Even While on Vacation

August 28th, 2014

Art is Everywhere — even while on vacation!

Eduardos Food Truck_Ocacroke_AIE

Eduardo’s Food Truck — authentic & fresh Mexican food

I’m enjoying a much-needed break and will be back posting when I return.

Eduardo’s has fabulous food and a fun food truck mural!

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Seawalls Artists – Art for the Shark

August 21st, 2014

This is a followup to my last post, Art for the Shark.

What good timing. I just saw this video below that profiles the artists involved in the Seawalls – Murals for Oceans project.

I’m getting ready to go on a much-needed, sanity-break vacation next week, after my oldest son’s wedding this past Saturday, which was beautiful but I’m still processing.  I’m also trying to get all the back-log of work done before taking my youngest son back to college. Visiting with family, friends and meeting guests and new extended family over the last 5 day weekend was both fun and exhausting. There will be a later post regarding, when I can reflect.

Just viewing this video gives me a sense of calm in the chaos. Seeing how much fun they had reminds me of my upcoming vacation, where I will be doing much of the same — except maybe not swimming with sharks (I hope). I just wish I also had time to draw, paint and absorb myself fully with art in the process. I will have to bring some work with me but I will, as I always, be thinking about art and will try to meet a goal of doing a sketch a day.

PangeaSeed Presents – Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans – Mexico Expedition: Isla Mujeres 2014 from PangeaSeed on Vimeo.

Source: Huffington Post article.

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Art for the Shark

August 14th, 2014

Although this is an appropriate post during the Discovery Channel’s famous Shark Week, my thoughts are with family as my son gets married in 2 days, but that will be a future post.

After seeing this video and reviewing some of the art, I have a new appreciation for sharks; even though, I’m one of those still affected by the movie Jaws and cannot easily swim in the ocean or any body of water that is not visibly clear.

PangeaSeed has done a good job to promote the positive PR for sharks. They create awareness through art of their plight in being overly fished just for their fins to make a popular, luxury soup in main Asian cities.

PangeaSeed Presents: The Art of Saving Sharks from PangeaSeed on Vimeo.

Some of the artwork has more of a political perspective than I would prefer but below are some of the many colorfully patterned pieces that first grabbed my attention from PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans event in Mexico and which lead me to their effort.

1_PangeaSeed Sea walls murals via Highsnobiety on AIE

Photos source: Highsnobiety

2_PangeaSeed Sea walls murals via Highsnobiety on AIE

This one and the next are truly beautiful

3_PangeaSeed Sea walls murals via Highsnobiety on AIE

4_PangeaSeed Sea walls murals via Highsnobiety on AIE

When you click this Highsnobiety link to the article source, hovering over the feature image will lead you to view many more murals.

I am mesmerized by the ocean’s sea and wildlife. It’s a whole other world that I hope to explore one day, possibly through learning how to dive. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In the meantime, having fish are some of my favorite pets just so I can watch how they swim.

I’m both fearful and in awe of great white sharks and the majesty they intrinsically hold. Here’s my rendition in a mural I painted some time ago for a client on her son’s bedroom wall. It’s part of a two panel piece framing the window with more sea life represented.

10Shark detailc_CAS by Ashley Spencer on AIE

I’m rushing to get my new website updated and completed before this current one expires. Check back, it will have a new look soon.



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Exploiting Eyeballs!

August 6th, 2014

Any article that describes misuse of an artist’s artwork gets my attention, as much as one about an artist who plagiarized his source (previous post on Shepard Fairey).

Evidently, this time it is the company American Eagle company that has clearly used the Miami street artist David Anasagasti’s, known as, Ahol Sniffs Glue, graffiti-style “eyeball artwork” for their latest ‘Street Beach’ ad campaign — but without giving him credit. Not good. On top of which, they imply he endorses their use by featuring a spray-can toting artist with the artwork that could indicate the artist’s approval. Only thing is their ‘idea of a graffiti artist’ is not even close to what he really looks like.

Huffington Post_Ahol's Street Art used

All pictures via Huffington Post

Ahol Snifs Glue photo via Culture Designers

Ahol Snifs Glue photo vi aCulture Designers

You can read more about the artist on this Culture Designers post.

American Eagle didn’t go lightly with the use either. They’ve just about plastered his Eyeball artwork everywhere they could think to do so for exploitation and benefiting their own products.  These pictures below from the Huffington Post show many of the examples used in the court case against American Eagle.

http://www.ashley-spencer.com/ArtIsEverywhere/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Huffington-Post_AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-images.jpgThese pictures below were from the premier party during the Street Beach launch and also as a part of the court case against American Eagle. In fact, American Eagle actually hired other artists to recreate the Eyeball artwork for the event and branded it as their own. This is the worst — not only not asking permission but blatantly stealing.

