Jumat, 31 Juli 2009

Pearl Jam: 'Back' To The Future Billboard Magazine Interview

Good interview from Billboard

"Super poppy."
"Just plain fun."
"Surprisingly optimistic."
"Catchy as hell."

These are not adjectives often used to describe Pearl Jam, the 30 million-selling purveyor of angst-ridden guitar rock now approaching its 19th year of existence. And yet these are the words being used on blogs to describe "The Fixer," the first song from the Seattle rock band's ninth album, "Backspacer." A surging, '80s-style rocker written by drummer Matt Cameron, "The Fixer" debuts this week at No. 2 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart, an audience-based tally of all rock stations.

You can't blame Cameron, singer Eddie Vedder, bassist Jeff Ament or guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready for smiling wider than usual. President George W. Bush, who the band vilified in song and onstage for eight years, is gone. The group remains a huge touring draw and A-list festival headliner, having grossed nearly $42 million from 51 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore from 2006 to 2008. Vedder won a Golden Globe for his soundtrack to the 2007 movie "Into the Wild." Life is quieter on the homefront, too: Four out of the five band members now have children.

But Pearl Jam is also celebrating because it finally made good on a longstanding desire to release its music on its own, without the aid of a major label. "Backspacer" will come out Sept. 20 in the United States through a creative patchwork of deals with physical and digital retailers, the most prominent of which is a one-off, big-box exclusive with Target. Internationally, Universal Music is the label for the release.

The Target partnership threw fans for a loop when the news leaked in June. At first glance the move seems at odds with a band whose DIY, fan-first business ethic has set it against corporate behemoths like Ticketmaster and AT&T. But as details began to emerge, it became clear that Pearl Jam managed to make a deal that rewards the band and its fans as much as it does the stores that sell its music.

Target agreed to let independent music retailers carry "Backspacer," a first for one of its exclusives. (The album will be distributed to indie stores by the Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Junketboy division.) "Backspacer" will also be sold on Pearl Jam's Web site and at Apple's iTunes Music Store.

"We've put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and we've done it in a way that we think will be good for everybody," Vedder says. He understands why some fans may be confused about the deal, but he says, "I can't think of anything we've ever done without putting it through our own personal moral barometer. Target has passed for us. The fans just have to trust us."

As Gossard puts it, "If somebody would have said 15 years ago that they were going to give us a great chunk of money and let it be a one-off and not hold us to any strings, we would have said, 'Come on! This is the best deal ever!' We fought our way through eight records at Sony and J to get ourselves in a position where we could cut a deal to get paid $5 a record, rather than $1.50 or $2. It was the right compromise for this record, and I think it will give us even more flexibility in the future. The fact that we cut out a few other chains - I think it's our prerogative to do that. We're bringing a lot of smaller stores with us."

Junketboy Distribution A&R executive Scott Register hopes the cooperative nature of the deal will inspire "every artist, label and manager out there that they need to think twice before cutting out indie stores. This is our chance to show that our community - stores, distributors, one-stops - are capable of any size job and of making a difference in the life of an album."

When Pearl Jam ended its career-long association with Epic in 2003, the band wasn't yet ready to proceed without label backing. So manager Kelly Curtis cut a one-off, joint-venture deal with J Records for the 2006 release of a self-titled Pearl Jam album, which spawned three rock radio hits and has sold 706,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That figure far exceeded the sales of the band's 2002 Epic farewell, "Riot Act," which sold 508,000.

Curtis says he was thrilled with J's work on the album in the United States, but internationally, "it was a nightmare. Sony had just merged with BMG, and we couldn't get anything done." With that in mind, he was confident Pearl Jam could devise a way to distribute its next album by itself in the States, but he knew the band would still need help with the rest of the world.

The first step was conceptualizing a new infrastructure. "We went into it really open," Curtis says, although ownership of masters was a prerequisite. "We always knew we needed lots of partners. It's easy to go do a one-off with Target, Best Buy or Wal-Mart. The part that's hard is how do you get the other ingredients: the indies, mobile, online, the fan club."

To test the waters, Pearl Jam cut the first mobile deal of its existence with Verizon in 2008, which brought the band's legendary live bootlegs to the company's V Cast service. The partnership was put together by Michele Anthony, the former Sony Music Label Group U.S. president/COO who was by Pearl Jam's side for its biggest successes in the '90s.

"Our goal was to be able to give the fans access to the music the way they want to access it," says Anthony, who was inspired to kick-start a mobile presence for Pearl Jam after she and Curtis saw how ubiquitous music consumption was on cell phones in China. The mobile bootleg campaign was so successful that Pearl Jam teamed with Verizon again to deliver content from the deluxe reissue of the band's debut album, "Ten." The partnership has been re-extended to include ringtones and ringbacks for songs from "Backspacer," which will roll out at a rate of one per week until release date, as well as mobile bootlegs for the band's fall tour.

