Welcome to Images of the Week! Go outside! Take your recycled bag with you because New York just outlawed plastic bags as of March 2020, so you can get in the habit now. This week most of our images come from the Urban Art holy city of Berlin, which we visited for a few days. Next stop, Querétaro, Mexico! Vamos!
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Berlin Kidz, Herakut, Homo Punk Action, Lapiz, Lister, Marina Zumi, Mr. June, Nafir, Nespoon, Nils Westergardt, Ostap, Pink Pony, 1UP Crew and Snik.
Berlin streets are regularly teeming with the Vox Graffiti in shouting chaotic profusion – and have been for decades. The bubbling laughing raging hordes proffer a visual conversation that often roars, and you’ll have to yell to get your voice above the rest.
1UP and Berlin Kidz are two of the graffiti crews who reliably blast out their viewpoint, each with a uniquely unmistakable cadence and flair. This week one gilded the urban stage while the other was transformed upon it by British guest star Fanakapan with a ringing whoop, and with the angelic welcome of Alanis at the entrance, the Frühling party of Berlin is in full bloom.
Set upon a newly opened urban arena in Kreuzberg (thanks to the demolishing of a building adjacent to it) the actual bubble letters that distinguish the guileful Londoners’ letter style now rise above the rubble with multi-colored glee. Spelling out the 1UP letters in a way they never could, his interpretative take is framed by two runners of Berlin Kidz translation of Pichaçao-style colored cryptic tagging.
“As one can imagine this was just to good to be true,” says Sam Walter of YAP Productions, the organizers and facilitators of the lift and permissions. “Yes we did have problems with a security and also police since we had no official paper which gave us permission for the wall – but we got a couple of confirmations via phone calls,” he says with all the reassuring confidence of a Cheshire cat .
Together with the rest of the steel-spined-velvet-clad YAP posse, the 1UP crew and Fanakapan were celebrating on this vast muddy lot ringed in concertina wire as the sun set one night this week. Word spread quickly and the reunion at the wall felt like 50% Graffiti God magic mixed with 110% adrenaline helping everyone ignore the psychotic spring weather that warms you one minute and converts you into a popsicle the next.
The original motivation for the collaboration is based on an one-year-old idea between 1UP and Fanakapan, says Sam, “bringing those beautiful, shiny, giant 7-meter “1UP’ letters. These are young artists who take on a lot of risk to push the graffiti culture beyond its boundaries.”
“No animals, plants or 1UPs were harmed during this production,” quips the charismatic cultural curator and YAP team member Denis Leo Hegic as he texts process shots of the wall to the squad as the secret/public wall goes up.
“1UP carries the zeitgeist of Berlin out into the world like no other contemporary collective. The DNA of the crew is rooted in the streets of Kreuzberg, but the group also developed into a global family,” he says. The statement is only partial bravado, as a serious graffiti head in many cities will be able to tell you a rooftop, elevator, or train line that they’ve seen hit by the amorphous and amazingly anonymous crew that seems to shape shift and reconstitute itself – evidenced here where their enormous tag is painted by another artist entirely.
BSA: Is this a tribute piece to 1UP or is it a collaboration? Denis Leo Hegic: It’s gravity graffiti. Collaborative and collective work is already included in their spirit “one united power”. Fanakapan managed to portray it in such a powerful and gravity defying way and gave us the largest 1UP letters hovering weightlessly over Berlin. 1UP is a ubiquitous tag in Berlin. You can’t help but be aware of it.
BSA: Did the authorities take any interest in visiting the site when Fanakapan was painting the tag, perhaps thinking that it was actually 1UP painting? Denis Leo Hegic: We had quite an interaction with the local law enforcement. However, all the officers that appeared on site were being alarmed by other people and did not come on their own initiative.
BSA: How did you get permission to paint on this wall? Denis Leo Hegic: Through the intelligence of many. We managed to thrill lots of good, curious and courageous people who made everything possible: from a large wall in the center of Kreuzberg to the entire production. Fanakapan was extremely motivated and he literally blew those balloons up the wall.
BSA: Previously there was a building in front of the current wall. Now the whole wall is fully exposed, showing fully the long-running Alanis angel piece. Was any consideration given to the Alanis piece while planning the 1UP piece?
