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Char Jansen

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 - May 9th
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 - April 6th
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 - April 12th
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 - April 6th
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]

20130829074523-t02033_pcd The Reluctant Pop Artist   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britain June 5th, 2013 - September 1st, 2013
Posted 8/27/13

Pop Art’s influence on art happening now is epic. It is the aesthetic that seems to most suit the digital age, with our predilection for simple, bold graphics and bright, high impact colours, artists and designers all over are mining the archives for new visual references from an era that changed art forever. Patrick Caulfield, Foyer, 1973; Collection David Bowie © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013. But Patrick Caulfield wasn’t really happy about P... [more]

20130607190201-nickydeeley22513 Catlin 2013: Philippa Snow & Charlotte Jansen  
Posted 6/7/13

Charlotte Jansen: Good to see you the other night at the Catlin Prize. And those pointy jazzy shoes of yours... have a good time? Philippa Snow: Those jazzy shoes were an absolute nightmare; half a size too small, and the tip came off the heel when I - very sensibly - went straight home after the prize (by which I mean: "went for whiskey sours in a dark bar"). CJ: Talking of dark rooms; I meant to ask you what you were doing crouching down on the floor there when I got in? PS: I was trying... [more]

20130403214513-tumblr_ma55qroqfk1qm7dtso1_500 The Museum of Everything: An Interview with James Brett   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 4/3/13

The Museum of Everything’s founder James Brett is perhaps an incongruous addition to the Collector’s Catalogue – since he frowns at the idea of being labeled a collector. Collector, hoarder, or fanatic – what is so compelling about the Museum’s activity is their novel approach to promoting and presenting artists. Brett, somewhat of a talismanic leader in this – almost intimidatingly so – has punctured the bubble that is the art world, by representing the underrepresented, but also by circumnavigat... [more]

Interview with Horfee  

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 received such a great positive reaction, especially among his fellow illega... [more]

20130308040619-besnnuzcmaaxfko Armory 2013: An alien's A-Z of New York's premier art fair   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at The Armory Show March 7th, 2013 - March 10th, 2013
Posted 3/8/13

A is for... Art. Obviously.  B is for... Bloomberg. Read his speech in a particularly dispassionate manner, but apparently the Armory show is 'fun, and good for the economy!'  C is for.. Champagne. Free Pommery from 12 - 1 for some. Kudos for being the fair to crack open the booze earliest.  D is for...  Daytime drunks. Following indulgence in above mentioned compacted time frame. E is for...  Elitism. it still abounds, even across the pond. F is for.. Faux casual. The Armory Show lo... [more]

20130120234653-yuasa_-_the_world_without_words_-_courtesy_of_tag_fine_arts_1 What to buy at the London Art Fair   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Fiona Banner, Langlands & Bell, Jonathan Callan, Keith Coventry, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Mary Anne Francis, Anya Gallaccio, Ackroyd & Harvey, Dan Hays, Kenny Hunter, Liliane Lijn, Julie Major, Cornelia Parker, Simon Periton, Alison Wilding at Business Design Centre January 15th, 2013 - January 20th, 2013
Posted 1/20/13

The most fun you can have at an art fair is to pretend you have money, make up an imaginary budget, then promenade snottily around, arousing gallerists, deliberating over what to buy. Some people of course do actually have money – god bless their souls for spending it on art, please keep doing so – and the London Art Fair is good for its unintimidating and unpretentious atmosphere – the Business Design Centre in Angel is so unglamourous, and stands are layered tightly together, so that you don’... [more]

Interview with Marcos Chaves  

Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 2012: Marcos Chaves is a globally renowned artist, whose multi-layered conceptual practice–which includes drawings, video, photography, as well as large-scale site-specific projects and installations–has appeared everywhere from Moscow to Melbourne since the 1980s, as well as prolifically inside his native Brazil, where he is a treasured member of the artistic community. Rich with parody, Chaves’ work departs from his observations of modern conventions and appropriated value... [more]

GEOslant from London: A Tribute to Georgia Fee  
Posted 12/30/12

My relationship with Georgia was very modern. I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person – she was based in the US and Paris, and I was in London. We were due to meet during Frieze in October this year while she was in Paris, when she was sadly taken ill, and eventually had to return to the US for treatment. We talked regularly, on Skype, and so on. Yet the connection we had was as real and genuine as any dear friend. Georgia exuded warmth – even virtually. She was kind in every intera... [more]

20121229111004-20120709_07_franklaws Alternative Top Ten of 2012   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 12/29/12

We love compiling retrospective round ups as much as the next. Our aim at Artslant in London is to cover as much as we can with an open mind: from the institutional blockbusters to one-night-only backstreeters, and with an appropriate breadth of voices. Hence we’ve come up with an alternative list to trade in (and, alright, rebuff just a little) the predictable choices on this year’s ‘best ofs’. 1. Lucian Freud at the National Portrait Gallery – swap for – Louise Bourgeois, Freud Gallery Freud proved his place... [more]

20121223134311-kensortaisgag1 Eighteen Apostles of Evil   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Ken Sortais at Galleries Goldstein December 13th, 2012 - January 12th, 2013
Posted 12/23/12

Graffiti artists accept the emphemeral nature of their artwork – it’s intrinsic to their working method from the start. They don’t expect longevity; the impact of a work has to continue in some other, more subliminal way, to endure, and that all hangs on the first impression the viewer has of the work – another component that is key to the way a graffiti artist has to work. The omnipotent Nicholas Logsdail suggests in the latest issue of Elephant magazine that the YBAs is one of the only – if inde... [more]

20121120153549-catlin2012 Meet Justin Hammond: Massive in the art game   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 11/20/12

Justin Hammond is an independent curator, art writer and publisher. In 2007 he devised the Catlin Art Prize, an annual showcase for the most talented new artists in the UK and later went on to compile The Catlin Guide, widely recognised as the essential reference for collectors of emerging artists. In 2010 he published An Unspoken Arrangement to coincide with Alex Ball’s debut solo exhibition, and as part of The Makers' Union curated Mike Ballard's Whose Coat is that Jacket You’re Wearing?, hel... [more]

Interview with GAIS  

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 unusual occurrence – and that suggested they were relieved he had showed at all. “Can I do the... [more]

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