October 25, 2010

"WALLWORKS": Presented by the Art Production Fund & The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas


WALLWORKS can be experienced at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from December 15th 2010.

Monumental Murals by Acclaimed Artists Redefine the Art Landscape in Las Vegas

Presented by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in association with the Art Production Fund, permanent murals will feature work by four major figures in contemporary art: Shepard Fairey, RETNA, Kenny Scharf and Shinique Smith. These artists, who work with pop culture concepts and socio-political ideas, represent a range of graffiti and gallery practices. Each has been invited to create a site specific “wallwork” within the casino garage and will use a variety of materials from spray paint to wheat paste to achieve the end results. These unique public artworks will inspire guests with thought provoking visuals upon entering The Cosmopolitan.

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WALLWORKS incorporates two important genres that bring art into the public sphere: murals and graffiti. Murals are one of the oldest artistic forms and graffiti its renegade younger sibling. Both are effective tools that reflect the individual artists creative expression and unique message. These monumental gestures have long been part of the civic landscape and give communities and visitors an image in which to reflect and empower their own voice.

“The Cosmopolitan recognizes the importance of embracing visionary artists and commissioning permanent works that become both a destination and part of the dialogue of art history”, said Co-founders of Art Production Fund, Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen.  Visitors to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will experience multiple genres within the artistic spectrum: visual art, new media, music, performance, and design all integrated into the unique landscape of the property. The program takes a fresh approach to immersive installation and embraces innovative ideas, provocative content and interactive projects, engaging first time viewers and art critics alike, while fostering a greater awareness of the important messages found in contemporary art.

SHEPARD FAIREY (b.1970) Working as a contemporary artist, commercial artist, graphic designer and businessman, Fairey activelyresists categorization, creating works of art of all types - on the street, as part of commercial collaborations, and, increasingly, forgallery presentation. He builds off precedents set by artists such as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, as he disrupts expectations aboutart and business, and muddies the distinctions between fine art and commercial art.

RETNA (b. 1979) RETNA was born in Los Angeles and entered the graffiti scene in the early 1990s.  His work is a true reflection of the spirit of street art in LA. RETNA has had a major influence on contemporary street art through his association with other writers and art collectives.  Using both spray paint and brushes, his work merges photography with graffiti style.  The encoded poetry in his signature text works are written in both Spanish and English, and  the graphic style writing is based on the Latin alphabet. His work is lyrical, sensual and poetic and can be seen on the streets as well as in galleries and museums.

KENNY SCHARF (b. 1958) Scharf is an American painter who was an important part of the 1980s East Village art scene in New York.Scharf’s psychadelic pop works often include elements from popular culture such as fast food, and cartoons like The Jetsons and the Flinstones, set within made up science-related backgrounds. Scharf is both an active street artist and embraced by galleries and museums. Scharf was included in the 1985 Whitney Biennial.

SHINIQUE SMITH (b.1972) Shinique Smith was born and raised in Baltimore where she discovered an interest in street art. She usesa variety of materials in works such as fabric, found materials, collage and video. Her works resonate with personal recollections of a possible former owner. In this way she is creating pieces that feel like portraits by using found paraphernalia. Her works are inspired by abstract expressionism, Japanese calligraphy, Nikki Giovanni, poetry, hip-hop, street art and our culture’s obsession with consumption and waste.

On December 15, 2010, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opens a unique luxury resort with a fresh perspective overlooking the heart of The Strip directly between CityCenter and Bellagio. The resort's uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. The Cosmopolitan's luxurious resort amenities include a 100,000 square foot casino; unique and eclectic boutiques; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool experiences; Marquee Nightclub & Day Club at The Cosmopolitan, a multi-level integrated nightclub and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space.  Signature restaurants include: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg; Comme Ça by Los Angeles Chef David Myers; Estiatorio Milos, by international restaurateur Costas Spiliadis; Holstein's from Block 16 Hospitality; Jaleo and China Poblano restaurants by acclaimed Chef José Andrés; Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. by award-winning Chef Scott Conant; and popular steakhouse STK from The One Group.

Art Production Fund:  (APF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. For more information on WALLWORKS please visit www.artproductionfund.org.