hanksy

Background Noise, Episode 80: MRtoll by Matt Valerio

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 80, THE FOCUS IS ON MR. TOLL

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 80, THE FOCUS IS ON MR. TOLL

I've seen Brooklyn artist MRtoll's work in various states of decay. Sometimes, his colorful clay creations are new, freshly epoxied onto carefully chosen walls. Other times, you only see what's left after someone tries to remove it to take home for their home. I doubt anyone has gotten one of these pieces off a wall in one piece, which is a testament to why these beautiful pieces of art should stay where they belong. 

Raised in Australia, Jamie Toll is no stranger to straying from the pack. As so many artists are relying on paint and stencils, MRtoll is sculpting for the streets. When other artists are blowing up their own Instagram feed with one dimensional photos of their work, he's taking people to Arizona via a virtual reality installation to view his sculptures in a remote desert. (You can download that for free right here).

His work can be found in many places outside of Brooklyn, including Colombia, Los Angeles, Miami, Arizona, Asia, Australia and Malaysia, to name a few. He is also one of the handful of artists to have participated both the East AND West Coast "Surplus Candy" art shows that Hanksy has put on. 

You can find more of MRtoll's work over on his Tumblr page

What was your first concert?
Arrested Development in Canberra , Australia

Last concert/show?
FKA Twigs at art Basel Miami 2014

First album you bought?
Supertramp

Last album you bought?
Bomba Estéreo

Was there one record that made a significant impression on you?
Radiohead -  OK Computer

Who is your musical hero?
Thom Yorke  

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very important to my artistic process. I use music to set the pace of my sculpting and the mood and feel for the work. If I'm working to a deadline I may put music on that has up-tempo pace to make me work faster. 

Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely
Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place
Radiohead - A Wolf At the Door
Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
Atoms For Peace - Default
Atoms For Peace - Amok
The National - Hard To Find
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
Erik Satie - Gnossiennes No. 4
Die Antwoord - I Fink U Freeky
Bomba Estereo - Somos Dos
The Weekend - The Hills
FKA Twigs - Glass and Patron
Future Islands - A Dream of You and Me
Glass Animals - Black Mambo

Background Noise, Episode 44: Foxxface by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 44, the focus is on New York artist Foxxface..

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 44, the focus is on New York artist Foxxface..

foxxface5.jpg

Foxxface's work has evolved exponentially since I first saw one of his stickers in Chelsea a couple of years back. I'm not sure why this sticker (pictured left) caught me, but it did. Maybe it was the bright orange background that drew my eye to it, but something told me to keep an eye out for more.

His work has since morphed into much more intricate, much more colorful pieces since then, often featuring his signature faces (dubbed "Foxx Faces), which tend to feature characters with very pronounced cheekbones and lips. His style is undeniably his.

Like his sometimes partner-in-crime CB23, Foxxface relocated to NY from the dirty south, to really pursue his art. It's been there where he's found lots of inspiration and new mediums to work with. In addition to being involved in Hanksy's Surplus Candy, he's worked with Wayne Rada for New York's L.I.S.A. Project, doing a series of very impressive bolt-ups on wood, scattered throughout Little Italy. Each one impressive in it's own right. He also just participated in a recent "cycle" of the Lower East Side's Centrefuge Public Art Project, painting an abandoned trailer on E 1st St and 1st Ave alongside many other artists.

As I predicted, he's turning into an artist to really keep an eye on. You can check out more of his work on his Instagram, where he posts lots of images of his work.

What was your first concert?
My first concert was Incubus in Atlanta during their Make Yourself tour.

Last concert/show?
I think my last show was Ty Segall.

First album, tape or cd you bought?
The first CD I owned was the Lion King Soundtrack.

Last album you bought?
The last album I actually purchased was You Can't Take it With You by As Tall As Lions. Yeah that was a while ago.

Was there any album that made a significant impression on you?
There was a period in my childhood where I enjoyed progressively complicated guitars and rhythms accompanied by high pitched vocals. After discovering Coheed and Cambria's "The Second Stage Turbine Blade" and then immediately following up with "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" I was obsessed. These two albums inspired me to write music and focus on playing shows. Loved it!

