Agostino Iacurci

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With bright, multi-layered layered characters, Agostino Iacurci is bringing something great to the neighborhoods he has painted murals in recently.  He has been making interesting illustrations for years while he studied fine art and with a background in graffiti and painting outdoors, it only makes sense to see such amazing murals from him. His whimsical characters seem to tell a story with their gestures alone and they connect through the artists attention to the local surroundings.  On paper or on a five story facade, I am definitely excited to follow Agostino’s work in the coming years. —Ronnie Wrest / The Citrus Report

Where are you from and where are you now?

I’m from Foggia, in the South of Italy, but now I’m based in Rome where I have lived for 6 years.

It must be amazing to live in a place with such a rich artistic history.  Do you find inspiration everywhere you go?

Of course. Rome is beautiful and very inspiring, but my main inspiration is every day life, so I find sources of inspiration wherever I go.

My native city, for example, is very poor in art, beauty and cultural activities, but for me it has been an huge source of inspiration.

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You have only been painting outdoors for a few years? What turned you on to this type of work?

Actually, I started painting graffiti in 1998, when I was 12 years old. I’ve done several pieces, writing letters for a long time, but at a point I realized that “style writing” was unfulfilling for me. Then I moved to Rome to study Fine Art and illustration, and there I’ve done research about my style. At the same time I started seeing lot of huge murals in several cities from all over the world by Blu, Os Gemeos, Run and few other artists. I was very impressed by this “new way of making graffiti” and it gave me again the desire of painting outdoor.

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In terms of the change in audience, and the interactions with people that live near your work,  can you describe some of the experiences you have had working outdoors?

Painting outdoors is an amazing experience. It’s very interesting and funny to collect different feedbacks about your work in real time. Especially because I have always tried to make works closely connected to the place and the location. Because of the easiness of images I draw, every type of person, from kids to adults, feel invited to express their opinions and personal readings. The main strength of making art outdoor is the chance to establish a dialogue with a vast number of persons.

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Great Interactive Arctic Monkeys special with NY Times Magazine

16well pingpong tmagArticle Great Interactive Arctic Monkeys special with NY Times Magazine NY Times Arctic Monkeys

We think the best part is the just the short introduction that the NY Times writer, Jacob Brown, came up with: When you’re a teenager, you drive in a van from Sheffield to small-town gigs across England, party every night, meet girls: everything moves fast and you like it. Your song about some girl who looks “good on the dance floor,” which rhymes a reference to the Montagues and Capulets with “banging tunes and D.J. sets,” leads to Internet fame, the fastest-selling debut in British history and, in 2006, instant, MySpace-amplified international stardom.

Just a nice recap on a band that has been around for years, but are still just 25 years old, and in our opinion, getting better.

From The Citrus Report

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RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs portrait by tumb 605x453 RIP Steve Jobs Steve Jobs RIP inventor dead Apple

It’s an extremely rare thing for one man to change the course of the world, but in a lot of ways Steve Jobs lifetime did just that. A day doesn’t go by where a person comes into contact with some piece of technology whose origins can be traced back to him, and that’s an unfathomable feat. We wonder where his place in history will be in hundreds of years, but in our opinion we just stood witness to an inventor and visionary that belongs in the top echelon of thinkers in the history of man, and whose life was ultimately cut short today.

From The Citrus Report

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Optimist has been putting in solid, clean, consistent work in multiple cities on multiple continents, for the last ten years plus. He has crisp letters, nice color combinations, and a hand style that is one of the best in the business.  Like a lot of writers he is constantly creating and has been making fine art lately as well.  This work deals with materialism and complex societal issues, as well as collaborations with some really dope bay area writers. Keep an eye this guys work. He is doing some really good things, both inside and out. —Ronnie Wrest/The Citrus Report

Give us some basics.  Where are you from?  What do you write? What is your drink of choice?

I was born in SF. Moved to Oakland when I was like 8 or some shit, then moved back to Frisco when I was 19, then moved to Taiwan when I was 24 then moved back to the states when I was 27 now im in the town again. I write optimist de pop. Drink of choice would have to be a Sierra Nevada pale ale with a lemon in it. Or some Bing Bing juice. It’s my own made up drink. Its iced soju or sake green tea and lemon. Hella good on a hot day. Sounds like a girl’s drink but its bomb.

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Are you normally pretty positive or did you just want to take on a crazy long name?

Ha. No I think Im a pessimist at heart but I try to stay positive so I think that writing optimist everywhere kinda subconsciously helps me stay more positive in life cus right now there are a lot of things going on in the world that are pretty depressing. And I like writing long names its more fun and you can do more with it.

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How long have you been painting?

