June, 2010

Victor Reyes MISSPELLED art show at Robert Berman Gallery SF

June 18 2010 . 01:57pm

Robert Berman / E6 Gallery is pleased to present MISSPELLED, an alphabet by Victor Reyes, handmade in California.  The ambitious public art installation turned gallery exhibition explores the artists’ unique approach to graffiti, by dissecting individual letters and exploring the anatomy and architecture found in the symbols we use to communicate. Inspired by San Francisco’s streets, surfaces, and overall visual vibrancy, Reyes reinterprets the letters and presents them to us in a brilliant array of color and movement. These alphabets, recontextualized on various abandoned surfaces around the city, are not intended to provide answers, but to raise questions about how we interpret public spaces and the content assumed within.
Over the past 2 years, Reyes has been diligently painting freestanding alphabets within San Francisco on its many vacant surfaces that resulted from the financial crash in 2008.  What started as an initial impulse to push color and movement in a city with a long history of outdoor murals and graffiti has morphed into an attempt to inspire personal and public change in reaction to the economic downturn of recent years.
The individual letters painted in multitude have become an indiscernible narrative written in spray paint and acrylic house paints. These letters adorn trucks, fences, walls and rooftops throughout San Francisco. Alphabets have been strung together and carved out of forgotten spaces, exceeding his original intentions, multiplying in numbers.
Reyes’ restlessness in California over the last two years is portrayed in the landscapes and figures formed out of these letters. Often using the juxtaposition of vibrant colors and dirt, his unique hand-painted characters are meant to exist on their own, an unconventional quality unseen with most street writing.  Their message is scattered and fleeting, open to interpretation; The letters are ephemeral, constantly weathering, fading over time, and are often facing neighborhood intervention. The placement of letters on the sides of panel trucks that disappear at the change of a stoplight exemplifies the alphabet’s physical mobility, in most cases leaving us with only a photograph as proof of their existence. Since the projects inception in 2008, Reyes has executed over forty site-specific murals around the city, as well as created countless studies and mixed media works for the exhibition.
In addition to the street installation and gallery exhibition MISSPELLED will also take on the form of a 104 page book documenting the story of these alphabets and how they came to be. It will include photographs, studies and reproductions of the murals and works featured in the exhibition. The release of the book will coincide with the opening of the exhibition, and will be available throughout the show.
Reyes has been painting since the early 90s, and has shown extensively around the world, in Bosnia, Germany, Switzerland, Taipei, Japan, and Miami.  Recent shows include blue.print.for.space/Primary Flight at Miami Art Basel 2009, Public Provocations at Carhartt Projects in Germany, Will Rise at Robert Berman Gallery (Los Angeles) in 2008, and Letters First, a traveling show in Japan/Korea/Barcelona 2006-2008. Reyes is inspired by his peers, including a community of new California artist’s  “The Seventh Letter” who have had integral role in the development and motivation for this body of work.
“The photos and illustrations capture a time in my life when I was able to make this work for a city I love and labor in.” — Victor Reyes, July 2010

1632 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102
Reception: Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 6 – 9 pm
Runs: July 7, 2010 – August 14, 2010


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ZPFfffft!!! | Opening June 19th 2010

June 18 2010 . 01:47pm

Opening Reception Saturday, June 19, 2010, 7-10 p.m.
On view June 19 Through July 10, 2010
LOS ANGELES –  Opening June 19, Scion’s Installation L.A. Gallery presents “ZPFfffft!!!,” a group exhibition that features classic and new works by Gary Panter, Bob Zoell and Devin Flynn.
“ZPFfffft!!!” brings together three generations of artists. Panter explains, “Devin and Bob and myself of are representatives of nearly equidistant generations, and it is interesting to see how artists of successive generations evolve the problems of iteration and mediums and the game of making art, to produce objects that prompt the mind and slow the moment of the encounter.”

The exhibition will include a 23-foot wall covered in Panter’s playful chalk drawings, as well as a series of small and affordable works; two 6-foot-by-12-foot paintings by Zoell; and a number of new works from Flynn, among other surprises.

