June 27, 2011

"Portrait of a Dying Cockroach" - New Installation for Public Provocations at Carhartt Gallery, Basel

Disclaimer: The last couple months have been hectic...Along with traveling, I've just moved recently and it may take a sec to get settled and get the new base of operations up and running. Apologies for not keeping up with correspondence, I'll do my best to catch up.

Here are some shots from the installation I did for the Public Provocations show at the Carhartt Gallery during ArtBasel on the Swiss/German border. The center piece is titled "Portrait of a Dying Cockroach". I tried to paint this in the most graceful, beautiful way I could. It's based on some photos I took of an unnoticed roach on the spotless floor of the Margulies collection in Miami. This was from when Retna and myself painted a mural on the side of their building during the Miami ArtBasel a couple years ago. Something about painting that there during the Swiss ArtBasel seemed appropriate. While I was there someone told me they don't have roaches in Switzerland, but I don't believe this.

"Let the Arts Roam" - New video portrait of Mac & Retna

This is a new video just released by I Am Los Angeles / Joris Debeij that I think came out really nice. It documents some of the creation of my most recent collaborative mural with Retna for a school in LA, across from MacArthur Park. Here's their description for the video:

"Wherever they go, they try to make something that makes sense for the neighborhood, and the community. And they always make something positive, something the artists hope people can enjoy -- regardless of whether life has greeted them with great fortune. Armed with a vision and their cans of spray paint, El Mac and Retna will transform a forgotten wall into a piece of art.

El Mac and Retna are street artists, born in LA. They use building walls as blank canvases for their imagery, and the duo has collaborated to create murals all over the world. El Mac and Retna have very different styles, and have been collaborating the last few years. They combine their artistic forces in a specific way: El Mac creates huge lifelike portraits and Retna, calligraphic brushwork and decoration. The result is striking imagery that is unique and recognizable as theirs. It's not uncommon for street art fans and documentarians to gather to watch the progression of an El Mac and Retna work in progress.

El Mac and Retna art feels appropriate for the street because the artists themselves embrace the city streets, the different neighborhoods, and the blend of cultures and backgrounds of the people that fill them. Street art, including the work of El Mac and Retna, also reflects a new attitude about accessibility to art in our environments. "Why not see all the walls painted," says Retna. "Let the Arts Roam!"

June 9, 2011

"Kosoom by the Mekong" - New Video from Viet Nam

Here's a cool video made by The Propeller Group out of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. It documents my visit there last summer when I painted a mural of my girlfriend Kim's grandmother, Kosoom. It was an amazing and inspiring experience, and these guys did a great job documenting it with this video.
Here's their description for the video:

El Mac painted this beautiful mural in front of Sàn Art, an independent artist space, also just outside the offices of The Propeller Group in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. This painting is based on a photo of Kosoom, the grandmother of El Mac's girlfriend.
All of the photographs included in this video as well as the footage of motorbikes zooming through the city were taken by El Mac. Part of his process is documenting different people from different places and selecting a handful to paint on walls around the world. We wanted this video piece to be a reflection of how El Mac saw the world of Viet Nam for the first time, taking it all in, and juxtaposing the fast paced life in the city with this giant portrait that would literally slow people down in admiration as they passed by.

More info, photos, etc at www.VNTWT.com

"Public Provocations" installation at Carhartt Gallery x ArtBasel

I'm doing a small installation at the Carhartt Gallery, Basel (along the Swiss-German-French border) along with some other respected international artists.. opening June 11th, right before ArtBasel