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Brooklyn Street Art

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BSA Film Friday: 09.22.17

Posted on September 22, 2017

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. This week we feature videos of installations and a tour of the “UNSTOPPABLE” exhibition by Jaime Rojo at the Urban Nation (UN) museum opening.

Now screening :
1. A BSA Tour Through the Show: “Unstoppable”
2. Pixel Pancho’s Installation for Urban Nation Museum
3. Hot Tea: “Bad Dreams pt.2” Installation for Urban Nation Museum
4. Borondo’ Installation with glass plates and moving images for Urban Nation Museum
5. Various & Gould. Mobile installation for Urban Nation Museum

A BSA Tour Through the Show: “Unstoppable” at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary in Berlin

Pixel Pancho’s Installation for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Via BSA

Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!

This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botany knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.

Hot Tea: “Bad Dreams pt.2” Installation for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Via BSA

Hot Tea had been feeling like his new work “Bad Dreams Pt. 2” for the UN Art Mile was missing something and as the plan and installation came together over a few months he realized it was missing him. A direct partner piece to the one that hangs in the museum across the street for the “UNSTOPPABLE” show, this uses the connective thread of materials and wounds to tie them together. While one piece commemorates a physical wound, the other commemorates an emotional one. Here we see Hot Tea baring everything inside his art and inside this space for the outside world to get a glimpse, and to be free.

 

Borondo. Installation with glass plates and moving images for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Via BSA

An astounding installation by Street Artist Borondo, this sculpture on the Urban Nation Art Mile under the train tracks this weekend blew the minds of many viewers for it’s scale, character, and ingenuity. Anathema to the ease of digital image-making, these three frames are composed of layers of glass, each scratched with a portion of the image and illuminated singularly in sequence to produce an animated sequence. Mesmerizing and imbued with an ethereal mysticism that often surrounds his work, Borondo is communicating something larger than simply what we see.

Various & Gould. Mobile installation for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Via BSA

Berlin based duo Various & Gould often see people as the sum of there parts, perhaps as a way to better examine our individual characteristics and question our assigned meanings to them. By playing with the physical aspects that add to identity, they reveal the happenstance of genetic assignment and demote the relative value we assign to them. The overall effect can be a gained appreciation of our universal similarities and the realization that this outside stuff is basically interchangeable.

 

The “Unstoppable” Works Inside : Looking to the Future at Urban Nation

Posted on September 21, 2017

A view inside at the inaugural exhibition of “UNSTOPPABLE” at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art, opened September 16, 2017 in Berlin.


We never doubted that this museum would open. We only hoped it would look this exceptional.

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The elevated bridge walkway that wends up and down and through and above the spaces creates so many dynamic opportunities to see and re-see art. Painted all white for this inauguration, this is the first museum of its kind dedicated to Urban Contemporary Art, and with this show the house in Berlin Schöneberg has blasted the doors open with 150 of today’s Street Artists, graffiti artists, urban artists in a spirit of celebration and recognition for their contributions to an ever changing scene.

The labels we use today to describe the artists and the art rarely fit them very well and are frequently contested, derided, embraced. With thoughtful and informed planning, programming and curatorial decisions this place will showcase the work of progenitors, superstars, and unsung heroes over time.

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A scene born in rebellion and transgression on the streets of cities around the world for a half century now morphs into studio practice and more traditionally formal visual art forms. Often courting collectors passions, gallery shows, auctions, commercializing influences, and academics’ study, we know that the roots of this movement are much more than an object to behold in a frame under good lighting. But the scene and its roots and many branches contain these things as well.

No one said this would be easy for our studied, enthusiastic, knee-deep-in-it, world traveling curatorial team and Director Yasha Young to find a perfect balance with this collection, so ultimately we just trusted each other. Our consensus of course reflects us, the next show will reflect its curators. We agreed to present relevant artists and directions catalyzed in this moment with a respect for what came before; a cross section that we know leaves many out but contains works that speak for themselves about the multitude of rivers that flow through urban streets in 2017 out here, in here.

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With 150 artists inside, 40 outside, and hundreds curated into shows and walls and festivals across continents over the last four years leading up to this, this is one look at Urban Nation. A worldwide scene that took flight and merged with every form of art-making in public space, a scene where the majority of the artists are still alive and which continues to re-shape, to re-define itself.

