New look site coming soon!

street art

MAN-E-NEWS// Banksy Bootleg: Officer 619 from 2bitHACK…

After a month since it’s first announcement, 2bitHACK finally reveals the finished Banksy Bootleg in all it’s blister carded glory! Designed in conjunction with the “LiveJoeShow”, the packaging compliments the booted resin figure perfectly, with the name tag “Officer 619” and UN-OriginalFake logo craftily emblazoned at the bottom! Limited to just 10 pieces, these guys should be making their way to SDCC on Saturday July 14th as long as 2bitHACK can make it down. Failing that, they’ll be made available on the 2bitHACK store at some point over the weekend for just $45 plus shipping each…

Flying Fortress’ latest resin Teddy Troop revealed…

Revealed on Clutter Magazine yesterday, street artists Flying Fortress are putting the final touches to the latest addition to the Teddy Troops family. Created to reflect the recent changes to their recently overhauled Teddy Troop design (see photo below), details are scarce, with edition size, availability, and pricing still to be confirmed. One interesting point of note though, is Flying Fortress’ decision to produce the toy in resin- hinting that the project may be an extremely limited, self produced affair.

We’ll bring you more news as soon as it hits, but head over to the Flying Fortress blogspot for up to date info on the toy and its progress.

Spirits of the Mountain: New Works from Bigfoot @ Dragatomi

With the second weekend of each month comes another amazing Dragatomi exhibition, with December being no exception. Opening it’s doors on Saturday (December 10th), the legendary Scremento gallery is proud to present “Spirits of the Mountain”, the latest solo show from renowned San Francisco based street artist, Bigfoot.

Featuring a host of new paintings and prints from the man himself, the exhibition will be coinciding with the release of Bigfoot’s first toy since his collaboration with StrangeCo in 2004. Named “Fujisan”, the mountain hugging ape will be available in limited colourways at the event. Sculpted and cast by Brin Berliner, each 8.5″ figure has been hand painted by Bigfoot- our favourites being the four piece Kiss tribute set!

Dragatomi do have plans to release a vinyl production run of the toy, which has been pencilled in for a summer 2012 release. Keep checking their site here for more information.

Originally from New Jersey, Bigfoot fled to California to be closer to big trees. Disassociated from art school and human society, he started writing “Bigfoot” in 1994 in the streets of San Francisco with relentless fury. Working often with house paint and wooden panels, his work depicts the conflict between respect for nature (held by the Bigfoot race) and the destructive agenda of humans. Bigfoot has managed to stay active in society, designing the logo for I-Path shoes and creating his own line of apparel for the Japanese market. -StrangeCo

The Bigfoot vinyl figure was released in 2004 in three color variants; Brown (pictured below) is limited to 350 pieces.

(Bigfoot prints, currently available to purchase on his site here)

(photos- bigfootone)

‘Carry The Fun’ New Works By Sonni @ MPH: Artwork Reveal

(Che Gomita by Sonni)

Running until the end of this week (November 27th) at My Plastic Heart’s NYC showrooms, ‘Carry The Fun’ is the latest debut show from Argentine artist and graphic designer Sonni. Featuring a collection of nine paintings and over forty of Sonni’s trademark wooden house sculptures, the exhibition has recently been put online, with all of the works available to purchase through MPH’s store (the ‘standing houses’ are available for $40 each, whilst paintings range between $60-$3,800).

MPH explain a little about the project-

“In Carry the Fun, Sonni portrays the virtuous fun in carrying the responsibility of the craft; that when artistic obstacles are mixed with passion and fun, the burden seems weightless.”

(Carry The Funhouse by Sonni)

(Squashed by Sonni)

(Cohete/Everyone Wants to Live Here by Sonni)

(Various Standing Houses by Sonni)

Hailing from Argentina, Sonni has worked for a number of different agencies both at home and in the US, with a long list of clients including the likes of Coke, Nike, Visa, McDonalds, MTV and Nickelodeon. His murals and illustrations have featured on walls and galleries around the world, with his recent large-scale ‘Boombox’ mural named “Best Public Art of 2011” by the Miami Times (pictured below). Founder of Brooklyn based Sonni Studios, Sonni  blends his love of illustration, animation, and public art in what has to be one of the most dynamic agencies in recent years. Check Sonni Studios’ site here for a further look at their extensive portfolio.

