All posts tagged: Bane

Basel is “Home Sweet Home” for Bustart and 40 Friends at “Change of Colours” in Switzerland

Basel is “Home Sweet Home” for Bustart and 40 Friends at “Change of Colours” in Switzerland

The international art fair Art Basel announced today that this year’s flashy Miami event is cancelled, joining its two other high-profile annual fairs in Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland, which had both already met this fate earlier – all due to the complication of COVID-19.

One of the best parts about graffiti, street art, mural, and hip hop culture events like Urbane Kunst here in the city of Basel is you don’t have to worry about air kissing on both cheeks.

BustArt. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Graffiti jams are more interested in getting up on the wall, drinking beer, and having a barbecue – which 40 local and international artists did here from August 20-30, thanks to the event’s sponsor, Bell on Neudorfstrasse in Basel.

“The top criterion for artists was we have to know them: because we’re going to spend a lot of time together,” explains street artist BustArt, who has been working for about five years to make this wall happen. “You are together every day for about two weeks and so the main important thing is having a good time and for this, we just wanted to have cool people here with whom we’ve worked in the past and who we could trust that we were going to have a great outcome.”

BustArt. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Not that “Change of Colours”, as this event is called, didn’t have a lot of complications from the worldwide virus. The artist list kept changing as certain countries were eventually banned from traveling here – First the US, later Spain.

BustArt and Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

A final list of names was not available at press time but scheduled were artists like Boogie, Cole, Kesy, Kron, Tizer, Seyo, and Sonic. Photographer and journalist Nika Kramer caught a handful of the artists to ask a few questions, including Mr. Cenz (UK), Chromeo and Bane (CH), and event organizer BustArt (CH).

Street artist Julian Phethean aka Mr. Cenz is internationally known for his unique, expressive portraits of women. He tells us “I created one of my futuristic female portraits that I’ve been doing for a few years now and I paint a lot of black women as well because I think they are under-represented in the street art world. It’s very important to me, coming from a multicultural city like London.

Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Also for me, hip-hop is a black culture that’s why I paint mainly black power for women,” he says. “If you look at it, it’s quite spiritual as well. My style is kind of something transcendent. It’s for people to look at and to get lost in. That’s just what I do, and it’s amazing to do it on a big scale in such a prominent place and I hope people enjoy it.”

Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Two Swiss artists Fabian Florin aka Bane and David Kümin aka Chromeo, have worked together on smaller walls in the past, but the two masters of photorealism have never truly collaborated on something new together, and they say that they’re very satisfied with the result.

For Chromeo, Basel holds a special meaning to him in the development of his career as a graffiti writer and an artist.

Bane and Chromeo. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Basel is history. Back in the days when I started graffiti it was like a duty: you have to go to Basel!” he says. “Because it was considered state of the art. No disrespect to other places in Switzerland but… The graffiti history is here and it is the most important, I would have to say – even though I’m not from Basel.”

Bane and Chromeo. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

In the opinion of Bane, Basel left a major impression as well, but it is much more personal. “I came here with completely fresh eyes. I was drug addicted during the time that Chromeo’s referring to,” he explains. “I’ve just been painting for about 10 years so Basel for me is a very fresh place, like new. What I enjoy here is the community. There’re so many people. It’s a community I’m stepping inside of – kind of a small family already. It was heartwarming and I felt very welcomed and for me, that is the best thing about Basel.”

For organizer and hometown boy BustArt, who just completed his largest wall to date for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin a couple of months ago, this wall has been beckoning to him and the event is the result of persistence in pursuing it. “I’ve been wanting to paint this wall for 20 years so we are happy that the company actually paid for it,” he says. He calls his new piece, “Home Sweet Home” because it symbolizes the place and the city he loves more than any other.

CRBZ. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Need A Pencil. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Tizer. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Tizer. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Sonic. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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Top 15 Videos On BSA Film Friday From 2018

It’s BSA Film Friday! Now we present the best of the year, according to you. We bring you new videos each week – about 240 of them this year. The beauty of the experience is that it can feel quite random and exhilarating – rather like the serendipity of finding new Street Art.

You helped us decide who made it to the top 15 – and we feel proud to see some of these because we liked them too. When we take videos on the road to different cities and countries doing our BSA Film Friday LIVE we also like to share these in classrooms or theaters or lecture halls with locals, students, city leaders. Nothing can beat seeing faces light up, a person thrilled to finally get the sense of something, better understanding the scene, helping people with a new way to look at art in the streets.

