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Brooklyn Street Art

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DETROIT: Murals In The Market. Dispatch 1

Posted on September 19, 2016

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This week BSA is in Detroit with our hosts 1XRun for the Murals in the Market festival they are hosting with 50+ artists from various countries and disciplines and creative trajectories. In a city trying to rise from the economic and post-industrial ashes it is often the dynamic grassroots energy and vision of artists that sets the tone for how the community evolves.

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A Detroit lion taking form thanks to Atlanta’s Greg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This market place is known for its local based foods and community based Detroit roots. We’re getting rides in cars at the moment – it is Detroit after all – but the best way to see the murals is on foot. Of course you may discover that there are some cutty little behind the scenes organic graffiti and Street Art spots too and this city has a lot of those as well.

Also, football fans – an ocean of them having “tailgate” parties in parking lots not far from the stadium before, during, and after the actual game. An organic practice born from the counter culture with hippies and rock bands back in the 60s and 70s, the “tailgating” of today is full-blown commodified excess with tents, chairs, flatscreen TVs, and beer. Lots of beer.

The wiley, quirky artists painting walls in the Eastern Market were inundated yesterday with these fans in team jerseys looking for parking spots and mural fans following maps and snapping pictures, and guys asking for a loosie or a light. Between the clubs/cafes, the sports fans, motorcyclists, custom bike tours, and pop-up djs hanging with the artists-the neighborhood was thumping with and aural menagerie of classic rock, funkadelic, hip-hop, and many slices of dance/techno throughout the day into the night.

Here a just a few of the artists at work whom we caught in the late summer Detroit sun.

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Greg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Greg Mike is getting to work on the facade of a factory-like abandoned, now refurbishing, building that is jammed with organic graffiti inside. He came from a design background and says he grew up loving old-school cartoons like Ren & Stimpy and 1960s Disney characters. “All of that stuff inspires me and I like to mix it up and kind of mash them together,” he says.

Aside from being the symbol of the Detroit football team, the lion figures into his piece because it reminds him of his iconic personal character “Larry Loudmouth”.

“The lion is the loudest animal in the kingdom … I have him speaking the language of love because it is all about living life loud but being positive with the message of love – not just being angry, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of angry people out here.”

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Gregg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Mike at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sheryo at work on a tattoo inside The Yok and Sheryo’s Ping Pong Auto Shack” at the headquarters. That girl is a machine! Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Valencia-based, Buenos Aires-born Felipe Pantone is knocking out a lateral slice of optic/ hallucinatory muralage in the heart of the Market across the street from Patch Whisky and Ghost Head’s new piece.

He usually works on walls that are taller and thinner perhaps, but he says he’s throwing himself into it by assessing it’s character and shape and creating a new mural in the moment.

“Yeah I’m used to working with every kind of format.
Every time you have to think of something specifically for the work. I didn’t bring anything from home – I saw the wall and sat across the street and looked at it for a while so I made this design that hopefully works.”

Is he a little unsure of how it is going to work, but he’s not worried about it.

“Uncertainty is the very essence of romance,” he says here on the sidewalk that is broken up and erupting. “That’s Oscar Wilde don’t give me the credit! But even when you don’t know what’s happening that still is what makes it fun.”

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Mr. Jago at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Jago is collaborating with Xenz on a wall and the music on this block it loud – a guy with a big grey beard and big belly just rode past blasting Foghat’s “Slow Ride,” effectively cancelling all conversation and even thoughts for a minute. Mr. Jago is himself nursing a sore shoulder, torso, head, and broken glasses from an unfortunate spill off a motorcycle recently. He moves limberly nonetheless, and keeps backing up into the traffic jam on the street, standing between cars to get some distance on his emerging composition.

“We’re going to slowly build it up I think and to add more of each other’s signature colors so they Marry,” he says of the celestial miasma emerging from the wall. He says that he and Xenz will begin with two large separate characters. “We will surround them with this sort of universe of gases and floating islands and his signature of insects and birds and make it a kind of nice place that doesn’t exist in this world.”

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Pat Perry’s mural in progress. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Detroits’ Pat Perry is taking a huge wall to address a huge issue bigger than Detroit, yet firmly rooted in its history as a car producing capital of the oil-burning 20th century. Even though it was trade agreements that turned much of this city into a shadow of that former muscular self, Perry is also looking hopefully to the end of the fossil-fuel age which is represented here by a marching band that reaches and arc and then declines.

“It’s like a timeline of the end of one chapter a humorous last celebration of the oil age,” he says.” This is kind of a look into the eight ball of the futuristic city of Detroit”

An illustrator for magazines and online publications, he says he is really a painter who has been doing a lot of landscapes lately. Painting with aerosol is not usual for him.

“I kind of don’t like the look of spray paint and I’m trying to make it feel more painterly I think if I had endless time I would try to make this all bucket paint. But I’m learning to work with this medium – like doing the big areas with bucket paint and doing small areas with line work but trying not to have the line look so huge and thick.”

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Patch Whisky at work on his mural. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Patch Whisky fashions. Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m from Charleston South Carolina and my buddy ghost beard lives up here so I’ve been coming here for some years now,” says Patch Whisky as we stand under a temporary tent on the street by his wall to hide from the midday sun.

His second year at Murals in the Market, Patch says the two are college buddies from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh 16 years ago and they have always had affinities for similar cultural references.

“Stylistically we are both cartoon dudes and we grew up watching those Bugs Bunny cartoons – so we both come from the same love of those characters that we grew up with.”

How would he describe his work?

“Colorful, playful, whimsical, creepy, silly.”

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Murals In The Market – 1XRUN-Detroit-September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

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