Audio conversations with the Juxtapoz staff on all things contemporary art, culture, music, street art, graffiti, art happenings and more.
059: Roger Gastman's Vision of Graffiti and Street Art Goes Beyond the Streets | Radio Juxtapoz
Over the course of our almost two years of bringing you the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, the core is looking at the stories and characters that have help shape the past, present and future of graffiti and street art. From Shepard Fairey, Martha Cooper, Felipe Pantone, Hyuro, Craig Costello, REVOK, Cleon Peterson, Dan Witz, Ron English, ESPO, Swoon... what all these episodes have in common in many ways is today's guest, curator Roger Gastman. For over 20 years, Gastman has been at the forefront of documenting, publishing and creating historical overviews of the history of two of the most popular art forms we cover. That graffiti and street art still resonates with audiences so deeply decades into their existence is, in part, a celebration of Gastman's work.
In 2018, Gastman started Beyond the Streets, an exhibition that helped create a more linear narrative to what is an often complicated and storied history of art in the streets. Not only were the shows highlighting the graffiti and street artists that we have come to know today, but the show provided an opportunity to show just how widespread and impactful the vandal element of those forms has influenced contemporary art and culture. From Takashi Murakami, Guerrilla Girls and the Beastie Boys, you began to see how Beyond the Streets was more encompassing than past graffiti and street art shows. With exhibitions in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn in 2018 and 2019, Gastman was looking to take the show to new markets when the pandemic put a pause on everything. For 2020, Beyond the Streets is a virtual art fair, streaming on the NTWRK APP December 5th & 6th, 2020, a two day art fair with exclusive paintings, sculptures, editioned prints, skate decks, drawings, exclusive drops, and "thought-provoking discussions and panels though a series of videos curated by culture historian Roger Gastman."
On this episode of Radio Juxtapoz, we get our own history of Gastman's love and interest in graffiti culture, how he grew to understand the often merging world of street art and how many pivotal moments over the past 50 years have allowed for a major pop-culture interest in Beyond the Streets. From his early days in Washington, DC, his work in publishing and now looking to expand BTS to international markets, this is just the beginning of Gastman's vision to keep graffiti and street art global.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 059 was recorded via Skype from Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, November 27, 2020. Beyond the Streets will be streaming on the NTWRK APP on December 5th & 6th, 2020.
058: It’s Still Life with Jillian Evelyn | Radio Juxtapoz
It is, indeed, still life. Life is happening perhaps in new ways, and sometimes it seems like it's moving at a weird pace and a new anxiety may exist, but it is indeed, still life. Jillian Evelyn gave her newest solo show at Subliminal Projects one of the best titles of this crazy year (It's Still Life), and it may be her best body of work to date. Her characters feel more mature, each color and line choice so purposeful, and her take on minimalism has equated to a richer and full canvas. These works feel alive. Every angle and awkward pose, each vantage point and mundane gesture comes across as an artist working with directness and a fresh set of aesthetic tools at her disposable. Evelyn has proved that, even when our lives may technically have gone on pause, she is, indeed, still creating with a sense of vitality.
We have been wanting to have Jillian on the Radio Juxtapoz podcast for years; she has been part of our Juxtapoz Clubhouses in Miami, been featured in our print edition and just all around fits into fine art we love to cover. It's Still Life feels like a maturation, a culmination of her unique and clean style mixed with art historical references and use of the female body throughout art history. From her days as a designer in footwear to her beginnings as a painter and muralist to now being able to fully spread her wings in Los Angeles, it's been a busy journey for Evelyn, and one that keeps evolving.
In episode 058 of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, we talk to Evelyn about how It's Still Life came to be and how many years it was in the making, growing up in Michigan, working as a designer in Boston, becoming a full-time painter in Los Angeles, deciding against grad school, the challenge of murals, and the new confidence she is finding in her practice. And... we have a Radio Juxtapoz first! Jillian's mom stops in for a quick update on how moms think of nudity in art and a little body humor.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 058 was recorded via Skype from Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, November, 62020. It's Still Live is on view at Subliminal Projects via appointment through December 20, 2020. Follow her at @jillian_evelyn
057: Radical Tradition: A Conversation About American Quilts and Social Change | Radio Juxtapoz
We often have those moments, the ones we literally denote as those where history stops for just one second to rewrite and reinvent itself. In America, you talk of 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Kennedy and MLK being shot, the night Obama was elected. This past Saturday may have been another, where the media call that Biden had won the electoral college sent seismic waves throughout the world. Those are instantaneous moments of history, where in a second, life is different. They are the rarest of times.
Perhaps that is why we wanted to share this conversation the week after an election and period of time that is so dominated by instantaneous social media communication. On November 21, 2020, the Toledo Museum of Art will open Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change, an exhibition that spans centuries and speaks to just how labor intensive oral history and physical storytelling can be. There is a beauty in the quilt, not only as an object of warmth and the process to create them, but as the museum notes "quilts have been used to voice opinions, raise awareness, and enact social reform in the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present." American history is so engrained in the history of quilts, from cotton production to the industrial revolution to civil rights, gender equality, queer rights, you tend to forget that these stories are not just part of an Outsider Art tradition but the very fabric of our lives. And how these two opposing words, "Radical" and "Tradition" are the hallmarks of how we grow and heal as a country in flux.
