Purth in Minneapolis, “What Kind of Woman Are You?”

Street Artist Purth relies on her intuition when scouting walls to spread out on, favoring wide open spaces and sweeping vistas, in basically unknown or forgotten locations.  Deeply connected to her pieces, her imaginative backstories for them, and the process of creating, Purth confidently claims space on a wall without necessarily covering every inch. In this way, the work is as much about location and history as it is about the new work.

Purth in North Minneapolis, Minnesota (photo © Greg Carideo)

While in Minnesota last week Purth completed a 12 foot by 60 foot wall on the border of North Minneapolis with a piece she calls “What Kind of Woman Are You?”.  The large distorted figure lies on her side with a small constellation of thoughts and dreams and energy bursts dragging along behind her. Purth already had a story in mind for the figure, but only after she had started the piece did she learn that this location was the site of a huge number of homicides, and her figure faced an old gas station with and ignominious past.

Purth (photo © Greg Carideo)

Purth gives BSA more background to these somewhat haunting photographs here:

“Minneapolis has always been an important location for me. Its creative voice has influenced me greatly over the years. Many little details fell into place last month and I was able to complete this work on the fly with the help of a close friend and the support of a few locals.

The piece was an idea I had a while back that developed into much more once I had found the location. That’s usually how it goes … the work takes on its own form based on where it makes its home.

This wall was amazing too. I learned a day or two after I had begun painting that it sits directly across from “The Old Colony” gas station, this strange spot bordering North Minneapolis. It has an enormous glowing bee hive in front of it and the reputation of being the site for the most homicides in the area.

She faces it directly and I think knowing that made the work, or my presence there, feel more severe. Feels as though she growing into her own now, like she’ll bear witness to more than I can even imagine … or hopefully earn her wings (filthy, soot covered wings, but wings none the less). I guess there is something haunting and mysterious about this one, even to me.”

Purth (photo © Greg Carideo)

Purth (photo © Purth)

Purth (photo © Purth)

Purth (photo © Greg Carideo)

The Minneapolis sky with the obscured Purth wall to the left. (photo © Greg Carideo)

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Over Under “Building on Building” at XY and Z Gallery (PLUS NEW VIDEO)

Brooklyn based Street Artist Over Under opens his first solo show in “Building on Building” opening at XYandZ Gallery in Minneapolis, transporting his architectural fever dreams to Minnesota for a hot minute.  It’s all about relationships.

brooklyn-street-art-overunder-xyandz-gallery-3-webOver Under (detail of a piece for “Building on Building”) (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Artists who run in the streets of dense cities have a special relationship with buildings, seeing them as potential canvas, laboratory, love affair, and sometimes their perdition. In Over Under’s case, the very structures he was painting and pasting upon got recycled through his mind as worthy of caricature and portrait.

Approximately a year ago when the artist’s prolific output was hard to miss, his fascination with our built environment went on a full REM cycle with a continual metamorphose of architectural elements bending and bundled together with lyrically disembodied limbs. During his nearly two weeks in Minneapolis making work with his buddies Broken Crow, the arms and legs continue to poke into and out of roofs, windows and walls like so many orifices and protuberances entangled in one stately mass.


Over Under (detail of a piece for “Building on Building”) features a painting of a figure spraying across the door way, clearly under a watchful eye. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Passersby here are sometimes astonished, and filled with questions. Is he exploring the relationship between space and personal relationships or is he examining the construct/construction that creates inside and outside, or is he reacting to the ongoing overtaking of Williamsburg and Bushwick real estate by dullard developers? Or is he just in love?

And what about this iconic flying plane with a stream-of-consciousness line of haiku diary entry arching over it? Is it a bird? Is it graffiti, a tag, Street Art or vandalism? Maybe these questions are at play because Over Under is still playing with them, or maybe because there are not clear answers.  To us it’s all part of the conversation on the street, which never stops. Tonight, however, the conversation goes in through the doors as Over Under brings the buildings and bridges and foundations and superstructures and rolldown gates and lithe limbs inside for the night. We’ll see what sticks out.


A recently completed large scale wall in Bushwick, Brooklyn by Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Over Under (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Video Completed Yesterday by Over Under


Opening Reception Saturday May 28th 6p-10p
Runs through June 18th

XYandZ Gallery
3258 Minnehaha Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55406


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Broken Crow: A Mexican Travelog Part II


Brooklyn-Street-Art-Broken-Crow-WEB-Mexico-copyright-Broken-Crow-lion-animationHere’s an update for the trip to Mexico City by Street Art duo Broken Crow, who have been hitting up some walls in this gigante city of 30 million.

