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Brooklyn Street Art

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Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

Posted on July 12, 2016

A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so.

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jens is also a local historian and cultural observer so whether we were talking about a graffiti tag, aerosol hand styles, the Fürstenzug mural of 23,000 porcelain tiles, the overflow of the Elbe River during a European flood in 2002 or the architectural subterfuge of a former cigarrete factory/mosque named Yenidze that escaped allied bombings in 1945, he proved a friendly, adept and educational host.

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Optic Ninja – a hand rendered wheat paste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We did some investigating on our own later through Dresden’s more bohemian/neglected gritty neighborhoods but that first tour clued us in to some of the magic that can be found in this city that lies only two hours south of Berlin. The multitude of skills and voices on the street added additional color to the rich conversations we were invited to contribute to by sage and storied writer, critic and chief curator Carlo McCormick. Carlo generously asked us to be a part of his vision of a “Magic City”, a constructed simulacrum and somewhat surreal streetscape with 30+ artists creating new works of many disciplines and mediums inside a former plane engine factory here, and for years we have provided a platform for this form of storytelling on BSA so it’s fantastic to bring to a theater setting here.

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Optic Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McCormick has an intense affinity for the artists and the creative spirit that rivals how extensively he is versed in the antecedents, undercurrents, and greater intellectual and cultural implications of this world that is loosely described as Street Art or Urban art. We’re honored that Carlo tapped us to create a BSA Film Program to work within this newly designed city and to expand the definitions and perceptions of freewill art in the public sphere. Likewise we are grateful to the incredibly talented and ingenious Magic City team under the leadership of Christoph Scholz for inviting us on board for this project – all of which we’ll tell you more about soon.

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“Auch das Team von Brooklyn Street Art (Steven P. Harrington und Jaime Rojo) und das Kuratorenteam um Carlo McCormick und Ethel Seno freut sich, Euch als Magic Citizens ab 1. Oktober in der Magic City in der Zeitenströmung Dresden begrüßen zu dürfen. Der Vorverkauf startet am 3. August!” #MagicCityLife  (Photo © Frank Embacher)

In the meantime, here are new images from Dresden for you along with some more information about the upcoming show.

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Frm-Kid . Otecki for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in DresdenFriedrichstadt . Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Other . Saddo for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curarted by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mono Gonzalez. Dabtar . Gregor for Time for Murals. Curated by Jens Besser and Denise Ackermann. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Graphic Surgery for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JBAK. Detail. For CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ryan Spring Dooely . Moneyless for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenor . H101 for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artourette (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A day and night diptych from Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No Name . No Game. – An “open source” roller tag repeated often and seen in many locations in Dresden. We found this one poignant because of the placement of a commercial real estate developer above it, effectively showcasing two uneasy players in the ongoing discussion about the role of art and artists in the gentrification of neighborhoods. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ZCKR Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMC . GWK . ZBG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For more check out #magiccitylife  magiccity.de

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A version of this article was also published on The Huffington Post

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