All posts tagged: Bordalo II

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

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

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

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

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

The traveling exhibition “Magic City” curated by Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno that displays the wide range of works by todays’ interventionists now features a section devoted to sculpture including a selection of Street sculpture photography by Jaime Rojo.

Ben Frost. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Certainly when fine artists began joining the graffiti game they brought many additional techniques to the street, most of them applied to the surface of existing walls – stencils, wheat paste, rollers, for example.

Others have procured objects and attached them to the city; either creating new sculpture or replacing or adapting existing sculptures. For the public the experience may feel more intimate and evocative of the museum and gallery experience, encouraging one to regard the work from many perspectives. Naturally one would like to take selfies with them as well.

“Isn’t there a phrase, ‘Alls fair in love and war’? I feel like ‘Alls fear in love and war’,” says artist Ben Frost. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

Bordalo II. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Franco JAZ Fasoli. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aaron Woes. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Detail. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Sheryo . The Yok. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Icy & Sot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

Born To Die In Berlin. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don John. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grotesk . Juxtapoz Newsstand. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Borodo. Moving Image on  glass panels. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Video by BrooklynStreetArt.com

 

 

Various & Gould. Mobile. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Video by BrooklynStreetArt.com

 

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Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Le Rat Has Arrived, Police Remove Cars from “Art Mile”, 2 Days to “Unstoppable” in Berlin : BSA Dispatch 3

Blek Le Rat arrived at the Urban Nation office today with his wife Sybille after a long car ride from Paris, ready for a coffee and possibly to take a look at the wall he’ll be painting here to celebrate “UNSTOPPABLE”, the inaugural exhibition of the UN museum this weekend. The wind taunted BustArt as he attempted to lay his irreverent stencil of Mother Mary coddling Pluto Jr. and the sliced cutout cardboard bent and bowed beyond an average person’s patience while his buddy Stephan helped hold it down for spraying.

Isaac Cordal. Detail of a larger outdoor installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Under the elevated train a legion of police and traffic cops removed 80 or so cars so the team could begin building stages, cages, platforms, lighting, electricity – for a slew of fresh outdoor pieces which will be installed Thursday and Friday for the weekend outside component.

Who is going to be on display as part of the Art Mile? Try Pixel Pancho, Franco JAZ Fasoli, Bordalo II, Mimi S., HowNosm, Zezao, Isaac Cordal, Olek, Seth Globepainter, Blek Le Rat, Hottea, Dot Dot Dot, Borondo, Herakut, Deih XLF, Faith 47, David De La Mano, Nespoon, Tank Patrol, Lister, Cranio, Sandra Chevrier, Aaron Woes M, Yok & Sheryo, Haroshi, Don John, Ben Frost, Various & Gould, Icy & Sot, Mademoiselle Maurice, the Juxtapoz newsstand, Mark Bode, Shepard Fairey, 1 Up, James Bullough, and 2501. It’s a real cross section of styles, influences, and voice that will be engaging guests this weekend.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin police actually use a truss and truck that picks up the offending car, puts it on a flatbed. Then, believe or not, they look for an empty parking spot in the neighborhood an place the car into the new place – also signs are posted to let you know where your car was re-located to.

In New York City if you are unfortunate enough to park your car in the wrong place it is simply towed away to a massive car yard somewhere, banging into things occasionally on the way and flying through potholes – and then held for a King’s ransom. Then you have to simply guess if it was towed or stolen.  No word on what the London Police do in regards to cars parked illegally.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Florian couldn’t wait to take a peek. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Hot Tea)

Up on a lift for painting today also were Mademoiselle Maurice, David De La Mano, and James Bullough, and the company plastering the corner façade of the museum with pink letters. When the winds got to strong everybody was forced to bring the lifts down for an hour. Intrepid and lucky photographers like Jaime Rojo and Nika Kramer still managed to go up in the buckets to get some good shots in.

Hot Tea is spraying a big installation space with a rainbow of colors – on the walls and floors completely. People who are peeking through the plastic sheeting that protects the windows are wondering what this world of color is going to be.

Hot Tea at work on his site specific installation for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile the onslaught of arrivals continues, including hopefully we’ll see Martha Cooper and Carlo McCormick. Martha of course will be here to celebrate the beginning of the Martha Cooper Library within the museum and Carlo will be here to see the didactics and texts he wrote for the exhibition and catalogue –as well as speaking at the Unlock Book Fair. This publishing fair for graffiti, street art and related practices is a must see for those who relish the independent thinking minds who publish on paper in this scene. Other great speakers featured will be Pedro Soares, Jens Besser, Susan Phillips, Thomas Chambers, and Javier Abarca.

