The first page on Alessandro Echevaria's website, skulldaggery.com, features a stripped image that's very familiar to me. It's a simple page, with few words and a medium-sized picture of an animal-- I'm not sure what kind, really, but it's definitely not human-- whose face has been sliced into four sections, eyes intact, yellow, and vacant. In between the sections you can see bits of what cartoon anatomy must look like, all in pink with nerve endings slipping out to the edges of the animals' skin.
I don't think I would have been so disturbed by the image had I not recognized the base right away: the animal Echevaria mangled here was none other than the lead monster in Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are. The scariest monster of the bunch-- part lion, part sasquatch, with a wild, dark mane and big, square teeth-- wasn't nearly so intimidating once he'd been sliced up, innards neatly packed between the sections of his head.
Alas, there were only two of these icons dismembered (the other was Pinnochio-- who was a real boy, after all.) Echevaria carries out this dismemberment theme through a lot of the work on the site, sometimes to tragic-- but mostly to sardonically comic-- effect. When leafing through his tee-shirt designs and digital pieces, my initial urge is to ask him to do a series of comic books and sell them to the adult market.
The lines are simple, the colors stark, and his sense of humor are all so contemporary as to scare off your average intelligentsia enough to pull off a hell of a career in the subversive above-ground world of post-modern art and lit. If he'd started doing these pieces ten years ago, he might have been considered too far ahead of his time. But in a world post- Wicked and thirty years since Chris Clairmont proved that comic books were beyond simple kids' stuff-- he's a completely apropos contemporary.
There is an emerging Palm Beach collective of talented MC’s that have been running musical mayhem. Dj Fono is the eye of this storm. His company Roundabout Records has been behind the production of many of our local talents including Dino Ferrari, J Saavy, Cat Shell and many more.
But Fono is not a just a DJ; he is a musical entrepreneur and has been blessed by a keen sense of the hustle. He makes his rounds down the east contour of our gun shaped state, lighting life on the dance floors of many of our favorite local venues. One may say it’s in his blood, and one may be right. Fono’s father was a DJ who passed down the finger cutting genes to his two sons. Early on in his childhood Fono was groomed for music. While most 16 year olds were scrubbing toilets at McDonald’s, Fono was already getting his DJ career started working for an audio-mixing company in Boca Raton known as R&R Dj’s. A lover of beats and sound, DJ Fono brilliantly pounds away silence with his repertoire of Hip-Hop, Dancehall Reggae, Drum & Bass, Electro-House, Dubstep, Funk and Soul.
CSKA, one of Fono’s latest progenies has now hit the streets with a new single “Drop Down” which has the astute producer’s electro funk grooves all over it like fingerprints in a crime scene.
And what good is a DJ without an online Mix Show? When the hour strikes 8pm, jump on to www.DJFono.com and catch Roundabout Radio where DJ Fono spins hits and features Live Guests from the local South Florida Music and Art Scene.
In Fort Lauderdale there is a sanctuary for artists lucky enough to survive a year long waiting list known as the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts. In this low-rent "wonderland" (as this writer deems to portray it) lives a visual pop artist, who paints smirks on all who lay eyes on her witty candy colored images. Her name is Lisa Bulten Rockford, a graduate of the esteemed Art Institute of Chicago, who upon completing her Masters launched headstrong into the competitive arena of fine art. In prolific fashion she exhibited all across the nation before settling in South Florida as an instructor at Broward College in 2006. She draws inspirations from both her loving parents who in one way or the other, shaped her art today.
A series entitled "Barbie Magic Reveal" are humorous illustrations much in the style of your supermarket "Coloring & Activity Books" made for children (and some strange adults). It exhibits her playfulness yet engaging deconstruction, and reconstruction, of familiar pop images and content.
3 Floors of 1310 Gallery will be covered in her work from Jan. 16th - Feb.12th 2010.
2 Distinct Painting series will survey the portrayals of gender and romance.
Only 1 Twist - That it will be a TWIST. Yeah, that's the name of this wonderfully twisted exhibition of art coolness. You simply must put your mind in a TWIST @ the 1310 Gallery, Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, 1310 SW 2nd Ct. (Middle St.), Ft. Lauderdale, 33312. Admission: Free & Open to the Public
If there ever was a time to have artists take charge in making a difference in the community it would be now. As technology soars to reach the outer limits, the boundaries created from our social issues is enough to make us all claustrophobic.
Imagine street art as unconventional since the days of Keith Herring & Jean-Michel Basquiat. Imagine Art that is Grimy, Dirty and Raw but packed with enough energy to move masses with its messages. When you draw these thoughts in your head, you would picture ARTIST 5.
Artist 5 is a transplant from Suffolk, England to the shiny beaches of South Florida. His art merges a wide variety of styles with existentialist thoughts. It incorporates the decay of materials as part of its charm. He claims his 5 Points of Power are “Urban Street Art, Abstract, Deconstruction, Dysfunction, and Existentialism”, which if you look at his work you can see truth in this statement. His work captures beauty in social madness.
On his website, ARTIST5.com, says “I like my work to look as if it were produced at an earlier date and over time with weather and age it becomes worn and battered with chipping paint and runny lines. “