Been doing the graff thing for around 12 or 13 years now, don’t see myself stopping any time soon unless the world gets really fucked up but in that case I can see myself doing more graffiti cus I feel like when everything is falling apart people are not going to trip off graffiti, they are going to have more important things to worry about like food and water and shelter. So I think that will open up a lot of opportunities for writers in the coming age of the 6th mass extinction.  I have only been painting with a brush and trying to crack this fine art game for around 7 years. But have been drawing and shit since I was a little kid.

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A lot of your work seems really personal.  Is there anything specific you want your work to communicate?

As far as fine art my work right now is not very personal, its all about materialism and capitalism destroying our planet and the side effects from that. I think I went through a phase in life where all my fine art was personal because I was subconsciously trying to work through some shit. Like issues I had with my family and myself. But I feel like Im passed that and enjoy moving on to more important subject matters then myself. My graff is personal. I think everybody’s graff is personal. Shit. Im writing my name on the wall. Thats pretty personal. Graffiti helps me keep an open flow of creativity in my life cus its so raw and expressive. Like when im stuck at the studio working on some shit and I get bored or feel like im not getting anywhere I always go out and do graffiti by myself or with a hommie. Cus there is not much thought involved besides not getting caught and making it look good. Its like whatever happens happens and when its done its done and then its gonna get buffed and its over.

There is no pressure with graff.unlike fine art.  Sometimes I feel like graffiti doesn’t matter because it’s so expendable and impermanent and I like that. And fine art matters more??? Cus its for sale??? No.  But it matters more cus its going to last longer and it takes way more time and thought.

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Your delivery truck paintings really bring a cool play on illegal work to your canvas.  Do you think there is a place for graffiti inside of the gallery?

Yes and no. I think there is a place for “graffiti style art” in galleries, but not raw graffiti. If people actually start paying thousands of dollars for graffiti in galleries I will be shocked and somewhat pissed off. I like the fact that graffiti is not for sale, and it’s always attached to somebody else property. So if you wanted to buy it you would have to buy the whole building. Graffiti inside a gallery is not really graffiti to me. Cus it’s not illegal and it’s for sale. Graffiti has got its foot in the door in the fine art world these days more then ever before. There is so much graffiti influenced art out there selling for dumb paper. And alot of these people making this art never really got into the graff game. They went to art school and met some writers and started writing for a few years. Then finished school and became some fine artist doing characters and hella back outlined shit on canvass and using spray paint and what not but never really played a part in the graff game. Never contributed to the culture. And now they are getting paid off the culture.

But there are also a bunch of people who actually paid their dues to graffiti and put in major work over the past 10 -20 years and just now are they becoming known to the rest of the world. Or should I say the art world.

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The Internet has really played a huge role in how graffiti has evolved in the last 10 plus years.  Has this been a good or a bad thing in your opinion?

Oh shit. The Internet. Wow. It really has changed the game. It linked the whole world on some graffiti shit. Now you can know who is doing what in any major city in the world and probably find these people as well.  The internet has fueled the flame under graffiti and now its on fire burning world wide. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Its good cus one could probably go online and surf around on some graff or picture sites and find out whos who in what city and contact them and then fly out there and meet up with them and then become friends with them (only cus we both write) then paint with them. Then come home. I say this cus I have done this before. It was a trip. Like you could have fans thousands of miles away these days when 10 years ago they only people who knew about you and your little graffiti world were the kids in your city or your state and maybe some cats in some other states if your doing it real big. Now everybody knows everybody. Its bad cus everybody knows everybody.  There is too much information on the internet about graffiti, I really don’t know the extent to which the government can track or crack any activities on the world wide web but its all pretty scary when you think about how much info is out there.  If the internet did one thing to graffiti, It blew it up.

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What have you been working on lately?

Lately I have been working on a solo show in Oakland ca. Im thinking of titling it man animal and machine. Im working on 8- 10 compositions on brown butcher paper about man animals and machines all fighting for existence on planet earth. And some smaller less complicated drawings on the same subject.

Do you have any shows coming up?

Yeah the one at Old Crow October 8th and a truck show coming to 1 am gallery in SF in January of 2012 (if the world don’t end) and another show at 1 am in October 2012.  And im sure there will be some in between.

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Two artists/writers to look out for this year…

Amuse DE from Chicago, Pemex, Marcus Murray, Payday, Hyde, Leon Loucheur,  Ian Hill, David Jien, Lil Zen Ten, Saym from Taipei, and your boy.

Follow Optimists work at

Optimist’s Man Animal and The Machines. Solo show at OLD CROW GALLERY OCT 8th. Oakland CA. 94610.

