Best Of Art 2007 Feature
Art means alot of different things to different people, here at Slam X Hype we’ve tried to broaden our views on what Street Culture is and Pop Culture today, much of this emphasis has been placed on art and the impact it plays on our world today. In recent years street artists have found critical acclaim within the world of fine art, and commercially too, to me art can be street art, fine art, music, amongst much more. I asked some friends and important figures from within the culture who they thought was the most influential artist of 2007 as part of our first round up of the past year. Check through all the pages to see everyone’s opinions, some great insights and you might even find something new, in alphabetical order…check them out.
2007 has been a year in which my personal interest in Art has sky-rocketed, always interested, but this year has seen this interest become a big passion of mine, while numerous artists have done great things throughout the year, Takahashi Murakami has undoubtedly been unmatched in terms of his profile, there hasn’t been a magazine or website I haven’t read his name in over the year, his colab with Louis Vuitton, his work with Kanye West and his show at MOCA all outline different aspects of pop culture he’s been managed to touch, it seems as though after such a long career, 2007 was his year. Dan Colen, Dash Snow, Will Sweeney, Damian Hirst, Shawn Mortensen and WK Interact have all been involved in a big year of art for me.
As for artist of the year? I don’t look at fine artists like you would pop artists. They don’t have an album of the year, rather you take in their full body of work. That being said, An artist that I am really feeling right now is Jayson Musson. He is a Philly native who does political and social commentary as an artform. He can be highly offensive at times but in this politically correct (bland) world. A little reality is a breath of fresh air, and by reality I am not talking about that rehearsed reality tv bullshit. Rather someone saying shit like it is. Dude is hillarious!!!
Let’s be honest, it’s not even close, the artist of the year is M.I.A..
So what if she doesn’t paint, push pixels or make crappy shirt graphics, she’s a true artist in every sense of the word. She creates using a language that she has made all of her own and released the best album (Kala) and best single (Paper Planes) of the year. Compliment with an aesthetic that she owns and a razor sharp political tongue and you have the consummate triple threat; brains, brawn and beauty. She’s Barbarella x Sylvia Pankhurst for Generation Now.
If America wants to get out of the quagmire of the last seven years it’ll need to grow a set of balls and vote for a radical change in the White House come November. That change shouldn’t come in the form of a black president, or a female president, but in the form of a Sri Lankan, female president. And you think I’m kidding…
Dan "Jagger" Ball
If you mean art as in proper art then Oliver Payne & Nick Relph for their film "Swoon Soon". They won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2003 for best under 35 and it hardly made the British press, a right disgrace that. As soon as Emin does its all over the press like she’s some British champion we should all be proud of. This is why the media are not to be trusted. Also I think Boogie is a great photographer. If you mean artist to include music then Underground Resistance and Don Corleon get my vote for 07.
Dan "Jagger" Ball
Judith Supine for the constant tearing up of the New York city streets and the dropping of a 50 x 15 foot piece off of the Manhattan bridge the summer. Couple that with the wheat pasting of the army recruiting center in broad daylight as well as the floating piece dropped in the Hudson river Judith would have to be my choice. Judith Supine is underground, Supine doesn’t play the gallery game and his work is unique and original. It’s only a matter of time before he gets recognized beyond New York . I love Judith’s manic mission to bomb every and anything possible and Judith’s refusal to take corporate underwriting of any sort. Judith Supine is without a doubt a rebel and we need that right about now.
Also Ron English. The guy is just an amazing painter. Thought provoking, funny and his renderings are just tremendous. He will never be confused with a graphic designer on any level. The man is political, his reconfiguring of billboards was a great comment on America and consumerism and his recent work he did in Beirut another feather in his cap. I also love his newesr work, which is a departure of sorts. Watching his growth from afar is a pleasure the guy simply put can really, really paint.
Best artist is Manuel O Campo, I’ve always been into his paintings but hadnt looked at them for a while, my friend David Griggs had done some colabs with him earlier this year some huge brush painted billposter style works, they were amazing. My other best artist for the year is Tomoo Gokita, Tomoo is showing with Dietch and is also the coolest tshirt designer aswell he has an amazing ability to work at the top in both worlds and remain credible. I have introduced him to the artist network programme at RVCA this year, his t-shirts are the coolest ever.
The term "Artist" is used and tossed around with far too much generosity in this industry; 90% of the individuals that are coined as "Artist" in this industry are more or less graphic designers at best; professional con-artist and brown nosing social climbers who whore themselves for the sake of being famous and adored. That is my answer.
