back. For Christmas 2012 I have a couple of these Obey pieces on my list. A great, retrospective interpretation of Keith Haring's art.

Here's a selection of items available at Obey Clothing.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

London's Scratch bring us a hip hop Expo 17 - December 6th-16th


Back in 1996, London's Scratch club started a monthly gig in the Kings Cross area in the Scala theatre. In fact, Scratch was probably part of the rejuvenation of Kings Cross before the condos and rail link to Paris!

Founded by Matt Smooth, Rob Mac and DJ Lyley, Scratch blended hip hop culture into a live event with guest D.J.s, graffiti exhibitions and live acts from the U.K. and 'on import'. Scratch even travelled through the U.K. and Europe and ventured into Asia and Australia. In 2001, Scratch even caught the attention of New York's Rawkus Records (Mos Def; Talib Kweli) with the release of a compilation "Scratch Vol. 1!"

Scratch club hip hop events, 2010

Christmas comes early  The latest venture is labeled "SCRATCH EXPO 17." Think of it as a more formal audio/visual retrospective exhibition from 1996 and beyond. The Expo will divide the gallery venue into two spaces. On display will be new canvas works from international graffiti-inspired artists. Artists who have worked with Scratch in the past include Moneyless (Italy), EMA (France) and 123Klan (Canada). From the UK will be Remi Rough, Robi Walters, Kid Acne and Etch. Special mention to Stevio V.I.P.s: Inkie and Shok1.

6th-16th December, 2012

Londonewcastle Project Space
28 Redchurch Street
E2 7DP

Inkie and Insa

Shok-1 x-ray canvases, 2012

Elph, Many Styles crew


Remi Rough and Shok1

Robi Walters

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Giftin' #3: New and Improved graffiti - "Children of the Can 2.0"

This past weekend, Bristol's Tangent Books turned up the heat on Bristol graffiti with the second edition of Felix "FLX" Braun's 2008 book, "Children of the Can: Bristol Graffiti and Street Art." This is officially Stevio's Christmas gift list item #3!

The original book Braun laid out Bristol's rich graffiti history and gave props to the old skool heroes, the celebrities (3D, Banksy) and the various hangouts. Click here to read my 2011 interview with Felix about the book project and how it came about.

There's not much information on, but Alibris (pronounced “uh-LEE-briss”), the leading independent bookselling website, even has first edition copies - which are no longer in print and have sold out - available for a reasonable price!

"Author Felix Braun has completed a monumental research project to unravel the thread that leads to the beginnings of Bristol's world renowned street art scene. Only somebody on the inside would be able to track down the leading figures from the early 80s and Felix was at the very heart of the movement which revolved around youth worker John Nation at the Barton Hill youth project. This book contains more than 40 interviews and traces the Bristol street art story from early protagonists such as 3D from Massive Attack to the new crop of young artists operating in the city." Alibris

The second edition of "Children of the Can..." adds an extra 70 pages, 30 new artists and 100s of new pictures as Bristol has become a destination for artists from around the country and even from abroad. Banksy's notoriety has put the city on the map, but also community efforts like the People's Republic of Stokes Croft, or PRSC for short, has become a safe haven for artists. Even, Bristol's municipal authorities have embraced the energy of the graffiti and street art movement by supporting several ground breaking events, including Banksy's takeover of the Bristol Museum and the recent multi-day "See No Evil" graffiti festival organized by Felix "FLX" Braun's long-time friend, Inkie.

The launch event on Saturday December 1st  featured some of Bristol’s finest graffiti and street artists painting in near freezing weather conditions in the ‘Children of the JAM’ in the People's Republic of Stokes Croft area which has become a hub for legal graffiti and street art.

Children of the Can: Bristol Graffiti and Street Art 352-page hard back book that "traces the roots of the city's graffiti and street art culture back to the 80s when 3D and the Z-Boys were the first to bring the street style of New York to Bristol. Felix profiles writers such as Cheo, Jody and Inkie from the early days at John Nation's Barton Hill Youth Club through to Banksy, Lokey and the Bad Appelz Crew and the current crop of Bristol wriiters."

Tangent Books Read more about the publisher of "Children of the Can" and the other graffiti books, including a great one on Banksy's work, on its blog.

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Giftin' #2: Dizizzit! x DMC King of Rock garms

This is #2 of my Christmas gift list. It's the best of old skool hip hop stuff...

Some of these Dizzizit! gems are easy to cop, the others may be out-of-stock. All are sweet garms for your closet!

What would make Daryll McDaniels, better known as rapper DMC, come to the West coast? A clothing collaboration with Slick's Dizzizit! clothing label. Taking the recognizable red stripes and block lettering of RUN DMC's logo, Dizizit created a remix: DZT DMC. But not just a t-shirt, but a vest, baseball cap, a couple of hoodies and the freshest letterman jacket.

This Dizzizit! x DMC music video was a promo for the Bombs Drop mixtape drop from Phoreyz. Check the stream below.

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