All posts tagged: Borås

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.


No. 15

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE

 


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE


No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE


No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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Hot Tea: An Undulating Fluorescent Apparition Takes You To Church

Hot Tea: An Undulating Fluorescent Apparition Takes You To Church

A fluorescent underwater sea creature is flobbing it’s tentacles in the ripply and unusual directions of the currents and cross currents, full of life and full of crazy ideas. This particular one is hanging over your head actually, but the breezes make it look like its under water.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The levitating and waving installation in the sky must be confusing for Borås citizens who see the sugar hot pink, the blood red, the radioactive lemon and electric lime blob in the sky, especially because its in the church yard.

It doesn’t really seem like a piece of Street Art to those who are accustomed to thinking that festivals like “No Limit” are for murals only. But the director of this Swedish art gathering doesn’t worry much about restrictions like that – he knows that public art today has as many variations as it does practitioners.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I can stare at the HOTTEA installation forever,” says Shai Dahan, a Street Artist who has invited a healthy range of artists who work in the public sphere in the 3 editions of “No Limit”.

In fact, it is mesmerizing and time may collapse upon itself while you stare up at this ever-changing sky-sculpture from green grass of the yard, or from the pews inside Caroli Church while allowing your attention to drift out the window. It may appear as a vision, a sign, a holy spirit embodied in this cubic form just outside the glass. Hopefully the Vicar hasn’t found it too distracting for parishioners to listen to his Sunday sermon.

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Hot Tea. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. Video via BrooklynStreetArt.com

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Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

A new mouse on the street is bringing the world to you one little shop at a time.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When finding these new installations on the street in Boras recently during the “No Limit” festival, adults clamored to get close and examine each detail. For children the draw was more like a compulsion.

One inquisitive girl named Grace appeared to want to get inside the pieces, to live there full time. Unfortunately even a tiny person is too big for these miniature apparitions of a world that can loom so large in your imagination.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The artists say they consider themselves novices, but this level of execution and attention to detail suggests that their skills are far more accomplished then they are letting on. During our recent trip to Sweden we had the opportunity to see their work and ask a few questions to see if this mysterious collective(?) could bring a tiny lantern to shed some light on a few matters.

An illustration from Ilon Wikland for an Astrid Lindgren story. ©Ilon Wikland

Brooklyn Street Art: What is the conceptual idea behind these very detailed small worlds you create?
Anonymouse: The idea to construct mice-sized sceneries emerged in March of 2016, inspired by the stories of Astrid Lindgren, and the movies of Walt Disney and Don Bluth.We believe that at some point most children like to imagine that there is a world parallel to ours wherein small animals live quite like we do but using things that we have lost.And based on the response we’ve received it would seem like quite a few people feel the same way.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you call yourselves street artists?
Anonymouse: Not really no, we see ourselves as enthusiastic amateurs. Since we’d like our work to speak for itself and not focus on us, we’ve chosen to stay anonymous, and as such it’s also quite hard to become part of a street art community.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you have a background in working in the public sphere previously? (graffiti, Street Art, public art, etc?)
Anonymouse: Nah, or well, a few of us have been part of some small projects, but not anything of notice.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Who do you think is your most enthusiastic audience – children or adults?
Anonymouse: Ha ha, good question. We think kids and adults see different things in the sets – children see the “magic” and accept the shops for what they invite.

Adults, if they like it, like the craftsmanship.

We encourage people build their own miniature sets and to place them all over their own cities. If we can do it, so can you!

Brooklyn Street Art: What a unique addition your work has been to “No Limit” this year.
Anonymouse: We’d just like to thank all the other artists doing absolutely amazing work in Borås. And to Shai Dahan, for the whole initiative.

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.10.17 “No Limit” Borås Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.10.17 “No Limit” Borås Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to “No Limit” in Boras 2017.

