February 2018

A Peek At Gola Hundun: 7.6 Billion & Still Growing

A Peek At Gola Hundun: 7.6 Billion & Still Growing

Italian Street Artist and fine artist Gola Hundun begins the conversation with the raw statistic of how many humans are living on the earth and takes you on a visual journey from there.

His alarm at the developments of industry and extraction and destruction are here, certainly, as is his call for our dedication to take greater responsibility for our Earth and our resources.

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

More likely though, you will see the substantive glory of his abstraction, his generous layerings of leaves and plants and organic forms, his wending and blending of color and washes in a lush wonderland rather than the barren stripped and burned dystopia one might think of.

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

As he makes the final preparations for his new show in Australia just south of Brisbane along a golden coast that is concentrated with the wealth of captains of industry, it is worth considering what part each of us play in a system that heals or destroys. Natural beauty is compelling and life giving and yet our history tells us we will continue to horde it to ourselves, leaving the destruction to others with great avarice.

“This body of work is a consideration of the impact Homo Sapiens have on the environment throughout time. From the agricultural revolution to colonization and to globalization, I track an environmental journey through different stages of human history,” says Hundun in his artist statement.

As Enriqueta Arias observes in her show essay, the artist proposes to review the current relationship of the human species with the planet, as well as the impact and consequences of what appears to be its last phase of expansion.

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

Gola Hundun. “7.6 Billion & Still Growing” 19 Karen Gallery. Qld, Australia. (photo courtesy of Gola Hundun)

For more information about Gola’s solo exhibition click HERE


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Unusual Art Installations in Toulouse Refugee Camp: “Creve Hivernale II”

Unusual Art Installations in Toulouse Refugee Camp: “Creve Hivernale II”

“Over the period of two months all the artists intervened on the site illegally and wanted to live in the same conditions as the refugee families,” says artist and journalist Sandra Butterfly as she explains these newly released and exclusive images of artworks and installations created in a refugee camp in Toulouse, France.

Dangerous barbed wire becomes less harmful through the use of cotton by Annlor Codina. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

A hybrid of autonomous political arts interventions and a neighbor-organized outreach arts program, the initiative opened discussion among those held in the camps as well and attempts to draw attention to conditions in and around restricted areas meant to provide temporary shelter but appear to expose the residents to great insecurities as well. As European nations continue to grapple with an influx of refugees from the war in Syria and other places undergoing tumult, official preparations come under scrutiny, some earning praise, others great criticism.

These art installations and surrounding scenes reflect the raw conditions and limited resources available – uniquely appropriated by artists to give voice to the plight of persons whose lives have been ripped from their home countries by war and economics, now retained in no-mans-land spaces throughout the world.

A pentagon of wooden crates and illustrations on glass panels referred to treatment of the security and surveillance state towards less fortunate people and refugees, according to Butterfly. A4 Putevie. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Creve Hivernale II, the name of the project, is a play on the French words ‘Treve Hivernale’ which refer to a winter break during which landlords cannot evict tenants because to do so would be cruel or inhumane. In this instance, the first word is replaced by the word “Creve”, which means to die. Living in these rough conditions near illegal trash dumping grounds with limited access to running water, food, electricity, plumbing, and in a politically hostile environment fraught with the threat of preying thieves or abusive opportunists, Creve Hivernale II takes a much darker turn; literally translated as “Winter Death”. The 2nd in a series, this intervention follows the first session of Creve Hivernale that took place in a warehouse called ‘Le Frigo’, or ‘the Fridge.’ (read more here)

Initiated by a secretive artist named “<++”, according to Butterfly, Creve Hivernale II gathered like-minded activist artists (artivists) to intervene, possibly intercede. A mix of well known and emerging artists, many of whom work with institutions and galleries, to create site-specific works that could be documented and shared. “The challenge was to go beyond their own fears, face the harsh weather, and create artworks outside from the found trash and objects on the site,” says Butterfly.

