Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shepard Fairey at the ICA

Sid Vicious Subversion, 2001
Screen print on wood

Co-curated by guest curator Pedro Alonzo and Emily Moore Bouillet, former assistant curator at the ICA.

Where: Institute of Contemporary art
When: Feb. 6 - Aug. 16


It’s been a long time since I’ve anticipated an art show so much.
Shepard Fairey in his first solo show and 20-year retrospective did not disappoint. I went and checked out the exhibit yesterday during the press opening. Here are some thoughts and pictures from the preview.

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, he is a Los Angeles based street artist that cut his teeth in the art world right here in New England. As a student during the late 1980’s at the Rhode Island School of Design, Shepard Fairey created and displayed a homemade sticker on the streets of Providence. That sticker, featuring an image of professional wrestler Andre the Giant and the phrase “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” quickly became an icon in the street art movement. After seeing the movie “They Live” he switched up the image to “Obey Giant” after seeing messages in the movie that resonated with him and for the last 20 years he has been reinventing not only his art, but the way we look at media, propaganda and advertising.

The thing I find most important in his background is his punk rock ethos, proudly displayed in many of the works of art on display at the ICA. Punk rock is as much about rebellion, politics and DIY (do it yourself) as it is about 3 chords and fast music. It’s a lifestyle choice, one that often questions everything from authority to social status and so called traditional values. In the image above, Sid Vicious is pictured in one of his typical “in your face, I have a sneer and I don’t care about anything” photos. With an obvious nod to the “Great Rock and Roll Swindle” (a movie that featured Sid and the Sex Pistols), Fairey encourages the viewer to DO IT YOUR WAY, and SWINDLE. Doing it yourself has long been a mantra of the Punk and the financially challenged(which often go hand-in-hand). The swindle is finding ways of doing things for free, which (as Shepard pointed out during the press opening for this exhibit) he had to do as a struggling artist. He told a story about rigging the copy machines at Kinkos to get free prints, but at the time, the only color prints available were in black and red, an aesthetic he has stuck with through his whole career.

(Shepard Fairey talks to the press at his show at the ICA)

Street art, graffiti, whatever you want to call it, is among other things, a response to advertising. We’re bombarded with images since birth, commercials, magazine ads, billboards and those images and sayings stick with you over time. Street artists have long ago figured that out and used the walls to get their message across.. for free. Most graffiti writers tend to be very self serving, placing their name all over, marking where they’ve been. Shepard Fairey is a different breed. Using his “Obey Giant” campaign as a marketing tool, he plastered the now famous “Andre the Giant” image everywhere, all across the globe. He set the standard for street “branding”. Once Obey was known, he could take it anywhere, allowing his philosophies, political leanings and influences slowly to be known through new projects. This show is a culmination of that growth, with pieces touching on war, economy, popular culture and more. With 244 pieces, it’s safe to say that this is a complete representation of his work over the last 20 years. It’s great to see the original stickers that he started his career with and then look at the huge collaged pieces that were done exclusively for the ICA.

If you’re in the Boston area, please get out and about and check out his work on the street. The museum is a beautiful place to see his work, but there’s something a little more authentic about seeing it in public and observing how it interacts with its environment. For a complete list of the outdoor work click here

The show is sponsored by Levi’s, which one may find to be an ironic twist, but corporations have long since used street artists and their credibility to market their wares, this comes as no surprise to me. The pleasant surprise is that Levi’s did it right. In this economy, art is one of the first things that gets the shaft, so I think it’s pretty cool that they sponsored this and helped bring this awesome show to the ICA.

(and no, I’m not getting any free stuff from Levi’s for saying that) unless they want to send me something.. hahaha

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Future Classic Gallery Sale 2

where: CHURCH
69 Kilmarnock Street

Boston, MA

when: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 // 7PM - 1AM

Ever thought about purchasing a framed SHEPARD FAIREY poster but it was just a little too pricey? Always wanted an original BIGFOOT piece but couldn’t find one that fit your budget? Well, now here’s your chance to browse and buy some of your favorite artists at up to 50% off the original price. Sweet!

