Caleb Neelon

In Production: Sign Painters, A New Documentary from Faythe Levine and Sam Macon

Filmmakers Faythe Levine (Handmade Nation: the Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design) and Sam Macon are working on a new documentary on sign painters persisting in their hand-lettered craft. So far, they’ve shot in Olympia, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, and Syracuse, with Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, and more...

Street Sketchbook: Journeys, Reviewed

Bristol, England-based author and designer Tristan Manco is back with a followup to his 2007 original book Street Sketchbook, which opened up the sketchbooks of several international artists working most visibly in the street. This followup, Street Sketchbook: Journeys, does much the same but offers a greater scope of work by each of the...

Trespass Reviewed

Recently I received a copy of Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art, a 324-page release from Taschen edited by Ethel Seno and written by Carlo McCormick and Wooster Collective‘s Marc and Sara Schiller. It’s a lovely book, well up to Taschen standards, and if anyone is looking for a wide-ranging collection of street...

Arte Para Todos, Seville, Spain

I just got back from a two week project/spraycation in Seville, Spain.  The idea, dreamt up by organizer Peter Claesson, was to bring together around 35 muralists from 20 countries and set them loose in the Poligono San Pablo, a working-class neighborhood of Seville.  I had a blast with old and new buddies from...

Rustoleum's New Cap and the Demise of American Spray Paint

Spray paint dates to about the 1920s, but in its familiar form, the history of the spray-paint can begins in the early 1960s. By the early ’70s, it was an art medium in the hands of New York kids, who quickly figured out that swapping out the factory nozzle for one from a can...

Art for Stabbing: Bill McRight's Shanks

Philadelphia artist Bill McRight grew up in the south, the son of two ministers. He’s trained as a printmaker and has a studio at Space 1026, the DIY creative hub in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Most of Bill’s work has been in linoleum-cut prints, and he teaches printmaking, but he’s had a little side project that...

The Dafen Village Mural Project in Shenzhen, China, Part 2

The reproduction oil painting neighborhood of Dafen, in the boom city of Shenzhen, China (this history is covered in part 1), posed an interesting question: What do you do in a boom city when its artist district, as it has organically formed, produces art that the art world sneers at? Since 1979, Shenzhen has...

The Dafen Village Mural Project in Shenzhen, China

I just got back from a mural project at the Dafen Art Museum in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen is just across the river from Hong Kong, and it’s one of China’s mainland boom cities. Since 1979, when it received a special designation from Deng Xiaoping as a “Special Enterprise Zone,” it’s grown from a collection...

Beyond the Street, Reviewed

Beyond the Street, a very large release from Gestalten and edited by Patrick Nguyen and Stuart Mackenzie, sprawls through “the 100 leading figures in urban art.” If I look through it as a collection of what essentially amount to magazine interview-style pieces, it both reads and looks great. Many of the images seem exclusive...

Jim Houser Gets Musical

People who walk into one of Philadelphia artist Jim Houser’s shows often find his small paintings and sculptures so carefully grouped and installed that they just want to move in. In recent years, Houser has incorporated his music into his installations, playing through a stack of painted amps. Coinciding with his summer 2010 show...