Knocking On Bricks, Artists vs Institutions

Juxtapoz // Thursday, May 01, 2008
Curators and public interventionist artists, Shoshana Brand and xtine, have been working on a project they call Knocking On Bricks, Artists vs Institutions. Basically, Knocking On Bricks is an art and belief project that challenges mainstream ideas, explores social issues, and empowers artists from all reaches of the globe. Sounds sweet so far. Shoshana Brand and xtine state, “First we composed absurd proposal letters and mailed them to different national institutions and well-known public personas. Shortly after the expected rejection letters arrived, we extended ourselves into an individual creation of two-dimensional artwork. Our next step was mentoring, curating, and promoting a group of visual artists to create artwork addressing the absurd proposals, which had already been rejected. The final step includes essays written by well-known visual artists, commenting on the topic of rejection and personal success in the art arena.” In shifting the power away from institutions and people that traditionally dictate what defines art, and who deserves to display it, Knocking On Bricks creates a powerful shift in paradigm. While communicating with international artists, Brand and xtine’s roles changed from artists who submitted proposals to anonymous institutions, to administrators who orchestrated artists from all over the world. This image embodies a project called Homeless in Los Angeles, from Chinese artists Yu Ji and Deng Ye Min. Brand and xtine requested that Verizon give free cell phones to the homeless in LA as a form of community outreach and potential career help. After this outrageous proposal was sent, and Ji and Min created an artistic response to directly point out the realities of social inequality, as well as the absurdity of much legislation and outreach. (The homeless may want a home first, before a cell phone.) Knocking On Bricks points out social ills while reclaiming power in the face adversity, all in an artistic manner. If you’re like us, you’re about to spend too much time checking out all the other amazingly witty and innovative Knocking On Bricks projects. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Photos: Nothing But the Breaks

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Baltimore’s art and music event, Nothing But the Breaks, has become an outlet for an emerging subculture of street and graffiti artists, and lovers of soul and funk music in the area. Full of heart, and a lot of soul, Nothing But the Breaks is symbolic of not only an underground class of kids, eager to find a platform for their passion, but a vibrant home for positive creativity. Take a look at photos from the most recent Nothing But the Breaks here…

Andrew McClintock's "Bedrooms"

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 21, 2008
Andrew McClintock is a photographer with a penchant for bedroom mystique. At least that’s the conclusion we drew from the looks of his upcoming show, Bedrooms. This solo exhibit of large-scale color photography opens Friday, May 2nd at San Francisco’s Bluesix Acoustic Room. Although obviously posed, the subjects in McClintock’s photographs have a charmingly candid aura about them, as if they saw McClintock approaching while in their bedrooms and jumped up, managing to strike a pose before McClintock could catch them in their relaxed positioning. If you’d like to see more of his photos, you’ll have to settle for the old-fashioned, in-person route, as McClintock has confirmed he has no website! Take a glance at one more of his Bedroom photos here…

Those Days Were Good Days (as Days Somtimes Are)

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, April 16, 2008
{mov}thosedays_teaser{/mov} Directed by Mike Aho and illustrated by Jux favorite, Michael Sieben, this is a little teaser of a sweet video the pair put together. This is the first installation of the ((sounder)) Director’s Collaboration Project, a series of five videos premiering every month throughout the spring and summer of 2008. Featured artist/directors include: Michael Sieben, Mel Kadel, Todd Bratrud, Travis Millard and Dave Bryant. All of the artists worked with Mike Aho in a creative collaboration to develop images that either capture or decompose the music through the use of drawings, film, animation and video. Make sure to watch the entire film right here.

