All posts tagged: Bologna

BSA Top Stories Of 2018 As Picked By You

You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.

Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.

Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.

So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.

The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.

The timeliness of Jetsonorama’s wheat pasted photography series about Good Samaritans who leave water for people in the desert – and the US border guards who destroy them – resonated powerfully to us this week as  a 7 year old girl died in Border Patrol custody of apparent dehydration.

But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018


No. 15

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

From BSA:

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Survey of the Moment

DalEast is the author of the bird. Spyo tells the world who he really is… (photo © Tor Staale Moen)

From BSA:

A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.

With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.

Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

Pop Up “Trump Cemetery” Marks Death of Ideas on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration by INDECLINE Artist Collective

“Grave New World” installation by INDECLINE artist collective (image © INDECLINE)

From BSA:

So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.

“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.

The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.

“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

From BSA:

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE


No. 10

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall

NeSpoon. Emergence Festival. Catania, Sicily. March 2018. (photo © courtesy of NeSpoon)

From BSA:

Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From Fer Acala on BSA:

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE


No. 8

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

From BSA:

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE


No. 7

“Martha” the Movie: Selina Miles’ Most Ambitious Project To Date

Martha Cooper (photo © Selina Miles)

From BSA:

We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.

Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.

“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE


No. 6

DavidL Paints Hitchcock, Warhol, Tim Burton, Kubrick: Through The Lens of Fer Alcala

DavidL. ET. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From BSA:

After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).

But for David it’s not like that anymore.

Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.

DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE


No. 5

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.

We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

UPEA Special. Continue reading HERE


No. 4

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

From BSA:

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE


No. 3

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

Scenes From Eugene: Continue reading HERE


No. 2

Winston Tseng: Street Provocateur Brings “Trash” Campaign to NYC

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.

Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.

Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 1

OKUDA Sculpture Engulfed in Flames for Falles Festival in València

Okuda. Fallas 2018. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!

During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.

This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.

Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE


We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.

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NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

Naked men share the elongated tandem bicycle with uniformed fighters, and each character contains details and symbology that point to events or qualities known to locals of a certain generation about the Marzabotto massacre that killed between 770 and 1,000 civilians, now presented to a new one in this city where these events took place.

Street Artist NemO’s tells us that this first edition of the Penneli Ribelli Festival is born in memory of the events that happened during the Second World War.

Ericailcane . NemO’s . Andrea Casciu for Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

“Here a big battle broke out between the Nazis and the Partigiani, who fought for the freedom of Italy,” he tells us. “This is one of the most important areas, because here was where the largest group of civilian Partigiani were killed by the Nazis as revenge.”

Nemo’s naked men, hapless and without even bicycle seats, appear unprepared for any battle, burdened and exposed. Andrea Casciu’s “uniformed” riders are prepared, comfortable, confident, even jubilant in the efforts forward – their red star and flags of resistance assuring victory.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

The three artists worked for twelve hours a day for four days on the side of the old Lama di Reno paper mill that closed in 2013. Locals of various ages stopped to inquire about the stretched bicycle and its meanings, and local news accounts say that many people in the neighborhood supported the artists work.

“The full presentation is meant as a symbol of the resistance,” says NemO’s, “in honor of the women who, with their bicycles, carried secret messages and food for the people hidden on the forest.

A badger at the head of the procession breaks apart traps of war that were meant to ensnare and disable, the kerchiefed animal even converting one into a stringed instrument to play.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

NemO’s . Andrea Casciu. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

NemO’s. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

NemO’s. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

NemO’s. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

NemO’s. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

Andrea Casciu. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

Andrea Casciu. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

Andrea Casciu. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

Andrea Casciu. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)


For more information on the Pennelli Ribelli festival https://www.facebook.com/pennelliribellifestival/

Artists:

Andrea Casciu https://www.facebook.com/casciuandrea/

Nemo’s https://www.facebook.com/whoisnemos/

Ericailcane https://www.facebook.com/ericailcane/

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Christian Omodeo : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Christian Omodeo : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

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brooklyn-street-art-holiday-garland6-2016

As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Christian Omodeo is an art historian, art critic, book collector, and streetwise diplomat at Le Grand Jeu, the cultivated webzine and urban art association. This year Christian was one of three curators for “Street art Banksy & Co. The urban state of mind” at Museum Palazzo Pepoli in Bologna, Italy, which he refers to as “one of the biggest retrospective ever dedicated to graffiti & street art, with more or less 300 artworks, photos, videos, documents coming both from Europe and US, and belonging to public and private collections.”  It also sparked some controversy, a counter exhibition, and many heated conversations.