The Future Classic Gallery Sale will be held at a brand new venue called CHURCH in the Fenway. Opening reception from 7PM - 8PM sponsored by PABST BLUE RIBBON.

The party will continue from 8PM - 1AM with DJ FRANK WHITE & SPECIAL BLEND providing the soundtrack.

Artists showing their works at the Future Gallery Sale: Alone 1, Andy Regan, BIGFOOT, Brian Butler, CAP (Style Wars), COPE 2, Enamel Kingdom, Josh Falk, Lizmatic, Mitch Mano, Rob Larsen, Yuko Adachi and many more!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

MPG Contemporary presents

"10 Years of (some of) the Gallery's Best Art"

A Final Retrospective: 1998 - 2008

when: June 6 - July 12
reception: Friday, June 6 5.30 - 8.30 pm
where: MPG Contemporary
450 Harrison Ave. suite 55
Boston, Ma.
617 357 8881

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

SoWa Artwalk 08

SoWa Art Walk
Saturday and Sunday May 17-18, 2008

11:00am to 6:00pm.

The SoWa Art Walk is held every spring in the SoWa (South of Washington Street) neighborhood in Boston’s South End. A former mill building district where pianos, canned goods, shoes and other merchandise were made in the 19th century, the district has been home to artists’ studios carved out of the old factories for the last fifty years. Today, the artists have been joined by art galleries, creative businesses, cutting edge restaurants and the recent boom in residential loft buildings.

Creative stores, cafes, boutiques and some of the city’s finest restaurants take part in the SoWa Art Walk by opening their doors all weekend, hosting artists who display on their walls and offering special event discounts.

The SoWa Open Market, an open-air venue for artists, craftsmen, collectioners, farmstands and other vendors makes its seasonal debut each year in tandem with the SoWa Art Walk.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chase Gallery: Tom Chambers and Holly Farrell

Chase Gallery presents:
Tom Chambers and Holly Farrell

Where: Chase Gallery

129 Newbury Street
Boston,MA 02116
phone: 617-859-7222

: May 1 through 31, 2008

(pictured right)
Twelve Juice Cups
-Holly Farrell
acrylic and oil on masonite
30 x 36 inches

The Fort Point Arts Community: Art Walk 2008

The Fort Point Arts Community: Art Walk 2008
May 9th - 11th, 2008

FPAC's 8th Annual Fort Point Art Walk will be held on Friday May 9th from 4-7pm and Saturday and Sunday May 10th and 11th from 12 noon-5pm.

Art Walk features 75 artists opening their studios in Boston's Fort Point.

Pick up a map at any of the eight participating buildings and explore the studios of painters, jewelers, ceramicists, photographers, sculptors, textile artists, and more.

Talk with artists in their studios and discover new works and treasured favorites.

Explore Boston's changing Fort Point and see the unique waterfront warehouse district that is New England's largest arts community.

Enjoy the opportunity to purchase works of art and fine craft directly from local artists. Studios are all located within a three-block area, a short walk from T and commuter rail at South Station in downtown Boston.

Art Walk is self guided: maps and directories will be available at our information booth at the corner of A and Binford Streets, and at all participating buildings including 300 Summer Street, Midway Studios at 15 Channel Center Street, at 249 A Street, and 319 A Street.

Free parking will be available in the Central Parking Lot directly across from 249 A Street, and the Channel Center Parking Lot at A Street and Iron Street.

Admission to this event is free.

