This week, we found ourselves amidst the vibrant energy of Los Angeles, uncovering hidden gems and reconnecting with old friends. One highlight was a visit to Roger Gastman’s dynamic ‘Beyond the Streets’ gallery, which celebrated its first year with a captivating show featuring Tim Conlon, HuskMitNavn, and Pose. A thrilling moment was when we had the privilege of moderating a panel that featured the artistic brilliance of Layer Cake’s duo – Patrick Hartl and Christian Hundertmark (C100), the iconic Chaz Bojórquez, recognized as the godfather of graffiti and the epitome of California Chicano artistry, and our host, the ever-passionate artist and activist, Shepard Fairey. The venue buzzed with artists and connoisseurs, each directly or deeply ingrained in the world of art in the streets. And as LA’s streets echoed with the spirit of Mexican Independence Day, the youthful beats of Mexican music star Peso Pluma serenaded us from passing cars. Truly, a week to remember.
Here is our weekly interview with the street: this week featuring Shepard Fairey, Vhils, Invader, Keith Haring, Nychos, El Mac, Add Fuel, Praxis, Hueman, Estevan Oriol, Hijack, Tempt, David Howler, Loks Angeles, Kook, Madre, and Downtown Daniel.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! This week we have a stunning array of street art pieces in Norway, from small detailed stencils to sweeping murals, figurative to conceptual to heroic. We’re in Stavanger for the Nice Surprise festival. Naturally, our own Jaime Rojo also had to strike a pose atop Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), which takes all the stamina and courage you can affjord. We are also seeing pieces and installations from previous Nuart festivals all over the place in Stavanger, many of which we’ve published previously but have not seen in person. Of course, not all of these shots are from Nuart and one is in Flekkefjord – a storied town that looks like it is frozen in time. And by frozen, we mean, well…
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: 1UP Crew, John Fekner, HYURO, Add Fuel, EVOL, Snik, Jaune, JPS, Pøbel, Ammparito, Nuno Viegas, Vlady Art, Slava Ptrk, Toddel, Mendioh, and STRØK.
“Urban[R]Evolution: A Journey from Graffiti to Contemporary Art” is a large exhibition that marks the rise and popularity of urban art and features original installations by 18 renowned Portuguese and international artists. Curated by Pauline Foessel and Pedro Alonzo, this showcase takes place at Cordoaria Nacional in Lisbon, running from June 21st to December 3rd.
The historic and iconic building that once served as the National Rope Factory during the late 18th century, catering to the needs of the Portuguese Navy by producing ropes for naval purposes, is situated near the scenic Tagus River. With its imposing neoclassical and industrial design, the building stands as a testament to the city’s cultural heritage and is now a versatile venue for hosting events after its meticulous restoration. With free-standing booths carefully built not to endanger the historic structure, the flow of the exhibition offers a pod-like adventure to visitors to experience individual artists’ work and visions. Some utilize the spaces fully with installations, while others choose the homey quality of an artist’s studio with work in progress.
The exhibition brings together a lineup of artists whose work was featured in early graffiti images by photographer Martha Cooper, second-wave western street artists who have burnished their names in the commercial urban contemporary art milieu, and a collection of names more locally known – each with profound ties to the graffiti and street art scene. Among them are esteemed names such as Barry McGee, Futura, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Vhils, and Obey SKTR, to name a few. The curators thoughtfully selected these artists to narrate the fascinating development of urban art, tracing its origins from early tags, graffiti, and subway pieces to its current expression as street art and mural art.
Many of the artists are associated with previous projects of the curators and with one of Lisbon’s anchors of the street art scene, the artist and businessman Vhils. Aside from these connections and the common roots of early graffiti culture, it may be difficult for ticketed visitors to the show to discern the commonalities of the works on display. The connective tissue between the booths will be the many iconic photographs of North American photographer Martha Cooper, whose lens has captured the human experience in urban areas for about 50 years, immortalizing the origins and evolution of graffiti, street art, and urban art – when the scene was viewable directly on the train cars and streets of major cities like New York.
Another nerve center for the show is the installation by conceptual street artist ±MaisMenos± , known for his thought-provoking art pieces and street activations that sublimely challenge social norms and provoke critical thinking. Within this kinetic electronic display, a phalanx of screens emulates a bustling stock trading floor, listing street artists and graffiti artists and their market line charts bumping up and down alongside various commercial, academic, institutional, and cultural influencers and influences that have coalesced to foster their success.
In this exhibition’s composition of artistic expressions, each artist has the opportunity to tell their unique story through their installations and accompanying texts, reflecting on their journey from the streets to the contemporary art world. “Urban[R]Evolution” is a testament to the significance of Lisbon as a vital city for urban art, with the show embracing a dynamic mix of international pioneers and established/emerging talents from Portugal.
