COMPLEX | The 25 Most Important Artists of 2011

December 23 2011 . 09:37pm

With Art In The Streets, Jeffery Deitch opened his reign at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art with a bang. The exhibition, drawing historic material and fresh installations from the world’s most renowned graffiti artists, certainly set a tone. In 2011, street art was impossible to ignore.

Museum’s across the Nation followed Deitch’s plan, and artist’s like Swoon and KAWS became regular names on institutional planning lists.

2011 also saw the artist as social activist rise again, most notably in the figures of Ai Weiwei and JR.

The artists that held our attention in 2011 were those that stayed busy. They wowed us with gallery exhibitions and museum installations. They kept our eyes through savvy commercial work and even produced some of the best album covers of the year. In all, picking just 25 people is a daunting task, but make one thing clear, these were the people we talked about the most.

Read article at: The 25 Most Important Artists of 2011.

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ESPO x YOUNG JEEZY x COMPLEX MAGAZINE

September 23 2009 . 04:06pm

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Augor’s sketches from the Kid Cudi Complex cover

August 06 2009 . 03:25am


By now, you’ve probably peeped the cover stories from our annual Style & Design issue (Kid Cudi x Augor Cover | Keri Hilson x So-Me Cover), but do you know the full story? Los Angeles graf artist Augor, who collaborated with Kid Cudi to create one side of the issue’s striking visuals, took to his blog yesterday to give the world a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process, including a gang of exclusive sketches that led him to the final product. Take a look at some of the images and artist’s insight below…

It all starts with sketches. On his blog, Augor writes,

“Going along with the ideas herd in KID CUDI’s music a couple drawings were done on the plane ride from LA to NY in prep for a meeting that was to be held at the COMPLEX office about what ideas Augor had for the photo shoot.”

We’re not sure why the third person is needed, but hey, he’s good with the pen, so his choice! Check the preliminary ideas that Augor brought when meeting with Complex’s Art team and Cudi:

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“After a few crude sketches were produced the realization that maybe the all grey toned approach wouldn’t catch the impact Cudi was trying to get with the shoot…Once back in LA Augor took screen prints and got to work with a 2 week deadline laying the base plans down of how his imagery would fit with the photos.”

Augor was on hand to help art-direct the cover shoot with Cudi, and following some input from the musicain and Complex, Augor began going in with color and some heavier line drawings:

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It’s a step by step process, with many rounds of sketches. On his blog, Augor continues:

“After getting a solid idea of how the interior illustrations were going to fit, development took place on the finals.”

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“After doing the analog part of the illustrations it was time to move onto the digital bond. Along side with co worker Sram we tossed around a few ideas on what would suit Augor’s illustrations the best. Here are some in process pics of making it happen.”

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“After the hard part (of figuring out what was going to be in the illustrations) was done another hard part surfaced….how do we make the background pop without overpowering the monster and Cudi? A couple background elements were drawn and scrapped but one made the cut that was used in sections throughout the spread”

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“With all the elements into play the final interior illustrations were produced”

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“After knocking out the interior the hardest part is saved for last!!
Developing a cover. A cover itself is extremely crucial. It is what catches the eye and draws a customer in. So in developing this a few ideas were passed on before the final came out. The first idea was to have Cudi as some sort of sorcerer in the woods. Very Halloweeen like.”

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“Even though it was a cool concept the first cover attempt didn’t mesh well with the summer heat the issue was due to drop in so it was back to the drawing board. Here are the ink drawings used to compose the final cover”

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“After trial and re trial this is what came out of the new set up.”

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“The background cover kind of felt a little mack and cheese and the snake man was clouding Cudi’s flow so the final cover that will go to print has a very aqua splash feeling… “

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“Hope everyone enjoys the issue”

For Augor’s full behind-the-scenes look, be sure to visit his blog.

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KID CUDI x AUGOR MSK x COMPLEX MAGAZINE

August 03 2009 . 03:20pm

Back on his first (and only) official mixtape Kid Cudi rapped, “They say I’m Complex like the magazine, I want my closet complex like the magazine.” A bit of foreshadowing? Perhaps, because the G.O.O.D. Music MC is now a Complex cover star, appearing on our August/September 2009 issue, the annual Style & Design special, which officially hits stands on August 11.

The self-proclaimed lonely stoner is currently on The Great Hangover Tour with Asher Roth, and has fans eagerly awaiting his debut album The Man On The Moon: End Of Day, which is now set for September 15. His melody-heavy raps bring an innovative sound to the game, which is why we paired him up with graf artist Augor for some illustrations that show Cudi battling his demons. We just put the whole story up online, and you’ll see that Cudi really invited us inside the mind of Scott Mescudi. You think you know, but you have no idea…

Find out more at: Complex Magazine and AugsDraws.com

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