BLADE | KING OF GRAF solo exhibition in Rome opens May 8th

April 24 2014 . 07:08pm

flyer BLADE2 (1)

Galleria Varsi celebrates its first birthday by inviting BLADE, renowned artist and one of the most legendary figures of New York City Writing. This will be BLADE’s first show in Italy and he will open with a solo exhibition, KING OF GRAF, curated by Marta Gargiulo.

The exhibition will concentrate on the evolution of lettering that has characterized BLADE’s work from the ‘70s to today. The spectators will feel they are entering in a NYC subway station, in which train wagons scroll before their eyes, each one interpreted differently by BLADE.

BLADE is the precursor of one of the main urban cultural trends deriving from the underground movement, and is amongst the first artists to have realized that true art must be shared and that the places where it is created must be accessible to all; this is why city walls and subway cars become the blank canvases for his art.

To become popular in the ‘80s you had to choose extreme methods, and BLADE went underground in subway deposits, illegally painting up to 5000 trains. In this manner he became known and recognizable by fans of this artistic and other genres. His strong presence in several subway lines made him a protagonist of one of the most important moments in the history of Writing: the release in 1984 of the book Subway Art, authors Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, a faithful exploration of the evolution and diffusion of urban art.

Today BLADE is present in temples of contemporary art, such as MOCA, and his paintings have been acquired in important collections such as the Palais de Tokyo, a fact which confirms and underlines the importance of the artistic message of Writing in contemporary society.

Writing has maintained its artistic relevance for over forty years, because it mirrors the dynamism and fast pace of our daily lives.


Steven Ogburn was born in New York City in 1957. He grew up in the Bronx where in the ‘70s he began to create graffiti with the name BLADE. His art strongly contributed to the birth of the Writing cultural movement, which in time became a fundamental part of the history of contemporary art.

Between 1972 and 1984 BLADE painted over 5000 trains, that carried his name and style throughout NYC, earning him the title of The King of Graf. His crew was the famous TC5, an acronym for “The Crazy 5”, that operated mainly on subway lines 2 and 5 through neighbourhoods such as the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Central Park.

In 1981 he took part to the exhibit BLADE New York / New Wave at the PS1 Gallery in NYC, which at the time was not the current contemporary art museum, but an occupied and self-managed space. The event went down in history thanks to the participation of major artists of contemporary art, such as JM Basquiat, Keith Haring, Dondi, Seen, Lee Quinones, and many others. Subsequently BLADE also did a show at the Fun Gallery in Manhattan.

In 1984, BLADE was one of the main protagonists of Subway Art, a famous art catalogue, now a cult text on the origins of Writing, whose two authors are the renowned photojournalists Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, that faithfully explored in detail the new heroes of Street Art, precursors of a revolutionary cultural movement.

From the late ‘90s, BLADE fully entered the international museum circuits from New York to Australia, California, France, Denmark, and The Netherlands.

In 2011 BLADE participated to the exhibition Art In The Streets, which was held at the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles).

May 8 – June 26, 2014

Via di San Salvatore in Campo 51 00186, Roma
06 68309410

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#LEICA100 at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery

April 24 2014 . 11:51am


LEICA | Celebrating 100 Years of Innovation
One night only | Friday, April 25, 2014 | 7-10pm

The Seventh Letter
Flagship Store and Gallery
346 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Studio visit with KRUSH for his upcoming show titled LAndmarked
 at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery

April 23 2014 . 07:45am

Photos by: Jon Lake

LAndmarked is a visionary look into Classic Sub-Cultural locations in the Los Angeles area. These LAndmarks have been a backdrop to millions of people and generations, and have played a role in Krush’s life, at some point or the other. “Driving around the city, I started noticing the changing commercial signage landscape, that is slowly starting to abandon the 20th Century for the 21st. Focusing on classic spots from a fading Century of Signage, Design and Typography, I decided to document these locations that have memories in my mind from the past 30 years and reflect that Nostalgic Los Angeles vibe.” This show covers a small slice of the many locations to document and opens the door for many other paintings to follow.

Paul Meraz aka Krush was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. An early participant of the graffiti art movement in the city and a pioneer of what has become the defining style of one of Los Angeles’ highly respected art cultures. Paul has been a part of the art and graffiti collective Angels Will Rise / The Seventh Letter since it’s inception and his career has taken him through over 3 decades of Art, Design and Art Direction.

KRUSH | LAndmarked

Opening reception: Saturday, April 26, 2014 | 8-11p
On view: April 26 – May 10, 2014

The Seventh Letter

Flagship Store and Gallery
346 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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The making of ASKEW ONE | DIASPORA show captured by Jon Lake

April 18 2014 . 09:47pm

Photos by: Jon Lake

Opening reception: April 19, 2014 | 8-11p
On view: April 19 – May 3, 2014

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036


About Diaspora:

In Askew’s first Los Angeles solo exhibition, he continues to explore themes from last years Sydney show, ‘The Evolving Face’ – specifically the dynamics of cultural, ancestral and social identity in the greater Pacific region. This concept redefines itself as these communities disperse in places like the West Coast of the US, Australia and New Zealand. There is an omnipresent duality existing within Pacific communities – concepts of transience and migration but with strong specific cultural identities that flourish and maintain strength, often impacting and evolving wherever they gain a foothold. For this show ‘Stelly’ who is based in Sydney, Australia and is of Fijian descent is the face of this concept.

In the artists home base of Auckland, New Zealand, the city’s identity has been dramatically altered by Pacific migration over the past 3 decades. Auckland is arguably the current epicentre of the modern Pacific, this forces it’s people to reevaluate the way they identify themselves – even those of European or Asian descent. Feeling a disconnect from his various European ancestries, Askew One has mostly embraced this new sense of identity, yet still walks a fine line between immersion and the analytical view point of an outsider.


ASKEW ONE is recognized worldwide for his unique approach to graffiti art and remains at the forefront of the international art scene through constantly exploring new and exciting styles in a world of imitators. With over 20 years of experience and the need to reach out to the world from his home in remote New Zealand, Askew is self-taught in graphic design, illustration, photography, publishing, directing and editing music videos and moving images.

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Preview for Pose and Revok’s upcoming show Dubai

April 12 2014 . 10:05pm


For their Middle East debut, both artists produced entirely new bodies of work using processes they developed recently, more like an evolution of their existing work than a new direction. Along with large canvases,will introduce a new series of works on paper created by painting a full-scale mural then breaking down the pieces into individual works. Revok’s new creations are more mature, deliberate and reasoned, while staying fully abstract, geometrical, and almost brighter than before. The event will take place at The Mine in Dubai, on Thursday, April 24th from 8pm – midnight, and will be strictly invitation only.

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