All posts tagged: Blu

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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

Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

“Street Art Tourism” Is Capturing More Attention

Eco-tourism is so popular for vacation travelers right now. You know, treading light and your carbon footprint and all that. Then there is Plastic Surgery Tourism for those whose nose is slightly twisted or who otherwise feel your personal epidermal brand could use a “refresh”. For half the price of back home why not travel to a fashionable cosmetic surgery destination and you won’t have to worry about someone seeing you buying brie at Balducci’s with a bandaged beak.

Liposucation anyone?

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Erica Il Cane (photo © Stephen Kelley)

In the wake of the global growth of interest in art in the streets, one form of tourism that may soon be blowing up could be graffiti excursions, street art sightseeing, or even mural journeying. New York has been a magnet for years for aerosol artists calling us to help them hit up walls while they are on “spraycation”, but this is just the opposite.

You may wish to plan your trip abroad hunting the elusive wheat-pastes, stencils, fill-ins, hoping to capture an exotic local throwie. And why not take a few selfies with your favorite works by Street Artists that you only previously saw on Instagram?

Street Art photographer Stephen Kelley went on his own art safari last month in Lisbon, Portugal with his fiancé and he checked out a lot of the work that has been organized during the past couple of years by the internationally known local VHILS and some of his friends in a project entitled Underdogs.

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Os Gemeos . Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Underdogs is an international working platform based in Lisbon, Portugal that aims at creating space within the contemporary art scene for artists connected with the new languages of urban visual culture,” say the organizers, and they have curated a program of some large-scale pieces around the city in an intelligently grand and contextual manner that makes them seem like the installations have been there for decades, not a handful of years. Urban or contemporary, it has serious fans.

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Os Gemeos . Blu. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Today Mr. Kelley shares with BSA some of the shots he got during a relatively short trip to Lisbon, along with some of his experiences and observations.

“In preparing for the trip we used the Underdogs project as one of the references for the map,” he says. “I was able to convince my travelling partner and fiancé to rent an apartment in the Bairro Alto area. This was a good central point for the spots I wanted to hit. We were only in town for 3 days so I had to balance your standard tourist locations with my off-the-beaten-path art spots.  She appreciates the work and is incredibly patient but I can only get away with dragging her into so many back alleys and train tracks.”

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Os Gemeos . Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“Immediately after leaving the airport the taxi unintentionally drove us by a block-long Os Gemeos, Blu, Sam3, Ericailane, and Lucy Mclauchlan mural.  We told the taxi driver that I was in town to shoot art in the streets and in buildings.  He mentioned I should check out this street where a group of artists painted a series of murals about the local government administration.  I put that on the list,” says Kelley.

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Lucy McLauchlan . M-Chat (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Sam3 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“We decided to take a taxi to the area where I had located some C215 work.  The taxi driver asked why we were going to that location/area,” says Kelley. “Once we arrived at the location I brought him with us to show him the art.  He was incredibly impressed with the C215 mural I showed him and said he’d bring driving in town for 25 years and had never been on that street or never seen the artwork.”

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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C215 (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Skran01 . Tape (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“One evening in town we took a ferry over to Almada with a great view of the 25 de Abril Bridge (the same architect who designed the Golden Gate Bridge),” says Stephen. ” You can walk up the coast toward the bridge and there are two quaint eateries that make for a perfect sunset meal or drink.  The waterfront is covered with graffiti and is a good representation of the art in the area.”

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PISD (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Yesh (photo © Stephen Kelley)

As with any vacation, planning your means of transportation is key – and Kelley and his girl realized Lisbon is not quite as pedestrian friendly as other cities, mainly because of the topography. “One of the first spots we hit was the harbor area for the Pixel Pancho and Vhils collaborations. After that, with intentions to continue to explore, we had our first encounter with the hills of Portugal,” he says. “The taxi driver had reminded us that Portugal is the city of seven hills. He was not kidding, walking the streets of Lisbon is no joke and a workout and a half.  We quickly realized public transit or taxi was the best way to see Lisbon.”

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho masterful collaboration. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Pixel Pancho (photo © Stephen Kelley)

Like most tourists on vacation, the events that make the most impact may be the unplanned surprises, like actually seeing work in progress. Stephen explains, “One day we started to head toward the Belem Tower and a How Nosm mural. On the way we ran into Vhil’s in progress working on a water tower outside the World Photo Press exhibition at the Museu da Electricidade.  I tried to wait for more action shots but he was taking a break and I couldn’t wait.”

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Vhils work in progress. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils work in progress. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Crono collaboration. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Vhils and Crono. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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How & Nosm (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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How & Nosm. Detail. (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Gregos (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Copy Art © (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

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Artist Uknown (photo © Stephen Kelley)

“I also recommend taking a trip up to the castles in Sintra.  It’s a 30-minute train ride from the center of Lisbon.  The castles are breathtaking and shouldn’t be missed.  Sintra was one of the highlights of the entire stay.  The train ride also gave me an opportunity to see all the trackside graffiti that is quite common in Europe.  The highway and train graffiti are very common, which was much different than what I am accustomed to in the US,” says Kelley.

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Dope (photo © Stephen Kelley)

 

 

 

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

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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Sixe Paredes ‘Futurismo Ancestral’ Opens at Somerset House in London

Sixe Paredes ‘Futurismo Ancestral’ Opens at Somerset House in London

Starting today, for one week only, the Andes will be inside the Somerset House.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

London’s spectacular neo-classical home of arts and culture along the River Thames will play host to an all-encompassing exhibition experience mounted by the Barcelona-born graffiti artist Six Paredes in his tribute to Peruvian and Andean culture. Futurismo Ancestral: An Offering to Peru by Sixe Paredes has been inspired by the traditional and the modern, and aims to meld the two together surreally, and really.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

For weeks we have been seeing the progress of a loosely banded consortium of brother street artists laying plans and constructing exhibition elements beneath the fountained public courtyard. Today the public can experience a series of walkways leading to large-scale and smaller works evoking the rich color and symbols of the region; tapestries, totem sculptures, ceramics and quipus (a system of knotted cords known as ‘talking knots’), masks and fluorescent chichas (posters).

