Lakwena Maciver is a London-based mixed media artist who uses a kaleidoscopic colors to make her mark. She’s part of the new generation of female British artists on the art scene – collaborating with institutions like Tate Modern, Wynwood Walls and Clinique. Her work been has exhibited everywhere from street installations to galleries. Informed by decoration both aesthetically and conceptually, she explores the messages that decoration is used to communicate, its traditional use in worship and myth-making and how this translates into contemporary popular culture.
“Concerned with the significance of how and who we decorate, and what this reflects about our values and beliefs, Lakwena positions kaleidoscopic colours, bold pattern and adornment as powerful signifiers to redefine and reassign value and glory. Using words as both images and as anchors of meaning, she borrows from the techniques and conventions of traditional sign-writing and contemporary graphic design.”
The Kids’ Eye is where creative kids interview artists whose work they admire.
We prep — give them tips on proper interviewing etiquette, arm them with a camera, a recorder and then we let them loose.
We’re only there to observe. The questions are theirs, the interviews haven’t been rewritten to sound like anything other than the probing journalism of a tween.
Tatianna is 14 years old – the kid behind the ‘Kids Eye’. You might recall her inaugural interview for the series was with Philadelphia artist, Drew Leshko. This time up the hot seat belongs to Kid Hazo (pronounced has•ohh).
This go around is a tad different – Kid Hazo is a pretty mysterious figure. The Philly based street artists’ work punctuates our daily interactions with his light-hearted – one step ahead of you – clever pieces that parody the heart of Philly culture. We contacted Kid and he arranged a Google Chat. There wasn’t going to be any identity unveiling, not even for a eager youngin’. What you’re going to read is a cut & paste from their chat session.
Ready? Because here’s what happens when you let a tween off the leash… the creative leash that is.
photo courtesy of Kid Hazo
Day before the Interview
Kid Hazo: Let’s chat on Hangouts!
Tatianna: Video chat?
Kid Hazo: txt only!
Day of Interview
T: Helloooo Kid Hazo, it is Tatianna.
KH: Why hello Tati. How are you?
T: I’m good how are you?
KH: Very good, thanks for asking!
T: Ok, are you ready for some questions?
KH: Ready when you are!
T: How long have you been an artist?
KH: I have been Kid Hazo since 2013, so 3 years?
T: Did you always know that you wanted to be a artist?
KH: I did not. I am just a big fan of street art. When I saw less being put up in Philly I decided I would step in and try to help out with new installations under this new identity.
photo courtesy of Kid Hazo
T: Why did you pick street signs?
KH: Because I was a big fan of TrustoCorp’s work. I wanted to put my own twist on it.
T: Cool. How do you do all of your big pieces? Like the underwear…
KH: Depends…sometimes I make things by hand, sometimes I buy things and alter them… Sometimes I use magic.
photo courtesy of Conrad Benner/Streets Dept
photo courtesy of Conrad Benner/Streets Dept
T: What type of magic do you use?
KH: Usually the same magic spells as Harry Potter does…that’s how I stay invisible!!
T: So you work alone?
KH: For the most part yes. Unless I do a collaboration with someone.
T: Why do you wear a mask?
KH: Because I would rather people focus on the artwork than deal with identity politics.
T: Where does a girl like me go to get a mask like yours?
KH: At the street art mask store…..?
T: Are you playing with me?
KH: Hahaha. Yes.
I have all of my secret spots. I can’t just reveal all the magic to you Tati!
T: why not :(
KH: Well I certainly can’t have Kid Hazo look alike characters running around the city ya know!!
T: Is being a artist your only job?
KH: No the artist job is just part time!
T: So what is your other job?
KH: My other job is working with computers…
T: So you’re smart.
KH: Hahaha, perhaps..
T: It is time for the fun questions!
T: What is your favorite TV show?
KH: Hmmm….right now Silicon Valley
T: I’ve never seen it before.
KH: What’s your favorite show?
T: I watch a lot of TV, so it is hard to pick just one.
KH: Haha gotcha.
T: What is the craziest thing you ever did?
