All posts tagged: Banksy

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.02.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.02.21

Hooray Hooray, first of May!” chanted your cousin Felix, “outdoor fucking starts today!”

You both broke out in peals of laughter while your mom was walking out from the kitchen with a basket of garlic bread for your Saturday night spaghetti dinner. “What did you just say??”

It’s hard to believe it’s May already, and the smell of lilacs and aerosol paint and pot smoke is in the air in New York again. Ahhhhhhh. Duck between the skateboards and the hellions delivering Chinese on electric bikes, and you’ll see the chess players are setting up again in the park.

For the 12th week in a row, the President of the United States hasn’t tweeted something glorifying violence or attacking faith in public institutions, and people are beginning to mention the “H” word in reference to the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations in New York.

Dare we say it, “HOPE”.

Keep squeezing your silver and keep your eyes open and don’t get hit by any NFTs. They seem to be dropping everywhere


So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Andrea Carlson, Banksy, Bastard Bot, Bueno, Free Britney, Homsick, Marcos De La Fuente, Myles, Posterboy, Resop, Same PPP, Tom Bob, Vanessa Alvarez, WGE, and ZigZag.

Homesick. This is for all the people all over the world that would have wanted to go home but couldn’t due to the Pandemic. We feel your pain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Banksy. #notbanksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Posterboy phone booth transformation. “LEFT ON READ” Talk about THE red phone. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Posterboy phone booth transformation. “LEFT ON READ” (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Posterboy phone booth transformation. “LEFT ON READ” (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bastard Bot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SAME PPP (Peter Pan Posse or Paycheck Protection Program?) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vanesa Alvarez and Marcos De La Fuente (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Resop #freebritney (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Myles. Snoop With Pearl Earring. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
2 MUCH (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Bob (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Bob (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Bob (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Bob (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bueno (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Andrea Carlson (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Andrea Carlson (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ZigZag . WGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Brooklyn, NYC. Spring 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Team Robbo Disses Banksy at Berkshire Prison as He Creates Escape

Team Robbo Disses Banksy at Berkshire Prison as He Creates Escape

What is this, 2011?

Two things you can count on with graffiti/street art;
1. Beef
2. Banksy will quite likely wiggle his way into the situation

Despite the death of graffiti writer King Robbo in 2014, his devoted team continues to pine for the days when the writer and the clever stencilist were busy egging each other on with aerosol. When you hear the words “Team Robbo” you may hearken back to Ye Olde 2009 when a feud began with Banksy going over a piece by the King in 2009.

Those seem like simpler days, weren’t they?

Banksy’s vandalized piece “Create Escape”. (photo © Paul Childs/Reuters)

Now the prison that once housed the brilliant bard and flamboyant fop Oscar Wilde is not-so-mysteriously adorned by a certain lad traveling all the way here in Berkshire from Bristol. Banksy imagines getting away from a confined life with this new piece called “Create Escape.” In an entertaining video below we find Banksy overlaying his nighttime spray capers with the gentle tones and textures of painting icon Bob Ross. You may smile when he talks about painting setting you free.

Suddenly the street art/graffiti network is buzzing with the news that the typewriter has been passionately buffed! And just look who is taking credit…

Banksy. The original “Create Escape” on a wall at Reading prison. Reading, Berkshire, England. (photo © Nigel Keene/ProSportsimages/Rex)

Banksy’s documented the mural’s execution and posted it on his Instagram.

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COVID-19 365 Days Later; Art in the Streets That Narrated a Pandemic

COVID-19 365 Days Later; Art in the Streets That Narrated a Pandemic

What the hell just happened? Has it been a year? Or has it been 10 years? Or just one long nightmare/daymare? Or has it been 10 years? Did we already ask that?

In March 2020 we awoke to a world that was transforming before all of our eyes, yet we felt so cut-off from it and each other. The first days seem so long ago as we mark the first anniversary of the pandemic. Still, the initial shock of those days resonates in our chests so strongly that we confidently talk about a collective global trauma that has indelibly marked a generation.

Pobel. Stavanger, Norway. March 14, 2020. (photo © Tore Stale Moen)

From Stockholm to Mexico City to Barcelona to Bethlehem to New York to LA, BSA brought you street art that was responding with fear, derision, critique, hope, and humor to the never-static, always evolving barrage of Covid news. Stuck inside and afraid to expose ourselves to each other, we New Yorkers became accustomed to experiencing the outdoors only through our windows, connecting with neighbors we’ve never met who were also banging pots and pans or clapping and waving and yelling.

We listened to ambulances screaming past our windows every half hour or so during those first weeks, imagining the torn families, the terrified fellow New Yorkers now being rushed to the hospital and separated from their loved ones without a goodbye, gasping for air. We wondered if we would be next.

Jilly Ballistic and Sack Six. Manhattan, NYC. March 23, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When we did go to the streets, they were empty – or nearly. In New York this was unheard of. In this bustling, noisy metropolis, we experienced a daily disconcerting quiet. That is, until the killing of George Floyd by cops finally pushed the anger/anxiety into the streets all summer.

The deadly hotspot of New York quelled, but the fires of Covid spread west, grabbing communities who thought they would avoid impact. At the same time, local, state, and national leaders fumbled and argued or famously callously ignored the desperation of citizens, occasionally admirably filling the shoes they were elected to occupy, often misstepping through no fault of their own.

Pure Genius. Manhattan, NYC. March 23, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We have no particular wisdom to offer you today beyond the obvious; this pandemic laid bare inequity, social and racial and class fault-lines, the shredded social net, the effect of institutional negligence, the ravages of 40 years of corporate privatization, and the power of community rising to the occasion to be in service to one another in ways that made us all more than proud.

Here are some of our favorite Covid-themed street art pieces from over the last year, a mere sampling of the artistic responses. Interspersed we paste screenshots of the daily events (via Wikipedia) in 2020 that shaped our lives, and our society.

