Juan Yksuhc is more oil-on-canvas than aerosol-on-steel, but he’s done the latter with the same fantastical figurative free-wheeling quotidian panache as the former. Rich tones and stretched torsos give way to static snapshots of real life, always rendered in a fevered fervor.
Here in Madrid his paintings are episodic and serially thematic, you may say. Photographer Ricardo Hernandez seeks them, warmed with curiosity at their formal classicism, their nonplussed aplomb and sometimes obvious symbolism. It’s a different kind of lengua de la calle.
Yksuhc in fact is not eager to be unpacked, preferring the graphic manifestation of a historical present to catch you in your moment, ready to walk into the world he’s just painted for you.
For example he tells us that this series “Centropelia” is an allusion to the conflicted realities bound within gentrification; as modern as it is historic with its themes of speculation, expulsion, and the spiraling economic violence of rent.
“When I first read Jessi’s zine I cried the kind of tears you cry when you feel seen and known in a loving way,” says New York street artist Swoon, who has made her own recovery from childhood trauma quietly and gently public in the last few years. An internal process of discovery that is central to her art practice, you may also discern related stories in the pieces she makes for the street.
Swoon is speaking of the second zine in a series we began this past Saturday – a zine that you can download for free. This one is about working with trauma that we or others in our lives have experienced. “It’s a beautiful book which speaks so simply and clearly to the condition of trauma, and to the footholds we can get in our everyday lives which will help us on our journey towards wholeness,” says Swoon.
She considers therapist and artist Jessi Rado to be one of those brave visionaries who is not afraid to “go there” and who uses their skills and their art to help people to heal. Using her workshops with The Million Person Project and Philly Mural Arts, Jessi has developed this very accessible booklet that may be helpful to you or somebody you care about. Working with the The Heliotrope Foundation and Swoon, we are proud to share it with you.
“Trauma and the question of how to heal from it has become a central part of my practice as an artist,” says Swoon. “What I have found over the years is that trauma is real, it’s not “just in our heads” and it can be healed from. There are many brave therapists at the frontlines of this field who are finding new ways to work through the nervous system and the mindful self to unravel the debilitating stress which holds people in destructive patterns of coping.”
So eager are we to rid ourselves of this year 2020, some of us are already laying plans for humanity in 2021.
“I really hope that we can put together the things that we have seen and the lessons that we have learned and work together so that we can achieve justice and equality for all,” says photographer Martha Cooper in this new video for “The New Humanity”, an art project by Lavazza for 2021.
The video, shot by BSA’s Editor of Photography Jaime Rojo, follows Martha as she shows us the new project that she took on in response to being cooped up in her apartment this year.
Shooting regularly out of her Upper West Side apartment window Martha captured thousands of people passing by a particular bench that she has officially adopted. The text on the placard is a joint effort by Cooper and Steve Harrington, the Editor in Chief of BSA, who proposed a few options for it at Martha’s request in the summer of 2018.
Ultimately, she liked Steve’s “writer’s bench” idea, since it is a graffiti term and Martha’s well regarded for her preservation of graffiti culture history with her photography. Together they tailored her selection to its current form on a plaque which many New Yorkers have strolled in front of, sat upon, eaten lunch next to, and spent peaceful summer moments of golden slumber beneath.
“A writer’s bench of my own, a place to plan more adventures as I gaze upward to the windows of this captivating city.”
In “The New Humanity 2021” calendar 13 photographers present their take on a possible vision the theme, each expressing their personal viewpoints and styles. Included along with Cooper are David LaChapelle, Simone Bramante, Martin Schoeller, Ami Vitale, Christy Lee Rogers, Steve McCurry, Joey L., Carolyn Drake, Denis Rouvre, Eugenio Recuenco, Charlie Davoli, and TOILETPAPER.
Alongside and in addition, there are 6 cultural “ambassadors” in the campaign – our personal favorite is true New York activist, performer, and poet Patti Smith. Don’t miss her performance of “Because the Night” that will send chills down your spine.
To see more about Martha and the whole campaign, check out
An overview of the New Humanity 2021 / Lavazza Calendar.