For more information and details go to the FPAC website or call 617-423-4299

Lara Loutrel : New Works on Paper

United South End Artists & South End Branch Library Present: Lara Loutrel : New Works on Paper

May 6 - 31

Opening Reception
Tuesday May 6, 6 - 8pm
Gallery South End Branch Library
685 Tremont Street, Boston

Phone: 617 536 8241

Hours: M, W, Th 10-6

Tue 12-8
Fri 9-5
Sat 9-2

Artist's Statement : New Works on PaperThe prints are no longer depictions of structures, they have become the structure.The prints were records of what others had built — now, they are the structures that I build. - Lara Loutrel

pictured above right (Rdvik -- S171, 2008 drypoint with paper additions, edition of 20 16 x 12")

Monday, April 7, 2008

MFA presents: The Films of Julian Schnabel

Film Series: The Films of Julian Schnabel
Date: May 2-8
Where: Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts , Boston

The MFA Film Program is proud to present a retrospective of award-winning director Julian Schnabel’s first three films, May 2-8. Presented in conjunction with this year ' s The School of the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston Medal Award ceremony and gala dinner, a fundraiser for student scholarships. On Monday, May 12, 2008 , Julian Schnabel will be present to accept his award and guests of this event will have the distinction of being one of the first to view his most recent directorial project, Berlin , before its release to the general public.

Born in Brooklyn and educated in Texas , Julian Schnabel rose to prominence as a painter in the 1980s after his first exhibition at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York City . Since then, Schnabel’s work, including his signature large-scale neo-expressionistic and collage works, has been exhibited all over the world. His paintings, sculptures and works on paper have been the subject of retrospective exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery, London; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Tate Gallery, London; and The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Schnabel lives with his wife Olatz Lopez Garmendia, who plays Marie in The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, and their family in New York City and Montauk, New York , and San Sebastian , Spain . Schnabel’s assertion that he’s "aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed by" is equally applicable to his emotionally energetic paintings and his vividly beautiful films.

Tickets: Members, seniors and students $8; general admission $9. Discount matinee prices (weekday until 5 pm ; weekends until 12:30 pm ) are $6, $7. To purchase please call the box office at 617-369-3687 or online at

For more information about the Medal Award dinner or to purchase tickets for this event, please visit medalaward or call 617-369-3591.

Fri, May 2, 5:30 pm
Sun, May 4, 3:45 pm
Wed, May 7, 5:45 pm
Thu, May 8, 5:45 pm

Basquiat (1996, 108 mn.). in 1981, a 19-year-old graffiti artist by the name of Jean-Michel Basquiat took the New York art world by storm, becoming one of the most successful and controversial of the period. By 1988, he was dead at the age of 27. Artist Julian Schnabel makes his debut as a writer and director with Basquiat, lending an insider’s astuteness to the world of art and to an individual once described in The New York Times as “the art world’s closest equivalent to James Dean.” Tony and Golden Globe winner Jeffery Wright makes his starring debut as the ill-fated artist. Schnabel has enlisted a fascinating cast which includes David Bowie as Andy Warhol and Parker Posey as art dealer Mary Boone. Other making cameo appearances include Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Paul Bartel, Courtney Love and Tatum O’Neal.

Before Night Falls
Fri, May 2, 7:40 pm
Sun, May 4, 5:45 pm
Thu, May 8, 3:10 pm

Before Night Falls (2000, 133 min.). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2000 Venice Film Festival, Before Night Falls is a richly imagined journey into the life and writings of the brilliant Cuban author and exile Reinaldo Arenas. Directed and co-written by Julian Schnabel the film stars academy award winner Javier Bardem, whose eloquent, complex performance as Arenas earned him the 2000 Venice Film Festival ' s Volpi Cup for Best Actor. Before Night Falls is a portrait of a man whose search for freedom - artistic, political, sexual - defied poverty, censorship, persecution, exile and death. Like Arenas ' work, Before Night Falls combines passages of transporting imagination with urgent realism; in so doing, it embodies the creative ethos to which Arenas dedicated himself: transforming experience into unfettered expression.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Sat, May 3, 1:30 pm
Sun, May 4, 8:15 pm
Thu, May 8, 1 pm