Releasing the album simply through Pearl Jam's Ten Club fan organization was out of the question, according to Curtis and Anthony, simply because of logistics. Target ultimately got the nod because, Anthony says, "in our discussions with the big-box retailers, they were really the only one that understood the band's philosophy and the need to take care of the Ten Club and the indies and hit other distribution platforms."

Curtis concurs. "I got a call from someone at Best Buy after the Target deal was announced, saying, 'Why did we not get this?' " he says. "And it was because they would not even entertain the thought of taking care of these other platforms."

Curtis also balked at the waste involved in having to create different versions of "Backspacer" for various partners, a common requirement of retail exclusives. Instead, the album is encoded with Sony DADC's eBridge technology, which allows purchasers to unlock extra content when they put the disc in their computers.

The Target discs will link to a virtual "vault" of 11 concerts spanning Pearl Jam's career, from which fans can choose two. The band will also create an organic cotton T-shirt to be sold at Target, with proceeds earmarked for the hunger relief charity Feeding America. And in September, a Cameron Crowe-directed TV ad will air featuring footage shot during a private performance at Seattle's Showbox in late May.

For Vedder, an avowed vinyl junkie who still savors memories of buying Jackson 5 records as a preteen in Chicago, Target isn't exactly his preferred music purchasing environment. "Maybe it will change, but I'm not going to find the Headcoatees at a Target," he says, invoking the obscure British band with a hearty laugh. "But if they only have 300 records at Target, and you can be one of them, and that's how people are going to hear your music, you have to think about that."

That's not the only thing Vedder is thinking about, either. While acts like AC/DC and Aerosmith were winning new fans with branded versions of "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero," respectively, Pearl Jam was sitting on the videogame sidelines. The band finally took the plunge this spring when it made all of the songs from "Ten" available for download on "Rock Band" the same day the reissue hit stores. Curtis declined to discuss sales, but sources at MTV say the "Ten" songs have generated more than 850,000 downloads.

"Backspacer" will also be available on "Rock Band" the day it comes out, and Target has an exclusive on an edition of the album featuring access to download its songs for "Rock Band" on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. It's a precursor to a dedicated Pearl Jam game that could hit stores in 2010. Although MTV wouldn't confirm details, fan input is already being solicited on PearlJam.com to determine which live versions of songs from the band's catalog will be included.

For radio promotion, Curtis hired a team of indies to promote "The Fixer" at various formats, including former Epic promotion vet Laura Curtin, who worked "Ten" nearly 20 years ago. Alternative, active rock and triple A stations took the lead on playing the single during the week ending July 26, with Los Angeles' KROQ leading the way with 58 plays, WAAF in Boston with 45 plays, and Seattle KISW and KNDD with 44 and 43 plays each, according to Nielsen BDS.

Industry observers are obviously curious to see how Pearl Jam's plan plays out. If successful, it could inspire a host of established bands to try a similar approach, according to Tsunami Entertainment president Bruce Kirkland, who has helped negotiate numerous exclusives between artists and big boxes, including the Pearl Jam/Target pairing.

"Any artist that can tour without support and has a base is well-served by this system," he says, pointing to Wal-Mart's deals with the Eagles and Garth Brooks. "For them, the record is a marketing tool for other revenue-generating opportunities. It is a no-brainer. It's a perfect deal in that sense. The financial upside is cutting out a lot of the middle pieces. I like the model because it basically puts more money into marketing, which is a big piece missing from labels these days, and there's a better bottom line for the artist."

Others are impressed that Pearl Jam has been able to create synergy among such a disparate roster of partners. "They're playing ball with the big boys," one former major-label executive says. "This isn't like some other bands, who self-released music online and then followed it up at retail months later. They picked major partners, because this is still a major band."

"It's a really interesting time right now," Anthony says. "It's a time of opportunity where a lot of the distribution and marketing platforms are open directly to the artists. That has never really happened before. Even five or six years ago, it didn't matter how big of an artist you were. You could not make a direct deal with Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy. Now, you can create the partnerships that are right for you."

As Pearl Jam reinvented its business, it turned to a familiar face when it came time to record: Brendan O'Brien. The band recorded "Backspacer" in Los Angeles and Atlanta with the producer, who also worked on "Vs." and "Vitalogy" but hadn't produced a Pearl Jam album since 1998's "Yield."

Pearl Jam's members quickly realized what they'd been missing, as O'Brien provided crucial input on arrangements; played piano, keyboard and percussion; and put together orchestrations for delicate Vedder songs like the acoustic guitar-powered "Just Breathe" and the gut-punch finale "The End."

"He does those melodic things from his musician brain first, and then he's able to layer them within the music with his producer brain," Cameron says. "He uses both sets of skills in a way that most producers aren't even able to do." O'Brien's efficiency rubbed off on the band, according to Gossard. "We made this faster than we've made any record," he says. "We were 30 days in the studio total, including mix. I think we had 90% of the record cut in the first nine days."

