All posts tagged: Artmossphere

OKUDA Boldly on Russian Permafrost with Artmossphere / Yakut Biennale

OKUDA Boldly on Russian Permafrost with Artmossphere / Yakut Biennale

OKUDA is melting! Even in sub-zero frigid weather like this!

OKUDA. With Artmossphere in collaboration with the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha. Yakutsk, Russia. (photo courtesy of Artmossphere)

As the US Midwest suffers a once in a generation “polar vortex” over the last few days, it may be hard to believe but that level of freezing cold is typical January weather in Yakutsk, Russia, where the average day in this city of 300,000 is −38 degrees celsius (−37 farenheit).

Yakutsk temperature reading during the Okuda sculpture installation (photo copyright Мария Васильева)

Spanish Street Artist and fine artist Okuda, who deals in powerful displays of tropicalia geometric color in his murals and sculptures, ventures far afield here- or should we say far atundra.

Sasha Krolikova, who curated this project with Artmossphere and the Yakut Biennale of Contemporary Art, says this is the world’s northernmost sculpture created by Okuda. The area is being developed into a modern urban space for recreation and sports and cycling area (it will be warmer this summer, promise). She says the installation is with the support of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha and appears on the embankment of Sajsary Lake in Yakutsk.

OKUDA. With Artmossphere
in collaboration with the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha. Yakutsk, Russia. (photo courtesy of Artmossphere)

“We had a lot of work to do with the colors,” says Krolikova, “because they don’t look the same as in Spain when they have been exposed to this cold.” A melting skull with a spiked mohawk in technicolor, the capital city of Sakha Republic is going to have this Okuda for a long time – since it is made of steel. Not many people are likely to see it until spring here however, we are guessing.

OKUDA. With Artmossphere
in collaboration with the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha. Yakutsk, Russia. (photo courtesy of Artmossphere)
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Largest Mural in The World in Vyksa, Russia, Says Artist Misha Most & Artmossphere

Largest Mural in The World in Vyksa, Russia, Says Artist Misha Most & Artmossphere

Organizers at Artmossphere are calling this new mural in Russia the largest mural in the world. They say that representatives of the Guinness World Records are considering its inclusion in the collection of world records.

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Courtesy of Artmossphere)

Celebrating the 260th anniversary of the metallurgical plant in Vyksa and the 25th anniversary of the United Metallurgical Company (OMK), the Moscow based painter, street artist and a graffiti-writer Misha Most and five assistants took 35 days to paint this 10,800 square meter mural this spring. Presented to the public as part of the urban art festival ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia.

Thematically, Mr. Most says he looked to stories in science fiction a half century ago – many about our current time. It includes elements related to scientists, chemistry, psychology, robotics, androids – basically stuff you see today going to the shopping mall, ad agency, or factory floor.

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Kirill Makarov)

“I included into the scheme six stories taken from the past and present of the Vyksa smelter,” says the artist. “I think the workers can easily recognize them. If you look at the wall from left to right, you can grasp the development of the plot: from small – to greater, from research – to creation, from idea to result.”

Organized by the Artmossphere Studio creative association, who continuously are pushing the boundaries of street culture, high culture, and community engagement, the winning mural was chosen from 260 applications from 34 countries to the “Vyksa 10000” open competition and juried by artists, designers and architects.

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Narodizkiy)

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Narodizkiy)

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Narodizkiy)

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Courtesy of Artmossphere)

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Courtesy of Artmossphere)

Misha Most. ArtOvrag in Vyksa, Russia. June, 2017. (photo © Courtesy of Artmossphere)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.11.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.11.16

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It’s the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 in New York. It will be a quiet day for us.

We hope.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bast, Elian, EQC, Hama Woods, MCA, Mundano, Robert Montgomery, SacSix, Sayer, Shok1, TomBob, Zachem, and Зачем.

Our top image: Elian in Moscow for the first edition of Artmossphere 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Plastic Jesus does his bit to stop this mean, selfish, racist, dishonest, greedy little man to become king. If he succeeds we’ll all lose – Even those who think they support him. The stench will reach us all. World War II didn’t just happen from one day to the other. It built up. It simmered. It took shape while people were distracted. Yo, this is surreeeus. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EQC fashions a Loteria Card with an image of you-know-who. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TomBob take on the proverbial See No Evil. Hear No Evil. Speak No Evil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Montgomery’s installation for NUART 2016 Tou Scene indoor exhibition. Stavanger, Norway. September 2016. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

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Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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And now a little of the old soft-shoe shuffle. Hama Woods in conjunction with NUART 2016. Stavanger, Norway. September 2016. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

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Shok1 for  Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) at Lollapalooza. Berlin 2016. (photo © Nika Kramer)

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BAST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A filthy piggy by an unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Зачем in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MCA toying around in Chelsea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A tribute to Gene Wilder as the original Willy Wonka. SACSIX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mundano giving a shout out to recycling and recyclers in NYC.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mundano (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SAYER in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Artmossphere Dispatch 4 : The Opening

Artmossphere Dispatch 4 : The Opening

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This week BSA is in Moscow with you and Urban Nation for Artmossphere 2016, the 2nd Street Art Biennale, a group exposition introducing 26 Russian and 42 foreign artists who were shaped by street art in some way. Also present are international curators, museums and galleries who have significantly intersected with urban art in recent years.

