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Char Jansen

20141007142911-10624774_284587495084991_6833694057363572954_n Hong Kong Protest Art: the Facebook group documenting activist artworks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 10/7/14

Last week, as demonstrations in Hong Kong intensified with police and mafia clashes, Artnet reported on the ensuing panic at auction houses in the wake of the political situation. They questioned the possible impact on the art market given that the protests were strategically placed to paralyze some of HK’s most important business areas. This weekend, the Asia Contemporary Art Show took place as scheduled at the Conrad in Pacific Place, an area occupied by protestors. “We are please... [more]

20141006171218-prince_new_portraits_2014__976__install_14__1_ @richardprince4: Who are the other Richard Princes?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 10/2/14

Update October 6, 2014: In a further twist to the RP4 tale, Instagram has started to dump previous images posted by the artist (including the ones we had linked to here, now obsolete). The reasons behind these mysterious recent movements on the (at the time of writing) still active account are unclear: a warning from the Instagram authorities? Or a classic Prince joke? In his latest post, two women are captured mid-conversation on a sofa. Above them hangs the infamous Untitled (Cowboy), the artist's first... [more]

Life in Miniature: An Interview with Slinkachu  

London, Sept. 2014: Slinkachu’s captivating miniature street interventions, made of remodeled figures from train sets, strike a contrast with most other art in the public space. While many street and graffiti artists are all about bigger, louder, and bolder, the UK artist’s tiny, almost unnoticeable scenes are a quiet statement about our environment, and about the solitary nature of fast-paced city life – his ‘Little People’ are literally overwhelmed by the urban space. In... [more]

20140923062233-pez_15_years_acrylics_and_markers_on_canvas_87_x_57_x_5_cm__1400 PEZ: 15 Years Smiling with Friends   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/23/14

Legendary Spanish artist PEZ has just opened a solo show in London, at the Westbank Gallery W11, up until the 24th of this month. Following on from a solo gig earlier in the month in Sweden, Pez returns to London for the first time since his 2012 exhibition at Tony’s Gallery. The propagator of the “Funny Happy Barcelona style” – which in its basic form, is a smiling fish – presents new works on canvas, plus collaborative works with “friends” – amon... [more]

20140915194014-img_1699 Graffiti in Galleries: Why Do They Still Not Get It?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/15/14

Last week the ASS editorial team was in Paris for our AGM, where we got a special tour of the LASCO project at the Palais De Tokyo. A very amiable and informative guide took us down the basement/security exit—normally closed to the public—that for the last two years has housed a new initiative to bring graffiti into the public gallery: two French artists, Lek and Sowat, have been inviting other artists from their scene to paint the walls of this cavernous underground maze. The proble... [more]

20140903155836-mirrorcity A London fall primer for everyone (but especially Internet lovers)   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/3/14

Autumn is high season for art and it’s an impossible task to keep up with the Smoke’s endless openings. Best to spread it out and try to see something of everything. The best exhibitions will kick off the season before Frieze takes over in October and demolishes everything artistic in its path. With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a little bit of this and a little bit of that—but basically, it’s all about the Internet. Best exhibition for British Art: MIRRORCITY, the Hayward Gallery ... [more]

20140902140614-pierre_huyghe_liegender_frauenakt__untilled_2011-2012___2012_installation_view__the_human_factor__hayward_gallery_2014__photo_linda_nylind Naked Ladies and More   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Pawel Althamer, Frank Benson, Huma Bhabha, Katharina Fritsch, Ryan Gander, Rachel Harrison, Georg Herold, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, John Miller, Cady Noland, Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Schütte, Yinka Shonibare, Rebecca Warren, Paloma Varga Weisz, Andro Wekua, Cathy Wilkes at Hayward Gallery June 17th, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 9/2/14

With the world reeling from recent global events that have severely impacted on our collective conscience—the barrage of scenes of manmade destruction, death, and disaster a vivid testimony of the dark side of humanity—visiting The Human Factor at Hayward Gallery was oddly cathartic. Of course, the curators were not prophets, but in bringing together twenty-five years of sculpture through twenty-five artists they have created a perspicacious and timely exhibition that reflects on som... [more]

20140819040908-photo_4 Weird guys with severed heads: an interview with PANG   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/19/14

