All posts tagged: Brooklyn Museum

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
(For more information please see image description A below)

His most recent and one of his most original ideas has been to use the techniques of professional film compositing to impart a permanent, living aura for what may otherwise be static collaged works. With high res digital works working in concert, the life of the subject takes on an additional dimension, juxtaposed as it is with other figures they may or may not have ever interacted with.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Often in these recent projects you have the opportunity to see and/or hear personal recordings of the person through interviews for the piece. The centerpiece and partial namesake of this show is the new large-scale mural of more than one thousand New Yorkers whom he chose to feature, accompanied by audio recordings of each person’s story as told to him and his team.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR found this camera in the Paris Métro and began taking pictures of graffiti artists in the tunnels and on the roofs of Paris.

Many of these concepts and philosophical observations, including sociopolitical commentary on a number of hot-button issues of the day, may feel familiar to fans and Street Artists around the world – particularly over the last decade and a half. Here you can see that with the number of resources and teams that he can amass, JR is able to create the ideas with a sense of largesse and garner greater audiences, putting many of his works before many more.

Epic is a word often used to describe the projects, and when you see the JR: Chronicles exhibition you can understand why.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with the curators of the exhibition Sharon Matt Atkins and Drew Sawyer about their experience with this exhibition and how JR is defining new areas of photography with his use of it in public space.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby, or business owners and workers of local stores.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: It may be that there has been a return to black and white photography in the last decade – so much so that one may not register the significance that JR employs it for expression almost exclusively. How do you think the limited palette aids his work in telling his narratives?
Drew Sawyer: In many ways, JR’s use of black and white photographs is in direct opposition to contemporary photojournalism and the digital circulation is images. His close-up portraits may recall the work of earlier documentarians, such as Gordon Parks and Dorothea Lange in the United States, but JR’s decision to print them on inexpensive paper and paste them nearby counters they ways in which images often circulate in the global media far away from the places where his collaborators live. Also, the monochromatic images certainly stand out against the colorful built environments in which JR typically installs them.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
(For more information please see image description B below)

Brooklyn Street Art: As you deeply analyzed his career and its various phases, what would you say is one of the through-lines that you see in his practice as it evolved?
Sharon Matt Atkins: Our show is centered on his projects that have been created in collaboration with communities. From his earliest photographs documenting his graffiti writer friends to Inside Out with more than 400,000 participants in 141 countries to his most recent mural The Chronicles of New York City, JR has sought to give visibility to those often underrepresented or misrepresented.

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How has JR used his work in a new way that may prove to be inspiring to photographers and fans of photography?
Drew Sawyer: For JR, photography is just one part of his collaborative process. His work is really about bringing people together, lifting the voices of others who rarely have control over their own representation, countering narratives in the global media, and shifting the discourse around specific issues and events. He started his practice before there were social media apps like Instagram, which now provide platforms for many people to do the same in a digital form. Since then, JR has explored how new technologies can help him tell and share more stories. I hope his process inspires other artists to use photography in similar and new ways.



JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
(For more information please see image description below)

“Since 2017 JR has been creating participatory murals inspired by the work of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera in the first half of the twentieth century. In the summer of 2018, JR and his team spent a month roaming all five boroughs of New York City, parking their 53- foot-long trailer truck in numerous locations and taking photographs of passersby who wished to participate. Each was photographed in front of a green screen, and then the images were collaged into a New York City setting featuring architectural landmarks. More than a thousand people were photographed for the resulting mural, The Chronicles of New York City. The participants chose how they personally wanted to be represented and were asked to share their stories, which are now available on a free mobile app.”

– text courtesy Brooklyn Museum

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
(See image description below)

“In January 2009 JR carried out another iteration of Women Are Heroes in Kibera, Kenya, one of the largest slums in Africa. Following close dialogue with the community, JR covered rooftops with water-resistant vinyl printed with photographs of the eyes and faces of local women. The images both transformed the landscape and provided protection from the rain.

The train that ran along the Kibera line was also covered with photographs of the eyes of women who lived directly below, and images of the lower halves of their faces were pasted on the slope beneath the tracks so that as the train passed, their faces were completed for a few seconds. The idea was to celebrate, or at the very least to acknowledge their presence.
Of his projects, JR has said, ‘I search with my art to install the work in improbable places, to create with the communities projects that promote questioning. . . and to offer alternative images to those of the global media.’ ”

– text courtesy Brooklyn Museum

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

(See image description below)

“On October 8, 2017, for the last day of the Kikito installation at the U.S.-Mexico border, JR organized a gigantic picnic on both sides of the wall. Kikito, his family, and dozens of guests came from the United States and Mexico to share a meal. People at both sides of the border gathered around the eyes of Mayra, a ‘Dreamer,’ eating the same food, sharing the same water, and enjoying the same live music (with half the band’s musicians playing on either side). “

– text courtesy Brooklyn Museum

JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR. Inside Out Project. A woman takes a selfie after she completed the process of having her portrait taken at the mobile Inside Out Photo Truck stationed just outside the Museum during the opening night. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR: Chronicles is curated by Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives, and Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator, Photography, Brooklyn Museum. This exhibition is now open to the public. Click HERE for dates, times and directions.



