February 2014: Art Crasher Kicks off Tour in San Francisco With UrbanSitter

Art Crasher is excited to be kicking off our gallery tour tonight,February 7, 2014 in San Francisco. We invite fellow artists and art lovers to join us at SOMArts’ Bay Gallery from 7:30pm-11:30pm. This will be the first of four US shows. The tour will continue in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. Come out and enjoy work from 80 international artists from 12 countries. We will also have San Francisco's own Pete Doolittle painting live at the show from 8:00pm-11:00pm. We are also very excited to announce our partnership with UrbanSitter. Whether you’re heading to one of our gallery shows, going for dinner or need to run errands, UrbanSitter is your online resource to find an occasional sitter, last minute help or full-time nanny. UrbanSitter is generously sponsoring each of our tour dates. We’d like to take the time to share a word from UrbanSitter’s Community Manager, Molli Hoos.

“UrbanSitter is excited to sponsor ArtCrasher's first Art Tour show! As part of our effort to help make the show a success, we are offering a $15 discount to book a sitter on Friday night.

To redeem, simply create a free profile at (>>>) urbansitter.com and enter code ARTCRASHERS15 on the Credits page under My Account -urbansitter.com/parent/credits.

Not familiar with UrbanSitter? We are an online resource that connects parents with great babysitters. A local start-up founded right here in San Francisco by 4 busy parents, UrbanSitter helps you find available sitters recommended by your friends or parents in your social circles - so you can feel secure in hiring someone you trust. Simply search sitters calendars, select based on reviews and credentials, then book and even pay right online!

Need a sitter to join our opening party on Friday Night? Try UrbanSitter! A new and better way to find trusted babysitters.”

See you on tour, Art Crashers!

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Authorartcrasher


Nigel Barker: Stepping out of the Fashion Industry's Glare

Courtesy of Art.Com

Courtesy of Art.Com

Photographer Nigel Barker has had two feet firmly on the ground of the fashion industry for the past two decades. In recent years,he has stepped out of the fashion world to venture into the realm of photojournalism and humanitarian work. Barker was recently in San Francisco to promote his collection of work on Art.Com. His collection adorning the walls of Art.Com's pop-up shop in Union Square illustrates how Barker has turned his lens,famous for capturing the likes of Coco Rocha and Tyra Banks, towards world conflicts.Art Crasher had the opportunity to speak with Barker on this new chapter of his career that has brought him to Tanzania to document the fight against mother-to-child transmission of HIV, to the Arctic to explore Canada's annual seal hunt, and to Haiti to share the soul of an inspiring community in the slums of a place, ironically, called Bel Air. "My experiences in these countries changed me as an individual and opened my eyes as a photographer". 

Courtesy of Nigel Barker and Art.Com

As a photographer, Barker recognizes it is his job to make a photo look like a million dollars, but "How do you do that when you go to Haiti and people are having a lot of problems and a lot of distress? I look for people and situations that show hope, that show the human spirit, that show strength...Courage...Bravery. The pictures themselves are celebrations of these places.The celebration that is us. Photojournalism often concentrates on the disaster and the misery. It's important to know, but I think in order for us to heal and preserver, we need to know what else we are made of. The power of being able to conquer, that is what I look for." 

 

Courtesy of Nigel Barker and Art.Com

Before you attempt to discredit Barker for being a pretty face who got his start in an industry that is often labeled as selfish and privileged, you have to look at the risks he has taken with his documentaries and humanitarian work. Despite being warned by the U.S. government not to go to Haiti following the outbreak of the food riots in April 2008, Barker continued with his plans to travel to Haiti with his crew and good friend, Unik Ernest, to film "Haiti: Hunger and Hope". It was during a day of filming in a cemetery on that very trip that Barker found himself with his camera in his hands and a gun to his head. Locals felt Barker and his team were taking advantage of the community's misfortunes. In that moment, the gunman's mother ran over and begged "Please don't do this. I don't want to see more blood today. Your brother already died today." Barker and his crew put down their cameras and the young Haitian put down his gun. 