From Gee's Bend quilts, the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the contemporary works of Bisa Butler, there is a lot to understand about the dynamics of quilts and their place in the pantheon of American art. In episode 057 of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, we speak with Radical Tradition curator Lauren Applebaum of the Toledo Museum of Art on how the pandemic changed her daily life at the museum, the history of Outsider traditions in institutional arts, Toledo's unique history in art and the intricacies of curating an art show on radical traditions while the country itself was going through radical changes on streets across America.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 057 was recorded via Skype from Toledo, San Francisco, London, October 27, 2020. Radical Tradition is on view at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio starting on November 21, 2020.
056: Iceland Redefined with Baldur Helgason | Radio Juxtapoz
There is something both immediately recognizable and yet completely original in the paintings of Icelandic-born, Chicago-based artist, Baldur Helgason. For us at Juxtapoz, it's a classic style and such a fascinating new tale to tell in the world of contemporary art. Part comics but also deeply personal, Baldur is part of a new generation of painters who are both satirist and fine artists, what we noted in a feature last year as " sardonic references to modern life with both humor and a haunting hit of foreboding."
But what we learn in episode 056 of the Radio Juxtapoz podcast is how Baldur has broken tradition with the more landscape, ethereal and abstract work of Icelandic painters before him into fresh new territory that combines his childhood and his formative years in San Francisco as an art student and now Chicago-based painter. The last few years have been successful; just this year he has had solo shows in Los Angeles, Iceland and now, currently, in London at Ramp Gallery. We asked about how figurative works fit into the Icelandic art historical lexicon (yes, we asked about trolls), but also how a tiny island country has been able to support and nurture such talent with such a small population. Iceland is, indeed, a special place.
We also spoke to Baldur about how San Francisco shaped him, how COVID and being stuck inside changed his muse (its now his wife) and why he is heading back to Iceland for the foreseeable future. In a year of transitions, Baldur is making one of the biggest moves of all.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 056 was recorded via Skype from Chicago, San Francisco, London, October 20, 2020. Follow Baldur at @baldur_helgason. His solo show, Assortments, is on view at Ramp Gallery in London through November 22, 2020.
055: From Nigeria, Inside the Protests and Studio of Arinze | Radio Juxtapoz
In recent weeks, and even in the hours before Radio Juxtapoz got on the phone with our friend and Nigerian-based hyperrealist artist, Arinze Stanley, we were reading and watching as peaceful protests against police brutality in Lagos and other cities had turned to turmoil and chaos as forces began attacking its citizens. In the 24 hours before we recorded this podcast, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had open-fired on protestors, resulting in death, lockdowns, curfews and more confusion and unrest.
Arinze is supposed to be celebrating a wonderful year. His solo show with Corey Helford Gallery has just opened and his following has grown exponentially since the beginning of 2020. And here we were. Not only did Arinze give us an update on the conditions right now in Lagos, but the history of government violence and social justice protests in Nigeria against SARS, and the complicated past, present and future for Nigerians as they seek reforms.
But, there is his art, and how dramatic it is. There are the technical aspects of being a hyperrealist drawer that can be both awe-inspiring and incredibly vivid. One of the traits that the genre can often lack is humanity; the skill is so apparent that the message is lost. Lagos-based Arinze Stanley is one of the great exceptions to the rules. Humanity is at the core of his work, how one sees the self and others, and as he explains it, his work is as much about the Nigerians understanding Nigerians than it is the rest of the world peeking in.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Arinze tells us of his own personal experiences with SARS, how developing and emerging technology has helped empower the youth of Nigeria, how his hyperreal works have influenced more artists in his country and how his own works have evolved. He give poignant views on America's own issues with race and how it relates to Nigeria, but also a hopeful message of staying in Lagos and completing his goal of participating in, and inspiring, real lasting change.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 055 was recorded via Skype from Lagos, San Francisco, London, October 21, 2020. Follow Arinze at @arinze
054: Super Future Kid and a Seaweed Sunrise | Radio Juxtapoz
A few years ago when we published our first interview with East German-born, London-based painter and almost mythical figure Super Future Kid, our deputy editor Kristin Farr asked the artist what her superpowers were. We will never forget the answer: "To be incredibly childish and yet able to do all the grown up stuff." That has stuck with us. As an artist with the incredible gift of making her paintings look almost digital and yet definitely hand-painted, who has created characters with almost hype-color characteristics and unmistakable details in her presentation, Super Future Kid has carved out one of the most singular and individualistic careers in the art world.
And yet no matter how far she goes and acclaimed she may be, Super Future Kid has a creative energy and sense of wonderment that is infectious. Born in East Germany in the early 1980s, she claims she never saw color until the Wall came down. She says, "I spent the first eight years of my life not knowing that there was a universe of colors, toys and all kinds of fun things waiting for me on the other side of the Wall. I had a great childhood but it got a massive upgrade after November ’89!" This detail is essential in understanding the universe she has created. These characters and colors are an extension of how incredible the impression that cartoons, candy, toys, animations, films had on her at a young age. That sudden culture shock, is, what we learned in this podcast, still a major influence and driving force her work today.
For this episode of Radio Juxtapoz, we spoke with Super Future Kid from her studio in London as she had just sent a new body of work, Seaweed Sunrise, to Hong Kong for a solo show at Over the Influence. Of course, the conversation ranged from the disappointment of not being able to attend her opening, and the challenges that Covid has had on her year. But we also dug deep into her memories of East Germany, how pop-culture surprised and inspired her works, how she was influenced by Neo Rauch and how making work under a moniker has allowed her to be even more creative.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 054 was recorded via Skype from San Francisco and London, October 2, 2020. Follow Super Future Kid @superfuturekid