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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.10.18  X ONO’U Tahiti Festival Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.10.18 X ONO’U Tahiti Festival Special

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Hello from French Polynesia! All week we have been hopping around the islands from Papeete to Raiatea and now in Bora Bora. Celebrating its 5th anniversary/birthday last night at the huge community street party with founders Sarah Roopina and Jean Ozonder and with this years ONO’U festival artists slamming walls like crazy here  – you can see that hard work pays off sometimes.

Grassroots, not overly commercial, inclusive, responsive to the neighbors, high quality artworks – its a solid, even golden mix. Also Sarah’s parents are always happy to pitch in, whether it is pushing a broom or making lunch for everyone at home in their kitchen and bringing it to the work site to make sure that everyone eats. It is touches of warmth like this which reminds you that in many ways this scene that started in the street is as much about community as it is self expression.

For BSA readers who are just catching up with ONO’U we thought we’d use Images of the Week as an ONO’U Greatest Hits collection today. Most of these have never before published on BSA from the four previous editions. We took winding streets, back alleys, roundabouts, promenades, rooftops, abandoned lots and just about any place we could enter alongside Martha Cooper and had a blast for three days finding these walls again. Enjoy and Māuruuru roa!

DalEast. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seth . HJT. ONO’U Tahiti 2015. Papeete. In 2016 this particular wall was chosen by the French Polynesia Postal Service as a stamp. We wrote about it HERE. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Suiko. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. Roosters, hens and chicks run wild on the streets of many towns in French Polynesia. We haven’t figured out who feeds them, or how they survive, but they seem to roam free of owners and masters. One can hear the roosters making their distinctive call (here is what they sound like) every morning – sometimes before you are fully aware that the new day has begun. It is also not unusual to see a mother hen with her chicks crossing the roads at their leisure, sometimes stopping traffic. We of course stop for them. Always. Lore has it that there are big mean centipedes in the archipelagos and that the chickens eat them. See they earn their keep balancing the natural population of insects, besides being very effective alarms clocks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer’s anamorphic Street Art, literally on the street, creates a mind-bending illusion with perspective. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DalEast. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mast’s tribute to the NYC Subway creates a new faux subway stop that is roughly 6,300 miles (10,103 km) from New York. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INTI. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MadC. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDac. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KOBRA. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PEETA. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Besok. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. The Ōma’o is a bird from the island of Hawaii is placed at the highest risk of extinction thus the “Critically Endangerd” or CR designation.  ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuz . HTJ . JUPS. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Askew . Sofles. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inspired by the Polynesian legend of “The Coconut Tree” the mural has to do with an eel’s head, a forgetful young girl and the birth of the coconut tree:  

“The coconut tree is one of the most common trees in The Islands Of Tahiti. The Polynesians always tell a legend about its creation… The coconut tree legend…

A long time ago, a young girl called Hina was of real beauty due to her sun kissed skin and silky hair. She was meant to marry the prince of eels. Frightened by the physique of her suitor, who had a gigantic body and an enormous head, Hina ran away and took refuge in the house of the fishing God – Hiro.

The latter was dazzled by the beauty of Hina and touched by her history, so he took one of the young woman’s hairs and with it fished the approaching eel. Hiro cut up the prince of eels and wrapped his head in leaves. Before dying, the eel said to Hina: “of all the Men who hate me, including you Hina, you will one day kiss me to thank me. I will die, but my prediction is eternal.”.

Hiro entrusted the head of the eel to Hina and then advised her:

Hina, girl of beauty, you can return to your family and there, you will destroy this head. But throughout your journey do not put it on the ground because then the curse of the eel will come true.’

On her way back, the beautiful young woman and her followers who accompanied her, became tired and decided to take a bath in the river, forgetting the warning of the God Hiro. The eel’s head which had been put on the ground penetrated the earth, and from it a large tree was born, with a long trunk just like an immense eel, and with foliage similar to hair; the coconut tree had just been born.

Hina was then condemned by the Gods to remain close to this river because the tree had become taboo… Life went on until the day when a terrible dryness struck the lands and during which only the coconut resisted the sun. Thus, in spite of the God’s prohibition to touch this tree, men picked its fruit full of clear and nutritive water. Each fruit was marked with 3 dark spots laid out like two eyes and a mouth on which the men put their lips in order to drink the coconut water…. Hina did the same thing ….. And the prophecy of the prince of eels had just come true.”

Askew . Sofles. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faith XLVII. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs & Myla . Kems. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs & Myla . Pose. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 10.14.16

BSA Film Friday: 10.14.16

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Jazoo Yang x TJ Choe: Strawberry House (South Korea)
2. Solo x Diamond via Grounder (Italy)
3. DeAk Crew: Toxic Graffiti – You’ve Been Infected. (Cyprus)
4. Real Time Web Series: Episode 2 – Askew By Berst (New Zealand)

 

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BSA Special Feature: Jazoo Yang x TJ Choe: Strawberry House

One senior in Busan, South Korea, didn’t like the hasty red aerosol scrawl on houses that were being marked for destruction. So she converted the tags to images of strawberries.