“We are taking over three spaces at Somerset House, essentially the whole of the lower floor of the building,” explains Rafael Schacter of A(by)P, an organization that enables artists to produce events and exhibit work and who organized the installation with his partners and the Somerset House. Built and installed by a “dream team” of urban and street artists and students from University College London, where Schacter teaches, the exhibition is complemented with daily interactive events including Peruvian and Andean food, music, film, and performance.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

Futurismo Ancestral is born from the travels of Sixe Paredes to Peru beginning in 2009 and his adoration of the richness he experienced in the culture compelled him to bring it back to share. One of the six street artists featured on the river façade of the Tate Modern six years ago along with Faile, JR, Blu, Os Gemeos, and Nunca for it’s pivotal street art exhibition, Six Paredes completed his most recent large scale wall just last month at the Biennale D’Art Urbain in Charleroi, Belgium.  Schacter, who co-curated the Street Art expo at that Tate show and who authored The World Atlas of Street Art & Graffiti with Yale in 2013, says that this return is Paredes first major solo show in the UK .

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

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Sixe Paredes spotting the future on the horizon. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

During the preparation for this much anticipated and lively show, BSA had the opportunity to speak with both Six Paredes and Rafael Schacter about the origins, inspirations, and preparations for Futurismo Ancestral.

Brooklyn Street Art: After touring Peru and being exposed to such eye-popping color, isn’t it surprising to be in such a grey northern city like London?
Sixe Paredes: It was not surprising for me to come here and find myself in a grey city because this color predominates in so many cities in Europe and so many European cities prohibit murals and even have specialized brigades set up to clean and remove color. Throughout my journey in different regions of Peru I’ve seen a lot of color but color can be found in all the different cultures of the world, when they maintain their primordial essence.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Sandra Butterfly)

Brooklyn Street Art: Rafael, can you tell us about Futurismo Ancestral and how it came about?
Rafael Schacter: Futurismo Ancestral is all about the connection between the traditional and the contemporary, the fusion of the Peruvian visual culture and craft tradition with the visual palette so unique to Sixe Paredes himself. Since I last worked with Sixe in the UK, he has been living in between Peru and his hometown of Barcelona, he has become obsessed with the visual culture of the region and has learned the techniques of ceramic and textile production with famous artisans and artists throughout the region. This exhibition is about bringing together the deep history and heritage of Peruvian visual culture, and his love for this tradition with his unique, colorful, distinct style in an all embracing, multifaceted manner.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sixe Paredes, you have already been incorporating a certain minimalism into your aesthetics over the past ten years. Is it difficult to merge that understated quality with the vibrant enthusiasm of Peruvian and Andean folk?
Sixe Paredes: My art has always been characterized by the agglomeration of shapes and colors. Throughout different periods I started introducing more elements, such as the circuits, which led my paintings towards another dimension – this dimension enhanced my painting, allowing for other interpretations of my work. In recent years I have been synthesizing some of my series. I like to play with this idea because it leaves more room for reflection and I don’t need as many elements to express myself. Some of these elements are iconic to my work, such as crests or beaks which have always been in my compositions and can be found there today.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

Brooklyn Street Art: The work here is simultaneously modern and folk – with the bold colors and raw patterning and symbols combined with a certain minimalism. Rafael, can you walk us through the spaces in a way that helps translate this convivial duality in an exhibition space.
Rafael Schacter: Somerset House is really an amazing location for us to be working in, we are both proud and excited to be working here! After you have exited our introductory area, our visitors will go outside into the Lighwells, an amazing outside space which has been used for films such as Sherlock Holmes among others; within this arched space, we have built a series of 3 meter high trapezoidal arches – shapes which are highly significant in Inca culture. Acting as a rite of passage, as a journey from one sacred space to another, visitors well make their way into what is called the Deadhouse, an underground catacomb which exists directly below the famous Somerset House courtyard. This space, aptly, will function as a sacred temple space, within which Sixe’s ceramics, quipus and tapestries will be housed.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Rafa Suñen)

Brooklyn Street Art: Not only are the color palettes from the traditional Peruvian culture warm, so too are the materials. Can you talk about the warmer, more earthen properties of wood, of yarn, and hand made masks – and how they affect your work?
Sixe Paredes: Peru has had a considerable influence on my painting palette, bringing more color to it and motivating me to use new mediums, materials and techniques, some of which have endured since ancient times. I always wanted to move towards a new path, a more ancestral path, revalidating primal techniques through a contemporary perspective.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have a stellar group supporting this one week event – some of these folks have had big shows of their own so it’s good to see them supporting another artist.
Rafael Schacter: One of the key things about A(by)P is that we want to be for artists by artists. We don’t want to simply get in a bunch of contractors to assist in bringing the project to life but want rather to recreate the group dynamic and energy that is so crucial to these artists’ worlds. As such, for every project, we want to bring the artist’s family together to help bring it to life; in that way, the creative juices and creative possibilities can flow in a much more organic manner. And not only that, but all these artists on the team are people who we will  continue to work with in the future on solo shows of their own.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

For Sixe’s show for example, we really have got a dream team working together, a group who like you say are all artists of massive acclaim themselves. Both Eltono and Nano4814 are two of my favourite artists in the world; Eltono has just had a superb solo homecoming show in Madrid at Slowtrack and Nano4814 and insane solo show at the Delimbo Gallery in Sevilla. Pablo Limon, our exhibition designer is one of the most amazing makers I have ever come across, a creative genius. And Lucas Cantu, who is working on our graphics, branding and exhibition production, is the director of the Savvy Studios as well as the founder of the Nrmal Festival in Mexico.  As I said, the dream team! And then alongside this we have had amazing support from the students of University College London, who have all been absolutely incredible.