Image Description A (see earlier in article)
“As the first photograph in what would become JR’s Portrait of a Generation, this image launched his career. The series was initiated when Ladj Ly, a filmmaker, and resident of Cité des Bosquets (called “Les Bosquets”), a public housing complex in the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil, invited JR to collaborate on a project in the neighborhood.

JR said of the image: ‘I took this picture when I was eighteen. It was the first time I went to Les Bosquets. If you look carefully in the back, you can see small posters from Expo 2 Rue—and I wrote ‘Expo D Boske.’ The kids asked me if I could take a picture of them. This photo of Ladj Ly filming me was the first one on the roll of film, and I felt something special had happened. This image is very emblematic of my work and of the message of this project with Ladj.’

This photograph was also the first large-scale image that JR and his friends wheat-pasted in the neighborhood prior to the riots there in 2005. It appeared as the backdrop in photographs accompanying newspaper articles and television footage about the uprising, thereby becoming JR’s first published work. “

– text courtesy Brooklyn Museum


Image Description B (see earlier in article)
“In 2013 JR learned that the housing towers in Les Bosquets were going to be demolished, so he revisited the Portrait of a Generation project. Using images from the original series, he and a team pasted portraits in the building before it was destroyed. He recalled, ‘We couldn’t get authorization to paste inside. So we got plans from the former inhabitants, and we entered at night, twenty-five of us, and spread out over all the different floors. We pasted eyes in someone’s kitchen, a nose in someone else’s bathroom, and a mouth in a living room. . . . When we came down, the police arrested us, but they couldn’t understand why we had just spent hours in this building that was about to be destroyed. The pastings were so big that they couldn’t see what they were. The next day, when workers started the demolition, the portraits were revealed, little by little, while the cranes were ‘eating’ the building. Only the people who were in the neighborhood that day witnessed the gigantic spectacle unfold.’ “

– text courtesy Brooklyn Museum

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.13.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.13.19

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week – and what a week it has been. The Jews have a new year, the daily amNewYork newspaper was closed, Brooklyn is breaking up gambling dens, and some people are still celebrating Columbus Day tomorrow. The streets have so many different voices adding to the visual dialogue, rather unlike the illusion of variety the corporate media presents us regarding geopolitics, democratic institutions, banks, oil, austerity, the world economy as casino, the war industry, the rise of fascism and autocrats generally.

Now that we think of it, all of these topics are directly and indirectly addressed through our Street Art as well.

Hope you are out strolling today in your neighborhood looking for Street Aart, in a park looking at the leaves on the trees, or outside the city in an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Do anything you can to strike a sense of balance – we all need it!

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Alex Face, Buff Monster, Chapter 23, Dan Kitcher, Elyaz, The Pansy Project, Inside Out Project, JR, Michel Velt, N.Dergund, Mishka, Little Ricky, Nass, Rubin415, Shiro, Tar Box, and Winslow World.

Top banner Dan Kitchener (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Pansy Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchner for East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Alex Face for East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Looks like Anna Wintour is having some female trouble. Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mishka Says…oh my! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mishka Says…oh my my! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Almost Over Keep Smiling (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nass (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Michel Velt for East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Michel Velt for East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Winslow World (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elyaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tar Box for East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
N. Dergrund (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Basquiat (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Chapter 23 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR Inside Out Project for the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR Inside Out Project for the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JR Inside Out Project for the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“David Bowie Is” in Brooklyn : Unprecedented Access to the Renaissance Artist

“David Bowie Is” in Brooklyn : Unprecedented Access to the Renaissance Artist

“Make sure you wear the headphones!” says beaming Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak as she greets visitors to the exhibition “David Bowie is…” this week and indeed the audio experience is peerless as you glide from section to section of this 5 decade journey through the creative life of a Renaissance artist of the late 20th century. Curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this final destination of the traveling show feels like he is coming back home to us. Most likely it felt that way for visitors in the other cities as well.

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From Aladdin Sane to Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke to his Serious Moonlight period, from his supergroup Tin Machine to his “Saturday Night Live” costume fronting Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias to his “Earthling” trench coat and his final album “Black Star” released days before his death two years ago, it is an overwhelming exhibition that unequivocally celebrates the ever-changing influential chameleon without pandering or dipping into sentimentality or awkward acclaim.

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Intersteller to interdisciplinary to intergender, the eternal searcher leaves details of his discovery along the trail for us to follow like so many scattered stars; multiple pages of handwritten lyrics with occasional corrections, sketches of costumes with quirksome commentary and original research, videos of ground breaking performance like his blue eye-shadowed opus “Life on Mars, his own original German Expressionist styled paintings including one of Iggy Pop in Berlin, and hundreds of costumes like the patterned bodysuit by Kansai Yamamoto and the The Blue Clown, or Pierrot by costume designer Natasha Korniloff for his “Ashes to Ashes” video and the cover of Scary Monsters.

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A New Yorker for the last couple of decades of his life, we were accustomed to regular sightings of him on the street or stage and news of his latest forays so seeing this level of personal detail almost invasive, as if spying on your neighbor. But at David Bowie is… the access feels unprecedented and no matter how much we see and hear and learn about the many interests and talents of David Bowie, there are invariably further questions about this performer who created barrier breaking characters and inhabited them as voracious avatars of his own discovery and ours.

