Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

How To Fix A Bad Tattoo

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Tattoos can be beautiful and wonderful. But things change. Are you embarrassed about an old tattoo? Misha can help.

(Disclaimer: Converse is not really in the Global Education Business.)

Converse Christmas Lights

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Converse created an alternative Sneakers Christmas light display at Dray Walk made up of hundreds of pairs of illuminated Converse sneakers. The display was installed above giant bubble wrap hopscotch walkways at the Shoreditch and Dalston stations.

Converse also converted a truck into a portable sound system. The truck toured busy streets in the evening allowing people with a sneaker mentality to plug in their own music selections.

Converse/Dazed 2012 Emerging Artists Award

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Following on from last year’s successful awards programme, Converse and Dazed are teaming up once again with the Whitechapel Gallery for the third Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award. The aim of this now well-established award is to discover and celebrate four of the UK’s most promising future art-stars.

Rather than looking to find artwork that already fits into the typical white-wall gallery style, we’re looking for work that challenges perceptions, that’s inspiring and honest, that truly strikes a chord. The panel – six judges selected from across the UK’s prestigious art community – are primarily looking for originality across all artistic mediums. The award is open to any unrepresented artist under 35 who is not in full-time education. Work is accepted in any form – everything from painting, sculpture and photography to video, performance, installation, digital and sound work. There is no theme and no agenda. This is your opportunity to stand up and show the contemporary art world why what you do is both different and important. We want something fresh, something new, something with absolute authenticity.

For the 2011 Award, the prize threw up a number of great talents that were then meticulously whittled down to a shortlist of just five names by the judging panel, which consisted of Whitechapel Gallery curator Kirsty Ogg, Dazed & Confused Visual Arts Editor Francesca Gavin, artist Eva Rothschild, curator Paul Pieroni and gallerists Sadie Coles and Darren Flook.

The selection process resulted in a diverse shortlist of photographer and installation artist Gabriele Beveridge, intervention-based artist Ellie Harrison, sculptor Bruce Ingram, digital duo Samuel Levack & Jennifer Lewandowski and avant-garde artist Richard Parry. Each was then given the opportunity to exhibit at a site-specific pop-up space just off Brick Lane, within a short walk of the Whitechapel Gallery.

The overall prize was awarded to Richard Parry, who took home £6,000 for his involved and detailed work, which incorporates elements from paintings, sculpture, photography, installation and intervention. Originality, process and innovation are what led Parry’s work to stand out, and what the Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award is all about.

Once again for 2012, Dazed has selected a highly regarded and relevant panel of judges culled from the UK’s contemporary art scene. Their differing creative backgrounds and contrasting perspectives and views are what makes the Emerging Artists Award one of the most compelling prizes today. Joining the panel this year are art critic Nancy Durrant of The Times; the pivotal and influential British artist, Jeremy Deller; James Early and Yuri Pattison of cutting-edge Peckham-based art-collective LuckyPDF; and Magnus Edensvard, the director of London gallery IBID PROJECTS. Returning for their third year running are Whitechapel Gallery curator Kirsty Ogg and Dazed’s very own visual arts editor, curator/author Francesca Gavin.

For more information and to enter visit

Wall to Wall: Lyon

Friday, April 13th, 2012

As we continue our adventure across Europe, street artist Steven Burke joins us in France to add his own color and style to a corner of Lyon.

Track: Something Elated by Broke For Free

Steven Burke is a graphic designer and street artist based in Paris. We caught up with him as he added his own colour and style to a corner of Lyon, France, to chat street art, improvisation, and how to make it…

How did you become a painter?
I started painting really young – fourteen years old – with graffiti in Germany, with friends. It was my hobby, instead of doing skateboard. I decided I wanted to make a living as a painter during my late studies, in 2002. I was studying graphic design and realized everything could be combined under painting.

Do you know from the beginning how your murals are going to turn out?
When I paint on a wall, I know a few lines before I start. I know approximately how it is going to look but I always keep some space for improvisation, because this brings fun and often good surprises.

Can you tell us about the ideas behind the piece you’ve worked with Converse on? Does it have a message?
The painting I did for Converse is plenty of positive messages combined with some simple and fun graphics, playing with letters, graphic shapes and big blocks of colors. It was quite a challenge because of the architecture of the building but I am quite happy of the result!

