Street Art News #10


Written by Yusuf Laher
21 Monday 21st March 2011

In this week's edition of Street Art News, we look at Sheffield artist Phlegm, 2011 TED Prize winner JR, graffiti protection, Blek le Rat's unlikely partnership with Hugo Boss, South Africa's Faith 47, Charming Baker's contribution to Comic Relief, OBEY's latest slab of worldwide propaganda, David Choe and Mr. Brainwash's art for Japan and Banksy's recent outing on (and subsequent removal from) the streets of Hollywood...


Phlegm is a street artist from Sheffield without much else to say. On his blog he writes, “I’ve disabled my comments and got rid of my email. I just want to get on with work. I paint on walls and make comics, that’s all I do. I adore painting and drawing but I can’t put into words how much I dislike everything else about being an artist”. For more, check out phlegmcomicnews - just don’t ask him any questions about it. Here’s a recent piece (top), temporarily on display in Sharrow, as well as an older one (below).

Street Art Protection

Now this is weird territory. First, debate-generating plastic shields were introduced, to preserve street art deemed worthy enough for protection. Work that crossed over from 'lowbrow' to 'high art', I guess. Then, incensed US art conservator Lauren Cassady volunteered to clean up a Shepard Fairey mural defaced in Kensington, Philadelphia. So basically, she wiped graffiti off graffiti? Which is a far cry from 1994, when Titan Sports sued Shepard for using the name André the Giant. Here's to Hope...

JR's Inside Out Campaign Hits Tunisia

Another bit of news worth mentioning is semi-anonymous French street artist JR's 2011 TED Prize win and his "Turn the world inside out" call to arms. Here's a look at the Inside Out project in action, kicking off in Tunis, Tunisia, where photos of ex-president Ben Ali were replaced by Tunisian portraits. "It's incredible to be witness of the place of Art in a Revolution", says JR. Here and here for more. And you can watch JR's award-winning presentation below.

Faith 47's Freedom Charter - An Introduction

South African artist Faith 47 has been hard at work - as usual. If you don't believe us, check out this three part documentary put together by Cape Town filmmaker Bryan Little and his company Fly On the Wall Productions, documenting the making of Faith's Freedom Charter series. The segment was originally part of a Laura Gamse's The Creators. Soundtrack by Jacob Israel.

Charming Baker's Red Nosed Panda Boy

Charming Baker's doing his bit for Comic Relief. The London-based street artist has customised his iconic Half Pint/Panda Boy print with a hand-painted red nose and stuck it up on eBay, with all money raised going straight to charity. Bidding's open 'til late March 28. And currently, it's up to £720. Ka-ching!

OBEY Hits Austin With A Posse

Shepard Fairey and his flock were in Austin, Texas for the annual South by South West Festival. So you can guess what that means - more worldwide propaganda! Here and here for more...

David Choe and Mr. Brainwash's Art for Japan

David Choe released a new, limited edition print titled Red Moon on March 16. All proceeds raised went straight to relief efforts in Japan. As you can imagine, it sold out pretty quickly. But if you'd like some kind of visual confirmation, click here

Likewise, Mr. Brainwash released a print called One Love on March 18. And again, all money raised goes straight to Japan. I think One Love sold out before the ink was even dry. Here's what it looked like anyway.

Blek le Rat Teams Up With Hugo Boss

Legendary French artist Blek le Rat has teamed up with German fashion label Hugo Boss for a design competition with a difference. Hugo Boss is asking budding designers to "unleash their creativity" and come up with a stencil design inspired by the city of Berlin. And thankfully, "you don’t have to include the HUGO Man bottle". Five winners will be flown to Berlin for a "creative session" with Blek le Rat and the overall winner's work will go up next to a "specially curated" le Rat piece. Entries close April 30. Here for more. And here for the full design brief.

Banksy's Hollywood Adventure - No Happy Ending In Sight

Old news now, but we haven't done one of these for a while. So in case you missed it, here's a quick look at Banksy's recent-ish outing on (and forced removal from) the streets of Los Angeles. The work (we assume) was done to promote his best Documentary Feature Oscar nomination for Exit Through the Gift Shop (eventually won by Charles H. Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for Inside Job). Apparently, the locals were in favour of the new creations - there are even rumours that the petrol station under the Mickey Mouse billboard offered the billboard company $10,000 for it. Regardless, that didn't save the work from being power blasted, angle grinded, torn down and removed from existence. Pity those plastic shields weren't up in time... Where's Lauren when you need her? Check out this TMZ exclusive of the billboard being torn down. And how about this image of the pyromaniac Charlie Brown piece literally cut out of the wall... 

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  • Guest: tobe_h
    Tue 22 - Mar - 2011, 08:19
    There was more originality in that shit throw up than there was in the original mural. Everything Fairey does is copied or traced from someone else's work, and it's all basically advertising for his shite clothes anyway, which makes it as subversive as a huge Nike billboard. Clearly the idea that there are kids with spraycans in her neighbourhood is worrying Ms Cassady, hence her own personal programme of 'social cleansing'. I bet she even crosses the road when there's a black guy coming the other way. She should fuck off back to her gallery openings with free cava and leave the streets to the people.