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James Jean (interviewed) recently announced the release of a collaborative product with Defonce Chocolatiers that feature his artworks and design. The custom bar features cannabis-infused white chocolate splashed with Rosé champagne and showered with pistachios and strawberries. If interested, check out an unpackaging video on his IG here as well as retailers where it can be purchased. Discuss James Jean here.

Following up on their show in 2014 (covered), the Miaz Brothers recently opened up their solo with Lazarides at their new Mayfair home, Lazinc Sackville. Entitled Anonymous, the 16 paintings on display are a continuation of the Italian duo's Antimatter series, comprised of the out of focus portraits (and one sculpture) that they have become famous for. The haunting large-format canvases are created using a meticulous layering of spray paint and feature more experimental and bolder brush strokes this go around. Check out more photos of the exhibition below... Photos courtesy of the gallery. Discuss Miaz Brothers here.

After seeing the 4 foot version of this figure back in 2015, the vinyl version of Luke Chueh's (interviewed) Bruised Lee figure is now available for purchase. Created as a sculptural rendition of his It Takes More Than A Jumpsuit (And Nunchakus) painting, the 6.3" high art toy available through VTSS Toys for $100 shipped worldwide and is limited to a run of 500. Combining the Los Angeles-based artist's signature sad bear with Bruce Lee's classic yellow jumpsuit from movie, The Game of Death, the first figure offered is the unbruised version with presumably the bruised version to follow at some point. Head here to add it to your collection. Discuss Luke Chueh here.

Followers of the work of Banksy and the global street art world would hardly imagine the elusive artist ever taking part in the ongoing Houston Bowery Wall initiative. Yet, on the 15th of March, only two days after his time chasing rat appeared on the busy intersection of Union Square (seen below), the world learned that Bristol's finest had been added to the list of artists that have painted the wall famous since Keith Haring painted it first in the 70s. Taking his turn at one of the most highly regarded mural walls in the United States, Banksy (or Borf on his behalf, as mentioned in some media) decided to paint an explicit, politically charged piece. With almost no references to his previous or recognizable work, without any hidden messages or beating around the bush, he revealed the new piece on his official Instagram:
Zehra Dogan, Turkish artist

Coming up at the end of March, KAWS will be opening two show at the Hong Kong (March 26th) and Tokyo (March 22) locations of Galerie Perrotin. The Brooklyn-based artist's latest solo in the vibrant metropolis of southeastern China will coincide with the opening of Art Basel Hong Kong and mark his return after he was the gallery's first artist at this branch in 2012 (covered) and after his sculpture project in 2014 (covered). And, his exhibition in Japan will give his fans in Japan, who grew up on his work with Original-Fake, something local to be excited about again as a followup to his last showing there in 2013 (covered). Discuss KAWS here.

Currently at the Library Street Collective in Detroit, Margo Wolowiec has a show on display featuring her "#rosegarden" series of works. Entitled Taking Over, the new pieces continue her exploration on the relationship between weaving and computing, both in the binary concept that each is based on as well as mixing the two in her creative process. She references social media for her imagery, taking the photos she finds through hashtags and geotags and then using a sublimation dye process to transfer them onto groups of threads which she then weaves and reassembles adding an abstract element to the works. She further explains - "I began taking screenshots of news articles from verified and unverified online news media sites and incorporating them into my weavings. I paired these texts with images of roses and flowers collected from the hashtag #rosegarden. The rose acts as a foil for the text from news and media sources, with roses and rose gardens as symbols of beauty and hope but also wealth and power. As I have continued to work through this series, the rose garden images have taken more and more prominence in each piece. I like that the florals are creeping in more, as I gradually give them more power and space within the work and push back against the news media texts. I think this is a symbol of my own hope for the future, and for the power and space...

Last month, Jules Maeght Gallery in San Francisco opened a joint show from YESNIK EVAD and Cécile Granier de Cassagnac entitled Subliminal Sanctuary. Both artists paint the natural world with an eye toward the abstract - YESNIK with his acrylic and collage totemic representations of the his time in the Sequoia National Park in Central California and Granier de Cassagnac’s with her at times realistic and at times more loose watercolor "emotional responses to memory and experience in the wilderness." Take a look at more photos from the opening below... Discuss Dave Kinsey here.

