We found – 17 articles for sketches

The 10 Best Street Art Books of 2018

Berlin-based specialized bookshop and gallery Urban Spree releases the list of the “10 Best Street Art Books of 2018“, a compilation of this year’s best titles. Although purely subjective, it reflects several trends playing in the book market:

 

– a renewed focus on the works of the pioneers of the 1960-70s through an academic approach;

– an increase in artist monographs which put more emphasis on their studio works;

– we have entered the era of “post-graffiti”

– but vandal graffiti and underground street art resist well the assimilation;

 

The list of the best publications of 2018 comes in no particular order.

 

1° John Divola: Vandalism

One of the most striking books of the year, “Vandalism” singles out itself by the sobriety of its approach.It consists of a black-and-white photographic series shot over 2 years in the mid-70s by the American photographer John Divola. Divola travelled across L.A. in search of vacant and dilapidated properties in which to shoot his project. Armed with a camera, spray paint, string and cardboard, the artist would produce one of his most significant photographic series, painting abstract constellations of graffiti-like marks, ritualistic configurations of string hooked to pins, torn arrangements of cardboard, and photographing it.

Vandalism” is not per se a “street art book” but rather a photobook crossing over both genres. The best example of a crossover book would be Bruce Davidson’s “Subway“, a series of portraits shot on the gritty NYC subway in the 70s where graffiti abounds but is only a sub-context, not the main topic (unlike Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s vernacular documentary photographic oeuvre whose main purpose is to specifically document graffiti).

 

Published by MACK Books, UK, in April 2018

Embossed paper-bound hardback

120 pages, 23.5 cm x 23.5 cm

Buy it here

 

2° Rafael Schacter: Street to Studio

“These are artists who are thus not slavishly reproducing their exterior practice within an interior realm but who are, rather, taking the essence of graffiti – its visual principles, its spatial structures, its technical methods, its entrenched ethics – and reinterpreting them with the studio domain,”writes Rafael Schacter in his introduction of his book Street to Studio.

We have entered the post-graffiti era. At a time where the graphic codes of street art are permeating most spheres of culture and entertainment, street artists have simultaneously enjoyed the favor of galleries and collectors and therefore have strongly developed their studio practice, when it was not in their ADN since the begining. What comes out is a blended space, where the artist works on both surfaces, the wall and the canvas, oscillating between different scales, the large and the intimate. Is this becoming a new paradigm in the art world?

The book introduces the concept of  ‘Intermural Art’ – art in-between the walls – to reflect that transition and has the merit of putting the emphasis on more conceptual players in the game (Brad Downey, Ian Strange, Boris Tellegen…) rather than usual suspects.

 

Published by Lund Humphries in July 2018

Edited by Rafael Schacter with a foreword by Carlo McCormick

Hardcover, 218 colour illustrations

224 Pages, 27 × 24,9 cm

Buy it here

 

3° David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake At Night

Beginning in the late 1970s, the American artist David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, and activism. Largely self-taught, he came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by creative energy, financial precariousness, and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, and neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, he varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the prevailing culture.

Wojnarowicz’s work documents and illuminates a desperate period of American history: that of the AIDS crisis and culture wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. But his rightful place is also among the raging and haunting iconoclastic voices, from Walt Whitman to William S. Burroughs, who explore American myths, their perpetuation, their repercussions, and their violence. Wojnarowicz, who was thirty-seven when he died from AIDS-related complications, wrote: “To make the private into something public is an action that has terrific ramifications.”

 

Published by Yale University Press in July 2018

Hardcover, 384 pages

160 color + 100 b/w illustrations

Buy it here

 

4° BLU: Minima Muralia

Italian street artist BLU is one of the few street artists refusing to compromise with the art market, unwilling to translate his brillant art onto canvas, staying true to the origins of the movement – an underground, non-monetized, ephemeral, illegal & outdoor art practice for which the context and the meaning are the most important elements.

While Banksy excels in subverting the codes of the art world, BLU refuses them and strikes back, erasing the murals he painted to fight their monetization (Bologna, Berlin).

Minima Muralia” presents each mural painted by the artist during the last 15 years, more than 200 walls.