At 11 songs and less than 37 minutes, "Backspacer" is the leanest and meanest Pearl Jam album yet. "At one of our gigs, without flashpots and electricity, there's only so much room for those more difficult listening songs," Vedder says with a laugh. "That was one reason why we kept the arrangements lean. The songs come off more like sparkling water than pea soup, and I think that's good for our group right now."

"The Fixer" became the foundation for the album after Vedder came up with an edit of an arrangement the band bashed through without him. "My personal interpretation is that it's about how [Vedder] makes our songs work," Gossard says. "When someone inspires him, he's an incredible collaborator."

Other musical highlights on "Backspacer" include the opening one-two combo of "Gonna See My Friend," a furious Stooges-style garage blast, and the propulsive, Police-y "Got Some," which Pearl Jam premiered June 1 on the first episode of "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien."

On the softer side, "Just Breathe" is a gorgeous ballad based on an instrumental from Vedder's "Into the Wild" soundtrack, while "The End" is an aching love song that closes the album on a startling lyric: "My dear/I'm here/But not much longer."

"You know, I'll admit that even I felt some impact myself listening to it back the first time, and not even really knowing where it came from," Vedder says of the song, which he debuted this summer during a solo tour. "A lot of the songs on this record were ones I just tried to get out of the way of, without self-editing."

Vedder titled the album as an homage to an oddly named typewriter key that fell out of fashion 50 years ago. The frontman, who still uses typewriters for lyric writing and personal correspondence, says he got upset when he saw vintage typewriter keys being used as jewelry. "For me it was like shark fin soup: 'You're killing typewriters for a bracelet!' " he says.

Always known for elaborate album packaging, Pearl Jam turned to political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, whom Vedder met at a 2000 Ralph Nader rally, to create the album's visuals. Nine pieces of Tomorrow's artwork are scattered across various Internet sites, and fans can drag-and-drop them onto a grid on Pearl Jam's site to receive a free download of a demo of album track "Speed of Sound."

Pearl Jam will play its first live show in more than a year Aug. 8 at the Virgin Festival in Calgary, Alberta. After a quick four-show run in Europe, the band will then visit Toronto (Aug. 21) and Chicago (Aug. 23-24) before headlining the Outside Lands festival Aug. 28 in San Francisco. Multiple shows in Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia follow in September and October, with the Philly gigs set to be the final ones at the Spectrum.

Also on tap is a headlining slot Oct. 4 at the Austin City Limits festival, plus a run of shows in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii in November and December. Curtis says the plan for 2010 touring is still coming together and that the band is deciding whether to play outdoor amphitheaters or arenas, which it prefers.

And while they're satisfied now, Vedder and his bandmates insist they're as driven as ever to keep challenging themselves, both as a band and a business. "You'd like to be able to go to work and have everything be smooth, but there's some weird artistic gene in some of us," he says, expanding on the theme of "The Fixer." "It can feel like a curse, because it makes you push yourself to make things better and not allow them to be easy. That's how you get the good stuff."

Brian Viveros – Hand embellished ‘Mess with the Bull’ Print

Thinkspace has just announced the release of a very special ‘Mess with the Bull’ hand-embellished print (12” x 16”) offering by Brian Viveros. Limited to just 12 signed, numbered, and framed pieces, this print features the image from the original painting shown at Art Basel Miami ‘08. Brian has hand-touched each of the prints – enhancing the skin tones, the details on the cigarettes, eyes and lips, and punched up the reds(”the blood”) on the his gorgeous lady’s lips, the roses and the bullfighter’s cape. These are available for $400 + s/h. Send email to contact@sourhavest.com to order.

Burlesque of North America Wes Winship Phish Red Rocks Poster



We’ve wrapped up designing and printing a series of posters for Phish’s four consecutive nights performing at Red Rocks. We kicked out four different colorways of this new poster, designed by Wes with a little help from me (Mike) and printed by Ben. We’ll be posting the next three posters on our blog early next week and we’ll be selling our copies of the posters on our online store next week.

Be sure to check back I'll let you know when they are going on sale.


Graphic Designer Dan Kinto reppin Portland

Double Trouble

Sandro Tanneberger from Chemnitz, Germany.

and more.

freshmanila x Huck Gee: Aswang Puto figure on sale August 1

The Aswang Puto is the third collaborative piece with freshmanila and Huck Gee. This 16” resin piece will be available on August 1st at 1PM GMT+8. These will be very limited at $115 a figure.

On sale at the freshmania site

ON sale now but shipping to the USA is $81 what a friggin joke.

"The Ghost Of Peacock Forest" Giclee Print by Alex Pardee SDCC exclusive on sale

Alex's newest print is on sale at Zerofriends.

"The Ghost Of Peacock Forest"
By Alex Pardee.
Limited Edition Of 50.
17" x 22" Printed with Archival Inks on Acid Free Velvet Cotton Rag.
Each print is hand signed and numbered by Alex Pardee.
This was originally created for Alex's art show "Letters From Digested Children"
At the Upper Playground Gallery 5024SF in San Francisco

Buy it HERE

They also have 2 new shirts on sale too.

