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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA Film Friday: 11.21.14

Posted on November 21, 2014

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. We Don’t Need More Rats: The Clandestine White-washing of 5Pointz
2. DISTORT by Element Tree and Art Primo
3. HOT TEA “UUGGHH”

BSA Special Feature: We Don’t Need More Rats: The Clandestine White-washing of 5Pointz

Hard to believe it has been a year since 5Pointz was buffed, and yet the shock to many has gradually sunk in. Almost a year to the day, we give you this personal remembrance through the eyes of a hometown filmmaker named P. J. Monsanto. With interviews with a few of the artists who had a close association with the graffiti holy place and some helpful backgrounding detail, Monsanto gives you a sense of the shock many felt the morning after the white-wash. Big Ups to P.J. for putting together this piece of New York’s collective history.

 

DISTORT by Element Tree and Art Primo

Distort takes his time on this roof burner captured on a sunny afternoon in New Jersey by Element Tree and Art Primo.

 

HOT TEA “UUGGHH”

You saw it first here! Hot Tea shares with BSA his latest installation and his commentary on the loss of an iconic building for that renegade brand of painting that New York is known for. This family owned building on Bowery and Spring in Soho that is one of the last spots in Manhattan for graff and Street Artists to hit up has been sold – for millions. For most Street Artists the allure of Manhattan has long since died, but every last bite of the Gentrification Monster has been a moment to pause, to consider the mall-ification of a vibrant downtown culture and a city once full of wild wonder and to say, “UUGGHH”.

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Fighting Prohibition with MTO In Lexington, KY

Posted on November 20, 2014

“The Bluegrass State” is probably one of the first things you think of when you hear about Kentucky. Also bourbon, horse racing, and college basketball.  And Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

Nope, street art and graffiti don’t spring to mind.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

Well gird your loins; How & Nosm, ROA, and Kobra all have big pieces here in Lexington. So does Phlegm, Gaia, and now MTO (though barely, we’ll get to that in a minute). The point is, these are well known and regarded artists from the street art scene globally, and each is still on the rise professionally.

Spearheaded by John and Jessica Winters, gallerists and the co-founders of a mural and cultural program called PRHBTN, about a dozen international artists and a number of local ones have been putting up work on walls here since 2011. While it’s not the free-range illegal sort of graffitti and is mostly comprised of legal murals, the room for expression is great and the program undeniably brings a lot of life to the city, engendering a lot of discussion between neighbors and people on the street.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

“We don’t necessarily have a particular vision aside from the idea of continuing to bringing amazing artists to Lexington, for them to create art on our walls,” say John and Jessica in a recent interview with Christine Huskisson in a local cultural arts website named UM (Under Main). In fact their desire to not intrude on the creative vision of the artist may have spurred some neighborhood conflict with the newest addition by MTO.

The enormous piece MTO did upset some of the neighbors and community leaders because the hands and fingers of the figure reminded them of something they might have seen on TV dramas. Before you knew it, there was a “controversy” about gang signs and discussions about whether it would draw unsavory types to the area.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

You know – gangs! Here! Soon! According to the folks at PRHBTN, the majority of the businesses and community responses they had were supportive, but a few vocal concerns lead the narrative for awhile. They also say they sought all the necessary permissions to put the art up on private property. Some say the criticisms are about personal tastes, but it may also reek of deeper prejudices.

MTO has triggered this sort of response in the past, and we’ve published a piece about a Floridian community response to his work that was startlingly similar. Here again it looks like he has provoked a subconscious reaction that is very telling about the “discomfort” that perfectly nice folks can’t quite put their finger on.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

In reality, MTO is just spelling out his initials, silly. Of course he is poking the monkey by putting himself (or someone) behind bars – and the aspirator ads to the scary mask effect.”I finished the biggest mural I ever did in Kentucky,” he says, “The controversy started when I was just starting to sketch on the wall.” He explains the particulars and doesn’t really mind the discussions his art has started, and is pleased with his wall overall.

Along with a video he has just released, the back story is now told – or at least a colorful fictional version of it. Taking his tip from the Winter’s program name, he tells an winding tale about Prohibition that drunkenly mixes real life and metaphor. The guy makes interesting film/videos too, by the way.

Its guaranteed that you will not predict the end of this tale – and it probably isn’t over.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

 

 

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Additional stories about the issues that some took, and some rode, with this new mural by MTO.
http://www.wtvq.com/story/d/story/new-lexington-mural-draws-complaints/12600/BmTuJfXCxE-TS6y7UXajLw
http://www.kentucky.com/2014/10/24/3498530_manchester-street-mural-raises.html?sp=/99/322/&rh=1
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=547713198705900
http://www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/this-mural-painted-on-the-james-pepper-warehouse-on-manchester-street-appears-to-be-someone-in-jail-flashing-hand-signs/
http://www.billwarnerpi.com/2012/01/fast-life-gang-sign-mural-on-tube-dude.html

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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As Street Art Turns to Public Art in Barcelona

Posted on November 19, 2014

Spain’s Second Largest City Hosts “Open Walls”

A popular city for Street Art in the early-2000s that attracted artists from across Europe and elsewhere to its intimate doorways and darkened small streets, Barcelona has become less inviting to illegal painting in recent years due to an organized campaign to contain the freewheeling art and convert it into a respectable city to shop in. Like many cities now engaging the talent if not the transgression of this generation of renegade artists, there are other ways now appearing to help artists get up on walls. 

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Madsteez. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

In October Difusor, a non-profit cultural association that works with the city, businesses, and the artists mounted Open Walls, a conference and mural program for four days that included installations/interventions, workshops and lectures from an international roster.

Included among the speakers were Todd W. Bressi from City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, mural conservator Will Shank and Leon Cullinane from Nuart. Artist represented were people like Escif, Alexis Diaz, Pastel, Joao Lelo, 310 / Stepan Krasnov, M-City and Madsteez.

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Madsteez. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

The resulting mix is wide reaching and good quality, and just when the palette is becoming too subdued and the geometry possibly municipal the wild acid royal canine court by Madsteez parries forth in a line kicking formation. Not everything is rainbows and butterflies; of note are the swarming drones by the Polish M-City, their insect-like bodies clustered madly together in a cloud of all-seeing killers in the sky.

For an “approved” roster of works the variety of styles represents what is happening as modern and contemporary art movements gain currency in the public art eye. Also, you can still check out plenty of illegal spots nearby and Barcelona still is popping with possibility if you know where to look for one of Miss Van’s ladies, or maybe even an old C215 or Faile one-color stencil.

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Madsteez. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Escif. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Escif. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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SPOGO. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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SPOGO. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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SPOGO. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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M-City. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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M-City. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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M-City. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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M-City. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Alexis Diaz . Pastel. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Alexis Diaz . Pastel. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Alexis Diaz . Pastel. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Alexis Diaz . Pastel. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Joao Lelo. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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Joao Lelo.,Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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310/Stepan Krasnov. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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310/Stepan Krasnov. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

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310/Stepan Krasnov. Open Walls Conference 2014. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Fernando Alcalá)

For more information on Open Walls in Barcelona, please click HERE.

Our special thanks to Nerea Rubio from Difusor for her expert help.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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