All posts tagged: Book Review

Stickers Vol. 2: More Stuck-Up Crap from DB Burkeman

Stickers Vol. 2: More Stuck-Up Crap from DB Burkeman

In the Street Art continuum that presents itself to the passerby on city streets, the early practice of hand-drawn tags on stolen postal stickers eventually morphed into mass-produced slick runs of personal branding and large scale one-off hand rendered/cut paper pieces wheat-pasted with a brush. This story, ever-evolving, is more inclusive than some may think of when you talk generically about “slaps” on a door or on the base of a streetlamp in the city’s visual dialogue. For the book Stickers Vol 2, author DB Burkeman takes a wider survey of the practice, however, and in his second compendium, he goes where BSA has always followed the creative spirit; wherever it leads.

DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.

In practice, there are few strictly “sticker artists”. More often there are artists and taggers who also use stickers as part of their public practice which may include painting, aerosol tagging, freehand marker tagging, printing, wheat pasting, sculpture. By adapting the techniques and language of advertising, propaganda, and branding, artists have seized the opportunity to have a voice in the public sphere that is more often only reserved for commercial interests.

Street Artists’ practices of self-promotion are indistinguishable from those of commercial or political interests – and why not? The public space has always been used as a battleground for ideas, a marketplace for attention, a proving ground of identity and power, a theater for capturing imagination, a Socraterial classroom for presenting and probing ideas and the examination of our assumptions about them.

DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.

In a fiercely democratic way, with a very low admission price, all motivations are presented here, and all of them are flawed, and all of them are perfect.

Burkeman’s sophisticated examinations of sticking practices are equally wide in his survey – his own full immersion into art, music, performance, consumer psychology, pop culture, and advertising giving him a comprehension and appreciation of its seeming seamlessness. 

DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.

Burkeman’s introductory essay addresses topics ranging from billboard busting, culture jamming, market forces and Warhols’ bananas – admitting that his baseline appreciation has not waned even as his own study lead him ever deeper and deeper into an ocean he still hasn’t fully fathomed since launching his first sticker volume, Stickers: Stuck-Up Piece of Crap: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art.

“Even after ten years of having this adhesive monkey on my back, I’m surprised that I can still get a kick out of the conversation that happens on the street when someone puts up a sticker,” he says. “It’s like a radiating signal to have others put their own stickers up next to it, as if to say, ‘hey, what’s up?’ The result is a cluster of paper and vinyl personalities.”

DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.

Keeping it contemporary, he also calls in experts from this idiosyncratic world of expressions to further your appreciation for the sticking practice as a reflection of society and a catalyst for it – from the Street Artist Invader to the blue-chip curator/innovator Jeffrey Deitch to fans/visionaries like Stretch Armstrong, C.R. Stecyk III, Dante Ross, and The Super Sucklord.

Using his first book as calling card, many doors have opened to Burkeman, enabling access to collections and rarities, deep dives into the crates, selections of unknowns that you would otherwise not have access to – let alone the opportunity to appreciate. You also get a selection of stickers for your own collection by serious names, including Bast, Lister, Shepard Fairey, Skullphone, Futura, Ron English, and Neckface.

“Cheap, immediate, and unapologetically in your face, the sticker remains the go-to, lo-fi expression for many a band, brand, and fan,” says Don Letts, a founding member of Big Audio Dynamite, among other things. Clearly, the images and messages sent and received using this method have been a boon to those looking to have a voice, and the sticker practice will continue apace. Undoubtedly, DB Burkeman has it covered.

DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.
DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.
DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.
DB Burkeman. Stickers Vol. 2: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. (aka More Stuck-Up Crap) Rizzoli, NYC, 2019.
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Michael De Feo “FLOWERS”

Michael De Feo “FLOWERS”

Amid the detritus of the urban cityscape in decline, it is a welcome contrast to see a dandelion or wild daisy sprouting up from a crack in the sidewalk. Not only is it a reminder of the original inhabitants of the land you are standing on it is an ever-present truth that the plants and the trees and the animals will inherit the earth again, no matter what grand ideas you have for it.

Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019

The simplest symbol of nature in the layered debris of urban margins, and a decorative one, is the flower that Micheal De Feo has been “planting” on walls since the early 1990s. The practice has sustained him through many cities and travels abroad, introducing him to artists and fans and collectors, eventually pushing him into explorations of contemporary art.

Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019

“Conceptually, I had stumbled upon something that made sense to me on so many levels,” he says in his new hardcover book,”Flowers”, published this spring by Abrams, New York.  “Using whimsy and beauty, I was inspiring smiles and also making connections to ideas about the cycle of life and the ephemeral nature of all things.”

The collection of early images of this simple flower popping up in many streets and scenes remind you of your connection to nature and to his art, almost taking it for granted.

Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019

“You learn from watching your artwork set roots in a city,” say the Street Art duo Faile in their intro to the book, “causing people to pause in an alley or on a side street, to stop and look: You see the city in broader terms.”

Now expanding in studio to abstractions and a gestural piling-up of brushstrokes around and upon commercial figurative photography and more recently over top images of classical painting, De Feo is refining and redefining his practice. The newer works are well suited for magazine covers and living room walls as he transitions to a decorative contemporary oeuvre. But the simplicity is still there, happy to be in your world.

“Oh so you’re the flower guy!”.

Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019
Michael De Feo FLOWERS Abrams Books. New York, NY. 2019

If you are in NYC this Thursday, April 25th Michael De Feo will be hosting a Pop-Up party, exhibition, book signing and the release of a new special print in celebration of his book FLOWERS. The Pop-UP will be held at 198 Allen Street from 6:30 – 9:00 pm on April 25th and on Friday, April 26th from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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Igor Ponosov Enlightens with “Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts”

Igor Ponosov Enlightens with “Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts”

An academically sourced opinion-based essay in book form that looks to art, social, economic, and geopolitical movements during the start of the 20th century to better understand the evolution of Urban Art in post-Soviet Russia, Igor Ponosov delivers a welcome reconstruction of the timeline and movements that bring urban art to this day.

With the renewed interest in public art and muralism that has erupted over the last decade in many so-called Western cities it is good to learn how the public space in Russia has been catalyzed not-only by Hip Hop and new graffiti forms from Europe but also the history of Avant-garde art movements and Soviet Muralism in Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts.

With a thorough yet brief recap of a dozen decades of art/social movements, Ponosov illustrates that it is a slowly but widely fluctuating wave of events and sentiments and social-political upheaval that brings art to the street over a century; during times of relative liberalism in artistic freedom during the Tsarists one century ago contrasted a short time later with abolishment of political expression of the Stalinist era that heralded state power and monumentalism, suprematists, and propagandizing the public. Interestingly it’s the constructivist and the realism aesthetics that are currently being repurposed for much of the colorful commercial and state-funded muralism that is happening today on massive Moscow and St. Petersburg walls, and Ponosov helps to illustrate, if not disentangle, the movements that co-evolve over the previous century.

It may prove fascinating to graffiti writers and Street Artists to learn the trajectory and timing of the arrival of Hip Hop culture in the USSR and how it proved itself an enthusiastic student to what was originally an organically occurring series of artistic practices within a mix of communities. The “expansion of Western culture” into post Soviet Russia, as he describes it, occurs a decade (or more) after the original birth of hip hop, yet the importation retains many of the same art practices and ethos during the cultural translation.

The evolution of Street Art on the scene may have been quicker due to immediate digital communications and because of the new practices having similarity to pre-existing mural and fine art practices in Russian cultural history as well as global graffiti ‘jams’. Similarly, the rise in international ‘street art’ festivals looks like it has influenced events here as well as the co-opting/ cultivating of non-political eye-candy murals for commercial and gentrification goals.

It’s enlightening to learn about the rise of something called ‘Actioning’ that recalls the Situationists, and urban performance as part of the thawing post Cold War Glasnost approach to public space. Equally riveting are Posonov’s observations and interest in the more modern, less flashy conceptual street practices and the diverse nature of expressions that defy classification in typical Street Art terms that he describes as a “Partizaning” – a phenomenon of socially engaged street art.