(Boombox by Sonni)

‘Carry The Fun’
New Works from Sonni
My Plastic Heart NYC
November 3rd – November 27th 2011

(photos- MPH)

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Graffiti Artist and Toy Customiser HOAKSER

Featured here in the Tru:Teknology Files back at the beginning of last month, graffiti artist-cum-toy customiser Hoakser has been hard at work sine our last look into his art; opening his first solo show, working on several inspired pieces, and gaining recognition from the likes of leading art toy bloggers ToysREvil and Spanky Stokes for his amazing customs.

(Hoakser Gundam Fatcap Customs)

After the overwhelming interest in his first Gundam Fatcap custom, Hoakser has since gone on to finish another 3 5″ models, and one giant size (pictured top), which can still be purchased through his store here.

We were lucky enough to catch up with the man himself to talk graffiti, toys, and the future of the original Hoakser…

First off, what got you into graffiti, and art in general? Is there anyone in particular that has had a major influence on your work?

I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember, and have been scribbling since I’ve known how… My dad used to draw a bit… He would sketch characters, the main ones I remember were of Vikings and rabbits, and as a kid that fascinated me. My dad is also a keen photographer, and used to develop his own photographs, so I must have got my creative genes from him I guess.

As a kid, colouring books kept me busy for hours. My mom told me recently that one Christmas when I was really young, I was unwrapping my presents and one of the first things was a colouring book and some felts, happy enough I stopped unwrapping the rest of my presents, and started colouring in a page. Looking back I’ve always been about colours and characters… blame the parents…

The day I found graffiti happened purely by chance… I went round to my friends house, but he wasn’t in. I was walking to a phone box to phone him and on my way bumped into 2 friends I hadn’t seen for a while. They had recently started doing graff and were out to go and look at some new pieces.. I went with them and couldn’t believe what I saw… They took me to our old “legal” walls, in Sellyoak Birmingham, (which was shut down and made illegal a few years ago,) there were pieces everywhere…T-BONE, ZOOKI, ROME, CREM.KORSA, CRYSE, FKS crew were the names that stood out to me that day- I knew I wanted to have a go myself, so I started learning, became obsessed and haven’t looked back since…

As all graff artists start off… I was a toy!!… There’s a lot of work that goes into understanding how to give letters style (all 26 of them) and make them your own. Until you do graff, you’d never realise there’s so much to it…

It all amazed me, and there’s so much to learn… things like making your own style, how to connect letters, making them flow, how to put on 3d’s and highlights, what colours go together, what brand of paints to use, what nozzles to use for certain effects, how to have a nice handstyle, being able to do dubs, throwups, wildstyles, characters, backgrounds… The more you learn the deeper the rabbit hole gets, and the more skilled you get the more possibilities you have of what to paint…

“Quick freestyled chameleon around Fluid.. Painted using loads of scraps, with a little hoakser piece running down his back and some dinner flying around..”

How did the art-toy aspect of your work come about? We’re you already a follower of the scene, or was it just a natural progression for your art?

My first introduction to the vinyl toy scene was seeing a SKET ONE heinz ketchup dunny. I thought it was cool… I was into his graffiti anyway, I’d seen him on walls ( via the internet) with the rest of HI crew,  who I got a lot of my early inspiration from… Shouts to  KEPH, REO, RAGE, and SAVAGER!!

After an ebay search I found a blank munny for sale and bought it so I could paint it… I enjoyed it, I’ve still got him, and wanted to do another… They aren’t the cheapest things to buy, and as graffiti was already what most of my time and money went on, progress was slow… I hadn’t really looked into how big the scene was until recently… I kept painting a few here and there in between, but that was mainly for something different to do other than paint, draw characters or write letters…

Late last year I was asked to be part of the HMQ project by a nice guy called Dan Perry. He had seen some of my munnys and invited me in. The brief was to customise a QEE bear with a heavy metal interpretation, hence HMQ – HEAVY METAL QEE…

Before that I had been working with air dry clay, trying to teach myself how to make my characters into models… just for me, and because it was something different to do… I decided to try and make a Heavy Metal Mick-Qee with my new skills- Mickey mouse in the style of Eddie from Iron Maiden. I’d never tried anything like that before, and I liked how it came out…that gave me a bit more insight into the toy scene.

