Atlanta

Living Walls Atlanta 2012 Complete, Women Define the Show

Atlanta just finished the Living Walls festival, a collection of 30 female Street Artists who came for 10 days to create 18 new works around the city. The third festival in as many years, the event is equal parts inspiration and perspiration, and with a team of about 60 volunteers and 30 local businesses all working together to support the artists in whatever capacity is needed, it is largely non-commercial.

“You really don’t need much money to do this, just lots of heart and dedication. Taking back your public space, humanizing it, and reactivating it without selling anything to the public, is something that money can’t buy,” bemuses co-founder Monica Campana, and the point couldn’t be a finer one if it were a razor tipped Sharpie.

Hyuro (photo © Martha Cooper)

Hyuro’s mural from afar. (photo © Martha Cooper)

While Street Art festivals are seeming to blossom in cities around the globe that want to enliven the local cultural values (and possibly real estate values), more scrutiny is beginning to be paid by the watchers of the Street Art scene to see if mainstream acceptance will simply mean an enhanced currency stream for opportunists. In some cases Street Art festivals are looking like they’re getting ready to start moving some serious “lifestyle” product as events are being branded by sneakers and energy drinks. Of course, we’ve seen this movie before, along with it’s accompanying feelings of confliction.

Fefe (photo © Martha Cooper)

Living Walls has always had as a core component a series of lectures and panels dedicated to education and discussion about the role of art and artists in the public sphere. But that’s not the focus of everyone who throws one of these shindigs.

“I believe that there are some festivals that want to promote the scene, the street artists, and who  want to engage their communities via art. I also think that there are a whole other set of street art festivals that are using this movement to market a product and capitalize on it,” says Campana.

Fefe (photo © Martha Cooper)

Occasionally a wall in one of these festivals runs afoul of local tastes, as was the case for Street Artist Hyuro, whose line up of a female figure in various stages of undress brought at least one ornery feller out of the woods, or the recent depiction of two bears by ROA in Rochester that reminded some observers of a sexual position known best by it’s numeric moniker. Often you can look at these aesthetic flare-ups as a welcome opportunity for sophomoric jokes by teenage boys, selective umbrage by self appointed morality guards who rush passed the soup kitchen line to wave an angry finger, or the animated outrage of a story-hungry local newsreader reporting live on the scene. For a large part, surprisingly, many of the artists tell stories of Atlanta neighbors bringing food, their kids, sometimes a paintbrush.

For Alexandra Parrish, one of the festivals small army of volunteers, Living Walls and all of the raw youthful enthusiasm of the new D.I.Y. Street Art scene represents hope in an American city that she sees as having been abandoned, drained dry in the face of lowered economic prospects. “Since the 1990s, there’s been an overwhelming creative void in the city, as sort of ‘art-flight’,” says Parrish. “Many who galvanized the art scene in Atlanta left when it got too rough. Then, something like Living Walls comes around – with no money, no rhyme, no reason, in the midst of an urban sprawl least likely to care.”

Tika (photo © Martha Cooper)

In an economy that also feels abandoned and ever shifting downward in search of a new baseline, you can see a certain jadedness in the Millenial generation you wouldn’t have seen a few years ago, but here is a new ruggedness too.  Alexandra looks at the attitudes and the relentless efforts that a loosely woven group of art kids have made with little funding to create a genuine lifeblood. “Three years later, with the help of countless local businesses, foundations and individuals, it is overwhelmingly clear to us that yes, people do care.”

Here’s the evidence, an onslaught of walls shot by the dear Ms. Martha Cooper and expressly picked by her for BSA. We’re happy to share the bounty with you and this small interview with Monica. Ultimately these are fruits of labor by some who didn’t wait for permission to create a scene. It should be a surprise that they are accomplishing something that many urban planners and masters of industry have found illusive in cities during these harrowing economic times.

Says Parrish, “Our scrappy organization has somehow put Atlanta back on the map.