“The tactics and numerous actions of the activists of the Partizaning movement, organized over the course of several years, reflects the ideals of collectivism, metal assistance and responsibility,” he writes of a practice that defies the commonly held assumptions of Urban Art as being antisocial and purely vandalism. “They are intended to restore citizens’ faith that global changes are possible even when working on a local level – be it a staircase, a yard or a neighborhood – through the discourse of urban planning.”

Densely compiled, amply illustrated, and providing an endless series of sparks for future fires, Mr. Posonov makes the discussion open and easy to access, adroitly staying free of corrupting jargon or self-important Art-speak that proves empty. Consider it a concise, reliable eye-opening primer that you can reference into the future to appreciate the evolution of Urban Art in Russia.

Igor Ponosov. Russian Urban Art: History And Conflicts. Moscow 2018. Published in collaboration with Street Art Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

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Invader: “Invasion Los Angeles” Book and “Into the White Cube” Exhibition

Invader: “Invasion Los Angeles” Book and “Into the White Cube” Exhibition

One thing that some Street Artists do when their work enters the white cube is drop the “street” from their official moniker, instead preferring to be known simply as an “artist”. The decision is possibly to rid themselves of any subtle class distinctions or otherwise negative connotations that a potential collector or curator may have with the “street artist” label.

Other artists formerly known as “Street Artists” feel limited by the title because it doesn’t include all of their new interests and their complete practice – or because the term itself has evolved in their mind and the mind of the public to mean something unfavorable that they do not like to be associated with.

When it comes to the internationally renowned Street Artist Invader, its not a consideration – the street is in his DNA. His cryptic tile-made street practice is so proliferate across the world and so much a part of the metropolis like in his hometown of Paris that his art is literally and psychically fused with the city.

The dude even has a global app that helps fans in about 80 cities to track and document his works, and some of the most dedicated have clocked thousands themselves. Now with two decades in the game and nearing age 40, the maker of thousands of pixelated video game characters and pop culture archetypes on walls has released an updated edition of his 2003 Los Angeles Invasion Guide and he stretches himself creatively with a new exhibition that opens this weekend at Over the Influence Gallery in LA.

Called “Into the White Cube’, the show will have more than 50 new mosaic ‘Aliases’, an Invader LED piece, large-scale pin buttons, and an Invader Cinema. The event is huge, even for a Street Artist who can claim 200 pieces on the streets of Venice, Downtown LA, Los Feliz, at the LAX airport and even the HOLLYWOOD sign.

Today we have new images from Invasion Los Angeles 2.1, a breathtaking survey of his work there since 1999, introduced by artist, musician, and writer Bruno Blum who puts his finger on the pulse of this compulsive campaigner in his first “invaded” US city.

“Invader lives for his art. He has a passion for what he’s doing. He’s a diehard. In ‘street artist’, there’s the word ‘street’. Invader is from the streets; and not from the Beverly Hills streets. He’s got fire in the belly, he’s got what it takes and he’s got it down,” writes Blum.

Full of personal accounts that shed a light on his process and mind and featuring shots of placements that are ingenious, often witty, banal, baddass, and seemingly impossible, the collection is a finally a revelation into the compulsive commitment that a Street Artist brings to the game. Helpfully, it also includes street maps.

Invasion Los Angeles 2.1 / Updated Edition 1999 – 2018. A Book By Invader. Published by Control P. Editions. France 2018.

 


Invader “Into The White Cube” first solo exhibition in Los Angeles will open this Saturday, November 17th at OverUnder The Inlfuence. Click HERE for further details.

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El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

The perception you may have of Tunisian calligraffitist el Seed’s new limited edition hefty white-box tome is that it will contain austerely designed blue chip contemporary works, a book meant to be stacked for aesthetic impact on the toniest of coffee tables. But often perceptions won’t give the full picture.

