Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery has a new addition to its collection – a statue of a priest revised by Banksy. The renowned graffiti artist sawed off the face of an 18th century replica stone bust and glued on a selection of bathroom tiles. The resulting ‘pixellated’ portrait is entitled ‘Cardinal Sin’ and is believed to be a comment on the abuse scandal in the church and its subsequent cover-up. He remarked, “I guess you could call it a Christmas present. At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse.“ (images via mymodernart)
As with most street artists, 41 year-old Shepard Fairey is a controversial person. Some may accuse him of selling out or being no longer “true”, others think he was the most important factor in Barack Obama’s election in 2008 (aside from Obama himself) and consider him one of the most important modern artists. Here are three things that point in the second direction:
1. André the Giant
In 1989 Shepard Fairey started a sticker campaign that grew into a worldwide movement. People from all across the globe used his design, modified it and created something special. It later turned into the
2. Obey Giant
This is just another variation of the “original” Giant, but it was inspired from the great John Carpenter film “They Live” which we consider one of the coolest movies ever. So it’s in the list.
3. The Hope poster
To support the 2008 candidacy of Barack Obama, he designed an unofficial campaign poster that very quickly became the official one, and created one of the first iconographic artworks of the new millennium. He even got a thank-you letter from the not-yet President.
So go and check out Shepard Fairey – Early Work at Lust Gallery in Vienna.
The exhibition ends on January, 21st 2012.
Festivals in autumn have one big benefit: usually there are no tents involved and you don’t get sunburnt. That’s one good reason for liking the BLK River Festival so much, but of course not the only one. The rest you can probably file under Street Art, but don’t you dare think about rich kids doing stencils! The selection of this year’s artists is great and like every year it will make Vienna the heart of the global urban art community (for a short time). But what makes the festival so special is the variety of different art forms.
Take for example Erwin Wurm, born in Styria in 1954, an exceptional artist when it comes to sculptural work. He is most famous for his “One Minute Sculptures” and even the Red Hot Chilli Peppers mention him as a big influence for their music video ‘Can’t Stop’. OX on the other hand is a French artist who comes from a pop art background and stood in contact with Warhol’s factory, Jean Michel Basqiat and Keith Haring. Nowadays he does different kinds of interventions in public space. Then there is Voina Group, a Russian art collective that became known all over the Internet for their controversial and often very political projects, and of course because Banksy decided to raise money for the artists in response to the news that some members of the group are facing jail time.
So from September 15th to September 27th there is plenty of stuff going on in Vienna and it’s definitely a good reason to visit the city.