Make sure you stop by the deli when your near Rockefeller Center.
You know, Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen. The ingenious bodega ingénue and
felt-crafting queen of the quotidian is back in NYC with her handmade
recreation of a New Yorker’s corner grocery store. Each item is painstakingly
recreated – at once making you smile and perhaps drawing attention to the coy
futility of clever packaging that makes you buy stuff like Hornell Chili and Royal
Pink Salmon, as if that were normal.
“Her practice is quirky yet subversive,” says the new press release for this temporary pop-up installation, “luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colorful felt creations that represent themes of consumerism and consumption.” An interactive public art project on 49th street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan, Sparrow’s uncanny and canned humor will make you laugh, and if you are so moved, buy. Pick us up a quart of milk while you’re down there, won’t you?
Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen on 6th is currently on view at Rockefeller Center on 6th Avenue until October 20th. Click HERE for more information, hours and directions.
Like many North American cities, the so-called “free-trade” pacts, globalism, and corporate capitalism have left scars on this city by the great Lake Erie, so-named Erie.
A maritime beacon awash in the middle class life blooming from industrialization in an earlier century, this city on the lake still feels a bit flush with its museums, roller-coasters, and summertime beach life.
A new mural project from Rafael Gerlich aka SatOne brings the idea of recovering from the storm, looking through what is remaining for the clues to the future. Calling this new 12,000 square foot mural “Flotsam” you can see a parallel between the what can be recovered after a natural storm and a man-made one.
Venezuelan living in Germany began with graffiti in the nineties but now more
often swims in the seas of abstraction, directing large storms of his own,
splashing walls with color and story for you to float upon.
on Erie Bay leading from the city of Erie, the maritime mixes with the
futuretime, a stirring presentation for the city and the enormous, the great,
lake before it.
Artist: Sat One Location: Observation deck of Dobbin`s Landing, Erie, Pennsylvanie Curated by: Iryna Kanishcheva Funded by: Erie Arts & Culture and Erie-Western PA Port Authority Title: Flotsam
Little Ricky thinks Anna Wintour is someone important whom people consider significant or iconic in popular culture, which is already a humorous supposition. In his multiple street iterations of the fashion editor, he has dressed her as a sheep in Chanel, as a sheep in boxing gloves with Andy Warhol (replacing Basquiat), as an American Express fashion gladiator in stickers and wheat pastes on the Streets of New York.
Each tiny episode of his ongoing SHEEP series may bring a perplexed smile to the average person who is looking at them while waiting for the traffic lights to change. In the case of the Wintour character preaching and prognosticating and posing, an insider joke that appeals to the fashion gatekeepers in this city, of which many have self-appointed. The question you may ask is, who’s the sheep, who’s the shepard.
A Street Art icon/brand in the making, Little Ricky’s talisman-woman of a candy pink sheep character inhabits the new strata of 20-teens Street Art that reflects the ease of social media commentary here grafted onto actual walls, the fascination we have with visually sampling pop cultural references, and the time-honored practice of lampooning with absurdity. A California-based Gen X Street Artist with uncommon discipline and work ethos in his practice, Little Ricky has been studying, developing, archiving, formulating his campaigns in the Street and gallery for the better part of a decade now.
in New York to sample the late-summer fragrance potpurri of pot, urine, and Italian
sausages on the streets of Lower Manhattan, BSA had an opportunity to chat with
Little Ricky one night when we were gallery hopping with a buddy. He talked about new art on lightposts and
guard-rails, the nature of his one-off comical creations, and his deep desire to
launch a Keith Haring show here next year using his ewe-inspired interpretations
of Harings work and life.
Brooklyn Street Art:We’ve seen many Anna Wintour pieces recently by you on the street. How does the muse find you? Little Ricky: I never imagined that I’d be spending a year working with Anna as my muse. It’ll be weird once the year comes to an end. But I know that SHEEP will continue to surprise me and Anna will most likely keep popping up in my work. The connection will always be there.