Begun on the initiative of Street Artist Shai Dahan, the No Limit festival in Borås Sweden is a nice respite in a quiet, somewhat conservative town of pleasant people where all the shops close by six and the streets are empty by ten. With the initiative and vision of Dahan, three editions of “No Limit” have brought a varied roster of more than 30 Street Artists and muralists and installation artists into the downtown area and thrilled the tour groups and looky-loos who follow the trail discovering new artworks.

Playing toward the center and knowingly delighting the audience, the full collection also boasts a few great eclectic names and actual forward-looking leaders on the Street Art/ Contemporary Art continuum. Thanks to Dahan’s sharp eye and knowledge of who to bring, it is a well-rounded collection that compliments the city and yet represents the independent-thinking iconoclastic nature of today’s art on the streets.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anonymouse, Bordalo II, Christina Angelina, Fintan Magee, Gemma O’Brien, Hot Tea, JM Rizzi, Lakwena, Lonac, Nespoon, and Telmo & Miel.

Top image:  Bordalo II. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II.Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo Miel. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Telmo Miel. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo Miel. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JM Rizzi. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JM Rizzi. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. Detail. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NeSpoon at work on her wall. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NeSpoon. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Detail. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flying Into the Weekend : HotTea, Bordalo II, TelmoMiel, Nespoon for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 6

Flying Into the Weekend : HotTea, Bordalo II, TelmoMiel, Nespoon for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 6

HotTea is being offered in the Caroli Church yard right now, floating above parishioners heads.

Hot Tea. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unveiled as the sun was seting in the Swedish sky, the separate bundles of rayon strips freed one-by-one beneath their gridded wire superstructure, this hovering mass of radiance is enlivened by the slightest breezes rippling through the glowing neon soft cloud, not quite a rectangle, not at all expected.

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a tenet of illegal Street Art and legal public art is that it has the power to reactivate public space, sometimes challenging it, sometimes transgressing it. In the case of HotTea his installations reveal space that you were perhaps not seeing, the way Aakash Nihalani reveals geometric patterns and relationships with masking tape and Brad Downey subversively cuts chunks out of it, rearranges it, reallocates it.

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here on the property of a religious and historical institution, one is tempted to say he captures the spirit of its higher aspirations and holds it aloft as a reminder. He also just completed this summer an enormous record-breaking installation in the Mall of America, a holy temple of commerce and consumerism, so we may have mistakenly imbued this project with something mystical because we were transported from the slippery bricked streets of Boras upon its discovery.

Either way, Boras tour groups applaud. We keep seeing it wherever we go – the appreciation of the new works literally makes people burst into applause, as they did when Hot Tea was on his lift yesterday, as they did for TelmoMiel as they were in their separate baskets 3 stories above in the drizzle, and from 200 meters away on the other side of the street looking up a hill watching Bordalo II as he installed his white wolf, half dripping white, half Technicolor consumer items. As they did when Jim Rizzi turned around almost on cue to face a dozen seniors who were staring at him across the river while he was painting. For those street artists and graffiti artists who have been hunted down by the Vandal Squad or its equivalent over the years, this outpouring of appreciation for your work feels and sounds surreal, perhaps leading you to be philosophical, or bitterererer-er.

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Those are the original drawings for the cartoon that we used to watch,” says Dutchman Miel as he takes a break down on the pavement to look up at the animated scene looming above and his art partner Telmo in a cherry picker gazing into the mouth of a fox. The guys are creating a sophisticated tableau incorporating the 2-D cartoon stills of a famous children’s animation and overlaying incredibly realistic 3-D versions of the same.

A still from the animated series of Nils Holgersson

“We used to watch it when we were little – it’s a very old Swedish book and it has been animated by the Dutch and I think the Japanese and it is one of my favorite shows,” he says as we learn about Nils Holgersson and the likelihood that most Swedes will be instantly familiar with this small boy riding on the back of a goose who flies him around the world.

“We like combining the realism with the flat stuff right now,” Miel says of this digital shattering, a hi-jacked visual collage.