The title of the show, “ZPFfffft!!!,” is an invented onomatopoeic word. “It combines the first letter of each of the artists’ last names, is short and graphic, suggests something fast and on a trajectory, or maybe a brushstroke or a champagne cork whizzing by,” Panter explains. “Minds react to imagery, clear or vague, invoking multiple associations, individual and cliched, or collective or topical associations.”

The opening reception takes place on June 19, 7 – 10 p.m. at the Scion Installation Space, 3521 Helms Ave. (at National), Culver City, CA 90232. The reception is free with complimentary valet parking and an open bar. All artists will be present, and available for interview. The exhibit will run until July 10.

About the Artists
Gary Panter made underground comics a viable art form. His hit-comic Jimbo first appeared in the 1970s, and he continued to break ground with his extended graphic novels Dal Tokyo and Cola Madness. Panter has created award-winning album artwork; his set designs for Pee-wee’s Playhouse won him three Emmy Awards; and his commercial work has been featured in Time, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker. In 2006, Gary was a featured artist in the touring exhibition, Masters of American Comics, and in 2008, he was the subject of a one-man show at the Aldrich Contemporary Museum. He currently lives in New York and teaches comic-book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Bob Zoell has had a 45-year art career in Los Angeles and has been the recipient of the Pollack/Krasner and the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants, as well as serving as visiting faculty in advanced painting at UCLA. He has shown his work and lectured in Japan, France and throughout the U.S. He is also a regular contributor to the New Yorker, with seven covers to his credit.

Devin Flynn is an animator by trade. He created his own market by doing animated music videos for friends in bands like Providence’s own Lightning Bolt, which earned him some notoriety and resulted in various opportunities like a regular slot on Wondershowzen, video in the Liverpool Biennial, title sequence for The Aquateen HungerForce Movie, and an opportunity to curate multimedia shows at Anthology Film Archive and Deitch Projects. All of these experiences contributed to and culminated in a stream of consciousness web series on Adultswim.com called Y’all So Stupid. Flynn is currently focusing his attention on making work primarily for galleries. Aside from drawings, an experimental video project is scheduled to debut in August 2010.

More information on this exhibition is available at www.scion.com/space.

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RELM KSN interview

June 18 2010 . 01:41pm

An Interview With Devin Flynn, aka RELM

This Saturday, June 19, ZPFfffft!!! opens at the Scion Gallery in Culver City. The show features Gary Panter, Bob Zoell and Devin Flynn, three artists who are identified with Los Angeles art. In particular, animator Devin Flynn contributed to L.A.’s early graffiti scene as KSN writer RELM. In this interview, Flynn talks with Zio about graffiti history.

What was the earliest (non-gang) graffiti you remember seeing in Los Angeles?

I saw Dreams Don’t Die on TV in 1982 with the kid from Escape From Witch Mountain. The first tag I ever saw in person was ALSKI—must’ve been late 1983, seventh grade. ALSKI went to my junior high, John Burroughs, and he was tagging spots at school, on buses and in Westwood Village. I also remember seeing ZODIAC tags on Hollywood Boulevard. Maybe a year later, SOON painted a little burner on the outside of the handball courts at JB. Around that same time, SEEN had come to L.A. and painted the "Dial M" piece on Sunset Boulevard, and I saw it
from the window of an RTD bus on the way home from JHS.

What influence did gang graffiti have on Los Angeles style?

I grew up in Atwater Village, and a kid named Ralphie in my neighborhood was in Toonerville Gang by the age of 12. He started hitting it up in the L.A. River, and sometimes I would ask him to let me do one too. I was only 10 at the time. I’m sure a lot of other kids from my generation had some early exposure to gang writing way before they knew anything about what was happening in New York.