She can find me on IG. But, since she doesn’t have a personal IG account, I hashtag her name #ANNAWINTOUR and I tag @voguemagazine. Maybe one of her PA’s will get the word out to her. A few months ago, I even sent her a large pink manilla envelope with a SHEEP zine/bio and stickers too. Whether she ever received it is another story. I don’t expect to hear from her, but I have a feeling that our paths may cross at some point. Either way, our stars are crossed, at least in my head.
Brooklyn Street Art:People are sheep, aren’t they? Little Ricky: I’d like to think that we’re all sheep but without the negative connotations. Sure we can all follow along with the masses, or maybe not fit in, but at some point we all crave to be ourselves as we are. At the heart and soul of SHEEP is that we’re ALL different. When Alexander McQueen referred to himself as a ‘pink sheep’ I understood that he was making a comment not only on his sexuality, but more importantly on the idea that he was different from even the black sheep. Reading that sentence in his biography altered the course of my life and is what inspired SHEEP.
After 51 years of life and almost 7 years of working on the series, I’ve learned this. (See if you can follow along or if it makes some sense) Being born is what we ALL have in common. Yet at that moment no one ever has or ever will be identical. In one moment we’re connected and different at the same time. We then spend a lifetime searching for meaning/purpose. The secret- to learn, embrace, and honor all those many little things about ourselves that make us…ME! When we do so, we go back to that moment of connection. So yea we’re all sheep finding our way back to an essence of being.
Brooklyn Street Art:Can you talk about your feelings toward Keith Haring and the impression he and his work made on you? Little Ricky: I feel a deep connection to Keith. It goes beyond being inspired by him. I feel him alongside me like he’s guiding me along. I first came across his work in the late ’80s. The simplicity of his images struck some magic in my soul. They still do. They felt familiar. Until now, I didn’t realize that Keith’s passing in February of 1990 coincided with my coming out the month before. Weird! Maybe he passed the torch along. My first boyfriend who I met in January of 1990 even drove Keith around SF the year before. I wasn’t into the art scene in any way, but I started taking art classes while at UC Berkeley. I imitated his lines and figures, but there was no ‘me’ in what I was creating.
With SHEEP, almost 30 years later, I can see his influence in my work, always will. But now I know, that I’m creating a world of my own with a little touch of his magic. It’s been an effortless process. For that, I give some credit to Keith. When the idea for SHEEP came to mind in 2013, I didn’t know what I’d be creating. I purchased a toy sheep and started doodling. After a while, a shape took form and it looked familiar like I had seen it before.
Thinking about this now, I realize that it was like finding my own Haring ‘baby.’ I wasn’t looking for it, but when I saw it, I knew it was the beginning of everything. P.S. Last year in May, I did a 31-day study I called SHEEPDOG. Each day, I painted an image combining Keith’s dog and my SHEEP. I was surprised that I hadn’t thought of it earlier. It was magical seeing it evolve.
Brooklyn Street Art:Recently Dusty Rebel has been traveling around the world speaking with and filming Street Artists from the GLBTQ community. Why is it important to know if a graffiti writer or Street Artist is GLBTQ? Little Ricky: As I get older, labels have become less important. I jokingly tell my sister that I’m the ‘+’ in the GLBTQ+ If I’m to label myself, it’s definitely queer over gay. I like qweirdo even better! When I started the series, I assumed the street art community was a bunch of heterosexual males. Other than the names Bansky and Shepard Fairey, I knew nothing about it. Knowing that the SHEEP were queer, I felt some hesitation about how the community would embrace them.
Unknowingly, I’d even censor myself so that they weren’t too ‘gay.’ That all changed after the Orlando shootings when I was reminded of the importance of living out loud and proud. But once I started meeting the artists, I came to find out that no one cared about how I identified or if the sheep were gay or not. All that mattered was that I was getting up and they loved what I was doing. Meeting all these artists, queer or not, has been one of the greatest parts of working on SHEEP. So, it’s not so much about knowing who’s queer or not, because in the end, we’re all doing the same thing. But thanks to Dusty, there’s a new found community.
