Posts Tagged ‘art

28
Aug
11

The Mustache lives on!

I’ve made and hung up a Jack Layton tribute. I’ll write a longer blog post with pictures and my thoughts on this past week in a little while, but for now here’s a teaser for you folks.
The Stache

The Mustache is a worthy deservant of its capital M.

18
Dec
10

Things of Interest…

Things that make me say “This is awesome!” these days:

The first is the work of Windsor’s Broken City Lab, an artist-led group that’s hard at work imagining new possibilities for run-down and neglected stretches of Windsor, Ontario. Windsor has been particularly hard-hit by the loss of good-paying industrial manufacuring jobs even before the latest recession came about and its close ties and proximity to the recession’s greatest urban victim, Detroit, make it an interesting bellweather for evaluating the recession’s economic and spatial impact on Canadian cities.

Broken City Lab also is involved in a number of urban installation projects aimed at getting Windsor residents to think more deeply about the urban spaces they interact with and consider how they might be improved.


They’re also involved in developing ‘micro-intervention’ pieces for use in improving small areas and helping educate residents about the potential for DIY-style urban improvement projects. Check out their Removable Garden Project.
As an urban planning student, I believe that any urban renewal or regeneration project must be driven in part by area residents and that the technologies, vocabulary and tools of the profession need to be made available and accessible to citizens. As a street artist, I believe that streetart can be used to temporarily improve an urban area in a manner that goes beyond just painting a pretty picture on a wall. It’s something that I’ve been trying to do with Swap Boxes for years now…

As well, two guys have created a rolling graffiti printer, which you can check out at Looptaggr . The idea of a dotted-and-dashed line stencil that could be spray-painted on sidewalks to create somewhat of an ‘urban treasure-hunt’ or a follow-the-line type of experience has interested me for quite some time.

A new and exciting update to McGill to Haiti is coming up soon. I’ve been derailed into a world of studio projects, deadlines, mayhem and confusing GIS maps which I’m only now starting to make some sense of…

10
Sep
10

Burning Man Photos, Part 1

A blog update about Burning Man is coming soon, once things get a bit more settled down. It’s been weird launching straignt into grad-school after eight days out in the Nevada desert and the weirdest place in the continental U.S to boot, but I think I’m refreshed and more resilient than ever. In the meantime have some photos…




26
Jun
10

An ongoing update…

It has been a while, hasn’t it? First of all, some new stuff is coming. I have been rather sick these past two weeks and am only now starting to recover.

Secondly, “The Art of Swap” is heading into final editing. I’m tweaking some written sections to include more references for interested readers to check out, playing around with cover designs and finishing up the swapbox blueprints.

As for Ottawa, a number of interesting things have happened since I was last there. Alas, I am much too busy working on a plan to go to Burning Man to write a long, drawn-out update about them…but that is coming at some point…

EDIT: Montreal art show and sale this Canada Day (aka the real Fete Nationale) 10-4 PM, St. Philip’s Church grounds (corner of Sherbrooke and Connaught Streets), Montreal QC. Come one, come all! Over 50 artists and artisans, including MaksWerks!

13
Jun
10

New Stuff from Ottawa


’cause anyone can throw sneakers up over a phone line. This one’s part experiment, part tribute to ABOVE and his arrows. Maybe next time I should follow the Elmaks crescent-moon up with a whole solar system.

18
May
10

Trying to grab hold of a few good ideas…

Well, it’s been a rough couple of weeks here at the Werkshop, and I’ve been fighting to get my motivation back while at the same time realizing that my creative drive is sporadic, somewhat unfocused and has the unfortunate habit of derailing other elements of my life when allowed to run full-tilt. Maybe it’s an artist thing to be subject to a manic creativity (and sometimes, like when I was putting together the layout and written sections of “The Art of Swap”, it has proven a blessing as a motivator) but I’ve finally recognized that I’ve got to get more focused and find a way to make it work for me. Sometimes I make street art and other times it manifests itself by making me its creator…

I’ve given some thought to learning a couple more craftmanship and art skills, like cabinetmaking, ABS plastic-working and boning up on my knowledge of screenprint making. I’ve also been considering a couple of potential large interventions to pull off this summer, since I’ve got the basic knowhow to be able to work with wood and metal. Trying to think up new and interesting uses of public spaces has always been a favorite theme of mine…

There are a lot of vacant, under-construction and poorly used areas in the vicinity of downtown Montreal which could be converted to some more interesting uses, and picnic areas and sports facilities are two themes I keep coming back to. I’ve been thinking about what I would have to buy, find and make in order to create basketball hoops out of scrap wood and metal. One of the examples I’ve been considering is Brusse’s Streetlove Project , which I absolutely love.

As well, downtown Montreal is severely lacking in bike parking. I wonder how easy it would be to Macgyver up a nifty-looking bike parking fixture. Or perhaps a smaller one, for tricycles…

I’m going to head over to the library and try to borrow a couple of books on innovative slum architecture and built solutions to urban problems. I’ve always had an incredible admiration for some of the creative genius-work which one can find in urban slums, and in a way I as a street artist am aping their work. I’m trying to build things out of discarded materials, using whatever I can find and trying to give our discards a new and productive life…

Here’s a question for my dear Montreal readers…what do you think needs fixing in our city (besides potholes, of course)??

12
May
10

Rants and prints

Academic discourses tend to treat street art and graffiti like blind men envisioning an elephant based on touch. Sociology and anthropology look at it as a subculture based around transgressive behaviour and try to understand what motivates street artists and writers. Art History considers the physical products as being the art of the untrained when not ignoring them altogether. (The fields of Art History and art criticism look upon the street work of the few artists that they do recognize, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, with the awkward tone one would use when discussing a favorite politician’s juvenile indiscretions). Criminology looks at what can be done to prevent law-breaking. Urban studies make a brief mention of street art and graffiti when discussing urban crime and undesireable behaviour.

All in all, it’s a compartmentalized, categorizing and often downright condescending approach. What’s worse about the approach is that it turns a lot of people off from academia by giving them a sense that there isn’t a framework out there that would allow them to put their ideas out and expand upon them. And that’s a damn shame. Because I believe in street art just as much as I believe in good urban design and I’m sure that there must be a number of means of fusing the two together.

And check out My Etsy Shop for the first ever MaksWerks art print!

more to come…





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