The best part is many of these videos encourage you to create, to co-create, to actively participate in public space with meaning and intention. As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, secretly otherworldly, and achingly beautifully human.

Special congratulations go out to artists/directors Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk who landed on the list two times this year, including the number 1 position. Their work is about the intersection of art and theory and life, how to create it, to see it, and how to re-see your world.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.

No. 15

Fatheat and TransOne/”The US Tapes”

From BSA Film Friday 06.01.18

“Listen, my only request…. When you’re done doing your thing, do an Italian flag with my daughter’s name on it,” says a guy who is shouting up from the street to the roof where two Hungarian graff writers are preparing to hit a wall with a giant rat in Jersey. That rat looks fantastic as it basks in the blinking glow of the marquee for Vinny Italian Gourmet on the streets in the Newark night below.

That scene alone can stand as their American iconic moment for the US Tapes, but Fatheat and TransOne documented a number of golden moments on their trip this winter to New York, Wynwood, LA, and Las Vegas. Travel with them as they try to square the television mythology of modern America with the one they are encountering in all its ridiculous free-wheeling self satisfied unreflective emotional consumerist funkified freedom*.  Standby for sonic blasts from the cultural pulp soundbook and prepare for a celebrity visit.

Slyly they observe and sample and taste and catalogue the insights by traversing the main stage and the margins, smartly not taking it too seriously, finding plenty of places for wide-eyed wonder and wiseguy sarcasm. Steeped in graffiti history with mad skillz themselves, this is all an adventure. Generous of heart, they also share it with you.

Ready for your Friday road trip?

No. 14

Nadia Vadori-Gauthier/”One Minute Of Dance”

From BSA Film Friday 10.26.18

“And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced.” ~ from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra

Every day since the shootings of artists and journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 14, 2015, dancer Nadia Vadori-Gauthier has made sure to dance for a minute or more. It sounds like a good idea.

“Without editing or effects, in the place and state of mind I find myself that day, with no special technique, staging, clothing, or makeup, nothing but what is there,” she says on her website.

“I dance inside or outside, in public or private places, alone or with others, strangers or people I know, sometimes friends.

I dance as protesters demonstrate, to effect a living poetry, to act through sensitivity against the violence of certain aspects of the world.

This is the solution I found: an action to my own measure, a concrete, repeated action that may redraw lines, disrupt the design, shake up the norms.”

Here she is in Paris on Esperance Street in front of a mural by Street Artist Seth.

No. 13

1UP Crew – Selina Miles /”Graffiti Olympics”

From BSA Film Friday 03.02.18

All the subversive drama of a terrorist cell, all the color of Mardi Gras, all the pomp and ceremony of an Olympic triathlon. Wielding the long-handled roller like a javelin in the hands of Järvinen, weight lifting multiple backpacks full of paint cans, climbing and jumping walls with speed and dexterity, the 1UP team goes for the gold.

Debuting today on BSA is the flaming new 1UP crew video directed by the ingenious Selina. Slicing the streets with the drone camera like a hot knife through butter, she follows the unruly yet highly organized vandals from overhead in a manner more melodic than menacing as Miles lines up one shot after another in this instantly classic continuous thread of aerosol mayhem.

Passing the aerosol can like a baton, this relay race puts 1UP over the finish line while many rivals would have just blasted out of the blocks. But will those Olympian circles turn into golden handcuffs before the closing ceremony?

No. 12

Banksy /”Banksy in Paris”

From BSA Film Friday 06.29.18

A quick overview to catch you up on the 7 most recent pieces attributed to Banksy in Paris. He’s said to be creating work more attuned to the plight of migration, but others have observed it is a return to the classic Banksy sarcastic sweetness that has characterized the clever sudden missives he has delivered since he began. See Butterfly Art News’ coverage here: Paris: Banksy for World Refugee Day

No. 11

Street Atelier /”Rocco And His Brothers”

From BSA Film Friday 04.13.18

It’s an Italian movie directed by Luchino Visconti in 1960, yes. It is also the name of a crew of Berlin graffiti/installation artists whose satirical interventions play on issues propriety and property – and on social experiments that dupe the media, the public, and banks.