I still haven’t took half the time I would have liked to get to know it better, but graffiti, and trying to earn money already keeps me far too busy.. I have met some cool people so far, and I have plans to do some collaboration work with a few of them… I guess it’s been a natural but slow progression, due to lack of funds and time spent elsewhere but there’ll definitely always another toy coming soon…

How did your recent graffiti vs art exhibition go? Could you tell us a little bit about it?

My first exhibition, went better than I’d hoped… It was a bit short notice, I only had a few weeks to prepare, and as I have no staff, not much money and limited space, all of this was a big challenge…

I called it Graffiti vs Art because I have a range of old paintings and prints which I have either vandalised or added to… for example Whistlers mother with a bandana and a spray can sat in front of a Hoaks throw up… I had a whole wall of those, a few originals and prints. I also had a longer wall of most of my other works, most of them created within a 2 week gap- plenty of late nights spent framing, painting and all the rest of it… I also included some of my dad’s photographs, digitally “Hoakser vandalised”, a collaboration I painted with ANNABELDEVETTEN.COM, and a piece by FLUID and myself…

We had Hoakser cakes courtesy of THE CAKE CONJURER and BOUTIQUE BAKING… I had a show of toys and sculpts on display too… The open night ran smoothly thanks to my good friend Little A of AVA EVENT STYLING, who made it easy for me being my agent and organiser for the night… She did a brilliant job!

It was a massive learning experience, seeing the work that needs to go into putting on a bigger show. Something I’d like to do one day…

What are your plans for the future? Would you ever consider working on original toys based on your various characters?

Plans for the future are difficult to say. Like most in my circle, I’m always restricted by money. I have to keep painting walls, developing my style and skills. That’s a definite…

I’ve got a project I’ve been working on and is almost ready, I just need money for it- this sort of combines both my love of graffiti and toys together, and pretty much all the skills I’ve learnt in between. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that early next year..

Graffiti is good for work ethic- it keeps me constantly changing and developing, in as many ways as possible, just to get my name up in some way or another, on any surface… I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far, and every now and then (like doing this interview), it makes me think about how far I’ve come, how much time I’ve devoted to it, and what I’m capable of…

Hopefully next year when I turn the dreaded 30 I’ll find a way to make it all work out… it’s been a struggle so far…

“This piece was painted on a windy sunday morning. I only had about one and a half cans of paint, and some emulsion to use, so I got out of bed and dropped this sketchy one that reads hoaks.. Meek and Fluid were painting to my left..”

Any last words?

I appreciate people even taking the time to read this, and especially Niall for putting this together. It’s nice to know that some of what I do gets seen and appreciated…

Follow Hoakser on twitter @hoaksergraffiti to stay up to date on his latest works and releases. His extensive portfolio can be found at his site here, whilst his one toy creations, prints and paintings can be purchased through Big cartel here.

(photos- hoakser)

Planet Streetpainting’s 3D LEGO Army @ Sarasota Chalk Festival

Drawing to a close yesterday, the world famous Sarasota Chalk Festival featured over 250 artists across seven days, all proudly working in the versatile yet evanescent medium of chalk.

Entering in the festival’s newly formed ‘3D Pavement Art’ segment, Dutch collective ‘Planet Streetpainting’ stole the show with their witty piece, the ‘3D Lego Army’. Inspired by China’s Terracotta Army, the team replaced the soldiers with several iconic Lego designs, working their trademark 3D magic to breathtaking effect.

Using a chalk grid (pictured) and some clever geometry, the Planet Streetpainting crew are able to create the sense of added depth and perspective on any 2D plain. A technique born from American artist Kurt Wenner’s experiments with anamorphism in the 80’s, the so-called ‘anamorphic’ style has seen a massive resurgence in recently years, largely down to groups like ‘Planet’.