A found boat in the trash has been painted in black, floating in a red pond, unable to reach the European coasts. Upgrayydd Recidive . Butterly. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterly)

Because of the sensitive nature of the location and the tenuous circumstances that residents were in, this project was performed over a year ago in December 2016 and time was allowed to pass before revealing it in this way. An unusual location and topic for art interventions, one wonders about the effectiveness, maybe even the appropriateness of an art installation in a somewhat remote location where people are living in such harsh conditions and under dire need. On the other hand, if these artists had not brought the subject in such a manner to our attention, we wouldn’t be writing this article to share with you and conditions of refugees may take on a greater public interest.

We asked Butterfly more about this unusual project to better understand the works in photos here:

BSA: Can you talk about the location? Is it a refugee settlement camp?
Butterfly: The location is in the center of Toulouse, France on a private land, forbidden to the public. It looks like a no man’s land located next to a Dechetterie, an official trash dump.

Mathieu Tremblin wrote poems on the found items on dumpsite. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

What you need to know is that in France you have to pay taxes to dump items at the Dechetterie that are above a certain weight and size and fall into a category of being toxic or damaging to the environment, for example. Next to the Dechetterie is a lot of trash that local residents left illegally because it was either too expensive or because the Dechetterie would not accept it according to regulations.

There are many people and families leaving there in extremely difficult conditions: no electricity or water, just surviving from mendacity on the nearby streets and the trash found on the site. The population is diverse, from homeless or less fortunate people, migrants abandoned from the retention center, ‘roms’ – paperless families from Eastern Europe. The majority of them are paperless and could be evicted from France if arrested.

This territory is very hostile, like a jungle where everybody is in survival mode, in constant fear, not trusting anyone, and thievery occurs all the time. The only protection is their barking dogs.

Artists provided materials and encouragement for some of the younger people to express creativity on a wall. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

BSA: Did those families know that the artists were making art about the topic?
Butterfly: Yes, but it took some time for them to understand that this was art. At first they were hiding, or looking at the art and artists from far away, avoiding any contact. Then bonds and communication were established through the children, who were curious, and who were the first to approach us and interact and play with the artists.

BSA: Could anyone in the general public see these installations, or was it behind fences?
Butterfly: After a period of exploration of the wasteland, artists started to create their installations and then we shared the location in a secretive way.

Only the GPS location was communicated on social media and on the artist websites with the European Flag replaced by barbed wire. The public was invited to bring flashlights and warm clothing, and the exhibition was open day and night to the public. At the same time visitors also had to trespass a forbidden territory to see the exhibition, and part of the land is behind barbed wires near the train tracks.

Artists invited visitors to trespass through a zone of PEUR (meaning FEAR in French), where visitors had to face their fear to move forward in an unknown area. Signage indicated zones of fear and less fear (Peur and –Peur by Upgrayydd Recidive). Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

The buff squad. “Following complaints, the city sent some road cleaners to erase the painted sign on the road,” says Butterfly,”Ironically they were erasing the Fear (Peur) from the area.” Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Butterfly. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Installations made out of found trash illustrated the Mediterranean Sea with a swimming pool (Sophie Bacquie and Lucie Laflorentie).  Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Mardi Noir. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Natalie Svit-Kona Eifyran. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

“During the two months self imposed residency, despite the language barrier, artists developed strong bonds with the families and children there and involved them in artistic activities,” says Butterfly. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Sid Poliekoff. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Madmoiselle Kat . Mardi Noir. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Mardi Noir. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

A4 Putevie. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

A4 Putevie. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Imposing fortresses made from foil survival blankets and sculpted wood represent the non welcoming Europe with all its barriers by Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Molo Molo. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Manuel Pomar. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Luke Warm. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

Young residence pause before a sign that says “evadage”, or “escape”. Upgrayydd Recidive. Creve Hivernale II – Toulouse, France. (photo © Butterfly)

 


Participating artists included:
NADIA VON FOUTRE – JEAN DENANT – MANUEL POMAR – A4 PUTEVIE – MADEMOISELLE KAT – SID POLIEKOFF – MATHIEU TREMBLIN – MARDI NOIR – UPGRAYYDD RECIDIVE – MOLO MOLO – CLAIRE SAUVAGET – DON QUICKSHOT – LURK WARM – BUTTERFLY – SOPHIE BACQUIE – LUCIE LAFLORENTIE – ANNLOR CODINA – NATALIE SVIT-KONA EIFYRAN

Related stories about this refugee camp:

‘WE NEED TO ACT’ Fears of new Jungle in Toulouse as town camp EXPLODES with 400 migrants

Supporting refugees in Toulouse

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Resurrecting the Ghost of The Mexican Grizzly Bear: NeverCrew In Phoenix

Resurrecting the Ghost of The Mexican Grizzly Bear: NeverCrew In Phoenix

BSA is pleased that we were able to help bring NeverCrew to the US along with FatCap to realize this huge Mexican Grizzly on a celebrated wall in Arizona.

