Col. Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc
Ciudad de México, Mexico 06700
“Graffiti is not vandalism but a beautiful crime”
Monsieur A is known by his distinctive figures – long lined characters with disturbing yet charismatic smiles. This Atelier de Production et de Création, develops precise execution in his deceptively naive contours or childish lines that depict more than we see.
Andre’s recognizable geography, cursive and dynamic hand style transforms his life into an oeuvre that carries his aesthetic values and fuses with his own stylistic criteria in a perfect constellation of art and fashion. Within the variable contexts, André oversize’s graffiti production to personalize spaces while constructing landscapes of identity and recognition. André could be described in Baudillard’s words “ingenious publicity in which each person becomes the impresario of his own existence”.
André Saraiva, has expanded the definition of art as itself, while re-defining “what an artist can do” – his new extended worlds manifest in production, process and exhibition. With this playful manifestation, André will take over the newly renovated project space of Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City. The space will surround the artist with his works on paper while this cross-cultural phenomena paints live in front of a viewing audience on the night of
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
André Saraiva, also known as Monsieur André or Monsieur A, is a French graffiti artist. Born as son of Portuguese parents in Uppsala, Sweden, he has been living in Paris since his childhood. Saraiva started doing graffiti in 1985, quickly acquiring notoriety in the late 90s with Mr. A, a cartoonish character with a top hat, big smile, long legs, and a cross and circle for his eyes that could be found all over the streets of Paris. A famous member of the early Parisian graffiti scene alongside Invader and Zevs, he also made an appearance in Banksy’s street art movie ‘Exit through the Giftshop’. Thanks to his distinctive poetic and joyful style and his use of pink colour, he became instantly recognizable – for example in his Love Graffiti series, which he created in the year 2000 – and expanded into various techniques such as wall paintings and sculpture from there. Even installations now count to his repertoire as seen in ‘Art in the Streets’, recently on display at the MOCA in Los Angeles that was curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Aaron Rose.
Capital Soars with Huge New International Street Art Murals
An Amazing Week in DF with Interesni Kazki, El Mac, Saner, Sego, Roa, Herakut, Vhils, and Escif
Gazing out at the sweep of metropolis that is modern Mexico City, you’ll have to catch your breath once in a while. A culture known for it’s historic public murals of the 20th Century, it looks like a resurgence is at hand, but this time the muralist are international Street Artists, and the scale is soaring.
The project “All City Canvas” invited nine artists from around the world and locally to use some of Distrito Federal’s prime real estate as just that – a canvas. With cranes and rollers instead of ladders and cans, these are some of the largest works we’ve seen by some of these artists. Here’s Portugals’ Vhils on the Dolores Building near La Alameda, there’s Germany’s Herakut on the side of the oldest newspaper in Mexico El Universal, and look way up to see LA’s El Mac signature portrait on the side of the Hotel Reforma Avenue. After eleven months of work getting permission from building owners, convincing city leaders, and securing major corporate sponsors, the capital of Mexico now has a few more major public art pieces that will blow you away and the resulting collection further secures this city of 21 million as one of the growing hubs of the Street Art scene.
We spoke with the three guys who organized the festival to get an understanding of the logistics and their aspirations for the project. As organizers and innovators with ties to their own arts organizations in Mexico City, each one of these guys hustled to make it happen; Victor Hugo Celaya of ARTO, Roberto Shimizu of MUJAM, and Gonzalo Alvarez of MAMUTT. Participating artists were Interesni Kazki (Ukraine), El Mac (USA), Saner (Mexico), Sego (Mexico), Roa (Belgium), Herakut (Germany), Vhils (Portugal) and Ecif (Spain).
Brooklyn Street Art:Often Street Artists are relegated to the buildings that are abandoned and in a state of decay. In this case, your program featured work on the sides of some of the most important buildings in Mexico City. How did you get permission to do this?
Victor Hugo Celaya: Since the beginning, we wanted to offer an unique experience to the city so we took urban art to everybody – youth, businessmen, doctors, moms… In order to make a huge impact, we worked to obtain the best spots in Mexico City. Each of these buildings is seen by thousands of people each day and are all located in the city center of Mexico City. It was a difficult job, but in the end we got everything set up. The impact would not have been the same if we had painted other walls.
Brooklyn Street Art:Mexican culture has a proud tradition of public murals. How does the style of Street Art in 2012 differ from that tradition? Roberto Shimizu: Obviously the Mexican history with mural painters and our cultural background, with artists like David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera – played a big part while we were conceptualizing the project. Mexico City has the perfect moral background to invite the best urban artists in the world to intervene its walls to create huge murals. We wanted to innovate and create a new link with the past with some of the renowned urban artists of our time.