Denis Leo Hegic: Absolutely. I hate when some people say “curating a wall” or “curating a mural” – that’s such utter nonsense! How can one person possibly “curate” one single painting on one single wall? However, this wall succeeded to curate itself naturally. It’s a great composition with the two vertical stripes by Berlin Kidz on each side of the piece and being held by the Alanis angel from the ground. With Fanakapan’s addition of the 1UP bubble tag it became a marvelous “Kreuzberger Mischung” (Kreuzberg Mixture).
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Ibie vs Pelucas. Battle on the Streets Using VideoGame Metaphor 2. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda “Perpetual Flow” in Morocco 3. Nuria Toll. Contorno Urbano Foundation. 12+1 Project. Barcelona 4. MUSA vs Siro Wild West. Dueling Walls at the 12+1 Project, Barcelona
BSA Special Feature: Ibie vs Pelucas. Battle on the Streets Using VideoGame Metaphor
A new one from Contorno Urbano, this video is scored/styled as a digital battle with a Ludonarrative dissonance ,these two 3-D gaming masters are the ludic elements of gameplay and pushing the narration of discovery and slaughter by paint.
With each player reaching deeper into his quiver for arrows, bolts, and darts, the resulting paintings are deep and lush – compiled with many actions per minute. This isn’t just player versus environment versus player – this is player versus imagination.
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda “Perpetual Flow” in Morocco
“My work uses natural materials and technology. I try to do this in a way so that it has very little impact (environmentally),” says artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda here in Morrocco where he has created a huge land-art installation called “Perpetual Flow.”
MUSA vs Siro Wild West. Dueling Walls at the 12+1 Project, Barcelona
An awesome duel between can-slinging cowboy and cowgirl! Scored to a wild west musical theme, see these two artists on opposite sides of the tunnel painting fire and rattlesnakes and their individual wild styles.
It was a name used by my mother when I was growing up,” says the British Street Artist as he talks about his new mural for Urban Nation in Berlin. “She used to call my sister Fanny Fanakapan – it was just sort of a term of endearment,” he says.
It’s a cold/rainy/sunny/windy/calm Monday and we’re in the thick of Aprilwetterhere at the end of March, and Fannakapan is stirring old memories to recall his entirely unusual name for Nika Kramer, the photographer who has captured these shots.
“I know there was this song made in wartime by a lady named Gracie Fields about a useless man named Fred Fanakapan, he says. “So it’s been stuck in my head from a very early age. I always had tag names that were sort of something to do with my family – like the name I had before this was TRIPE because my granddad used to say “that’s a load of tripe!” – which refers to a cow’s stomach.”
The new mural, part of the ongoing “One Wall” program by UN, features his signature chrome texture – this time as a heart shaped balloon. He tells Nika why he’s positioned the cartoon character Snoopy, based on the Charles Schultz comic strip, looking quizzically at his own reflection in the balloon.
He says that with this mural he is actually giving a tribute to his own dog, which he credits with giving him love and support during a tough time in his life.
is kind of dedicated to her. At the time I was quite unhappy and she cheered me
right up so basically I say that I believe in dog. I called the piece “Believe
talks more about the two dimensional dog quizzically gazing up at the balloon
and points out that the background is taken directly form the location. “I took the
photographs next to the wall so it’s reflecting the trees and the buildings
around it. When I do that I think it always makes the
local people appreciate it more to see their street reflected in something.”
Our special thanks to Nika Kramer for sharing her talents with BSA readers here.
now lets sit down to the Victrola to listen to the original song
about Fred Fannakapan by that inimitable Lancaster lassie, Ms. Gracie Fields.
Jorge Rodríguez- Gerada takes us to the desert to talk about water. The large scale land artist took over 37,500 square meters with local assistants to create this image of water washing over hands as a commentary on the importance of waste water management.