Tika atop her double walled portrait (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Because you worked closely with the community and a large team of volunteers, do the artists feel welcomed to the event?
Monica Campana:
Living Walls is an all-volunteer organization of about 60 people who act as staff or artists assistants – whatever role is needed. There are also about 30 different local restaurants that helped feed the artists during their 10-day stay in Atlanta, not counting the sponsors who hosted the artists and events during the conference. So many people are a part of each conference every year that it truly makes it a community project.

The whole city wants to welcome the invited artists, and during production week everyone will try to make an effort to make the artist feel welcome. Sometimes they show up to the events we are hosting or stop by the walls with water or food. During a giant family-style dinner given by a friend, one artist told me that she had heard we were nice in Atlanta but she was really not expecting this level of nice… I guess we really reinforce the “Southern Hospitality” concept here.

Sten & Lex (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: How are festivals like this going to affect the greater Street Art scene, given that they are large, organized, and authorized?
Monica Campana:
Festivals of this kind are definitely affecting the street art scene, positively and negatively. I believe that as long a street art festival works with its community, educates, promotes conversations in their communities about street art/graffiti origins and its motivations, as long as it reactivates spaces and helps create community, then it’s all good. Street art should remain illegal, but I also believe that organized street art festivals can help as a platform for dialogue about this craft.

Sten & Lex (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Organizers spoke initially of this being the first and largest organized festival of female street artists together. Does that include festivals like the “B*Girl Summit” in 2005 and the rest of the “B-Girl Be” events of the late 2000s ?
Monica Campana: When we decided to mainly focus on female street artists for this year’s conference, we researched as much as we could to see if this had been done before. We found art shows, showcasing only girls in the street art world – we found graffiti jams only showcasing female graffiti writers- we found b-girl festivals – but we were not able to find a street art conference that showcased only women.

This was a conference with 5 days of events, the creation of 18 pieces of public art, and lectures discussing urbanism and gender roles in public spaces. Living Walls 2012, focusing on only female street artist, was the first of it’s kind as of yet – and hopefully it’s not the last one.

Members of the Atlanta community helped with a number of murals, like this one by Olive 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Having primarily women on the scene this year, how was the work and the environment of Living Walls Atlanta affected?
Monica Campana: Working with primarily female artists gave LW a very different sensitivity. I don’t want to sound stereotypical, but in the past the guys have been more wild than the girls. This year it was amazing to see how the girls would wake up early, stick to their schedule, would be more aware of keeping things cleaner and safe.

The work on the streets also had a different feel and artists experimented with new materials, like yarn, colored powder, balloons and even hair weaves. Some murals even continued from their walls onto the ground. I feel like this year the artists wanted to push themselves more and experiment with their space in new ways.

Olive 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Brooklyn Street Art: Are you up for another year of Living Walls?
Monica Campana: Yes! This is the first year that I finished the conference wanting to start the next one right away. Every year it is so hard and so much work but we really are a family, and I cannot wait to continue working with everyone and planning for the next conference. I’m motivated by so many motivated and talented. We’re already planning to have next years desired lineup by this October.

Mon Ellis (photo © Martha Cooper)

Molly Rose Freeman (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Every day I wake up thinking about all the art we are putting on the streets, all the conversations being sparked by the art, all the love and hard work each artist puts into leaving something so great in our city.” – Monica Campana

Molly Rose Freeman (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martina Merlini (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martina Merlini (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (photo © Martha Cooper)

Indigo (photo © Martha Cooper)

Indigo (photo © Martha Cooper)

“It is a great feeling to know that we might be inspiring others. Here is the thing though…what Living Walls does for Atlanta, it can be easily done in any other city. I encourage everyone that wants to promote street art and the creation of new public spaces in their communities to do something like Living Walls.” – Monica Campana

EME (photo © Martha Cooper)

EME (photo © Martha Cooper)

Art Hs (photo © Martha Cooper)

Miso (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Living Walls Atlanta 2012 Begins, 26 Artists Converge!