(3D LEGO Army Concept, Leon Keer)

Art director, Leon Keer, has pioneered this style within the street art community, with the collective’s work featuring across the world at many different festivals and exhibitions. Here are a few of their most recent projects, with words from Keer himself…

Netherlands 3D Street Painting Event

First 3d street painting that has been made to be viewed from 3 different view points. From 3 different angles you can see a different 3d illusion within the same picture. The painting was made during the first 3d street painting event in The Netherlands. To start the new cultural season of Lelystad, a  total of 9 streetpaintings were made in and around Lelystad by several International madonnari. With Tony Cuboliquido, Melanie Stimmell Van Latum, Juandrés Vera, Gregor Wosik, Marion Ruthardt, Remko van Schaik, Ruben Poncia and Leon Keer…

Stoppelhaene Festival, Raalte

During the famous Stoppelhaene Festival in Raalte, Planet Streetpainting were invited to make 2 large 3d street paintings. Leon Keer, Peter Westerink, Ruben Poncia and Remko van Schaik made this 3d street art by painting an underground parking garage with an escalator and and a subway with station clock.

Dublin Chalk Festival

The first chalk festival in Ireland was organized by diffusion events on 20th and 21st of august 2011 in Dun Laoghaire Dublin.
 Leon Keer and Remko van Schaik were invited to make a 3d street painting. The result is a surreal landscape with some strange flying objects.

For more information on the collective’s work, check their web page here.

(photos- plantestreetpainting)

TrustoCorp’s ‘Life Cycle’ @ Opera Gallery, NY

Opening this Friday evening (October 21st) at the Opera Gallery, NYC, ‘Life Cycles’ is the latest exhibition by the infamous street art crew, Trustocorp. Featuring the group’s larger-than-life approach across film, painting and interactive sculpture, Life Cycles is set to be their most ambitious project to date.

“After a long summer of highly publicized, illegal street projects ranging from fake bus stop ads for ‘The Real Housewives of Baghdad’ to illegal billboards for ‘Drive Thru Lipo Suction’, the anonymous art collective brings their work in doors for a more in depth look at their p…erspective on the state of American culture. The exhibition examines the experience of growing up and dying American with four installations representing childhood, puberty, adulthood and death. With the American Life Cycle as a jump off point, TrustoCorp brandishes satire and criticism through a range of over 50 works including stained glass windows, giant board games, kiddie rides, fortune tellers and vintage arcade games.”

-Life Cycle press

Botched Operation, Trustocorp 2011

100% American, Trustocorp 2011

Various Trustocorp NY signs

Forming shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, Trustocorp quickly gained notoriety by making and installing illegal political and satirical street signs across 13 of the US’ major cities. Once word was out about the crew’s intentions, Trustocorp was able to recruit a large following of volunteers, who actively install, paste and spread their socially conscious work and ideas across the country.

Having conquered the street, Trustocorp have been working on several different projects leading up to Life Cycles, including illegally ‘shop-dropped’ fake products (pictured), fake tabloid magazines and illegal billboard post-ups. Their latest efforts have caused quite a stir in the mainstream media, with features on the likes of ABC, Fox and BBC World News.

Shop-Dropped Fake Trustocorp Cereal Box

Pin drops of Trustocorp’s work across New York, one finger up to the establishment!

Alongside the massive undertaking of the Life Cycles show, Trustocorp have also been working closely with Everlast on the video for their latest single, ‘I Get By’. Featuring the masked artists at work across New York City’s streets, the film sees them spraying, painting and installing their infamous signs- at one point directly in front of the NYPD! Check out the video below.

Everlast feat.Trustocorp- I Get By [Music Video] 2011

Life Cycles- New Works by TrustoCorp

115, Spring Street

October 21st – November 11th 2011

(photos- trustocorp)

“And I’d Like to Thank…” The New Works of Philip Lumbang @ Dragatomi

Opening last Saturday at Sacramento’s premier toy/art gallery Dragatomi, “And I’d Like to Thank…” is the latest solo show by popular character illustrator Philip Lumbang. The LA based artist has gained a strong reputation through his cute yet mischievious animal creations in recent years, working with the likes of OBEY Giant’s Studio Number One, but it’s his signature bear characters (named ‘awesome bears’ by Philip’s loyal fans) that have really propelled his work to cult status.His latest exhibition features a series of paintings depicting the adorable bear as a number of pop culture icons, including Darth Maul, Yoda, Venom, and the Power Rangers. Created on 9″ x 12″ solid wood boards, using a mixture of acrylic and enamel paints, Lumbang has priced the pieces between $300 – $600 (almost affordable to us mere mortals!), with the 20 strong series available through Dragatomi after the event. Check out the link here to view an online catalog of the work, featuring prices and dimensions of all the paintings.