In this video Jazoo Yang and TJ Choe show you how they took inspiration from her act and covered the doomed neighborhood before it was destroyed.

Solo x Diamond via Grounder

Shot like an excerpt from a movie, the Italian writers Solo and Diamond each get half a van to crush before the boss comes back.

DeAk Crew: Toxic Graffiti – You’ve Been Infected.

And now we visit Limassol in Cyprus on a sunny day in June to watch the finer skills of DeAK Crew on a concrete wall.

Real Time Web Series: Episode 2 – Askew By Berst

New Zealand’s Bobby Hung has started this series of long-form audio interviews interspersed with music to accompany the graffiti writer guest as he knocks out a piece. You need a lot of time to invest but you do learn a lot about a person’s perspective and process and history. This episode the guest is Askew One.

Film & edit: Berst GBAK TMD @Berst_1
Audio technician: Peeti Lamwilai @Peetilamwilai

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ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

Lucky Us! Our senior reporter on the ground in Tahiti for this years’ ONO’U Festival is the quick-witted eagle-eyed Martha Cooper, who shares with BSA readers her fresh shots of the action in paradise.

Personable and outgoing, Cooper covers a lot of ground quickly, introducing herself and asking questions and snapping pictures. Of course people often know her before she knows them, especially in the Street Art/ Graffiti game – but frankly she just wants to see artists work and learn about their process.  So get working!

We’re thankful that Martha is taking the time to share with us all her images and some details of the surrounding action, which we elaborate on here for you.

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Charles is painting an Omamao bird endemic of Tahiti,” says Martha, “and it is listed as a critically endangered species.” Why do you hear this same story in whatever part of the world you are in today? More importantly, are you doing anything about it?

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Phat1 AKA Charles with help from Lady Diva AKA Jeanine Williams. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

After the mural was finished, Martha says there was a blessing of the mural. Above you can see the minister in the photo above performing the blessing.

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Bordalo’s sketch for his installation. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bordalo shows us the original sketch for his new piece made with recycled trash.

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Bordalo II at work. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate at work on his mural. Martha tells us that his muse for the mural was a woman whom both he and Martha had photographed in the market.  ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate & Askew. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Returning mural champion Seth made good use of “an odd shaped wall, turning it into the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship which led a flotilla of yachts protesting again French nuclear testing in French Polynesia,” Martha tells us. According to Wikipedia, “Fernando Pereira was a freelance Dutch photographer, of Portuguese origin, who drowned when French intelligence detonated a bomb and sank the Rainbow Warrior, owned by the environmental organization Greenpeace on 10 July 1985.”

Martha notes that Pereira also was a photographer and he was trying to save his equipment at the time that the ship went down.  “The mural shows Polynesian girl in her fragile canoe pulling alongside the ship.”

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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NIKO at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“This guy says he can paint any animal he’s seen out of his head—very impressive!” says Ms. Cooper about NIKO, whose mural shows animals arriving in Tahiti from around the world from the harbor close to where the wall was. “The USA is represented by an alligator with a Miami Dolphins hat on,” she says.

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Okuda taking a break. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Okuda at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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MAST at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Mast sketch for his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

MAST was channeling Brooklyn hard in Tahiti, with this shout out to the honeys back home, the subway at Franklin Avenue, and he reconfigured the train lines to reflect the letters of his crew – The Great Escape (TGE).

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Mast. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cranio. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The anomorphic master Leon Keer is pictured here with his wife assisting. Martha says that these figures are “Painting of robots arriving from the harbor.” As usual, Mr. Keers work rather blows your mind when it is completed and you are standing in just the right location.

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Inkie at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf left with Marko on the right. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Peeta. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Hoxxoh. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Jobs & Abuzz. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Tribal Pursuit” is the name of this wall by Tahitians Jobs and Abuzz, named so after the board game called Trivial Pursuit. “The black lines are the Maquesa’s cross,” Martha says, and “the designs are the contradictions of old and modern traditions from Polynesia such as  the ‘head breaker’ a traditional weapon and tiki, the sea animal because they are surrounded by water.” The skull, of course, “represents the atomic tests.”

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Charles and Askew partake on  traditional dance with a local troupe of female dancers. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he tells me I’m an idiot because I trust scientists about climate change and that actually it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Sorry, everything reminds us of Donald J. Trump and his outlandish claim for the presidency. Even when we are looking at the new Faile mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Love Me, Love Me Not.

The Greenest Point is an initiative that wants to raise awareness of Climate Change and three Street Artists have just completed two murals here in Brooklyn to support it. The organization says that they hope to gather “together people from different backgrounds, professions and skill-sets who are bonded by aligned values and a common vision.” By integrating Street Art with technology, film, sound and voice, they hope that we’ll be more capable of piecing together the climate change puzzle as a collective.

