art in the streets

** warning: photo heavy **

a couple of weeks ago, i went to the “art in the streets” exhibition at the geffen contemporary at the museum of contemporary art (moca) in little tokyo, los angeles.  i think the exhibit had already been running for 2 weeks so i was surprised that there was a lengthy line to get in–last time i was here for murakami i don’t think it garnered crowds of this size.  interestingly, shepard fairey, one of the street artists exhibiting and famous for obey clothing and his obama campaign posters, was there and showing actor john krasinki, who plays jim halpert on “the office”, around.

i have to admit that although i was looking forward to visiting, the exhibit completely blew me away–it’s the coolest.  ever.  as much as i’m dying to go to the “savage beauty: alexander mcqueen” exhibit that i won’t shut up about, i doubt that it’ll top this–although they’re very different.

what was so great and cool about the exhibit?  well for one thing, there’s just so much to see and it’s pretty big.  it was bigger than the murakami exhibit because they opened up another wing.  even though i already saw the exhibit, i already knew i wanted to come back another time and look more carefully.  there are so many different artists, covering different styles and time periods.  it’s really a very fun exhibit because of the nature of street art (art for everyone, in an accessible environment) and there were some installations that were setup in really creative, interactive ways–like the drum kit and guitar set, the skate ramp, and the “manhattan” microcosm.  i don’t claim to know anything about street art and i still don’t even know most of the artists that participated but i really enjoyed it nonetheless, and highly recommend it to anyone (yes, anyone!).

it’s funny that i took more photos here during my one-t0-two-hour visit here than i did during my 10-day trip to chicago, new york, and philadelphia.

art in the streets @ the geffen contemporary at moca

i really love this one

this is the line...mid-way through

my first invader sighting

"i see you...invader!"

shepard fairey with his daughter climbing onto him

john krasinski / jim halpert, the cool kid with the sunglasses on to the right

engage yourself with the art

"wow", indeed

i like this keith haring car

photos documenting all the tagged subway cars that no longer exist

i love how clever and witty he is

kneel in the house of banksy

it's like i'm back in new york

swoon's piece made me swoon

enter through the gift shop

andré

shepard fairey, obey, moca, art in the streets, street art, graffiti, geffen contemporary

2008: shepard fairey creates obama's iconic "hope" campaign poster

2001: fashion meets art with the louis vuitton x stephen sprouse collab

mister cartoon

os gêmeos

hello shepard fairey and john krasinski...we meet again

jean-michel basquiat

i thought the rammellzee battle station was really fun

kenny scharf

love how he subtly "invaded" the exhibition

what also made it really cool was the levi’s film workshop:

green screen effects

these guys were playing with the green screen, you can see what background shows up on the tv on the left

stop-motion animation station

the actual "adaptation" script written by charlie & donald kaufman

this week, i received an invitation to the premiere of outside in: the story of art in the streets, which is a film by alex stapleton in conjuction with the levi’s film workshop about the “art in the streets” exhibition.  the premiere was held at the historic egyptian theater in hollywood, followed by a q&a with the director, and an after party deejayed by shepard fairey, himself.

the doors opened at 7 pm, but after leaving work in irvine with my coworker, traffic, and making a pit stop to drop off his car at my house, we didn’t make it there until close to 8 pm, when the screening was supposed to start.  i had rsvp-ed ahead of time, but it was first come first serve and there was a long line.  and we didn’t get in!  but they said that they decided to have a second screening after the first at 9:30 pm if people wanted to come back…but it would be taking place at the same time as the after party.

so i had a dilemma: did i want to watch the screening for which we drove all the way out here for, or did i want to go to the after party with guest dj shepard fairey?  hm…i want to do both!  as we deliberated over some less-than-savory italian food nearby, i decided to go to the screening in hopes that we could catch the tail end of the after party.

we got back to the theater at around 9:20 and there were some people already lined up; we were toward the front of the line this time.  not too long after, people from the premiere were let out and the after party started with shepard fairey at the turn tables.  shepard fairey is a talented street artist, enterprising business man, father…and a horrible dj.  he was terrible, really.  after only 2 songs, we agreed that we had made the right choice to prioritize the screening over the party and that even if the party was still going on after we got out, we wouldn’t stay for long.

i’m really glad we went to the screening.  i don’t think it’ll be too accessible elsewhere and we also saw two trailers that were made at the levi’s film workshop prior to outside in.  watching outside in made me realize how much there was still left at the exhibit that i hadn’t seen and missed on my first trip and solidified my feelings of what an incredible installation it was.  i was definitely motivated to make another trip back.  it was pretty short…only about 45 minutes or so with the other 2 short trailers.