80 years ago the great actor and philosopher Charlie Chaplin delivered a “Final Speech” in the movie The Great Dictator. The words are so appropriate to our time that the speech could have been written today, as we slip into the Greater Depression and a rise of fascism in many corners of the world. We only hope we will find and retain our humanity again.
Editor note: Lavazza is not an advertiser with BSA, although Jaime did enjoy shooting video of Martha for her contribution to their campaign.
Happy Diwali to all our Hindu neighbors here in Brooklyn and around the world. We hope you find some ways to celebrate safely over the next few days in this year of COVID-19. Diwali is a festival of lights that symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. We need that for sure.
A week after the US election was called, the current president is trying to foment discord and raise funds for himself, but with war-loving folks like John Bolton and Carl Rove jumping ship, can it be much longer until a stampede of similar careerists and military industrialists follow suit?
And while certain yellow newsreaders on corporate TV were desperate for open warfare in the streets in the days around the election, most people are just waiting until the inevitable capitulation. This has hardly been a bloody revolution, but keep trying Rachel and whatsisname?
Street art is reflecting the current mood in broad strokes and pointed ones. New Yorkers can never keep their big yaps shut, so the level of discourse may sometimes be crude and brash – but it can also be insightful, enlightening, and even an invitation for thoughtful exchange. It’s times like these you can be proud of the voices on the streets, which very likely will persevere.
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Baston714, Cake$, City Kitty, Dan Bennett, De Grupo, Faile, I Heart Graffiti, Lunge Box, Pure Genius, Reisha Perlmutter, Rubin 415, and Sac Six.
A free zine today for you
from Jessi Rado, an artist and therapist interested in helping those of us who
have suffered trauma or one kind or another. It’s accepted knowledge among
those who work with those struggling with substance abuse that it often is a direct
result of trauma – a fundamental insight that may help us all re-set our thinking
Ms. Rado’s new zine is the
product of a program she collaborated in with street artist Swoon with the Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice
Program in Philadelphia
a few years ago. At this time when so many in our communities are already
dealing with the wreckage of addiction and what it does to families, the stress
of COVID-19 and economic insecurity only compound the fears and in many cases,
That’s why BSA is so happy
to offer something constructive that can help!
The new zine is born from the
program that Swoon participated in with Rado and storytellers Heather Box and
Julian Mocine-McQueen; It “hosted a series of trauma-informed art therapy
courses, followed by a month of storytelling workshops, designed to develop an
understanding of the conditions and context of trauma that lead to and
perpetuate lifelong addiction.”
Take a look at some of the simple and simply profound artworks and texts here, and download the PDF at the end of the posting. One day at a time, friends.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. A Series of TEMPERAMENTS / GONZALO BORONDO
BSA Special Feature: A Series of Temperaments from Gonzalo Borondo
As foul and as fickle and as steady and as sublime as the weather, so are the many temperaments of humankind. Seizing upon religious and scientific relics and our own yet rudimentary understanding of ourselves, Borondo brilliantly blends his ongoing experimentation with light, electricity, and layers of carved glass. Singular in the manner of its gentle pulsating, these new pieces are peculiar and familiar: at once alive, a laboratory specimen. Each temperament is deeply rooted in medicine and literature, all still encased in mystery.
A new secular icon today from Naples, and while this fresco is not quite Vesuvian, its sovereign purple and sunkissed golden tones and draped fabrics make it quite at home here in this historic city of classical antiquity.
Chilean street muralist INTI bespoke this vision in the Barra neighborhood, which its Wiki page says “has suffered much the same fate of urban decay as the rest of the eastern periphery of Naples, a fate that includes drugs and entrenched organized crime.”
And yet here rises the Polvera di Stelle (Stardust), a nurturing, protective maternal figure – though perhaps more Greta Thunberg than Sophia Loren – surrounded by mysticism and ancient-future symbolism.
“Look with the naked eye,
without placebos or metaphysical aspirins.” INTI tells BSA. “Look without
dogma, without wanting to rest on great truths. Look without easy answers that
calm doubts, prevents us from seeing poetry in the uncertain and in the
minuteness of our place in nature.”
The new mural is in collaboration with the Campania region and Jorit Foundation, says the artist.