Artmossphere co-founder and curator Sabina Chagina pulled off a second edition of this biennale last night in Moscow – not an easy feat. But with 11 curators and nearly 70 artists from here and around the world, the multi-discipline show unveiled on time and was well attended – with a steady stream of curious fans coming through the space today as well.

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Sick Boy’s installation found a number of kids to climb the ladder and take the slide (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the air of an art fair (minus the sales associates and plus the soaring arched windows) and work often so far removed from street practice that you may refer to it simply as Urban Contemporary, there is a palpable enthusiasm and curiosity here about what this “movement” might be bringing.

Most if not all of the international artists have intersected with illegal Street Art in cities around the world and this work has often evolved from the practice. Perhaps beneath the surface or just above it, there is a certain defiance and a critique of social, economic, political issues and systems.

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A child exits the Sick Boy “The Rewards System” installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elsewhere the presentation is primarily aesthetic, very muted or so similar to previous mid-20th-century art schools as to appear separate from what one may recognize as the urban art of the last two decades. Similarly, the inclusion of graffiti is only occasional and is presented as part of the greater whole today rather than its genesis role.

Adding together a press conference, a Moscow superstar DJ, virtual reality headsets, interactive displays (otherwise known as selfie-with-art opportunities), major private business sponsors, cultural ministers, government grants, and official accreditation, this is a professional and polished presentation of a global culture that has filtered through the lense of the street.

Here are a few select shots to give you an idea of the feeling during the opening of Artmossphere 2.

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Brad Downey and Alexander Petrelli performed Brad’s huckster mobile art-selling installation on the floor of the bienalle, where Brad used his laser-like sales skills to sell his own work. Mr. Patrelli is known for his unannounced appearances at Moscow openings wearing his “Overcoat Gallery”. This was reportedly his 461st such appearance since 1992 and his flashing overcoat contained original Brad Downey artworks for your perusal.

If you missed those pieces, Brad was also drawing portraits of guests with a thin white posca marker on clear plastic at the afterparty. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brad Downey and Alexander Petrelli (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Canadian-via-Brooklyn Li-Hill reflecting on his newest painting/installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaz (Franco Fasoli) completed this emerging subterranean power horse and rider in a Moscow studio days before the opening. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Galo stood among his characters in his paint splashed installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Minneapolis based Hot Tea’s whack-a-mole inspired interactive piece drew many wiley participants popping up and down within it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katie & Jesse created this batik fabric here in Moscow and stretched it on a frame, illuminated from within. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Harrington chats with the contingent from Museum of Street Art who took the train from their city of Saint Petersburg to see how Artmossphere interpreted the idea of ‘invisible walls’. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artmossphere curators at the press conference. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sepe, Denis Leo Hegic and M-City at the afterparty. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Coincidentally, or not, fireworks filled the night sky over Red Square as artists and curators and organizers all headed to the afterparty at a club a few blocks away. Um, completely magical. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artmossphere Dispatch 3: Remi, Luka, Ito and the Move Toward Contemporary

Artmossphere Dispatch 3: Remi, Luka, Ito and the Move Toward Contemporary

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This week BSA is in Moscow with you and Urban Nation for Artmossphere 2016, the 2nd Street Art Biennale, a group exposition introducing 26 Russian and 42 foreign artists who were shaped by street art in some way. Also present are international curators, museums and galleries who have significantly intersected with urban art in recent years.

A few more hours until the opening of the Artmossphere Biennale and we have seen many very successful installations – from the aesthetic to the conceptual, painterly to the sculptural, pure joy and pure politics.

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Brazil’s Paulo Ito recreated a comedic industrial-looking street scene over come by the mythical powers of the can-wielding graffiti writer. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a word, when Street Art and graffiti artists pass the precipice into a multi-disciplinary exhibition such as this, one realizes that this scene has become an important tributary to contemporary art – and one with staying power that very well may re-direct the flow.

Perhaps the street practice is just a training ground for some or these artistss, a formative touchstone for others. It’s up to you to divine what the through-line is among these pieces, as diverse as the collection is. We think that there is a certain defiance present in many works, and a healthy skepticism toward existing hierarchical structures, but that’s just us projecting perhaps.