Did they really set up an apartment inside the subway? Is that really the tracks and wall of a metro inside a gallery? Is that Wagner playing in the mobile war arcade set up in the Christmas market? Are those hand grenades being lobbed by children? Is the bank facade blinking red every 20 seconds?

Rocco und seine Brüder (Rocco and His Brothers) have you engaged. Now you have to answer the questions.

Shout out to Red Tower Films for the great storytelling.

No. 10

Colectivo Liquado /”Pandereteras” at Parees Art Festival.

From BSA Film Friday 11.23.18

The Uruguayan Street Artists/muralist Florencia Durán and Camilo Nuñez are “Colectivo Licuado” and here in the middle of Oviedo in Northern Spain to create a new mural for the Parees fest this September. As is their practice they study the culture that they are visiting and create an allegory that is familiar to the community, if still rather mystical.

In this case they visit Colectivo Licuado & Nun Tamos Toes for a visit of great cultural exchange – sharing sketches, songs, and learning the history of women’s roles in traditional Asturian culture. The resulting mural project is collaborative in nature and powerful in person.

No. 9

YZ YSeult Digan /”Street Vendors”

From BSA Film Friday 05.25.18

“I pay attention to the intensity of the gaze and the posture, so the passerby is challenged and seeks to question the project.”

A sociological experiment and intervention on the streets by the French Street Artist YZ takes place in Abidjan and camera work in the crowds allows you to appreciate the action on the street. A city of 4.7 million people and the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, the city has a lively culture of street vending that is unregulated and often populated by children.

YZ speaks with the folks she meets who are vending, who she refers to as “girls” although many are women. Her goal is to better understand them, she says, and to create a Street Art campaign of their portraits.

“I realized that their situation was very different from the men. So I wanted to know more about them. So I started the project ‘Street Vendors’,” she says.

No. 8

Bane & Paste /”Recover – Street Art in Chernobyl”

From BSA Film Friday 02.02.18

Chernobyl is a nuclear disaster that figures profoundly into the modern age – and for centuries into the future.

Today not so many people talk about this man-made horror that killed a Russian town and chased out its survivors in 1986 just 90 kilometers northeast of Kiev. Called the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, it evacuated 115,000 and spread a radioactive cloud around the Earth, with European neighbors like Scandinavia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, France and the UK detecting the effects of radiation for years afterward. Three scientists at The New York Academy of Sciences have estimated that over time the number of people killed by effects from the meltdown was almost a million.

Because of the nature of radiation, Chernobyl has been estimated to not be safely habitable for about 20,000 years.

No. 7

Gonzalo Borondo /”Matiére Noire”

From BSA Film Friday 07.06.18

A short documentary today taking us through last autumns On October 7th in Marseille, France in collaboration with Galerie Saint Laurent and Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo as they presented Matière Noire. A massive collection of individual installations that took over the top floor of an exhibition space normally used for shops, Borondo’s influence in the selections is throughout, a story told in three acts on Projection, Perception and Interpretation.

No. 6

Shepard Fairey/Johny Cash

From BSA Film Friday 09.14.18

“When I was just a baby, my Mama told me, ‘Son, always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns.’ But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Johnny Cash sings with some bravado in Folsom Prison Blues on an album released 50 years ago this year. Street Artist Shepard Fairey honors the album and here in Sacramento, California to raise consciousness about the outrageously high rate of incarceration here. “The United States has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of it’s prisoners,” he says, making you question the system in the Land of the Free.

No. 5

MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk/”Wasteland Wanderers”

From BSA Film Friday 10.05.18

This week we feature a couple of new film pieces from the Ukraine based duo of Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoschuk which fairly present an insightful treatise on a particular flavor of Post-Graffiti. Think of it as a two volume textbook and your professors will guide you through the darkness into the light.

A Dilogy.

“The place tells you what to do,” is a poetic and truthful phrase uttered in “Night” on the relationship a vandal has to an abandoned factory, school, home, medical facility; it is spacial and alchemical.

It is also personal, says the female narrator. “The presence of their absence,” is something that every Wasteland Wanderer will be familiar with, the knowledge and feeling that others have been there before you. The work is undeniably affected, even created in response.

“Echoes, whispers, shadows, lines.”

