As you know, we do all the stuff here on the website without any real expectation in return, but there are costs associated with it all … so if you’ve ever wanted to directly help support us, now’s your chance!
First up is the classic Invurt T from Pierre Lloga – Pierre did this one for us prior to the Outpost Project up in Sydney, and its the shirt we have rocked the most over the past two years – big fans. Available in colours, as well as in both Pullover and Zip up hoodies.
Second up, is of course, our now logo from the man himself, Hancock (also check out @hancock_art on instagram). This is the same graphic from both here on the website, as well as on all of our stickers and other swag – we love this design! Also available in hoodies, yep!
The third shirt design, is from the hand of our friend Mikaela Jane (@mikaelajane on instagram) – we haven’t released this logo before and this sees its first outing! We love her custom type and we love our orange on purple (though there are other colours available also)! Yep, there’s hoodies available as well!
Lastly, I have actually gone through and put a whole bunch of my own personal artwork on a bunch of shirts as well – okay, so not Invurt related, but I hope you think there’s some cool designs of some creatures, nonetheless!
We don’t often post too much news here on the website, so please excuse this break from our regular services.
We’ve been slightly remiss with some of our updates lately, due to the fact that we’ve been hell busy on a variety of different projects. We do apologise for this, as we haven’t had much time lately to get to everything we usually would – but, it’s all for the better! Amongst things here and elsewhere, we’ve also been helping Dean Sunshine out with his upcoming book launch, moving our studio and, wonderfully, we’ve just entered into some new territory with a great collaborative project with out friends over at Nothing To Nobody magazine … so, read on!!
We’re pretty excited about this one, and we’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you properly for a while now.
For some time, I’ve harboured a wish to begin a print magazine. I’ve been writing and editing about art, music and general creativity for well over ten years now in various forms and for various different avenues, and starting up a print project has always been the dream. Given that it’s a huge endeavour, I had never gotten much beyond the planning stages for the project I had in mind (which is still bubbling away!).
By a random chance catch-up conversation at Secret Walls in Melbourne, Jo Jette from Nothing to Nobody fame told me of a project she’d begun working on – it sounded great, we talked some more, and, long and short of it, I’m now the Editor for our new print venue – Damn It! Magazine.
"DAMN IT! is a triannual, 96 page, limited edition magazine, whose staff work for smiles, mainly as we can’t afford to pay them yet! Instead we put every cent we have into the publication, so that each issue will kick the can of the previous one.
We’re firm believers in the spoon full of sugar mantra, DAMN IT! magazine features juicy articles on super talented peeps – illustrators, photographers, typographers, painters, couture designers, writers, and other creative types as well as reporting on the more serious happenings in the world.
Each issue will also shine a Bat-signal on some of the amazingly selfless work done by caring peeps setting up and running not-for-profits all round the world. We’re not afraid to put our money where our damn big mouths are, and we pledge to donate $0.50 from each copy of DAMN IT! sold to the not-for-profit we feature in that issue.
The name DAMN IT! was chosen as the expression can have both positive and negative connotations. For example: “Damn it! That’s some good cider!” or “Damn it, I just trod in a pile of ginareinheart!”
We’d Love Your Help
Myself and Jo Jette have been working on various magazines, online publications and print magazines for over ten years. On our first foray together into our new project, we are looking for a little help to get us started with our own. We have started a campaign over at Indigogo, and we are looking for a few generous donations to kickstart the whole thing. This is a long term project for myself and Jo, and we’re really looking forward to it. Damn It!, like Invurt and Nothing To Nobody will be a labour of love, and any help thrown our way would be hugely appreciated and would mean a lot to us both!
DAMN IT! Will always remain limited edition so it’s special – a collector’s item if you will, and we also promise to limit the number of advertisements to 5 per issue – never more. By helping us raise the money to print DAMN IT! you’ll also be a part of making these great things happen – you’ll be part of the DAMN IT!! community and not just a ‘reader’. Plus you’ll have our never-ending thanks and undying love to keep you warm at night!
The crew at the studio have been responsible and had their hands amongst a huge range of shows and events across Melbourne since they all got together, and comprise some of Melbournes leading design, aerosol, printmaking and art project management talent. Dangerfork, It Stands Out, Graffix Creative, MT Design, MV Communication and DJW Creative all have homes at Safehouse, and now so do we …
"The SafeHouse is based in Richmond. We are a creative studio that specialises in design & art-based productions.
