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Brooklyn Street Art

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“HAD” Collective: “Silence” Stirs Memories Of War in Bosnian Town

Posted on February 10, 2016

Some walls in Visoko still bear the pock marked patterns of bullets from the Bosnian War just over two decades ago. These newly battered walls bring back portraits of its victims.

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HAD Collective. “Silence” Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. January 2016. (photo ©  Ilhana Babic)

Using handheld electric jackhammers and circular saws to chip away at the façade in a manner similar to that popularized in recent years by the Portuguese Street Artist Vhils, the Bosnian artist collective HAD has created a series of images in a public park that commemorates war victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a focus on the Srebrenica genocide.

The wall portraits may take on additional meaning this week just as a convicted Srebrenica war criminal has been announced as dead in prison at The Hague. The polarized nature of the reactions to news of his death, including those calling him brave and honorable, is reflected in the reception that these artists received from passersby while they chiseled the concrete into anguished faces for their project called “Silence”.

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HAD Collective. “Silence” Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. January 2016. (photo ©  Ilhana Babic)

“Once they started working on carving the images into the wall, they faced objections from their fellow citizens,” says Josie Timms of Index On Censorship.  Assembled images from the artist’s own research, the figures are not necessarily of people well known, but still provoked strong emotions. “People were disgusted with what they saw, and many approached the artists while they were working, expressing their disapproval of having such images shoved in their faces.”

The three young artists of HAD – architect Muhamed “Hamo” Beslagic, fine artist Anel Lepic and street artist Damir Sarac – reportedly all worked for free and they say that “Silence” is intended as an activist act aimed at breaking a lulling censorship that they feel has taken over the topic in the years since the end of the war. Some passersby agree with that view and gave them encouragement, even thanked them for their work.

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HAD Collective. “Silence” Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. January 2016. (photo ©  Ilhana Babic)

“This really is a labor of love and hate, life and death, a story that needed to be told,” says freelance writer and photographer Ilhana Babic, who calls Visoko her hometown and who shares her photos of the walls here. “With every blow of the hammer into the wall, a piece of the past is removed to reveal the future. This art, through struggle, epitomizes the cultural and political landscape that these works come from. Here HAD shows a picture of the present to the world because the social, economic and political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is bizarre and no one wants to admit it – nor to feel responsible for it. It’s like they’re seeking help, answers.”

Babic describes her impression of the project this way, “They want to stop the silence that has happened in the recent past so they carved the real images of Bosniak victims from that period into this 35 meter long wall. The wall is portioned into frames and the columns are also used to display the number of the victims (8,372). Each frame has its individual story but together they all silently scream to remind people of those who were silenced in Srebrenica.”

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HAD Collective. “Silence” Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. January 2016. (photo ©  Ilhana Babic)

Perhaps because the new public work is painfully controversial, the artists steered clear of potentially contentious verbiage when unveiling it to an audience. “The opening ceremony was held without an opening speech, without applause. HAD decided to open it in complete silence, with a peaceful walk in order to pay their respect to the victims once more,” says Babic.

The newly drilled and hand hammered images are partly sculptural, partly memorial mural.  With these images “Silence” may not necessarily provide a salve on the wounds of war. Regardless of the viewers’ political position the effect of these sorrowful figures is difficult at best, deeply disturbing at worst.

One wonders how challenging work like this will fare in a public space, and for how long. While graffiti writers and street artists worldwide will tell you that they know their work in the public sphere is temporary, ethereal, will this same expectation apply to this new series of portraits by HAD?

Possibly the works have already served their purpose because they have caused the reopening of conversations that have been almost coercively quieted. Babic tells us, “Each frame has its individual story but together they all silently scream to remind people of those who were silenced in Srebrenica.”

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HAD Collective. “Silence” Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. January 2016. (photo ©  Ilhana Babic)

 

For more information about HAD and their projects and exhibitions visit www.hadartwork.com

 

 

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This article was also published in The Huffington Post

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Borondo and Agostino Iacurci at St+ART India 2016

Posted on February 9, 2016

St+art India is coming on strongly this year with their Delhi festival of Street Artists and related talents meeting at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) and creating works on shipping containers. A walk-through installation that uses 100 shipping containers as canvasses and sculpture, approximately 25 national and international artists are painting here during the month of February.