Kamis, 30 Juli 2009

Glasvegas Poster by Chuck Sperry

Very cool poster by Chuck Sperry with a great classic 60's poster vibe.

19.75 x 30.25
Edition of 150
4 color silkscreen on eco-friendly archival cream paper
$25 + $7 Shipping

Buy it HERE.

Also go there to check out his new website and to see him on the streets of San Francisco putting the poster up around town.

Guy Burwell Humboldt Univeristy poster

Another strong poster from Guy Burwell for the Humboldt University Musical Program. On sale at Flatstock 22 in Seattle and later on his website.

Size: 14.5" x 23"
Media: 4 color screen print
Edition of 200

Kidrobot Dallas – Sneak Peak Before the Grand Opening!

Before it’s open to the public, Kidrobot’s Baroness gives you a behind the scenes tour of the pop-up vinyl hotbed hitting Dallas, Texas.

Be there for the Grand Opening party with artist, Huck Gee, music, refreshments and exclusive toys, Thursday, July 30, 2009!

Rabu, 29 Juli 2009

Musicfest NW

Some prints by EYESAW UK stencil artist

Some real cool pieces of work by UK artist EYESAW. Buy them HERE and check out the other stuff he has


On top of the world.


SIZE: 18"X 30"

£35.00 - On Sale



SIZE: 16"X 20"


SIZE: 20"X24"

PRICE: £200

Angry Woebots SDCC Product Online NOW!!

Fresh back from SDCC with a few leftovers. Silent Stage has a few left over pieces from SDCC. First is a few of the Angry Woebot “Wall of Fur & Fang” stretched canvas pieces. Each individually signed & numbered in a certain color for $210 each. They are ready to hang & measure 20″ x 20″. They have red, yellow, green, and blue left. They also have a few Angry Woebot “Cheeseburger” SDCC Giclee’ Prints up for sale for $70 each. Look forward to next year, it will be even bigger & better.

“Wall of Fur & Fang” Canvas Prints

“Wall Of Fur & Fangs”
20″ x 20″ Stretched Canvas Print (Museum Archival)
Signed & Numbered Edition of 5 (Blue/Green/Red/Yellow)
Price: $210 each

“Cheeseburger” Giclee’ Prints 11×14

11″ x 14″ Edition of 20
310 gsm Museum Archival Paper
Retail: $70 each

Josh Keyes - “Natural Selection” @ Swarm Gallery New Painting

Josh Keyes is gearing up for a small show at the Swarm Gallery in Oakland opening in August. He will be exhibiting alongside Seattle-based artist Vaughn Bell in a show entitled “Natural Selection.” The exhibition explores ways we interact with nature, and comprises new paintings and site-specific installation. Seen above is one of the fantastic paintings Keyes has created for this show called “Evacuation I.”

4 new Mr Brainwash prints on Sale Wednesday July 29

Six color screen print on square hand torn textured archival art paper. Signed and numbered by the artist, with thumb print on back. Edition of 100. Limit 1 per person. 50 available. These prints will also be available at Mr. Brainwash's London solo show this year.
If you purchase each print in the set, you will be given the same number from each edition.

Size: 15in. x15in.

Price: $250 each

Available Wednesday July 29th, 12pm PST

Buy them HERE.

ARTnews Announces Top 200 Collectors

ARTnews has published its anual list of the top 200 collectors worldwide. View it here

Shepard Fairey Guest DJ on KCRW

Shepard Fairey is going to be a guest DJ on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:15 am (PST). If you don’t live in Los Angeles you can listen live here tomorrow. For more information please visit kcrw’s website.

Selasa, 28 Juli 2009


The "NO FUTURE COMPANION" Silver edition by KAWS/SORAYAMA is now available on http://www.kawsone.com

EMEK Jane's Addiction poster on sale details

Up for sale is the LASERCUT poster he did for Jane's Addiction at the Sasquatch festival this year. Depicting an image commonly seen in the band's native Los Angeles, a calavera sugar skull, but here the twist is he applied it to an alien skull with a Merkaba in its forehead (http://www.crystalinks.com/merkaba.html) measuring 13" x 24" it comes with a silvermirror-paper backing...it is signed and numbered you can frame it as is, you can remove the backing and frame it between 2 sheets of 'glass or you can use it as an expensive spray paint stencil
the main run was printed in equal amounts on 2 different colors of paper, half are red and half are purple. One is on red paper with purple ink, so from the back it reflects some of the red paper through the purple ink. The other is on purple paper with red ink, so from the back it reflects some of the purple paper through the red ink.

They are packed randomly so someone might get either one- they are both cool. They are packed flat to insure maximum shipping and storage protection.

Sale takes place this Thursday at 12 :00 noon PST.
Go to www.emek.net at 12:00 noon pacific time on Thursday July 30th.

