3 paintings lo Hush Street Art newcastle interview Hush 941 geary

Hush is the moniker of UK-based artist known worldwide for his beautifully constructed abstract Geisha images that are a juxtaposition of both traditional graffiti and abstract expressionism. Heavily inspired by the aesthetic of street art and armed with an in-depth technique that includes painting, screen printing, spray-painting and collage, he has continued to create new works that instantly draw the eye in and holds the viewer’s focus. —James Pawlish / The Citrus Report

JP: Who is HUSH? Tells us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been making art, did you have any sort of formal training?

Hush: I’ve been making art all my life, from first experiences in graffiti to graphic design. I always made my own art and have been painting seriously for the last fifteen years. I studied illustration & graphic design at art school for five years.

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I read an interview where you used the phrases “action painting” and “pure expressionism” to describe your practice. Do you find abstract expressionism and graffiti to have similarities in terms of approach and hand style?

I think now that graffiti has had time to be reflected on as an art form, there would be a serious argument for the action of tagging, dubs etc to be taken seriously as a form of abstract expressionism or action painting and can be seen as a contemporary art form. Of course this is down to the viewers discretion, but that is true in how all art is viewed I suppose.

Tell us a bit about your creative process and the method of distressing your canvases.

I play with lots of ideas in the paintings that I make and like to reference a lot of movements, past and present. I have always loved that old graf rule about how a throw can go over a tag, a dub over a throw, a piece over a dub and so on.

I love the transient way in which work on the street evolves and usually looks more at home the longer it settles, gets tagged over, degrades and fades. I try to create all these actions and mistakes in the studio. I always create two of each painting and work on them simultaneously, partly for the fact that I will take more risks on one, so my work progresses; there does come a point where I will only finish one as it becomes obvious which one is working.

I also do this so that when i make a new painting i can go over the discarded painting and leave remains of it visible to the viewer. I kind of take pleasure in knowing that there was a good piece and lots of work underneath a painting. It always feels uncomfortable working on a clean canvas, I like the feel and textures of a worked-on canvas. It gives it some life straight away and the complexity of a piece matters to me, I like the viewer to discover this.

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I understand you worked in Japan for quite some time…What was that like, and how did it shape your style?

I worked and lived in South East Asia for a few years; it was an extremely important influence on my life both philosophically and visually. The way the East, especially the youth, adopt western styles and cultural influences but struggle with holding onto traditional values is of interest to me and my work. The place is a melting pot and very inspirational. It has influenced my work greatly and has me thinking about a combination of factors; when you add my interpretation of this, we end up with a very eclectic mix. I try to capture and contradict these cross cultural differences and influences in my work.

Your work seems to be a juxtaposition of everything from pop art and abstraction to anime and comics. Are you tying to break the bridge between “high” and “low” art?

Not so much the anime these days but it is still an influence. However, when I see graffiti, especially tagging, as a form of expressionism or a political action, and when lots of it is seen in one place on the street, it creates a visual image like nothing else I can compare it to. It’s beautiful.

Taking it from the street and applying it to the work you make in the gallery setting is difficult. That’s why I approach it as action painting; it could easily be determined as abstract expressionism also. You need to capture that instantaneous decision to make the mark. That’s why I have canvases continuously around the studio. I throw everything at them, tag them, throws, the lot. It feels like it carries a bit of that excitement. It also places this movement into a category that is continuing to build on past art movements, which every new movement does.

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A large portion of your work is centered on the female form. Is there any specific reason why?

I like to keep the eyes dark so the viewer can’t connect with the personality, the figures then become somewhat serene or mysterious. The figures are important in finishing the composition of the piece as before they are formed it’s purely abstraction.

When I make my art I try to translate my interest in tagging, graff, decay and street art aesthetics into my work and juxtapose it with images of beauty, sensuality and the female form; allowing the later to be seen in a more positive way. The act of a tag is no doubt beautiful in its own right but fusing the two together in an expressionist action creates something in its own right and puts questions out there.