Okay that’s your update for today. See you on the streets tomorrow.

Ron English. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE at work for the Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Graffiti Writer CARE. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bustart fights with the wind. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Tankpetrol at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice detail and process shot of her installation for Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano at work. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Lister Off His Plane, Fairey on a Train: Berlin Readies for Urban Nation (UN) Opening this Weekend : BSA Dispatch 2

Lister Off His Plane, Fairey on a Train: Berlin Readies for Urban Nation (UN) Opening this Weekend : BSA Dispatch 2

Lister’s plane is on the tarmac and Olek is dragging a shopping cart full of art materials past the Vietnamese restaurant on Zietanstrasse and a block away two ladies in very high heeled boots and short shorts are meandering back and forth under the elevated train line. It’s a sunny fall day in this still skanky sometimes lustrous neighborhood of Berlin – a bit of gravel and leather mixed in with your Marilyn Minter sweet cocktail.

Shepard Fairey Subway Train in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Berlin-Schöneberg neighborhood is fresh off the International leather and fetish weekend & street fair at Fuggerstraße and you may still see the occasional mustachioed man wearing a dog collar and leash, or perhaps a leather mask that simply looks like a dog head – walking up the street on his way to brunch, perhaps.

Ah well, this is what gives birth to Urban Nation: the marginalized, the rebels, the counter cultural innovators, the forward thinkers and outright kinkers. Just made that word up.

Brazils’ Zezao courtesy Instagrafite’s Marcello and Marina at work on a new collage of mostly found objects and materials. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we got a look at Bordalo’s giant garbage sculptures of Berlin bears being prepared in a rented studio space south of the Ringbahn and in a warehouse standing in the middle of on a parking lot full of Mercedes Benz’s. For people like us, that parking lot was like stumbling into a field of diamond’s, all class.

For Germans a Mercedes is as common as a slab of fried schnitzel or a bubble tag by 1Up so Bjorn was bombing through the lot in his little car expertly until we reached the roll-up gate on the garage. Also inside is Yok & Sheryo’s special interactive walk-in installation that will go on the “Museum Miele/Museum Mile” with about 25 other brand new sculptures and installations this weekend.

Cryptk. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overhead on the elevated bright yellow rumbling trains you can see whole cars with new skins by Shepard Fairey, How Nosm, and Faust announcing “Unstoppable”, the name of the opening exhibition at Urban Nation that we’ve curated with a team.

Riding the U1 train over to Prinzenstraße we caught the new murals by Ron English, Cryptic and an ONUR/Wes 21 collabo. Heading over to Urban Spree to talk to printer/publisher/curator/gallerist Pascal Feucher in the tattered reverie and aerosol compound we also spoke with Street Artist Tavar Zawacki. The California born Berlin-based artist tells us he has undergone a “Metamorphosis” creatively and has large canvasses in the gallery to prove it.

Ron English. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Deconstructing his arrow shape, he is now free to experiment with overlapping any number of geometric shapes; deconstructing and manipulating his own self-imposed roolz. On our way out of the compound we ran into Louis Masai up a ladder creating one of his signature quilted endangered species. We were sort of running by so all we can say is it looked like a fish of some sort.

Lunch with Christian Omodeo at an Italian restaurant means the food will be good, because he is an actual Italian and won’t brook any suggestions of inauthenticity. That is one charming quality of the academic/curator/writer, in addition to his astute and acute knowledge of rare graffiti/Street Art books that qualifies him to be assisting the museum to organize and conceptualize future plans for the Martha Cooper Library.

Wes21 . Onur. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just a portion of the collection of ephemera will be on display for the Saturday’s opening night in the not-yet-completed library space, but you’ll be impressed by the promise of what is to come.

Zines, posters, even framed T-shirts from the collection of the famed photographer will cover the walls in addition to a portion of the thousands of books that constitute the beginning of an important collection which, when finished, will be unrivaled and provide invaluable opportunities to research by scholars of all levels.

Yok . Sheryo. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yok . Sheryo. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Process shot. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A still from the animated series of Nils Holgersson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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