 

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many Street Artists are bringing the animal world into their work today and sometimes artists will say they are giving the animals a voice to speak to us. How have animals been important in your compositions?
Six Paredes: In my case, the animal theme has been present in my work for many years, and this partly because of the admiration I feel for them. For me, among the most fascinating creatures of the animal kingdom are birds, mainly because of the wide variety of species, thousands of colours and silhouettes – and their relationship to the celestial and to flight. In terms of my compositions, this theme is important to me because it reminds us that we are also animals within the same world.

Brooklyn Street Art: In what way do you think of your work as something that evokes the future?
Six Paredes: I think my work evokes the future because it merges two different visions, the ancient and the contemporary and the bond between them which leads us to reflect about many of the things that humans have left on their way and some of them I think would be important to remember.

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Sandra Butterfly)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Sandra Butterfly)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © A(by)P)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Sandra Butterfly)

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Sixe Paredes. “Futurismo Ancestral” Somerset House. April 2014. London, UK (photo © Sandra Butterfly)

Sixe Paredes Futurismo Ancestral: An Offering To Peru at Somerset House in London, UK.  Click HERE for more information on this exhibition.

 

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

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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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Exposition Art Urbain – Colletion Nicolas Laguero Laserne (Paris, France)

Exposition Art Urbain
Vernissage le mercredi 4 septembre 2013 de 18h à 21h
Exposition du 4 au 15 septembre 2013.

La collection d’art urbain sera accueillie dans les 200m2 de la Mairie du 1er arrondissement de Paris.

Environ 50 œuvres seront présentées à cette occasion. Des grandes figures de l’art urbain telles que Barry Mc Gee, Banksy, Blu, Boris Hoppek, Dem 189, Dran, Faile, Invader, Jacques Villeglé, Jef Aerosol, Jonone, JR, Lek, Ludo, Rero, Roa, Shepard Fairey, Sowat, Speedy Graphito, Swoon…
Mais aussi des nouveaux talents de la scène urbaine tels que Roti ou Studio 21 bis…

 

Exposition Art Urbain – Collection Nicolas Laugero Lasserre

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Greatest Hits: BLU

Right now it would appear that there are new development in the world of Street Art daily, and some times you may want to revisit the best stuff to measure it against what is new and see how it stands up, and check how your perception of the work may have changed. A recognized talent on big walled installations around the world, Street artist BLU pretty much pioneered the category of stop motion animation in the Street Art world during the late 2000s and no one has matched the imagination and ingenuity that BLU brings to everything he touches.

A couple of stills from a BLU video – only hinting at their full potential when they become animated (© BLU)

Here’s an example of the freewheeling explorer attitude that characterizes the best of Street Art. Utilizing the least expensive art materials, including garbage, you can make any place a stage for expanding your mind and sense of discovery. A testament to compelling story telling, this nearly 10 minute long video doesn’t feel like a commitment, but rather an escape.

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FUN FRIDAY 09.14.12

It’s a BSA Fun Friday and we’re gonna tell you all about some stoopendous Street Art shows this weekend from Brooklyn to Chicago to Paris to Vienna but first….Everybody get up and do some FF dancing like my homeboy PSY in Korea.

This sh*t is Gangnsta, bro.

SEOUL, YOU THINK YOU GOT TALENT…

1. VIDEO “Gangnam Style” Dance Frenzy from Korea
2. Bäst Sells Olive Oil and Opens New Show at Opera Gallery (NYC)
3. “Just Your Type” at Low Brow Artique (BKLN)
4. LUDO “Metal Miltia” at Galerie Itinerrance (PARIS)
5. “All Write You Scumbags” with Reyes and Steel at Klughaus (Chinatown, NYC)
6. “Dominant Species” by ROA at 941 Geary (San Francisco)
7. GAIA, MOMO AND MICHAEL OWEN in “Zim Zum” (Baltimore)
8. Don’t Fret in “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Chardonnay”(Chicago)
9. Tel Aviv: Israeli Street Artist and poet Know Hope “Others’ Truths”
10. The Black River Festival in Vienna, Austria
11. Stephen Powers AKA ESPO “A Love Letter for You”
12. “Permanence at Space 27 Gallery in Montreal, Canada
13. eL Seed in Tunisia (VIDEO)
14. When Lucent Met Herakut (VIDEO)
15. Voice Of Art “Graffiti Against The System” Presents GATS (VIDEO)

Bäst Sells Olive Oil and Opens New Show at Opera Gallery (NYC)

Street Artist Bäst has always mixed a savory chopped image salad.  With his dicing, cutting, collaging and stencilling work on the street over the last decade, a lot of his recent stencils are twisted Bodega style signs advertising basic staples for the pantry. But of all the collaborative advertising that Street Artists have been getting into, we never could have predicted this; Olive oil. You can actually go to snooty classist foodery Dean and Deluca and buy a bottle of Bast style olive oil right now. Only 500 were made in this limited edition and the oil smells better than the petroleum-spilled brownfields in industrial Bushwick where you usually see his work, so why not?