Starting on March 17th (12am midnight PST), two new limited editions will be available from Audrey Kawasaki (interviewed) time limited to 48 hours. Entitled Madame Una & Arianna, the images are taken from two paintings she contributed to a mini show (covered) at last year's Moniker Art Fair in London in which she was exploring a new style inspired by old advertisements posters for circus performers. The giclee prints will be signed and numbered (edition sized determined by how many orders made within 48 hours time period), sized at 18" x 27" (including 1/8" white border), and cost $120 ($360 framed). There also some cool giveaways that will randomly go to some lucky orders (see here). Head over to Static Medium here at the appropriate time to purchase. Discuss Audrey Kawasaki here.

Art historian Hector Campbell sat down with British artist Daniel Sparkes aka Müdwig to discuss his early street works, artistic influences, the evolution of his gallery work and his collaborations with fashion brands. The British artist also recently teamed up with art collective Fluorescent Smogg to release a new limited edition printed silk pocket square, available here. Hector Campbell (HC): Many people will have first encountered your artwork around 15 years ago through your series of altered billboards, which became known as the ‘Mudverts’. What drew you to this outlet for artistic expression? Daniel Sparkes (DC): Just before I started painting the billboards around Bristol, I was doing a lot of digital drawing on the old photoshop, biro forms scanned in and assembled over photos, all done meticulously on my computer in the comfort of my boudoir. When a graffiti writer moved into our house with his hundreds of spray paint cans, I was inevitably encouraged to start enlarging my work into walls. Billboards were unusual targets at the time, and were the logical phase-up from my computer montages. Comparatively, they were a huge thill to paint, as their highly visible positioning meant I had to work fast, at night, often with bystanders watching and having to mentally block out constant traffic presence. I only painted them for about a year as I got policed enough times for me to have to stop. [caption id="attachment_330021" align="alignnone" width="1024"]

Recently in Shenzhen, China, Thomas Canto installed a reflective sculpture on top of a private building entitled Gravitational Inertia Infinity. The piece is the first in a new series of works that the French artist plans to explore in the coming months and continues his play with depth, geometry and illusion. Mirroring some of the star-like installations he has created indoors, Canto is taking his work full circle by heading outdoors back to the urban environment, hoping to start a dialogue between nature, human and architecture. Discuss Thomas Canto here.

More stories below from this week (click on bolded words for more information):
  • JR mounts a towering monument to refugees at The Armory Show.
  • A tour of NADA New York 2018. How NADA helps young galleries in hard times.
  • At Independent Art Fair, emerging and established artists share the stage.
  • Searching for trends at The Armory Show with empty pockets and a drink in hand
  • The 20 best booths at The Armory Show.
  • How the 1913 Armory Show dispelled the American belief that good art had to be beautiful.
  • Phillips notches its best sale ever with record-beaking Mark Bradford and £42 Million Picasso.
  • £109 million Sotheby’s Contemporary sale shows market stability—even without sparks.
  • Christie’s £137 million night breaks record for a contemporary art sale in Europe.
  • The rediscovery of Picasso’s Designs for a 100-Foot-Tall Bust in Florida.
  • Team Gallery’s Jose Freire on new zero-sum art market - “I’m not Gagosian - I’m just a loser with a gallery."
  • How many people does it take to run a mega-gallery? We found out.
  • How Oscar weekend launched a buying spree for L.A.’s art collectors
  • The Shed’s

With Armory Week 2018 being in full swing this weekend in NYC we keep getting reports of new shows, releases, openings and some interesting behind the scene stories from the fairs. One that is getting a lot of attention is the sale of Jean-Pierre Roy's painting from Aporetic Sequence show/booth with Gallery Poulsen at Volta NYC. The NYC-based artist has been preparing this particular body of work for over half of year now, which resulted in nine oil paintings comprising a unique narrative that plays out over each canvas and onto the next. Depicting dynamic post apocalyptic scenes of conflict and tension, these futuristic images are references to the artist's upbringing in LA and the contrast between the overall tranquility and the frenzy of the urban megalopolis. Created with meticulous attention to detail and exaggerated light and color vibrancy elements, this hyper realistic, neo-surreal imagery once again caught the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio. Known to be an avid art collector, Hollywood actor already purchased the work by Roy back in 2015, and this time he added the biggest piece from this show to his collection. First introduced during Pulse fair in December 2017, Landscape with Divergent Perceptual Reference Frames is painted on linen measuring 75 x 55" and was created as an introduction for an upcoming series. Photo credits by @voltashow, @gallerypoulsen & @jeanpierreroy.

