We Own the Night: The Art of The Underbelly Project Written by Workhorse and PAC, Foreword by Eric Haze AKA Haze
From early 2009 to mid-2010, the Underbelly Project was the world’s best-kept urban art secret. This is the only book documenting the project, during which the world’s leading urban artists, such as Swoon, Faile, Revok, and Lister, made late-night trips to an abandoned New York City subway station, painting night after night to transform the space into the largest underground art gallery in the world.
When curators Workhorse and PAC declared the project finished, there was no opening to show the work. In fact, the space’s location remains a secret kept by the MTA, which boarded up the space, making it, like the cave of Lascaux, a time capsule for future generations to discover.
The book includes three hundred photographs documenting the project and the participating artists’ stories of secret expeditions, ranging from the hilarious to the suspenseful. With texts from artists such as Dan Witz, Elbow Toe, Jeff Soto, Miya Ando, and Ron English, the result is an extraordinary contribution to urban history and the annals of street art.
JOSÉ PARLÁCharacter Gestures
Opening Reception 6:00P.M.
September 9 - October 22, 2011
937 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA - OHWOW is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by José Parlá, titled Character Gestures, open September 9th through October 22nd, 2011. Comprised of paintings, mono-transfers and installations, this exhibition builds on the artist’s earlier work that dealt with the concept of psychogeography and depicted distressed architectural surfaces layered with calligraphic text. While he continues to broach the idea of how we experience urban landscapes and the visual language of mark making, the shift within Character Gestures stems from a deeper engagement with process and abstraction.
The notion of “character” is as much about text, integrity, and specific traits, as it is a literal nod to Parlá’s performance, wherein he assumes the role of hypothetical pedestrians who interact with marred city walls, as he creates the work. “Gesture,” encompasses the ideas of movement, communication, and demonstration, and is mutually respectful of the artist’s accidental and calculated actions when applying medium to surface.
With Parlá’s new paintings, as seen in No Return, Here Again, 2011, marks mix with textures, bright colors, and media, yet the process is as involved and significant as the visual outcome. Additionally, a large-scale installation fills the central gallery space - the freestanding sculptural translation of classroom memories opens a conversation with the surrounding paintings. In a collection of work on paper, which Parlá refers to as “mono-transfers,” he experiments with a form of frottage, documenting his new paintings via the impressions they leave on paper.
Character Gestures exemplifies Parlá’s deftness at technical execution; the complexity of layering, combined with erasure, still manages a translucent effect. His fluency in visual communication is mindful of the fact that any emotion or memory that attempts physicality can only serve, in reality, as an abbreviation of its original essence. He mitigates this condition through his poetic and individualized form of aesthetic dialogue, while navigating the art historic doctrine of Abstraction.
José Parlá studied fine arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, and The New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. His work has appeared in exhibitions in London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Paris. Character Gestures is his first solo exhibition at OHWOW, and a catalogue will be published in conjunction with the show. Parlá’s monograph, Walls, Diaries, and Paintings (2011), was published by Hatje Cantz for the occasion of his solo exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz gallery in New York. Parlá currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10011
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland. In 2000, she received a Bachelor degree in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, and relocated to New York City, where she is currently based. Olek’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces worldwide, and featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out NY, Village Voice, CNN, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News. Olek is the recipient of awards including the Ruth Mellon Award for sculpture in 2004, In Situ Artaq award (France) in 2011, and a grant in 2011 from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for performance in public space. Olek’s residencies have included Sculpture Space in 2005, Instituto Sacatar (Brazil) in 2009 and AAI-LES in 2010. In 2008, Olek was the winner of the Apex Art competition, which aired on PBS. In 2010, the artist was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a one-day interactive performance installation. In 2012, Olek will be part of the 40 Under 40 exhibition at the Smithsonian, for which her entire crocheted studio apartment (measuring 16 x 14 x 8.5 feet) will be exhibited.
Featuring James Garcia, Chris DeLeon, and Minette Mangahas
Something about summer makes us nostalgic. When we do get a privileged moment to step into those memories, it is often a whimsical exploration of who we were as children. The primary colored drama of those years have definitively formed who we are today. But not everyone’s childhood memories are the backyard BBQ and lighting sparklers on the cul de sac. Being a child in other parts of the world often means exploitable naiveté and energy.
1AM Gallery proudly presents When We Were Kids, a group art show visually exploring children in play, power and poverty. Minette Mangahas, Christopher De Leon, and James Garcia have each created a series of work that vividly capture childhood imagination, struggles, and innocence loss from the perspective of growing up.
This exhibition opens July 15th from 630 to 930pm and runs through August 14th. If you can’t make it, visit us at store1amsf.com (click here) after the opening 7/15 to see the artwork.
Beverages served and music spun by Dj Don Kainoa.
This exhibition opening is strictly 21+
1000 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
About two months settled into the new LES location TUFF CITY STYLES Bronx-based tattoo veterans have created a scene out of Wild Style, or at the very least, a street writers spray paint haven. If you have yet to stop by and check out the subway replica and tattoo parlor/gallery TUFF CITY is open 7 days a week 12pm-9pm:
17 Essex St
New York, NY 10002
The 10-foot-by-10-foot mosaic depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe on a surfboard with the words “Save the Ocean” down the side. A group of artists posing as construction workers installed it April 22 on Encinitas Boulevard…
“That just furthers my argument that a big part of this particular piece of guerrilla art was to put the establishment or the administration in a difficult place,” Encinitas Councilman Jerome Stocks said Tuesday.