by Ariadna Zierold
“Today, the world is brimming with information and a wide variety of techniques, painting tools, and art styles are introduced, but I wanted to think about this in a simple way and let people know that [they] can still show wonderful expression using only simple tools like normal paper, pencil, and ink. Most of the artists participating in Monochrome are originally my friends, except Kyotaro and Ozabu, who I’ve been a fan of for a while. Each artist thoroughly mastered one writing instrument such as a marker, pencil, ballpoint pen, or ink pen. What’s interesting is that all of them use [tools] that are usually categorized as ordinary stationary, not a special writing tool. That means you don’t have to buy lots of paints or brushes to start your art.”
The tools these artists used are simple: pencils, mechanical pencils, black markers, ink pens, ink brushes, and everyday ballpoint pens. However, by carefully utilizing white space not as “blank,” but rather as information to describe space and color, the artists transform pure, untouched white canvases and paper into detailed and complex monochrome landscapes. To achieve this, the artists must enter a fierce yet meditative state of resolve as they add lines to slowly weave their worlds.
The exhibition featured the work from Aaron Horkey, Mike Giant, Shohei, Kyotaro, Toshikazu Nozaka, Ozabu, Sadam and Usugrow.
This was the first-ever Japan exhibition for artists Aaron Horkey and Mike Giant.
Prints for PDX a print show curated by long time Upper Playground collaborator, Jeremy Fish will Open August 1st at Fifty24PDX Gallery in Portland, Oregon. The show will include prints from many Upper Playground favorites such as Sam Flores, Morning Breath, Mike Giant, Mihael Sieben, Travis Millard, Mel Kadel, Todd Francis and Frank Kozik. Jeremy Fish and Jayde Cardinalli will also be part of the show and in attendance to sign their available prints.
Fifty24PDX Gallery is putting together a screen print show with a great line up of Upper Playground favorites such as Morning Breath, Mike Giant, Jeremy Fish, Jayde Cardinalli, Sam Flores, Michael Sieben, Travis Millard, Mel Kadel, Todd Francis & Frank Kozik. Show is opening 6PM on August 1st at our Upper Playground location in Portland.
The most reviled and persecuted form of Graffiti, the Tag, is seldom appreciated for the raw beauty of its skeletal letter forms. Most tags are removed immediately, and thus the casual viewer seldom has a chance to discern the difference between entry level and advanced hand styles.
Within the pages of Flip the Script, author Christian Acker has systematically analyzed a cross section of American graffiti hand styles, contextualizing the work of graffiti writers from around the United States. Acker presents the various lettering samples in a clean organized format, giving the material a proper, formal treatment evoking classic typography books.
Available online: FLIP the SCRIPT
224 pages, Hardcover, 8 ̋ x 10.5 ̋ (178 x 229 mm)
100s of 2-color illustrations, English ISBN: 978-1-58423-460-9
UPPER PLAYGROUND in association with HAND SELECTA and Gingko Press is pleased to announce the release of
FLIP THE SCRIPT | A Guidebook for Aspiring Vandals & Typographers
by Christian P. Acker
Due to drop in stores March of this year, this cloth-bound 224pg hard cover book carefully deconstructs American tagging styles with scientific precision. Christian Acker pays homage to the unsung heroes of Graffiti Halls of Fame, spending years collecting data and interviewing artists about the history and evolution of street ‘calligraphy’ in the United States. Pages are adorned with 1st person quotations that give context and background as each artist breaks down their own hand-style from A to Z.
Check out the preview video and visit HANDSELECTA for more information.
Old friend Mike Giant is opening a show with our old neighbors Fecal Face Dot Gallery on Friday, July 20. Great name: Confessions of an Old Dirty Skateboarder. Says Giant, “I’m a product of my generation. I grew up through the 80s and was drawn to the punk rock and hip-hop cultures simultaneously. I threw myself in headfirst. A lot of those things were about personal expression, and also an anti-establishment attitude like, ‘We don’t need you, we have our own thing.’ That’s the backbone of who I am to this day.” Go see it.