Italy

LUDO in Brooklyn, Pretty Malevolence Growing on the Wall

LUDO in Brooklyn, Pretty Malevolence Growing on the Wall

Giant green flowers with closed circuit televisions instead of pistols, drone planes with insect legs, cacti that turn into syringes, a cabbage that features a hardened metal dome and 5 gun turrets – all in black and acid green, all surreal hybrids of natural beauty and man’s darker nature.

That’s what LUDO has been creating in Paris and London and Milan for three years or so as part of his “Nature’s Revenge” series of wheat-pastes. The marrying of these two worlds is jarring and uncomfortable, and that’s his point. He wants you to think about man’s march toward technologically more sophisticated ways of being inhuman, of our mindless oggling of the next shiny electronic bauble and our subsequent shameless allegiance to it.

Ludo

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a way, the nature/technology hybrids are not as futuristic as we may like to think – nanotechnology has been talking about flying insect sized cameras since the dawn of this century – and greater awareness of the precarious discoveries man is making and his inability to meet them may be a side effect of the series. Plumes of oil, anyone?

Ludo

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now in New York, LUDO is already making us think, and I’ve got to admit I’m thrilled. I like it when art makes me think, even if it is about things I don’t understand or am uncomfortable with. It’s kind of like cloud computing. Or James Dobson. Or blue cheese.

Ludo

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA:  Did you ever see the movie called “Little Shop of Horrors” ?
LUDO: No.

BSA: Because it’s about a man-eating plant…
LUDO: No. I have to see it.

BSA: Okay, one down.  So it’s true that you studied sociology and graphic design. Do you see any connection between sociology and your street art?
LUDO: Yeah, certainly I am interested in people. I am interested in bringing a message to the street that can easily be understood.  Certainly street art is a bit of sociology. I mean you try to grab what you can from the society and incorporate it into your work and then take it back out to the streets with your personality in it.

Ludo

LUDO puts up a circuit-board butterfly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: So you are using your art to communicate with people on the street?
LUDO: Yes, actually I try to go out in Paris on Sunday during the day – and while I am putting work out sometimes people come to talk to me.  Just normal people who just want to ask me about the work.  It is good.  Okay, maybe it is a little for your ego, or a lot for your ego but then it for me a study.  I won’t doing any art so people will hate me, or to fight with me. I’m not interested in that.  It’s better to have them in a good mood.

BSA: Tuthfully, you also like to watch the reaction of people who see your work.
LUDO: Yes because they are interested in the fact that it’s a kind of a naïve subject; with a flower or birds but they like to get a little closer and see that there are guns – it’s nice, it’s interesting.

Ludo

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Right so let’s talk about that ; Guns, violence, implied threats of violence, high technology – is it about fear?
LUDO: No, it’s more about everything that stupidly rules the world.  I mean guns, technology, humans, new gadgets – That is what I like to take and remix and give a message.

BSA: Do you have any animals at home?
LUDO: Yeah, an English Bulldog.

BSA: That’s it?
LUDO: No no, I don’t have any insects.  I do have a garden for food, and an aromatic garden (herb garden).

BSA: You’ve been doing the “Nature’s Revenge” series for about two years?
LUDO: Maybe like three.  This butterfly is a new one for me.  I try to go out maybe every time with a new piece. I’m not interested in always put up the same stuff. I try to see the spot and imagine the pieces.

Ludo

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why was this butterfly so difficult today?
LUDO: The wind! The paste too.  Usually the paste I use is really strong and with a big piece it sticks immediately.

BSA: You have done some gallery work, mostly group shows. When street artists transition from the street to the gallery, many artists change their work. When you think about street artists that go into the gallery, who do you like?
LUDO:
I am a big fan of Neckface. And I’ve always been really interested in how he works in the streets. And his gallery work is awesome; it is so strong; it’s thin lines, it’s clean, it’s perfect – even if the message continues to be so strong.  That is what I like. If someone who is a street artist does gallery work, I think it has to be different, it needs to reach a different level.

Ludo and Armsrock

LUDO and Armsrock (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: So who are some of your favorite street artists right now?
LUDO: Yeah Neckface will always be. I love Bast.  I like also Sweet Toof.  Yeah so those are the three.