Huffington Post_Street Art case pics

I’m not one for liking all graffiti or street-style art but I like Ahol Sniffs Glue’s Eyeballs. They are iconographic to his work and style. He is one of Miami’s more popular muralists, well-known for his work.  He has sued the American Eagle company and I hope he wins. They could have simply just asked and compensated him for the use of his artwork. They probably could have gotten even better ads from exhibiting this common courtesy.

You can read more of the Huffington Post story here. Be sure to scroll down the page on the link to see other pictures of Miami’s street art. Until we find out how this case is decided, enjoy some of Ahol’s Eyeballs.

Ahols Eyeballs_via dogslobber on Flickr

via dogslobber on Flickr

Interesting note about the above picture that I found on dogslobber’s Flickr page is that there is one comment that mentions that the artist has a “has a piece in nola [New Orleans] across from dat dog on Magazine street.” How about that, I now have another thing to scout out when I’m back home next.

The pictures below are from Smitten Studio by Sarah Sherman Samuel, who is a creative director and designer herself. She not only has some fabulous photos of more murals located in the Wynwood art district of Miami but she has a very cool product line that I discovered of artisanal goods from her Sunny Afternoon company, worth checking out. (I love when fortuitous happenstance happens through just simple search and discovery.) *

Ahol Eyeballs closeup by Saarah Sherman Samuel


After I saw her post on a lace tunic top that she recently bought as a beach cover up at Chico’s (my mother’s favorite store), I’m looking into getting it for our upcoming beach vacation. What a great find! beach-tunic-smittenstudio4

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New DC Murals

July 31st, 2014

I was happy to see this article about new murals in DC, particularly with Byron Peck’s work.

Brian Peck_DC mural_Art is Everywhere

Columbia Heights Community Mural by Byron Peck. (Courtesy D.C. Mural Project & WTOP)

Click here to read more of the WTOP article.

Many of the murals are through the DC Mural Project, which is really helping to revitalize neighborhoods through public artwork.

ElevationDC is a great resource for a map and guide where to find the latest works.

Click here for previous posts on Byron Peck’s mural work.

Quick update to this post when I saw this link about Murals of Columbia Heights from DC Eater.

DC Mural_from DC Eater


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hitRECord’s Quest for Crowdsourced Art

July 24th, 2014

When the internet and mobile technology took off, everyone knew that it would be changing the way we functioned in unimaginable ways. With everything now being tied into some sort of technology, old habits are being rendered obsolete. It’s changing the way we function, and it brings about opportunities for all industries, including the art industry.

One of the most amazing things about the internet and modern technology is that it allows companies to crowdsource their services. The rapid success of Kickstarter has shown that it’s possible to bring in the community to make worthwhile projects successful, and many companies have also begun looking towards crowdsourcing and affiliate marketing programs to raise awareness of their products. [I've written previously about a few Kickstarter projects that I've personally supported and have really enjoyed doing so.]

Gaming Realms is an example of a business, whose efforts use social networking to bring their castlejackpot.com brand to mobile and social platforms that have resulted in lower cost-per-acquisition rates and higher user retention rates,. They note that social gaming should become worth upwards of $4 billion by 2015.

The art industry has benefitted immensely from these developments as well. In much the same way as a museum relies on its curators to find pieces of art to display, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has launched hitRECord, a “new kind of production company” that allows users to display their art in collaboration with other artists from all over the world. But what makes this platform different from others is that it doesn’t just allow users to post their work online, but the work is also sometimes featured on Gordon-Levitt’s TV show, hitRECord on TV, which he launched earlier this year.

Hit_Record_Sundance on Art Is Everywhere

Introducing hitRECord on TV to the Sundance Festival, Gordon-Levitt talked about his dreams for hitRECord, “In our wildest dreams,” he said, “we hope that decades from now, we’ll be nurturing artists like Sundance has nurtured us,” adding that he hoped that the platform could help launch more TV shows, documentaries, features, and live events.

hitRECord TV via Rolling Stone
Although it is now wildly successful and working on its second season, hitRECord on TV remains to be a wonderful tribute to contributors – both amateur and professional – and the perfect example of how art can be found everywhere you look. The internet and modern technology have surely changed the way we function, and for many industries, they’ve brought about a new way to do business.

(This article is contributed by Jane Simon)

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World Cup Murals

July 17th, 2014

This past weekend was the final round of World Cup games and to learn who wins the championship.

Like so many others, I’ve enjoyed watching all the games.

