Historical Item

Theorem Art in Williamsburg, VA

Submitted by russell on Wed, 12/09/2015 - 18:55

Colonial Williamsburg presents theorem art at Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
By HOLLY PRESTIDGE Richmond Times-Dispatch | Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2015 10:30 pm

“Theorem work,” a popular method of watercolor stencil painting on fabric, wood and paper, was used to decorate everyday objects and create decorative pictures in the 19th century.


An exhibit highlighting the artwork, which was popular as a skill for women, is on display in Colonial Williamsburg.


“Folk art enthusiasts have long associated the art of stencil with 19th-century collections, and we’re excited to share this important and vibrant form of…

Read more

Patti Smith Stencils a Wall (1972, NYC)

Submitted by russell on Mon, 09/21/2015 - 08:11

"We decided to leave [our Twenty-third street loft] on October 20, 1972.... Robert [Mapplethorpe] and I stood together alone in my section of the loft. I had left some things behind - the lamb pull toy, an old white jacket made of parachute silk, PATTI SMITH 1946 - stenciled on the back wall- in homage to the room like one leaves a portion of wine to the gods." - Just Kids by Patti Smith (p. 208)

Art and Gentrification: Everything Must Go....

Submitted by russell on Sun, 08/02/2015 - 10:23

[From Stencil Archive: At what point is public art part of the problem of gentrification? When is corporate manipulation and intrusion too much for a community to bear? Can public art be created without thinking about the environment, the wall it is painted on, and the community in mind? What are the limits of making money for one's art as opposed to the created pieces being part of the problem of massive evictions and migrations of lower-income and working class populations? These questions have been stewing for months now, and there is surprisingly little writing on these issues. Megan Wilson, co-curator of the Clarion Alley Mural Project, pushes back and contemplates these sometimes blurry lines between selling out and paying  the rent. Below is an essay she wrote that touches on some of the above questions. For a much better version, with photographs and links, please go to…

Read more

Shepard Fairey's Arrest Begs Question: Art or Vandalism?

Submitted by russell on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 20:02

How Shepard Fairey's arrest provides a new look at an old question: Is it art or is it vandalism?

By DEBORAH VANKIN AND DAVID NG (LA Times)

Shepard Fairey has never been one to play by the rules — and that's par for the course for someone in a street art community that exists on the cultural margins.

Or does it?

The L.A.-based street artist and graphic designer, best known for his 2008 "Hope" poster timed with Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as the "Obey" image seen on posters and T-shirts worldwide, was arrested last week while passing through customs at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities there noticed that Detroit police had issued a…

Read more

Why Stencil Typography Is Here To Stay

Submitted by russell on Thu, 03/05/2015 - 20:04

Why Stencil Typography Is Here To Stay

(from fastcodedesign.com; photo by Louise Fili)

DESIGNERS LOUISE FILI AND STEVEN HELLER COMPILE 60 YEARS OF STENCIL TYPE FROM 8 COUNTRIES AND REVEAL WHY THE PRIMITIVE STYLE STILL REIGNS.

The stencil is one of the world’s most primitive printing techniques. It dates back to prehistory, with stencils found in caves, in the art of ancient China and Japan, and in the crafts of indigenous people worldwide. Stencil typefaces are still popular today, whether in the form of new, witty takes on the genre, like Der Weiner Stentzel’s sausage shapes for letterforms, or vintage typefaces redrawn as stencils, like Bodoni or Century.

Read more

Taking a Tour of El Castillo Cave, Seeing Ancient Hand Stencils

Submitted by russell on Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:27

19 November 2014
A journey deep inside Spain’s temple of cave art
In Spain Arts & Architecture By Rachel Corbett, for the BBC

I gasped at my first glimpse of a cave painting: a crude red outline of a deer with one wild circle for an eye. Its iron pigments blazed under the lamplight. The illusion of a breastbone emerged, ingeniously, out of a hump in the limestone wall. After a while, a cave becomes a long black tunnel of sensory deprivation; the sight of this tender image jolted my breath back to life.

“Can you tell you’re in a sacred place?” asked Marcos Garcia Diez, the archaeologist who had agreed to show me some of the most breathtaking rock art ever created. “This cave is like a church and that’s why ancient people returned, returned, returned here for thousands of years.”

Read more

40,000 Year Old Hand Stencils in Indonesia

Submitted by russell on Wed, 10/08/2014 - 20:42

Cave Paintings in Indonesia Redraw Picture of Earliest Art
The dating discovery recasts ancient cave art as a continent-spanning human practice.

Dan Vergano
National Geographic
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 8, 2014

A hand painted in an Indonesian cave dates to at least 39,900 years ago, making it among the oldest such images in the world, archaeologists reported Wednesday in a study that rewrites the history of art.

The discovery on the island of Sulawesi vastly expands the geography of the first cave artists, who were long thought to have appeared in prehistoric Europe around that time. Reported in the journal Nature, the cave art includes stencils of hands and a painting of a babirusa, or "pig-deer," which may be…

Read more

Mysteries of medieval graffiti (UK)

Submitted by russell on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:26

Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England's churches
By Neil Heath
BBC News (See all the photos here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-28035013)

A head of a man was found etched into a wall of a church in Gonerby, Lincolnshire - but what does it mean?

Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England's past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?

A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England.

Armed with just a torch and a camera, a team of volunteers have recorded more than 28,000 images from churches in Norfolk alone and…

Read more

36,000 year old stencils get world heritage status

Submitted by russell on Thu, 06/26/2014 - 18:30

'Prehistoric Sistine Chapel' gets world heritage status
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-27978440

A cave in southern France dubbed the "prehistoric Sistine Chapel" has been added to Unesco's World Heritage list.

The 1,000 drawings carved in the walls of the Decorated Cave of Pont d'Arc, or Grotte Chauvet, are 36,000 years old and include mammoths and hand prints.

Cave experts only discovered it in 1994 as the entrance had been concealed by a rockfall 23,000 years earlier.

It was one of several cultural and natural wonders granted the status by a committee of delegates in Doha, Qatar.

UN cultural agency Unesco said the cave, located in the Ardeche region of France featured "the earliest and best-preserved expressions of…

Read more

Google Adds Graffiti to Its Art Portfolio

Submitted by russell on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 23:14

Google Adds Graffiti to Its Art Portfolio
By RACHEL DONADIO ::: JUNE 10, 2014

PARIS — There’s a portrait of an anonymous Chinese man chiseled into a wall in Shanghai, a colorful mural in Atlanta and black-and-white photographs of eyes that the French artist JR affixed to the houses of a hillside favela in Rio de Janeiro. These are among the images of more than 4,000 works included in a vast new online gallery of street art that Google is unveiling here on Tuesday.

Called the Street Art Project, the database was created by the company’s Paris-based Google Cultural Institute. Using images provided by cultural organizations worldwide, some of which were captured with Google’s Street View camera technology, it includes street art from around the globe, including work that no longer exists, like the 5Pointz murals in Long Island City, Queens, or the walls of the Tour Paris 13 tower in France.

With the initiative, Google is the latest organization…

Read more