All posts tagged: BLO

Said Dokins & Lapiztola : Gentrification in Mexico City’s La Merced Market

Said Dokins & Lapiztola : Gentrification in Mexico City’s La Merced Market

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

The writing is on the wall. Can you read what it says?

 

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

“Social Cleansing” is a term used by Said Dokins and Lapiztola when describing the process of a gentrifying neighborhood in Mexico City where the enormous and historical public market called La Merced Market is now gradually disappearing, taking the people who made it possible with it.

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

Their new piece looks at the destroying of a native culture by the forces of development that feed on its unique energy and character to sell real estate and investment opportunity but in the process negate its very authorship, its right to its formidable historical place in community.

Their new wall contains the messages from Said Dokins within his particular calligraffiti style that is both communication and ornamentation. The composition also features a stencil from Lapiztola of the face of a girl, perhaps from Oaxaca, where her dress would be typical.

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

The states of Oaxaca and Chiapis have provided the life of La Merced for many decades – the market itself a jewel and historical institution in this neighborhood that has hosted commercial activities for more than five centuries.

“This mural was made within the project called WallDialogue2, which took place in a parking lot where several vendors from La Merced Market pass through everyday,” say the organizers of the program that took place January 20-22.

“The intentions of this project were to generate a discussion site focused on the relation between urban art and gentrification processes.”

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

Appropriately, we have a poem written by Natalia Saucedo when she was 12 and a girl from this community of the market.

My MERCED (Fragment)

Alert in my heart the market that saw me grow up
Cruelly falls little by little
My life runs here
I can’t let it go.

From here I hear the noise of machines
Little by little
My market destroyed

Ladies and gentlemen, without a job have been left

Be strong
Those who love the market crying inside,
Smiling outside

Withered heart
Traveling hope.

~ Natalia Saucedo

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

Lapiztola & Said Dokins. Del Barrio / Mi Merced Mexico City. 2017. (photo © Leonardo Luna)

 

WALL DIALOGUE 2 – Nuestro Barrio Wall Painting Jam
ATEA Topacio 25, Centro Histórico, Mexico City
January 20 – 22
Featured Artists: Billy, Blo, Johannes Mundinger, La Piztola, Libre, Mernywernz, Nelio, Pao Delfin, Said Dokins 

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BSA Film Friday: 05.02.14

BSA Film Friday: 05.02.14

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

Now screening :

1. Da Mental Vaporz and ‘The Wall’
2. YZ – Lost in the City
3. NYCHOS: Pen and Paper
4. Stealing Banksy
5. E1000 x Pablo Herrero at Memorie Urbane 2014

BSA Special Feature: Da Mental Vaporz and ‘The Wall’

To mark their new show that opened this week at BC Gallery, the 10 member France-based collective known as “Da Mental Vaporz” release this panoply of inventive and tight wall work and, as it turns out, canvasses. It is reassuring to see original thinking and solid skills still can win the day, and good to see artists sticking together to make great collaborations.

Included are Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Iso, Dran, Kan, Lek, Gris1, Jaw and Sowat.

“The works of these artists can speak for themselves independently, differentiating from each other mostly in medium as in style and technique that which as soon as they are shown in a common context, creates an extraordinarily interesting and thrilling relationship. As can be deduced from the name ‘Da Mental Vaporz’, which, translated, means “The Vapors of the Psyche” it is for the artists a matter of concern to make the observer aware of the abyss of the personal psyche.” – from the description on Vimeo.

 

YZ – Lost in the City

YZ takes us on a trip through her city and invites us to get lost with her. For those non-French speakers, it is still a rewarding discovery that comes two thirds of the way through the small film that features jazz rhythms that wend you through the avenues of Paris, the suburban streets and into her studio.

 

NYCHOS: Pen and Paper

“All of my family – my dad, my grandpa, they all are hunters,” says Nychos at the picnic table as he explains his fascination for slicing apart animals and allowing us to see what organs and systems are arranged within. While listening to heavy metal you learn that Nychos was elated when he discovered his love of depicting dissection in graphic detail. He said, “Okay this is something I can stick to and go crazy on it.” May we all be so fortunate to find that thing too.

