Friday, May 27, 2011

Tutorial: Area 718 TagPads!

Completed Area 718 TagPads

Last month, my Australian artist and designer pal Holly Eva posted a tutorial on her blog about using simple materials to transform notepads into works of art. This week, I decided to do a graffiti fusion spin on the same idea, after my kids came home from Lowe's with another paint inspiration card to add to their collection:

I loved the details, the graphic lines, and the contrast of light and dark, particularly in the middle image.

So, I set to work combing through the previous Sunday's newspaper, looking for interesting images that reminded me of the inspiration card, and adhering them with Aleene's Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage.

I covered a few sections with painter's tape...

...and painted them with acrylic glazes.

Next, I stenciled, blotted the glaze, and removed the painter's tape.

For the next layer, I adhered some old collage scraps left over from other projects and doodled some more.

To cover the backs, and the inside cardboard covers of the TagPads, I used sheets of duct tape in various colors and patterns.

I'd been wanting to mix metal and fiber in a project for some time now, and this seemed like the perfect time. Metal chain + carabiners + fringy fibers and ribbons + charms + shoelaces = textural bling with a cool, urban feel.

Practice your tag. Write random, rambling thoughts. Sketch something, tear it out, and hide it in a library book as guerrilla art. Jot down a shopping list. Use it as a cat toy, even. Pick up an Area 718 TagPad at Art Carnage Saturday night at The Soundry, from 6 p.m. to 12:00 midnight.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'MPOSSIBLE -- Street Art Meets the Gallery

DC street artists gathered at The Soundry Friday night for the opening of I'MPOSSIBLE, a show highlighting the works of Matt Riegner. Inspired by old school hip-hop, funk, and electronic culture, Riegner meshes graffiti and gallery art in bold bursts of color, strong lines, and stencil work. Other area graffiti artists donated works for a silent auction benefiting creativity-based programs of Albus Cavus.

A look at selected works in the exhibit:

Collaborative work between Matt Riegner & Pore

Collaborative work between Matt Riegner & Ivan Collich

I'MPOSSIBLE will run through June 10th at The Soundry.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ready, Set, Spray!

As expected, it was another great night of art, indie music, improv, and dance at The Soundry. But Art Carnage - Urban Edition took creative chaos to new levels with DC members of Albus Cavus, a collective which aims to strengthen communities through public art projects and creative collaboration.

Albus Cavus members trucked in plywood walls and quickly set to work painting murals in the driveway. Over the course of the evening, they and other DC-area graffiti and street artists added their own contributions. ViennaPatch ran a great article on it on May 5th.

DC street artist Alicia Cosnahan, aka Decoy, and Albus Cavus founder Peter Krsko

Yep, that's me. Admittedly, I felt a bit out of my league here, since I'm used to working on smaller surfaces (and not usually with spray paint), but it was a fun experience!

It was great meeting such talented people dedicated to improving the community through public art projects. Having grown up in Queens, I'm well aware that many people view graffiti in a negative light, looking at it as evidence of gangs, or that a neighborhood is going downhill. Just last week my father called me to complain that someone had tagged his fence yet again. And yes, when it comes to personal property, that remains an issue. However, why not use street art  -- and much of it truly is art -- to our advantage as a creative outlet through which to beautify and unify local communities? Honestly, I'd rather look at a brightly colored mural than an abandoned building or a crumbling brick wall. The more young people work together and take ownership of a creative project, and the more they invest themselves in it, the less likely they are to deface it. I applaud Albus Cavus' efforts in bringing public art to local communities. Albus Cavus founder Peter Krsko was recently featured in an interesting DC Double Lives article, explaining how the organization came about, and what it's trying to accomplish.

This Friday marks the opening of Matt Riegner's solo show, I'MPOSSIBLE, at The Soundry, from 7 to 11 p.m. Local artists will be donating works for a silent auction at the show, to benefit Albus Cavus. I'll be donating two works:

Graffiti Reef: Sunrise Under Nassau
12"x4" graffiti fusion collage painting

Graffiti Reef: Exuma
12"x4" graffiti fusion collage painting

Music in the studio this week: Reggaeton, My Chemical Romance (saw them live at the 9:30 Club last night in DC. Awesome show, but that's for another post!)