And el Seed is the first to tell you that in this deeply personal account of his art project across fifty buildings in Mashiyat Naser, a neighborhood of Cairo over two years ago. Born of his personal need to challenge himself and to add more to his career as a respected muralist, his original concept of working in this neighborhood of 70,000 recyclers was informed by his own assumptions, perhaps of helping a community known in the city as Zabbaleen, or “garbage people”.

Over the course of the project he and his team describe through interviews and with his own diary style how their own eyes were opened. It is an incremental revelatory experience that paralleled the quote that he stylized throughout the pattern of his piece, “Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eyes first,” from the writings of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a fourth century Coptic Bishop.

Scaling the power networks seems as natural to el Seed as scaling a massive wall, and he demonstrates his acumen for winning the approval and involvement with his project from the Othodox Church religious leader Father Samaan, whose permission is used to open doors in the community for painting. With the project the artist also garners the attention of  MoMA in New York, specifically Glenn D. Lowry, who introduced him at Art Dubai after the project was completed and who writes the introduction to this book.

But here the artist tells you that nothing prepared him for his own personal transformation plunging himself into the neighborhood. With time he says he realized that he had an incorrect perception of the people who recycle the city’s garbage and that he received the larger gift from them.

Through photography and interviews el Seed illustrates his own learning process as well as his own teams meeting the social, political and physical demands of such a public artwork. By following the story the reader gains appreciation for the process and the nature of life there in a part of the city that even his first taxi driver was hesitant to drive into. Despite the impressive massive public artwork that can be seen in its entirety from one specific vantage point, it almost feels to the artist that the art was secondary to the project.

“The project helped establish a dialogue, create a connection. Looking back, we understood that this was born out of recognition,” he writes. “We approached a rejected community and involved it in a piece of artwork. They were part of the creative process by their presence, their looks, their smiles and their proffered hands. There’s no doubt that’s how we got through it, despite the steep streets, unsteady houses, unexpected electricity cables and heaps of garbage.”

The neighborhood has garnered international attention in recent years, drawing a string of international ‘news’ crews who produce shallow, sensationalist and ultimately degrading pieces, a series of bad experiences that have left locals feeling far more suspicious of outsiders – especially those with probing questions and camera equipment.

Mahdi is a photographer/videographer who has worked with el Seed in the past and who followed the team throughout the weeks of installations capturing not only the community, the architecture,  and the painters but also the various livestock that are raised on roofs or in backyards in this dense part of the city – contributing to an often overwhelming acrid smell. As the documenter of the Perception project Mahdi says that he gradually realized that he had misjudged the folks who lived there.

“I was not so convinced that these people really like their life or that they were not bothered with any details of their job until the day I interviewed Abu Atef,” he says. “That man and his wife were proudly announcing in front of my camera that it is their job to collect the trash from the big city and that without them Cairo would be full of trash and dirt. They were so proud and happy with their life; I’ve never seen people as happy as them. The life in that neighborhood is hard, the work is so hard, but their smiles are stronger.”

One of the team painters says that although the work of using less-than-optimum hand cranked lifts to paint poorly constructed brick walls day after day in intense heat caused him to discover “some muscles that I had no idea existed in my body,” the bonds he made were stronger than any other job he’d had.

“The connection that we had with the community was insane. I worked with people for years in offices and for different companies but I didn’t stay in touch with anyone. I worked for three weeks with these people and the team, and we are still in touch.”

“After a few days the light they had inside of them started to come out. I stopped judging them and I started to see who they really are. I’ve never seen people who work like that in my life. They never stop, they work almost every single day and they only have one week off during the whole year. And they are smiling all day long. I still remember the family of Uncle Bakheet while they were sorting the trash, laughing and joking with us. This project made me “wipe my eyes”.

The photographs are genuine, generous, and not sentimental. The prose a bit sweetened, the emotions expressed not always flattering, the descriptions even-handed, the vulnerability a gift. In the end, the artist says that he and the team were amazingly proud of the massive anthromorphic mural and the group effort that made it happen. They and the neighbors were also thrilled with the effect of the large black lights that turned the fluorescent underpaint of the white areas into a miraculous view – a secret for the audience until the moment the switch was thrown. What resonates is the deep emotional connection that appears to have affected so many of the participants; lives that were indeed transformed by art.