We mourn the losses of family and friends and the broken hearts and minds in all of our communities. And we still believe in the power of art to heal and the power of love to balance our asymmetries.

Trusto Corp. Los Angeles, CA. March 26, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Lapiz. Hamburg, Germany. March 30th, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Tag Street Art. Tel-Aviv, Israel. March 31, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Phlegm. April 6, 2020. London, UK. (photo courtesy of the artist) Phlegm created a visual diary of his experience with the Pandemic. We published his diary HERE
Don Langrend for USA Today Network. On April 13, 2020, we published a compilation of political cartoons with views on the Pandemic. Click HERE to see the whole collection.
Alessio-B. Padua, Italy. April 15, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Banksy. London, UK. April 19, 2020. (photo Instagram)
Shepard Fairey. Los Angeles, CA. April 20, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Banksy “The Girl with a Pierced Eardrum” Bristol, UK. April 23, 2020. (photo © Reuters/Rebecca Naden)
Cake Stencils. Bethlehem, Israel. May 10, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Almost Over Keep Smiling. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SacSix. Manhattan, NY. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Oliver Rios. May 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Teo Vazquez. Barcelona, Spain. May 25, 2020. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Adam Fujita. Brooklyn, NYC. May 25, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Queens, NYC. June 2nd. 2020. (photo © Just A Spectator)
Russian Doll NY. Manhattan, NYC. June 6, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gianni Lee. Manhattan, NYC. June 13, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Various & Gould. Berlin, Germany. June 19, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artists)
Sara Lynne-Leo. Manhatttan, NYC. June 27, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stikman. Manhatttan, NYC. June 27, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentifed artist. Brooklyn, NYC. July 18, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
De Grupo. Manhattan, NYC. August 1, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sticker Maul. Manhatttan, NYC. August 6, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fintan Magee. Queensland, Australia. August 16, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Persak. San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. August 23, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Novy. Manhatttan, NYC. August 29, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Asbestos. Cork, Ireland. September 8, 2020. (photo courtesy of the artist)
1111 Army. Brooklyn, NYC. September 12, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Brooklyn, NYC. September 12, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raddington Falls. Manhattan, NYC. September 26, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faust. Manhattan, NYC. September 26, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pure Genius. Manhattan, NYC. October 31, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
I Heart Graffiti. Manhattan, NYC. November 14, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 in collab with MUK 123. Manhattan, NYC. December 15, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Creator. Manhattan, NYC. December 28, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty. Manhattan, NYC. December 28, 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Karma. Barcelona, Spain. January 4, 2020. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Pobel. Stavanger, Norway. February 11, 2021. (photo © Tore Stale Moen)
Aya Brown. Brooklyn, NYC. February 27, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Manhattan, NYC. March 06, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Paolo Tolentino. Manhattan, NYC. March 07, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Manhattan, NYC. March 07, 2021 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)

As NYC went on complete lock-down and New Yorkers were ordered to remain in their homes in complete isolation the city’s residents organically joined together in a collective 7:00 pm ritual in support to the first responders. To the nurses, doctors, paramedics, trash collectors, public transportation, police, fire fighters, supermarkets workers etc…with their services and sacrifices we, the residents of this megalopolis were able to keep out hopes for brighter days to come.

Video of four former presidents urging people to “roll up your sleeve and do your part” and get the vaccine.

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Banksy: Aachoo!!

Banksy: Aachoo!!

Literally that is all Street Artist Banksy has to do to get attention internationally for his work these days.

Sneeze!

Image ©Banksy from his Instagram account

This new piece in Totterdown, an inner-suburb of Bristol, England, is perhaps a subtler way to say, “Wear a mask!” Brizzle born and proud, that is!

Banksy. Aachoo!! (photo @feralthings )
Banksy. Aachoo!! (photo @feralthings )
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Banksy’s “M.V. Louise Michel” at Sea Rescuing and Raising Awareness

Banksy’s “M.V. Louise Michel” at Sea Rescuing and Raising Awareness

The Bristol based street artist Banksy is again walking the fine line between activism and self-promotion, uncomfortable bedfellows at best.

Sponsoring a ship “M.V. Louise Michel” to rescue refugees can probably be accomplished without branding the ship with your artwork, and he’s received criticism for what could appear to some as patting himself on the back for his generosity. Conversely one could argue that placing his name and art on the ship raises the profile and plight of those who otherwise get ignored, even creating a protective immunity of sorts around them.

Banksy. “M.V. Louise Michel” (photo courtesy of M.V. Louise Michel)

His new campaign, or stunt, went perilously bad this weekend when the vessel was overloaded and its ability to navigate freely was hindered, according to news reports. What’s more the team sounding increasingly more panicked in successive Tweets appealing for official recognition and rescue.

According to The Guardian:

German charity Sea-Watch and the Italian coastguard sent vessels to a rescue boat funded by the British street artist after it issued urgent calls for assistance, saying it was stranded in the Mediterranean and overloaded with people. Hundreds of people on board the MV Louise Michel were transferred to safety on to the Sea-Watch 4, while an Italian coastguard patrol boat took 49 of those considered most vulnerable on board, transferring them to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa

We tend to overlook human failings when they are backed by goodwill, and this team will get it right, no doubt. At least you can say that this is an artist who walks his talk, which is refreshing as an ocean breeze.

To learn more about the rescue boat and their mission from their website:

The M.V. LouiseMichel needs

  • Funding to do this work, fight legal cases and replace impounded equipment.
  • Help spreading the word about these inhumane policies. #searescueisnotacrime

“The people at sea are not unlucky casualties of the elements. This crisis is not a natural disaster. It is created by political decisions and a failure of humanity. It cannot be solved by lifeboats. If we want to sustainably stop the drowning we have to stop forcing people onto these boats. So if you want to contribute – speak up against racism, join the movements for climate justice – take any kind of action to defend global respect for all forms of life, near or far.”

