INTERVIEW WITH PSYCHO DE MAYO CREATOR EVAN HAGEN
OC Weekly recently sat down with resident Think Tank artist, Thief Presents founder, all-around trippy dude and first-time festival creator Evan Hagen to discuss his venture from overwhelmingly successful concert series into the world of festivals. The creator brings together some of the most respected performers in psych-rock - a ton of them his own personal friends - this weekend on May 5th in a four-stage festival that promises to fill fans with an inclusive feeling with any one of the large number of bands included.
…Hagen’s eyes were opened to the far-reaching power wielded by the psychedelic scene. “When [Dead Meadow] walked onstage, Jason [Simon] just rolled out this solo. He was frying—he did an eighth of mushrooms before he walked onstage—and there were 5,000 people there,” Hagen says. “It took my breath away.”
NOSEGO FEATURED IN HUFFINGTON POST
We have known Yis Goodwin, also known as NoseGo, since our show Dude, Monsters! took place way back last summer. The artist has been killing it ever since, and we are extremely excited to check out his show this weekend at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, where he is showing with a few other artists of equal talent. The street artist recently featured in the Huffington Post to speak on the totemic qualities of his work and what got him into the style in the first place. Check it out here.
WBR - SUFFERING FOR LIGHT AND OTHER OBSERVATIONS
Whole Beast Rag, whose two founders are resident artists at the Think Tank, host Mondays on the Think Tank blog. Their audience flirts with fringe, and you can find a link to their editorial at the bottom.
GRAFFITI ARTISTS TURN TO TATTOO ART
Graffiti and tattoos are naturally two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, graff is the most temporal of all art forms, with each piece pretty much guaranteed to not exist at all sometime in the near future. Tattoos outlast even their wearer. But both are lowbrow art forms that have recently gained popular acceptance, and thus tattooing has become an easy transition for some of the biggest names in graff. It’s difficult to make a living on graffiti, and while tattooing is competitive enough to ensure it’s no cakewalk, an artist with a name that precedes him, even if it is four capital letters, might have a good chance to break into the tattoo industry by carrying his fans along with him.
In Skin Graf: Masters of Graffiti Tattoo, being published by Prestel on April 25, one of these graffiti writers, Michael “Kaves” McLeer, and producer/director Billy Burke compiled the work and stories of some of these graffiti-to-tattoo artists. This Wednesday, Kaves is giving a talk at the New York Public Library with Burke on this crossover culture.
Check out more here.
KENNY SCHARF ON HIS RECENT ARREST FOR TAGGING
World-renowned graffiti artist Kenny Scharf was recently let out of jail after serving 20 hours in Brooklyn booking, with “vomit and shit everywhere.” This was the artist’s second arrest for tagging, though this time around he wasn’t treated quite so harshly. Hyperallergic interviewed him about the incident and his views on graffiti’s illegality:
“The weird thing about things done in the street is that it is an outlet for things to get out and there are no sanctioned ways for most people to express themselves, and this is what people need for self-expression. It’s going to happen no matter what, people will never be able to keep from being controlled,” he says. “Graffiti is a big expression of not being controlled. And we’re not puppets like the government wants us to be … I think they should let it happen, and if an owner of a wall on a building or gate don’t like it, they can paint it or give it a protective coating which let’s them rub it off later. Writers will know they can’t do that again without being erased. The artists don’t want to put effort into something that will get cleaned off … [The cops] should concentrate on real crimes. It’s all the walls that no one cares about that are getting tagged up. I felt like I was improving the way it looked,” he says.
OLD VISIONS OF WHAT LOS ANGELES COULD HAVE BEEN
The Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles is putting together an exhibition of a lost utopia that Los Angeles - often criticized for its lack of urban and social planning - could have been. Never Built: Los Angeles opens on July 27th, and provides viewers with an experience of the sometimes misleading power of architectural ideas provided through blueprints, renderings, and models, as well as the lost art of hand drawing.
Ideas for an off-shore highway system, advanced monorail from Downtown to LAX, and plenty of Lloyd Wrightisms make up a fraction of this interesting, alternate reality.
sleepyinzomniac asked: I really want to check out the gallery, the Paul Santoreli installation looks beautiful. I was wondering which days and times the gallery is open to the public. Thanks in advance.
You know, we aren’t actually hosting official gallery hours this month, but you have a couple of options.