Montreal’s ASHOP crew is a complete team of talented writers and painters who can handle the commercial jobs – but when it comes to having fun they just want to hit the wall with their own stuff for a few hours.
While in Sacramento last month, WIDE OPEN WALLS founder David Sobon found the aerosol team some primo possibilities and they didn’t hesitate.
“Meeting their deadline, you would think they would have been exhausted and glad to relax for a day or two,” says photographer and co-author of Spray Can Art, Jim Prigoff. “In the true graffiti spirit, they asked ‘Isn’t there a wall we could go and paint?’” he marvels as he describes these new photos he took of the jubilant day.
Often an activity overlooked by the everyday joe, outside painting is one of the most joyous activities a person can do – especially when COVID has you cooped up and afraid of getting or spreading the virus. Here are a talented group working side by side, leaving new works for the city to enjoy.
Art in the streets around the world has been signaling the beginning of a new US presidential era, even as Trump continues to deny it.
Many, though not all, leaders from countries around the world have offered congratulations and words of praise and recognition to Joe Biden as the next president. In some cases artists have taken to the streets to express their support with their art – as in the case here by Barcelona-based TV Boy.
The pose recalls the poster for the movie Rocky V, which may be the number of times Biden ran for president before he finally won. We’ll have to confirm with our fact-checkers.
It took him “5 months of brain-stress to invent it,” but Italian street artist Biancoshock can rest assured that he will be puzzling many brains in the Quartiere Darsena neighborhood of this Ravenna with his biggest ever painted wall.
sitting by your window wondering for days what #7 verticali is when Biancoshock
tells you it is “Professional designation for Enrolled Agents.” That’s likely
one of the easier clues.
“I created a real crossword puzzle with definitions in 29 different languages,” he explains, “and as you can see, the black boxes of the crossword create the word UNTOLD.” You see! You know one of the words already!
“This word evokes all the untold stories of those who traveled and struggled to get here and live in that popular neighborhood,” he says. This is Biancoshocks’ contribution to the Subsidenze Festival 2020 and the conceptual street artist says people can download the crossword with its definition and fill it in at home.
See below for a link.
1 Măsure de caracter legislativ sau administrativ emanate de un organ cu putere executivă. 8 E kunderta e fjales prapa. 13 जुगाड़ 18 The standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). 21 To bring people into equal participation in a social group or institution. 23 Combattimento individuale per aggiudicarsi un territorio o un bene, anche affettivo. 25 Designazione ad una carica sulla base di una votazione pubblica. 26 Tá an fhoirm shintéiseach de tair níos coitianta. 27 Sigla del país europeo que está construyendo los mures anti-migración más altos del mundo. 28 Er rauði þráðurinn í Gmail. 29 За которое следует – 47, Это самое продаваемое оружие в мире. 30 Acronym of not available. 32 El antónimo de noche. 33 Mãe sem consoante em português. 35 Journal d’information diffusé à la télévision qui peut être animé par un présentateur ou commenté en voix off. 36 L’unica persona per la quale varrebbe la pena combattere una guerra. 40 Ausencia de guerra o de hostilidades. 43 Sigla del Paese Europeo conosciuto in tutto il mondo per la sua Arte, spesso mal valorizzata. 44 Struttura che deve garantire l’assistenza sanitaria del cittadino. 