Your background is in Fine Art – how have you developed your style back in London and how has it changed? I studied classical oil painting in Italy for four years and I came back to London around seven years ago. I have always moved around in my work and gone through phases, and Italy in a way felt like another artistic experiment, but the technique we learnt in the studio was from the 19th century, and the sheer discipline of it was a big shock when I first arrived. I had never spent mo... [more]

20140811153109-000016200001 The Sickboy Effect   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
SICKBOY at The Outsiders London July 25th, 2014 - August 30th, 2014
Posted 8/11/14

Down a street off Soho Square a booze-soaked, rambunctious crowd piled out on the street. It was one of those rare summer evenings in London – somewhere between sweaty and balmy. Squeeze past the well-pruned bloggers, pogonophiles and the members of the banksy-forum cult, into the airless gallery, where the hundred-odd guests had impregnated the air with the scent of their sweaty-balmy bodies. This is the Sickboy effect – bringing a bit of griminess and a glaze of stickiness to mak... [more]

20140730173231-haring-by-alo ALO: Hail to the Loser, on now at Saatchi Gallery's Print Space   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Alo at Saatchi Gallery July 29th, 2014 - August 18th, 2014
Posted 7/30/14

Opening this week is a 50-piece exhibition by Italian street artist Alo. Presented at the Saatchi’s gallery’s dedicated print space (a small, windowless room on the lower ground floor), the show is packed with all-new works, mostly originals on found wood – a significant undertaking for an emerging artist working solo – though piled up their individual effect becomes diluted by repetition. Auto-didact Alo came to East London’s fertile streets a few years ago leavin... [more]

20140713043807-thumb RexRomae at Scoop London, 13th – 15th July 2014   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 7/13/14

If you ever needed proof that street art is in vogue – this is it. Scoop London presents a group exhibition featuring work by Alexis Diaz, Askew, Borondo, Bicicleta Sem Freio, 2501, Vinz, Agostino Iacurci, Jaz, Martin Whatson and Fintan Magee. The 12-strong show opens for just two days (13 to 15th July) as part of fashion trade show Scoop, held at the Philips Gallery and Saatchi Gallery space at Howick Place, in chichi Southwest London. Directed by Rom Levy and curated by Charlotte Duto... [more]

20140703062650-la_4 Bike Without Brakes: Interview with Brazilian trio Bicicleta Sem Freio   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 7/3/14

Brazilian trio Bicicleta Sem Freio describe themselves as a design and illusration collective, and hail from a small town in the centre of Brazil, but recently they’ve caught the eye of international audiences since their work was selected by Charlotte Dutoit (curator JustKids and Pow Wow Hawaii) and they have branched out into painting walls too – hitting up London’s East London for the first time. Only their second ever mural is now reported to be the largest of its kind in... [more]

20140702171126-punk_memories__escape_9__by_john_bagnall__c__john_bagnall Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at The British Library July 1st, 2014 - August 19th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

High hopes for this seductively titled show: a subject that is rarely examined in depth in a museum context, with all the resources at their disposition. Added to this was the idea of discovering some of the British Library’s comprehensive archive at the UK’s biggest ever exhibition of comics. This was going to be fun. The thing that this show does well is to highlight how key the role of comics has been in propagating political change. Presenting comics from the late Victorian era... [more]

20140627175109-bigpicture Larry Clark Photograph Sale   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Larry Clark at Simon Lee July 1st, 2014 - July 6th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

Oh London. With your unending ability to hype a party in a shoebox into the event of the summer. If you’ve lived in London for any amount of time, you’ll have to develop a discerning eye for what’s genuinely meritorious of hype, and what’s just flotsam. From today until Saturday, epic photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark, aged 71, is unloading some of his life’s detritus, and will be selling off original photographic prints from his humungous archive of work, out of crat... [more]

20140702062816-image TACO TRICYCLE TIMBUKTU   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
John Atherton, Hin, BOB MOTOWN at Stour Space July 3rd, 2014 - August 4th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

From the pleasing alliteration of this trichotomous show at Hackney Wick’s canalside arts space you might surmise the infantile irreverance these artists share for the art world etc and reading the somewhat silly press release you’ll be not much wiser as to what the exhibition is about. Taking animals and absurdity as shared visual motifs, the London-based trio work in illustration and graphic design, but for their first collaboration on an exhibition, the emphasis is on screen prin... [more]

20140607070735-wolf Print Release Only til Sunday! Here's our Q & A with Mysterious Al   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 6/7/14