Brooklyn Street Art:Did you have difficulty persuading building owners to allow this work on their property?
Gonzalo Alvarez: It was difficult to get to the owners, since these people are important business people that don’t have “a lot of time”. Nevertheless, after a lot of work and perseverance we got to show them the project. Once we got to them, we realized they are great people who were interested in getting involved in new innovative projects for the city. At the end, all of them were very happy with the outcome of the festival.
Brooklyn Street Art:Is there a graffiti/Street Art “scene” in certain areas of D.F.? Victor Hugo Celaya: DF is one of the biggest cities in the world – the 2nd biggest, so it is a natural hub for the urban art scene. The movement is very alive at the moment and it is giving Mexican artists an opportunity to show themselves to the world. With this project we wanted to make a statement to the world, that urban art is not only for young people that live in and around big cities – it’s for everybody – doctors, politicians, business people, Moms, merchants… For example, the intervention of the W Hotel, which is located in one of the most “posh” neighborhoods in the country, was very disruptive because nobody could have imagined an urban artists painting a huge mural on the same terrace where they usually eat their lunch or have their business meetings.
Brooklyn Street Art:In the last few years we have been seeing many international Street Artists traveling to large cities around the world doing commissioned work for local festival organizers. How do these traveling artists affect the art scene in the local Mexican context?
Gonzalo Alvarez: This was also very important to us when we were conceiving “All City Canvas”. First we wanted to show young artists that if you do a good job doing what you like, you can actually earn money and travel around the world. You can take your art to other cultures and if you are good enough, you could influence someone else.
Secondly, many artists in Mexico have no money to travel to other countries, and many of their influences come from the pictures they see on the Internet. To have this world-known urban artist in Mexico City was an unique opportunity for these young artists to watch, compare and learn their techniques.
Brooklyn Street Art:Can you talk about the vibrant youth culture in Mexico City and how it responds to this kind of work? Roberto Shimizu: Yes, Mexico is a young country, and more than half of the population is under 30 years of age. We noticed how important cultural events like this are for the young people. Each day thousands of young Mexicans congregated outside of the buildings the artists were painting – they wanted to watch the work and to understand the artistic process of the artwork. Also we offered a series of conferences called WORDS and a gallery exposition called WORKS to offer different points of view of the urban art scene. What we found is that young people in Mexico are very keen to learn and participate in these kinds of projects.
Also on the other hand, the feedback from the Mexican youth is very honest and direct. If you are doing something wrong they will let you know – also they’ll let you know if you are doing something right.
ALL CITY CANVAS es un festival de arte urbano, a nivel internacional, que busca unir esfuerzos del movimiento alrededor del mundo, en un solo lugar durante una semana.
La ciudad sede, en este caso, la Ciudad de México, ofrecerá sus mejores espacios para que nueve de los artistas más reconocidos del movimiento de arte urbano intervengan espacios únicos e históricos de la ciudad.
Además, durante la semana del festival, se llevará a cabo una serie de conferencias impartidas por expertos en el tema, que ayudarán a contextualizar el trabajo que se realiza en las calles.
Finalmente, una reconocida galería de la ciudad expondrá obras de los artistas invitados y algunos otros talentos locales.
En esta primera edición de ALL CITY CANVAS, México fue seleccionado como sede del festival por ser, históricamente, un referente artístico y cultural. Este contexto histórico convierte a México en un importante punto de interés para la nueva generación de artistas que llevan años tomando las calles y los muros de las principales capitales del mundo para plasmar sus obras.
A finales de abril, los ojos del mundo estarán puestos en el corazón de la ciudad más grande del mundo y México se convertirá en uno de los focos principales de la escena del arte urbano.
El festival ALLC ITY CANVAS presentará del 30 de abril al 5 de mayo a 9 de los mejores artistas internacionales y nacionales, con amplias muestras de arte urbano, usando como lienzos algunos edificios icónicos de la Ciudad de México, creando una sinergia entre nuestras tradiciones y una nueva visión global. Es un festival inclusivo, que busca llevar el arte a superficies emblemáticas para crear murales de gran escala dentro del espacio urbano único que ofrece una de las ciudades más grandes del mundo. Así, la ciudad participará activamente, dejando un gran antecedente en la calle de lo que es el Arte Urbano en la actualidad.