Barker credits his success in the fashion world for his transition into photojournalism. The audience he built through America's Top Model and The Face has enabled him to use his following to shine a spotlight on more serious issues. Barker is shedding light on the realities of not only global conflicts, but also of the fashion industry. He draws a fine line when it comes to airbrushing. "We all airbrush ourselves all the time. We don't roll out of bed and say 'Okay, I'm going out, I don't care how I look'. There is a difference, though, between airbrushing and manipulating. If a model has a zit, we'll airbrush it out. That zit won't be there in a week. You don't have to be a model to airbrush a zit. People use makeup to do that every day...But manipulation, to change someone's actual physical bone structure and make them skinner, or change their jaw, I think this is wrong because you're actually creating someone who doesn't exist. We're made to think we've average by, in many respects, an industry that has created this allure for a certain type of beauty. We're all unique individuals. I think thats what is so special about all of us." 

Courtesy of Nigel Barker and Art.Com

As an established photographer,Barker offers Art Crasher and aspiring artists insightful advice. "You have to be polarizing. You have to have an opinion. All too often people show me their photographs and ask 'What do you think?'. I can like something, but it doesn't mean its right. It doesn't mean it doesn't have a place if I don't like it. One of the things you see with any real successful artist is that they do it for themselves. The most important person who has to like it is themselves. To be a successful artist, you have to know that you've done it, that you've taken the picture and this is the shot." 

Barker pauses for a moment and looks at his work on the wall behind us. "I wasn't always like this. When I was a young man, I think I was just enjoying life, running from one great crazy situation to another in the fashion world, the high life and all of those types of things. It runs it's course. Sometimes I wish I had woken up to a lot of these things earlier. You look at how precious life is. You look at you own morality. All these things become very real."  

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy Says Goodbye  

31 days have come and gone. Banksy's NYC residency is officially over.Banksy left us with a few treats on this Halloween day. Banksy, you will be missed.

 

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Banksy: Paint on Paint

'The banality of the banality of evil' Oil on oil on canvas, 2013

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Banksy Hits Coney Island

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Banksy Pushes the Envelope, Talks about 9/11

I don't have much to say to introduce this blog post this morning because I'm speechless. I just about fell off my chair when I read this, this morning. Banksy posted his daily piece today accompanied by an article he wrote. Today’s piece was going "to be an op-ed column in the New York Times." The New York Times refused to publish Banksy's column today. It's no surprise the column was canned. As a newly minted American, I have learned over the years there are some topics you just don't bring up in a negative light. One of those topics is 9/11. 9/11 for the US is a wound that is still slowly healing. That wound is like an angry bear. If you wouldn't poke an angry bear, you also shouldn't reopen a wound. I'm all for freedom of speech, but as someone who has family in NYC, this piece hit a nerve.

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Oh...If you're still interested, this is the piece he shared today:

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy's Ode to Grumpy People and The Reaper

Miss a day, miss a lot. My Aussie friend, Bec, just arrived in California yesterday. Today we ran the "Dirty Girl" Marathon-aka 5k run through the mud in costume. San Francisco is a huge dressup city and Bec came ready with pink wig in tow! She is my traveling partner in crime. We met while bartending in college in Canada.Before I knew it,we were traveling together to Cuba, France, England, and North Africa. We reunited yesterday for the first time in 3 years.

Anyways...I didn't get my Banksy fix until later this evening after running 5k and army crawling through mud. It seems his residency is still a go despite some deputes with the NYPD and Mr. Mayor. Just in time for Halloween,Banksy brings the Reaper to the Bowery. Saturday morning he sent a firm warning to grumpy people. Banksy is now like my morning coffee. What am I going to do without my daily dose of art after October is over and done? Sigh...

The Reaper

The Reaper

Pay attention grumpy people.

Pay attention grumpy people.

Had to throw this in for a laugh.Post mud race. Its hard to smile when the sun is in your eyes and there is mud in your mouth, but what a great laugh and a great time.

Had to throw this in for a laugh.Post mud race. Its hard to smile when the sun is in your eyes and there is mud in your mouth, but what a great laugh and a great time.

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy Reappears in Hell's Kitchen

After temporarily shutting down his show due to "police activity", Banksy's work showed up in Hell's Kitchen today. We're happy to see the NYPD hasn't been successful in their quest to take him down. 

