Typically you may expect to be praying the novena and asking God for absolution of your dastardly sins here in this sprawling compound called The Konvent near Barcelona. While no one would stop you today, you may also wish to check out a number of new installations throughout the many buildings by Street Artists.
The Roman Catholic former convent hosted 50 or so artists over the last couple of years to transform the space, perhaps to reinterpret its original charge in a modern light, perhaps just to ready the compound for commercial, cultural, and community pursuits of the owners.
Certainly the decaying spaces and austere aesthetic is inviting, calming, possibly frightening, depending on your associations. Now they are home for music, dance, theatre, film festivals, and artist residencies – often offered only in Catalan but some also in European Spanish.
As you walk through the spaces you are welcomed by these works by artists, many of them at one time or another categorized as Street Artists, whose voices now usher in a new era of contemplation and perhaps internal exploration.
Our thanks to photogapher and BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing these images from El Konvent.
For more information about El Konvent please Click HERE
Gorgeous, tremulous days and nights in New York as we march with determination into fall – Tomokazu Matsuyama and his 12 assistants finished his epic contribution to the Houston Wall, a huge crowd overflowed the Bronx Museum to celebrate the photographer/filmmaker Henry Chalfant and his pivotal work that brought fame to graffiti writers, and Kehinde Wiley stunned Times Square with a new monument entitled “Rumors of War”, which the artist says “attempts to use the language of equestrian portraiture to both embrace and subsume the fetishization of state violence.”
The color palette of the new collection of murals at the 3rd edition of Parees Festival is softened, earthen, stable. Adding five new murals brings the total to 23 here in Oviedo The 3rd edition of Parees Festival in Oviedo in Northern Spain, only minutes from the Bay of Biscay.
As you review the techniques and schools of influence you can see the careful curation of the selection of muralists – each seemingly contextual, whether figurative or abstract of geometric.
Organizers say the newest artist participants, Mina Hamada, Hedof & Joren Joshua, Udatxo, Catalina Rodríguez Villazón & Matth Velvet, were chosen from a global selection yet are expected to be cognizant of their immediate environment in their conception.
There are themes based on regional culture, say the organizers, and “You can also add to this spirit the main characteristic of the event which make it something different from other urban art festivals in the country: the participatory processes: neighbors from every area where the walls are located collaborate with their authors in order to participate in the final design.”
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “Nos Jardins” By Anais Florin for Bien Urbain #9 2. Vhils and his Work. A look into the Lisbon based artist 3. YZ Yseult: Making of the Mural La Marianne
BSA Special Feature: “Nos Jardins” By Anais Florin for Bien Urbain #9
Horticultural Street Art Activists to the Rescue
gardens have been maintained by gardeners. For generations.
Now the city council wants to take them over to build a new “eco-district” here in the Les Vaîtes neighborhood of Besançon. And the soil tenders say “These are Our Gardens,” resisting the change, insisting on the historical respect they believe these gardens deserve.
spending many days with them, taking pictures and speaking with everyone, artist
decided she could help by creating posters to highlight their struggle.
“Les Vaîtes before the eco-discrict” ! She put up some legally, and some illegally in the city center by taking over the bus stop shelter. Viva Les Vaîtes!
Vhils and his Work. A look into the Lisbon based artist
Yes, your grandmother is going to know about Vhils now.
YZ Yseult: Making of the Mural La Marianne
Marianne is a symbol of Republican France. A Marianne is a bust of a proud and determined woman wearing a Phrygian cap. She symbolises the attachment of the common citizens of the revolution to the Republic – Marianne is liberty, egality and fraternity.
first thing you should know is that Marianne
is a symbol in France – capturing the spirit of liberty, equality, and
brotherhood/sisterhood (Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité). Commonly depicted as a
proud and determined woman wearing a Phrygian cap, Marianne symbolises the
attachment of the common citizens of the revolution to the Republic.
Street Artist YZ and engraver Elsa Catelin have just finished
their view of the heralded symbol on the streets of Périgueux
(Dordogne) – and it actually became the new face of Marianne stamps. Selected
by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, YZ had the opportunity to
meet him and see her work unveiled across a 16 meter by 11 meter wall.
That’s how curator Yasha Young began the UN Biennale in Berlin this month. A fantasy-infused ramble through a future jungle teeming with dark pop goth and an animated gorilla, the multi-featured installation by the outgoing Creative Director was meant to pose questions about a possible future, or many possible futures on an Earth deeply scarred, reclaiming itself from man/womankind’s folly.
Spread along a 100-meter path and teeming with small surprise exhibits popping from the savage magic of two-day overgrowth, the installation appeared to take inspiration, at least in part, from the wildly successful Berlin exhibition two years ago called, “The Haus”, by a trio called Die Dixons. That one featured 175 artists creating immersive, site-specific futurist/fantasy installations on the five floors of a former bank – inviting dance troops and performances and thousands who cued for hours around the block.
One of artists at UN’s “ROBOTS AND RELICS: UN-MANNED”, Herakut, was also in the Haus exhibition and here under the roaring U-Bahn on Bülowstraße produces one of the best synthesis of technology and fantasy. Their sculptural painted theatrical character of Mother Nature is straight from a childs’ imagination, blinking eyes forming a blue inquisitive aura around its visage.