Gang graffiti was always an influence. The mentality was also a factor; it wasn’t just the graffiti alone. Even on the west side, small cliques of middle class white kids were emulating cholo writing styles and attire mainly because it looked cool. Gang blocks began appearing more and more. They were just killing the alleys, parks and streets, making it seem like these nice neighborhoods were riddled with gangs

I’d say this was happening at around the time Pan Pacific was starting to get bombed. Anyone I knew that was into graffiti had started out copying gang placas or Crip writing. Any L.A. writer that knew shit about graffiti could do a relatively authentic gang placa just because it looked so evil and cool. You couldn’t resist trying to do one just to master different styles.

Most people associate graffiti with hip-hop because that was how it was presented in movies. How did punk music influence you and other KSN writers?

I think one of KSN’s main contributions was allowing anything. Especially humor and typically "uncool" shit. We did cholo characters, rastas, b-boy lizards, skulls, aliens—whatever we liked and mixed it all together. It was based on what we were into and not trying to follow the traditions. We didn’t reject all graffiti subjects or styles, but we took what we liked from all of our own weird interests.

Personally, I was always into anything that I thought was cool. As much as I was dedicated to going to punk and speedmetal shows in the mid-1980s, I was already popping in elementary school, playing video games with slugs, stealing Star Wars dudes and listening to Rodney on the Roq all at the same time. Somebody would throw a little battle in their mom’s living room, put on the strobe light and pop to Freakazoid. Songs like Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” or George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” were always playing out of some kid’s boombox and someone
would be trying to do a headspin on the grass. It was something everybody in the neighborhood was trying to do. It was impossible to ignore.

I got into all of it and didn’t choose sides. When something is too new to categorize, there are no rules yet and you are free to add your own innovations. I always thought that was what hip-hop was supposed to be about. Punk too.

How does graffiti inform the animated videos or fine art you do now?

I use a lot of personal experience in my animations, so scenes with gangsters or cops are usually expanded jokes based on real things I have experienced, watched happen, overheard, or even imagined happening in a situation that ended up totally different. Like a worst-case scenario kind of thing.

As far as actual connections between the art of graffiti and animation, there is a sense of flowing lines and movement which has carried over from writing, but honestly I was always trying to put as many cartoon characters in my graffiti as possible so I’m not sure which influenced which…

It’s all drawing, although I think the boldness of the marks and simplicity and looseness I tend to go for is something that has carried over naturally.


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REVOK and RIME – American Graffiti

June 16 2010 . 10:28pm

Click photo for large format view

-Pulled an all-nighter the other day till 7 am getting this wall done with RIME. The wall was completely freestyled in collaboration with Rime… We both bounced back and forth doing the letters and later working on the character coming up with more and more dumb shit to add to it…


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Arizona Wetbacks a Racist Republicans X Arizona collab

June 16 2010 . 04:51pm

Los Angeles based artist Patrick Martinez uses fitted caps as his canvas to produce his latest work which is inspired by the SB1070 immigration law in Arizona that has recently been put into effect.

The artist connects the dots with the major league baseball team the "Arizona Diamondbacks" and the new immigration law in Arizona to create a subtle but yet hard hitting visual. Martinez teamed up with Quintin to produce three limited hats that work as art pieces and will be shown in a gallery context.

"I created the hat pieces to visually show the connection between the racist republicans that run the "Arizona Diamondbacks"(a major league baseball team) and how they are helping to push the Arizona SB1070 law by generous funding. I re-named the team with the racist inspired name Arizona Wetbacks because I believe it’s more of a fit based on the racist actions the owners are taking with the SB1070 bill which they are helping to advance. I created three hats for the three players on the diamondbacks of latin decent (Juan Guitterez, Gerardo Parra, and Rodrigo Lopez) that will be celebrated on the field then asked for their papers when they leave it."

"This bill is a step backwards in terms of progression. It is also a giant slap in the face to the many people that fought for equal rights in the past as well as the present. The SB1070 law has the feeling of the beginning stages of apartheid.This bill should be stopped. Arizona is down with the brown, fo-real."

2010 custom logo designs, embroidery, mexican blanket pattern and acrylic on a bootleg new era baseball cap created from scratch.

more info on the Arizona Diamondbacks and SB1070: www.huffingtonpost.com

Photos by: Chaim Diesto
more info: patrickmartinez.com

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