Guests of El Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (The Antique Toy Museum) in collaboration with MAMUTT Arte, John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons are taking in the local color and creating some of their own.

Says John about the lion and lion cub piece they worked on all day Tuesday, “Today we’re painting the perfect spot for the perfect stencil.”


Broken Crow process shot (photo © Broken Crow)


The brand new finished piece by Broken Crow. (photo © Broken Crow)


A cell phone shot of the owl that will be watching over cars in the basement parking lot. Broken Crow (photo © Broken Crow)


Broken Crow. When you are in Mexico City you really can’t pass up an opportunity to see a live Luchadores match. (photo © Broken Crow)


We’re really looking forward to seeing this finished piece after the scaffolding comes down today. (photo © Broken Crow)


A couple of friends who are waiting for their place on stage. (photo © Broken Crow)

With special thanks to Roberto Shimizu of MUJAM and Gonzalo Alvarez of Mamutt Arte


All images copyright of and courtesy of Broken Crow



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Broken Crow : A Mexican Travelog


Minneapolis Street Art duo Broken Crow are in Mexico City for the first time to install a number of new pieces with Street Artists SupaKitch and Koralie.  Guests of El Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (The Antique Toy Museum) in collaboration with MAMUTT Arte, John and Mike invite the BSA family to tag along with these impromptu snaps as they discover inspiration on the streets of D.F.  So far they are pretty blown away by the stuff they’ve seen in the museum and in the streets.  It will be exciting to see how it affects their output on walls.

With special thanks to Roberto Shimizu of MUJAM and Gonzalo Alvarez of Mamutt Arte


John calls this “Your Morning Inspiration”Brooklyn-Street-Art-Broken-Crow-Mar2011-Our-new-friends

A look inside a closet at the Antique Toy Museum


“El Enmascarado de Plata” (The Silver Masked Luchador)


Roberto and Mike mugging for the camera. What’s the Spanish translation for mind on the money and money on the mind”?


A little blurry but it’s a cool detail from a larger piece Mike found in the museum.


Here’s the view down from the scaffolding as Broken Crow was scoping out the new gigante piece they started today.  We’ll show you the progress on the next Mexican Travelog!


All images copyright of and courtesy of Broken Crow



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Broken Crow, “When Trust Is the New Money”


A neighborly nod to the Minneapolis Street Art duo Broken Crow for this successful indoor show, “When Trust Is the New Money” at The XY and Z Gallery in South Minneapolis. Now extended to November 30th, this is an opportunity to see a large indoor installation that evokes the mural work they usually do on the street, transforming the interior of the white box and enabling you to buy part of the mural directly off the wall.


In an ongoing evolution of their stenciling realism style, John and Mike are again meditating on the preposterous value system that allows man to destroy the natural world with impunity, with a dose of gentle humor.  Their archetype animals depict integrity, puzzlement, and whimsy. Like many artists developing a vocabulary, they re-employ their favorites again and again in different configurations and tableaux.


BSA had the pleasure to meet these gents in Brooklyn last year and they had us at “Hello”. With a sweet disposition and effortless-looking execution, their priority is painting. No drama, no gossip, no classist kid stuff; They won’t blather or diss and what-not, what-have-you, or whats-for-supper. Well, maybe whats-for-supper. Painting is what they like and that’s what keeps them focused. Proud fathers and loving husbands, these guys juggle their time so they can fulfill family obligations and have plenty of time to stop and smell the aerosol along the way.

If you find yourself in The Twin Cities run to catch the show. XY and Z Gallery is located at 3258 Minnehaha Ave South in Minneapolis. Below is a recent interview Broken Crow did –

P.O.S. on Broken Crow

Doomtree Rapper Interviews Two of His Favorite Local Artists

By Stefon Alexander Wednesday, Oct 27 2010

If you’re not familiar with the work of Twin Cities-based art team Broken Crow, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get up to speed. In the last few years they have managed to paint walls on four continents, everything heavily documented. A quick Google search pulls up tons of images and time-lapse video clips of their signature style: massive and intricately detailed stencils covering urban structures, barns in the middle of nowhere, and everything in between.

Click here to continue reading

Images courtesy and copyright of Broken Crow. See Broken Crow’s Flickr page here:

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