Artist News

Smithsonian Profiles Ian Kuali'i

From aspiring breakdancer to accomplished artist, Ian Kuali’i traces his path so far
May 7th, 2020, 5:30PM / BY Justin Mugits, for Smithsonian Magazine

Artist Ian Kuali’i (Kanaka Maoli [Native Hawaiian] and Shis Inday [Mescalero Apache]) is known both for his cut-paper work and for his background in hip hop and graffiti. Ian visited the National Museum of the American Indian in New York last October as part of our Artist in the Galleries series, where he presented demonstrations of his art and answered visitors’ questions about it. He was scheduled to take part in our Children’s Festival during Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month this May, leading collaborative mural painting. After the Children’s Festival was postponed, I took the opportunity to talk to Ian about his influences as an artist and his evolution from aspiring breakdancer to accomplished, self-taught artist.

Growing up in the 1980s and ’90s, Ian spent time in both Hawai’i and Southern California, as his mother, Carolyn Melenani Kuali’i, moved back and forth for college and her work in Native health initiatives. Ian has always been connected to his Hawaiian roots through his mother’s teachings, and through his extended family of aunts and uncles in Hawai’i and the diasporic communities of Southern California. “The culture was always around,” he says, “so at any given moment, we might have some of the most influential figures in Hawaiian politics, like Huanani-Kay Trask, at our house in Irvine. There were hālau hula [schools of Hawaiian culture] all throughout Southern California.”

Ian was also impacted by the hip hop culture that was blossoming across the country. “We had a crew called Sick Block. My mom was going to the University of California Irvine at the time, and we would hang out at KUCI 88.9, the college radio station. And they had hip hop hour. At the same time there were b-boy [breakdancing] summits going on; there were a lot of legal graffiti walls like Huntington Beach. It was great times, going to African Student Union dances with my crew and battling people [in break dancing battles].” As Ian became more involved in hip hop culture, he realized that he wasn’t a very skilled emcee or DJ, so he began focusing on his graffiti writing.

Banksy Goes Pop (some of it is stenciled)

Buy your own Banksy stuff at Gross Domestic Product! Some of it is actually affordable, drawn by children, benefits charity, and funny. The site states that the pillows (see photo) are stenciled, but you'll get whatever they find at the thrift store.

Speaking of funny, it is worth it to read the legal disclaimer and terms and conditions. Ahem...

Legal

This site asserts the trademark to Banksy’s name and images is held by the artist, and is not transferable to any third party.

The artist would like to make it clear that he continues to encourage the copying, borrowing and uncredited use of his imagery for amusement, activism and education purposes. Feel free to make merch for your own personal entertainment and non-profit activism for good causes.

However, selling reproductions, creating your own line of merchandise and fraudulently misrepresenting knock off Banksy products as ‘official’ is illegal, obviously a bit wrong and may result in legal action. In the event of prosecution all funds will be donated to charity.

R.I.P. Robi the Dog

TXMX in Hamburg just informed the Stencil Archive of the death of Robi the Dog (his Stencil Archive). Swiss artist Robi the Dog pasted up intriguing, surreal, and humorous stencils throughout Hamburg, Berlin and other parts of Europe. He died late August of 2016 at the age 37/38. In an interview with streetartbln.com, Robi the Dog stated that he got into street art in 2006, and was interested in giving as much art to the people by "exercising his right to change the environment that he lived in". Stencil Archive extends its sympathies to the friends and family of Robi the Dog, as well as to all of those whole admired his art work.

fnnch Wants SF to Decriminalize Stickers and Posters

Street Artist 'Sign-Bombs' Downtown Neighborhoods With 450 'Honey Bears'
Mon. January 29, 2018, 4:34pm
by Nathan Falstreau for hoodline
 

Street art is part of San Francisco's landscape, but one local artist recently installed hundreds of pieces of his work to spark a conversation about using public spaces as a canvas for self-expression.

Over the weekend, fnnch [Stencil Archive album], best known for his depictions of honey bears, ladybugs, seashells, flamingos and turtles, fastened 450 pieces to utility poles between Market and Harrison and the Embarcadero and 5th Street. To comply with city rules for posting signs, he mounted the artwork using zip ties.

The installation, which features an array of honey bears and was billed as "sign bombing," aims to bring attention to what the artist deems "an excessive and absurd amount of [legal] signage." According to fnnch, adhering a "simple sticker" to public property could result in possible felony or misdemeanor charges.

The artist hopes to sway future legislation with the work and has teamed up with Care2 to start a petition urging members of the Board of Supervisors to decriminalize certain types of street art. As of this writing, the petition has garnered 10,816 signatures of support out of a goal of obtaining 11,000.