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: And you have these atmospheric washes…the realism, almost surrealism.
Miel: Those are cut-outs because it’s like a two layer thing. We erase one layer and we always end up having strokes and bits – which makes it kind of more abstract, and we like that aspect so we just leave it. By abstractifying realism, we create surrealism.

A similar split between real and surreal exists in the sculptural installation of Bordalo II on the side of the Boras tourist center. Collaged together refuse from the never-ending garbage/recycling stream we are creating, the Lisbon artist has an uncanny ability to evoke the likeness of an animal that is often familiar to a locality. Here the street audience is also witnessing the transition of an artist’s style, displayed mid-evolution.

Bordalo II. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whereas Bordalo II’s well-known and celebrated sculptures until this summer had always been finished with paint to complete their transformation, the artist has grown tired of the technique and is moving toward a body of work that uses only the colors present in the recycled items – a much more demanding and challenging technique for the artist, and a visual shift from his typically realized works.

We talk about the new direction as we’re looking at the piece nearly finished on the wall and he contrasts his relationship with the “old” right side of the animal with the “new” left side technique.

“It’s different at least,” he says. “I was getting bored of the old way on the right side – it’s always the same.”

Bordalo II. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And the multi-color eye-popping left? “This is the side that excites me. It’s fun because you can recognize a lot of the items and there is a lot of detail with all of the colors. You’re not playing with tones. You’re playing with colors and you have to give the idea of the shape of the outlines all with just the choice of different colors. I’m not using much black or white – for example the only place where there is black is in the eye. It’s important to use black only in the few places where you really need it then you can just play with the colors and make perspective.”

NeSpoon. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just across a footbridge into the city’s old commercial district you round a bricked corner and find Nespoon riding up and down a two story wall beside a tavern. The organically decorative lace pattern pops out from the surface, slightly undulating like the long leafed aquatic plants in the Viskan river only 15 meters from her paintbrush.

NeSpoon. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I draw the lace by hand, scan it, print it on large paper and hand cut all the pieces before I stencil them.” It’s a laborious process admittedly, but one that allows a feeling of full authorship and an organic relationship with the materials and final product. The Polish artist is making great progress and now is filling the background with a rusted red root timbre, just picking up the autumnal highlights in leaves on trees nearby.

As this Swedish town nearly marches ever closer to fall, the electricity of “No Limits” is bringing one last surge of summer and a real appreciation of the work of Street Artists as well.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. Installation # 2. No Limit/Borås 2017. The Malmö based secretive installation artist put this hand crafted miniature gas station overnight. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anonymouse. Installation # 2. No Limit/Borås 2017. The Malmö based secretive installation artist put this hand crafted miniature gas station overnight. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Surprise Anonymouse Guest, Sunlight at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 5

Surprise Anonymouse Guest, Sunlight at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 5

 

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


A small surprise guest appeared in Boras Thursday overnight and was sort of discovered by people on their way to work in the neighborhood. And when we say small, consider that a thimble is playing the role of a lampshade in one of these set scenes.

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. The Malmö based secretive installation artist put this hand crafted miniature storefront overnight.Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The miniature movement has been important in the last 10 years particularly in Street Art, with ever small pieces popping up – a bit of escapist fun for kids and those adults who also would like to disappear themselves for a moment into a tiny fantasy world. The Swedish installation artists Anonymouse have appeared on the streets of Malmö with a logo that smacks of Disney, Ronald McDonald and that Occupy mask of Guy Fawkes. But this is just a little mouse world for you to live in, provided you can get on your belly and stare closely.

Aside from that new bit, we found the artists happier with the weather, spirits lifted, and walls going up! Here are some of the images we caught on tour through the city which really has embraced the influx of international artists in a way that few do.

Anonymouse. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s great how many business owners have been supportive to us over the years,” says artist and “No Limit” organizer Shai Dahan. We’re standing with structural engineer and commercial real estate property manager Erik Williamson in front of the new wall by TelmoMiel that features a goose and a fox from a well known Swedish fable by Nils Holgerssons.