 

Stealing Banksy

“It’s like looking at a collection of hunting trophies severed from their natural environment,” our narrator intones, “stuffed into frames and soon to be seen by the privileged few”. Fair enough, you say, as long as I’m one of them. Wendy Hurrell says in her description of her new documentary “Stealing Banksy”, that she has been following Banksy’s work for a decade or more, and “it has been my privilege to wallow through the moral dilemma that is taking his works from the streets, legally and selling them for charity – never to be seen by the masses again.”

 

E1000 x Pablo Herrero at Memorie Urbane

The Blind Eye Factory shot this very large mural painted on the wall of a cemetary for the 2014 Memorie Urbane Street Srt festival in Gaeta, Italy

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Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

Unbridled Berlin Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

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Berliners are hard to crack, they say, but probably not for New Yorkers. We “get” them because of their no-nonsense frankness, sometimes sharp tongues, and because their “creative types” are unhinged in a way that New Yorkers have been historically.

When it comes to the volume and variety of art that is being loosed in Berlin these days, they are setting some standards that many are still catching up with. Right now when you look at the freewheeling expression that bolted out from a broken wall more than 20 years ago and never looked back, you realize that Street Artists in Berlin are not hard to crack, they may simply be a little bit cracked.

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

In the third city of our series this week for Spencer Elzey’s residency on BSA, we visit Berlin, which some argue is the preeminent scene for urban art right now. It does appear to have a perfect mix for vibrant arts growth – a creatively permissive atmosphere and affordable lifestyle prevails in this city of design. And while uncommissioned public art is not legal, it is also not verboten.

The kids may come for the music and the art collectives and the dance parties, but they stay for the aerosol and the expressive faces and figures that accompany you while you walk. So far, people seem happy to let this arts scene continue to evolve and not surprisingly, tourists are magnetically drawn to it.

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Victor Ash (photo © Spencer Elzey)

As you walk through certain neighborhoods you may prepare to have your pre-conventions subverted and inverted. Awash with a decade plus of unbridled art, the scale, style, influences, and techniques of pop, illustration, and graffiti are all truly playing with each other.

Where a large spate of legal mural work has monopolized creative energies of many Street Artists in New York recently, some players have commented that the content is being tamed and neutered and the resulting scene is less risk-oriented stylistically. As you look at the work Elzey found in Berlin, you are reminded what it looks like when art laborers don’t have to self-censor or look over their shoulder. Also, it is still affordable for artists. Oh, wait, did we already mention that?

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Robi The Dog (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Out of the cities I visited the one that contrasted the most with NY was Berlin. It felt like a beautiful lawlessness with graffiti and rollers everywhere,” says Elzey as he tries to put his finger on the attitude of exploration and discovery that floods large areas of the city.

“Berlin by far had the most graffiti and Street Art in its most raw and authentic form, which is how I think it should really be experienced. It felt more free and genuine. Besides RAW and Urban Spree, which are commissioned areas, Berlin felt like a giant playground. There was graffiti and rollers everywhere and lots of abandoned factories to explore and have fun in.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Berlin has been an international draw for artists and arts institutions for the last decade at least and many of the Street Art world make sure to head here at least once, sometimes staying months and couch surfing and partying an staying out all night.  Since the graffiti scene and the Street Art scene are not so polarized in the minds of people here there is also a freedom to experiment without fear of upsetting your peer group.

Luckily for BSA, local Street Artists Various & Gould were very hospitable and more than helpful and willing to tour Spencer around some of the hot spots and to give him some background on the Berlin streets. “Meeting someone you admire, be it an artist, musician, or actor, is always a special experience,” he says about being with V&G, “It feels a little different when that person is a Street Artist, or at least it does to me. The fact that part of their job means that they do illegal things, being trusted enough to be welcomed into their inner circle has deeper meaning.”

 

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Blu. Detail. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

So he was in good hands with these two who have deep roots with the artist community and who frequently challenge themselves to look at their own work with new eyes – and to find new ways to engage with passersby with their art and a bit of theater. “In the case of Various & Gould in Berlin and C215 in Vitry I was able to meet these artists on their own turf. They showed me some of their new work in their studios and then toured me around the neighborhoods that they know best,” he recalls with some delight.

“While seeing art on the streets is one thing, getting the first hand history behind it makes it more meaningful,” he says. “You get more history and depth that way.”

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

How long Berlin will continue to be a petrie dish for experimentation and discovery? Forever. Just kidding. But for the moment this ephemeral art movement is fiercely alive and more independent than many cities. Artists have always made life a bit of a moveable feast. Today its Berlin, tomorrow it could be Mexico City, or Lima, who knows?

