The church has been closed for 30 years. If you wait long enough the natural
world will overtake this temple, covering it with moss, wrapping it with ivy, filling
it with trees.
Borondo is already there. “The columns are connected to trees,” he says as
he projects a tall thin ghostly forest down the nave to the apse in preparation
for his multimedia installation at the summer solstice.
As he researches this environment and the forests and gardens of Bordeaux
the Street Artist is studying decay, growth, re-growth, and the dialogue
between architecture and the world that preceded us.
As he prepares the paintings, projections, and sounds he looks for the
duality of our experiences as well – the fear and the attraction that a holy house
can evoke, as well as an immense and thick forest, full of movement and
Who will fall to their knees here and cry it out to the sky first? “Merci !” “Mercy !”
See our first installment on “Merci” by Borondo here on BSA :
Almost a decade after the Stencibility festival began in Tartu, Estonia, and just in time for the launch of their 2019 program, the first edition zine has been released. Full of images, essays, interviews, and personal experiences of art in the streets in this eastern European city of 93,000, the opening foreword is by co-founder of the festival, who goes by a one name moniker of Sirla, and who serves as editor of the issue along with longtime organizer Kadri Lind.
Championing a pretty straight-forward
philosophy toward individual artistic participation in the streets, Stencibility
has stayed clear of common commercial pitfalls familiar to festival organizers
while espousing a refreshing philosophy of inclusion and participation.
Yes, there are film programs and artists talks, and even tours and “tabling” with educational information, but there is not a discernable “positioning” for sales or branding of those events, keeping them within the realm of social study, urban studies, expression, and possibly self-realization. It helps that Tartu as a city supports the festival, owing as much to its history as a university town as its desire to retain or attract many of the younger population who flooded out of the city in the post-Soviet era.
Aside from Sirla’s reasoned, seasoned and insightful observations and distinctions that help define the Street Art scene locally and trends in international discussions, we’re also excited and intrigued by the ground rules of the Stencilbility manifesto that are printed just inside the zine. It clearly places some civic responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the artistic intervener:
Public space belongs to everyone who uses it.
It is everyone’s duty to take care of it, like you would your own home
The purpose of street art is to enrich, not deface, public space.
All additions are welcome. If you don’t like it, improve it.
To guarantee ultimate creative freedom, act according to your conscience, not laws and regulations.
Indicative of the open-minded atmosphere that brings illegal art-making in the streets is one of the interviews in the zine with artist Kairo. She spends hours painting electrical boxes with various decorative motifs and styles and has coined her own term to describe her technique as “acryliti“, a blending of the word acrylic and graffiti.
So unconcerned is Kairo about transgressing public/private space with her art practice that half of her street gear is paint and the other half is her baby in a stroller. Not a tagger per se, she’s had her share of late night excursions with two or three others, but that cat-and-mouse game that seems to energize vandals in western countries isn’t on display.
“Actually, there haven’t been as many incidents as maybe I’d like,” she says. “That might just exemplify the special friendly atmosphere of Tartu. The police have never talked to me, only driven by. They have startled me, but never engaged with me directly. And people have asked me with a confused look, why do I do this at night? I answered them, ‘I don’t have time during the day.’”
So here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring BG 183, Bio, BR163, Crash, George Rose, Indie 184, Love Pusher, Nicer, Nick Walker, NS/CB, PHibs, Remi Rough, Rubin415, Steph Burr, and Tats Cru, yo!
She’s painted inside a parking garage in Detroit. She’s painted huts in The Gambia. She has painted a Norwegian lighthouse, an abandoned New York subway tunnel, and we watched her paint while balancing on a rickety patchwork of a hot tin roof in Marrakech.
Lucy McLauchlan is intuitive about interpreting her environment, and no two mural pieces are ever completely the same, even though natural rhythms and graphic motifs overlap. Now back in hometown Birmingham, the Street Artist, muralist, and fine artist is preparing for a solo show opening next week called UNFOLD.
The title can easily be interpreted as her own creative process, which appears to be illuminating and revelatory to her as much as anyone – a mystery of life unfolding before her as she travels the world.
