A short film by Ben Mor about Brazil’s street surrealists.
You’ve definitely seen the stickers and maybe been to the parties, but do you know about the history of Dre Day? On the occasion of the 13th annual Dre Day, we talk with Mike Davis of Burlesque of North America about turning Dr. Dre’s birthday into a national celebration.
What is Dre Day? When is Dre Day? and How did it begin?
Dre Day is an annual celebration of one of the most prolific and influential hip hop artists of all time: Dr. Dre. Like a lot of our best ideas, the idea for the party started with just some shit-talking and goofing off around the studio. Around late 2002, the crew from Life Sucks Die magazine was transitioning out of working on the magazine and into building a design studio known as Burlesque of North America. LSD alum Andrew Broder was in the office talking with Wes Winship and George Thompson about his upcoming single “What a Day Day” by his band Fog. I was living in St. Louis at the time. The three guys were just randomly blurting out other “Day’s” and Andrew said something about “What a Dre Day.” He left the office to go about the rest of his day. A light bulb went off in Wes’s head and he ran downstairs, stopped Andrew in the lobby and started brainstorming ideas for Dre Day. What and when would it be? How would we celebrate this icon of rap music and how could we turn his birthday into a national holiday?
The first party was February 18th (Dr. Dre’s birthday), 2003 at 7th Street Entry in downtown Minneapolis. Local DJs spun Dre-related classics from World Class Wrecking Cru to The Chronic to “Straight Outta Compton” to Get Rich Or Die Tryin. Twin cities punk icons Dillinger Four performed, we played the $20 Sack Pyramid live on stage, there was cake, fake Dre memorabilia, and the first ever Dr. Dre sticker pack featuring lyrics from The Chronic and faces of Dre / Snoop / Steven Tyler / etc all served up in a dimebag.
Life Sucks Die was a great mag. So how did the sticker packs come together? Was there a committee approach to selecting the best lyrics from ‘Chronic’? Also, can you talk about the experimental format years in 2004 & 2005?
The LSD crew had been doing packs of screenprinted stickers for years. The most recent packs leading up to the advent of Dre Day featured phrases like “I like the Whopper. Fuck the Big Mac,” “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?” and “Honk if you eat dead babies,” so the jump to doing something text-based with rap lyrics was pretty logical. For the first year, the idea was to make the pack look like a dimebag and feature lyrics just from “The Chronic.” In 2004, we wanted to try something different, so we changed the shape to square and used lyrics just from “The Chronic 2001.” Same thing in 2005 – just try something different with larger sized stickers. In 2006 and beyond, we went back to the dimebag sized stickers – a tried and true format. We’re almost 300 different stickers deep into it, so Dre better drop “The Detox” or we’ll run out of lyrics to use!
On January 1, 1976, an art student at Cal State Northridge named Danny Finegood used some curtains to change the HOLLYWOOD sign to read “HOLLYWEED” for a school project involving scale. He earned an ‘A’ in his art class for the stunt. Later that month, the rebellious feat inspired a folk song.
Puppeteer Toby Philpott and his work on Jabba the Hutt during Return of the Jedi.
Turns into something outstanding.
SOFLES “Graffiti Mapped”, directed by Selina Miles
Hollywood’s Best Party by Plastic Jesus
A look through some of the super clean drawings in Mike Giant’s new show ‘Colorado’ at FFDG in San Francisco.
Coral City is a fascinating documentary directed by John McSwain about the Miami-based scientific art collective Coral Morphologic, who create living artworks out of the tiny polyps.
A look at what’s popping this weekend in New York and Los Angeles.
A new 12 color screenprint by Victor Reyes to add some fire to your walls.
Tomorrow (2/14) is the last day to see artist Sam Friedman’s ambitious solo show “Happy Places” at Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC. We caught up with him last night over text message to talk about all things enjoyable.
Beaches, sunsets, lobsters, bongs, legs. These are your happy places?
Pretty much. They’re some of the things in life to enjoy.
They all go hand in hand. Can you tell me about the Great Wall of Happy. There’s 50 pieces there. What was the process like to create them?
I worked on all of them at one time. They were all laid out on a wall of my studio, while I was painting them, in a way similar to the way they were hung in the gallery. I liked the way they look on the wall hanging as one unit, but each piece is definitely its own painting.
How many jars of paint do you think you used?
Ha ha Ha ha ha… Honestly, I don’t even have a ballpark idea.
Do you ever see a difference in your subject matter depending on the season?
Yeah. I guess a happy place is an all the time thing.
Maybe that’s the goal?
Definitely, it’s my goal in life. Can you talk briefly about the composition of your work? With the exception of the large painting in the back, the subjects are cropped. Is there a way you plan this or is it spontaneous?
Yeah, they are loosely planned out by doing small compositional drawings on file cards. The drawings are usually nothing more than a few lines and a circle.
So what’s next for you? More happy places?
I’ve got some new painting themes that I am working on, but they are top secret.
A look at some shows opening up on Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
An image from Asger Carlsen’s Wrong series (2010) vs. Christopher Sweeney’s new video for Jessie Ware.
Director Greg Hunt goes into the studio of Geoff McFetridge as he creates his installation for the Patagonia store in Cardiff-by-the-sea.