Today Christian shares with us the work of a graffiti photographer from Rome.


Title: A writer is using a fire extinguisher against security guard to escape easier in a trainline tunnel
Location: Rome, Italy
Date: 2016
Photo:Valerio Polici 

I finally met Valerio Polici a few weeks ago, during Paris Photo. He was there to present his first artist’s book, Ergo Sum, that is actually part of my top ten 2016 books. Valerio, like the French Sylvain Largot, represents this new generation of photographers who are looking for different ways of portraying the 2010s graffiti culture. While looking at Ergo Sum, I stopped in front of A writer is using a fire extinguisher against security guard to escape easier in a trainline tunnel, because this photo from 2013 summarizes this attempt to show graffiti as an individualist fight for a right to the city.

My wish for 2017? More democracy, less walls.

But also more sun, less rain.

brooklyn-street-art-2016-740-christian-omodeo-copyright-valerio-polici

 

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BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

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Museums, Festivals, and Activism – three of the themes that garnered the most traffic on our published stories on BSA and The Huffington Post this year.

From a scholarly Street Art related exhibition in St. Petersburg to the opening of the Mima Museum in Belgium to the Anti-Banksy exhibition with the Blu controversy in Bologna and the “Magic City” exhibition in Dresden, BSA readers were astutely studying the slow but steady move of Street Art from the street to the museum and the academic canons.

But you also liked the huge multi-player outside exhibitions as well – with stories from Sicily and Northern Spain to Northern Mexico, BSA readers were interested this year in seeing how eclectic locally-organized Street Art festivals and projects are done, and who is doing them.

Finally activism played a big role in what you were re-Tweeting and “liking” and sending to your friends – From Icy & Sot installing anti-radiation work in the Native American desert and then talking about oceans polluted with plastic, to a United Nations food program with kids and artists in El Salvador, to highlighting Indigenous peoples rights with Jetsonorama, to a US cross-country tour to save endangered species by one artist and a Greenpeace show in Barcelona addressing the same issue with 35 artists, it looks like BSA readers are engaged and concerned about socio-politico-environmental issues left and right.

On a side note, we were honored that our El Salvador article was picked up and published in spanish on the UN World Food program website – HERE.

Of course it was good to see that you liked the feature on the notorious graffiti crew 1UP and seeing Nychos slay New York as well. Tasty!

These are the TOP 15 articles on BSA for 2016 from the more than 365 postings we did this year – meaning they all beat at least 350 articles to get here. Congratulations to us all.


No. 15
Borders and Boundaries : A Multi-Disciplinary Exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Street Art Museum

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SpY. Street Art Museum (SAM). St. Petersburg, Russia. May 2016. (photo © Evgeniy Belikov)

Rafael Schacter Takes a More Nuanced Approach to the Migration Crisis

Commerce and technology have been eroding traditional constructs of the borders and boundaries, especially in the age of the Internet, satellites, transnational banking and trade agreements that create governing bodies that openly dismiss national sovereignty, integrity, identity, aspirations. Borders and boundaries are contested, guarded, or disregarded at will; open to international capital, porous to immigration, hardened by armies.

Daily they are in the headlines: Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Syrian war refugees immigrating across European borders, Israel and Palestine’s ongoing land and settlement disputes, even maritime territorial claims of China and the Phillipines in the South China Sea that were ruled upon yesterday  – all reveal clues to our historically complicated relationships and geo-political perspectives.

Art to the rescue! continue reading here


No. 14
Icy & Sot Stencil An Enormous Blue Whale in LA

brooklyn-street-art-icy-sot-Endangered-Species-Mural-Project-los-angeles-Jess-X-Chen-01-16-web-6

Icy & Sot. Endangered Species Mural Project. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016 (photo © Jess X. Chen)

“The brothers spent two solid days hand cutting the multi-layer stencil here on Melrose Avenue. How many pieces? “19 pieces,” says Icy. “Its not that big but it has a lot of details” The composite image features an enormous whale emerging from the sea in full view of a coastline packed with industrial forms which presumably are dumping contaminants directly into the waters.

