When my friend Christine turned me on to the phenomenon of street art, it was in response to my innocent, yet in retrospect, ludicrous question, "Who is this Banksy you speak of, and why does he have a movie?" After reattaching her jaw, she explained the background. Now I am hooked. One of the more interesting artists that I've seen work by in Chicago goes by CLS, who creates in sculpture. While I am sure to some, CLS' work may resemble clutter stuck on a wall or a fence, I find it fascinating and very enjoyable. Here are a few pieces. Tip 'o' the cap again to FruzsE for her excellent monthly compilations.
When Maynard got together with his A Perfect Circle crew a few years back and put together eMotive, a compilation of covers mixed in with a few new tracks, I was excited and intrigued. With Tool, he had helped to create one of the best covers of a classic I'd ever heard, when they took on Led Zeppelin's No Quarter. While not as well known, they'd also done decent versions of "Demon Cleaner" by Kyuss, and Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold." That excitement was obliterated as I scrolled through the tracks to have my eardrums assaulted by quite possibly the worst version of John Lennon's "Imagine" ever recorded by professional musicians. The rest of that album followed suit, and that CD wound up exiting my car via the window on the highway at some point. That being the case, when I heard that Maynard, with Puscifer, had put together a cover of Elton John's "Rocketman," my excitement this time was tempered with skepticism. This time around, however, these guys knocked it out of the park. Behold the swanky glory that is Rocketmantastic.
Today's pop culture item will tie slightly back in with the street art theme, as we take a look at actor extraordinaire-turned-nutball, Joaquin Phoenix. At one time known for excellent dramatic roles playing the likes of Commodus in Gladiator, and Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, Phoenix is more recently well known for his meltdown on Letterman where he let everyone know he was done acting and was going to pursue his true passion of becoming a rapper.
So ludicrous was this entire interview that speculation began almost immediately that Phoenix was faking the entire episode for the sake of the attention. Apparently he's spent the past few years pursuing his rap dream, and failing pretty miserably. Most of us had forgotten about him until recently, when word of a new "documentary" about him was coming out called I'm Still Here, that follows his tribulations in becoming a rapper, which is apparently awful. To promote this silliness a fake street art campaign, led by fake-street-artist-king Shepard Fairey was launched, and the following were posted all over Chicago.
Maxwell Colette put it best in that link:
Just like Swine Flu, after first turning up in NYC those insipid paste ups that Shepard Fairey designed for the upcoming Joachim Phoenix faux documentary have arrived here in Chicago. At first we thought that the fake stencils were lame. Then we realized that fake street art promoting a fake documentary has a certain comedic brilliance to it. Either way, they're here...Apparently so still, is Phoenix, whatever that may mean.