Williamson has donated buildings and gallery space over the last three editions of the festival, virtually goosing the interest of the rest of the city. Now Shai receives calls from local businesses asking for artists to paint their walls almost daily.

NeSpoon for the Thinkspace/No Limit Borås 2017 “There Are No Limits” art show. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We love it!” says Mr. Williamson, “I’m a bird watcher, so this one is fun for me. It’s good for the city and the town. I think this year there will be many more people.” Does he think that these new works around town are like graffiti and does he have negative connotations about them? “I do not think of graffiti, I think it more of art. I think it does us good to walk around the city and to see street art and sculptures and it is good for the people in the city, I think.”

Abstract artist JM Rizzi is feeling good about his progress as the sun is coming out and his long wall is finally filling with color thanks to late days and helps from local volunteers. It’s appropriate that his work is here by the river, as he speaks of fluidity when describing the gestural abstract style that he has become known for.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Influenced as a student in college nearly two decades ago by artists like Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, Rizzi says he’s heartened by the idea that his early graffiti influences are now matured and embedded with his love of writing, and the simplicity of the line.

“The person who really turned the light on for me was Franz Klein – his drawing, his black ink, his gestures, his letterforms,” says Rizzi. In fact, he says the essence of a JM Rizzi piece is always “about the linework.” He also speaks of music. Tracing the wall with his finger in the air he talks about the rhythm of the piece and says he can hear a soundtrack of percussion and horns; the yellow is a horn, the grey is a bass.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately, he says, “It’s about the dialogue of art, and what I am adding to that dialogue.”

As we speak we see well-known local tour guide Bjorn Linder is bringing a group of mature adults up the banks of the river across from Rizzi’s new wall. When it comes to putting your art out to be seen by the public, that’s where the dialogue continues.

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artists at Work, Soggy but Intrepid Update for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 4

Artists at Work, Soggy but Intrepid Update for No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 4

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


The Australian letterist Gemma O’Brien may be the only artist who is dry right now at No Limit Boras; she’s painting a wall inside The Swedish School of Textiles – adding her illustrative painting to a publicly accessible area of the esteemed institution of learning. Ken and Alisha from Thinkspace are also out of the rain because they are installing the pop-up gallery show opening Thursday night in the city center.

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA has had the pleasure of co-curating with Thinkspace in the past and once again they  are bringing a stunning cross section of current Street Art, graffiti, dark pop, pop surrealist, tattoo, illustration, all helpful to put the No Limit mural installations in a larger context. The art movement, perhaps because of its global nature and the many tributaries that contribute to it, is still having a hard time deciding on the rubric these works fall under: Urban Contemporary? New Contemporary? Definitely Thinkspace is giving a good taste of what is happening as it evolves. Wednesday afternoon a few of the artists who are on walls in town were and in the gallery show were also in the space – including Nespoon and Bordalo II, both whom just landed.

Gemma O’Brien. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Actually had a great opportunity to see Bordalo II jumping into the dumpster to peruse the recycled garbage he’ll be working with over the next few days here to create a sculpture on the side of a wall. Contrary to the process he has to do elsewhere, this time he gave the Boras team a full list of desired garbage items for them to find and collect for him. Thanks to the pretty sophisticated recycling system that Sweden has and the fact that you frankly don’t see much garbage strewn across this city at all, this was the assured way that the Lisbon based artist could get the raw materials needed to create his signature installation.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police have been milling around a bit aimlessly it would seem, appearing only under cover of night, tempting peers and unsuspecting bar patrons into pool games, episodes of hilarity and assorted blueprints for late night debauchery. Since the town doesn’t typically stay up late for, well, anything, this has posed a particular challenge for Chas and Chinny to wrangle participants, but we have faith in them. Not officially part of the No Limit festival this year, we hear that the Police have some public tricks up their sleeves over the next couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea and his assistant Fabrizio arrived here without there luggage yesterday afternoon (as many have) and despite the jet lag, the rainy skies, and their 2 day-old clothes, they are both teetering atop a cherry picker on the Caroli Church grounds.

