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Entries in art (46)


material world: street art

photo by: BotheredByBees

Los Angeles, 2011 Art that seems to have derived from cave paintings, dating anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 years old, has come full circle to a recognized art form that lives outside museums and galleries—that is post-graffiti or street art.

Mainly symbols or depictions of animals, primitive cave paintings, like those found in southern France or outside Sydney in the Black Fellows Hands Reserve—a protected national park featuring ancient aboriginal art in the form of cave paintings—later gave way to a wider variety of mediums and subjects as man evolved.

photo by: deflamOver time paintings made their way on to fabric, and etchings to paper, as those materials became more readily available.

Invented in the 1400s by the Holy Roman Empire, the printing press not only changed societies as information and ideas were shared with a broader audience, images and words could be mass produced from metal or lithographic plates—scratched limestone. Revolutionary since art had always been a singular, unique piece.

And as paintings evolved into large murals, such as Diego Rivera’s commissioned works in New York in the 1940s, perhaps they inspired artists—with natural talents who didn’t fit the mold of studio artists—to become street artists.

photo by: kudumomo

Milan, 2009Whether the word graffiti originated from the Greek graphein, to write, or the Italian graffiato, scratched, graffiti artists “write” on urban surfaces—walls of buildings, bridges, or the sides of rail cars—to express themselves. And they’ve been increasingly regarded as artists in their own right with voices yearning to be recognized, but often unable to expose their true identities ironically because of the medium.

But times are changing—in 2009, 150 artists exhibited 300 pieces of graffiti art at the Grand Palais in Paris—an obvious acceptance of the art form by the art world. And in 2011, Exit Through the Gift Shop, a Banksy film, was nominated for an Academy Award.

Street art has evolved in and of itself—from 2-D paintings, stencils and stickers, to 3-D mosaics, yarn bombs, installations and video projections.

And in the meantime, traditional graffiti art has been adopted as its own graphic art style.

photo by: Bikejuju Three-dimensional installation, Brooklyn

additional films on the subject:
Stations of the Elevated, 1980, the earliest documentary about subway graffiti in New York City features music by Charles Mingus
Against the Wall, aka, Quality of Life, 2004, was shot in the Mission District of San Francisco, stars and was co-written by a retired graffiti writer.
Piece by Piece, 2005, the history of San Francisco graffiti is documented from the early 1980s to present day.
Infamy, 2005, graffiti culture is defined by the experiences of six graffiti writers and one graffiti buffer.
NEXT: A Primer on Urban Painting, 2005, covers the graffiti culture on a global scale.
RASH, 2005, features street artists in contemporary Melbourne, Australia.
Bomb the System, 2002, a drama about a crew of graffiti artists in modern day New York City.
Bomb It, 2007, a graffiti and street art documentary filmed on five continents.
Jisoe, 2007, shares a glimpse into the life of a Melbourne graffiti writer Justin Hughes.
Roadsworth: Crossing the Line, 2009, features Montréal artist Peter Gibson.


the making of: mille swirls rug

The making of the mille swirls rug and runner are a combination of art and technology—patented by artist Liora Manné. First, fibers resembling thin cotton puffs are blended to create a unique transparency of colors. These blended colors are rolled then sliced like sushi into thin pieces and laid out to create a mosaic—all by hand.

To transform this the fibers into a durable rug, the mille swirls pass through a loom of needles that entangle and blend the colors. For added strength and easy care, the rug is then saturated in a transparent latex formula and treated with a anti-microbial finish. The final product is a hand-made work of art—and at the same time it’s highly durable and ready for indoor or outdoor use.

hint: For best results, vacuum on a regular basis and address stains as they occur. Use any commercial carpet cleaner or mild soap with water—not dry powders—plus gentle rubbing and dabbing with a white cloth. Professional steam clean on a regular basis depending on traffic levels. Do Not Dry Clean.


how to: hang a rug as wall art

Much like tapestries from the Middle Ages—which were originally hung for better insulation in stone castles—hand-tufted rugs can enhance almost any wall with their colors, designs and texture.

big hint: once you’ve chosen the rug you’d like to hang, and the location or wall, visit your local hardware store for the best advice when shopping for screws, hardwood strips, and mounting hardware.

1. Cut two hardwood strips to a length proper for the rug you want to hang—just shy 1 or 2” from each edge—and miter one long edge of each strip at 60 degrees.

2. Attach one to the backside of the rug by screwing screws through the rug and with the miter in a similar position as shown. For best results, use a metal strip across the front to keep screws from pulling through the rug. If you’d prefer not to disturb the look of the rug design, consider smaller, flat metal pieces. They can be square, or round washers which can be painted to blend with the rug design. Just make sure they’re larger than the screw heads so they’ll stop them from pulling through.

3. Test the attachment of the rug to the strip by holding it aloft—without support for the weight of the rug—to ensure it’s well attached.

4. Next measure the location for a second wood strip to the wall in the correct location. Mount it with the miter opposite the rug-mounted strip as similarly shown.

5. Last, carefully ‘install’ the rug by positioning the strips so the mitered edges match yin for yang. Together, in profile, the two strips will create an elongated rectangle and ultimately the weight of the rug is supported by the strip mounted to the wall. This is known as a French cleat.


one of a finds: birds on a wire

Reclaimed Douglas fir planks, harvested from old abandoned buildings in Southern California, find their way home in wood “prints” inked with abstract birds silhouetted high on cable wires by artist Parvez Taj.

Documenting the history of each building and the source of each timber, he selects planks which are then hand-assembled and printed with eco-friendly, UV-cured inks.

Weathered and distressed, each birds on a wire print is evidence of the concept of beauty as rendered by the elements of nature over time. In his waste-to-energy initiative, Taj’s mission is to create art with minimal impact on the environment.

Why birds? In the artist’s words, “Birds have the ultimate freedom.”

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—birds on a wire has a fall 2011 release of 200.


one of a finds: le chiot

First discovered in a 2009 gallery exhibition, French Ink by TT Crew staged at the Babù Gallery, le chiot—a papier mâché dog—made a lasting impression and two years later, have finally made it to CB2’s one of a finds.

Babù Art Co. Ltd is a professional art institution located in the Art Zone of Shenzhen, China. With a commitment to contemporary and concept art, it consists of Babù Gallery and Babù Space.

Babù Gallery is focused on the dissemination of contemporary art and Babù Space covers a wild range of contemporary fashionable arts like Street culture, design, installation and video, as it’s been promoting international art.

Featuring the four artists that make up the TT Crew, it was the drawings by one artist in particular that were so compelling and which were later added on to the papier mâché dogs.

Made by hand of wood and layered with Chinese ink paper, each is unique as are the small scale drawings embellishing them.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—le chiot has a release of 448.

Note: this one of a find will be available mid-October.

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