Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Graphic design and screenprinting studio, Burlesque Design of North America, are the latest artists to partner with Upper Playground to produce a Barack Obama print. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Burlesque Design have gained international recognition as one of the premier printing and design studios for various music, poster, and tee-shirt projects. Burlesque has also been responsible for printing the entire series of Upper Playground collaborative art posters to support Obama’s campaign.
Burlesque Design’s Barack Obama poster is part of an ongoing series from Upper Playground of artist collaborations in support of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The poster features an excerpt from Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention this past summer. Upper Playground has endorsed Obama's campaign by creating posters featuring artwork from Justin Bua, David Choe, Grotesk, The Date Farmers, Munk One, Ron English, Alex Pardee, Morning Breath, Mac, Sam Flores and Mear One, in addition to printing T-shirts with Shepard Fairey's Obama graphics to help support the campaign.
There are 200 prints made that are signed and numbered by Wes Winship of Burlesque Design of North America, and retail for $200. The limited-edition 18" x 24" print is now available exclusively online. Please note: prints will not ship until October 20, 2008.
All proceeds from the sales of the poster will go directly to creating more campaign t-shirts, posters, and stickers by other artists in support of Obama's bid for President. Stay tuned to a new Upper Playground project in support of Barack Obama to be announced later this month.
Monday, September 29, 2008
“HAÏKU” is a solo exhibition featuring French artist Koralie, an internationally renowned fine and street artist.
The show will mirror the concept and form of a haiku, focusing on what Koralie explains as, “Little canvases, little frames, little supports, all recounting a little story.” Koralie has made a name for herself in the international fine art community with her unique street art and gallery work, capturing Geisha-inspired characters with beautiful textures, patterns, colors, and forms. Apart from exhibiting in galleries across the world, Koralie has contributed designs to Upper Playground’s apparel line.
Koralie is based in Montpellier, France. Her Geisha-inspired characters are some of the most unique pieces to pop-up in cities across the world. Her work has been recently seen at Galerie L.J. Beaubourg in Paris and Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City.
Koralie’s “HAÏKU” solo exhibition will be on display at the lower level of the FIFTY24SF Gallery from October 2–30, 2008.
The upper level of FIFTY24SF Gallery will continue to show “Catalyst,” a group exhibition showcasing the works of Aaron Horkey, Josh Graham, Aaron Turner, Seldon Hunt, Justin Bartlett, Stephen Kasner, Dwid Hellion, and Florian Bertmer. The exhibit brings together an underground community of artists in which aural and visual expressions converge. Artwork on display comprises of a wide source of media, including new two-dimensional paintings, drawings, video installations, screen prints as well as an installation of seminal works from each of the artists’ extensive catalogues. Guest curation by Brett Aronson.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
If you live in the Bay Area or somewhere close and have a dance crew (doesn't everybody have a dance crew?), go to San Leandro this weekend, present your crew and get filmed so you can be part of an online contest presented by Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew and sponsored by UP, VitaminEnergy and Wild94.9.com. The two crews with the most votes will perform on Saturday, OCT. 11th @ 7:30 PM at Oakland’s Paramount. And the battle will ensue, with the winner heading off to perform this November at WildJam concert. Its all up there on this flyer.
Upper Playground is sponsoring the event and has a special giveaway contest for you. The giveaway includes a winner to receive (2) tickets to the show (and as a presenting sponsor we have some great seats), along with the tickets for the winner to receive (1) VitaminEnergized "Boogie Bag" prize pack, plus a month supply of VitaminEnergy personally delivered by the VitaminEnergy hit squad. (You have to be in the Bay Area to receive the month supply of VitaminEnergy, sorry Norway.)
You may be asking yourself, well how do I win? We made it pretty damn easy. Please RSVP to the event invite on Upper Playground's Facebook page to be entered into the contest. A random winner will be announced on 10/7 based on the RSVP list. How is that?
Upper Playground New Eras for October are now available. Look, they have a Halloween theme. Chris Lee designed the one with the jump rope killers, Dora Drimalas gave us the upside down bat design, and Sam Flores' 12Grain provided the bathing branches design. All the New Eras are available at our retail stores and online at UpperPlaygroundStore.com.
Chris Lee. Buy it here.
Dora Drimalas. Buy it here.
Sam Flores. Buy it here.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We know you're laughing, we know you are thinking how damn clever this tee is, and we know you are going to buy it and wear it around and others are going to laugh with it and think how damn clever you are for wearing a tee that is so damn clever. But, it's true. And the laughter could stop. Available at our webstore right now, UpperPlaygroundStore.com.
Sooooooooo, here we are back in the land of false idols, bloggotry, and Sparks. Yet again, I’d really like to give it up to the artists, who worked it out on a pretty big wall under some questionable conditions (poor lighting towards the end, viagra hangover, no drinking on the job, etc…). N8 Van Dyke, Sam Naughty No-No Flores, and Alex Pardee . . . way to effin’ go! Another big-up needs to go the MC’s and DJ’s who kept things rolling smoothly: DJs Frank White and T-Scraps kicked things off, right into Raydar Ellis’ set. After that came Top Choice Clique, finished up by 7L & Esoteric. Despite technical difficulties and illness (what do you know about chugging honey and tea, for an hour, before a set?), the performers really came through in the clutch. Thanks again.
Before I get to the picture portion of this entry, I need to make sure to thank the behind-the-scenes folks. Without the following people, I would have been a quivering sack of nervous exhaustion (at least more than normal). Patrick Leery (Underground Snowboards) hooked up the spot, the permit, the snow, the skate obstacles + a jacket for Sam, who left his only long sleeved item on the plane. Tom Kelly and Selena Hoover (Sparks / Street Attackl) really kept things lubricated. That’s all I think I can say on that, but use your imagination. Lastly, Jeremy Sullivan (Underground Hip Hop) was, as always, a huge help in logistical s**t, as well as simply rally support for Upper Playground. —Mickey
The photo above: Generally speaking, I like to keep my blog photos in chronological order. That being said, I feel like this photo really captures the essence of the trip; determination with a twist of fear and the perfect amount of exposure. Oh yeah, not to mention painful and bloody (kinda like jail sex).
