“You can see art as a song, or you can see it as the whole album."
On Sunday, October 28, I journeyed to the western part of the state to view an exhibition by artists Daniel Rossi and Dymphna de Wild, entitled CONCATENATION. The exhibit was located on Cobble Hill Farm in Staunton VA, a two-hour drive up I-64 W. Upon arriving at the historic barn located on top of a picturesque hill, I was warmly greeted by a man with a thick Italian accent – his eyes were beaming, and he was obviously really excited about the show opening, which was set to happen in approximately one hour.
The Fifth Annual edition of 1708 Gallery's exhibition of light-based artwork in public spaces, InLight Richmond, takes place tonight in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk. For one night only, artistically-inclined citizens of RVA will have the opportunity to wander amongst fantastic displays of brilliantly glowing artwork.
It seems weird to even discuss an outdoor art event right now with all the chaos happening outside our windows. The entire city has basically shut down so that yet another storm can have its rampaging destructive way with us, and who knows when things will get back to normal? And yet, despite the fact that it seems unimaginable right now, we should be seeing mostly clear skies above our heads by midweek or so, leaving plenty of time for the world to go back to normal and for all of us to get ready for yet another wonderful First Friday full of artistic delights!
Richmond-based multi-media artist Mark Strandquist has been putting together his current project, Write Home Soon, for quite a while now. An ongoing project in which Strandquist works alongside individuals he meets in prisons, shelters, senior citizen facilities, high schools, museums and many other facilities, Write Home Soon consists of postcards on which participants depict places (physical or metaphorical) that they have lost access to over the course of their lifetimes.
Finally, our prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has opened its East Asian Gallery! Keeping a selection of Hasui Kawase prints in the only room that, until this last month, housed the Japanese art in the building, the VMFA has with its new gallery invited us into the Orient with their traditionally impersonal but warm and delicate embrace.
Art Whino is at it again – this time showcasing “low-brow” art on an entirely new level, bringing Atlanta-based artist HENSE to DC to create a full-building mural. Upon arriving at the reception last Saturday, I was greeted with the supa fresh freestyling sounds of Congo Sanchez, Flex Mathews, Haile Supreme, and B-Cap, (who lovingly refers to himself as “the cute one”). I found myself bouncing away to the drums while admiring the ninety-three year old historic church, looking at the “painting” by Alex Brewer, aka HENSE.
We've been telling you about Virginia author James Wayland's horror novel, Trailer Park Trash & Vampires, for a while now. The original version premiered on Amazon back at the beginning of summer, with an ebook edition that was free for Kindle users. However, the expanded edition that Wayland and illustrator Chris Visions have been putting together for months is finally finished, and is now available for purchase as a hardcopy or an upgraded, illustrated ebook!
Futura 2000 is one of the foremost names in the history of street art. He got his start painting on the New York subways back in the ‘70s when that was still possible, but soon built a career in the fine art world, beginning with his gallery showings alongside such famous New York artists of the 80s as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He worked extensively with The Clash during that same period, doing artwork for their single “This Is Radio Clash” and a guest vocal on their album Combat Rock, as well as appearing on tour with them, doing live paintings while they performed. In the ‘90s, he created artwork for the covers of many releases on Mo Wax Records, as well as for the electronic music project UNKLE. He’s designed his own clothing under the label Futura Laboratories, and collaborated with many other clothing companies, from Nike and North Face to the NYC-based streetwear company Supreme. He released a coffee table book in 2000; has designed collectible toys; and made appearances in music videos, documentaries, and video games. A true renaissance man, there aren’t many creative endeavors that Futura has not turned his hand to at some point.
In preparation for Gallery 5's First Friday event this Friday, which doubles as the Carnival Of 5 Fires opening ceremony and the opening reception for the Party Liberation Front's first group art show, Visuals, we're pleased to bring you this documentation of the creative process behind some of the exhibits that will be shown this Friday and throughout the month of October.