Here Hot Tea is hanging a system of wires between the flag poles for what will be a remarkable installation by the Minneapolis born former graff-writer now yarn magician.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Caroli Church, by the way, is the oldest building in the city and it has withstood all four enormous fires that nearly destroyed the city in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and its bell tower is visible from many vantage points around the city, its hourly chimes audible out your window. Perched high above one important tomb high in the sky and presumably closer to God these guys are laboriously hanging a system of wires that are hard to decipher at the moment.

A certain salty-tongued Mexican photographer we know remarks that the wires and flagpoles may be closer to heaven but also closer to lightning bolts and if this storm picks up they may be fried. Heresy! On these Holy ground they will be safe. But if the Vicar knew much about Hot Tea, he may be doubtful about this as well.

Hot Tea at work on his installation. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Polish Street Artist Nespoon has just arrived as well and she tells us about a recent urban exploring trip she made to Chernobyl (!) and she has begun scoping out her wall location here in Borås.

The Dutch duo TelmoMiel have begun to sketch out across a large wall in aerosol a story that appears to include a fox and a goose, JM Rizzi is showing a lot of progress with color blocks across his lengthy expanse by the river, Christina Angelina is now claiming a corner of hers by the traffic overpass.

Christina Angelina. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Croatian realist Lonac is applying a tattoo to the leg of his graffiti-writer while a local guy periodically does a sort of excited interpretive dance on the street near the cherry picker, and the Australian Fintan Magee has won the speed competition by completing his powerful image of a Swedish woman hoisted above branches looking skyward overlooking the Borås central park. Lakwena did some late night screen projecting to put crisp fonts into their composition, which is unveiling it self in blocks of vibrant angular hues.

Think that’s it for now. You have been apprised of the current Borås public art situation. More to come!

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TelmoMiel. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lonac. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Borås Kids Smash the “Open Wall”: Children’s Workshop at “No Limit” : Dispatch 3

Borås Kids Smash the “Open Wall”: Children’s Workshop at “No Limit” : Dispatch 3

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


“They just float around you know, they do their own thing,” says Swedish graffiti writer Appear37 about these junior aerosol artists who are taking his workshop here on a muddy grey day. “Some have sprayed on each other and stuff, I need to check on them regularly. They also like to spray on the ground. So kids are crazy.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’re in a small wooded park by the railroad tracks here in Borås, standing in front of the first official legal wall that is sponsored by the city. Getting this large outside canvas for organic artistic expression took years of discussion that was often lively and even rancorous, according to a number of locals. A collection of 7 or 8 young people are here to get familiar with the spray can and to see if they can translate their hand drawn designs into paint on a wall.

That’s precisely what their teacher Appear37, otherwise known as Adam Algotsson, is helping them do. The folding table near the wall is full of boxes of cans, and an acoustic speaker is playing the Spanish language pop hit “Despacito” on a loop. Adam tells us that the kids wanted to hear their favorite song over and over again so he obliged their preference so they could get into their groove. After the fifth time hearing the song he says the repetition is beginning to drive him a little loco and the professor is ready to switch to his own funky playlist on his phone.

BSA: It looks like the kids like to experiment.
Adam: That’s why we do this – so they can get the feeling. It’s part of the “No Limit” project and we want to show the youngsters that we have a legal wall now so they can start and become a real artist.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The “Open Wall”, as it is referred to here, has literally been up and ready for the public for only three days, he says, and already many artists of a variety of ages have been putting their skills and ideas to the test. Appear37 has a serious burner here and another well known Swedish graff writer LEON (W.U.F.C) has one of his fantastical characters on it as well.

As he keeps a close eye on the students progress he talks about his own history without much guidance on his art skills. “I started like this, on the streets of course. I found some walls in Gothenburg. When I got older I talked to the local officials here in Borås about getting a legal wall for everyone but it took 10 years, 11 years! But now we’ve got a really huge one and we will get even more because they like it now. So I am glad for it and I live very close so I can just go and paint on it.”