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Periodic Table of David Bowie, a clip from “David Bowie is”

CREDIT: Sukita/The David Bowie Archive/used with permission of Brooklyn Museum

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coinciding with the Brooklyn Museum exhibit Parlophone is issuing the following three limited edition David Bowie discs:
Welcome To The Blackout (Live London ’78), a 3 x LP unreleased live set recorded live during the ISOLAR II tour at Earls Court, London on the 30th June and 1st July 1978 by Tony Visconti, a Brooklynite who produced Bowie on 14 of his albums, Let’s Dance (Full-length) a 12” single featuring full length version of the demo and live version and Bowie Now, a White vinyl LP issue of US promo only compilation with new interior artwork.

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David Bowie Is. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The exhibition David Bowie Is… at the Brooklyn Museum is currently on view and open to the general public. Click HERE for information on schedules and tickets.

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“David Bowie is” Coming To Brooklyn in March

“David Bowie is” Coming To Brooklyn in March

For those who felt that they lost a friend when David Bowie died two years ago, a new exhibition organized by The Brooklyn Museum will bring him back to you for a moment. For those who refuse to speak about him in the past, David Bowie is makes perfect sense to name an exhibition. As renaissance man whose work continues to influence the route of music, fashion, and culture, David Bowie is still here in New York City.

From Central Park to shanty town, I’ve always heard that crazy sound.” A cut-out image of Bowie in the park accompanied by a lyric from “Don’t Look Down” (link at bottom of posting). Photograph by Brian Duffy. © @duffy_archive & The David Bowie Archive. Photo: @BrooklynMuseum / @thebrookelynway

Of course Bowie’s image is always reappearing in the streets of New York and other cities, as it did before and now more after his passing. A touchstone for many creatives and artists, his image is a reminder to pursue your own vision, however outside the norm. Eventually they catch up. Or not.

 

Gazlay  2009 portrait of David Bowie on the streets of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Organized by Matthew Yokobosky, Director of Exhibition Design, the exhibition includes about 400 objects drawn mainly from the David Bowie archive, including more than 60 original costumes, handwritten lyric sheets, original album art, photographs, and videos, including rare scenes from the Diamond Dogs tour in Philadelphia.

Follow @brooklynmusem on Instagram   for developing news about the exhibit and associated programming, including the “Night of 1000 Bowies”.

David Bowie is

More on Brooklyn Museum website https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/davidbowieis

Photograph from the album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy. Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive.

Last month Choir! Choir! Choir! teamed up with David Byrne and a TON of singers in the Ford Foundation lobby of the Public Theater during the Under the Radar Festival to sing ‘Heroes’ written by David Bowie and Brian Eno


“We passed upon the stair,
we spoke of was and when,
although I wasn’t there,
he said I was his friend,
which came as some surprise.
I spoke into his eyes,
“I thought you died alone
a long long time ago.”

“Oh no, not me,
I never lost control.
You’re face to face
with the man who sold the world.”

“Man Who Sold The World”, David Bowie

Looking through our own vinyl collection, we found this fine example of early Bowie, “The Man Who Sold the World”. A perfect Saturday way to blow your mind. Listen to the single here on YouTube here.

 


“From Central Park to shantytown…” in “Don’t Look Down” on “Tonight”

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Artists Continue to Fight for Affordable Housing in NYC

Artists Continue to Fight for Affordable Housing in NYC

They’re not coming here to dine at the Olive Garden or take a tour through the Target.

They’re here for “Hello Dolly”, “Hamilton”, and “Cats”. They’re here for Billie Joel at the Garden, “Springstein on Broadway” and the “David Bowie” opening at the Brooklyn Museum. They’re here for the virtual reality exhibition “Celestial Bodies” at the Museum of Sex, Picasso and Marina Abramović at MoMa, and the 34,000 items in the Met’s Costume Institute. They’re here for Jazz at Birdland, punk at Manitobas, the singers at Joe’s Pub and dancing at “The Dirty Circus” party at House of Yes in Bushwick.

Whether its EDM or country music, Ai Wei Wei or Shepard Fairey, they’re reading about the arts from writers in the The New York Times, ArtForum, Hyperallergic, Time Out, The Village Voice, Daily News and right here.

Brooklyn Skyline. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The creative economy of artists, actors, dancers, musicians, photographers, curators, designers, art directors, architects, producers, writers, authors, painters, poets, coaches, trainers, teachers, filmmakers, lighting designers, stage designers, software programmers, prop makers, furniture designers, singers, chefs, hairdressers, makeup artists, fashion designers, and yes, Street Artists all are the contributors to the valuable cultural lifeblood of New York City.

And all of these people need a place to live and work, to create, to practice, to try and fail, and to try and succeed.

They also need to be able to pay the rent. That has been less and less and less possible in the last three decades at least with skyrocketing prices chasing low and medium income people from one neighborhood to the next.

