There are times when an artist needs to be completely obvious to get their message out into the world, and Bordalo II is setting the tone for this year’s unofficial ONO’U festival in the gorgeous natural wonder called Tahiti. Using refuse he gathered around the islands of French Polynesia the Lisboan trash artist created a colorful replica of the oceans greatest predator, a shark, using the ocean’s greatest predator, trash.
Thanks to filmmaker Selina Miles’ eagle eye we have a brilliant array of scenes today with your from Selina’s trip last month to this uncommon Street Art rendevous in paradise that is organized every year by ONO’U creator Sarah Roopinia.
You may recognize a few of these artists as alumni of previous editions and note the familiar tone that these images relate – like this one with Bordalo II and his co-conspirator modeling fluorescent plastic netting over their heads. It’s funny when you do it to entertain your friends, but not when it gets stuck on your head in the ocean for days or weeks or months and prevents you from eating, like when you are duck, for example.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan 2. One Day With Lady K in Paris 3. The London Police Dogumentary, by Wayne Horse
BSA Special Feature: Bordalo II “A Life of Waste”
Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan
Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying
loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the
hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really
care for the others up here.
Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”
One Day With Lady K in Paris
Two decades into the game on her own and with Parisian graffiti crews 156 and CKW, Lady K tours the streets in a beret and a silk scarf with can of dark magenta aerosol in her purse, tagging concrete, marble, and ceramic tile on the streets as she goes. The interview shows one reason for her staying power – she’s an omnivore of style and technique, unwilling to limit herself to color or chrome, roller or extinguisher, vandal or Street Artist. Such distinctions are of little interest to her as she openly challenges your comfort zone, and presumably those of the police as well.
“I got this vision from God that said, ‘Go out and help the dogs of the world,’ ”says Chaz with a misty gaze at the camera. Clearly, dog songs have really brought their practice up a level, vastly expanding their artistic practice in three-part harmony, causing their core Street Art fans to howl with delight.
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
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
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.
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.
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”.
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…”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.
When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.
Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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?
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.
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.