Photos: Joshua Liner Gallery Opening

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 14, 2008
The brand new Joshua Liner Gallery finally opened its doors to a crowd full of anticipation and excitement this weekend. For the inaugural exhibit, Locked & Loaded, Liner was able to showcase a wide range of well-known and emerging stars. The space remained packed as the night wore on, a good sign for the new gallery’s first opening! Check out the opening photos of Locked & Loaded Juxtapoz was able to snag right this way…

Photos: Last Rites Inaugural Opening

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 14, 2008
Manhattan’s Last Rites Gallery held their inaugural opening, Transgression, last week, featuring a wealth of dark, mysterious, and somewhat evil-looking works. Juxtapoz made sure to stop by and take a peek at the new space, devilishly engrossing artwork, and the wonderful group of people behind the whole project. More photos here…

Emerging Artist: Pamela Johnson

Juxtapoz // Friday, April 11, 2008
Mmm… cupcakes. Who doesn’t like the sweet goodness that is a cupcake? Not only is Pamela Johnson fascinated with cupcakes; she’s also quite interested in waffles, pop tarts, and other foods that have shaped American appetites for the past century. Chicago based painter Pamela Johnson is currently working on a new series of paintings commenting American culture.  Her new work will be showing in the upcoming Artist Project, the portion of Chicago’s annual Artropolis focused on independent artists. Her current series of work focuses on the overindulgence, insatiable appetite, and mass consumption of American society.  Based on traditional paintings’ history of using food as a subject matter, her work updates this notion to mirror our current culture.  As such, the paintings are larger than life heaps of junk foods. Overbearing scale and gluttonous quantities are juxtaposed against foods that can be both tempting and comforting, as a result questioning American ideals and way of life. See more of Johnson’s amazingly life-like, massive junk food paintings at

Bijou: The Universal Order of the Kaleidoscopic Society of Skulls

Juxtapoz // Thursday, April 10, 2008
Highly detailed kaleidoscopic landscapes in all colors of the rainbow. Skeletons meeting for a Danse Macabre. Vibrators set up like nuclear warheads between cauliflower florets and children’s toys: this is the multi-colored plastic world of French artist Bijou, who will be exhibiting new works at Strychnin Gallery Berlin in a show titled Bijou: The Universal Order of the Kaleidoscopic Society of Skulls, opening April 11th. French artist Michael Frojman aka Bijou sees himself less as a photographer than as an editor or designer. He samples the internet, samples the pictures he takes of amateur models in his studio, quotes thousands of image snippets to make both the landscapes of his dreams and of his nightmares, presenting them to the viewer in light boxes. In-between quotations from the internet, the artist’s friends pose in ill-fitting gymnastics suits – tragic superheroes in an oversaturated world that is doomed yet still makes us laugh. More info at

Photos: Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Juxtapoz // Monday, April 07, 2008
Jonathan LeVine Gallery was all fun and glee at this Saturday's opening for four rising stars in the art world--Alex Gross, Erik Mark Sandberg, and the creative duo known as The Date Farmers. With so much talent in the house, it's a good thing our photographer buddy George Koroneos was present to capture the night's festivities on film. Check it all out here...

Photos: Blek le Rat Bombing LA

Juxtapoz // Friday, April 04, 2008
Blek le Rat's solo exhibition will open this weekend, Saturday April 5th, at Los Angeles-based gallery, Subliminal Projects. Titled Art is Not Peace but War, this will be Blek le Rat’s first solo show in the United States! This legendary street artist is considered to be a pioneer of stencil art. First exposed to graffiti in New York in 1971, it took him a decade to start making his own in Paris. Inspired by a stenciled portrait he saw of Mussolini amongst WWII ruins in Italy, he created a stencil of a rat running along the streets. Hence, Blek le Rat was born and the rest, as they say, has been history. Blek’s method of creating graffiti has forever altered the art scene and still continues to inspire and influence street artists today. His work has evolved beyond the rat icon and has taken on a more serious context, using art as a mouthpiece for social change. Blek has made good use of his time thus far before his opening in Los Angeles. Like a good street artist, he’s been hitting up the streets of LA with endless devotion and passion. Some photos of Blek’s most recent work in LA here…


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