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) (2007, 112 min.). Celebrated painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel’s third feature finds him reaching new artistic heights with this audacious and personal biopic, based on the best-selling memoir of the same name. The film tells the remarkable tale of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the world-renowned editor of French ELLE magazine, who suffered a stroke and was paralyzed by the inexplicable "locked in" syndrome at the age of 43. Bauby’s only way of communicating with the outside world was by blinking with one eye, and after several dedicated helpers helped him to speak through this seemingly irrelevant gesture, he began to produce the words that would form his memoir. Along the way, as he swam in and out of consciousness, memories from his past swelled into the present, resulting in a cinematic experience that is at once heartbreaking and hopeful. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies,” (The New Yorker). French with English subtitles.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Melissa Hutton at KIDDER SMITH Gallery

131 Newbury Street

Boston, MA 02116
T 617 424 6900
online: Website
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00-5:30

Melissa Hutton
Rough Landing
April 2 - 26, 2008

Her show is called Rough Landing, but for San Francisco artist Melissa Hutton her work is anything but that. Hutton, well-known in the Bay Area for her high-impact, modern graphic, mixed media paintings, will present her latest works in a solo exhibition at the Kidder Smith Gallery.

"My work explores the complexities of the American landscape. Drawing from personal experience and emotional reaction to the environment, I confront themes of isolation, fear, destruction and ultimately resilience," said Hutton. "Images of stormy panoramas sliced by sparkly highways that are littered with abandoned barns and gas stations expose a country threatened by greed and waste. The glossy dripping surfaces that encase much of my work are a metaphor for a culture obsessed with greed and waste.

"Hutton's work begins with a digital orchestration of images and ideas translated onto custom wood panels by a combination of techniques and mediums such as silk-screening, spray enamels, digital transparencies and wood layered between coats of resin. Her ability to create powerful statements in each individual piece is impacted by a vibrant use of colors, minimalist images and high-gloss, dripping finish. The result is a clean, modern, intense work that is popular and easily understood by most viewers.

(Pictured above right) How Much Further?, 2008 Mixed Media 33 in. x 48 in. x 3 in.

Kathryn Frund at Chase Gallery

Chase Gallery
129 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
phone: 617-859-7222
online: website

Kathryn Frund at Chase Gallery
April 2 - 26, 2008
Please join us on Friday,
April 4th from 5 to 7 pm for an artist reception celebrating the work of Kathryn Frund.

pictured: Earthheaven / Heavenearth
mixed media on panel 6 x 6 inches

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dressing Room

Where: FPAC gallery
300 Summer Street
M1 Boston MA 02210
T: 617 423-4299
online: website
The FPAC office hours Th 1-6 PM.

When: APRIL 04, 2008 - MAY 11, 2008

Clothing, fashion, and costume becomes an extension of the subject: the artists examine the influence these objects have on the portrayal of an individual. The work in this show seeks to reveal and comment upon human character that is shaped by personal history, race, class, gender, and society. By modifying the wardrobe of the subject, the role of clothing and costume in accentuating, exaggerating, exposing, and creating identity is questioned and explored.

Both Lisa Costanzo and Kelly Anona Kerrigan begin with portraiture as a foundation for their work. Through drawing and painting, they are expanding on traditional portraiture, and approaching the portrait in contemporary ways. Their influences include identity, gender roles, the role of costume and adornment, and the history of portraiture itself. The dressing room becomes the natural environment for these artists to push and question what might be hidden behind the fold of a dress or the cut of a shirt.

The dressing room is ultimately a private space. A space where one can create or strip oneself of a certain persona, even while preparing for the public. A space that can linger between fantasy and reality, between what is considered “real” and what is constructed, what is acceptable and what is not. How much authority does the dressing room have in altering the perceived notion of the individual’s image? How can these props be used to hide or reveal the individual’s perception of him or herself?

(pictured above right: Kelly Anona Kerrigan)

Zeitgeist Stage Company presents the New England premiere of Spin

How dirty does politics really get? How much "spinning" goes on behind the scenes, between the lines, and between the sheets? To what lengths will political adversaries go to win?

In this quintessential story of political intrigue, a vicious rumor about the candidate's wife threatens to derail his presidential campaign. Jerry, the implacable campaign manager, desperately attempts to uncover the truth and run damage control before the scandal breaks. As he careens through the worst day of his life, Jerry laments the intrinsic flaw of his profession: "Campaigns would be perfect if they didn't involve candidates.

