“Money & Followers” Heralds the Thinking Artists on the Street in Turin

Turin, Italy remains a hotbed for free thought and experimental art in public spaces. Despite so many inroads toward capitalizing on the radical movement of street art in recent years, this part of Italy has been fertile soil for the ornery, complicated, political, and eclectic artistic impulses that first drew us to this scene. A summer show of street art veterans and more recent talents at the newly germinated NISBA Studio may be staking positions that have gotten lost in a scene sometimes awash with commercial brands and self-dealers. The studio calls itself an “observatory on contemporary society, a strategic place,” and says it is a venue and platform “within which connections are born between enthusiasts, visitors, collectors, companies, public and private administrators.”

Turin’s historical significance as a vital hub for Italian, European, and Egyptian art, including the influential Piedmontese Baroque art movement and its vibrant urban art scene, adds prestige to the city and perhaps gravitas to its opinion on the evolution of the street art scene. Its position in the development of the “urban art” scene across Europe has also had an impact, with names like Blu, Ericailcane, Alice Pasquini, Ozmo, and Lucamaleonte coming to mind.

ELFO. Money and Followers. Nisba Studio. Torino, Italy. (photo courtesy of Nisba Studio)

Using an ironic phrase that is a currency in the pinched views of a social media world, the exhibition “Money and Followers” is mounted in an inclusive space with no political affiliation, say organizers, welcoming all. The show features new works by Sten Lex, the renowned Roman duo who pioneered an innovative “halftone” stencil art. At the same time, Sam3 captivates with visually striking, black anthropomorphic figures that convey a fantastical vision. Elfo, representing an Italian avant-garde in graffiti and urban art, presents his on-point technically low-fi cultural lambast. Gec explores participatory public art and societal themes through web-based production, while BR1’s impactful posters delve into tackle themes of integration, identity, migration, and globalization.

BR1. Money and Followers. Nisba Studio. Torino, Italy. (photo courtesy of Nisba Studio)
SAM3. Money and Followers. Nisba Studio. Torino, Italy. (photo courtesy of Nisba Studio)

Via Po 25 (interno cortile)