The artists’ choice of this topic is something that becomes more in focus as we employ strategies for conserving a shrinking supply of potable water worldwide. Here in Morocco, where leaders say there is increasing water scarcity Rodríguez- Gerada has discovered a rich and ample canvas and relevant location to address the issue.
is a city located south of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. It is known as the
door to the Sahara and will soon be surrounded by a greenbelt protecting it
from sandstorms,” says one of the organizers.
natural barrier requires innovative irrigation systems that deploy purified
wastewater, improving the quality of life for Ouarzazate’s inhabitants who have
found new recreational spaces and a reason to protect the local environment and
the biodiversity that it contains. Wasted water is recycled, collected, filtered
in reservoirs and then pumped into the greenbelt with the aid of clean power
generated by the Noor Ouarzazate solar power plant, the largest in North
Sometimes an artist needs to move mountains to make his point. In this case it was 36 tons of dark gravel from a nearby quarry- an impressive and important project indeed.
Artist Anna Repullo is bringing the excitement of attraction to the street in her new mural, “El Beso” (The Kiss). It’s her sentimental contribution as part of a 3-woman program for walls here in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, curated by Contorno Urbano.
The figurative painter who loves to hike and explore nature lives in Granada Spain and is comfortable painting on canvas or walls. Her worko often depicts acts of intimacy and refuge between people in romantic or platonic embrace; sometimes even between people and pets.
This particular kiss is well timed for Spring, where many a passion is stirred by the caress of a warm breeze in the sunshine, the sounds of birds arriving with their song, the sight of trees bursting with their fresh blooms everywhere.
“You kissed me! My head drooped low on your breast With a feeling of shelter and infinite rest, While the holy emotions my tongue dared not speak, Flashed up as in flame, from my heart to my cheek; Your arms held me fast; oh! your arms were so bold —
Heart beat against heart in their passionate fold. Your glances seemed drawing my soul through my eyes, As the sun draws the mist form the sea to the skies. Your lips clung to mine till I prayed in my bliss They might never unclasp from the rapturous kiss.”
One of three female artists keep these walls on lockdown right now in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Capdevilla says she’s calling into question our classical comparisons of our own bodies to those ideals of Eurocentric sculptures and painters from centuries ago.
She says “the plaster bodies are a good analogy for the rigid canons of beauty we’re used to,” and you can see exactly what she is talking about, from many angles.
of the parent project “Contorno Urbano,” itself a grassroots run collection of
public and Street Artists and their admirers, say work like this hits one of
their many people-fueled goals. “We keep working every day to normalize women’s
participation in Street art projects, because art belongs to all of us.”
Springtime in New York! Crocuses, tulips, fire extinguisher tags! Ahh the joy of life! Happy Purim to the Jewish neighbors. Saal-e-no mobaarak (سال نو مبارک) Happy New Year to the Iranian neighbors. Yes, this is New York, where we disprove the notion that we can’t all get along. Every dang day. We also sing together on the train when its stuck.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Ardif, BustArt, Clipper, CNO PCU, Drinkala, JPS, Mattewythe, Nanos, Nubian, Pork, Rock, George Standpipe, and The Postman Art.
La Ciutat Vella or The Old City is a district in Barcelona also known as the Gothic Quarters. Among many things it is also known as the stomping grounds for the young Pablo Picasso, who attended the Fine Arts school that once stood on Calle Avinyó.
Not to mention the impressive Gothic architecture and the first project of Famed Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi. Rambling up La Rambla is a good way to check out the parade of Barceloneons with its long walking avenue and take get great food in El Raval which is 50% populated by immigrants who come from many places including South America, Pakistan, the Phillipines, and Romania. Also, its close to the beach.
For those looking for street art this is also a remarkable point of destination. There are no big walls really but The Old City has plenty of back allies where artists find old rusty doors or windows to put up small pieces of Street Art.
Figurative, fantastical, surreal, dark pop, illustration techniques are favorites for local artiststs, who use all the compliment of modern Street Art techniques, including stencils, posters, stickers, and wheat pastes.
Our sincere thanks to photographer Lluis Olive who visited this part of the city recently and sends this dispatch of small offerings to share with BSA readers.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. PHLEGM – Mausoleum of Giants – A Behind the Scenes View 2. Hamburger Eyes; A documentary by Aaron Rose 3. Conor Harrington / American Flag 4. Fujito Nakaya. Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.) 1998. Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao.