“In the touching and colorful tranquility of their existence, the exceptional and unique community of the Zaraeeb offered us a valuable philosophy of life, of inevitability, equanimity, humor, human values, hard work, generosity and determination,” says el Seed.

El Seed PERCEPTION Published by Point à la Ligne. Milan, Italy. 2018.

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“Ex Animo”,  Eight Years of Poetry by Faith Forty Seven

“Ex Animo”, Eight Years of Poetry by Faith Forty Seven

Worn workers, wild beasts, a bloom in the rubble.

Prayers of supplication and longing, racing teams of stallions and master felines of fury, the exhausted figure of a dream barely still illuminated, a wistful stage in the plundered urban landscape, or a plundered life.

This is what she does to you. As Faith IXVII leaves her stolen stanza, her massive mural in washed hues, her tributes to a moment lost in a city that would leave you to die if it had its way, she makes you make poetry.

“Artists are driven to leave a mark, something that will tell their story, or the story of their time,” writes Jacqueline Flint when speaking of the South African artists installation work. Whether stories she has found, constructed, or caught in the ether as they drift by, Faith has left many tales for you to unpack in cities from Wuhan, China to Chinatown in New York City to Goa, India and Portland, Washington.

In EX ANIMO you can see where she’s been waving to you from, even as you passed by, or beneath.

Published by Drago and edited by Roger Gastman, the handsome volume captures the opus works and gallery installations and hidden gems on temporary construction walls and pillars holding the highway, all part of the modern vocabulary of Street Artists who weave themselves into the fabric of the megapolis. But there is much more if you care to see it.

“Anyone can make art in the streets but a rare few create socially impactful content, and there is no denying that Faith’s work has transformed perspectives among her global audience,” writes Kristin Farr in her essay, and it is true that the width of a mind and heart can be pushed a little further with these hard won truths.

“A language of empathy borne in a scream of rage, hurled like a Molotov cocktail but given the wings of metaphor and the grace of allegory,” writes Carlo McCormick in the introduction,”Faith’s work on the streets commands all the monumentality of public art yet whispers its deepest secrets in the hushed tones of prisoners and stowaways, travelers whose journeys demark the limits and possibilities of no where else to go.”

Whether it is the rhythm of the lunar cycle or the steady, now racing, beating of blood through hearts and lungs, its a meditative measure of Faith that appears on our streets pointing to our folly and our burning fire within. Often it is a poem that rises inside.

Faith XLVII. “EX ANIMO’ THE WORK OF FAITH FORTY SEVEN/ 2010-2018. Drago Publishing. Rome, Italy, 2018

 

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Adele Renault Takes Flight With a Message of “Feathers and Faces”

Adele Renault Takes Flight With a Message of “Feathers and Faces”

For many the shock of Silent Spring was not that the chemical industry had run roughshod over the rules and poisoned our water, air, and soil.

For a large number of readers it was the fact that Rachel Carsen’s “fable for tomorrow” included a vision of the future that we didn’t want to imagine; our lives without birds, without their songs, their beauty, their plumage, their companionship, their resilience in the brutal city and in the great outdoors.

Yes, DDT was eventually banned in some countries – after its use was linked to damage to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural and domestic animals – and to humans. 56 years after JFK included Silent Spring in his summer reading, his nephew won a lawsuit, the first of thousands expected, against Monsanto and RoundUp this summer – so obviously we’re slow learners.

Street Artist/fine artist Adele Renault understands our interdependence with the birds and with each other perhaps better than many, and “Feathers and Faces” carries the message powerfully by delivering these works she has done on city streets and galleries in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Helsinki, Moscow…

We saw her in Moscow just two weeks ago where she collaborated with photographer Martha Cooper on an installation for Artmossphere Biennale 2018, which BSA co-curated. In addition to her stunning wall painting of a pigeon and Martha’s photographs of her pigeon photos during the last 40 years, the two of them created a coop, named “Coop’s Coop”, and featured Adele’s painting of “Martha”, the last carrier pigeon – that died September 1914 and whose remains are now on display at the Smithsonian.

