Hits From BSA in ’20

When it comes to street art, murals, graffiti, and related events around the world last year, the hits just kept on coming!

You may have missed some of the people, thinkers, artists, projects, and community resources that we shared with BSA readers last year. We’re pleased to share with you some of those stories you may overlooked.
Remembering Hyuro
Painting on the street for only eleven years, artist Tamara Djurovic made a sterling impression wherever she created her cerebral diagrams, empathic figures, dream-like compositions, frank diary entries, societal critiques and sly metaphors – most often in a monochrome palette.
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INTI “Stardust” in Naples
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.
Interview with Brooklyn Street Art
The most extensive career survey ever exhibited, “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” is curated by Steven P. Harrington & Jaime Rojo (BrooklynStreetArt). For over a year Harrington and Rojo poured over thousands of photographs and hundreds of artifacts, memorabilia, and archives, working closely with Martha to ensure an accurate and complete presentation of Cooper’s career and to make certain the exhibition will appeal to a wide audience as well as her ardent fans equally. I
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See the Virtual/Actual Livestream Opening of “Martha Cooper : Taking Pictures” at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin
On October 2, the world’s most comprehensive retrospective of Martha Cooper’s photographic work, curated by Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington (Brooklyn Street Art), officially opened. Unfortunately, the exhibition is currently closed due to measures against the spread of the corona virus. Nevertheless, we don’t want to hold back the highlights of the exhibition and share the recording of the livestream that was produced on the occasion of the exhibition opening here with you. Join us on a tour through the new exhibition and get exciting insights and background information.
You’re Fired!
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.
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Edoardo Tresoldi: Bringing Cathedral Sized Sculptures “Back To Nature” in Rome
Stately, soaring, and ethereal projects can’t simply be neatly tucked away in your garage after they are exhibited.
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5 Installations in a Clearing: Land Art from Alberonero in Central Italy
Land art can be so satisfying sometimes because you merely need nature to be your willing collaborator and your idea can take flight. It’s the sensation of serendipity when you first made a cape for yourself merely by wrapping your blanket over your shoulders. One minute ago it was a blanket. Suddenly, you may fly. That’s how I discovered that I was actually Batman.
Raul Ayala: Houston Bowery Wall as a Portal
Steering away from potentially inflammatory political content or street beef of the past on this high-profile wall with a New York street art/graffiti history, the current occupants of the Houston Bowery Wall are more focused on allegory, and community. Featuring a fleet of volunteers and a mural full of history and aspiration, Raul Ayala thinks of this wall as a teachable moment. The artist employed many of the 21 days that this mural took to complete to do just that: teach.
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Gonzalo Borondo and 36 Christ-like Apparitions Displayed in Salamanca, Spain
Gorgeous and haunting images today from photographer Roberto Conte of street artist/fine artist Gonzalo Borondo’s latest installation for “Non Plus Ultra”, this time in the Salina Palace in Salamanca, Spain.
The Notorious RBG, Rest in Peace
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020) A role model. A trailblazer. A pioneer. An intellectual. A woman of her time. A feminist. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A grandmother. An extraordinary human who dedicated most of her life to extending the reach of justice to all of us, and to protect us from the tyranny of others, including the state.
Home School Fun : It’s Back to Swoon Time with “Compass” PDF Coloring Book
Street artist Swoon’s Heliotrope Foundation continues to add artists to its lustrous roster of prints and projects with a new program of pieces for you and your kids to color in.
“We worked with a few artists to make this activity book in response to all the need for home schooling and anyone else who likes to color,” she tells us.
Late Summer Daffodil Abstractions from Pener in Olsztyn, Poland
“Music with repetitive structures,” is how pianist and composer Phillip Glass describes his works, and our thoughts turn to this new solar storm by Pener (Bartek Świątecki).
OverUnder Revisits “Red Summer of 1919”, 2020, in Gary Indiana
In a “now” obsessed culture that is in the convenient habit of forgetting, the marches against police brutality and racism this spring and summer have had an earth-shaking quality mainly because there is little real knowledge about the US past. But take a serious look at the dynamics at play and the ugly behaviors and attitudes on display in 2020 are identical to those of say, a hundred years ago.
Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today: “Black Lives Matter” Mural in Manhattan
An outstanding and unprecedented cohesion of many communities has been on display in cities across the United States this spring and summer as “Black Lives Matter” is painted across the streets in expansive letters. In New York City, where the marches are wide, the speeches are forceful, and the conversations go deep – this panoply of painted colors and patterns is no joke.
Sewing the Walls: Elbi Elem “Gemotrias Variables” in Berga, Catalonia
Street artist Elbi Elem is revealing shapes that are inside this old building in Catalonia- a series of “Variable Geometries”.
John Fekner: Working for “A Change” for Fifty Years
Street artist and conceptual artist John Fekner participated in student demonstrations and peaceful moratoriums in New York in the 1960s, with his first outdoor work completed in 1968. When younger generations of artists are feeling inflamed about this spring and summers’ demonstrations it is helpful to remember that artists of each generation have been a crucial part of many, if not most, movements of social and political change.