“I think I would recommend it if you were a younger artist who was trying to break into the game and establish a name for yourself,” says Elzey.

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blu (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Alaniz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Herakut (photo © Spencer Elzey)

 

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Various & Gould (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Os Gemeos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nunca (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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JR (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Cooked (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vhils (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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MTO gives Alias a shout out. (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klone (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Neurotitan (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Vidan The Weird (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Tafe (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Reaktor and Paulo Ito (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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G (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Inti (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Ema Jones (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Klub 7 (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Broken Fingaz (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Blek le Rat (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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BLO (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Maclaim (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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ROA (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Otto Schade (photo © Spencer Elzey)

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Nychos (photo © Spencer Elzey)

Our sincere thanks to Various & Gould for their hospitality and time.

 

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What’s Up in Berlin: New Shots from Gilf!

The walls of Berlin are so slammed with graffiti and Street Art that artists and writers have no choice but to go over each other. While Germany (and France for that matter) have foresworn the laissez-faire approach of unregulated economics that led to the financial collapse, Berlin’s approach to graffiti and Street Art here is still relaxed.

Roa, Alec, Blec, Buve. (photo © Gilf!)

Since the fall of the wall nearly a quarter century ago, the sense of liberation is still exploding on a cellular level throughout Berlin’s creative scene; a pent-up energy of free expression that has given the city a truly magnetic quality which draws artists from around the globe. Each visitor seems energized by their experience here where artists continue to seed, germinate and grow a dynamic scene that continues to take surprising shape. As of yet, it hasn’t been capitalized on entirely, but you can be sure that it will be one day very soon, if the pattern of other artist-led movements in cities of the Western world are indicators.

Victorash Astronaut (photo © Gilf!)

“The walls of Berlin are heavy with an exclusive cultural history. A city once divided, now converges into a thriving epicenter of artistic expression,” says New York Street Artist Gilf!, who just got back from this place of relative artistic freedom.  Even as she toured the blanketed walls she says she knows that it is a temporary condition, and wonders if the “the rattle of spray cans” will fall silent one day. Today on BSA we have exclusive insights and photos of the scene from her perspective as a New Yorker in the early twenty-teens.

Artist Unknown (photo © Gilf!)

“Layers upon layers of spray paint, wheatpastes, murals, and installations make this metropolis a street art mecca. The energy is contagious, inspiring, and thought provoking. When discussing art, often times people compare modern day Berlin to New York in the nineteen eighties: expressive, prolific, and all-encompassing.” – Gilf!

Evol miniature bombed building. (photo © Gilf!)

“The extreme censorship of decades past, contrasting with the current overwhelming display of personal expression on the walls of Mitte, Kruezberg and many other neighborhoods became my internal obsession as I walked the streets.  As this art form becomes more and more censored in US cities like New York and Chicago, I can’t help but draw a reverse parallel with Berlin.” – Gilf!

Gilf! “Malala” (photo © Gilf!)

“The above piece in reference to Malala Yousufzai, the 15 year old girl in Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting women/girls education. She was transferred to a hospital in the UK, where she was recently released. The QR code next to her sends the viewer to a BBC news page that explains her ordeal”

“I am trying to educate people with this piece. It’s funny how the Arabic really scares people, like it’s some sort of terrorist threat. Even with the translation “knowledge is the deadliest weapon” written in English on her body- it’s not enough to keep this piece up in certain places. People fascinate me. It’s almost subconscious, that choice of ignorant disregard for other cultures, hate is a strong word, but it feels like that sometimes.”-Gilf

Bananensprayer (photo © Gilf!)

Os Gemeos (photo © Gilf!)

Sheep 2 (photo © Gilf!)

Stik (photo © Gilf!)

Artist Unknown (photo © Gilf!)

Cake, El Bocho, Dscreet (photo © Gilf!)

Cake (photo © Gilf!)

Artist Unknown (photo © Gilf!)

Plotbot (Ken) at Tacheles. (photo © Gilf!)

DOLK (photo © Gilf!)

INTER . TANK! (photo © Gilf!)

BLO (photo © Gilf!)

Dede (photo © Gilf!)

Artist Unknown (photo © Gilf!)

Magnet Alley (photo © Gilf!)

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