Pedantic, cryptic, confusing or revelatory. The most you can hope for are moments that distill it like these, helping to make sense of a movement in motion. We’re grateful that Carlo McCormick agreed to do the contextualing work of didactics in the exhibition and that Christian Omodeo is agreeing to help organize the Martha Cooper library with an eye toward archiving and scholarship.

As but two of the founding curators, we’re excited to foster the fullness of programming that teaches about the roots and the philosophies as well as the techniques of this generous Street Art/graffiti history, that invites communities to take ownership of their museum and to look forward. Along with the artist residencies offered in studios above the museum’s formal exhibition space we hope there will be room for scholars to study the materials here and to write, hold panels, publish works. Here’s to the future of Urban Nation, a place we can all learn from.

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper Library. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper Library. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper Library. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Second level. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, September 16, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Since we couldn’t possibly publish the still shots of the entire exhibition we made a video which will showcase the show in its entirety. Video via BrooklynStreetArt.com


A note of thanks:
This project took roughly five years in the making from its initial concept to opening night. We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Yasha Young the museum’s Artistic Director for her passion, for her unique commitment to the arts of the streets and for inviting us to be a part of this journey with her. Thank you to our fellow curators Marina Bortoluzzi, Marcello Pimentel, Johnathan Levine, Roland Henry, Andrew Hosner, Roland Henry, Charlotte Dutoit, Rom Levy, and D*Face a.k.a. Dean Stockton, for their insights, guidance, hard work and camaraderie.

To the Urban Nation team, those who are still a part of the team and those who have left, for their extraordinary patience, grace and endless hours working hard to help us make this dream a reality. To the production team at YES AND…productions who with their optimism and positive outlook labored tirelessly to make certain we had what we needed always. To Schrenk & Schrenk who organized all the auxiliary events and made sure we enjoyed the festivities, to Spring Brand Ideas for their assistance in the whole process, to Thomas Willemeit and Denis Hegic of GRAFT architects for such vision to showcase works and invite the visitor, and to project initiators Markus Terboven (Gewobag) and Hendrik Jellema (Berliner Leben Foundation) who have been there with us from the beginning.

To Martha Cooper for always being there and for inspiring us. Finally to all of the artists in all the venues for their talent, guts, and commitment to dig deep, take chances and to produce the best work possible for this multi-headed monster called UN.

With gratitude from Jaime and Steve.

 

Naked Decision: Hot Tea & Bad Dreams at UN Opening in Berlin

Posted on September 20, 2017

A common thread ties together two buildings and two art pieces by Street Artist HOT TEA for the grand opening of the Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin (UN); Bad Dreams. And he has decided to face them.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the few artists in the inaugural program who was asked to create an indoor piece for the main museum as well as to do an installation outside it, the Minneapolis based artist used the opportunity to face old wounds with the hope of transforming them to healing.

Perhaps the only illegal yarn-tagger on the street, HOTTEA has made a space for himself where none existed: using non-destructive materials to write his name in a rotated 3-D geometric hand on city fences. Now an accomplished yarn artist who has done his signature installations for corporate brands, museums, and even recently the Mall of America, the artist wanted to address bigger personal issues in these two settings, presenting himself naked to the world in both.

 

Hot Tea. Process Shot. Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

HOT TEA’s collage in the museum features a flat 2-D character painting, a reclined self portrait viewed from above with a series of small needles crossing it, threaded to spell the title of the piece “Bad Dreams”.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams” Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Across the Bülowstraße from the museum is a street level space viewable for passersby from multiple windows; a rainbow color-washed corner foyer hung with hundreds of white yarns in a grid hanging from ceiling to floor. One small space near the back of the ephemerous white cube is cut open, just large enough for the artist to stand sans vêtements, facing toward the glass double door, his illuminated image slowly moving as you walk the sidewalk past the installation on night-time streets.

Hot Tea. Process Shot. Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The optimistically colored installation is a surreal vision from the street for a few reasons. One is the stillness of the fleshy figure that is now activated like a Kraftwerk robot, slowly turning as you walk from window to window surveying it.

Another aspect is the seemingly shimmering box, this floating white cube that contains him, allowing you to view from many angles. The third bit of surrealism is the two boisterous and nearly hysterical sex workers who have just sauntered by the window and stop to gawk at a naked man inside a piece of art. Neither you nor they speak each other’s language, so the only connection you have is this puzzling view from the street.