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t pretend to be scientists, but we trust the ones we have and we decided that this week we would dedicate BSA Images of the Week  just to this new project and this topic. We also know that it is now well-documented that tobacco companies fought us citizens with disinformation and legislative trickery for decades before they finally admitted that smoking was killing us and our families, so there is reason to believe that oil companies and related industries who flood our media and politicians with money are possibly buying time while we’re all heating up the atmosphere.

Here are new images of the two new murals in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an interview with the three artists who participated; Vexta, Askew, and long time Greenpoint studio residents, Faile.

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Faile: We feel it’s important to create work that can resonate with people on an emotional level. Something that we can live with everyday and that has a place in our lives that brings meaning to our experience. This is how we think people must learn to connect to climate change. It’s not something you can just think about, it’s something that you have to do everyday. It has to become part of you. We hope art has the power to be that wink and nod that you are on the right track. That the little things you do are meaningful and that change starts with you in the most simple of ways.

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Vexta and Askew. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Greenpoint has a history of blue collar communities who worked in factories producing goods for the both the merchant marine and the USA Navy. Those factories are all gone and only a few of the original settlers remain in the neighborhood such as the Polish community. How do you think the murals painted for the festival relate to them?
Vexta: Our collaborative mural hopefully offers a voice to people directly to people who will become a part of the history of Greenpoint and its legacy. We will have QR codes installed that link to video pieces that physically give Askew’s subjects a voice as well as linking to the birds calls and information about their situation.
Faile: We tried to be aware of the history of Greenpoint. The communities that make this neighborhood what it is. We tried to incorporate some nods to them through the work, specifically with the traditional Polish pattern in the socks. Unfortunately, Greenpoint is also home to some of the worst ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, the effects of which are still present. We wanted to bring something positive and something beautiful to the neighborhood that spoke to everyone. There are other historical murals in the neighborhood so it didn’t feel like it required another.

The neighborhood is also quickly changing. It’s home to many young families and has a vibrant creative class, not to mention our studio for the last 12 years. When creating an artwork in a public space, especially a park, there’s always that balance of trying to make something that people can connect with on a visceral, then psychological level in an immediate way–once that connection is made you hope they can dig a little deeper into the more subversive side of the meaning.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Faile:Whether you believe it or not there are basic things that people can do in their everyday lives to create a more beautiful environment around them. Picking up trash, recycling, being mindful that our resources are precious – none of these really imply that you have to have an opinion about climate change. Just the fact that we have a green space now in Transmitter Park is progress towards an environment that we can fall in love with.

We think that’s ultimately what the idea of Love Me, Love Me Not is asking. What kind of environment do you want? Do you want renewable green spaces that offer future generations beauty and room to reflect within nature? Or do you want to pave over the toxic soil and oil spills with the risk of repeating the past? If people can even ask themselves that question then we are at least engaging them into the dialogue where the seeds of action can be planted.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Vexta: For me as an artist it is the means that I have to talk about what I know to be important. Art also stands as this symbolic, most often visual, gesture that can bring people together, ignite debate and shine a light towards a new way of thinking that is perhaps still in the shadows of the mainstream. There is no more pressing issue right now than Climate Change.

There was a famous piece of graffiti up for a long time in my home city of Melbourne that read “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” in a beautiful font running down a power plant chimney. This work spurred my thinking back before I had begun making art professionally. That simple creative action out in public space was powerful and it spoke a simple truth and showed me that you can do a lot with a little. Art and art out in the streets is a great vehicle for talking about issues like climate change, because its a gesture in a shared space, it provides something to meditate on or think about that ultimately is a shared reality, this makes sense to me as climate change is a problem we need to work together to address.

Askew: I think that in particular art in the public space can be a very powerful way to put messaging on issues that matter right out in front of people who may not otherwise engage with it. Also an artist has the freedom to make the image captivating in a way that perhaps other platforms for speaking about serious issues don’t. People get bombarded with so much conflicting information every day especially via the mainstream media, art can put people in the contemplative space to engage differently.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have participated in at least one other art festival whose principal mission is to highlight the well being of our ecology and our planet. What would you say is unique characteristic of The Greenest Point that differentiates it from other festivals with equal goals?
Askew: Well I think this is different because it’s so focused on a specific place whereas the scope of other events I’ve painted look more generally at global issues. I think it’s great for communities to narrow their focus to directly around them to tackle very tangible local change. If every neighborhood did that globally, imagine the impact.
Vexta: I agree with Askew, What is special about The Greenest Point is that it’s very locally based yet has a global focus. The Greenest Point has brought so many different parts of our local community together, from creatives to government to business. It has shown us that people in our neighborhood really care about Climate Change.

