The European Tour started in Madrid Spain.
Tara McPherson's collaboration with Kidrobot x Swatch had just launched in Shanghai China check Tara's blog here! The second event for this collaboration was in Madrid and kicked off our European Tour!!
During the Swatch x Kidrobot event in Madrid, Tara did a live painting on a Maxi Swatch Watch and a 20" Kidrobot Dunny. The event was held at Hermanos Lamarc, a packed open air venue. With the beautiful night sky above and the incredible Spanish kindness all around us, it made for an excellent evening.
Here is a little about the Kidrobot for Swatch collaboration with Tara.
"Beautiful, ethereal, and powerful. Famed Gamma Mutant Space Friends artist Tara McPherson lends her 3-eyed space kitty Carina to the Swatch - The Eyes Are Watching 3-inch Dunny set; innocent and wise, Carina is embodied until the end of time. Featuring a frosted band and see-through frame in McPherson's signature palette, the eyes wrap around to be seen from all angles. This set features the artist's signature printed on the band and comes in a clear box for preservation and display."
You can order the set from Kidrobot HERE!
We got to hang out in town for a few days. Seeing the cities artistic treasures was a must so we visited the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Home to a huge selection of Salvador Dali's work. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Dali is one of my favorites. We also met a super cool artist named Lolo, we caught him at his print show. Can't wait to see more work from him! Then I took that Maxi Swatch Watch and threw it up like the WWF Championship Belt! Yeah!
I really liked it in Madrid. The food was good, the people are nice. I like their accents and way they speak. It was my first time in Spain and I'm excited to go back. I hear Barcelona should be next on the list. Then we were off to the United Kingdom.
We landed just outside of London at Gatwick Airport, north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex. Anyway I saw this from the train window.
London and Forbidden Planet
The Battersea Power Station. So sick, the building from the album cover of Animals by Pink Floyd. All my photo needed was the flying pig. What an iconic building. I was excited to be in the UK! Forbidden Planet was sure to be a good time.
This was Tara's third time doing a signing at this Forbidden Planet in London. The finest Pop Culture superstore loaded up with Cotton Candy Machine prints and lithos for the event! They always have a really good lineup of Artist and Writers coming through for events and meet and greets. Make sure to check the list of up coming events here. If you want to see some really great photos from the event check out Derek Bremner. Homie Deldel showed me around the city and got me started exploring this magical old city.
I got to see Amar at Upper Playground London. Check out his new digs Aum Brand. London is great. It is a strange feeling while walking through this old city packed full of buildings that just ooze wealth... in that classy way. Tea Time!
We took and over night ferry from England to Holland.
The London Police in Amsterdam
AMSTERDAM!!!!!!!! I knew I was going to love it here. Chaz of The London Police put us up while we were in town. We got to stop by their studio and see some of the works in progress for their upcoming show here in NYC. The London Police's Chaz and Bob prepared this large body of work for their solo debut at Opera Gallery NYC. Aiming to please the work was coming along nicely. Each piece creating a full scene perfectly balanced with their two juxtaposing styles. Bob illustrating pop characters and detailed architecture with photo like precision. Bob had just finished his portraits of the Dandy Warhols in the largest piece of the show. His illustration style is full of sharp straight lines. The balance then comes with the characters Chaz has created. They are so recognizable it's hard to forget them. The perfect circle that forms the head of his Lads, Logs and new Lorses have become his trademark. He is recognized for his ability to draw a perfect circle free hand. Chaz does this regularly in Gaffiti battles all over the world. Pairing the two, with Bob's straight lines of the buildings and the portraits against the curves of Chaz's wide world of round characters has never looked better. Keep it up boys!
While we were in town Tara got to do a little work in TLP's studio as well. She illustrated her version of the Ugly four eyed Nag Nag Nag for the collaboration with Shig in Japan. The London Police have a studio space swarming with inspiration. It was a very fun opportunity to see what they were working on!
