Keith Haring

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Keith Haring is an 80s pop art icon who, like Basquiat, was first and foremost a street artist whose images crossed over because of their simplicity and ability to capture the publics imagination. First appearing in chalk on the subway stations of New York Haring’s images are semiotic rather than overtly descriptive or true to life representations. The symbols are re-occuring throughout Haring’s work, almost like his own carefully cultivated language. They are used to convey simple, positive messages or ideas.

Later in Haring’s career he undertook lots of commissions, usually from organisations who thought his globally understood hieroglyphics and positive messages suited there campaigns best. He painted the Berlin wall and amongst many other things tried to create social awareness for AIDS (below) at a time when information about the disease was profiled in an extremely negative way.

Urban Exploration

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

I wanted to do a post on Urban Exploration as, in terms of artistic movements in youth culture today, I find it the most exciting and credible. Young photographers creep through run down asylums of the past, trawl down the disused underground tunnels and catacombs of yesteryear and cleverly choose to document it which, my friends and I never did. Of course, most of us did the same type of things in our teens, what evolved from garden hopping soon became full on adventure and in the 80s everything was either run down or closed down, there were empty buildings of all types to explore in every city. This type of tress-passing for the sake of art clearly has its roots in the teenagers need to explore the world around him and the need for solace from outside world as he battles his way out of childhood and turns into a man. Ok, a bit deep, but in one recent article in the evening standard a fourteen year old boy said the only reason he did it was to escape other people. The graffiti movement was very similar, young men breaking into train depots or climbing up onto buildings adjacent to train-lines in the middle of the night while the rest of the world slept. I mean, how exciting would it be if it was legal?

The art itself can be quite saddening in it revelations. There is something almost heartbreaking about a lot of the old asylum photographs posted online. One can almost feel the tangible horror, the suffering experienced. A lot of the derelict buildings have become inhabited by those without homes. There is a tragedy in the way society and life moves on so quickly and the places, ideas and the people it leaves behind are quickly forgotten. There something quite dark and Fellig like about the intrusiveness of some of the images but again your sense of curiosity and adventure gets the better of you.

But what strikes me about this particular movement is the considerate natures of those involved, the dedication to leaving things how they were found, support for each other within the online community as each strives to learn the craft of photography through practice and debate. The way they refer to there online postings as reports, implying that they see themselves as investigative journalists or chroniclers of the a fast decaying past. Some of the postings contain not only photographs and tags but essays of historical background and data concerning the sites visited which implies that they see themselves as historians of sorts also. They way each project is documented so thoroughly. I just think its great. In a way its ironic, the kids are capturing there parents past as a lot of these buildings have been closed longer than some of these kids have been alive.

I’m really impressed by the foresight of those involved to mix adventure and curiosity with a professional commitment to documenting there subject as thoroughly and as creatively as they can. Its quite inspiring.

Cindy Sherman

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Cindy Sherman is an American artist best known for her photographic self portraits. She appears in her own photographs as different characters and her work is generally deemed as exploratory of the many sides of the modern female identity. Its almost like self sculpture as Sherman morphs from one personality to another encompassing the many historical representations of the American woman through the modern age.

Paul Lafolley

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Check out the work of Boston visionary artist Paul Lafolley.  Drawing from his architectural background Lafolley creates charts that hope to convey his ideas on mysticism via science, philosophy and history. He has executed over 800 of these types of works.

Richard Prince

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Richard Prince started off a painter but switched to photography  in the seventies to great acclaim. His work includes collage, re-photography and is deemed appropriation art. I think its amazing, humorous, cool, seedy and interesting and in terms of style perfectly expresses the mass consumer, mass media era we live in. it comes as no surprise that he owns the original manuscript for William Burroughs “Naked Lunch.” Clear influences of the cut up technique developed by Burroughs pervade his works.

Mr Brainwash

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Mr Brainwash A.K.A Thierry Guetta is a French filmmaker who, whilst shooting the film “Exit Through The Gift Shop”  about the artist Banksy ironically became a street artist himself. Hugely inspired by Warholian images of celebrity and pop culture and Banksy’s street art craftsmanship and stencils Mr Brainwash’s first exhibition in downtown New York was attended by 7000 people in search of the next big thing. Its all quite tongue in cheek, you either love it or hate it.

Contact the artist directly at:

Rupert Lee

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Great Images by British artist Rupert Lee being shown over in Gallery 27, Cork street from 3-8th May.

Lee lived through a very tumultuous age, taking in both world wars and many different art movements. The watercolours on show are highly representative of Futurism, especially the 1918 work below entitled, “Bursting Shell.”

Josh Keyes

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Represented by Jonathan Levine over in NYC……Josh Keyes pictures create a language of ideas based around the artists thoughts on global warming, climate change and ecology.

John Wesley

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Born in 1928 American John Wesley’s direct and simplistic comic-strip pop art aims to convey  deep emotional ideas. Bold, iconic and full of colour another top artist associated with New York gallery Fredricks and Freiser.

For more info visit:

Peter Halley

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 by Gesamtkunstwerk!

Peter Halley’s work is great, they have a few pieces on show at the Waddington Gallery, Cork street. Described as part of the 80s “Neo Geo” movement (new geometry) Halley’s work represents modern systems. The pieces look like prisons, cells, networks, micro-chips, bright electronic data. If we view them as aerial shots they look like futuristic day-glo compounds. Startling.