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Stencils of the Week 05.18.10 from BSA

Stencil-Top-5

The Stencil Top 5 as picked by Samantha Longhi of Stencil History X

Stencil artist Indigo from Vancouver BC has quickly become one to watch.
Stencil artist Indigo from Vancouver BC has quickly become one to watch. This piece comes from a small festival she took part in last months called “Paint Your Faith”, in part sponsored by a Church in Vancouver. See link to this event below.
Si Senor! SR X has been working out (image courtesy SR X)

Si Senor! SR X has been working out (image courtesy SR X)

Bogota based artist Stinkfish is doing fine work on trains in Oaxaca, Mexico, including this stencil made from a photo fo a young girl. Stencil in this case is used here as a basis for painting. (photo courtesy Stinkfish)

Bogota based artist Stinkfish is doing fine work on trains in Oaxaca, Mexico, including this stencil made from a photo fo a young girl. Stencil in this case is used here as a basis for painting. (photo courtesy Stinkfish)

This wall appeared this week in Paris: Attributed to Mosko et Associés, Artiste-Ouvrier, Miss,Tic, Jérôme Mesnager, Da Cruz  (photo © Morac)

This wall appeared this week in Paris: Attributed to Mosko et Associés, Artiste-Ouvrier, Miss,Tic, Jérôme Mesnager, Da Cruz (photo © Morac)

Mural <a href=

@ Studio Orizzonte, via Barberini 60 www.fefeproject.com/Copyright Romefotoblog ” width=”333″ height=”500″ />

Read more about “Paint Your Faith” here.

Read more about Indigo here.

See more Sr. X here

See more Stinkfish here.

C215’s show at Fefe Project

Stencil History X


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Stencil Top Five 05.03.10 from BSA

Stencil-Top-5

“Geishaglass” by Exart created with nine layers of stencils on glass.

“Geishaglass” by Exart created with nine layers of stencils on glass.

This attractive solarium sports a tribute to the 90's movie "Trainspotting". Samantha translates the text loosely as
Welcome to  l’hermitage, have a seat! This attractive and airy solarium sports a tribute to the 90’s movie “Trainspotting”. Samantha translates the text loosely as “When you’re a junkie, your only trouble: Get Dope”.

Stencil artist Spizz names this one “Sound System is the System Sound”
Stencil artist Spizz names this one “Sound System is the System Sound”
In this scurrilous depiction of what appears to be UK politians hanging by the neck, T-Wat urges viewers to Vote Green. Please note that BSA would never advocate violence toward anyone. Period.

In this scurrilous depiction of what appears to be UK politians hanging by the neck, T-Wat urges viewers to Vote Green next to a pile of tires. Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, and David Cameron, all running for the top post in Britain appear to be "hung" - a reference to a "hung parliament" possibility, and not an advocation of actual hanging (Please note that BSA would never advocate violence toward anyone. Period. )

C215's solo show “Urban Painting” in Milan

C215's solo show “Urban Painting” in Milan

See more at StencilHistoryX.com

See more Exart images here

See more Spizz images here

See more T-Watt images here

See more C215 images here

The Stencil Top 5 as picked by Samantha Longhi of StencilHistoryX

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Stencil Top 5 for 03.22.10 on BSA

Stencil-Top-5

The Stencil Top 5 as picked by Samantha Longhi of StencilHistoryX

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Stencil duo Broken Crow in Austin Texas (photo courtesy the artist)

C215
C215 during the Urbart event in Paris at the Institut de Gestion Supérieur (IGS) (image courtesy the artist)

Orticanoodles
Orticanoodles did these stencils on a refrigerator in Vitry-sur-Seine (photo courtesy the artist)

SOT from Iran
Iranian artist SOT presents a child soldier on canvas (25 x 25 cm) (image courtesy the artist)

Penny
“It Never Rains”, artist Penny gets rid of the squid with this piece of heavy machinery (image courtesy the artist)

See more at StencilHistoryX.com

See more Penny images here

See more SOT images here

See more images of Broken Crows’s work here

See more Orticanoodles here

See more C215 images here

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Through the Eyes of Aiko: A Personal View of Street Art

A BSA Treat – Lady Aiko writes an essay remembering her early days in New York and her recent trip to Shanghai

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Street Artist Aiko is known for her powerful and sexy depictions of women – whether they are stencils, silkscreens or collage.

Aiko's site welcomes Christmas with this image that is typical of the strong and overtly sexual nature of some recent works.
Aiko’s site welcomes Christmas with this image that is typical of the strong and overtly sexual nature of some recent works.

The Tokyo-born founding member of Faile is a world tavelling artist, with her hometown these days in Brooklyn.

Among the shows she has participated in recently were the LOVE MONSTER solo exhibition at Joshua Liner Gallery NYC, the Apocalypse Wow exhibition at MACRO Future in Rome Italy, and three shows this past week in the Art Basel Miami Beach fair; “The Wynwood Walls” with Deitch Projects, “Graffiti Gone Global” with James and Karla Murray and “Mural for Electric Pickle” at Primary Flight.

"Love Monster" a piece at the Joshua Liner Gallery by Aiko
“Love Monster” a piece at the Joshua Liner Gallery by Aiko

Aside from all that fabulous globe-trotting, Aiko is a also a pretty down-to-earth person who enjoys work with artists and giving to the community. She has taken part in a number of murals in New York over the last few years as part of the Younity Collective, a 40+ member group of women in NYC who love to paint large projects together.

