Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art Pillage: Cerberus



Instigatorzine Art Pillage
Cerberus: Bagger43, David Hoskins, Douglas Hoffman
Bold Hype Gallery. Jan 19 - Feb 11
With a special feature at Bold Hype Gallery, displaying works by three artists, Cerberus gets a special treatment with three different perspectives from three different Instigatorzine artists.
Bagger43's work is nothing short of amazing. The contrast between background and foreground in his work is something that pulls you in. Viewing his paintings transport you into a different world - They give you a light sense of insecurity, but you can't help explore them some more. While the use of geometric shapes alongside loose brush strokes is something that might put off certain viewers, Bagger43 pulls it off very well. While many of his pieces difer from one another, you cannot deny the talent he posseses. If you're a fan of David Choe, James Jean, Os Gemeos, or Conor Harrington, you definitely need to keep your eye out for Bagger43.
-Carlos Castillo
David Hoskins
David Hoskin’s work oozes  sci-fi horror with urban graffiti and illustration influences. His work feature bold lines with vivid colors creating high-contrast imagery that are pleasing to the eye while his sometimes grotesque imagery and strangeness leave you uneasy, yet delightfully pleased. Standouts include “Nest,” which features dual-imagery and his signature organic growths that seem to spawn from their human hosts and inevitably take over. Hoskins’ use of color and themes of parasitic growths brings to mind the technicolor nightmares of the 60’s- 70’s  sci-fi craze. Hoskin’s work shows the decay of humanity by the invasion of these “body-snatcheresque” creatures of their host humans.The humans are often times left to seem incoherent and with a blank stare that only enhance their astounding appeal and eeriness as in “Consumption.” Which features cascading growths weaving throughout piece, consuming the woman that seems to be experiencing euphoria. Hoskins’ work leaves you disturbed and appalled while wanting more, amazing imagery that has a vintage yet new quality that please the cerebral cortex.
-Farooq Alihassan



Douglas Hoffman

Let’s be clear: I’ve never been driven to do street art or write graffiti. Sure, I was curious about it growing up; the lifestyle, the thrill, the immediacy and spontaneity of the artwork were all very fine points on why to start doing it. It just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t fast-enough on my toes or in my mind. I do appreciate it though. Douglas Hoffman is an artist who’s firmly based in elements of graffiti. From a young age, Hoffman explored creating art on unconventional surfaces. The world was his canvas: trains, wood, buildings and other structures. Eventually, the canvas became his canvas, too. Such is seen in Cerberus.
Hoffman’s style of painting is not one expected from an artist based in the methods of street art. Brush strokes are defined and even very delicate in some areas of his compositions, and juxtapositions between background and subject can sometimes be jarring and distracting (“Pig Farm”) or engaging and symbiotic (South Brooklyn Platform Splash series). However, that is where Hoffman truly shines. Mixing and experimenting relationships between art and surface creates a unique tension, forging a dialogue not only between viewer and art, but within the composition itself.

In the aptly-titled Cerberus collaborative piece, “Cerberus,” Hoffman unites with Bagger43 and David Hoskins to reinterpret the mythic, triple-cranium canine on two large canvases. Hoskins’ signature amorphous forms and Bagger43’s bold, graphic color streaks strikingly grab and hold your attention, while Hoffman’s impression on the piece struggles to make an impact. Perhaps it was just my fleeting attention and excitement of being at the Cerberus opening reception, but I found a hard time finding Hoffman’s influence on the collaborative painting. It was only when I finally got to writing my piece of this trio-gallery impression that I saw where Hoffman had made his mark. Of course, I appreciated the painting even more when I realized where his precision strokes were, but I almost wish it were more obvious.
Hoffman’s art is visually stunning: the surreal, totemic arrangement of characters that populate his compositions, whether on the canvas or not, are a real treat to see. However, when surrounded by fellow Cerberus artists, Hoskins and Bagger43, Hoffman’s light is somewhat diffused, but that’s probably because all three artists are definitely good at what they do.

-Narciso Espiritu Jr.

See the full gallery online at:
(But, be sure to see it in person!)

Bold Hype Gallery
547 West 27th St, 5th floor
New York, NY 10001

Bagger43 -
David Hoskins -
Douglas Hoffman -


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekly Instigators - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Narciso's note: This may be (very) late, but it's never late to celebrate a man who helped better our nation. 


               Martin Luther King Jr. was no doubt an influential man to millions of Americans, but the man that influenced many, was of course himself influenced. As with anyone, influences make you who you are and King was no different.  Important influences to King were Howard Thurman, Mahatma Gandhi and ultimately, Love.
                When King attended college in Boston, he would visit his father's former classmate Howard Thurman regularly. Eventually Thurman mentored King, it is safe to say that the Martin Luther King we know today wouldn't have been who he was without Thurman. Thurman was an author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader.  King did missionary work with Thurman, so through this he was able to travel all over. Later on in King's Life, Thurman became a spiritual advisor.
                The influence of King  that is known the most, would be Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent approach to protesting.  When King was beginning to lose hope in power of love for fixing social problems, he got introduced to Gandhi through a speech given by the president of Howard University at the time, Mordecai Johnson. He then got books and read up on how Gandhi led his people to freedom by not acting out in violence. Howard Thurman's missionary work was actually the reason King eventually got to go to India and visit the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Kings mindset then had a gradual about-faced as he read more on Gandhi and his success. His first chance to use this new thinking was with the Montgomery Bus Boycotts with Rosa Parks. Within 24 hours, King organized a boycott that lasted over a year. His successful boycott unified his people as well caught the nation's attention.
                At the end of the day, it is safe to say that love was King's biggest influence. King was introduced to love way before any of the aforementioned men. Even though he began to lose hope in it, he eventually was reintroduced to it. Love was the key, and King set out to use love as his main weapon against the oppressive nation of that day. If there is anything he will be remembered for, it was the love he had for his people and his nation.          