SafeHouse is not only a collective of artists & designers but also a mixed lolly bag of creative businesses. The Studio encompasses many traits and individual insignias of various art, design & production facets. All involved at the studio seek to benefit as a group from each others experience & knowledge as a whole. Through our mixed specialties we are able to hit the ground running with virtually any creative project or artwork at hand.
The individuals who work from the studio and/or operate their own creative businesses all come well trained in their respective fields. As a whole the SafeHouse is on the forefront of modern art & design. SafeHouse prides itself on strong design aesthetics & also professional project management, brillant production & outstanding results. We have a proven track record of getting what needs to be done, done… with the best possible outcome & in the timeline provided.
SafeHouse is a sanctuary for various urban designers & artists that have chosen to infuse their skillsets & work together for a greater creative community based calling.
The people that make up the SafeHouse team all come from different backgrounds and their skills include: Creative Management, Design, Web Design, Animation, Art Direction, Advertising, Campaigns, Strategy, Marketing, Guerilla Marketing, Branding, Brand Strategies, Photography, Fine Art, Illustration, Exhibitions, Product Launches, Product Promotions, Exhibition Curation, Furniture Design, Signage, Shop Fit-Outs, Fine Art Murals, Graffiti Murals, Graffiti Management, Printing, Fine Art Printing, Screen-Printing and the list goes on, and on, and on."
We can’t tell you how happy we are with our new home – we’re looking forward to our stay there, and looking forward to bringing you more news, events and other cool shit from our studio mates.
Great times ahead, all, thankyou for your continuing support!!!
Last year we did an interview with Laura Chong, one of the two masterminds behind a cool and fresh new magazine, Six Years Later. At the time, they’d just been celebrating the release of issue #1 of the mag and they’d just done a call outs for submissions of artwork for their second issue, this time with the theme "Surface".
Several months down the track, and issue #2 is now available! Having had a good look through it, we can say that the wait was definitely worth it – this is a really limited edition magazine, chock full of amazing artwork and creative imagery.
To help celebrate their release, we have two copies of the new magazine to give away! All you have to do, is to be a little creative and take a photo of the words:
You can draw it, you can paint it, you can write it, you can stick it on the street or mark it on your hand. Take a photo of it, then just head to our fb page, post it on our wall and share it over at the Six Years Later page to show them some love from all of us! Alternatively, you can also enter by instagraming it and tag both @facter and @6ylmag.
The most innovative photo will win! See how ridiculously easy it is with this finely honed example we mocked up in two minutes on our lunch container …
Easy, right? The winner, will not only receive a copy of the latest issue of Six Years Later #2, but a very rare, now out of print copy of Issue #1 as well!Aalso in the pack, will be some stickers from several artists courtesy of our vault, both printed AND hand made just for you! But wait, there’s more! The runner up will get something too! A copy of Issue #2! Sweet! Plus, on top of all that, we’ll post up the winning entries and other images that we loved right here on the website.
Competition will run until Friday 8th of June when we’ll announce our favourite pics, and the winners of the giveaway!
Competition is open to anyone, anywhere! So get in there, and show the 6YL crew some Invurt love!!
Ah, Thursdays, it’s all downhill from here people! It’s been a short week for us with a lot to catch up on, but always time to look through videos of cool Oz and NZ art from across the web – so here’s this weeks roundup!
We’re a little late getting this one off the rank (we’re running behind a bit after There’s More!) but if you haven’t seen it yet thencheck out issue #2 of the fantastic Knock Knock Magazine below – oh, and check out Issue #1 if you haven’t seen it yet!
“Knock knock magazine profiles street level emerging and established Australian and international creatives doing their thing, and doing it well.”
We haven’t seen a show from the phenomenal New Zealand artist Askew for a while, but this one coming up looks like it’d be worth the wait (and a flight over if we could spare the time!).
Askew has to count as one of the most prominent, and in our eyes, influential modern graffiti artists practicing in New Zealand today. Multitalented and seemingly always on the go, Askew is highly prolific and always has his hand in one project or another – we read his blog on a regular basis, and so should you.
"Askew One is a multi-disciplinary artist mostly renowned for his graffiti art paintings. Widely regarded as one of the New Zealand graffiti scene’s driving forces he has managed to remain at the forefront of the movement whilst working tirelessly behind the scenes in a diverse array of projects.
Although working primarily in aerosol paint, Askew is versed in graphic design, illustration, photography, publishing, music and moving image. He also collated and co-authored a book about New Zealand graffiti, ‘In-Form’ which was a Montana Book Awards finalist in 2008."
He also just released this cool video short/interview – it’s a really great insight into his work.