KH: The craziest thing I ever did? HMMM….
One time I dressed up as a city street worker to install my “With Love XOXO” spoof ads and got away with it!
T: LOL. I remember those.
T: If you had to pick a song that played every time you walked into a room what would it be?
KH: Boyz II Men – Motownphilly
T: Wow, now i’m listening to this and dancing right now. Thanks for that information.
KH: Hahaha no problem!
T: If you were a super hero who would you be?
KH: Hahaha awesome. I like Spiderman, he seems like he has a lot of fun swinging around the city
T: Spiderman is ok.
KH: SPIDERMAN IS THE COOLEST.
T: I like Batman, he is so much cooler.
But yea Batman is pretty cool
T: I’m always right.
Now it is time for the last question.
KH: I am actually like Bruce Wayne at art gallery shows anyway.
T: K, last question!
What would you do if some told you that you could never do art?
KH: I would do it anyway!!!
T: And if they stopped you?
KH: I would start all over under a new name!
Can’t stop, won’t stop!
T: This was very fun, sadly I have to go. I hope to see you next year and good-bye.
KH: Sounds good! Thanks for interviewing me! Bye Tati!
Floral Cross-Stitch Street Installations spreading across Spain in cities like Madrid and Valencia, have been freed from the confines of the hoop by set designer & artist Raquel Rodrigo who owns a specialized street-art marketing agency (Arquiscostura) working for large brands to impact people in the most important cities in the real world as well as press & publications in most important online portals.
Her multi-colored cords dash in and out of wire mesh leaving pixel heavy imagery of flowers that can be easily affixed to forgotten surfaces calling attention buildings or businesses that need a little extra love.
57 Great Jones Street is more than the former home and studio of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). It represents a mythical era of street art – an infamous downtown cool kids scene most of us never got to experience firsthand.
On July 13, as part of the historic plaque program, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) will unveil a plaque marking the site of Basquiat’s former home and studio – once owned by his friend and mentor, Andy Warhol.
The historic plaque unveiling ceremony (in partnership with Two Boots) aims to “celebrate and explore the invaluable work and local connections of this essential artist,” GVSHP said. The event will take place on July 13 at 6 pm, attendance is free but reservations are requested. The presentation will be followed by free pizza courtesy of local restaurant Two Boots.
If your stroll down the street suddenly feels like you’re portaling into another dimension, you may have stumbled into one of Astro’s massive illusions. Parisian graffiti artist Astro creates optical illusion murals that draw viewers into unreachable realms. His trademark curves and abstract calligraphy shapes recently turned up on a residential building in Loures, Portugal, just south of Lisbon for the urban art project Loures Art Publica.
Goth Heart by Amberella. Photo – Conrad Benner/Streets Dept
Amber Lynn (aka Amberella) is a Philadelphia-based mixed media and street artist who sees the world through candy-coated eyes. Most of her work is conceptual and often comments on popular culture, body image, or lady drama. What we find intriguing is her honest draw on past and present personal life experiences and how she freely she lets it all bleed out into the street.
Her newest series, Goth Hearts is a culmination of feelings pulled from diaries, notes, sketchbooks, scribbles, memories, and every day feels. It’s raw and vulnerable, seeking to touch on the viewer’s emotions and evoke feeling upon first glance. Here, there are no candy-colored sappy sentiments packaged and disguised in an array of pretty lies.
“This work speaks to my own experiences and vulnerabilities. I’m revisiting, exploring, and releasing these emotions, whether past or present, back into the universe. The streets serve as a platform to create an unexpected raw reaction for the viewer. The streets are conceptually part of my process and I’m passionate about it enough that I push myself to places that are uncomfortable at times; literally putting my heart into the streets .
Besides the therapeutic nature of the work for myself, I hope that it will trigger emotion in others. In regards to the viewer, that’s all I’m after. The viewers experience is truly dependent on that persons’own thoughts, experience, perception, personality, and a plethora of other factors. I just want to provide a moment in time for people to connect with themselves and their emotions. Feelings, -all types- are so important. It means that you are alive and present.”
