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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA Film Friday: 07.31.15

Posted on July 31, 2015

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

Now screening :

1. eL Seed in London
2. Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015
3. Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser
4. Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin
5. Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

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BSA Special Feature: eL Seed in London

In town for the Shubbak Festival, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture, Parisian/Tunisian artist eL Seed creates a wall using his distinctive blending of Arabic and graffiti lettering.

Here an added dimension to his practice is revealed as you listen to a political blogger and patron describe the context of a rise in graffiti in the Middle East in the last few years. Similarly you can gain a quick appreciation for the art and the history of the Arabic calligraphic script and how eL Seed adapts it to convey a deliberate textural message as a highly ornamental mandela on a busy London street.

The site is the Village Underground and the video’s producer Mr. Cedar Lewisohn.

 

Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015

“This Street Art thing is a mountain of soft-boiled shit,” says Txakurra, the wizard-like dragon seer who admonishes the boys from Cane Morto for wasting their painting talents on mere mural making. To make amends he sends them on a mission to Lisboa where they promise to do illegal works of art and possibly, to regain their endangered souls. Let’s see a show of hands for people who can’t wait to see this movie!

 

Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser

Wall Therapy is wrapped for this session, but the videos will keep coming all through August, so keep your eyes on this space. You can also see more of the images in our piece this week for BSA and The Huffington Post

 

Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin

You read our posting when it first went up (“Face Time” with Various & Gould in Berlin) – now you can see the video!

 

Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

The troublemaking Lurkers are back with their street meat interludes, rhyming sessions at the home made studio, and drop dead gorgeous lady friends looking at you as if they wished you would drop dead.

“Sarajevo based Grime collective Lurky Wolfpack bring to you their hotly anticipated street banger ‘Eastern Block Anthem’.”

 

“Djerbahood” Book About Tunisian Open-Air Museum Of Street Art

Posted on July 30, 2015

It seems like we’ve talked to you about this great project before and undoubtedly you have heard of it, but we weren’t prepared to see the high-quality, visually succulent and densely compiled tome that arrived in the mail this spring commemorating Djerbahood.
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Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Another top rate production from the Galerie Itinerrance in Paris, the book allows you to see most of the 150 or so artists who painted in this largest island of North Africa in Tunisia. Not surprisingly, most of these artists are represented by the gallery and organizer/author Mehdi Ben Cheikh so it is by default a catalog of talents whose studio work is for sale. But this is no mere sales catalog, Fatimah.

With more than 500 photographs and text in French and English that details the history of the project and village over 288 pages, this hard cover introduces you to artists you have never heard of from across the spectrum of graffiti, decorative arts, illustration, street art, and muralism. We found that a Saturday morning with this book and a cup of coffee will absorb your mind and imagination, giving you a sense of the place and the people who live there as well.

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ROA. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bom.K . Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexis Diaz. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art by Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Published by Editions Albin Michel. Paris, 2015.

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

Posted on July 29, 2015

Surreal is the way the world is portrayed across all of our devices today.

It may be the shrinking staff and budgets of newsrooms who are veering ever closer to the sensational or simply the yellow journalism and the PR-planted hyperbole that is rushing to fill the vacuum, but the presentation of our own world is becoming outlandish.

Orwell could have seen this time when war is described as a peace effort, oligarchy is called democracy, and Reality TV is anything but. Combined with rapid technological developments that produce outcomes previously only imagined, we may feel like our grip on the genuine is definitely loosening somewhat.

So fitting it is that a mid-sized US city hosts a mural festival celebrating the surreal and the fantastic in 2015.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali, and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In partnership and as a cultural exchange with Berlin’s Urban Nation (UN) this year, Wall\Therapy 2015 curated this selection of international and local street artists who bring doorways and mirrors for you to step through.

We were glad to be there in person this year and relieved to see that this largely homespun venture continues to be strong and community-minded despite the very hard work that it requires to pull it off. In the face of a rapidly commercializing Street Art festival scene, not only is the grassroots rather refreshing, it is a bit surreal.

