Paul Simonon: Wot No Bike

27 de janeiro de 2015

Few musical movements have had a look as memorable as punk. For the Sex Pistols it was Vivienne Westwood, wife of their manager, who masterminded the visual side; for the Clash it was their charismatic, art student bass player, Paul Simonon. His love of leathers, military gear and stenciled slogans gave the Clash a political edge: they weren’t just a band – they were guerrillas.

The photograph of Simonon smashing his bass into the stage on the cover of their 1979 album London Calling is one of the most potent in music history. Today the shattered instrument sits in a glass case in the west London studio where the 59-year-old devotes his time to his first love: painting. Along one wall an enviable collection of vinyl is the only other nod to his musical side; meanwhile canvases large and small, finished and pending, are propped on all three floors of the mews house. Keeping things toasty is a little Aga.

Un-punk the cast-iron cooker may be, but its utter Englishness is in keeping with Simonon’s artistic tastes. The romantic Suffolk landscapes of John Constable; the seamy London nudes of Walter Sickert; the gritty Kitchen Sink painters of 1950s Britain. These are the reference points for the oils and lino-cuts that he works on every morning. There’s a hint of Jackson Pollock, too, in his white t-shirt and jeans, and the DIY splatter paint-job visible on that splintered bass. “As you get older you learn to control your temper, although I have punched paintings across the room,” reflects Simonon during his day spent with filmmaker Baillie Walsh.

Simonon describes Wot No Bike, his show at London’s ICA which opened this week as: “self-portraits through objects that belong to me.” The jackets, boots, books and biker paraphernalia that are displayed around the studio. “I went to Byam Shaw college to learn life drawing,” he says of the days before he joined The Clash, aged 21. “But the teachers thought figurative art was old hat—too traditional—and so I lost interest. I did two months and ran away to join the circus.”

Paul Simonon’s Wot No Bike runs at the ICA, London, through February 6.

Mac Premo “The Stuffmaker”

13 de novembro de 2014

“Stuffmaker” sounds vague, even a little conceited. Anyone can make “stuff”. But artist Mac Premo does just that: his collage sculptures and prints incorporate wood, resin, paper, glue, film, photographs, and sound. They’re genuine and quirky. One installation is activated by sticking your head inside a hole: it’s titled “Totally Stick Your Head in This Hole”. Dutch filmmaker Bas Berkhout captures Premo’s approach and journey as a professional artist in this short film.

Premo grew up across the U.S., moving between D.C., California, and New Jersey. After graduating from RISD in ‘95, he moved to Brooklyn. He wrote and created everything for his one-man show titled The Luckiest Arab in Belfast. Premo was inspired to create the show after a gallery opening of his: he felt his work lacked a direct relationship with the audience, up on the white walls. He sought to correct this with this play.

Both scared by and fascinated with death, Premo is trying to figure out what we’re doing here, like the rest of us. Premo says that “To be the arbiter of good stories is to live forever”, a lesson he hopes to hand down to his two daughters. His stuff tells curious, intriguing stories so that he might be able to worry about death a little less. “We walk through life intellectually knowing of the vastness and uselessness of existence — and on a micro scale…really giving a shit about tiny things.” So go ahead: stick your head in that hole.

RETROSUPERFUTURE custom Honda NX650 motorcycle hand-painted by Keiichi Tanaami. After their exceptional accessories collaboration, SUPER commissioned the Japanese artist to re-design a vintage model in the same explosive style he illustrated their eyewear and phone cases. Basic Garage upgraded the motorbike with new pieces made with unconventional materials like molded aluminum side panels and black steel braided brake lines. The psychedelic speedster will be on exhibit at selected shows worldwide and is not available for purchase.

Photographer Andrew Kovalev heads to Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris, the sprawling weekend flea market one of the biggest in Europe. A maze of furniture sellers, art dealers, bric-a-brac and vintage everything, a trip to this hectic tourist destination is a manic Sunday morning well-spent. Here we meet some of the markets regular fixtures, traders who specialise in everything from taxidermy to ’60s Brazilian design, shot in classic portrait form beside their treasured finds. See and read more here.

Following the short film on sound sculptor Nik NowakSennhesier and Spotify share with us the inspiring work of Pedro Reyes, a Mexican artist who turns violent bangs into musical clangs. As one of the 100 creatives to be showcased for their MOMENTUM campaign, Reyes’s “momentum” is seen in his ongoing fight against gun violence. With the realization that “sound reveals the true nature of things,” Reyes picks up where he left off by reversing the fear that weapons produce. Using guns as the building blocks of his handmade instruments, Reyes creatively transforms violent objects into facilitators of happiness. To see his latest audiovisual exhibition, watch the short film below and head over to Momentum’s YouTube channel to see more of the campaign’s inspiring sound stories.

Henrique Oliveira ‘Tumours’

20 de junho de 2014

Crane TV continue their series focusing on the creative folk of Brazil with a film following Henrique Oliveira, an incredible sculptor who you may remember from this large-scale work at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Here, we watch as he constructs his biggest piece to date, back in his home town of São Paulo, using found and recycled plywood to create a sprawling mass of tunnels he refers to as ‘tumours,’ a comment on Brazil’s favelas and the treatment of those living the country’s shantytowns.

JR “Au Panthéon”

10 de junho de 2014

 

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French artist JR continues his ongoing Inside Out project at Paris’s Panthéon. Now a secular temple, the iconic building contains the remains of distinguished French citizens. Officially called “Au Panthéon,” the exhibition is comprised of hundreds of black-and-white portraits collected during March, all of which have been installed in the form of a collage on the Panthéon’s historic grounds.Panthéon

Place du Panthéon
75005 Paris
France

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JR at Museum Frieder Burda

17 de março de 2014

French photographer JR has a new exhibit at the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden Germany. The gallery will show the artist’s public works, along with some of the black and white pics that he used to inspire some of his best known street installations. The best part though, is that you can actually become a part of the show by having your photo taken in the photo booth from JR’s INSIDE OUT project.

Do you like art that will give young people night terrors? Great, then we have the gallery show for you. Ink Drawings by George Condo will be showing at the Skarstedt Gallery from now until April 5th. If you enjoy paintings that are somewhere between Pablo Picasso and Tim Burton, then you’ll love these.

This Must Be the Place: Byun

21 de fevereiro de 2014

Chong Gon Byun, a multimedia artist in Brooklyn, shares an intimate look at his home, which is packed with art and whimsical objects he has collected during his travels. This short documentary is one in a series called This Must Be the Place, which explores the connections between people and their homes. The filmmakers, David Usui and Ben Wu of Lost & Found Films, explain, “At first glance, [Byun’s] home appears to be that of a hoarder. But within moments you’ll discover that each object is not only meticulously crafted and placed, but that their spirits serve as guides to their landlord.”

 

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