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We pause for a moment as a girl with long blond hair and an adult sized buttoned shirt over her regular clothes carries a can over to Appear37 to ask him a question. After some instructions and encouraging tones in Swedish, she tentatively does a couple small bursts of paint on an eyeball.

“She wanted to know how to do highlights,” he says. “It’s good if they can try. She understands – you can see it in her work. It won’t get good the first time – you need to try to change how far you hold the can from the wall and it is so difficult.”

A frog is ready to leap from the sketch to the Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It takes a lot of years just to do one clean line. For me it took like four years to do a good line. Now I do a really good one. It’s my full-time job so I have to do it well.” We talk about the change of roles for him from rebel to artist to teacher. Now he is the one who is setting the example, and his face lights up as he talks about all the students he has been working with. “Yes I have a lot of workshops. It is so fun – when they listen!”

He says that he is self taught, and he spent much time alone as a teenager – painting, and more painting. “I have been alone a lot, thinking. I have grown as a person because of that I think. It has been a lot of hours in my studio and in my room doing canvases.” A life-long Borås resident, his graffiti work is well known among peers in the Swedish graffiti game and he has developed an appreciable following for his gallery work on canvas as well.

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But right now, Appear37 is looking for the new talents that are emerging before his eyes in this two-hour class.

“Some of them want to leave pretty soon after they first try to use the can. But then some of them don’t want to stop. Those are the ones that I want to catch the ones who really love it.

We look at the sketches of the students now placed on the ground in front of the wall. The students  prepared them earlier with a school teacher at a picnic table nearby before attempting to create them here on the wall. One of them, a line drawing of a character, catches his eye.

“She has her own style already. You can feel it in her sketches.”



Check out the works of the professor at his brand new gallery show:

Adam Algotsson alias Appear37 this weekend as part of the “No Limit” festival in Borås at Galleri Villastaden, opening Friday night. Complete info below:

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Wall. Children Workshop with Swedish graffiti writer Appear37. No Limit Borås 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Galleri Villastaden
Övre Kvarngatan 44
50453 Borås
Telefon: 0706-329758

info@gallerivillastaden.se

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Lakwena, JM Rizzi in Process at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 2

Lakwena, JM Rizzi in Process at No Limit / Borås: Dispatch 2

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


Swedes love to talk about Swedish weather, especially when explaining the famous winters and the grey days that are causing muralists to try and paint in between the rain drops in Borås right now. Aside from Gemma, who is painting inside the Swedish School of Textiles on the university campus, everyone else is painting outside, which means a cloudy, cool, and rainy day presents a particular set of challenges. But this group evolved from the modern graffiti/Street Art scene, so unless there is a police officer involved, the rain won’t stop the party.

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The sun-drenched Dallas based abstract contemporary painter JM Rizzi may be a bit more in shock because he has just been scoping out the enormously long wall he will be painting along with a local assistant from the high school named George, who used to do a little graffiti of his own before he moved here from Croatia a couple of years ago.

Rizzi says he’s excited to do the largest wall he’s ever done and he is taking this rain day as an opportunity to sketch the outlines of his composition while George runs across to the other side of the river to look at his progress and text any feedback.

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile Lakwena, the vibrantly graphic textologist from Hackney, London has her heart set on improvising her wall and is channeling the messages she has been receiving from in inner world to decide what aesthetic direction her wall just off the main street of Allégatan.

She tells us she’ll be free-styling this time around, allowing the spirit to move her and taking inspiration from the lyrics of her assistant and talented musician sister Abimaro, with whom she’s been talking a lot about the importance of process in creativity.

Lakwena. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“She and I share a similar vision about our work. So we had this long talk about our process for work – so I’ve kind of gone back to what I used to do, which very much, ‘The Soul is in the Process.’ You know, it’s not just in the planning,” she says.