 It’s Time for the Women to Represent as LW ATL Breaks New Ground Again

Sarah Emerson at work (photo © Dustin Chambers)

For the last two years at Living Walls Atlanta it’s been like graffiti summer camp; bodies and pillows and aerosol cans intermingled and stacked indiscriminately across the living room floors of friends apartments.  Sketchbooks. Pizza boxes. Condoms. Campfire songs.

The third installment of the conference for Living Walls, The City Speaks, starting today and running through the 19th, will build on the comaraderie established since then and on the lessons learned by those organizers who dared to mount this huge Street Art event on a shoe string budget and a dream. The number one change this year is that there is a bit of funding. Thanks to diligent fundraising and the donations of generous people like BSA readers who clicked a banner and gave, the Street Artists and other participants this year are actually staying in hotel rooms and everyone has a bed.

“All of the out of town artists are here, Hyuro just got in last night,” excitedly reports Living Walls organizer and BSA contributor Alexandra Parrish. So everybody is rested and ready to go.

The second important change this year is that it is all about the women.

In a completely unheard of and shocking move, the organizers/curators have invited only female Street Artists to participate this time, making this the World’s First All Female Paint Fest!  It’s a remarkable achievement in a scene that has been dominated by the male of the species, almost by definition, since the graffiti scene began in US cities about a half century ago. In most people’s opinion, it’s about time too. Speculation abounds about how the atmosphere and the output will be affected. For one thing, there will probably be fewer toilet seats thoughtlessly left up.  Also, better hair care products (no offense Gaia).

Sheryo at work (photo © Dustin Chambers)

“Over the past two years, 50 artists have participated – only two were female, and neither of them had a chance to paint a wall,” remarks Parrish as she illustrates the imbalance.

Of course there are already new pieces up to greet the participants that were done since March leading up to today’s opening that were not done expressly by females. Readers of BSA have seen an array of international artists from all over the world that came to paint big murals every month since including Gaia, Nanook, La Pandilla, Trek Matthews, Interesni Kazki, Evereman and Neuzz.

BSA has brought you full detail coverage of all those walls going up and now we’re gonna shout it from the roof tops as all this female power is loosed on the streets of Atlanta. And what an amazing lineup it is! The list includes: Indigo (Canada), Fefe (Brazil), TIKA (Switzerland), EME (Spain), Hyuro (Argentina), Martina Merlini (Italy), Miso (Australia), Cake (New York), Swoon (New York), Martha Cooper (New York), Sheryo (New York), White Cocoa (New York), Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (Baltimore), Molly Rose Freeman (Memphis), Teen Witch (San Francisco), olive47 (Atlanta), Paper Twins (Atlanta), Sarah Emerson (Atlanta), Sheila Pree Bright (Atlanta), Marcy Starz (Atlanta), Sten and Lex (Italy), Karen Tauches (Atlanta), Knitterati (Atlanta), Plastic Aztecs (Atlanta), Nikita Gale (Atlanta), Patricia Lacrete (Atlanta), Mon Ellis (Atlanta), and Andrzej Blazej Urbanski (Poland).

Here’s a Teaser for DAY 1

 

For a full list of events, schedules maps and other details click here:

TONIGHT:

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15TH
Vandalog Movie Night
Wren’s Nest in West End
9:00pm-11:00pm
RJ Rushmore from Vandalog will present a series of street art and graffiti short movies.

See the BSA posts this year for all of the installations leading up to this day:

“The Sunrise of Edgewood”, GAIA & Nanook open Living Walls Atlanta 2012

La Pandilla and Trek Matthews in Cabbagetown for Living Walls Atlanta

Interesni Kazki at Living Walls Atlanta

Priceless Culture: Mexican Artist Neuzz in Atlanta For Living Walls 2012

 

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Living Walls Presents: Living Walls Conference The City Speaks 2012 (Atlanta, USA)

Living Walls Conference Atlanta 2012

In one week, 27 artists will visually activate our urban landscape in the world’s first all-female street art conference. This year’s Living Walls Conference will change the game for street art and Atlanta.

The five-day conference is scheduled to capacity with film screenings, lectures, block parties, gallery exhibits and bike tours. All events are free and open to the public.


