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Grand Opening
July 30

Date Farmers and Neckface

"LOS MUERTOS"

@ 7908 Santa Monica Blvd.West Hollywood CA 90046

Featuring the art of Neckface
and The Date Farmers (Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez)
introducing Denise Despirito

OnPnEnNnInNnG
SATURDAY
July 30, 2005n7-11PM

July 30 - September 3, 2005

New Image Art is getting back to its roots and happy to announce a move back to its original building on Santa Monica Boulevard. You’re invited to the grand opening of this larger, new and improved storefront space in the historic Campbell Building with recent work by Neck Face, The Date Farmers, and Denise DeSpirito to mark the occasion.
Both Neck Face and the Date Farmers will present drawings, murals and sculptural installations in the main gallery and Denise DeSpirito will show her work in the smaller back room.
Neck Face, who’s currently in the triennial Bay Area Now at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts up in San Francisco, had his first solo show at New Image Art back in August 2004. His haphazard style began on the streets of New York where his images, heavily influenced by Saturday-morning cartoons, video games and heavy metal imagery; and phrases, like “Neck Face is ugly,” became part of the urban landscape long before his work appeared in any gallery. Carlo McCormick of Paper magazine writes, “Neck Face whispers urban myths and dark secrets in curious places, lost in the public gaze of a hophead city.” Neck Face’s work also recently appeared on the cover of Thrasher magazine.
The Date Farmers return to New Image Art after a recent show with Neck Face at the Luggage Store in San Francisco. Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez collaborate on their pieces, utilizing collage elements, gang influenced tattoo designs, and a healthy dose of machismo to create work that fuses the barrio and low-rider culture with religious icons. Rife with Chicano cultural references, they use everything from Mexican coffee cans to pages lifted from Mexican comics to Spanish words throughout their work.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, New York artist Denise DeSpirito shows for the first time on the West Coast at New Image Art. She chooses the subjects for her linear drawings from periodicals like the New York Times, National Geographic and various fashion magazines. Using pencil, pen, gauche, and water color on paper; her work has a graphic crispness.

Thanks to Vans and RVCA for their generous support!

sponsors

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Word on the street
Sashka Koloff
14 October 2005

NECK Face is a difficult guy to track down. It isn't easy to locate an artist who doesn't give his real name, wears a mask during performances to disguise his identity and moves cities according to the seasons.
Yet, everyone in New York City is talking about him. For the past three years, like so many graffiti artists before him, Neck Face has built his reputation by using the street as his canvas. And now, still only 21, he's experiencing the kind of commercial success that could only be frustrating for those artists who lack his DIY initiative and skill for self-promotion. In a city where making a name can take many painstaking years, Neck Face has bypassed the usual channels and managed his own meteoric rise.

