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    “The Haretoise” & “The Ladybug” by AlfAlfA in Alberta and Quebec, Canada

    Street artist AlfAlfAl recently just finished a series of murals across Canada. His artworks usually showcases animal-human hybrids, using a collage style to create otherworldly, mythical beings.

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    His mural entitled “The Haretoise” located at Calgary, Alberta is an invitation to find your own speed, to walk at your own rhythm and pace. The mural is inspired by Aesop’s fable “The Hare and the Tortoise”, taking it as a starting point, but posing it as a non-oppositive duality- presenting it as a whole, or as two faces of the same coin.

    Nicolas Sanchez (AKA AlfAlfA) is a Venezuelan artist now based in Toronto. He began his artistic studies at an early age and later found a focus on mural painting in Uruguay at the School of Beaux Arts. He has supplemented his formal education through international art residencies and commissions, and has spent 4 years travelling the world, painting in 3 continents and 25 countries.
    AlfAlfA considers himself a draftsman, using techniques based on vintage etchings and engravings, with a particular focus on the perspectival effects of variations of the thickness of lines. His artwork is meant to evoke humour through its irony; a reflection of our own condition as human beings.
    Check out below to see more photos of his work.

    “The Ladybug” by AlfAlfA in Montreal, Quebec More

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    ‘When My Mom Understands, I Am Happy’: Watch How Iraqi Artist Hiwa K. Makes Art That’s Accessible to All

    When it comes to making his work, the Kurdish-Iraqi artist Hiwa K has no interest in the flashiest, most expensive equipment or in expounding on the most complex theory. In fact, the artist says his measure of success is whether or not his mother can understand his work.
    In an exclusive interview filmed as part of Art21’s new season, the artist explains the process of making the video The Bell Project (2007-15), which was included in the exhibition “Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011” at MoMA PS1 in 2020.
    In the video, the artist explains how he worked with a Kurdish man named Nazhad who owns a scrap yard. Nazhad was melting down cast-off weapons from the US and European militaries into bricks of metal, which he then catalogued and recorded, noting where and when each weapon had been brought into the country.
    “These weapons are made by the West and sent to our countries,” Hiwa says in the video. “Nazhad is somehow melting it into possibilities of transformation.”

    Production still from the Art21 “Extended Play” film, “Hiwa K: ‘The Bell Project.’” © Art21, Inc. 2020.

    Inspired by this process of converting one object into another, the artist decided to do the opposite and melt weapons down to turn them into a church bell. In pre-industrial Europe, the reverse happened: Church bells were made into cannons for war.
    “I was thinking about the circulation of materials,” Hiwa tells Art21. 
    Ultimately, the artist sourced the metal bricks from Nazhad and sent them to a small Italian foundry where they were cast into a bell inscribed with Assyrian imagery. The project encompasses a complicated and fraught history related to the transfer of weapons and power, international relations, and the affect on localized businesses—not to mention the scores of individuals whose lives are affected by geopolitical wars.
    “I don’t want to overdose my work with philosophy” the artist says, “When my mom understands, I am happy.”
    Watch the video, which originally appeared as part of Art21’s series Extended Play, below. The brand new 10th season of the show is available now at 
    [embedded content]
    This is an installment of “Art on Video,” a collaboration between Artnet News and Art21 that brings you clips of newsmaking artists. A new series of the nonprofit Art21’s flagship series Art in the Twenty-First Century is available now on PBS. Catch all episodes of other series like New York Close Up and Extended Play and learn about the organization’s educational programs at

    Follow artnet News on Facebook:Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward. More

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    The Cheapo Beer Brand Natural Light Says Its New Marketing Stunt Is the Most Expensive Artwork of All Time

    What’s the most ludicrous art-world marketing campaign of all time? Is it Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 banana, duct-taped to a wall at Art Basel Miami Beach? Is it the sale of Salvator Mundi, the portrait of Jesus supposedly by Leonardo da Vinci that sold for an absurd $450.3 million at Christie’s in late 2017?
    Or is it the one unveiled today at Grand Central Terminal in New York?
    That campaign, titled Da Vinci of Debt, is made up of a suspended mass of 2,600 authentic college diplomas provided by real college graduates across the US.
    Confused? The idea is that, with the cost of an average four-year college education at about $180,000, the cumulative value of the diploma display rings in at near $470 million, surpassing the cost of the record-shattering Salvator Mundi.
    Even more surprising is the force behind the show: Natural Light, the cheap and popular beer brand affectionately dubbed “Natty Light” by its fans—mainly college students drawn to its lower calorie count and, most importantly, its lower price point.

    Natty Light’s “art installation.” Courtesy of Natural Light.