"Zeitgeist Stage Company presents the New England premiere of Spin by Robert William Sherwood, from April 18 through May 10 in the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. Actor Steven Barkhimer, appearing as the uncompromising campaign manager, and director David J. Miller team up again to run on the same ticket, just as they did in the '05 Elliot Norton Award winning Fringe Theater production of Blue/Orange.

Pictured above left (L to R): Christine Power & Peter Brown in Zeitgeist Stage Company's production of SPIN by Robert William Sherwood running April 18 through May 10 at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. Photo by Joel W. Benjamin

Pictured above right (L to R): Melissa Baroni, Steven Barkhimer,Christine Power, Peter Brown & Elisa MacDonald in Zeitgeist Stage Company's production of SPIN by Robert William Sherwood running April 18 through May 10 at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. Photo by Joel W. Benjamin

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New work: Kenji Nakayama and Ryan Lombardi AKA Enamel Kingdon

where: The Good Life
when: Tuesday, February 26th from 7pm til whenever

The Good Life
28 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111

Monday, February 25, 2008

Greed, Guilt and Grappling: Six Artists Respond to Climate Change

February 1st, 2008 - March 30th, 2008
The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts.

527-551 Tremont St., South End, Boston

The show is guest curated by participating artists Clara Wainwright and Mags Harries, and features Jay Critchley, Lajos Heder, Michael Sheridan and John Taguiri. The show invites critical discussions about the significant threat posed by climate change. Through a variety of media (video, textile, installation, photography, sound, etc.), the show invites dialogue about individual action on a collective, urgent issue.The Closing Ceremony for Greed, Guilt and Grappling will be March 30, 2008 from 3pm- 5pm. Live music will be performed by Dean Stevens to accompany a parade of The Walkabout Project's Ecoshaman Robes created with artist, Clara Wainwright.

Interventions and Objects: New Work by Bebe Beard and Liz Nofziger

The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University
75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
Gallery Phone (617) 573-8785
Gallery Website

Exhibit runs February 14th to March 15th, 2008
Reception with the artists: Thursday February 14th 6-8pm
Gallery talk: Tuesday February 26th at 1pm
Gallery hours: Monday-Friday 9am- 10pmSaturday 9am- 6pm, Sunday 12- 5pm
Enter from 10 Saint James Street after 7pm and on weekends
This exhibit and all events are free and open to the public.T
he NESADSU Gallery is accessible by the MBTA, Arlington St. Green Line stop.

Interventions and Objects: New Work by Bebe Beard and Liz Nofziger. This site specific exhibition of multimedia and video work will run from February 14th to March 15th at the NESADSU gallery at 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA. A public reception with the artists will be held on Thursday, February 14th from 6-8pm. A gallery talk will be held on Tuesday, February 26th at 1pm. There will be an illustrated catalogue featuring essays by James Manning, Interim Gallery Director NESADSU, Phaedra Shanbaum, co-director of Axiom Gallery in Jamaica Plain and Rebecca Gordon, formerly director of Second Gallery in South Boston. Bebe Beard and Liz Nofziger working separately have both created new site-specific multimedia works in the NESADSU gallery space. Using video, sound and sculpture both artists have transformed the gallery space in to a new experience. Beard’s installation titled Con-flict includes wall sized projections of wire animated by magnetic fields. The video projections are further enhanced by wire assemblages hanging through the gallery space which cast shadows over the projected images, adding a physicality to the flat space of the videos. Bebe also worked with her long time collaborator Lou Cohen to produce a sound component that adds many layers and depth to truly activate the viewer’s senses as they experience the work. Liz Nofziger has worked with the architecture of the gallery focusing on the corridor between the walls and the oversized structural column in the middle of the gallery space. With a simple physical intervention Nofziger disrupts the flow of traffic within the gallery space and creates a new pattern. Close investigation will no doubt reveal even more hidden details.