juxtapoz homepage screenshot taken march 2017

Juxtapoz Online Magazine – digital art destination

Established by artists and collectors back in 1994, Juxtapoz is an online arts and culture journal that has remained a genuine champion of the contemporary art world. Made as the absolute opposite of the stuffy, antiquated scene, the San Francisco-based publication promoted and continues to promote artists, genres and galleries that were often neglected.

The online magazine’s staff from in-house in San Francisco has remained vigilant over the years, representing those with incredible potential and whom they believe in, and endeavoring to make art accessible to a worldwide audience. The magazine launched a mission to connect Surrealist traditions of figurative art, contemporary popular culture, psychedelic rock posters, and side show crack banners, Zap comics and EC comic books.

Juxtapoz has enjoyed two decades of online publishing covering several genres; from photography to painting, fashion, design, graffiti to street art. What they have done over the years is ensuring they have artists who have represented each of the specific styles and this is evident in the online magazine.

Why Juxtapoz stands out

Juxtapoz has remained relevant and a significant publication both in print and online for several years. Their success is cultivated by the mix of sharing creative energy to those interested in transforming art into a lifestyle.

They’ve never been comfortable covering one particular style – they continue to broaden their scope by mixing and matching content for art enthusiasts. Each of Juxtapoz’s monthly issues highlights photography, design, fashion, painting, graffiti, museums and current issues. The featured artists also continue to create fascinating and provocative arts.

Readership has also increased especially with the boom of social media. The magazine’s chief editor Evan Pricco acknowledges that the internet has been a game-changer by blending a bunch of creative arts together on the same platform. This includes lowbrow graffiti and street art. Readers also respect the fact that there’s so much going on in the field of art every month and they can also join the print magazine or online and have a piece of it.

The graffiti and street art cultures have grown with the internet over the years and have used the ability to share information through social media. The ability for someone in South America to see their comrade in Paris sharing a mural they saw in the street broadened the magazine’s audience. The works of famous graffiti and street artists like Blu, Conor Harrington, Ericailcane and visual artist Herbert Baglione, just to mention, are now easy to spot and share.

The rise of creative culture has also seen more people becoming interested in art school, design jobs, film, photography and even painting. There are millions who want to attend art fair these days and that translates to a wide fan base. Others want to take street art photos and create Instagram murals. All these fuels the magazine’s readership and Juxtapoz, in turn, tries to inspire their audience with works from various artists.

With a new issue every four weeks, the magazine gives artists the opportunity to create things that they want to create. The big part of it is making art accessible to people who are frightened by institutional art.

air ink made by graviky labs

Air Ink: The Paint Made from Car Exhaust

Smog. In some places around the world, it has become an almost daily reality. It forces people to stay indoors, endangers the lives of people with lung and breathing complications and, until recently, was a source of ugliness in the world. While no one would surely celebrate air pollution and smog, one Indian-based company is taking it and turning it into art. Or, rather, the means with which to create art.

In mid-2016, India-based company Graviky Labs announced Air Ink, their brand new invention that turns soot into paint. The idea came to Graviky Labs’ founder and self-described “perpetual inventor”  Anirudh Sharma. The idea came to him while he was discussing smog with his friends, who complained it left stains on their clothes. Wondering if the stains could be a little more permanent, rather than less, he set out to turn soot into paint. His work started in a lab at MIT, but he soon went to India to complete the project.

Air Paint is created on the exhaust pipes of cars, of all places. Since cars are one of the world’s leading polluters, and a fairly steady source of carbon emissions, a special device can be hooked up to the exhaust system to capture the carbon soot. The captured soot is then purified to remove heavy metals, carcinogens, and other unnecessary elements, and then blended with other materials that turn it into a durable paint.

“The soot is blended with oils to create oil-based paint, the spray paint is packaged with compressed gas and canned,” Sharma said in an interview with CNN. “To a user, the end results are materials that function much like any other paint they use.”

The paint is stored in what Sharma calls “an Air Pen,” which holds soot from 30-40 minutes of car emissions.

Since the project was announced, Graviky Labs has partnered with Tiger Beer to test the product on the streets of Hong Kong, an area of the world that is notorious for its pollution levels. Artists were given Air Pens to create murals and other pieces of artwork around the city. Thus far, the murals, and the messages they send, have been well-received. As for Air Ink, Sharma is hopeful that it can have a positive impact on the world. “”The ink will confine the particulate matter [found] in emissions, that would have otherwise gone in our lungs,” he says. ”What we’re doing at this point is repurposing a pollutant that makes people sick, is destroying our environment, and exists all around us in our air.”

Air Ink is still a long ways off from being in your local store, or on the back of your car, but Graviky Labs is currently researching how to produce Air Pens on a larger scale. Hopefully, the art, and the paint, could help spread the word about environmentalism throughout the globe.

bizzard beyond belief homepage

Website Profile: Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine

As street art becomes more prevalent, more accepted, and discussed more on the public stage, it’s easy to forget that it’s a place where weird things can happen. Street art began its modern life in alleyways, on the sides of abandoned buildings, and under the cover of darkness. It was something that happened in secret and often in small, isolated groups. The artists who started modern street art were often barred from other kinds of then-accepted forms of artistic expression. When they couldn’t have their work in art galleries, they spray painted the sides of buildings. When no one thought spray paint was good enough to create art, they made impressive artistic leaps. And when their content was deemed “too risqué,” they responded with getting weird.

Bizarre Beyond Belief is a website and publication dedicated to keeping the weirdness of street art, design, and artistic expression noticed, discussed, and documented. It embraces the courageous and the bold, the artists who strike out and make something that captures people’s attention for any number of reasons, from the artistic stylings to the strange subject matter. It makes people remember that street art isn’t conventional and can do things that “high culture” art can only dream of.