From The Citrus Report

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Arkitip, Michael Leon and Pendleton Woolen Mills team up on a blanket

Pendleton Woolen Mills Michael Leon Curated by Arkitip Arkitip, Michael Leon and Pendleton Woolen Mills team up on a blanket Pendleton Woolen Mills pendleton michael leon california blanket Arkitip

How many people does it take to make a Pendleton blanket? A team apparently. Michael Leon, sort of one of those guys behind the cool project sort of people (Nike SB, Stacks, Supreme, etc) teamed up through Arkitip with Pendleton to create a blanket with his now becoming iconic California shaped skateboard graphic. Pretty damn great in our opinion.

via slamxhype.

From The Citrus Report

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Joyce Kozloff

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The artwork of Joyce Kozloff is a beautiful arrangement of patterns, ideas, combinations and critiques. In the early 70′s she was strongly influenced by the feminist movement and her art began to express these views. Her work placed value on media and imagery that was considered unworthy of a place in the high art world and it’s connection to femininity and non-western influences challenged the the sexist, minimalist establishment of the 1970′s.

When her work was gaining multi-national attention in the late ’70s she decided to focus her energy on public work that could reach a greater audience than the gallery or museum could offer. When she shifted back to a studio practice her work took on problems of gender, sexism, racism as well as strong critique of the United States roll as a military aggressor. For more than three decades Joyce Kozloff has made enticing, attractive, intelligent work that has continually found interesting ways to make people aware of their surroundings.

Can you tell us a little about yourself. You live and work in New York right? How did get started in art?

I come from a small town in New Jersey, went to Carnegie Mellon (then called Carnegie Institute of Technology) in Pittsburgh during the 1960s, then came to NY, worked in art galleries and the UN and attended grad school at Columbia, where I got my MFA in 1967. At that time, I was making hard edged, geometric paintings, the dominant painting style of the moment.

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You began working with patterns from many different so called “non-western” influences in the 1970s. Do you think this work was just a reaction to minimalism or were there specific motivations behind the paintings you made during this time?

My thinking was turned around by the feminist movement, which shook my life and the lives of many others in the early 1970s. I questioned everything about my education. I began to look at the traditional arts of women from many different cultures, what we in the west call the decorative or applied arts. I wanted to make work that paid homage to, and learned from those often anonymous sources.

In the time that has passed since you first began making art that questioned women’s rights and the legitimacy of certain craft and design elements, have you seen positive changes to some of these issues that your work has addressed?

Absolutely! There is much interesting art that is re-contextualizing craft now. I see it everywhere, and the dialogue around it is much more sophisticated than it used to be. It’s gratifying.

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How did the feminist movement influence your art and maybe some of your views on the world?

Dramatically. I first participated in the women’s movement in Los Angeles, 1970-71, then in New York thereafter. I still have many close friendships from those years. The energy, enthusiasm, optimism and support was invaluable. We gave one another permission to explore territory that had been previously un-mined.

I really admire the decision you made to get away from the gallery scene and move into public art. You were having some really successful shows in the late 70′s. What was it that pushed you to this change?

I wanted to expand my decorative art to a public scale. It had already moved off the canvas and onto the walls and floors. (I was making ceramic tiles and printed textiles in the late 70s.) And I was excited about reaching a broader audience than the people who visit galleries and museums. I was almost messianic about grand scale public decoration.

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What made you decide to move back into the gallery?

I never stopped showing in galleries altogether, but my focus throughout the 80s and into the nineties was on public art. My exhibitions were often related to the commissions (models, drawings, photographs, or ideas for unrealized, even visionary projects). I ultimately burned out. I created 16 ambitious public projects that I’m proud of, but toward the end, there were battles over content that were devastating to me. And I had lots of ideas for private work that I never had time to realize in those years. Each project took over my life for a year or more. I was getting older, and felt a new urgency to return to an intimate studio practice. I can imagine doing a public art piece again sometime, but that is not where my passion lies now.

Does the cartography you use in much of your recent work help to connect people with some of the problems that may seem to be half way around the world?

I truly hope so! Many artists utilize maps in their work, in all kinds of different ways. Mapping is one of the chief forms of communication in the 21st century. For me, a map is like the scaffold of a building. It is a structure into which I can infuse content. Medieval and Renaissance maps are full of stories, and they have been my models. I have become an amateur student of the history of cartography. Maps reveal the biases and attitudes of their time, if one looks closely. I want to reveal today’s political realities and conflicts through re-mapping and re-inventing the world as it is presented to us daily.

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Your work has been direct in it’s opposition to many things, including the U.S. roll in military action. How much power does an artist have in causing change to political decisions in your opinion?