ARTISTS
Sten and Lex (Italy) | Indigo (Canada) | Fefe (Brazil) | TIKA  (Switzerland) | EME (Spain) | Hyuro (Argentina) | Martina Merlini (Italy) | Miso (Australia) | Cake (New York) | Swoon (New York) | Martha Cooper (New York) | Sheryo (New York) | White Cocoa (New York) | Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn (Baltimore) | Molly Rose Freeman (Memphis) | Teen Witch (San Francisco) | olive47 (Atlanta) | Paper Twins (Atlanta) | Sarah Emerson (Atlanta) | Sheila Pree Bright (Atlanta) | Marcy Starz (Atlanta) | Karen Tauches (Atlanta) | Knitterati (Atlanta) | Plastic Aztecs (Atlanta) | Nikita Gale (Atlanta) | Patricia Lacrete (Atlanta) | Mon Ellis (Atlanta) | Andrzej Blazej Urbanski

SPEAKERS
Gaia | LNY | RJ Rushmore | Ian Wilson | Erin Yoshi | Naomi Herrson | Amanda Mills | Karen Shacham | Paul Boshears | Courtney Hammond | Lisa Tuttle | Lauri Stallings | Karen Tauches | Mike Lydon | Ellen Dunham Jones | Gyun Hur | Gene Kansas

VIDEO & AUDIO ARTISTS
Pablo Gnecco | Robert Sepanski


LIVING WALLS CONFERENCE 2012
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15TH
Vandalog Movie Night
Wren’s Nest in West End
9:00pm-11:00pm
RJ Rushmore from Vandalog will present a series of street art and graffiti short videos.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16TH
Art House Opening
Cabbagetown
5:00pm-8:00pm
Abandoned art house will be open to the public throughout the conference 5-8pm

Map Release and Block Party
Edgewood Ave
8:00pm-2:00am
Complete map of walls will be released.
Restaurants, bars and music venues will come together in support of the conference.
Martha Cooper and Teen Witch will show their work in an abandoned building.
Block party includes an outdoor movie theatre, street benches, a traveling drag show, bands and a dance party.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17TH
Day 1 of Lectures
MODA
5:00pm-9:00pm
1st half of Lectures with panels discussing gender, identity and artistic community intervention.

Toast the Artist
Opening Party at the W Midtown
9:00pm-2:00am
Interactive projections by Pablo Gnecco and a physical installation by gloATL

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18TH
Day 2 of Lectures
The Plaza Theatre
12:00pm-4:00pm
2nd half of Lectures with panels discussing urbanism and public art in Atlanta.

Main Event and Gallery Exhibit
West End Warehouse, 1254 Murphy Ave
8:00pm-2:00am
Gallery exhibit featuring work of this year’s participating artists, Pecha Kucha style lectures, projections by Pablo Gnecco, DJ’s and bands.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19TH
Bike Tour of Walls
Locations TBA
3:00pm-5:00pm

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Living Walls Concepts Presents: Everman Invites The Public To Participate. The Goat Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Everman

The ubiquitous and iconic Evereman crafted a unique game for the city of Atlanta, attaching his distinctive emblem everywhere. Usually in the form of a wooden magnet, Evereman offers the city to interact with their surroundings by collecting and redistributing his art. Evereman is for everyone, or as he puts on the back of each piece, Evereman is “4 U ATL.”

This Memorial Day, Living Walls Concepts invites the public to participate in Evereman’s technique. Starting Sunday, May 27, participants will have the chance to create their own wooden magnets in Evereman’s studio to scatter about Atlanta and beyond the following day.

Want to get involved? First, stop by AM1690’s “Vari-Okey” event this Saturday, May 26 at the Goat Farm and sign up for Evereman’s workshop through ARTWORKS, the new digital platform that will transform involvement in the Atlanta arts scene. If you miss the event, check back to our website to sign up. Anyone and everyone should participate.

After the workshop, Evereman will create a mural intervention somewhere in Atlanta’s urban landscape. We’ll keep it secret for now, but when the time comes workshop participants will be notified where and can take part in the installation.

