Tag Archives: graffiti art

Just wanted to share some of the new works I’ve been exhibiting around the Greater Toronto Area lately. Take a look at what I’ve been up to if you’d like…

Check out my “Fazooli Prints” page to get all the details and see what’s available!  Any feedback is greatly appreciated since I’ve only started doing this since May of 2014. There’s only room to grow from here on out!

POSTER-BOY-6New York City street artist(s) Poster Boy is changing the very concept of being an “artist” by creating a decentralized movement in the scene, where anyone and everyone is welcome to take on the moniker as they manipulate their environment – like an open authorship, creating a collective under one unified name. “No copyright, no authorship…A social thing, as opposed to being an artist making things for bored rich people to hang above their couch.

It all began with the drudgery of work commutes, creating pieces on the way to and from a job that, ironically was working in an art studio for a well-established artist. Working with 2″ stainless steel razor blades and vinyl stickers, the anonymous artists slice ads and repaste them in improvised compositions to alter the messages and meanings of images in public spaces. Working conditions are risky, so quick movements and spontaneously shrewed creative decisions are crucial to each piece. Little by little, people started noticing and blogging about it, and then one day, garnered media attention. They decided to start putting the work up on Flickr and it spread like wildfire since then. The more attention they got, the more intense the works became. By the time the second year rolled around, the group had grown to four or five members.

There is some talk about showcasing individual work in a gallery show setting, to be able to reach out an audience that is less familiar with the subtleties of street art and culture, and create a stronger impact, with focused works that are designed to create dialogue. Trying to show to an audience that already exists is kind of “preaching to the choir” so to speak, so branching out to the public, rather than street art aficionados bears quite a bit more weight, and really starts to spread the message, and further the evolution of expression.

Although they’ve been asked to work on some very lucrative works on commission by some of the companies they’ve targeted, the hypocrisy of the deals themselves undermine the entire point of their efforts, and so they continuously decline. And rightly so! I’d be pretty pissed to see them cave just to make a fistful of easy money.

We’re not going to say which company and how much but it was definitely enough. It was definitely a whole salary. A year’s salary for one person. And we just couldn’t do it. It was very enticing. It was bigger than making money and giving in that easily. We want to see how far we can take it with no budget without taking any kind of offers like that.

I can’t wait to see where Poster Boy take this. The evolution of street art, and public expression is an incredible antidote of rebellion against the wacked-out system in which we live, and continually accept as what it should be, at the bequest of others, who have nothing to do with our every day living.

Poster Boy also made a guest cameo appearance on “Exit Through The Giftshop”. Watch the whole documentary on YouTube.

Check out the famous Flickr gallery for more great work.

Great interview with Poster Boy by Patrick Raycraft at Hartford Courant.

To read the piece the BBC wrote, check it out here.

And finally, while you’re at it, might as well read the New York Magazine article too.

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Hailing from the City of Angels, Plastic Jesus (aka “The Banksy of L.A.*”), has already made a name for himself with his globally-popular “Stop Making Stupid People Famous” stencil, which I find to be utterly ingenious and totally apt at this point in time, as we obsess over the most inept humans the media can deliver. His humorous approach to the controversial subjects he expresses views on is rife with irony and teems with sarcasm, as he stabs at various topics in the political, social and economic fields. He’s made jabs at Governor Chris Christie, the Oscars, Lance Armstrong, Chick-fil-A, religion, consumerism, capitalism, gay marriage… the list goes on. Basically, no one is safe from his scathing criticism.

His recent installation work is not only adding a third dimension to his repertoire, it’s expanding the basis of how he executes his ideas, and puts his pieces in more conspicuous and unavoidable locations that the public cannot overlook, engaging them further than just a simple stencil on a wall. A couple of my favourites so far are the “Best Buy’s Useless Plasticbox 1.2” series and the ever-popular “American Excess” piece that juxtaposes the idea of credit, consumerism and drug addiction. There’s no avoiding the conversation with the way he throws it down – he creates a new context for opinion and social criticism. No wonder most of the top news publications have been chasing this dude down and featuring him in articles.

The fact that he is also associated with the Los Angeles Youth Network, helping runaway and homeless youth, and attempts to work in the most ethical manner possible, trying to make as minimal an impact to the environment as possible, is just the icing on the cake. His website even mentions, “If you find a piece of Plastic Jesus art on your building and you don’t want it there please email Plastic Jesus and one of the removal team will be there to remove it and make good.”

What a guy. Love it! Can’t wait to see what he does next.

To learn more about Plastic Jesus and follow his antics, visit his website.

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Belgian artist, graphic designer and DJ PSOMAN (aka Arnaud Vanderkerken), hails from Liège. I couldn’t find a whole hell of a lot of information about him, so I’ll let his work do all the talking today…

If you’d like to see more, check out his website, Albalianza.

His work is also on Tumblr.

And check out his mixes on Mixcloud.

Also check out this video, featuring PSOMAN at the Festival de Liège in 2013.

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Hailing from Nice, France, Flow is one of the awesomest graffiti artists, specializing in really gorgeous portraits of popular icons. Not much is known, other than the fact that he is a member of the popular TWE crew. Let’s keep it that way. 😉

Check out his artist page on Fat Cap.