Este proyecto ha sido la visión y trabajo de jóvenes mexicanos que asumieron la misión de voltear los ojos del mundo hacia México, insertándose en la historia, en un momento en el que es esencial mostrar de manera creativa y comunitaria la vitalidad, energía, magia, mezcla de razas y amor por la identidad mexicana en el espacio público. La Ciudad de México ofrece el escenario perfecto de una urbe con raíces históricas, arquitectura de gran visibilidad, ciudadanos abiertos a experiencias estéticas y una tradición artística de gran influencia.
ALL CITY CANVAS es un festival que desde su concepción ha sido inclusivo, trabajando con la autoridad, la iniciativa privada, la comunidad, con los estudiantes y los medios. Ha buscado impulsarse mostrando una cara positiva, apostando en el talento y energía del país. Es una apuesta por el arte en el espacio público, lo cual es y ha sido un concepto muy presente en la historiografía del arte en este país; en principio con tono revolucionario pero desde diferentes movimientos y con variantes en la manera de abordarlo, ha sido siempre una constante. Desde los muralistas, se tenía clara esta postura frente al arte; José Clemente Orozco se refirió así del muralismo: “La forma más desinteresada, ya que no puede ser escondida para beneficio de unos cuantos privilegiados. Es para la gente. Es para todos”.
Después del muralismo, el movimiento estudiantil de los años 60’s, en el que se manifestaba el descontento político, recurriendo a imágenes que se plasmaban en carteles, grafiti y fotografía llena de simbolismo. Movimientos artísticos conocidos como el Grupo, que a principios de los 70’s diseñaban pancartas y murales con variaciones de iconografía militante clásica para transmitir mensajes de disidencia o el No Grupo, que con imágenes populares y juegos de lenguaje criticaban el elitismo de las instituciones de arte, entre otras cosas. En el mundo, durante estos años, se gestionaba el manifesto de los Situacionistas, que se basaba en crear acontecimientos con significado que revirtiera el pre establecido por el sistema capitalista y de gobierno. En México surgió la neográfica y diversas técnicas de reproducción y transferencia de imágenes. Se organizaban happenings y trabajos muralísticos en comunidades campesinas e indígenas por el Taller de Investigación Plástica; se hacían exposiciones callejeras por parte de fotógrafos independientes como las del grupo Peyote y el de Narrativa Visual, del cual se desprendería el grupo Março con Alejandro Olmedo, Mauricio Guerrero y Sebastián, originadores de un manifesto Marxista inspirado en el Dadaísta. Todos coincidían en una postura clara ante el espacio público, ubicándolo como símbolo de democracia que planteaba cambiar el entorno diario a través del arte para poder dar un mensaje.
En los años 80’s crece el grafiti junto con algunas acciones de intervención que funcionaban como testimonios de eventualidades e inconformidades, como por ejemplo la toma del Balmori en la colonia Roma, en dónde, ante una campaña de demolición posterior al terremoto del 85, el edificio fue “tomado” al ser pintados los cristales y así evitando que fuera demolido. Esta acción marcó un momento muy importante en la regeneración urbana.
La postura del reclamo y la apropiación del espacio público con un mensaje, es algo que ha estado muy presente en la historia de la ciudad y sigue siendo actual. El festival apuesta y celebra el actuar en espacios estratégicos para establecer un diálogo entre la arquitectura, la imagen, el espacio y el observador, para así transmitir un mensaje que lleve a algún tipo de reflexión.
Con disciplina de trabajo, experimentación de técnicas y herramientas innovadoras, los artistas y sus murales nos harán dialogar y revalorar el espacio, nos mostrarán cómo un edificio se activa y transforma. Nos presentarán ideas de temas actuales a partir de lo que la ciudad les provoque e inspire, a través de su talentoso lenguaje plástico para experimentar con la estética que llevan años trabajando y perfeccionando.
Esta experiencia la podremos tener in situ, al pie de los edificios intervenidos o a través del otro espacio público que ofrece Internet, ya que se podrá interactuar durante los días del festival a través de diversas redes sociales, con el contenido que se generará durante esa semana.
ALL CITY CANVAS creará una comunidad sólida en un espacio público: físico cerca de las PAREDES intervenidas por los artistas y virtual en el mundo online. Se presentará en espacio de galería PIEZAS, de la obra a pequeña escala que estos artistas producen, disponible para venta. Y se hablará al respecto en PALABRAS, desde el punto de vista de expertos que han dedicado su vida a registrar, teorizar, publicar y/o experimentar este arte espectacular.