45 Tutte le strade, e le buche, portano a questa città. 46 The intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security. 48 L’extra-terrestre più famoso. 50 Corregimiento ubicado en el distrito de Pedasí en la provincia panameña de Los Santos. 51 Μία από τις σημαντικότερες θεότητες της αρχαίας ΕΛΛΆΔΑΣ. 52 Abbreviation of department. 53 Followed by “ocondria”, it represents the illness of today’s society. 54 Voce onomatopeica che riproduce il suono di un colpo. 56 Dapat kang sumunod. 57 Groep mensen met een eenvoudige samenlevingsvorm. 58 E ndjekur nga fjala “dua”, eshte deklarata me e bukur. 59 To take something suddenly or to catch a criminal. 61 Sinonim za ker. 63 Byl to tenisový turnaj mužů, který hraje na krytých tenisových kurtech v Ostravě. 64 Short word of a person who cures ill people. 67 One of the young poets who called themselves “the mavericks”. 69 E ndjekur nga shkronjat atik, eshte deti ku jane fundosur gomone me emigranta shqiptare. 70 La terra lasciata in cerca di una nuova vita, non lo è mai. 72 Ci finiscono molti giovani, a volte per curarli, a volte per distruggerli. 73 The starting grid for a migrant boat. 76 Molto spesso, purtroppo, guidano le scelte dei politici. 79 Quella del vicino è sempre più verde della tua. 80 är en svensk samhällsinstitution som innebär mellanmänskligt umgänge i kombination med intagande av exempelvis kaffe och kaka. 81 Quelli veri sono illegali. 83 Riferito a leggi, regolamenti e tutto ciò che viene imposto. 84 Sono sistemi su cui si basa la nostra società. 87 Synonym of summary. 88 The modern slave. 90 Precedido por “s”, es la compañera de viaje de tu vida. 91 Quelli urbani, sono spazi di verde comunale la cui gestione è affidata per un periodo di tempo definito ai cittadini. 93 Hate without vowels. 94 Ci finisci quando sei polvere. 95 Synonymer till kritiskt läge. 97 A támadás szinonimája. 100 Terni, in sigla. 101 Deutsche Eislauf-Union, der Sportverband für Eiskunstlauf und Eistanz in Deutschland. 102 A very rare language spoken in New Guinea, similar to Gogodala. 105 The final part of the “society”. 106 Alla fine della traversata si sentono tali, ma spesso non è così. 110 In lettere romane, è il primo a non salire sul podio. 111 Eesti pealinn, ilma N-ta. 113 The only ones who can really change the world and its rules. 115 In linguaggio farmacologico, indica il rilascio prolungato. 117 Una forma di abitazione tradizionale marocchina. 118 Sigla della città culla del Rinascimento. 119 Piccola apertura da cui fuoriesce aria, liquidi o gas. 121 Aromatic beverage loved by the Queen. 123 Preceduto da ER indica una figura sempre più in via di estinzione. 124 Det går forud for de ni. 125 Acronym of I totally agree. 126 It’s used to relieve spasms in the stomach caused by terrible travels. 127 To follow the trail of someone, in order to find him. 129 Ente pubblico preposto alla protezione del diritto di autore in Italia. 130 Abbreviation used to mark time with the same meaning as B.C. 131 Anche quello che stai leggendo qui, a modo suo, lo è. 132 The postal code used to make mail travels more efficient and quicker. 134 Yirmi dokuzdan sonra. 136 In pharmacology, it’s a unit of measurement for the amount of a substance. 137 Por donde mire. 138 They are used in animal testing. 139 Abbrevation of Map Hack. 140 In latino significa: “dopo la scritta”. 143 It’s a language used for lexical knowledge representation. 145 La police fait ça quand il y a un criminel. 148 Espediente grafico per mettere in risalto un annuncio. 149 Without it, you will never be a number one. 150 可以解释景象或观念的图形象征 151 Pour celui qui n’a rien, ce n’est pas une fête mais un cauchemar. 152 It was the most important Irish community for adoption and provider of mental health services.
