March 2015

Young New Yorkers – A Preview of the Auction Benefitting NYC Youth

Young New Yorkers – A Preview of the Auction Benefitting NYC Youth

Don’t miss this cool auction of work by many of today’s Street Artists on the New York scene, and some other folks you might have heard of!  Young New Yorkers works with 16 and 17 year-old kids who have been caught in the criminal justice system, giving them a second chance. This is your opportunity to support this non-profit organization that is doing good work for your neighbors and our neighborhoods and to add art to your collection.

Here are some brand new shots of pieces that will be available. For a full listing and to bid on the auction progress online, click here on Paddle8.


Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Barnard, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Young New Yorkers about the event and their programs. We asked her to explain how the programs work.

“Art exercises in our programs are collapsed with restorative justice exercises and they give our participants a way of exploring the impact of their choices while empowering them to make wiser ones in the future. We work with photography, video, collage and illustration. More importantly, in the second half of the program art allows our participant’s to step into their own leadership and self expression,” she explains.

As the participants explore their creativity, they also examine it through a greater lens. “They explore a social issue that is important to them and develop a public art project around that. This is then presented at the final exhibition – one which the criminal court judges, acting district attorneys, social workers and other members of the criminal justice system, attend. It’s a way for everyone to re-meet our extraordinary participants as more than just their rap sheets. So in this way we use art to meet our main goal; which is to empower our young New Yorkers to transform the criminal justice system through their own creative voices.”

Here are some of the pieces that will be up for auction on April 1st.


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Obey . LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mata Ruda (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, LNY and Mata Ruda collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Faring Purth (photo © Jaime Rojo)


CB23 . Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)


COST (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cosbe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Case Ma’Claim (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Young New Yorkers provides arts-based programming to court-involved young people. The criminal court gives eligible defendants—all of whom are 16- and 17-year-olds and who in New York are tried as adults—the option to participate in Young New Yorkers rather than do jail time, community service, and have a lifelong criminal record. With the ultimate goal of empowering participants to transform the criminal justice system through their own creative voices, all of YNY’s programs culminate with a public exhibition where members of the Criminal Justice System are invited to re-meet the graduates as creative and empowered individuals. In most cases, upon successful completion of the program, the participants’ cases are sealed; so far, 100% of participants have graduated from YNY’s programs.

We look forward to seeing you at Joseph Gross Gallery on April 1 for the Silent Art Auction. Get your advance tickets for only $35 here.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Young-New-Yorkers-Fairey-Mar-AUCTION_with names

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FAILE & BÄST Come to Brooklyn Museum This July

FAILE & BÄST Come to Brooklyn Museum This July

FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds

BSA is pleased to announce this great event for fans of Brooklyn Street Artists FAILE as the Brooklyn Museum once again shows vision and unequivocal support for the artists who have made the streets of this city a foundational part of the contemporary Street Art scene. They will be showing both their TEMPLE and their DELUXX FLUXX ARCADE, a collaboration with another important player on New York streets, BÄST.

Both FAILE & BÄST hold important roles in the development of the scene on the streets and it is great to see a major cultural institution such as The Brooklyn Museum give such an important honor to them.

From the Press Release

Brooklyn Museum Presents FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, Including Two Major Installations by FAILE; Exhibition to Open July 10, 2015

The Brooklyn Museum will present

FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, including two major installations by FAILE, collaboration between the Brooklyn-based artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, from July 10 through October 4, 2015. The exhibition includes Temple and The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade–two immersive environments that invite visitors to engage actively with the work, prompting viewers to ask questions about their relationship to consumer culture, religious traditions, and the urban environment.


Since 1999, McNeil and Miller have created multimedia installations, large-scale paintings, and sculptures that blur the lines between fine art, street art, and popular culture. The exhibition unites The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade and Temple, both from 2010, alongside new paintings and sculptures that highlight FAILE’s evolving practice. Drawing on a long art-historical tradition of appropriation, both as an homage to their sources and as subversions of stereotypes, these works are inspired by material as varied as American quilts, folk art, Native American art, religious architecture, pulp magazines of the mid-twentieth century, comic books, sci-fi movie posters, adult entertainment advertisements, and storefront typography.

The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, created in collaboration with the Brooklyn artist Bäst, is an interactive installation that includes retrofitted video games, pinball machines, and foosball tables that are simultaneously sculptures and functioning games. A nostalgic nod to video arcades as well as to punk rock and graffiti culture, this is the fifth iteration of the project and the first time it will be installed in a museum context, following earlier versions in London, New York, Miami, and Edinburgh. Featuring the artists’ signature characters and imagery, these programmed games are twists on classic examples such as wrestling matches, road races, water-based challenges, tile-matching puzzles, and audio-visual manipulations.

FAILE’s Temple, originally installed in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon for the Portugal Arte 10 Festival, is reminiscent of religious architecture that has fallen into ruin. Temple is fabricated with components such as iron gating, ceramic relief work, and painted ceramics. Measuring 16½ feet high by 28¾ feet long by 16 feet wide, Temple will be installed in the Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, a large rotunda space. The life-size work features FAILE’s customized prayer wheels inspired by Tibetan Buddhist structures, vernacular imagery culled from Brooklyn streets, and popular-culture sources. The interior imagery of Native American figures, borrowed from mid-twentieth-century movie and comic book sources, imagines a reaction against commercial development and consumer greed with a return to traditional values. Blurring the boundary between art and architecture, Temple amplifies the fluid integration of visual culture and the built environment in FAILE’s art.

For this exhibition, the artists have also created several new works. Among them are two triptychs, both mural-size paintings created in their “ripped canvas” style. Inspired by the gritty, worn layering of street posters, these canvases, with their surface gaps, simultaneously reveal and conceal subject and meaning.