This Brooklyn native artist has been amusing, hijacking, and inspiring with his work on the streets of New York for well over a decade and it’s also cool to see his gallery work at his solo show “Germs Tropicana” opened last night at Opera in Manhattan. If the pieces are too pricey, Dean and Deluca is just a couple of blocks away!

Bäst (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Just Your Type” at Low Brow Artique (BKLN)

Outside is the brand new wall piece by ND’A and Dirty Bandits. Inside this art store/gallery they are joined QRST and Gilf! in this new small show called “Just Your Type”, opening tonight.

ND’A (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

LUDO “Metal Miltia” at Galerie Itinerrance (PARIS)

Parisian Street Artist LUDO was in multiple shows around the world and blanketed the Paris Metro and bus shelters with his subvertisements for two years before a gallery in his native city invited him inside. Tonight Galerie Itinerrance will have LUDO’s first solo show entitled “Metal Militia”.

With a truly unique approach to social critique that serves as a cunning indictment of the advertising industry and the military industrial complex, you won’t find anything like the pretty disgust than the work of LUDO.

LUDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“All Write You Scumbags” with Reyes and Steel at Klughaus (Chinatown, NYC)

Ever the ballsy wiseguy, the Klaughaus Gallery in Manhattan continues to produce and present quality shows that challenge your possibly prejudicial pre-formed perceptions of propriety and pugnacity. This time they invited West Coast natives Reyes and Steel to exhibit at their space with a show titled “All Write You Scumbags”.

From the press release, “The New York debut for both artists and showcases a distinct chemistry cultivated over years working together as friends, creative partners and members of MSK, one of the highest regarded graffiti artist collectives in the world.” To find out what this means go to their show opening tonight.

Reyes (image © courtesy of the gallery)

Steel (image © courtesy of the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Dominant Species” by ROA at 941 Geary (San Francisco)

Street Artist ROA concludes his US Summer Tour 2012 in San Francisco at his own victorious opening Saturday at  941 Geary Gallery. The show is aptly called “Dominant Species” and will feature many of the cast of creatures you have grown to expect.

“Here is a Street Artist who has very effectively escaped the street, an introvert traveling quietly in the extroverted world, with open eyes and an acute talent for observation; decoding the universe through study of the natural, and unnatural.” BSA

ROA at work on his recent stop over in NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

To read BSA’s feature on ROA this week and to see beautiful images of his work in Mexico, Africa and Cambodia earlier this year click here.

GAIA, MOMO AND MICHAEL OWEN in “Zim Zum” (Baltimore)

GAIA, MOMO AND MICHAEL OWEN are transforming the space at the Creative Alliance Gallery in Baltimore with a collaboration that promises to spill over the street and beyond. If you want to see what the trio is up to put the gameboy down and head out to the gallery for their opening tomorrow night with an exhibition titled Zim Zum.

MOMO at work on his recent participation on Baltimore Open Walls this Summer. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

See MOMO in GEOMETRICKS, presented by BSA and curated by Hellbent next weekend in BROOKLYN, baby.

Don’t Fret in “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Chardonnay”(Chicago)

Chicago based Street Artist Don’t Fret has a new solo show, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Chardonnay” opening Saturday night at the Bizzare Gallery in Chicago.  So if you are planning to arrive naked, BYOB and put your wallet under your armpit. Lo-fi comic book doodling that make most people look like family day at the tractor pull, Don’t Fret drawings are people you know and often dang hilarious.

Don’t Fret in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this Weekend:

  • If you are in Tel Aviv: Israeli Street Artist and poet Know Hope is releasing a new zine titled “Others’ Truths” and he’s mounted a small exhibition of the drawings that illustrate it. This exhibition will remain open all day today until 4:00 pm. Click here for more details on this show.
  • The 2012 Edition of The Black River Festival in Vienna, Austria is now open. The festival has an important selection of Street Artists putting up works throughout an entire week of programs. Roster includes Blu, Evan Roth, Florian Riviere, Isaac Cordal, Mark Jenkins, and ZukClub. Click here for more details on this festival.
  • The film screening by Stephen Powers AKA ESPO “A Love Letter for You” is being hosted by the Joshua Liner Gallery in conjunction with their current show by the artist “A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures”. The screening will take place tomorrow at The Tribeca Grand Hotel. The artist will be in attendance along with the director and a Q & A  will follow the film. Click here for more details on this event.
  • “Permanence” is the title of the new group show at Space 27 Gallery in Montreal, Canada. With an ambitious line up international and Canadian artists this show aims to juxtapose the “ephemeral nature of street art with the permanence of collectible art.” From their press release. Click here for more details regarding this show.

In the spirit of Unity, we present Street Artist eL Seed in Tunisia (VIDEO)

This week there has been much news of sadness, discord, and suffering in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. Street Artist and painter eL Seed gives us a moment to pull back and reflect on the beauty and poignancy that a religious belief system can contribute to the lives of some.

Here he creates ‘Madinati’ Calligraffiti on Jara Mosque in Gabes.

When Lucent Met Herakut by The One Point Eight (VIDEO)

“A short documentary which presents the show involving graffiti duo Herakut and the Lucent Dossier group, detailing both the rehearsal process and the final performance in a unique and different way.”

