FRED TOMASELLI - New York Times Covers

Fred Tomaselli is an incredible American artist that I became aware of in the 90’s. Back then he was making his highly detailed psychedelic art, using wood panels, combining an array of unorthodox materials including actual pills and pot leaves, suspended in a thick layer of clear epoxy resin. More recently it seems he’s been inspired not simply by nature, but by the media and the insanity of our political system. He has a big new show at James Cohan Gallery which is well worth a visit. However it isn’t the giant spectacular pieces that thrilled me as much as these tripped-out paint & collage works, using the New York Times cover pages as his muse.

Coincidently, I'd emailed Fred to update him on the March 2021 release date of Art Sleeves, which he's included in, and mentioned he'd probably get a kick out of The Sm;)e Book. He replied enthusiastically, showing me this wonderful blotter sheet print he'd created in 1990!

Posted

FUTURA 2000 at Eric Firestone Gallery

Leonard Hilton McGurr aka FUTURA 2000 and I are close to the same age. He has been in my consciousness since I bought the 7” single, This Is Radio Clash in 1981. The band had used him to design the sleeve, having met him on their first trip to NYC in 79 and went on to take him on tour with them.

When I first started learning about graffiti, he was one of the artists I was drawn to, as he didn’t use letter forms to create words, that I couldn’t read, he simply made abstract art, illegally.

When I started DJing in NY, Lenny would often be there, lurking in the shadows with his homies. And when we opened Breakbeat Science on Orchard Street, he and Stash had their Recon store a couple of blocks away.

I was also a massive fan of UNKLE. The fact that the FUTURA art was so dope, only heightened my love for the project. I believe James Lavelle, Ben Drury & Mo Wax helped Lenny find a new and very different audience.

He’s always been incredibly generous, granting permissions for all of my book projects. In fact, when I was working on the first Stickers book, and asked if I could use an existing piece of his art to create a peel-out sticker in the book, he invited me over to his apartment, and handed me a small canvas, saying, I made this for you, use it as the sticker art.

So, to see his “first NYC gallery show in 30 years” was wonderful. The works are an exercise in controlled chaos. Congrats to him & Eric Firestone for curating this tight show.



Lenny, signing a fans book.


My copy of This is Radio Clash


Posted

Launch of The Sm;)e Book Campaign

About 10 years ago I started spotting a dope sticker on the streets of Brooklyn that featured a perfect mash up of the faces of Michael Jackson, the Unabomber & the Nirvana smiley logo. I don't remember exactly how, but I tracked down the creator, Rich Browd, and managed to get the sticker to feature it in the Stickers: Vol 2 book.
Rich and I became friends, and we actually tried to start a T-shirt line together. The timing was not right, so it never got off the ground. But as they say, timing is everything, and about 5 years ago we both started sharing images on instagram of smiley appropriations. Then 3 years ago, we officially decided to make a book on the subject, and The Sm;)e Book project was born. Fast forward to this week, the book is finished and we've launched our Kickstarter!
Very happy to say that working with him, ZachChristi & Tim to bring this somewhat obsessive project to fruition has been hard work but also great fun! The book itself is fantastic, and we're all so proud it.

Its so amazing that all these incredible artists were happy to be included! Alex Da Corte, Alfie Steiner, Alicia McCarthy, Aurel Schmidt, BANKSY, BÄST, Carlos Valencia, Chapman Brothers, Cody Hudson, Curtis Kulig, Eric Elms, Erik Foss, Greg Bogin, INVADER, James Joyce, Jeremy Deller, KATSU, Mark Flood, Misaki Kawai, Norman Cook, Paul Insect, Paul Weston, Rob Pruitt, Ron English, Sadie Benning, Sayre Gomez, Skullphone, Tyrell Winston, 1UP CREW & a load more!

You can order a copy ahead of general release for just $15 by clicking the link HERE

Norman Cook/Mark Vessey

All by Rich Browd except Warhol's Marylyn lips by Paul Weston.

Derek Gardener

Assorted photos

Rich Browd (L) / Paul Insect + BAST (R)

Misaki Kawai

Rich's sticker that connected us..

