Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Posted on January 17, 2017

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Mike Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

The image itself is of a scary/reassuring Mahākāla – is a deity common to Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism which contains layers of meaning and is full of symbolism referring to the mystical, spiritual, and allegorical matters.

Among the challenges of wheat-pasting the fiery god piece was an ongoing sense of light vertigo from climbing, walking, and balancing on a bamboo constructed scaffolding, not to mention the difficulty of securing art materials.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

With a goal of re-imagining how technology and art can be utilized to create social transformation and economic independence in challenging  communities, the organizers of DisasterHack say they are building a flexible network of humanitarians who can use their technical skills to hack human solutions in developing societies.

With that in mind, you know that while this new wheat-pasted art may be just a piece of art to some, to others it is a reverent reminder of a cultures history and a sign of hope for the future.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

We spoke with Julien about his experience bringing this localized historical art work to the community who they may never see it otherwise.

Brooklyn Street Art: How was your experience in Kathmandu?
Julien de Casabianca: It was great meetings with Matt from DisasterHack and making an incredible project in a crazy country where everything is so difficult, long, painful; and where almost everyone has been in some kind of deep personal pain since the earthquake happened. We pasted it on a Artudio building where they have children’s art workshops and from up on the scaffolding we could see all of Kathmandu, a hurting city.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

BSA: How was the experience on the bamboo scaffolding? Bamboo is about the strongest material there is but still it requires a bit of trust in the people who build the scaffolding no?
JC: It’s scary yes, just totally flexible under your feet! Even though we added some security fence and safety harnesses, you still feel in like your equilibrium is being questioned all the time.

BSA: What were you doing in Katmandu besides putting up this enormous piece?
JC: I was in Katmandu just to paste this monumental piece. I had pasted in India a few weeks before and I wanted to give a gift to DisasterHack because of the good work they do – they have many art and technology programs for kids. They even are working on designing and building prosthetic limbs for disabled children using 3D printers. They’ve done an incredible job in Nepal since the terrible earthquake.

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

BSA: What is the meaning of the piece? Is it based on a classic painting that was housed in a museum in Nepal?
JC: As always, I use traditional local paintings that are found in museums. In Kathmandu the museum was closed because of the earthquake, so I found it on the web. The

Mahākāla is a sort of god, a guardian, protector, even though he has a scary body and face. I don’t know a lot about it; I asked some priests from the temples and monasteries all around if it was ok to paste this giant Mahākāla in front of Swayambunath temple, which build at the start of 5th century. They were so enthusiastic, happy and grateful. They told us that the Mahākāla has

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

The 3 eyes symbolize his understanding of past, present and future. They said that his crown of skulls represent the five poisoned disappointments; anger, desire, ignorance, jealousy, and pride – but all are transformed by wisdom.

BSA: Do you know who originally painted it and when?
JC: We don’t know, nobody does. But most likely it was painted sometime between 7 and 15 centuries ago!

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)


Martin Luther King Day : “This is no time for apathy or complacency.”

Posted on January 16, 2017

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

― Martin Luther King Jr. , April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, New York

Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

As we remember Dr. Martin Luther king and his legacy, we are reminded that each of us has to consider seriously our individual and collective roles as a part of the equation and to fight for what is right, and good, and just, and fair for every man and woman. May his words above inspire us to keep the fight alive and to seize this moment to disempower oppression and tyranny at their first steps, not their 10th or 20th steps.

Here are some pieces of Street Art that honor the words and deeds of Dr. King.

The Dude Company. Martin Luther King Jr. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Luther King Jr. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blanco. Martin Luther King Jr. in Mongolia. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Luther King Jr. by Air3. This is a part of a larger mural in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rep. John Lewis was honored on the streets of Atlanta with this large mural by Sean Schwab for The Loss Prevention collective. Painted in the same community where Dr. King was raised, the mural depicts The Honorable Mr. Lewis for his work as a civil rights leader to end legalized racial discrimination and segregation. He was also the youngest speaker at the March On Washington in 1963. Mr. Lewis currently serves in The United States Congress representing Georgia’s 5th District since 1987. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Loss Prevention. John Lewis. March On Washington. August 28, 1963. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.15.17

Posted on January 15, 2017

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015A lot of Street Art went up this week and a lot of serious crap went down on the national stage.

We’re seeing politically themed Street Art appearing up all over the city right now, and some of it is here in our round up – addressing myriad topics, all related to the administration that will take seat before the next Images of the Week.  Sometimes it is defiant, other times despondent. Can’t speak to cities where Trump was overwhelmingly favored. Maybe there is Street Art in Kings County, Texas that is celebrating the end of healthcare, hooray!  Certainly the new big wall along the border is going to need some murals and wheatpastes. We’ll see as soon as the wall pops up there next week.

Many in the more formalized “art world” are advocating a cultural boycott of the planned inauguration on Friday and Hyperallergic is compiling a Running List of New York Galleries and Nonprofits Closing on Friday.

The street scene of course is less organized, mainly because membership in the Street Art club is open to anyone and there are no gatekeepers or frosty gallery assistants to sneer, persuade or dissuade. The street never asked for permission to make (or not) and display (or not) art and other personal aesthetic missives, and it will continue to make its own rules no doubt.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Cost, Dain, Hater, JustOne, Kristen Liu Wong, Loomit, Myth, Stray Ones, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Tats Cru.

First image above: Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kristen Liu-Wong for #artinadplaces (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit. Detail. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit. Detail. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hater (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#NoFascistUSA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#ArtistsforPoliticalSanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#ArtistsforPoliticalSanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

…we ALL are indeed! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tats Cru . Cost (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JustOne for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. LES. New York City. January 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Audubon Birds Of Broadway

Posted on January 14, 2017

Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.

~ Nina Simone

ATM. Williamson’s Sapsucker for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

192 species of birds are seen in Central Park regularly, says the NYC Audubon Society, thanks to “New York City’s position along the Atlantic ‘flyway,’ a major avian migration route, and its variety of habitat types, the metropolitan area is rich in bird diversity,” says the Museum of Natural History.

ATM. Red-face Warbler for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Since 2014 the streets of New York have also become home to many painted birds as well. In the Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan where founder and artist John James Audubon lived in the 1840s after publishing his major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), there is a growing series of paintings on roll down gates by Street Artists, graffiti artists, studio artists, and muralists depicting bird species that are in danger thanks climate change and to us humans.

ATM. Townsend’s Warbler for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Audubon Mural Project combines the efforts of art gallerist Avi Gitler of Gitler &_____ Gallery and The Audubon Society and 50+ artists over the last 2 years or so and gradually this area is becoming a bird sanctuary. The birds are painted mostly along Broadway but many more painted birds can be found from 135th Street to 165th Street on the Upper West Side. Many of the birds are painted on gates so when the shops are open, the gates are up and bird sighting is off…so go early in the morning or when the shops close.

Mary Lacy. Pinyon Jay for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hitnes. Fish Crow for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LNY. Swallow-tailed Kite (and others) for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

James Alicea. American Redstart for The Audubon Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


To learn more about The Audubon Mural Project click HERE


Here is a recent story from PBS about the project. Unfortunately, many artists names are not mentioned in the story, a typical unfortunate oversight by the press for artists whose work is on the streets and not inside galleries or museums. Nonetheless, the story gives valuable  information and context.

The artist ATM in profile for his new installations just completed this autumn.

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