Vertical Gallery's one-year anniversary show, PAPER JAM, is curated by artist Ben Frost. Listen to Ben talk about the exhibition and discuss a few of the artists. All 17 artists will be featured over three videos. In this video: Chris Cunningham, Numskull, Hebru Brantley, James Jirat Patradoon, Sharktoof, and Copyright.
Read about the featured artists in this video:
Chris Cunningham (IRELAND)
Chris Cunningham is a UK based artist working exclusively with spray-paint and contemporary stencil techniques. His work explores the ideas of contemporary pop culture and mass media as they affect and shape how we operate in our daily lives. References to pop culture, graffiti, skateboard graphics and comic book iconography feature heavily alongside the instantly recognizable logos and the symbols of our time, exploring the effect they have on our society. Often these symbols are subverted and reworked to convey a message or expose an underlying issue. His commentary of pop culture, bold graphics and strong use of colour is similar to that of Lichtenstein or Warhol but with a contemporary urban edge. The work he makes is exhibited internationally and can just as often be found painted on found objects as it can on linen and canvas.
Over the last decade Copyright has been invited to show his work worldwide including sell out solo shows in London and Tokyo and most recently his Precious Damage show which saw him sell all 50 works in 3 hours. He was asked to design the cover of Reload Magazine to go alongside a feature about his art, as well as pieces in Harpers Bazaar, Teen Vogue and Modart amongst others. He was featured on Series 8 of the BBC show ‘The Apprentice’ in May 2012 after being selected by the contestants as part of a task based on street art. His highly stylised work and unique style has proven popular with both national and international collectors including a number of celebrities and Premier League footballers.
Shark Toof ranks among street art's most recognizable artists. Known for his murals, stencils and wheat pastes on streets across the US from NY to Miami to LA, Shark Toof is one of the rising stars in contemporary street art. Shark Toof currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo and group shows in 2010 include Baker's Dozen, Fountain Art Fair, Miami; Dreams Deferred, Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles; Duality, CB Gallery, Los Angeles; Marxist Glue, Hold Up Art, Los Angeles; Small Gift Sanrio 50th Anniversary, Barker Hanger, Los Angeles; Sugi Pop, Portsmouth Museum of Art, New Hampshire; Unfaithful Forever, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Dead Letter Playground, Leo Kesting Gallery, New York; Viva Lost Wages, Joseph Watson Collection, Las Vegas; MAYDAY, Barracuda, Los Angeles and Crazy 4 Cult, Gallery 1988, Los Angeles. Shark Toof graduated from Pasadena Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Illustration.
James Jirat Patradoon (AUS)
James (born 1985) is an Australian Artist/Illustrator. He creates character driven visual art, born of fictional worlds of borrowed imagery that act as distorted mirrors to our reality, mashed-up and remixed to create new stories. Inspired by the fashion and costume of black metal music, gangster rap, professional wrestling, sci-fi films, and superheroes, James' work is an irreverent take on the stoic nature of macho pop culture.
Numskull is an Australian based artist, working out of Sydney in a variety of fields and mediums including painting, sculpture, illustration and large scale murals. Now showing constantly in galleries, his painting style has evolved from simple street work to complex, technical and reactive mixed media paintings and sculpture. His unique imagery has become a collage of study focusing on color hierarchy, typography, abstract heroism and idolism within modern contemporary culture.
Hebru Brantley (USA)
Hebru, a Bronzeville-native living and working in Chicago, explores personal and cultural memory in his art. Taking themes from his 1980’s upbringing, Brantley uses a creative process akin to free-form journaling, using a variety of surfaces and media including wood, spray paint, coffee and tea. His work delves into political and social issues with a conscious focus on playful insight and the optimism and possibilities of youth. Brantley draws influence from an array of pop culture icons, comic book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. Brantley’s recent focus is to share energetic narratives— moments of reality from his life and the lives of his peers, mixed with fantastical fiction— to create a fragmented environment of make believe. Spray paint is often at the forefront of these mixed-media illustrations, working in part to decontextualize the levity of cartoon imagery, and bring a critical edge into the white cube. From this, Brantley has developed his own unique style and identifies as an Afro-Futurist. Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows in Chicago, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. He was most recently the winner of the Redbull Curates Chicago contest, and will exhibit at Scope art fair in December 2012. Brantley has been commissioned by Skyy Vodka, Nike and Tyra Banks. Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and media illustration.
Ben Frost (AUS)
Australian artist Ben Frost is known for his kaleidoscopic Pop Art, mash-up paintings that take inspiration from areas as diverse as graffiti, collage, photorealism and sign-writing. By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial. He has been exhibiting throughout Australia and internationally over the last 12 years, including solo shows in London, New York, Toronto, Singapore and San Francisco, as well as group shows in Beijing, Mongolia, Amsterdam, and Berlin.