Jermaine Rogers San Diego Comic Con interview

A few days ago I posted pics of Believe, Jermaine Rogers’s new Dero resin project. Vinyl Pulse had the chance to catch up with Jermaine and chat with him about the inspiration for the project as well as future figure plans. Enjoy.

EMEK All Points West Poster

EMEK did the poster for the All Points West Festival again this year. On sale at the festival and like last year on their website after the festival. Yes the shark has been used on a past poster by EMEK.

Senin, 27 Juli 2009

"No Fin No Future" Benefit Art Print by Brad Klausen on sale details

No Fin No Future
Art Print for sale on Wednesday July 29th at 1:00 PM PST ...

From Brad

I was asked by the folks over at Pangeaseed.com to create an art print to
help raise awareness about shark finning in Japan. If you are unaware of
what shark finning is, it is the extremely brutal act of cutting off the fins
of a shark and then throwing the still alive finless shark back into the
ocean,bleeding and unable to swim as it slowly dies. They use the shark
fins to make shark fin soup... the fin has no taste but is used to add
texture to the soup. Shark fin soup is one of those things wealthy humans
eat and serve at their parties and restaurants to show everyone how
important and wealthy they are. And it's working, we are all quite
impressed that people are willing to inhumanely butcher other living
creatures alive to appease their own narcissistic egos. Another proud
moment in human history.

Within the last few decades, the shark populations are being decimated to
the point of extinction due to shark finning. Sharks have existed on the
planet for over 400 million years and survived the 5 mass extinctions on
the planet... so in the course of the last 20 years, we humans are doing
something mother nature and the universe couldn't do in 400 million years.

Some people think sharks should be wiped out and believe in the biggest
fallacy there is about sharks: that they are aggressive maneaters who
prey on human beings. Sharks have killed people, that is true.. however
sharks kill an average of 5 people a year, whereas tigers and elephants
kill 100 people a year. Yet would anyone justify chopping off the legs
of tigers and elephants to the point of extinction because they are a
menace to humanity...? Car accidents kill around 35,000 people a year.
Sharks are no threat no us, at all. In fact it's quite the opposite. We
need sharks to maintain the stability of the food chain in the oceans.
They feed on all the species that eat plankton. Plankton converts carbon
dioxide into the oxygen we breathe. If there are no sharks, the species
that feed on plankton will devour far more of the plankton which
we need for the air we breathe.

The folks over at Pangea Seed in Japan, where shark finning is quite
rampant, were inspired to do something and help raise awareness after
viewing the beautifully shot documentary "Sharkwater" by Rob Stewart.
It's available via netflix or your local video store and you can view the
trailer and find more information here:


When I was asked to do a print for this event, I wanted to convey the
idea of harmony and balance. It made me think about the ancient chinese
yin yang symbol. These two quotes on the yin yang sum up what I was
hoping to convey:

" Yin and Yang is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing
forces are are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world."

" Yinyang as a process of harmonization ensuring a constant dynamic
balance of all things."

The poster is 18"x24" and 8 colors (the shark blend is metallic and has
a gloss varnish overlay). They are signed and numbered out of 125 but
only 60 will be up for sale on my site. The type on the poster says
"No Fin" in the upper left and "No Future" in the bottom right. The print
will be $40 and all proceeds from the sale will be going to Pangea Seed
to help save sharks. To find out more information about Pangea Seed
and read a short interview they did with me go to:



New Dave Kinsey Sustain painting. Sharks lots of sharks

Sustain, 2009
acrylic, spray paint and ink
on canvas, 32 x 40 inches

On display for silent auction
8/29 at SEA NO EVIL

Benefiting Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


This would look so good as a print.

Looking around BLK/MRKT I found the print. KICKASS

No word when they will put it up but I would guess soon.

Sustain: No Fin No Future
BLK/MRKT Editions
4-color screenprint
on 100% cotton rag

Edition: 175
Size: 24 x 18 in /
61 x 45.7 cm


Check HERE


Mr Brainwash Tomato print on sale Wednesday July 29

Four color screen print of Mr. Brainwash's iconic Tomato Spray. Hand torn into squares on textured archival art paper. Each print individually hand finished with spray paint, and unique. Signed and numbered, with thumb print on the back. Edition of 100. Limit 1 per person. 50 available. This print will also be available at Mr. Brainwash's London solo show this year.

Size: 15in. x15in.

Price: $150

Available Wednesday July 29th, 12pm PST

Buy it HERE



Last night, at 1am at the San Diego comic con, one of my favorite directors, Zack Snyder (Dawn Of the Dead, 300, Watchmen) showed the very first public piece of art for his upcoming movie, Sucker Punch. and guess what!? Alex did the art work for it.

Zack Snyder was in San Diego last night hosting a Blu-Ray Live screening of Watchmen for Comic-Con. Apparently a few of these new shirts for his next upcoming movie, Sucker Punch, were handed out during that screening. Deadline Hollywood snapped a shot of the very first "art" from Sucker Punch that's publicly available. From that design alone, this looks like some twisted, dark, crazy stuff that we'll be seeing in Zack's next movie. As far as I know, that is Emily Browning on the shirt.