Who is your musical hero?
I'd have to say Claudio Sanchez. Super geeky sci fi nerd that's got a very creative approach to writing music. Not to mention the impressive technicality that shines through his guitar.

How important do you think music is to your creative process?
Extremely important. It's very rare for me to work on art or filmmaking with the absence of music.

Foxxface bolt-up collaboration with clint mario

Foxxface bolt-up collaboration with clint mario

1. Hundred Waters - Murmurs
2. TOPS - Way to be Loved
3. Hiatus Kaiyote - The World It Softly Lulls
4. Cashmere Cat - Wedding Bells
5. Diaba$e - Living My Life
6. Flying Lotus - Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
7. The Octopus Project - The Mythical E.L.C.
8. Paul White - One of Life's Pleasures (feat. Danny Brown)
9. Ariel Pink - White Freckles
10. Peaking Lights - Infinite Trips
11. Joywave, KOPPS - Tongues
12. St. Vincent - Regret
13. Haim - The Wire
14. Buke and Gase - Hard Times
15. Tobacco - Streaker (feat. Notrabel)
16. Lapalux - There Are Monsters in This Bed
17. TOPS - Blind Faze
18. FKA twigs - Pendulum
19. Dilated Peoples - Worst Comes To Worst
20. Jogger - Nephicide

Check out Foxxface's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.

Hanksy launches Surplus Candy Web Series by Matt Valerio

International man about town Hanksy has launched a web series that takes its name from the guerrilla art show he put on earlier this year. Episode 1 of Surplus Candy focuses on a few artists in the Montreal street art scene: Stikki Peaches, Whatisadam & Omen, and French artist Kashink.

Background Noise, Episode 23: Hanksy by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 23, the focus is New York artist  Hanksy .

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 23, the focus is New York artist Hanksy.

"Catch Me If You Can" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

I'm a sucker for a good pun. I often make them myself, and now that I'm a dad, I can REALLY get away with them (or at least I'd like to think). While I consider myself pretty good, I have to bow and acknowledge that New York artist Hanksy is the master. Just look at the image above. Marty McFly, get it? Of course you do. It's brilliant. And it doesn't stop there.

Hanksy first started getting attention when his Tom Hanks-themed wheat pasted Banksy parodies started popping up around NYC and other cities. All of them featuring recognizable Banksy imagery, but with the Academy Award-winning actors face added in.

"Human 50 Centipede"

He has since moved on from the Banksy stuff and has been doing his own original pun-tastic pieces all over the country, gathering a fair amount of continued attention in the process. After all, his work constantly has the potential to go viral due to its pop culture familiarity, the tongue-in-cheek humor to it all, and the roll-your-eyes "oh god" punny-ness. Fairly recently, one of his images started making the rounds on Reddit. An image depicting rapper 50 Cent, actually, multiple 50 cents, all strung together Human Centipede-style. The name of the piece? You guessed it, "Human 50 Centipede". Another one that popped up in the Lower East Side last year featured the late James Gandolfini merged with Gandalf from Lord of the Rings for "Gandalfini". I seriously could go on forever with these. Love him or hate him, the guy has wit. See for yourself in the gallery below.

Hanksy's wit has even been acknowledged by Stephen Colbert. Last October, when Banksy conducted his "Better Out than In" on the streets of New York, Colbert called on Banksy to use a wall on the outside of the Colbert Report studio as a canvas for one of his pieces (actually, he sarcastically "forbade" Banksy from doing art on the wall) . Not one to be baited, Banksy did not oblige, but Hanksy wasted no time and hopped on this opportunity. The next morning, a wheat pasted bear with Stephen's head appeared on the wall outside the show. The name of the piece was "Colbear", and Colbert loved it. He devoted about 5-minutes on his show to talking about Hanksy.

Hanksy also curated January's 2-hour guerrilla art show "Surplus Candy" in an abandoned house in Alphabet City. An event I attended with a couple of friends, and have mentioned in numerous Background Noise blog posts, due to the fact that many of the artists I've featured in the series were also part of this one-of-a-kind show. Once again, a short video that sums up the entire event can be seen here.

