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March 2012

February 2012

XCIA's Street Art Project

31-XDaBuIvL__SL500_AA300_These are uncertain times for the book industry, which is one reason former Virgin Books Publisher Ken Siman is trying out a new model. He's launching a line of lavish, full-color illustrated books, each of which will be published simultaneously with a mobile application that he's trademarked EbookExtreme.

“We only publish if the book is suitable as both a book and an app,” said Mr. Siman, who previewed Siman Media Works at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week. “What I've learned is that if you're going to do a book, make it a beautiful book. And the app must blow you away.”

The Manhattan-based imprint will launch March 1 with XCIA's Street Art Project: The First Four Decades  a collection of four decades of photos by CIA agent-turned-photographer Hank O'Neal, who specializes in pictures of street art. The book sells for $39.95; the iPad app, which includes a slide show, an animated short and videos, for $12.95. An iPhone app will go for $4.95.

The privately backed imprint will put out six books next year and a dozen in 2013.


Do Knit Disturb

Knitted room hotel peliroccoTake yarn bombing or yarn graffiti one step towards respectibility and you get the Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton England, also called the Rock and Roll Hotel who boasts a brand new knitted room from Brighton artist Kate Cardigan, complete with knitted breakfast and seagulls.

Probably worth a trip to Brighton England....


The Prince of Bummers - Happy Valentines Day


Leonard cohen2

Just in time for Valentines Day - a post heralding the Troubador of Lost Love. This is someone who has comforted me in dark times and led me to the light of possibilites.

I have been a fan of Leonard Cohen since undergrad school (the number of years ago is .... well  let's not go there...). He has been called "The Grocer of Despair" (which is a lyric in one of his early songs BTW), "The Dirty Old Man" (even when he was not really that old), "The Poet Laureate of Despair" and the more recent title of "Prince of Bummers" which I especially enjoy. His music has been called "Music to Slit Your Wrists To" and to a young art student, it was all poetry and philosophy. Needless to say, I have all of his albums as well as all of his books of poetry and even his novel, "Beautiful Losers" which I read a few times.

So when I read in the Sunday NY Times that he is also the "King of Pop" with a #1 hit on the charts, I had to pause and reflect. I am proud of him - his uncompromising croaking of love and despair has hit a universal nerve. I do not begrudge him his well-deserved acclaim but I am sort of ambivalent about it at the same time. I hate sharing my sacred discoveries. So now, once discovered by the mass culture, will his exclusivity evaporate as the general hordes try to claim him as one of their own?

Sing on Leonard. Happy Valentines Day.

But there is an upside - more information that ever is available about Leonard. And one of my newest discoveries is a blog 1 Heck Of A Guy which offers as much trivia about him as you could possibly want. Check it out.



Vigilante, Vigilante - A New Film On Anti-Graffitists


VV Poster Vertical (Small)

As you know, I am a great fan of street art. So I am intrigued and curious about the new film Vigilante, Vigilante which explores those who set out to eradicate art from the streets.  If anything, maybe it is a handbook of "how-to overcome" any creative assault on street artists. 

Here is the press release:

Mark your calnedars for the March film debut of "Vigilante Vigilante" which is a new doc about those who buff over the work of street artists. It will be coming to the Maylses Cinema and IFC Center in March.


Graffiti Doc "Vigilante Vigilante" Screening with Director Max Good

March 7th & 9th, both 7 pm @ Maysles.      March 15th, 8 pm @ IFC Center

Maysles Cinema
- 343 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY (212) 582-6050
IFC Center - 323 Avenue of the Americas  New York, NY 10014-4403 (212) 924-7771

Event Description:
A new breed of crime-­fighter now stalks the urban landscape. Two filmmakers go undercover to expose anti-­graffiti vigilantes who stop at nothing to rid their neighborhoods and cities of street art, stickers, tags, and posters.  ***Special event*** Q&A with director Max Good and local NY street artists following all screenings!

Check out the film trailer online at www.vigilantefilm.com

Graffiti Artist Makes Good

As just reported in all the news outlets, graffiti artist David Choe stands to make a fortune off of work he did for Facebook's offices back in 2005. According to the New York Times, Choe was approached by then-Facebook president Sean Parker to spray-paint his work on the walls of Facebook HQ. Although he thought the website was "ridiculous and pointless," Choe accepted shares in the company instead of cash, which could be worth around $200 million once the social network begins trading as a public company. I think we have a new aert business model here...