“El Oso Plateado and the Machine” is the latest project of Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni here in Phoenix on the side of the historic Heard Building, a 7-story high-rise building that housed the offices of The Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette from 1920 to 1948 and was the first high-rise building to be erected in Phoenix when it was completed in 1920.

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

As usual the Swiss artist duo have used one of their murals to give center stage to nature and it is inextricably bound to man’s folly, as this incredible bear from this region is now extinct.

Sort of silvery because of the color of its fur, the Mexican Grizzly was one of the heaviest and largest mammals in Mexico, reaching a length up to 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) and an average weight of 318 kilograms (701 lb).

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

Appropriately, the Mexican Grizzly was once here in Arizona, because this land actually was Mexico’s before the Americans declared war to steal the land that would become California, Nevada, and Utah, most of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming in the 1840s-50s in what General (and later US President) Ulysses S. Grant called “the most unjust war ever undertaken by a stronger nation against a weaker one.” So perhaps it would be called now the Arizonian Grizzly, if it still existed.

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

NeverCrew “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

An indoor mural by NeverCrew in connection with “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

An indoor mural by NeverCrew in connection with “El oso plateado and the machine” Phoenix, AZ (photo courtesy of NeverCrew)

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BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

BSA Images Of The Week 02.25.18 / Stockholm Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

For about seven years (2007-14) the city of Stockholm practiced a so-called “zero tolerance” policy against graffiti and Street Art, following the exalted/derided ‘broken windows’ theory (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). As recently as 2011 the touring national theatre company named Riksteartern ran into serious trouble with city leaders when promoting an international Street Art convention called “Art of the Streets” because it violated the spirit of the policy.

The loosening of the strict approach in 2014 coincided with the dawn of Snösätra, a bastion of urban art practice in a rough and industrial part of southern Stockholm. Landowners there gave permission for the painting of pieces, burners, productions, and murals by graffiti writers and Street Artists all along the streets of this sector in the suburb of Rågsved where about 30 businesses cater to construction, recycling, and mechanics. A new annual festival has popped up there with DJs and live painting and various shows and celebrations throughout the summer.

Magic City, the traveling exhibition celebrating 50+ years of a wide swath of urban art practice globally, has been successfully drawing audiences here down in the industrial docks of Stockholm since last year as well, a sign of the evolving perspective on the topic. We’ve had the honor of being in both of these venues inside and outside this week and can tell you that the results in many cases are spectacular.

In addition to exploring the current works in Snösätra with local artist Vegan Flava, we hit some of the larger commissioned murals in the more bohemian streets of Stockholm and helped celebrate Magic City’s HUGE weekend, named after the local graffiti writer who specializes in photorealistic lettering in the style of helium balloons.

Both of our BSA Film Weekend programs Friday and Saturday night were a lot of fun – complete with families and kids and a few scholars and graff historians sprinkled in for flavor. We thank everyone who came up to introduce themselves and even the shy ones whom we saw from a distance.

Our sincere thanks to Vegan Flava, whose work is on the streets and in Magic City, all of the artists, curators Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno, and director Christoph Scholz with the whole Magic City team.

Here are some of the images from our travels during this quick visit to Stockholm.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1Up, Alkie,Amara Por Dios, Arrow, Biesk, Disk, BrasilSuecia, Frankie Strand, Holem, Hop Louie, Mark Bode, Mnek, Os Gemeos, Peter Birk, RCW, Sweet Toof, Sibylla Nohrborh, Tear, Tonk, Vegan Flava, Vickan Art, Yash, CAS Crew,Cheat,Poker One,Kiss, and Ziggy.