No doubt many visitors winding through this late summer wildness were feeling quizzical to one another, confronting the various staged scenarios by 27 artists and asking “what if…”. Perhaps a lush and greener version of the traveling “29 Rooms” selfie house we saw in Brooklyn a few years ago, this one blended themes of post-disaster with a glistening dark leafy future girded with idiosyncracies and Hans Ruedi Giger airbrushed human/machines locked in biomechanical reverie.
carry us off into barren deserts with relics of human existence,” says the
press release, “colorfully patterned
animals in overgrown areas as well as spherical light worlds.”
wasn’t a fait accompli that Henry Chalfant was going to capture an entire
graffiti train in late 1970s New York. He needed to devise a technique and plan
In much the same way that train writers like Blade, Dondi, SEEN, Mare and Skeme had to strategize, scope, and execute their hand-rendered work upon the rails under challenging circumstances and sometimes dangerous conditions, the photographic documentarian Chalfant had to likewise show up with his tools and skillz to document the work. He shot multiples in rapid succession by positioning himself, timing the trains, preparing his materials, and overlaying those images together end-to-end in a time-consuming methodology that he alone devised.
By presenting an ingenious visual anthropology, Henry captured for a greater audience the aesthetics and a more permanent record of the final product – at a time when most authorities and public sentiment saw little if any value in the work. This premeditated outlaw vandalism was also artistry, born with pure adrenaline by teenagers who were eager to make their mark in a rapidly declining US city in the midst of economic crises. When tags evolved to whole cars, whole cars became set pieces, and whole trains became a visual opus that swept into, through, and out of your view in minutes. By capturing and preserving them completely Chalfant ensured that future generations could appreciate them as well.
the press release:
“He co-authored the definitive account of New York graffiti art, Subway Art
(Holt Rinehart Winston, N.Y. 1984) and a sequel on the art form’s world-wide
diffusion, Spray Can Art (Thames and Hudson Inc. London, 1987). Chalfant
co-produced the PBS documentary, Style Wars, the definitive documentary about
Graffiti and Hip Hop culture and directed Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, a documentary on South
Bronx gangs, in 1993. He produced and directed Visit Palestine: Ten Days on the
West Bank in 2002. His film From Mambo to Hip Hop was featured in the Latino
Public Broadcasting series, Voces in 2006-2007, and won an Alma Award for Best
Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987
is generously supported by KAWS, Michael D. & Kristin Elkins, David
Forbes and Velda Turan, Janet Goldman, Hal & Jodi Hess, Supreme,
Powerhouse Arts, Philip & Cheryl Milstein, Eric Firestone Gallery, Sacha
Jenkins & MassAppeal, Rob Cristofaro & Alife, Shepard Fairy, Anne
Brown, and Josh Rechnitz.”
exhibition is also supported by the 190 backers on Kickstarter who donated to
his outreach. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/568527850/henry-chalfants-first-us-museum-retrospective
Henry Chalfant Dondi, 1980, 2013, 2013
Kodak Professional Endura Metallic Paper
17h x 65h in.
Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987
For more information about HENRY CHALFANT: ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977-1987 and the museum’s hours of operation and tickets click HERE
Suppose it is not so insulting for someone to say that you
tend to take a romanticized view of things. Frankly, the world could use a lot
more romanticism, and less of the callous, obtuse, horror please.
ELFO may be projecting his rose tinted view upon this abandoned and degraded building in Florence, Italy, but then again his lo-fi naïve lettering tells us he is in on the joke too – he’s just playing with you.
As illegal Street Art morphed into legal murals we began to witness the entry of formally trained artists and professionals who not only abandoned the politically charged or socially challenging themes in favor of pleasant topics and commercial aesthetics but accidentally launched an arms race for the biggest, tallest, widest walls possible.
Soon the descriptions we received about new artist works shifted from discussions on themes and messages to statistics about square meters covered, the number of stories high the building was, and how many cans or gallons of paint were required to finish it.
artist, designer, and photographer Octavi Serra would like a larger wall
please. The one that Contorno Urbano gave him for their 11th mural
this year in Barcelona seems dreadfully small, and he has really big ideas. He
calls this mural “Insufficient”.
says his work often “focuses on capturing the irony, truisms and frustrations
of modern life,” and while this piece is evidently meant to be tongue in cheek,
he is tapping into a general sense of dissatisfaction that is part of a
materialistic culture, and part of the human condition.
letting the typography bleed off the edges, you also sense the claustrophobic
feelings that are playing with the artists mind. “There is this feeling of
never being completely satisfied even though reason argues that we should be,”
he says. “There is this desire to always have more, which make the road
impossible to enjoy.”
mural is part of the 12 + 1 public mural project of Barcelona – at the Civic
Center Cotxeres Borrell. Before the end of the year they are planning a
collective exhibition where works by all the artists who have participated in
the edition of the 12 + 1 2019 Barcelona project will be on display. The show
will feature artists Jay Visual, Ivan Floro, Margalef, Anna Taratiel, Nuria
Toll, Flavita Banana, Cristina Lina, Degon, Mr. Sis, Cristina Daura, Laia and
Easier said than done perhaps, but that was probably one of our favorite signs Friday at the Global Climate March here in New York. With a steady flood of disinformation affecting the corporately owned media the popular movements that are rising may not be getting the coverage they deserve, but they are getting to talk to each other and skillfully dismantle the Fog State.