Video from Banksy’s Instagram

THE SHIP RUNS ON DONATIONS. CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Banksy Strikes Public Transport: Promotes Masks and Cites Chumbawamba

Banksy Strikes Public Transport: Promotes Masks and Cites Chumbawamba


Instagram commenter transparentlemon is irked by Banksy’s apparent defacement of the Tube. “I’m all for graffiti on walls of buildings that’s art,” he says on Instagram, “But on public transport that’s just vandalism”

Oh dear. The Bristol born artist has built his entire career on mucking up public space with his clever observations, but somehow it is still grinding the gears of some peeps who think he might have veered too much into the “vandal” category on this one.

The commenter who self-describes as cultural_creative cannot contenance the idea that the anonymous do-gooding street artist has been fooled by the obviously Bill-Gates-funded conspiracy to take away people’s rights and force them to wear masks and get micro-chipped.

“I’m taking this subjectively..,” they write, “I refuse to believe @banksy would peddle government propaganda he’s too slick for that”

Meanwhile Instagrammer mria_nz is contemplating demographic clues left by Banksy’s sampling reference to the 90s tub-thumping anthem that critiqued and praised middle class banality; “caught the Chumbawamba reference! Is Banksy our age? Lol.”

Yes, he’s done it again, Banksy, presenting his view on a topical topic using his preferred method of aerosol – and heavily edited video – posted to nearly 10 million fans.

“if you don’t mask – you don’t get”, he calls it, a double negative that implies that wearing a mask will increase your chances for Covid-19? Surely not. Surely not?

Posted on his Instagram account we see a video of a man, believed to be the elusive international man of mystery himself, wearing the ubiquitous protective cleaning gear of many public professionals and holding the sanitizer sprayer for quite a different task. The “cleaning” man proceeds to stencil several rats wearing masks and sneezing in full pandemic mode.  

View this post on Instagram

. . If you don’t mask – you don’t get.

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

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What To Do With Racists Monuments? – Banksy Has An Idea

What To Do With Racists Monuments? – Banksy Has An Idea

Across the United States and in other parts of the world protestors are bringing down the last vestiges of sculptural racism etched in marble or bronze. Statutes of slave traders and confederate generals have been pulled down from their pedestals. Even Christopher Columbus lost his head in Boston this week. So yes, heads are rolling.

It’s not a moment too soon to have this conversation, to listen to others, and to confront the idea that we should revere and immortalize with monuments those who were not human enough to treat other humans fairly. The demonstrators protesting against racism and police violence are having an impact in our daily discourse on matters of race, violence against minorities, and police brutality. It’s not about time, it’s been time.

Bristol, a seaside city in the United Kingdom saw its own symbol of racism toppled down by protestors this week. It involved the monument of Edward Colston, a Tory Member of Parliament and an English merchant who profitted from the slave trade and died in 1721.

Bristol also gave us street artist Banksy, who looks to inject levity even in the darkest moments. He has come with an irresistible and clever idea about what to do with the monument that was thrown into the harbor at an anti-racism protest on Sunday, and has since been retrieved from the waters. Having already offered his serious commentary on the #blacklivesmatter movement on his Instagram account he decided to give us his humorous take on the fate of the statue.

“What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol?
Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t.We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.” Bansky

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Banksy Updated With a Face Mask / Dispatch From Isolation # 32

Banksy Updated With a Face Mask / Dispatch From Isolation # 32

Banksy’s “The Girl With A Pierced Eardrum” painted in Bristol’s Albion Dock in 2019 has experienced a Covid-19 makeover.

Banksy “The Girl with a Pierced Eardrum” Bristol, UK. (photo © Reuters/Rebecca Naden)

The famous piece inspired by the other more famous piece “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer has been enhanced by the addition of the now-ubiquitous blue face mask on the girl’s face.

Word on the street is that the addition might not be that of the famously reclusive artist himself but that of an admirer. Usually, Banksy gives his pieces on the street his imprimatur by posting them on his Instagram account. At the time of this posting on BSA, such action hasn’t yet been taken.

Banksy “The Girl with a Pierced Eardrum” Bristol, UK. (photo © AFP/Getty Images/Geoff Caddick)
Johannes Vermeer. “Girl with a Pearl Earring” c. 1665 in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The Netherlands.
A quarantine reprise by LorenzoTheCat
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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.19.20 / Dispatch From Isolation # 28

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.19.20 / Dispatch From Isolation # 28

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

Where is the People’s Bailout? Why has the bailout that was promised to small businesses already run out? Why is congress on vacation? Why is Biden staring up at the wall like he’s concentrating on a dead spider? The people are dying, running out of food, the economy is dying, businesses are dying. The Post Office, starved and bad-mouthed for years by the capitalists who want to kill it, is finally dying. Do we realize which direction the US is being dragged by the oligarchs and their one party corporate Republicrat-Demoblicans?

We need Universal Basic Income!

Where is Medicare for All!

Main Street Debt Jubilee!

In other fun news, we’re still quarantining. Please send us your art in the streets! We love to hear from you. Spread love!

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring MeresOne, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and other unknown artists.

Well, tomorrow is 4/20 after all. For difficult times…Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
MeresOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shepard Fairey produced a series of new poster graphics honoring our heroes. (photo @obeygiant Instagram)
Trump Titanic. Unidentified artist of this social media meme
Banksy, with his typical sense of humor and levity, came out from isolation to share with us his visual metaphor that accurately illustrates one of the many ways in which isolation affects humans…photos were taken directly from the artist’s Instagram account. (photos @Banksy)
Banksy. Detail. (photo @ Banksy)
Banksy. Detail. (photo @ Banksy)
Banksy. Detail. (photo @ Banksy)
Banksy. Detail. (photo @ Banksy)
Untitled. Brooklyn, NY. Spring 2020 (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
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2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

BSA has been here with you for this entire decade – an honor and a privilege. Reviewing the many interventions and events we witnessed and shared with our readers, we realize that this grassroots people’s art movement is reflecting our society in fundamental ways and reaching deep as well as wide. Here in roughly chronological order we recount for you a Top 10 for BSA that have impacted our way of seeing art on the streets.


