Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Brazilian Twins Os Gemeos Collabo with GOL/9ine

The famed São Paulo-based street art duo Os Gemeos collaborated with GOL/9ine to transform a Boeing 787 into a flying work of art. They just recently finished painting this beauty, which is the Brazilian national team’s plane for the World Cup this year.

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The urban duo created a colorful masterpiece, taking their signature yellow characters into the skies. The full-service plane will be flying for the next two years taking the team around the country this summer and to each of their games for everyone to see. This project is a great example of the local support & celebrations being done for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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Since the late 1980′s identical twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo have been working under the name Os Gemeos, which means “twin brothers” and stands for “one world, one voice” among other associations they make. Painting graffiti on the streets of their native São Paulo, they first emulated the styles coming out of New York City, but slowly the pair discovered their own style and approach to their work. Today Os Gemeos’ signature characters with their yellow skin and colorful clothing appear on public walls, and gallery and museum installations around the world. Subjects range from family portraits to commentary on São Paulo’s social and political circumstances, as well as Brazilian folklore. Their graffiti style was influenced by both traditional hip hop style and the Brazilian culture.

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Os Gemeos are no strangers to large-scale works, their colorful images adorn buildings in cities including Berlin, Lisbon, New York, Moscow, Athens, Krakow, and in their native Brazil they’ve even painted whole trains – after successfully persuading the authorities to let them do it. In 2009 when they came to Miami during Art Basel, they created a masterpiece in Wynwood on NW 2nd Avenue. Os Gemeos collaborated with Nina and Finok, two Brazilian artists they have worked with many times before, so it was a relatively easy and comfortable process to decide what to paint.They discussed all the details and made a lot of sketches before coming to the final composition. We see Os Gemeos’ characters in the back of a truck floating in the ocean that springs from Nina’s wide-eyed girl’s hair, while Finok’s half-man, half-boat waits on the beach.

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NYC-based artist Sanford Biggers' Solo Exhibition at David Castillo Gallery

An LA native working in NYC, Sanford Biggers creates artworks that integrate film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance. He intentially complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. His solo exhibition ‘3 Dollars & 6 Dimes’ at David Castillo Gallery is on display now through July 25, 2014. The work presents new mixed media painting, installation and performance. The artist destabilizes linear notions of history, identity, and spirituality with a syncretic visual language culled from slave narratives, hip-hop culture and Afrofuturism.

Sanford Biggers, NYC, Miami, Artist, David Castillo Gallery, Miami Art Scene

In his Quilt series, Biggers appropriates antebellum quilts from the American South and renders them with acrylic, spray paint, silkscreen, embroidery, and fine art paper. The result depicts aggregate symbols from the Underground Railroad and sacred geometry, particularly the mandala. The mandala also constitutes the structure of the artist’s 16 x 16 foot dance floor, a site of implicit performance upon entering David Castillo Gallery. The dance floor invites ceremony and celebration in an environment of histories made new, including that of the art object itself.

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The mandala is often posited as a doorway between heaven and earth. Interspersed throughout the gallery are cloud sculptures suspended at varying heights, creating depth and atmosphere for the floor and wall artworks. This heaven, however, is not that of manifest destiny. Biggers’ buoyant clouds are twisted from chicken wire and stuffed with raw cotton, referencing the plantation system and the sky under which its slave laborers fled.

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3 Dollars & 6 Dimes is rich in the totality it represents: a three hundred and sixty degree cartography, a circular mandala, an embrace, the wisdom that comes from contemplating the interconnected past, present, and future. “I was born underwater with 3 dollars and 6 dimes,” Erykah Badu sings. 3 Dollars & 6 Dimes invites viewers not merely to ground themselves in the historical realities that have shaped American economy and culture, but to return to the water, the origin of all life, and a state of untarnished knowledge.

David Castillo Gallery, Sanford Biggers Solo Exhibition, Miami Art Scene

Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles, CA and lives and works in New York, NY where he is also an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Visual Arts program and a board member of SculptureCenter and the CUE Foundation. In April 2014, he participated in Carrie Mae Weems Live: The Blue Notes of Blues People at The Guggenheim New York and was recently included in the Americana exhibition at The Perez Art Museum Miami.