I first noticed Neck Face when I was living in New York in 2003. Scrawled across impossibly high billboards, parked vans and blank walls, the words Neck Face were everywhere. What they meant was a mystery and part of the appeal. In black spray paint, the block letters appeared over and over again like a confronting slogan or dirty swear word. Sometimes accompanied by ugly figures with pointy teeth and evil eyes, or slogans such as "Crack pipe for sale" and "Retards aren't special", this was different to other graffiti.
There was no hip-hop tag, no political message. Neck Face was simple, incessant, and perversely funny. If you live in New York City you may still not understand the reference, but you certainly would have noticed it.
I finally get a number for Neck Face somewhere in Brooklyn, and I get a kid on the end of the line. We start talking about the things in life that inspire him. "I like candy," Neck Face says. "I have a cavity in every single tooth." He claims to spend a lot of time skateboarding and listening to heavy metal music and says he's never had a job. "I hope I'll never have to get one," he adds.
He probably won't. His murals sell for as much as $US10,000 ($13,000), not bad for someone who dropped out of art school declaring it a waste of time because his teachers, he says, "only wanted to teach me how to draw like them".
Neck Face started writing his tag when he was 17 and living what he describes as a regular life with his parents in a small town in Northern California. He won't say which town exactly: he's worried people might figure out who he is and anonymity, it seems, is critical to his success.
It's difficult to work out whether Neck Face's shtick is an example of his genius or just a clever marketing ploy. Whichever, he guards his anonymity closely. Graffiti has been illegal in New York since the city became drenched in it during the first street art craze of the 1970s. The authorities have taken a hard line in recent years and the streets have become comparatively clean. Ironically, that has made them the perfect setting for Neck Face's career.
Officers with the New York Police Department are some of the few people who know who Neck Face is. He has been arrested twice for street vandalism. The criminal aspect of Neck Face's art practice is a something his dealer is keen to promote.
"Some artists sit around banging their heads trying to think of how they are going to become famous but for Neck Face it's effortless," says Goldberg. "He doesn't spend money on supplies, he steals them - he's just cool."
In Sydney yesterday, suffering from jet lag, Neck Face looked like any kid from the suburbs - black jeans, worn KISS T-shirt, long grungy hair - except for the black mask. He isn't the first to make the transition from street artist to gallery darling. An obvious comparison has been drawn to Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is too early to predict whether whether Neck Face will reach the same heights as Basquiat, but they do share the savvy to turn street culture into a commodity.
Today Neck Face will appear at the inaugural RPRSNT Creative Conference, in Sydney. Edgy designers, animators and graffiti artists working in alternative media have been invited from all over the world to speak at the two-day event, which organisers hope will galvanise the Australian scene.
"The opportunity for [these] artists to make it commercially is declining," says Philip Sohn, co-director of RPRSNT, "but [they] are managing to make their way and we want others to be inspired by that."
For street artists more than others, in selling there is the danger of selling out. And graffiti is an art form the big brands are keen to embrace. Absolut Vodka, for example, used the work of two leading Sydney graffiti artists, Dmote and Phibs, in a recent advertising campaign. And for RPRSNT, uber-cool clothing company Tsubi has produced a limited edition Neck Face T-shirt that will sell for $110.
But Neck Face says his success in the commercial sphere is secondary to the very basic desire that underpins all graffiti art: recognition. He has a simple career goal: "I want as many people as possible to know who I am," he says. "Ultimately, I want old ladies to recognise me and to last as long as I can doing this." Sydney and Melbourne should brace themselves for Neck Face too. But it's best building supervisors don't remove a Neck Face original too hastily. It could be worth a fortune some day. RPRSNT Creative Conference is at Luna Park, Sydney, today and tomorrow. Neck Face's solo show is at Monster Children Gallery, Sydney, until October 21.

 

 

Skate Or Die
(in the back room)

@ 7908 Santa Monica Blvd.West Hollywood CA 90046

A group show curated by Joe Kral

lasting from 7pm - 10pm on April 6, 2005

OnPnEnNnInNnG
SATURDAY
July 30, 2005n7-10PM

July 30 - August 14, 2005

Featured artists (50) by: Ando Andrew Pommier Andy Jenkins Andy Mueller Arlo C. Jamrog Ben Loiz Bob Kronbauer Brian Barneclo Bryan Collins Chuck Anderson III Craig Metzger David Williams Derrick Hodgson Donald H. Pendleton Dustin Amery Hostetler Erik Reponen Ferris Plock Greg "Pnut" Galinsky Harsh Patel Ian Johnson Jemma Hostetler (née Gura) Jessey Cinis Jimmy Walker Joe Kral Justin Harder Justin Thomas Kay Leri Greer Liza Oesterie Mark Andrew Penxa Matt Desmond Matt Dobson Matt Owens Michael Sieben Mike Maxwell Milano Chowkwanyun Nate Hooper Nate Van Dyke Nick Pritchard Patrick Jilbert Patrick Phegley Patrick Riley Peter Reid Porous Walker Richard Salcido Rob Abeyta Scott Barry Sirron Norris Steven Harrington Thomas Brodahl Yusuke Tsukamoto

Fifty artists were invited to create original artwork on blank skateboards, the only rule being that the artwork must have a skull in it.
All of the skateboards are for sale and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Faribault Skatepark Association, which is in the process of building a skatepark in Joe Kral's hometown, Faribault, MN. A limited edition 32-page catalog will be available at the opening
reception.

Sponsored by:

MEDIA TEMPLE www.mediatemple.net

THREADLESS www.threadless.com

 

 

For Visuals or further Information, Please Contact:
Marsea Goldberg, Director New Image Art Phone/fax 323 654 2192 or 310 828-4749

email info@newimageartgallery.com

Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 1pm - 6pm or by appointmentlocated at

7908 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

for map to Gallery, click here

New Image Art Gallery
7908 Santa Monica Blvd. , West Hollywood, CA 90046
phone: 323.654.2192

Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 1pm - 6pm or by appointment

©2000 New Image Art. All artwork appears with permission of the artists.