1.

The “Girl In The Blue Bra” – December 2011

Oppressive regimes worldwide have a few commonalities. One of them is patriarchy. Over the last decade we have seen many female artists rise powerfully to smash it, harnessing their rage and power and taking their voice to the street.

There were countless images that encapsulated the ferocity and the tenacity of the protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings in Cairo, Egypt in December of 2011. One image, in particular, captured the attention of the media and the public. The image is commonly referred to as the “Girl In The Blue Bra”. The image depicts a young woman, whose identity remains anonymous, being beaten and dragged by soldiers as she was taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, against Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Her face is veiled and her jeans are still on but as she was being dragged by the soldiers her abaya came undone exposing her bare torso and revealing her blue bra as a soldier was about to kick her in her abdomen.

A young woman is being dragged and kicked, exposing her bare torso in the act by the military in Tahiri Square. Cairo, Egypt. December 17, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

While the image exposed the abusive practices and of power of the military in Egypt – it also swiftly sparked ferocious reactions around the globe, particularly with women who subsequently staged their own march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the end of military rule.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)

Among the artists who carried the Blue Bra theme to the streets was one artist, Bahia Shehab, whom BSA and its readers helped to get a movie made about Street Artists in the Arab Spring, called Nefertiti’s Daughters, directed by Mark Nicolas. Later we were the first to debut a scene from it at the Nuart Festival in Norway (“#Activism on the Street Now”), and years after that Nuart actually hosted professor Shehab. This is a small world, this Street Art community.

The actions of the young woman, the violent response of the military, and the overwhelming support of the public, in general, sparked a new wave of feminism in Egypt and inspired artists to create and display their artworks on the streets in protest.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)
An unidentified artist in Cairo. (photo from Pinterest)

2.

“Art In The Streets” Opens at LA MOCA – April 2011

Art in the Streets was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, an exhibition tracing the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it had evolved to. BSA was there to capture and share some of what was happening.

Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

From BSA

“Yes, Banksy is here. The giant ‘Art in the Streets’ show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of what is soon to be, maybe already is, a mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets its momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

The show is an audacious multi-platform, colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it’s influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, “Art in the Streets” makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities, and relationships within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show. “

“Art In The Streets” Blade . Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Art In The Streets” Invader’s invasion of Martha Cooper’s installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3.

Banksy’s NYC Residency – “Better Out Than In” – October 2013

An unprecedented city-wide near daily installation of works in New York established a new high-water mark in the flood of Street Art that took many cities in the 2010s. The British Street Artist played to a media capital in such an effective campaign that even the least interested residents became familiar with the elusive prankster.

Banksy’s Final Trick

From BSA

A Genuine October Surprise for New York Street Art Friends and Foes Alike.

“In a series of communiqués beamed from his website, the global Street Artist Banksy gave graffiti and Street Art followers a near-daily jolt of mystery and mouse clicking that had people looking at every street scene as a possible Banksy by the time it ended. While few can confirm the exact level of involvement the actual artist had in the five boroughs, if any, none will deny that the Banksy brand underwent a major “refresh” this month that again put his name on the lips of those who had begun to forget him and many who had never heard of him.

Thanks to this masterful marketing campaign billed as a month-long ‘residency’ on New York’s streets, many thousands were talking about him daily on the street, on television, radio, social media, in galleries, studios, office cubicles, art parties, and the mayors’ office. By effectively combining the sport of treasure hunting with humor and populism, each new cryptic appearance of something-anything gradually conditioned some grand art doyennes and the plainer mongrels amongst us to drool on command and lift a leg in salute to the curiously still anonymous artist and the team who helped him pull it off.”

BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Exhibitions with Swoon, Faile, BÄST, Haring, Basquiat, ESPO, JR Expand Knowledge, Appreciation

One cultural institution in New York City and indeed in the United States has been notable throughout the decade for its commitment to organizing exhibitions where graffiti, street art, and the artists whom have shaped it are given recognition for their contribution to the arts. The Brooklyn Museum’s leadership, including former director Arnold L. Lehman, current director Anne Pasternak, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives have been channeling resources and focus to the study, promotion, and exhibition of the works of important figures in the contemporary graffiti and Street Art movement. It notable that the museum has in its permanent collection the works of distinguished graffiti and Street Artists dating back to the dawn of the modern scene; something that other important cultural institutions in New York City that are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of modern, contemporary, and American art lack in their collections.

It’s for this reason that we have selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of the top ten graffiti and street art movers of the decade. Predated by 2006’s “Graffiti” exhibition the museum has mounted several important presentations during this decade that have not only been blockbusters but they have contributed to the cultural enrichment of all New Yorkers and the expanded discussion of the relevance of these art forms to established canons. Here are some highlights:

Keith Haring – March 2012

From BSA

Keith Haring 1978-1982 : Early Keith at The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring: 1978-1982, a traveling exhibition first shown in Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, introduces a period of his work not often examined, taking you up to the edge of the seemingly sudden international fame he experienced as artist, activist and public figure through the rest of the 1980s.

… At a time when the small-town boy was developing his visual vocabulary as an artist, Haring was also discovering himself as a man in the world and in a city that he found endlessly fascinating and worthy of exploration. Capturing his spirit of hands-on experimentation, the show is almost entirely comprised of works on paper with one collaborative piece on plywood with his contemporary Jean Michel Basquiat, paper collage, video, and documentary photos.”

Keith Haring. Matrix, 1983. Courtesy of and © Keith Haring Foundation, The Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon – April 2014

From BSA

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Sharon brought me in here and said, ‘What is interesting to you in the building?’ and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me, if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site-specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. ‘It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie into the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,’ she says.”