It also reminds us of this tree wrapping process she was doing in the dark woods when we saw her last August in Moscow. She coated the bark of the trees with a non-harmful ink/paint and then literally pressed large canvasses on them. The results were the ultimate “wood-block” print, another example of what she calls her “deep respect for nature”.
week-long pop-up show will run all week, and will include mixed media used on
paper, canvas and will feature Matthew Watkins films running in the space that
capture Lucy at work.
‘UNFOLD’ at Centrala Opening: June 7, 2019 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth Birmingham B5 5RT, United Kingdom
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. ENCHENTE (FLOOD) Eduardo Srur and Tché Ruggi 2. “LA PARED ES NUESTRA” por ESCIF (spanish) 3. Shepard Fairey. Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent. Part 1 4. Hot Tea. New installation in Asbury Park, NJ for Wooden Walls Project.
BSA Special Feature: ENCHENTE (FLOOD) Eduardo Srur and Tché Ruggi
News from Brazil this month reminds us that annual flooding in São Paulo kills people and destroys homes, thanks to the city being built on one of the largest river basins in the country. Public artists Eduardo Srur and Tché Ruggi combine mural painting and sculpture to address the struggles that people here face – including the displacement of people and homes and destruction of their lives.
The artists say, “With its exponential urban growth, the conflict of space
between the water and the city is getting more violent each year. The public
art portrayed is an answer to this sad reality of São Paulo. The film put light
on this conflict and approaches the relation of the
public art with the city and its inhabitants.”
“LA PARED ES NUESTRA” por ESCIF (spanish)
A new retrospective video on the community
wall created in response to a people’s history. Inspired by the neighborhood
movements of 1970s Spain, specifically the city of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, an
open call to paint a central wall was responded to by 300 applicants in 42
countries. The jury selected 12 finalists and in council with local city
council, local artists, and local historians and community leaders, an
international jury selected Street Artist and ‘artivist” Escif as winner of the
With thanks to the artist, the
community, and to Kaligrafics urban art organization and Contorno Urbano
Foundation and jury members Jaime Rojo (Brooklyn Street Art, NY), Mónica
Campana (Living Walls, ATL), Veronica Werkmeister (IMVG, Vitoria), Fernando
Figueroa (Doctor of Art History) and Esteban Marín (President, Fundación
Contour Urbano), here is the story.
Shepard Fairey. Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent. Part 1 by Chop ’em Down Films.
Just in time New York’s Pride Month events, Street Artist Buff Monster unveils a wash of color and melty characters in lower Manhattan to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village.
Over the next month a number of artists will be painting murals across the city as part of World Pride and we hope that in some way this campaign will reach those across the world who still long to be free but who are restricted by laws, even threatened, persecuted, and killed for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or otherwise queer.
We talked to Buff to see what he was thinking when he was painting this mural over 6 days.
nice to see that NYC is getting involved in what looks to be the biggest pride
celebration ever, but there still so many places around the US that are super
conservative and unwilling to be inclusive after all these years,” he tells us.
“It’s a shame that equality for all is still an issue in 2019, when we have so
many other serious issues in the world that need to be addressed. It seems like
there are news articles every day about this administrations’ efforts to
undermine the progress we’ve made; so there is no better time to paint this
BSA: What are the thematic elements that correspond to Pride and the rights of LGBTQ people?
Buff Monster: The characters have a bunch of mixed emotions, which mirrors the long journey for equality of the LGBTQ community. Putting together a diverse set of my cartoony ice cream characters, filled with the iconic rainbow, seemed like a good way to bring a bit of levity to a very serious issue.
in all though, I think the colors and the characters create a positive and
optimistic image, in line with this year’s Pride celebration and the future of
equality. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think it’s a really
nice addition to the neighborhood.
our thanks to Wayne and Rey at The LISA Project for organizing the artists for
They designed the Ritz, the Vanderbilt, the Ambassador and the Biltmore hotels in Manhattan, along with townhouses for the Astors, the Yacht Club, and apartment buildings on 5th Ave and Park.
They were also architects on the team for Grand Central Terminal, that Beaux-Arts centerpiece of Gotham with its high marble walls, majestic sculptures, and lofty domed ceiling.
