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Five Locs

Five Locs is a brand new urban streetwear brand based in Atlanta. Yet another independent purveyor of original gear, the Five Locs logo features a silhoutted dome-piece with some gnarly dreads jutting out. The bold emblem is the chest design of their inaugural line of T-shirts, which keep it simple and come in black, white and green. Speaking of inaugural, the brand has its own Obama tee, boasting some ill artwork and the slogan “400 Years in the Making”. They’ve come through with a great initial concept and a dope site to go with it. We’ll surely be keeping an eye on these guys and awaiting new gear, soon to come.

Upper Playground's 'Thank You' Sale

We’ve been loving up Upper Playground at JS for years. From T-shirts and hoodies, to sneakers and skateboards, UP has consistently created apparel and accessories that fuse urban fashions and fine art. Last year was a banner year for the company and and its FIFTY24 gallery. A couple of personal highlights included Jeremy Fish’s Ghosts of the Barbary Coast solo show and UP’s line of artist-rendered Barack Obama posters. This year is off to a killer start with Alex Pardee’s Letters From Digested Children solo show, upcoming toys and compelling collaborations.

In honor of their tenth anniversary, Upper Playground’s first ever “thank you” sale begins today. The sale is good for 50% off on everything in stock at their retail stores and website. With clothes, hats, books and toys by Sam Flores, Jeremy Fish, Estevan Oriol, David Choe and Alex Pardee, there’s never a better time to stretch your dollar. Upper Playground is open 24/7 on the www and has stores and galleries in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, New York and London.

Krudmart 4.0

Krudmart has always packed some pretty ill gear, and the new site makes it way easier to find stuff you want within their catalogue. Simply select any category, price, size, color, or brand and you get a list of results narrowed down to your specifications. No more finding what you want and then realizing they don’t have it in your size. They just got a bunch of new arrivals from 10 Deep that look pretty sick. Check it out at krudmart.com.

SpY

We’ve covered a few urban reinvention projects, Guerrilla Gardening and Aakash Nihalani come to mind. Madrid street artist SpY has been making the Spanish laugh with is comical, ironic works involving surreal extensions of what we find commonplace. A basketball net 50 feet high, escaping signs, graffiti for the blind, balloon bouquets for cows, and his tasteful redecoration of statues are all part of SpY’s vision of how the world should be. He is the kind of artist you want to come to your city because he just makes things fun. The good news is he’s traveling — a couple projects in London and China — so keep your eyes peeled for anything that makes you laugh. To be a little more specific check out his works on the newly launched website, SpY.

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SpearTalks: Doodles

According to some, the streets are at a crossroads. Not long ago, the art covering the bricks and blank spaces of the city was more likely to get you in trouble than in Christie's, but today's take leans more towards halos than handcuffs. This shift can partially be attributed to the quality of today's work (and the hype that surrounds it) but also, strangely enough, to the financial opportunities that have arisen within graffiti. No matter the game, the rules change when money and fame join the party — and they've certainly started to party with street art.

In order to suss out if these fears had a foundation, we decided to take a sit with Doodles, a 20-year-old out of the Bay Area who we consider a member of the "˜new school' of street artists. He also happens to be in school, adding another interesting element to our interview. Say hello to the future of graf art, readers — it's looking good.

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JR x 28 Millimetres: WOMEN

If you are in London over the next two months you have to go see JR’s exhibition 28 Millimetres: Women at Lazarides Gallery.This is JR’s first solo show, which might lead you to think he is a ‘rising star’. Maybe he is a little, but most rising stars haven’t had the Tate Modern put one of your images up the side of their building. His work with the Tate and around the world as a street artist involves blowing pictures up and plastering them on walls. Which leads us to his exhibition at Lazarides. JR has always tried to focus on those things that go unnoticed, but shouldn’t. Spending time in Rio de Janerio he became confronted with troubling stories of women being overlooked spite being victims of some serious crimes. His response was to plaster photos of the eyes of these woman across the buildings in Rio. Have a closer look at the image above and you can see sets of eyes asking for help and looking out for one another. The exhibition at Lazarides Greek Street and Charing Cross location. The really cool thing is that the two galleries are linked together by some of JR’s large scale street art work. The exhibition begins today and runs through November 14th.

Vitamin x Urban Gnomes

Our blog-friends over at core77 did a great job of covering London’s Design Festival while we were traveling, but we want to tell you about about the existance of Urban Gnomes making their debut at the festival. Vitamin Living has taken the gnome out of the flowerbed and put them in the city. As many of our readers will know, life is rough on the street (and pricy, as these gnomes are £50), but these little guys are more adept at the hussle than your traditional red hat and white fuffy beard gnome. Have a look at the Vitamin’s online store.

Skate Obsession Book

Earlier this year we told you about a high-profile Brazilian skate art exhibit called Expo Skate Obsession at Maze Skate Shop that brought together the most known names in the discipline into one building. The project went so well that a book chronicling the participating artists and groundbreaking show was just released this week. Partnering with Adidas, the it was sold at the big price of free (how’s that for democracy!) at the launch party. I was totally flattered to be asked to participate as translator of the artist biographies, and I’m super impressed with how well the slick, hardcover book came out, especially with the design and well-executed photos (shot by skate legend and Cemporcento Brazilian skate mag editor Alexandre Vianna). If you just gotta have this book, I’m confident if you beg and plead to Maze they might be convinced to send you one of these skate must-haves if you offer up shipping costs.

Larver

Urban environments are a hotbed of inspiration. Everything from the alleys to the buildings and the walls can stimulate the need to create. It’s these typical city elements, as well as the discarded consumer ones such as garbage and other found stuffs, that influence Larver (a.k.a. Martin Bochicchio). The Madrid-based designer whose professional experience ranges from textile and graphic design to art direction, utilizes a variety of means including spray, mixed media, digital, photography, illustration and collage to create his unique paeans to the beauty inherent in the metropolitan scenery. We recommend checking out his website for a glimpse into his killer aesthetic .

DPM x Penfield: Make Love, Not War

Camouflage means two things: potential military aggression or you’re going buck hunting. However, the new DPM Spring/Summer ’08 line from Penfield is neither. The New England outdoor apparel experts have collaborated with camouflage specialist Maharishi to create a design that accentuates its “natural roots and artistic influences,” instead of guns and ammo. At the heart of the collection is a pattern adapted from the 1950′s era “Belgian brushstroke.” Previously associated with the elite troop units, this particular pattern is replaced with feathers to depict the “lightness” of the Penfield brand. Odds are if you see someone walking down the street with feathery camouflage they’re probably ready to make love, not war.

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