BSA: Your collaborative mural with Askew represents the current and future generations of children. What do you think is the principal message to send to the children so they are more aware of the problems facing our planet?
Vexta: My mural with Askew represents a coming together of numerous ideas. The future belongs to the youth and the world’s children will be the ones most impacted by Climate Change. I think they are really aware of this problem and it’s a very scary prospect. Our mural brought together not only representations of young people but also birds found in the NY state area that are currently climate threatened & endangered (according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report) as well as icebergs made of my shapes that represent the particles that make up all matter.

I would hope that we can inspire them to feel empowered to make small changes that they see as being possible whilst also acknowledging that all the other parts of our world – the birds, animals, water, air and land are just as important as they are. We are all in this together.

Askew: For me personally, celebrating young local people who are giving their time to make change in Greenpoint around sustainability and community-building issues is immediately inspiring to other young people.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Askew: Everything we do has impact, positive and negative – that’s the duality we deal with inhabiting this space. It’s a closed system, resources are finite and so we must respect them and do our best to live in harmony with this earth that supports us and live peacefully amongst each other and the various other creatures we share this planet with. No one thing is going to make pivotal change but everyone being mindful and keeping the conversation and action going is what will make a difference.

Our special thanks to the team at The Greenest Point and to the artists for sharing their time and talent with BSA readers.

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One image from this week by Street Artist Sipros depicts Climate-Change-denying Donald Trump as the character The Joker, from the Batman movies. A frightening piece of political satire, or perhaps propaganda, depending on who you talk to. Mana Urban Art Projects. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lincoln Street Art Park. Detroit, Michigan. Septiembre 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday 05.01.15

BSA Film Friday 05.01.15

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Richmond Mural Program 2014
2. Black ANZAC: Time Lapse of WW1 Soldier Wall
3. Adnate, Askew, Guido Van Helton, Mayo, Rone in Melbourne
4. Cane Morto & Borondo Combo In Lisbon

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BSA Special Feature: Richmond Recap 2014

A community/business improvement initiative for the city of Richmond, Virginia, the past few years have featured a diverse roster of talents who dig the vibe and paint the town. This feel-good recap of the 2014 mural program gives an idea how initiatives like this can invigorate a local scene and how connections are made as a result.

Black ANZAC: Time Lapse of WW1 Soldier Wall

A wheat-pasted mural by Hego in Meningie, South Australia to honor soldiers fighting in World War 1.

Adnate, Askew, Guido Van Helton, Mayo, Rone in Melbourne

A monochromatic wall can help tie together different styles of painting and writing. In this ad for a mural painting service, these street artists give a great demo of collaborative work on a hundred meter wall in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Cane Morto & Borondo Combo In Lisbon

You can never tell how much of this wild-man flailing of the arms and manic yelping at the sky and alleged illicit portrait painting is genuine with Cane Morto – but surely you can tell that there is a screw loose somewhere when looking at this teaser for their upcoming movie.

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*Top image screenshot of Wes21 and ONUR at Richmond Mural Program

 

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“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

Poesia and EKG Talk to BSA about an Audacious Survey

A new show organized by Poesia, a San Francisco based graffiti artist and founder of the site Graffuturism, pulls together one hundred or so artists from eighteen countries with the goal of mapping one constellation in the cosmos – a global survey of urban artists that hopes to articulate a body of aesthetics he’s calling Othercontemporary. And why not? Audacity and vision are qualities these times call for and if successful could lead to a clearer understanding of the trends, techniques, practices, and narratives underlying what has been happening on the streets for the last half century.

 

 

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Kwest (photo © Brock Brake)

With New York artist/historian/semiotic explorer EKG as a guide, the two have been synthesizing their findings and discovering the genuine firing of synapses that indicate they are uncovering the electrical impulses that have made graffiti / street art/ urban art feel so completely relevant to the last two generations. A “Major Minority” hopes to chart the course for the third.

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Mags (photo © Brock Brake)

 

Poesia invites you here to take a look at some of the pieces that will be on display, as shot by Brock Brake. Brooklyn Street Art asked Poesia and EKG about the survey and to make some conjecture about the way forward.

Brooklyn Street Art: Each generation and movement is defined and labeled by its participants, peers, and observers. In your treatise on this moment and this collection of artists you say that Stefano Antonelli coined the term Othercontemporary to perhaps set it apart from Contemporary. Why does this term sound appropriate to you?
Poesia: I had initially used the term Neo-Contemporary. After a brief discussion amongst some peers Stefano mentioned this term – it seemed the most accurate out of the terms being discussed. I feel it’s important because it starts a conversation about something other than contemporary art, and describes rather bluntly our separation from contemporary art, yet defines the contemporary nature of our art form. I have grown tired of comparing what we do to contemporary art, maybe this term will get people talking about something more present.

 

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Slicer (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Take a guess and swing the bat wide, why has the established art world taken so long to give recognition to the urban artist?
Poesia: Canonization usually takes place long after the genuine moments of art movements, or when they are at their peak. Its no different even in today’s Internet era, even with all the information at their fingertips academics won’t ever understand why a 12 year old child and a 50 year old adult writes on walls. Its easier to make use of their MFAs by extending the reach of the contemporary art conversation than it is to look at society and to try to understand the writing on the walls.

