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A “Secret Dinner” at the Nascent UN in Berlin

Posted on February 28, 2017

Since its explosion on subway cars and in the streets of New York and Philadelphia a half century ago to the hundreds of cities into which it spread and continued to evolve within worldwide, the truly grassroots movement of Urban Art refuses to be owned by any one city or one people, insisting to make its own rules and travel wherever the creative spirit leads.

As if to underscore the global nature of the Graffiti/Street Art/ Urban Art movements, Urban Nation (UN) director Yasha Young named the origins of the guests attending last weeks “Secret Dinner” at the under-construction site of the museum that opens this fall.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN) delivers her welcoming remarks to the invited guests. A painting by Word To Mother hangs in the background. The painting was originally created for Project M/8 and curated by Stolen Space Gallery in 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You came from Spain, England, Los Angeles, New York City, China, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, every neighborhood in Berlin, from Leipzig, Munich, all across Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and last but not least, Russia,” she said standing before a large canvas by the London-based artist Word To Mother and next to Hendrik Jellema, the Chairman of Berliner Leben. After recounting the accomplishments and aspirations of the new museum to date, Young showed an animated tour, a somewhat flying birds-eye 3D view of the new museum projected on the wall for the guests.

Yasha Young, Director of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art being introduced by Mr. Hendrik Jellema Chairman at Berliner Leben. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

In two dimly lit street-level raw and cavernous rooms were mounted a number of selected canvasses from the 10 Project M shows that have been curated in the last 3 years announcing the coming museum, each directed and refined by gallerists and cultural experts of various stripes and featuring the work of over 200 artists.

Across the street and Bülowstraße here in the Schöneberg district at the temporary UN headquarters was the grand opening the PM/11 featuring 16 German artists curated by 3 experts in their respective scenes from Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg pointing to the vast and diverse urban art community here in a show called “Radius”. The show crowd there overflowed onto the sidewalk and swelled even further when dinner guests re-infused the supply of art fans.

Celebrated photographer and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the dinner. The library at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art will bear Ms. Cooper’s name and will house items and books from Ms. Cooper’s personal collection. In this photo Ms. Cooper is wearing a skirt created by the American Street Artist Buff Monster. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

With graffiti artists and street artists spread among the 4 long dinner tables a colorful mix of politicians, cultural ministers, academics, collectors, press, curators, ambassadors, philosophers, photographers, and friends shared dinner, drinks, opinions, and their respective knowledge about the scene and the aspirations of the nascent institution.

We don’t know what everybody said to each other, but we did talk about cooking for a family of five with one guest and the trade routes between South Africa and Cairo during the last century and the importance of fish in the Icelandic diet with another.

Case Maclaim dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive roster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Young burst in the room mid-dinner, as she’s wont to do, with a microphone to show a video series of 4 street art projects showcasing artists engaged with community projects, rather dispersing the often-indulged perception that all graffiti and Street Art is transgressive and illegal.

Of course a lot of the good stuff is, but most artists possess additional dimensions outside these simplistic descriptors, including an interest in helping others. Artists featured included Norwegian Martin Watson, the German duo Herakut, and the German now Brooklyn-based twins HowNosm.

A Daleast dinner plate. Each invited guest went back home with a gift of a special edition of one plate created exclusively for the occasion by an impressive rooster of international artists. One hundred plates were created by almost one hundred artists. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And so now the UN buzz has begun in earnest, with a steady run toward the opening doors of the Museum and significant involvement of international and local contingents of participants in the new institution. If anyone pretends to know how it will all look inside and outside on opening day or the months that follow, they are brave and fantastic in their willingness to prophesy. We say that because despite the much-heralded organizational skills of this land, and they are amazing, you can be sure that a vibrant and alive contemporary scene like this will continue to surprise us.

During the dinner a few films were presented to introduce a new series still under development. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

A general view of one of the two rooms where guests sat for dinner. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

Posted on February 27, 2017

You may not realize upon first glance through the series of modular white walled temporary gallery rooms, but this fine art on display all has origins in street practice.

Over the past long weekend Madrid’s Urvanity fair at The Palacio Neptuno showcased a sweeping cross-selection of crisply framed names – many of which are being identified as Street Artists en route to “Contemporary Artists”.

Banksy. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Hung at eye level, carefully spaced, and illuminated under tracked lighting, the studio work of nearly 70 Graffiti/Street/Urban artists went on this weekend in one of the first fairs dedicated entirely to this evermore emerging category.

With fresh works from artists like JonOne, Fin DAC, Pixelpancho, Miss Van, Jef Aérosol, Sixe Art, L Atlas, Stikki Peaches, and Ben Eine, it is a mostly Eurocentric roster of galleries you’ve come to know in the last decade or so from places like Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Zurich, London, among others, and of course Madrid. Under the direction of Sergio Sancho, an advertising professional who has worked with major global brands, the fair calls the works on display New Contemporary Art and the program includes a companion mural campaign in Madrid streets featuring Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, PREF, MESA and Mohammed Lghacham.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

While receiving increasing support from serious press, museums, auctions, and festivals over the last decade and a half, it has been a great challenge for both commercial/social and historical/academic scholarship to agree on a moniker for these combined movements and makers – one that fairly encompasses the myriad motivations, styles of expression and intersecting cultures that have evolved from a half century of art on the streets.