Yep. I loved it in Amsterdam. The city is so cool the way it is laid out with all of the canals and water. The freedom in the city is beautiful and easy to enjoy. Most of the people I came across in town were there to learn and create in one way or another. It was fun to walk through the whole center part for the City and visit Rijksmuseum. The Museum was under construction but they kept one big wing open. They had a sign up that said. "During the large-scale rebuilding of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam till 2013, the finest works from the 17th century in the Rijksmuseum will continue to be on view under the title 'The Masterpieces" It was no joke, the Mastermieces are there. Rijks holds the largest painting Rembrandt ever did Night Watch. That a painting is so dope it got tabbed in 1975 by an unemployed school teacher. Talk about "street cred". In the the 90's a guy sprayed acid all over it like the Joker. The painting has been fully restored a few times now and looks beautiful. I would recommend anyone to visit the Museum if they are in Amsterdam. I can't wait to see how the building looks once they have finished the restoration. This is a portrait by one of Rembrandt pupils.
Bartholomeus van der Helst painted both Bickers, father and son. The differences between the two generations are striking. The elder Bicker is sedately attired, all in black, with an old-fashioned millstone collar. His son Gerard - about twenty years old here - is wearing a colourful, even flamboyant outfit, complete with a flat collar and fashionable gloves.
I laughed out loud when I saw this piece. The portrait of this kids Father looked so distinguished and proper. Very thin and dark. He must have been so proud of his visibly spoiled Son. All bright and round. haha! Follow this link to see more of The Masterpieces. Amsterdam was a treat but it was time to go.
We hopped on a train and headed to Germany.
Hamburg! Reeperbahn Festival
Flatstock Europe 6
The Reeperbahn Festival and Flatstock Europe 6 were the reason we had put this whole European tour together. Hamburger Berg is great, it was kinda like the Amsterdam of Germany. The Reeperbahn's anything goes attitude and nightlife makes for a great place to have a music festival. Flatstock Europe is growing every year and inviting great Rock Poster Artists from all over the world. Each traveling to set up for the weekend to sell their art work and "Siebdruck." That's "Screen Print" in Deutsch. Check the full list of Artists who attended this year Here! Make sure to check out 2012 Reeperbahn Festival! Thank you as always to the American Poster Institute! Shout to Lil Tuffy and Kevin Tong! Fun hanging with you in Deutschland! Thank you to everyone who made it another great show!
During the Festival and Flatstock, Ralf of Feinkunst Krüger had an art show with two incredible Rock Poster Artists Jay Ryan and Justin Santora. Jay is of course one of our favorites here at CCM and he was in our Rock Poster show Rock It To Me. Jay and Justin were showing a collection of drawings and paintings. This was my first time meeting Justin and seeing his work in person. Both were wonderful first impressions. Check more of their work from the show here! Hamburg has it going on.
Another boat ride!
It seems to be a tradition to enjoy BOY DIVISION, a Joy Division based cover band, on a boat ride after Flatstock Europe. Fueled by Vodka!!
One last train through Germany.
All of the work was finished. The tour had gone wonderfully. With the exception of a broken toe and a few lost hoodies...... we had done great! This was my first time back to Germany since the 80's when I lived there. My Brother was born while we lived in Deutschland and I was young so I only had a few memories from my childhood. Needless to say I was very excited to be back. Hamburger Burg was crazy fun. We knew Berlin would be a nice chance to relax and enjoy some museums.
The Natural History Museum in Berlin or Museum für Naturkundeis is huge and has a few of the biggest Dinosaur skeletons hanging in one piece. So much to see all in one place! They have a really great collection of things is jars too. Make sure not to miss it if you are in town!
We checked out of few other museums while we were in Berlin. Most of them don't let you take photos so I wont tell you where I found these beauties. Our stay was full of great food. I ate the best Russian food I have ever had in my life. All of the food there was great. Tara and I even had Mexican one night and it was delicious. Berlin reminds me of NYC in a lot of ways. Good food is one. The diversity and mufti-cultural influences is another. The city has come a long way in a very short time. I'm excited to go back as soon as I can. I'm sure there will be something new popping up every time I visit.
I think that just about covered it. Thank you to everyone who came out to the events along our Tour. Thank you everyone who helped us out one way or another. Kim in London for letting us stay. Bongoût in Berlin, your shop looks great! See you again soon! Thank you to Modern Graphics in Berlin too they are carrying CCM goodies. This trip was inspirational, Europe is beautiful and full of history. We'll be back in 2012!
See you at the Boutique!