Top Image: Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arrow. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Amara Por Dios. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vickan Art. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Peter Birk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Detail. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Holem . CAS Crew . Cheat . Poker . Kiss. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hop Louie. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ziggy. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sibylla Nohrborg. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Frankie Strand. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BrasilSuecia. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Disk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sweet Toof . Tear . RCW. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Menk . Biesk . Alkie. Tribute to Mark Bode. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yash. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tonk. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. February, 2018. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HUGE Inside and Out: “Magic City” Says Goodbye to Stockholm

HUGE Inside and Out: “Magic City” Says Goodbye to Stockholm

Magic City has a HUGE plan this weekend, the last great hurrah in Stockholm before it packs up and moves to the next city. Along with special programming and guests and late nights at the museum, Daniel Fahlström aka “Huge”, created a new signature helium balloon wall inside the space to mark the events.

A graffiti writer since age ten who grew up from north of the city, HUGE painted inside the exhibition as we all say goodbye to this wide-ranging educational, entertaining, and insightful take on a vast global graffiti and Street Art scene that continues to grow and change.

Huge. Stockholm Graffiti Wall of Fame. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Luckily for us, BSA received some great tips about where to check out the local scene and even a tour yesterday with Street Artist Vegan Flava through some of the cuttier slices of the Stockholm margins – complete with mean barking junkyard dogs and really friendly scrap metal recyclers – AND we caught this HUGE piece in the wild, so to speak.

With both of these piece to post, it’s a perfect circuit of indoor/outdoor art practice to end this Magic City note on.

Huge. Magic City Stockholm. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 02.23.18

BSA Film Friday: 02.23.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1.Felipe Pantone Does Visuals for DJ SOAK “Run

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Felipe Pantone Does Visuals for DJ SOAK “Run Away”

We used to call this feature FUN FRIDAY before we became more serious with BSA Film Friday but today it’s definitely back to fun when Street Artist Felipe Pantone does his Op Art magic for the video debut here by DJ SOAK. Behind the turntables for over half his life, this child prodigy of the scratch has shared stages with artists like Diplo, Justice, Skrillrex, 2Many Djs, A-Trak and Moby, but today is the release of his first EP “Run Away” accompanied by Anderson. Paak.

The video visuals are on point and dopily eye popping thanks to the direction and graphic design of Street Artist Felipe Pantone along with Nachei Sanchez – who also knocks out the 3d modeling and animation. The press release says it feels like a gove to Soak’s sound – and you’ll likely agree.

Get up and dance peeps! It’s the weekend!

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Slinkachu Miniaturizes the Scale in Stockholm at “Magic City”

Slinkachu Miniaturizes the Scale in Stockholm at “Magic City”

Every world is a microcosm of another. Yes, we know that is very deep.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here we are in Stockholm, Sweden peering in at the microcosm of the street art/graffiti/urban art scene that is Magic City and we realize that this huge warehouse out by the docks delivers one refinement of the global scene, followed by another and another.

Walking through this Nordic expression of an wide ranging traveling exhibition, one realizes that it has matured and strengthened since its first iteration in Dresden and later Munich. More about this later, as we will be in town a couple of days for our BSA Film Weekend and we are sure to be touring the wrong side of town shortly with local vandals and/or artists.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the small world we struck by this afternoon was the exhibited pieces by a master of “Miniaturesque” since 2006, the creator and photographer Slinkachu. Since his earliest days as a street installation artist his work has made him a phenomenon for focusing on hidden, dare we say magic, worlds inside the larger one that most of us inhabit.

Exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and appearing in books and online and social sites, these images give you an idea of the carefully choreographed petite whimsy that he has become known for.

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slinkachu. Magic City Stockhom. Stockholm, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

23 & 24 Februari | Street Art: The Art of Invention | Brooklyn Street Art

18-19.30: Film night | Brooklyn Street Art

18-19.30: Film night | Brooklyn Street Art

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Kazzius “In Search of the Movement” : High Speed Geometry in Spain

Kazzius “In Search of the Movement” : High Speed Geometry in Spain

Graffuturism in Barcelona today as KAZZIUS speaks geometry and abstraction on a wall for Contorno Urbano. Rapid fire planes of aqua, marine, and yellow all shoot along an invisible line, pile, collide, sub divide, reform, and continue forward in a split second. He calls this “In Search of the Movement”, but it looks like the dude found it.