Hello Al, how’s life in Australia? I've been living in Melbourne for nearly 3 years now and it's great. There's no frost and it doesn't snow. People are nice here and the coffee is next level. Anything you miss about British culture? Well, my sarcasm doesn't work so well here. Mysetrious Al, Leaf Girl; Courtesy of the artist You had a show in Melbourne recently – how did that go? The Melbourne show was awesome as it was a great opportunity for me to show new work that I'd made... [more]

20140524163545-15folds-superstition-kim_asendorf-new EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE: GIF Art on View Now from 15folds Collective   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Lyst Studios April 1st, 2014 - May 29th, 2014
Posted 5/24/14

15Folds, an online GIF platform founded by a well-connected 20-something London trio (who dressed in matching ‘Nostalgia is Bullshit’ tshirts for the opening) have just unveiled their first I.R.L exhibition: animated GIF art at the former White Cube gallery space in East London’s Hoxton Square. Using custom-made augmented reality, visitors can use their phones and tablets to view the artworks, via a site-specific app. The GIFs have been created by 20 contemporary creatives wo... [more]

20140513063821-capture_d_e_cran_2014-05-03_a__18 Event Spotlight: Pathetic Bubble, Horfée and Russell Maurice   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Horfée and Russell Maurice at Doomsday May 8th, 2014 - June 13th, 2014
Posted 5/13/14

I don’t know too much about Australia’s art scene first hand, since I haven’t been there since 1990, and then aged 5, I only remember my sister throwing up out of the car window as we drove past the Sydney Opera House. But as for cultural activities of the kind we’re inclined to cover over here, Melbourne is frequently popping up as Australia’s main spot. Stepping up to the level of other world cities by bringing some of the best artists in this field to present the... [more]

20140421073513-them_upstairs_ink_acrylic_varnish_paper_2010 Art on the Council Estate: An Interview with Frank Laws   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/21/14

Amidst the capricousness of mass yoof culture of East London (which could just as well also be Silver Lake or Bushwick, Neukölln or Saint Martin) young ‘Frankie Bricks’ is an anachronism. His work is the kind that burns slowly: taking weeks to create intricate ink paintings of inner city social housing blocks, mostly around London, and now Newcastle. Not interpreting their social context as either glamourously gritty nor salaciously seedy, Frank Law’s paintings are an homage to... [more]

20140410193734-gadaffi01 Child's Play: A Couple Kids Interview HIN   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/10/14

From a background in illustration (clients have included the Swing-pop band The Correspondents) Hin started putting his paste-up series on the streets of East London (where he has been a resident for almost a decade) a few years back; his derisive depictions of the world’s worst political leaders – among the most popular, Gaddafi on a tiny bike, Berlusconi, and Putin – have become irrepressibly popular with the local audience, as much as his collaborations with artists such as... [more]

20140405064654-2-thierry-noir-retrospective-gallery-exhibition Show Highlight: Thierry Noir at Howard Griffin Gallery, London   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Thierry Noir at Howard Griffin Gallery April 4th, 2014 - May 9th, 2014
Posted 4/5/14

Opening last night in London at Howard Griffin Gallery (who are also behind the East London street art tour organisers, Street Art London) and running to the 5 May, Thierry Noir: A Retrospective is an unusual presentation in that it is both the artist's first ever solo exhibition, and his retrospective. Noir is known for having painted the Berlin wall every day for five years, back in the mid 80s – a subversive and somewhat bonkers act – motivated by sadness and ending in an enduring lega... [more]

20140401073321-iris An Art Fair in São Paulo: Should art fairs become socially responsible?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at SP-Arte April 3rd, 2014 - April 6th, 2014
Posted 4/1/14

My memories of São Paulo are of an astoundingly big, vertical metropolis – it’s not a city, it’s a concrete universe – suffocated with traffic, human and vehicular. Traversing this post-apocalyptic urban desert from the expensive neighborhood of Jardins (fancy brunches, a boutique for Havaianas, and a concentration of pristine, architect-designed galleries) to Republica, I was confronted with a catastrophic scene: a community stricken by extreme poverty, crime, and drug... [more]

20140322122722-fire_dragon2 The Mural That Made The Mafia Smile: A new public artwork in Hong Kong stirs controversy   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/22/14

In Hong Kong’s Pokfulam Village, a new mural has sparked a heated debate, provoking villagers to start a campaign to keep the large-scale painting. Pokfulam was once a peaceful, green village, bordered by mountains and sea – until the government built a 10 meter highway bridge (Chi Fu Road) along the village’s southern boundary, creating a wall that would not only block off views of its surroundings but cause heavy flooding as water collected at the bottom of the mountain... [more]