 

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Hellbent (photo © Hellbent)

Brooklyn Street Art: Has something happened in the last 5-10 years that has caused so many urban/street/graffiti artists to make more geometric and abstract work that usually avoids the organic, figurative, and pop? Any idea what is driving it?
Poesia: It’s a culmination –  one of those things where maybe all the right ingredients are there and it happens.

Graffiti, being an abstract art form in its nature, lends itself to pure abstraction. Experimentation with the letterform usually takes place more with color and shape than it does conceptually or from a representational perspective. Additionally with the birth of Street Art it opened up the playing field a bit. Artists now were forced to compete visually with representational imagery on walls. It has allowed many artists to leave letterform and the rectangular space of a piece or even “wild style”. The horizontal rectangle was replaced with the square or vertical rectangle – that also pushed for the evolution of the artist.

 

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Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: What will a viewer begin to realize when looking over the constellation of works in this show?
Poesia:
That painting is alive, and urban art seems to be the most relevant embodiment of this. This post-historical art form seems to be sending a message that there is something left in the visual image and its power. The goal was to show the widest spectrum possible from figurative to minimal in the area of Urban Art and I think we accomplished that.

 

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Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you speak about the “unique participatory and non-exclusionary nature” of urban/street/graffiti art practices?
EKG: Graffiti/Street Art (here defined as the public surfaces they affix themselves to, the container superseding the content, the medium as the message) is a broadcast channel that will not exclude anyone who wants to participate. Anybody with a passion to be seen and heard can broadcast on the graffiti/street art wavelength, as long as they are driven to take the risk of breaking the law in order to make their aesthetic statement.

When someone illegally transmits a signal on a public surface, aka a wall or monitor, there is no editorial hierarchy, no censorship board, no review panel, and no proofreaders. It is an individualistic and anarchistic means of expression. In order to transmit your mark, you don’t have to pay anyone, you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to take a vote, you don’t have to take into account anyone else’s approval or opinion about your message.

At heart, graffiti/street art are visual civil disobedience, no matter the initial conscious intention of the mark maker, although a combination of action and intention can make the mark more meaningful to the receiver once they learn more about the broadcaster.

 

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Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

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Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: “Illegal” and “transgressive” are two root words that reappear in your discussion of the collection. Did this movement germinate from anti-establishment sentiments, marginalized populations?
EKG: Doing anything illegal can be considered transgressive, but, more specifically for this discussion, illegal aesthetic manifestations are a minor infrastructural irritant that accrue a massive semiotic tumescence of cultural weight.

Currently incarcerated under the simplistic and myopic legal category defined as vandalism, aka criminal mischief, illegal aesthetic manifestations should instead be interpreted as more of a cultural statement than actually being a debilitating crime that selfishly and meaninglessly attacks a particular individual or society as a whole, as has been promoted by institutional authorities protecting the status quo.

The Original Writers discovered that Graffiti was a powerful means to: express rebellious dissatisfaction on political, economic, societal and cultural levels; define one’s identity as a powerful entity that was omnipresent, by proxy omniscient; delineate physical and semiotic territories that were theirs as opposed to their foes or society at large; connect with other members of their age group to form alternative communities of like-minds; and gain recognition with their peers and the public overall.

Like the seers who were channeling the oracles of our time, the old school original writers instinctually discovered an art form that continues to engage and challenge our global culture. Fifty years later the movement is still kept alive inside and outside by practitioners of all ages, styles, and intentions. Graffiti is no longer perceived as merely vandalism perpetrated by megalomaniac antisocial teens, but a positive and powerful cultural change agent practiced by conscious objectors of all ages.

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Drew Young (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Specifics please: please place an artists name next to each of the following word whose work comes to mind.

Poesia: Okay, here are examples.

Activist: Boniface Mwangi
Idealist: Moneyless
Geometric: Nawer
Minimal: Christopher Derek Bruno
Expressionist: Jaybo Monk

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Askew (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes it appears that the street is providing the stage for an explosion/implosion of all other historical art movements coalescing and deconstructing and recombining and mutating before us. Perhaps it’s because the street is reflecting society and we are all drinking from the Internet River. Maybe we’re witnessing a true globalism. You can say the movement on the street has roots in graffiti, and we would agree. But is it even possible to make sense of what is happening right now?
Poesia: I can only be a participant in this moment and hope to engage the conversation in real time versus when it won’t matter anymore. I think Urban Art is one of many emerging art forms that have been bubbling on the surface for a while now. As the generation shift takes place we will be accepted at the moment when we are irrelevant, as so many art forms before us. This makes today more important than tomorrow. I don’t know if I have the capability to make sense of it all, but I appreciate every second of it.