These cultural creators have been moving from abandoned neighborhood to neglected neighborhood – in the process most often making the neighborhood more desireable – and then pushed out by the real estate investors. An effort to stem this unfair, brutal and insulting process, activists and artists created The Loft Law, which saved thousand artists in the 1980s and 1990s and it protected many Live/Work creative spaces and the cultural richness of the City that Never Sleeps. A second wave of Live/Work spaces were given protection via Albany in 2010 in a 2nd Loft Law  that covers creatives who brought neighborhoods around the city like Williamsburg and Bushwick back to life as desireable creative meccas.

Yes, this is one of the stories about gentrification – and yes, protection of affordable space for artists is not more important than affordable apartments for every single New Yorker. There are many programs afoot put in place ( please see: Mayor de Blasio Announces City Secured More Affordable Housing in 2017 Than in Any Prior Year.)

But that’s not why we’re writing today.

We’re writing to support all artists who give to this city and would like to assure that our elected officials, landlords, and the Loft Board remember their responsibility to respect and protect the rights of tenants, their families, their children, their grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers.

Many tenants in the last couple of years have questioned whether the protections afforded under the Loft Law are being run over roughshod or ignored altogether, according to many artists you’ll speak with. There are accusations that hard-won rules are being skipped over, artists are being coerced, that clearly defined processes are being foreshortened and rammed through without input.

It’s an old story, a swinging of the pendulum of justice toward the people and away from the people, but one that needs to be righted occasionally. At this moment, with the Mayor so clearly expressing a desire to protect the rights of the New York creative industry for affordable safe loft Live/Work spaces, it seems possible.


Here is the press release for a protest by 475 Kent tenants today at the meeting of the New York City Loft Board.

475 Kent tenants are asking that you ALL come out and support them.
Loft Board Meeting
2:00 PM
January 18, 2018 
New York City Loft Board   
22 Reade Street, 1st floor 
New York, New York

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Stephen ESPO Powers Signage Spills Outside the Brooklyn Museum

Stephen ESPO Powers Signage Spills Outside the Brooklyn Museum

While the branches on the trees in front of the Brooklyn Museum are not quite popping with buds it is a short time until they will be flushed with blossoms and then leaves, obscuring the view of some of the new site-specific signs just installed by Stephen Powers.

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The signs on the plaza, many humorous and coded, were originally created for a project he did with the New York City Department of Transportation a couple of years ago and they follow a theme of “emotional wayfinding” that he has been playing with in much of his sign-themed work for a while.

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The effect is almost decorative, to see so many of these clustered in one area – and a reminder that Street Artists have been using all variety of street poles as a means of expression for at least the last 20 years with regularity. This may be the first time we have heard of a museum acknowledging this means of communicating in public space, and Powers is a good ambassador for the technique of communication  practiced by so many.

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course this installation is in concert with the announce extension of his show inside the museum, Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull), which was going to close this week but has been extended until August 21. The show, which features Powers and other sign painters occasionally in person painting (check museum schedules) is organized by Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, Brooklyn Museum.

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen ESPO Powers. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still A Dreamland (To a Seagull) exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum is now on view and extended through August 21st.

 

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BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA galavanted through the streets last year and here we re-paste our recent newsletter to BSA readers. Sign up for it if you like. Here’s the original.

590-mad-mimi-Happy-New year-2016

Happy New Year from BSA!

From Berlin to Norway to Rochester and Mexico, Faile to Swoon to Ron English to Dan Witz and Gilf!, BSA was in museums, galleries, artists studios, at festivals, on panel discussions, on stages, on TV, radio, in theaters, and of course in the street.

Here are some highlights of the some of the amazing things BSA did with you in 2015. We sincerely thank you for your support and send love to you and yours in the new year!

***

In ’15 BSA Created “Persons of Interest” with UN in Berlin
Brought 12 Brooklyn Street Artists to Berlin with “Persons of Interest” show for Urban Nation Museum (UN)/ProjectM7

Reviews in:
Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, Huffington Post, Butterfly

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The (almost) complete “Persons of Interest” crew courtesy ©Sandra Butterfly

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BSA Presented “On the Radar” in Coney Island
With Jeffrey Dietch’s Coney Art Walls program at Coney Island Museum for Coney Art Walls, we presented 12 artist to watch who are on our radar.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Jaime-Rojo-Jeffrey-Deitch-Steven-P Harrington-Coney-Art-Walls-Aug2015-740

BSA Presented Faile at the Brooklyn Museum
A beautiful experience to be a part of the FAILE exhibition from its earliest planning stages to its full summer run at Brooklyn Museum, the cherry on top was to host an in-depth presentation and conversation with Faile’s Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil and BKM curator Sharon Matt Atkins in front of an enthusiastic Brooklyn audience.

Aside from The Pope landing in New York at the exact time people were traveling to the show and some microphone difficulties at the beginning of the show, it was a complete and total thrill for us. See the full video on LiveStream here.

What Happened with BSA + FAILE at the Brooklyn Museum?