Clearly, there are more than six degrees of interconnectivity in this story and literally billions of stories across the world of our interdependence with birds.

We share this city with pigeons. We look to the same environment to supply us with what we need, including food, water, shelter – depending on physical factors like as soil, air, a temperate climate, other organisms. Adele studies our feathered friends and brings them full force to the streets, and we know that here only the scrappiest survive and get to display their colors.

Adam Eeuwens takes his worldview and interpretations of the ornithologists and merges them with a stark assessment of the significance pigeons have to us in his intro to Feathers and Faces.

“As a spirit animal in symbology, the pigeon represents the values such as home, and it’s attributes of love, peace, grace, care, security, foundation, fertility, and family, bringing an inherent sense of belonging. The pigeon is safest in a flock, with the strength and support found in the community and in communication.

The pigeon is determined, nothing will chase it away from food. And of course, the pigeons are messengers, of tidings that one must be open and receptive to, as it is the nature of this beast to hold blessings. Being aware of seeing a pigeon, whether awake or in a dream, teaches one to be resilient, to find the comfort of home within, to be cooperative, compassionate, resourceful, loving, and forgiving. It asks you to embrace change.”

Art on the streets is a state of continuous change and murals are redefining our cities, drawing our attention to issues somehow overlooked in our movies and media. Right now, today, the animal kingdom is being decimated and humans are being turned into refugees in an unprecedented number.

Our ecological interdependence is woven into our historical, cultural, sociological, political, physical, mystical, emotional existence. It is fitting that the resilient Adele Renault finds the details of perseverance and beauty in the lines of our faces and the sheen of their feathers and the determination in the eyes of us all.  It is our nature.

Adele Renault. Feathers And Faces. Foreword by Carlo McCormick.

 


Feathers And Faces by Adele Renault was published in 2018 and is distributed in the United States and Canada by SCB Distributors.


 

Click on the link below for information on Ms. Renault’s one day exhibition tomorrow Sunday September 16, 2018 in Jersey City, NJ:

In Situ Creative and The Ring Side Lounge present: Adele Renault: “Tyson’s Corner” (Jersey City, NJ)

 

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Add Fuel Reimagines Azulejo in His First Monograph

Add Fuel Reimagines Azulejo in His First Monograph

Street Artist Add Fuel is exporting azulejo to the rest of the world. Slightly differently than they did in previous centuries.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Via his own pop-culture interpretation of the interlocking curvilinear, geometric and graphic motifs, the Portuguese artist is firing new pieces daily in the kiln of his studio in Cascais. For a decade or so his interpretations of the tin-glazed ceramic tilework have been appearing on inordinate secondary city skins in the paths of pedestrians: visual illusions meant to appear as layers of urban bark peeling back from surfaces you take for granted to reveal heritage, history, artisanship.

While the interiors and exteriors of churches, palaces, schools and subway stations are covered with azulejos in Lisbon, thanks to Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) they have travelled to other cities and cultures as well. Each time he is attracted to the tilemaking traditions locally, and he often incorporates his study of these new histories as well.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

What makes his work contemporary is the reworking of elements to include zombies, snakes, Gameboys, and selfie sticks in his patterns. A graphic designer and illustrator, he imagines his complex tile ornamentation as a patterned fill for masking or knocking out type. Entire walls become quilted blocks and remnants stitched together. Taking inspiration from Jacques Villeglé and his torn poster collages (or even Faile’s more recent reworking of the method for ripped away pop revelation) Add Fuel uses the device of showing the past, the foundation for the culture, helping us to imagine a life before ours.

Add Fuels first monograph is tile-shaped and precisely rendered, a survey of the patterned and pixilated, pleasant and pernicious imagined motifs he has placed upon tiles, screenprints, embroidery and façades. Using historical, artists and artisanal work as inspiration, with his archive of ideas and executions he has created himself as one for others.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018.

