Your morning dose of European super character based graffiti from the Parisian monster (monster in the non-stop wall conquering sense) Horfe and his London mate, Roid. We are fans of both. And you should be, too.
This is what happens when you take one of the better conceptual European muralists working today and send him to the south of Italy for one of the premier European mural festivals of the summer. He does this. And this. And this. And Fame Festival documented the whole process.
Escif showed at our FIFTY24SF Gallery this summer, but has been busy in Spain, Atlanta, Italy, and Norway since. Here is his Italian portion. —The Citrus Report staff
all videos and images via Fame Festival
From The Citrus Report
We have always been huge fans of Beirut, but it wasn’t until we saw them live at Outside Lands, playing their new album The Rip Tide, that we have become mega supporters. Opening with “A Candle’s Fire” and closing with “Port Of Call”, Beirut have shown they can continue to explore pop and classical European music without sounding stale or tired.
From The Citrus Report
Bristish advertising agency Pentland Brands created these ads for Ellesse Italy, which when we look at them are the best sports ads we have seen in quite some time. Vintage, European, and sports-oriented, a great mix. The brand has been around for 50 years and the ads make you want to get on a Vespa in Rome and find a man/woman to roam around with and have it filmed by the guy who made “The Bicycle Thief.”
From The Citrus Report
We woke this morning wanted to find something as far away from the 4th of July that we could think of. So, how about Bjork, Thom Yorke, “I’ve Seen It All,” and “Dancer In the Dark”? Sounds very… very Northern and European if you ask us. One of the great songs in the Bjork catalog.
From The Citrus Report
While the reflection of an artists subconscious is not generally expected to be analogous to any particular place of normalcy, what is reflected from the mind of Ricky Allman takes us to a place that very few have even dreamt of. His apocalyptic scenes are cold and desolate and surrealistic. They combine elements of nature with man and machine made structures that play on the balance of our use of resources or lack thereof.
Despite his fear filled background, the work manages to hang on to an optimistic tone that leaks into the scenes in a variety of interesting ways. This allows the work to speak to a broad audience as the overriding concept is able to transcend any restricting specifics and communicate a hopeful optimism in a dark desolate place we all can relate with. —Ronnie Wrest/The Citrus Report
What kind of shape is the beard in right now?
I’m keeping it pretty short lately, kind of stubbly. I am suspicious that my wife thinks it looks bad to the bone, but she won’t admit it. Last year I had it about 5 inches, I guess the times are changing, man.
Can you tell us a little bit about how your background has influenced the psychedelic and apocalyptic scenes in your paintings?
I grew up in Utah being taught to fear and prepare for the apocalypse, which I did. That had a strong impact on me and it ended up becoming a reoccurring theme in my work. As far as the psychedelic look, I think that is a by-product of my love for complicated spaces and lots of visual information. I often have maximalist tendencies and I enjoy breaking and fracturing spaces and planes which can begin to take on a psychedelic appearance. I tend to work intuitively quite a bit, my gut often understands things before my mind does so if I just paint whatever I gravitate towards or feel impressed to paint then I can usually figure out what is going on conceptually later. But basically I think the psychedelia adds to the spectacle of this imagined event. I have also been looking at a lot of op art which vibrates in your eyes and complicates the space. I am a sucker for a spectacle and complicated space.
So what’s the deal are you a Mormon or what?
Well, I grew up as a Mormon, went on a Mormon mission to England for two years and then remained devoted all the way through grad school. After grad school and after many years of study I decided to leave the Mormon church and I now consider myself to be a secular humanist.
Moving from New England to Missouri had to be a big change. How do you like it in Kansas City?
It was a big change, we really came to love New England after four years and when we got here we were in a bit of culture shock. Kansas City is actually a surprsingly vibrant and exciting city for art, it has some strong arts organizations and museums, with a cool community of art people. I just wish there were some giant mountains and an ocean and some closer cities.
You displayed a sculpture in your show at David B. Smith last year and mentioned working on a video project. Have you needed a change from painting lately or are these just supplements?
I was definitely looking to change things up a bit last year. I am still working on that video project actually, however, I lost a bit of steam when I realized how much I didn’t know about video editing. I still like the idea though and I hope to make it work someday. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with different mediums and surfaces and different methods of layering the paint. It has gotten me really excited about painting again.
You have been teaching painting for a few years now. What is the best part of this job to you?
The best part of the job is the schedule, I get to spend half of my week in the studio and half at class. It’s a pretty nice balance of time. It’s also extremely satisfying to see students have major breakthroughs and make big improvements in their work.
I noticed your recent paintings are incorporating a colorful confetti pouring out of things or exploding out of volcano’s. I am feeling a sense of optimism from this addition to your otherwise grim subject matter. Am I way off with this?
You are spot on! I am really interested in infusing these paintings with a shock of hope and optimism. I have always been a pretty optimistic person despite the doom and gloom I feared growing up. Especially lately after listening to TED talks I feel pretty confident that humans are wise enough and clever enough to innovate new ways to overcome these immense environmental and political problems we now face.
Who are some artists that have your attention to right now?
I have been studying Fra Angelico quite a bit lately, I feel a strong affinity with his work in terms of the way he breaks up space and gives most of his attention to small details, architectural structures and a rugged landscape. I’ve also been looking at a lot of op art from the sixties and listening to a lot of British hip-hop and techno.
You had a pretty busy year in 2010. What do you have planned for 2011?
Right now I’m working on a brand new series of paintings that include interior views, still life, and multiple explorations of specific spaces. I’m making these for my first European solo show coming up this May at the soon-to-be opening Daniela da Prato Gallery in Paris, I’m really excited. Then in October I will have some work in a group show at the B15 Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark.
See more of Ricky Allman’s work at http://www.rickyallman.com/
From The Citrus Report
Where do you live?