In particular, fnnch wants the city to decriminalize the application of stickers and wheatpaste—a removable adhesive that's commonly used by street artists.

“What I want to do is show the absurdity of our laws," he said in a statement. "Had these signs been affixed with adhesive to the poles, I could go to jail, but if they are put up with tape or a zip-tie, then it not only becomes legal to hang them up, but illegal for anyone to take them down.”

Rich McCor Goes Large With Cut Paper (Video)

Light artist, and my sometimes show director, Christine Marie sent me a video of Rich McCor's hilarious and creative use of perspective and cut paper art. "It's like a stencil in the sky," she wrote with the shared video. McCor is better known as @paperboyo on Instagram, and his whimsy has made me smile a few times this week.

 

Aaron Curry AKA ORFN/HUNGRY WAIF (1974-2016)

In the past few weeks, between the downpours of rain, RIP ORFN tags have appeared all over San Francisco. Aaron Curry, aka ORFN, died in December after a quick, lost battle with cancer. While mostly running with the BKF and US crews, Curry's span of activity dates back to the 1990s. His tags and throws were stylish and quick; his characters were funny and easy to spot all over the Bay Area. He went large and small, and even dabbled in cutting stencils and painting sidewalks in the Mission as HUNGRY WAIF. Around five weeks ago, Curry's friend Mark Cross posted on Instagram that "in September, Aaron walked into a hospital complaining of back pain and a roller coaster of progress and reprieve (of hope and despair) ensued. He has fought hard. With unbelievable exuberance and grace. Alas, for the past few days, Aaron has remained unresponsive... asleep." ORFN passed away soon after, and is now amongst the graff writers memorialized in paint.

Michael Roman (1956-2016)

Generous, Prolific, “Loco” – Stencil Artist Michael Roman Dies at 60
By Laura Waxmann (Mission Local) Posted December 29, 2016
Here is Michael's Stencil Archive.
KQED also has an article about the life of Michael Roman.
<< Photo by Linda Wilson


In art and in life, Michael Roman was a man of many layers, colorful visions and haunting complexities.

The stencil artist and silkscreen printmaker, best known for layered prints depicting cultural and political icons, died on Monday, succumbing to severe health complications. He was 60 years old.

Three months ago, Roman was out to see a movie with his partner of six years, Kate Rosenberger, when he suddenly began heaving and panting heavily.

The movie date ended with a three-week hospital stay for Roman, said Rosenberger. It was then that doctors discovered lesions on his brain, that two of his heart valves had stopped functioning, and that a “massive tumor” had taken hold of his right kidney, she said.

VICTOR GASTELUM - "Velveteen Angel" Preorder

VELVETEEN ANGEL
the movie, the soundtrack, the comic book
A compilation of single-panel dramas by Victor Gastelum
1991-2007

_____________________

PREORDER NOW from END FWY...
This item will ship April 30th.

Product Details

Genre: Single-panel Dramas
Publication date: April 24, 2015
Publisher: END FWY Press
Edition & Language: First Edition, English
Format: Comic Book
Pages: 36
Product dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in

_____________________

Some of these pieces first appeared in:
CRUMP COMICS (Upland, CA)
THE PUNCHLINE (San Pedro, CA)
THE RISE AND THE FALL (San Pedro, CA)
STOOL (Long Beach, CA)

As well as on LP & CD cover art for bands such as:
RIG (San Pedro, CA)
NOTHING PAINTED BLUE (Claremont, CA)
CALEXICO (Tucson, AZ)

Some of the pieces dated 1991-1999 were compiled as
DAFT (the incomplete compilation of single-panel dramas by Victor Gastelum)
Compiled here as VELVETEEN ANGEL 1991-2007

_____________________

Victor Gastelum has been creating his spray paint stencil multiples since 1988, and showing them since 1992. The multiples are usually limited to 10 pieces, and because of the spray paint technique, no two prints are alike. Most of the stencils are sprayed on aluminum, heavy drawing paper or heavy holographic card stock. Gastelum’s art has been published in numerous books and magazines including F*cked Up + Photocopied, Ciudad Hibrida/Hybrid City and The New York Times Magazine. Victor Gastelum has also collaborated with his long-time friends, Tucson-based band Calexico, creating art for many of their albums. In addition Victor has collaborated with other artists such as Chaz Bojorquez, Raymond Pettibon and Rolo. He has been published by Hamilton Press (Venice, CA) in the form of a collaborative lithograph and an art book cover and by Self-Help Graphics (Los Angeles, CA) in the forms of serigraphs as well as monoprints of their albums. Victor Gastelum is a native Californian and lives with his wife Ivy and kids Ariana and Adrian in Long Beach, California.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Artist News