Hot Tea. Process Shot. Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In both art pieces the artist as subject is void of expression, staring blankly forward and unmoving as if paralyzed, unable to act or react. The vulnerability implied is physical of course, but it is also emotional. HOT TEA considers this a very public practice that can excise private pain. This weekend in Berlin we witnessed observers closely studying each piece, perhaps attempting to decode the meanings, perhaps relating to an underlying sense of humanity within the abstraction.

“Both experiences were very traumatic and I feel these two pieces have helped me find peace,” HOT TEA tells us of the new works. BSA talked to him about the works and his approach to them.

Hot Tea. Process Shot. Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: The new pieces you created for both inside and outside the museum are related to one another and related to your personal experiences as an artist and a man. Can you talk about the pop-up installation?
HOT TEA: The two pieces are about two different events that happened in my life – which have made an impact on me for so many years. My canvas painting within the museum talks about a physical scar, where the installation talks about a mental scar.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have been refining your use of materials through many installations in ever-larger commercial, corporate and museum venues. How have you challenged yourself with yarn and color?
HOT TEA: I think an even bigger challenge than yarn and color is the actual space itself. Yarn and color come very natural to me – but sometimes when I am invited to a space it’s not one I would naturally choose.

These spaces are often hard to work in – because many times I find myself uninspired. What inspires me and gives the work life is often the process of creating the installation. The experience of the people I work with or certain events that have taken place during the time of the installation. Often times my installs are depictions of different moments in my life.

BSA: Standing naked and illuminated and partially obscured before a street audience who can peer at you from different angles on the street must have been an interesting experience. What was going through your mind? What visual associations with other artworks were you imagining?
HOT TEA: I was thinking about the experience that inspired the performance and how much I have grown emotionally since then. I also thought about my family, friends and those close to me who are no longer here.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How do you see this installation as an extension of your street practice?
HOT TEA: I don’t see this installation as an extension of my street practice. I see it’s me grieving about traumatic experiences. All my work comes from the same mind and therefore I don’t distinguish my art from commissioned work and un-commissioned work.

BSA: As a former graffiti writer with aerosol you are well aware of your transition to Street Art and now public installations. How would you describe this evolution to another writer?
HOT TEA: It’s the process of growing as a human being and adapting.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Your axonometric tagging goes across the painting that is in the museum with thread and needles rather than yarn. Is this the first time you have tagged in a museum?
HOT TEA: My name actually doesn’t go across the painting – It reads “Bad Dreams” hence the title of the piece. As for having my work in a museum – I have never been one for labels because I have been called them my entire life. I don’t agree with places or people thinking they are higher or better than someone else because of their accomplishments or monetary value. My work has just as much meaning to me, no matter what the setting may be.

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams” Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Considering Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams” Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2” Store Front Installation. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


HOT TEA was curated by the co-founders of BSA, Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo along with UN Artistic Director Yasha Young and the “UNSTOPPABLE” curatorial team for Urban Nation.


Hot Tea. “Bad Dreams pt.2 “Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 16th 2017. Video via BrooklynStreetArt.com

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Posted on September 19, 2017

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

The traveling exhibition “Magic City” curated by Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno that displays the wide range of works by todays’ interventionists now features a section devoted to sculpture including a selection of Street sculpture photography by Jaime Rojo.

Ben Frost. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Certainly when fine artists began joining the graffiti game they brought many additional techniques to the street, most of them applied to the surface of existing walls – stencils, wheat paste, rollers, for example.

Others have procured objects and attached them to the city; either creating new sculpture or replacing or adapting existing sculptures. For the public the experience may feel more intimate and evocative of the museum and gallery experience, encouraging one to regard the work from many perspectives. Naturally one would like to take selfies with them as well.

“Isn’t there a phrase, ‘Alls fair in love and war’? I feel like ‘Alls fear in love and war’,” says artist Ben Frost. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Dot Dot Dot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Franco JAZ Fasoli. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aaron Woes. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Detail. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ludo. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sheryo . The Yok. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Haroshi. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Born To Die In Berlin. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grotesk . Juxtapoz Newsstand. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Borodo. Moving Image on  glass panels. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Video by BrooklynStreetArt.com

 

 

Various & Gould. Mobile. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Video by BrooklynStreetArt.com

 

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