Italian fashion label Roberto Cavalli is being sued by the artists Revok, Reyes, and Steel for copyright infringement. The three artists contend that the designer’s Just Cavalli label copied the artwork from the trio’s mural in San Francisco’s Mission District, defaced it by manipulating different elements of the work, and created the impression that it was an original work by Cavalli by adding the designer’s signature. The artists are asking that the label admit its wrongdoing and hand over all profits from the collection. Read more on the lawsuit here.
Honolulu is famous for golden sand beaches and big waves. But the city’s warehouse district, called Kakaako, is famous for a different sort of attraction. You won’t find kitschy Hawaiian souvenir shops or hordes of tourists here, but you will find a thriving urban arts scene, with colorful street murals so big they stretch across walls and sometimes entire sides of buildings.
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STATEN ISLAND: RIME / TOPER
Graffiti giants like Rime and Toper made Staten Island their stomping grounds during their New York City come up. And even if it is a place known for welcoming transitory residents (see some notable members of the infamous Wu-Tang Clan) or cats from Jersey— since the Bayonne Bridge connects to the Garden State— Staten Island breeds them hard. This is probably why powerhouses like Rime and Toper don’t find it too hard to “regulate” on walls and surfaces like they had to commandeer growing up writing together.
THE BRONX: WANE
Mention the Bronx in a few places around the globe and you’re likely to get one of two responses from those that know— intrigue or dismay. Both stem from the same source, the borough’s infamy. Infamy for the sheer poverty that has historically plagued it, and ironically, created the conditions that birthed one of the most revered pockets of early, bourgeoning hip hop culture. Ask Wane COD and he’ll probably tell you firsthand what his esteemed borough meant to him and his style in the early ’80s, when he dived headfirst into the language that’s taken him around the world— graffiti.
Where Brooklyn at? Apparently everywhere and anywhere if you let ubiquitous cuts like The Notorious B.I.G.’s infamous “Madison
Square Garden Freestyle” call it— a staple at any hip hop party’s peak. Though the idea is more metaphoric than anything— being
everywhere at once really defies the laws of physics— Brooklyn sons like graffiti legend Chino BYI can testify to covering more County of Kings ground than most.
The “city that never sleeps” is comprised of five boroughs. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t categorize Manhattan as the quintessential mainland— no matter what partialness to the others. The 13-mile stretch (length) is filled with more history, relics, and stories than most can imagine. The magic of the most hustle and bustle lays here.
Harlemite and native New Yorker Micah, of über-successful local lifestyle brand Only NY, knows this probably better than anyone. He cites the city’s unlimited sights, sounds, and pulses as the unlimited source of inspiration for his art. Well, that and his fondness for the tranquility of nature— the complete opposite of the urban jungle. This limbo or understanding of balance, if you will, is what best describes his art’s flow, a parallel to the city’s momentum and pace.
QUEENS: SMART CREW
The international soccer community is in a frenzy this summer thanks to the massive convergence taking place in Brazil. This means folks from different countries, cities, and boroughs even— all over the globe— are at attention and in grand hopes of their team’s road to victory. Queens, New York City isn’t immune to the highly contagious fever. Considering that the borough is a melting pot of soccer-loving ethnic communities like Colombians, Jamaicans, Mexicans, Germans and Greeks, among others, it certainly won’t be difficult to find locals gathered up at bars, restaurants, delis, or even in plain public, tuning in to the play-by-play of the latest match.
It was for this reason that the Queens-founded Smart Crew decided to make use of their special box truck canvas, provided by Nike NYC, to commemorate the spirit of the biggest soccer event on the planet. Formed circa 1997 by original members MEY, SYCO13, and LUK, the diverse squad has been gaining attention and strength since. They approach graffiti in a very collective and calculated manner that very much reflects, not only their name and iconic “S” with graduate cap emblem, but also the diverse unity found in soccer culture. The crew gets down like the teams get down!
#SHITALKIE A solo exhibition featuring the work of Dave Pursue presented by Gym Standard, Opening reception on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 7.00PM- 10.00PM. Music will be hosted by The Designated Hittaz
For sale inquiries and PDF of the show contact EDWIN@GYMSTANDARD.COM
2903 El Cajon Blvd #2
San Diego, CA 92104
February 3, 1961 – August 15, 2014
Legends paint amongst one another in a private lot on August 5th, 2014. CRAOLA, 2SHAE, 7SEAS, and PLEK.