We can’t wait to see what comes out of this show! So feels free, if you go along, to send us some pics from the opening – pretty please? ;)
Who: Askew What: Smoke Signals solo show Where: The Australis Room, Australis House, 36 – 38 Customs St, Britomart, Auckland When: Show opens Friday 16th March to the 22nd March
We’ve been diligently following the Dregs crew as they try to raise funds for the completion of their documentary, and the final stretch is nearly in sight. With less than a grand and a half to go, they have almost met their target on Pledgeme. This is the final run – it ends later this week!
If you’re not aware, Dregs is a NZ street art documentary from Karl Sheridan and Cinzah Merkins, and it’ll be fanfuckingtastic!
"New Zealand has a rich and vibrant history of street art culture – a story that we believe is yet to be told. ‘Dregs’ will showcase how this underground art movement began and what it has evolved into today. It will go behind the scenes to expose this movement and the creative people driving it.
The documentary will include interviews with artists all over New Zealand in their personal studio spaces. It’ll also explore their personal lives and workplaces, to try and understand why these artists do what they do. ‘Dregs’ will aim to challenge the current prejudices against those who choose to create art with a spray can, examining the street scene with an impartial eye and portraying the art form as just that – a form of art.
There are currently over 25 of New Zealand’s most prolific, influential and forward-thinking street artists involved in the project. Redbull NZ and the Garage Project brewery are currently supporting the project. We hope to have it completed before the end of the year; over half of the content has been shot already. In order to do this we need to be able to dedicate a significant amount of time and money to post production.
We plan to take this documentary to national and international film festivals, as well as having Auckland and Wellington premiers – inviting everyone involved. We plan to put the money received from this campaign towards an editor, post production VFX (including titles and transitions), the final grade to be done at a professional post house, DVD creation and distribution and hire costs of premiering the film on the big screen."
Tis is one of those more than worthy times to send it off into the interweb ether … it’ll come back to you on a screen. You can help to get it over the line, and help these guys capture a unique snapshot of what has been happening in the NZ scene.
We kind of stumbled over Meghan Gelizas work via our friend Cleo Barnett, and we instantly loved what we saw. Having produced a great bunch of work last year, 2011 culminated in her and a whole slew of other artists travelling over to Cambodia for the Little Lotus project – seriously check this out if you haven’t already!
"Meghan Geliza is a self-taught Pop Surrealist painter living in Auckland. Her large-scale paintings on wood are of surreal worlds swirling in intense and explosive colour, in an environment of myths, old literature and basic human emotions, inextricably blended in its own ether. Using a cacophony of colours and congealed imagery, Meghan weaves elaborate painted tapestries that comment on dual concepts such as union-dissolution, stability-change, and constraint-transcendence.
She’s been exhibiting in group shows around New Zealand these past couple of years and has recently come out of her first solo exhibit, Adieu False Heart at Te Karanga Gallery. She recently curated and showed work in Beauty Meets the Bizarre Art Show at the Depot Artspace Main Gallery."
Meghans use of colour was the first thing that caught our eye. As we fell into the detail of her work, we found ourselves chasing a rabbit down a hole of pop sensibilities mixed with the tones of modern surrealism – looking at her work evokes the same responses in us as when we’re reading the words of Andre Breton, and for us thats a fkn grand thing.
Well definitely be watching out for more of this ladys work in the future.
The news went out last Friday, Curvy is now open for submissions!
Sounds like they are planning an awesomely bumper issue for the next one, they’re teamed up with Semi-Permanent again and will be officially launching the next issue at this years SP in Sydney.
Curvy is a great place for emerging and established female artists to be seen by many, many people and has already featured a whole range of great artists. – so if you think your work is awesome (which we’re sure it is) then get a submission in before it closes on Friday February the 17th at 5pm.
Artist Niels "Shoe" Meulman (NSM) has pursued many different variations of creativity throughout his life; graffiti artist, calligrapher, advertiser and gallery owner – yet it may be now, brush in hand, that he has truly found his niche.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Shoe picked up a spray can at the dawn of the graffiti era, writing his way into history. Meeting and befriending some of the greats of that early era, such as Dondi, Rammellzee and Keith Haring, he found himself in the unique position, (along with other artists at the time such as Bando and Mode2), of helping to guide the future direction and styles of graffiti across Europe, and, in turn, the world.
Moving away from graff in the 90s to pursue a career in design and typography, in 2007 Shoe unleashed unto the world a theory and movement of letter design that would set him on the path to becoming a full time artist – Calligraffiti.
