All posts tagged: Bordalo II

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.

Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.

Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.

And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.


Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.

1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals of 2018: A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals of 2018: A “Social” Survey

There’s street cred, and then there’s social media credit. These are 15 of the latter, compiled by BSA by our own rigorous methodology.

Bears lead the pack! A monkey is here as well. Skulls and Biggie Smalls make it in again. Text wisdom also wins along with representations of the natural world like Pejac’s tree and Naomi Rag’s flower. And a rep for Game of Thrones and the horrors of Hitchcock as well – you knew popular culture would represent.

These are the top murals from 2018 via tabulations of our website, Instagram, Twitter, and two Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, and every year we cannot predict which one’s are going to be popular, but sometimes you can guess. We don’t publish a lot of murals of cats, but if we did, they would probably win. Just guessing.

This year we’re drawn to the two written word pieces, likely because they are erudite and witty to some extent – and because it is good to see how smart BSA readers are. Brilliant, we say!

Welcome to your favorite murals of the year:


15 – Banksy.

A tribute. A plea. A denunciation. A well used example of the artist’s platform to bring awareness of the plight of artists who dare to set themselves free with their art. Depicted here is Ms. Zehra Doğan, an editor and journalist from Turkey. She is presently serving time in jail for painting Turkish flags on a painting showing destroyed buildings and posting the painting on Social Media. Marking the time with tick

Banksy. Free Zehra Doğan. NYC. Houston/Bowery Wall. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

14 – Sonny Sundancer.

Sonny Sundancer finishes his final mural for his #totheboneproject , a grizzly titled “Standing Tall” looking out over Greenwich Village.

“Standing Tall” was done in conjunction with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

13 – Axe Colours.

Axe Colours goes GOT and the question going into 2019 in many people’s minds is: Will she or won’t she?

The Mother of Dragons on the streets of Barcelona as interpreted by Axe Colours. This photo was taken on November 2017 but shared on Instagram on February of 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

12 – Owen Dippie.

New Zealand artist Owen Dippie is known for pairing pop characters in his realistic large scale work. Here’s an odd couple of film director Hitchcock and Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls.

Pigeons, Ravens, Cigars, Mystery and Music on the streets of Brooklyn. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

11 – Kobra.

Brazilian artist Kobra gave himself a residency in NYC this year with the goal of painting as many murals as time and available walls would permit him. He succeeded by painting 18 walls throughout NYC – mostly the top level easy to identify icons found on t-shirts, posters and postcards for decades here. One of his portraits of Amy Winehouse proved to be hugely popular.

Kobra. Amy Winehouse. Manhattan, October 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1o – Disordered.

Anxiety rings true when the giveaways to business interests for nearly four decades under both dominant parties have gradually placed folks like these in this neighborhood constantly in fear of missing the rent, the grocery bill, the car payment, the cost of providing for their kids. Disordered is right.

#DISORDERED. Done in Welling Court, Queens for Welling Court 2018. July 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

9 – Kaos.

The KAOS Factory, colloquially named because the German graffiti artist by the same name has slowly taken it over with his work during the last few years, by default converting the former steam factory into his de facto “residency”.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. October 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8 – Naomi Rag.

Not specifically a Street Artist, Naomi Rag crochets her favorite things and puts them up mainly on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This simple rose on a school yard fence steadily garnered attention throughout the year – and reminded us of this song from the 1960s.

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming…”

Jerry Leiber & Phil Spector

Naomi Rag. Red Rose in Spanish Harlem. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7 – GlossBlack.

New York is a constant source of inspiration for countless artists of all disciplines who have made a home and hopefully a career in this dynamic city of endless serendipity and challenge. GlossBlack hit the mark with this tough and tumble tribute to the city.

GlossBlack in collaboration with Klughaus in Manhattan. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6 – Bordalo II.

Bordalo II has evolved a spectacular practice of creating street works from our refuse that shock and thrill many a passersby with his ingenuity and evocative image making – while raising our collective consciousness about our responsibility to the earth.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4 – BKFoxx.

With a commercial eye toward the natural world and larger societal issues BKFoxx chooses subjects for their emotional impact and their ability to translates easily for an image-savvy audience whose endless hours of personal screen entertainment has produced an expectation for a big budget Hollywood and consumer culture slickness with high-production values.

BKFoxx in collaboration with JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. April 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 – Terry Urban.

Inspiration to create flows from many rivers and tributaries. Many times that inspiration comes from a fellow artist as is the case here. Art is for everyone, and the street is more than ever a perfect place to see it.

Terry Urban channeling Basquiat in Manhattan. January 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 – Egle Zvirblyte.

Egle’s feminism is abundantly clear on her work. A mixture of pop and riddles and unabashedly self assured.

Egle Zvirblyte. A project curated by BSA with the production assistance and wall access from Joe Franquinha / Crest Hardware and paint donated by Montana Cans. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2 – Pejac.

