Whether happening on a colorful wheatpaste of a Hollywood icon or on wood in a white-walled gallery, street artist DAIN’s exciting work unquestionably demands our attention.
Born in Brooklyn, DAIN combines glamorous black and white head shots of Hollywood actresses both old and new from Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie with collage from newspapers, advertisements, fashion magazines, and vibrant spray paint, most noticeably and iconically around the eye of the Hollywood stars.
Through his elegant juxtapositions, DAIN adopts the content and contexts of the original images to create his own surreal portraits. Using images of Hollywood icons and fashion models, DAIN splices and overlaps famous faces, creating hybrid ‘icons’ that dissociate the familiar to create something a bit more surreal.
Coupling male and female identity into unified characters, DAIN points to a disjointed harmony, which simultaneously complements and detracts from the whole. In his correlated images, famous personalities (and our idealizations of them) become subsidiary and empty.
Throughout his artistic practice, DAIN manages to deftly straddle the fine art and the street art world. In using stylistic images from Hollywood’s “A list”, DAIN both temporally and conceptually engages with his interests in Surrealism and the gritty subculture of Street Art.
Placed in this context, his portraits retain their aura of glamour, while simultaneously operating as exotic ‘artifacts’ of our own culture. Yet, DAIN’s portraits never come across as simple explorations of fame, beauty or nostalgia. Instead, the artist seems to be creating a dialogue with the subjects.
View DAIN’s iconic piece (pictured above) at Carini Lang’s Back Against the Wall: CARPETS IN STREET ART opening tomorrow, April 23 at 6pm.
DAIN’s solo show going on now at Folioleaf in Williamsburg, BK (via Folioleaf.com)
In a scene dominated by men, New York City-based Elle boldly stands out for her iconic posters of panic-stricken eyes and psychedelic, wolf-headed females.
ELLE blurs the line between graffiti and street art, incorporating a lexicon of wheatpastes, tags, stickers, rollers, fire extinguishers, spray painted pieces, murals, sculptures, fine art drawings and paintings.
She has put up work on streets in cities across the world including Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and New Delhi.
A mysterious figure herself, ELLE professes she seeks to understand how, why, and with what, we as humans, choose to adorn our bodies and what those things represent.
Her characters, mostly women, slip in and out of tattooed bodies, fur coats, animal suits, feathers, robes, and costumes. Elle’s work explores the human ability to metamorphosize one’s identity and transform appearance.
In the same way that the wheatpastes change- disintegrating with the weather, being ripped in half by street cleaners, or being added to by other graffiti artist- so too do we change with the ebb and flow of the city’s energy.
Through her art, ELLE considers reincarnation, regeneration, and the ability we all have to invent and reinvent ourselves to fit into these ever-changing ideas of who we are, who we want to be, and what brings us to a place of peace. (via CargoCollective)
The only female street artist in Carini Lang’s Back Against the Wall Exhibition, ELLE’s injects her own brand of street art cheek, both provocative and brazenly beautiful into her piece (pictured below).
See the originals by ELLE below:
More from ELLE:
images via societeperrier.com and cargocollective.com
Beau is a talented artist and a great proponent of moving ‘street art’ from the subway car to the gallery wall.
BEAU has been making quite a name for himself on the streets of New York in the past 5 or so years. In fact, he’s handwritten it across the entire city, four letters at a time (B-E-A-U). Much of Beau Bradbury’s work is quick and light, bringing a smile to passersby when they see a couch tagged up with BEAU on the LES or a fill-in in a super visible spot. Beau is not your typical “artistic” type–he often creates his art collaboratively with fellow Back Against the Wall artists Jim Joe & ELLE and uses his success to share the wealth with his street art contemporaries, curating group exhibitions that otherwise would never come to fruition. Raising the profile New York street art in his curated gallery shows, Beau hopes to get the ‘Art World’ to start to see street art as the “fine art” it really is…a tall order, considering photography is still waiting on it’s invitation to the club (thanks, Adorno).
His work is scattered throughout the U.S. and Europe: some on the private walls of his collectors’ homes, some hanging on the pristine white walls of galleries and world-famous museums.
Constantly challenging notions of ‘high brow’ and ‘low brow,’ Bradbury’s artwork (made famous on what some would call trash), will be adorning the walls of the Carini Lang showroom, in all its woven glory.
Here are some examples of BEAU’s diverse body of work :
images via Complex.com and beauart.weebly.com/
Arguably one of the most influential street/ graffiti artists, COST aka the Tag Machine has been making street art for over 20 years.
New Yorkers of the early 1990s didn’t have to be versed in the graffiti subculture to recognize Cost.
A Graffiti writer schooled in the techniques of bombing, Cost saw an opening to use the public space in a new way. In his campaign of simple white 8 1/2² X 11″ paper postering on the backs of Walk / Don’t Walk traffic signs, he took the idea of guerilla bombing and combined it with the blatant mass appeal of advertising.
The language had changed from the insider hieroglyphics of graffiti to the simple text of cold type that anyone -young and old, black and white, rich and poor, could read. As a result the city paid attention with one 1995 New York Times Letter to the Editor calling Cost “probably the worst graffiti vandal in the history of New York” (NYTimes).