 

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy Shut Down by NYPD

Another day, another dispute with the NYPD. The NYPD are showing the true extent of their warning to Banksy. The artist had no piece to display today, rather he posted "Today's art has been cancelled due to police activity". NYPD even cracked down on the actor in Banksy's Ronald McDonald shoe shine piece on Monday. They threatened to ticket the actor for disorderly conduct because he was blocking sidewalk traffic and a crowd had gathered. Eyewitnesses share that five cop cars and ten officiers showed up to question the actor. Our guess is that cops were pressuring the actor to give up Banksy and/or his contacts. Clearly they are trying to make an example of Banksy. Will this be the end of his NYC residency? Sorry NYPD, but this shit is bananas. 

 

Credit: banksy.co.uk/

Credit: banksy.co.uk/

Credit:gothamist.com/

Credit:gothamist.com/

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy Brings Egypt to Queens

Another day, another Banksy. Banksy made a "1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks." Its nice to see Banksy venture out from his usual art form.
 

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Banksy Living the High Life in South Bronx

Another day,another Banksy.Today this piece showed up in South Bronx. 

 

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Banksy: Child's Play

Another day,another Banksy.Banksy hits the Upper West Side as his month long residency in NYC continues.

 

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NYPD Vs. Banksy: The Show Must Go On

Another day, another Banksy. Despite the NYPD's promise to crack down and find Banksy, Banksy continues his month long residency. We couldn't help, but notice that today Banksy's work isn't painted on public property. Maybe we're reading into things too much. Why visit a packed gallery, when you can visit this outdoor gallery, security guard, gravel and all? 

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Authorartcrasher


NYPD on the Hunt for Banksy

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I'm generally prone to rolling my eyes and this morning is no exception. After reading the New York Post this morning, I'm feeling dizzy after rolling my eyes at nearly every sentence of this article. The NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg are after Banksy for vandalism. Bloomberg expresses that Banksy is a vandal, not an artist. The NYPD are using every tool they have and "are scrutinizing all surveillance videos they can find from areas where the guerrilla artist has left his famous wall-art stencils. If they catch him, he will be charged with vandalism." As someone who was just in NYC, I can say that catching Banksy is the least of NYC's problems.

Banksy knows he is a wanted man, but it doesn't seem to phase him. "I don't read what I believe in the papers", he shares on his website. The heat from the NYPD hasn't slowed down his month long residency. A new piece showed up in Brooklyn today.

 

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy Shares his "Love" for McDonald's  

It seems McDonald's in New York City will have a new featured item that won't be found on the menu. This sculpture "will visit the sidewalk outside a different McDonalds every lunchtime for the next week." A nicer reminder of the grade E meat being served...Yum! 

 

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Authorartcrasher


Banksy's Tribeca Tribute 

After a nearly 6 hour flight back to California, I was happy to be reunited with my 7 month old pup. I already miss the big city. As I walked off the plane, my email chimed and new Banksy work appeared on my iPad. This piece needs no introduction. It reminds us of something we already know, the NYC skyline is forever changed. 

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Banksy Faces His Critics

If you criticize Banksy, be prepared. He has no problem throwing some...Kelly Rowland quotes your way? Banksy shares "Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from 'Gladiator') but you know what? "I'm just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker" as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor." There, you've been told.

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Banksy Sets Up Shop in Central Park, Does Anyone Notice? 

Banksy set up shop in Central Park yesterday. Authentic, signed, Banksy pieces were selling for $60 each. Pedestrians in NYC are constantly hounded on the street for a buck. You eventually learn to tune out sellers and have tunnel vision to reach your destination. The shop was set up from 11am-6pm. Between those hours, only lucky seven pedestrians stopped to buy his work. I say "lucky" because Banksy's work typically goes for a pretty penny. His piece “Bombing Middle England" was sold in 2007 for $200,000 at auction alone. I think its fair to say some buyers were oblivious as to what they were actually buying. A new homeowner from Chicago bought four pieces,saying "I just need something for the walls." I'm sure those pieces won't be coming off his walls anytime soon.

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Banksy Forgiving Sins in Manhattan  

I have a few things to get off my chest, maybe this confessional will do me some good. 

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Banksy's Symphony, Sirens of the Lambs

Another day, another...slaughterhouse delivery truck? Banksy has sent out this truck to the Meatpacking District. Shall we say "The Muppets" meets "Silence of the Lambs" ? 

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