Think of a cryptic demon lord from space. Go ahead--think of one right now! Now give it some acid and a skateboard. Watch as it picks up an enchanted crystal staff, puts on an ancient shamanistic mask, and becomes one with the universe. Don’t get freaked when it comes closer, it’s only trying to give you a high five. Give it a high five. Good job! Now it’s time to party, because you just got one step closer to understanding the mind of one of the most gruesomely talented artists around.
Skinner works out of his studio in Sacramento, California. He’s totally self-taught, and has been regularly pumping out a shit ton of seriously fucked up, head-turning artwork for years now. So needless to say I was pretty excited to be able to drill a hole in his brain and see what kind of sorcery he’s been working with lately.
Summer's over, and you can tell by looking out your window. With temperatures cooling, night falling earlier, and the end of Daylight Savings Time finally arriving sometime between now and Thanksgiving (if they haven't moved it back again...), keeping warm is starting to become a concern. And as leaves prepare to fall from the trees and people all over the city eagerly anticipate the arrival of Halloween (or Samhain, as the case may be) at the end of the month, the theme for October can be no other than that most primal of elements: fire.
Richard “French” Sayer is a freelance artist, illustrator, and skateboarder based out of London, England, and anyone who has seen his work inevitably utters some iteration of the phrase “holy shit.” Heavily inspired by metal music and highly detailed medieval etchings, French has created work for many names in the skateboard industry, as well as for his own company, Witchcraft Hardware. With an installation in LA and a show at Richmond's Books, Bikes, and Beyond Thrift opening in October, we caught up recently to shoot the breeze...
Back in May, we worked with Art Whino to bring the G40 Mural Project to Richmond. Born out of that beautiful collaboration was our misfit love-child, Whino Magazine. The first issue came out a few months ago, with the second one to drop later this month, and since we are so stoked on it is we wanted to give you a little taste.
Did First Friday sneak up on you guys the way it snuck up on us this month? Because whoa. I am so late posting this. And of course, the month I take forever to get started on this post is the month that it seems every gallery in Richmond has a First Friday exhibit happening. Sorry I haven't given you guys much time to prepare, but if it's any consolation, there is sooooo much to see in RVA tonight. Check it out:
Shawn J. Miller (16 x 48 on canvas)
Tomorrow night, Margarita's Cantina (107 North 18th Street) will host The Curtis Cornell Memorial Fundraiser, to benefit the Cornell family after the tragic loss of their father and husband. Curtis was a fellow Richmond resident whose individual contributions most likely resonated long enough to touch each and every one of our lives in one way or another.
Here's a pretty cool video created and released last month, shortly after Futura 2000's visit to RVA. The video, created by TRS-804 in collaboration with Audio Mass Transit, combines still shots, music, and live footage to create a fascinating overview of Futura's career, and then focuses on some of what went down during his public appearance at the Carytown ABC Store to promote his collaboration with Hennessy.
Check it out, folks--R. Nicholas Kuszyk, the VA-born, New York-based artist who made recent appearances both at the RVA Street Art Festival and within the pages of our print magazine, has just joined forces with Richmond literary magazine Makeout Creek to present his latest book.
Mixing skate, hotrod and comic book cultures, Nychos is creating a funny albeit gross visual vocabulary on a super large scale. Residing in London and working with contemporaries like ROA, Pixel Pancho and Flying Fortress at street art festivals has raised his profile to where his work is everywhere online and in magazines worldwide. Hoping to bring this guy to Richmond, VA next year.
VA-born, New York-based artist R. Nicholas Kuszyk is best known for his robots. He’s shown his colorful, eye-catching work in galleries all over the world, and even put his robots into book form with a children’s book, R Robot Saves Lunch, released by Penguin in 2010. Nick’s done a lot of work in different sizes and formats, but he painted plenty of large-scale murals in his early days, and in recent times he’s been getting back into murals and street art. So when Ed Trask was calling up artists he knew to enlist their participation in the recent RVA Street Art Festival, Nick was an obvious choice. We caught up with him while he was in town for that event, and had this entertaining and enlightening conversation with him. Read on to learn Nick’s opinions on the merits of doing really big pieces, European street artists coming to the United States, and a whole lot more.