No. 4

FWTV/”On The Road With Add Fuel”

From BSA Film Friday 03.16.18

“I’ve started a new series called ‘On the Road’ which looks at life behind the scenes in street art culture,” Doug Gillen tells us about this debut episode. Look forward to Doug’s unique perspective on Street Art festivals, art fairs, and studio visits as he expands to the world of urban contemporary.

Not typically who you think of as a Street Artist, here we see Add Fuel and Doug talk about his first book and you see examples of work from this tile maker who infuses traditional Portuguese techniques and pattern making with pop-modern cultural references and cartoon archetypes.

No. 3

Chip Thomas

From BSA Film Friday 04.06.18

He has a hat, sunglasses, and he has been creating huge black and white photo installations of people wheat-pasted to the sides of buildings for how long? Surprising to us that Jetsonorama is not more of a household name in Street Art circles – his work is solidly tied to biography and human rights, uses his own photography, and routinely elevates humanity – and has been doing it for some time now.

Why isn’t he in huge museum exhibitions?

Today we have a new video giving you a good look at the work and the artist along with the genuine connection and presence that he has with community, taking the time to share their stories.

No. 2

Vegan Flava/”While They Seek Solutions”

From BSA Film Friday 01.19.18

“The speed of ruin is just something else,” says Street Artist Vegan Flava, and it’s an exasperating realization. Extrapolated to thinking about the enormous war industry, and there is such a thing, you realize that pouring money year after year into ever more sophisticated and destructive weaponry only results in broken bridges, buildings, water systems, vital infrastructure, lives.

Construction, on the other hand, can be arduous and time consuming, takes vision, planning, collaboration, and fortitude. Like great societies.

How quickly they can be eroded, destroyed.

But since Vegan Flava is creating during this destructive enterprise, you get a glimpse into his creativity, and sense of humor. Similarly the psychographics of this story and how it is told reveal insights into the artist and larger themes.

“A drawing, an idea on a piece of paper, can swiftly grow into something larger, thoughts and actions leading to the next. But creating something is never as fast as to tear it to pieces. The speed of ruin is just something else,” he says.

No. 1

MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk /”Aesthetic of Eas”

From BSA Film Friday 01.12.18

“We wanted everything to occur naturally in this movie. We wanted to achieve spontaneity,” say film makers Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoshchuk about their up close look at graffiti writer/abstract painter EAS. In this new film they have captured the creative spirit in action as unobtrusively as they could, allowing the artist to speak – in a way he never does, they say.

Today on BSA Film Friday we’re proud to debut this new portrait by three artists – one painter and two film makers – to encourage BSA readers to take a moment and observe, inside and outside.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.02.18 : BANE & PEST in Chernobyl

BSA Film Friday: 02.02.18 : BANE & PEST in Chernobyl


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

Now screening :
1. RECOVER – Street Art in Chernobyl


BSA Special Feature: RECOVER – Street Art in Chernobyl

Chernobyl is a nuclear disaster that figures profoundly into the modern age – and for centuries into the future.

Today not so many people talk about this man-made horror that killed a Russian town and chased out its survivors in 1986 just 90 kilometers northeast of Kiev. Called the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, it evacuated 115,000 and spread a radioactive cloud around the Earth, with European neighbors like Scandinavia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, France and the UK detecting the effects of radiation for years afterward. Three scientists at The New York Academy of Sciences have estimated that over time the number of people killed by effects from the meltdown was almost a million.

Because of the nature of radiation, Chernobyl has been estimated to not be safely habitable for about 20,000 years.

Not that you read many critical essays about the innate evil or catastrophic danger of nuclear power in your corporate media, possibly because they take paid advertising from the industry.

Naturally we’re not making light of the subject. But it is of great interest when two Street Artists have recently penetrated the Exclusion Zone of Chernobyl and today we present a short documentary of their experience. After securing permission and accompanied by a guide, BANE & PEST, a Swiss/Cypriot Street Art duo based in Chur, Switzerland, made it inside to paint. They learned not to touch anything and to tread lightly, Geiger counter in hand and 50 kilograms of paint in tow.

In the course of their 5 day excursion you can sense the gravity of the disaster as well as the effect of the experience on the artists. Faced with more existential questions perhaps than they contemplated previously, you learn that their art is transformed as well as their view of the Earth we depend on.

BSA spoke with one of the artists, Bane, and the Zurich-based directors Zoran Stojanovic and Thomas Brunner about their experiences creating art and filming a documentary inside Chernobyl, now considered part of a war zone in Ukraine.