What is the street art scene like in France? Is there anywhere else in the world you’d like to work?
The street art scene is good in France, especially in Paris. If I could go anywhere to paint with local people that would be San Francisco first. They are really good at sign painting and the city seems to be really cozy. And then I would like to paint in any other country… I like to paint in abandoned places or on a wall that people don’t obviously see until I have painted on it.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out who wants to follow in your footsteps?
My advice would be to stay humble and true to oneself, being aware of what’s happening in the art scene but not following it. And work hard!

What’s next for Steven Burke?
Some illustrations are going to pop up in the next Vice magazine with my friends from the Edrem blog, and I have an upcoming group show in France with artworks on street gloves.

Lyon is home to its own unique and vibrant cultural scene. Its a city that has been turning heads in the last few years, drawing in a young crowd through its increasingly popular electronic dance music scene, as well as attracting an international crowd for its internationally recognized Art Biennial.

The All-Over gallery, chosen for the Wall to Wall project, is run by an artist collective who work predominantly on the streets. Located a small walk away from the centre of the City, the facade provided Steve with ample space to create his piece

Lyon, France

Wall to Wall: Barcelona

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Our next stop: Barcelona. Graffiti artist Otone takes on our biggest wall yet as we continue our celebration of street art across the world.

Track: Disco Biscuits by Eric Bode

Graffiti artist Otonejoined us in Barcelona to take on our biggest wall yet. But this wall was more than just bricks and paint… Otone’s mural travelled across the city, projected from wall to wall in some of our favorite spots in Barcelona. We caught up with him to chat projections, painting and inspiration…

How did you start painting?
I started in Paris’s suburbs more than 20 years ago. I was amazed by what the other graffiti writers were doing on my train line and I started to paint too.

What is the street art scene like in Spain?
It’s big and very rich, so many different styles from one city to the other. You can find a lot of freedom in the street of some big Spanish cities and this is very important for the development of a creative graffiti scene.

What inspires you?
Everyday street life, people’s behaviour in the city, architecture….

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t listen to your friends when they say “this is not graffiti”.

What was painting this wall like? Can you tell us more about the design?
It was a lot of work but I had a very good time. I thought about the project as a kind of automatic mural and I gave some simple instructions to my two assistants. I selected 28 shapes and 6 colors and let them have total freedom to come and play with them. Between the three of us we finished the 30 meters long mural in two days.

How do you feel about the fact your mural is going to projected from that wall across lots of different walls?
I think this is very interesting: a wall painting projected on another wall is quite an unusual thing. I like the idea that a specific design I created for the wall in Barcelona will appear on other walls in other places: it’s like trying a tailor-made suit on different people! It’s not like projecting a computer design – this design only exists on the wall in Barcelona and will always refer to it, and I think it creates an interesting link between spaces. It will be exciting to document how the design interacts with its new surroundings… The brick texture of the wall in Barcelona was amazing: I’d love to see a clean white wall wearing it!

Barcelona is a city that never stands still and is constantly innovating. Graffiti artists have flocked here over the years, leaving their own unique marks on the streets, which can be seen dotted in-between the classic Art Nouveau architecture.

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, Razzmatazz regularly plays host to the best up and coming new bands as well as internationally recognized bands. Located on the roof terrace of this famous venue, the wall that was picked acts as a focal point for clubbers who are chilling out and gave Otone the space to create something truly awesome.


Friday, April 13th, 2012

Check out graffiti artist EWOK as he works on the front of the Converse Rubber Tracks. Learn about his creative process and experience him painting at the Brooklyn studio.


Mark Wagner

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Mark Wagner makes collage art out of sliced-up dollar bills, which in lesser hands might seem like a clichéd commentary on the commercialization and capitalization of art yada yada yada—but Mark avoids falling into that trap mainly because the images he assembles out of currency are so amazingly detailed the conceptual stuff doesn’t even matter. We stopped by his Brooklyn studio recently where he and his assistant were hard at work and talked to him about being a workaholic, growing up with 12 siblings, and his attraction to dollar bills.

I saw your giant Statue of Liberty creation. How long did it take you to make that 17-foot-tall collage of dollar bills?
Mark Wagner: It took me and Kat, my assistant, about nine months for just the collaging part and months before that preparing for it, and a couple months after that wrapping up all the extra.