Hah! Very little, I’m afraid. Whenever there is talk about art that had a powerful impact, people mention “Guernica,” which was painted in 1937. Film and digital media may be having that kind of effect today, but we do not yet have the historical distance to know. I just now came home from an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, “Found in Translation,” in which there were several video pieces that made one think about language, history, culture and this current moment (particularly the works of Omer Fast and Steve McQueen).

Any thoughts to share on the unrest in North Africa and the middle east right now?

I believe that each country will evolve differently. Egypt and Tunisia seem to be off to a good start, so I’m hopeful.

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Who are a few people who have inspired you in your work or in life generally?

So many things: I have a voracious appetite for the visual world. The great mosques of Isfahan. The Alhambra. The paintings of Duccio and Cimabue and the Lorenzetti and Giovanni Bellini. Mackintosh and Fortuny and Sonia Delaunay and Persian miniatures and the 20th century paintings of the Baroda school (India). And movies: I grew up on Godard, Truffaut, Varda, Antonioni, Fellini. If you asked me this question on another day, I’d come up with a different list.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I’m thinking of doing a piece about Christianity next (I’m a secular Jew). I grew up in a Catholic town, where we were the only Jewish family. I’m always fascinated by “the other”, and where I stand in relationship to those others.

See more of Joyce Kozloff’s work at:

From The Citrus Report

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The Math of Beauty as sort of well-explained by Gizmodo

Posted from The Citrus Report

Because we have things like Google Analytics, and real-time information, and real-time data, etc, etc, etc, we think we can put down some mathematical equation for what beauty and attractiveness is. We would think that would be impossible, because really, the same person that thinks Megan Foz is super hot is the same guy who is into Pamela Anderson and that guy does motocross on the weekends and we don’t trust their opinion, ever.

Here is what Gizmodo, who we have to say put forth a lot of work here for the cause, found out:

And they let everyone know “Fair warning: we’re about to objectify women, big-time.”

This is actually really funny.

Posted By The Citrus Report

10 Things to do on Christmas Day

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Not everyone spends time with family on Christmas, and a lot of people do spend time on Christmas with family and friends. We don’t want to guess what you are doing, because that could make you feel bad or stress you out. We don’t want to do that, Christmas is supposed to be the ultimate day-off, family or no family.

But, there is nothing worse than Christmas on Saturday. That is getting the shaft, big time. Weekends are already days of rest, but we make the best of it and take Monday off.

What is there to do on Christmas? Well, a lot of nothing, and a lot of blissful sitting on your ass eating and watching TV. We give you 10 things to do today to get away from the Blues, keep the good times going, or whatever you choose.

10) Watch Home Alone.
The reason being that if you are of our generation, is there the better kids movie? Everybody wanted to be Culkin. He was the idol. And he wins. We all win.

9) Watch NBA basketball.
The reason being that the NBA is boring from October to April, except today, because they actually show a variety of games that are good. Lebron, Kobe, all good.

8) Drink.
Alcohol. Why not? Only if you are going to be blissful about it. Don’t be angry drunk Christmas guy. You ruin everything for everyone.

7) Start a political conversation at the dinner table.
For instance: “What is your opinion of abortion and gay rights?” Just try it, you have conservative relatives, put it in their court.

6) Bring someone of a different race to your dinner.
If you are black, bring someone white. If you are Japanese, bring a Latino. It just changes up traditions. And it could be fun for the old folks to adjust to 2010 on the fly.

5) Go see “Black Swan.”
Going to the movies is underrated. Its crowded and lots of sick people will be there, but its a good way to celebrate the Holidays by spending money.

4) Watch “Elf.”
You need one Will Ferrell event.

3) Watch “Christmas Vacation.”
Chevy Chase, Margo, Todd, the best Christmas movie ever.

2) Watch 24 hours straight of “A Christmas Story.”
All 24. Don’t get up. At all. Just sit there. Have things brought to you.

1a) Open other people’s gifts.
Don’t tell them. Pass out the gifts, put a few extras in your pile, open them up, and cry when they are taken away from you. Do this with the young kids, they cry the most, but they feel the worse when you cry back at them.

1b) Wear your pajamas all day.

Its underrated to wear actual clothes when you go to family members houses. This is your chance to go Spector and Michael Jackson on everyone. Wear silk or linen PJs all day.

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Adam Neate made one of our favorite paintings of the year 2010

Posted from The Citrus Report

There is just something about this work that feels very 2010 and beyond to us, which comes from the hand of British born Adam Neate. All his work within 3D/4D, which is what you see here, is just breathtaking to say the least.

We think you will start seeing this work in museums in the next 10 years, if our opinion matters. Which it totally does.

Posted By The Citrus Report