Photographer Emily Paxton and artist Pam Glew of PaxtonGlew have curated an exhibition of tiny houses, stores, and train cars that is unlike your typical model village. Instead of pristine new buildings, each model is hand-painted with graffiti and colorful murals. Together the miniatures form a well-worn city from the collective imagination of over 40 urban contemporary artists from around the world.
Titled Urban Miniatures, the pop-up opened on November 23, 2019 as a part of the Artists Open Houses Christmas Festival in Brighton, England. The roster of artists tapped to contribute include train-writers, muralists, designers, and painters, most of whom typically work at a much larger scale. From an optical illusion mural painted on a mini hotel by Peeta (previously), to architectural jewelry by Tiny Scenic, the scale of each piece in the exhibition forces the viewer to look more closely and appreciate the details. That level of intimacy is not always possible when a piece is ten stories tall or speeding down a track.
For those able to visit Brighton, Urban Miniatures is scheduled to run through December 22, 2019. The curators are also offering miniature-themed workshops for those who visit the gallery space. Limited edition prints, models, and other art gifts are also available via their online store. For more information, follow @paxtonglew on Instagram.
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Graffiti artist Vile leaves his mark on the walls of occupied and abandoned buildings around Europe, using masterful techniques to create the illusion of depth in his painted interventions. The Portuguese artist has simulated letter-shaped gaps in crumbling bricks, galaxies pulsating behind concrete walls, and even entire imagined buildings. Vile, who lives in his hometown of Vila Franca de Xira, started writing graffiti at the age of 14, and studied cartooning and animation for films as well as drawing and illustration. Follow Vile’s illusory exploits on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)
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Nearly a decade after completing the “Alphabet Street” project in East London, English artist Ben Eine has again painted all 26 letters from A to Z on over 40 shop shutters. “Alphabet City 2.0” uses 26 bespoke fonts and a wide range of spray paint colors to transform the area into a vibrant street art destination.
Made in association with Global Street Art and the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), the “Alphabet Street” shows the evolution of Eine’s style over the past 30 years. Bold letters emerge from the metal shutters with deep drop shadows and layered graphic elements. Each glyph has its own personality and dimensionality that allows it to stand alone while also being a part of the larger set.
It’s that exploration of type that Eine and his team are bringing to clients with their new creative agency; “Alphabet Street” also marks the launch of Eine’s new creative design studio, Our Types. “Our minds are always busy, even when sleeping, it refuses to rest,” he said in a statement. “It is the only true tool for manipulating the world about us. Our Types is going to be the visual drug your brain has been looking for.”
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Crumbling Buildings and Graffiti-Covered Walls Are Meticulously Documented in Oil Paintings by Jessica Hess
Oakland-based painter Jessica Hess documents landscapes and built environments in moments of transition. Combining open skies and lush plant life with crumbling walls and frayed rebar, Hess finds equivalency in growth and decay. The artist, who works in oil paint, shoots photos while exploring abandoned locales, and uses these real life references to build her carefully framed worlds on canvas.
Hess graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and has been exhibiting nationally for over 15 years. Her solo show, The Chaos Aesthetic, is currently on view at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, and runs through May 25, 2019. You can keep up with Hess’s impressive exhibition schedule, which includes four additional shows this year on her website, and see more of her work on Instagram.
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PichiAvo Pushes the Boundaries of their Urbanmythology Style with New Solo Exhibition and Graffiti-Covered Greek Statue
Art center Centro del Carmen in Valencia, Spain is currently hosting Evreka, a large solo exhibition by local artist duo PichiAvo (previously). Through this landmark showcase, the artists present their renowned Urbanmythology style that blends the dynamics, immediacy, and uncompromising attitude of graffiti along with the traditional quality and timeless appearance of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Dominated by a massive sliced and tagged Greek pillar, the immersive installation features ten new paintings, nine sculptures, and an outdoor monument to the local graffiti scene.
Along with the explosion of colors and graffiti elements on top of traditional Greek iconography, one of the main parts of the show is the “Reflectory room” in which the works are experienced through a mirror. The artists wanted to recreate the accidental and often concealed discovery of graffiti or street art in real life. Eight out of ten paintings exhibited in the show are presented through this concept. Sculptural pieces are scattered around them, with their biggest studio piece, a 40-foot-long column inspired by the temple of Zeus in Athens, laying through the length of the room.
All of the works in the show, except for the column, have been created especially for the show and are related to the Falles monument that they are currently finishing. Fallas de València is a traditional celebration held every year in commemoration of Saint Joseph, and it includes the year-long building and eventual burning of large-scale public statues. The peak of the event takes place around midnight on March 19, when around 400 Falles are burnt as huge bonfires through the city of Valencia.
Following the success of their friend Okuda San Miguel, who was invited by the Falles Festival in 2018 to build the Falla Mayor (previously), the art duo started working on their own statue right after the burning of last year’s works. Pichi & Avo partnered with the local Falles artisan firm Latorre y Sanz to execute the incredibly large-scale piece. Unlike previous years when artisans used mostly foam as a building material, this year’s sculptures are made from wood and cardboard, making the work more flammable and less pollutant.
PichiAvo’s Falles statue is set to be finished on March 15, 2019, along with the others included in the Falles Festival, and will be burned in a big celebration on March 19, 2019. Evreka will be on view at the Centro del Carmen in Valencia until May 5, 2019 and a show dedicated to PichiAvo’s limited editions will be on view at Plastic Murs gallery between March 7 and April 19, 2019. You can see more of the artists’ previous works on their website and Instagram.
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Italian graffiti artist Eron (previously) creates poignant spray painted interventions which speak to humanitarian and social issues. Recently he created a stunning piece titled Tower to the People in Santarcangelo, Italy which converted a simple brick tower into a monumental painting celebrating the power of non-violence. The work features a raised fist that is constructed from a mass of lush roses painted in a classical chiaroscuro technique. The contrast between the fragility of the flowers and the power of the symbol they create speaks to the combined strength of individuals when united for a common cause.
Similar to his previous creations, the artist used spray paint to create an illusion of depth. The work appears almost sculptural, as if the fist was erected with the tower itself, rather than added on as a painted detail. Columns flank either side of the fist, each with hearts near the top and bottom corners. A press release about Tower to the People explains that the work is a tribute to “the strength of gentleness, the power of non-violence, the victory of kindness, the triumph of love over hate, the intensity of poetry, the perfection of harmony, and the desire for freedom and peace among the people all over the world.”
In 2015 Eron was included in the landmark exhibition Bridges Of Graffiti during 2015 Venice Biennale, and earlier this year he painted one of his largest street art interventions to date in Milan. In addition to the public works, Eron has also been creating smaller pieces that revive found objects through his application of ghostly imagery. At the same time, the artist is producing studio works on canvas which cleverly mix realistic and surreal imagery, creating captivating images that strongly rely on both light and shadow effects. You see more of his public and studio-based works on his website and Instagram.
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Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.
The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.
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