Do you work on different projects or collages simultaneously?
We work on a lot of stuff at once, usually between half a dozen and a dozen pieces. Sometimes if a deadline’s coming up we’ll focus mainly on one big piece.

Is it just you and Kat making these, or do you get outside help?
Other people have joined us off and on, but it’s mostly just us working on the collage part. My girlfriend Amy is on the other side of this studio and she provides guidance but rarely touches the work. And occasionally we’ve had some other people come in to do the more menial tasks.

I saw on your bio on your website that you’re the youngest of 13 children. That’s a pretty big family.
I come from central Wisconsin, from a farming community, and that was kind of par for the course for the previous couple generations. So I think my family was like the tail end of that wave, where it was normal to have big farming families with lots of hands to help out on the farm.

Did you grow up on a farm?
We had a barn but we didn’t have any livestock. My dad was a mechanic. I got some stuff from my family. A lot of them have hand skills of some kind: I’ve got brothers who do woodworking, and so did my dad. A lot of my sisters do crafts and stuff, and my mom made a lot of our clothes when I was growing up, because that’s how you keep your kids dressed on a mechanic’s salary.

You’ve said in your artist’s statement that you are very focused on the craft side of your work. Does that preoccupation with technique come from your family?
Yeah, I think that helps. And the work ethic too, certainly. I mean, this is time-consuming stuff. Relaxing isn’t my family’s strong point, they’re all kind of workaholics.

You must spend a lot of time in the studio then.
Yeah, I probably spend six days a week in the studio. Amy makes me take one day off on the weekend. Sometimes two days off when we’re splurging. We don’t really don’t go on vacation. I tried going on vacation last summer; we went up to Maine for a week—that was the most vacated I’ve ever been. It’s weird. Work is relaxing to me. When I put a show up people were like, “Are you going to take any time off?” No I’m not going to take any time off! I was getting the work ready for the show and now I’m really excited for the other projects I didn’t have time for. There’s always more ideas than there’s time to execute them.

How long have you been slicing up money?
The first bill that I cut up was in 1999, I think. I was doing portraits made from the cut-up money, mostly of friends, sort of creating personal value from monetary value.

Is that what attracted you to dollar bills as a medium in the first place? The idea of value?
No. The attraction in the first place was that it was a tremendously common piece of paper. Prior to that I used to collage with all sorts of things. I had lots of friends who smoked so I had lots of cigarette packages and I still use those boxes to store things in. But the soft packs I would do a lot of collages with and the familiarity of the packaging, especially to smokers, were really popular. I thought, “What are some other common pieces of paper?”

I started cutting up bills because of that. I realized I accidentally tripped into something that people thought about or specifically avoided thinking about—you’re worried about losing the money that you have, not having enough money… It’s easy to make conceptual art because you can depict anything in money and it seems like you’re saying something.

You must be really familiar with every millimeter of the dollar bill by now.
There’s a fun trick I recommend at parties: Try to draw a dollar bill. For having this thing in your hand all the time, you don’t actually know what it looks like. All the drawings look terrible. Me and Kat, we know it really well because we work with it. A couple times a year we both try to draw it from memory. There’s stuff you always get wrong, even us—anytime I try to draw Washington he always looks bad, because I’m a bad drawer. Which is another reason why I do the collage work. It’s a stilted way to draw that works for me. Whereas with a pencil I’m all thumbs. I don’t know why, but I’m glad it works, because if I had to live off my drawings it wouldn’t happen.

Off Canvas: Ben Flynn aka EINE

Friday, April 13th, 2012

OFF CANVAS maps the creative subcultures of Beijing where burgeoning communities are stimulating independent expressions of art, music, fashion, and skate.

As part of a global installation that EINE has painted in numerous other cities in the world, the artist proclaims a positive and uplifting message completely open to interpretation. The optimism of the work is equally founded in the brilliant colors and type. The range of emotions and meanings he has elicited from viewers of his piece has been a major inspiration and motivation for him to bring this message to China.

Ben Flynn, aka EINE is one of London’s most prolific and original street artists who specializes in the central element of all graffiti – the form of letters. Originally a ‘writer’ he started his career over twenty five years ago as a vandal leaving his first tag all over London before eventually developing a distinct typographic style. Eine specializes in producing huge, bright, colorful letters that have transformed streets around the world in cities including LA, San Francisco, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Stockholm as well as his home city of London. His letters depict form and emotion and through a combination of color, placement and size they become abstract and unique works of art in their own right.