This image by Aiko comes from an piece she put in the
This image by Aiko comes from an piece she put in the Bicycle Film Festival Show in New York this summer

We are very excited that Aiko has written a very nice piece for BSA detailing her recent experiences in Shanghai, China this fall. In it she recalls a small event that recalled her early memories of starting out as a New Yorker and a street artist.

Shanghai street scene (photo by Aiko)
Shanghai street scene (photo by Aiko)

My Shanghai Evening
by Aiko

The last time I visited Shanghai was in the spring of 2006. It’s been only 3 years but it seems like the city became much more powerful, more of a commercial center, and more developed. Instead of finding my favorite local massage place and cute junk stores that I liked to go to, I found many squares with new buildings, luxury stores, offices, restaurants, bars, and international chains like Starbucks and Burger King.

The largest city in China, Shanghai is getting ready to hold World Expo next year. Shanghai’s landmark, The Bund, is getting fully renovated for the event and tall new buildings are flashing colorful lights and neon signs in the night sky. The whole city is full of dust caused by the never-ending demolition and construction.

The neighborhood of Mo Gan Shan Lu reminds me a bit of Chelsea and Soho in NYC; old industrial warehouses turned into Chinese contemporary art galleries. I’ve heard that there is a lot of tourist traffic from different countries that comes to shop for very expensive art there. As a sharp contrast, there are long graffiti walls and abandoned houses on the other side of the same street. I am sure they will be torn down and turned into more fancy buildings soon. Knowing this, I had a sudden impulse to leave a little piece of my art on this street before heading back to Brooklyn.

A typical scene of a neighborhood under construction (photo by Aiko)
A typical scene of a neighborhood under construction (photo by Aiko)

At 8pm that night, I arrived in Mo Gan Shan Lu on that same street. This was when I realized that some of those “abandoned” houses are actually not abandoned. Some of these darkened houses still have families living there; they were having dinner and drinking on the street with small chairs and tables.  I got a little nervous. What if these people start to scream at me and call the police? What if they want to charge me money or create another kind of issue?  I’ve had some trouble like that before in different cities and I was worried that this may be the moment when my first street art experience in Shanghai could be end up as the worst one…

I thought for a moment and said to myself, “Well. Let me just hit it. It takes only a few minutes anyway.”

One of the pieces made expecially for this trip. (photo by Aiko)
One of the pieces made expecially for this trip. (photo by Aiko)

As soon as I started spraying on the wall, people in the neighborhood also noticed the noise and the smell of a stranger. I had to keep going – I didn’t want to leave an unfinished piece there. A few people walked toward me and as they came closer they began talking to me.  I don’t understand Chinese, but their voices were very loud. Their loud voices attracted other people, who began to gather around me. I kept only looking at the wall until I finished it.

When I was finished, I looked around. I didn’t realize until then but I had a large audience standing behind me watching and talking.  Men and women, even a couple of security guards from across the street.

I said “Ni hao (hello)” with big smile, then “Hao?(good work?)”. A few of the guys started yelling at the painted wall, and it sounded to me like they were very upset. I asked my friend to translate.

“You don’t need a bikini on her. Next time you should better paint her just naked,” said one drunk man as he pointed out the breast. This made all of us begin laughing.

“Oh watch, a cop is coming!,” somebody else said. They pointed to an old lady slowly walking towards us to see what was happening. We all laughed at that joke too.

Amazingly, it seems like I was some entertainment for their evening and we all had a little moment together.  My mission had ended very well!

A well-dressed friend poses in front of Aiko's new pieces (photo by Aiko)

A well-dressed friend poses in front of Aiko's new pieces (photo by Aiko)

That night overlaps with memories of my early street art experiences in NYC. When I arrived in NY, I was not able to speak English at all and I felt a great disability because of it. Art was (and still is) my language to communicate with people and to get to know about a city.  I am happy to create art, share with friends and random people who I meet in the public sphere and I like to see them enjoying my art.  My experience on that night made me think about how I first got into street art and why I love street art again.

Aiko in context. (photo by Aiko)

Aiko in context. (photo by Aiko)

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Josh and Favianna are Revolting in Italy!

Not really, I just try to come up with clever headlines

But truth be told, authors of Reproduce and Revolt (Softskull), Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez are in Italy right now (at the House of Love and Dissent) on their world tour promoting their book on how to make a stencil and change the world.

Flyer from the opening

Flyer from last night's opening

Josh, a Brooklyn street artist, tells BSA that a ton of people came to last night’s event, and tonight is another cool party. “I’m excited to see which graphics from the book resonate with people here, and how that differs from other places.”

The book, a very accessible and quick historical primer on the power of using graphics for social change, features a multitude of stencils you can use immediately.

And that is what the authors intend: In an age of non-stop visual glut from corporate advertising and PR firms, the little guy and gal can seize the power of the message with some thoughtful application of stencils, or a photocopier.

Reproduce and Revolt

Favianna Rodriguez blog

Josh MacPhee at Just Seeds

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