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Steven P. Harrington, Patrick Miller of Faile (top), Sharon Matt Atkins, Patrick McNeil, and Jaime Rojo (image © by and courtesy of The Dusty Rebel) (@DustyRebel on Instagram)

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BSA Joined Swoon to Inaugurate Her New Heliotrope Foundation
The tenacious and visionary Street Artist grounded her dreams in a formal foundation in 2015, allowing her to pursue even greater reach in her growing projects in New Orleans, Haiti, and Braddock, PA. We were honored to interview her and to help celebrate the official beginning of The Heliotrope Foundation with the help of special guest and board member Kaseem Dean aka Swizz Beatz.

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Callie Curry (aka Swoon), Kasseem Dean (aka Swizz Beatz), Jaime Rojo, Steven P. Harrington inaugurate The Heliotrope Foundation

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photo ©Daniel Feral

BSA Hosted Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, and Herman De Hoop at Nuart Plus
For presentations from each of the guests and panel discussion on the intersection of “Play” and public space at NUART 2015 in Stavanger, Norway.

Read our published essay for the academic conference at Nuart: “TECHNOLOGY, FESTIVALS AND MURALS AS NUART TURNS 15

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street

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Jaime Rojo, Harmen De Hoop, Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, Steven P. Harrington at Nuart Plus (©MZM Projects)

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Banksy Does New York Took Us to Theaters Around the World
Good News: The movie got on NetFlix, iTunes, in festivals, and in theaters in cities around the globe
Bad News: People think we have a museum

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We Flew Over World’s Largest Mural
Flew by helicopter above the world’s largest mural by Ella and Pitr in Stavanger, Norway with two of our most admired photographers; Martha Cooper and Ian Cox. Thanks Nuart!

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Ella & Pitr © Jaime Rojo

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Ian Cox, Martha Cooper, Jaime Rojo getting ready to fly over Ella & Pitr in Norway (photo selfie ©Ian Cox)

We presented BSA Film Friday Live at MAG Gallery
Under the direction of Jonathan Binstock at University of Rochester Museum the MAG Gallery hosted us during the Wall\Therapy festival.

This is the grassroots sort of festival that rings true to us these days and the down-to-earth volunteers and organizers of this event, along with those of our associates at Urban Nation (UN), made this a highlight of the summer.

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

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Steven P. Harrington at MAG Gallery for Wall\Therapy (photo ©Jason Wilder)

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BSA moderated 1st panel for 1st event of 1st edition of LoMan Festival
“OMG Is this Street Art?” was the name of our panel with guest panelists Ron English, Gilf!, Dan Witz, and Jonathan Levine.

LoMan Art Festival Launches Its First Blast in NYC

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Ron English, Ann J Lewis, Dan Witz, Jonathan LeVine, and Steven P. Harrington for first LoMan festival event in August (photo ©Rodrigo Valles‎).

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BSA in Berlin Radio Interview with Vantage Point
We talked about Jay-Z, Bowie, Bushwick, the democratization of Street Art, cultural imperialism, the UN and what it is like to bust out a blog seven days a week and still keep your mind and heart open to discovery.
Listen to it here on Vantage Point and Soundcloud:

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BSA completed its fifth year in partnership with The Huffington Post in June 2015 (225+ articles) and was translated in Spanish on El Huffington Post, in French on Le Huffington Post, in Italian on L’Huffington Post, in Korean on Huff Post Korea, in Portuguese on Brasil Post, and in Greek for Huffington Post Greece.
BSA posted every single day and did 23 interviews and studio visits and published articles about street art in 103 cities
BSA was reference or appeared in the media in The New York Times, The Today Show, Le Monde, Agence France Press, German Rbb Tv, Borås Tidning, El Diario, El Heraldo, ArtNet News, Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, and others.
BSA’s Director of Photography Jaime Rojo took more than 10,000 images and we picked 143 as BSA 2015 Images of the Year.
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Special thank you to photographer Martha Cooper and Nuart Festival director Martyn Reed for the banner image from this years festival.

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BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

You picked them!

Last week you saw the Top Murals and the Top Videos. Today here are our Top Stories of 2015.

BSA readers told us by your direct comments and online sharing – that you love our coverage of Street Art festivals: 8 of the top 15 postings in ’15 were about them.

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The rest of the most popular stories can be described as being about powerful personalities and consequential work on the street that is not simply visually impactful but is backed by a story that runs deeper.

Following are your top 15 postings from the year on BSA and our articles on The Huffington Post along with an excerpt from the original posting.

 


NO. 15

 A Mexican Mural ‘Manifesto,’ Blackened Flags And Censorship (March 04 2015)

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Erica il Cane (photo © Fifty24Mex)

“Striking and massive murals by international street artists have been populating the walls of Mexico City for the last five years thanks to the emergence of a global Street Art scene, a rise in mural festivals, and the country’s tradition of institutional support for murals that further a socio-political mission. There hasn’t been much of the latter lately, however, and it is doubtful that a new politically charged mural campaign underway in certain central neighborhoods is likely to receive tax dollars for the paint and ladders.

Without sighting a specific ill to address, the new mural initiative named “Manifesto” is challenging a select group of local and international street artists to express their opinions on weighty and topical matters through murals, “using art as a social tool to propose, reflect and inform.” Among possible topics that might be addressed, the manifesto for “Manifesto” says, are increasing poverty, glorified materialism, the exhausting of natural resources, a fraying social web, and a dysfunctional justice system.”