Replacing Sculpture, Claiming Public Space in Bristol; Marc Quinn & Jen Reid
“When I was stood there on the plinth, and raised my arm in a Black Power salute, it was totally spontaneous, I didn’t even think about it. My immediate thoughts were for the enslaved people who died at the hands of (Edward) Colston and to give them power. I wanted to give George Floyd power, I wanted to give power to Black people like me who have suffered injustices and inequality,” says Jen Reid in an interview with DeZeen about this new piece called “A Surge of Power”.
“Occupy City Hall” Turns Into “Abolition Park”
Occupy City Hall is a movement that appears to bear a very close resemblance to the Occupy Wall Street movement nine years ago. Born with the protests against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd, this movement created an encampment located on Centre Street next to City Hall Park and near The David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building, named after the 1990s mayor.
Lady Pink Blossoms in Welling Court Mural Project NYC – 2020
Free spirit Lady Pink has sprinkled a summer bouquet across a wall here with friends in Queens for the Welling Court Mural Project this year. The Ecuadorian-American artist is known by many for her graffiti writing on trains in the 1970s and 1980s and her latter day murals empowering women, exploring the cityscape – and themes of rebellion or self-expression.
Seniors Getting Up in Belgrade Add to a Parade of “Granny Graffiti”
The demographic contrast is colossal between the stereotype of your grandparents and the archetype of a delinquent hooded graffiti writer who bombs the margins of the nighttime metropolis.
Jim Prigoff / BLM – Dispatch From Oakland
“In some 50 years of documenting public art, I have never seen such an outpouring of political images as I have personally witnessed in the streets of San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento, ” photographer and historian Jim Prigoff tells us. He’s been hitting the streets in the last week and feeling the rage and defiance of the protestors as well as the artists who are pouring themselves out onto colorful walls.
No Satire, No Sanity: Editorial Cartoons – A Compilation / Dispatch From Isolation # 76
Sometimes satire is the sharpest tool in our collection of citizen’s weapons to cut through the noxious cloud of rhetoric and fear in the current mis/disinformation war. When talking about topics like systemic racism, state violence, fascism, oligarchal looting, equality, civics, journalism, political accountability – we all value the skills of artists to shine light from a different angle.
“I Can’t Breathe!”: Answering the Call with Art on the Streets
The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging in Georgia in February, the racist threats and intimidation toward Christian Cooper over the Memorial Day Holiday while he was merely “birding” in Central Park in New York City, Breonna Taylor shot, unarmed in her apartment in March in Louisville; These are the recent examples, but there are more, thousands more…
Shepard Fairey Hand-Colored Art in Hands of Essential Workers
The mayor of Poughkeepsie, New York may not know who Shepard Fairey is but Jodi Cox-Kyle has spent some recent afternoons with his art and a pile of sharpies.
The upstate town resident, who is a retired professional advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities in the county, tells us that she created the posters by downloading them from this site last month.
Oliver Rios Creates Tribute to “Native New Yorker 2020”
While New York has always been a melting pot of cultures and languages and people from all over the world, it’s also a fundamental responsibility to also keep our eyes and ears on the folks who are “born and bred” here as they say.
HotTea’s “Perspective” on Jasper Johns and “Flags” on his 90th
Something resembling the truth, as painter Jasper Johns may say, is what we hear and see from the storm of disinformation we’re now in. Somewhere we know there is a dissembling of the economic and social order, the wolves are in the cupboard even while we are in the hospital bed, or morgue.
Museum of Graffiti: “Stay Home” Graffiti Coloring Book
Funky Fresh pages for your fresh paint from the Museum of Graffiti in Miami today.
They’ve been doing their best to make your quarantine dope! Every week for the last month they’ve been releasing new pages in what will ultimately be the biggest most supercharged graffiti coloring book we’ve seen.
“The Street Art Manual”; Rebel Artivism and Good Manners with Bill Posters
Bill Posters knows his street art and activism history.
From Beuys’ practice of ‘social sculpture’ and John Fekner’s blunt upbraiding of urban planning hypocrisies to AIDS activists using street art to shame government homophobia and the paint-bombing of a Mao portrait that led to the arrest and torture of the artists/activists for counter-revolutionary propaganda, he’ll give you a solid foundation on precedence for this rebellious art life in “The Street Art Manual.”
Thinking outside the box is a prerequisite for most graffiti writers and Street Artists. You may say that they are so unaccustomed to the prescribed routes of reaching an audience with art and ideas that they simply barge into new ones, and bringing the art to you.
The same can be said of the Berlin creative laboratory YES, AND … productions (YAP), and their forward-thinking cultural partners at the newly mobile Museum of Now (MON). Together they are presenting new ways of bringing art to the people.
MONmobile – Berlin’s Mobile Museum Brings Art to a COVID Audience
Workers, and Loose Regulatory Environments : Brazil’s Mundano and “Operários de Brumadinho’
This is called disaster capitalism. It’s an actual thing – first gaining notoriety perhaps in Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine”.