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks – April 2015

From BSA

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

“In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile & BÄST – July 2015

From BSA

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

“FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images have been the bailiwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention-commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.”

FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen ESPO Powers – November 2015

From BSA

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside.

“Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, it’s fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.”

Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR – October 2019

From BSA

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby or business owners and workers of local stores. “

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5

Blu and Street Art – Banksy & Co.

Curated by Christian Omodeo, Luca Cinacabilla, and Sean Corcoran. March 2016

BLU buffing his own works in Bologna took the news cycle, his legion of compatriots armed with rollers and bucket paint. But it was the show that he was reacting to that brought thousands to the museum space to discuss the rightful place of Street Art, graffiti, and the relevance of preserving it for posterity.

From BSA

BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

“The contested Banksy and Co. exhibition contains, among many other works, walls removed from a privately owned abandoned building in Bologna that were painted by BLU. Displaying the walls and his artwork without his consent so angered the painter that he rallied artists and activists to help him snuff out all his remaining murals and paintings in this Northern Italian city last week. (See A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna)

The heavily attended Friday night opening of Street Art – Banksy & Co. at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna was curated by Luca Ciancabilla, Christian Omodeo, and Sean Corcoran and features roughly 250 historical and contemporary works spanning about fifty years and highlighting a number of movements within the so-called Urban Art genre. On balance it appears that 90 percent of the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches, and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged posters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.”

About Ponny (photo © @around730)

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

From BSA

“Reality TV is usually completely devoid of reality. That isn’t the exact comparison Andreco said on his Facebook page but we thought it was a fitting analogy. Street Art in a museum or gallery can sometimes feel like taxidermy.

Andreco actually said ‘Deciding which wall to paint or not to paint has always been one of our free choices. This operation, to uncork the walls and move them elsewhere, oversteps this freedom.’ Fair enough.

Of course, that is not the primary reason why activists and Street Artists joined in to help BLU paint over the many murals that he completed on Bologna city walls over the last two decades or so. In an English titled press release on the Italian website Wumingfoundation the artist lays out a multi-layered justification for destroying his own murals, many of which have become beloved landmarks around the city and which have helped make him an art star in some circles.”

BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

American conceptual, activist and street artist John Fekner, whose art and his art partner Don Leicht were represented in the exhibition Street Art: Bansky & Co weighs in the controversy by saying:

  • The bottom line is: what’s done in public-doesn’t remain in public. There’s no protection for artists who trespass. It’s the chance one takes outdoors.
  • If you create illegal art murals, street rules are always in effect:
  1. You can’t stop a drunk in the middle of the night from pissing on your wall.
  2. You can’t stop a bulldozer from razing your work.
  3. You can’t stop a neighborhood anti-graffiti squad from painting over your work.
  4. You can’t stop a well-dressed thief in a suit, or their hired slug with a chisel from removing your wall work and hauling it off to their laird, garage, museum or art market.

“Under any circumstances, don’t immediately and irrationally react. If your original aspirations were to be an artist- then just do what you were meant to do: be an artist. Don’t double shift and be a night watchman patrolling the streets to try and thwart thieves of your work. Unique temporary outdoor creations engender a public conversation that includes everyone: art lovers and art haters, lowbrow and highbrow, and everyone who interacts with your public work.”

John Fekner (© John Fekner)

6.

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art Opens in Berlin – September 2017

We had the unique perspective of being two of the foundational curators who made this exhibition happen and made the doors fly open to thousands of visitors, so it only made sense that we covered the opening that brought much promise to the institutional recognition of Street Art, graffiti, and its move into Urban Contemporary.

From BSA

“Inundated!” Scenes from the Opening: UN – Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin

“This week is Art Week in Berlin, and you just stole Art Week,” said a handsome and intensely opinionated German to us as we leaned on the arm rail of the M.C. Escher-inspired walkway before a Carlos Mare139 sculpture and above the capacity crowd on Saturday night at the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Not sure if that was the exact goal, but we get his larger point; the UN has just made a massive entry into a number of societally and culturally influential minds when it comes to the relevancy of Street Art and graffiti to visual culture and art history. This movement into so-called Contemporary began as early as the 1970s and has overcome and weathered cultural and market ebbs and flows – persisted, if you will – yet somehow institutions have been wary of this work and these artists and unable to fully embrace their importance, you decide why.”

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea’s installation. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7.

Five Pointz: A Legal Case For Urban Artists Shifts the Focus – February 2018

From BSA

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

“In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plaintiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of the agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.”

5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8.

The New York Times Publishes DONDI’S Obituary – February 2019

In an unprecedented posthumous publication of an obituary, this year The Times acknowledged something that it had so far failed to do; the contribution of graffiti writers to the cultural and art canons deserves serious recognition. By publishing the iconic image of DONDI taken by Martha Cooper that burned “Subway Art” into the mind’s eye of many generations of graffiti writers, the “paper of record” caught up with one the the scene’s leaders and heroes.

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)

The NYT obituary of Dondi begins like this:

Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary.”

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)


9.

Martha Cooper: A Picture Story Premieres at TriBeCa. A film by Selina Miles. April 2019

From BSA

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

“First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes. “

Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Director Selina Miles with Martha Cooper. Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

10.

Street Art and Activism Takes Larger Share of the Cultural Stage

This decade that is coming to an end has seen its share of natural disasters, human rights violations, atrocities of large scale against humanity, corruption at the highest levels, the reversal of hard-fought policies to protect the planet and keep our air and water clean. We have witnessed with despair the renaissance of hatred based on people’s nationalities, their skin color, their religion, their choice of attire, their level of material affluence and their sexual preferences.