Various Awesome Bear Paintings, Mixed Media

Short documentary featuring Lumbang’s stint with Studio Number One

“And I’d Like to Thank…”

New Works by Philip Lumbang

Dragatomi  Scramento, CA

8th October – 5th November, 2011

(photos- lumbang/toyzrevil)

Uncovered: The Custom Toys of Graffiti Artist HOAKSER

Based in Birmingham, full time graffiti artist, Hoakser, has gained a huge amount of attention in recent years for the wide and varied scope in which his art has been delivered. Primarily working with spray paints, Hoakser is a master in wild styles, dubs, hand styles and characters, with his creations featuring on walls, t-shirts, canvas work, magazines and one-off custom toy designs across the country.

Hoakser has worked for several major clients, including Raveology and The IRS, blending his love of old school graffiti, street and punk culture to create the beautifully witty art style that has garnered him so much attention.

Hoakser’s custom toy designs, in our opinion, are some of the biggest jewels in his crown; the latest CCTV custom Munny and Gundam Graffiti Bomber (both pictured) highlight the immense level of skill and attention to detail that’s lead to his name spreading like wild fire in the art toy industry.

Painted with a rusty metal finish, the 13cm tall Gundam custom replaces the robot’s original head with a New York fat cap. This ingenious one-off was available to purchase through Hoakser’s Big Cartel store for £29.99 plus p&p, but was quickly snapped up by the staff here at the Tru:Teknology Files the second we laid eyes on it! Fortunately, Hoakser has mentioned that he is open to making more in the future, so e-mail him directly here if your interested.

“This Gundam graff bomber was a self assembly figure on spruces, that I put together and slightly changed a while ago..He looked cool just undercoated in black, which is how he stayed until yesterday..Now with a rusty metal type paint job he looks ready to go  bomb the system with his new york fatcap face.. Complete with a signed battle shield, this is a one off custom and my first one like it.. “

– Hoakser blog

Hoakser’s second new custom, the CCTV Munny, uses Kidrobot’s famed DIY toy to breathtaking effect. The suitably tarnished Munny features a CCTV camera for a head, replete with power cables and blinking lens. The one-off Munny custom will also be available through Hoakser’s BC store soon, so keep checking back regularly. The price for the toy is as yet unconfirmed.

“I handpainted him with acrylics, trying to make him look worn out from walkin the city streets.. I signed him, and put up my crew MDS which stands for many things.. a few of them “More Dedicated Studies” Most Dominant Style” in this case, with all the cameras around.. Most Dominant Speciez.”

– Hoakser talking to Toyz R Evil

Dunny Hatchet Custom, 2011

Blue Gangster Qee Custom, 2011 (available at Hoakser’s store for £110)

Mutated Mini-Munny Custom, 2011

Re-Cycled Can Project

As well as his awe inspiring custom art toys, Hoakser has also had commercial success through the on-going Re-cycled Can project. Using discarded spray cans as canvas’, Hoakser has created hundreds of mini works of art- their size and choice of materials making them accessible to even the poorest of art collectors.

Hoakser also offers a customisation service for his Re-cycled Can range, giving customers the chance to have their name, slogan or character realised in his beautifully old school technique at around £5.99 per can.

Re-cycled Can 2011 Designs (all)

Hoakser’s One-Off T-Shirt Designs

Hoakser has also built up a strong reputation for his jaw dropping t-shirt designs. Always one-off creations, Hoakser has produced shirts for the likes of In Graffiti We Trust, Headrush and Hug Life. Check his Etsy shop here for an extensive range of the latest tees.

(photos- HOAKSER)

Bristol’s Street Art Revealed: feat. ‘See No Evil 2011’

Often heralded as the centre for UK street art, Bristol has been home to some of the UK’s leading graffiti artists including Inkie, 3D, and Banksy. With the art form’s legitimacy in the media ever increasing, local crew Team Love organised the ‘See No Evil’ block party, one of the world’s largest scale urban art festivals, right in the middle of the city.

