Event of The Week: ROA at Inoperable Gallery

24 08 2011

For those of you in and around Vienne , Austria you should definitely stop by THE INOPERABLE GALLERY to view ROA’s work. By far our favourite artist here at NEOREVIVALIST the Opening is this Friday August 26th. Here is a press release including information about the gallery and ROA (for those of you who aren’t familiar with the artist).

“…The Viennese Art Gallery INOPERAbLE presents works of one of the most highly regarded artists of the street art movement, ROA.

INOPERAbLE gallery will show the latest work of the Belgian artist, including installations, paintings on found objects, and original drawings. ROA will also present his limited edition hand bound book “ROA: An Introduction To Animal Representation” (Mammal Press). A limited number of copies of the books, which include his first ever print, will be available at the opening.

ROAs work indoor is just as fascinating and innovative as those created outdoors in urban and suburban areas. The artists original works have solidified him as an undisputed key figure in the Urban Art movement. Recently a work of ROA was scheduled to be removed by the Hackney city council, however an overwhelming reaction from the local citizens helped save the work. Similarly numerous works by Banksy were “rescued”, again marking ROAs signifigance in the contemporary art scene. Animals are the central theme in ROAs artistic universe. His monumental rabbits, birds, rats or fish, usually in black and white, can be found in cities like New York, London, Paris, Berlin or Mexico. Hefocuses on the fauna of the region, merging them naturally and seamlessly into the environment. Often the decompossing creatures reflect the artists critical view of society around the walls where he works. The bold and large scale murals of ROA confrontハ viewers and provide a break in their hectic everday lifestyle, if only just for a moment.

Over the last half decade, ROAs work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Most notably ROAs work was shown in the internationally acclaimed exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) alongside Banksy, Swoon, Barry McGee, Space Invader, Basquiat, JR, Os Gemeos and many more. ROA spends much of his time traveling the world, visiting cities and villages of all sizes. This summer he was invited to Gambia along with a handful of active Street Artists to paint murals in small villages, which are usually ignored by tourists. The project was meant to encourage “whites” to stop in these towns to admire the works and support the local businesses, rather than just throw candy out of the window to the children.

ROA will spend the month of August in Vienna as Artist in Resident at Museums Quartier. With the help of the MQ and INOPERAbLE, ROA will spend much of his time creating awe inspiring works around the city. Keep your eyes open for new works as he hits up the capital of Austria, and prepares for his solo exhibition at INOPERAbLE…”

Death of Banksy…

10 01 2011

Banksy brought us Exit Through The Gift Shop, which in most cases you either loved it or hated it. The main question that I personally had after I saw the film was, “did Banksy make this film in reference to what he thinks of himself..?”  Mr. Brainwash could very well just be doing exactly what he learned from Banksy…At any rate, I stumbled upon this article from RJ and my friends over at Vandalog.com…Read…and discuss…


“Can Banksy die? I’ve got no doubt that the man who was writing the name Banksy on Bristol’s walls in the 1990′s can and will, at some point, die. That’s not what I’m wondering though. Keith Haring has been dead for more than 20 years, but you can still buy new products with his imagery. Similarly, Basquiat’s estate released prints after his death. But those artists had names and faces. Even after their deaths, products can still be made using their images, but there’s not going to be any new imagery. But Banksy (the brand, not the man) doesn’t have those same constraints. Disney didn’t die with Walt Disney. Is Banksy one man or many people?

While he is anonymous, Banksy is publicly portrayed as being one person. But what does that one person actually do these days when it comes to making art?”

Banksy doesn’t paint all of his own street art…

“Banksy doesn’t paint all of his street art. That’s well-established. Shepard Fairey has said so (thanks to Mischa for the link to that article) and, in the latest issue of Very Nearly Almost, Eine says that he used to paint street pieces for Banksy. Of course, there were even those rats that Banksy hired sign painters to paint in NYC back in 2008. Given his high-profile status and the risks associated with painting, it probably makes legal sense for assistants to paint Banksy’s street pieces. If I were in Banksy’s position, I probably wouldn’t risk painting all of my own street pieces either.”

