February was a frigid month and many people fought furious snow storms in their part of the county. Fortunately, we at AM had a chance to warm you up with some hot stories on your computers. As usual, the staff picked some of the juiciest stories of the month in another edition of Second Helpings.

Get served after the jump…

Sleepboy recommends:

1) David Choe Studio Visit

One of the highlights of last month was paying a visit to the mercurial and always entertaining David Choe at his SF satellite studio as he was preparing for his upcoming show FIFTY24SF. Seeing such talented artists at work is always a pleasure and we would definitely suggest checking out “Character Assassination” (covered) before it closes at the end of the month.

2) Colin & Sas Christian Interview

AM was honored to have the opportunity to conduct an interview with the talented husband and wife duo of Colin and Sas Christian ahead of the opening of their show at Opera Gallery in London. “Inner Space”, which we covered here, was somewhat of a homecoming for the two artists and was one of the standout shows last month.

3) Faile & Bast Exhibition at Lazarides

Renowned New York street artists Faile and Bast came together to put on a unique exhibition at Lazarides (Greek Street) entitled the “Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade”. The immersive installation and show featured arcade machines with signature Faile and Bast artwork and custom games as the centerpiece with the entire gallery space decked out in their characteristic pasteups. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a concurrent 10-year retrospective Faile show at the Laz Rathbone location (covered).

Khoi recommends:

1) Damien Hirst – “End of an Era” @ Gagosian Gallery (Madison Avenue)

The most talked-about contemporary artist in the world, Damien Hirst, opened a milestone show at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Ave last month. One important aspect of the show lies in the retirement of some of his most well-known series, such as the Spot, Spin, and Butterfly Paintings. This could hopefully spur creativity in the artist, who has recently been criticized throughout the art world.

2) Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair 2010

As one of the largest contemporary art markets in the world, Los Angeles is missing a few key ingredients in their quest for legitimacy, such as major contemporary art auctions, prominent collectors, local publication, and important art fairs. With the inaugural Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair, the City of Angels is hoping to succeed in one of those areas and prove that it can hang with New York and London. The 2010 edition was a success. Here’s hoping it continues…

3) Giacometti’s “Walking Man I” Sculpture Sells at Sotheby’s for Record $104.3M

There is still more pessimism than optimism in the art market and so when a major sale like this is witnessed, it does much to raise spirits. Masterpieces rarely show up for sale publicly. When something as important as this piece shows up at auction, you know the number uttered after the hammer falls is going to be astronomical. When the market booms again, you can bet this will be mentioned as a turning point.

Juggernut3 recommends:

1) Video: Banksy – “Lights, Camera, Banksy” Stencil & Interview & Banksy – “Exit Through the Gift Shop” Lambeth Palace Special Screening

Sir Banksy has been very busy this year getting in the sights of Hollywood. With the long rumored film finally making it’s debut in London, he pulled no punches when it came to premiering the documentary in his home country. Utilizing an underground tunnel under Waterloo station, he painted a red carpet for guests to experience his epic “Exit Through The Gift Shop“. Following up on that achievement, Banksy took time to “officially” interview for the UK’s The Sunday Times Magazine. After last year’s hoax interview, he went the extra mile to create an original stencil for the cover of the issue.

2) Openings: Shaquille O’Neal – “Size DOES Matters” @ Flag Art Foundation

When we first heard that Shaquille O’Neal was going to curate an art show in NYC, we honestly didn’t know what to expect. But sometimes seeing is believing and we were pleasantly surprise to see the big curator put together a top notch showing of some of the art world’s most recognized artists. The coolest thing is that this show runs until May 27th, so anyone who makes the effort to check it out will probably have a chance before summer comes.

3) Openings: Tomokazu Matsuyama – “In Case You’re Lost” @ Frey Norris

Tomokazu “Matsu” Matsuyama completes his East meets West vision for shows on both coasts with his recent opening at San Francisco’s Frey Norris, which included creating a second world class sculpture to complement his iconic “Wherever I am” sculpture at the Joshua Liner Gallery showing last year. We immediately took note that Matsu’s work had evolved to another level and it’s fun to imagine what the future holds for this brilliant young artist.

AM Editor recommends:

1) Streets: Love Letter – Steve “ESPO ICY” Powers

Philadelphia’s prodigal son Steve “ESPO” Powers returned to his hometown and uses his prodigious skills to transform 20 blocks along the city’s elevated train line with one of the most impressive and endearing street art projects we’ve ever seen. As a bonus, AM also got to stop by for a studio visit.

Tat Ito

2) Openings: Ito/Kurata/Lansdowne @ Joshua Liner Gallery

We had been anticipating this show for a long time, and when it finally came, we were not at all disappointed. Tat Ito (featured) and Hiro Kurata’s (featured) “From Kojiki to Modern Heroism” paired two very different young Japanese artists whose works are each heavily influenced by the West but still hold aspects of traditional Japanese art. Tristram Lansdowne (interviewed) showed a strong new collection of watercolors portraying urban environments created from elements he found in reality combined with those out of his imagination.

Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons

3) Weekend Chelsea Art Walk, Parts 1 and 2

We took advantage of a beautiful weekend day to stroll around Chelsea and survey the best of what NYC galleries had to offer. There was so much amazing painting, photography and sculpture, that we couldn’t fit it into one post.