We have seen progress as well. Women around the world have been freer to speak their mind against oppression and abuse of power thanks to social movements that have flourished around the world in big cities and small towns. Our LGBT brothers and sisters have scored numerous legal battles in their favor thanks to enlightened lawmakers and judges who have searched deep inside their intellect to find the right answer to make sure everybody is treated equally. Likewise, our peers whom we need to advance our cause have taken seriously the responsibility at the ballot box to make the correct choice with policies that will bring relief to those who have less than we do.

Art and artists have often reflected back to us the world we live in, it is for this reason that we have chosen Street Art and Activism as an important action in this decade. We have always championed the work of artists who imbued their art with a strong sense of social urgency. It is with their art that they talk to us in the hopes to change one mind, one action, one concept, one attitude towards the goal creating a common good. There are many of them currently active on the streets. This wouldn’t be the appropriate space to list all of them but we would like to give you some highlights:

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

Barcelona, February 2019.

From BSA:

“This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first ‘No Borders Festival.’

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art, and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

‘Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.’

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.”

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Andreco: Reclaiming Air and Water for Delhi, India “Climate 05”

New Delhi, March 2019.

From BSA:

An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco

“And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.

The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate Art Project, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water’.”

Andreco. Climate Art Project. In collaboration with St+ART India Foundation. Delhi, India. March 2019. (photo Akshat Nauriyal)

“Post-Posters” Puncture Public Discourse in Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, May 2019.

From BSA:

” ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,’ says a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who will argue with that?

Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the world to do the same.

Over a two month period the creative place-makers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel. “

John Fekner . Carole Douillard. Post-Posters Project. Strasbourg, France. April 2019. (photo courtesy of Syndicat Potentiel)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: When the Lion Roars Back, a small overview

Brooklyn, NY. July 2019.

From BSA:

“By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.

After all, it belongs to the public.

“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.

Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.”

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama Tells “Stories From Ground Zero”

Church Rock, New Mexico. August 2019.

From BSA:

“This spill and these events did not happen in San Diego or Palm Beach. The story doesn’t affect wealthy white families and cannot be used to sell shampoo or real estate. That’s probably why we don’t see it in the press and never on the talking-head news. Street Artist Jetsonorama is not only a photographer who has been wheat-pasting his stunning images of people and nature on desert buildings for over a decade, he is also a doctor on the Navajo reservation, a human-rights activist, and an erudite scholar of American history as it pertains to the poisoning of this land and these people. Today we’re pleased to bring you this long-form examination from Jetsonorama’s perspective on a complicated and tragic US story of environmental poisoning and blight that affects generations of native peoples, miners, military personnel, and everyday people – and has no end in sight.

Most alarming is the news the current White House administration is endeavoring to mine uranium here again.

‘Private companies hired thousands of Navajo men to work the uranium mines and disregarded recommendations to protect miners and mill workers. In 1950 the U.S. Public Health Service began a human testing experiment on Navajo miners without their informed consent during the federal government’s study of the long-term health effects from radiation poisoning.  This study followed the same violation of human rights protocol as the US Public Health Service study on the long-term effects of syphilis on humans by experimenting on non-consenting African American men in what is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment from 1932 – 1972.’ ~ Jetsonorama”

JC with her younger sister, Gracie (who is a NBCS participant).  (photo © Jetsonorama)

BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

Sumatra, Indonesia. September 2019.

From BSA:

“As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

‘The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the world’s most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.’  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.

Read more
Top 10 Videos On “BSA Film Friday” From 2019

Top 10 Videos On “BSA Film Friday” From 2019

The videos that we present every week on BSA Film Friday give us as much inspiration as they do our readers, and we are honored to see the progression of artists and directors as they continue to capture, document, and share their skills, techniques, and stories. This year we have seen a continued professional quality, a widened scope, a desire to connect with an audience perhaps in a way that we haven’t seen before. Each of these videos, whether completed in-studio or shot by hand on a phone, touched you- and the numbers of clicks and re-shares tell us the story. Or many of them.



No. 10

INTI / “PRIMAVERA INSURRECTA”, Spring Insurrection

From BSA Film Friday 11.29.19

From vandalizing public sculptures to handmade signs to waving banners, banging oil drums and pots and pans, lighting fires, chanting, and dancing in the streets – these are the insistent voices and perspectives coursing through streets in cities around the world, including these scenes from Chile last month. In one of the tales of people’s victory, these marches and mobilizations of citizens pushing for their rights and fighting state overreach actually worked this month and Chile’s protesters have won a path to a new constitution.

During the demonstrations Chilean Street Artist INTI was at work outside in Santiago as well, adding to the public discourse, with his new work entitled “Dignity!” It was a spring insurrection, now culminating in an autumn victory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_-5wdutumQ

No. 09

Icy & Sot: Giving Plants. Film By Doug Gillen/FWTV

From: Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.

People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.

While they have traveled around many international cities in the last five years creating site-specific interventions that contemplate issues of immigration, environmental degradation, and endangered species, the artists felt that the gravity of this place merited something more than just an art installation.

Working with a group called Movement on the Ground and with Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV in tow, the two helped build raised gardens and planted vegetables, in addition to handing out many potted plants. Today we have images of persons in the camp from Icy & Sot along with the new video, one of Doug’s best.


No. 08

Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind

From BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.


No. 07

Bordalo II “A Life of Waste”

From BSA Film Friday 08.09.19

Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan

Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really care for the others up here.

Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”


No. 06

“Perpetual Flow” by Jorge Gerada in Morocco

From BSA Film Friday 01.04.19

Land artist Jorge Gerada mounts a large project in Ouarzazate, Morocco that extends over 37,500 meters in this commissioned job for a coffee brand calendar. Using rakes, stones, dark gravel, and vegetable oil, a scene of two hands under running water is created.


No. 05

Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing

From BSA Film Friday 08.16.19

In a collaborative gallery space or at a barbecue on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin’s calligraffiti writers and artists are showing off the attitude and exactitude of the city as well as the evolution of this art form.