The Spaniard Pejac came for a few weeks to New York this spring and left this piece in Bushwick. The wall is a brick façade typical of many Brooklyn neighborhoods, but this one appears to have grown a tree this week. Perhaps he chose to paint this tree because the promise of spring had inspired him, or because this neighborhood remains industrial and could benefit from some more of nature’s influence. For us it’s all about context so it is good to see that a tree grows in Brooklyn.

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1 – Adrian Wilson

Just in under the wire and straight to number 1, this cleverly turned phrase and hooded ideogram is an ironic amalgam of Banksy and Warhol that hit the nerve of readers who are becoming acutely aware of us all slipping into a surveillance society. Also, it’s funny.

We only published this mural in December but the number of hits and comments across social media indicated that it resonates strongly across a wide demographic. Photographer, videographer, former gallery owner and infrequent Street Artist Adrian Wilson clearly is not shooting for anonymity.

Top image: Adrian Wilson plays with words to reflect our pop culture trolling both Warhol and Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2018

2018 has been a good year for Street Art books, and your interest in the ones we have highlighted continues to assure us that “Print” is not dead. There is no better way to document a moment in this evolving scene for posterity than with the bound volume, and sometimes there is no better way to appreciate an artists work than to sit by a lamp or window with a book on your lap.

We know that you appreciate our daily analysis and efforts to elucidate and illustrate a fluid global Street Art/ graffiti / urban art scene here in digital, but we’re thrilled to give you solid options in book form as well. If you’re looking for a good quality art book to give this year, consider one of these hits from 2018. Enjoy!


“Inti, Color, Carnaval y Resistencia”, INTI.

INTI Commands First Monograph : Color, Carnaval y Resistencia

From BSA:

“Certainties, simple explanations, last hopes, magic thoughts and fears. All of them confronted by what is evident.”

Thus describes the figure slung with bullets, holding a necklace with a cross and delicately balancing a small green apple on his index finger on a larger than life mural in Santiago, Chili. The visual language of this graffiti/Street Artist and muralist named Inti is his to wield, a cosmic folk expression that glows with celestial waves surrounding an other-worldly race of characters.

INTI. Éditions Albin Michel, 2017. Paris, France. Click HERE for more about this book.


Bordallo II: Bordallo II / 2011 –  2011

From BSA:

Such is the splendid stuff of dreams and discovery for Bordalo II, the Lisbon-based Street Artist and maker of garbage relief animal portraits in cities across the world.

These are the things that when arranged on shelves and placed in relation to a floor plan, within parameters and boundaries of our mundanity, will comprise a perfect environment of domesticity; full of memory, associative emotion, symmetry. Objects, materials melted and poured, carved and plain, screwed and snapped, polished and sprayed, emulsified, inset, extruded, coiled, soldiered, plated, woven. These dimensional collections of matter matter to us. Metal alloy. Plastic polymer. Blown glass. Rubber, copper, steel, bakelite, particle board, glue.

Disarrange. You create chaos, disruption, disunity, discontent. Arrange again and create a muskrat, a buck deer, a petulant parakeet, an undulant octopus.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal. Click HERE for more about this book.


Subvertising: The Piracy Of Outdoor Advertising

From BSA:

“The constant imposition of advertising in front of our eyes is an oppressive, dictatorial and violent act,” posits the artist, activist, and author Hogre in this new collection of works and words called Subvertising : The Piracy of Outdoor Advertising.

It sounds rather extreme when put this way, but perhaps that is the dulling power of advertising’s omnipresence in public space year after year. Each of us can certainly recall a time when there seemed like there was more open public space and fewer images and graphics and text telling us what to do, what to buy, who to hate, how to behave. Artists like Hogre are sounding the warning on our ability to recognize its power over our perceptions.

HOGRE. Subvertising: The Piracy Of Outdoor Advertising. Dog Section Press. London, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Add/Fuel -1- Monograph”, Diogo Machado AKA Add Fuel.

From BSA:

Add Fuel Reimagines Azulejo in His First Monograph

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 tile-making traditions locally, and he often incorporates his study of these new histories as well.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


One Week With 1UP : Martha Cooper & Ninja K

From BSA:

A serendipitous meeting somewhere in Berlin set this project in motion, and the results unveil an adrenaline fueled ride that always pushes, often exceeds the boundaries of physical safety and social acceptance while simultaneously thrilling graffiti fans and pissing off some public officials and property owners.

A new book captures the nature of the actions and adds to our conversations about art, vandalism, branding, public/personal space and its radical visual disruption. It’s a story made all the more remarkable during an increasing level of surveillance in a city that has basically embraced the bohemian and rebellious types who have transformed large parts of its cityscape, making Berlin a de facto capital of subculture, especially among the young.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team) Click HERE for more about this book.


“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

From BSA:

A steel-wheeled graffiti train with Roger Gastman at the controls roars into LA’s Chinatown for a two-month stay at this station, a 40,000 square foot warehouse that houses “Beyond the Streets.” Originating at the streets and train yards of the 1960s and 70s, this express survey carries with it 100 or so artists and writers from across the last five decades as practitioners of graffiti, Street Art, and mural painting. Somehow, everyone gets represented.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper) Click HERE for more about this book.