1.) You can set an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or
2.) You can come to our next party on May 9th! Keep an eye on our FaceBook for details.
COMPUTER-GENERATED ART CONTEST SUBMISSIONS END TOMORROW
ArtSlant is mid-promotion of its highly-touted <ERROR 415>, which is currently accepting submissions for an exhibition on May 17th. An award of $415 will come alongside exhibit space at a screening, and exposure through ArtSlant’s Tumblr. Submissions are due by tomorrow!
Submissions are to be moving-image, computer-generated new media art that is representative of the experimental, critical and interrogative nature of this burgeoning medium. Sound and physical materials will not be supported at the installation.
More details here!
WBR - STOP, COLLABORATE & LISTEN
In addition to the bombing, I discussed a potential collaboration creating a post-apocalyptic scenario adult day camp, pushing people to and past the edge (I hope it becomes a cathartic enterprise). At Whole Beast Rag, our newest columnist Diego Báez submitted for publication a piece titled, “The Blind Watchmaker’s Near-sighted Timepieces,” on intelligent design and artificial intelligence. It was excellent, and obviously was part of the inspiration for this blog post (look for it soon). My boss, earlier in the week, sent me something and I was transported to an Internet press release vortex (the worst kind) where I found some info (in press release form) for ‘Sirius,’ a film that, “introduces a DNA sequenced humanoid of unknown classification to the world and sheds definitive light on the scientific reality of UFOs, ETs, and Advanced Alternative Energy Technology.” All interesting things. If I’d tried to put all of that into a thesis, though (just pretend with me that all of this had happened three years ago), I would have been institutionalized and probably wouldn’t’ve finished college, let alone my thesis. I didn’t know how to process that sort of thing back then. If I was coming across these things consciously, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But it’s not—it’s me learning to pick up on patterns which, in an environment such as the one I’m living in, become more and more apparent as you learn to look for the cues. This is something that isn’t a particularly new idea—the pattern thing—but sometimes it takes a while to understand.
I was in a science fiction literature class my last year of college. It felt dated, especially because the professor looked like Garrison Keillor, though the Arthur C. Clarke was good. I wish I’d taken the class before I’d finished my senior thesis; the senior seminar “theme” or “title” or whatever, was “Modern Materialities” (I’d applied for the nonfiction seminar). I could have figured the thesis out after the sci fi class, made it into something it wasn’t. Would have made for a less rocky and terribly-cited thesis. In the end, instead of using my otherwise-complete English degree for this thesis, I decided to go with my gut and talk about reality television for an academic paper. Thanks roommates (really).
I don’t remember the title of my thesis, and I don’t have any copies of it in Los Angeles. Things would have been different, I think, if I’d focused on hands-on post-apocalyptic projects such as the ones I’m now pursuing (I also thought about joining the Red Cross, though this was not quite right for me). But I’m not any worse off for having written a poorly-constructed thesis, I was busy doing what eventually made me want to do WBR; that semester, I was the Editor-in-Chief at my college’s literary magazine that no one read. When we were working on the magazine, it was visceral enough for me to engage in actual conversation about the heady seminar—less specifics, more big-picture things. It helped a lot.
I work to display patience in integrating different mediums (academic, creative, event/project/collaboration-based), which is an ongoing process for me. But I am too eager to know, in my own way and to the best of my ability, about the world around me to perpetually disengage if I don’t immediately understand in one medium; I’m still interested in these ideas, even if I’m not writing an earth-shattering/culturally revelatory piece on it. I want to know. I want to know I want to know.
I know now that I can edit a piece like Diego’s and WBR can throw an event at Think Tank Gallery in DTLA in the same month, and all the while I’m experiencing a thematic, integrated approach to the subject matter (in this case, WBR’s CTHTHONIC Issue) and to my life. There’s only so much the liberal arts college system can do, and sometimes we just have to look the average American graduate experience in the face and say, “Fuck it. I’m gonna do my best to grow.”
It’s tough juggling the intellectual, the mundane, the manual creation. What’s vital in the development of creative potential is knowing which of these is best suited to channel ideas. Or, as it was with my past week of post-apocalyptic conversations, wait for the right opportunity to share your knowledge and passion. (Even if it takes a few years or longer, you’ll be able to step back and learn more about how to fit work or a concept into a fresh framework.)
Written by Grace Littlefield, WBR Executive Director & Co-Editor-in-Chief