Also, Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore designed the Casino Building here in Asbury Park, New Jersey a celebrated historical magnet for thousands of tourists escaping the heat and seeking buffeting breezes. The soaring glass paned windows may remind you of Grand Central, but also of that illustrated postcard on the cover of the Bruce Springsteen album, and of colorful resort town living.
If you had been promenading through this public thoroughfare that connects Ocean Grove to Asbury Park when it was bustling in the middle of last century, you would have seen Skee-Ball machines, bumper cars, games of diversion, and hot dog vendors. Now a cavernous yet sometimes ornate cave from yesteryear, you will feel the soft ocean breezes and hear the call of the seagulls echoing inside the casino throughout the day, and sometimes the night.
You’ll also see 5,760 pieces of colored yarn hanging from the beams above, forming a shape-shifting brick of radiating color that appears to levitate. The brand new installation by Street Artist Hot Tea is lifted and pulled and choreographed by the ocean air, dancing to the sounds of waves crashing, emulating the currents of the sea. 17 rows define the physical boundaries, but your imagination can go much further with it in a matter of minutes.
“One of the focal parts of this piece is about how people interact with it,” says Hot Tea (Eric Rieger) as he unbundles 153 containers of yarns he prepared in his Minneapolis studio and suspends them above.
“Hopefully they’ll take that idea of interaction and, I know this is a big ask, but maybe they’ll take more time talking to someone face-to-face. That’s the larger idea behind my artwork and that’s why am so passionate about doing work in public spaces because I want to alter peoples experience. I want to create more intimate experiences for people who aren’t expecting it.”
“I love the beauty of this movement of the color next to the decay of this beautiful historic building,” says Jenn Hampton of Parlor Gallery who organized the project after many conversations with the artist in the last few years.
This is the first installation of its kind for the Wooden Walls Project that has brought many Street Artists to paint murals here on the boardwalk since Hampton began it in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. She says that part of her process is working with the artist and partly with the people who live and work in this seaside area who may think of public art as limited to statues or murals.
“You have to educate a community of people who may not understand installation art,” she says, and while you watch the arduous process of Hot Tea and his assistant overhead for a few days, you’ll have an opportunity to hear a variety of commentaries from people passing by. On one of the sunny May afternoons a tourist from out of town is so enthralled that she returns during the night time to see how it was progressing and befriends the artist with compliments and bromides during the challenging windy passages.
One gent who identified himself as a Vietnam veteran was sure that the art installation was probably “gay art” because of its rainbow color range. He wondered aloud abrasively to anyone who happened to pass by about gay art and the lamented lack of Straight Pride celebrations, among other observations. A pair of bicyclists stop to engage with him about art in general and this piece in specific but soon appears to withdraw. Before zipping away they take turns yelling up to the artist to say that they like the installation a lot.
“You know it’s interesting with my artwork,” Hot Tea says during a break from the installation. “I have noticed that people of all ages and from all different ethnicities have some sort of say when it comes to my work. Like when I did the piece in the Williamsburg Bridge called “Rituals” it was anyone from little kids who were four or five years olds just immediately responding to the work – just a gasp or a shouted word.”
“They could be young adults or adults on their commute and they were slowing down on their way and that was what I was experiencing with this piece. The kids were gasping and pointing and telling their parents to look up. And then there were young adults who were saying that it was calming and relaxing them and then these older people who stop and say that they’re having an experience with this. They say that this is making them think of the space in a new way.”
“Hot Tea’s piece brings me an immediate feeling of peace and presence,” says Angie Sugrim, a producer with Parlor Gallery and the Wooden Walls Project. Her loyalty to Asbury Park is palpable while you speak with her and it is clear that this installation has affected her meaningfully. “I love how it changes according to the way I choose to interact with it. It’s like a river, though it is constant, it is always changing. I like the feeling of connecting with the piece as it undulates, and following its movement as though it was connected to my own psyche and consciousness.”
“Hot Tea has taken this journey with me for the last
five years and I cannot say enough about how wonderful he is to work with,”
says Hampton. “Watching how driven he is in his process has been amazing.”
He talks to us about the logistics of unveiling his idea to the public. “I’ve tried it where I just drop the whole bundle and try to separate it with my hands but there’s no way to get the yarn to drop individually and it just looks a lot cleaner if you drop it one by one,” he says, “It’s more time-consuming but the end result is much cleaner. All in all from conception to execution I would say it was about three weeks to execute this.”
