On the hook of “Maestro,” the Kartell’em crew rap how they’re intent on letting the city know who they are, that they’re set to “make this place aware.” It’s a mission statement, and they’re definitely doing a good job following through on that promise. To do so, they’re aiming higher than the stage and looking to the sky. Specifically the rooftops. If you gaze out the window of the LRT in Manila, you might spot a recent big ‘ole blockbuster at eye level with the train screaming TELL’EM. It’s so crispy it looks like an advertisement, which we guess it is, but it’s a DIY one painted by the crew themselves to promote an upcoming tee collab with cmplct.
Skateboarding. Punk rock. Graffiti. They’re all pretty aggressive subcultures, outlets that allow angry kids to express themselves. And Distort Monsters has been here for all of them since he was little. Whether out in QC on his board during middle school, running around Metro with a can in high school, or penning angsty punk songs all along, it was a way for him to channel his mood into relatively positive ways. And it paid off too, considering that he’s opening his first solo art show this Sunday, courtesy of the good people at Secret Fresh. [Full disclosure: Distort is now part of the Honeycomb team.]
The exhibition is Nada’s fifth solo show, coming off of a hiatus of six years since his fourth. So the title “Homecoming” is fitting, marking his return to the gallery setting. Those familiar with his personal street art style and murals scattered around the San Juan and Quezon City area will be interested to see how his style has evolved. And evolved it has, revealing a secondary meaning to the show’s title: come into the Nada household.
JP Pining knows who’s got a soft spot for their fuzzy little friends. In his second solo show at Secret Fresh, dubbed “Endless Loyalty,” he uses his trademark geometric style to illustrate different breeds of dogs, capturing them in riotous color. JP has a doggo to call his own, who is part of the inspiration behind this show, but another driving force was witnessing how people are changed by forming relationships with their dogs. Any pet lover would know what it’s like, and these bonds were on full display with all the pets running around that night.
Hosted during a scorching Brooklyn summer, “Beyond The Streets” boasts over 100,000 square feet of exclusive collections by more than 150 of the world’s most celebrated street artists and pop artists. Located along the newly luxurious Williamsburg waterfront, the exhibition brings together some of society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers.
Curated by Roger Gastman, “Beyond the Streets NYC” displays how graffiti was born in the streets of New York and Philadelphia during the late ’60s and has grown to take over galleries in the 2010s, blending with a new era of pop art.
Today we unpackage the Nike Air Fear Of God moccasins in a particle beige colorway for our weekly installment of “Opening Act.” Honeycomb bossman Kayo Cosio gravitates towards these as a universal pair of sneakers that are comfortable to wear in most situations and easy to match with any outfit. They were also pretty easy to cop since there are a lot of haters out there: Failing to win the raffle at Commonwealth on release day, he stopped by their shop the following morning to see if anyone failed to pick up their pair, and indeed two colorways in his size were up for grabs. “A lot of people call them basura,” he laughs. But the lightweight feel and understated design appeal to him.
Streetwear is supposed to be about community, so what better way to strengthen those bonds than collaborating with local artists killing it just down the street? A great example of this is Daily Grind‘s new collab with Raise Hell, which drops today. The line of fanny packs, bucket hats, and five-panel caps feature Hell’s Sailor Jerry-type illustrations in all-over patterns.
Raise Hell, also known as Raizel Go, is no stranger to the skateboarding world. She’s been painting on decks from Calle Skate Shop for a while now. She’s also designed boards for both Calle and Daily Grind. And you can find Raizel herself rolling around the streets of Manila on a longboard or a fixie. She’s even got her own fixed gear clothing brand called BRKLXX.
Twenty-two stories tall. Eighty gallons of house paint. One hundred cans of spray paint. One artist, no assistants. Twenty-four days. That’s quite a feat alone, but throw in an earthquake and now you’ve really got yourself a story. “Every day felt like a near death experience,” Archie Oclos laughs, recalling his time painting the country’s tallest mural last month. “But when the earthquake hit, I was on the scaffolding 12 stories up. The gondola was swinging and banging me against the wall. But once it was over I just kept painting, I had to finish it!”
When looking at photos of Dezio’s work closely cropped, they resemble small paintings on canvas with thick brushstrokes layered on top of each other. Wide, colorful ones in the background and skinny ones on top, their textures gleaming. But really, they’re large murals painted with spray paint on walls. It’s an explicit goal of his, taking the fluid motions of raw strokes and scaling them up in what are normally very flat works that miss texture. “In my graffiti, I started to do a lot more brush strokes you can tell like those big brush strokes and like trying to in a way put back the creation and the movement,” the Shanghai-based artist says while in Hong Kong as part of the HKWalls street art festival.
Kill Choy is an American living in Mexico creating woodblock carvings and street art, situated in a very localized scene in Mexico City. Given this context, you might not guess that she’s actually Filipina. Until recently anyway. A lot of her new works delve deeply into Philippines history and mythology, unfolding in epic battle scenes and tales of lore.
One piece tells the story of Mount Mayon and another the battle of Battle of Mactan. “I’ve become very familiar with Mexican culture and art since moving here five years ago, but realized I don’t have that familiarity with the Philippines because I was born in the US,” she says over Skype, a batok-style tattoo snaking out from under her shirt collar. “So as I made this series revolving around Filipino art, I was teaching myself my ancestors’ history.”