This major exhibition, presented by Everything is New and Underdogs Gallery, invites visitors on a dreamlike, poetic, and moving journey, oscillating between light and shadow, the humor and rancor of the street, expressing the heart of urban art’s evolution. It is an immersive experience into urban art’s origins and possible future, exemplifying a sample of the boundless creativity and diverse voices that have emerged from the graffiti and street art scene.
Our sincere thanks to exhibition participant and famed photographer Martha Cooper for sharing here her photos exclusively with Brooklyn Street Art, and to Vasco Vilhena, one of the exhibition’s official photographers.
The artist presented a video installation addressing the “market” for graffiti and street art, the intersection with art and commerce in a brilliant display.
“This took me to what is my thesis subject, where my work is the centerpiece of an eventual (or questionable) dichotomy between street art and the art market, the evolution from illegal, interventive and subversive work into a continuous institutionalization, mercantilization and commoditization, normalized with the (before pursued) but now consecrated and valuated (street) artists.
All of this materialized in an art industry (or market) of artist-companies, studios, galleries, festivals, fairs, museums, curators, collectors, political and media attention, touristic tours, financialization, etc, as so it is with the art world as a whole. Being this specific show, for its size, importance, where it is, its public, a realization of this “evolution”, or this stage of the urban arts. So I thought of an installation as a self-critique and self-awareness of this stage and present context of urban art (one of which myself and my work makes part), how capitalism kidnaps, agglutinates and transforms its (possible) critique and counter-culture, commodifying, massifying and selling it.”
Since the 1960s, with the Nouveau Réalisme art group, people like Jacques Villeglé became one of the first street artists to rip and lacerate posters wheat-pasted atop one another in thick layers. Each rip was revelatory, literally, and his process of collage through destruction captured the imagination of everyone from the American street artist duo Faile to the Portuguese titan Vhils. We have even seen a collaged canvas by New York OG abstract graffiti king Futura made entirely of shredded remnants from the street artfully arranged as a collage.
But no one has achieved this effect in kiln-fired tiles, until today.
Another Portuguese artist well-known in the street art/mural world, ADD FUEL, is doing exactly that, laying his design and “resituated” iconography across his signature tile arrangements. There are endless iterations to explore, which may be why he retained the root of that word to give a title to his new show at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris.
“‘ITER’ is built on a collection of distinctive tile patterns inspired by various cultures, combined in the expected celebration of blue, but also an unexpectedly harmoniously integrated with several intrepid colors that aim to explore the journey through the unexplored rainbow path,” says the exhibition description. “Each of these color accents adds a layer of depth and vibrancy to the intricate patterns on display, accentuating the blue palette and taking viewers on a journey of discovery, whilst inviting them to explore the nuances and beauty of each tile design.”
At the root of his practice is his inexhaustible fascination with the tile craft as well as his determined effort to explore within such a medium – one that will give permanence to his work in a way that many street artists wouldn’t dare wish. When you preview this show, you understand why the press release says it is a “stunning exhibition that showcases his remarkable skill and creativity while also drawing attention to the cultural significance of tile design.”
ITER Latin Noun · a journey · a course · a path.
SHOW INFORMATION Opening reception with the artist on May 12 from 6pm to 10pm On view from May 12 to June 17 Free admission
Galerie Itinerrance 24b Bd du Général d’Armée Jean Simon 75013 Paris, France
SHOW INFORMATION Opening reception with the artist on May 12 from 6pm to 10pm On view from May 12 to June 17 Free admission
Click HERE for further information about the show.
Galerie Itinerrance 24b Bd du Général d’Armée Jean Simon 75013 Paris, France
Ripped tiles. Wait, you can’t do that. Not traditional Portuguese Azulejo ceramic tiles…
Summoning the subversive intentions of rebellious youth, the Portuguese muralist Diogo Machado, aka ADD FUEL, does precisely that.
The ripping is not literal, of course, but the recurring idea of tearing back layers of tradition to reveal something less expected underneath has been his theme on streets for years. Whether it is a blend of pop and sarcasm or simply an escape into the adventures of childhood, ADD Fuel has mastered the art of hiding truths in plain sight with precision and allegory.
Also, he does make tiles; we’ve inspected the kiln personally just outside his native Lisbon. The colors, patterns, and homey motifs are easy to glaze over in such a city, which is perhaps why he beckons you to come and see the real story. You may imagine the specific dysfunction in this household, but Diogo’ll tell you the truth about what has been happening if you look a little closer. Nothing is what it appears to be.
