Painting with a holistic approach to life, the earth, the physical-psycho-social balance of humans in daily life – why not?
talian painter Nicola Alessandrini has produced a somewhat surreal body of drawings and paintings during his relatively short career that appears to be turning the body, the animal world, and the plant world inside out to better understand the core systems that create balance and imbalance. In this new mural he just finished in Santa Croce di Magliano, you can see that again he is creating relationships between our corporeal systems and those of the earth.
“The artwork represents a human body connecting two different forms of life,
soil and lymphatic systems,” he says. He tells us that the two plants are
embraced by the body and that the woman’s floral dress is a fertile soil that
connects the two plants and gives energy and nutrition to the body.
Completed as a the sixth edition of Premio Antonio Giordano, the artist consulted with public health initiative called AVIS (Association of Voluntary Italian Blood Donors) and hoped to develop a metaphorical way to represent their conversations.
“I like the idea that giving blood is not just something physical,” says
Allissandrini, “but it is also a mental
predisposition, a practice of giving and sharing.”
Just below the Berlin U-Bahn, just above the street, there are two new archangels shielding their eyes from us, possibly looking into one another’s.
“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do (with great artists); with artists like these we do really fly from star to
Italian Street Artist Bifido tells us that this quote is part of the inspiration for his new collaborative piece that spreads its wings below the rumbling of rolling wheels in this busy city. The other inspiration is drawn from the experience of working for the first time with his painting partner, the Danish artist Jacoba Nierpoort who adds the extending wings to Bifidos photorealistic searching figures.
“When I saw Jacoba’s work for the first time, I thought, ‘I absolutely have to work with this artist,’ ” he tells us, remarking on the intensity that he rarely finds in the world of Street Art. “It’s not just something decorative; it digs deeper, touching the most intimate and emotional part of people.”
The pair met at the Calle Libre Festival in Vienna this summer and decided that their first project together would examine the intimacy of human relationships. The experience has enabled them both to look at the same scenario with each others eyes, he says, and now Berlinian passersby can as well.
Icy cold coquitos, sidewalk barbecues, walking for hours in Central Park, music booming from party boats on the East River, a birthday party with 30 on the roof. Who can resist New York in the summer? Yes everyone is warning about an economic crash that is coming and you’re still in debt even though you have three roommates and Trump is just making us all feel like we live in a big chaotic racist world. But for this sunny summer afternoon, let’s just prove him wrong and get some beers and sit on the stoop saying hi to all our neighbors who walk by – asian, black, latino, Middle Eastern, Jewish, white, sihk, Polish, Nigerian, Mexican, muslim, Italian, Swedish. It don’t matter, bro. We’re all New Yorkers and we like it like that.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Broken Heartist, Budha Delight, City Kitty, Early Riser, Emma Gonzalez, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lunge Box, Mowcka, Ouch, Sara Lynne Leo, Skewville, and The Postman Art.
This summer New York has been crazily, sometimes chaotically overlaid with tons of graffiti, Street Art, and murals – a testament to the enduring passion of a public that wants to see this organic patterning of the city skin, and the unquenchable thirst that artists and writers in New York have for showing their work to the public without intervening forces. Some of it is illegal, some of it is legal – all of it is part of the New York conversation.
Additionally, and in concert with, this ongoing conversation is a private pop-up exhibition called “Beyond the Streets” that pulls back from this moment and looks at pertinent and fundamental slices of the first 50 years of art in the streets from the perspective of a handful of sharp-eyed curators who have done their homework.
Presented in the context of historians defining a view of the scene with an eye toward private collectors of contemporary art, the vast show features paintings, sculpture, photography, site-specific installations, commercially branded environments, a large gift shop, historical ephemera – and a 30th anniversary Shepard Fairey exhibition within the exhibition.
“Beyond the Streets” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was originally a three-month show that ran through August, it has been extended to September 29th – as they say – by popular demand. In addition, to celebrate and thank the community for their support, BEYOND THE STREETS will host free admission day on Thursday August 29th.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing 2. Who Is My Brother? 3. Graffiti Hunting In NYC – Beyond The Streets 2019 Via Migz Tatz 4. Gray Mountain, Green Room 5. CARDI B Interviews Bernie Sanders
BSA Special Feature: Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing
In a collaborative gallery space or at a barbecue on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin’s calligraffiti writers and artists are showing off the attitude and exactitude of the city as well as the evolution of this artform.
Hosted by Theosone at the “Scriptorium Berlin” and
curated by Makearte, a small selection
of scientists artists are convened at the Letters Temple where artists create
an exhibition with lucid and ornate letter skillz. Later on Devil’s Mountain
(Tefelsberg) they paint together for the first time.
The sound and editing are sharply done by Abstract Monollog with a certain finesse as well.
Who Is My Brother? A Film about artist Ben Farleigh by his brother Jacob Perlmutter
Those kooky middle class artists, making crafty art and movies about each other. Simply loveable aren’t they?
Graffiti Hunting In NYC – Beyond The Streets 2019 Via Migz Tatz
Migz Tatz takes people on graffiti hunting escapades on the regular. Here is his hand-made trip to the Beyond the Streets exhibit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn currently on display – and now extended into late September. Not everyone can get to New York so this is one guys personal experience walking through the exhibit.