“Canvas” Anders Gjennestad.

From BSA:

Anders Gjennestad: A Door as “Canvas”

A door as canvas. A door as canvas.

It sounds the same on the street as it does in the gallery space, and for Norwegian Street Artist Anders Gjennestad the two appear nearly identical, aside from context.

Whether he is discovering the neglected urban factory door long after the spirit of industry has roared its last turbine and reaching toward his backpack for a spray can, or he is hoisting a piece out from the pile of collected iron-bound wooded slabs in his Berlin studio, functionally each of these doors is a canvas.

Every urban explorer sees the potential of walls that are long abandoned and spoiled with rot and piss and pushed open by weeds, worn away by rain. The world is a temporary place anyway. I am only here temporarily.

Anders Gjennestad. “Canvas”. Published by Galerie Friedmann – Hahn. Berlin 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.

“FKDL” Frank Duval.

From BSA:

FKDL and the Collage of a Street Artists’ Life in a Book

As you look through this new slim volume about the Street Artist/fine artist FKDL it may strike you how much autobiography is the determinant of an artist’s path as well. It’s the tale of a teenager finding himself, finding his vocation, and eventually finding his voice on the street. When you reach the end you see that it takes a number of years and a lot of experimentation, this journey.

FKDL. Galiote Prenant. Choisy-le-Roi, France. 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Street To Studio”, Rafael Schacter.

From BSA:

Rafael Schacter Investigates “Street To Studio”

“These are artists who are thus not slavishly reproducing their exterior practice within an interior realm but who are, rather, taking the essence of graffiti – its visual principles, its spatial structures, its technical methods, its entrenched ethics – and reinterpreting them with the studio domain,” says author Rafael Schacter in his introductory exposition for his book Street to Studio where he offers a unique assessment derived from his 10 years of researching the foundational, conceptual, methodological, and ethical considerations that impact the original graffiti/Street Art scene as well as where it is going.

Rafael Schacter. Street To Studio. Lund Humphries Publishers. London, 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Feather and Faces”, Adele Renault.

From BSA:

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

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 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.

Feathers And Faces by Adele Renault was published in 2018 and is distributed in the United States and Canada by SCB Distributors. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Ex Animo”, Faith XLVII.

From BSA:

“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.

Faith XLVII. “EX ANIMO’ THE WORK OF FAITH FORTY SEVEN/ 2010-2018. Drago Publishing. Rome, Italy, 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Perception”, eL Seed.

From BSA:

El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

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.

El Seed PERCEPTION Published by Point à la Ligne. Milan, Italy. 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Invasion: Los Angeles”, Invader.

From BSA:

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.

Invasion Los Angeles 2.1 / Updated Edition 1999 – 2018. A Book By Invader. Published by Control P. Editions. France 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts”, Igor Ponosov.

From BSA:

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.

Igor Ponosov. Russian Urban Art: History And Conflicts. Moscow 2018. Published in collaboration with Street Art Museum, St Petersburg, Russia. Click HERE for more about this book.

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BSA Film Friday: 08.03.18

BSA Film Friday: 08.03.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Cheryl Dunn Walk The Streets Of NYC
2. Studio Visit With Bordalo II in Lisbon
3. Good Guy Boris “TOYS ARE BETTER PEOPLE” / Part I and II

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Cheryl Dunn Walk The Streets Of NYC

“Go there and go deep,” says street photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn in this new brand sponsored content video that takes you through mainly Chinatown/Wall Street area and allows you to hear her story and perspectives briefly.

Director of a highly-praised documentary called “Everybody Street” and many others of high quality, Dunn is more than familiar with the ethos of observing life in the chaos-metropolis and hoping to capture a moment that sticks out as a clarion yell. It’s about an approach that is only yours, and only possible through your vision, and luck.

Studio Visit With Bordalo II in Lisbon

Literally garbage. But you knew that.

But did you know the level of detail and minute mechanical manipulation that goes into a piece by Street Artist/fine artist Bordallo II ? Straight from Lisbon, where he propagates grandly forward from a curiously ornate studio spot.

Good Guy Boris “TOYS ARE BETTER PEOPLE” / Part I

Bad Boy Boris is not good at math or certain mechanical/technical matters but he’s good at persistence. Which is why he’ll succeed.

The graffiti writer is an authority on sniffing out opportunity and his hand-made and witty vlog allows you to tag along as he looks for the perfect spot by the beach outside of Athens to put up his piece.

“Toys are humble people, cool people, chill people,” coos the suddenly philosophical Boris as he strides victoriously from his freshly painted pat on the back for that much maligned population. Ah, but everyone is a rookie as some point right?

“Just another obsessed vlogger risking his life for the sake of YouTube because YouTube is more important than life,” he says in one more pearl of wisdom that will surely entice viewers to follow this guy until he works out all the kinks.

 

Good Guy Boris TOYS ARE BETTER PEOPLE / Part II

 

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The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

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

Charles and Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

Charles and Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a similar sized surface to paint, the comparing and contrasting between styles and techniques among the artists was suddenly on full display. In contrast to the cities that many of these artists began in, you could not have found a more appreciate audience of people for these artists and their talents. The best part is that these buses are currently rolling through the streets even though the festival is over.