More…


NO. 14

Malik and ‘Note’ Bring 17 Street Artists To A Swiss Prison (November 04, 2015)

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(photo © Malik)

“Initiated by Aarau-based graffiti/street/fine artist Malik in May of 2012, the project eventually corralled 17 street artists, all but one from Switzerland, to enter the confines of the new high security Lenzburg Prison to paint murals on exterior walls, courtyards, hallways, and common areas.

‘I was looking for a new challenge and a new and exciting project where I could show my art,’ says Malik and while the 18 month project originated with his vision of getting a nice wall for himself, quickly the project grew far beyond his expectations to become an educational, sociological meditation on the penal system, the appropriate role of art within it, and our collective humanity.”

 More…

 


NO. 13

The Coney Art Walls: First Three Completed and Summer Begins  (May 27, 2015)

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Kave (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Instead of being hunted down for catching a tag or bubble-lettered throw-up, a couple dozen graffiti/street art painters are invited to hit up Coney Island this summer — and since we’ve just marked the unofficial first weekend of summer in New York — we’re bringing you the first three freshly completed pieces.

Part of “Coney Art Walls”, the muralists began taking the train out to this seaside paved paradise that is re-inventing itself once again, this time courtesy of art curator Jeffrey Deitch.”

More…


NO. 12

50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn  (June 27, 2015)

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Jetsonorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“From Selma to Ferguson, Birmingham to Charleston, Jimmie Lee Jackson to Michael Brown, Street Artist Jetsonorama is crossing the country from Arizona to New York and a half-century of America’s struggle with our legacy of racism and injustice.

As marches have continued across the country in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore, New York, Dallas and Cleveland in the past year addressing issues such as police brutality and racism, the south is taking down confederate flags on state houses and the US is mourning another mass shooting.

Now as Americans everywhere are pulling out and waving the stars and stripes to celebrate freedom, this new powerful installation on a Brooklyn wall reminds us of what New York poet Emma Lazarus said, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’ ”

More…


NO. 11

Gender, Caste, And Crochet: OLEK Transforms A Shelter In Delhi  (March 25, 2015)

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Olek (photo © Street Art India)

” ‘It felt like I gave a birth to an oversize baby without any pain killers. I had to pull the black magic to make it happen. Physically and emotionally drained. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES,’ she types onto her Facebook page to let friends and fans know that she has finished the seven-day marathon of crocheting and directing a full team of volunteers and St+Art Delhi organizers. Triumphant, she stands atop the woman’s shelter, a one story structure of corrugated metal and concrete 40-feet long and 8-feet high, with a fist in the air, a symbol of celebration as well as a show of solidarity with the sisterhood of those who helped her make it and those will seek refuge here when other options have been exhausted.”

 More…

 


NO. 10

A Tidal Wave of Lodz Reborn: ‘Lodz Murals’ Distinguishes a Polish City (October 28, 2015)

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Alexis Diaz (photo © Maciej Stempij)

“Now I don’t want to create any new festival, any new brand — just want to keep the name as simple as possible,” he says of Lodz Murals, an ongoing program that functions year round rather than focusing specifically on a short-term festival. With all responsibilities for organizing, promoting, and working with city and private business under one roof, Michał says that his vision is to create the same sort of iconic image of Lodz with murals as Paris with the Eiffel Tower.

“I would like that people on the global scale would think of Lodz as a city with exceptional public art,” he says grandly while acknowledging that public art shines in many other cities as well. “When you are thinking about public art, one of the first places that you will see in your mind’s eye is Lodz. Of course, comparing the mural project to the one of the most important “pearls” of modern architecture is pure overstatement, but I would like to create this type of mechanism, this type of association.”

 More…


NO. 9

WALL\THERAPY 2015: Surrealism and the Fantastic (July 29, 2015)

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Never Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.”

More…


NO. 8

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street (September 12, 2015)

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Ella & Pitr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As we mark the halfway point of this decade and see the institutional discussions of Street Art taking form while academics try to place it in the canon of art-making and decide upon the nature of its impact, they do it with the knowledge that gallery shows, museum exhibitions, high-profile auctions, individual collecting, lifestyle marketers, and public festivals of many configurations and aspirations are already embracing its relevance. No one can possibly gauge this story in all of its complexity but some will capture its spirit. Being on the street helps.

One way to get a pulse on the present is to attend shows like Nuart and witness the diverse stratagems that artists are using to engage their audiences and judge if they are successful at realizing their intentions. With a deliberately mixed bag of thinkers, feelers, documentors, aesthetes, and pranksters culled together for your edification, this show stokes the discussions.”

More…


NO. 7

Coney Art Walls: 30 Reasons to Go to Coney Island This Summer  (June 24, 2015)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called “Coney Art Walls,” and today, you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.”

More…


NO. 6

Barcelona: “Open Walls” Mural Festival and Conference 2015 (November 11, 2015)

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RocBlackBlock (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

“Barcelona was known as a city at the epicenter of a bustling lively organic street art scene in the mid 2000s. Today that has greatly been cracked down upon by authorities, but the Spanish city now boasts a mural festival called Open Walls, which celebrated its third edition last month with public works spanning a great number of influences and styles. Of course there is still plenty of autonomous, non-comissioned street art to be seen as well.”

