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Art Market

THR is a monography on Barry McGee, from the Alleged Press collection, by Damiani Editore and Aaron Rose.

It’s a very big book (32 x 24.6 cm) and it’s well worth its price (around 40). The Barry McGee Prada Exhibition catalogue was already one of my favourite books, and this new one is very similar, but a lot bigger.
It’s a complete mix of everything around Barry McGee: lifestyle, polaroids, drawings, sketches, exhibition pictures and graffiti (from the old characters and silver pieces to the newest walls of tags).

It’s a long series of images, uninterrupted: there are no texts at all in the 176 pages of the book, art-directed by Josh Lazcano.

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Damiani (31 Oct 2009)
Language English
ISBN-10: 9788862080965
ISBN-13: 978-8862080965
ASIN: 8862080964
Product Dimensions: 32 x 24.6 x 2.4 cm

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Pastaman – Il sopra e sotto, tombini art per Metroweb

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Futura 2000, Gec, Br1, Pao, Space Invaders and others in no special order. Stradafacendo2010, torino. sorry I missed the cripta747 exhibition, but I’ll be back

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avantgarden gallery website, with lots of pictures of the past exhibitions.

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Thanks to my friend Giacomo, here you are the five best art prints of 2008 (according to him, obviously) with the corresponding street works.

Thank you Giacomo for this great selection!

1) Hope – Shepard fairey

The iconic image by Shepard fairey for the recent u.s. elections. Recently the orginal piece of this work has been acquired by the Nation Protrait Gallery of Washington DC. Good deal for Shepard and for streetart in general!

2) Demos – Blu

Blu is probably the most respected street artist on the scene right now. However, his work on paper has been often criticized for not being as powerful as his street work. I’m sure this print isn’t among these works: it is huge, well printed and brings on your wall the power of Blu’s street work! By the way, it is still available at studiocromie.org !

3) Very Little Helps – Banksy

It’s not possible to make a “best of” about streetart and forget to mention master Banksy! With the print presented at POW Open Day in December, Banksy offered us another powerful image to his imagery, an instant classic!

4) Graf Geisha – Hush

Hush has been indicated as one of the 20 golden boys of brit art earlier this year, his style is always evolving and his shows are usually sold out before they start, keep an eye on him!

5) Splash – Grafter

Finally, a new entry. Grafter has been one of the revelations of the first edition of the Cans Festival. The guy is gaining more and more respect and his best work to date is certainly Splash. Let’s see if the rookie will confirm himself in 2009.

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giacomo is the proud owner of a unique collection: a large number of art prints (silkscreened) that break trademark law. I’m pretty happy to feature this nice artworks in a “gimme5” special, and to ask some short questions to our young collector.

lv child by beejoir

rene gagnon

“shell blood for oil” by beejoir

james cauty

(1) how come do you have a collection of art prints that infringe trademark law?
Well, trademarks are a big part of my life as I work in the Intellectual Property field! So, when I started collecting art prints I was fascinated by the use of trademarks in so many prints and I started to concentrate my purchases on them.

(2) for an artist, is it legal to reproduce trademarks (or other copyrights) in his own creations?
This isn’t certainly a yes/no question! It is debated if the use of a trademark by an artist could be allowed. In a nutshell: the law changes from country to country but, generally speaking, some kind of “fair use” is usually recognized if the mark is not used in the business. The question is therefore if selling prints bearing such trademarks is or not some kind of business… believe me, these prints are definitely expensive!!!

(3) what do companies do, with regard to these little (or not so little) infringements? do they usually sue the artist?
If a trademark holder does not enforce its rights, this may end up in the loss of the rights themselves, as the marks may be considered abandoned or even generic.
However, there are different ways to handle infringements carried out by artists. In my opinion, as far as there is no concrete commercial use, there is no actual risk for the trademark owner.
To make some examples, as far as I know, James Cauty had some bad exchange of correspondence with Warner Bros for some of his works while Disney never bothered acting against him for other works infringing its rights on Mickey Mouse.
Louis Vuitton, instead, on the one hand never acted against Beejoir and his “LV Child” but, on the other hand, made a lot of noise in the case with Nadia Plesner, a Danish artist using a logo confusingly similar with the “LV monogram” for an artwork on t-shirts sold for supporting a non-profit organization in Darfur. Well, in the latter case it is true that the artist was selling t-shirts, but I’m not sure LV made the right move suing the artist!

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Like it or not, graffiti appeared in galleries in New York pretty soon (1972, Hugo Martinez and United Graffiti Artists). In Europe, there’s only few galleries that deal with graffiti art anly, and Speerstra is surely amongst the best. We are very happy to publish this few questions that we asked to Willelm, the man behind this great gallery that featured the most important oldschool writers from New York.

1. First of all I’d like to know something more about yourself, if you are\were a writer and how did you enter the graffiti world.

Willem Speerstra born 1972 / Amsterdam / Holland.

I was not a writer , but discovered Graffiti at 11 years old, when my father bought a painting from Dondi in New York in 1983, I guess because I saw this wonderful painting up on the wall of my home, I really started to become interested in the graffiti movement.

In 1983, graffiti was already around Amsterdam and I was already seeing works by Shoe and Delta etc… in the city
In 1984 came out the book “subway art” and this was the real start of my passion for graffiti. Hip Hop was going strong , really great times…
Started buying graffiti paintings very early for my own collection around 1991.

2. I’d like you to tell me how Speerstra gallery was born, how did you have the idea of opening a gallery focused on graffiti writing

The “Speerstra Gallery” adventure started in Paris in September 2001.

The idea, is that there was no idea. After working for a cartoon company (1994-
1999) I just decided by passion to open my own gallery space. The start was difficult
but after one year clients started to appreciated and to understand the artists and
were they came from.

3. Why do you focus on graffiti and not on other “street” stuff, that is probably more easy to sell (isn’t it?).

I is not a question of making money but more of what I like to collect and to sell, old
school artists from New york and recently younger graffiti artists from Europe
(alexone, Mist, Dare…) are my favourites and are much appreciated by my clients.

I do not really care what is fashionable to sell, toys, t-shirts, etc…

I am not into “stencil Art” and “Street Art”, but I do respect both movements, on the
Streets and in galleries of course.

“Street art” (and not stencil art) has only been around since 2002, so for me it to
early to collect and I am more like wait and see what happens regarding the today’s
art market.

4. You are open since many years, do you see a trend in the graffiti art market? Which ones are the main artists that we can find in the international indexes (such as artprice) and on sale at Sotheby’s, Bonhams and the like?

There has always been a trend in Graffiti art, but these last 5 years have been really crazy, I guess advertising and other media has indirectly promoted the movement.

Not to forget that most of today’s graffiti collectors were around 5 /10 years old when it all started… today they have the money to buy beautiful works and they do.
Concerning the index, all artists are to be found but only very recently due to international sales. Jonone, Quick, Crash… they are all being represented at very good sales. And the prices of the works are only at the beginning… Wait and see.

As I always like to say; in the Us there are two big art movements that occurred at the end of the last century: Pop Art and Graffiti art, and only is still alive “Graffiti an unstoppable world wide movement, each year thousands of young kids playing the game and practicing their passion for the love of their art” respect!

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