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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA Film Friday 12.09.16

Posted on December 9, 2016

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

Now screening :
1. Mni Wiconi: The Stand At Standing Rock
2. Just Kids x Life Is Beautiful
3. “Nemco, Three Stages”: Primaticcio
4. RFK Mural Festival 2016 from Chop Em Down Films


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Mni Wiconi: The Stand At Standing Rock

“The Mother Earth is the grandmother of everything and the water is her blood. And it is through this blood we live.”

That seems simple enough. The Native Americans who have been fighting an oil pipeline running through their sacred lands, passed graves, near fresh water; they have gained a lot of attention, although not as much as one might expect. Here is a quick overview of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies trying to stop the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline – DAPL. With their quiet and firm determination and reasoned arguments they have gained respect from many – which may explain why so many US Veterans have joined with these people to fight.

Tangentially, as is the case of most protests that are grassroots, their signage is handmade, so we thought we’d feature this political art as analogous to political street art.


Just Kids x Life Is Beautiful

A montage by Raymesh Cintron of the murals for the “Life is Beautiful” festival presented by Just Kids in downtown Las Vegas. Their 4th edition under the guidance and vision of Charlotte Dutoit, there have been 40 new street pieces in that time. This year featured installations and murals – with some of them showing true originality in concepts that faithfully reflect and update the candyflash razzle dazzle of the Las Vegas aesthetic.

Artists include Fafi, Felipe Pantone, Shepard Fairey, Tristan Eaton, Crystal Wagner, Mark Drew, Bezt (Etam Cru), Dulk, Martin Whatson, Amanda Parer, Mike Ross and Justin Favela.

“Nemco, Three Stages”: Primaticcio

Italian writer Nemco has an acrobatic flexibility that stretches and bounces back in his crisp lettering and unique ornamentation. Check him out in three open spaces this autumn knocking out a few ideas in Milan.

 

RFK Mural Festival 2016 from Chop Em Down Films

There is a discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation. Governments repress their people; and millions are trapped in poverty while the nation grows rich; and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere.

These are differing evils, but they are common works of man. They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows.

But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers; that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.”

– Bobby Kennedy, 1966

Murals at the RFK Community Schools in May 2016 by:
Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, Jeff Soto, Sam Flores, Hueman, David Flores, Greg Mike, Curiot, Mad Steez, Cyrcle, Andrew Hem, Mear One, Risk, Yoskay Yamamoto. James Bullough, Beau Stanton, Hebru Brantley, Hush, Charlie Edmiston, Colette Miller, Rob Hill, Dallas Clayton, Clinton Bopp, James Haunt, Jonas Never, Josh Everhorn, Baker’s Son, Jose Maradiaga-Andrade, Paige Smith

 

Flying Squirrels and Houston Toads : Louis Masai in Texas and Tennessee

Posted on December 8, 2016

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Austin, Texas

Austin is proud to plead, “Keep Austin Weird.” Street Artist Louis Masai felt like his recent visit to that Texas city was not the only part of the US that one could call weird – it was actually a place to seek refuge.

“After the introduction to Chump and his band of merry men for the next 4 years we definitely saw a massive change in the energy of the areas we were driving through,” he says of his post-election leg of a cross-country trip.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

He’s probably just feeling that brotherly hate that spiked across the US when the primarily white supporters of Donald Trump asserted their vindictiveness and power across the country, registering in a rise of hate crimes, according to this chart from Forbes magazine by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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But here in Austin his “Art of Beeing” tour brought this topic of Houston Toads and their shrinking numbers to the wall in this city that is rich in arts and music and a bit more of that “live and let live” mentality.

The Amphibians Survival Alliance (www.amphibians.org) says that the decreasing population of these toads is only at 3-4,000 in Houston and Bastrop County and if these are killed off by drought, fire ants, disappearing habitat – they will become extinct.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

And on his wall, Louis says about his Austin experience, “I guess the attraction is the abundance of frats and bar culture in the area. I got to know a handful of these homeless folks over the five days this mural took to complete and I can definitely see that the new mural in their neighborhood gave them some new color and appreciation in their lives. Several vowed to protect its longevity, bless them.”

Will he come back to all this weirdness?

Yes, he tells us. “This wall was painted in conjunction with Global Wildlife Conservation. These guys were amazing and I look forward to working with them again soon.”

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

 

Nashville, Tennessee

Later the “Art of Beeing” tour travelled to Tennessee and Louis continued to experience some of that southern hospitality, and a few questions about the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel. He also was surprised to endure some cold temperatures.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“I don’t think I have ever experienced such a difference in temperature. from 26 degrees (79 F) in Austin to 2 degrees (36 F) in Nashville. Thank you Ecoalf for those jackets, for without them our team surely would have not made this wall happen,” he says.

The Nashville Walls Project has brought artists like Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Above, Herakut, and Rone to the city and now Louis added his work to the collection

“I have joined a roster of some of the worlds’ best mural artists and I feel humbled to be a part of this project.,” he says. “Nashville is an up and coming city, experiencing a boom in new residents, again more gentrification is weeping into the city and prices are soaring, apparently about 85 new residents move in a week.”

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“The wall that I painted shadows a section of the city that I am sure will get pushed out. Men hang out on the street not doing much; we met a cowboy inspired gentleman that was proud to admit to eating gopher tortoise – a federally protected species. He said he had three in his freezer…he grew up eating what they hunted, from squirrels to rabbits and tortoise. Hopefully my line of work can help to steer people away from eating these species.”

Did Louis change this fellers’ mind? “I think this guy might be too late to inspire.”