1 Es lo único que nunca se debe perder en la vida. 2 Preposición de lugar. 3 Currency Transaction Tax. 4 The most difficult thing to do when you migrate. 5 Une personne qui ne s’intéresse pas aux problèmes des autres. 6 It’s a coming together of parties to a dispute to present information in a tribunal. 7 Professional designation for Enrolled Agents. 8 El problema de las nuevas generaciones. 9 Abbreviation of editor. 10 Jesus blev født den dag 11 हिन्दु महिलाहरुलाई मनाउन पार्टी 12 Ristretto sottogruppo a cui viene attribuita una superiorità spesso non giustificata. 13 Nuk është po. 14 Mit den Zähnen zerkleinert. 15 First name of the italo-immigrant ‘Scarface’. 16 Abbreviation for Account Executive. 17 In medical terms, it’s the abbreviation of disease. 18 Quand elle est saine, elle t’aide à améliorer. 19 Nome commerciale del Delorazepam, aiuta a trattare l’ansia e gli squilibri ambientali. 20 Colui da cui dipende il tuo destino. 22 Inclined to weep. 24 Sigla della Lituania. 29 Mann, dem ein Körperteil entfernt wurde. 31 Preposition of place. 34 Togli la ‘ruota’ dalla parola auto. 37 Drošības vienskaitļa akuzatīvā forma. 38 Guarito dal gioco, dai debiti, ristabilito. 39 Seguito da “ipso”, in gergo giuridico, significa di per sé. 41 koji dolazi iz Arabije. 42 Especie de toronja. 47 Un gesto che può essere tranquillamente evitato. 49 US postal abbreviation of Texas. 53 A tajték szinonimája. 55 È debole. 60 Lo desideri quando il primo non ti basta. 62 Det modsatte af nej. 65 Abbreviated form of mediocre. 66 He instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport. 67 Associazioni Temporanee di Impresa. 68 It has always questioned religious theories. 69 Items from or related to the continent of Asia. 71 Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education. 74 Caku kohor kur duhet të fillojë a të mbarojë diçka. 75 Förkortning för Svenska Folkpartiet i Finland 77 In Internet jargon it means Never Mind. 78 Sigla per indicare l’Istituto di Certificazione Etica e Ambientale nel settore bio-cosmetico. 80 Lo erano i boschi prima degli incendi dolosi. 81 El color de la tristeza y de la apatía. 82 Il dio della guerra della mitologia norrena. 85 Come solo il crimine sa essere. 86 Indica la posizione intermedia tra persone, oggetti o tra limiti di luogo e di tempo. 89 Comment la société aimerait le citoyen. 90 Verbo che descrive il canto del lupo. 92 Lo si usa per rimanere in contatto con i propri cari, soprattutto se lontani. 96 Atto illecito che determina un danno grave altrui. 98 Nero, scuro, cupo. 99 What you hide behind on Social Networks. 103 Abbreviation for Initial Public Offering. 104 Dzisiaj + pewnego dnia. 107 Figuras geométricas. 108 A volte rovinano i rapporti. 109 Sono cibo per il cervello umano. 111 When associated to the word “girl”, it easily becomes a form of discrimination. 112 “Andare” in latino. 114 A thing made or used for sitting on. 116 الرقم الذي يسبق رقم واحد 120 Venir au monde. 122 În acest moment. 128 Қазақстанның аббревиатурасы. 131 Acronym of average. 133 Il servizio che si occupa della Prevenzione e Sicurezza negli Ambienti di Lavoro. 135 La migliore medicina naturale e gratuita. 138 The abbreviation of the code that identifies a financial institution on a check or transfer. 139 Un o’r rhieni. 140 L’acqua pura ha un valore di 7. 141 Devi guardare lì per puntare in alto. 142 Stai leggendo questa domanda? 143 Il “giorno” più corto. 144 The punctuation symbol now typically used in e-mail addresses. 146 In pochi decenni ha rivoluzionato la storia del genere umano. 147 Europe, shortly. 148 Acronym of the international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem.
The crossword puzzle with definitions is available on the artist’s website, where you can download it and fill it in.
And this stuff didn’t just start in 2017. Regardless which millionaire is in or has been in the White House or which millionaires are in the presidents cabinet or which millionaire is telling you what the news is on CNBCFOXMSABCBS, your neighbors’ collective standard of living has been going down for decades and even life expectancy is going backward.
Identity politics will not put food in the cupboard or give you healthcare.
We badly need reconciliation with each other. If we keep fighting each other we are more easily divided, and conquered. And the next demagogue will be far more competent. Now with a new president-elect, America has a lot of work as we head into the Greater Depression.
When it comes to street art New York’s streets always tell us what time it is.
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Baston714, BKFoxx, Buff Monster, Consume Art, Dylan Egon, Go Paint the World, Indecline, NNR, Peachee Blue, Pure Genius, Matt Siren, Tony DePew, and Timothy Goodman.
New Yorkers are currently literally dancing in the streets, banging on pots and pans out their windows, honking car horns, playing drums, setting off fireworks – since the word spread that the city’s least-favorite son lost the presidential re-election.
From large expressions, to this very small one on a sticker that borrows from Banksy, the voice of street artists regarding the policies and behaviors of this would-be dictator has been nearly unanimous for four years.