As ever, the brothers crash into each others sentences while talking to us. “Whatever happens in the ocean… it comes back to us,” says Sot. “Whether is trash or plastics or oil..”

Icy jumps in, “The fish eat them and then we eat the animals and we have the plastics inside of us.”

“Yeah, It’s a cycle. We are all making a lot of trash – we are affecting the world. Then it all comes back to us,” says Sot… Continue reading here


No. 13
MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

brooklyn-street-art-MAYA-HAYUK_THEPICKLES-MIMAMUSEUM.EU_2016-web

Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably…Continue reading here


No. 12
San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

“Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program…Continue reading here


No. 11
Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so…Continue reading here


No. 10

Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely…Continue reading here


No. 9
1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

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1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces…continue reading here


No. 8
A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone…Continue reading here


No. 7
“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

“They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils…continue reading here


No. 6
BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

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Tadlock (photo © @around730)

“An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones…Continue reading here


No. 5
Raising Yellowcake in Grand Canyon: Icy & Sot, Jetsonorama in Arizona

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Icy & Sot. “Nuclear Plant” Navajo Nation. Arizona. June 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Yellow Cake: A simple sweet dessert confection that gets its signature color from 8 egg yolks and a cup of butter, and is great with either vanilla or chocolate icing.

Yellowcake: A type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Also, its radioactive. Also, Colin Powell showed off a vial of it at the United Nations to sell the Iraq invasion in 2003 to that body and the world.

Being more knowledgeable about the dessert variety of yellow cake than the desert variety of uranium contamination, we turn to Street Artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot to educate us about the active uranium mines that are at the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. The three worked jointly in June to create new public works addressing the topic and we have each of them here for you to see.

“The issue of uranium contamination and nuclear waste is timely as there is an active uranium mine at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon presently and a proposal to start mining at the South Rim,” explains Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas), who is a local artist, a practicing doctor, and a social activist advocating for the people who live on the reservation and the natural environment in general…Continue reading here


No. 4
Nychos Slays in New York : IKONS Revealed as Never Before

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Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”

This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.

In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.

In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch…Continue reading here


No 3
35 Artists in Barcelona Trying To Save The Arctic with Greenpeace

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La Castillo. Save The Arctic. Barcelona, Spain. April 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“Yesterday our posting was about artists in London creating works about endangered species and today we go to Barcelona where 35 artists joined with Greenpeace and a local group named RebobinArt on April 9th to create works centered on environmental issues, especially the quickly disappearing polar ice cap.

Only three days later scientists announced that the Greenland “Melt” has happened one month earlier than usual this year, smashing records and causing scientists to reexamine their measuring instruments to make sure they were working correctly.

The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.

Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s…Continue reading here


No. 2
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

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Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”…Continue reading here


No 1
Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

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Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present…Continue reading here

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BSA Film Friday: 06.10.16

BSA Film Friday: 06.10.16

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

Now screening :

1. The Restoration of Blu / Street Art Banksy & Co
2. Fintan Magee in Puerto Rico for Santurce Es Ley by Tost Films
3. HK Walls 2016
4. ONO’U 2015 by Selina Miles
5. DAN WITZ: “BREATHING ROOM” Kickstarter

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BSA Special Feature: The Restoration of Blu for “Street Art Banksy & Co”

Part II of a behind the scenes look by Good Guy Boris at the controversial show in Bologna that features art works by BLU and others that were originally not intended to appear in a museum, like most things in museums.

Here we learn about less sexy topics like copyright law and one lawyers interpretation of the realistic expectations of artists when painting illegally and legally as it applies to copyright in Italy and France. We also receive a quick education about traditional and modern techniques for the restoration of works for archival purposes, which is why people will be looking at these things long after you and we are gone.

 

Fintan Magee in Puerto Rico for Santurce Es Ley by Tost Films

You may recall our article on this piece in February with Mr. Magee:

Fintan Magee, Puerto Rico, and Rising Sea Levels

 

HK Walls 2016

A quick wrap of Hong Kong Walls 2016, which included a rather diverse group of artists including Above, Alana Tsui, Caratoes, Clogtwo, Colasa, DILK, Dmojo, Egg Fiasco, Essahqinoirs, Exld, Faust, Gas, Gan, Gr1, Keflione, Kenji Chai, KristopherH, Mooncasket, Mysterious Al, Okudart, Paola Delfin, Parent’s Parents, Peeta, Phron, Roids, Ryck, Satr, Sars, Senk, Stern Rockwell, Suiko, Vhils, Volre, Whyyy, and Zids.