 

 

Published by Zooo Press in March 2018

288 full color pages

17×24 cm, lay flat swiss binding

Buy it here

 

5° One Week With 1UP

Which brings us to the last frontier within the realm of the urban arts: graffiti. “One Week with 1UP” is the second published book by and about the legendary Berlin-based vandal graffiti crew 1UP.  This time, the Kreuzberg crew embarks NYC-based legendary documentary photographer Martha Cooper and Berlin-based photographer Ninja K. in a series of underground actions, through tunnels, rooftops, featuring high pressure fire extinguisher tags, roll-downs, roll-ups, street bombings, whole cars and backjumps in a first-hand account.

1UP is the ultimate modern graffiti crew in the 21st century: large, everywhere, powerful, fearless, defiant, invisible.

 

Self-Published, Berlin, 2018

A project by Martha Cooper, Ninja K. and 1UP

English/German, 144 pages, 31 x 22 cm

Buy it here

 

6° Klone: “Few Moments Ago I Was Here”

Klone is an Ukrianian-born, Tel-Aviv based street artist, a pioneer of graffiti in Israel and a visual artist who was the first to exhibit at Urban Spree and one of the reasons why we did the space in the first place. I stumbled upon his fist published book – “Don’t Sleep”– in 2011 and was so moved by its personal content, poetry, freedom, that I wanted to meet the man and work with him.

8 years later comes Few Moments Ago I Was Here“,  looking over those past 8 years of exhibitions, mural projects, installation, and animations.

“Few Moments Ago I Was Here” is an artist book. By this, we mean a book which is mainly thought, designed, created and published by the artist himself. We always try to get as many self-published and artist books in the bookshop because they are precious and unconventional. Of course they are difficult to source, as we can get our hands only on a small stock, they sell out fast and we need to replace them but we can’t get enough of them.

 

Self-Published, Tel Aviv, November 2018 (Hell No Publication)

Limited edition of 500 copies.

Softcover. Full colour offset print on Munken lynx paper.

Buy it here

 

7° Ian Strange: Islands 2015-2017

Continuing on the self-publication mood and echoing John Divola, the Australian artist Ian Strange  publishes “Islands 2015-2017”, a photographic monograph documenting his interventions on American suburban homes, in the wake of Gordon Matta-Clark or David Wojnarowicz.

Through photography, sculpture, research, found artefacts and drawings, “Island” reflects on the home through the metaphor of the desert island, a place of personal sovereignty but simultaneously entrapment. “Island” interplays the monumental with the intimate and intangible. Exploring the icon of the home as a deeply vulnerable object and personal vessel for memory, identity and aspiration.

 

Self-published

Limited edition of 400 hand numbered and signed books with a concertina print

25 x 34 cm

Buy it here

 

8° Jan Kalab: Point of Space

“Point of Space” is the first published monograph of the Czech graffiti and visual artist Jan Kaláb, covering 25 years of his urban and studio creations, through multiple art forms (paintings, 3D graffiti, bombings, sculptures, installations).

Jan Kaláb started as a pure graffiti writer and achieved fame under the monikers “CAKES” and “POINT”. From there, his practice evolved to murals and studio works, sculptures and canvases and this evolution, patiently documented, is fascinating to follow.

The book was edited by the artist himself with texts by the czech art critic Petr Volf.

 

 

Published by Trafacka/Trafo Gallery Prague, in November 2018

320 pages

Hard Cover, 25 cm x 32,5 cm

Texts by Petr Volf and book design by Jan Novák

Buy it here

 

9° Swet: Book of the Year

 

One of the last published books of 2018, “Book of the Year” is a comprehensive monograph encompassing 1 year of walls by the danish graffiti writer SWET.

A graffiti “tour de force”, all the walls depicted in the book were painted in 2017 and amount to over 300 wall pieces, almost one per day, all of them documented in the book, including some sketches.

The book is bound with a piece of a canvas specially painted by SWET for this project and each book has a different binding, which also highlights the precise work of the dutch artisan publishing house Chemistry Publishing.

 

 

Published in November 2018 by Chemistry Publishing

First Edition of 500

240 pages printed on Munken Crystal Rough

Cover embossed with green linen, 24 x 28,5 cm

Buy it here

 

10° Russian Urban Art: History and Conflict

Street art books are usually more about photographs and visual documentation than text. Few history books actually exist on the graffiti and street art movements, let alone about a peripheral movement such as street art in Russia.

It is therefore the merit of the Russian artist and curator Igor Ponosov to examine the power of street art in Russia by exploring its historical background, extending from the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, to the non-conformists and the actionists of the 21st century.