Currently in New York at Morgan Lehman's auxiliary space (526 West 26th Street, 4th Floor), there is a small popup show of Paul Wacker's work on view. Running from March 8-10, the short term exhibition will feature a book launch party Friday night (5 - 8 pm) featuring Wacker's newest book - You Are Welcome Here. The gorgeous new 239 page monograph includes much of his work from last 10 years, his modern take on still life portraits. Discuss Paul Wackers here.

Tomorrow (March 9th) in New York, Half Gallery will be opening a new show from Geoff McFetridge entitled The Beringians. On display will be the highly stylized paintings from the Canadian artist with his signature minimalistic approach of breaking down the subject of his portraits to their most basic form, while playing with the perspective. He further explains the title of the exhibition - "The Beringians were the people that lived on the Bering land bridge. Westcoasters. Their home was the split between two places that then eroded and disappeared." Take a look at a few more preview images below... Discuss Geoff McFetridge here.

Print Them All recently teamed up with legendary artist Kenny Scharf (interviewed) for a fresh new limited edition release. As a part of his recent Sloppy Styles series, Sloppy Melt is a new take on his signature cartoon-inspired imagery. The California-born artist was a contemporary of such names as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol or Keith Haring, working alongside them in the 80s in NYC. His graffiti-based work has been called pop abstract surrealism, and is constructed of alien-like cartoonish characters that form everything from single portraits to complex multidisciplinary installations. After experimenting with more strict, straight line grids and block formats in the last two years, his newest body of work featured on this edition is purposely sloppy and drippy. In artist's own word this "has to do just with being fun, and also has to do with melting - things are melting, the world is melting.“ The vibrant image has been produced with eight colors and has received an "Angel Dust" glitter finish on the historic machines of Idem Studio in Paris. As Scharf's first official limited edition release in the last two years, the print is available in an edition of 99 examples measuring 90 cm x 64 cm (35.43 in x 25.19 in), each signed, named and numbered by the artist and stamped by the print studio. Discuss Kenny Scharf here.

Following a collaborative wall with Shepard Fairey (covered) while in Los Angeles for his solo show (covered) a couple week ago, Vhils recently created another mural with a high profile artist. The latest piece (with support from Branded Arts) features one of the Portuguese artist's signature chiseled portraits surrounded by RETNA's (featured) instantly recognizable urban script. If you are around Echo Park (Alvarado & Sunset), stop by for a look yourself. Check out more photos and a video below... Photo credit: @metalzombieman (top image), @streetartfocus@streetartdistortion, and the artist. Discuss Vhils here. Discuss Retna here.

Currently in Madrid, Ellipse of Passage is showing at Galería Javier López & Fer Francés, timed to coincide with this year's ARCOmadrid. The exhibition from Phil Frost is a followup to his 2014 solo (covered) with the gallery with some previously unseen works that once again features the gritty visual language he honed to perfection while coming up in the early NY graffiti scene. Included in the body of work are some medium to large sized paintings, covered in Frost's familiar tiki form and patterns and utilizing found materials. Discuss Phil Frost here.

On March 8th, the LSU Museum of Art in Baton Rouge will be opening Slang Aesthetics from Robert Williams, a show that has travelled thru Los Angeles (covered), Sonoma County, and Santa Fe, and the Midwest (covered) already. Presented by Thinkspace Gallery and Josef Zimmerman, the exhibition will feature over 30 oil paintings as well as ephemera and drawings from the "godfather of the lowbrow and pop surrealist art movements." You can take a look at some other associated events here if you are interested. Discuss Robert Williams here.

Currently in Hong Kong, Mark Ryden (interviewed) has a striking new sculptural piece on view in the foyer of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Entitled Dodecahedron–Quintessence 132, the twelve-faced piece features symbolic imagery on each side including the all-seeing eye that the Lowbrow artist is known for. Ryden further explains - "Quintessence 132 is a sculptural piece that continues my interest in the Dodecahedron. I have been numbering my paintings and sculptures since my first major solo exhibition in 1998. This is number 132. On this piece, I have included an array of icons, figures, and symbols on each of the pentagonal panels that form the solid. These symbols are dominated by the all seeing eye, the gateway to the soul. The eye is a motif which reoccurs in my work. In Whipped Cream, the ballet spectacle, for which I recently designed sets and costumes, this eye again appears, presiding from a central spot above the show." Check his instagram for a more in-depth look side the piece. Coinciding with the display of this new sculptural piece, the aforementioned Whipped Cream (covered), a collaboration between the American artist and the American Ballet Theater will premiere (March 22-25) at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre during the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2018. The sculpture will then...

More stories below (compiled with the help of YESNIK) from this week (click on bolded words for more information):