 

ONO’U 2015 by Selina Miles

A round up of last years’ ONO’U festival that combines murals by Street Artists and graffiti writers – and injects an element of competition judged by people with credible familiarity and knowledge. More importantly, the artists are well cared for, there is a sense of cultural exchange, and the public is left with artworks that are significant or meaningful to them. ONO’U has the stage at the moment when it comes to public/commercial festivals in the Street Art realm.

 

DAN WITZ: “BREATHING ROOM”

“After the terror attacks in Europe this past year, it became necessary to abandon the dark imagery of my past work and take a new approach,” says veteran Street Artist Dan Witz as he describes the dozen or so pieces he plans to install in London this summer. Please consider supporting his Kickstarter!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335802971/breathing-room-a-street-art-project-by-dan-witz

 

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Opiemme: Poetry Hanging Among Cherry Blossoms in Bologna

Opiemme: Poetry Hanging Among Cherry Blossoms in Bologna

Like so many chinese firecrackers strung together and hanging from bus stops, street signs and cherry tree limbs, individual poems dangled overhead Bologna people as they walked through the city center on March 21st. The installations are an unsponsored freewill campaign to give away poetry on small scrolls, part of a festival called DIALOGARTI where artists and poets work together for three days on various projects to engage people with the art of words.

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Opiemme and Gruppo 77 in Bolgna, Italy (photo © Lisa Di Battista)

Opiemme’s street work is often a sort of visual poetry and this method of sharing the printed word via scrolls was first created by the Street Artist Opiemme in 2003. For 2016 the Street Artist collaborated with the Gruppo 77 poets lead by Alessandro Dall’Olio and the words and poetry of many were shared and distributed on the streets.

More about World Poetry Day here.

 

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

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Opiemme (photo © Opiemme)

 

 

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

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

An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

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About Ponny (photo © @around730)

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones.

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About Ponny (photo © @around730)

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 the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged psters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.

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Nemo’s (photo © @around730)

Of the counter exhibit, About Ponny says “Many artists have participated. It’s fantastic foray into an abandoned factory that maybe in the future will be demolished,” on the metal production factory grounds that have laid unused for about 15 years. Completed over three weeks time with freshly painted pieces, many of the new works hint at the Street Artists intentions to lampoon the formal museum show with a bit of sarcasm. Included in some of the pieces are overt references to the contested issues at hand, such as a portrait surrounded by a diagram of scissors and a dotted line by About Ponny and Nemo’s large troubled and naked man pierced through the head with a price tag reading 13 €, the entrance fee for the museum show .

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Hopnn (photo © @around730)

Attendance at the new outside show will be difficult to gauge as the facility is in such disrepair that organizers cannot encourage the public to attend it without putting people at risk because of safety matters. This method of art-making in abandoned places has been a cornerstone of the graffiti and Street Art practice since youth first started to chart their urban explorations and these new pieces seem perfectly at home on decaying walls and crumbling infrastructure, despite any possible dangers present. It is exactly this sometimes-idealized rebellious ethos that is offended by the practice of displaying this art in a more rarified environs.

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About Ponny (photo © @around730)

The Artists participating include: 5074, about ponny, ache77, animelle, carlos atoche, casciu, bdn, bibbito pupo, collectivo fx, dada, dirlo, dissenso cognitivo, distruggi la loggia, ente, exit enter, fuori luogo, hazki, hpc crew, huang, incursioni decorative, hopnn, james boy, leo borri, luogo comune, marcio, nada, nemo’s, pepe coi bermuda, progeas family, psikopatik, pupa, reve+, ricky boy, sharko, snem, standard, stelle confuse, tadlock, valda, and zolta.