The three day art and music exhibition featured a long list of artists including New York based muralists, the Tats Cru, whose aerosol based work is said to have ‘changed the perception of graffiti as art’, and LA artist El Mac, whose photo realistic work is prolific across every continent. As well as the US contingent, artists from France, Holland, Spain and Brazil, alongside a raft of homegrown artists including Inkie, Zeus and Nick Walker, also brought their own unique styles to the city.

Unable to make the event last month, we decided to take a short trip to Bristol to have a close-up look at the art that still saturates the city’s creative hub, Nelson street. Here’s a quick run down of a few of the event’s main artists/pieces that we found;

Meulman aka Shoe

Born in Amsterdam in 1967, Niels Meulman is an internationally known artist, designer, and art director. Meulman began tagging in 1979 and became a graffiti legend by the time he was 18.

Known as ‘Shoe’ within the graffiti community, his work evolved into a business for lettering, furthering his technique by apprenticing under the Dutch graphic design master, Anthon Beeke.

Widely acclaimed, Meulman’s designs and artwork are in the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Amongst his essential works are a signature shoe design for the British sports brand, Umbro; the re-styling of the Dutch television channel TMF; calligraphy for Bols Genever; the Christel Palace logo that was awarded by the Art Directors Club New York; a line of luxury silk scarves for his label Unruly and of course the glossy Calligraffiti pieces.

His piece for See No Evil (pictured below), is a perfect example of the ‘calligraffiti’ style, harnessing intricate patterns and beautifully organic script to devastating effect.

Not all of the street art featured in the festival was paint based; this piece, from an unknown artist, originally featured two giant eyes nestled in it’s branches, turning this sweater wearing tree into a ‘Jim Henson’ inspired monster.

El Mac

Born in Los Angeles in 1980 to an engineer and an artist, Mac has been creating and studying art independently since childhood. His primary focus has been the lifelike rendering of human faces and figures.

Mac focus’ primarily on creating public art, painting photo realistic canvases, and evolving his delicate brushwork style. His intent is to uplift and inspire through careful, perfectionist renderings of both the sublime and the humble. His entry for See No Evil, an epic mural of a mother and child (pictured below), was one of the festivals largest pieces at over four stories high. Check the YouTube video for a time-lapse of the piece being created.

Bio and the Tats Cru

Wilfredo “Bio” Feliciano born April 20th, 1966 in New York started his artistic career in the early eighties at the height of the New York City subway graffiti movement.Thirty years later he is considered to be one of the top stylists and letter masters throughout the movement worldwide. Known for his many letter styles, complex and intricate wild styles, as well as his explosive use of colors, Bio is a true master of ‘New York’ style painting.

Wilfredo “Bio” Feliciano is also a founding member of the world famous art collective known as Tats Cru “The Mural Kings”, originally known as TAT Cru founded by Brim, Mack and Bio in the eighties. The Tats Cru continue to be a major force in the advancement of graffiti art both commercially and artistically. Tats Cru’s current active members are Hector “Nicer” Nazario, Sotero “Bg183” Ortiz, Raoul “How” Perre,  Davide “Nosm” Perre and Totem2.

Creating one of See No Evil’s standout pieces (pictured below), Tats Cru’s blend of eye popping colours, wild style lettering, and old school character design really does have to be seen to be believed. Measuring at around 40 feet wide, this was one of the biggest crew collaborations at the event. More photos of the piece can be found at our Flickr page.

Check our YouTube slideshow featuring the best art from the See No Evil festival here.

Street Art in Stokes Croft

Walking 5 minutes out of the city centre takes you to Stokes Croft, home to yet another massive collection of Bristol’s world renowned street art. Back in our very first post in May we covered a mural the legendary artist Buff Monster had created in the area, so we took the opportunity to go and see the work in person. The bright pink landscape (pictured below) looked beautiful against the surrounding white-washed houses- if only everywhere had the same tolerance to graffiti and street art, the world would be a much more colourful and interesting place to live!

Inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s Japanese wave paintings, this piece, painted on a house by an unknown artist, sits across from Buff Monster’s mural. Stokes Croft’s open-mindedness  towards graffiti is truly astonishing; this has to be the first time we’ve ever witnessed so many permanent pieces in one residential area!

Check out the YouTube slideshow of the various pieces we found in Stokes Croft.

(photos/videos- trutek)