FAILE is the Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil (born in 1975 in Edmonton, Alberta) and Patrick Miller (born in 1976 in Minneapolis, Minnesota). After meeting as teenagers in Arizona, they attended Northern Arizona University. They later both studied graphic design–Miller at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and McNeil at Fashion Institute of Technology. In the late 1990s, the duo reconnected and joined with Aiko Nakagawa (born in 1975 in Tokyo, Japan) to form FAILE: the name is an anagram of their first project, A Life. In 2006, Nakagawa began making work on her own as “Lady Aiko,” while McNeil and Miller continued pushing the limits of their imagery. They have since worked in a wide range of materials and styles and are best known for their prints, paintings, and mixed-media installations, which have been presented in numerous solo exhibitions. They have also completed major commissions for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series (2013); and for the Mongolian Arts Council, in UlaanBaatar, Mongolia (2012); as well the Houston and Bowery Mural, New York (2011); and the first commissioned mural on the building façade of Tate Modern, London (2008). Inspired by the visual tapestry of their Brooklyn environs, their work is characterized by a vibrant weaving of abstraction, mass culture, and commercial typography.

Bäst has been creating work for the past decade, both on the street and for gallery exhibitions. His work borrows from a range of popular-culture references and incorporates collage elements, often resulting in seemingly whimsical characters that reveal more menacing layers.

FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds is organized by Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director of Exhibitions and Collections Management, Brooklyn Museum.

This exhibition is supported by Allouche Gallery, The Dean Collection, and Geoff Hargadon and Patricia LaValley.

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Sunday Morning Wheat Pasting with Various & Gould

Sunday Morning Wheat Pasting with Various & Gould

The best cure for jet lag is to jump on a bicycle and weave through the streets trolling Street Artists while they work. At least, that was the theory two hours after we landed early on a Sunday morning in Berlin, and Various and Gould agreed to lead the tour!


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With eyes a bit bleary and balance rather suspect, our intrepid photographer happily trailed the friendly duo who took him to see THE WALL as well as many other more scrappy, hidden, dodgy walls to shoot images of. They even watched in bemusement as he got assistance from a random passerby to hoist him atop an electrical box to get his shot. Dude always gets his shot.


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Naturally they brought wheat paste in their backpacks, and a few newly painted pieces to smack up. For those of you familiar with the mix-n-match limbs, torsos, and heads that V&G have used previously, you can see that the innovative experimenters have evolved their collage style to something new. It’s exactly the same, but completely different.


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’ll also notice that all these pieces are going up in broad daylight – Berlin is very chill about street art, no joke. Judging by the zillions of people who you see posing for pictures with the art all over the city, they seem to like it.

Our very special thanks to Various and Gould for their hospitality.


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Various & Gould. Berlin. March 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!


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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.15


BSA again proudly shouts out Young New Yorkers this week as they offer you works by many Street Artists on the scene today at auction. Check out the auction on April 1st of some of New Yorks’ finest (and generous) Street Artists whose work will benefit the programs of “restorative justice” which YNY offers to 16 and 17 year olds in NYC who have become entangled with the law. (Video at bottom)

Also our hearts go to the neighbors who lost homes and were hurt (some very badly) in the explosion and fire that destroyed two buildings on the Lower East Side this week. Meme-making selfies by callous bimbos aside, stories of strangers and neighbors reaching out to help out remind us why we love NYC.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring B.D.White, City Kitty, Claw Money, Enzo Sarto, Hot Tea, Jeff Soto, Philippe Vignal, Rhino, Sbagliato, Sobr, Stikman, Tona, Urban Solid, and VK .

Top Image >>Urban Solid on Berlin’s East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


City Kitty bidding farewell to his prominent spot on the soon to be renovated Maisel building on the Bowery. Photographer Jay Maisel paid 102K in 1966 for the former Germania Bank building built in 1898. He sold it last year to developer Aby Rosen for 55 million. True story. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rhino Berlin on Berlin’s East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sobr in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sbagliato in London. In case you were wondering the art is the passageway on the left. That’s not real. It is an optical illusion created with a photograph wheat-pasted on the wall. (photo © Blind Eye Factory)


These bars in Berlin provide a number of great image making opportunities – like this pooch from Tona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Claw Money (photo © Jaime Rojo)


VK in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Philippe Vignal in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hot Tea gets fancy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jeff Soto in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Which is more flammable, the EU crisis or this polyester dress? Various Artists on a “magnet wall” in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


B.D. White (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Let the right one in. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



BSA 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!



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Hitnes Hits Piazza San Basilio for SANBA in Italy

Hitnes Hits Piazza San Basilio for SANBA in Italy

Sanba is a program engaging the built public environment of suburban Rome with the aesthetics of the modern Street Art and muralism movement. For the last two years under the curation of Simone Pallotta, Sanba has found new locations for painting in the public sphere and engage in the cultural and civic building senses as well, with a goal toward engaging community. The large facades painted by international artists are not just a “Street Art event”, hopefully, says Pallota.  “The murals are a light bulb, a figurative outpost to a daily commitment made of culture and participation,” he says.


Hitnes (photo © Blind Eye Factory)

Here are five huge walls facing a public square that long ago began its decline. The artist Hitnes created works that would engage the neighbors, including young and old, to stand together and discuss the works – in effect bringing the outside space alive rather than simply one you pass through.

“The animals and the plants of his work live with the colors of the buildings, pink shades of an old red that is there from the 1950s. Animals, both terrestrial and marine, are hovering and flying all around the  trees with thin trunk, the marine pines that cover the neighborhood and that Hitnes uses to contextualize his work,” says Pallotta.


Hitnes (photo © Blind Eye Factory)


Hitnes (photo © Blind Eye Factory)


Hitnes (photo © Blind Eye Factory)

To learn more about SANBA Walls please click HERE




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!


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BSA Film Friday 03.27.15

BSA Film Friday 03.27.15



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

Now screening :

1. Kashink in Miami and her OUTSIDE / INSIDE project
2. Hold On, Just Going to Post This Letter – Почта России
3. Nuart 2014 via Hypebeast TV
4. Tost Films: Emigrantes en Yola
5. ROA teaser for Jonathan LeVine Gallery “Metazoa”


Kashink in Miami and her OUTSIDE / INSIDE project

Experimenter and Street Artist hailing from France, Kashink observes the absurd and reports what she has found. A brainy badass, Ms. Kashink uses vivid color, cartoon, and calculated critique to a scene, whether scripted or organic. Part painter/ part matinee idol, Kashink helps us to question the paradox of our art and creativity classification systems.


Hold On, Just Going to Post This Letter – Почта России

A social experiment with Russian post office boxes, here is a simple way to discourage the remaining 5 people who still mail letters.

Nuart 2014 via Hypebeast TV

A nice recap of the events at Nuart via HypeBeast.

Tost Films: Emigrantes en Yola

ROA teaser for Jonathan LeVine Gallery “Metazoa”

“ROA views the beaver, the state animal of New York, as a metaphor for the idea that nature has the ability to reclaim itself. The recovery of the beaver in New York City after it was previously thought extinct is exemplary of how humans and animals affect each other and reflects the artist’s interest in how animals evolve within urban landscapes.”


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“Big City Life Rome” Part II

“Big City Life Rome” Part II

An update to the “Big City Life Rome” posting in February, here are the remaining murals in the neighborhood of Tomarancia. Produced and curated by 999Contemporary Gallery, these March walls are of equal size and dimension as the previous ones, bringing to mind the swatches of cloth sometimes used to create a quilt. Included here is new work from Caratoes, Jericho, Matteo Basile, Danilo Bucchi, SatOne, Pantonio, and Clemens Bher. The international group of artists have diverse styles, but the quality is high!


Jerico (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Jerico (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Jerico (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Caratoes (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Caratoes (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Caratoes (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Matteo Basile (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Matteo Basile'(photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Matteo Basile does a red faced portrait of Ai Weiwei (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Danilo Bucchi (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Danilo Bucchi (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Danilo Bucchi (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


SatOne (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


SatOne (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


SatOne (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Pantonio (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Pantonio (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Pantonio (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Clemens Bher (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Clemens Bher (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)


Clemens Bher (photo courtesy © 999 Contemporary Gallery)

Click here to see our Part I of the coverage.

We wish to thank Stefano Antonelli at 999Contemporay for his diligence on getting us the material to make this article possible. To see all the completed walls and more details on the project and the participating artists click HERE.

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Gender, Caste, and Crochet : OLEK Transforms a Shelter in Delhi

Gender, Caste, and Crochet : OLEK Transforms a Shelter in Delhi

The fluorescent pink and orange sari skims the svelte frame of Brooklyn’s Olek as she glides across the dirt lot in Delhi’s South Extension with bags of yarn, needles and fabric slung over arms and shoulders.

The massive new acid fluorescent epidermal transformation has taken a week to complete and the street artist is keeping her head while managing the many hands who are helping, but under the eclectic glamour is always raw labor – and a generous dollop of drama.

Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

“It felt like I gave a birth to an oversize baby without any pain killers. I had to pull the black magic to make it happen. Physically and emotionally drained. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES,” she types onto her Facebook page to let friends and fans know that she has finished the seven-day marathon of crocheting and directing a full team of volunteers and St+Art Delhi organizers. Triumphant, she stands atop the woman’s shelter, a one story structure of corrugated metal and concrete 40 ft long and 8 foot high, with a fist in the air, a symbol of celebration as well as a show of solidarity with the sisterhood of those who helped her make it and those will seek refuge here when other options have been exhausted.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

“Raine Basera”, a night shelter for homeless women lies just off Sarai Kale Khan here in New Delhi and it is not far from some industrial parks, surrounded by buses and noise from the traffic and temporary markets. A part of the festival called St+Art Delhi 2015 this particular project is conceived to raise awareness of the shelter and its very existence to those families who need it. Given the chaos of color and decorative motifs that have characterized many of Olek’s street works, this is one more that will be hard to miss. In this city of about 11 million, there are actually 184 night shelters in the city of Delhi, and 10 Indian artists will be working with the Urban Shelter Department to paint more.

Speaking with Olek you learn that this was a joyful, painful project – made possible with the help of a number of people, but mostly because of the steely determination of the Street Artist who is defining and re-defining what it means to be an artist in public space, as well as a woman in the art world. Her vigor and her vision is genuine and her struggles with issues regarding poverty, gender, and empowerment were brought to the fore on a daily basis during this project. As usual, we are of the opinion this is still the beginning of what Olek will accomplish in the Street Art world and in the lives of others – for her the goals are multitudinous.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

We spoke with Olek about the experience in her first trip to India in the interview below. Following that is a short interview with one of the organizers from the St+Art India Foundation and the curator of this project, Giulia Ambrogi. Both help us position the work of Olek into a greater context in Indian society during this relatively new festival effort, now in its second year.


Brooklyn Street Art: Was there a motif that you added to your repertoire of hearts and butterflies that was specific to this project?
OLEK: You know how when you write for a newspaper or a blog you always have to keep your audience in mind so you use a specific language to describe your ideas and thoughts. So for this project I had to think about my specific audience. There were the people in the shelter and the neighbors around it. Many of them are are simple people without education and maybe even illiterate so I wanted to create a visual work that was accessible and meaningful for them.

So for this project I drew from the basic Indian Iconography such as the elephant, the butterfly and flowers. Of course I have crocheted these motifs before in my work but this time I kept an Indian aesthetic with the shapes and forms and they were more visible within the context of the overall piece. In the case of the butterfly I see it as having a special connection with women.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: Was it easy to bridge the gaps between cultures when working with the women who assisted in the project?
OLEK: Well the women I was working with found me to be fascinating. Here comes this woman with tools and yarns and crochet and I think they are used to seeing men doing most of these things – who come and boss them around and tell them what to do. In my case I was sitting with them crocheting together and we were part of a team and at some point I was also wearing Indian clothes and making things happen. They were happy to see me telling the men around us that I was in control and that things were getting done. So due to my experience working with so many different people around the world in small villages in Poland, China and Hong Kong this aspect of the project was the easy part.

The crochet was our language. Once you show them how it all works and explain the project to them you get the respect right away. They liked seeing me working so fast and were shocked that it was actually possible to do this so fast. So once you get their respect it is actually quite easy to work with them. The language of making and producing art is beautiful and universal and you get the connection right away. Some of the women were volunteers but most of them we hired to work on this project. Of course there were other elements in this project that were more difficult but I have never in my life had a problem working with women.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: In addition to its aesthetic nature, how do you think about your work when you consider that it is literally sheltering women tonight as they sleep?
OLEK: The most shocking thing for me in India was these massive amount of people who are born in poverty and under a lower class or caste and they are convinced that they will never ever see or experience anything different from what they are accustomed to and people with a higher status in their society see them as “untouchables” and inferior. They were born poor they should die poor – that is the mentality. So for the time where we were working on this project they felt that the spotlight was on them and for once they weren’t invisible as cameras and people and noise was all around them and I think they felt that there was something special about them.

Maybe when they come to the shelter at night to sleep and see it transformed they will feel different and maybe they will be inspired to do something else with their lives. My intention as an artist was to show them that there might be a chance to change what was supposed to be in their lives to what it can actually could be. That of course is too little of a contribution from my part.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: What did you learn about these shelters that you would like people to know?
OLEK: Right now there are more shelters opening around Delhi than before. It is important for people to know that if they are homeless they have the shelters at night to sleep with a roof over their heads. But the sad part to me is that the conditions in the shelters are not so great. I saw them wearing their same clothes every day and I realized that what they had on them is all they have in their lives. Yet I didn’t see sadness on their faces. They are used to living under these conditions and they see it as their life. So all this time I was thinking how actually the project should be about getting them out of the shelters and provide them with education. Access to education is important everywhere. It changes everything. The beautiful kids I think don’t even go to school. They spend all day on the streets.

So I felt that the project was only half done and I didn’t have the time or resources to do the next step with them and spend more time with them. It was devastating to me to see the amount of pollution and garbage and dirt and in some cases I have this impression that some of them didn’t want to be helped because they believed that that was their lot in life by divine decree. I couldn’t understand that and the whole trip was confusing. So the experience left me half empty in way with a sense that the project was done – but only half done.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: When you were a teenager you read a biography of Jerzy Grotowski and his various travels, including his descriptions of India. How did that writing affect your experience visiting the country for the first time?
OLEK: I studied theater for a while in Poland when I was a teenager and I would go to theater festivals and that really influenced who I am right now. Grotowski had a brilliant mind and was an influential theorist and when I read that he went to India and that the trip totally changed him I was very impressed and I thought India must be a special land. I’ve been wanting to visit India for a long time but I was also waiting for the right time to visit – when there was a purpose for the trip and the right project.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

But the land that he saw with his eyes was during the 1970’s. I wish I had more time and I will have more time, to go back and travel and re-visit and really see the country more fully. But I think that what influenced me wasn’t necessarily about the religion, the colors, the textures, the beauty of the country. What influenced me the most was the poor India. I have never seen so much plastic and garbage in my life on the streets. I saw cows eating plastic on the street. The garbage and pollution is just growing and growing and it is insane. So this was my influence from this trip and I think I could never compare it to Grotowski’s trip during the 70s. But I can see how the trip to India changed him and influenced his life in theater.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: Tell us about your sari. We don’t remember seeing you making one of those for yourself before.
OLEK: I bought a sari because I was invited to attend a wedding while I was in India and I wanted to feel appropriate. I probably don’t fit in most places but when I’m invited I like to pay respect to the local customs. So together with my assistant we went to the store full of saris and took in the whole experience. You buy a sari then you have to hire someone to put it on you and I loved it. From the beginning I told people that I wanted to wear a sari while working instead of wearing western fashions. People noticed how comfortable I was wearing a sari for the first time and when they remarked about that I told them I’m around so much fabric all the time that I can easily wear a sari.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

It is interesting because to me a sari is a sexy dress. Your body is so exposed so it was confusing to me to see all the women wearing such a dress in such a conservative country. It is a very comfortable dress and nothing falls off of you. They pinned everything to keep it all in place. You go to get fitted and out of the same fabric a tailor makes the top and the underskirt and you can choose from many designs for the top. The tailor is not in the store where the sari is purchased. You have to leave and go someplace else for the fitting. But they can make it all in two hours. I loved seeing the women in India being very comfortable with their bodies. Women of all shapes and sizes wear the saris with the utmost comfort.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


A brief interview with Giulia Ambrogi from the St+art India Foundation:

BSA: For her installation Olek was assisted by a number of diverse volunteers whom she first taught about the crochet needs of the project. What was the incentive that motivated all these people who helped her?
Giulia: Actually most of the women were already trained because they belong to the “Indian crochet community”, a reality that we were pretty surprised to discover. All of them knew Olek’s work and were extremely enthusiastic to have such an occasion to be together and to practice their passion for a wider cause. This big community doesn’t have many initiatives dedicated to crochet so this project, by being so ambitious, public and based on a social cause was per se the main incentive  for all of them.

Many other volunteers instead have been with us since the day 1 of St+art Delhi 2015. They are mostly really young and they just love urban art and what all we are bringing in the city. Thus, they are keen to be part of the project, to be in a stimulating environment and to give their contribution. It was amazing to see how all these people from different backgrounds and different ages (from 18 to 60) collaborated together and how strong was the feeling to be a big family.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: Women in India are often at huge disadvantage financially and socially when compared to the status that men hold in society. What is the significance of bringing women artists to install their work on the streets of India?
Giulia: First of all realize artworks in the streets is already a sort of revolution. Public spaces, especially if peripheral, are most of the time neglected and are crowded mostly by lower social classes. The process of creating huge artworks for everybody’s eyes and the attitude of the artists and the team of involving everyone and gathering people under the signs of art-making and artworks – which is absolutely new in India, is an empowering breakthrough or a certain kind.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

By calling women artists we enhanced this prolific dynamic. It meant that we introduced a  change, showing both to men and women that no matter the gender and the class, everyone has the same strength and rights of living, appropriating and positively acting in  public spaces. Olek’s work brings back to the streets a tradition that is usually practiced by women in the private and closed environment of their homes. Also, this work highlighted the power of people, especially women, when they cooperate together. Aiko’s work celebrates the most dangerous and powerful woman in Indian history, Rani Lakshmi Bai, who became and still is the symbol of women empowerment.

Many things are changing in India and it is a transitional moment in which we try and hope to give our contributions by designing artistic interventions based on critical and current topics.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)

BSA: We have written before about Aiko’s participation in St+ART Delhi. We wrote that her contribution was a departure from her highly sexualized iconography. Would it have been impossible for her to paint her sexually charged women in India? Can you tell us about the character whom she chose to paint and why she selected that character within the context of the festival?
Giulia: By painting her characteristic women in very sexualized scenes, her work would have been meaningless within the Indian environment. Not just deeply disrespectful it would have been totally sterile because it would not have been in dialogue with the cultural context. Since the beginning of the project Lady Aiko asked about Indian culture with the intention of creating a powerful and empowering work in relation to the country.

After some brainstorming she fell in love with both the story and the iconography of Rani Lakshmi Bai. She was the most dangerous leader in Indian history, a symbol of resistance to the rule of the British Company. In her brief time she cast aside many conventions to unite peoples of all castes and religions in her cause.

She encouraged other women to do the same and trained them to fight and support the army. She cut across the social norms of the time, refusing to accept her fate ‘as a woman’. So in this case Aiko’s piece was mainly the symbol of women empowerment…and much sexier than pin ups in this sense!


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)



The organizers would like to thank fashion companies Tarun Tahiliani and Manish Arora for contributing materials and labor, Allkraftz & Usha Sewing Machines, The Polish Culture Institute, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), and all the volunteers and participants who helped make this project happen.

We would like to thank the organizers of ST+ART Delhi; the curator Giulia Ambrogi and Pranav Mehta for the photos. And of course to Olek for taking the time to answer our questions.



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!



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MOMO Paints Massive Work Across Lobby in Boston

MOMO Paints Massive Work Across Lobby in Boston

Corporate Space, Happy Universal Shapes, and Additive Averaging

Two unusual aspects distinguish todays’ posting. One is that the featured project by the remarkable street artist MOMO is not actually on the street, rather it is in a corporate lobby – a quasi public/private place far removed from the origins and ethos of most Street Artists’ work. Secondly, the interview is conducted by our guest Kate Gilbert rather than us. An artist, curator, and creative strategist, Kate directs a Boston non-profit that curates and produces independent public art projects. We really enjoyed the conversation that she and MOMO had while he was in the midst of a two week installation – and we knew you would like it too.

~ by Kate Gilbert

In February the Brooklyn/New Orleans street artist MOMO arrived in Boston in the midst of Snowpocalypse ‘15, an unrelenting series of snowstorms and freezing temperatures that left Boston under 93” of snow. Undaunted by it all, MOMO completed a massive 250’ x 34’ mural over eighteen nights in the lobby of Boston’s iconic John Hancock Building bringing his signature combination of blending techniques, harmonious colors and universal forms to warm up the austere lobby and its wintery surrounds.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

The following is an excerpt from an interview I had with MOMO on his fourteenth night of painting, which followed a brief talk he gave with project curator Pedro Alonzo.

Kate Gilbert: So it’s 20 degrees in Boston tonight and the thermometer is stuck at 20 degrees. The snow isn’t melting, and there’s ice everywhere; it’s permanent. So first of all I want to thank you for bringing this to us. It’s great color and smart design.
MOMO: Cool, I’m glad you like it.

KG: One of the things I wanted to bring back from your conversation with Pedro is this idea of universal shapes and appealing colors. That’s something we don’t usually hear coming out of the mouth of an artist who originally started in the street.
MOMO: Pedro’s first question took me off guard because I hadn’t quite heard that from anyone. He said the murals made him feel good, and why was that. I didn’t quite have an answer ready then but I’ve thought a lot about it since and it reminds me that I have this great love for David Hockney’s swimming pools. A sunny landscape has a certain key of colors and mix of shadows and this variety of things that feels like it’s at the peak spectral combination of all these formal things like shade and value, and it lets us know it’s a sunny landscape.

Something about that really appeals to me. At different moments I’ve wished my art could be associated with swimming pools, cabanas, and beach towels – those things that are, for me, a godsend in terms of mood and inspiration.

I spent a lot of time in the south and I love a tropical climate and things like that feel really alive and vital. It’s no coincidence that I take so much inspiration from Jamaica. Not just the nature there but also their culture seems to respond to this vivid set of conditions. I want to put that in the paintings and I hope that is what’s coming through in what Pedro mentioned about being happy.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  I think so. It’s happy and, especially at this time of year in Boston, we’re all keyed in to anything that’s happy.
MOMO: Good. I realized quite late that I respond well to warm climates and it’s why I stay in the South primarily. And I do think a majority of these forms keep repeating. They’ve come up in different ways through the years.

KG:  Are they forms that you’re testing on the street? When you say universal, are they universal in your artistic vocabulary, or do you think for they’re universal for all of us?
MOMO: They’re meant to be simple and universal so the audience might enjoy these as their own, being just colors and lines, spectrums and harmonies.

For instance I’m relying heavily on just the impact of red. Or the right orange-red which I feel is lit by sunlight. It’s not so much a narrative or a meaning implied on top, it’s the concrete materiality of the work that has to carry the oomph.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG: Picking up on this idea of materiality, the space has this well, let me just say, it’s pretty unique. Have you ever worked in a space like this before?
MOMO: No, this is the best architectural chance I’ve ever had to do something, indoor or outdoor.

KG:  What are you responding to in this space?
MOMO: The chrome columns are undeniably weird and fun and that’s led me to make the fat lines somewhat in scale with them, or in-and-out of scale with them. There’re a lot of vertical bands. Down there [pointing to the NE side] there’re a lot of noodly ones that are just going their own way. It struck me that having a conversation with those floor-to-ceiling forms was an obvious way to respond.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  There’s this sort of forest effect going on.
MOMO: Yeah, there’s a forest! They have a gesture. Everything in here is real straight lines and clean and feels like it’ll last for the ages. But the columns do have a gesture and it’s right in front of the painting.

Besides the columns, everything in the lobby is a super straight, flat surface. I’ve tried to play off of that with soft forms so the building can show off. I’m doing something complementary in a way.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  You’re creating a visual conversation with the architects. I’d love to see you in a room with I.M. Pei’s office. What would you say to them?
MOMO: I’d be interesting to see how this building has grown or developed on its own because it’s probably not the way the architect left it. They’ve designed security in a way that wasn’t part of the initial pedestrian flow.

KG:  There’s this great performance going on here with people entering and leaving through the security desk, even now at 6 pm.
MOMO: And cleaning crews! It takes a huge staff to keep the building up to its standards.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  So did you consider this audience or who’d be coming and going when you were making the work?
MOMO: Yeah, of course. First thing, I tried to identify was where people would see the wall the most frequently, or where they’d spend the most time. Because the wall is framed by the columns, you get a grouping of available vignettes.

I took the ends to have special significance. At one end there are tables and chairs where you can relax in a communal café area. I thought those areas should be dressed up in a way so you could look at them for longer periods of time. Then the center, I kept things more serious and somber because it has this stately serious pretense with the check-in desk and security being there. I tried to look at the space anthropologically.

KG:  So the painting in the center is more serious? Is that represented in the darker, gray pinstripes created through…what do you call it, additive averaging?
MOMO: Yes, the particular color theory we’re working with when we add these gray tones is called additive averaging. I guess they just happened in the center by chance. The center is where subtle mixes are happening and the darker colors are coming through. In general, I want the whole thing to feel light but it needed to be grounded somewhere, especially there, so it didn’t seem silly.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG: I don’t think your work could ever be interpreted as silly.
MOMO: Oh that’s good because I want to take it right to the edge like a dance performance. Certainly dance can be seen as flippant or pure whimsy. But if it is balanced and well done, somehow it can go right to the edge and still be serious.

KG:  Your work is serious and I get the sense everything is very thought-out and methodical. Were there any surprises when you got here?
MOMO: We changed everything! It’s been so much work! Struggling, redesigning, you know, minutes before we go. Part of that is because we weren’t able to use the sprayers. That was my mistake in understanding how much dust they were going to dump into their surroundings. We struggled a few days trying to make it work with a spray tent and it was not possible. So without the sprayers we couldn’t do the giant sweeping color gradations.

That meant things had to be redesigned so they’d still be exciting while staying unblended. I tried to break up the backgrounds that the stripes are going over, so there’d still be a number of colors changing. It wasn’t a solution just to switch fades for single colors, because I had to break things up in a way that’d keep them interesting.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  That sucks.
MOMO: No, it’s okay actually. Somehow the sprays that I do outdoors are a rough thing. I don’t even know if they were working that well in this refined space. It has a texture that would be a little out of step with the high-polish feeling here.

KG:  As a result, have you invented any new techniques while working here?
MOMO: Oh, that’s a good question! I’m doing this thing between all of my helpers where I’m taking screenshots off of the computer where I’m designing, sending them in emails, and then we’re all following the sketches on our phones. I feel like there’s a big potential there to synch everyone up in a detailed way. I used to print everything out and keep it in a laminated pocket which is good so you don’t drop your phone in a bucket of paint, but this is kinda better.



MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  So maybe there’s a MOMO app in your future?
MOMO: Or maybe I need a phablet – a phone tablet where I can do all my Photoshopping and it hangs off my neck.

KG:  All right, let’s get you a sponsor! I did want to get back to that audience question. When you’re working outside doing your posters between 3 and 6 am I assume you don’t want to interact with anyone. When you’re here, are you interacting with people? Or are you just trying to get your work done?
MOMO: We’re interacting and keeping our ears open. It’s fun to just feel what the response is like. We hear a lot from the security guys because they’re here all night. It’s been really positive from those people and other people who’ve come by and have an interest in art.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

KG:  It is really hard to take in the mural all at once. Even from the outside because of these crazy columns, multiple doors and reflections. The most similar project you’ve done might be the Living Walls project because you could only see it all from within a car. Is there a way to see this mural? A narrative?
MOMO: I think it’s a sequential piece of artwork. Because you see pieces at a time and sorta have a chance to forget the first one that you saw by the time you get to the end. There’s not a way to see the whole composition all at once. That doesn’t exist. It’s like changing panels on any other media.

The thing in Atlanta has this opportunity for foreshortening. I tried to make it interesting if you were to stand in front of it, but also it collapsed all 1,000 feet into an instant image. Here you can’t really see everything collapsed.

It’s been fun to see how much it’s reflecting on the glass inside at night. I hadn’t seen that other times I’d checked out the spot. The chrome columns cast and catch all kinds of parts in new weird ways.

KG:  Yeah, it’s going to be a really fun challenge for someone to photograph! Is there anything else you’d want Boston and beyond to know about this work?
MOMO: I feel really privileged to be working here in such a great, high-level type community and given such an amazing piece of architecture to explore. I’m just extremely grateful to everyone that made this possible and extended the necessary faith. The support has been great and Pedro’s been amazing.


MOMO (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Our special thanks to photographer Geoff Hargadon for sharing his shots of this hard-to-shoot mural for BSA readers.


MOMO’s mural is the first in a three-part series of temporary public projects commissioned by Boston Properties and curated by Pedro Alonzo. It is on view at the John Hancock Tower (200 Clarendon Street, Boston MA 02116) now through May 31, 2015.


Kate Gilbert is an artist, public art curator, and the director of Now and There, a new start up dedicated to creating impactful temporary public art projects in Greater Boston. When she’s not buried in snow she’s Tweeting as @kgilbertstudio and @now_and_there.


BSA 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!



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NeverCrew, Andreas Englund, Onur Dinc, KKade, and Dot Dot Dot at Urban Nation

NeverCrew, Andreas Englund, Onur Dinc, KKade, and Dot Dot Dot at Urban Nation

Street Art is this enormous moveable and on-the-move feast for the eyes and mind and heart. The players and places change, the songs and the dancing revolves, the color and texture everchanging. Exploring Street Art in Berlin is like wandering onstage at the Metropolitan Opera during Wagner’s Ring and discovering that there is a superstar DJ with lasers, a death metal band, and a poetry jam on live horses as well. Die Fledermaus meets DeadMaus meets Mickey Mouse.

Mounting a show with Urban Nation (UN) in windows and the gallery was already a feast for senses, but in addition Yasha Young invited guest performers to join in the festivities, making every movement new and many of them revelatory.

So while 12 artists from Brooklyn were mounting Project M/7 we also had the opportunity to see and meet new folks we had not seen before – The NeverCrew (Switzerland) , Andreas Englund (Sweden), Onur Dinc (Switzerland), KKade (Switzerland), and Dot Dot Dot (Norway). Actually DDD was a Nuart last year but evidently was very shy.

Today we wanted to share with you these additional dishes that were on the table at the UN feast, these talented folk deserve their own posting and we are pleased to share them with you.


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © courtesy of @urbannationberlin)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A KKade observer one second before she began cursing at us and waving us away. Oops! (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Urban Nation Walls took place in conjunction with Project M7 “Persons Of Interest”. The walls are currently on view 24/7 at:

Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15



Can we please not talk about snow? Spring, you temptress.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Angelina Christina, Bifido, BiP, Bortusk Leer, C215, Chris Stain, Crummy Gummy, Dan Witz, Dave the Chimp, Ease One, El Bocho, Icy & Sot, Little Lucy, London Kaye, Never, Otto “Osch” Shade, Peter Phobia, Punk Paul, Tuco, and Zid Leon.

Top Image >> C215 in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


London Kaye. So, if you are made of crochet, do you get cold? Also see the Smells tag floating above this little lady. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Angelina Christina, Ease One and Never painted this wall in the Summer of 2014. I really never took a good photo of it due to cars always parked in front. The harsh winter conditions of the New York Winter 2015 made possible for me to take this photo. On a great day like this, as we endure our 154th snowstorm of the season, many of us have low hopes for the spring. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tuco. Manimal Chimp in Switzerland from his “Manimal” series. This image also looks rather like it was shot on the set of a TV show. More on this artist to come shortly. (photo © Tuco Wallach)


El Bocho in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Bocho . Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bifido in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)


Chris Stain in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


We spotted this ceramic sculpture perched on a beam on the platform of the Berlin metro. This is the only one we saw so we are thinking it wasn’t sanctioned art. Who is the artist? That gold crown looks familiar. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Witz in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BiP in San Francisco, California. (photo © BiP)


Otto “Osch” Schade in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Kate O’Callaghan)


Would you like a ride in my golf cart? Peter Phobia in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)


Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)


Crummy Gummy in Las Vegas, Nevada. (photo © Crummy Gummy)


Oof! My head! Must have been those last few shots. Dave The Chimp in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zid Leon in Berlin in line for the porta-potty. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BSA in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Punk Life, No Limit in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Um, personal comment: beauty queens should not smoke. It sends the wrong message to impressionable kids. That is all. Nick Flatt and Punk Paul in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy and Sot in Berlin for Urban Nation One Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Layers in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



BSA 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!


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See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

Behind the Scenes for the Brooklyn-Berlin Pop-Up

Last Saturday the 14th the public was invited to an open reception to meet the artists who had flown to Berlin to create new portraits for Urban Nation (UN), curated by BSA.


Don Rimx checks his original illustration on his phone while creating much larger color version on the wall at the UN Gallery Pop-Up show (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The companion show for “Persons of Interest” at the UN Gallery is a pop-up show by the same Brooklyn artists whose portrait works were in the windows of the future museum but there were two important differences from those installations:

1. The artist had no limitations or guidelines regarding the subject or style of their chosen piece
2. The installation was to be mounted directly on the wall and not for sale.


Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After asking each artist to research and select their “person of interest” for the main windows and façade of the UN, it only seemed fair that we put no restrictions on the content or inspiration for their other piece for the opening to allow more free expression.

While we like gallery shows that sell art it felt much more natural to see the artists hit the walls directly as they would on the street – from floor to ceiling and side by side, they created a sort of continuum that lead out of the gallery doors out to the walls of this much-decorated city.


Don Rimx “Ache”, a bendicion in the spirit of his birthplace of Puerto Rico.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because these new artworks will have a limited run that ends in their destruction, the experience for the gallery goer of viewing them is an acknowledgement that the roots of this art-making practice embraces its ephemeral quality.

Something about that fact makes the work more immediate, more consequential, knowing that the work you are viewing on the street may not be there tomorrow. Each one of these artists knows this on the street, something another kind of artist may find difficult to accept or incorporate into their thinking.


Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the first couple of days everyone was recovering from serious NY-Berlin jet lag, and a handful of the artists were wearing the same clothes they arrived in while  waiting for their luggage that was stuck in Düsseldorf because of a strike by bag handlers. One artist missed his plane, others got a little lost on the metro, and there were two lost phones – but these are small problems once you are confronted with a blank wall next to 11 peers on which to create something amazing.


Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a prospect full of opportunities and maybe a little bit of anxiety, but each artist brought their A-game and knew they were in a supportive environment. They also created it – reaching out to help with a brush or a ladder or can of paint, a word of advice and some problem solving too. Ultimately they were total professionals with skillz to lay down. By adapting and excelling at their work, the collective effect that this eclectic harmony produced clearly energized the crowd that overflowed onto the sidewalks Saturday night.


Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The result on the gallery walls is an acid rainbow pop of personality, metaphor, text, pattern, socio/political commentary, activism, and a tribute to ancestors. Each artist brought their individual style and approach to gallery walls in much the same way that appears on the street. For a few it was the first time meeting while others were long-time friends and clearly some were fans of each others work.


NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One coincidence that sort of blew us away was that Don Rimx and Specter both told us that their pieces were meant to be a “blessing” to their hosts; Rimx featuring a re-worked traditional image of a Puerto Rican grandmother and overflowing bucket of water – “the source of life” he said, and Specters post-modern repetition of leaves from a plant that he said you would bring someone as a gift. Neither had consulted with the other or us, and yet both mounted these pieces side-by-side.

Any day you get to work with artists is a good day – especially driven dynamic talented ones who are always challenging themselves, digging deeper to pull out something that speaks, that means something. These few precious days in Berlin with these few artists were very good days indeed for us and we hope for them too.


NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon’s undulating biomorphic and ornate paper cuts were at center stage of the gallery, wrapped around the columns in the middle of the room.(photo © Jaime Rojo)


Olivia from Swoon’ Studio working on the installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Specter took off his shoes to create but remained in his long-johns while waiting for his luggage to arrive a day and a half after him. This plant was understated and yet commanded attention – this guy is one of the most intellectually adventurous in his street practice, easily sliding between mediums and concepts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain prepped his wall by tagging the surface multiple times in multiple colors and mucking it up with a roller – effectively bringing the street into the gallery so he could paste his new longer form enigmatic collage portrait on it and within the sea of colors and texture. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain likes to work alone so he took his body parts and pieces into the adjacent store room to assemble and reassemble, spray, color, cut out, selectively damage or damask – a process that allows for experimentation and discovery while the artist relies on some intuitive guidance to get to the final piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain and Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Some place in there you’ll find Chris Stain at work on his piece – an artist whose work always reflects the people you see on the street and in your neighborhood. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain brings a bit of Brooklyn to Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia’s gallery piece was directly related to his portrait of Fereshta Ludin that he completed for the “Persons of Interest” window installation. An artist who makes a fulsome study of his subject matter and the historical/social/political/anthropological factors that surround it – Gaia here incorporated the marching mass of right wing anti-Islamic Pegida demonstrators as a backdrop to a disembodied draped head scarf, a symbol of religious expression by Muslim women. Posted on the front, with dropped shadow to pop it forward, is a published interview with Ms. Ludin -who attended the opening reception last Saturday, meeting the artist and us in person for the first time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, Ms. Farestha Ludin and Steven P. Harrington (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia and Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 and the German translation of “Here today, gone tomorrow”, his reference to the ephemerality of the graffiti/street art game, and perhaps larger existential considerations. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


For some, these are two essential products to survive while painting in a foreign country (or at home) (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot used this opportunity to create something more abstract than the work that they are known for, which can be quickly understood. According to a few people at the opening, they liked it more than the brother’s typical work for that reason, so it was successful in that respect. Icy explained that it is a crouching figure with a mashup of a destroyed city within it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nice Keds dude… (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cake . Swoon . Dain  . Gaia . Chris Stain  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon . El Sol 25 . Esteban Del Valle . NohJColey . Gaia CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Don Rimx . Specter . Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Project M/7 “Persons Of Interest” Street level exhibition and the Pop-Up show are currently on view and free to the general public at:

Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 10.00 -18.00



BSA 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!





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