Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Barcelona graffiti store-Montana

Living in Barcelona we have the benefit of a dope store called Montana. Montana is a paint company that was founded in the early 90's by a couple of writers living just outside the city who realised (as many of us did) that in Europe you could not get certain colours of car paint and that the 'art paints' like buntlak were super expensive/difficult to get hold of/did not mix with the rest of your colours. They came up with spray paint designed specifically for graff writers. They are super business savvy guys and so have turned this thing multinational...and props to them for that. it is great paint, is easy to control and sticks to freakin EVERYTHING!

sometimes though, the commercialisation of the culture makes you cringe. today i was in their store picking up some colours and I saw these things...MUTE devices for you paint cans!
I saw Lady Pink talking about how she found bombing in europe to be like a military operation. guys super organised, shaking all the paint before leaving etc. I am sure she would love this...she'd be laughing her ass off! a silencer, so that your balls don't rattle!
I wonder how many you would lose in a nights painting...no idea how much these things cost.


Shafiq Husayn - Lil' Girl Feat. Fatima & Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Claus makes large cash withdrawal

that explains how he gets the funds anyways...
picture borrowed from SkyNews - Thursday, December 24 08:39 am.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


no matter how many times I hear dj premier, I am amazed by the simplicity and effectiveness of his beats. he continues to be a huge inspiration to both my painting and music production. this guy deserves to be listed with the greats as far as I am concerned...miles davis, coltrane...PREMIER!

Minnie Ripperton



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowflakes and a snow flake

from The Guardian

Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, has been studying snowflakes, ice patterns, crystal growth and ice formations since 1997. He faced sub-zero temperatures to catch falling snowflakes and photograph and illuminate them using a specially designed photo-microscope. These pictures show snow crystals that fell to earth in Northern Ontario, Alaska, Vermont, the Michigan Upper Peninsula and the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, and are showcased in his Snowflakes book

also from The Guardian, seperate and slightly nuts story, though I can see where he's coming from:

Christmas card snowflakes 'corrupt nature' by defying laws of physics

Professor rails against depictions of 'unnatural' snowflakes that lack hexagonal symmetry

The fragile truce between science and art came under strain today when common depictions of snowflakes threatened to divide the two cultures over the festive season.

In the latest salvo between the warring factions, Christmas card manufacturers, advertising agencies and children's book publishers are accused of corrupting nature with "incorrect designer versions" of snowflakes that defy the laws of physics.

A letter to the prestigious journal Nature calls on scientists to take a stand against all images of four, five and eight-sided "faux" snowflakes.

Professor Thomas Koop, who specialises in ice crystal formation at the University of Bielefled in Germany, had turned a blind eye to the depiction of unnatural snowflakes until he noticed an octagonal one on Nature's own marketing website, captioned "... for anyone who loves science."

Koop decided to make his frustration known. "It bugs me," Koop told the Guardian. "It's the molecular building blocks that shape these crystals and they can't form any shape other than a hexagon."

In a letter to Nature, Koop points out that the hexagonal shape of snowflakes has been known for at least 400 years when Johannes Kepler, the German astronomer, published his mini-treatise on the subject, "On the six-cornered snowflake".

"Beautiful photographs abound, including those taken by Vermont farmer Wilson A Bentley starting in 1885 ... Why then do many artists invent their own physically unrealistic snow crystals?"

Snowflakes – or more accurately snow crystals – are famously unique, though Koop admits scientists cannot prove that no two alike have ever fallen to Earth. As different as they are, all have sixfold hexagonal symmetry. Snowflakes can be single crystals or larger agglomerations.

Poor understanding of how snowflakes form means we are now knee-deep in fake flakes, Koop laments. "The grand diversity of naturally occuring snow crystals is commonly corrupted by incorrect 'designer' versions," his letter adds.