BSA: It appears that your experience of Chernobyl continued to change – from the planning, to the traveling there, to discovering the city. Would you say that your perceptions of the former city evolved over time?
BANE: It was clear from the beginning that we did not know what to expect. The city itself was like a journey into the future.

This is what the world looks like when we no longer have people. Nature and everything around it is regenerating very fast. It was a very nice look into the future.

BSA: Were the preparations and precautions you took sufficient?
Tom & Zoran: Well – we received the request to accompany Bane and Pest on their trip to Chernobyl only about two weeks before they planned to start the trip. The film team who had initially accepted the job jumped off the project due to fear of radiation.

The time which was left for the preparation of this adventure was of course very short but the unique chance to travel to such a fascinating place and to be part of this project made us decide to do it.

Unfortunately our insurance did not accept the coverage of our camera for this trip as the Ukraine is still regarded to be a war area. In the very last minute we were able to buy a second hand camera at a reasonable price. But we did not have any time to test it and could only view the first footage when we were already in Kiev which is rather crazy.

As far as precautions were concerned, it was a lucky coincidence that Tom’s godfather, who had worked in the security department of a nuclear power plant in Switzerland for many years, could give us very valuable advice on the necessary preventive measures we had to take.

BSA: Not many Street Artists/graffiti writers can say that they painted in Chernobyl. Would you recommend it?
BANE: Only with caution. I think it’s the wrong place for a “hall of fame”

One should very consciously approach the matter and with extreme caution choose the subjects.

BSA: What was the thing that surprised you the most as filmmakers when approaching the environment?
Tom & Zoran: We knew that the exclusion zone was extremely fascinating from the visual point of view and would give numerous possibilities for our work. But what we found when we got there was beyond all our expectations. The number of abandoned buildings is amazing – there is everything: an old theater, a former swimming pool, a deserted hospital, a former school. Just a real town.

Chernobyl is nowadays a tourist attraction as well. So we found some ‘arranged places’ which were sort of ‘prepared’ for the photographers from all over the world. That is something we did not expect.

BSA: As you traveled through the factory and hospital and around the antenna, would you say that you felt the presence of life in a city that once was fully alive?
BANE: Life was pulsing everywhere. No civilization noise, no aircraft noise, no cars. Nothing at all.

The environment was so quiet you could almost hear the trees growing. Birds were heard from far away. Since no more people have an influence on the environment, this has the opportunity to live fully.

BSA: Did the team feel overwhelmed by your surroundings at any point?
Tom & Zoran: The moment we passed the nuclear reactor where the accident happened was very moving indeed. At that stage the reactor was still very clearly visible and not covered by a sarcophagus as it is now.

When we first came to the amusement park with the famous big wonder wheel we all were totally overwhelmed by unbelievable emotions. On one hand you feel very sad for all these people who had to leave their homes and
give up living in their town, on the other hand one is fascinated by the incredible silence and special beauty of this place. You just do not hear anything there – no cars, no people, no birds. You might be standing 30 meters away from somebody else and still be able to talk at a normal volume. This is stunning.

As a team we grew together very closely there.

BSA: Were you limited to only painting these official murals?
BANE: Actually, we only had the permission to paint on the outskirts. After our arrival we were told that we can paint wherever we want. Thus, we also decided to paint three pieces instead of one.

BSA: What is your observation about the animals and trees that have been taking over the area and how did that affect your choice of subjects to paint?
BANE: As we changed our way of choosing the spaces, we have decided to dedicate the pictures to the wildlife that have settled in the area. It can be said that the whole environment in Chernobyl first brought us to these subjects

BSA: Was there any kind of human threat while you were filming and the artists were painting? How animal threats?
Tom & Zoran: We have to say that we have been accompanied by a local guide who knew the area and also the dangerous parts of it very well. So we always felt very secure.

After a while we had the opportunity to walk around on our own with a radio set and a Geiger tube. In Chernobyl and in Pripyat this is all very well organized. You pass the military checkpoints and controls of your papers.

Tourist groups only stay for a short while at the known places and are then transported further on. The security is taken very seriously by the authorities.

Although we knew that nature is “fighting its way back” and animal population is growing again, we never got into a critical situation with animals. Rather, we were fascinated by horses grazing peacefully or foxes sneaking about.

All images are screenshots from film and ©Pixel Love 2017


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