Kazzius. Fundación Contorno Urbano/Kaligrafics. 12 +1 Project. Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. (photo Alex Miró)

Writing graff since ’93 his interest in architecture eventually formed this fine-artist’s vector-sharp vocabulary, breaking apart letters and forms and elevating the simplest geometric shapes to center stage. Movement, depth, and the spaces in between all interplay in KAZZIUS’ balanced compositions, an insight into the jolt of energy and spontaneous practice that drives this painter.

Kazzius. Fundación Contorno Urbano/Kaligrafics. 12 +1 Project. Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. (photo Alex Miró)

Kazzius. Fundación Contorno Urbano/Kaligrafics. 12 +1 Project. Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. (photo Alex Miró)


KAZZIUS “In Search of the Movement” is part of Proyect 12+1 an Urban Art initiative created by Contorno Urbano in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

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Alva Moca and “Panther Power” in Barcelona for 12 + 1 Project

Alva Moca and “Panther Power” in Barcelona for 12 + 1 Project

Organic patterning that verges on Op Art tumbled with flatly folk outsider aesthetics, commercial diagrammatics and Picasso cut-outs, Spanish artist Alva Moca has a lot going on in his head.

Alva Moca. “Panther Power”. Fundación Contorno Urbano. 12 + 1 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

Seen through a multi-practice lens of graffiti, collage, painting, illustration and advertising, this omnivore is multi-tasking at all times so it’s a surprise to you and probably him when it all comes spilling out on a wall, like this new “Panther Power” mural he’s just finished in Barcelona for the 12 + 1 project.

Mr. Moca says that this time he is thinking about the animal world and about colors as representing aspects of society; red for love and blood, blue for organic life and water, ocher for gold and power, black and white for conformity.

Alva Moca. “Panther Power”. Fundación Contorno Urbano. 12 + 1 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

In his mind there is a Mateo Kigman electronic cumbia playing, and he hopes to impart some of that same hypnotic, shamanic rhythm to his mural.

He says he wants us “to be able to remember that we are tiny in the immensity of the universe; to feel more, to question the visible and invisible of society.”

That all sounds good, but can you dance to it?


Alva Moca. “Panther Power”. Fundación Contorno Urbano. 12 + 1 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)

Alva Moca. “Panther Power”. Fundación Contorno Urbano. 12 + 1 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. Photo still from the video.

Alva Moca. “Panther Power”. Fundación Contorno Urbano. 12 + 1 l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. (photo © Clara Antón)


Alva Moca is painting as part of Project 12+1 in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain)

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DAZE: “Daily Commute”, Solo in NYC

DAZE: “Daily Commute”, Solo in NYC

Most people commute to and from work. Some spend hours caught in rush hour traffic, trapped in their cars. Others use their bikes or skateboards or a bobbing, roaring ferry. Some lucky ones just walk. In New York City most commuters use the subway and the buses to get to their offices, kitchens, stores, classrooms, campuses, and after a while, the commute disappears.

On trains and buses we are packed like sardines, avoiding eye contact, keeping to our phones and books or staring at our shoes or out a window. Maybe you get a seat, otherwise you sway back and forth tethered to a silver bar, banging into others, observing or zoning out.
On your commute you may have serendipity, a discovery, a newly germinated idea.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Subway Interior” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You may feel ill, or fall asleep, or become riveted by an evesdropped conversation. Children’s faces pressed against windows, parents catching a catnap, helping with homework, putting on eyeliner. Actors practice lines, others rehearse standup routines. Lust is awakened, love blooms, loneliness aches.

The act of commuting in NYC is rarely solitary. Or quiet.