“In my work, I always suggest an adventure, a journey through focused attention in the composition,” he says of his new show YOUTH ETERNAL, which opened Saturday night at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Gallery in Echo Park, CA. He intones that you’ll need to take a moment to experience “the discovery of nuance through layers, patterns, allegories, and the unstoppable constructive dynamism of the story I present in each piece.”
He doesn’t limit the works to studio pieces exclusively: his large-scale wall works across many cities have the effect of transforming, disarming: creating homey energy, sometimes in the oddest of places. His newest mural here in Los Angeles is just outside a place described as “Subliminal Projects’ favorite local watering-hole,” with the name Little Joy Cocktails. The new work has also spawned a new collaborative screen-print with Add Fuel and Fairey in a limited edition.
As with all expressions and output by the artist, the wall invites you. “It guides the viewer to discover intricate details, and a story over time,” he says.
Add Fuel. “Youth Eternal” is now on view at Subliminal Projects. Click HERE for more information about this exhibition.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week – this week from Wynwood Walls in Miami, which each year Goldman Global Arts invites a slate of artists to artistically collaborate by providing them with the opportunity to paint on the walls of the compound. The artists created new pieces in the weeks leading up to Miami Art Basel and debuted them this week. Many of the artists were in attendance during the events and attended the celebration dinner given by the Goldman family as well. Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer were invited to provide the documentation of the process and the completed works.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Add Fuel, Aiko, Bordalo II, David Flores, Ernesto Maranje, Farid Rueda, Greg Mike, Hiero Veiga, Joe Iurato, Kai, Kayla Mahaffey, Mantra, Quake, and Scott Froschauer.
Get in, get out, no one gets hurt. Our few days in Miami were full of adventure on the street and at parties and receptions for artists. The party rages on tonight and this weekend at the fairs and in the galleries and bars and streets of course, but our last events were interviewing Faile onstage at Wynwood Walls last night, going to the Museum of Graffiti 2nd Anniversary party/opening for FUZI, and, well there was this thing with Shepard Fairey and Major Lazer and a guy proposing marriage to his girl before the crowd…
But really, where else but Wynwood do you see Blade and his lovely wife Portia on the street, or sit with Ron English and his son Mars on folding chairs directly on the street in front of his new pop-up, or have a hug with ever-sunny Elle in front of her lift, or hide in the shade with seven 1UP dudes across the street from their massive new space piece, or talk with Ket in the back yard with “Style Wars” playing on a large screen behind him and the DJ while a florescent colored Okuda marches by, or chase Lamour Supreme while he tries a one-wheel skateboard around a parking lot, nearly crashing into Crash who is in his cherry picker with Abstrk painting a wall? The dinner at Goldman Properties Monday night? Dude.
We’re not really name-droppers, you know that, but honestly it was like a family reunion dinner with perfectly punctilious attention to detail over at Wynwood Walls this week – after two years of Covid fears killing everyone’s buzz. We saw Daze, Shoe, PichiAvo, Bordalo II, Jonone, Shepard Fairey, 1Up, Add Fuel, Case MacClaim, Nychos, Faile, Martha Cooper, Nika Kramer, Mantra, Ken Hiratsuka just to name a few – cavorting with collectors, cultural workers, fanboys, journalists, bloggers, academics, critics, bankers, gallerists, curators, museum people, real estate folks, photographers, dancers, silk climbing aerialists and hustlers of many flavors – and all the class of ’21 artists whom Jessica Goldman invited to paint this year. A Miami mélange, we’ll call it.
We were even having dinner with Martha when a local stencilist named Gregg Rivero sat in an empty chair at the table with us to offer an array of small stencil works featuring graphically pornographic scenes – to choose from as a memento of Miami indubitably. Naturally, we carefully perused his entire collection of 20 or so spread-eagles, doggie-styles, Shanghai-swans, Mississippi-missionaries, Dutch-doors, bobbing-for-sausages, and lord-knows-what-else. After careful consideration and we each selected a favorite stencil and he autographed it. Just not sure what room to hang it in…
Our treasured part of the Miami art vortex ’21 was meeting some BSA fans and Faile fans mixed together at the artist talk hosted by Peter Tunney at GGA Gallery last night. An action-packed hour of pictures covering their 35 year friendship was on offer for the assembled – focused mainly of course on their 22 year professional career. What an amazing career of image-making it is too – and even though we were prepared, there are always surprises with such dynamic dudes who have parlayed an illegal street art career into a well-respected and pretty high profile career with intense collectors and fans of their simplest silk screens and works on paper to their wood puzzle boxes, wood paintings, toys, ripped paintings, and their very new, completely radical approach that breaks their own mold for this “Endless” exhibition. And need we say it, Faile have already released a number of NFTs of course – which some in the audience didn’t know that Faile had – but could have guessed since Faile pioneered interactive digital games that accompanied their analog works as early as 2010 when most people still didn’t even have a smart phone.