Voice Of Art “Graffiti Against The System” Presents GATS (VIDEO)

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Black River Festival 2012 (Vienna, Austria)

Black River Festival

BLK River 2012 

To the age its art, to art its festival.
13. – 22. September 2012
Artists
Blu
Evan Roth
Florian Riviere
Isaac Cordal
Mark Jenkins
ZukClub

Isaac Cordal (photo © Isaac Cordal)

 Program 
Thursday Sept. 13, Gartenbaukino, Start 23:00. Film: This aint California, D 2011
Friday Sept. 14, Workshop, BLK River rsvp@blkriver.at
Saturday Sept. 15, Sept. BLK River Projects
Sunday Sept. 16, BLK River Projects
Monday Sept. 17, Workshop, Florian Riviere rsvp@blkriver.at
Tuesday Sept 18, Bike Tour, Start 14:00 rsvp@blkriver.at
Wednesday Sept. 19 BLK River Projects
Thursday Sept. 20, Evan Roth FREE SPEECH
Friday Sept. 21, Bike Tour, Start 14:00, Free rsvp@blkriver.at
Saturday Sept. 22, Kunsthalle, Begin 13:00 Free Entrance
Plakat*zine Fair, Free Entrance
The BLK River Festival team gets some of the most significant representatives of the international street art scene to Vienna. Every September, artists from all continents are invited to honour Vienna by realizing projects in various locations all around the capital. Black River utilizes the whole city. Public artist talks, where the stars of an art scene that simultaneously seek and avoid publicity in equal measure are participating in discussions, as well as a group exhibition and a filmprogram with selected street art movies to complete the program.
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New Piece on Palestine Wall by Shai Dahan

Getting up on a wall usually requires preparation of some sort. Getting up on the wall in Palestine requires nerves of steel.

 

Shai Dahan working on his 6 meter high piece in Palestine (photo © David Freid)

Street Artist and fine artist Shai Dahan just returned from a trip to what some call the Holy Land to place a large portrait of a Jordanian Bedouin on the wall on the Palestinian side. Despite the checkpoints and soldiers in towers and the general atmosphere of hostility and suspicion that seems ever present, a non-political piece was welcomed by people in this war torn region, and locals greeted Dahan and his friend with coffees and teas all day. Kids who were watching the progress with great interest also gave them the “thumbs up” sign of approval, so they knew they were cool.

Shai Dahan created his piece based on this photography by David Freid (photo © David Freid)

Over the last decade this wall has drawn the attention of many international Street Artists like Brooklyn’s Faile, London’s Banksy, Ireland’s Conor Harrington, Italy’s Blu, and Paris’ JR, among others.  Each has reported a sense of accomplishment after pulling this feat, and Dahan reports that many of those pieces still remain there. With his friend David Freid there to shoot a documentary and provide these photos, Dahan felt like it was a rare privilege and opportunity.

Shai Dahan “Miles to Go Before I Sleep” (photo © David Freid)

“The locals loved it and although the stress of entering an area full of conflict with zero security was great, it was a very special project and one of the highlights of my career. I got to enter a place filled with anger and frustration and paint there.”

Now back in Sweden, Shai is preparing for his show opening this Friday the 25th at the Modern Art Museum of Boras.

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Me Collectors Room Berlin Presents: “At Home I’m A Tourist” The Collection of Selim Varol (Berlin, Germany)

Selim Varol

“my collection, that’s me –
my childhood, my friends, my heroes, my role models, what i enjoy, what moves me. pictures from my journey: ‘at home i’m a tourist’” (Selim Varol)

From 26 May to 16 September 2012, me Collectors Room Berlin will be presenting the collection of Selim Varol. The exhibition will thus mark a return to an essential leitmotif of the foundation: the theme of collecting and the passion of the collector. The 39-year-old collector from Düsseldorf with Turkish roots has been collecting toys since his childhood and owns one of the largest collections of figurines in Europe, numbering some 15,000 pieces. A further focus of his collection lies in works by artists who trace their origins back to street art and ‘Pop Surrealism’. One characteristic shared by all the works in this collection is the close link between art and the everyday, as well as their often playful and humorous or subversive character.

The world of toys, most of which are produced in Asia, is a world full of plastic and vinyl. The figurines are detailed miniature sculptures that have variously emerged from the imaginations of contemporary urban artists and designers, or from politics and current events (Andy Warhol, Fidel Castro, Hitler), the dream factory of the film industry (Batman, Superman, Rambo and many others) or comics and manga. Many works in this collection are well-known due to their presence in public spaces. Shepard Fairey helped create a groundswell for Barack Obama with his iconic ‘HOPE’ poster during the United States presidential race in 2008. And JR, the current TED Prize winner, attracted international attention in 2008 with his film ‘28 millimètres: Women Are Heroes’ in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where he mounted giant images of female residents on the façades of houses in order to raise awareness about their life stories and give these women a voice. The New York artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is another artist who has exerted a major influence on Selim Varol’s collection, with Varol’s first acquisition of his work in 1999. KAWS first made a name for himself in 1998 with his alienated images on bus stops, phone boxes and billboards (for instance the ‘Christy Turlington Calvin Klein Ad Disruption’). He is represented in this

exhibition with more than 160 works. The exhibition includes a total of 3,000 works by more than 200 artists & designers from over 20 countries.

Plans are under way to enable artists involved in the exhibition to paint or paste designated facades in the area around the venue.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue of the collection that will include a text by Jeffrey Deitch.

Events:

Saturdays, 3 p.m.: Public guided tour

01.06.2012, 6.30 p.m.: Expert talk with Selim Varol

September: Reading with Autonama & Participation in “Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin”

Children’s Programme: For schools and kindergartens (upon agreement); scavenger hunt (anytime)

Pop-Up Shop: In collaboration with Toykio, a selection of designer toys and exclusive editions will also be on offer in our shop.

