Brooklyn Street Art

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Tuco Wallach: Manimals in the Back Alley and Back Yard

Posted on April 20, 2015

Who’s that Raccoon Strumming a Guitar in the Woods?

Let’s be clear, these are staged photos in an outdoor setting – similar in technique to miniature outside artists such as Joe Iurato and Isaac Cordal. In a way, one recalls the games of childhood where you projected yourself onto a toy in a fictional setting — at the wheel of a racing Matchbox car or marching around a sand castle or drowning Ken in the pool at Malibu Barbie’s Dream house.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

By positioning cast members into new circumstances and using your imagination, the directer (you) uses the natural and man-made environment as a movie or theater “set” to infer a storyline, a narrative. In this case the French street artist Tuco Wallach is also conceiving of, photographing, manipulating, painting and sculpting the characters – the result are the famed man/animal hybrids that George Bush warned us of. Their everyday non-chalance casts doubt on unreality and placing them in environments helps you to broaden your imagination and begin your story…


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Brooklyn Street Art: Let’s start with your name. Is it inspired by the character, Tuco Ramirez, masterfully played by Eli Wallach as the “Ugly” dude in Sergio Leone’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”?
Tuco: Exactly. I’m a complete fan of spaghetti westerns and especially “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – the music, the atmosphere, and the characters… Sometimes people believe that my name comes from Tuco Salamanca of Breaking Bad. Even though I like that show also, I really prefer the “loser Tuco” created by Sergio Leone.

Brooklyn Street Art: Judging from the photos of your outdoor installations they appear to be fastidiously staged and professionally lit as if they were shot on a set. Do you leave the artwork at the exact location where the photo was taken?
Tuco: I try each time to find a special spot for my cutouts, a place where the character seems to be comfortable. I like to play with the weather too: snow, sun, rain, shadows.. For the moment, I don’t leave the artwork where the picture has been taken. I really wanted at the beginning to do it, but to be honest, most times the wood shape falls to the ground after shooting it so I’ll need to improve my technique before I can do that.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Brooklyn Street Art: You are doing hybrid stencils with men and animals. What sparks your imagination, attracts you to hybrids?
Tuco: Since childhood, I always appreciated illustrations with humans and animals! And I grew up in a little village, in the countryside.  I can’t really explain it. Maybe it sounds a little cliché but I think humans are animals. I particularly like mixing humans and animals.

I believe these creatures, which I call “manimals” may cause people to pose questions about them; What are manimals doing within these urban structures? What do they think about our modern cities? Maybe they represent a wild side in that is opposition to the “concrete world” around them? Have they got a different look because of their origins? What do they imagine when watching us and what do we think when seeing them?

I suppose manimals have a universal mythological side: they represent both the good and evil, they are for everyone, children and adults, they could be seductive and disturbing … The most important thing for me is: they must surprise.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Brooklyn Street Art: What are the pros and the cons of working with small stencils wheat pasted on wood cut boards?
Tuco: I used to paint on various stuff: walls, papers, stickers. At home primarily I paint on wood, but also on maps, books… Honestly, I really like to make big drawings on walls when I have the opportunity. Each time I make large pieces, it is such a good feeling and I want to do it more!

However it is also very pleasant to make small stencils, to try to be very precise when cutting. As I said before I like painting on wood, and working with the wood shapes. I also enjoy using my jigsaw to cut the character, breathe the smell of the wood. It’s like a little challenge each time for me – don’t break the piece of wood, don’t scratch the colors, find the right place at the right moment for the picture.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think that eventually wild animals and dense cities where humans live will collide and merge with one another and it will be common to see bears, coyotes, alligators, bob cats, deer and other fauna roaming the streets of big metropolis?
Tuco: With this question, I mean when you speak about big cities, this is the dream I have every night!

As I said before, I lived an in rural area when I was a child. Sometimes when you are there you can see a deer, and each time, it is completely magic. I want to believe that one day we can really live with animals in urban areas. And I’m optimistic, for example, I spent a while in London and each day I saw foxes near a church because the priest fed them. But I have to be honest too, how will I react if I meet a bear or an alligator? For a very long time now we have been chasing animals away from cities; maybe now they need revenge!