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Borondo for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

Included in this years’ program are assorted walls in the newly created Lodhi Arts District which lies between Khanna Market and Meherchand Market. Now back in Rome, Italy after their visit to the ongoing events, Lorenzo Gallitto and Giorgio Base of Blind Eye Factory tell us, “India was incredible! We really enjoyed it! “

The guys also share with BSA readers these fresh new exclusive photos of walls by their countrymen, Agostino Iacurci and Gonzalo Borondo. Distinctly different styles, they are two of the real talents on the scene whose work we continue to keep our eye on.

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Borondo for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Borondo for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

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Agostino Iacurci for St+ART India 2016. New Delhi, India. (photo © BlindEyeFactory)

 

Our most sincere thanks to BSA Contributors Lorenzo and Giorgio at BlindEyeFactory.com for sharing their photos with BSA readers. Stay tuned for a full photo essay of this year’s edition of St+ART India with more photos from these gentlemen.

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New Kashink, Swiz, and Stesi in Paris for “Art Azoï”

Posted on February 8, 2016

The Paris based cultural project named Art Azoï brings emerging and established Street Artists and contemporary artists to develop mural ideas on public walls – and has been doing it for about five years. They have a few programs of permanent and rotating murals and endeavor to initiate exhibitions and workshops for the artists to more closely interact with the community in the area of Paris that they operate in.

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Kashink at Centre d’animation Ken Saro Wiwa in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

Today we have a look at three new artist installations that are facilitated by Art Azoï. Our special thanks to photographer Alex Parrish for sharing images from this project with BSA readers

First we see that Kashink was on the terrace of the “centre d’animation Ken Saro Wiwa” with one of her signature poppy four-eyed monsters with a feminine prowess. Yo, “protect ya neck!”

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Kashink at Centre d’animation Ken Saro Wiwa in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Alex Parrish)

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Kashink at Centre d’animation Ken Saro Wiwa in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Alex Parrish)

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Kashink at Centre d’animation Ken Saro Wiwa in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Alex Parrish)

Swiz brought his geometry to this long wall located on the busy rue de Ménilmontant, a wall that has been previously hit by Sunset, RERO, Ella&Pitr and Augustine Kofie.

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Swiz at Pavillon Carré de Baudouin  in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

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Swiz at Pavillon Carré de Baudouin  in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

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Swiz at Pavillon Carré de Baudouin  in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Alex Parrish)

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Swiz at Pavillon Carré de Baudouin  in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Alex Parrish)

Stesi was invited to begin the 2016 program in January with his piece on the 40 meter long surface along Rue des Pyrénées, located in the 20th arrondisement. He uses his signature abstract style and stippling spray technique that recalls some graffiti letter forms as well as more organic ones.

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Stesi at Square Henri-Karcher in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

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Stesi at Square Henri-Karcher in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

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Stesi at Square Henri-Karcher in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

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Stesi at Square Henri-Karcher in Paris for Art Azoï. January 2016. (photo © Michel Jean-Théodore)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.07.16

Posted on February 7, 2016

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 92, Alice Mizrachi, Bifido, Dubois Does Not Speak French, El Sol 25, Futura, Jick, JR, Klops, Rubin415, Specter, and Tara McPherson.

Our top image: Tara McPherson is not usually someone whose work you see on the street but here it is… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tara McPherson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown or is this mural an advert? Actually, the latter. The Guggenheim uses this ten-point motivational sign to advertise the restrospective of Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. According to the artists the original sign was found in a factory in Thailand. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter advert take over on the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter does an abstract billboard take over in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter billboard take over in Dayton, Ohio. (photo © Specter)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Klops for The Bushwick Collective illuminates the concentration of 90% of the media in the hands of 6 companies. In 1983 there were 50. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bifido in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

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Bifido in Italy creates this surrealist animation with flying garbage. (photo © Bifido)

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Dubois DNSF (full name Dubois Does Not Speak French) for Top To Bottom in L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The sky poem along the top reads: That Morning / Everything / Remember? / Made of SKY / The hardpress of Avenues / Your hands / My day a checklist mingling with a cosmos / We have been in love / Since the invention of gazing at stars / I still whisper “We one day / will have to party”/

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Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jick for Top To Bottom in L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi for Top To Bottom in L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura dissed. This is Futura’s Houston/Bowery wall in Manhattan which we published as he was painting it. Honestly! Actually, now that you see the choice of black on grey and white on black, you may even say this is a collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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92. Apparently in fact there is no respect; Neither for the masters nor for the emerging artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Playground. Brooklyn, NY. February 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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