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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)