UK based street artist, Conor Harrington envisions the historical with street art styling, producing hypermodern murals that toss you right into the fray. His over-sized dramatic figures, regally attired in tattered historical garb loom over the viewer, poised in the throes of epic fights fought out on the side of buildings and city walls. Each scene drips with a sense of visceral urgency, bringing life to these amazing oil painting mimics.
Like most recorded history, it’s all mapped out and planned before its written down. Scenes are staged like large-scale compositions and photographed in the studio before they’re executed outside. Oil paintings from the days of our forefathers never looked like this. But if there was some Colonial Fight Club action taking place, chances are, it went down like this.
B is for Boy Kong. We caught Boy Kong’s work a few years ago during Armory Week, at the Fountain Art Fair and developed an instant connect. Since then, we’ve been enjoying his stylized show pieces – they are vibrant, collaged images in motion that emote enough energy to taunt a viewer into standing there long enough to catch the moment they break free of the framing.
Boy Kong jumps around from painting, to illustrating, to muralist, but his gallery pieces are our favorites. You’re just as likely to see a piece at a show or on the street – a double treat.
Until then, you can check out his work by following these links: Instagram: @BOYKONG Facebook: BOY KONG
Well, kiddies the Pope is here in Philly, so why wouldn’t Kid Hazo hit up the streets with some Pope-tacular signs.
Our favorite has to be the sign collaboration ‘Prohibited Items’ with Mikey Ilagan (Geekadelphia) and Adam J. Teterus, parodying the crazy list prohibited items Philly dropped at the Pope security checkpoints.
Please can I see a group of people out there breaking the rules doing the ‘Stanky Leg’
“Moonshine Kingdom” on the side of 56 Wyckoff Avenue. Photo by London Kaye
BUSHWICK, NY – Might as well view it now, because it’s gone. This piece featuring Sam Shakusky from Wes Anderson’s 2012 Moonrise Kingdom holding hands with Delbert Grady’s daughters from The Shining got tangled up in a bigger social conversation – and it ain’t about street art aesthetics.
Yarnbomber, London Kaye (@madebylondon) installed this 15-foot crochet mural on the side of a family’s building adjacent to the Brooklyn Flea in Bushwick. It was put up without the family’s permission. In all fairness, Kaye thought she had the owner’s blessing. Rob Abner, the flea’s founder, gave Kaye permission to erect the crochet piece, Abner did not, however, ask the family if he could decorate the facade of the home. Rightfully, the family was a bit pissed. Matters only got worse when their interactions with Abner requesting its removal went poorly (read all about that here, on The Gothamist – where the story was first reported).
Tenant advocate and Bushwick native Will Giron’s aunt owns the property. In frustration over the artwork being erected without consent, Giron took to Facebook to air his family’s grievances… and that’s all she wrote. We all know that the internet loves to reblog and comment on issues like this one.
The rage isn’t about the art, the debate is really about gentrification in urban neighbourhoods – it’s not easy to shake. The lack of permission coupled with the poor communication Giron experienced with Abner just perpetuated the larger problem at hand – a lack of awareness and burgeoning sense of entitlement the residents were feeling from the new communities moving into their neighborhoods. The beginning of the shift is usually an influx of artists who find the low rents affordable. They bring a certain flair to the neighborhood which then attracts developers who attract wealthier individuals. While the affect is higher property values, unfortunately, the effect is the displacement of lower-income families and small businesses.
Kaye told The Gothamist
“The last thing I was thinking about was making somebody upset with my art. The whole thing I wanted to do was make people happy.”
Can’t help but think of the comments I’ve heard in the past questioning the validity of street art’s ability to provoke conversations on social issues…
That headline could be a bit confusing. Levalet, never stopped pasting up, we just picked up some pretty cool shots of his newer pieces. This year he had a successful solo show and several commissioned installations. But nothing beats his public works as he continues to delight passersby’s with his playful pieces.
HAHA MAG isn’t simply a virtual resource for art, we jump into the ring and spread great art throughout our community. Our side project, HAHA x PARADIGM works with street artists that have an active role in giving back through urban beautification.