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RUN: “Time Traveller Artist Man” Tells All With His Hands

RUN: “Time Traveller Artist Man” Tells All With His Hands

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
Carl Jung

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

The founder of analytical psychology would have looked at the hands of RUN and perhaps understood more about his lifelong psychological process than the average intellect, and yet seeing RUN’s carefully formed people on the street captivates your imagination as well.

These are the dreams he creates with his expressive hands, conscious or unconscious features that over time have developed into archetypes to be combined, adorned, alone, and recombined. Not surprisingly, his people often have a grasp, a hold, a flair for the five fingered gesture as well.

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

His graffiti days as a teen in the 1990s were formative, not least because after tagging he discovered his passion for the figurative and his enthralling respect for the materials of art making. It also helps that his outgoing personality helped him mix easily with peers on multiple secretive artistic escapades.

When you see the list of his compatriots it occurs to you that RUN had no choice but to be astounding. It also occurs to you that Italy has produced many of the best quality and imaginative, innovative Street Artists. “At the beginning of 2000 we started a sort of Italian school of underground muralism,” he says of his colleagues Blu, Ericailcane, Dem, Hitnes, Allegra Corbo, 2501, Basik and Moneyless. The muralism continues, and some of these names are possibly walking toward canonical.

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

The writer and Street Art authority Tristan Manco helps capture the significance of this person’s journey;
“Part travelling diary, part monograph, Time Traveller Artist Man charts the triumphs and tribulations of an imaginative soul with a passion for travel, whose worldwide voyages have become a catalyst to create art that is elemental and playful, with the ultimate goal of engaging with people from all walks of life.”

On the occasion of his first serious monograph, the artist has taken the time to point you to his studies abroad in a solid tome published by Unicorn. In studio you contemplate the tools, in the street you contemplate the technique.

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

In his wall painting travels, which include The Gambia, Senegal, UK, Poland, Shenzhen, Croatia, Morocco, and many cities in his home country you see the nature and the wisdom of Giacomo Bufarini’s people – and his regard for them lies in the pattern, the abstraction, the gesture.

He cannot stay still for long, his subconscious and his dreams are full of movement. Thus, RUN. There is too much to see, too much to think about, too much to respect and explore. Rather than talk about it, his hands will tell you all you need to know.

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London. UK. 2016

Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN Time Traveller Artist Man Unicorn Publishing Group. London, UK. 2016

 

RUN Time Traveller Artist Man is published by Unicorn Publishing Group. London, UK. 2016


“It does not suffice in all cases to elucidate only the conceptual context of a dream content.
Often it is necessary to clarify a vague content by giving it a visible form.
This can be done by drawing, painting, or modeling.
Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
Carl Jung

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“Street Art / Today” features 50 of the Most Influential Street Artists

“Street Art / Today” features 50 of the Most Influential Street Artists

It’s nearly impossible to arrange the work of Street Artists into lists of “top” or “most popular” or “most influential”, but it happens all the time now particularly as the street art world morphs into a commercial and professional scene for some. But it’s a dodgy business when one tries to rank art and artists – and most people will disagree with your list no matter what.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

At best it is useful to devise a set of metrics to measure, compare, and contrast works amidst the chaos and to imbue a sense of order and perhaps, hierarchy – although anathema to founding roots of punk/ situationist/ culture jamming philosophies that would detest the very word. Academia at the moment is studying and devising those metrics according to their unique values and understanding, as are auction houses, cultural curators, art dealers, historians, collectors, art sellers, and the actual people who make art.

Street art / today: The 50 most influential street artists today by Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong from Lannoo publishers in Belgium devises a narrow criterion for selection of these artists, according to the preface. “The featured artists have been chosen according to their productions in the public space over the past two years. We examined their consistency in terms of style and technical quality, the influence their originality has had on other practising artists, and their popularity across various social media outlets.”