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Bezt Etam (photo © Brock Brake)

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Vincent Abadie Hafez Zepha (photo © Brock Brake)

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Thiago Toes (photo © Brock Brake)

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Sat One (photo © Brock Brake)

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Katre (photo © Brock Brake)

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Sowat (photo © Brock Brake)

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Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Dem189 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Bom.k (photo © Brock Brake)

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Borondo (photo © Brock Brake)

 

“A Major Minority” opens this Friday, March 14 at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco, CA.

Click HERE for more details on this show.

The Full Essay “A Major Minority” Group Exhibition by Poesia and EKG can be found HERE.

The interview answers from EKG were edited for length – please see his full responses on his Facebook page HERE.

We would like to thank Brock Brake for his excellent photos of the art and to Poesia and EKG for their thoughtful and insightful answers to our questions.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Martha Picks Some Hits from Pow! Wow! Hawaii (Part I)

Martha Picks Some Hits from Pow! Wow! Hawaii (Part I)

Photographer Martha Cooper just returned to New York from Hawaiian paradise and the 5th Pow! Wow! Festival, which this year featured an unprecedented number of artist that some estimate at 100.

Naturally with a herd that big, you’d have to be a regular cattle hand with a camera to capture all of the action, but the fast moving Cooper collected a number of images that we can share here with BSA readers over the next couple of days, along with her notes on the experience.

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Gaia’s portraits of Queen Lili’uokalini and King Kalakaua. Solomon Enos and Prime collaborated on the rest of the wall. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Kaka’ako is the name of the neighborhood where most of the murals are located and Ms. Cooper compares it to the Miami site that also has hosted a large number of legal walls for the last few years. “It’s a Wynwood-type neighborhood but with a longer, more esteemed history,” she says, and “Like Wynwood it’s slated for development.” For example a library that many of the local Hawaiian artists painted will soon be torn down to make space for condos. Good thing Street Artist Gaia and Vhils were  there to bring some of the local historical and mythological elements, including portraits of Hawaiian royalty.

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VHILS portrait of King Lunalilo. (photo © Martha Cooper)

An interesting aspect of this event, and there were many, was the pairing of many artists on walls to combine and merge  their styles to create new works. “There were a surprising number of unusual collaborations at Pow! Wow!,” says Martha. “Some were odd mashups like Tatiana Suarez and Woes, and Buff Monster and Nychos seemed like a good match. I think it must have been challenging for the artists. Cope & Indie also asked Buff Monster and 123Klan to collaborate on their wall.”

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Tatiana (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Tatiana and Woes collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cope2 and Indi184 with Buff Monster and 123Klan. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cope2 and Indi184 getting a few pointers from daughters Samara and Samira (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cope2 and Indi184 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Another trend this year: Elvis. “Elvis is big in Hawaii,” Martha remarks, and she says it is because of his celluloid records in addition to his vinyl ones. “He made three movies in Hawaii,” and she mentions the Elvis mask that Wayne White made as a good example of Presley magic on the tropical island of Honolulu. “I especially liked the way Madsteez incorporated existing graffiti into his wall because he made good use of the corrugated iron surface which was difficult to paint on but it had a nice patina when finished.” Interestingly, Madsteez gave his blue Elvis an eye patch that mimics the artist’s own worldview.

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Madsteez (photo © Martha Cooper)

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INSA and Roid (photo © Martha Cooper)

Insa is one of the first GIFFITTI artists – and his wall with ROID for Pow! Wow” recalls the typography and graphic style of commercial 1980s TV shows like Miami Vice and the New Wave as interpreted by MTV. The resulting GIF is a funny simple animation that somehow brings the nostalgia alive.  Looks like paradise from here!

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INSA and Roid (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth working on his wall on the left.  ZesMSK, Askew and Reyes wall on the right. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Katch (photo © Martha Cooper)

Katch did a lil’ animation to go with his wall also, which you can see HERE.

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Katch (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Meggs and Bask collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Yoshi and Estria collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Buff Monster and Nychos collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Andrew Shoultz (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kawaisan and Maozhidong collaboration and commentary on the Honolulu traffic. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Meanshaka (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Street Art in Honolulu as Pow! Wow! Hawaii Enters Fifth Year

Street Art in Honolulu as Pow! Wow! Hawaii Enters Fifth Year

Before the year wraps we wanted to take a look at images from Pow! Wow! Hawaii as it enters its fifth year with a collection of images recently captured in Honolulu where it happens.

Begun by founder Jasper Wong in Hong Kong, Pow! Wow! Hawaii is a non-profit gathering in his hometown that he co-produces with another artist named Kamea Hadar. In a promo video for the festival Wong says that the festival is about “beautifying a neighborhood, changing a neighborhood through art”.

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Rone and Wonder spell it out in their largest collaboration to date. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

A criticism of street art festivals often leveled has been that the stars of the international circuit overpower the local tastes or are somehow insensitive to them, and the hip doesn’t always respect the homegrown.