 

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Colletivo FX (photo © @around730)

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Hopnn (photo © @around730)


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PsikoPatik (photo © @around730)

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Progeas Family (photo © @around730)

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Tadlock (photo © @around730)

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Dada (photo © @around730)

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Exit Enter (photo © @around730)

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Exit Enter (photo © @around730)

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Casciu (photo © @around730)

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Pupo Bibbito (photo © @around730)

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Hazkj (photo © @around730)

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James Boy (photo © @around730)

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Zolta (photo © @around730)

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Snem (photo © @around730)

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Leo Borri (photo © @around730)

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Pepe Coi Bermuda (photo © @around730)

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Luogo Comune (photo © @around730)

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Huang (photo © @around730)

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Sharko (photo © @around730)

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Reve+ (photo © @around730)

Read more and see additional photos at

http://www.inkorsivo.com/arte-e-costume/r-u-s-co-larte-torna-strada/

http://2016rusco.wix.com/rusco#!blank-1/is57m

Our sincere thanks to About Ponny for taking the time to shoot exclusive photos for BSA for this article. Please follow About Ponny on Instagram at @around730

Also on BSA: A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

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 paint has always been one of our free choice. 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.

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BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

The galvanizing event is a 250 piece museum show opening in a few days that is entitled “Street Art: Banksy & Co” at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna in which Blu says his work is slated to be displayed without his authorization as taken directly from the streets. This practice of high-profile (read: high potential market price) works being removed and showing up at auction, gallery, or museum or elsewhere for sale has embroiled debates in the last decade about artists rights, property owners rights, intellectual property, societal/cultural impact.

BLU, for those who do not know, is a prominent and respected name in Street Art and mural art whose work and thousands of photos of it on websites and blogs has made him globally known. His stop-action videos of his installations were ground breaking and are the stuff of legend. Thanks to all of his hard work and international exposure his fine art work commands a very nice price and many look to see what he does next.

Since Banksy’s walls started to be taken in whole and resold, the conversations about the phenomena has shaken the street art and contemporary art world. Closely discussed are the philosophical true intentions of artists and the rightful expectations of “the scene” as interpreted by myriad artists, fans, curators, academics, and random passersby; Does the artist hold all rights to the use of the physical and aesthetic work in perpetuity, even when done illegally or in violation of ordinances without consent of a property owner or community?

Further, if it is determined to be an act of vandalism does the artists forfeit their right to determine its ultimate use, or do they retain any say in the matter? If the wall owner had no contract with the artist, verbal or written, are they entitled to do with it as they wish? Can it be sold or destroyed by someone else or only the artist? Can a piece of art that is signed, hashtagged, or URL’d be considered advertising and not regarded purely for artistic merit? Can a city, neighborhood or culture lay claim to an artwork that has withstood the passage of time in public space where people become familiar with it and actually fall in love with it? Is it a cultural icon owned by many, part of a greater heritage? Should any act of restoration be taken, or does that violate the purity of its intent? And which holy book of street art scriptures contains the guidelines and rules that will be universally accepted?

The statement attributed to BLU also says he is angry that a wealthy banking concern which has fought against free speech historically is sponsoring the show, that it appears the show is capitalizing on a form of expression that does not rightfully belong in a museum environment, that promoters are leveraging his name and reputation to legitimate their show, and that the city has demonized artists in the past for doing the very same activity that is now being lauded – revealing a fundamental hypocrisy.

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BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

BLU has destroyed his own work in protest as recently as December of 2014 when he decried the gentrification of certain neighborhoods of Berlin. He wanted to deny real estate interests the opportunity to use his work to sell buildings or apartments. It’s an irony faced by many an artist in the street today – knowing that the changing of a neighborhood may be at least partially traceable to the desireability of the area thanks to attractive murals.

On his own website, Blu published this statement:

“a bologna non c’è più blu
e non ci sarà più finchè i magnati magneranno
per ringraziamenti o lamentele sapete a chi rivolgervi”, says the artist.

Our ability to translate is not great, but generally he is saying something like, “Today in Bologna there is not any more BLU and there won’t be any. For thanks or complaints go to the Magneranno magnates.”

One very large portion of the exhibit for example previously was shown at the Museum of the City of New York under the guidance of the same curator, Sean Corcoran, who brings this New York art to Italy. With historic 1970s and 80s trainwriter names like Lee Quinones, Futura, Daze, Lady Pink, and photographers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant on the roster, it is from the collection of artist Martin Wong who was a personal friend to almost all of these artists and a collector himself.