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

This of-the-moment selection of popularity may be primarily aimed at collectors who are able to purchase the fine art works through galleries or dealers, more than historical students or fans of the scene. You may even see this as a catalog, a quick primer for the investor and a helpful snapshot of a moment in the evolving mural movement that is bringing these amazing talents to curated festivals globally as commercial vehicles or products or revitalizers of economically challenged cities.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

The selection here also may favor the artists who have access, the freedom to travel, a formal arts education, some financial wherewithal, and the savvy to market one’s work digitally to those surfing the Internet. Many here are excellent marketers and are tirelessly pursuing professional careers in contemporary art with their public works often augmenting their gallery shows and dealers whom they sell through and the direct collectors whom they meet via social media.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

While the more accepted definition of Street Art is illegal and unsanctioned, the majority of images here are of fully realized, usually large, legal or sanctioned murals by illustrators, designers, painters; and they are documented here most often by the artists themselves. Rather than looking at this as Street Art, with few exceptions it may be more accurate to say it is a book of legal commissioned/permissioned murals by artists who have roots as Street Artists or graffiti artists.

It is a beautiful aggregation, and certainly many of these artists have been interviewed and regularly featured on websites and other free cultural outlets like this one providing depth, context, analysis, information, and exposure. Having a hard copy of this collection of fifty in your hand will help freeze this moment for posterity as the scene/s continue to evolve.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

Photos of the book plates by © Jaime Rojo

Street art / today: The 50 most influential street artists today by Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong published by Lannoo. Belgium.

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Ella & Pitr Draw You Their Diary of World Travels in “Baiser D’Encre”

Ella & Pitr Draw You Their Diary of World Travels in “Baiser D’Encre”

Who knew that babies could use so many diapers! What to do when you are in a foreign city and both of you are sick as dogs? Also, we may need a crane to help us finish the world’s largest roof mural.

These considerations are things you draw into your travelogue diary when you are Ella & Pitr, the painters of enormous kings, pilots, and couples cuddled in bed on fields, rooftops, and beaches around the world.

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The French street art couple are never very far from home in their thoughts, even when scoring paint for an enormous multi-roof portrait or flying in a helicopter over top of it – especially when they have a toddler and an infant waiting back at the hotel or at their grandparents’ house in France.

This new book “Baiser D’Encre” (Kiss Ink) captures the drawings Ella & Pitr make at restaurants, bus stops, hotel rooms, and while waiting for a plane – little entertaining sketches from the road with entire stories attached to them that they can share with their kids and family.

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here is a city we went to, these are odd people whom we met, this is Mommy coughing uncontrollably and Daddy ready to vomit.

This hand-drawn diary contains more information about personal and professional relationships, relative personalities, attachments to objects, struggles in life and their ability to lighten a rotten situation with humor than a written diary could.

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Doodles, daydreams, depictions of everyday circumstances, and collaboratively drawn pieces with their kids tell the reader about their interconnected emotions and imaginings in way that thousands of words may fall short.

Encompassing roughly a year of their life, Ella & Pitr give you the good, the bad, and the option to laugh at it all.

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre” Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Ella & Pitr “Basier D’Encre”. Les Editions Papiers Peintres. France. November 2015. To order this book click HERE

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“Djerbahood” Book About Tunisian Open-Air Museum Of Street Art

“Djerbahood” Book About Tunisian Open-Air Museum Of Street Art

It seems like we’ve talked to you about this great project before and undoubtedly you have heard of it, but we weren’t prepared to see the high-quality, visually succulent and densely compiled tome that arrived in the mail this spring commemorating Djerbahood.
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Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Another top rate production from the Galerie Itinerrance in Paris, the book allows you to see most of the 150 or so artists who painted in this largest island of North Africa in Tunisia. Not surprisingly, most of these artists are represented by the gallery and organizer/author Mehdi Ben Cheikh so it is by default a catalog of talents whose studio work is for sale. But this is no mere sales catalog, Fatimah.

With more than 500 photographs and text in French and English that details the history of the project and village over 288 pages, this hard cover introduces you to artists you have never heard of from across the spectrum of graffiti, decorative arts, illustration, street art, and muralism. We found that a Saturday morning with this book and a cup of coffee will absorb your mind and imagination, giving you a sense of the place and the people who live there as well.

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ROA. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bom.K . Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alexis Diaz. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art. Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Editons Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Djerbahood/Open-Air Museum Of Street Art by Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Published by Editions Albin Michel. Paris, 2015.

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