What artists have been a big influence on you?

There’s a lot of talent out there but my real influences are Eduardo Paolozzi, Mimmo Rotella, Matthew Ritche, Takashi Murakami, Designers Republic, Inka Essenhigh, Simon Bisley, Roy Lichenstien, Banksy, Peter Blake, Vaughan Oliver, Ian Swift and Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few. James Jean, David Choe, Connor Harrington, and Brad Downey have all been creating fantastic work lately.

I’m influenced by every person in the scene. Probably every artist, past and future! Definitely music has an influence on my work, coming from that whole dance music, electro, hip hop scene, it just makes the work more relevant and seems to make sense in the way that it compliments the work – even in the way that it doesn’t take itself too seriously as well.

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You’re not a stranger to San Francisco, having had a sold out show in 2010 at Shooting Gallery. What is it you love about the city? Do you find yourself getting inspiration from the local arts scene?

I’ve shown a few times here now with Fifty24SF Gallery, Shooting Gallery, White Walls & 941 Geary. I love the place, the people, the liberal attitudes, everybody seems to have a creative awareness here, it’s a very inspiring place. I have had the pleasure of meeting and hooking up with a lot of artists living and working in SF from Apex, Neon & Vulcan to Eine, Blek le Rat & Roa to Aaron Nagel, Casey Gray & Brett Armory…. from that list you can imagine how inspiring it can be.

Benjamin Laading

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Benjamin Laading is creating interesting ways to bring a strong graffiti influence into the intimacy of a gallery space. His work reflects an strong emotional burst of energy that confronts you directly. These silhouettes of shattered glass and splatters of remnants of a scribbled history allow the viewer to have a taste of the emotion only drawn from the flare of a fat cap or the crash of a window pane.

Laading has found a way to bring parts of a noisy, busy, bustling world and successfully arrange them in the clean, quiet, serene environment of the gallery. Benjamin Laading is part of a new generation of artists that are finding ways to “inject” the outside into their fine art while maintaining a clear distinction between what is made to be indoors and what is not. —Ronnie Wrest/The Citrus Report

Where are you from? Where is home?

I’m a Norwegian living in Paris. I was born in Norway, but I grew up in Africa and then France until the age of fourteen. School-time made me early discover I was dyslexic, but this handicap unconsciously made me concentrate myself thoroughly on image. In fact, the alphabet represents for me totally abstract forms.

When I was in France, from the age of seven, I had the chance to go in a Steiner school, which one of their pedagogy is to educate from the personality of the children and not to format. This helped me to have confidence in my ability to communicate plastically. Then, at the age of fourteen, when I went back to Norway, I began to make important artistic choices. I spent my youth in Norway, than came back to France, at 21, to study fine art at La Villa Arson, the Beaux-arts de Nice.

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Your work is obviously influenced by graffiti. Did you start out doing illegal work?

Haha ! That is an interesting actual question. There is so many writers who use their street credibility to have a name in the gallery. It’s essential for me to distinct these 2 very different places, street and gallery. It’s important that the streets and its expressions stay free. If you choose to express yourself illegally in the streets you do it for free, it is a gift, a finality in itself.

That is one of the main reason I am using my real name and not a pen-name, concerning my academic works. And above all, I consider myself as a fine art artist. Therefore, I choose not to communicate or use any forms I could have done outside the gallery walls. That is also why I have collaborated with many writers, not in order to imitate, but to treat the real thing, so there really is a shifting from the exterior to the interior, as an ‘injection’. This shifting implies an interpretation, through a process, the result of my own questions on street expressions, as a contemporary artist, treating illegal expression from an academic point of view.

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You describe your work as a kind bridge between separate portions of the art world. What do you think it is that has academia and a “more established economic frame” so interested in this form?