Once I started, other than HomoRiot, I wasn’t aware of anyone else. It took me a few years before we eventually met up. Now, I have a new community of peeps that I get to call friends. I’m excited to meet many more along the way. I feel grateful to Dusty and all his work. He’s shedding light on an untold story and the many artists who often go unrecognized. It’s like the M&M commercial- we do exist!
Brooklyn Street Art:Which city is more fun for Street Art right now? Little Ricky: As much as I love my beloved city of LA, I feel like I’m living ‘in’ art when I’m in NYC. Art’s everywhere! Aside from SHEEP, walking is a great passion and there’s no better city than NY to combine my two loves. When I was there recently, I put in 20 miles in one day. The opportunity to paste-up SHEEP is everywhere and anywhere. LA’s different that way. Even though I do walk a lot and I paste-up wherever I go, it’s not the same. It’s very random. Plus you’re not going to see my work whiledrivingaroundd. SHEEP is definitely for the pedestrian and NY is the perfect place. Initially, I thought my little SHEEP would get lost in it all, but came to find out that New Yorkers do pay attention while walking.
When it comes to the queer art community, street or not, I often wondered if my work didn’t fit in because it wasn’t erotic or specifically depicting a ‘queer’ image/message. But I now know, that regardless, they’re queer and they’re pink! It’s in the heart and soul of the each SHEEP. Whether this is conveyed when coming across my work is not as important as the feeling you have when seeing them. Feel the JOY!
Brooklyn Street Art:In what way is your work political? Is it commentary? Critique? Little Ricky: This was a tough question. I don’t see it as being overtly political or even commentary. There are some pieces that may be so, but overall they’re expressions of joy. I keep it simple. If you smile or laugh out loud when finding my pieces on the street, I know I’ve done my job. I often laugh out loud when creating them. There’s such silliness. For example, the idea of Anna Wintour as a pink sheep in roller skates makes me laugh. When I began the series, they started off as ‘gay’ sheep and now they’re more a symbol about a feeling.
I’ve always felt different, it goes beyond my sexuality. As I age, I feel more and more different. And the more different I feel, the more connected I am. So the SHEEP being out and about, regardless of the character or message, are a symbol of that feeling that we all feel. Being different, feeling different is a beautiful thing!
Now that we think of it, all of these topics are directly and indirectly addressed through our Street Art as well.
Hope you are out strolling today in your neighborhood looking for Street Aart, in a park looking at the leaves on the trees, or outside the city in an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Do anything you can to strike a sense of balance – we all need it!
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Chapter 23, Dan Kitcher, Elyaz, Inside Out Project, JR, Michel Velt, N.Dergund, Nass, Shiro, Tar Box, and Winslow World.
“We may have lost the trains, but we’ve gained the whole world.”
That’s a quote on the wall in the new exhibition at the Bronx Museum spotlighting the work of Henry Chalfant. The quote comes from Mare 139, one of the early graffiti writers of 1970s-80s trains in New York, referring to the now-scrubbed subway cars that once functioned as a mobile gallery for the young masters of cans throughout a metropolis that was in the grips of financial and social upheaval. Thanks to the work of artists and documentarians like Mr. Chalfant, the ephemeral works were captured, cared for, preserved, and spread throughout the world in the intervening years, in some ways helping to spawn a global interest and practice among burgeoning artists.
“Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987″ takes one of the original titles that co-author Martha Cooper suggested for the book that they published together “Subway Art” in 1984. That tome, full of both of their images that captured different aspects of the wild and untamed urban scene, eventually gained regard as a ‘holy book’ in certain graffiti circles across the world. Chalfants’ academic and sociological profile with producer Tony Silver of some of the early graffiti artists in the form of the 1984 PBS documentary “Style Wars,” also cemented his reputation as an expert in a rapidly evolving scene that brought untrained artists and original voices to the streets and trains.
The show is the second iteration of an exhibition curated by SUSO33 in Madrid, Spain last year at the Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente. At opening night September 25th at the Bronx Museum the curator and artist were in attendance for the overflow crowd of artists and fans – many of whose work and faces appear in photos throughout the show. Visitors also got to see the original “Subway Art” book in its initial “dummy” form on display behind glass in its own vitrine.