Gray Mountain, Green Room
Another homemade video tour without complete attribution to the artists, Jared Amiljo-Wardie wanders along U.S. HWY89 in Arizona. He happens upon a collection of illegal artworks from Gray Mountain that BSA published years ago. It is good to see that an arid climate preserves many of these works – even if he doesn’t know who they are by – because he thinks of them as part of his film making expression. He also describes his adventure with a poetic cadence.
“The earth has begun to reclaim most of the parking lots in Gray Mountain and with time the buildings too but for now it remains in the early stages of decay. As I sweat through perfecting a gimble shot a group of people stop to inspect the apocalyptic scene; an abandoned hotel and gas station. While I do my fourth take I hear windows begin to break. “
BSA is in Berlin again to help an
international grassroots Street Art effort like the Paste Up festival this
September. Open to artists around the world, the event is organized by artist
Senor Schnu – who is providing this platform that encourages artists who work
in the medium of paper to submit work for the Berlin to paste up – even if you
don’t live in Berlin.
Drop off your work if you live nearby, or
mail it to:
Come to the opening on September 6, 2019 (beginning at noon (12 Uhr)) to paste up your work or assist to paste up the work of your international brothers and sisters. The festival is supported by @kultur_spaeti @deinestadtklebt.de and @bkstreetart. The event is organized by artist @senor_schnu.
The artist duo Dourone (Fabio Lopez Gonzalo, Elodie Arshak) are in Sweden
this week and have created their first large format installation – and they are
calling her LITA. The 170 anchor points, when pulled together, are a
consolidation of this visage – a uniting of multiple fragments. Finished in
Angelholm, it is good to see public works in an often pristine cityscape.
StARTer Proyectos Culturales, an independent cultural
organization just finished a collaboration of two artists in the plaza, and you
can almost here the voices of the women whose memories they evoked.
A unique project that brought the images of women playing a local game similar to bowling to the frontages of Plaza San Nicolas, the combined talents of Street Artists Nespoon and Regue Fernández brings back images of people who lived here in this northern Spanish town of Belorado, population 2,100.
“This square was a place where local women played bowling,” says the Polish Nespoon. “I found and painted local lace motifs and Regue created the figures of the local women based on old photos he found from the city’s newspaper.”
Conceived and led by curator Estela Rojo and Fernández, the
project is meant to address the presence of women in public space; and the
heavy attendance at the opening here, it looks like it was a success.
“Many people came to the opening of the square to see the new décor,” Nespoon says, describing the large crowd gathered to watch women playing the game and to see the new artworks. “There was a lot of joy, laughter and fun.”
The Brooklyn Museum Announces the First Major North American Exhibition of Works by French Street Artist JR
Brooklyn Falls for France this autumn as photographer and Street Artist JR comes to the Brooklyn Museum as part of a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation. In a cultural exchange of sorts, BSA is also going to be in Bayonne, France October as part of Points de Vue.
The Chronicles of New York City, a massive new work from JR promises to be one of his most iconic projects as the Brooklyn Museum debuts the first major North American exhibition of works by the French artist. The new mural will cover 20,000 square feet of the Museum’s Great Hall, featuring more than 1,000 people photographed and interviewed in New York last summer.
Many Street Art fans will be familiar with a number of the artist’s iconic Street Art/photography works that feature every day and specially chosen people from the neighborhood in which they are plastered; from his early photographic projects in Paris like Expo 2 Rue (2001-4) featuring graffiti artists, Portrait of a Generation (2004-6) featuring young people from Les Bosquetsin the Parisian suburbs, to Women Are Heroes (2008-9, Inside Out (2011-ongoing The Wrinkles of the City (2008-15, and newer projects like and The Gun Chronicles: A Story of America (2018). Many New Yorkers will also remember Portrait of a Generation. Face 2 Face (2007) – which featured images of Israelis and Palestinians pasted on both sides of the separation wall
Curated by Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives, and Drew Sawyer, a curator of photography, the show is unprecedented in representing the scale and reach of the artist and promises to be a highlight in a city known for grand gestures. Today we feature a number of images taken by photographer Jaime Rojo of JR’s work on the street over the years.
JR: Chronicles will be on view at The Brooklyn Museum from October 4, 2019, through May 3, 2020.
For some humorous summer reading ; the white-gloved New York Times took their semi-annual trip on the subway – just to stay in touch with the commoners – and was scandalized by the tawdry state of advertising in the subways, with suggestive phallic shapes and ladies posing in underwear and what not. NYT was not however scandalized by the chronically destitute conditions of subway infrastructure like the enormous pieces of peeling ceiling poised to drop on people at the Chambers station for example. Or the rats. Or the lack of garbage cans, police officers, newsstands, air conditioning or the the $2.75 fare that has outpaced inflation – meaning that the equivalent of a 1987 fare would be about $2.03 if it had stayed with inflation, for example. That’s hardship on New York’s poor families – but New York Times is not talking about that.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Almost Over Keep Smiling, Appleton Pictures, Banksy, City Kitty, Dr. SCO, Early Riser, FAUST, Gianni Lee, Heck Tad, Lambros, M*Code, Neon Savage, Shepard Fairey, and The Postman Art.