I’m disappointed that USA lost but they’ve all been so good to watch — except the last Brazilian defeat — heartbreaking.

The murals found in Brazil focus on what futbal means to this country.

They express mixed emotions for how much money has been poured into Brazil hosting the games when their people are so impoverished

and the burden it has been on the players to represent and please their nation.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=19649&p=0  WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 3 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 4 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 5 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 6 WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 7WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 8

WP_World cup Soccer_AIE 2

All photos courtesy Washington Post

Despite any political controversy and corruption in Brazil, soccer lifts the people’s spirits and does make the world seem more universally connected.

You can read more in this article, At the World Cup, Street Art Reveals Conflicted Feelings.


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Two Art Movies

July 10th, 2014

I just came across two art documentaries that could be very interesting. The first one is called Versions by Oliver Laric and the other is a followup to Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, entitled, The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen.

Versions is actually a part of the Black Box exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum through October 5, which also has sculpture associated in the Sculpture Garden.

As Michael O’Sullivan describes in his Washington Post article, Illustrating imitation’s inventiveness, it explores what happens when an artist appropriates the imagery of another’s artwork. Artists use visual references all the time. This is interesting to me in that not only does it delve into the creative process but it questions the limits of intellectual property rights. One example that I had never noticed before was how Mogli’s stance and sequence of actions in The Jungle Book is a near exact replica of Christopher Robin in The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, except Christopher is fully clothed.

Versions video by Oliver Laric_AIE

I personally don’t have a problem with the above illustration because it is the same studio using it’s own visual reference. I wouldn’t even have a problem with another artist using one of these illustrations as a visual reference for creating new artwork, as long as it wasn’t and exact copy and they weren’t trying to claim it as their own. From a technical standpoint, visual references help artist’s produce their work with efficiency.

The second art film, The Fake Case, deals with the subject of a recent blog post about Ai Weiwei, his artwork and about the time when he was held captive in his native Chinese homeland. This film follows up on the artist after his 81 day detention in prison and his time under ‘house arrest.’ The film takes its name from Weiwei’s company called Fake. It could be a sleeper or an interesting rental.

The Fake Case film on Art is EverywhereWe’ve been watching a lot of interesting documentaries lately, with our son Jackson’s guidance. He’s the film buff, so we’ll add this to the list but will probably watch after he returns home from his school semester this fall, since this film is out in theaters now. As I was writing this, he saw it was about Ai Weiwei and knew all about him and the first movie. He said that fortunately he has many helpers helping make his artwork for him in other places. Now, that should be another documentary.

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Red, White & Blue for a Happy July 4th

July 3rd, 2014

Celebrating July 4th with red, white and blue.

Jersey City Mural on Art Is Everywhere

“A blue-hued image of a Native American woman on the side of an apartment building at Summit Avenue and Grand Street, courtesy of artists Shawn “Pawn” Edwards and Emilio Florentine”

will help Jersey City on its path to becoming a mural city.

Maybe it’s just me, but this image reminds me of Liv Tyler.

Hope you have a happy July 4th!

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Weighing in on Ai Weiwei

June 26th, 2014

When I saw Ai Weiwei’s sculptural artwork featured in the Washington Post, I remembered another artist’s work I wrote about in the post Careful Where You Step.

Like Motoi Yamamoto’s work using salt, Ai Weiwei’s artwork uses large amounts of organic and simulated-organic materials, like sunflower seeds (porcelain replicas painted white) and reclaimed wood arranged in thought-provoking ways like filling a cavernous hall or used to create a map of China.

Ai Weiwie_Map of China_Getty Images_AIE

He also uses manufactured materials like re-bar, glass and metal to produce memorable installations like Straight and Cube Light, which I can see as part of the Hirshorn’s permanent collection and the famous Bird’s Nest concept for the Chinese Olympic stadium in 2008.

Ai Weiwei_Cube Light_Hirshorn Gallery_AIE

Weiwei’s art, however, carries messages about his country with its politics of corruption and lack of transparency. Much like Liu Bolin becoming well known for his artwork while revealing political undertones and as a master of disguise, disappearing into his artistic environment, so too has Weiwie become a dissident artist. His artwork has gotten him into trouble, however. He has been ‘imprisoned’ in China since 1993, when he returned after a decade of working in the USA. China will not return his passport and is virtually holding him captive in his motherland. At least you can still see his artwork with his ideas being boundless.

Ai Weiwei_Getty_on Art Is Everywhere

 Ai Weiwie_Teahouse_WP_AIE

Read more of the full article here.

Click here to see a post featuring the Birds Nest on Beijing’s Buildings.

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