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think that wild fauna will be called invasive species as they move into metropolitan dwellings in search of food and water? As you say, humans have been the invaders of their habitats but the tables may turn.
Tuco: Such an interesting question! Who are the invaders in fact? And who will be the future invaders?

When I draw manimals, I try to dream about cohabitation between humans and animals. For an example, when a manimal rides a skateboard, for me, he has the primitive instinct of an animal and the reflexive capacity of a human.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)

Maybe I have to put small and bigger wood shapes all around the world to support my thought: live together! With my stencils, I always use a picture I’ve taken (not necessarily the animal head, but the rest of it). Each of my drawings has a special story in my mind, a narrative. Here’s a guy wandering at the market on Sunday morning, here is a musician sitting at a street corner, a grandmother walking quietly.. Then I add an animal head to the body and it continues the story for me. It marks the duality, the union between humans and animals.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you always leave an installation behind in the cities and countries you visit?
Tuco: Yes. In most places I visit I take a homemade sticker or something else to leave a little souvenir in the street.

Most of the times, I travel with small pieces in my bag. If I can make a child smile I believe I that I win something. Just for this reason I want to continue.


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)


Tuco Wallach (photo © Tuco Wallach)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


BSA Images Of The Week: 04.19.15

Posted on April 19, 2015



Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring #dysturb, Balu, Banjo, Bifido, bunnyM, D7606, Dan Plasma, Don’t Fret, Ideal, Left Handed Wave, Martian Code Art, Mr. Prvrt, Myth, Nineta, Obey, Stay Busy, UNO, UTA, and Vers.

Top Image: UTA. Portrait of Michelle Obama. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ideal (photo © Jaime Rojo)


bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Image of a kid walking on the street with a tag on the wall, wheat-pasted on a wall on the street. Banjo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bifido “Who Eats The Worm” in Naples, Italy. (photo © Bifido)


Nineta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nineta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


D7606 has Debbie hanging on the telephone. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stay Busy by Panic & Chupa (photo © Jaime Rojo)



OBEY (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Uno in Berlin (photo © UNO)


Dysturb with saxaphone accompaniment (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dysturb (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dont Fret (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Martian Code Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Left Handed Wave (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Plasma (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vers (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. NYC Subway. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


Stikman Spring Break 2015

Posted on April 18, 2015

Spring has broken out all over New York! It’s time to go topless on the Coney Island Beach! And in front of the Bowery Wall today where Ron English is putting up more Popaganda! He’s doing more painting on top of the wheat-pasted critique of consumerism that he began yesterday.

Also it’s time to try and spot those enigmatic little stiff stick men by Stikman that have been popping up in unexpected places. How does he continuously morph himself into new shapes and yet retain his sturdy character? Have a great sunny afternoon and go see the new wall and say hi to Martha for us. Oh, and Ron too of course. xo


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!




BSA Film Friday: 04.17.15

Posted on April 17, 2015



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

Now screening :

1. Hyrtis Animates David Bowie and “Life in Mars”
2. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda. “Grounded Gratitude” Paris, France.
3. Street Art in Dunedin, New Zealand


BSA Special Feature:
Gladys Hulot, AKA Hyrtis Animates David Bowie “Life in Mars”

BSA readers will dig this animation of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” Gladys Hulot, also known as Hyrtis, brings Bowie to slink through the cracks and around the concrete underground, dripping with piercing drama, and plenty of distinctive style. The voice here is stunningly replaced with a musical saw, giving the chameleon just one more layer to his multiple identities.  Not precisely street art, but Bowie’s ties to the street are undisputed.


Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda. “Grounded Gratitude” Paris, France.

With “Grounding Gratitude” painted at the festival In Situ Art of Aubervilliers during spring 2014, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada paints Nicole Picquart, a social worker who helps people to have a better life.


Street Art in Dunedin, New Zealand

 A quick overview of the murals for Dunedin in New Zealand.


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