Shepard Fairey’s portrait of actor and activist Rosario Dawson on the water tank of a Manhattan building called “Power & Equality. The image celebrates this Lower East Side original who has been a champion activist for girls and women and who stays true to her roots.
We have been documenting this artist’s work for years now. His message is about diabetes/diabetic awareness and its causes, our addiction with sugar and the food industry relentless habit of adding sugary ingredients on almost all prepared foods…that and the innordinate sugar amounts on soft drinks of course. So it was a big surprise to have caught the artist in action while putting work on his usual spot on the magnet wall in Chelsea.
In the Street Art continuum that presents itself to the passerby on city streets, the early practice of hand-drawn tags on stolen postal stickers eventually morphed into mass-produced slick runs of personal branding and large scale one-off hand rendered/cut paper pieces wheat-pasted with a brush. This story, ever-evolving, is more inclusive than some may think of when you talk generically about “slaps” on a door or on the base of a streetlamp in the city’s visual dialogue. For the book Stickers Vol 2, author DB Burkeman takes a wider survey of the practice, however, and in his second compendium, he goes where BSA has always followed the creative spirit; wherever it leads.
In practice, there are few strictly “sticker artists”. More often there are artists and taggers who also use stickers as part of their public practice which may include painting, aerosol tagging, freehand marker tagging, printing, wheat pasting, sculpture. By adapting the techniques and language of advertising, propaganda, and branding, artists have seized the opportunity to have a voice in the public sphere that is more often only reserved for commercial interests.
Street Artists’ practices of self-promotion are
indistinguishable from those of commercial or political interests – and why
not? The public space has always been used as a battleground for ideas, a
marketplace for attention, a proving ground of identity and power, a theater
for capturing imagination, a Socraterial classroom for presenting and probing
ideas and the examination of our assumptions about them.
In a fiercely democratic way, with a very low admission
price, all motivations are presented here, and all of them are flawed, and all
of them are perfect.
Burkeman’s sophisticated examinations of sticking practices are equally wide in his survey – his own full immersion into art, music, performance, consumer psychology, pop culture, and advertising giving him a comprehension and appreciation of its seeming seamlessness.
Burkeman’s introductory essay addresses topics ranging from billboard busting, culture jamming, market forces and Warhols’ bananas – admitting that his baseline appreciation has not waned even as his own study lead him ever deeper and deeper into an ocean he still hasn’t fully fathomed since launching his first sticker volume, Stickers: Stuck-Up Piece of Crap: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art.
“Even after ten years of having this adhesive monkey on my back, I’m surprised that I can still get a kick out of the conversation that happens on the street when someone puts up a sticker,” he says. “It’s like a radiating signal to have others put their own stickers up next to it, as if to say, ‘hey, what’s up?’ The result is a cluster of paper and vinyl personalities.”
Keeping it contemporary, he also calls in experts from this idiosyncratic world of expressions to further your appreciation for the sticking practice as a reflection of society and a catalyst for it – from the Street Artist Invader to the blue-chip curator/innovator Jeffrey Deitch to fans/visionaries like Stretch Armstrong, C.R. Stecyk III, Dante Ross, and The Super Sucklord.
Using his first book as calling card, many doors have opened to Burkeman, enabling access to collections and rarities, deep dives into the crates, selections of unknowns that you would otherwise not have access to – let alone the opportunity to appreciate. You also get a selection of stickers for your own collection by serious names, including Bast, Lister, Shepard Fairey, Skullphone, Futura, Ron English, and Neckface.
“Cheap, immediate, and unapologetically in your face, the sticker remains the go-to, lo-fi expression for many a band, brand, and fan,” says Don Letts, a founding member of Big Audio Dynamite, among other things. Clearly, the images and messages sent and received using this method have been a boon to those looking to have a voice, and the sticker practice will continue apace. Undoubtedly, DB Burkeman has it covered.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan 2. One Day With Lady K in Paris 3. The London Police Dogumentary, by Wayne Horse
BSA Special Feature: Bordalo II “A Life of Waste”
Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan
Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying
loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the
hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really
care for the others up here.
Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”
One Day With Lady K in Paris
Two decades into the game on her own and with Parisian graffiti crews 156 and CKW, Lady K tours the streets in a beret and a silk scarf with can of dark magenta aerosol in her purse, tagging concrete, marble, and ceramic tile on the streets as she goes. The interview shows one reason for her staying power – she’s an omnivore of style and technique, unwilling to limit herself to color or chrome, roller or extinguisher, vandal or Street Artist. Such distinctions are of little interest to her as she openly challenges your comfort zone, and presumably those of the police as well.
“I got this vision from God that said, ‘Go out and help the dogs of the world,’ ”says Chaz with a misty gaze at the camera. Clearly, dog songs have really brought their practice up a level, vastly expanding their artistic practice in three-part harmony, causing their core Street Art fans to howl with delight.