 

 

Self-Published, Moscow, June 2018

Edition of 500

Hardcover, 20 x 15 cm, 96 pages, English

Buy it here

 



SWET: Book of the Year

Chemistry Publishing just released “Book of the Year”, a comprehensive monograph encompassing 1 year of walls by the danish graffiti writer SWET, active in the scene since 30 years and nicknamed the “King of Swing”.

All the walls were painted during the calendar year 2017, at the pace of 1 piece a day, all of them documented in the book, including some sketches. This new project follows up his 2009 book “SWET goes RED”, where the artist challenged himself into painting 100 pieces in 100 days, using only the red color.

The book is bound with a piece of a canvas specially painted by SWET for this project and each book has a different binding.

The book is available on the Urban Spree webstore here.



Anthony Lister’s solo show until 20.10.2018

Anthony Lister‘s solo show at Urban Spree Galerie – “Sneaky Bit In” – which opened last week in Berlin, will be on display for 1 month until 20.10.2018 and will be our flagship exhibition during the Berlin Art Week (26-30.09.2018).

 

 

The exhibition is the outcome of 3 weeks of an intense residency in Berlin, during which the Australian artist produced a painting cycle based around the 1973 cult movie “The Holy Mountain” by Alejandro Jodorowski and incorporating mythological & biblical elements, as well as clear references to Picasso and Damien Hirst. Lister has been obsessively confronting himself to Picasso during the last 6 months and his new production marks a step away from his most famous cycles (superheroes, ballerinas), albeit retaining some aspects of the recent flower cycle (sunflowers in the “Pan As Pimp” painting), and incorporating some lister-esque elements and details, which makes a Lister painting a Lister painting.

3 very large paintings (each 280 x 300 cm) compose the backbone of the exhibition, including a revisitation of Picasso’s “Les demoiselles d’Avignon” (“Pan As Pimp“). 3 medium-sized portraits of women complete the painting cycle. Besides this new series of paintings, Lister produced a sculpture and a short movie hacking the Jodorowski film by incorporating the artist’s face, voice-over, subverting it, self-editing on his cell phone.

 

In addition to the exhibition, Anthony Lister painted the Urban Spree Artist Wall (15 x 8 m). The mural tells of an alternative narrative to the painting “Tearing at the Bit” whereby the two characters of the ram and the tiger are being cast in a different manner, as well as in the painting style, this time reminiscent of Egon Schiele, painted only with a small roller fixed on top a a 6m extension pole. a paint-fueled fire extinguisher, and touches of spray paint.

The residency itself implies a lot of uncertainties as the artist is brought out of his comfort zone and the creative alterations, urgency, and risk-taking thereof are part of the process. For this residency, Lister created a studio full of references, sketches, citations, while numerous canvases were laid on the floor and painted, expanding the initial corpus set by the 3 major paintings. None of these paintings made it to the exhibition but were an essential part of the creative process and part of the artist’s universe for a part of the journey.

 

The gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00-19:00 or by appointment (galerie@urbanspree.com).

The catalogue of the show is available here.

The video has been filmed and edited by Gabriel Sousa (Devir Producoes, Sao Paulo) while photographs are shot by Gabriel Sousa and Lara Beins.

Great article/recension by BSA here.



Urban Spree releases an Artist Zine with Kid Cash

Kid Cash: Very Necessary. Sketches & Drawings 2015-17 is an artist zine published by Urban Spree Books on the occasion of the solo show of Kid Cash at Urban Spree Galerie (31.03.2017 – 22.04.2017).

The zine is focused on sketches and drawings and functions as a perfect companion to the exhibition as it reveals the artist’s inner paths to abstraction, how rough landscapes, lines and shapes are being abstracted and then incorporated, digested, into paintings.

 

The 60-page book is published as a Limited Edition of 300 copies in an A5 format. The zine is available at the Urban Spree Bookshop in Berlin and on our online shop here.

 



Danny Figueroa (Wesr) new solo show opening “Hits and Flops”

Urban Spree Galerie is proud to invite you to the opening of “Hits and Flops“, a new solo exhibition in the Galerie’s Ecke of works on paper by Peruvian-born and Berlin-based artist Danny Figueroa alias WESR.

“Hits and Flops” is a new series of works on paper, sketches and drawings presented by Danny Figueroa. Also known for his large street art pieces, Danny Figueroa’s drawing practice and experiments have always been an integral part of his artistic life.