Spread over multiple rooms filled with original photos, elevated train videos, and an impressive full-scale recreation of subway car facsimiles, the exhibit gives a rich survey of an epoch of an exciting tumultuous visual environment that rocked a city. The thunderous rumbling and screeching of trains adds an audio backdrop, somehow freeing these steel monsters from the past and making them temporarily contemporary. The raucous rebellious spirit of those times organically permutated and redefined itself in intervening decades, but Chalfant’s influence and dedication to preserving this potent moment provides ample evidence of the staying power of graffiti and its impact.
HENRY CHALFANT: ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977 – 1987 is currently on view at The Bronx Museum of the Arts until March 2020. This exhibition is free and open to the public. Click HERE for further details, schedule of events, and hours of operation.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Minda Hamada y Zosen Bandido in Veracruz 2. Marina Zumi “Lucid Dreams II” 3. Udatxo – Parees Fest 2019. Video by Titi Muñoz 4. Greta Thunberg “How Dare You” Extended Remix
BSA Special Feature: Minda Hamada y Zosen Bandido in Veracruz
Mina Hamada y Zosen Bandido are graphic and poppy in their organic naïve-style collage compositions. Their engaging style lends itself to public arts projects that also promote business and foot traffic. Here they (mostly he) talk about their love of color, their cultural art influences, and their new project this summer in the Art District Boca Del Rio in Veracruz, Mexico.
Marina Zumi “Lucid Dreams II”
Street Artist, muralist, and interactive artist Marina Zumi doesn’t stop exploring the moon and the night sky and those tremulous flickering messages that blip across our consciousness. Perhaps by way of exploring the modern, her newest electronic tracing of shapes and rhythms in the darkness borrow from Tron and early Kraftwerk, comforting and witty in the low-fi and physical familiarity of it all. Part of her show “Techno Poetry,” Zumi continues to break new ground with here lucid dreams.
Udatxo – Parees Fest 2019. Video by Titi Muñoz
artist Udatxo painting a new mural at the Parees Fest.
Greta Thunberg “How Dare You” Extended Remix
Get up and dance to a new hit for 2019! Taking recrimination to the dance floor, is the new hit from Greta Thunberg in a heavy German techno style.
A unique private/public protest/memorial to raise awareness since 2005, the founder of The Pansy Project has planted the namesake flower, in some circles a pejorative term against gay boys and men, in thousands of locations around the world to commemorate a place where violence or intimidation toward LGBT people took place. Where it is difficult to find a good place to plant or to buy live pansies the gifted illustrationist simply paints one.
Understated and symbolic, the political and personal Street Art act bears witness to the brothers and sisters and others who society fucks with because they don’t fit traditional expectations of gender conformity. After nearly a decade and half, Paul says he will keep doing this work until it’s not necessary. You’ll probably need to help.
Recently we spent time with him on his visit to New York,
watching him plant pansies and asking him questions about his practice.
Brooklyn Street Art: When we think of monuments to historical events we often place them in locations that correlate with things that happened there. Can you talk about the similarities that this act of planting an ephemeral flower has to huge hulking brass statues in recalling our feeling and our memories?
Paul Harfleet: When I began to think about how to respond to my experiences of homophobia on the streets, I became interested in the particular nature of my memories of these attacks, they were rapid and fleeting and therefore I felt my response should be temporary and non-permanent. It felt archaic and overly municipal to begin making ‘permanent’ memorials to my own relatively minor attacks. A small unmarked living plant would add to the conversation, the flower could live and grow as I do through my experience. A tiny pop of color, unsanctioned by the city would reflect my own apparently illicit position in the urban environment.
