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Stencil Archive at 20: Artist Weblinks Updated

Tip of the hat to Prez with Highlife magazine for contacting the Stencil Archive with a simple note, "many artists links are dead". After years of not wanting to grind through updating the artists weblinks, Peter's hope to use the links for a project greased the gears. 

Spending many hours this week reviewing and revising the Stencil Archive artists weblinks felt like a digital archeology dig. On the top layer of the work is the recent move to https for website links. There were also about half a dozen duplicate postings that got fixed. Dig a bit more, and some links need to be updated with personal info (RIP Michael Roman) or for typos. Under these layers things get more interesting.

Some artists have quit the art/stencil hustle and websites are gone. This entailed deleting the artist's weblink page completely (RIP Arofish). Some weblink pages date back to 2008, so myspace sites were gone, divientart.com pages appeared abandoned, and some sites had not been updated to modern design standards (RIP Flash).

The biggest transition, and one the Stencil Archive has tried to avoid until now, is the move to linking to social media. Many artists have broken personal site links on their own social accounts, and some do not have personal sites at all anymore. As the Stencil Archive artists weblinks were vetted this week, it was apparent that Instagram now dominates as the main site that covers stencil art.

Towards the late 2010s, Insta links started being posted on this site when deemed necessary to share art to the Stencil Archive community. Now, during this week's massive update, Insta links are also included if the artist has a self-hosted site that is still live.

It was a matter of time before Instagram got added to the Stencil Archive weblinks, so expect to start seeing new weblinks posted for stencil and cut paper artists who have not been included due their only having a social media presence. You will probably need your own account to log in to these sites if you want to click through. Welcome to the "new" era!

Stencil Archive still does not like the privacy/labor/etc issues that corporate-run social media sites have, but the war is lost. Too many artists use these mainstream platforms to share their lives and art; we cannot push back from the tide any longer.

Lines are still drawn however at the shopping cart links, the linktree links, and the art gallery links. We are trying our best to keep things as personal as possible without direct merchandising sites.

Who knows, this may change in the future as the Internet continues to evolve and develop.

1980s Stencils via Community Murals Magazine

Anti-nuke activists had told me that there were protest stencils in the Bay Area during the massive 1980s direct actions. CM magazine published this photo in a 1983 issue. Photo credited to R. Johnson.

Lincoln Cushing is worth following on social media, because he is always releasing historically important media into the world. Just this week Cushing released a full run of Community Murals magazine, a periodical that I had never heard of (Josh MacPhee knew about it, but the Interference Archive didn't have the full run). Spanning ten years from 1977 to 1987, the pdfs that Cushing put up on his wide-ranging Docs Populi website were an instant pull for my never-ending stencil hunt.

While I looked page-to-page on each of the pdfs, I was not disappointed. The stencils that were covered were all political, and some of the artists themselves wrote about their campaigns. As Community Murals magazine progressed in their run, they published these photos between 1983 to 1987. Later in the magazine's run, the editors also gave space to cover the exploding graffiti culture as well as billboard liberation actions.

Keep an eye out for continued deep-cut historical postings from Cushing, and enjoy the stencils photos I pulled from Community Murals magazine here:

Chile (just one from 1985)

San Francisco Bay Area (1983-1987)

GudePounds in Chicago (1983)

Eva Crockroft in NYC (1983)

Miss.Tic Memorial Monday

RIP Miss.Tic

The Stencil Archive just uploaded a new batch of Miss.Tic works today. We also just dug into our paper archives to pull some interview excerpts from some now classic and quite obscure publications. Finally, we have cleaned up the Miss.Tic archive for an improved viewing experience. Once again, our deepest sympathies go out to this amazing artist's friends, family, and fans.

Miss.Tic stencil-text translations, from Overspray: Street Art Magazine (2005)

"Poetry is an extreme sport." ::: "Art - people = money, but for what price?" ::: "To create is to resist." ::: "Why meow when we can roar?"

Here are several excerpts, poorly translated into the English, from Pochoir a la Une (1986).

"Miss.Tic uses stencils to make her texts known in the street. After distinguishing herself with a self-portrait and a stencil... where drawing mingles with words, today she prefers that we only remember her poetry, which allows one to suggest images ad infinitum." 