-Avi "Obvious" McClain



Find more from Avi at:  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Art Pillage: Natalia Fabia


Instigatorzine Art Pillage
Natalia Fabia. Jonathan Levine Gallery. Jan 14, 2012.
Punk Rock Rainbow Sparkle are probably the best four words that can describe the first East Coast solo exhibition from Natalia Fabia. Having no real inclinations of how the artist's work would appear and feel, other than her feature in Hi-Fructose early this year, to say that the paintings were very inviting and intimidating is something that should not be taken lightly. The elements of graffiti, iconic landmarks and other references to the East Coast reflect the artist’s research in the area before starting work on this series of paintings. The scenes in each painting, or environment, take on a life of their own. It feels as if the viewer has walked into the middle of a party, gathering or perhaps an intimate moment in the shower or underwater. This voyeuristic feeling is not caused exclusively by Fabia's arrangements, but her painting ability truly echoes and shines upon the kinds of paintings seen during the Renaissance. Paintings like these don't just happen, and it's nice to know that artists still paint like the masters. The models featured in each composition exude a type of freedom that  can only be displayed by independent, strong women, who aren’t afraid to have fun. One fun note, at the opening for this exhibition, all or most of the models who were in the paintings were also present at the show, making it possible for viewers to interact with the subjects of each painting. A strange concept, but fun, nonetheless.

While these paintings are certainly pretty, sparkly and well-done, the point of the series of paintings is not just to create something beautiful. Each composition is a glimpse into each of these women’s lives. Fabia selects models based on their personalities, ethics, and style. That said, each painting is a treasure not just to marvel at Fabia’s technique, but to try and decipher who the figures are. In a society that lets us hide behind profile pictures and status updates, it’s nice to have some truth in ourselves.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Love + Water Designs

Hey instigators! 


If you haven't heard about it already, Love+Water Designs is a great way to bring artists and charities together. I can't really say it much better than L+W founder, Alexis Fedor:


"Love+Water designs is an online community that creates Wearable Philanthropy by connecting artists with charities through T-Shirt Design ProjectsWe invite artists to submit the designs in the name of a charity, have our community vote on the ones they like the best, print those designs on a limited edition t-shirt, award the artist a cash prize and donate up to 50% of the profits back to the charities.  You can choose a charity on our site to match with a design you have, or you can submit a design for our monthly Featured Charity!  Join us, we can't wait to see your work!  Questions?  Please email us!  We'll get right back to you!"

Love+Water is a great way to give back to the community, even if you aren't part of it. It's also a great way to get your work on a t-shirt! This month's featured charity, ForByFor, is art for the people, by the people, for the greater good. ForByFor exhibitions raise money and awareness for charitable organizations working to bring life back to forgotten people and places. Each exhibition presents affordable art by emerging talents to a new audience of art collectors looking beyond the bottom line for art that inspires and heals not only themselves but the global community. Help us prove that art can be an effective tool for social change.

Check out ForByFor's website:


Voting to be the featured design starts soon!
Sign up for Love+Water Designs, submit your work, watch it grow!



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weekly Instigators - Bradley Manning

"Silenced for the Truth"
illustration by Narciso Espiritu Jr. 

A year ago, Julian Assange was at the top of nearly every media news outlet, including Instigatorzine. Today, we find Assange has virtually vanished from major headlines since his arrest in England in December 2010. A year later, Bradley Manning, the 24-year old United States Army soldier arrested for allegedly passing classified material to Wikileaks, is one of many major recurring news topics.
Recent developments, starting with the December 16, 2011 pretrial hearing, which determines what kind of court martial is appropriate for the matter at hand, reveal that there may have been direct communication between Manning and Assange, despite denial by Assange himself. Reports state that an Assange-Manning link would place the two in a treacherous situation, as these supposed actions directly violate The Espionage Act. Charges of espionage carry the death penalty.
These new allegations shed a different light and raise many questions on an already complicated situation. Does the possibility of a personal relationship between Assange and Manning change the manner in which the restricted United States material was released? The fact would remain that the truth was hidden and kept hidden during a time when the government promised transparency to the public.
Some people may come to see Manning as either Hero, Patriot, Criminal or Traitor for his actions, but Manning asks: “If you had free reign over classified networks...and you saw incredible things, awful things...things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C...what would you do?” Regardless of how Manning is portrayed, or how you, yourself, think of him, like Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Bradley Manning is a defender of the truth. Truth is one of the few things that people carry close to the chest. In this age of information, people make decisions, great or small, much more quickly than they did in the past. People need their information to be true to make decisions for a better tomorrow.


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