Workshop Signup
Saturday, May 26
8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
The Goat Farm
1200 Foster St. Atlanta, GA 30318

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Interesni Kazki at Living Walls Atlanta

For our third installment in our series for Living Walls Atlanta: The City Speaks 2012 we are proud to present the Ukranian team of AEC and WAONE most commonly known as Interesni Kazki. The guys as usual are praised for their excellent craftsmanship and work ethic and, may we add, discipline. It must be hard to stay out of the bars when your spot is in the night-time entertainment district but then again maybe Interesni Kazki are of the abstemious sort. Whatever the case, their work and talent is garnering more attention daily in the Street Art world and beyond.

Interesni Kazki

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Dustin Chambers
Video by Dustin Chambers

Our process with artists is, in essence, quite simple – we house and feed the artists, purchase their paint and materials, and ensure mural completion by offering assistants and steady schedules. In reality, this simple process is foiled by secondary factors, namely weather and compelling distractions. However, when Interesni Kazki arrived in Atlanta, everything fell perfectly into place. They came here to paint with an impeccable work ethic.

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

AEC and WAONE of Interesni Kazki finished their large mural situated in the bar-heavy neighborhood of East Atlanta Village in only five days. They woke up early, ate a modest meal and set off to their wall. From dawn to dusk they meticulously incorporated every finishing touch to their work.

The completed mural epitomizes their signature style, integrating science fiction and religion with obvious Escher influences. The meaning, however, is left for interpretation. AEC noted early on that their work personifies a multitude of meanings. Four days into the process, Monica and I came up with an intoxicated interpretation after a bar crawl – the Shepard (who remarkably looks like Atlanta’s own Evereman) opens Pandora’s box which harvests the “Big Bang,” creating the solar system and human kind. Interesni Kazki’s work truly incites a heap of explanations.

The Ukranian duo plans to return to Atlanta later in the year to complete a much larger mural in the heart of downtown, hopefully to cook the Living Walls team more borscht.

Neuzz, fellow Wynwood Walls artist, and Evereman are next to follow.

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Interesni Kazki (photo © Dustin Chambers)

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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La Pandilla and Trek Matthews in Cabbagetown for Living Walls Atlanta

Let’s start off the week with our 2nd installment of Living Walls in Atlanta for 2012, a splendid overview of Cabbagetown and the installation by three of this years participants creating new murals over a nearly two week stretch, just finished and fresh for you.

La Pandilla and Trek Matthews

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Dustin Chambers
Video by Albert Lebron

Before I engage you with an individual take of La Pandilla and Trek Matthew’s twelve-day long mural production, I must foray into a brief history lesson; Cabbagetown is a tight-knit neighborhood in Atlanta that is rich with folklore and idiosyncrasies. Adjacent to the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills, the neighborhood began as a mill town complete with shotgun-style houses built by Jacob Elsas, the factory owner. After recruiting poor whites from the Georgia Appalachian region to work in his factory, Elsas offered free housing to compromise for insignificant wages and working conditions. Legend has it that the neighborhood assumed the moniker “Cabbagetown” after a truck-load of cabbages spilled across the neighborhood; many recount a brutal smell of cabbages that could be assumed to have followed the accident or maybe it just permeated from their kitchens.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

After an extensive effort towards revitalization (some would say gentrification), Cabbagetown reigns as a treasured locality in Atlanta. Although Krog Tunnel features an ever-changing display of graffiti and street art, the CSX walls that enclose the neighborhood have remained four shades of grey. Surprisingly, when Living Walls contacted the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Association to allow La Pandilla, from Puerto Rico and Trek Matthews from Atlanta to paint two murals, they more than accommodated.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

As soon as La Pandilla and Trek Matthews began on their wall, joggers, walkers and rubberneckers routinely stopped to chat and observe. Throughout production, community support yielded endless tokens of gratitude – fresh baked bread, beer runs, grilled cheese sandwiches, salvaged fresh-till packaged meals, oral histories and loud music. Even the infamous rogue buffer that verbally threatened La Pandilla (yes, Cabbagetown is home to it’s very own vigilante, occasionally violent buffer) grew to appreciate the finely detailed work that replaced decades of juvenile tags.