    The brand is now in the fourth year of a 10-year, $10 million commitment to distribute $1 million annually to students and graduates “who are weighed down by the burden of debt,” said Daniel Blake, vice president of value brands at Anheuser-Busch, which owns Natural Light.
    Those interested in getting some of that money must tell their story for why they attended college by March 21. Forty winners will each receive $25,000.
    “College debt is one of the most important social issues in the country today,” Blake said in a phone interview with Artnet News. “More than 45 million Americans have college debt. The total debt amount is more than $1.7 trillion and is continuing to grow. We felt strongly about putting a stake in the ground and supporting those people who really need it.”
    So why call the project an artwork?
    “The art world is filled with absurd price tags that most people find impossible to justify,” Blake said. “That’s what made it the perfect medium for this campaign.”
    The diplomas are suspended in mid-air “as if a gale of wind had just scattered all 2,600 of them throughout the cavernous, 6,000-square-foot space,” according to a press release.

    Natty Light’s “art installation.” Courtesy of Natural Light. . Courtesy of Natural Light.

    The installation is meant to stress the enormous scale of student debt, and the chaos it creates for those saddled with it.
    Blake told Artnet News that the brand was surprised at the eager response they got from graduates who sent in their diplomas—especially considering the company never told them how the certificates would be used. (Students received $100 in exchange for “renting” their diplomas.)
    As part of the stunt, Natural Light said in a release that it is “calling on the deep pockets of the fine-art world” to considering bidding “on the historic artwork.”
    So is it for sale? And what about those students who temporarily leased their diplomas and are expecting them back?
    “If it means giving more people the opportunity to enjoy the college experience without the debt that follows, we’re all ears,” Blake said.
    “Natty is dedicated to doing everything we can to provide real solutions to college debt, and if there is a serious bidder, you know where to find us. If there is a bidder willing to pay $470 million for the piece, we’ll consult with every participant who loaned their diploma to us to see if they would be open to selling this piece.”
    Follow artnet News on Facebook:Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward. More

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    “Reckless Actions Effects” by Gola Hundun in Bellaria-Igea Marina, Italy

    “Reckless actions effects” opens up to a new project by Gola Hundun located in Bellaria-Igea Marina (Italy). The mural is just completed and it is part of multiple actions which will take place in the next months thanks to the City Hall and VerdeBlu Foundation.

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    The project is conceived to be a series of thoughts about human beings actions and Mass Tourism policies of the last decades. The topic is both local – because of the negative impacts on local natural heritage – and global – since many areas on the Planet share the same destiny.

    A luxuriant Barrier Reef is depicted in the mural, full of many diverse flora and fauna species. Barrier Reef, considered to be the most diverse and complex forms of life, run the risk of losing their amazing colors because of the coral bleaching phenomenon.
    Like what happens in Natural environment, in Gola’s Façade the scenario becomes less and less visible towards the absolute white corner of the wall. The mentioned white means the absence, the emptiness, the lost caused by men into the ecosystem. Also the place where the artwork takes place has a double meaning: it is based where it used to be a coastal pine forest, later destroyed to build the Tourism Office of the town, according to the instant profit policy of that time.

    The artwork invites us to think about the lack of empathy towards the rest of the species and to the action/reaction process. The mural is a way to underline the link among the world itself, the forces within and the beings that inhabit it. In this case: deforestation, global warming, climate change, ice melting, ocean acidification, ocean bleaching.

    The awareness and understanding of human choices are the cornerstones of Gola’s work which aims to be a spotlight on human actions tailored on a short term vision. Human beings believe to be still on the top of the pyramid and to have the right to rule the world. The results of these thoughts – dated back to Platonic vision and monotheistic theories –  have brought to the present environmental crack and climate crisis which we are currently facing.

    Italian artist Gola Hundun’s work shows the relationship between human beings and the biosphere. This consideration combined with the conscious decision to live as a vegetarian since the age of 16, positions the artist and his work closer to both the animal and human spheres. He explores themes such as interspecies communication, shamanism, ecology, a return to the earth, vegetarianism and spirituality. Besides his work as a painter, Gola Hundun also creates public installations incorporating living plants, electronics, woods, music and live performances. 
    Check out below for more images of Gola Hundun’s stunning work. More

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    ‘Right Now, I’m Just Asking Questions’: Photographer Daniel Gordon on How to Stay Inspired After Decades in the Studio

    Like many artists, the Brooklyn-based photographer Daniel Gordon sometimes has trouble keeping things interesting. You’d think he would have a wealth of source material since his work involves a maximalist combination of collage, photography, and sculpture—but hey, he’s only human.
    In an exclusive interview aired as part of Art21’s “New York Close Up” series back in 2016, Gordon reminisced about how his approach had changed since his early days as an artist.
    “Back then, I was trying to figure out what my voice was,” he says. “I really was trying to mimic reality.” Now, however, mimesis “is something that I have become less and less interested in.”
    The artist, whose work looks like a cross between Matisse and Jonas Wood, builds two- and three-dimensional props from source material he finds on the internet. He photographs these tableaux—surreal still lifes populated by fish, colorful plants, and gaudy patterns—to make his lively images.
    At the beginning, Gordon notes, he was trying to hide the hand-crafted aspect of his work. Now, he welcomes those cracks in the facade of perfection. 