He put together possibly the longest mix in the series so far. Clocking in at 1 hour 47 minutes, the mix gets started right out of the gate with Miley Cyrus and jumps right into Japanther. Operation Ivy to Pharrell Williams. It covers the whole spectrum. I'm happy to have Hanksy contribute to this series.

What was the first concert you went to?

Thanks to various huffing incidents, my childhood memory is fairly foggy. But I'm fairly certain it was one of the first Warped Tours. Rancid and Bad Religion played and I was 15 and I was super fucking stoked. 
 
What was the last concert/show you went to?

The So So Glos at the great Shea Stadium.

First lp/tape or cd?

The first couple cassettes I purchased with my own money was Green Day's Dookie along with the soundtrack from the movie Newsies. Seize the day, yo. 

Last album you bought?

I've got a fairly good amount of friends in the music biz, so I try to cop their new releases as often as possible. Yesterday I picked up "Back in Black" by Chicago's Archie Powell and the Exports. It's great. 

Is there one record that made a significant impression on you?

Energy by Operation Ivy. It's the one album I will forever return to. Again and again it never ceases to bore me. 

Who is your musical hero?

Bob Dylan. 

How important do you think music is to your creative process?

Unlike some creative types who can work in silence, swimming in their own thoughts, I can't. I fucking drown without some sort of noise. For me silence can be suffocating so I make damn sure I have some playlist cued up and ready to go whenever I'm working in my studio. 

 

Check out his mix below. download it here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. And don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.

Background Noise, Episode 19: ASVP by Matt Bomarr

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 19, the focus is on Brooklyn-based duo  ASVP .

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 19, the focus is on Brooklyn-based duo ASVP.

(photo via hendershotgallery.com)

(photo via hendershotgallery.com)

Back in 2009, when I was living in San Francisco, and not long after joining up for the smartphone revolution, I started photographing street art and random stuff in the Bay Area. By mid-2010, about 6 months before moving to New York City, I started seeing some eye-catching wheatpastes by ASVP.  I'd see these pieces on my walk into work, a few blocks south of Market in downtown San Francisco. They'd be plastered onto walls or onto the giant beams under the highway overpass. I knew nothing of ASVP though, just that I liked the imagery, like the menacing, balaclava-clad thug with a halo above his head that you see above, or the Future Cop design, which featured a boy wearing an ASVP helmet while riding a fish.

Fast forward to December of 2010, the month I moved to the East Village in Manhattan. I started seeing these same pieces of art in my neighborhood, as well as some newer designs, like the one above. I was hooked, and had to find out more this artist. As expected, information was scarce, aside from the fact that it was not just one artist but two, which somehow made it even cooler to me, that these guys were running around town putting this great art up on the street.

I was fortunate to have met one of them at a mutual friend's art show on the Lower East Side a couple of years ago, although I still know nothing about them, which, I'm sure, is how they like to keep it.

In the past couple of years, they have designed a trench coat for Angés B, installed an astounding 25 pieces in Spotify's NYC office, and were yet another of the many great artists who participated in Hanksy's "Surplus Candy" show in an abandoned building a few months back. Most recently, the exhibited their work alongside Skewville at Doyle New York, one of the world's largest auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, for a 3 day show on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

I caught up with one half of ASVP when I was invited to their studio to collect a tracklisting and ask some questions for Background Noise while they kept working, trying to stay focused on finalizing some of the work for the Doyle show that coming weekend.

(photo via asvpart.com

(photo via asvpart.com

The mix turned out great, as you will hear below. I really love the diversity here. Anyone who can jump from Aphex Twin to Marshall Tucker, AC/DC to Underworld, gets respect in my book.

ASVP studio (photo by Matt Bomarr)

ASVP studio (photo by Matt Bomarr)

What was your fiirst concert?

Fishbone

Last concert?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Barclays Center

First album?

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead

Last album you bought?

The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

Any album that made a significant impression on you?

Radiohead - The Bends 

Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants

Who is your musical hero?

Wayne Newton

How important is music to your creative process?

Very. I listen to music all the time when I work and it definitely has an impact on my ability to focus and dig in.