A blend of intricate fonts with the aggression and raw attitude of graffiti, calligraffiti merged his love for typography and brash street aesthetics into a single entity. Lauded by older fans, and engendering a new generation of aficionados, it also eventually allowed Shoe to transition to yet another passion; painting on canvas.
Taking all that came before and pushing into themes and theories that were hitherto slightly restricted by his previous work with design, Shoes style and creative sojourn has truly come of age – he is a master in his prime at the beginning of a new, exhilarating journey.
When we caught up with Shoe before his flight down to Australia last week, we found him in the chaotic throws of preparation, readying for his frantic four week, three country "Upside Down Tour"
"I’ve just been getting ready for a thirty hour trip, its been pretty hectic," he remarked. "I’ve never taken a trip like this - a really, really long one, before."
So, you’ve never been down this way before?
No, I’ve never been. Though, I’ve been in contact with Puzle for a while now, he sent me that book he did about Melbourne in the 80s -Kings Way.
I do actually get a lot of feedback from Australia about the Calligraffiti stuff.
The book itself is quite popular down here …
Well, some people say that the book is very hard to come by, others say its pretty well known, I don’t know – we’ll see.
I’m working on a new book now, however, that focuses on painting and not design, so I’m not really promoting the book this time around – more the painting work. For some people, it might be a bit of a shock that its not the same thing as Calligraffiti – there are no logos and all that stuff …
That was one of my questions actually – you’ve been focusing primarily on your painting lately, and you’ve shifted a lot away from the design aspect with your work, haven’t you?
True. I stopped working at my job in advertising and I also stopped freelancing as a graphic designer. It was a bit of a transition, once I’d decided to stop and become a full time artist, but I had to be fair to myself. If you make that choice, then you have top go all the way, and I really want to give art my all. Plus its so much fun, and its been pretty successful too.
I mean, I did a tour of China a few months ago …
I read about that …
Yeah – I also had a show in LA called "Throw Ups" where I was throwing paint at canvases, and it felt so much like me - that it just had to be like that. Just, canvases. Nice linen paintings and all that – so I found the direction I wanted to go in, and at the same time, and its becoming more abstract.
Its a lot less restrained in many ways from what you were doing before, isn’t it?
Well, I guess if you work with calligraphy, or letters and text, then of course you have to think about what text you’re going to write. Even if its just one word, just "Shoe" for example, then there has to be some meaning behind it. if you don’t have a meaning to start with it will take on a meaning, of some kind, So about two years ago I started practicing, with my hand, just the basic calligraphy stroke. Doing it over and over again. Just the repetition there has a lot of meaning in it for me, personally.
It’s the search for the perfect stroke, in a way, and stroke are sometimes like people, none of them are perfect – they’re all different ..
That sounds very Japanese/Sumi-e in nature – always looking for that perfect stroke.
Yes, it is. I didn’t really set out for it to be like that, but now that I’m really into it, it is like that. Of course, calligraphy has always had a zen like connection.
Is your art at all a meditative thing, and do you find yourself in that zone fairly often?
Well, I feel very distant from everything to do with meditation. I’m not that type at all. However, a good friend of mine, Rebecca Mendes, a designer and artists in LA … we were talking about mediation, I told her I’ve never done it in my life. She replied that I probably don’t need it, because I’m in a meditative state ten per cent of the time.
I’m the kind of person that can look out a window and be totally blank – then snap out to it. Maybe that’s my kind of meditation – that’s just a theory, really, but I like it.
For sure, each to their own – I think it comes in many different forms – I definitely think that art lends itself to those meditative states, no matter how chaotic it can often be producing it.
It may be because the actual work and act of putting the ink on the canvas doesn’t really take me that long. Most of the time the work has been done beforehand. I’ve thought about it, envisaged it, in my mind, and then I can just go ahead and put it down – and its right or wrong. I either keep it, or throw it away.
Interestingly, I read a quote from you that leads back into that, you said "the moment you write something, its already designed."
True, true. You know what you want to achieve. There is a lot of room for impulsiveness and there is some room to move, but in a way you already have a vision in your head, you’re just trying to make it like that image. Sometimes the outcome can be even better than what you had, and that’s and that makes me really happy – sometimes you’re just like, fuck! I fucked it up! But, the more I’m doing it, the more confident I feel about letting go, that it doesn’t have to be like the picture in my mind. There’s always improvisation as well. I guess the more you become, say, like a master, the more you can play with improvisation – but I guess that goes for anything creative, whether its acting or music or whatever.