Snow crystals form when water vapour condenses into solid ice. Depending on the temperature and relative humidity, the ice crystal will grow into a hexagonal rod, a solid, flat plate, or a spectacular branched crystal. The symmetrical shape comes from the water molecules' hexagonal crystal lattice.

"We who enjoy both science and captivating design should aim to melt away all four, five and eight-cornered snow crystals from cards, children's books and advertisements, by enlightening those who unwittingly generate and distribute them," Koop concludes.

Feliz Navidad, Bon Nadal and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

childrens story- slick rick


childrens story

When I was in Liverpool recently I bounced into ZAP GRAFFITI to see my man Kieran who runs the place. Kieran is one of those unsung heroes of hip hop. he's been writing for a while and is passionate for what he does aswell as spreading the word, educating both kids who buzz off graffiti's energy and adults who fear it and youth culture in general. I will do a post about that place and the workshops they run at another point.
while I was there though, I spotted this book called 'There's an Octopus Under My Bed' by mid west graff writer 'Scribe'. I picked a copy up and all I can say is that this book could well become a kids classic. Seriously, if you have young kids, or are looking for a gift, go out and pick this up. you can get it here.

It's a fun tale, well written, with great illustrations by Scribe and in the background, the artwork on the walls is by a whole host of different writers that scribe knows. This book takes you into a whole other fantasy world...a lot of fun.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

metrofarm dj desks

I think these would look awesome with one of my paintings in the back ground. DJ desks from METROFARM.
could do with some kind of matching shelf to put you record bag though...


Friday, December 11, 2009

Curio @ digbyland

Check it out, Curious, top London emcee...has a show tomorrow night. It is the whole creative thang...poetry, painting, beats, rhymes, basslines.
there will be a few different artists doing their thing, including up and coming photographer Hayder Feeley.
50% of all sales go to London Coalition Against Poverty.
12 December 2009
go peep it and show some love.

Digbyland Studios
Unit 1
Digby Road
London E9 6HX

Pantone has announced 15-5519 Turquoise as its colour of the year for 2010.

Pantone has announced 15-5519 Turquoise as its colour of the year for 2010.
how nuts is that?!?!? I guess it's a way of bringing more attention to yourself, but what an insane idea.

they say:
The company chose the colour for the new year as turquoise ‘transports us to an exciting tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times’.

Pantone’s vice-president of strategic business development Helmut Eifert says, ‘Turquoise occupies a very special position in the world of colour. It is believed to be a protective talisman, a colour of deep compassion and healing, and a colour of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky.

‘Through years of colour word-association studies, we also find that turquoise represents an escape to many – taking them to a tropical fantasy that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.’

i am suprised damian hirst hasn't come up with one and maybe U2 should come up with a chord of the year.
hmmm, i think i'll work on a new tone of grey for 2010.

Lil Wayne

will the real Jack Johnson please stand up!

Justice Dept. won't support Jack Johnson pardon

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press Writer – Thu Dec 10, 7:02 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is refusing to back a posthumous pardon for Jack Johnson, the black heavyweight boxing champion who was imprisoned nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman.

In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the department's pardon attorney, Ronald L. Rodgers, told Rep. Peter King that the Justice Department's general policy is not to process posthumous pardon requests. In cases like Johnson's, given the time that has passed and the historical record that would need to be scoured, the department's resources for pardon requests are best used on behalf of people "who can truly benefit" from them, Rodgers wrote.

The letter was in response to one that King, R-N.Y., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had sent to President Barack Obama in October urging a pardon. In that letter, the two lawmakers noted that both houses of Congress has passed a resolution calling for a presidential pardon and said they hoped the president would be eager to "right this wrong and erase an act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison."

Rodgers wrote that notwithstanding the department policy, Obama still has the authority to pardon whomever he wishes, "guided when he sees fit by the advice of the pardon attorney."