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

But you can help to save one of the rarest species – the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel, which has been found in North Carolina, east Tennessee, and southwest Virginia. There doesn’t appear to be a specific species trust but you can support the Tennessee Wildlife Federation to protect all local wildlife.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

 

Click http://louismasai.com/projects/the-art-of-beeing/ to learn more about the project.

 

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Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

Posted on December 7, 2016

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An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both.

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1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls.

International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake.

Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence mixed with plaid, shot-callers and violins, strollers and stillettos, an undertone of aggression and sexual tension, salt-of-the-earth with self-admiring clubbers, perfect skin and aerosol painted hands, a whiff of weed and a sense of wonder waiting to be discovered.

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Audrey Kawasaki at The Hotel. Goldman Global Arts. South Beach. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there was a parade of 40 or so citizens and activists carrying signs and handing out flyers down the street to protest the oil pipelines taking sacred lands from native tribes and polluting natural water supplies, the thousands of art fans flooding the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami would have been hard pressed to find any Street Art talking about those topics.

Ironically the political shockwaves this year in Miami seemed to emanate from behind doors at the fair with Sam Durant’s “End White Supremacy” piece that many interpreted as a direct response to the election of a president whose followers include radical organizations that champion white supremacy. Alas, the piece was made in 2008, and although its hand-style emulates the hit and run scrawl of some graffiti on the street, it was a thoughtfully executed piece constructed as an illuminated sign.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With one very notable exception, the enormous and frightful mural featuring Donald Trump as Heath Ledger’s Joker wielding a knife at the neck of the Statue of Liberty with the screaming headline “Come On… What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?” by 12 artists for The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Arts Project, the professionalization of Street Artists and their murals may be steering the paintings in Wynwood away from in-your-face activism.

Granted, no one is thinking that commercially branded ventures that actually pay artists to paint will encourage the outright expression of social or political opinions – that may challenge or frighten potential customers and investors. Hotel lobbies need murals, sport cars need decorative painting, beer cans need labels. A number of liquor and lifestyle companies have invited artists here over the last few years and paid them to make their special events and products visually appealing, but little else.

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David Choe portrait of Martha Cooper and her cat Mélia. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The newly refurbished Hard Rock stadium a few miles north of Miami features huge mural installations by international Street Artists that are curated by Goldman Global Arts, a division of Goldman Properties, the same real estate organization that has brought artists from around the world to the Wynwood Walls compound and featured their fine art canvasses in gallery expositions since the late 2000s. The pieces are opus works in an unusual setting and now sports fans are going to be up close and personal with some of the bigger names in Street Art right now.

It would be hypocritical for anyone to expect that these artists should accept commercial work and yet disrespect guidelines about the content. Similarly, expecting artists not to seek commercial opportunities for fear of “selling out” is arrogant and unrealistic and often the convenient provenance of privileged youth who dabble in “slumming” as a rebellious lifestyle. Later they are bankers.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even so, where’s the anger right now? Why didn’t you see a lot of furious diatribes, challenges to power, and mockery of small-minded thinking on the street in Wynwood – and what would it take for Street Art to embrace its power to affect social and political change?

Just posing the question here now, again – as the topics of impending fascism, the increasing acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, corruption, oligarchy, state-corporatism, and a systematic eroding of respect for our institutions – all came up in conversations at bars, art openings, panel discussions, and roof parties.

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Okuda. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The murals you see here are often technically superb and their themes, while muted, may address some of the larger themes affecting society, but one wonders if there is an internalized censorship that we have accepted.

These images are admittedly of a modest percentage of the hundreds of legal murals and illegally dashed-off pieces we saw this week, but that’s only because we have edited for our individual aesthetics, not because of content. Also admittedly, as people in the arts, we are exhausted from the recent election and all it portends, and we were happy for some glorious eye candy to salve the psychic wounds – so maybe we were selectively seeing what we wanted to.

Probably not too much though.

For an art practice with some serious and proud roots in activism, the walls in Miami are curiously quiet. But they definitely look amazing.

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Pixel Pancho. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Findac. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faith 47. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martin Whatson. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. June. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © INO)

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Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hueman. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jen Stark. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II. Uninhibited Festival 2016. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Peeta. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf. Work in progress. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


 Our week’s coverage on BSA:

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

You’ll Need Good Shoes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 3

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 6


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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Finland’s Formidable Multi-City “UPEA” Mural Festival

Posted on December 6, 2016

Finland joined the mural festival fray with some astounding and complex murals for UPEA this autumn. Created simultaneously in different cities, the festival soars with a large scale and with big international talents.

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Guido Van Helten from Australia painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

Wisely, they included Finnish artists who are prominent on the local Street Art scene as well and carefully curated the murals to have longevity.

For being their first edition, UPEA16 already claims that it is the biggest street art event in Finland. Of course, they mean “mural event” as true Street Art does not seek permission and is not commissioned, rather it is done illegally. But we know what they meant.

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Guido Van Helten from Australia. Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

UPEA16 artists and cities featured are Italian Tellas (in Helsinki), Swedish duo Graffitisthlm (in Helsinki), Australian artist Guido van Helten (in Helsinki), Bulgarian duo Arsek & Erase (in Turku), Swedish artist Ola Kalnins (in Riihimäki), Indonesian artist WD (in Kemi), U.S. artist Andrew Hem (in Vaasa) and Finnish artists Kim Somervuori and Teemu Mäenpää (in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna).

Learn more about UPEA by clicking here.

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia painting in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia painting in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Tellas from Italy painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Tellas from Italy in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Arsek & Erase from Bulgaria painting in Turku. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Arsek & Erase from Bulgaria painting in Turku. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland painting in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Graffitisthlm a duo from Sweden painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Graffitisthlm a duo from Sweden in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA painting in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA painting in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Ola Kalnins from Sweden painting in Riihimäki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

 

 

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