I think it intrigues them because it is their contrary, it is the classical vice to want what you can’t have. As much as the lower class dream about establishment, knowledge end wealth, the higher class dream about getting loose, instincts and something to rebel against. It’s kind of a romantic melancholy of the social status.

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Does this mean you feel all of the popularity and commercialization is positive for the movement?

Yes, and no, it is a good thing that people are getting interested in this type of expression but at the same time it has a tendency to increases the misunderstandings. It is not because there’s colourful typography with aerodynamics on a wall that it’s graffiti. What’s bad with this misunderstanding is that it gives people the false idea that it’s interesting and acceptable if it’s done with permission, but this idea make it becomes something else that misses the real meanings : danger, action, instinct, repetition, rebellion, life in a system, existence…

The first piece I saw of yours was the work you did with Babou. Do you like working with other artists?

As I said, I take forms and ideas from this lawless streets expressions and inject them into the system of the gallery. In order to do that, I need to use some authentic forms, (I mean authentic by being meaningful in the streets). I try to put forward certain specific elements in the most simple, understandable way. In this case, vandal FAT cap calligraphy.

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What are you working on lately?

Nowadays, I am working on a project for an event on urban ecology that takes place in Nanterre, France. I am engraving on a perfect industrial plastic plate, the portrait of a polar bear roaring, enhanced by pollution dust found in freeway tunnels.

What is one artist or musician that has inspired you recently.

I would like to answer this question with an artist’s list that I consider cannot be ignored!

Any shows or projects coming up to talk about?

First of all, I’m preparing my solo exhibition on the 10th of may, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Than, I will participate at Perfusion 2011, an experimental reinvestment of public place, an event taking place in Strasbourg from the 19th to the 25th of September 2011. And coming up soon, a project with Skalitzers gallery in Berlin…

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Tara McPherson

Posted from The Citrus Report

Tara McPherson is no stranger to the current climate of rock poster art and vinyl toys. We caught up with her at New York Comic Con this past weekend after a recent phone interview from her Brooklyn studio. At NYCC, she took part in The Cultyard, a grouping of like-minded creative companies who thought their appeal would be broadened by conglomerating at these larger scale art and culture events. The line to meet and greet Tara was long and constant, so we’re glad we got to do this interview before she arrived.  We spoke after weeks of missing each other, something that has probably become commonplace for Tara, as her work and popularity extend farther into the future, with shows, books and toy deals lining up in quick succession.

We were a media partner for the event, so we snapped some photos of Tara’s booth, saw her graciously sign prints, and watched as fans patiently awaited a chance to scoop something and say hello. Her aesthetic is distinct and approachable, albeit from very divergent points of view. Her choice of color palette is very soft and welcoming, yet her imagery and symbolism indicates a substantial amount of humanity in her work; heartache, longing, the nature of the mind, and the process of evolving as an individual. Her heart-less characters have become a hallmark of sorts, and her work rate is incredible.  Ahead, find out what this lifelong student has to say about creating beer labels for Dogfish Head, the thesis that is a solo show, and her artistic study of the water molecule.  —Evan La Ruffa

Photos by Matt Schuchman

Evan La Ruffa: Alright, ready to go…

Tara: Wonderful…

ELR: So, in looking over your creds, I saw Dogfish Head Brewery on your list of clients. They make some damn fine beer…what did you do for those guys?

I did two labels for them. One for a rasberry beer and another one for a seasonal beer.  I got a a lot of emails from people saying they loved the beer and loved the labels, it was fun to do…

ELR: Were you able to try those beers?

Yea, part of the deal in my contract for doing the labels was that they had me down to their brew house and restaurant. A friend and I drove down, and they gave us a tour of the brewery…we stayed at the Dogfish Suite at this hotel. The people at Dogfish head are cool. Really nice guys.

ELR: I usually talk to artists, at least a little bit, about art school. In some cases people diminish it, in others, people feel lucky to have done that kinda thing. How do you feel about it?