here’s the trailer for outside in: the story of art in the streets:

the documentary also showed the street artists’ points of view vs. law enforcement’s.  i can see both sides, although i think the punishment is pretty extreme for the crime.  i think you can get 7 months of prison or something like that.  2 of the artists that were part of the exhibition were detained and one of them is still serving time.

and it was interesting to hear how big street art is.  apparently it’s the largest art movement ever (or since pop art)…that’s huge!

the party was still going on, so we stuck around for a little bit to take a photo and drink some of the complimentary drinks from izze (have i told you that izze rocks?).

dj shepard fairey @ outside in

a better photo stolen from hypebeast

designers help with japan’s disaster aid

i’ve always felt a personal connection to japan and the japanese culture as i’ve long been interested in it, studied there when i was in college, and visited around this time last year.

with the powerful 8.9 earthquake (and many more aftershocks), ensuing tsunami, and nuclear meltdown worries i can’t imagine the hardship the japanese are facing right now.

the tragedy hits a little close to home as ibaraki prefecture, where i studied, was one of the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  i still have friends who live there–one of them in tochigi and went for over 12 hours without electricity, but is thankfully fine otherwise.  one of the girls i studied abroad with flew into sendai airport the day of the earthquake and tsunami and became one of the missing americans.  her story’s pretty amazing, and even more so for me since i know her.  she has been teaching english in japan for the past several years and recently came home permanently but she flew back that fateful day to see her students graduate in march.  you can imagine the anguish her family experienced after what happened, only knowing that their daughter was “staying with friends”.  her sister tweeted to nbc’s “the today show’s” ann curry for help and boy, did she respond!  ann curry flew out to japan and successfully located her.  i can’t figure out how to embed the video in my post, but for those who are curious to hear the touching story play out, please see the clip on msnbc.

there has been an outpouring of care and aid and i’ve noticed that there has been an increasing trend of designers who want to utilize their talents to help the relief organizations.  i think this is awesome and can be great for those who wouldn’t donate otherwise, or even for those who would like a physical token to remind them of the devastation that happened (and is still happening).  not only does it help these good causes, but it also supports design talent.

i’ve included a lot of the ones i thought were well-designed, but there are many more.  if you’re interested in purchasing or just learning more, click the image to be redirected:

 

bape/baby milo's charity tee, proceeds going to the disaster relief effort

mike shinoda of linkin park's t-shirts (another design available), all profits benefit survivors of the quake & tsunami

adapt's t-shirt (black/white), 100% of proceeds going to the american red cross

jesse ledoux's art print, $25 from each print sold going to the international red cross

ajdimarucot's art print, all proceeds going to red cross

w+k studio's thank you poster for at least a $25 donation to red cross

etsy's thelivingconspiracy's print; 100% proceeds going to red cross

rojo foto's print for a $15 donation to team

james white's print, all profits donated to japanese disaster relief

zac neulieb's poster, all proceeds going to american red cross

rob dobi's print, all proceed benefiting disaster relief

carrrrrlos' print, all proceeds going to global living

daniel freytag's print, 100% of proceeds going to the british red cross

linda yuki nakanishi's art print, 100% of the proceeds going to canadian red cross

lady gaga's $5 bracelet + optional donation to relief efforts

 

roberu's leather wristbands, all proceeds to benefit red cross

corter's leather bracelet, all proceeds going to red cross

ken+dana design's sterling silver necklace, $30 from each sold going to red cross

joan hornig's sterling silver necklace, 100% proceeds benefiting a charity of your choice

scout books' 3-pack of notebooks, all proceeds going to mercy corps

there's even street art for japan!

so as you can see, there are a lot of options out there.  for even more, check out design for japan.

and for those of you near l.a., takami sushi & robata is currently donation 100% of their profits to japan earthquake and tsunami victims.  the restaurant hasn’t set a specific end date so you may want to inquire when you book reservations or while you’re there.  there seems to be a yelp group organizing a dinner event there on march 31st.  i recommend the chilean sea bass.

these are the ones that i’m personally considering: a paperback zine with contributors such as peter taville, alexa chung, and tavi; a 100% cotton oversized t-shirt; and a vintage lucite necklace.

afterzine donates $5 from the sale of each $10 paperback zine to red cross

multeepurpose's oversized tee for women, more designs available, with all proceeds going to red cross

shamila's ivory & gold carved necklace, all proceeds going to japan red cross

as i’ve been scouring the web, i came across one designer who was flamed for the art print he created.  he was accused of trying to gain recognition and profiting off of the disaster.  while the consumer may not know if any of the money used to purchase these goods are actually going towards the causes the merchants claims they are, i think we should give them the benefit of the doubt.  and i think it’s too much to expect that 100% of the sales price go toward the relief organizations (it’s usually just 100% of the profit/proceeds).  most of these are small shops/artists who can’t afford to spend so much time to create these products at a cost to themselves.