 More…


NO. 5

Basquiat’s Rarely Seen Notebooks Open At The Brooklyn Museum (April 01, 2015)

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Basquiat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In ‘Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,’ now running at the Brooklyn Museum until August 23, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

 More…


NO. 4

Borås ‘No Limit’ 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities (September 17, 2015)

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Pichi & Avo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by street artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencilist Joe Iurato.”

More…


NO. 3

Street Art Sancocho: ArteSano Project Brings Dominican Flavor  (January 08, 2015)

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Mario Ramirez (photo © Tots Films)

It could be the name influencing our perception, but in one way or another it looks like these artists are chosen for their down-to-earth hand hewn approach. Sometimes decorative, sometimes storytelling, there are familiar themes and motifs that play well to their local audience as well as the virtual gawker.

Even with two dozen artists, it isn’t bloated: no logos or product tie-ins or DJs or high flying scissor lifts scaling massive multi-story walls with abstract surrealism, hyper photo-realism or dark pop human/animal/robot hybrids here – yet. Well, we take that back on the surrealism score; Pixel Pancho is here with a brood of chickens bobbing their industrial mesh necks atop fired tile bodices, hunting and pecking their way toward the beach, and Miami artist duo 2alas & Hox created a portrait of a boy with a partial mask overlay that calls to mind cyborgs (and Sten & Lex). But here in the loungey bare-foot tropical DR coastal area, even Pixel Pancho mutes the hues toward sun-bleached pastels, more easily complimenting their surroundings.”

 More…


NO. 2

Renaissance Masters, Keith Haring and Ninja Turtles in Brooklyn Streets (July 15, 2015)

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Owen Dippie. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

And so it made sense last week when Dippie skillfully merged imagery spanning five centuries, two continents, and two distinctly different art movements. Call it a measured miracle, a ratherish revelation that Dippie completed a deftly realized mashup of Raphael and Keith Haring, with the Madonna del Granduca holding Haring’s icon-symbol that is variously referred to as ‘Radiant Baby,’ ‘Radiant Child,’ and ‘Radiant Christ.’ ”

More…

 


NO. 1

YZ and Her ‘Amazone’ Warrior Women On Senegalese Walls (January 14, 2015)

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YZ (photo © YZ Yseult)

“French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street ‘Amazone’.”

More…

 

 

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Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside

Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, its fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just as warm weather recedes and late autumn’s chill darkens that historic city seaside amusement park, the popsicles and sand and titillating oddities are all rushing inside for the winter at Brooklyn Museum. Here and in adjacent galleries, the stage-directing showfolks at BKM are offering conjoined triplets for you to gawk at: Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull), Coney Island: Visions of An American Dreamland, 1861-2008 and Forever Coney: Photographs from the Brooklyn Museum Collection.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In tandem with his merry band of mostly reformed graffiti writers-turned-sign painters, Powers’ installation pops up and outward chaotically like nighttime fireworks seen from the boardwalk on the 4th. The fast talking Philadelphia-born Powers is a natural carnival barker, showman, and punny word player, and this textual chorus of messages invites you to consider the tantalizing language of the pitch as well.

While you tumble layer upon layer, feel free to revel in the clever permutations of implorative doublespeak delivered with non-linear panache, a cluster of colorful visual cues here cut from their tether and flying above your head. Rather than actually selling you something, however, it’s the method of delivery that Powers is celebrating. It’s a joyride of icons that trumpets the juxtaposition of the graphic, the selection of the symbol, the wink of an eye, the turn of the word, the jocular joust.

Just like any rollercoaster or peeping attraction, its a thrill best enjoyed by holding on tight, alternately letting go completely, blurring your eyes and drinking in the candied, fried, salty sweetness. And just like any tourist attraction that helps those yearning for a closer view, a classic binocular tower viewer is sited center stage for you to gaze further than the human eye.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a city that is quickly stamping out the last remaining handmade signage that was once ubiquitous on bodegas, candy shops, record stores, laundromats, restaurants, bars, pizza joints, and hot dog stands, it is ironic that these new signs recalling that communication vernacular are being brought into the museum. If any of these signs remain in public space today, they are faded glories overlooked, often called “ghost signs”. Powers brings the language back to life, inverting the expected, cleverly blending in his own sense of Coney Island romance, heavily salted and smothered in ketchup.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anne Pasternak, the new director of this encyclopedic institution, saw the value in preserving this particular character of New York when she was President and Artistic Director of Creative Time and the organization collaborated with Powers for the first time in 2004 and 2005 on The Dreamland Artists Club in Coney Island. Those first two projects were the genesis of their collaboration in Coney Island again in 2008 with The Waterboard Thrill Ride. Emblazoned by Powers’ hand painted wit the darkly satirical project was sited in a Coney Island peeing booth/grindhouse that stirred controversy for its animatronic depiction of torture.

More often Powers’ installations in a dozen or more cities are affectionately referred to as Love Letters, including massive text-based projects that cover walls and neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Syracuse and 2011’s Love Letter to Brooklyn, which wrapped a building with city inspired phrases of 250 or so words in downtown BK.