I guess it just depends on your personality. I loved art school. I’ve always loved school in general, even when I was a kid. I just like the environment, it just suits me really well. I would go to school forever if I could…except for spending the thousands of dollars for the degree (laughs…)

ELR: (Laughs…) Right, totally…

But, I treat life that way. The way that I work now is, ya know, prepping for a solo show is almost like working on a thesis. You do your research, and you put yourself through this process to get this body of work together.

Posted By The Citrus Report

Sk8thing in Interview Magazine

Posted from The Citrus Report

You go to Tokyo, you talk to people in the fashion and culture worlds, and you talk to BAPE, UNDERCOVER, Neighborhood, Bounty Hunter, Visvim, WTAPS, whatever, and one name comes up in everyone’s conversations in terms of roots and beginnings: Sk8thing. The man is behind a lot of culture that is now commonplace in both art, fashion, and culture. He is a bridge, a leader, an influencer, but mostly done behind the scenes. We guess his “day job” is Creative Director for BAPE.

Interview Magazine knows this, and they caught up with the reclusive tastemaker (so corny to use that phrase, but its apt here). Hypebeast has a good excerpt, as well.

Here is a good excerpt on the fact you can’t find anything on him:

HARSH PATEL: It has been a bit tough to find information on you. I’ve assumed that’s to protect the sanctity of your private life, and to put your work forward as a representation of your personality.

SK8THING: I usually turn down interviews… I just have no desire to do them, and I am always working for a brand with a “front man” I don’t feel a necessity to do it either. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have enjoyed working for brands with such visible leaders (Nigo, Pharrell, Hiroshi Fujiwara, etc.)

PATEL: Nonetheless, do you ever get recognized on the street in Japan, or abroad?

SK8THING: No! I’m not famous! If it’s at a Bape event or something, maybe, but that doesn’t represent the general public at large.

Posted By The Citrus Report


-My main man POSE has been has been working his ass off preparing for his first solo show this month at KNOWN.



Known Gallery presents RUMBLE by Pose 1

Born and raised in the Windy City, Pose came of age during Chicago’s hard knock golden years of graffiti—molding him into the person he is today. Having put in endless work in the streets, the lines, and the train yards, he solidly secured his name well before any outsider took notice to his unique style.

A Pose graffiti piece is like a branded stamp. In this exhibition Pose investigates a traditional style of comic book illustration and painting and infuses it with his own recognizable twist. Complexly layered, his work is bursting at the seams, often stunning and confusing onlookers with an intense amount of intricate detail. Each time Pose paints a new wall it walks a fine line between being an artfully-mastered collage of illustration—with images drawn from TV, literature, film, and fine art—and a graffiti piece. In this body of work, Pose has translated his trademarks in his signature graffiti style, (classic cartoon characters, sign painting fonts, a flat graphic style, and vivid color choices) from the street to the studio, creating elaborate large- and small-scale paintings. His work as an innovator in the graffiti world has led him to focus on what were previously only accents on his letters—exploring imagery and figuration in bold ways. Inside you will find numerous traces of his personality… the struggle, humor, sarcasm, love, hate, and always a feverish push towards the new.

The show title “RUMBLE” comes from the slang term meaning, a street fight between rival teenage gangs. When you look at one of Pose’s paintings you get the sense of a clash, but one which is noticeably classic, knowingly juvenile, polished, and American.

Pose currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois; he is a member of the acclaimed West Coast artist collective The Seventh Letter, as well as being a founder of his own Chicago based design and art firm We Are Supervision. He has traveled internationally on his own and with The Seventh Letter specifically to showcase his skills as one of the best graffiti artists out there. This is Pose’s first solo exhibition at Known Gallery.

RUMBLE!! New works by POSE
Opening May 22nd, 2010
Show runs May 22nd to June 12th

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Hours during shows:
Wednesday thru Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: noon – 6pm

Posted By Revok