In the last year I would say the place that feels most like home is my car. But currently I’m on a couch in New York City.
What do you take pictures of?
This is a tough question. The best way to put it is that I take pictures of instances that take place in life that resolve to a great scheme of things. A follow photographer and I were discussing how the definition of being a photographer isn’t the act of taking a picture anymore. That more so a craft with the result of digital cameras and chips and such. The strange thing is that I hadn’t taken a picture in about 2 month up until recently. Yet my friend was saying that I was still a photographer because I would see though instances in which a picture was actually happening in real life. So I suppose I say all that because I trying to take those instances whether they be portraits, situations, environments, or spectral.
What kind of camera do you use?
I mostly shoot with a Mamiya c330. I like that square format. But in the last year I have been going more and more 35 with this nice Pentax spotimatic II and Canon T-90 I have.
What are you influences?
Hmmm. My influences? Well this seems like it would be a bit corny… I would have to say that actual feeling of being a part of something much much grander in the act of being human. Like coincidence and self realizations. I like the camera because it an interesting objectivity of the things around you. I am trying to document that. How a certain aspect of being within a given culture effects a person’s identity, however orchestrated or not. Culture, after all, is the most infused human invention. We speak it, we dress it, we have certain decision in our day to make us seems that we are apart of it; as if we are successful or not, beautiful or not, intelligent or not, traditional or not. I think man has come to the point that those are very necessary and important symbols in there everyday existence. And I believe I see that in random instances.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Probably finishing up grad school and being a professional while taking pictures on the side. Location wise… No idea. There are certain places that are at home in me but I like the unfamiliar. Right now opening up a restaurant that I make my own beer in and roast my own coffee while doing eastern European law seems somewhat appealing. But we’ll see I guess.
What makes you happy?
Probably close friends in peaceful places being roused by the energy of laughter with one another. I really like the feeling I get while in Michigan in August and September. A good meal. A body of water. Or a Sunday afternoon skateboarding.
Posted from Battle at 3 A.M.
Posted from The Citrus Report
Some people have a creative energy that is all consuming. Gerard Herman is one of those people. He is constantly working on something new, with work ranging from bookmaking to abstract music and quite a bit in-between. His work is loose and organic in every medium. Art is life and life is art. There is no distinction between the two for Gerard. —Ronnie Wrest/The Citrus Report
Run us through a typical day for Gerard Herman. What is the routine if there is one?
A typical day would include waking up, having breakfast, drinking coffee, taking the train, checking mails, drawing, seeing some persons, sleeping in the end. Most of the days are non-typical. I think routine would make me mad and cranky.
You have had quite a few shows in Ghent. Is this home?
My school is the academy of fine arts in Ghent and I also rent a house there. Most of the time I’m in Antwerp. It’s about 37 miles away. I feel home in both towns. One more cosey, the other more rude.
What can you tell us self-righteous Americans about the good life in Europe?
If I break my leg, I pay about the amount of 10 dollars. I think that’s not the case in America. But except for that I think idiots are equally spread over both continents.
The tandem bike ride video was really great. Is there any story behind it you can tell us about?
I was invited to an exhibition in Antwerp. My idea was to make a bike ride from home to this exhibition with a tandem. That tandem was a gift my parents received when they got married. For a long time is was hidden in the attic. Then my sister and I discovered it and used it a lot to go to parties in Antwerp. My parents live about 9 miles from Antwerp. I noticed that the mechanics were constructed in a way that the pedals of the front and the back are attached to each other. So if you put something in the back it would give the impression it’s driving with you.
I went to the exhibition together with a fried that filmed the lot. There we got both very drunk, and when we returned, my friend accidentally taped some drunk shouting and singing over the footage of the arrival at the exhibition. I was not really mad about it, it gave the film a more obscure feeling.
You have published quite a few books of drawings and poems. Is there any historical connection to this practice or do you just like to compile ideas?
There is a huge history of the origins of small publications and artists editions that interests me but of the most exceptional to me is German artist Dieter Roth who has made an extreme pile of books, some of them even expired after two days because they were made of bananas or cheese. I think he didn’t doubt a lot but just kept on producing huge amounts of publications. That attitude is very appealing and inspiring to me.
Who and what are some of your influences?
Radio Central in Antwerp, Dennis Tyfus, Vaast Colson, Bert Huyghe, free-jazz, ethnic music, noise, grind, disco, Cassis Cornuta, Bobby Colombo,Robert Crumb, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Martin Kippenberger, Francis Alÿs, James Ensor, Hergé, Piet Pienter and Bert Bibber, eastern European animation movies, country music, brown bars, Roland Topor, Floris Vanhoof, Lieven Martens, Marc Sleen’s Nero, David Shrigley, certain good friends, certain ladies, certain cities, riding the bike, much more not included in this list. All in all people with enough humor, don’t nag too much and can easily relativize themselves.
Do you have any shows or projects coming up you can tell us about?
I’m thinking of making a lot video-clip for the song of 42 minutes I made about life. (it’s in Dutch), finishing a book I made for children, going to Moscow with Vaast Colson, getting my master degree at school, playing music, ‘putting back fun in fundamental’.
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See more of Gerard’s work on his website. http://webs.hogent.be/gerardherman/
Some music here (Gerard is on the sax). www.myspace.com/sheldonsiegel
Posted from The Citrus Report
Because rich European and American white people like to go to snow in the winter and enjoy their lodges and mountain lake getaways, MonocleAlpino Magazine is launching this week, dealing with “everything at 1,500m up.” According to Mediaweek, “Monocle Alpino will be available in all Monocle shops and selected newsstands from 16 December for eight weeks, priced at £4.”
Is it just us, or is this Monocle thing getting more and more ridiculous, and more and more excellent, all at the same time?