The truth is, Alexis Diaz and Juan Fernandez of La Pandilla are insane. Their method of using Chinese ink to translate immensely detailed drawings into full-scale murals costs a lot of time. Although they’d camp out at their wall from sunrise to sunset each day, they failed to finish on time. Hardly defeated, La Pandilla opted to stay an extra day and completed their 25-foot mural in their last hours.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Three blocks down, Trek Matthews, an emerging artist from Atlanta, began on his first public wall. His work incorporates a mash of Aztec patterns and Native American designs, which turns out nicely on the grey concrete. Despite the daunting height of his wall, Trek toughed it out on a scrappy extension ladder.

In a perfect world Living Walls would serve as proverbial residents of Cabbagetown forever. I could tell Juan felt the same way as he waved saying “bye y’all.

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

Trek Matthews (photo © Dustin Chambers)

La Pandilla and Trek Matthews by Albert Lebron (VIDEO)

 

 

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

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Living Walls Concepts Presents: New works featuring La Pandilla and Trek Matthews. (Atlanta, GA)

La Pandilla and Trek

 

This Saturday, Living Walls Concepts’ artists La Pandilla (Puerto Rico) and Trek Matthews (Atlanta) will premiere their gallery show at the Jane. This one night gallery opening will present 12 original works, a limited edition of artist prints and shirts by Kemeza, and the screening of the mural process video by Albert Lebron.

La Pandilla are internationally recognized street artists from Puerto Rico whose stunning detail remain intact from large-scale murals to works on paper. This art duo, comprised of Alexis Diaz and Juan Fernandez, invent surreal depictions of animals with human elements throughout their work.

Trek Matthews is an emerging, self-taught, Atlanta based artist. A unique mixture of sacred geometry, Native American designs, Aztec patterns, and Egyptian myth & culture inspires his pen and ink drawings.

Drinks and DJ will be provided along with an after-party featuring a performance by Mirror Mode. After the opening, the show at the Jane will hold special gallery hours Sunday 3/25 from 1:00-5:00pm. All profits from art sales will go to the artists. As always, this event is free and open to the public.

The Jane (behind Octane in Grant Park)
437 Memorial Dr
Atlanta, GA 30312

Gallery Opening, Saturday, March 24th 7:00-11:00pm
Extended Gallery Hours, Saturday, March 25th 1:00-5:00pm

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“The Sunrise of Edgewood”, GAIA & Nanook open Living Walls Atlanta 2012

“The Sunrise of Edgewood”, GAIA & Nanook open Living Walls Atlanta 2012

The 3rd Edition of Living Walls begins this spring and BSA is pleased to again partner with Monica Compana and her team to bring you the action in Atlanta for 2012. Supporting the ATL efforts since they popped in ’10, we’ll again bring you updates from the field as the artists converge in Atlanta to bring color, vibrancy and a dialogue with Street Art in the city.

Officially the 2012 conference begins in August but we’ll be bringing you a series of installations leading up to it. This years quality lineup will be a bit more international and focused with skillz on display from Gaia, Nanook, La Pandilla, Trek Matthews, Interesni Kazki, Everman, Neuzz, Pablo Gnecco, and Liqen.

So right now we want to give a huge shout out to our partners in non-crime, writer Alexandra Parrish, who is also Director of Communications for Living Walls, Charles Flemming, Living Walls Media team photographer and Albert Lebron, videographer who will all be BSA contributors to bring to you dispatches from the field. Thank you and welcome.

Gaia and Nanook

Text by Alexandra Parrish
Photos by Charles Flemming
Video by Albert Lebron

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

In terms of mural making, Gaia and Nanook believe public art has the ability to designate place. They are hardly strangers to the rich history layered in the gridded streets of Atlanta. Last weekend, Gaia and Nanook returned to the heart of the south to participate in Living Walls Concepts, a year-round conduit to the conference, which aims to create a more intimate relationship between the artist and the community.

