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Char Jansen

20140819040908-photo_4 Weird guys with severed heads: an interview with PANG   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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]

Put Out Some Pencils and Paper: An Interview with Ingri Haraldsen  

Oslo, Norway, Nov. 2013: I first met Ingri Haraldsen on an autumnal Saturday morning in Oslo, the day after the opening of the infamous Høstutstillingen 2013, Norway’s historic annual exhibition, which included a large-scale work of Haraldsen’s, Circular Story. I hadn’t yet met the artist then, and was blown away by the breathtaking depth and mastery of her work with pencil on paper, among the most impressive I’ve seen anywhere. I was visiting the Norwegian capita... [more]

20131017233913-tlp-towers-of-justice-lo Frieze London Alternatives: Moniker & The Other Art Fair 2013   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Moniker Art Fair October 17th, 2013 - October 20th, 2013
Posted 10/17/13

When you walk past the kilometer of curry joints on Brick Lane, or contemplate the compulsive repetitiveness of London’s high street stores, it’s perpetually perplexing: how do all those retailers selling the exact same products at the exact same rates survive side by side? It’s the corollary of the consumer market, of course: supply and demand. By the same token, Frieze London has propagated a flux of consumer art fairs, therefore we must only assume there is a market as such.... [more]

20131002214615-20130310145705-img_6698 Psychotropic Paintings: An Interview with Horfee   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 10/2/13

This interview originally appeared on ArtSlant London in March 2013. London, Mar. 2013: Known as Paris' most prolific graf artist, you'll find it hard to walk a street in the French capital where Horfee hasn't been. And all the better for his insane, pyschotropic paintings and drawings on walls and paper, with their talismanic energy. His works live and breathe independently; they are fizzing with the kinetic enthusiasm Horfee evidently has for making art. One of many reasons that he has recei... [more]

20131002213610-dscf1010 Street Art in Miniature: An Interview With Pablo Delgado   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 10/2/13

This interview originally appeared on ArtSlant London in July 2012. London, July 2012: Pablo Delgado is a relative newcomer whose work has been quietly emerging on London’s streets, if you can spot it. His scattered miniature people paste-ups depicting all kinds of scenes from the everyday to the surreal, have become well-documented on the web. Reconfiguring images taken from the net, Delgado’s figures, only a few inches high, are something like Alice In Wonderland interloping with the Bo... [more]

20130928093850-carr_videostill_01 Notorious Norwegians: Høstutstillingen 2013   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Kunstnernes Hus September 14th, 2013 - October 13th, 2013
Posted 9/28/13

It was a pivotal week to be in Norway, since a new right-wing coalition had just moved into government. The tension is particularly pronounced in the artistic community, not only because artists of course tend to be left-leaning but because in Norway the government has had a generous attitude towards supporting the arts for a long time – offering controversial state bursaries that subsidize artists – until now. Yet the topic of Oslo’s art scene especially has been a prickly one... [more]

20130912125154-1 Fall Preview: Bright Colours & Rebellious Attitude in London   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 9/12/13

There’s always a back-to-school feeling when September comes round, no matter how long ago you closed that chapter; it brings a certain feeling of dread and sweaty-palmed anxiety, and the peculiar impulse that you should buy a pencil case. Most gallerists no doubt have the same feeling; after a long summer closure, poor souls are forced back to dust down the artworks and open up their doors. Autumn in London in terms of shows can by now be loosely divided into two categories, opening BF (... [more]

Heavy Hearts: An Interview with Know Hope  

London/Tel Aviv, Sep. 2013: When are we ever going to be done with the onerous term that is 'street art'? Critics and writers are so fond of this repellent term yet the incompetence of this categorization, considering such a diverse range of practices, is startlingly evident, and ignores the way art is assimilated by public audiences. Know Hope is a pertinent example of this unraveling of the 'street art' problem, having been tarnished with its indelible brush early on in his career: but it&rsq... [more]

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