I’ve been racking my brain to pick my favorite artist of the year. The usual suspects have popped into my head (Kaws, Kehinde Wiley, Tom Sachs, etc.) To be honest, I’ve been to very few ‘real’ art galleries this year, and I didn’t discover a new favorite artist in 07′. That is until I heard Lord Nasty. I don’t know much about Lord Nasty, but his album ‘Baptized in Pussy Juice’ is most definitely a work of art. Lord Nasty mixes the nastiness of 2 Live Crew with the voice of southern Baptist church choir singer. His albums are low budget, recorded on tape via a karaoke machine. Comparisons have been made to Blowfly and Dolemite, but the Lord’s subject matter is on whole another level. Its hard to describe, but his music sounds dangerous and offensive, mixing a music style and subject matter that shouldn’t be combined, AND in a non-ironic way (take that hipsters!). His lyrics are insanely dirty’ check the songs ‘Religious Slut’, ‘That Slut from Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’, and ‘Nasty on a Spiritual Hymn’ for lyrics that are guaranteed to make you cringe. My girlfriend hates Lord Nasty, not allowing me to play his music when she’s around. If you’re not offended by Lord Nasty, there’s something wrong with you.
The photographer E. Hansen. He is a friend of mine and we’ve been in touch for a while. He just sent me his new book and the photographs are almost surreal in their precise-ness. I’m having a show at the Beinghunted.gallery online shortly.
Best Artist would probably be Takashi Murakami, mainly in terms of his impact and wide visibility as a true Pop artist. He was the most prominent But there are so many others that this question is very tough. I like what Will Sweeney and Susamu did for Undercover, I like the work of Matzu, Damian Hirst is always interesting, it¹s just too tough to name one. The best show I saw this year was Roppongi Crossing at Mori Museum in Tokyo which was a group show of contemporary Japanese artists. Standouts were Yoshio
Yoshimura, Koichiro Tsujikawa, Iichiro Tanaka.
Yue Min Jun. Yue’s been killing it in the art world this year. If you haven’t heard, art is a big business now. Particularly, Chinese Art. Yue has been at the head of the pack with his oil paintings of a pinkish chinese man with the biggest smile on his face. Forging the way from a post- Tienenmen Square era as China dominates the economic global market, Yue’s paintings give you a sense that ‘…it’s all good’. http://www.yueminjun.com/
On the local front, the next man to look out for is Ekundayo. A Hawaiin native, now presiding in LA. Ekundayo started selling out his gallery shows while still attending school at Art Center College Of Design. His street grafiti-esque edge with the sensibilities of J.C. Leyendecker makes him a force to be reckoned with. His paintings personify the everyday struggles of life through his dynamic characters. Make sure to check him out before you’re too late to the game.
David Keith Lynch
I’d say him next year too, and the year after that…and after that one…. I think you get the picture.
Dungeon Majesty, Dungeon Majesty is cable access TV show about 4 girls who play Dungeons and Dragons and act out their roles in live action. The show, including all effects and stop motion animation, is produced by the girls themselves. I’m not into D&D or role playing games but I love the green screen/video effects segments of each show and the deadpan way the game playing parts are acted out. You are at once noticing how boring it is to watch someone else play a game like this and then cutting to a spectacular low-fi effects segment, which is pretty interesting. Not to mention the girls are hot and the intro is pretty tough. I recommend episode 5 if you like the effects and you want to skip the game part.
Matthew Barney, for about twenty years Matthew’s work has been both a challenge visually and mentally for me. While I still do not understand it all each year it moves and motivates me more in many, many ways. Perhaps one day it will all become clear? However, the game keeps me exploring it and he keep the search fresh.
This is a really hard question…because I know so many talented artists…alright…ok…it’s a tie! Marcus Burrows and Arik Roper – both artists have styles that really speak to me. I love the depth of their work and their sources of inspiration.
I’m gonna say M.I.A. wins Best Artist – in so far as she is representative of a critical confluence of World Issues and is inspiring the cusp of progressive music and activism! I think her story of being a Refugee and her alchemical gifts of synthesizing music genres and fashion trends makes her a stand out representation of Globalization! Beats & rhythms wise – she’s influencing everyone from icons like Gwen Stefani and the Beastie Boys to emerging artists and people who are just getting started !
That depends in what discipline we are taking out, music, painting etc. The best musician of the year, fuck, I’d have to say, and as far as new releases in 07 are concerned it is a tie between Robert Plant/Alison Krauss and Robb Flynn from Machine Head for possibly writing some of the best music in a long time.
As far as street artists are concerned, Jose Parla & Evan Hecox. As far as “traditional” artists are concerned, Joe Coleman, by a long shot.
For Artist, must be Takashi Murakami.
He can success combine art with commercial and make it worldwide and well known. Even Louis Vuitton made a special collection with him to celebrate his exhibition at MOCA LA, you can know how success he are. much respect!!
The best show I have seen last year was Adam Dant at The Hales Gallery in London. It was a show of large, complex drawings which I thought were visionary in their composition and execution. Adam Dant has been around for a while and has a really interesting, funny and engaging drawing style.
Other good stuff I have seen in 07 either old or new has been Matt Furie’s work, a book of fantastical architecture by the Russian engravers Brodsky & Utkin, Brian Chippendale’s Ninja book and James Jarvis’ Yod.