"It's the stencil that gave me the approach to make myself known as an author, as a writer." - Miss.Tic

"Even if the stencils that we see in the street do not always correspond to this emotional urgency that we find with Blek for example, even if there is a world between what I feel and what puffs the mouth of Gainsbourg, it's really good that there were people to hang on to this free act that is stenciling." - Miss.Tic

Here are some excerpts from Overspray: Street Art Magazine, issue 03, the "GRRRL STENCIL NATION" special (2005)

"Miss.Tic is one of France's most prolific street artists.... Her stencils are typically one layered, simple cut, often provocative, images of women usually in black, red and white. They are accompanied by short messages and her signature...."

"People can make some stories from [my stencils], they can say that my work is me, imagine it's my diary but the commentary and interpretations are their own. They don't know more about me as a person, I keep some distance. On the other hand, my paintings are always parts of myself. Even if I was painting an apple it would still be me." - Miss.Tic

"As artists, our role in this world is to pose questions. I don't have the answers but at least I'm questioning. It's about getting people out of their assigned roles, how we live our lives, what we do with it, and why." - Miss.Tic

Someone just beginning to make art "should work hard and [not] listen to what others say. If you listen to others, you'll never do anything (laughs)." - Miss.Tic

Image sources and thanks: @2Frais1976, @laetirature, @ornikkar, @KtrineLeHenan, @gudiule, @StreetArtUtopia

Stencil Archive at 20: Peat Eyez Wollaeger

Peat Luchador
Peat drops a Luchador stencil on the walls at CELLspace in 2007.

Whenever I see Peat's many fresh social media posts, showing new art, videos, NFTS, merch, talks, call-ins, and family bits, I am once again reminded that he is the irrepressible example of what it takes to be a 2020s artist that can make a living off of their work. Back in 2002, Peat had this spark when we first made contact.

He appeared to be a step ahead of the crowd with memorable stencils, hilarious videos, direct inspiration from late Pop Art and "Low Brow" artists, encouraging and supportive board posts, early adoption using social sites, topped off with massive online hustle and self promotion. Getting to know him, and hang out and make art with him over the years, I usually barely keep up with him when we visit.

Back in the early 2000s, Peat already had a style that stood out, and the fact that he now focuses on the eyez (his spelling) makes sense. Looking through his Stencil Archive submissions, dating back to around 2002, this style - and the eyez - shine through the years. He hooked me with his "Dead Fat Comedians" stencils, but his hilarious Mountain Dew Bill Hilly stencil, and the video of Peat as Bill Hilly himself painting the hillbilly stencil in his hometown of St. Louis, was the moment that I got totally hooked.

I still watch that video when I need a laugh, and still have the bottle with Peat's character on the label (I wore out the t-shirt he gave me).

Miss.Tic - Rest In Paint


Paris street art legend Miss.Tic dies at 66

Radhia Novat began cropping up in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris in the mid-80s and became a pioneer of French street art. Her family said she had died of an unspecified illness.

Le Monde with AFP
Published on May 23, 2022 at 03h15 

Miss.Tic, whose provocative work began cropping up in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris in the mid-80s and made her a pioneer of French street art, died on Sunday at 66, her family told AFP.

Radhia Novat grew up in the narrow streets in the shadow of Sacré-Cœur basilica, the daughter of a Tunisian father and a mother from Normandy in western France, where she began stencilling sly and emancipatory slogans. Her family said she had died of an unspecified illness.

'One of the founders of stencil art'

Other French street artists paid tribute to her work. On Twitter, street artist Christian Guemy, alias C215, hailed "one of the founders of stencil art". The walls of the 13th arrondissement of Paris where her images are a common sight "will never be the same again", he wrote.

Another colleague, "Jef Aerosol" said she had fought her final illness with courage, in a tribute posted on Instagram. And France's newly appointed Culture Minister, Rima Abdul Malak, saluted her "iconic, resolutely feminist" work.

Miss.Tic's work often included clever wordplays – almost always lost in translation – and a heroine with flowing black hair who resembled the artist herself. The images became fixtures on walls across the capital.