BSA Special Feature: PHLEGM – Mausoleum of Giants – A Behind the Scenes View
Delicious Clam Records, Bal Fashions Speakeasy, Plot 22...
long has this been going on?
According to Doug at Fifth Wall TV Sheffield has been in the thick of it as a cultural hotbed of music and art for quite some time – with artist collectives and installations like this new one in an old ironworks building by Street Artist Phlegm.
of that combined means there is a really vibrant underground scene and we have
a lot of D.I.Y. stuff happening” says Steve of @CADS Sheff – the grassroots
formed team that activates spaces like this.
Don’t be a mardy bum then, let’s go and take a look at Phlegm shall we?
Street photography, when done well, can
summon euphoria and nausea. Rather like a chain restaurant hamburger.
Perhaps that is the inspiration for the name “Hamburger Eyes” for this eclectic
collection of photographers from the San Francisco Bay Area, who capture the
American fun and folly that you may have missed.
Just screened this month in New York at
Metrograph with a Q&A with Ray Potes and Clark Allen, its a documentary by
Aaron Rose (Beautiful Losers) that helps remind us why some people are drawn to
cities, while others avoid it like limburger. With interviews, stills, and
video the film brings to action the magazine by the same name that has just
celebrated its 18th birthday, yo. Watch out! Legal age!
The Irish Street Artist and muralist and painter has a go at the nationalism that blinds and could lead you to walk into traffic or off a cliff. We think.
Fujito Nakaya. Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.) 1998. Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao.
A foggy memory from standing outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao a few weeks ago. This fog sculpture is activated periodically, and if visiting school students are nearby, the excitement is multiplied! Video by Jaime Rojo.
Remember that red-haired aerobics teacher that used to yell loudly over the thumping disco beat while her head-banded spandex army jumped and kicked in unison in front of a mirror at the community center?
forget to breeeeeeeaaaath, people! Okay? And 2 and 3 and 4. Good!”
You cannot forget to breath if you are gazing down Piotrkowska Street in Łódź on your average Thursday night either. You will see the slowly pulsing acqua neon sign just installed there reminding you to do that normal thing that you may not pay much attention to.
artist duo Supergut Studio (Katarzyna Furgalinska, Lukasz Smolarczyk), have
just completed this new public art piece, “throbbing in line with human’s
breathing, creating an illusion of synchronization between the neon light and
the human organism, ” they say.
Made with old fashioned neon technology instead of the LEDs that are taking over public light fixtures everywhere, this sign is shrouded effectively in the darkness of night despite its proximity to illuminated crossings and traffic. Watching it silently from a distance, it also summons a memory of city life in the past – perhaps your past.
“The idea is to direct the installation’s influence at a single recipient and his individual sense of ‘here and now’,” says the project’s curator Michal Biesynski, who has over the last decade brought a huge number of artists opportunities to paint walls and erect sculpture here in the Polish city.
This new installation in the public sphere may actually be good for citizen’s health, and possibly their peace of mind.
An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco
“ANDRECO painted the air pollution with the air pollution itself,” say organizers in the 20 million strong New Delhi – which was declared the world’s most polluted capital, according to Reuters this month.
And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.
The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate ArtProject, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, “Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water”.
The mural, people’s march and public talks are a hybrid of activism, art and science, ANDRECO tells us. His goal is for residents in Delhi to focus on the consequences of the climatic changes and the air water pollution in their city.
“In particular the project takes inspiration by the latest studies on the Air quality and the condition of the Yamuna river,” he tells us, “and it aims to underline the best practices for air and water remediation and climate change adaptation and mitigation.”
We have published previous editions of this project and it is always good to
see the images of people participating in the demonstration and march with
flags, a physical commitment to the expressed goals of standing in solidarity
with Mother Earth, her natural systems, and our responsibility to preserve
“The mural at the Lodhi Art District in Lodhi Colony, Delhi represents an
artistic translation of the studies about air and water remediation,” says a
press release from organizers. “The wall painting symbolizes the transition of
toxic smoke and greenhouse gases, coming from unregulated emissions from
industrial pollution, emissions from vehicles and crop burning, into a healthy
environment with clean clouds. The transition is made possible due to the tree
that stands in the middle of the wall.”