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Monday, 9 June 2008

Introducing Vilchez!!

We’ve just released a new series of 4 gangster prints by Vilchez, a Spanish artist from Seville.
Each print is created by a two stage process. The first is a woodcut relief and the second is a crystal based etching. The main character is carved from a block of wood and printed onto soft hannemuhle paper, embossing the paper at the same time. The tattoo detail is created from an etching. The edition is limited to 20. Price £250.
These are pretty special prints and we’re really proud to have them available on our site. For more images go to our main site here


Thursday, 5 June 2008

Daydream Network opening night photos

LAB headed down to the opening night of Daydream Networks exhibition at M&C Saatchi. Here's a few photos of the event including our very own Oh Death, Adam Mallett and Superoboturbo.


LAB Knights at the Westbury

Following our last strategic board meeting all LAB directors decided that the best way for LAB to reach a new audience is through a new medium. And that medium is music!

So, starting next month our very own Adam Mallett will be taking a break from painting shamrocks on skulls and will be spinning some tunes at the Westbury in Kilburn. He is joined by Paul Entwistle.

We would love for all of you to come and say hi if you're in the area. Oh yeah - and we're also using the night to release our next series of prints. I'm sure we can organise a small discount for personal collection.

See you there!!


Abe Lincoln Junior Interview

Your name, Abe Lincoln Jr – do you have a big allegiance to the US?

Or did you just like his costume? I don't really have a big affinity for the USA or anything like that. The name came from was just an absurdist concept I'd had for a band back in the day. When I first started putting up stickers of Char in 2003 I didn't have a name or anything and I got my work on Wooster Collective. They asked me if I had a "Street Art Name" and I picked that one at random. Turned out to be pretty great branding though!
You started off as a character in a band – do you harbour any desires to get back into music?

Not really, I have never been a "real" musician, all the bands I've been in would practice the songs I wrote once or twice before a show and just try to make as big a spectacle as possible. I do have a concept for a new music based art project but there won’t be any actual music involved. Stay tuned for details...

Your piece, "Brand Extension" is about how Street Art is turning into another form of viral marketing – how do you feel about this? Have you been approached by any big companies to do some for them?

"Brand Extension" was also about the motivation behind people deciding to take up street art now that it's become the next big thing. It's not necessarily how Street Art isn't "pure" anymore. Everyone wants to do what they love be it art music or whatever and that’s fine, but now people have started doing street art as a way to market their creative services in hope of being ”discovered”. Street art isn’t a movement, it’s a market. I have been approached by some bigger brands in the past, but nothing has come of it so far. And not to be ambiguous if I liked what they were asking me to do and I felt like it was beneficial yes I would work for them. I think there’s a lot of anti-corporate posturing out there in street art that that’s kind of “anti-marketing” marketing and I find it as dishonest as a McDonald’s campaign.

The sticker as an art form – discuss

Ahhh the lowly sticker, it gets no respect. Although it's the lowest man on the street cred totem pole, it's probably the most ubiquitous of all the work out there. Best part of it all is that all you need is a postal sticker or an inkjet printer and you're good to go. Of all the "street issue" Char stickers I've done in the past none of them have been printed on vinyl, all have been inkjet on paper. Are they art? Like anything, it depends on who's doing them...

Your work has a strong child-like quality to it with cartoons – what cartoons influenced you growing up? Do you see yourself as a big kid now?

The single biggest influence on my art is Hannah Barberra cartoons of the 60's and 70's. Scooby Doo is the sole reason I began drawing. I was also a TV junkie and watched almost any and every cartoon I could tune in on the television. Am I a big kid now? Absolutely.

You work in a number of mediums, from stickers right through to toys and even jewellery, what’s your favourite to work with?

Right now it's toys but I'm starting to move towards other Artist Multiples and can’t wait to get these projects off the ground.

Punishment or luxury – what’s your idea of either/both? How does this theme relate to your work?

Punishment = Meetings at work
Luxury = Getting to a place where I can focus solely on my art/design. It relates to my work in that when I’m in long boring meetings at work I dream of when I can get the hell out and do my own thing full time. It's definitely a motivator.

Have you been to the UK? Any plans to? Where/what would you like to tag most in Europe?

I've never been to the UK but I know a lot of heads there through the street art community. I'd love to be able to fly over and check out London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin and just hang out with all the people I’ve been emailing throughout the years. I don't necessarily want to "tag" anything, though.

Street Art is most definitely hitting the mainstream in the UK at the moment, with the Tate Modern even devoting a show to graffiti artists at the moment. Is it the same in New York? How do you feel about Street Art’s move from the underground to the massive, mainstream galleries, is this a good or bad thing?

I don’t know, I don’t really have much of an opinion on it to be honest. Street Art hasn’t really excited me in awhile. There are of course tons of artists out there still doing amazing stuff (Blu’s videos for instance are out of control), it’s more that I’ve turned my attention elsewhere for inspiration in my own work. I think what attracted me to street art is not really there anymore. There were tons of talented people putting stuff up in the street for free just to do it. Not to be discovered by Nike or to get a big solo show at a fancy gallery. That said, I am all for an Artist doing whatever the hell they want. If they want to do a pair of Air Force One’s or have a show at the Tate then great, enjoy yourself, that’s why we’re all here isn’t it? I’d probably do both if the opportunity presented itself.

How do you think the context of seeing your work changes when we see it in a gallery vs the street?

Well I do different work in the street than I do in galleries. I tend to do more extravagant, conceptual stuff for my gallery shows and try to keep things super simple if I’m going to do work for the streets.

Who are the hot street artists to look out for in NYC to look out for at the moment, aside from you?

The Endless Love Crew are my favorites hands down (I'm not only a fan but I'm also a member) Infinity, Celso, Anera, and Royce Bannon are awesome. Also Deeker, Matt Siren, Elbow Toe are all still keeping busy around these here parts.