And he did cite two cases of posthumous pardons: President Bill Clinton's 1999 pardon of Lt. Henry O. Flipper, the Army's first black commissioned officer, who was drummed out of the military in 1882 after white officers accused him of embezzling $3,800 in commissary funds; and President George W. Bush's 2008 pardon of Charles Winters, who was convicted of violating the Neutrality Act when he conspired in 1948 to export aircraft to a foreign country in aid of Israel.

In Winters' case, Rodgers said, the pardon request was not processed by Justice's Office of the Pardon Attorney, due to the department's posthumous pardon policy.

King said in a telephone interview that he and McCain probably will continue to urge Obama to issue the pardon.

"What they're doing here is bucking it back to President Obama," King said. "So I would respectfully urge him to grant the pardon. This is the president's call."

The White House had no immediate comment on whether Obama would consider the request.

When he unveiled the resolution in April, McCain said he was sure that Obama "will be more than eager" to issue the pardon.

A hundred years before Obama was elected the nation's first black president, Johnson, a native of Galveston, Texas, became the first black heavyweight champion, on Dec. 26, 1908, after police in Australia stopped his 14-round match against the severely battered Canadian world champion, Tommy Burns.

That victory led to a search for a "Great White Hope" who could beat Johnson. Two years later, Jim Jeffries, the American world titleholder Johnson had tried for years to fight, came out of retirement but lost in a match called "The Battle of the Century," resulting in deadly riots.

In 1913, Johnson was convicted of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. After his conviction, he fled the country, but agreed years later to return and serve a 10-month jail sentence.

In 2004, the Committee to Pardon Jack Johnson, which filmmaker Ken Burns helped form, filed a petition with the Justice Department that was never acted on. His 2005 documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson," explored the case against the boxer and the sentencing judge's acknowledged desire to "send a message" to black men about relationships with white women.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am a big whisky fan..not an expert or connoisseur, but a fan. I love the stuff. the word originally comes from the Irish Gaelic usquebaugh, meaning "water of life"...I don't think it would help much if you're stuck in a desert, but when you need warming up on a cold winter night, nothing is better. so i was interested to see that the first English single malt whisky in 120 yrs is about to be released.
It's being produced in Norfolk by a company called "The English Whisky Company".
I am not sure what it is going to be like, but initial reports sounds good. If you pick up a bottle, invite me around for a tipple.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


I was speaking to fellow Barcelona based artist Cynthia Fusillo recently about Robert Rauschenburg. She was telling me about an interview she had seen with him and how inspirational he was. I didn't find the one she was talking about specifically, but found this clip about 'erasing De Kooning'.
he mentions the idea that this is an act of vandalism to some. i liked the irony of this, how taking away of marks can be seen as vandalism.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

on paper...

This is a piece called 'To Be Real'. it is mixed media on paper. I started working with paper when I first moved back over to Barcelona, before I got my studio set up and had chance to make frames/stretch canvas.
I work my surfaces A LOT! painting over, sanding down, washing etc. when you do this with paper, it really distresses it and I liked what was happening, especially with the edges. it was one of the things that put me onto doing the inheritance wax covers that I am still working on.
Anyways, as I said in the previous post, I am waiting to get all this work properly documented, so the quality of this photo is not great...just a taster of what I have been doing recently.

Friday, December 4, 2009

new ashwan board

I have a whole new body of work ready to get out, but I need to get it all photographed by my guy before I let it out into the world. here is a sneak preview of one of the pieces, it's a bit blury, but you get the idea.
oil and mixed media on used skateboard...(shout to my man Olly-tha riddler-Kingston)

when I get the rest done I will post them here

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Simply WONDERful...ashwan/la alta

here's a little project I worked on a few years ago.
it is a remix of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' with video montage by La Alta.
the sound on the video seems to have some kind of limiter on it, which we tried a bunch of different ways to get around, but with no joy...so honestly it sounds kinda whack. IF you want a better quality version of the audio emailing out, let me know via the contact page on the main web site:

or click here