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Alex Sena. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Claudio Ethos. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Remi Rough is known for his smartly soaring abstract geometry in painted murals and smaller scale works, and for Artmossphere he wanted to strip his typical practice back to the basics, approaching a white box with one undulating graphic composition.

“My idea was that Moscow’s a bit ‘over the top’,” he says, and he decided to pare the audacity and go for simplicity, which actually takes courage.

“I said ‘you know what?’ – I want to do something with the cheapest materials that you can possibly get. These two pieces literally cost about 3,000 rubles ($50). It’s felt material, it’s like lambs wool. I think they use it for flooring for construction.”

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Remi Rough. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I wanted to do something peaceful and calming and to use natural materials – something that’s different from what I usually do – but I use the folds in the fabric and the pink color – two things that I usually use a lot.”

And the crisply painted pink dot? “The circle takes it back to the wall and takes it back to the kind of perfection that I like to get. I love the imperfection of the fabric as well – I love the rough edges – a kind of counter-perfection. For me this interpretation of my own work was quite freestyle.”

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Misha Buryj. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moscow’s Alexey Luka is also challenging himself  to stretch creatively by taking his wall collage installations of found wood and converting them into free-standing sculptures.

“For this biennale I tried to make something different so now I am going from the assemblages to 3-D.”

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Alexey Luka. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“My work is made from found wood – I use what I find on the street and with my shapes and my graphics –  so it’s kind of an experiment with three dimensions,” and he says most of this wood is sourced here in Moscow. We watch him completing his singular wall piece and notice that he has painted many eyes into the composition.

“In the 2-D piece I try to combine very simple geometric shapes with the eyes and make a huge composition on the wall.” Perhaps these eyes are Muscovites?

“They are just like observers,” he says.

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Hot Tea. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Minneapolis-based artist Hot Tea usually does huge colorful yarn installations that transform public space, but for the biennale he is taking the conceptual route. The walk-in room is based on the Whack-A-Mole game. With white fabric stretched wall to wall at chest level within the cube, meter-wide holes are cut which a visitor can crouch under and rise above.

Visitors/participants will experience the physical separation of space, and perhaps contemplate facing one another or ignoring each other – with absolutely no other visual distraction. It is something he says he hopes will draw attention to how many walls we have allowed ourselves to distract us from human interactions.

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Gola. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spiritual, scientific, and environmental topics are often intertwined in the works of Italy’s Gola, who has bundled Moscow branches and buried something glowing and golden within them.

These days, he’s being a bit more formal in his approach. “Now I’m trying to go in a kind of didactic way always – a little bit more more environmental stuff. Yes, I think it’s important.”

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Finok. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mimmo RubKandy. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Torino’s Mimmo RubKandy recreated the Moscow Olympic village from 1980, now a home for hundreds of families, and a hip-hop graffiti scene as well. The soaring towers are painted in scale with tiny graffiti tags, throwies, extinguisher tags, and the like – at the base and on the the roofs.

Curator Christian Omodeo tells us that these are taken directly from the artists investigations of the site as it exists today. It is striking that the scale reduces the impact of the graffiti – yet when experienced at eye-level it has a potency. Accompanying the towers are framed photos of the current site via Google images, including blurred faces and logos.

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Mimmo RubKandy. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mimmo RubKandy. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artmossphere Dispatch 1 : L’Atlas, Sepe, Martha, and All Female Graffiti Jam

Artmossphere Dispatch 1 : L’Atlas, Sepe, Martha, and All Female Graffiti Jam

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This week BSA is in Moscow with you and Urban Nation for Artmossphere 2016, the 2nd Street Art Biennale, a group exposition introducing 26 Russian and 42 foreign artists who were shaped by street art in some way. Also present are international curators, museums and galleries who have significantly intersected with urban art in recent years.

August is the month and August is the name of the driver and Russian graffiti/Street artist who is taking us through Moscow in his car with Martha Cooper to discover fresh new work by L’Atlas on a tall wall in a parking lot.

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L’Atlas. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you ride the scissor lift on hydraulic legs higher to get the right shot in the late summer sun and see the final strokes of L’Atlas’ bar coded geometry, you may find it purely abstract. It’s actually his name.

The French graffiti writer explains that his linear roller piece is an evolution from his first days spraying tags in more traditional ways.

“You know my idea is always to write my name in the same manner that I used to do in graffiti,” he explains, “It’s not so easy to see my name – like you cannot read it the first time. It’s about form, it’s about color, geometry in relation to the architecture.” Here the color is red, because we’re in Moscow, he says.

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L’Atlas. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is not unusual for passerby in other cities to stop and take photos and ask questions about the art or the artist.

Do passersby stop and ask questions about his work here? “No they have not asked me anything. Really nobody has asked me anything. I don’t know why. Normally everyone wants to know what I am doing.”