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Judith-Supine-Jonathan-Levine-AM-07Brooklyn-based street artist Judith Supine is quite possibly one of the most interesting artists I’ve ever come across. Growing up mute until a month after his seventeenth birthday, he’s been communicating mostly through imagery in his formative years, aside from the odd squeak and grunt, and has amassed an enormous collection of work, thanks to the fact that his mother saved a lot of it over the years. His materials of choice include objects that are either totally free or incredibly cheap – Exacto knives, glue sticks, leftover paints, and discarded magazines that the world’s garbage cans have proffered – from the local dentist’s office, to bankrupt porn shops. The sleazier, more garish, more sexually disconcerting, the better.

His main focus is on figurative elements – severed limbs, eyes, lips, curves. Elements when taken out of their porno/fashion context take on new meaning in a freakshow of dayglow weirdness. A beautifully blasphemous curiosity to behold that throws the mainstream back in it’s own face, revolting against the “shitty graphic design” of the day. A monstrous techno pop explosion for the senses that laughs in the presence of consumerism and self-obsession. In an interview with Brooklyn Street Art, he has commented that,

“What I like about Street Art is the feeling of the transgressive part of it and the illegal nature of it. That’s what’s exciting to me about it. You know, what qualifies as street art now is like legal murals and that shit just seems kind of boring to me. It’s kind of just like in the style of… it just kind of loses its power.”

Chopping out human body parts and faces from printed ephemera, and arranging them into bizarre collages, he then takes these basic assemblage pieces to Kinko’s, where he magnifies them onto three foot rolls of paper in greyscale. Taking them back to the studio, he then tints and colours his work in a very thinly layered, limited neon acrylic palette, each section having an exclusive hue all on it’s own, in stark juxtaposition with the next. After he’s content with the colourization, he applies a thick coat of polyurethane varnish, which not only preserves the vibrant colours, and paper for decades, but it also serves to improve the quality of light reflected from the colours themselves, making everything pop. Once this is accomplished, the excess paper is cut away and the piece is mounted. The main issue he has with this process is the toxicity level that this varnish emits, as he has made himself very sick trying to complete a series for a big show in the past, hospitalizing him for some time.

Here’s hoping he keeps himself in better shape enough to give us more in the years to come.

Visit his website, check out his flickr page, or follow him on Instagram.

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One of my favourite mediums in art is the simplicity of pen and ink and the limitless creativity that they can unleash. Hailing from Toronto, Ben Tour’s gorgeous pen and ink illustrations are a perfect example of how one can manipulate these simple tools in order to create emotion in truly dramatic pieces of art. His paintings and illustrations have been featured in such popular publications such as Playboy, Colour, and Juxtapoz and has also showcased his incredible talent in galleries across Canada and the U.S. – and lest I forget that he’s indulged big name clients like Absolut, Burton, Nike Snowboarding, BMW and Lifetime Collective with his amazing work. Currently residing in Vancouver, he’s come a long way from his humble beginnings as a Sheridan College student and continues to produce stunning work. He’s got a real Ralph Steadman kind of quality. Some of my favourite stuff comes from his sketchbooks – what I wouldn’t do to rifle through some of those over a cup of coffee!

To find out more about Ben Tour, check out his website.

French-born L.A. filmmaker and street artist Thierry Guetta is making quite a scene on the international art circuit these days, especially after having been exposed to the world in the Banksy documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop” when the camera was eventually turned on himself. Under the guise of “Mr. Brainwash”, Guetta is quickly becoming a prolific tour de force and his exhibitions have been overwhelmingly successful, to the point where shows have been extended due to the sold-out nature of each event and the hordes that flock to them. Now that the rest of the world has finally caught on, everyone wants a piece of him – even Madonna has asked him to create album cover art (which comes as no surprise, since she jumps on anything that sits on the cusp of the underground, driving it full-force into the mainstream). The Red Hot Chili Peppers also hired him for a guerilla ad campaign for their next album. 

Originally introduced to the world of graffiti by his cousin, French street artist Invader, Guetta uses a variety of mixed media in collaboration with images and icons from pop culture to form a colourful, brilliant, almost psychedelic mash-up in each of his pieces, from the monumental sculptural installations that invade the city streets, to the deceptively simple screen prints that are available in his web shop. 

With enormous success always comes a certain amount of speculation – many people have been wondering if Banksy and Shepard Fairey are behind the whole idea of Mr. Brainwash. So is he just a big hoax? Banksy is never seen – but Guetta has had so much access to him – more than anyone else, it seems. And Guetta doesn’t refute that his status as Mr. Brainwash was created by Banksy in the documentary. Is Banksy just trying to make it look like Guetta’s NOT Banksy on purpose? Mr. Brainwash is definitely more of a comic character, and he is never really portrayed as having any physical artistic talent of his own. His work is largely produced by scanning and photoshopping images – and he readily admits that he hires graphic designers to do most of his physical work for him, but he still remains the main conceptualist behind it all. So the ultimate question is this – is HYPE worth more than ART these days?

Regardless of all the brouhaha surrounding Mr. Brainwash, rather than creating art for the sake of rebellion and antagonism, Guetta’s message is more of a positive, life-affirming slap in the face to society – a vigorous shake to snap us out of our apathetic existence. Whoever he is, indeed Guetta shows us that where ever you live, life can be truly beautiful. 

Check out his amusingly button-happy Mr. Brainwash website here.

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