130 Xidan North Street, Huawei Building, Xicheng District

Off Canvas: Niels Meulman aka SHOE

Friday, April 13th, 2012

OFF CANVAS maps the creative subcultures of Beijing where burgeoning communities are stimulating independent expressions of art, music, fashion, and skate.

Shoe selected the rooftop medium of Dashilar as a modern replication and nod to Chinese sidewalk calligraphy. The work is an interpretation of personal identity – his writing name – which he has honed internationally over two decades from the street to gallery. In his work, Meulman mimics the Chinese tradition of water as ink and sidewalk as paper, yet in the craft and tools of his distinctive trade.

The ‘UN-’ and its stylistic form consisting of four calligraphic strokes symbolizes the power of reversal. Meulman’s “calligrafiti”-style of thick brush strokes draw attention to themselves as much as to the space between them. Ink, and the absence of ink create black/white, on/off and positive/negative.The artist contemplates the parallel to how all digital data is broken down to one’s and zero’s while everything in our material world can also be broken down to these basic opposites. As Meulman states, “We can only be comfortable, if we were uncomfortable before. To be alive is only to be undead.” When science proudly presents its universal laws, artists will understand that they are ununiversal. “If you don’t understand this, ununderstand,” says the artist.

Niels Meulman (also known as Shoe) is an internationally known artist and graphic designer hailing from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Meulman began tagging ‘Shoe’ in 1979 and became a graffiti legend by the time he was 18. In the eighties he met New York artists like Dondi, Rammellzee, Haze, Quik and Keith Haring. He then formed the Crime Time Kings with Bando from Paris and Mode2 from London, driving a new distinctive style of graffiti in Europe. In 2007, Niels launched his definitive movement “Calligraffiti,” an art form that fuses calligraphy and graffiti. Since then, his Calligraffiti pieces (signed NSM) are shown in various international exhibitions and are part of several museum collections. His more recent painting style can be described as Abstract Expressionism with a Calligraphic origin.

68 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District

8 Da Wai Lang Ying Hutong, Xicheng District (in the Beijing Electric Relay Factory)

Off Canvas: Nod Young

Friday, April 13th, 2012

OFF CANVAS maps the creative subcultures of Beijing where burgeoning communities are stimulating independent expressions of art, music, fashion, and skate.

Nod Young’s work here at MAO Live is a salute to the undying influence of the “New Wave” music movement upon his formative years as a student and now continuing into his adulthood as an artist. His piece is inspired by his nostalgia for new wave, which he reveres for its rebellious punk foundation, but his deeper fascination lies within the complexities of technology and art that further define the sound. His memories of his student days are inextricably linked to his soundtrack of The Cars, Duran Duran and The Police. As Nod navigates forward in his life, he finds his previous pursuits of new wave seem to be waning— he is less avid about seeing live shows, he finds himself standing further and further back in the crowds, and his well-worn new wave music collection stands idle. Upon deeper examination however, the artist reaffirms the spirit of the movement still burns brightly, albeit manifested in a new fashion. He celebrates the seminal influence of the new wave from within, channeling the “passion, maverick, romance and senses” of it into his art work. His work represents a musical composition of new wave in an alternate form–with the the stripes as his lyrics, the color as his melody, and vocals jointly comprised of his own, together with the viewer. This piece is a dual ode to both MAO live the venue, and to new wave, the music movement—two institutions of music that hold relevance then and now. His multimedia work serves as an epitaph to what’s “past,” and well as a milestone to the “future.”

As the resident homegrown Beijing talent within the exhibition, Nod Young is a visual artist specializing in digital design and visual arts. His work is defined by a unique style and insight that cross-pollinates Chinese culture with elements ranging from the avant garde to the traditional, in a search for a new visual language and expression. Nod has participated in exhibitions around the globe, from the UK to Spain, Finland, Singapore, USA and South Africa. Nod cites his primary inspiration as the desire to change life through art and creativity in a way that can influence the world at large and enrich the sensations of individuals.

No.111 Gulou East Street, Dongcheng District