The collection is owned by the museum (Mr. Wong died of AIDS related illness in 1999) and, having seen the full show from which this emanated from, and knowing personally many of the artists represented here, we know that there is little, if any, art taken from the streets. We also feel assured that most, if not all, of the artists on display from the Martin Wong Collection were proud that this work was preserved and displayed in a museum, since so much from those decades simply doesn’t exist anymore. These are paintings, studio work, photographs, sketch books, and drawings of fine artists who also had practices on the streets (or trains); true pieces of NY history.

However we do not know about the other two collections and cannot make any reliable observations about them.

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Here is a short bit of video from the scene as published by Radio Città del Capo

 

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Editors Note: A previous version of this posting included quotes from a person with whom we had an email discussion. Because of possible miscommunication we did not realize that the person did not wish to be quoted. Those references have been removed and the current posting reflects this.

Also on BSA: BLU Allies: A Counter Exhibition to ‘Banksy & Co.’ Launched In Bologna

 

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Barlo and Andrea Casciu and “The Dance” : Housing, Squatters, Art

Barlo and Andrea Casciu and “The Dance” : Housing, Squatters, Art

Barlo and Andrea Casciu did a summertime mural project in Bologna last week as a metaphorical commentary on machinations and struggles happening during the current housing crisis in Italy. It is an awkward, tormented series of movements in concert with and against partners entitled “The Dance”.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

Not enough places are available for people to live so squatters have been taking over abandoned or unoccupied ones. The government has been passing legislation to widen options of affordable housing but restricting illegal takeovers. Add to this certain elements of anti-immigrants, racism and ongoing corrosive attacks on the social safety net, and you understand how tensions run high.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

The figures in conflict here in the new mural symbolize the forces at odds – and a contested 9,000 square foot settlement from the political collective Làbas in the former Caserma Masini symbolizes all of it. The collaborative illustration itself is located in “Làbas centro sociale” (Labas Community Center) in “an occupied structure very active in community activities related to the housing emergency in Italy – in the city center of Bologna,” says Barlo.

No angry slogans, no marches, no eggs were thrown; It is good to see art being used to depict powerful struggles underway in the heart of a disputed space.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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BIFIDO’s Surrealist Fairy Tale on a Wall in Bologna

BIFIDO’s Surrealist Fairy Tale on a Wall in Bologna

Children inhabit a world full of possibilities that inexplicably contains winged animals, adults, ghosts, candy, race cars, dancing in circles, Angela Merkel, Prince Charming, spiderwebs, sidewalk chalk, Beyonce, and the ability to fly without a plane – all coexisting together in harmony in the same story.

Bifido understands.

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Bifido with young fans. (photo © Courtesy of Bifido)

The Italian Street Artist may need a little more explanation to describe his new installation of photographic characters and elements on the wall of this children’s school for the CHEAP festival in Bologna, but you are welcome to interpret his wheat-pastes in any many you like. “It’s my tribute to a child’s world,” he explains.

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Bifido (photo © Dario Alejandro Barletta)

With shots taken by him and scenarios drawn from imagination and some current events, his surreal disregard for proportion, singularity of symbol and how they seem to levitate in air – may make you think of Magritte as you walk past this brick façade.

What is most striking about the composition could be that the addition of empty space between the characters effectively creates a dialog between them as if they are rationally related. Because they are realistically rendered, it is becomes difficult to separate the real from the imagined – with the exception of the headless adults, which of course are real.

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Bifido (photo © Dario Alejandro Barletta)

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Bifido (photo © Dario Alejandro Barletta)

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Bifido (photo © Pierfrancesco Lafratta)

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Bifido (photo © Dario Alejandro Barletta)

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Bifido (photo © Dario Alejandro Barletta)

 

Click HERE to learn more about Cheap Festival. Bologna, Italy.

 

 

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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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Images Of The Week: 02.02.14

Images Of The Week: 02.02.14

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Welcome to New York! Apparently there is some sort of sporting event happening today here. Or is in New Jersey? So hard to tell. Something to do with tobogganing or something. Winter Olympics maybe?

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Chor Boogie, Chromo, Dain, Deived, El Sol 25, Jesse James, Katsu, Luut, Mr. Toll, Reve, Sen2, The Orion, UNO.