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

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

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

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

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Trashplant” with Forest Dump Et Al : The Completed Installations – Part III

“Trashplant” with Forest Dump Et Al : The Completed Installations – Part III

Here at the Trashplant festival in Tenerife, the performance artist and eco-artivist Forest Dump re-added foliage to this new tree that once was a telephone pole that once was a tree. Then he jumped down off the fence.

For those who have been on the fence about their responsibility to the earth and our natural resources, many people in this new generation are making that jump as well.

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

“We have been building cities for years, replacing nature with concrete and steel,” he says in a recent Instagram post, “We tend to forget but our deepest roots are in Mother Nature and we truly need her to survive.”

Reminds us of all these online orders we’ve been placing lately for all kinds of household items, and the boxes that are piling high under the desk. Cardboard consumption had been reduced by manufacturers in recent years but now the world is consuming about 415 metric tons of paper and cardboard every year, and tons of water is involved in its production as well.

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

It’s something to think about when looking at the new Coruja owl that Montreal based artist Laurence Vallières has fashioned out of cardboard.

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Beginning with a small clay sculpture that she made for reference that is closer in scale to the diminutive size of the actual owl (usually about 8 inches, or 20 centimeters tall) she brought this one to life over the course of a few days while gazing out the studio window at the ocean. The new sculpture joins a long line of animals that the artist has made in the last few years using this same technique and material, at once impressive because of the volume of the work, then by it’s relative fragility.

Laurence Vallières. WIP shot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Portuguese artist Miguel Januário pokes at that corner of your consciousness that has stopped making connections through disuse. His new installations for Trashplant are in alignment with his ±MaisMenos± art project that is drawing attention to the connection between the natural internal environment and the natural external environment.

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

EMPHASEMA is translucently suspended in the air amidst a leafy wooded area that is always cleaning the air and aiding respiration. Similarly his intervention of the word CIRRHOSIS is afloat in the nearby surf where water brings to mind the role of your clean liver in all metabolic processes. As usual, the artist creates gently jarring messaged that may begin further inquisition and examination into our attitudes and behaviors.

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Trashplant as a project curated by Bordalo II is a potent reminder of the multiple functions that art can play in our daily intercourse and Street Arts’/Public Arts’ potential to reach larger cross sections of people who normally do not frequent galleries or museums. With the obvious, the subtle, and the conceptual at play, this festival takes a meaningful approach to the power of communication to a range of audiences.

Forest Dump has the last word here.

“No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain linked to the natural world! Respect it before is too late!”


Our sincere thanks to photographer Luz Sosa for sharing these photos with BSA readers over the past three days of our coverage of Trashplant.


To learn more about Trashplant please go here: http://trashplantfestival.org/

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

 

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“Trashplant” in Tenerife Corralls Trash and Welds New Life : Process – Part II

“Trashplant” in Tenerife Corralls Trash and Welds New Life : Process – Part II

It’s our second day of sharing scenes from Trashplant and here we see Icy and Sot are bobbing and diving inside a colorful unnatural environment of plastic trash that is being corralled into a fenced cube, and musician and welder Diedel Klöver is crafting fish fins from corrugated metal fence posts.

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

The German lawn sculptor from Varel on the North Sea is adding a blow-torched fish to his recent animal parade of a lion, a rhino, stingrays, and penguins. The Tenerife truckload of metal he selected at the scrapyard speed is being speed-welded in just four days, thanks to some help from his buddy Alex.

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Curator Bordalo II watches artist Catarina Glam from a safe distance as she wields a power saw to form the wood pieces of a creature that is coming together when he’s not out in the yard with João piecing together what looks like it may be a penguin from the recycled trash they have collected.

The fact that much of the work here at Trashplant in Tenerife is made from recycled refuse is central to the exhibition and one that is easier to understand when we have the opportunity to see how it actually comes together.

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Compound this with the realization that much of the human-made materials that we are using daily actually poison the water and air for these animals and of course our families… and you begin to think that the whole world is really just once enormous trash plant.

To learn more about Trashplant please go here: http://trashplantfestival.org/

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

 

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Artists + Trash as Activism at “Trashplant” in Tenerife: Process – Part I

Artists + Trash as Activism at “Trashplant” in Tenerife: Process – Part I

Art Activism (Artivism) in progress here this past weekend at the Trashplant Festival in San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands. A dozen artists have formulated installations directly in response to environmental issues at the invitation of the one of Street Art’s main trashmen himself, the street sculptor Bordalo II.

Today we have first phase installation shots of the artists preparing their new pieces thanks to photographer Luz Sosa, who shares these images with BSA readers. Included are ±MaisMenos±, Bordalo II, Catarina Glam,  Diedel Klöver, Forest Dump, Icy & Sot, and Laurence Vallieres.

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

The garbage that we generate can also transform into art and the Trashplant Festival was born – an unparalleled event where a large group of the best plastic and urban artists from all over the world come together to carry out one of the greatest tasks of environmental awareness through art.