The sketch came naturally – the wall, located on Edgewood Avenue in the heart of Old Fourth Ward sits firmly in the neighborhood Martin Luther King Jr. called home. Gaia and Nanook opted for an equivocal face to represent the street itself – and the passerby’s whom they interacted with regularly; Which is something I’m sure they revel, as Gaia took the time to explain what he was doing to anyone who cared to ask.

After three days and a stunted thunderstorm, Gaia and Nanook named their finished wall “The Sunrise of Edgewood.”

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia also sent us a description of the project:

“The collaboration that Nanook and I produced on Edgewood avenue is an observation on the neighborhood’s changing complexion. Historically, the Fourth Ward is considered in many regards as the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement so naturally creating Martin Luther King Jr’s face just down the block from the King Home seemed logical.

But rather we created a portrait that was more ambiguous, an everyman face that faded into a rising sun. This vibrant visage is surrounded by a turmoil of rope and vine forms that nanook created which is derived from one of his early street pieces. Now the mural is surrounded by a contentious area whose gentrification is imminent like the endless cycle of the sun.”

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

Gaia and Nanook (photo © Charles Flemming)

“The Sunrise of Edgewood” by Albert Lebron (VIDEO)

 

 

To learn more about Living Walls Altanta: The City Speaks and to make a donation to help this year’s conference click here. BSA thanks you for supporting this good work.

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Images of the Week 12.11.11

Thank you for all the excellent and splendid and wacky and warm submissions to the BSA Holiday Giveaway this week. BSA just has the smartest, knowledgeable, talented  and most badass readers! Our panel of judges will be casting their votes for the five winners soon and we’ll be revealing the winners during “12 Wishes for ’12” at the end of the month. A sincere “Thank You” to everybody (from everywhere!) who took the time and made the effort to share their personal wish and image. We value each and every one.

The bachanal of Street Art known as Art Basel washed like a typhoon over walls of Miami last weekend and more Street Artists than ever put up work before heading home to locations around the globe. By all accounts it was an overwhelming experience for many and artists, fans, photographers, and promoters are taking a little time to consider the experience and think about the ramifications for Street Arts’ direction. You may have seen a couple of postings we had as the work was going up last weekend here and here.

This week we show you a handful of somewhat reflective shots from the streets of Miami (and some from New York too). With time for consideration and after letting the aerosol settle, BSA will give you a huge overview of the whole Miami Street Art scene as it stands on January 2nd.

For now, here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Dain, Gaia, Hargo, Love Me, Need You, Pez, La Pandilla, Rone, and Spencer Keeton Cunningham. Photographs by Jaime Rojo and Geoff Hargadon.

Love Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Need You (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. This collage was made out of two different wheat pastes by two different artists at two different times. A side bust. The B&W photos were superimposed on the original wheat paste (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Here are Geoff Hargadon’s images for BSA from his adventures in Miami for Art Basel 2011.

Rone. This is a fine example of the spontaneous and unsanctioned art that takes place on the streets of Miami during the four days of Art Basel.  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Gaia for Wynwood Walls  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Spencer Keeton Cunningham paints next to Ben Eine.  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

CFYW (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Pez (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

La Pandilla (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Geoff caught this cru from Atlanta working in the middle of the night. The painting is a tribute to a friend of theirs who passed away not long ago. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Hugh Leeman & Faber at Living Walls

The Living Walls Conference in Atlanta ended weeks ago and the organizers still think of all the artists who helped in their first ever event; the art, the conversations, the animated debates, the camaraderie.

The pieces and murals left behind mostly are still untouched and naturally some have been tagged, destroyed, gone over. The life cycle for art on the streets, it would appear, is getting shorter – like 3-week TV pilots, 18-hour news cycles, and the average texting teen attention span, the pace of change is a quickening.  Few artists can say that their pieces stay untouched, or “ride”, for very long periods of time.