    Production still from the Art21 “New York Close Up” film, “Daniel Gordon Looks Back.” © Art21, Inc. 2016.

    Like the generation from which he hails, Gordon’s work straddles two worlds: one is rooted firmly in the analog, the other fully invested in digital technologies. He describes his focus as on the “in-between things” that question the boundaries between photography, painting, and sculpture.
    A new book published by Aperture—a work of art in itself—delightfully spans these mediums, featuring pop-ups of Gordon’s images. If a rut forces him to rethink his approach, he’s open to change—but “right now,” he says, “I’m just asking the questions.”

    Watch the video, which originally appeared as part of Art21’s series New York Close Up, below. The brand new 10th season of the show is available now at 
    [embedded content]
    This is an installment of “Art on Video,” a collaboration between Artnet News and Art21 that brings you clips of newsmaking artists. A new series of the nonprofit Art21’s flagship series Art in the Twenty-First Century is available now on PBS. Catch all episodes of other series like New York Close Up and Extended Play and learn about the organization’s educational programs at
    Follow artnet News on Facebook:Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward. More

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    9 Must-See US Museum Shows Opening in Early 2021, From KAWS’s Brooklyn Blowout to a Homecoming for Laura Owens

    With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, we hope health-related exhibition delays and cancellations are a thing of the past (though you never know).
    Below, take a look at our picks of US shows opening in the early part of 2021 you won’t want to miss.

    “David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History“High Museum of Art, AtlantaFebruary 6–May 9

    David Driskell, Homage to Romare (1975). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment.

    Before his death at the age of 88 in April, David Driskell earned respect as a versatile artist and curator who helped raise the profile of African American artists and those of the African Diaspora. This first exhibition since his death is also the first to bring together his works on paper with his paintings.
    The High Museum of Art is located at 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta

    “Goya’s Graphic Imagination”The Metropolitan Museum of ArtFebruary 12–May 2

    Francisco de Goya, Bullfight in a Divided Ring (1825). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    This broad, chronological exhibition of roughly 100 works delves into Goya’s graphic works and explores how he used drawings and prints to elaborate complex ideas, as well to document his responses to turbulent social and political events occurring around him. It is in these works that Goya’s political liberalism, disdain for superstition, and opposition to intellectual oppression shine through.
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York

    “KAWS: What Party”The Brooklyn MuseumFebruary 12–September 5

    KAWS, WHAT PARTY (2020). © KAWS. (Photo: Michael Biondo).

    The artist’s 25-year career has made an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene (and the market) and this year’s KAWS célèbre (had to) is surely his debut museum survey. Artnet News’s Gray Market scribe Tim Schneider even predicts KAWS’s works will outsell most every Old Master work by value in 2021.
    The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, New York

    “Hockney–Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature”Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonFebruary 21–June 20 More

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    Artist Interview: TIDE

    TIDE is an emerging name in the art scene both in Japan and internationally. Since 2009, his palette consisted mostly of monochrome colours. Recently, TIDE had his first solo exhibition ‘DEBUT’ (2020) in Harajuku, Japan.

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    While his cat-inspired work has been gaining increasing popularity in the international art scene, I had the chance to interview TIDE to discuss his oeuvres and talk about it conceptually and technically, as well as getting an overview of the artistic influences behind his work.

    Rom Levy: To begin, can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?
    TIDE: My real name is TATSUHIRO IDE, but I work as TIDE by combining the first letter of my first name and my family name. I began to paint while I stayed in Australia at the age of 22, and when I was 24, I started my career as a painter based in Tokyo.
    Could you please describe your work process in terms of composing an image as well as a technical approach to creating the work.
    For the cat and bedroom series I’m mainly drawing at the moment, after deciding the position and posing of the character, I roughly decide the bedding, furniture, and background after which I compose a draft. I value the harmony of the curves, straight lines, and silhouettes of each part.
    The painting process is the reverse of the draft, starting with the background and finally finishing with the character. I change matiere in each part, and each layer has a change. For example, I spray the outside of the window to express abstract elements, and the window frame is represented by rough brush strokes to express wood grain. In addition, I use an airbrush for the bedding to create a delicate atmosphere.