Pro 176 . L’Atlas. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

With the inauguration of the Urvanity Mahou Talks Program during the fair, featuring again the artist Ben Eine and cultural curator Cedar Lewisohn, this topic and many more that continue to be raised can be examined and discussed in meaningful ways. At BSA we are finding that our participation in these panels, presentations, and discussions as well as being in the audience has furthered our understanding and appreciation for this natural and growing desire of scholarship.

The Urvanity program of conferences, debates and presentations here collect artists, curators and cultural managers with these purposes in mind and naturally will help collectors and fans contemplate these artists at the fair and better appreciate the bridge between the street and the fine art presented here. A strong first showing, you can expect to see Urvanity back again next year.

An outdoor mural from the Urvanity Instagram page. “We are excited to be able to be painting incredible murals in #Madrid. This one is by @oiterone on Calle de la Cebada!”

Miss Van . Peca. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Tilt . Moses & Taps. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Nano4814. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Vermibus . Jordan Seiler . OX. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sixe Paredes . Suso33 Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

D*Face . Jason Woodside . Felipe Pantone . Pref . Okuda. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sergio Sancho and the Urvanity team outside the inaugural exhibition Palacio Neptuno.
Check out their Instagram here.

For more information please visit:

URVANITY
Palacio de Neptuno
Calle de Cervantes, 42. Madrid
From February 23rd 26th, 2017
www.urvanity art.com

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.26.17

Posted on February 26, 2017

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Always good to get to Berlin to see what waves of text and pattern and outrage and snark and myriad metaphor are more-or-less relentlessly rippling across buildings and empty lots. The rippling effect was swelled by 4 days of rain, which makes windows streak with rivlets and wheat-pastes peel from the top, leaning forward and down and toward their demise, often sticking to themselves, halved and horrid in the process.

Nonetheless we got a lot of work done, seeing artists, urban gallerists, and of course the labyrinthine interior of the ‘secret’ project that is no secret any longer, the five floor Berlin HAUS, a former bank building in a well trafficked part of the city that is swarmed every day and nearly every night with graffiti writers, professional painters, Street Artists, illustrators, and the like – mainly, if not entirely, Germany based artists doing elaborate installations throughout.

Also checked out the new Project M show opening this week at Urban Nation “RADIUS” curated by Boris Niehaus (JUST), Christian Hundertmark (C100 and Art of Rebellion books) & Rudolf David Klöckner (URBANSHIT). The show runs for 6 weeks and again is exclusively German in its roster including names like Case Maclaim, Dave the Chimp, Flying Förtress, Formula 76, Low BrosMadCMoses & TapsNomadPatrick Hartl & C100Rocco and his brothersSatOneSweetunoVarious & GouldZelle AsphaltkulturXOOOOX, and Hatch Sticker Museum.

Across the street in the under-construction UN museum space the scene was a “secret dinner” for 100 thrown by Director Yasha Young to stir up the buzz for the inaugural exhibit in September as well as take stock of the hundreds of artist locally and internationally who have been part of the UN before the doors even open. In attendance were artists, graffiti writers, arts writers, photographers, academics, cultural organizers, supporters, elected officials, a spare ambassador or two, all lined up to hear of few speeches, a video or two about programming – and eat off plates designed by 100 or so artists.

But the real story of course was the stuff we found on the streets – legal and illegal, a bit of dashed text and time intensive murals. Berlin doesn’t stop surprising you, and regardless of rain that completely drenched us, we didn’t care frankly.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Alaniz, Berlin Kidz, BoxiTrixi, C215, Crisp, Damien Mitchell, Dave the Chimp, Don John, Eins92, Fink 22, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, K, Missing Girls, Priznu, Rinth-WLNY, Sozl35, Telmo & Miel, and Various & Gould.

Top image: Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. Detail. In collaboration with The Haus. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Various & Gould. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. In collaboration with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dave The Chimp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alaniz and friends. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sozl35. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Priznu. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#missinggirls. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eins92. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fink 22. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rinth_WLNY. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BoxiTrixi. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We liked the composition between this Icy & Sot stencil and the Korn sticker. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crisp. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Berlin. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sixe Paredes: Future-Folk Geometry In Barcelona

Posted on February 25, 2017

The Future-Folk Geometrist named Sixe Paredes is in Madrid at Palacio Neptuno this weekend for the Urvanity commercial art fair but today we have a look at a recent large scale pared he painted for the Open Walls Conference in Barcelona recently.

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Even at this massive scale there is a handmade warmth recalling traditional craft and the people of perhaps Central and South America; dissembling and abstracting its patterns and elements and re-stitching them in an open, inviting way.

Here we give BSA readers a peak at the process of making the mural with documentation by BSA collaborator Lluis Olive Bulbena:

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Sixe Paredes. Open Walls Conference 2016. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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