You’re in a good position though, because you’ve worked on the letterform for so long – you obvious dabbled in the painting on the side previously, but it wasn’t your primary practice …
That’s kind of a great thing, because you have all of that work behind you, so that you can explore something entirely new.
Right. If you work at a certain trade, graphic design, making ads, or even designing a chair, its a trade. You can try to be really good at it … but if you invent your own realm, your own rules as a artist, then its pretty easy to be the best at it in the world – as you’re the only one doing it!
Do you feel like you’re heading in that direction with your painting?
Of course. A lot of painters and people will say, it reminds them or this or that painter, and I like that, because I like the tradition behind painting. Sometimes there’s a remark like "hey, its drippy" and then you’re the new Pollack, or if its calligraphic, it could resemble Japanese calligraphy. So it does tie in to certain traditions, and I guess I just named the two most important ones for me – abstract expressionism and calligraphy.
Well, you’re from a country with a very rich history of classical art – there has to be a lot of influence and ideas coming to you from that?
That’s certainly the case. It’s only recently, in the last few years, that I’ve embraced it. As I was exposed to it so much in my youth, I guess I thought it was all a bunch of crap. Maybe I was just an angry young teenager! m
My parents weren’t really taking me to museums all the time, but they were showing me things. I also had the Van Gough museum round the corner from my where I grew up … but its only recently that I’ve become interested in it all. I recently took a trip with my girlfriend Adele, who I also work with, we went to some galleries in Venice and Switzerland – it was such an eye opener. Its a great thing to help reinvent modern art, and to not look at it from a distance, but to be a part of it.
That’s something as well – we often get our fix of art from the internet, small images, and we see its in books. I guess a lot people have only seen your work like that, wider world small designs and photos, and stuff like that – it must be a nice feeling to just paint, and to have a real, painted physical representation of your work and to expose new people to it – is that where you’re at with this tour?
I really think so. In the beginning, back in my early graffiti days, there wasn’t a wall big enough – "too big a wall" just didn’t exist. The bigger the better. I still paint like that.
I’m not scared of any surface, and that’s the graffiti attitude. You attack your surface, whether its a ten meter tall wall, or whatever. I’m always looking forward to doing that. The size, the bigger the better .. but then, also, having done logos and logo types, which have to be pretty …
Yeah. For example, designing newspaper print, or a stamp or something – there is so much detail goes in to it. So, there’s a real range between the really small and the really big, and, with my paintings, I think that those come together. I think a very big painting should also be looked at from a really short distance, just to see the detail, its really all about the detail.
You have the splashes and, maybe, the less though of happy accidents, but I do think that abstract paintings are all about the details. People always say "you have to stand back and get the whole picture", but there’s a lot of stuff you should be looking at really close up.
Well, in one way or another you’ve been working towards all of this for over thirty years. In that time, how much of it has been right place right time, blind luck or pure chance?
That’s a really good question, actually. If I think back to how many random chances and things have helped everything to turn out this way … its really incredible. That there was a gallery, the Yaki Kornblit gallery, just around the corner from where I grew up, where I met all those early 80s New York writers. Or the fact that there was a big punk scene in Amsterdam, and people would be writing their names, up, well,the two didn’t have anything in common. I felt like writing my name on the wall, but i didn’t feel like a part of the punk movement. Then all these New York guys came along and I just realised that that’s where I wanted to be. Then to be able to go to New York and meet Dondi again … I was so lucky to be part of that world wide phenomenon.
Then I kind of distanced myself from it all in the 90s. I thought it was time to move away from it and move into design, and then I decided to start my own company. From there I went into advertising … until suddenly, out of the blue, I didn’t feel like doing it anymore – I just wanted to paint. So, as it turns out, I did this huge exhibition, without any funding, I put my life savings into it … and I sold everything. I thought, "fuck, this is where I want to go!"
I guess, like you … you have the website and other things. If you can be free, have your business, paint a lot, support yourself, well. That’s the dream … and some of us are living the life much more luscious than I am! I’m not selling my work for 20 grand – but hopefully I’ll get there.
Also, I have the gallery in Amsterdam, Unruly Gallery …
Did that spin off from your previous agency?
Oh, I’ve had the name for a while. I keep the name, and I then change the company! It’s also become a silk scarf brand.
Yeah, if you go on unrulygallery.com, you’ll see some art, of course, but you’ll also see some scarfs.
It’s a project I started a few years ago.
That’s an interesting one?