Unlike traditional graffiti tags that became aesthetic background noise, Cost’s messages – “Cost Fucked Madonna”, “Cost Was Here” – were dead simple, and blanketed the city in a way that no one could ignore (highsnobiety).
Though many young Street Artists take the credit for the novelty of what they do- the bad boy persona of breaking the law, mixed with the brilliant creativeness and inventiveness of a marketing agency- they seem to have forgotten rule number one in Graffiti, and in Street art – ORIGINALITY is king and COST DID IT FIRST.
Back Against the Wall features iconic pieces from COST, including “Cost Fucked Madonna” and “No Future Cost”.
With an instagram following of nearly 50,000, COSTs unique perspective and artwork is in high demand:
Only Carini could envision the street art and graffiti that he walked by every day to and from the studio as the exquisite patterns and images they become in woven form. Check this transformation of Rae’s work:
CBS Watch! Magazine Profile’s Joseph Carini and Upcoming Show, Back Against the Wall – Street Art in Carpets
Carini’s ability to weave magic carpets is at the center of the show Back Against the Wall: Street Art in Carpets. Conceived and curated as a way to shake up traditional views of what street art might be, walls are hung with one-of-a-kind carpets displaying work by artists like Dain, Elle, Reader, Ben Eine and Beau.
Street Art is important because it provokes you, it makes you think, it’s in your face and multitudes of people can experience it. It can be poetic, political and maybe even a whimsical medium. It is a sign of the individual against the system -Joseph Carini
The idea of paintings that are placed on the floor is exotic. Love in art is a force and when it comes through, then the muses are talking to you -Joseph Carini
Here’s our second preview from Back Against the Wall, from a Julian Gilbert collaboration with Rusk. The image was featured as the cover of their zine, about which Vice Magazine wrote “If you forked up the 15 bucks to go see Exit Through the Gift Shop, now’s your chance to make amends… [and] …celebrate the graffiti artist…” Rusk.
Carini Lang’s BACK AGAINST THE WALL Collection of Street Art Inspired Luxury Carpets Premiers April 23
CARINI LANG TO PREMIER BACK AGAINST THE WALL
A Collection of 50 Graffiti & Street Art Inspired Carpets
COST, RAE, DAIN, BEAU, JIM JOE, ENX, RUSK/JULIAN GILBERT, KOSBE, ELIK,PIXOTE, ELLE, BASER, TAXI, PERU ANNA ANNA PERU, BEN EINE, THIRD WORLD PIRATE, STINKFISH, EARSNOT & READER
More About The Show
Street art is a spirited form of personal expression that has been part of the urban landscape since ancient times. Back Against the Wall is a collaboration by Carini Lang and 20 street artists who bring a freshness and authenticity to the work.
Joseph Carini is a master carpet maker who creates contemporary carpets reviving ancient techniques.
“I have always loved the imagery and color of graffiti and the pleasure of coming upon it in an unexpected place. This was a way to merge my interest in street art and my dedication to fine carpets.”
Fifty unique carpets have been hand woven in Nepal and will be on display beginning April 23, 2014 in the Carini Lang showroom in TriBeCa.
1974. I was a 13 year old kid visiting a neighbors house that had been recently renovated. In the dining room I saw 3 richly colored silkscreens of Chairman Mao. They both disturbed and fascinated me. At that time Mao was an especially iconic figure, we had studied him in school and watched him on television with Nixon. But Andy made him look delicious, like a beautiful piece of candy. Warhol became the artist of my adolescence… his look and influence was everywhere, he defined the times.
Warhol…. a buzz word, a brand, a style, an era. The icon’s reach extends far beyond the world of art. He created a ripple affect in culture, art, design, fashion, that is still with us today. Making everyday things into heroic things and heroic things into everyday things, Warhol showed us new ways to see and define art. His advice was to “…let the little things that would normally bore you suddenly thrill you.”
Warhol’s unexpected color combinations made everyone rethink camouflage.
Warhol called his book Exposures “boring”
His album covers were provocative and innovative. The Sticky Fingers cover seemed to be more of an object than an album cover. I remember feeling like I owned an original Warhol in some small way. And of course, it was interactive. It had a real zipper. The same was true of the Velvet Underground and the Some Girls covers. I still look at them today as “art”.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol
Warhol and Basquiat sit in front of a massive collaborative painting.
Warhol with Blondie, Truman Capote, and Paloma Picasso at Studio 54 in NYC.
Bob Dylan with Warhol in the Factory.
Mohammed Ali and Warhol, prior to Warhol’s creation of Ali’s silkscreen portrait.
Halston relaxes at Warhol’s Montauk home.
Halston poses near 3 Warhol silk screens in his townhouse.
Jed Johnson used French Art Deco in this whimsical room of the couple’s 66th street townhouse.
Jane Holzer, one of Warhol’s Pop art icons, poses with part of her collection.
Warhol’s flowers decorate the wall of this Manhattan loft.
Warhol’s Pop art portrait of Debbie Harry evolved from the polaroids that he took of the singer.