Favara is a town located in south central Sicily, in Italy. Known for its Medival castle, Favara’s main trade is in agricultural products and mining. Until recently, Favara was in danger of suffering the same fate that has afflicted many of the small towns and villages throughout Italy; The exodus of its young population to larger, metropolitan areas, due to unemployment where they are able to find better opportunities and entertainment. With this exodus comes the lack in tax revenue and the subsequent abandonment of priceless architecture and the neglect of the old part of the town to decay and the ravages of time and weather.
Then came Andrea Bartoli and his wife Florinda Saieva. In 2010 they purchased several buildings that were neglected in the old city center and renovated them completely. Once the renovations were done they set up to create a cultural center that involved outdoor art exhibitions, shops, cultural events, screenings and the hosting of international artists to come and create art outdoors. They call it Farm Cultural Park. With this initiative Andrea and Florinda have created the renaissance of their historic city center and have put Favara back on the map. Favara as they happily exclaim is “A Place That Makes You Happy”.
Polish Artist, NeSpoon was invited to participate in this year’s edition of Farm Cultural Park and what an apt visual reference her contribution is to the concept of revival and the before & after.
NeSpoon is known for her exquisite, lattice-like paintings and sculptures that take inspiration from old crocheted patterns. Here, visitors will be able to have a “sight for sore eyes” moment as they turn the corner and are regaled by the vision of a wall transformed from decay into a monochrome pattern very familiar with all of us.
Her use of monochrome helps the building retain its ancient character while at the same time it elevates it to a piece of art.
Post-Posters in the city of Strasbourg, France From March through May 2019
“Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,” says
a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street
commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who
will argue with that?
“Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about
public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist
Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street
posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space
with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the
world to do the same.
Over a two month period the creative placemakers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel.
The simple plotter printing and limited color palette give the collection of sentiments and sneaky statements a pre-Internet flavor, now delivered in the streets with post-Internet zeal. As advertisers begin to take more public space and mind space with screens of all sorts on the streets, these simple posters actually can appear to be more powerful.
Or it may simply seem like a lot of curious posters.
Post-posters features worldwide
artists including: Céline Ahond & Valérie Tortolero, Émilie Akli, Liliana
Amundaraín, Groupe Banlieue-Banlieue (Alain Campos, Antonio Gallego, José Maria
Gonzalez), La galerie des locataires présente André Cadere, Mathieu Boisadan,
Lénie Blue, Hervé Bréhier & Laura Morsch-Kihn,
Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, Raphaël Charpentié, Vincent Chevillon, Emma
Cozzani, Minerva Cuevas, Alain Declercq, Michel Dector, Justin Delareux,
Caroline Delieutraz, Carole Douillard, Michel Dupuy, Souad El Maysour,
Encastrable, Escif, John Fekner, Sebastian Freytag, Antonio Gallego, Jakob
Gautel, Roland Görgen, Anahita Hekmat, David Horvitz, Icy & Sot, Rafael
Gray, Ann Guillaume & Tom Bücher, Antoine Hoffmann, Rodolphe Huguet, Jason
Karaïndros, Jiem L’Hostis & Mary Limonade, Laurent Lacotte, Thomas
Lasbouygues, Lise Lerichomme, Richard Louvet, Jean-Claude Luttmann, Gabrielle
Manglou, Laurent Marissal, Roberto Martinez, Cynthia Montier & Myriam
Suchet, Tania Mouraud, Aurélie Noury, Myriam Omar Awadi, Leila Payet, Patrick
Pinon, Igor Ponosov, Arthur Poutignat, Arzhel Prioul alias Mardinoir, Jacques
Sy, Mathieu Tremblin, Marianne Villière, Addie Wagenknecht, Éric Watier.
CREDITS: Production by Syndicat Potentiel, Strasbourg (FR). Installations by Antonio Gallego, Laurent Lacotte, Mathieu Tremblin. Fly posting and documentation in Strasbourg by Liliana Amundaraín, Antonio Gallego, Laurent Lacotte, Thomas Lasbouygues, Antoine Lejolivet, Arthur Poutignat, Mathieu Tremblin. Printing by Orgacompte (Nîmes). Thanks to Laurent Bourderon (Immédiats, Arles).
For more information about Syndicat Potentiel, Post Posters Project AND to download or buy a poster click HERE
First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:
Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.