Music by Citizen Cope. Video by Jordan Ahern.
BLADE is considered “The King of Graffiti” because by 1980, after painting 5,000 wildly creative trains, he stopped counting. Known and loved by the graffiti community, BLADE is not a myth but a crowned head visionary who has painted a rich collection of artwork on the street and on canvas.
BLADE’s first solo show in Los Angeles, this exhibit features new large-scale spray paint and paint marker artworks on canvas and NYC subway maps. Inspired by his own characters, letters, colors, and abstract imagery from some of his own subway train masterpieces from the 1970’s, the collection of artwork is a throwback to his innovative style that influenced generations of contemporary artists all over the world. Titles like “METALLIC MADNESS” and “METEROIC RAINBOW” are reminiscent of the silver spray paint and metal trains that BLADE painted fiercely. His gifted perception for color and letter style are not just nostalgic but defining for the golden era of subway art. In “JOINT MAN,” BLADE paints a character he originally created in 1976, at age 19, on an IRT Train. These new paintings are a look at the past fused with BLADE’s ever-future imagination of today. BLADE will be in-person at the opening event.
BLADE: KING OF GRAFFITI is a colorful hardbound collectible book about BLADE, the prolific and legendary graffiti artist from the Bronx. BLADE’s career has spanned over forty years and writer/NY graffiti artist Chris Pape, aka FREEDOM, sits down with him to recount his high’s and low’s in this 250 page book, packed with vintage photos of his life and artwork. This book parallels the New York graffiti movement almost from its inception, moving through its glory years in the mid-1970s, when BLADE earned his title, and ending in the global art scene, where he remains a major presence. BLADE helped New York graffiti become internationally famous by making it look fun, and, for reasons of quantity, quality, and, perhaps above all, for sheer spirit, BLADE may very well be the most popular graffiti artist with his peers. This recently released book is available for sale at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery for $39.99.
FREEDOM | THE ROCHESTER SERIES opens August 30, 2014 at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery
FREEDOM grew up on the Upper West side of Manhattan and his name became cemented in graffiti history when he painted what became known as the Freedom Tunnel from 1980 – 1996. The tunnel underneath NYC was once FREEDOM’s personal hall of fame, featuring many of his silver and black spray paint masterpieces, which included recreations of great artworks from history to specifically homage the importance and influence they have on graffiti art.
The city of New York and Amtrak have since buffed much of the Freedom Tunnel unfortunately but FREEDOM has found another a tunnel to paint in Rochester, upstate New York. Inspired by his new work in that tunnel, THE ROCHESTER SERIES is a collection of 12” x 16” paintings on wooden panels, larger works on canvas, and traditional NYC wild style piecebook drawings reinvented with added collage. Exploring pop objects from his youth, FREEDOM is mining vintage imagery as if he is sifting through subway grating looking for urban archaeology. Using color in ways he never could in the 1980’s, these works are bright with exciting hues. FREEDOM paints iconic comic book heroes and classic products with graphic cartoony logos incorporating distressed backgrounds to bring into the gallery walls his musings from his current tunnel spray paint installations. In “THE THING,” FREEDOM tags up historical NYC graffiti writers FLINT, MIKE 171, TAKI 183, and many others, again referencing the impact and gravity of his graffiti community, the writing idols of the walls.FREEDOM is also known as Chris Pape and he wrote the newly released BLADE: KING OF GRAFFITI book, which will be celebrated at the same opening, along with an exhibit of new solo artwork by BLADE.
With 121 pages of vivid black and white photography, Obscure takes an in depth look at the architecture, skylines and otherwise inaccessible views of Los Angeles through the eyes of one of the city’s most seasoned street practitioners.
“If I had to choose one artist to epitomize the heart and soul of the City of Los Angeles it would be Zes. His work thrives on the pulse and energy of this spread out landscape,” Saber MSK/AWR writes in the book’s foreword. “His photography is his unique perspective, usually perched many perched many stories above looking down with a birdseye view of the city that many will never see. Zes’ photographs are superhuman snapshots.”
The Seventh Letter Flagship Store & Gallery
346 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
DENNIS MORRIS / THE BOLLOCKS
Opening reception: August 9, 2014 | 8-11p
On view: August 9 - April 23, 2014
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036