Prior registration is required for all events. Programme details are available on our website: www.me-berlin.com

List of artists:

123Klan, Rita Ackermann, Adam5100, Chiho Aoshima, Giorgio Armani, Suki Bamboo, Banksy, Garry Baseman, Bäst, Beast Brothers, Beejoir, Andrew Bell, Biff, Bigfoot one, Tim Biskup, Blek le Rat, Blu, Bob Dob, Bountyhunter, Randy Bowen, Brin Berliner, Bshit, Buffmonster, Milton Burkhart, Thomas Campbell, Case, James Cauty, Mori Chack, Henry Chalfant, Chip Kidd, David Choe, Luke Chueh, Coarse, Martha Cooper, Harmony Corine, Matias Corral, Robert Crumb, Dalek, Date Farmers, Dehara, Delta, Devilrobots, Dface, DJ Shadow, Dolce & Gabbana, Dolk, Doma Dr.Romanelli, Dran, Dust, Tristan Eaton, Eelus, Ben Eine, El Mac, Ron English, F.C .Ware, Fafi, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Ferg, Jeremy Fish, Florian Flatau, Sam Flores, Flying Fortress, Pete Fowler, Glen E. Friedman, Friends with you, Phil Frost, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Futura, Rene Gagnon, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Huck Gee, Os Gemeos, Doze Green, Sadi Güran, Eric Haze, Evan Hecox, Herakut, Jean-Louis Dumas Hermes, Jamie Hewlett, Damien Hirst, David Horvath, David Horvath & Sun-Min Kim, Marc Jacobs, Todd James, Jamungo, James Jarvis, Oliver Jeffers, JR, Nathan Jurevicius, Alex Katz, Rei Kawakubo, Audrey Kawasaki, KAWS, Peter Kennard, Josh Keyes, K-Guy, Margaret Kilgallen, Dave Kinsey, Jeff Koons, Frank Kozik, Charles Kraft, Curtis Kulig, Kurt Vonneggut & Joe Petro III, Christian Lacroix, Lady Aiko, Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Michael Lau, Joe Ledbetter, Karin Lehmann, Matt Leines, Michael Leon, Paul Leung, Anthony Lister, Livingroom Johnston, London Police, Robert Longo, Lunartik, MAD*L, Herman Makkink, Mantis, Martin Margiela, Marok, Mars 1, Ben Mathis, Barry Mcgee, Lucy McLauchlan, Bill Mcmullen, Dennis Mcnett, Tara McPherson, Alexander McQueen, Eugenio Merino, Mexxer, Anthony Micallef, Donny Miller, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Mist, Brendan Monroe, Polly Morgan, Mr. Clement, Takashi Murakami, Scott Musgrowe, Muttpop, Yositomo Nara, Caleb Neelon, Nigo, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Steve Olsen, Katsushiro Otomo, Tony Oursler, Jose Parla, Paul Insect, Marion Peck, Perks & Mini, Stefano Pilati, Ricky Powell, Miuccia Prada, Rob Pruit, Pure Evil, Pushead, Oliver Räke, Jamie Reid, Retna, Terry Richardson, Rocketworld, Jermaine Rogers, Rolitoboy, Ryca, Mark Ryden, Saber, Erick Scarecrow, Todd Schorr, Semper Fi, Since, Jason Siu, Sket-one, Skewville, Skullphone, Hedi Slimane, PaulSmith, Hajime Sorayama, Jeff Soto, Space Invader, Spanky, SPQR, SSUR, Jeff Staple, Stash, Static, Tyler Stout, Stefan Strumbel, Suckadelic, Superdeux, Judith Supine, Swoon, Tado, Gary Taxali, Osamu Tezuka, Tilt, Tokidoki, Touma, Tim Tsui, Nasan Tur, Unkl, Urban Medium, Usugrow, Valentino, Gee Vaucher, Mark Dean Veca, Donatella Versace, Viktor & Rolf, Amanda Visell, Nick Walker, Vivienne Westwood, Dondi White, Kehinde Wiley, WK interact, Jim Woodring, Word to Mother, Bubi Au Yeung, Zevs

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“Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, an Essay for “Eloquent Vandals”

The following essay by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art, appears in the book “Eloquent Vandals The History of Nuart”, edited by Martyn Reed, Marte Jølbo, and Victoria Bugge Øye and published in 2011 by Kontur Publishing. More information appears after the essay.

Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World

The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.

While that may seem hyperbolic, just witness the millions of images of Street Art uploaded on photo sharing sites, the time lapse videos and full length films online, the hundreds of blogs, websites, discussion forums, chatrooms, Facebook pages, Twitter addresses, and phone and tablet apps dedicated entirely or partially to Street Art and graffiti and the multifaceted culture that grows around it. Thousands of people daily are populating the databases, compiling a mountainous archive of something once quaintly referred to as an ephemeral art. This said, the transformative story is that the images are now freed from their sources to float in the ether for anyone with a digital device to access.  Within the space of a decade, art that once lived and died on a wall with a local population is now shared via digital capture and upload, gaining access to a worldwide audience. Immediately.

The multi-authored amorphous swirling whirlwind of street art, graffiti, public art, and urban art is simply too vast for any person to get their arms around or explain – yet our digital media tribes are enabling us to collect it, share it, and study it in larger numbers than ever imaginable. As artists and professionals for 25 years in New York, a city with a legacy of graffiti all its own, we have been extremely lucky to witness the blossoming of the current Street Art movement; to document it, analyze it, discuss it, and share it by real world means and virtual means with thousands of others.  With the dual forces of high rents and corporate gentrification pounding the final nails into the coffin of the established creative neighborhoods in Manhattan,   gritty bubbling new and youthful artist neighborhoods of Brooklyn became de facto showcases for the Street Art scene at the turn of the century, and we were shooting images and tracking its evolution from the beginning.

