Russell Howze--the leading creative cataloguer and proponent of stencil graffiti--stops off at the Wex as part of a June tour discussing and signing Stencil Nation.
His illustrated program offers a great overview of the art form, which involves artists including Banksy, Jef Aerosol, Logan Hicks, Adam5100, Arofish, M-City, SWOON, Hao, John Fekner, Peat Wollaeger, Klutch, and others, and draws on examples from his book as well as on other outside sources, materials, and interesting items. He'll have actual cut stencils on hand and will allow plenty of time for your questions about all things stencil.
Without a doubt, stencils are the fastest, easiest, and cheapest method for painting an image on a wall, a sidewalk, or almost any object anywhere. Stencil Nation offers the most extensive and up-to-date history of stencil art to date, as well as how-to tips from the artists who work within the art form. The book and Howze's presentation today focus on the unexpected mix of this lively, accessible medium to reveal engaging aspects of an intentionally secretive international creative community.
Publishers Weekly calls Howze's Stencil Nation, a "vibrant exploration of a sub-sub-genre" and says its "swift tour of the world's best artists" makes for a "handsome and insightful introduction to the form." It features 500 full-color photographs and presents work by more than 350 artists from 28 countries, including Iran, Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain, Lebanon, Israel, and the United States.
Russell Howze saw his first stencil--by J. R. "Bob" Dobbs on an apartment wall in Clemson, South Carolina--in 1990. In 1995, he saw and photographed a huge Bertolt Brecht poem stenciled on the exterior wall of the Reichstag in Berlin. Then he found one in Budapest, Hungary, and a few in Basel, Switzerland. When he arrived in San Francisco (where he still lives) in 1997, he found dozens on the sidewalks of the Mission and Haight neighborhoods. He's never stopped photographing the sometimes temporary, always intriguing art form.
He created the first version of Stencil Archive in 2002, thinking that he would have time to scan and upload his own collection before anyone discovered the site and submitted their own work. He was sadly mistaken, so Stencil Archive (www.stencilarchive.org) took off, outgrew its parent site HappyFeetTravels.org, and ended up becoming a site with over 12,000 uploaded photographs. At the time of its inception, Stencil Archive was the only international stencil site out there (for a few months). Now there are dozens of sites with tens of thousands of photographs. Howze continues to curate his site, posting stencils from around the world and featuring works by dozens artists.
Official Website: http://www.wexarts.org/get_involved/osu/index.php?eventid=4027
Added by Wexner Center on May 29, 2009