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David Castillo Gallery opened in 2005 under sole ownership after transforming a dilapidated warehouse in Miami, Florida into a 5,000 square foot gallery – exhibiting mid-career and emerging artists, both international and local. The gallery’s focus is on conceptual curatorial models as they relate to art historical, cultural, and personal investigations of identity. David Castillo Gallery recently announced that it will be moving from it’s longtime Wynwood location at 2234 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami, FL 33127 to its new location on the 400 block of Lincoln Road. “This is where I wanted to be,” said David Castillo. “It will be similar in size, but in the heart of the Beach. I love it there.”
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Banksy: The Unauthorized Retrospective at Sotheby's S|2 Space

Sotheby’s goes ‘Street’ with a Banksy exhibition as preparations are in the works for an unauthorized Banksy show curated by Steve Lazarides in Sotheby’s S|2 space. Located at number 31 St. George Street (directly behind Sotheby’s) it is perfectly positioned within the heart of Mayfair. The highly anticipated exhibit opens June 11th and runs through July 25, 2014 in London. Guests will be welcomed by a stuffed rat sporting a backpack and a spray can, the rodent is designed to symbolize the creation-cum-alter ego of Banksy, the anonymous street artist turned art-world superstar. Banksy is not involved in the show, which is being named an “unauthorized retrospective.” It was assembled by his former agent Steve Lazarides, who first met Banksy in the 1990s in their home town of Bristol in southwest England.

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It’s a sign of his status that Sotheby’s is behind one of the largest-ever Banksy exhibitions, a display of kissing policemen, placard-wearing chimpanzees and smiley-faced riot police spanning much of the artist’s career. Some of the works originally sold for as little as 50 pounds ($84). Now, prices range from 4,000 pounds ($6,700) to more than 500,000 pounds ($840,000). Lazarides took a paint-filled fire extinguisher to the gallery’s white walls to make it look less like an alien environment for graffiti art. But, he conceded – “it’s completely paradoxical for me to be here, for the work to be here. It’s in a space it almost shouldn’t be and viewed in a way it was never intended,” he said. “But I think that’s part of the fun.”

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There will be 70 paintings, prints and sculptures on display – owned by Lazarides and other collectors. The works display Banksy’s subversive, if not always subtle, yet brute humor. Winston Churchill sports a Mohawk haircut; genteel pensioners play lawn bowls with fizzing bombs; a ballerina breathes through a gas mask; a hungry child with an empty bowl wears a Burger King hat. Several early works feature police officers, the bane of Banksy’s existence as a young street artist. For others, he’s altered existing paintings: Van Gogh’s sunflowers have withered and died; flying saucers disrupt a maritime scene. Some of the works on display have not been seen in public for years, including the rat, in a glass case bearing the words “Our Time Will Come.” – Banksy installed it in 2004 in London’s Natural History Museum as hundreds of visitors and staff walked by.

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Banksy works have fetched as much as $1.8 million at auction, so it’s no surprise that several of his outdoor works have recently, and controversially, been stripped from walls and sold for high prices. None of the pieces in the London show were originally street art, and Sotheby’s contemporary art chief Cheyenne Westphal said all have been endorsed as genuine by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication service. “Works that are on the street don’t get certificates,” she said. “They’re there to be enjoyed, they’re there to be seen but they’re not there to be resold again.”

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As his career has bloomed, Banksy has left his spray-painted mark worldwide, from the streets of New York to the Israel-Palestine separation wall. As for big gallery shows like this, Lazarides said, “He hates it.” Lazarides, who parted company with Banksy several years ago, takes a different view. “The show being here at Sotheby’s is almost a validation of the whole scene,” he said. “When we were doing this 15 years ago, everyone told us this was impossible, no one would buy the work, it was a fad, it would disappear. “People tend to forget that (Jean-Michel) Basquiat and Keith Haring were graffiti artists first. This is just following on from a rich tradition.” The exhibition opens at Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery in London on Wednesday, June 11th and runs to July 25.