The two of them are studiously laying out a color palette in trays on the sidewalk and carefully marking out dimensions and patterns across the buffed wall in the chilly drizzle, keeping an upbeat attitude despite a downbeat aqua rhythm that eventually turns to full-on rain.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An artist who loves the letter-style on public signage, Lakwena says she’s getting inspired by some of the text treatments she’s been seeing on the street here, and she knows she’ll be incorporating some of that inspiration in her text as well. “I don’t have any ‘declarations’ about what its going to be,” she says before revealing that the wall will be inspired by lyrics from a song called “Fever” by her sister.

“It’s inspired by one of her lyrics actually, ‘When I’m free’ is one of them, ” she tells us. “That’s kind of what started it. I mean the lyrics are probably going to be in there because I always have lettering about something that I feel – it’s almost like an anchor for me, which I love.” As one of the outstanding women who rocked Wynwood with Jeffrey Dietch in Miami a few years ago and just recently with JustKids and Charlotte Dutoit in Arkansa for The Unexpected project, you know this wall is going to make Borås jump.

Once the rain clears, that is.

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JM Rizzi. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee, Lonac in Process at No Limit/Borås: Dispatch 1

Fintan Magee, Lonac in Process at No Limit/Borås: Dispatch 1

This week BSA is in Borås, a municipality in south-western Sweden for the 3rd edition of No Limit, a mural arts festival that brings Street Artists from around the world to create new works on walls of the city, in the process enlivening public space and creating new ways for this historic textile merchant town to engage passersby with their city.


“No Limit” 2017 is just getting underway here in Borås. Fintan Magee is the first out of the gate with a large wall overlooking the Viskan river which winds it’s way through this southwestern town in Sweden. Artists have been arriving in Goteborg from around the world and getting a ride 40 minute ride to Boras by car with a friendly volunteer who offers to transport these honored international visitors.

Lonac. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We immediately hit the clean streets with some serious jetlag and without luggage (it will follow later no doubt) to see the walls with artist and organizer Shai Dahan, who started the “No Limit” mural arts festival in 2014 to bring his friends in the Street Art world to this friendly and welcoming city known more for its textile industry than its graffiti scene.

First we headed to a demonstration of Afghani immigrants who were gathered in the main square here to give speeches and display handmade signs protesting a proposal to send these relatively new emigres back to Afghanistan because some in the government contend that the country is safe enough for them to return.

Lonac. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A couple of the guys standing in the assembly told us that most Afghani’s would disagree with that assessment and felt that returning to their original country would be dangerous to them. We took some photos of the signs and made our way to see Fintan’s work-in-progress wall of a local Swedish woman set atop winter branches, elevated into the sky. He had already stopped painting for the day so we set out to find Lonac.

The artist Lonac, from Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia that is more than 10 times the size of Borås, was just finishing up his work for the day on a huge portrait of a guy whom we didn’t recognize, so we talked to him about it. A fine artist whose realism sometimes slides into surrealism, the sharp-witted aerosol musician tells us that his new painting is a tribute to the graffiti writers whose work gave birth to much of the modern Street Art scene, including this guy in this new painting.

Fintan Magee. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“He is a graffiti writer from Zagreb. Sometimes we also paint together,” Lonac says, “So for this wall I chose to paint him because mostly I paint people who I know. I like to use them for stories I want to tell, whether it is pictures or paintings or murals it makes sense for me to paint someone that I know. I started doing it about three years ago. It is a big challenge to paint somebody who is real, not from your head, because eventually that person will see it. So I work more and more to make the painting realistic, to create the personality of the person who I want to paint.”

BSA: You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself by doing that – painting a contemporary.
Lonac: Yes, but no, no, I like it. This way I feel that the wall doesn’t only have to do with me. It has to do with somebody else. That’s what I’m trying to do.

