November had a few topics sharing the theme up in the air. One artists wants to be, with his Urban Art garden on billboards; another artist was able to see his companion over New York streets on Thanksgiving; and a mural ordinance did not pass PLUM. Here are some random peeks at other street art, murals, and public art news from the past month.
The Mural Ordinance did not get past the City of Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management at a hearing held November 20. The committee, also known as PLUM, responded to lobbying artists who have been protesting a number of points, including the potential policy not allowing murals on single-family dwellings, and a stipulation that immediate neighborhoods have veto power. A revised ordinance is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2013.
There has been been a lot of attention on Stephen Glassman, the Los Angeles artist who noticed how sturdy billboards were during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. 'Urban Air' is his public art concept to make billboards into bamboo gardens. The artist is still looking for seed money.
Being that Hanukkah 2012 is upon us, let me point to ShalomLife's profile of Mr. Brainwash, Broken Fingaz and JR, Jewish street artists who "are making this world a more beautiful place."
KAWS is another graffiti artist taking the art world by storm with reinterpretations of pop figure. Macys selected him to design a balloon for that little Thanksgiving Day Parade they hold each year. KAWS dispatched his character, Companion. The video report is by ARTINFO:
Alissa Walker on "Translations: Artists of the Metro Orange Line," an exhibition featuring the site-specific works of twenty artists who participated in Metro public art program for the lesser celebrated Orange Line. The show is up through Dec. 13 at Valley College Art Gallery (5800 Fulton Ave).
Huntington Beach Independent reporter Chris Epting broke the story on the McDonalds themed mural tagged over with the word VEGAN. It went viral. Epting defended that the folk art mural by Saeed Danosian was now "some crass commercial statement." Now Epting reports on the vegan activists who are defending the tag.
Los Angeles Magazine's Cultural Files love it when "street art meets civic betterment." Elina Shatkin writes on that a modified onramp sign "forces drivers to not only ponder the act of driving and the repetition hidden in L.A.'s landscape but the very nature of existence itself." Robert Takata's photo is the evidence.
Countering the argument that LAPD should not curate what is art, the Wall Street Journal profiles Sgt. Daniel Gonzalez who patrols the Venice Beach Boardwalk. He's a cop who "isn't afraid to give pointers to the boardwalk artists about what he thinks will sell--and spends much of his time encouraging ordinance violators to find their hidden talents."
Jazz went trompe l'oeil with "Hermosa Jazz" by muralist John Pugh, the third mural under the watch of Hermosa Beach Murals Project. The project plans to have ten new murals over ten years, reports Easy Reader news.
In San Diego, an evening of five short plays focused on street artists. Dubbed "Street," the idea was solid, even if the outcome was a bit "inconsistent," writes Pam Kragen. The critic liked the "multilevel graffitied streetscape set designed by Areta MacKelvie."
Words from Florida on the redevelopment association who collaborated with "RISK" Shepard Fairey, How and Nosm, and Gregory Siff to convert ten blighted buildings in downtown Miami into a street art gallery.