    Let’s talk about your current subjects. What inspired them, and what are your source materials?
    The influence of the work covers a wide range of topics, but the heaviest inspiration is the works of Japanese manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. I have been familiar with the Yokai he drew since I was a child, and in particular, my encounter with his work “Nonnonba” inspired me to draw a picture. As for recent materials, I often refer to animations from the 30s to 50s, scenes from old Hollywood movies, manga magazines, and still life around me.
    How long have you been developing this visual language?
    It was 10 years ago that I started drawing and aspiring to be a painter. At first, I used pointillism to draw trees and imaginary landscapes, but about two years later, I started pencil drawing, and mainly produced imaginary seascapes for 5-6 years. During that time, I also tried a little watercolor painting, and I started the acrylic painting which is my current drawing style about two years ago.
    In the beginning, I painted the stuffed animal my daughter had very precisely on a monochromatic background, but reversing that relationship I got to my current style of letting a flat character juxtapose together in the elaborate background.

    About your color palette, can you tell me more about the reason you chose to paint in greyscale and would you consider anything else?
    I don’t even know the real reason myself.
    Maybe it is because I started drawing inspired by cartoons drawn in monochrome, or because using a lot of colors probably exceeds the capacity of my technique. However, I feel it is most beautiful to draw my work in grayscale. When the color scheme, density, area, and balance and rhythm of black, white, and grey are in harmony, the painting looks like it’s shining.
    One thing I can say for sure is that it becomes unclear blurry when other colors get in there.
    Speaking of art history, do you have a particular artist or art movement that influences or inspires you?
    One is Roy Lichtenstein. His flat works are an important element of my current style. On the contrary, Christopher Wool is also a significant figure to me. His attitude towards art is my mental support of my creative activities. In addition, it is because of Takashi Murakami’s concept of Superflat that I can draw a character as a Japanese artist and announce it as a piece of art.

    As a Tokyoite, how is your relation to the local street culture?
    There may not be much relation. I tried skateboarding, but it didn’t take root in my current life. However, I long for street culture that appears as an expression of emotions.
    Have you ever been intrigued to transfer your studio work onto a mural / public art ?
    I’m interested in any field of expression that I have never tried. Facing mural paintings would require a different kind of mental toughness from canvas. It would be an opportunity to provide feedback to canvas works by exploring new ways of drawing and new processes.
    I am interested in the ephemerity of paintings, do you view your own work as precious? If you are unhappy with a work, do you tend to desstroy it or would you rather put it in storage for a while and alter them at a later date?
    There is always a correct piece which will complete my artwork. I will continue to paint until I find it. I talked about how paintings ‘shine’, and I keep working on it until I feel that way.

    Let’s talk about the work you are making for 2021. What type of works are you preparing? Does it connect to previous works, or did you try something new?
    Every time I draw new work, I always try new things even if they are small. I will continue to make the CAT series, but at the same time, I will use trial and error to show the next stage.
    There are also ideas for other themes, so you can see a series of works that go one step further in 2021.
    Will you be showing your work somewhere any time soon? Any other plans for the foreseeable future?
    The schedule has already been roughly decided until 2022, but in the near future, it seems that there will be an opportunity to show my artwork next spring.

    How else will you be keeping yourself busy this Christmas Season?
    Everyday life will continue without anything in particular. However, it is my favorite season of the year. The atmosphere of the city is calm and I feel very comfortable just looking out the window. Happy Holidays. More

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    Shepard Fairey “AK-47 Lotus” & “AR-15 Lily” Print Release – January 7th

    American contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey will be releasing a new print edition entitled “AK-47 Lotus” & “AR-15 Lily” this January 7th.

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    “These images are inspired by Vietnam War protesters who would put flowers in the gun barrels of the National Guard who were brought in to suppress their protests for peace. I’m a pacifist, whether that means finding diplomatic solutions to prevent and avoid war internationally or finding diplomatic solutions to prevent and avoid gun violence at home. I’m not anti- Second Amendment, so trolls can calm down… I’m not interested in macho blathering, I just want fewer people to die unnecessarily. Brady United is doing good work preventing gun violence so they will receive a portion of proceeds from these two prints. Thanks for caring” Shepard stated.

    AK-47 Lotus & AR-15 Lily are screen prints on thick cream Speckletone paper and measures 18 x 24 inches. Both prints come in an edition of 550 (Signed and Numbered). The prints are priced at $55 and proceeds will go to Brady United.
    AK-47 Lotus & AR-15 Lily are available on Thursday, January 7th @ 10 AM PDT at More