BANKSY x SIMPSONS

October 11 2010 . 02:22am

 

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Looks like The Day of Sharing has begun..

September 04 2009 . 02:01am

So it begins… TDOS has started. A handful of the TDOS faithful took matters into their own hands last night – they just couldn’t wait for Black Friday. We have to applaud their target choice – Apple, the foremost purveyor of mp3 players and one of the principal profiteers in the filesharing game. They stole – scuse me, shared – 23 MacBooks, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPods in 31 seconds. Check it out:

One thing struck me when watching it – is this a kind of double agent action? Check out the iPhone framing used by the news. Does this not play as a brilliant ad campaign for Apple? The breathless reporter speaking of the value of Apple laptops, iPods, and iPhones. The repeated shots of the Apple logo. If Apple didn’t think this up they should have.

RG at TheDayofSharing.com

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The Day of Sharing

August 25 2009 . 02:14pm

The Seventh Letter

 

This isn’t called the seventh letter because it’s the seventh e-mail (it’s not even that). This is about the legal arm of the largest graffiti crew in the country (probably the world), called The Seventh Letter. Bear with me. This does apply in an abstract way to our business.

While still studying filmmaking at Chapman University (awesome film school by the way – blows USC out of the water), our eldest son Keegan directed a documentary about graffiti titled Piece of Mind. He has always been fascinated with street art of all sorts, from random scribbles to Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and Robbie Conal.  During the filming of the movie he became quite familiar with the artists and ethos involved in graf, and so by extension I did as well (albeit to a much smaller degree). Two crews in particular are featured in his film – MSK and AWR. These guys are the artists (or vandals if you prefer) behind the The Seventh Letter.

The guys who are good at graffiti are amazing artists, all the more so because they do their art at a breakneck pace while perched on a narrow scaffold 30 feet or more above the ground in the wee hours of the night, ducking whenever a car goes by. Granted there are plenty of guys that just make a random mess of everything in sight – but the ones who do it right are beyond.

Where it gets interesting is in the crossroads of art, ethics, money, and law. Back in 2007 there was a fantastic exhibit at the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art featuring the artwork of Murakami. For those of you not familiar with Murakami, suffice it to say he is kind of the Andy Warhol of Japan, but bigger. MOCA put up huge pink billboards around town promoting the show that basically just said MURAKAMI in big white letters. Two of the MSK guys, Revok and Augor, bombed one of the billboards one night. Murakami saw a photo of the result, then had the billboard taken down and shipped to Japan for his personal collection. Even though it was illegal art Murakami appreciated the beauty of the work.

 


Have you ever noticed that graffiti on billboards only goes so high? Makes sense when you think about it – the artists can only reach to about a foot over their heads and the bottoms of the billboards are usually at least several feet above the scaffolds.

Now check this out:

 


 

 


Notice that the artist, Augor, has pretty much covered the billboard of There Will Be Blood from top to bottom? How did he pull that off? There is a clue if you look closely. Look at the big wrinkles in the canvas in the lower left hand corner. You get it?  They simply went down to Melrose late one night and actually stole the billboard – or more accurately the canvas that covers it. Ballsy, ya? They then took it to another location where Augor could repaint it ,top to bottom, at his leisure. Then, in the ballingest move ever, they went back a couple of nights later and put it back up!! They didn’t quite have the gear and/or the technique to stretch the canvas completely taut, hence the wrinkles. wThis made the nightly news on Fox – the anchors couldn’t seem to decide whether they were outraged or amused. Look really close at the shoutout at the bottom. Don’t ask.

I tracked down the guy at Paramount Pictures who is in charge of billboard advertising for the studio. Here is the exchange (with his name redacted):


Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:05 PM
To: xxxx – Paramount Vantage
Subject: Melrose billboard

Hello xxxx,

I am betting that you are aware of the ‘There Will Be Blood’ billboard

on Melrose just east of Highland and the alteration thereof. I would

like to know what Paramount’s intentions are with this – are you going

to leave it up for the rest of the rental period as is? Are you going

to replace it? And in either case, what will you do with the canvas?

Would you be so kind as to give me a call?

Thank you,

Richard Gibbs

Good Morning Richard

Wondering what your interest is in this, and how you got my contact information?

Have a nice day

xxxx

Media and Promotions

Paramount Vantage

Hello xxxx

I don’t know if you’re aware, but that guy’s graffiti has become somewhat collectible. There was a piece about that billboard on Fox News Tuesday night that piqued my interest. I am wondering if Paramount will sell it.

To answer your other query – I am a film composer here in town (I’ve actually scored two Paramount pix in the past, amongst 50 others), so I simply asked my agent to find who the marketing guru was at Paramount.

All right, your turn. My questions remain. Call me if you like.