Hosted by Theosone at the “Scriptorium Berlin” and curated by Makearte, a  small selection of scientists artists are convened at the Letters Temple where artists create an exhibition with lucid and ornate letter skillz. Later on Devil’s Mountain (Tefelsberg) they paint together for the first time.

Artists include Theosone, Stohead, Warios, Naok Write, Jan Koke Parisurteil, Scon, Alpha Skao, Belloskoni, YAT, Drury Brennan, CRBZ, Schriftzug, Reano Feros, Paindesign, Alot, Bello, Cay Miles, Naok Write, Scon, Schriftzug, Parisurteil, CRBZ, Reano Feros, YAT.

The sound and editing are sharply done by Abstract Monollog with a certain finesse as well.


No. 04

Paradox and CPT. OLF and Daredevilry in Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 11.01.19

In the videos featuring daredevilry, parkour and graffiti the Lengua Drona has been adding words to our visual vocabulary that were once reserved for extreme sporting, National Geographic docs, Crocodile Dundee and James Bond.

Now the pixação writer and urban climber, Paradox releases unprecedented adventure footage and editing from photographer CPT. Olf, and its sending shockwaves.

Somehow this is a new way to synthesize wall-climbing and train surfing; positioning it as a visual and audio symphony that almost makes you forget that these are graffiti vandals “fucking the system”, pushing their limits – and yours.

As you thrill to these evolving genre-combining aspects of Oleg Cricket, 1Up Crew, Berlin Kidz, and Ang Lee, it’s important to realize that these are real risks that people take that could result in serious injury, death, and rivers of grief if a miscalculation happens. So, yeah, we’re not endorsing the irresponsible risks or a mounting “arms race” of stunts, but we are endorsing the athleticism, imagination, and sheer slickness of this FPV drone mastery, which appears to have taken this stuff up another level.

Hold tight.


No. 03

Gross Domestic Product – Banksy

From BSA Film Friday 10.04.19

The doublespeak of Banksy very effectively demanded a whirlwind of media attention in the art/Street Art world once again this week. The anti-capitalist launched a full street-side exhibition while his personal/anonymous brand benefitted by the new record auction price of 9.9 million pounds with fees for one of his works depicting a “Devolved Parliament” full of apes – precisely during the height of inpending Brexit hysteria

No. 02

Ella & Pitr “Heavy Sleepers”

From BSA Film Friday 01.11.19

A culmination of five years of murals visible from planes, French duo Ella & Pitr nudge you awake on a sleepy Friday to say “Thank you  for being part of this story!” You didn’t even realize that you were a part of it, did you? In a way, you can see your own reflection somewhere here.

Their sleeping giants have appeared in cities around the world, often too big even for the massive rooftops they are crammed uncomfortably atop. With a true knack for childhood wonder and illustration, perhaps because they have a couple of them at home for inspiration, Ella & Pitr bring the petite rebel spirit to these characters; imperfect specimens with stylistic idiosyncrasies and sometimes ornery personalities.

In the end, they were all “heavy sleepers” resting temporarily, as is often the case with (sub)urban interventions variously referred to as Street Art, public art, land art, pavement art…  Make sure you stay for the end of this video that comprised most of the giants.


No. 01

Graffiti Jam in San Francisquito, Queretaro with Martha Cooper

From: A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.

With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.

It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population.

Many universities, lower wages, and an easier regulatory environment have brought the big companies here as well as the fact that the city boasts an attractive protected historical area that was declared a World UNESCO zone. Now they have a subway, at least a temporary painted one.

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BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

Greece, Mexico, Poland, Detroit, Brooklyn, Tennesee, Texas, Asbury Park in New Jersey. Your favorite BSA stories were not limited to geography. Aerosol, wheat-paste, yarn, soldered steel, cut stencils, rollers, photography, even plants; Nor were they contained by technique or materials.

Giving live plants away in a refugee camp, queer pride phone booth takeovers, a floriculture bus stop, a windswept installation constantly in motion at a seaside resort. We paid homage to foundational documentarians of graffiti and Street Art culture, watched an early 1980s French stencil originator travel through the US south, and provided a platform for one of New York’s most elusive writers who blasted apart definitions with his texts and sculpture – all while keeping his own profile on the serious DL.

The creative spirit appears wherever we look on the street, and luckily you love to observe and learn and get inspired by other’s work as much as we do.

Based on the traffic to the website, on social media, and in our email box, here are the top 10 stories that you loved the most in 2019 on BSA.


No. 10

The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer”

The Dusty Rebel. Hope Will Never Be Silent. In collaboration with #KeepFighting (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Who writes your history? Who would gladly suppress it?


By reviving and celebrating those who the mainstream historically underplays, undercuts, neatly overlooks, and otherwise de facto silences, a new takeover campaign on NY streets helps write the history of LGBTQ struggle, and keeps it just as relevant as this moment.

Photographer and journalist The Dusty Rebel now curates the same streets he documents and shares with BSA readers today his determined campaign to revive, preserve, propel forward the significant players and events that have fought in their myriad ways, with the admonishment to keep fighting. With “Resistance is Queer” he uses his images and his respect for LGBTQ history to ensure that the full spectrum of people are recognized for their contributions to this civil rights struggle for equality.

We’re grateful that he has taken the time to explain in detail the people behind the images and their significance to him personally as well as their role in a people’s history.


The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer” Phone Booth Campaign in NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

Blek Le Rat Tours the US South

Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)

From BSA:

Tennessee and Texas Sample a Certain Street Savoir Faire

Look out for Le Rat!

He’s getting up in places down south that you wouldn’t normally associate with a French Street Artist, much less the one who started stenciling in a style and manner unusual on Paris walls in ’81 – an antecedent for much of what we later would call ‘Street Art”. 