Listen to their mix below, download the podcast directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes.

Find ASVP on Twitter, their Facebook fan page, or at asvpart.com

Background Noise, Episode 15: Left Handed Wave by Matt Bomarr

My new "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 15,  the focus is on Chicago-based artist  Left Handed Wave    .

My new "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 15,  the focus is on Chicago-based artist Left Handed Wave.

Chicago's Left Handed Wave is another prolific artist who tends not to take himself too seriously. His character of choice is "Banana Man", a man who is often seen in a banana suit, smiling and waving at passers by. While Banana Man started off in this outfit, he's taken on various other disguises throughout his evolution on the streets. Sometimes he'll be grinning at you from inside a bunny suit, sometimes he'll be dressed like a hot dog. Other times, Santa Claus, a ghost, etc. It never ends, really. He's constantly evolving.

Most prolific in his hometown of Chicago, his work will often be spotted in the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. He was yet another of the select few artists that Hanksy chose to participate in Surplus Candy, his 2-hour abandoned building art show in NYC's Alphabet City a few months back.

He always has great merchandise to sell. He made a limited run of stuffed plush Banana Men, recently made some limited edition t-shirts, and almost always has stickers and prints available for sale on his Big Cartel page. Go there now though, because his work almost always sells out.

A few words from LHW:

Hanksy and Left Handed Wave at "Surplus Candy" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

Hanksy and Left Handed Wave at "Surplus Candy" (photo by Matt Bomarr)

What was your first concert?

All shit talking aside... I'm pretty sure the first concert I attended was New Found Glory at The Riv in Chicago, I must have been in the 7th or 8th grade. My best homie's dad took us and I remember him advising us not to take any drugs or alcohol from anybody while he was slyly getting dad drunk at the bar. The show was god awful, being a young kid from the suburbs I had never seen so many people going nuts before and I was a little weary to see another show after that. The next concert I went to wasn't until high school, I did everything my friend's dad said not to and then shows got pretty rad after that.

 

Last concert/show?

The last concert I went to was George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the Concord. I drank a lot of delicious adult beverages and found a five dollar bill, it was fun...

Photo by  Billy Craven

Photo by Billy Craven

First lp/cd/tape you bought?

I'm pretty sure Blink 182's Enema of the State was the first CD I bought with my own cash which makes me feel like the whitest, most generic suburban kid ever. Everyone I knew had that album though, it has that skanky looking nurse on the front and it made me feel a little rebellious listening to it. The songs they swore in the most were my favorite, look up 'Family Reunion', its no hit, but for a sixth grader I was easily entertained.


Last album you bought?

I recently picked up RJD2's latest release, 'More Is Than Isn't'. It's no platinum joint, but I can rock some of it, especially the collaborations. I don't get down with too much of his new stuff like I do with the classics, but RJD2 was a big player in my transition into hiphop and electronic music so I always keep up with what he's doing.


Was there any one record that made a significant impression on you?

There has to be a dozens, but as of late, 'Daily Bread' By Hassaan Mackey and Apollo Brown has me listening on repeat. It's somewhat of an underground classic, but maybe it's too early to make that distinction. The beats on the album have this old school hiphop vibe and Mackey's lyrics are super raw, I feel a lot of struggle them which kinda reflects our current brutal winter here in Chicago. If I could describe Chicagoins right now all I'd say is we're fucking miserable, I've lived here my whole life and this is by far and wide the coldest winter ever. All that grit in the lyrics has really been reflecting my mood, but it gets me through the day like all impressional albums usually do.


Photo by  vivaspygirl

Photo by vivaspygirl

Who is your musical hero?

If you don't play dubstep, well, your my hero then.


How important do you think music is to your creative process?

Music is incredibly important to my creative process and daily routine in general. I'm not super hip to what the kids are listening to these days, but I always need something to narrate my day. I'm always plugged in, if I suddenly had to work in silence nothing would ever get done and my creative drive would most likely shut down. Art and music have always gone hand in hand, for myself it'd be impossible to have one without the other.

You can follow Left Handed Wave on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Listen to his podcast below, or download it direct here. Don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.