I’m interested in how ‘permanent’ memorials became invisible over time*, their meanings sink into the fabric of the city, they become street furniture, their significance evaporates over time, unless they’re re-activated by an occasion or anniversary. Particularly when flowers are placed at war memorials, this and floral road-side memorials are echoed in The Pansy Project.
exact location was loaded for me, so it was essential that each place
should be altered by my intervention, it’s this that transformed how I
remembered the streets. The ritual of planting a pansy has become a
performative reparation on the street.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you know of someone else who was inspired by your project and began a new one of their own?
Paul Harfleet: It’s difficult to know if and how my work has inspired others. I know that people have planted pansies to mark their own experiences of homophobia and I’m aware of some students that have made very different work that has been informed by The Pansy Project which is humbling.
am aware of other actions that explore homophobia, I was touched by the
work of Nando Messias, “Sissy’s Progress” is a performance where the
artist revisited the location they were attacked with a marching band,
though I don’t think they were informed by the project, I enjoy the
absurdity of the response to homophobia, which in itself is an absurd
reaction to difference.
Brooklyn Street Art: In the US we have had a serious and fiery debate about historical memorials that glorify a period of racism, a sort of glorification of figures who championed racism. How does our perception change when we learn about the significance of location and events that took place there?
Paul Harfleet:This has been an fascinating debate, it challenges the idea of a memorial becoming invisible*, this is an example of the memorial being re-activated by context. I think it’s invaluable to have these discussions. It’s a shame that the debate seems to be so binary; keep or destroy. As an artist I would be interested in reinvigorating these memorials rather than removing them.
The fact they celebrate the achievements of a racist society should not be forgotten, it should in my opinion be remembered and challenged through art and education, small additions or amendments to these memorials could re-contextualise their meaning, there is an opportunity here to allow these memorials to a racist culture to become something that acknowledges the behavior of previous generations and act as a warning to future ones. We only have to look at the fragility of human rights at the moment to know how important it is to retain knowledge of previous injustices.
Brooklyn Street Art: When one considers the long period that this campaign has persisted, you may wonder how Paul Harfleet continues to have enthusiasm for it. Do you ever lose interest? What inspires you to get back to planting pansies after you discontinue for a while?
Paul Harfleet: I’ve been working with The Pansy Project for almost fifteen years, for me the repetition is vitally important for how the work is read. Everyday someone is experiencing homophobia or transphobia, whether it’s micro-agression, government sanctioned or the most violent of murders, it’s always happening, so I feel I have a responsibility to continue using my art to highlight this injustice.
I’m not completely altruistic, I do have to maintain my own interest, through the project I’ve explored various ways of working from garden, jewellery and merchandise design to the writing and illustrating of a book; Pansy Boy that reveals The Pansy Project in a completely different way, most recently I’ve been exploring painting the pansies on walls where homophobia has happened.
All of these actions keep me interested. I am always trying to take the ‘perfect’ picture and document my work in new ways. I’m inspired by artists that work in very similar ways their whole careers, Sean Scully speaks about repetition; ‘I want to express that we live in a world with repetitive rhythms and that things are existing side by side that seem incongruous or difficult.’
Brooklyn Street Art: New York has an incredible story in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. Can you tell us about one of the places in New York where you planted a pansy that was particularly meaningful to you?
Paul Harfleet: My visit to New York was incredibly important for me, unusually I funded this visit myself. I usually wait until I’m invited by a festival or for an exhibition, though I wanted to be in New York during the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall. I first came to New York in 2006 to plant pansies for the Conflux Festival.
These were the very early days of the project, some of the photos I took then were bad, since then I’ve gotten better at taking the pictures so I wanted to re-plant and document the pansy I planted at the Stonewall Inn to properly mark this historically significant location. Though I also planted new pansies, it was moving for me to plant one at Christopher Street Pier for Marsha P. Johnson, their life and death was complex and seeped in the injustices of time. This seems even more significant in America today when black trans women are so under threat.