Posted

James Hyde Paintings at the Boiler Space

While size might not matter is some instances, it certainly has a lot of power when used by James Hyde. Examples are these paintings, which are on view at the ELM Foundation, Pierogi Gallery's former Boiler Space, where he is Artist in Residence. These are the largest works I’ve ever had the pleasure of being up close & personal with. I’m not going to attempt to describe them, or how James talked about using Alessandro Magnasco’s 18th century works as his muse. If you’re able to go check them out, do it!

Address of The Boiler is 191 N 14th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249. For a viewing, James kindly says email jh@jameshyde.com or people can DM him though his IG @hyde.james

I left Zach in the some of the shots, just so one can see the incredible scale. 








Posted

WAYNE WHITE Exhibition : N.53 Gallery, East Hampton 9/26/20

It's been fun & exciting to work with Josh Liner, and curate a full Wayne White show.
A little challenging to hang this monster of a salon style wall, but I’m proud of the finished result!
Also grateful to David Weiss for giving me this curator position. We have some pretty interesting plans for the future. Watch this space! ;)

The show is up till Oct 16th, so please check it out if in the area.


Thanks to the wonderful gallery manager/artist, Summer Mandile for my portrait.



Posted

STORM KING ARTS CENTER : Sept 21st 2020

Its somewhat embarrassing that I’d lived in New York for 20 odd years before I’d even heard of Storm King, and then it took another 10 years before I actually made it there! And that only happened because my friend Zach offered to drive us there in his new motor. 

Even these photos do not do the place justice. I don’t like phrases such as breathtaking but that kind of nails it. 

We walked for over 3 hours, and while trying to gather the names to credit the works in the photos here, I'm realizing we probably saw less than 40% of the collection!

Menashe Kadishman

Posted

FUN DOWNTOWN ART DAY : Sat Sept 19th 2020

Much as I enjoy Instagram, it’s so easy etc, I’m going to try to blog more regularly again. The visual presentation here is so much better. Yesterday was a full on art day, and a perfect example why these images need a bigger canvas. If possible look at this stuff on a computer, rather than a phone.

First Zach & I went to Perrotin on Orchard, simply because we’d heard that it was not by appointment. Their book/gift shop while being be very expensive seems to always have some printed thing I don’t know about. Sure enough, I found a book about records & art! (see below) At first I was freaked out thinking it was a new publication and was going to steel some thunder from the release of my own book, ART SLEEVES (now scheduled for March 2021) but it was published in 2010 & must have had really shitty distribution & promotion, since I never saw it even written about. 

Most thrilling was the discovery on the 3rd floor of the 3 brand new Barry McGee paintings (not publicized on the site).

Also discovering some interesting artists, African American, Leslie Hewitt, Korean, GaHee Park & French born, Bushwick based artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme.

From there we went to the 2 KARMA galleries on 2nd St, in the hope of seeing the group show “(Nothing but) Flowers“, of course that had ended, but there was a solo show by Henni Alftan. Strange but engaging. A lot of the works seemed to be about the feel of things, fur, rain, hair etc. Then on to visit Matt at KARMA’s incredible book shop. I was lucky to get out of there without spending more than $100!

Then Erik Foss suggested meeting him at Leo Fitzpatrick’s not-yet-opened, not officially named “Public Access Gallery”. With a wall full of hand screened Mark Gonzales skate decks & a couple of Gonz drawings, the place has a nice chill vibe. Very interesting hearing Leo talk about what he hopes to do with the St Marks space & what it will mean for East Village & LES kids. We then headed to Deitch for the opening of a big group show but it was closed up by the time we got there.

Barry McGee

Klara Kristalova


Leslie Hewitt

GaHee Park 

Jean-Philippe Delhomme

Henni Alftan

Leo Fitzpatrick / Mark Gonzales


THE RECORD : Contemporary ART and VINYL book





MUSIC EPHEMERA STASH FOUND.

Hard to believe but when I was young, I was even more of a nerd than I am in my old age. I started collecting music ephemera as soon as I started going to shows. I recently discovered a stash of concert programs (booklets) ranging from the hippie era to the punk & new wave  80s. The strange and remarkable thing to me, is how much damage I inflicted on myself (and others around me) and yet these artifacts survived, in almost perfect condition! 





Posted