We should have known that this was going to be an interesting trip when we opened up the trunk of the rental, only to find the remains of Angelo "Sonny" Mercurio. They then upgraded us to a 4Runner, which worked out, since N8’s and Alex Tarrant’s legs took up the entirety of the smaller whip.
I always try to grab one photo that doesn’t have any boobs, beers, dudes, condoms, blood, etc.
This picture was rallying to be the first, but I really feel like N8’s dome kind of trumps this. At any rate, it actually fits a little better here, as a condom was found in Pardee’s mouth shortly after this picture was taken.
The crew . . . couldn’t be happier with this team, although there are two problems with this picture. 1) My cheeks look fat. 2) Wrong shirt to wear on a Sparks tour.
Pardee, tying up some loose ends. Speaking of loose ends, it was time to get our check and move on in to phase two. Sam thought he had a good way to get this going.
We then moved on to a spot called The Enormous Room. The room, itself, was a tiny (non-ventilated) sweatbox. The only thing that was enormous in that room were the dude egos, the female asses, and Van Dyke.
It’s pretty much a guarantee that ol’ Sammy the staple-remover Flores will have his arm around a girl within two hours of arriving anywhere. This is fine . . . it’s the shirt off within three hours part that always seems to throw things off the tracks. From here, ______ spearheaded the move to various venues of ill repute.
Just over the 3 hour mark.
One more of these knocked some sense in to him and he realized that it was true love.
Carrying Sparks across the threshold.
The next morning, I woke up in a panic. As tour manager, it is my responsibility to make sure that things run swimmingly (not like swimming in fountains of beer, but like smoothly). On this particular day, I rose from a dirty haze and realized that it was a couple hours later than it was supposed to be. I immediately rousted the dudes and headed to the hardware store to pick up supplies.
Once we got to the spot (on Amory, just off of Comm. Ave), they were already setting up this snowboarding drop-in. As soon as it was ready to go, it was apparent that there were two camps. On one side, you had dudes who seemed to know what the fuck they were doing.
On the other side, you had dudes who just couldn’t wait to satisfy their appetite for concrete. This particular member of camp didn’t have a great day.
This is Jeremy from Underground Hip Hop. When is Boston, cruise by his shop and say hi. If you’re in need of vinyl, go to their site, Undergroundhiphop.com and you might find some hip hop. He’s a good dude and if you’re not a jerk. He’ll take care of you.
N8 getting eaten by his own creation.
This was a hilarious scene. The Red Bull covert-ops team (not very covert, were they), rolled up on the event. Little did they know that Selena was on the scene and ready to handle them, in what ever fashion she deemed appropriate. Lucky for Red Bull Selena was in a good mood. Although, I do wish that she’d swiped those hideous sunglasses off ol’ Red Bull’s face.
This dude may have been the highlight of the trip for me. Granted, he kept stealing my hat (which I finally gave him, because I was sick of chasing him), but he was so in to the music, dancing, art and just general scene, that I couldn’t help but get stoked on him. Here he is, busting one of his stationary head spins. I tried to call him out on the fact that a head spin entails actual spinning, but he held fast that this is how little dudes do ‘em in Boston.
FINALLY . . . it’s about time!
This was the first MC to grace the stage . . . Raydar Ellis.
I will go more in to this story in my next blog entry. Concisely put, this lil’ lass had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of one, Sam U El Flores. Apparently they had arranged for him to draw on her and that she would get that drawing tattooed on her, the following day. Sam made sure to spend some quality time w/ her, to ensure that the drawing didn’t get erased, before it was time to get inked. From what I hear, the tattoo happened. Again, more pics/info later.
After Raydar Ellis played, Top Choice Clique rocked the stage. Not only did they come out on short notice, but they played with one mic even though they’re a crew of 2, who usually spit verses @ the same time. Shortly after they departed the stage, 7L & Esoteric come on, to finish out the night. For a while, I’d thought 7L had been chugging some weird intoxicating concoction over the course of the evening, but then realized that it was tea and honey (straight out the honey bear). Dude was playing with a jacked throat, but managed to slay the audience anyhow. What a muhfuggin' soldier.
The more I watch him paint, the more Alex Pardee kinda scares me.
The next day, we revisited the scene of the defilement.
Snap . . . I almost forgot. Boston giving a little street-level love to an Arlen, TX O.G.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The reigning heir of, well, something, has endorsed our friend, Anthony Lister. She must have seen his new FIFTY24SF Gallery book, Tales of White Trash Prophecy, that is on sale now in our webstore. Perhaps, she's just down with the Upper Playground vibe. Or she was just jocking the fine art. Who knows with these young, talented folk, right?
And then the Australian newspapers get involved, and the word is officially out in Oceania.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The jewel of Washington, Seattle, was hopping Friday and Saturday night with the opening festivities of Upper Playground Seattle and FIFTY24SEA. Here are some photos from the Friday night store and galley opening, and thank you to Tyler for photos. On we go . . .
Estevan Oriol signing his UP x Estevan Oriol line "LA Woman" 2009 calendar for a very lucky group of fans.
Estevan talking to LA graffiti artist, Mear One.
A Munk sighting.
And of course, there was art.
An Adam chat.
A store with a view.
Mear and Munk put on a live art display on Saturday night.
Estevan made sure the crowd got a signature.
They both know how to do a proper tee shirt design.