There’s no way to know if Banksy paints his own gallery art…

“What about his indoor work? Maybe Banksy still paints everything himself, but I’m doubtful of that. While hiring assistants might be more difficult for Banksy than Jeff Koons, it’s clear in Exit Through The Gift Shop that Banksy has a staff. At the very least, I think it’s safe to assume that Banksy isn’t executing the creation of any his sculptures himself (no matter what videos show). And there’s little reason to think Banksy doesn’t have assistants completing part or all of his paintings. Banksy has said that he paints his own pictures, but how would anyone outside of his team know if he was telling the truth or not? Assistants who work on paintings for an artist are a widely accepted practice. As an extreme example, Damien Hirst has said that his best spot paintings were the ones painted entirely by Rachel Howard, his former assistant. Even if Banksy paints all his own pictures today, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to know if that practice changes in the future. Again though, some use of assistants for painting is probably what almost any artist in Banksy’s position would do.”

There isn’t just one man who can come up with funny stencils…

“But regardless who who physically executes the artwork, conceptual artists have long contended that the artist is the one who comes up with the idea of the art, not the one who makes the art. By that standard, what makes a Banksy a Banksy is that he came up with the idea, but he isn’t the only one who could do that. Countless artists emulating Banksy, as well as generations of political cartoonists, have shown that coming up with clever 1-liners isn’t a skill possessed only by one man. Admittedly, I think most people find Banksy’s average success rate with his jokes to be higher than that of a lot the people he has inspired, but that is probably as much about being careful with what you put out there as it is about being clever. Maybe it’s true that no one person will ever be as good as Banksy at his brand of humor and commentary, but a dozen people working together probably could be. But I’ve already made an assumption here: Today, there is only one individual who comes up with all the ideas behind Banksy’s artwork. Again, we have no way of knowing how true that assumption is. Banksy’s cloak of anonymity means that the public really has no idea how many people contribute ideas to the Banksy identity. Today and in the future, the ideas behind Banksy’s art could come from one man or a team of 50 with no input from the original individual who called himself Banksy. How could we tell the difference?”

Life after death…

“I’m inclined to think that Banksy, the man, is a hard working guy who does involve himself in the making of the artwork that he signs. But given all the possibilities for others to be involved in the Banksy brand without the public knowing a thing, it is clear that the Banksy brand can continue to create artwork indefinitely with or without the original man behind the name. Like the many boys who took on the role Batman’s sidekick Robin (oh, haha okay I came up with this metaphor days ago and only now as I write it down do I realize the irony given Banksy’s supposed identity. I’m an idiot), an anonymous artist’s name and image can be taken up by any number of people. If the man behind Banksy ever leaves the Banksy organization, or when he dies, will the public ever know? It’s possible that my grandchildren will be able to see “original” Banksy artwork completed a century from now. Banksy seems to have reached the absurd hyperbole of conceptual art: the original artist may not even need to conceive the artwork for it to bear his name. Banksy has finally achieved what Warhol and others set out to: the artist is truly a brand without a human identity.

This isn’t to say that Banksy’s death is impossible. It may happen one day. It seems only right that Banksy the brand dies with Banksy the man and it may very well end there, but it would definitely be possible for his team to continue the brand without the man. Then, the questions become would we notice, would we care and how would Banksy the brand change itself from the original intent of Banksy the man?

What do you think? Does Banksy’s death promise a new frontier for art? Have I completely misunderstood the brand/man that is Banksy? This is a post of questions I’ve been thinking about more than it is a post of answers and opinions, so I’m looking forward to reading other people’s thoughts in the comments.”

Photos by eddiedangerous, Jake Dobkin, caruba, Joshua Rappeneker and ahisgett


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,653 other followers

%d bloggers like this: