Nuart Day 1: Isaac Cordal Installs His Preoccupied Little Businessmen

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Tor (@toris64) picked us up at the airport using his hand-made faux-Banksy Nuart sign, wearing his fresh Dismaland t-shirt, and we immediately knew we were home here in Stavanger. Born and raised in this town Tor knows it’s every turn and twist and because he travels extensively for his regular profession, he also gets to explore other cities and take photos of Street Art and share them on Instagram. Luckily there is a pretty notable festival right here and his enthusiasm grows with the opportunity to meet so many of his favorite artists each year.

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This small Norwegian town is again hosting a kick-ass mural/street art/graffiti festival again this year and its sort of rainy today but Icy & Sot are painting anyway, as are Ella & Pitr.  Ernest Zacharevic has arrived and Martin Whatson has finished his piece, as have Pejac and Dot Dot Dot. Harmen de Koop is devising a live performance with an economist giving a lecture on a wall Thursday (not kidding), Bordalo is gathering garbage and throwing it into the back of a truck for his trash installation, and Martha Cooper just arrived this morning and Tor took her to find a hidden conceptual piece in a doorway by Fra. Biancoshock that says “Martha Please Take a Picture of Me”.

Once settled in yesterday we immediately began tooling around town with Isaac Cordal, the Northern Spanish activist with a big heart in these small sculptures of desperate/guilty/soulless little corporate men who he positions in precarious locations wherever he travels. We carried a bag full of these fellows yesterday while he shouldered an expandable ladder and marched though the hilly streets looking upward, scanning battered Noregian industrial architecture for opportune ledges for his little men to teeter off the edge of.

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As we have featured his work numerous times over the years on BSA, it was finally great to meet Cordal and accompany him on his interventions – which sort of magically transform a mundane spot into a stage for his “figurativos” to contemplate their lives. Cordal says they are meant to symbolize many things – one of them being the corrupt wolves in business suits who are running much of the world today, and you immediately know of whom he speaks. Comedic in placement, dastardly in deed, you want them to fall, or jump, but somehow it is better that they are frozen in the midst of their drama, frozen with fright and fear.

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cordal also talks about the current romance that many public art fans are having with the mural as a means of public expression (which we can verify) and how he feels like his very small concrete (now resin) men can be just as powerful as a large mural. And in a way we can entirely agree – the placing of these figures transforms the space by engaging your imagination, and you KNOW where that can take you; the key unlocks a part of the viewer that he or she once accessed regularly as a child when wild stallions and robots and Jesus and pop stars and Darth Vader all seemed like plausible characters in the same play. Seeing Isaac and his enthusiasm will assure you that art in the streets can have a formidable impact on a passerby, no matter its diminutive scale.

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Nuart 2015. Stavanger, Norway. 09-15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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