Fintan Magee. Work in progress. No Limit/Borås 2017. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: So when you think of him, what do you think of?
Lonac: He is one of the main guys in the graffiti scene in Zagreb. When I started painting I wasn’t so close to those guys and now since I have been painting more and more I am becoming more understanding of this other part of our culture. Until now I mostly only did paintings. So its mostly about honoring other people who are also doing some type of art and acknowledging that they are also painting, even though I am not close to that kind of painting.

BSA: What would you tell people here in Boras about graffiti that they do not know?
Lonac: I don’t know if they know a lot about graffiti here because there is not much bombing or tags. I would say that there are a lot of people doing many types of graffiti and there are some who take from the history of graffiti and are making it into some type of art. So I would say before judging it they have to know something about it to understand it.

Afghanistan emigres protesting in Borås, Sweden, September 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Afghanistan emigres protesting in Borås, Sweden, September 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown knows the way to someone’s heart. Borås, Sweden 09-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.28.16

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This simple lollipop paste-up reminds us this week that it may appear to be sweet, but sometimes it is poison. Guess that truism should be obvious to you kids, but it doesn’t hurt to remind each other.

Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ECB, Escif, JPS, Kai, London Kaye, Lunge Box, Mogul, Nick Walker, Omen, Tref.no, The J0n, and Shai Dahan.

Our top image: A questionable lollipop on the street. Lunge Box. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lunge Box. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TREF in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JPS in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The J0n in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ECB in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Omen in Rochester, NY for Wall Therapy Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shai Dahan in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Escif in Stavanger, Norway for Nuart Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul in Borås, Sweden for No Limit Art Festival. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A belatedly found piece by Londo Kaye. There’s is never too late for love though… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Off the Path: Street Art & Graff in An Old Military Compound in Sweden

Off the Path: Street Art & Graff in An Old Military Compound in Sweden

Street Art festivals are popping up like mushrooms across the globe, bringing murals, not street art, to cities primarily as a means of injecting life and culture into a community or business district. When we travel to see these walls we also like to check out the local organic spots off the beaten path where real street art and graffiti can run wild.

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Shai Dahan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You go exploring partly out of respect for the roots of this rapidly evolving art practice – It was the graffiti writers, Situationists, radical hippie students, culture jammers, political anarchists and all manner of freewill installationists who brought us to this moment where cities are almost pleading for murals.

You also hike into tunnels, abandoned lots, underpasses, and neglected former industrial sectors because that is where you know the scene will be alive with experimentation, the spark of discovery, and a splash of old-school in-your-face rebellion without censorship.

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Shai Dahan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For teens and 20-somethings of a certain disposition there’s nothing like grabbing some cans on a sunny Saturday and slaughtering a burned out bus with paint. Even better if its in the middle of a decommissioned military training site used by testosterone raging paintballers with guns full of color ducking behind concrete facades in camouflage fatigues. Amid the clouds of aerosol and bonfire smoke you find these paintings in the ruins, the remaining signs of an un-wasted youth.

According to locals people all the way from Stockholm and Gothenburg travel to paint at this 18,500 square meter former training facility for the Swedish armed forces. It’s built to mimic a real city to practice urban warfare training with rudimentary buildings, marked streets, and below ground tunnels to crawl though. No one remembers when it was first built but it was closed in 1989, left for hikers, berry pickers, and x-urban explorers to discover.

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Shai Dahan . DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The traces of bonfires most likely are from paint ballers having a barbecue during their games,” says one of our guides named Anders, “or possibly they’re for heating their hands during winter games.” Either way the aerosol tags, characters, paintings, and occasional wheatpastes are still popping up and fresh ones ride alongside some now decades old.

So nevermind the prickers and the poison ivy and take a hike off the path and see some free-range artworks in their naturally unnatural environs – directly to you from Sweden.

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Simple (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio . MSCR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio . MSCR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMUH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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S Camilla E Bostrom (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NESH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JARN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GWC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HANS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HAS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GOBS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GES (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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PEBS . DAWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul . Hoplouie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mogul . Hoplouie . Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ollio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AGUA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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