Of course, t-shirts are shirts – everyone does t-shirts, but I always felt like those plush silk scarves were for old ladies, you know? They were so beautifully made, Versace and Hermes and all that, but they just had such bad feel about them, and I wanted to do them differently. Now Hermes has a graffiti scarf as well – not done by me, sadly … but I’m sure they got their idea from … somewhere …
I have no problem with that, though, we all do it.
The gallery is in an interesting neighbourhood, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s a nice place. It used to be squatters only, junkies, but like the whole world … a bit less anarchy since the 80s, hey?
Well everything has become gentrified, but I guess that maybe the good thing is that those anarchists now probably have jobs, and get money they can use to buy the art by the same people they loved to see up on the walls.
Oh for sure, I’m not complaining, everything changes. But if you see some old photos of the chaos that the city was in back then, well, I’m sure it was the same over there – its the nostalgia of the 80s.
So, speaking of the tour, how long are you actually down here for?
Its going to be a very compressed trip. We have four cities in four weeks. I’m in Sydney first, then Melbourne for a week, Auckland for a week and then to Singapore for a week.
Then I’m off to London to present a women’s shoe that I designed with a brand called United Nude. Then, I’m back in Amsterdam for a week and then off to San Fran – I’ll be doing a show with the guys at White Walls Gallery.
You know, I feel like I’ve read so many interviews with you, and I feel like you’ve been asked so many questions before about what you’re doing, and what you’ve done – but what else are you thinking through at the moment in regards to your art?
Well, I can tell you something that’s in the process of being worked out in my head …
You’ve probably seen the repetitive strokes I’ve been doing. Well I’ve always felt that there’s something there I want to keep pushing, and trying to shape it in different ways. I guess I was right, too, because I keep doing it, and I’m getting more and more specialised in it.Then other things suddenly became important, the structure, paper, the type, the width – and, what does it stand for? it can stand for a lot of things .. but I came up with a title for it; for the blocks. They could be i’s without dots, or repetitive un’s, or just n;s … but .. I’ve named it "Justified Scripture."
I guess it really has a double meaning. Right now I believe that whatever you read or what we see in the news, well, it could be true or not, and we don’t really know.
For me its became more and more realistic that you never actually know if something is true or not, and, that it doesn’t really matter if it is or not. If it is, like I said in another interview, with truth, also comes untruth, so there are always two sides. So, that’s the justified. It doesn’t matter what the story is – there are stories, and what’s behind those stories, often, is text. Another part, is that it is about the monks. For centuries, the Bible was the only thing that was being written …
The illuminated manuscripts – some of those are quite beautiful.
Yeah, I have nothing to do with religion, I think most of its a load of crap and i leave it alone. Yet, some beautiful things were made into the name of religion …
… and destroyed.
Yeah, that’s right. So, that’s the scripture. Usually the word "scripture" is used to describe the Holy scripture, but it also refers to the monks. I’m sure that those monks, writing away in their dark monasteries, must have been in some kind of drug like or meditative states, and I feel connected to that. Also, the blocks, they can remind you of a cemetery or a military parade, or a bookshelf with books stacked on them. It stands for all the stories that are being told – some of them are true an some of them aren’t – you just don’t really know which is which.
Okay, it’s a bit vague maybe …
No, not really, I get it.
At the end of the day, all of this just proves to me that there’s really something there; something I can keep on going with for a couple of years, at least …
For over thirty years Niels Shoe Meulman has plied his craft across the world – traversing design, calligraphy, graffiti and painting. Yet for all the places visited and travelled to, it is only now that Shoe is making his way down under – and it has the look of one epically cool tour. He’ll be hitting up four different cities and several galleries whilst he’s here, RTIST Gallery in Melbourne, Kind Of Gallery in Sydney, Wedge Gallery in Kinokuniya (Auckland) and Dominic Khoos 28th Février Singapore. As a special added extra, there will also be a screening of the Dutch graffiti movie, Kroonjuwelen, at Melbournes Rooftop Cinema during their visit.
We recently had the chance to chat to Shoe himself for an upcoming interview, so we’ll let the media release do the talking on this one – if you’re unfamiliar with Shoe’s work, read on as to why these are a handful of shows that you don’t want to miss!!