Sucker Punch is Zack Snyder's first movie not based on previous material, rather an original idea that he came up with. The story follows a young girl institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an "alternative reality" as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility. Emily Browning stars as Baby Doll and is joined by Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens. I'm digging the hidden sword and pin in the logo. I hope that means we get to see Browning kick some ass with a samurai sword as well as machine guns and more. Shooting starts soon up in Vancouver.

Time Magazine: Top 10 Guerrilla Artists

Who says street art has no cred with the mainstream? Kinda saying a lot when one of the most respected publications in the world takes the time to break out a “Top Ten” list of the top “Guerrilla Artists.” The usual suspects - Jean-Michel Basquiat, Shepard Fairey and Banksy are there. But, we’re surprised that Kaws and his infamous phone booth/bus stop “Ad-Disruptions” didn’t make the list. Check out who did and didn’t made the cut here.

Nine Ways to Lose Money in the Art Market

Artnet has published this insightful piece by Richard Polsky, and while even novice collectors may find some of these tips fairly obvious, there are several worthwhile insights here. Besides, even a refresher in these uncertain times can’t hurt.

For those who like Polsky’s market analysis, listen to his recent three-part audio interview with ArtTactic’s Podcast here, here and here, and check out his forthcoming book, I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon), out in September from Other Press.

by Richard Polsky via Artnet

With collectors being more selective than ever, it stands to reason that anyone left in the game is watching his or her cash more carefully than ever. While no one is certain how to make money in this environment, I guarantee the following examples are nine sure-fire ways to lose money.

1. Buy a mediocre painting instead of a great print. Or for that matter buy a mediocre painting rather than a great drawing. Too often collectors get caught up in art’s snob appeal. The objective is always to buy the best within your budget, regardless of medium. As wonderful a draughtsman as Jasper Johns is, not all of his drawings are up to snuff. It’s much better, from an investment standpoint, to buy one of his great prints, such as Ale Cans. There’s no doubt that it will appreciate at a faster rate than one of Johns’ murky ink-on-vellum drawings.

Read on for the rest.

2. Let the auction houses talk down your reserve. From the auction house’s perspective, it’s all about convincing consignors to accept the lowest reserve possible. If, for instance, you put a painting up for auction and agree to a presale estimate of $600,000-$800,000, and a reserve of $600,000, you can expect a call a few days before the sale that will go something like this: “Look, we think your picture will do well, but given the economy, let’s be on the safe side and lower the reserve to $500,000.”

Don’t do it. If your painting passes at $600,000, the auction house will field offers for it after the sale. Chances are the bidding stalled at $550,000, which means a potential after-sale buyer is likely to offer $500,000 (or less). If your reserve is already down to $500,000, you’ll probably be offered $400,000 (or less). The bottom line is that if you have a good painting, someone will pay up. If not, you shouldn’t have put it up for auction in the first place.

3. Accept a mere 10 percent discount from a gallery. For the purchase of works by contemporary art gods such as Brice Marden, Ellsworth Kelly and a handful of others, a buyer would be lucky to receive a 10 percent discount on any purchase from their galleries. But superstars aside, accepting a standard 10 percent off on even a successful mid-career artist is a mistake.

Galleries generally work on a 50-50 split with artists they represent. This means you should be able to get at least 20 percent off with a little negotiating. Right now, not only are galleries hurting, but so are their artists, who got used to flush times. From a dealer’s perspective, few things are worse than having an artist bug him or her for money. If for no other reason than that, galleries are likely to accept your 20 percent discount request. Try it.

4. Buy with your ears rather than your eyes. Here’s a great way to be taken to the cleaners. I’ll never forget the time the Los Angeles painter Chuck Arnoldi told me how he was at a party when Eli Broad, the country’s richest collector, came over to say hello and ended their discussion by saying, “See you at your studio.”

The merely rich collector Douglas Cramer overheard this snippet of conversation and immediately approached Arnoldi requesting to do the same. In this case, Arnoldi was merciful enough to tell Cramer that “nothing was afoot with his career,” after which Cramer promptly canceled his studio visit. You get the idea.

5. Buy an atypical work. Another sucker bet. There always seems to be one artwork in any given show where the subject matter veers off into the ozone. If you’re buying a Wayne Thiebaud, you obviously want to buy “sugar.” Even though Thiebaud is a first-rate portrait painter, the art market could care less.

No matter how tempting one of his figurative paintings may be, or how attractive its price, treat it like drugs and just say “no.” You may even decide that you genuinely like the painting regardless of market forces. But if you acquire it, when the time comes to sell, you will come to despise your “inspired” purchase when you see how difficult it is to unload at any price.