With roots as a graffiti writer, Hot Tea has created his own niche on the street with yarn – surprising many peers while he is designing and mounting these space-altering large installations for large and small clients around the world, particularly in the last half-decade.
He says that this one in Asbury Park has been unique because of its proximity to the ocean and the impact of the natural elements on the movement of his piece. He says the effect has also affected him aesthetically and emotionally – and he hopes passersby will similarly be moved.
“I think when you are looking up from the bottom you can appreciate the mechanics of it and during the day the yarns are flowing with the wind and more attention is drawn to the color because the wind is moving it.
It’s more of a kinetic experience I think; That’s how I experience it and this whole thing is more about just the experience. Color is a huge part with my work but a lot of it is about creating a lasting memory that people will subconsciously remember when this piece is gone. I hope that happens”
“Questioning the giant monolithic forces that we are all subjected to” – Shepard Fairey
“It all began with an absurd sticker of Andre The Giant that was a happy accident,” says Street Artist Shepard Fairey about his first foray as an artist on the streets back in ’89. “So there’s a giant in the original sticker which evolved into an exploration of control, questioning control, questioning the giant monolithic forces that we are all subjected to,” he says.
You didn’t doubt that Shepard had an anti-demagogue, anti authoritarian, anti-propaganda stance even then; his methods for skewering were cheekily challenging, often employing propaganda methodology of his own to get the point across. Good design, good satire, and grand targets.
As Fairey begins his multi-pronged celebration of three decades of questioning self-appointed authority and the agents of dis-information, the folks at Chop ‘em Down Films have produced the opening salvo here – and we’re sure you’d like to see it.
“Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent” for the OBEY GIANT 30th body of
work – reflecting on 30 years of his art in the streets… and everywhere else”.
Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent. Video by Chop ’em Down Films
“This one goes out to the whole LGBTQ community!” says Street Artist Remi Rough as he finishes his first of two brightly abstract and geometric installations here in NYC over the last couple of days.
The South London artist started in graffiti, which makes this wallss’ connection with Crash and Wallworks in the Bronx especially meaningful to him. He and other practitioners sometimes call themselves “graffuturists”, owing to the roots of graffiti and the complete deconstruction of the traditional letterform which leads to modernist aestheticism now expressed on the street.
Over the last fifteen years Mr. Rough’s work and practice successfully moved into formal gallery work along with his Street Art murals in cities like Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Paris…we’ve even saw him in Marrakesh a few years ago.
This particular wall is at the invitation of Wayne Rada and Rey Rosa of New York’s L.I.S.A. Project NYC, a business improvement initiative begun in the Little Italy neighborhood that has worked with many Street Artists over nearly a decade. They have selected and organized a significant number of local and international artists from the Street Art scene to install murals celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot that turned back at the police to fight for the rights of gays, trans, and lesbians – a fight that eventually expanded to be more inclusive.
Starting now and right through June (often called Pride Month) we’ll be bringing you many of these murals by some of the best Street Art and graffiti artists on the scene today.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! – we are smack in the middle of it today.
Colloquially thought of as the first weekend of summer in the US, it is also the first weekend when there are lifeguards at the beach. Since New Yorkers love to head to the Jersey Shore (no offense Coney Island) we thought we’d regale you with some fresh shots this week of cool murals on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Most of these are part of the “Wooden Walls” a program created by Jenn Hampton, co-director of Parlor Gallery, who tells us that it was inspired by the destruction of a hurricane here that pulled up so much of the wooden boardwalk that is iconic to the shore experience here.
“I started doing it after Hurricane Sandy because they were all these boards up from the devastation,” she explains. “It kind of reminded me of when you go into an artists’ studio and there are little excerpts of paintings that the artist is working on. Some may feel sad because they see unfinished paintings – but for people who are creative it creates excitement because it is about ‘what’s to come.’”
She’s always trying to bring art
to the public space, so this devastation prompted her to write proposals to
start the program and it worked. “It’s weird that it took a natural disaster
for me to get funding for an art project!” she laughs. Five years of steadily
growing the list of artists, the project now includes local, national, and
internationally recognized street artists.