Se presentará a la Ciudad de México como un museo al aire libre, con arte monumental y público, que de manera visual e interactiva, será un Festival para todos.
1. ROA at StolenSpace “Hypnagogia” (London)
2. Katowice Street Art Festival 4/20-29 (Poland)
3. LALA Gallery Inauguration Saturday (Los Angeles)
4. Herakut “Loving the Exiled” at 941 Geary (San Francisco)
5. Marsea Gives You the “High Five!” at New Image Art Saturday (LA)
6. Erica Il Cane “Una Vita Violenta” at Fifty24MX Gallery (Mexico City)
7. Brett Amory “Waiting 101” at Outsiders Gallery (Newcastle, UK)
8. OLEK in Barcelona with Botero (VIDEO)
9. C215 “About Copyrights” (VIDEO)
10. The Bushwick Trailer (VIDEO)
ROA at StolenSpace “Hypnagogia” (London)
With his current show, now on view at the StolenSpace Gallery in London, ROA will demonstrate how you can be asleep and awake at the same time. His solo show “Hypnagogia” opens today to the general public and offers a dissected view of ROA’s fantastic world of animals and beasts. ROA’s hand crafted book “An Introduction To Animal Representation” by Mammal Press is on sale at The Old Truman Brewery on 91 Brick Lane. Hurry there are only only 125 tomes being offered.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Katowice Street Art Festival 4/20-29 (Poland)
Katowice, a Silesian city in Southern Poland celebrates Street Art with their own Street Art Festival, now on its second year, from April 20 through April 29. The gray, concrete architecture that dominates this town will be imbued with color, shapes and fantasy with the help of this city most prominent daughter, OLEK aided by an illustrious list of first rate of fine and Street Artists including Mark Kenkins, Escif, Boogie, Moneyless, Ganzeer, Ludo, Mona Tusz, Swanski, 0700 Team, Tellas, Dan Witz, Hyuro, M City, ROA, Goro, Kilo, Nespoon, Aryz, 108, Wers, Ciah-Ciah, Etam Crew, Otecki, Razpajzan, Sepe, Chazme, CFNTX Crew, Onte, Jezmirski, Terry Grand, Dast, Impact, Malik, Turbos and Mentalgassi.
For further information regarding this festival click here.
LALA Gallery Inauguration Saturday (Los Angeles)
The West Coast continues to assert itself as a power house in the art world and as a Street Art mecca with the inaugural show of LALA Gallery. A brand new gallery conceived by Daniel Lahoda, the mind and soul and legs of LA Freewalls Project.
LALA’s line up of artists for this first show augurs an auspicious beginning and a successful life which we hope last for a long, long time. “LA Freewalls Inside” is the title of this show and artists included are: Anthony Lister, Askew One, Becca, Cern, Chris Brand, Cryptik, Cyrcle, Dale VN Marshall, Dan Witz, Daze, Dee Dee Cheriel, Evan Skrederstu, How & Nosm, Insa, Jaybo, Kim West, Kofie, Lady Aiko, Ludo, Mear, The Perv Brothers, Poesia, Push, Pyro, Ripo, Risk, Ron English, Saber, Shepard Fairey, Swoon and Zes.
For further details regarding this show click here.
Herakut “Loving the Exiled” at 941 Geary (San Francisco)
Herakut, the indefatigable German collective are a busy duo with an impressive craft and a mastery of the can and paint brushes. Never compromising their artistic output regardless of their environment or medium they set their collaborative standards high with an output rich in earthy colors. Their palette of ores, reds, grays, oranges, blues, browns and yellows give birth to a universe of characters that are fantastic and mysterious and in pursuit of you, the spectator. In San Francisco at 941 Geary Gallery Saturday the reception will be open for the artists and you at “Loving the Exiled”.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Group Show “High Five!” at New Image Art Saturday (LA)
HIGH FIVE! the new group show at New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles opens tomorrow and the artists include Alia Penner, Ashely Macomber, Curtis Kulig, Deanna Templeton, Maya Hayuk and Vanessa Prager.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also happening this weekend:
Tomorrow, Saturday April 22 will be the last day to see Erica Il Cane show “Una Vita Violenta” at the Fifty24MX Gallery in Mexico City. The gallery will also participate with Erica Il Cane at the Zona Maco Mexico Arte Contemporaneo Art Fair in Mexico City. April 18 – April 22. For further details about “Una Vita Violenta” click here. For more details about Zona Maco, Mexico Arte Contemporaneo Art Fair click here.