One artist at Living Walls, Hugh Leeman, saw his portrait of an American civil rights icon actually precipitate the removal of an alcohol ad, due to local community sentiments – although no-one has said who brought it down.  Street Artist Faber, takes a less literal, more intuitive  approach to creating pieces specific to their location and his inner dialogue.

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Hugh Leeman’s first stage (photo © Jenna Duffy)

Following are observations from Jayne McGinn along with photos from Jenna Duffy, who both covered the conference extensively:

Hugh Leeman

Hugh Leeman is easily one of the most inspiring people I met during Living Walls, if not my lifetime. His drive, passion and sincerity shone throughout his short stay in Atlanta.

After losing his wall on the side of Sound Table in the Old Fourth Ward due to a conflict with an Old English ad, Hugh ventured to the establishment at 1 a.m to convinced the owners to let him use the wall. He was allowed to create his piece with the stipulation that he would cut his mural in half and not cover the malt liquor add. Using only the Martin Luther King Jr side of the mural, Hugh pasted up his mural quickly, and before Leeman had left Atlanta the next day- the malt liquor add was down.

Leeman’s mural of MLK is adjacent to the MLK historic district, including his birth house and church. The brief time that the OE advertisement and the MLK wheat paste shared the wall together, it caused controversy within the community, igniting anger and confusion. Leeman and Living Walls posted a sign saying they did not support the advertisement.

Leeman’s mural changed the way OFW looks and represents the people and the neighborhood in an honest and uplifting way.

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The completed portrait by Hugh Leeman (photo © Jenna Duffy)

Faber

Faber takes only a basic idea of a mural and his paint to his wall with him. He lets his murals evolve in a stream of consciousness as they adapt and respect the walls they coexist with. brooklyn-street-art-faber-living-walls-atlanta-2010-1-web

Faber (photo © Jenna Duffy)

Faber is careful not to break the aura of the structure and to maintain the feeling, form and character of the building.

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Faber (photo © Jenna Duffy)

Faber’s interest in graffiti inspired him to study fine arts in school and further influences his work today. His artwork is personal, and appears on the street for the people who don’t have access to an art gallery, thus he creates a “public gallery” with his work. He sees his artwork as alive because of it interacts with the public.

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Faber (photo © Jenna Duffy)


To see more of Jenna Duffy’s work go HERE:

The Living Walls Blog

To learn more about Living Walls go HERE:

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Natural Devolution in the “Swampy” Southland

Brooklyn Street Artist Swampy Pounds a Path in Atlanta Wilderness

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Living-Walls-Update2by Jayne McGinn
images by Jenna Duffy

Swampy’s signature characters form a narrative, a new dimension slowly being built inside our own. The skull and tusks are representative of a feral human; a person who, after being released into the wild, changes like an emancipated domestic pig transforms back into a boar by growing tusks and long hair.

Swampy (© Jaime Rojo)

Swampy (© Jenna Duffy)

The trademark crystals in Swampy’s paintings function on different levels. Not only are the crystals aesthetically pleasing, but also representative of the untainted minerals that make up animals forming into a shapes so beautiful, it’s astonishing that they could occur naturally in this world.

Swampy (© Jenna Duffy)

Swampy (© Jenna Duffy)

In person, Swampy seems less like someone who paints characters representing purity and extraordinary beauty and more like one of these characters, someone whose exceptional integrity is so remarkable that a natural existence is almost unfathomable.

Almost.

Swampy (© Jenna Duffy)

Swampy (© Jenna Duffy)

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Kofke: “Everything Will Be Okay”. That’s a Relief!

“I don’t know how I ended up a street artist,” says Kofke. “I really don’t.”

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Living-Walls-Update2by Jayne McGinn
images by Jenna Duffy

Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)
Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)

Jason Kofke started bringing his weird brand of optimism to the streets by writing “Everything Will Be Ok” on condom machines and toilets before it adorned depictions of tragedies such as plane crashes. The phrase is polarizing, igniting anger or catharsis in most of its viewers, both of which Kofke sees as a misinterpretation.

“I see it more of a question. Will everything be ok?”

Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)
Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)

Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)
Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)

Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)
Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)

Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)
Kokfe (© Jenna Duffy)

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