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordallo II tells us that the point is to draw attention to how we can reuse, recreate, and reflect on how we generate waste. It’s an obsession for many in this troupe of like minded artists, and guests observe and investigate their new figurative and conceptual pieces here while attending music concerts as well, hopefully “inoculating” them with awareness of the need for all us us to transform society to preserve the natural environment.

To learn more about Trashplant please go here: http://trashplantfestival.org/

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.24.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.24.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

As upbeat as celebrations like today’s LGBTQ Pride events are here in NYC, they are rooted in defiance of the suffocating unjust norms that entrapped people in this city and across the country for generations – newly emancipating broad groups of people over the last 50 years or so. As New York City led the way with the Stonewall riots for sexual minorities, it sends this message today to people across the globe that you will be free too, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now in your country.

But LGBTQ folks needed straight allies to get their rights over five decades. Today we have to speak up loud and proud for immigrants. If you need to punch, figuratively, don’t punch downward. These people have done nothing to hurt you and are bringing a the identical aspirations your parents, grandparents, great grandparents did. Don’t believe the hype of the traumatizer who blames the traumatized.

Punch UP at the folks who shifted all the jobs away, just lowered their own taxes to their lowest rate in your entire lifetime, who are shredding the social safety net, who are creating jobs that pay so little you still have to get food stamps, who are trying to convince poor people that poor people are their enemy.  It’s an old old trick and it appears to still work marvelously.

This week on BSA Images of the Week we see that just a few Street Artists are addressing these new disgusting revelations and systemic problems, even as 700 Migrant Kids Separated From Parents Are in NY.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anthony Lister, Bordalo II, Charles Williams, City Kitty, Danny Minnick, Etnik, FKDL, Lapiz, LMNOPI, Individual Activist, Niko, Nick Walker, Olivia Laita, Revaf, Sofles, Soten, and Strayones.

Top image: This beautifully hand rendered drawing is signed but unfortunately we can’t read the language so we can’t identify the artist. Please help. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This beautifully hand rendered drawing is signed but unfortunately we can’t read the language so we can’t identify the artist. Please help. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Individual Activist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister being entertained by The Drif in Little Italy for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An outstanding collaboration between Charles Williams and Bordalo II in Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Strayones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NIKO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty in collaboration with LMNOPI. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lapiz. Farblut Festival 2018. Bremen, Germany.  (photo © Lapiz)

“The soccer world cup has begun and I took the opportunity to paint a mural about Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. It was painted during the FARBFLUT festival which took place last weekend where 200 artist painted a 1000 m wall. The mural itself measures 6 x 3.50 m.

The motive shows the Russian president Vladimir Putin kissing Vladimir Putin. The colours are those of the rainbow flag and it has the words ‘One Love’ written above it. The picture addresses Putin’s narcissism and even more the homophobic tendencies supported by the Russian
government.”

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Soten. Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Etnik. Prato, Italy. (photo © Etnik)

Sofles. Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sofles. Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Danny Minnick for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nick Walker. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not Invaders in Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gulf Revaf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. West Village, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tahiti So Long : BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Bora Bora

Tahiti So Long : BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Bora Bora

Last week BSA was checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene there while the 5th Annual ONO’U was taking place. BSA readers joined in the tropical action while we took you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


Here’s our last posting from Tahiti, now that we’re recovered from the jet lag and are back in dirty old New York. We parted ways with the artists on Bora Bora who continued to paint in a place where the word ‘paradise’ is redundant. How many times did artists here simply jump in the water to cool off after painting and installing in the tropical sun for a few hours?

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The community was involved as well, with public officials and traditional representatives hosting welcoming ceremonies and receptions, artists like Pixel Pancho and Bordello II teaching students about technique in an art class, and countless interactions with clusters of interested onlookers who provided a revolving audience for the muralists while they created new works. Local artists Rival and Abuzz helped with explanations and communications also while they joined in with their international guest artists in painting new walls.

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

French muralist Vinie reimagined her popular female figure as an underwater explorer in a way that delighted and reassured some of the kids in the neighborhood. In an unexpected twist, Portugal’s BordalloII and Spain’s Okuda decided to collaborate on a piece, a unique collaboration of pop surrealism and spontaneous sculpture with recycled materials on the end of a seaside home.

In the end ONO’U is always far more than you expect, a unique collection of settings, interactions with people, meeting of new friends, learning of history and communing with nature that inspire the artists to dig a little deeper inside to find a response to all they are seeing and experiencing.

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo with Narvila who inspired the artist for the themes on this wall of human rights, inclusion, acceptance, GLBTQ rights and love. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yellow Buff: Cranio painted the character plus the door and the walls next to it. As you can see most of what he did got buffed with yellow paint by the owners of the wall. They told us they didn’t like the words and lettering on the other walls, preferring the figurative to the text-based. A shame that the hard work was destroyed so quickly. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams and Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . Soten . Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A triptych from Charles Williams, Soten, and Abuze at ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

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Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Trash Talk: Bordalo II in His Hometown

Just as we started 2018 we had the fortune to spend one week in the enchanting city of Lisbon, Portugal as ambassadors for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art (UN). Lisbon is home to some great Street Art and graffiti and some striking figures on the international scene like Vhils and Bordalo II and we spent some hair raising and fun rides with the latter in his small car as he flew around corners and trash flew around in the back seat.