In concert with the Internet, all manner of art that occurs in the streets is being captured and shared, discussed, critiqued, celebrated or dismissed by people of searing intellect and those who cannot locate their own country with their finger if you spin a globe in front of them.  As text has been loosed from print in this post Gutenberg Parenthesis world of Sauerberg, so too our local Street Art is freed from its wall.  Going from “All City” to “All Timezones” has radically transformed how Street Artists perceive their work and their audience, with the concept of “place” profoundly altered.

Nuart became a focal point for many in the Street Art world in the early 2000s because of its highly curated nature and its expansive brand of personal interaction with public space.  A hybrid of high-minded civic involvement and an art form with roots solidly in anti-authoritarianism, Nuart has presented a rolling roster of Internet stars and miscreants of the Street Art scene. It’s a highly unusual mix: quality experimental elements birthed by the interconnectedness of the virtual world, soon imitated by other entrepreneurial Street Art enthusiasts.  With the help of the Internet this Norwegian port town of Stavanger is an international player in the Street Art scene, a by-invitation celebration capable of drawing a wide range of serious talent to create epic pieces in singular locations. When the images and videos of installations at Nuart are relayed through the forums and chatrooms and blogs and Flickr pages around the world, other cities begin rethinking public space and examining with a new interest the players in their own Street Art scene.

A large part of our understanding of art and its expression for generations has come from textbooks, lorded over by scholars and experts who were trained by others using similar texts passing along received knowledge and prejudices.  For those rebels of the graffiti and Street Art movement who have never given much credence to formal education, the unbound and chaotic nature of digital communications actually feels more organic and trustworthy.  In large part, with the exception of the formalism of the logical structure comprising the undergirding of the Internet, its explosive growth has been more intuitive and behavioral than left-brained or hierarchical. The beauty of a new Street Art piece on a nearby wall is electrifying to share with the digital tribe, and in so doing, it legitimizes ones status among peers and the work of the artist as well. With the innate desire to learn being regularly quenched by members of this tribe, collective intelligence is rising more quickly than any organized curricula could ever aspire.

Image Capture, Sharing, and Platforms

Graffiti and Street Artists have always benefitted from documentation of photographers like John Naar, Keith Baugh, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, and James Prigoff, who are largely responsible for the capture and preservation of the historical knowledge we now have of graffiti in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s.  Without the benefit of instant communication of these images, copies of Cooper and Chalfant’s book Subway Art and Charlie Ahearn’s movie Wild Style relied upon actual physical distribution channels and commerce to travel around the world and inspire young artists. “Viral” was a word associated with antibiotics.

As film turned to digital at the turn of the century and cameras and personal computers became far more affordable, the convergence of technology gave professional and amateur photographers the incentive to roam the streets hunting for street art and the ability to have the instant gratification of seeing their photos online. As in the early days of graffiti, Street Artists of the 2000s didn’t shy away from the attention photographers were giving to their work and a new symbiotic relationship between the street artists and web savvy photographers was born where certain artists would place their work where it was likely to be seen and photographed, and hopefully distributed online. Like the days of Cooper et al., digital photographers assisted many of the current stars of Street Art to gain exposure to an appreciative fan base and to increase their popularity during the decade.

With the introduction of the online image-sharing platform called Flickr in 2004, the already rapid spread of Street Art photography completely ballooned as fans from every city and town and hamlet began uploading their Street Art images to one location where everyone could coalesce around their common interest. With a database structure and system for tagging, images could be categorized, sorted and most importantly, searched. No longer reliant on the approval of gatekeepers or site curators, Street Artists gained autonomy and audience largely on their own terms and with the help of photographers who scoured the streets to capture their work. Of the current 6 billion or so images uploaded to the site since then, millions are of street art – a de facto common repository and shared research archive for artists, professionals, curators, collectors, and casual fans.

A new central nervous system in formation, Flickr and other lesser-known sharing platforms had a profound causational relationship to the dissemination of Street Art culture to a worldwide audience.  You knew Melbourne and Bristol and São Paulo and New York had a Street Art scene, but Sacramento? Shanghai? Stavanger?  In addition to images and videos, the platform provided common space for exchange of opinion, ideas, and news, fostering online and offline relationships and enabling Street Artists and photographers to pursue their work as a possible career route.

Photo sharing sites of course are not the only means for the worldwide distribution and formation of a common understanding of Street Art culture. Today’s digital biosphere includes primary content sites and blogs, aggregators (or self-described “curators”), peer-to-peer forums, Social Media, and mobile apps as part of the overall knowledge base, forming an increasingly common understanding about Street Art, it’s origins and it’s evolving expression in the public sphere. No one can doubt that this familiarity has only aided its popularity.

In one significant role-reversal, the online experience of Street Art has also altered the behaviors on the streets and once sacrosanct “rules” of the street have been turned on their head. Although it was once verboten to reveal a street location for fear of reprisal, now both street artists and fans geotag their images so they can be found on a map with any GPS enabled device. As mobile device use eclipses Internet use in the next couple of years and hardware and software becomes more flexible, sophisticated, affordable, and available, there is no doubt that more apps and platforms using mapping and GPS are likely to thrive. Whether through image sharing platforms or mobile apps, these systems of tagging are providing exact information for self-guided tours by fans and tour groups, peers, enemies, and of course, law enforcement.

Excerpts from additional subtopics of this essay:

Tribes and Co-Surveillance

“The growth of connectivity is producing a foundational change to the world of the Street Artist and his or her relation to society as a hidden and/or marginalized figure. Increasingly it appears that it is impossible to be socially isolated when you are so busy relating, even if anonymously. Unwittingly, the stereotypical vision of the outsider is melting as one is pulled into a collective environment where peers regulate and monitor the actions of one another and settle disputes or give encouragement and opportunities. The new digital world, once thought to be impersonal, is increasingly fluid, intuitive, and connected; enabling a near eradication of feelings of estrangement, ostracization, marginalization, and isolation for many people, Street Artists included.”

