Did anyone see BIKES@MARKS at First Friday last week? Wow, it was incredible. The Arts at Marks Garage art shows never disappoint and I have to say this is one of the more remarkable shows I’ve seen. It displays tons of different styles of bikes including BMX, fixed-gear, low-rider and historical bikes. The exhibit, in conjunction with KVIBE and The Kickstandof Kaimuki, runs through Sept. 29 and includes bike paintings, photographs, films, races, games and parties. Yep, bike parties! This weekend is the Cycle Cinema Series event. Ride over for food, films, a bike valet, bike market and, of course, many like-minded individuals. The custom bikes are what really caught my eye last First Friday as I hopped around everywhere to see what was going on.
They reminded me of one of our Pow Wow Hawaii artists, Samuel Rodruigez. His design studio Shorty Fatz is in a custom bike shop in San Jose where he spent years doing his artwork and creating cool custom bike frames with his partner Matthew Rodruigez. With a BFA in illustration and many public art projects in the Bay Area under his belt, Samuel is one of many artists that made the transition from graffiti to fine art. Of the 30 or so artists in town from all over the world during the Pow Wow, Samuel was one of my favorites with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, obviously so excited to get out there and start painting. One of the more notable pieces is the fragmented face on the outdoor shed at Fresh Cafe. His solo show at Loft in Space opens on Sept. 20, involving what he calls “fractioning”, and according to Loft in Space’s website, his new stuff explores the idea of people as walking “melting pots”, something we in Hawaii can certainly relate to.
This past Saturday the guys at Spells Hawaii put on another brain-blowing show, packing hundreds into the newly renovated warehouse at Fresh Cafe. I knew very little about the show’s headliner, TOKiMONSTA, and listening to her music all day on Spotify was no preparation for what went down during her live set. But since I, like many, have already started to trust Ken Selders’s taste and vision with his events, I knew I was in for a wickedly cool visual and aural experience. I felt like I was in a city I’ve never even partied in. It was so refreshing to be there, air thick from a uniquely experimental, yet surprisingly gangster set clattering everyone’s bones, while so many other rising club atmospheres in Honolulu blast only dance and hip hop music or a mesh thereof. She expertly blended a wide range of artists like The Weeknd, Rich Boy and A$ap Rocky as well as her own melodic electronica. At one point I felt like she was reading my mind, leading each track exactly where I wanted it to go. The crowd response was incredibly positive, too, because she seriously nailed it. Flying Lotus nailed it when he signed her to his label. I can’t wait to see what’s next from Spells.