Of course there was trash in the back seat! Bordalo II has created a spectacular practice of creating street works from it that shock passersby with his ingenuity – while raising our collective consciousness about our responsibility to the earth.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So we thought you may like to see a collection of them together today. While combing the narrow, winding and steep streets of Lisbon we made many artistic discoveries, large and small, of the prolific and magnificent urban art expressions throughout the port town.

A number of deliciously trashy sculptures of Bordallo II had just appeared all over the city in the previous months to highlight his solo exhibition that took place in November. Others have been installed on the streets for a while and one in particular was specifically made the eve of Christmas…not so much as a celebration but as a commentary on the inordinate waste that follows, once the food is eaten, the libations had and the presents opened.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now BSA is heading to Tahiti to participate on the 5th anniversary of ONO’U Tahiti and we’ll have the pleasure of spending a few days with Bordalo II  again! Stay tuned to see what trouble he and Pixel can get into.

We published two in-depth Lisbon accounts from that visit trip HERE and HERE.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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The Many Faces of Lisbon on the Street

The Many Faces of Lisbon on the Street

A Scholarly Eye On Artistic Interventions in Public Space


The excitement that pours from city walls in Lisbon is palpable, an animated mix of graffiti, Street Art, murals, sculpture, and the traditional artisan tiles. Like the famous Bacalhau dish of Portuguese cuisine, it all can be mixed together almost a thousand different ways and each surprising recombination can be loved for its unique character.

To appreciate the varied elements playing into the Street Art scene here, you won’t find greater insight than by touring with Pedro Soares-Neves, and he’ll make sure you won’t leave without understanding the forty years that have contributed to the scene up to this point.

Park. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Most visitors are overtaken by the sweeping views, the heart of the old city in the valley, the winding Bairro Alto streets full of colorful illegal artworks, the ancient bricks, traditional azulejos tiled buildings, tiny streets, sloping topography, endless staircases and retro-style cable cars that are climbing impossible inclines – each slaughtered with colorful graffiti tags.

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now an international destination for many Street Artists, the growing number of murals here is remarkable, if not outstanding. Soares-Neves can look at the huge variety of expressions on the street and explain why the art is here now and how it fits into a greater context of a historical city that has gradually embraced nearly all expressions of modern art-in-the-streets.

A self-described fan of urban history Pedro is one of the few scholars in the global urban art scene who calls graffiti writers “authors”, quite possibly because he was one himself in his early teens here during the city’s first stage of graffiti proliferation in the early 1990s.

“I am kind of an architectural urban history fanatic,” he says proudly but in a confessional tone. Completing his doctorate in Design and Urbanism this year he is also co-organizer of the Lisbon Street Art & Urban Creativity Conference and the Street Art & Urban Creativity Scientific Journal.


Lister. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A lifelong Lisboan born at the same time the revolution from the dictatorship was born here in the mid 1970s, Soares-Neves tells the story of urban art as a progression of social movement, individual engagement, immigration, urban planning, importation of culture, commercial incursion and coalescing of local artists as a quasi-professional network.

As you ride in his 4-door family SUV-hybrid with kids toys and storybooks scattered across the back seat, you gaze along the historic spice trade waterfront and the Jerónimos monastery and museum row, swerving through the central “filet mignon” of the ornamented city to the outskirts, which he calls “the back-office”.

He gestures at the trains and wooded walls and areas where he once painted graffiti , to some of the current crop of throwups along the highway and to wall murals that have been commissioned by municipal, professional, and commercial interests. As the trip unfolds the story is not quite linear of course, and city history intertwines with personal history.

Telmo & Miel. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As is its personality, art-in-the-streets shape-shifts and redefines itself, creating new alliances, reconfiguring the balance. For example, currently Lisbon city leaders are working with former vandals and art school professionals to create programs of large colorful murals on soaring public housing towers.

The adjacent neighborhood of older single family houses laid out like suburbs features Soare-Neves’ own curated walls done by more conceptual artists who play with ideas about public space as well as aesthetics. The Portuguese +MaisMenos– directly intervenes with stenciled words here, creating quizzical conundrums for passersby and the French experimenter Matthew Tremblin who brings an online poll results via bar charts posing an existential question about Street Art.

Matthew Tremblin. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A truly unique insight into the rather omnibus experience of this urban academic, we actually get to look at two eras of Pedro’s own personal history as an artist are here as well, only blocks away from one another.

This IS a tour!

Pedro Soares-Neves. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One Soares painting is on a low wall encircling a park. Part of a graffiti wall of fame (which he helped organize), it shows his 1990s affinity for character illustration and experimentation with letter styles. His more recent installation is a mixed media paint/land art derivation that converts disused construction materials and a habit-formed footpath leading up a grassy knoll to a numerical wall.