As I write, we await the decision by the US Supreme Court on working rights for trans people, the fact that there’s even a discussion about this is an anathema to me. To quote the hashtags; Trans rights are human rights, we’re not equal until we’re all equal. In the US alone there has been 19 reported trans women murdered in 2019 alone – It’s staggering and heartbreaking.
was also fascinated by the queer history of Brooklyn as described by
Hugh Ryan in ‘When Brooklyn Was Queer’. I love the picture I took of the
pansy I planted under the Brooklyn Bridge to mark the multiple stories
of homophobia I heard about in his book, the quote comes from the
complaints of local residents of how the Brooklyn Promenade was being
used by men for cruising; “Misbegotten Pansies” was just such a perfect
quote for this planting.
I do more now is make a film about the places I visit, this has the
ability to explore more of the story of each planting and helps share
the project to new audiences, I’m working on a New York film now.
Ultimatelty I adore each planting, they all mean so much to me as they
all contribute to the entire body of my work.
Paul Harfleet’s short film ‘The Pansy Project Canada’ will be shown at the Inside Out Film festival in Ottowa, Canada in October and his work will feature as part of the Homotopia Festival in Liverpool in November. For more information visit www.thepansyproject.com.
a 1927 essay, acclaimed Austrian philosopher Robert Musil famously
declared, “The remarkable thing about monuments is that one does not
notice them. There is nothing in this world as invisible as a monument.”
Artist, Street Art festival curator, now muralist. Shai Dahan has hel a number of roles related to the graffiti and Street Art scene since his teens. Born in Haifa, raised in LA, Dahan lived shortly on the East Coast before he pulled up stakes and moved to Sweden a decade ago to raise a family with his wife.
There he did something you don’t see a lot of artists do – he provided a huge platform for others to succeed by starting the “No Limit” Festival in his new hometown of Borås. We had the opportunity to be there a couple of times and witness the camaraderie and quality of a well-curated festival in a part of the world unaccustomed to large-scale public art, each time executed with finesse and near-zero drama.
Now he’s visiting New York for the first time in years and bringing his favorite muse, the Swedish Dala horse – a symbol that helped him meet HerRoyal Highness Queen Silvia of Sweden a few years ago, by the way. We spoke with Shai while riding the lift with him last week just before he headed back to Borås.
BSA: This is the first time you painted a large mural outdoors in NYC since you participated with a group of other artists painting at the racetrack in Queens. How did it feel to be back? Shai Dahan: It is incredible. Since I have lived here I always wanted to do something large. Even after moving to Sweden, I would see some great murals go up by Shepard Fairy, Kobra, Connor Harrington and I always thought “Wow. That has to be such a great personal accomplishment”.
To me, it’s very personal. I left for Sweden in 2010. NYC has been the biggest influence on my art. A lot of people would ask me who is my biggest inspiration, like Picasso? or Rembrandt? or someone more modern? but the reality is, it’s this city. The graffiti on the roller gates. The stickers on the doors. The Krink on the post office mailbox. This is the largest outdoor Street Art gallery in the world. Turn any corner in the LES or Soho or Tribeca or Nolita and you can find an Invader piece or a Buff Monster Ice Cream or even a wheat-paste from someone random.
This entire city is a giant gallery. So to come back to add to it is such an honor. Especially since I left for Sweden, and spend the next 10 years building a professional art career painting the Swedish Dala Horses and becoming known in Scandinavia for that, to return on the 10-year anniversary to bring my horse to the city that inspired me, its nothing short of poetic.
BSA: The Dala horse is a beloved icon in Sweden. Yours, big and red, looms large in the Lower East Side. Is this a gift to the Swedish expats living in New York? Shai Dahan: Its a gift for NYC. From me. This city gave me inspiration, friendships with amazingly talented artists and curators and writers (BSA shout out!), that I still maintain to this day. This city got me my first art show at the Grey Dog Cafe where I hung a bunch of skateboards in 2007. It’s the city where I took part in amazing projects like Mom&Popism, The Underbelly Project, the NY Ad Takeover and it’s the city that let me find my true talent and skills.
So, in a way, I wanted to give the city a gift back. Give her something for everything she’s given me. Swedes, of course, appreciate it (it’s been in every single major newspaper back in Sweden since Saturday Morning and even the Swedish Mission to the UN posted it to social media) so clearly, it hit a soft spot for Swedes around the world. But for me, its something more romantic than that. It’s gifting a horse to New York City.