A lifelong New Yorker, artist Daze has found inspiration in the train lines the way many authors do, relishing and memorizing details. Since hitting up trains in the golden 70s-80s era, he has never lost his love of the daily commute and the millions of idiosyncracies. Now in his first ever solo exhibition in New York City, Daze returns to the subways and streets for inspiration, bringing vibrancy and color and a few ragged edges.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “242nd Street” Detail. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For “Daily Commute” the artist revisits some familiar spots, paying tribute to known and unknown characters in a familiar way of someone who knows the city very well, without condescension or sentimentality but with the respect for a city that takes you and shakes you and throws you away and embraces you and comforts you and reads you a line from a play or a poem. If you’re lucky.

We spoke to the artist about his love for his city and his experience on its streets:

BSA: You have never lost your love for New York and its public spaces. Can you talk about something that stays true about the city decade after decade?

DAZE: I think of New York as always being a rather inclusive and diverse city. It has a long history of both that continues till this day. These are a couple of the ingredients that would make it difficult for me to live anywhere else.In choosing subject matter I am always searching for examples that represent these qualities.

BSA: The palette for many of these new works is bright and saturated with vibrant color, even though the actual city can be more subdued and grey. Is this emotion, or possibly imagination at work?

DAZE: I actually have two approaches to creating the “look” of my paintings. One is a more monochrome affect which is usually in greys,whites,and blacks. They are part of a series I call the” Grey Scale paintings” although because there are little bits of color they are not truly monochromatic. These paintings are based on black and white photo’s that I shoot on film.

The other approach is to use make work that is more color saturated. I begin with a color that will establish the overall look or mood of the painting and then work from there. I think that even though my paintings are very urban there can sometimes be something tropical about them.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Midtown” 2016.  P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Rush Hour Reflection” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Blue Portal” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When looking at many of the paintings it strikes the viewer that perhaps you are attracted to portals, small viewers that allow one to see further inside a situation.

DAZE: The use of portals is almost voyeuristic. It’s the old looking out at the contemporary. I got the idea for this from my memories as a child. The subways had these portal shaped windows on all of the doors. I really enjoyed looking out of them and watching the neighborhoods change as I rode by.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Jackson Heights” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Masquerade, W.H. in Times Square” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: One of your opus pieces in this show, which we had the pleasure of seeing at its genesis in studio a little while ago, features an iconic personality who creates his own splendid costumery, and has for years.

DAZE: The subject of the painting,” Masquerade” is Wendell Headley. He is an artist that I’ve known since my early days at Fashion Moda gallery in the Bronx circa 1982. When I first met him he would come into the gallery wearing these elaborate outfits that he made himself and just hang out. People would donate clothes and he would take the clothes apart, reconstruct them, and give them new life. He is not only a brilliant designer but truly a living sculpture.

Wendell is not someone that is trying to perform, his life is his art. I had wanted to do a portrait of him for a long time but I would only run into him sporadically in different areas of the city, usually highly populated areas.

One evening I ran into him in Times Square and I photographed him for a bit. It was really great because in the midst of all these people dressed up as Disney or Marvel comic book characters he was just being himself. He was embodying his art and that’s what defines him. I have a lot of respect for him as a creative.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Generations” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Can you speak about P.P.O.W and its connection to the graffiti and Street Art scene and what it means to you to be having your solo show here?

DAZE: PPOW is an amazing gallery that is very much like a family to me. I was close friends with many of the artists that they show and represent so it feels very natural to be there. I’ve watch them grow over the years from The east village scene in the 80’s until now and always respected what they do and how they present exhibitions, no matter how difficult.

Being represented by them continues the dialogue I’ve had with people like Martin Wong and Charlie Ahearn. I don’t think they see my work as “graffiti”. I’m not trying to do graffiti paintings. There are elements of it that appear within the layering of my paintings but my work is more about the the urban diaspora of New York and what I have lived here.

 

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Times Square blizzard” 2016 P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Interior of an IND Subway Car” 2017.  P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


DAZE “Daily Commute” is currently open to the general public at P.P.O.W. Gallery at 535 West 22nd Street in NYC. Show closes on March 17th.

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BSA Images Of The Week:02.18.18

BSA Images Of The Week:02.18.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Images of the Week! Great stuff this week from Portugal, Spain and good old NYC to flip your Aunt Betty’s wig.