6. Buy a work from a blue-chip gallery without being properly introduced. I once dealt with a wannabe collector named Paul S. who always bragged to me about his buying trips to New York. He waxed poetic about how “Ileana” (Sonnabend) rolled out the red carpet for him and how fortunate he was to buy a Peter Halley from her.

The only problem was that it was a weak painting that had already been rejected by Sonnabend’s better customers. The point of the story is that if you want to play with the big boys (Gagosian, PaceWildenstein, Marks, etc.), you had better be damn sure that one of their top collectors recommends you. Otherwise, you’ll receive the “Paul S.” treatment.

7. Buy a work by an artist who’s “in play.” If you decide that you want to buy a Richard Prince “Nurse” painting, you might as well put your money into California boutique wine futures and watch them go down — at least you can drink the wine. Richard Prince “Nurses,” originally offered at Gladstone in the mid-2000s, for around $85,000 to members of the “club,” climbed to over $8 million in 2007 (they’ve since dropped back to under $3 million).

Regardless, the speculator gang that ran up his prices at auction are like an elite fraternity house that you can’t join because you aren’t cool enough (in this case substitute “rich enough”) — so don’t even bother trying. Now that Prince has run his course, the next artist “in play” appears to be Peter Doig. Ditto for staying away from his work and market. Better to be an independent thinker and put your money into an artist who’s poised for slow and steady growth — like Fred Tomaselli, Philip Taaffe or Christopher Brown.

8. Buy a work right after an artist has died. One of the biggest myths in the art market is that an artist’s work shoots up in value right after his or her death. Wrong (with the exception of Warhol). Most actually go down in value. The reason is that his market usually becomes flooded, thanks to family members struggling to pay estate taxes and dealers and collectors looking to cash in. Better to wait a year or two and let the dust settle, even if you end up having to pay a bit more.

9. Buy works of unusually large scale. The late Los Angeles dealer Paul Kanter once told me, “Never buy a painting that you can’t lift.” He was right. There’s nothing harder to resell than a painting that’s larger than eight feet in any dimension. Even seven feet is cutting it close. Oversize paintings become white elephants in the marketplace.

Only a small pool of potential buyers have the wall space to handle these often ego-driven paintings. If you have a substantial wall that cries out for a massive work that makes a statement, you’re better off buying two smaller works to fill the void.

RICHARD POLSKY is the author of the forthcoming, I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon), out in September from Other Press.

Sabtu, 25 Juli 2009

The Best of NYC


Graffiti is a crime. It is also a powerful form of communication and activism and one of the few truly American art forms, brought-up in the streets of New York City and Philadelphia. These days, graffiti has become a part of mainstream culture, from the MoMA to MTV. Graffiti writers, and those who have been inspired by graffiti, hold down good jobs in creative industries like the arts and advertising, fashion, design, education and almost every other walk of life. From clothing labels and street life-style brands to artists like Banksy and Swoon, it's undeniable that graffiti has made a valuable and accepted economic and cultural impact in our contemporary lives. Then why are graffiti writers currently facing jail terms in NYC for up to seven years for writing their names on walls, when most of their art could be cleaned up with a fresh coat of paint? Vandalism should not be legal, but graffiti artists should not be in prison, at the cost of millions of dollars per year to the taxpayers of New York, when they could otherwise could make a valuable contribution to society. The punishment does not fit the crime. Furthermore, the NYPD and New York City politicians target minorities and individuals from low-income families in order to meet vandalism conviction quotas and create quality-of-life distractions. By bailing-out a graffiti writer and helping them find a network of legal support you enable them to better understand their rights and build a fair legal defense. Do you like graffiti and street art in NYC? Are you a writer who has made a few dimes and wants to give back? Are you a company that has profited from styles that originated in the street? Do you want to support the creative arts or a fair legal justice system? If the answer is "YES", please give them your support and send the criminal justice system a message. Together we can bail out every graffiti writer in NYC.

Graffiti Jail Break

SDCC 09: Jeff Soto - Seeker vinyl toy video and pictures

Bigshot Toyworks is showing the initial prototypes of the new Seeker project by Jeff Soto. Sculpted digitally, the Seeker is shown in two different sizes created on a rapid prototyping machine. At this point the design is fluid and may or may not include the plane which was part of the original source painting. The possibility of the smaller figure being produced is being discussed as well. Check the video above to hear Jeff talk about the project.


Wanna see the brand new CHADAM trailer that debuted on the Warner Bros
jumbotron screen yesterday at the San Diego Comic con??? Well then click
that little triangle down there.
If you don't know, CHADAM is an animated series Alex created for Warner Bros
and has been working feverishly on for almost 2 years now. Still no solid
release date, but they are getting there;)

Anyway, check it out!

And here is a little behind the scenes, high-fiving action from the weekend
that they recorded the voice-acting, which still ranks up there in one of the
coolest 2-day-period of his life.
Chadam Voice-Over Exclusive from io9 on Vimeo.

Chadam Voice-Over Exclusive from io9 on Vimeo.