"Niels Shoe Meulman (NSM) is a Dutch artist, born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As Shoe, NSM earned his stripes in the global graffiti scene in the 80’s through his pioneering style, adding a distinct European approach to the discipline. In the 90’s NSM trained with Dutch graphic design guru Anthon Beeke, ran the award-winning design studio Caulfield & Tensing, worked as an art director for the BBDO Group and as creative director for MTV Europe. In 2007 NSM made the decision to focus on his art again. Publisher FHTF, Berlin, published Calligraffiti, the Graphic Art of Niels Shoe Meulman, which presents his own unique style of writing that combines masterful calligraphy skills with the speed and attitude of graffiti. Ever since, NSM has been travelling to spread the magic of his Calligraffiti around the globe. His recent painting style can be described as Abstract Expressionism with a Calligraphic origin.
The Calligraffiti Upside Down Tour includes exhibitions, book signings, live mural painting and lectures in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore. Rather than ship artwork from abroad, NSM will make site-specific art in each city. At all exhibitions and other events, the artist will be available for interviews, and on hand to sign his book Calligraffiti with personalised dedications.
The Upside Down Tour kicks off in Sydney, where Likeminded Studio is hosting an exhibition from 25th to 30th January at the artist run Kind Of Gallery on Oxford Street. In addition, the legendary Kinokuniya Bookstore will host an exhibition in their Wedge Gallery from 25 January until February 7, 2012. Sydney will see some live calligraffiti going up in the May’s Lane Street Art Project on 27 January.
Second on the list is street-art haven Melbourne. Fresh and fast upcoming RTIST Gallery is hosting an exhibition of NSM at their space 29 St Edmonds Rd in Prahran. And NSM will work together with local creative crew Dangerfork to make exclusive prints for this tour.
The Calligraffiti Upside Down Tour is happy to present at the Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne the first ever screening in this part of the world of the Dutch documentary Kroonjuwelen (Crown Jewels), about the history of graffiti in Amsterdam, from the punk days in the 70’s and 80’s to the roaring train bombing times of the 90’s.
Last but not least is Singapore. We will have an exhibition at Dominic Khoo’s 28th Février, which will open on 16 February. This will make a magnificent grand finale. We are working with local studio Doodle Room. Inspired by traditional work of Asian calligraphers with brushes and water in the street, NSM will work his magic in the Singapore streets before he returns to Amsterdam."
It’s a huge tour, and it covers a lot of ground – so if you’re in any of the cities he’ll be visiting, make sure you head down to check it all out – it’s sure to be amazing.
2011 saw us accomplish a whole heap of goals that we set for ourselves at the start of the year. We got our new website up and running, we moved into the fantastic Rival Revolution studios in Prahran and continue to do a whole bunch of events and live art stuff with the artists and crew there, we got up to Outpost Project which was absolutely fantastic, we started our Revurt community painting project (check out a really cool article Broadsheet did on it here), we saw a heap of amazing shows and read about even more, met and spoke to some amazing artists, did and saw a hell of a lot of street art and just generally had a ball working on the site. It’s been hard work at times, and some really late nights but its all been totally worth it – all the amazing responses and support we’ve received from all of you have made that so.
What’s next for 2011? We’ll be working on expanding the website with a bunch of new features as well as partnering up with a bunch of cool people to bring you a whole slew of intriguing content. However the big one for us next year, is that we’ll be making our first forays into print! We’ve been planning it all for some time and we’re really excited about it – fingers crossed all goes to plan! Of course, we’ll also continuing to talk to and find out about the best underground, illustrative, graffiti and street artists that Australian and New Zealand has to offer!
So for now, enjoy the Snapshots and other short posts over the holiday period (Blender Xmas photos up tomorrow!) and we’ll be back with our regular event updates come January the 9th. Have an amazing holiday and thank you so very much for all your support through 2011 – here’s to 2012 and huge things!
Some days, you see news that just runs completely counter to everything you try to work towards. We do try to steer clear of "opinion" here as much as is possible, but every so often we feel the need to do so. At the end of the day, we’re huge advocates of art and culture, especially when it comes to street art and graffiti, and we have no compunctions in expressing that – its no big secret.
This morning, when we saw Cinzah Seekayem post up the gorgeous image of a wall he painted recently we were stoked – it looks amazing. Then, we read the caption …
"I recently completed this mural on the side of a small local business in Beach Haven, was a great little wall, had permission from the business owners who had permission from the landlord also. Locals loved it, kids hung out while I painted it, stoked to see something vibrant and a little different popping up in their community! All round good responses!
Just received a phone call from the Hairdresser’s which this mural is on the side of, they had just had a visit from 2 police officers, saying one individual had complained about the mural, gone to the council and it is to be painted over, as apparently now to create a mural you have to go through the AK city council to get consent, even if the business and locals love it? WTF.