Again, the spirit of experimentation here is what is core to his art practice. Perhaps this is why his personal philosophies toward public space lean toward the organically Situationist act of creation, a practice that can be extended to all of the public and to the moment of inspiration.

Following are many images captured in Lisbon during our tour interspersed with this history of the last few decades courtesy Soares-Neves and our own research.

Corleone. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1980s-90s and Lisbon’s Dawn of Graffiti


Speaking with Pedro about the early graffiti of the 90s you capture a perspective on two important cultural factors that steered its direction.

The first is that through the lense of the liberators of the Carnation Revolution in the 1970s the style of aerosol bubble tags and characters recalled the earlier people-powered community murals and represented “freedom” in their minds, whereas cities elsewhere in Europe would have thought this painting indicated vandalism or a breakdown of the social fabric.

Suker. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Secondly, the fascination with graffiti was spurred by the children of African immigrants from former Portuguese territories of Angola, Mozambique and Capo Verde who moved to Lisbon after wars with them ended during the revolution. Now second generation teen immigrants from two cultures, they were looking for self-identity, according to Soares-Neves.

“They found resonance in this Afro-American and Latin American thing that was going on during the 80s so they connected with it and used it for language.”

Aire. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Quite possibly they were reacting to class and race prejudice and they identified with brothers and sisters in the music videos of American commercial hip hop culture. Seeing the exciting growth and the implied power of graffiti writers, musicians, and bboy movies like “Wild Style” in the 1980s, the expression of graffiti was alluring – a welcome visual art and anti-establishment practice that created identity, community, and newfound respect among a select peer group of cool kids.

“Actually it started with bboying culture in the mid 80s and then in the early 90s it started with a visual language of it,” he says, explaining the progression.

Unidentified Artist…speaking the truth. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Personal Introduction to Graff


His own teenage aestheticism extended to characters, and a fascination for punk or “rough” magazines and the illustration stylings of artists in the classic Chiclete com Banana magazines. “I had this relationship with drawing and cartoons and this kind of stuff – this popular culture sort of thing,” he says.

His talents as an artist were well prized among his peers until he was nearly outshone by a graffiti writer from Capo Verde, a classmate who threatened Pedro’s status as the school artist; a funny story he explains this way:

“At that time in my high school I was ‘The’ guy who was doing the best cartoons and all this kind of stuff,” he says, reflecting on his celebrity. “Suddenly he did a big piece on the wall! So I was the king of the ‘drawing thing’ and this motherf***er came here and did a big and colorful piece!”

Edis1. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: ..and everyone knew about it of course.
Pedro: Yeah of course it was much more visible than what I did. So I started to interact with the guy.

Pedro’s personal history with graffiti began there and never stopped. After starting on walls and greatly enlarging his own illustrations and experimenting with letter styles, he and his peers grew to about 10 or 12 writers and the graffiti scene appeared to blow up from there.

A community of writers from many backgrounds spread across the city practicing one-upsmanship in technical skill and logistical daring, operating singularly, in small groups, or the occasional Wall of Fame project. Because there wasn’t a strict evolutionary lineage of style, many young artists developed their own in the laboratory of the street, not necessarily related to the hip hop culture but adapting from their own culture.

Cola. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2000s and the Turn Toward Street Art


By the late 90s and early 00s he feels that the scene suffered a sort of malaise when purely commercial murals began to take parts of the wall inventory and change the character of some areas. It was a development he deeply disliked for its perversion of a freer art practice yet he appreciated it for the employment it provided to professional artists. The city also borrowed the vernacular of graffiti for public service announcements painted as murals.

The mid 2000s began to reflect the influences of artists like Banksy and a new sort of community comprised of artists from old school graffiti writers and new generation Street Artist began to coalesce in Lisbon he says. Additionally the later 2000s began an increasing flow of international Street Artists and graffiti writers who began avoiding Barcelona after that city started cracking down on their famed urban art scene.

RAM. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“They (artists) started to add a few other languages to try to surpass this previous period and also began dialoguing with the new things that were happening in Street Art,” he says of the witty skewering of pop culture iconography, introduction of fine art illustration styles and the use of newer art-making methods.

“It was starting to really have lots of people doing stencils and paste ups and this kind of stuff all around. It started to influence the younger generation and that put some pressure on the older generations, who started to do that themselves.”

 

Visual Street Performance and the Crono Project


A collective guild comprised of artists from both graffiti and Street Art like HBSR81, Hium, Klit, Mar, Ram, Time and Vhils joined together in the mid 2000s and called themselves Visual Street Performance (VSP). A professional/DIY effort, they began to organize large events and an annual exhibition through 2010 that expanded the vernacular to hybrids of fine art and elements of pop, character illustration, photo realism, surrealist fantasy, found object art, abstract expressionist, more traditional graffiti and graphic design.

Pang. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pedro had been studying abroad in the Czech Republic and Rome for a few years, “And when I came back I noticed a different panorama. There were lots of younger kids with totally different skills and with that approach of making money out of it,” he says with a mixture of admiration and possibly concern at the professionalism entering the equation.