Wooden Walls producer Angie
Sugrim says that this project is as personal as it is public. “Jenn
and I both feel a deep sense of stewardship in our community and this project
and all it entails are our way of giving back and helping to grow what we love
about our town. We both are eternal believers in the power of art and seeing it
help to transform Asbury Park.”
“I try to curate it from
the eyes of a six-year-old and a 20-year-old and a 80 year-old – because we get
such a diverse crowd on the boardwalk,” says Hampton. “I just want to make sure
that there is art in that spirit of creation next to the ocean. I think that
there is something really poetic about.”
Time and the elements have begun
to fade and weather the walls, but she thinks it just adds character.
“I think people get too
attached to public art,” she says. “The impermanence of it makes it really
special and you have to see it and engage with it – Mother Nature will take it
back when it wants!”
So here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Ann Lewis, Art of Pau, Beau Stanton, Dee Dee, Fanakapan, Haculla, Hellbent, Indie 184, James Vance, Jessy Nite, Joe Iurato, Lauren Napolitano, Lauren YS, Logan Hicks, London Kaye, Porkchop, RC Hagans, Rubin 415, and Shepard Fairey.
*The classic 1973 album from Bruce Springstein, “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” – more HERE
disfigured, on the mottled edge of grotesques, Sepe’s portraits admire and
recoil from humanity and its foibles. Here in the Phillipines in monochrome,
his newest public works reflect the intensity of the streets where near martial
law or actual martial law locks down society.
The Polish Street Artist/ fine artist has traveled to many cities around the world in the last decade painting on the streets and on canvasses, but these four months have been unlike the others. Here we see his rough-hewn painterly style complimented by the schematic illustration style of an architect, the tension between emotional and rational in harmony.
An observer of social and political phenomenon, you may see the state of life reflected here as he surely has formed a view – one that appears to look for a sense of balance. Eyes are fatigued, identities are obscured, clouds may contain troubled thoughts and struggles, yet figures are elegant and dignified.
“Poverty is huge here and probably
some parts of the country are very dangerous,” he tells us, “however I was
lucky to meet only good and open people.”
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “Nuart Aberdeen 3” by Fifth Wall TV 2. “The Green and Pleasant Land” by Max Colson 3. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda in NYC for Street Art For Mankind 4. 0h10m1ke live drawing at the opening of Wastedland 2 in Manhattan.
BSA Special Feature: “Nuart Aberdeen 3” by Fifth Wall TV
Mural art as a cultural catalyst and promotional campaign for the reinvigoration of cities has proved successful in recent years for tourism and business development initiatives eager to re-engage people in the public square – luring peoples’ attention away from their phones, or perhaps inviting them to bring with.
The Nuart brand from Norway continues to build on and amplify its success for templating a skillful mix of community events, street tours, painting, talks, and screenings for enthusiastic local folks to the walk the streets of Aberdeen. It also helps that the Scottish city happens to be blessed with a growing economy, soaring granite gothic architecture, sweeping vistas by the sea, and a rich history. This year’s installations by a diverse group of artists reach a variety of demographics (including graffiti grannies), making the story appear quite rich, especially as told by Fifth Wall TV.
“The Green and Pleasant Land” by Max Colson
As a tearful Theresa May resigns today, we reflect upon the fact that everything is an invention, including the concept of nationality. We turn to the animation of Max Colson, who allows us to pretend that creating a new world from scratch is realistic. It is a series of experiments at the computer using 3D software, attempt to reimagine the tangible UK as digital, its complexity reduced, its natural open spaces expanded. No hurry, just play.
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda in NYC for Street Art For Mankind
Silently he paints. Some up close footage from Jaime Rojo of Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada in NYC painting his mural for Street Art for Mankind. More about the project here: Fighting Child Labor With NYC Murals
0h10m1ke live drawing at the opening of Wastedland 2 in Manhattan.
Ohio Mike makes your portrait in a minute or two, despite the milling crowd and excitement that surrounds. Last week at a group show hosted by Russel Murphy and Lou August on Broome street that pulled together a true New York graff/street art crowd of fans, this artist wowed attendees with his on-point talent.