Included in the crowd were old-skool New Yorkers and a large international contingent of folks like Henry Chalfant, Doze Green, Skeme, Lee Quinones, Soten1, Carlos Mare 139, Terror 161, Kane, Dink (Baltimore), Okuda San Miguel (Spain), Faith47 (Los Angeles), Mantra (France), 1UP Crew (Germany), Nika Kramer (Germany), Roger Gastman, Lars Pederson (Denmark), Ian Cox (UK), Dean Moses… and many more. Those who didn’t attend this screening are having the opportunity to see it at three more sold-out evenings over the course of the festival.
The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes.
Spanning nearly all of Ms. Cooper’s 75 years, including a photo at age 3 with a camera in hand from her father Ben and uncle Harry’s Baltimore camera store, “Martha” successfully identifies the underlying driving forces, the unique personality and intellectual traits, and the milestones that propelled the photographer across scenes, subcultures, cities, and continents.
While Cooper is most often identified as a crucial documentarian of the 1970s and early 1980s graffiti-writing scene in New York, with “Subway Art” considered a global holy book of preservation that inspired thousands of artists worldwide, the film is judiciously clear that the photographer has had an anthropologists’ zeal for documenting much more over her multi-decade career.
During and after the film you don’t know who you are most impressed with – the director, Martha, the communities touched, the history and stories that are preserved with such care and respect.
“Martha” captures important and character-molding biographical events – like her work in the Peace Corps in Thailand, a subsequent motorcycle trip from there to the UK, her investigations of tattoo techniques in Tokyo, and her work as the first “girl” photographer at the New York Post. During the film’s nearly magical depiction of Cooper’s first meeting with New York graffiti king Dondi, those in the audience who knew this story broke out into spontaneous applause.
The film isn’t shy about the low points and struggles of Cooper, like her repeated attempts to work at National Geographic, the continuous rejections of “Subway Art” by publishers, her loss of money by its initial disappointing sales, and the high-sniffing artworld classism of a clueless gallerist who unsuccessfully tries to dash her hopes of being recognized for her truest and most human work.
You are gently led to take that journey with great interest as well, finally arriving at the mid-2000s European promotional tour for her book Hip Hop Files where Cooper suddenly realizes the impact that “Subway Art” has had on graffiti artists worldwide. Building on that enthusiastic response from new-found fans of her work she jumps back into street photography just as the Street Art scene is exploding.
Despite such a complex story Miles is able to coax out many significant truths in character development along with their infinite shadings, facts and nuances of the story.
With interviews, testimonials, unseen home footage from Cooper’s ex-husband and excerpts from soft-news TV stories of the 1980s, viewers may gain a greater understanding of the sacrifice, dogged determination, and her sixth sense for capturing images that the subject exhibits. Keeping a quick pace aided by a smart soundtrack, pertinent graphic elements, and sharp editing, Miles finds ingenious ways to educate us about the various milieu Cooper worked with and the vicissitudes she had to overcome.
The additional layers of visual language infuse so many aspects of the story – a collaging of words, music, precise editing, intuitive pairings and lyrical, witty storytelling that lands in a pitch-perfect way.
In the end you realize Coopers’ underlying credo of taking pictures is about shedding light on people, their lives, their amazing ingenuity in the face of difficulty, their ability to rise above their environment as well as the artists techniques of art-making.
Careful observers will also be struck by the scenes of quiet moments that remain still for a few seconds to reveal deeper feeling – a remarkable glimpse of the filmmaker’s intuitive grasp of the life path and its trials. It’s those in-between places of luminosity that are revelatory, and the human gestures she lets the camera linger upon allow the viewer to write small essays inside their head, bearing witness.
With gratitude and respect to Director Miles and her whole film crew whom have worked thousands of hours over the past 2 and half years, we know that the graffiti/Street Art/photography scenes have been given a huge gift; almost as big a gift as Martha herself.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple 2. Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video 3. TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain. 4. The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington
BSA Special Feature: “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple
A project from The Intercept and Naomi Kleinit imagines that somehow the oligarchy is going to let go of its addiction to fossil fuels and the aspirations of the citizens will prevail. Enjoy!