Pow! Wow! Hawaii steadily avoids that criticism by including local community throughout open participatory events and it makes sure to include artists who work with traditional motifs and values in their pieces, bringing indigenous cultures into the mix in a meaningful way.

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Woes, Meggs, Peap, Tarr, Mr. Jago and Will Barras (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Since the rich pop colors of the modern age are also the visual lengua materna for these Street Artists and graffiti artists, it is common to see figures and patterns from the past updated with punch. The waterside commercial neighborhood along the southern shores of the island of Oʻahu is called Kaka’ako and the name itself has inspired some of the artists to include it in their pieces.

Recently photographer Yoav Litvin took a trip to the neighborhood where Pow! Wow! takes place and we bring you some of the images from Honolulu to get a taste the work that has been left there by an estimated 100 artists since 2010.

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Faith 47 (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Askew pays tribute to the Tuhoe Iwi and references the time of the Treaty of Waitangi (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Nychos and Jeff Soto (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Scribe (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Roids and Madsteez punch up the color when paying tribute to King Kalakua. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dal East (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Ekundayo (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Kamea Hadar and Rone (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Eddie Colla (photo © Yoav Litvin)

From the website:

“Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, a large creative space named Lana Lane Studios, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. The central event takes place during Valentine’s Day week in February in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art.”

For more about Pow! Wow! Hawaii click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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Fun Friday 08.31.12

You thought it would never end, but here it is, last day of August, and you have gorged yourself on as many popsicles and watermelon slices and street festival delicacies as possible and blasted your eardrums at free concerts, splashed and sunburned in the city pool, barfed off the edge of a roof BBQ party, and danced naked on the beach in Fort Tilden while your buddy Drew hit up the wall and Jenelle drew an arrow on her inner thigh with a sharpie. All the summer shares in the manicured Hamptons are having their last blow outs and next weekend there are a bunch of new art shows opening for fall so everybody will be coming back. For now let’s just have a fish fry and play some more. Also, pass that marker.

1. NYC Night Dancing (Video)
2. Trailerpark Festival (Copenhagen)
3. Dabs & Myla @ ThinkSpace (LA)
4. Fuzi UV TPK Free Tattoos at The Hole (NYC)
5. IBUg 2012
6. Live is Porno 4D (Video)
7. Nychos and Flying Fortress in Vienna (Video)
8. Basquiat, Fab 5, & Futura Hidden Wall (Video)

First, fancy night dancing in NYC streets.
Then, some random passersby who love the camera. (VIDEO)

Trailerpark Festival (Copenhagen)

America is full of trailer parks. Just waiting for a hurricane.

Want to find out how the weather is in Copenhagen, Denmark and have some Trailer Park fun? Starting today the Copenhagen Trailerpark Festival promises great visuals and music with Letterbenders, Furious Styles, Big City Brains, Soten, Chifumi and Ogre.

For further information regarding this festival click here.

Dabs & Myla and Friends at ThinkSpace (LA)

Australian expats and Street Artists Dabs & Myla have again gathered friends with ThinkSpace Gallery to host an art party of sorts called “Marvelous Expeditions”. Themes are about taking trips, hanging out with your people, and the making art together.

Featured are 16″×20” works from 123 Klan Aaron, De La Cruz, Askew, Augustine Kofie, Axis, Cat Cult, Dscreet, Dvate, EINE, Elliot Francis Stewart, Ephameron, Greg Lamarche, Honkey Kong (aka Adam Hathorn), Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez, KC Ortiz, KEM5, Logan Hicks, Luke Chueh, Mark Mulroney, Meggs, Misery, NEW2, Pose, Remi Rough, Revok, Rime, Stormie Mills, Tatiana Suarez, Tom Gerrard, Tristan Eaton, Witnes and The Yok.

Dabs & Myla on the streets of Miami. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok on the streets of Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ephameron at the RC Cola Lot in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Fuzi UV TPK at the Hole (NYC)

Tattoo and Graffiti Artist Fuzi UV TPK will give you a free tattoo at the Hole Shop in Manhattan. I know, that sounds funny the way I said it sis. It’s like, “Dr. Snapdragon will give you a free appendectomy if you stop into the emergency room tonight”. But, seriously, this well known tattoo artist is on a mad dash visit to NYC and he’s looking forward to seeing you, needle poised.

Fuzi Tattoo Session. (photo © Silva Forest courtesy of Fuzi)

A fine wall piece. Fuzi UV TPK (photo © courtesy of the artist)

For further information regarding this event click here.

Also happening this weekend:

The IBUg 2012 – Festival of urban art and culture in Glauchau, Germany opens today for those intatiable lovers of Graff and Hip Hop. Click here for more details on this festival.