The big news this week of course was that the 5 Points graffiti compound case was awarded to the 21 plaintiffs. But its not just local: it may have national implications when building owners will be insisting on contracts with anyone who paints their property. It may also confuse and scare off many opportunities for artists, where building owners will simply say no to the proposal.

The settlement, which we covered in Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case, has infuriated many and thrilled others expressing their opinion on social media. One of our 5 Ptz postings on Facebook this week garnered 1,300 comments, a nest of misunderstanding mediated by the occasional level head, offset by congratulations and victory laps. Naturally, folks from other parts of the country insulted us New Yorkers. Welcome to the world of graffiti and Street Art!

The Black Panther movie has many New Yorkers enthralled as it premiered on Tuesday night at the Museum of Modern Art. Theaters drew entire families and school groups many standing in line in costume as they waited to see powerful and positive black super-heroes and heroines. #HR620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, limiting the power of the Americans with Disabilities Act and turning back the clock on disability rights, and Trump’s new budget proposes actually steals from the mouths of the poor, taking away food assistance from millions of low-income Americans, on the heels of a tax cut that favored the wealthy and corporations. Do you know how much an average SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipient receives per month for food? $126 dollars. And you want to cut that somehow? https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/senior-hunger-facts/”>The Times Magazine says it is a defining moment for black America .

Nationally we are all still trying to grapple with another school shooting, producing more Thoughts and Prayers, and another round of Mueller indictments that continue to encircle the White House.

Finally, Brooklyn’s Kehinde Wiley pulled the curtain down with Barack Obama at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to reveal his official portrait  – HERE.  Just kidding, here are Barack and Michelle’s official portraits.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Atomik,  Bigod, City Kitty, Daniel Eime, Desla, Exit.Enter.K, Fatal Fake, Free the Nipple, Gane, Gebraël, Kram, Little Ricky, Obey, Texas, We’kup, and Zest B.

Top Image: Daniel Eime in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Going out on a limb here to say you may see MOMO, Vhils, and James Bullough similarities merged here. Nonetheless, its a solid mural by Daniel Eime here in Bairro Padre Cruz, Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bigod. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (we couldn’t decipher the signature) Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atomik. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gane . Texas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Free Boobies. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Triple Nipple. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Free The Nipple. Yeah! Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’kup . Exit. Enter. K. Obey. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Desla (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zest B. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gebraël. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Smile. Bairro Padre Cruz, Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fatal Fake . Kram. Barcelona, Spain.  (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Fatal Fake . Kram. Barcelona, Spain.  (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Fatal Fake . Kram. Barcelona, Spain.  (photo © Lluís Olivé Bulbena)

Bill S. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Yawn. Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thoughts and Prayers; Writing on the Walls of Social Media

Thoughts and Prayers; Writing on the Walls of Social Media

The messages on public walls today seamlessly extend to the discourse on your Facebook wall and Instagram post, in addition to the walls on the street. In all cases it looks like the writing is on the wall regarding the US public’s attitude toward mounting gun massacres and firearm regulation and how it is evolving.

It’s a volatile conversation in the digital public sphere – rather like the the actual public sphere, complete with attempts to censor by shouting down and ridiculing, and the presence of disinformation-spreading agents and agent(s) provocateur.

With all that said, FB uses tailored formulas for presenting friends, followers and advertisers to you so the idea of true democratic speech is skewed by algorithms that produce an echo chamber, so the memes and cartoons and opinions we all see are sifted.

While BSA is seeing a shift toward disgust at the inaction of the our so-called representatives toward gun control laws, others are probably seeing continuous memes on their social media walls that depict an oppressive government that wants to take away their gun-ownership rights, or evidence that Godless black and brown people are trying to take over the society, or something.

One thing that seems for sure, most people are tired of “thoughts and prayers” being offered reflexively – as if intermittent but increasing public mass murders are a natural occurrence over which we have no influence, like the sun and the moon rising and setting in the sky.

Many cartoons and artworks critique our maddening collective inability to solve a growing social problem that we think we should be able to address, producing an underlying feeling of learned helplessness and fear.

Here’s a quick and ragtag selection of visual messages we grabbed from our walls, our social feeds, by way of preserving the conversation in the moment, before it passes.

Try your luck at Thoughts & Prayers, the Arcade Game (click here)

 

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