Without doubt it is fantastic.

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Brittany Williams. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto . Maxx242. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Classic graffiti style from NYC’s Daze has always contained elements of surreality. In his three walls he sampled even more styles.”So I used a lot of influences – photo-realistic, almost cubist, there is some lettering, window panes as metaphor. I was also thinking about fabric and the way it folds, and it turned into water,” he says. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta: I’ve been doing a lot of collage as my source material – birds, abstract plant shapes, and the galaxy painted over.
BSA: She’s like an earth mother, or universal mother
Vexta: She is every woman.

 

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund’s mural features his superhero vexed by a stone in his boot. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andreas Englund. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew’s Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni created a whale inside an ice whale. “We usually work with themes about the balance between humans and nature,” says Togni, “In this situation we wanted to do a piece about the balance between the elements.”  Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NeverCrew. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“She is sort of a goddess of East meets West,” says Amsterdam’s Handiedan. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nate Hodge. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A highly detailed original sketch that is culled from photographs and their own staging of a model in boots, Onur and Wes21 spent many long hours into a few nights to complete their wall.
Onur: It is more of a scene than a classical mural. The wall is perfect for something like this.
BSA: So it is nature taking a bite out of its aggressor
Onur: Yes, kind of. That’s not bad. We have a sign that says beware of beaver crossing. The animals are a metaphor for something else and we are always looking for stuff like this when we are on the streets.

 

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Onur . Wes21. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jason Wilder Courtesy of WallTherapy)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Li-Hill. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We knew we had a week and we thought ‘what can we accomplish?’” says Rochester local Matt Roberts on a break from his wall with Joe Guy Allard.  “I do monsters all the time and Joe does those robots. It’s a big old fight scene. I mean, who doesn’t want destruction, some mahem? I grew up on Godzilla movies and Ultraman, stuff like that.  Just a lot of B-horror. I’m really into it. The new Godzilla movie is like my Crème Brulee.”

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matt Roberts . Joe Guy. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eder Muniz. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE) Wall Therapy 2015. Rochester, NY (photo © @MarkDeffPhoto Courtesy of Wall Therapy)

 

Our deep gratitude to the Wall\Therapy Family; Ian Wilson and Erich Lehman for their invitation to participate at this edition, and to Yasha Young, director of Urban Nation and this year’s co-curator. To the artists for sharing their talent with us in such a public and generous way. To all of the volunteers including Jason Barber and Maureen Malone for their sincere dedication and attention to detail and to the production team for making certain we all had what we needed and for making our job far easier. To the photographers for sharing their work with us throughout the process. To Jonathan Binstock, Director of the Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Rochester for hosting our BSA Film Friday Live event and to Meg Colombo and Mike Besaw at MAG for helping us with everything we asked for and then more. To the city of Rochester.

Click HERE to learn more about WALL THERAPY

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Skount “To Be Or Not To Be”, Sarah Bernhardt & James Lafayette

Posted on July 28, 2015

Skount is debating whether to be or not in this adaptation of a hundred plus year old photo of Sarah Bernhardt, who holds the court jester Yorick’s skull in hand. A grave contemplation of suicide that leads the Hamlet character to contemplate the great leveling force of death on all stations and classes, this particular depicting of Shakespeare has had a profound effect on Skount.

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Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

“This photo has always been poetic for me since I first saw it,” he says, “I see in the photo a woman with a really special life that is intense, hard, full of difficulties and now finally a satisfactory life,” he says of the James Lafayette photograph that was possibly taken at the turn of the 20th century.

“To be or not to be,” is perhaps the most noted excerpt from the play and is

also the title of Skounts’ mural for Street Meet at Mainfranken Theater in Würzburg, Germany. See below the original photograph and the artists’ initial sketch for the wall.

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Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet. (public domain, James Lafayette)

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Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

HAMLET: To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
To die, to sleep–No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished.
To die, to sleep–To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
~Shakespeare

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Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

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Skount’s original sketch for the mural (© Skount)

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Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

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