A Message From the Future
Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video
Good Guy (bad guy?) Boris is back with his own version of Gypsy trap to entice and thrill you to do a big ass tag. A graffiti renaissance man who continues to plow his own path forward, the hijinx are hilarious and the song isn’t so bad either. Maybe it is a little better than those graffiti vandal road trip movies he was doing, but maybe we just have a short attention span these days.
TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain.
“People who normally lived in a very specific way and nobody had bothered to see whether they had talent or not,” explains Alfonso Gutierrez about the genesis of this project encouraging 450 students from around Spain to participate in a public mural campaign.
An inspirational message, and a welcome sign in this march of humans.
The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington
A short film that looks at the creative process on by the sincerely absorbed Irish Street Artist/fine artist Conor Harrington as he talks about his work and promotes his new show ‘The Story of Us and Them’ at Heni Gallery in London.
After two and a half years of intense filming, editing, and researching, Director Selina Miles will share her story of iconic photographer Martha Cooper on the big screen tonight at the World Premiere of “Martha: A Picture Story”.
A culmination of talents and passion from two great women in the graffiti-Street Art world, the film has been selected to screen in competition at the famed and respected TriBeCa Film Festival in New York City.
In the case of Ms. Cooper, it is a fascinating insight behind the scenes of the life of a person with a determined intellect and uncanny timing. You get a true sense of her focus and passion as she marches above and below the streets and the globe over more than five decades with camera in hand eager to discover and document. Only a director like Miles can tell the story like this, her sixth sense for detail and nuance driving her to the roots of a complex tale, complimented by her savvy ability for precisely timed editing and sound that keeps the viewer on pace for a story that takes many turns.
The first of four screenings (the newest added due to public demand) takes place today at the sold-out premiere.
Click HERE to read our interview with Martha and Selina.
Owing to the scarceness of resources that are usually
allotted to those who arrive as refugees, Street Artist and muralist Sebastien
Waknine relies solely upon the thinnest piece of charcoal as he works on this
“Learning from Migrants and Refugees” is the name of the collection
of scenes that document the situations that people can be in when escaping from
strife and fear – the human aspect of appealing to the help of another society.
After five weeks of intensive work, Waknine stood aside during a public
introduction as a Syrian man held the microphone and described the scenes to an
assemble crowd in Barcelona.
in the gardens on the Hospital of Sant Pau in Barcelona, the mural was
commissioned by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and will be exhibited in
various locations within the city of Barcelona.
say that the mural highlights the journey of refugees from the ravages of war
and poverty in their countries as well as the realities of their living conditions
in their host countries.
It is an unusual technique for a public work these days, as
many have become accustomed to the splashy nature of big murals and festivals
that present them. Here the warmth of the rendering and the humanity conveyed
in the faces and gestures is only magnified when one gets close enough, even
intimate with, the artwork.
The detached impersonal nature of war by drone has enabled
such masses of people to be uprooted and chased from their lives – and a viewer
may contrast the experience of the driver of that drone drawn in the sky with
close-up terror of innocents whom Waknine depicts.
Amid the detritus of the urban cityscape in decline, it is a
welcome contrast to see a dandelion or wild daisy sprouting up from a crack in
the sidewalk. Not only is it a reminder of the original inhabitants of the land
you are standing on it is an ever-present truth that the plants and the trees
and the animals will inherit the earth again, no matter what grand ideas you
have for it.
The simplest symbol of nature in the layered debris of urban
margins, and a decorative one, is the flower that Micheal De Feo has been
“planting” on walls since the early 1990s. The practice has sustained him
through many cities and travels abroad, introducing him to artists and fans and
collectors, eventually pushing him into explorations of contemporary art.
“Conceptually, I had stumbled upon something that made sense to me on so many levels,” he says in his new hardcover book,”Flowers”, published this spring by Abrams, New York. “Using whimsy and beauty, I was inspiring smiles and also making connections to ideas about the cycle of life and the ephemeral nature of all things.”
The collection of early images of this simple flower popping up in many streets and scenes remind you of your connection to nature and to his art, almost taking it for granted.
learn from watching your artwork set roots in a city,” say the Street Art duo
Faile in their intro to the book, “causing people to pause in an alley or on a
side street, to stop and look: You see the city in broader terms.”