But we digress. Back in New York now and it’s grey and cold and unwelcoming, and of course we love it. Thanks Miami! See you soon.
The image below was taken in Wynwood, Miami. At the panel, with Faile, they talked about the process of making their art and one of the subjects was about ripping up posters from the street…. – and how their original name was Alife. Two blocks away we found these ripped posters advertising Alife.
FAILE: ENDLESS is currently on view at Goldman Global Arts Gallery at Wynwood Walls. Wynwood, Miami.
“We’re back!” Announces URVANITY, the organization that has celebrated a distinctly street-influenced flavor of New Contemporary art in Madrid for 5 years. In anticipation of their upcoming fair at the end of May, they’re tantalizing you virtually starting this week with a special program called URVANITY SOLO SHOWS. Featuring 20+ galleries from February 25th to March 28th, attendees will be strolling through the solo shows of artists like D*Face, Eugenio Recuenco, Rafa Macarrón, Marría Pratts, James Rielly, and 108.
We were in Madrid at URVANITY a couple of years ago to host the BSA Talks Program. The energy and mix of talents and visitors created an exciting formula for conversations and education. The impact of graffiti writing and street artists continues to influence the contemporary art field, especially in Europe. We’re also excited this year to learn more about the launch of Urvanity LAB, “a creative laboratory and online shop platform” that will be offering limited edition products by artists like Add Fuel, Boa Mistura, Cristina Daura, GR170, Yubia, and Rorro Berjano.
As we lead into summer and more people get their vaccines, and public spaces begin to open, URVANITY will welcome visitors again to the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (COAM) May 27-30. We’re looking forward to seeing this smartly curated fair bloom and grow again this year.
We share with you a selection of the participating artists and galleries for this year’s edition of Urvanity Art and a selection of the first crop of artists selected to participate in the first edition of Urvanity LAB.
have a look at the new wall by Portuguese mural artist Add Fuel, who likes to
peel back the historical layers of a community to reveal traditional tile
making patterns as well as new hybrids that he develops. Part of a municipally
funded public mural project, much like the Nuart Aberdeen project the artist
participated in a few years ago, Add Fuel commandeers a large multi-story
building on which to regale the layers.
Add Fuel says the layers and colors are an oblique reference to the social ills fueled by corporate capitalism that we see across Europe and the US today, calling his mural JUNTOS (‘together’). “At a time when words such as racism, indifference and hatred are, unfortunately, increasingly part of everyday life, it is important to be part of the discussion and contribute in some way to change this,” he says.
“In a multicultural city like Amadora, JUNTOS calls for unity in a visual composition of multicultural, aesthetic and chromatic influence, that wants to celebrate the diversity of races, cultures and skin tones that make the world a more beautiful place.”
kilometers northwest of central Lisbon, this is a project organized by the Amadora Municipal Câmara, which has plans
to annually do this “Conversas na Rua” until the area is well-covered
with murals. Should be great for the community, tourism and real estate.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street featuring Add Fuel, Almost Over Keep Smiling, BR163, Crash, Degrupo, Disordered, Early Riser, finDAC, Fours, Jason Naylor, Leleus, JL, Maya Hayuk, Obey, Sara Lynne Leo, Surface of Beauty, Telmo & Miel.
In Street Art and graffiti news, New York has had some “whole car” pieces on the subway line recently, including one that looked like a whole train! Old timers were rubbing their eyes. According to a local media outlet, legendary graffiti artist Chris “Freedom” Pape gave his assessment; “..based on the artist’s philosophy, he gives it an “A” but based on the quality of the graffiti on old subways, he gives it a “C”. Also a new film about New York octogenarian Street Artist Robert Janz opened this week at the Anthology Film Archives. Janz in the Moment is the passion project of Filmmaker Joanna Kiernan that features many corners and crazy details of New York’s streets that are familiar to us – and probably to you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Add Fuel, Atomik, Bisco Smith, CRKSHNK, Dal East, Feik, Hysterical Men, Jilly Ballistic, Kai, Mr. June, Pure Genius, Rick Azevedo, WCKT, What Will You Leave Behind, Will Power, and Winston Tseng.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 1Up Crew, Add Fuel, Alice Pasquini, Ben Eine, Clet, Dan Witz, Dingo, Kill It, La Tabacalera, LaNe Leal, Lelo021, Nano4841, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, and Wolf.