The drawing series presented at Urban Spree Galerie are mainly figurative in nature but are made of an ever-changing matter, a fragile essence where transformation is occurring relentlessly, where nothing can be properly fixed, like a fugitive steam slipping out of a defaulting pressure cooker. This evanescence comes up with their perceived defaults and successes, or as the artist calls them, their “hits and flops”.

About the artist:

Danny Figueroa was born in 1980 in Chiclayo, Peru and grew up in the capital Lima where he has been active as a graffiti artist since 1996 under the pseudonym “Wesr”. He was strongly affected in his youth by the cultural clash between Peru’s traditions and the overwhelming americanization. This is also reflected in his art, in which he brings together the aesthetics of traditional and contemporary japanese graphic illustrations with elements of Peruvian indigenous art. Figueroa often reproduces masked figures revealing their innermost part beneath the masks and allowing for a variety of interpretations. The texture of narrow lines defining the structure of his works like scars grant access to the histories behind the unique personality of every singular character. His oeuvre ranges between muralism, painting and illustration and is marked by abstract figures with mask-like faces that might remind of early 20th century futurism. Since 2008, he lives and works in Berlin.
https://www.instagram.com/w3sr/

Urban Spree Galerie Ecke:

The “Ecke” (for “corner” in german) is the second exhibition space of Urban Spree. Located in the galerie on the opposite side of the main gallery space, the Ecke is focused on works on paper, drawings, illustration, and photography, albeit on a scale that reveals a more intimate facet of the artists.

Danny Figueroa aka Wesr

“Hits and Flops”

Urban Spree Galerie’s Ecke

8th of April – 22nd of April 2017

Opening reception: 8th April, 2017, 18:30 – 22:00

Exhibition hours: TU – SU 12:00 – 18:30

Enquiries: galerie@urbanspree.com



“Very Necessary”, a solo show by Berlin-based artist Kid Cash

Urban Spree Galerie is proud to introduce the new body of works by the Berlin-based visual artist Christian August alias KID CASH, one of the most active post-graffiti artists of his generation.

The exhibition, entitled VERY NECESSARY, crystallizes his artistic direction of the last three years and  displays a brand new corpus of works which will be on display at Urban Spree Galerie for the first time.

9.KIDCASH_1HourFame_Halle-Saale_16

The title of the exhibition refers to his primary work in the public space and hints to the necessity for him of showing his artworks in the context of a gallery space.

In the middle of the 1990s, KID CASH started graffiti and to paint on public walls and to analyze surfaces, urban landscapes and architecture. The enthusiasm thereof still inspires his work. The departure point for his imagery are often spontaneous sketches and photographs that result from everyday situations and emotions. The sources of these are very diverse and range from landscapes and still life to letters and quotes from artworks of Picasso, Henri Matisse or Hans Arp. In his artworks, KID CASH transfers something felt into a poetic visibility.

MARCH IN URBAN SPREE

From line to area, from shape to shape, from shape to line – the action of the body and the dynamics of his body movements play a major role in the compositions of KID CASH’s large-scale artworks which require total commitment and physical strength. The graffiti letters of the 1970s in New York and the German post-reunification subcultures in the 1990s still make an observable impact on his artistic vocabulary. Also, his name derives from common names as KID and CASH within the subculture.

!KIDCASH_workinprogress_17_0025

The choice of materials stems from those which enable KID CASH to work quickly and spontaneously and facilitate his intuitive and energetic modus operandi as acrylic and spray paint, construction materials, wood and canvases. The depicted visual language is dominated by seriality, an important element in KID CASH’s narrative.

About the artist:

Christian August alias KID CASH, born in 1977 in Halle (Saale), Germany, graduated at Burg Giebichenstein University of Fine Arts in Halle as a student in the class of Gerhard Schwarz. Since 1994, KID CASH has been painting on walls and canvases. He is also a founding member of the KLUB7 artist collective which is active since 1998. In 2017, the Art Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt grants him a scholarship. He lives and works in Berlin.

 

VERY NECESSARY

Exhibition: 1st of April – 22nd of April 2017

Opening reception: 31st of March 2017, 18:30 – 22:00

Urban Spree Galerie

TUE – SUN 12:00 – 19:00

Press enquiries: diana@urbanspree.com

Gallery enquiries: pascal@urbanspree.com

http://klub7.de/kidcash/

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