Life is Porno 4D (VIDEO)

Nychos and Flying Fortress in Vienna Part I (VIDEO)

Hidden Wall discovered with Basquiat, Fab 5, & Futura Behind It (VIDEO)

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ThinkSpace Gallery Presents: Dabs & Myla “Marvelous Expeditions” (Culver City, CA)

Dabs & Myla

Thinkspace is pleased to present the highly anticipated Marvelous Expeditions by Dabs Myla and Friends. In the spirit of travel and all things wonderfully itinerant, acclaimed duo Dabs Myla will take over the gallery space and will feature new work and an installation alongside curated selections from 32 of their closest and most inspiring artist friends. The gallery will in effect become a locus of meeting and communal exchange, as artists from all over the world are brought together by Dabs Myla to share their experiences of traveling through its landscapes.

Dabs Myla’s meticulously executed work combines narrative illustration, photorealistic drawing, and architectural rendering with a playful bawdiness and irreverence. Cast frequently as themselves in their imagery and host of characters, the artist pair create worlds of contentious and playful encounters against the seductive chaos of the urbanscape. The city features prominently in their work as the stomping ground for their numerous adventures. When looking at their pieces one has the impression of aesthetic confluence and fluidity, of two minds toiling together as one. The viewing experience is the keen pleasure of looking into another world and enjoying a story, and just as it is with the unrelenting freneticism of the city, there is always a new discovery to punctuate every observation right around every corner – and we’d be remiss to exclude mention of the donuts and street meat.

As artists and urban enthusiasts Dabs Myla translate their experience of the world through a distinctly collaborative amalgamation of their styles and rendering strengths. Their work conveys a synchronicity of vision and aesthetic uncommonly allied and collusive. It is constituted by their shared love of travel, food, graffiti, illustration, and urbanity. Just as all productive chaos emerges from unlikely places, the momentum of travel fosters unexpected discoveries and collisions of worlds. Dabs and Myla, originally from Melbourne Australia and now currently based in LA, are no strangers to this productive geographic disruption, and this project seeks to celebrate the unexpected encounters and inspirations catalyzed by travel. They have invited each of their featured friends to produce a piece for the exhibition on a 16” x 20” wood panel, and with these set material parameters each artist will work their magic. The series is loosely meant to invoke exploration and travel, and each participating artist will metabolize their impressions of the theme differently through their respective styles, voices, and memories.

Marvelous Expeditions showcases the duo’s love of friends, collegiality, exchange, and the proliferation of vision and variety that thrives alongside constant movement and displacement. These are the exploratory impulses of travel that lead to constant revisions, reconstitutions, influences, and to the indelible encounters that change everything.

Featuring 16×20” works from: 123 Klan Aaron, De La Cruz, Askew, Augustine Kofie, Axis, Cat Cult, Dscreet, Dvate, EINE, Elliot Francis Stewart, Ephameron, Greg Lamarche, Honkey Kong (aka Adam Hathorn), Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez, KC Ortiz, KEM5, Logan Hicks, Luke Chueh, Mark Mulroney, Meggs, Misery, NEW2, Pose, Remi Rough, Revok, Rime, Stormie Mills, Tatiana Suarez, Tom Gerrard, Tristan Eaton, Witnes and The Yok.

Dabs Myla:

Melbourne natives Dabs and Myla are a dynamic duo who have lived, worked and soaked in the sun of Los Angeles since 2009. Dabs started painting graffiti in 1995, and began teaching Myla the ropes of writing about ten years later, after they met while studying illustration in art school and fell in love. Soon afterward, they decided they liked their collaborative pieces better than their individual work, and from that point on, they worked together exclusively, as Dabs Myla. Inspired by graffiti, food, travel and their wonderful chaotic life together as a couple, their paintings play Dabs’ mischievous and sometimes ribald characters off Myla’s photorealistic cityscapes. Since their move to California, they have never spent more than a few hours apart. They say, “I guess we are pretty lucky… two peas in a pod! Two crazy, workaholic, mad dorks in a pod! After years of living, painting walls and working together, we have only become closer, stronger and even more in sync. Every day we wake up, paint all day, and keep each other entertained with constant chatter and stupid jokes. Who could ask for more out of life?”

Reception with the artists:

Sat., September 1st 5-9PM

Thinkspace

6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

T: 310.558.3375

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Images of Week 01.10.10 BSA Miami Part II

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This week we show you part two of Miami Street Art, begun last week here.

Barry McGee

Barry McGee took an old gas station and created a retrospective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barry McGee

Classic portrait in his illustrative style by Barry McGee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Askew

Askew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Askew (detail)

Askew (detail)(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michael DeFeo

Michael DeFeo sprouted resplendent in that warm tropical climate (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs and Myla

Dabs and Myla (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ewok

EWOK took it to another level (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pose

Pose (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reyes

Wildly twisting lollipop treatment - Reyes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton

Tristan Eaton (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See more about Tristan Eaton’s piece “Wild Beauty” HERE

Tristan Eaton

Tristan Eaton (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok

REVOK (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling

The London Police, Galo and Jim Darling (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Push

Push - it's like JMR with a ruler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Street Tribute to Francis Bacon

A Street Tribute to Francis Bacon, complete with gold foil chair (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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