It involves taking advantage of a monstrous shock to our social and economic system while we are too preoccupied to stop them. People behind corporations actually “game” the future like this – methodically planning to force through changes to society that they always wanted but couldn’t find an acceptable justification for while you were looking. A crime committed right under your nose – while you are worrying about losing your job or paying your rent or your grandma getting sick from Covid-19.
Escif Burns in Empty València Public Square: “This Too Shall Pass”
A spooky set of images today from València, where an enormous torso of a woman is set afire in the center of the city, billowing blackened smoke through its cut severed body upward hundreds of meters into the air.
Icy & Sot say “Our House Is On Fire!
The vast expansive character of climate change is as elusive to visualize in the popular imagination as conceptual art. 
Conversely, conceptual art may prove to be an effective messenger of the immediacy and danger that we are presented with during this quickly maturing threat to life and quality of life called Climate Change.
The Ever-Changing Happy Chaos of Graffiti in the Bathroom
The Egyptians did it. The Greeks did it. The Romans did it. Your favorite dive bar has it. The punk club CBGBs was famous for it, so is Urban Spree in Berlin. It’s worldwide, ancient and contemporary. Crude, rude, vulgar, vapid, poetic, gestural, artistic, meandering, succinct.
ROA and Martha Cooper in Puerto Rico: Dispatches from the Island
Puerto Rico, “La Perla del Mar” (The Pearl of the Sea) Or “La Isla Bonita” (The Beautiful Island”) had a huge earthquake on January 7 and many vital services and systems have not been restored, causing 8,000 people to be homeless and 40,000 to camp outside of their homes, according to rescue agencies. The power plant that supplies a quarter of their needs is still shut down.
Enough with these figurative studies, these needless sucklings of the romantic ego, these thick gilded frames, these meanderings of hue and saturation and volume and texture and drapery, these idyllic landscapes and soul-wrenching faces and kinetic geometries, these soaring flawed metaphors of grandiosity
“MORTE AL L’ ESTETICA” Elfo Is Done With Aesthetics in Florence
Berlin Ads Are Up in Arms
Maybe its the sociologist and political scientist in us but it is always of great interest to look at the wheat-pasted advertisements and announcements in city streets in an effort to glean messages that reflect the values, interests, and idealized figurative forms of the culture.
Vandalizing Vandalism on Hosier Lane in Melbourne
“They are criminals. They have assaulted a part of the city that is very special,” says Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia, to a reporter on the local television news.
Sickid Paints a Sun-Melted Mind Tableau in Wynwood, Miami
Neo-psychedelic-cosmic-abstract-expressionist Sickid took this wall by storm in Wynwood and is blowing minds daily with his curious cast of misshapen feverish oddballs and satiric characters doing nearly unspeakable things that you love to analyze.
Dont Fret BK Studio Visit/BedStuy Art Residency: Sausages, Lotto Cards, and “Springfield, Springfield!”
“Sociologist, psychiatrist, and anthropologist – probably in that order – DONT FRET is more invested than you may appreciate at first, and the underside of American division and inequality bubbles quickly to the surface when he is asked if the country is beyond class.
“Whoever is saying that clearly has the luxury to do so. Look at our cities,” he says.
Bordalo II Builds “Trash Animals” in Northern Norway
“Big Trash Animal” is the name of this series of installations for the UpNorth Festival by Portuguese Street Artist Bordalo II, here in a seaside city in the northern sector of Norway called Bodø.
Giacomo RUN x Basik Wrestle with the Renaissance and Modern Economics in Florence
The Church of Santa Maria Novella, The Opera del Duomo Museum, the Uffizi Gallery. Florence is forever tied to Renaissance art history and shares its cultural riches with the world daily, including an endless stream of graphic design and art history students who study in this Italian city every year. The only drawback is, there is often a complaint by people creating art today that there is only proper reverence and space given to those dead artists in this city – not the ones whose hearts beat today.
Youthful Voices of Baghdad: Stencils of Protest by Street Artist Sajjad Abbas
Amidst the fusillade of news from the Middle East these days, you may have missed that the young people of Baghdad in Iraq have been demonstrating in the streets against the government. They are fighting for pretty much the same thing that all people in every society eventually fight for – autonomy, fairness, freedom, liberty. Not surprisingly, Street Artists are helping give voice to the aspirations of the people,
Australian Street Art Burns PM Scott Morrison, Coal, in Light of Popular Disgust
With the earth at the center of the eye, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada tells us that the first of two murals he painted for the recent COP 25 conferences is called “Forest Focus.” As the world has been watching the largest forests of Australia burning this month, he clearly knows what we’re all facing.
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Forests, and Indigenous People in Focus at COP25 in Madrid
With the earth at the center of the eye, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada tells us that the first of two murals he painted for the recent COP 25 conferences is called “Forest Focus.” As the world has been watching the largest forests of Australia burning this month, he clearly knows what we’re all facing.
“With an image of the world as the iris,” he says, “This mural has an artistic focal point that symbolizes the values set forth at the COP25 conference being held in Madrid.”