Last week, a capacity crowd of art-loving New Yorkers flocked to The 1896 in Bushwick to attend Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project New York. The project challenged twenty of New York’s most innovative contemporary artists to transform blank Red Bull coolers into inspired works of art. The finished coolers were exhibited in a one-night only public showcase where guests, along with a panel of curatorial judges, voted on each piece, ultimately sending two artists to show at SCOPE Miami in December during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Though the competition was fierce, the judges ultimately named artists ICY and SOT and Michael Anderson the winners. In addition to bragging rights and career boosts, both artists have earned an opportunity to show and sell their artwork at SCOPE Miami Beach this December during Art Basel, the world’s premier international art show for modern and contemporary art.
“We are shocked to have won, especially among this incredible group of artists that we admire so much,” says the Iranian brother duo ICY and SOT, whose cooler depicts a young boy walking along the Williamsburg Bridge. “We only moved to New York 13 months ago, and to now go to Miami and show at SCOPE, it’s unbelievable.”
The artists’ work was voted on by a luminary panel of judges, including: Bill Carroll (Director, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; Teacher, Parsons School of Design); Bibbe Hansen (performance artist, musician and actress who appeared in Andy Warhol’s films Prison, Restaurant,10 Beautiful Girls, 10 More Beautiful Girls, and featured in a Warhol Screen Test portrait); Steven P. Harrington (Editor of Photography, BrooklynStreetArt.com); and Jaime Rojo (Editor in Chief, BrooklynStreetArt.com).
When asked how he narrowed down the twenty artists to two final winners, judge Jaime Rojo said, “I looked at how the artist used his or her craftsmanship to accommodate his or her vision on the medium that was given, and how well they utilized that medium knowing that the cooler was going to go into a bar that is not well lit.”
Judge Bill Carroll decided, “the best way to choose was if somebody told me I could take one home, which one would I want. That made it really simple!”
Bibbe Hansen commented, “I tried to take the piece in front of me – right here, right now, tonight – and separate out all my feelings and everything I knew about each artist and just deal with the artwork that was there and what was done on this specific canvas here tonight. There is no real judgment of quality; the quality on all of these pieces was just superb. What we are talking about is what struck a chord in a particular judge at a particular moment.”
ICY and SOT are stencil artists from Tabriz, Iran and their outdoor works about war, peace, hope, despair, society issues and human rights have been seen on the streets of Iran, Turkey, Paris, Sao Paulo, San Francisco, New York, and more. Since 2006, they have made paramount accomplishments in Iranian urban art culture as both skaters and artists, creating an international buzz by playing it any way but safe.
For winner Michael Anderson to create his collages, he uses international street posters, taken from the streets of such far-flung places as Mexico City, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Athens, Rome and, of course, his hometown New York. The fragments of thousands of posters are re-arranged in a painterly fashion to create the composition and imagery of an individual piece.
The other 18 artists that created artwork for Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project in New York included:
David M. Cook • Cope2 • Hanksy • Indie 184 • Jerkface • Brian Kirhagis • Sofia Maldonado • MRS • Phetus • Bea
In addition to the two artists selected by the judges, two additional artists from each Canvas Cooler Project city are entered into a pool to vie for the overall People’s Choice Award, which gives one more artist the opportunity to join the group show at SCOPE Miami Beach. The two artists entered into the pool from each city are chosen based upon the number of social media mentions using their custom hashtag on Twitter the night of the event. From New York, the artists entered into the pool were twerps! and Brian Kirhagis. The People’s Choice Award will be announced in November.
The stylized Red Bull cooler’s will live on and be installed in 20 of the hottest local bars, lounges and restaurants in New York and Brooklyn. The participating New York venues include:
Full Circle • Paperbox • South 4th • Knitting Factory • SRB • Glasslands Green Room • Brooklyn Fireproof East • Alligator Lounge • Muchmore’s • Leftfield • Fontanas • Cakeshop • Forgtmenot • The Delancey • Arlene’s Grocery • The Woods
The New York exhibition was the fifth in this national art tour of six cities. The Canvas Cooler Project 2013 launched in San Francisco in January, with additional exhibitions in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, honoring a diverse group of artists from mixed disciplines including fine art, street art, graphic design and more. By combining social media, local industry and a no-boundaries stance on art style, this forward-thinking art tour has set a new tone for taking local artists communities and placing them on a global platform. The final exhibition and competition before the group show at SCOPE Miami Beach will be hosted in Atlanta on October 17.
ABOUT CANVAS COOLER:
Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project 2013 launched in San Francisco on January 31 and the winning artists were Akira Beard and Slvstr. The Los Angeles event was held on March 28 and the judges chose artists James Haunt and White Buffalo to move on to show at SCOPE Miami Beach. In Chicago on May 16 artists Jason Brammer and Ian Ferguson were selected and in Dallas on July 25 the judges named artists Jody Pham and SopaGrapes the winners. Following New York, the final competition in this national art tour will be held in Atlanta on October 17, where two more artists will be invited to show and sell a collection of their work at SCOPE Miami Beach in December.
Last year, Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project was hosted in four cities, included nearly 100 artists, and was curated by luminaries in the art world including pop artist Ron English, acclaimed director and author Jon Reiss, Carlo McCormick (Paper Magazine) and Daria Britt Shapiro (SCOPE) among others. Ultimately, 10 artists were awarded the opportunity to show and sell collections at SCOPE Miami during Art Basel. Featured artists representing New York were: Gerardo Cid, L’Amour Supreme, CLAWMONEY and Cosbe. GOONS, Hebru Brantley and Don’t Fret represented Chicago alongside Los Angeles artists Gregory Siff, Lydia Emily and Hans Haveron
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With over 65 art fairs spanning more than a decade, SCOPE is the largest and most global art fair in the world, celebrated as the premier showcase for international emerging contemporary art and multi-disciplinary creative programming. Renowned for its uncanny ability to forecast new visual trends that are embraced globally, SCOPE Art Shows in Miami, Basel, New York, London and the Hamptons have garnered extensive critical acclaim, with sales of over $500 million and attendance of over 700,000 visitors. Learn more at www.scope-art.com.
Veteran hip hop star Nas celebrated his 40th birthday in style. The Queens native partied with friends in New York City, and spoke to Hot 97s Miss Info about reaching the milestone in his life and career.
??I just take it all in stride, he said. “It really feels like ??man, I always grew up around older people. I always talked to older people. So, some of my friends turned 40 a couple of years ago, so they mess with me like I don??t know what it??s like. Now, it?s one of the best feelings I ever had. I??m just blessed. It??s a miracle. I?m so blessed.
But he doesn’t believe he’s only now becoming a thoughtful elder statesmen.
??No I wouldnâ??t say [Iâ??m] â??more thoughtful, he said. “I think I was thoughtful back then when I was younger. The speed changes, when it comes to trying to get on and then once you â??re on you have to adjust your life with it.?
When you adjust your life it means you got new things in your life happening,” he said. “You move, you become a businessman, a father. That matters. That weighs in.”
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