'Downloading has cheapened music'- Jack White interview

Interview with Jack White via the BBC

Jack White, The White Stripes linchpin and all round busiest man in rock 'n' roll, has launched a special subscription service. He's doing it because he's unhappy with the way downloading is affecting music experiences. He explains how he came up with the idea for the Vault.

What are your thoughts on the dominance of the internet on the music industry generally these days?

It’s taken a lot of the romance out of the experiences of music.

This is what we're trying to manipulate to the advantage of the fan/listener and the artist as well, to find ways to have beautiful experiences that have a longer lasting impact.

Sometimes things you have complete easy access to, like a reality show, or an online purchase at the click of a mouse, can become forgetable and invisible.

A trip to a record store to get the album you've been waiting months for on the other hand, can be cherished for a lifetime.

We are trying to find those bridges between the tangible worlds and the cyber/digital worlds.

As an artist who has embraced vinyl, what do you think about download culture?

A quick look at sales figures for albums will show anyone with a brain that there's no doubt the world has collectively decided that there is nothing wrong with taking music for free and feeling no moral conundrum about it.

Oh well, that's the individuals personal battle to think about really. People say, "Bad for the artist, great for the fan," but that's not necessarily true I don't think.

Download culture isn't a very romantic experience for the fan regarding art, it cheapens it and makes it fast forwardable, and disposable, and a lot of times ignorable.

That's a shame for a lot of art and music that isn't getting the chance that it would if people just left the needle on the record till the end of the side or what have you.

I'm not telling people not to listen to MP3s, we sell them for all of our records and I wouldn't say to them don't share with their friends or whatever, but if you're asking me my opinion on what I prefer, or what I think is the best way to enjoy music, I would take a tangible, moving piece of machinery to listen to, as it expands the imagination. The physical attachment and the experience is more reverential to the art form.

How did you come up with the initial idea for the Vault?

We had been working for years on trying to find a more interesting solution to the modern fan's desire to enjoy and participate in music.

Many of the cutting edge conventional modes didn't seem that interesting to me.

So it took us a minute to get the structure of something we thought was involving to both the fans and the artists.

We have no expectations of how many people will want to get involved and subscribe, it's all new and experimental especially combining the vinyl records and digital content together.

What kind of additional content will fans get for their money and how is it produced?

They will get tapes filmed by the groups themselves. That sometimes is an expense, sometimes very cheap for the artists to make.

They will also get vaulted footage from the past that no one has seen or ever posted on YouTube before.

The White Stripes alone have incredible amounts of footage and recordings of shows from the last decade.

At times bands like [side project] The Dead Weather will spontaneously perform online and fans will be notified by Twitter to make an exciting and off the cuff experience.

We are trying to not make things always available at the click of a mouse, but for experiences to be brought to their attention in strange ways.

How involved personally will you be with this project?

Very involved. I'm not a big fan of a lot of these toys actually, but I never like to tell people who want to share the music I create how they can get it.

It doesn't matter to me if they want an MP3 or an 8 track tape.

It's the artists duty to work with the listener as much as possible, we are in the art form together.

Do you think it is fair to your audience who may not have as much disposable cash to charge for the possibility of presale tickets to concerts?

We'd rather have a pool of die hard fans getting those instead of scalpers for one thing, but fairness is up to the consumer.

We can only offer what we think they might want, and if they don't, we'll soon be made aware and move on to the next thing.

It's all for them, the Vault is charging for a plethora of ideas and experiences.

Some members are getting into shows before anyone else now just by lottery, some might get rare records randomly sent to them via mail order (or handed to them by me even!)

Some are getting records that they will resell on eBay if they want to.

It's their record and their community too so some will cherish all of these experience and records and some will think it's not worth it.

Outside this project, what your plans for the next 12 months?

I'm a part of a lot of records being made this year, many are singles released on vinyl and MP3s on iTunes. Also some things I can't tell you about.

But right now I'm heavy into The Dead Weather and producing records when I'm not touring with them.

Jumat, 24 Juli 2009

Rob Jones The Dead Weather Poster for the Filmore Detroit show.

Last nights poster from the Dead Weather show in Detroit Michigan. 18 x 24 numbered out of 232. ITRPF is not on the poster.

Along the bottom it says "Il fiore dai petali d'acciaio"-The flower petals from steel.


New from Banksy, Donuts

Go over to POW to register and hopefully get chosen to buy one

Clutch Baroness Lionize Poster by Chuck Sperry

Inspired by Doug Dashiell, floor manager of The Warfield, number 49 in the Firehouse Goldenvoice series, shows us Mr. DD eating up the highway as he blazes down to Clutch, Baroness and Lionize at The Regency. The show ripped! Baroness was wicked cool playing their "Red Album" bathed in red stage-lights. Clutch was massive, tight and better than ever. A great ol' rock'n'roll show deserving of a great monster motorcycle poster.
Edition of 150 printed on 14 point cover 27" x 23"
$25 + $7 Shipping
Available at www.chucksperry.net