Reaching an Audience

“Arguably the act of spraying a tag or signing your name to your art can be called advertising or at the very least, branding; A Street Art purist who rejects any ideas of the advertising taint may instead put their work on the bottom side of a railroad tie, but we haven’t heard of it. Everyone understands that the primary motivation is to have one’s work seen, and thanks to the Internet and digital media, an ever-growing sophistication in self marketing is on display from Street Artists who are adept at making art, and even those who are not.”

Democratization, Homogenization and Gate Keepers No More

“A certain homogenization of recurring styles, techniques, and themes due to mass disbursement also has begun, creating certain elements of an international style with clearly traced antecedents. A common language, vocabulary, and terminology that began with print media and graffiti continues to grow and refine itself. An international galaxy of galleries and festivals, and increasingly, museums, expands and contracts with lists of overlapping names traveling from continent to continent in search of walls.  Listed after the artist’s name in parenthesis is the abbreviation of their country but in practice the Internet has quickly enabled them to become virtually stateless. Thanks to instant availability, a 14 year old in a sleepy small town is schooling himself with YouTube right now and with luck and skill will inherit that state as well.”

 

~ Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art

Read the full essay in:

ELOQUENT VANDALS “THE HISTORY OF NUART”

Available Internationally on Amazon
Buy Now, Norwegian : Platekompaniet

Editors: Martyn Reed, Marte Jølbo, Victoria Bugge Øye,
Features: 304 Pages, full colour, hardcover
Format: 21 x 26cm
Language: English & Norwegian
Publisher : Kontur Publishing

Eloquent Vandals is the definitive book on one of the worlds leading street art festivals featuring exclusive essays from some of scene’s biggest names. Over 300 pages of exclusive images including works by Swoon, Brad Downey, David Choe, Vhils, Blu, Ericailcane, Logan Hicks, Dface, Nick Walker, Judith Supine, Graffiti Research Lab, Blek Le Rat and many more…

Eloquent Vandals tells the story of how Stavanger, a small city on the West Coast of Norway gained a global reputation for Street Art. For the past six years, the annual Nuart Festival has invited an international team of Street Artists to use the city as their canvas. From tiny stencils and stickers to building sized murals, from illicit wheat-paste posters on the outskirts of the city to “Landmark“ pieces downtown, found everywhere from run down dwellings and train sidings to the city’s leading galleries and fine art institutions, Eloquent Vandals documents the development of not only Nuart, but also one of the most exciting art movements of our times.

 

 

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BSA in Print : “Eloquent Vandals”, the Book about Nuart

The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.

While that may seem hyperbolic, just witness the millions of images of Street Art uploaded on photo sharing sites, the time lapse videos and full length films online, the hundreds of blogs, websites, discussion forums, chatrooms, Facebook pages, Twitter addresses, and phone and tablet apps dedicated entirely or partially to Street Art and graffiti, and the multifaceted culture that grows around it. Thousands of people daily are populating the databases, compiling a mountainous archive of something once quaintly referred to as an ephemeral art. This said, the transformative story is that the images are now freed from their sources to float in the ether for anyone with a digital device to access. Within the space of a decade, art that once lived and died on a wall with a local population is now shared via digital capture and upload, gaining access to a worldwide audience. Immediately.”Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, Eloquent Vandals : A History of Nuart Norway

Street Artist ROA in Norway (photo courtesy Nuart)

One of the three books BSA was published in during 2011, Eloquent Vandals tells the story of a Norwegian waterfront town that became a focal point for the emergence of Street Art during the first decade of the century. Edited by Marte Jølbo, Victoria Bugge Øye, and the Nuart festival founder Martyn Reed, the book explains how badass Street Artists and vandals can coalesce for a few weeks to make great walls come alive and educate through forums, roundtables, and lectures. Nuart and its accidental oracle, Mr. Reed, give us a smart and shining story of how to brilliantly engage public space with the very same artists who usually get blamed for defiling it.

Vhils at Nuart (photo © CF Salicath)

Over the last few years this port called Stavanger became a high profile portal for thrilling work by many globally known Street Art explorers every September and thanks to the easy reach of digital communications, people in cities across the globe experienced it. That was the very aspect that drew us into the project; the fact that Street Art has become so global so rapidly thanks to the engagement of everyday people via digital technology. In our chapter “Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, we deconstruct the various pathways and digital social tribes that enable an elevated consciousness about this global peoples art movement.

“A large part of our understanding of art and its expression for generations has come from textbooks, lorded over by scholars and experts who were trained by others using similar texts passing along received knowledge and prejudices.  For those rebels of the graffiti and Street Art movement who have never given much credence to formal education, the unbound and chaotic nature of digital communications actually feels more organic and trustworthy.”

Skewville represents Brooklyn at Nuart (photo © Marte Jølbo)

To be invited to participate in this book along with experts whom we admire greatly, most notably culture critic Carlo McCormick and author and lecturer Tristan Manco, is a great honor. To give background and context for a festival that includes some of the heavy talents in Street Art including Vhils, Blu, Skewville, Logan Hicks, Graffiti Research Lab, Blek Le Rat, Chris Stain, Ericailcane, Swoon, Judith Supine, Nick Walker, Dot Masters, ROA, M-City, Evol, Dan Witz and many more, it was a rare honor indeed.

Dot Masters toying around at Nuart (photo © Nuart)

 

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