The website regularly features profiles, interviews, photo galleries, and more of the weird and wonderful things happening in the world. They look beyond street art when looking for the bizarre as well, with sections dedicated to design, photography, and other artistic modes to see what’s truly weird in the world. By doing so, Bizarre Beyond Belief often discovers smaller artists before they break, making it an excellent resource for anyone who wants to stay current with the art world outside of the usual galleries.

Many websites struggle with revenue, but Bizarre Beyond Belief has managed to foster a dedicated and loyal audience that takes pride in their subscriptions. The website is now known for its wonderful merchandise almost as much as its content. The wide variety of apparel, pins, and more help the website stay in business, but it also offers an opportunity for its readers to have a small piece of what the website profiles.

Bizarre Beyond Belief is a website that proves street art, no matter how popular it gets, will always be on the outside. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many of the best artists in the more accepted art galleries are or were street artists, and graffiti has become a major influence in many recent artistic movements. By staying weird and on the outside, street art is able to inject new ideas into the world without the usual gatekeeping and barriers set up to stop them. And with that, our society and our art culture can grow, warp, and continue to catch people off-guard.

brooklyn street art webpage

Brooklyn Street Art

One of the best things about street art in the digital age is its ability to disseminate throughout the world. Pieces are no longer confined to simply the city, or even the single canvas, on which they were created. The thought, the image, can be spread around the world at the speed of light, depending on your internet service provider, and shared with people around the world. It has given many artists a new platform in which to share their art and build careers. Even the extremely aloof Banksy has managed to use the internet to draw awareness, build his (or her, or their?) portfolio, and make a substantial amount of money, something which wasn’t even possible even just a short decade ago.

Of course, the shift to digital has also brought with it another aspect of street art: appreciation and community building. Each of these are an essential part of street art as a whole, and the internet has allowed the fast-spreading images of the world’s street art to meet the eyes of rabid fans and suave critics, all of whom express their love of the art form, in all its many iterations, in their own ways. One such way is by Steven P. Harrington, Jaime Rojo, and their fellow writers, artists, and photographers at Brooklyn Street Art.

The website, originally a way to catalogue and discuss Brooklyn’s diverse and wonderfully elaborate world of street art, murals, and more, the site has expanded to include the world over, and does an amazing job of not only connecting art to fans, but artists to the public, and work to admirers all over the world. The site features interviews, criticism, a beautiful range of photography, and more, all designed to showcase the many artists in the world, and the good work they’re doing in their hometowns and around the globe.

But Brooklyn Street Art, lovingly referred to as “BSA,” is more than just a hype machine, it’s also interested in pop culture’s place in street art, and the inverse, and frequently publishes articles focusing on how the many different mediums interact with each other. As trends develop in the street,” Harrington writes on the site, “We watch to see how they affect popular culture and the rest of the art world.”

And BSA isn’t focused on simply graffiti, or even street art that’s on the actual street. The site also explores different forms of street art. Or, as they put it: “New hybrids, new techniques, and new mediums are expanding the definition of public art, street art, graffiti, and urban art.” By considering more than just graffiti, the site is able to keep up with the changing face of public art as a whole.

What BSA proves is that street art can and does benefit from a critical discourse and enthusiastic fanbase, one that’s both passionate and intelligent. It helps not only the artists, but the entire community bond, build, and create.

chat bubbles representing people discussing mural and sign painting matters

Looking For Mural & Sign Painting Info? We’ve Got You Covered

As we all know, mural and sign making is a small world, one that’s been made even smaller through the internet. Now, muralist and sign painters can find each other online in various forums and websites, and that’s where they can learn new tricks, show off their favourite pieces, discuss the business, and even pick up work. But finding these hallowed places online can be a challenge. So where are the best sites for getting the info and community you need? Well, we have a few that we absolutely adore, and we’ll share them with you right here, right now.

1. SignCraft Magazine

SignCraft is an amazing magazine, that’s the first thing you need to know. The magazine has been an amazing resource for thousands of sign painters around the world, sharing tips on not only how to do the work, but how to run the business, an aspect of sign painting many of us don’t necessarily know everything about. But don’t take our word for it, take theirs, straight from their website:

“Since 1980, SignCraft has delivered the straightforward, hard-to-find information that sign people need, not only to survive, but to succeed in this competitive, changing industry. Sign makers around the world count on SignCraft to make their work easier and more profitable.“

On their community boards, you’ll find a whole bunch of people who know the sign painting business, and are more than excited to share their knowledge and experience. And since it’s on a website for an actual magazine, the information is debated and discussed by people with the right credentials to back up what they’re saying. That’s a great thing to have, no matter what stage of the game you’re at.

2. Creative Signmakers of America

A heavily moderated and closely watched forum website, the Creative Signmakers of America take their chosen profession very seriously, and expect the people using their site to do so as well. This website is members only, so you will need to sign up, but once you have, we doubt you’ll regret it. Each forum is packed with great info by people who really love their job, and are very passionate about keeping the craft alive and well respected. If you want serious advice, this site is the right one for you.

3. Signs 101

Finally we have Signs 101, the Reddit of sign websites, a place where you can find topics on just about anything related to signs, and people at all stages of sign making. This site is one that’s equal parts informative, funny, and perhaps ill-informed, so it’s best to be left until you have a grasp of what you’re doing. That being said, it’s an invaluable resource for people who want something a little off-kilter, or for anyone who wants some ideas on how to distinguish themselves from the competition.

There’s plenty of places where you can go online to connect with other sign painters, but we recommend you start with these three. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but we’re confident you’ll get some much-needed info at each one.