20140321053614-erosie Crossing Hybrids: A forward-thinking group show at Galerie Celal   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jeroen Erosie, Graphic Surgery, Tomek at Galerie Celal March 13th, 2014 - April 12th, 2014
Posted 3/21/14

A highlight among Paris’ current offerings is this forward-thinking group exhibition from four innovative artists: Tomek (of Parisian PAL crew) Graphic Surgery (Erris Huigens and Gysbert Zijlstra, Netherlands) and graffiti writer Jeroen Erosie (also hailing from the Netherlands). All four artists featured in this show play with the idea of a freestyle navigation of architecture and the surfaces of the built environment. The dynamic nature of the artists’ respective backgrounds in gr... [more]

20140318123904-cyrcle-leonard_st Rulers are Meant to be Broken: CYRCLE at StolenSpace   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Cyrcle at StolenSpace Gallery March 7th, 2014 - April 6th, 2014
Posted 3/18/14

The most-hyped gallery opening of the last week on the London circuit has been the arrival of US art crew CYRCLE. The extrovert duo (formerly trio) has an unusually camera-friendly approach but their sun-fuelled positivity with what they do and their conceptual approach to interactive public art has made their debut heavily anticipated. Cyrcle;Courtesy of the Artists and StolenSpace Gallery They clearly enjoy paranomasia – concepts for the Stolenspace show are ‘rulers are meant to be broken’ and ‘scramble for... [more]

20140313153840-1392724_633327683357194_1960034088_n1-940x714 Animal Power Cult, Amigos Perdidos Club, Arroz Papa y Carne: An Interview with APC   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/13/14

APC (Animal Poder Collectivo or Animal Power Cult) are a global graffiti crew, founded in Colombia nearly a decade ago, long after the first graf waves moved across the US and Europe. But with members now painting their tag in cities around the world, APC is up, especially sovereign in Latin America where they’re trailblazing the scene which has hardly existed longer than they have. Each member of the crew depicts their own animal character, the motif that unites them, “a family of street... [more]

20140213222238-screen_shot_2011-10-30_at_8 The Crew from Haifa: An Interview with Broken Fingaz Crew   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 2/13/14

This interview originally appeared on ArtSlant in Jan. 2012 - There are many reasons you should like Broken Fingaz. Hailing from the northern Israeli town of Haifa, the graffiti crew, (comprising members Deso, Kip, Tant and Unga) describe themselves as ‘gypsies’, and in the most positive sense, they embody the notion. They are intelligent without falling into the easy traps of political satire available to them; entrepreneurial without a note of capitalism; artistic without being flim... [more]

20131211230303-insa-__looking_for_love High-Heeled Provocateur: An Interview with INSA   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/11/13

This interview was originally published on ArtSlant London, Mar. 2012 - There are many facets to INSA. As an artist, his work polarizes audiences. His latest installation project that opened for one night only on the 29 March in East London – queues of fans lined up in the spring sunshine, hoping to be one of the first fifty guests through the door to pick up a free limited edition print – was no less divisive or provocative than previous works. Inside the installation, Self Reflecti... [more]

20131127195804-20121119061450-cabe__a_na_lua_37_x_28_cm Art Saved My Life: An Interview with GAIS   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/27/13

This interview was originally published on ArtSlant Worldwide. Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 2012: I’d arranged to meet Gais at 2 pm at his gallery in Rio de Janeiro’s Humaita district. I’d been warned about Carioca time keeping, and not being inclined to punctuality myself, I easily forgave the artist when he arrived at 2.50, all smiles and reddish-bleary eyes. “He drank a lot,” the gallery staff explained, somewhat sheepishly – but in a way that implied this was not an... [more]

20131120124538-best-canvas-ever__1_ The World of Pez: An Interview with Pez Pescao   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/20/13

If owners grow to look like their dogs, the same kinda of thing could be said about graffiti writers and their tags. Case in point: Pez Pescao (real name, Jose Sabate) has an enormous brightly-coloured aquatic face. It must be down to being rasied on Barcelona beer and sunshine. For Pez (meaning, um, Fish, in Spanish), it’s a synecdoche. For the world of good vibrations. Spreading the happiness of smiles around to the passing pedestrians of our urban habitats was, and is, his main motivation,... [more]

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