Now expanding in studio to abstractions and a gestural piling-up of brushstrokes around and upon commercial figurative photography and more recently over top images of classical painting, De Feo is refining and redefining his practice. The newer works are well suited for magazine covers and living room walls as he transitions to a decorative contemporary oeuvre. But the simplicity is still there, happy to be in your world.
so you’re the flower guy!”.
If you are in NYC this Thursday, April 25th Michael De Feo will be hosting a Pop-Up party, exhibition, book signing and the release of a new special print in celebration of his book FLOWERS. The Pop-UP will be held at 198 Allen Street from 6:30 – 9:00 pm on April 25th and on Friday, April 26th from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Rachel Carson died on this day in 1964 – her life awakening man/womankind’s environmental conscience.
Today on Earth Day we remember that corporations hire PR firms to tell us misinformation about the damage they are doing – or as Carson once said, we are “fed little tranquilizing pills of half truth.”
street, and Street Artists, are these days pulling no punches. We celebrate that.
The art works featured here from Studio Number One are available to download for free as posters for printing or squares for Social Media. Click on the link below to download your free poster:
Thanks to the visions of artists, the street continues to set imaginations on fire as well. Just don’t get burned.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Antennae, Captain Eyeliner, Caze, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Hiss, Hot Tea, Pyramid Oracle, Rek La Blatte, Samuffa, Sensbale, Smells, Steve ESPO Powers, and Texas.
We have been chasing this Spring 2019, beginning in Madrid late February Bilbao early March, mid-March the tulips in Berlin, then the warmth of spring in Queretaro, Mexico. Finally, we caught up with it here in our beloved NYC… and today is Saturday, some say Holy Saturday.
Because it is spring, it is cool and warm, the birds are singing with abandon in New York neighborhoods. Because the sweet smell of hyacinth and chocolate mixes here with the smells of pavement and gasoline and the smoke from yesterdays burning bread fires lit by the Hasidim. Because art on the streets is not always by the hands of men and women. Because you are alive.
Enjoy this New York photo essay by Jaime Rojo.
In the glad springtime when leaves were green, O merrily the throstle sings! I sought, amid the tangled sheen, Love whom mine eyes had never seen, O the glad dove has golden wings!
Between the blossoms red and white, O merrily the throstle sings! My love first came into my sight, O perfect vision of delight, O the glad dove has golden wings!
Ode On The Spring ~ Poem by Thomas Gray
“I am starry-eyed and vaguely discontented Like a nightingale without a song to sing Oh, why should I have Spring fever When it isn’t even spring?
I keep wishing I were somewhere else Walking down a strange new street Hearing words that I have never heard From a girl I’ve yet to meet
I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud or a robin on the wing But I feel so gay in a melancholy way That it might as well be spring
It Might As Well Be Spring ~ Rogers & Hammerstein
Spring in my step Spring in the air Spring! Spring! Lingering everywhere.
Spring fever to follow, But I don’t care, Spring, for new journeys, I’ll meet you there!
Where? By the garden gate, You silly thing, It’s an invitation to frolic So let’s begin to sing. It’s Spring!
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours 2. Vhils – Annihilation 3. C215 Au Pantheon 4. On Set / Kenny Scharf
BSA Special Feature: Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours
The awesome expanse of one artists’ life during the course of a year, as expressed visually in the travels of Okuda San Miguel. Prolific, pro-people, kaleidoscopic in his imaginings; Okuda’s public works are as engaging as any artist working outside today, and in some cases, very inspiring. This is a good era for the artist, and with talented people on his team galavanting the globe, at this moment the world is theirs.
Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours
Vhils – Annihilation
Finding the right partner for collaboration is no easy matter, and Vhils is here studying the contrasts and shiny chaos of the US in late stage capitalism, finding that harmony can be struck from the most unlikely of pairings. Europeans can’t believe the disparity here, and we know its setting aflame the very fabric of our society – but it’s so dazzling as it burns. Feel your pulse quicken as you see Vhils chip away at the veneer with Shepard, Retna, and a jackhammer.
C215 Au Pantheon
master C215 continues his move into other arenas, in this case the crypt of the
Pantheon with his portraits of great men and women. Full of character and
dignity, his people are somehow brought to life in his depictions through
On Set / Kenny Scharf
Is this a commentary on the times, or a commentary on The Times? Maybe Kenny knows