Brooklyn Street Art: You have been painting for a bit while among your subjects is these horses. Have you noticed an improvement with your technique and style since the first horse you painted back in Sweden? Shai Dahan: God yes. But that is good. I almost feel like I am not technically a “professional” artist because that would mean I mastered my talent. I don’t believe I have. Clearly, my horses have improved in the last 10 years but I would be ignorant to assume my horses won’t continue to improve. You can always improve. But on that subject, it is fun to see my horse collection around the world. From the city of Gothenburg to the islands of Stockholm to a big city like NYC and even in the middle of the forest in Southern Sweden; My horses have a way to find a home anywhere they go.
A lot of people ask me “Why horses?” my usual response is that I am terrible at painting cats, but the truth is that horses have been used in art for centuries. The famous Napoleon Crossing, the Whistlejacket which hangs in the London Museum, you had paintings of horses in battle and war, with kings and generals. We have sculptures in Europe and here in the US with these giant masculine horses.
The horses, throughout history, have always been used as a heavy masculine symbol. But my Dala Horses, they are shades of Red, sometimes Blue or Purple. They have soft “Kurbits” patterns (Scandinavian Floral Symbols) on their bodies. They take something big and strong and give it a soft and almost feminine display. It is something that takes the original Dala Horse and moves it forward; Reinvents it or reinterprets what it means to paint horses.
Brooklyn Street Art: You organized a very well-curated urban art festival in Boras, Sweden and your participation has come to an end. Can you tell us what big lessons you learned from this experience that could be useful for other people who embark on organizing street art festivals? Shai Dahan: It’s important to approach curating festivals in the same way I approached my art career. It should never be about money. Never about fame. The sole driver for doing a great festival is to do it for your city. The people.
There is this old Greek proverb I love and used for many years as inspiration that says “Our Society grows great when we plant trees whos shade we know we will never sit under”. Basically saying, if we create and make and do things that is good for our society, even if we won’t personally be around to see its long-term effect, it is still worth doing. That is how I approached this festival. I put the city residents as a priority. I wanted to be sure that the murals we do will have years if not decades of inspiration, and joy for them.
Perhaps 20 years from now, a six-year old girl who sees these murals will be inspired to be the next Faith 47, the next Maya Hayuk, then I’ll feel like I did a good job. At the end of the day, life is what you paint it.
Community murals today from two artists last month in Barcelona working with the Contorno Urbano program that brings artists of many disciplines to a series of walls in the public space.
Today we have Claudio Drë and Minuskila, who each take different approaches to themes, his abstractly wildstyle, hers simply symbolic, graphic and possibly painful.
Chilean born, Barcelona-based former graffiti writer Dr. Drë began on the streets in 1996 with aerosol and eventually experimented with oil, acrylic, and canvas. His murals and fine art have been exhibited in Chile, Latin American and Europe. He has an affinity for the technical, the fine line, volume, and perspective. His new mural draws upon his original fascination for graffiti, geometry, psychedelia and the letterform, bringing each to a more futuristic dimension.
A member of the artistic collective Reskate Arts & Crafts , graphic artist Minuskula (María López) is original from the Basque Country in Donostia-San Sebastián and has dedicated much of her work to illustration and letter-styling, with some experience in muralism as well. Here she translates an illustrated metaphor large scale, calling the piece “Limits”.
is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul.
It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it
is in your relationship to the earth.” —Winona LaDuke
Street Artist Jetsonorama is concerned about what we are
doing to our sources of power in his new photography-based work called “Four
Meditations on a Changing Climate” that he completed at the Elko festival in Elko,
“The first image is a portrait of 2 shrubs that were scorched recently in a brush fire near my home,” he tells us. “The second image is a collage of seagulls and fish bones on the beach of the Salton Sea.” A theme of dessication begins to emerge as you go from sepia panel to panel.