Many people were asking questions at the all-girl graffiti jam named “Code Red” at an artist compound/mini-mall/exhibition space we stopped at. Of course most of them were questions to Martha Cooper, who was stopped every few meters and asked to sign a black book or pose for a photo, which she happily and gamely did.

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Code Red. All Girls Graffiti Jam in Moscow posing with Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Code Red participant selfie with Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This was her second time here today; she had checked in earlier on the progress of the female writers, many of whom are a bit shy when approaching her. One young buck, however, nearly demands that she write exactly the name of his crew as she dedicates something in his book and asks that she pose in one picture with a t-shirt and one holding her camera.

As ever, Martha is gracious to the last fan.

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Sepe. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Back at the Manege – the massive neoclassical building west of Alexander Garden that once held horses from the Kremlin and is now being built inside to house the Artmossphere Biennale. We show our passports and go through the metal detector and see Sepe, a Warsaw-based artist here with Urban Nation, atop a ladder rolling out a multilayered structured chaos across a huge wall.

His sketch taped on the canvas indicates that there will be forms arranged across this bed of color as the composition progresses. We’re intrigued by his description that is based on this year’s theme of invisible walls and the boundaries of personal freedom.

“It is more like my interpretation,” Sepe tells us. “It is just about the people who are behind everything – who are using others as puppets to do whatever they want.”

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Sepe. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course, rewards are sought by everyone, and Britains’ Sick Boy is on a ladder of his own painting the outside of what will be a rewarding interactive pleasure house. He calls the project The Rewards System and he shows you where people will climb a ladder and descend down a slide into the darkened house where they will set off a series of sensors that activate a variety of multisensory lights and tantalizing patterns – then you exit on your hands and knees through a too small square door.

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ETHOS. Installation in progress. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The concept of the show is about invisible walls so I was thinking about there being barriers in your life and I thought about the reward of endorphins one experiences for achieving a task – a small amount of endorphins. So I thought I would build a house that signifies the reward system,” he explains with that wry smile you’ve come to expect from an artist who calls himself “sick”.

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Miss Van. Artmossphere. Moscow International Biennale of Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The rest of the show production is well underway and many artists are busy painting, sculpting, papering, suspending, or otherwise plotting. Miss Van has brought a carpet to hang, and is going through a brand new set of pieces on paper that she’ll be hanging for the show.

It’s a lot of activity and people will be working late into the night to prepare for Tuesday’s opening. We even get the chance at revealing to the world our non-existent command of the can inside a newly erected metal shed. Yes, Brooklyn is in the дом !

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August with Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The full piece by Kostya August. Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.28.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.28.16

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“Back in the USSR” comes to mind as we touched down in Moscow yesterday to see and speak with the 60+ Street Artists who are creating this impressive 2nd Street Art biennale “Artmossphere” just a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin, Red Square and The International Military Music Festival that runs all week as well. We’ll be bringing you new stuff all week as part of our partnership with Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN), investigating the creative process with artists, curators, and the organizing force behind all of this event.

In the mean time, we bring you work from New York and elsewhere in this week’s fine edition of BSA Images of the Week.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Aduk, Buff Monster, Crisp, Hiss, Lena Shu, Logan Hicks, Olek, and Wolfe Work.

Above: Logan Hicks. Detail of his mural “Story of My Life” on the Houston/Bowery wall,  which pays tribute to the personal and professional friends and family who have helped him in the last 10 years in NYC. New York City. August 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks at work on his Houston Wall mural. New York City. August 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. Houston Wall. New York City. August 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. Houston Wall. New York City. August 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek Our Pink House for Kerava Art Museum. Finland. August 2016. (photo © Olek)

Our Pink House is a new crocheted covering for a house (the second) by Street Artist OLEK – this one associated with Kerava Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition Yarn Visions, which will place the spotlight on knitted, crocheted, tufted and embroidered works.

Drawing an analogy of protection and safety in these pink crocheting patterns that stretch from the top of the chimney to the foundation of stone, this building in Kereva in southern Finland, where many bombs fell during The Winter War of 1939-40. Olek says she is concerned about the 21 million people worldwide who lost their homes due to war and conflicts in 2015 and she wants to create community based projects like this one to draw attention to the topic, and to provide some healing as well.

This particular project enlisted the help of a large group of volunteers, immigrants and women from a reception centre for asylum seekers who she brought together to crochet this covering. “Our Pink House” is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself.  It’s about us coming together as a community.  It’s about helping each other. We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes,”she says. – OLEK

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Nailed it! Hiss is caught up in the Pokemon Go craze that has captured the attention of children, teens, and a certain photographer we know who is a perennial child at heart. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wolfe Work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CRISP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ADUK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lena Shu in progress for Artmossphere – Moscow International Biennale of Street Art 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unintended collaboration on the streets of Moscow.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Moscow, Russia. August 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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