Zen hairdressers are setting up a petition which will soon be circulating, who know’s wether it will be too late or not!"
So, this is a legally painted wall, that has both the owners consent, as well as the businesses consent, the community loves it – so why, exactly, is that not enough? Why is it that a council feels the need to be Big Brother not only over the artists, but the businesses, the property owners and the local community? Is that really what council is for? What happens to freedom of expression? The mural doesn’t harm anyone, indeed, it has brought colour and vibrancy to the area, and even inspired some younger people along the way. Now, from one single persons complaint, the council feels the need to destroy it?
At a time when art on the streets is exploding into mainstream consciousness, when those who use a spray can are finally being taken seriously and exhibited in major galleries across the globe, we are absolutely gobsmacked. That such a large city council in ones of the most freedom loving, open, creative and friendly countries we know is playing the recalcitrant card, stifling the arts and washing the cities walls with deplorable grey, well, what can you say? First it was Poynton Terrace, now its this – and who knows how many more in the future.
So, Auckland Council – why so recalcitrant? Why not support the artists amongst you, instead of destroying their work and acting provocatively? Why not come to terms with the fact that the artists are there to stay, and work with them to bring colour and beauty to your city, instead of proliferating archaic, late 20th century policies that never worked in the first place? You realise that if it gets buffed, it will get bombed, and then you’ll have to keep spending your rate payers money to have it constantly cleaned – don’t you want to break the cycle rather that propagate it? Do you want a repeat of the negative reactions that the buffing of Poynton Terrace engendered?
Perhaps its time for those of you in the council to seriously contemplate your cultural legacy. World Cup is over, isn’t it time to start thinking about your community again instead of trying to impress tourists with sterilised streets?
Remember – once it’s buffed, its gone forever.
InUrban is our community section, where we cover items of interest happening in your area – if you have any news or items of interest from your ck of the woods, new art going up, community projects or the like, then just send it through to us – we’re more than happy to support!
With his first solo show in some time, Gasp will be bringing his own form of painted mayhem to Aucklands Ninety Gallery tonight.
Gasps aerosol and mural works are a well known feature around Auckland, and everyone is in for a treat as this guy gets set to display a whole bunch of imagery with his playful, ever so slightly tongue in cheek works.
Head down tonight for this sick as opening! Also, for some reason, they’ve requested those attending the show to bring along an umbrella – okay. There’s definitely something mischievous brewing there …
Who: Gasp What: Gasp solo show Where: Ninety Gallery, Ninety Wellesley St, Auckland When: Show opens Thursday 17th November at 6pm and runs til the 24th November.
The grandly named and amazingly talented new crew, Aotearoa Skellywag Crew are having their first group exhibition tonight at Aucklands Rakinos Bar.
We’ve been following the exploits of these creative dudes over in NZ over in NZ for a while now, and their numbers include some of the finest that the land has to offer – artists such as PNTR, Yelz, Cracked Ink, Cinzah Seekayem, Smud and Kidd C. Grand.
We’re really looking forward to seeing shots and images from this show!
Who: PNTR, Yelz, Cracked Ink, Cinzah Seekayem, Smud and Kidd C What: ASC group show Where: Rakino Bar, Level 1, 35 High Street, Auckland, NZ When: Show opens Monday 7th November at 5:30pm.
So much goodness coming out of New Zealand lately, and The Depot has another really great show on next month with Beauty Meets The Bizarre!
"A group exhibition of new work from emerging artists from Auckland and Wellington exploring contrasting themes; from light to dark; the ethereal to the macabre; the delicate and the disgusting – all on beautiful wood."
Have to say, we’re big fans of art on wood – the grain, the texture, the natural warmth – and with many a favourite Invurt artist on the list, its one that you shouldn’t miss if you’re over that way.
Who: Michael Kennedy, Meghan Geliza, Jinx in the Sky, Gina Kiel, Xoe Hall, Cracked Ink, Kate Elise, Sin Mae Chung, Paul Walsh, Cleo Barnett, Anna Johnstone, Dominique Baker, Sam Yong, Lucy Yu What: Beauty Meets The Bizarre Where: The Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence St, Devonport, Auckland When: Show opens Saturday 19th November, 3pm til 4:30pm, and runs til 2nd December.
Invurt webzine provides information on AustralAsian street, urban, illustrative, graffiti and other genre defying, nu-contemporary art to readers around the world. It specialises in events and artists who are working, displaying and visiting Australasia – particularly with a focus on exhibitions, live art and other events the artists are partaking in.