Brett Amory solo show “Waiting 101” At the Outsiders Gallery in Newcastle, UK opens today to the general public. Click here for more details about this show.
OLEK in Barcelona with Botero (VIDEO)
Still working on that scarf you’ve been knitting for OLEK’s birthday? You missed it.
Mexico City culture can be as varied and diverse as it is homogeneous, with a respect for tradition and, when it comes to artistic expression, a catalyst for exploration. André Breton is reported to have described Mexico as “the most surrealist country in the world,” where painters like Leonora Carrington and Frida Kahlo unhinged their imaginations from the limitations of the material world. As these new images on the streets of Mexico City taken by Brooklyn architectural street artist XAM show, the love for a psychic automatism continues into the public sphere.
Of course the Mexicans are not strangers to art on the streets; “great Latin American muralists” is a phrase almost synonymous with Mexico and names like Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros coming to mind. Political advocacy and populist criticism of social policy on the walls here is similarly a tradition respected by the culture. Now a century after the revolution and birth of the modern Mexico, the experience of Los Capitalinos, as the residents of Mexico City are called, is affected daily by surrealism, pop culture and global capitalism swimming alongside folk and historical symbology, and a bit of anarchy. It’s all part of one fabric, a rich and varied textile that we export to you here.
Says XAM of his experience, “Barcelona, NYC, Amsterdam, and Paris are all similar in a way when it comes to street art – you can walk around and come across work on the streets fairly easily, but traversing the barrios of Mexico city is much different. I guess in some way you can compare it to San Francisco, Chicago or Los Angeles – there is quality work to be found. The city differs from all mentioned in that it appears to be young when it comes to street art by having a small group of participants.”
“I was hosted by both MUMUTT Arte and Museo del Juguete Antiguo Mexico, who are both responsible for providing concrete canvases in Mexico City for artist such as ROA, M-City, Pixel Pancho, and fresh stuff from the locals like Saner, Sego and the MOZ crew. Mexico City DF has the most museums in the world and MUMUTT and Museo del Juguete are largely responsible for adding street art to the vast archive of amazing work. They escorted me around to locations they provided for the above artists – It is evident that everyone brought their A-game. The weathered concrete walls made wonderful surfaces for imagery such as Dronz & Koko’s character, offering hallucinatory candy at the toy museum to Ben Eine’s work that speaks about class issues on a worksite for a future mall.”
———— Casa de Empeño is a group exhibition based conceptually on the function a pawnshop and serves to re-examine current systems of economy, currency and exchange.
This April 9 in Mexico City Anonymous Gallery is opening a group exhibition based conceptually on the function of a pawnshop and serves to examine current systems of economy, currency and exchange. The entire 3,000 sqft of Anonymous Gallery (D.F.) will be re-designed to replicate a pawnshop environment. Based on the value of the artwork, the gallery will provide unique opportunities for collectors to own distinctive works of art through sale, loan or even trade.
At any given time, pawnshops might have an inventory that includes jewelry, gold, coins, computers, digital cameras, radios, tools, musical instruments, DVD movies, cell phones, dj equipment, bikes, books, paintings, prints, weapons, clothes, furniture, and more. Casa de empeño will feature a compelling and diverse array of artists from all over the world who create relatable objects through painting, film, photography, sculpture, drawing, print, editions and merchandise:
Paintings by artists such as Kadar Brock and Matt Jones, sculpture that includes plush gold jewelry by Megan Whitmash and luxury accessories like Birkin Bags by Shelter Serra, jewelry by Orly Genger designed by Jacklyn Mayer jaclynmayer.com. Electronics and monitors showing films from Kasper Sonne and David Ellis. Editions from Clayton Brothers, Todd James, Evan Gruzis, photographs from Tim Barber and Richard Kern, and furniture design from Chic by Accident. The exhibition will also feature a library of artist developed books, zines, magazines, posters, and museum catalogues for sale from institutions including MUAC and Carillo Hill.
In a typical pawnshop customers pledge property as collateral, and in return, pawnbrokers lend them money. When customers pay back the loan, their merchandise is returned to them. Anonymous Gallery however, will be providing several opportunities for its customers:
a. customers can purchase available inventory at the available retail price.
a. Customers can offer a provided service of equal or greater value in exchange for selected artwork.
b. Customers can offer another item of equal or greater value in exchange for valuable artwork.
a. Throughout the duration of the exhibition customers can loan and consign works of art to the gallery for sale at an agreed retail price.
b. Customers can borrow or rent artworks for a specified duration of time based on a fee established by the gallery and selected artist.