“The third image comes from a show I did last spring with Lakota artist Cannupa Hanska Luger,” he says. “He created costumes (for which his mom, Kathy Whitman, did the beadwork on the masks), representing warrior twins in the Lakota tradition. They are called ‘The One Who Checks’ and ‘The One Who Balances.’ In this image, appalled by the havoc we’re wreaking upon the planet, they’ve returned to Earth.”
Finally the Earth, the source of power. If you look to this image to examine our relation to it, we’re in trouble.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Welcome to October – the time when the leaves turn yellow and orange and when your local pharmacy is selling Halloween candy and Christmas decorations because why the hell not? We’ve got The Actual Joker in the White House ready to shred all pretense of civility and rule of law before a terrified nation, not that he was holding that down at all.
Makes us think of the sentiment of this new Street Art piece below by Sara Lynne-Leo. “Why are you still holding on?”
But we know the answer — Because the grand finale of this burning dumpster fire will be huge! – friggin’ ratings will be off the charts for this one, dawg. Plus the Demopublicans have already lined up the Warren White House so we know what’s coming on TV next on DNC.
** chomps popcorn, smacks lips
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring DAK, Dede Bandaid, Dee Dee, Demure, Dirk, Don Rimx, Insurgo, Invader, Jeff Henriquez, Jona, Muebon, Neckface, Nite Owl, Nitzan Mintz, No Sleep, Panda Bear, Salami Doggy, Sara Lynne Leo, Seemerch, Unify Art, and WK Interact.
Imagine swimming with your art in the ocean, bobbing up and down in the blue waves and buffeting breezes in the sun just off the coast of Brazil. Bright and bouncing like beacons while paying tribute to the fishing community just inland, those bikinied and briefed beauties who are cavorting with victorious hands in the air are the artists who painted these sails, and photographer Martha Cooper was there to capture them for BSA readers to enjoy today.
The Além da Rua festival saw its first edition in 2010, founded by Duo Acidum Project in collaboration with Ato Marketing Cultural. This year’s edition was organized by Marcelo Pimentel and Marina Bortoluzzi of Instagrafite and the concept of painting on sails is the first of its kind that we know of. One that speaks directly to the community and the history of the fishing trade in this Port of Pecém District, in São Gonçalo do Amarante. This two-week experience during September on the northern coast of Brazil included painting sails for the typical fishing rafts that fishermen/women have used on the ocean here for a long time.
Not strictly Street Art, this oceanic open-air gallery is created by Street Artists who hail from this region of the world – Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and of course Brazil. The program also included murals painted on walls of the homes of the fishing people, further connecting neighbors, place, pride, and a sense of community.
We have been observing a gradual evolution in the practices of the so-called “mural festivals” that evolved from the illegal Street Art scene in the last few years and we have spoken many times here and in presentations and panels about being leery of what we call a certain “cultural imperialism” that accompanies many of them today. The mural works are simply foisted by a starry-eyed fan-curator upon a neighborhood based on their knowledge of an edgy art movement. Nearly anyone can curate events and exhibitions with the BIG names – a grab bag of stars takes very little creative acumen and the results are often as cohesive as the offerings on folding card tables at your local flea market that sells iPhone 6 cases, 8-pack packages of athletic tube socks, and velvet paintings of Elvis and horses.
By involving artists with the community, as Ms. Bortoluzzi and Mr. Pimentel artfully did, the resulting artworks can have more meaning to the folks who must live with them long after the artists leave. It’s a tricky area to discuss sometimes though because everyone reading this has seen that the worst public art in almost every city often results from the choking, stultifying, uninspiring effects of bureaucratic “design by committee” processes, so we aren’t advocating for that either.
Here photographer Martha Cooper
captures the energy and enthusiasm of the artists and fisherpeople and the
natural beauty that inspires them all in at Além da Rua.
“Evoca is here painting Ednardo Palmeira’s portrait,” Martha tells us. “The portrait is on the outside of the place where Mr. Palmeira trims, preserves, and sells freshly caught fish. Ednardo seems to be the main person to do that in Pecém. Fishermen bring their fish to him.”