Richard

Well he never called, so I thought it best not to press my luck. Still wondering what became of that piece – it’s worth a pretty penny in the right (or wrong) circles. Those canvases normally cost about $10,000 each – I was prepared to pay at least that for Augor’s superimposed masterpiece.

Now I’m sure some of you are outraged at graffiti, regardless of the quality. We are talking about destruction (or at least alteration) of private property. But is it really private? Just as Christian Engström of the Pirate Party argues that once a piece of music is published that it belongs to the public, one could make a case that these billboards exist in the public sphere. Why do the billboard manufacturers alone get to alter the public view? Personally I prefer the work the graf artists do over the mass printed ads anyway. I read in the LA Weekly that there are over 4,000 billboards in the city that are illegal – no permits issued for them. So I’d say they are fair game. TDOS indeed!

The Seventh Letter makes and sells t-shirts, hoodies, and some pretty cool jewelry.  They also represent their artists for legit commercial purposes, corporate branding and art gallery shows around the world. Their sites: artist management – www.knowngallery.com; jewelry – www.tslarmor.com; and apparel, skatedecks, and other assorted merch – www.knowngallerystore.com. They don’t make money directly from their art (for the most part) but they do make money by marketing their outlaw image – legally. One of the pro-filesharing arguments is that musicians should do the same. I say they are right – but let’s go all the way. If we can’t make money legally let’s go illegal. Not sure exactly what I mean by that but I’m working on it. Any ideas? These Seventh Letter guys are creating art and making money, thinking outside the law, let alone the box.

Another morsel in this food for thought piece. Revok was playing the newest edition of Grand Theft Auto when something caught his eye. In the desire to establish realism the coders who made the game had scanned in one of his illegal graf pieces. Revok contacted the company behind GTA, claiming copyright infringement – and received a hefty payment for the use of his work.

Strange world we live in, yes?

RG

 

Find out more at TheDayofSharing.com

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Richard Gibbs & The Day Of Sharing

February 16 2009 . 03:17am

From our partner KEEGAN GIBBS.

Just shot photos of my Dad for an article the Christian Science Monitor is doing on my Dad and his genius proposition of The Day Of Sharing. Read on to view more pictures and find out what the day of sharing is.

Sharing – a beautiful word, a wondrous concept.  One of the definitions of the word share from dictionary.com – To accord a share in (something) to another or others: shared her chocolate bar with a friend. Filesharing is a beautiful sounding word too.  To share that which you have acquired via the internet with untold thousands, perhaps millions.  Such a fantastic idea.

The Day of Sharing is about expanding that concept, spreading the good feelings that come from sharing across all endeavors of life. On The Day of Sharing everything will be shared.  Everybody should know the joy of sharing that musicians, lyricists, authors, photographers and artists of all stripes have been experiencing for years now.  Even if just for one day. On The Day of Sharing everything will be shared.  Walk into your favorite restaurant, order your favorite meal, eat it, and walk out. Be sure to thank the owner for sharing. Better yet, order it to-go and hand it to someone else as you leave.  Pick up a candy bar at the convenience store, let the clerk know how much you enjoy it and tell him you will recommend it to others.  Then walk out the door and share it with the homeless guy outside.  Test drive a Ferrari and, if you like it, keep driving.

Filesharing has allowed the entire world to enjoy – without paying – the fruits of the labors of countless creators of intellectual property.  Yet there are hundreds of huge corporations around the globe that profit from charging the public for the means to steal (fileshare) music.  Those companies are not held responsible for their actions (or inactions, as the case may be).  The recording industry has been absolutely decimated as a result.  Singers, engineers, songwriters, producers, trombonists, you name it – they have all had their livelihoods snatched from them by the seeming largesse of the telecom/internet industry and the disinterest and tacit approval of governments around the world.  It is quite possible to share the massive profits of those industries with the creators of music – even easy to do – but for some reason those companies just don’t want to share.  The Day of Sharing will encourage people to contact their legislators to insist on righting this injustice.

The number one and number two profitable exports of the United States are arms (guns, tanks, fighters jets, bombs) and entertainment (movies, TV, music, sports).  The weapons industry is doing fine – nobody has figured out how to repoduce and distribute millions of guns for free yet – but the entertainment industry is collapsing at a precipitous rate.  The auto and banking industries have problems and our government bails them out with billions of dollars.  The collapse of our auto industry, however, will look like a game of tiddlywinks compared to what will happen to our nation’s economy if the entertainment industry continues on the path laid out in front of it by the internet industry.  The good news is that the fix does not require a megabillion dollar bailout – just clear and supportive laws.  Until that happens, The Day of Sharing will at least give those artists in need a glimmer of hope that they can meet their needs.

The best day for this heartwarming occasion will be Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  When we are all feeling the gratitude and love.  When everybody is out shopping anyway.  How wonderful it will be to pick up whatever gifts you need for your friends and family, gratis.  So everybody, get ready for 11/27 2009 – The Day of Sharing!

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