Blek le Rat Tours The US South continue reading HERE


No. 8

“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“Martha Cooper isn’t only a photographer, she’s a historian as well and you are here with us today to pay homage to her work. Martha is my teacher and she taught me more than graffiti, she’s taught me the way in which we live with art every day. When we see a piece of art on the street we bring it into our daily lives. That’s precisely Martha’s contribution to our lives”

Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.

Under the magical spell of the Jacarandas in full bloom, a spirit of Pax Urbana flowed through Queretaro’s lush public park Alameda Central this weekend as dignitaries from the city, including the honorable Andrea Avendaño, the Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro, and the Nueve Arte Urbano team hosted the opening of an outdoor exhibition by famed photographer Martha Cooper.

The 101 photographs spanning four decades were enlarged and mounted in weather resistant vinyl throughout the park, representing the full range of Ms. Cooper’s continued focus on art in the streets.


Evolucion De Una Revolucion continue reading HERE


No. 7

Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

From BSA:

Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.

People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.

With a goal of softening the hardship for people living here, Icy and Sot raised money through a print sale online and with the proceeds purchased fresh flowering plants to give away. “It was wonderful to see that actually put a smile on peoples’ faces for a moment,” they say in a press release.


Icy & Sot: Giving Plants And New Life To Refugees In Grece continue reading HERE


No. 6

“Martha: A Picture Story”. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

Selina Miles & Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

From BSA:

First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.


Martha A Picture Story. Shots From The Premiere And Movie Review continue reading HERE


No. 5

Riding the Rails in the Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977 – 1987”

Henry Chalfant. HENRY CHALFANT: ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977 – 1987. The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The Bronx, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“We may have lost the trains, but we’ve gained the whole world.”

That’s a quote on the wall in the new exhibition at the Bronx Museum spotlighting the work of Henry Chalfant. The quote comes from Mare 139, one of the early graffiti writers of 1970s-80s trains in New York, referring to the now-scrubbed subway cars that once functioned as a mobile gallery for the young masters of cans throughout a metropolis that was in the grips of financial and social upheaval. Thanks to the work of artists and documentarians like Mr. Chalfant, the ephemeral works were captured, cared for, preserved, and spread throughout the world in the intervening years, in some ways helping to spawn a global interest and practice among burgeoning artists.


Riding The Rails in The Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art VS. Transit 1977 -1987 continue reading HERE


No. 4

F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva

REVS. Weld Up in DUMBO, 2000. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“Graffiti ain’t something you do, it’s something you live,” says the text above a wildly lettered REVS piece in a 1996 photo taken in El Paso. If there is a New York graffiti/Street Art icon that you would identify with a credo like this, he’s definitely one. Self-secreted away from the limelight and distrustful of many of the characters that are on the graffiti/Street Art “scene” today, REVS is nearly a New York folk hero, despite appearing to be completely firm in his anti-establishment, anti-commercial views – rooted in punk and hardcore music and those values that helped form his sometimes shape-shifting character since the the 1980s.

REVLON, REVS, SHIESTA, AVENGE, FUCKING REVS, REVS SOUP, REVS NUKE…


F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA By Freddy Alva continue reading HERE


No. 3

“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

From BSA:

As we move further from graffiti and mark-making in public art-making, is it a revelation that the desire to be seen, to have your voice heard, is the common denominator again, regardless of the form of expression.

In this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin, transparently.

Like a mix master, the artist here samples someone else’s handiwork and remixes it, adding a filter, chopping it up and repeating it.


Nostalgia Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Lodz, Poland continue reading HERE

No. 2

Banksy X Mercedes: Is This a Parody??

From BSA:

Yes, of course.

This artists’ interpretation of a car ad that features Banksy’s work is a parody, a farce. No one would try to take one of Banksy’s Street Art pieces to help sell their luxury cars, claiming that his work is in public domain and therefore fair game for any use.

Similarly, if it was a mural on the street by Brooklyn Street Artist KAWS, whose fine art canvas sold at auction this week for $14.7 million dollars at Sothebys Hong Kong, Mercedes wouldn’t simply grab it and run the art behind their newest off-roader on Instagram to infer that “Urban” edginess.

Or would they?

“And now they have filed a lawsuit against me trying to strip away all of my rights. I feel like I am being bullied and intimidated,” says graffiti/street artist artist Daniel Bombardier (a/k.a DENIAL) in a statement regarding the luxury brand that is instead suing him along with three other artists, apparently for having the temerity to demand to be paid, according to an article by James David Dickson in The Detroit News .

Bombardier’s mural and the artworks of the other artists – James Lewis (a.k.a. Olayami Dabls), Jeff Soto, and Maxx Gramajo appeared in published advertisements for the company’s cars, apparently without permission. The artists hired a lawyer to contact the carmaker to seek redress, according to news reports, social media postings, and emails that fairly flooded us yesterday.


Banksy x Mercedez: Is This a Parody? Continue reading HERE


No. 1

Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation in Asbury Park

Hot Tea. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. May 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

They designed the Ritz, the Vanderbilt, the Ambassador and the Biltmore hotels in Manhattan, along with townhouses for the Astors, the Yacht Club, and apartment buildings on 5th Ave and Park.

They were also architects on the team for Grand Central Terminal, that Beaux-Arts centerpiece of Gotham with its high marble walls, majestic sculptures, and lofty domed ceiling.

Also, Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore designed the Casino Building here in Asbury Park, New Jersey a celebrated historical magnet for thousands of tourists escaping the heat and seeking buffeting breezes. The soaring glass paned windows may remind you of Grand Central, but also of that illustrated postcard on the cover of the Bruce Springsteen album, and of colorful resort town living.

You’ll also see 5,760 pieces of colored yarn hanging from the beams above, forming a shape-shifting brick of radiating color that appears to levitate. The brand new installation by Street Artist Hot Tea is lifted and pulled and choreographed by the ocean air, dancing to the sounds of waves crashing, emulating the currents of the sea. 17 rows define the physical boundaries, but your imagination can go much further with it in a matter of minutes.


Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation at Asbury Park HERE


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