It was a sunny week in New York again and despite the worries that are plaguing our minds, and there are many, the streets came alive with so many positive messages that even the casual passerby had to be moved by the enthusiasm, the optimism, and determination on display from thousands of their fellow New Yorkers.
This Sunday’s collection of images have one thing in common; text. With the exception of one, the Invader piece, all the others have a message to convey in the written word.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring signs from the Global Climate March and Invader, Sara Lynne Leo, Space Invader, and Steve ESPO Powers.
This March we were in Madrid hosting three days of BSA Talks at Urvanity Art Fair and while we were there, Esteban Marin, the director of Contorno Urbano Foundation, introduced us to the Editorial Director of a new magazine; Tramontana. Antonio Garcia Mora, un tio mu majo, as they say in Spain, impressed us with his knowledge and enthusiasm, showing off the first two issues of the perfect-bound volume. Unfortunately, due to our duties within the art fair, we didn’t have much time to visit with him and then the fair was over and we all went to our different countries and about our business.
We’re happy to see that the quality perseveres at Tramontana as the magazine publishes its third edition of the year, and its editorial standards continue to be very high. Rarely do we see a magazine these days that is so well edited, designed and with extraordinary, well-written content.
Leveraging its history as a Spanish aerosol paint manufacturer and art supplies brand that many within the graffiti/Street Art community use and laud, Montana Colors here ventures into a contemporary direction with the trappings of and subtle refinements more often associated with galleries and museums. It’s a safe bet at this point, but they’re not resting on their laurels – this is cut above what we’re used to seeing in terms of content, documentation, preservation, storytelling, and even academic detailing.
worry; you’ll also enjoy it. The Spanish/English format is open and accessible,
the reasonably short essays and interviews are good for today’s attention
spans, the balance of text to images and graphics suitable to one another. You
may long for a glossy richness of image occasionally, and undoubtedly that is
coming, but the design supports without overwhelming or calling attention away
from what amounts to a textbook of the moment for the thinking fans, students,
3 boasts interviews with people like photographer Martha Cooper, filmmaker
Selina Miles, impresario Roger Gastman, graffiti writers Shiat, Ellas,
muralists Shan and Spok. There is a condensed history of Punks and City Kids in
1970s-80s Amsterdam by Remko Koopman, an interview with
teacher/author/photographer of NYC trains Craig Castleman as he tours Europe
speaking, and an essay on the elusive quality of originality by conceptual
Street Artist SpY.
You also get a one-shot impression of Amsterdam graffiti and an extensive train bombing background story on Chilean-Canadian couple LOS KEOS with Mr. Garcia Mora. From that interview, the world-travelers share their influences, techniques, and negotiating their way through variable legal/penal systems of different countries, but we also learn about the social interactions with writers and crews.
have met many people over the years, not all of them well-known. The best
relationships are the ones where we share more than just painting: our lifestyle,
our political thinking, the desire to go out to explore a city and learn a
little about the local culture.”
intersecting cultures of graffiti, Street Art, urban art, and Contemporary
continue to blend, reorganize, and propagate. Tramontana appears poised to capture and communicate with respect
the history, techniques, soft and hard sciences that all convene to study the
movement, where it moves.
Tramontana Magazine is published by Montana Colors under the guidance of its CEO Jordi Rubio Rocabert and the Editorial Director Antonio Garcia Mora. This magazine is free.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “REWILD” from Escif 2. Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind 3. How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art
BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif
As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.
Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new
tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate
March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.
The concept of the short film is
simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?
“The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the worlds most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving eco system alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.”
Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.
Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.
How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art |
The Brooklyn Museum will be unveiling an exhibition with the works of French Street Artist JR this October. Here’s a small video of him explaining how his work is a connector between humans.
Fresh from Torino, Italy, the Swiss artists Nevercrew did this commissioned piece for a coffee company with the theme of “responsible consumption” – which immediately reminds us that we were planning to switch from using K-cups to drip coffee. The image is abstract and realistic at the same time, a map of some sort folded into an airplane, a portion of it possible torched by a lighter. It looks fragile, yet full of possibility.
“We decided to work around the concept of carefreeness to evoke both the human responsibility on the production and consumption side,” says Christian Rebecchi, “and
the planetary emergency we’re already living.”
The image of a simple childs’ toy is meant to imply a story of two logics, says the other member of the duo, Pablo Togni. “The positive logic of the game and the negative one of the lack of conscience and the unnatural use of resources,” he says.
“There is a care-freeness that’s about acting unaware of the large-scale repercussions of the exploitation of resources, of what precedes and follows every small action and, at the same time, a reference to the lightness of the game, to all that is now put at risk for the generations that will hold the future of the planet.”