“They managed to invent themselves,” he says, “and also within the exhibitions the kids like Vhils were born from these,” he says as he talks about the commercial aspects of the cultural scene with connections to an aerosol art brand, print makers, and related clothing projects.

Kam Laurene. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A notable commercial and marketing milestone that married Street Art and urban culture with the image of Lisbon itself took place in 2010-11 when the year long Crono project, curated by Soares-Neves, Angelo Milano (of Fame Festival), and local Street Artist Vhils (Alexandre Farto), brought rising stars of the moment to a high profile block-long series of ornate Art Nouveau and shuttered buildings along a heavily traveled strip in the city, Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo.

Os Gemeos . Blu . Sam3 . Erica Il Cane. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Internet’s volleying of fresh images of pieces by the Italian anti-corporate BLU, the hallucinatory dream illustration style of Brazilian graffiti twins Os Gemeos, and the lyrical storytelling of Spanish 2-D SAM3 alerted the Street Art worlds’ knowledge of Lisbon, and the project quickly became a destination for travellers.

Os Gemeos . Blu. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soares-Neves sometimes speaks about the commercial appropriation of the street art vernacular in his academic work and in some ways it appears that the unexpected success of the Crono Project unsettled him as well. The curators had worked with the city to finance the project with an intention of giving opportunities to artists and fostering new aspects of the public art conversation, but according to Soares-Neves the high profile of the project undermined their own anti-establishment sentiments when city leaders recognized that a comparatively modest investment had ballooned into a successful city “branding” campaign.

Os Gemeos. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Possibly this is a cautionary tale that underscores the incremental dangers present when subculture crosses the rubicon into simply “culture”. There is always the fear that the original philosophies encoded in a subculture will be irreparably transformed, candy-coated, cheapened, or worse, excised.

Recently closed London-based Street Art print pioneers “Pictures On Walls” lamented in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way on their website in January when describing the evolution of their 15 year old business this way, “…inevitably disaster struck – and many of our artists became successful. Street Art was welcomed into mainstream culture with a benign shrug and the art we produced became another tradeable commodity.”

Borondo. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The City We See Today


The city seems like it is absorbing all of these changes well, and the variety of faces and styles of public artistic intervention that you see scattered throughout it feel vibrant and necessary. The city continues its 25 year heritage of organic graffiti and entertains international writers and has the occasional Walls of Fame. Elements of unsanctioned Street Art exists as well and neighborhoods are accented by the new generation of muralists with mad skillz.

Then there are those who are a little harder to categorize, like the subtle reworkings of traditional Portugues tiles with modern icons and patterns by Add Fuel and the prized sculptural pieces across the city by the trash-recycling animal naturalist Bordalo II, who just had a massive solo exhibition in November.

Bordalo II. In conjunction with his solo exhibition  ATTERO Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The contemporary urban artist and international Street Art star Vhils is a company at this point: operating a studio in a few cities, here running a gallery, a studio laboratory program for young artists, a street art tour business, and partnering with city art programming initiatives as well as brands. Somehow he still finds time to create artworks in the streets, including a recent portrait collaboration with Shepard Fairey in Lisbon and LA.

Shepard Fairey . VHILS. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

At the end of our tour marathon Pedro Soares-Neves takes us to the Centro de Informação Urbana de Lisboa (Lisbon Urban Information Center) where we climb the stairs through the airy modernist foyer full of scholarly readers to discover a small scale maquette of the entire city that we have just been traversing.

Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fanned out for you before the shiny blue Tagus River, perhaps 15 meters at its full expanse, the topographic features of the city are much less daunting when viewed from this perspective. As Pedro walks around the perimeter of the mini-city and points to neighborhoods, regions, the forest, the airport, the old city and the newly gentrifying areas of Lisboa he recounted stories of expansion, retrenchment, privatization, skullduggery and deliverance.

Thanks to him we appreciate graffiti/ Street Art/ urban art truly in its context of this city, its history, its people and the built environment like never before.

Lisbon. Pedro makes a point. December 2017. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Bordalo II. In conjunction with his solo exhibition  ATTERO Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Borondo. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vhils. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey . VHILS. Detail. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lister. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crayon. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andre Nada. Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified Artist. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Slap. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RariOne. Amoreiras Wall Of Fame. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

±MAISMENOS± Bairro Padre Cruz. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Corleone. Bairro Padre Cruz. Underdogs Gallery/Public Arts Program . Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utopia. Galeria De Arte Urbana. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tags. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. Lisbon. Crono Project. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu . Sam3 . Erica Il Cane. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Il Cane . Lucy McLauchlan . M-Chat. Crono Project. Lisbon. December 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


With gratitude to Pedro Soares Neves and to Raul Carvalho, General Manager of Underdogs Gallery for taking the time to talk to us, for sharing their knowledge and insights with us and for showing us around Lisbon.

BSA in Lisbon comes to you courtesy BSA in Partnership with Urban Nation (UN).

This is the first of two articles with BSA in Lisbon in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.

 

 

 

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