Street Art Celebrated by Red Bull & The Arts Fund in Williamsburg Brooklyn
On September 13th, 2012, the Road to Art Basel continued with the Red Bull Curates event at Villain’s “The Space at Fifty North Third” in Brooklyn, New York. Thirty of the city’s most innovative up-and-coming street artists unveiled the signature styles they brought to their canvas-wrapped Red Bull coolers and vied for the three coveted spots that would take them to the SCOPE Miami show in December.
Artist Jeremy Penn took a break from his signature style of painting larger than life portraits of French icons to tell the story of the curse of Sanpaku. Sanpaku means the three whites in Japanese (san=3 paku=white) and refers to the iris being rather small, so that it can only cover about two-thirds or less of the vertical of the eye; imagining an eye as divided into four portions, the iris only ‘colours’ one portion, thus leaving the other three in white, hence “three whites”. The Japanese believed that someone with sanpaku eyes was imbalanced and destined to have a tragic end to their life. When you die, your eyes roll upward revealing the white underneath the iris.
To illustrate the story of sanpaku, Penn used notable celebrities who died young and had sanpaku eyes. Penn's canvas cooler was wrapped in images of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Kennedy, Princess Diana, Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Elvis Presley, Brittany Murphy, and Steve Jobs. Each one of these celebrities died young either from disease, murder, or drugs. Each of them had the rare eye disorder known by the Japanese as Sanpaku Eyes.
Jeremy Penn discovered the curse of Sanpaku while working on his art series The Deception of William Murphy.
Penn's cooler will be exhibited at the rooftop bar at King & Grove in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The other 29 artists will have their coolers placed in establishments around Brooklyn.
Red Bull Curates was a huge success in New York City. The 30 artists selected produced incredible art pieces. What I think was special about the work that came out of New York City was the range of styles between the artists.
During the much anticipated finale, works by Gerardo Cid and L’Amour Supreme received the most votes from the curatorial panel of judges led by Daria Brit Shapiro, of the internationally renowned SCOPE Art Show, contemporary pop artist Ron English and Carlo McCormick, Senior Editor of PAPER Magazine. Throughout the night, thousands of guests voted for their favorite canvas wrapped coolers and ultimately honored artists CLAW MONEY and KOSBE with the Audience Choice Awards.
All four New York area artists will join the winners from Los Angeles and Chicago in an all-expense paid trip to Miami to participate in a Red Bull Curates group show at SCOPE Miami during Art Basel, where they will have the chance to exhibit and sell works from their own collections.
Congratulations to all the winners. Make NYC proud in Miami.
Shout out to the amazing photographers below who photographed the Red Bull Curates event.