Top Image >> El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A special message made of corporate logos from fine eating establishments on a new sticker that has been spotted around town. Can you identify them all? Artist Unknown with a Chromo tag. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Division of painting labor helpfully illustrated by Luut and Sen2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Deived. Tijuana, Mexico. January 2014 (photo © Deived)

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Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UNO walking a pig in Bologna, Italy. 2014 (photo © UNO)

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UNO. Bologna, Italy. January 2014 (photo © UNO)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie. Detail of his Michael Jackson tribute in progress in Times Square. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie getting ready to paint Madonna next to Michael Jackson. Yes, he does look like Hellboy for some reason. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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The Orion in Romania pays tribute to Soviet Union era cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (photo © The Orion)

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REVE in Italy (photo © REVE)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll spilling his BK control advice. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse James in Miami. (photo © Jesse James)

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Untitled. Times Square, NYC. January 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Opiemme Writes Poetry and Letterforms Across Italy

Opiemme Writes Poetry and Letterforms Across Italy

”What do you write?”

For decades graffiti writers have been checking out one anothers’ bonafides with this question. Even as tags turned to large complex pieces, evermore stylized through means of exaggeration or obfuscation, text has always stayed as a fundamental building block for graffiti writers.

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Opiemme. Edgar A. Poe. “The Raven” Torino, Italy. (photo © Opiemme)

Italian fine artist and Street Artist Opiemme took a variety of routes to employ the text-based art of writers and poets on the street this summer with his “journey through painting and poetry.” Breaking apart, recombining, stretching and spreading the written letterform, the public poetic paintings were conceived to be site-specific and included walls and pavement installations across Italy from north to south, including Torino, Bologna, Rieti, Pizzo Calabro, Faggiano (Taranto), Ariano Irpino, Menfi, Genova, Tirano (Sondrio), and finally Rome.

“I paint using stencil and letter to create images to be read and words to be looked at,” says Opiemme, who travelled more than 5,000 kilometers by train and bus to do his various installations that included 15 murals and a 7 kilometer long “River of words” painted on the pavement in Turin.

 

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

With the help of a webzine, a few galleries, and even the city of Turin, Opiemme found a receptive audience for his works, perhaps because he chose scribes known and admired in the locations he created works for. Among them are local writers and poets mixed with the American Jazz musician Louis Armstrong and Armenian-American rock band System of a Down.  Also included are Edgar Allan Poe, Giovanni Pascoli, S. Francesco D’Assisi, Franco Arminio, Giacomo Leopardi, and Riccardo Bacchelli.

Opiemme says he likes to explore the border between poetry and image, public and private, and to use the printed word as a graphic element on which to build more meanings, even as he sometimes disconnects the letters from their original context. With work that often touches on social or environmental themes  his work has evolved onto the street and into the gallery in the 10+ years he has been practicing. For the Turin born Opiemme it is about plumbing the fine lines between public art, Street Art, and the written word to bring poetry out into the open.

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Donato Aquaro)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Sara Spallarossa)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Donato Aquaro)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Jupiter. Performance by O. Giovannini. Genova, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Turin, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Fagginao Jaz Festival, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Bacchelli. Bologna, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Ariano, Italy. (photo © Livio Ninni)

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Opiemme. Pizzo, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Rieti, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Detail. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Menfi, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Tirano, Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

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Opiemme. Italy. (photo © Courtesy of Opiemme)

 

 

Permission granted for photography used here by Opiemme, who wishes to thank photographers Cristina Principale (Bologna), Mario Covotta, Floriano Cappelluzzo (Ariano Irpino), Claudia Giraud, Thut Duong Nguyen (Torino), Livio Ninni, Ilaria Massaccesi (Tirano), Alessandro Orlandi (Rieti), Stencil Noire Cut (Faggiano), Giorgio De Finis (Roma), Donato Aquaro, Martina Serra, Sara Spallarossa, Francesco Mancini, Marco Pezzati (Genova), Anna Milano, Ivan Barreca (Menfi). Copyright is retained by photographer and the artist.

This project was covered/followed in stages by ZIGULINE webzine,

Opiemme’s journey was supported by: Elastico Studio and Antonio Storelli (Bologna), 3)5 Artecontemporanea (Rieti), Bi-BOx Art Space (Biella),  and Studio D’Ars (Milano).

 

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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 posting is also published on The Huffington Post

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