Here at the museum you are best served to get in close and go full bore into the jumbled chaos of words always at play in Power’s work and mind. The installation features the twisted phraseology of a country baked in advertising jingles, slogans, and blustery bromides and each of the artists (Justin Green, Matt Wright, Mike Levy, Dan Murphy, Mike Lee, Mimi Gross, Alexis Ross, Sean Barton, Eric Davis, and Tim Curtis) bring their own handstyles and witticism to these conversations, a playful and sarcastic examination that bubbles and splashes like waterfalls of words beneath the rotunda.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Powers and team completed their installation this week for Friday’s opening we spoke with curator Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director of Exhibitions and Collections Management, to see if the newest iteration of ICY SIGNS has been the fun house that it appears to be.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about the intersection of the three exhibits here as expressed in the signage of Powers?
Sharon Matt Atkins: Our three Coney Island exhibitions capture the spirit of the seaside community and give a feeling for how the place has inspired generations of artists. Powers’ installation in particular brings the visual language of Coney Island to the Museum by recalling the great tradition of hand-painted signs.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How much of the exhibit is specific to this installation and how much is heritage pieces from its pre-iterations?
Sharon Matt Atkins: This installation combines found signs alongside those created by Powers and ICY SIGNS. The works by Powers and ICY SIGNS include both earlier work as well as new signs and paintings created for this exhibition.

Brooklyn Street Art: Brooklyn Museum is once again embracing the language of Brooklyn streets and public space, bringing it into a gallery and presenting it as vital and worthy of consideration. How does this one compare to the shows you organized for Swoon and Faile?
Sharon Matt Atkins: I have loved seeing the Cantor Gallery transformed with each artist’s installation, and also with recent exhibitions like Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic and Crossing Brooklyn. It’s a beautiful space that lends itself to different kinds of experiences.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How does the space lend to or present a challenge for the displaying of the multiple signs?
Sharon Matt Atkins:
Powers and team really wanted to respond to the architecture, much in keeping with how signage becomes layered in cities and places like Coney Island. Working with the piers of the Museum’s Cantor Gallery, they built layers and stretched upward about 40 feet, creating these soaring towers of signs that are anchored by sign benches at their bases. Providing a lively and educational element to the exhibition, we will also have sign painters at work here on Thursday evenings, and afternoons on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stephen Powers . ICY SIGNS “Shameak” “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Steve Powers’ site specific installation “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull)” is presented in conjunction with “Coney Island: Visions of An American Dreamland, 1861-2008”. Both exhibitions will open to the public this Friday, November 20th and will run until March 13, 2016. Click HERE for more details.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA LIVE with FAILE at Brooklyn Museum Today – Live Streaming 7pm EST

BSA LIVE with FAILE at Brooklyn Museum Today – Live Streaming 7pm EST

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Join Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com In Conversation with Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil of FAILE today at the Brooklyn Museum.

The event will be moderated by Sharon Matt Atkins, who is the organizer of FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds and Vice Director, Exhibitions and Collections at Brooklyn Museum.

This is a great opportunity for you to take on their expansive exhibition before it closes. The museum will stay open until 10:00 pm. In addition to learning more about their art and their history if you are one of the lucky ones you might bring home a FAILE silk screened tote bag home. There will be a makeshift silk screen shop by Bushwick Print Lab with a DJ duo Chances With Wolves playing music and a cash bar.

Click HERE for further information

 

LIVE STREAMING LINK BELOW:

https://livestream.com/BrooklynMuseum/failebsa

 

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9 Year Old Interviews Faile in the Deluxx Fluxx Arcade

9 Year Old Interviews Faile in the Deluxx Fluxx Arcade

Summer interns are younger than ever this year in NYC!

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Thought you would like to see this video that Huffpost made last week as the FAILE show was about to open. Literally it was the day before the opening and behind the scenes people were running around like cats at a rocking chair convention. But you wouldn’t know it by the calm and friendly demeanor of Patrick and Patrick as they show 9 year old interviewer Ada Donnelly how to play the games and make sure she gets the inside story on the Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. The concept is genius! Read the full story HERE:

And here’s a pretty complete run-down of the show we did for the opening of ‘Savage/Sacred Young Minds’

 

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Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images has been the baliwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For fans of this collaboration between artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, Savage/Sacred is a joyride swerving through the visual vocabulary and terminology they’ve been emblazoning across walls, doorways, canvasses, stickers, sculptures, prayer wheels, wood blocks, paintings, prints, toys, and a museum façade in their steady ascendance from anonymous art school students and Street Artists to a highly collected top tier name in contemporary art.

Offering you a full immersion and opportunity for titillating interaction, this show provides an unambiguous sense of the industry that is backing the Faile fantasy. Throughout their work and your imagination and assumed role, you may be villain, distressed damsel, wolfman, fairey, vandal, wrestler, hot-rodder, madonna, whore, supplicant, avenger, surfing horse or simply an arcade hero who is whiling away windowless hours punching buttons, popping flippers and pumping Faile tokens into tantalizing art machines.

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FAILE. FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Central to the formative Faile story is an image of the teenage Patricks piecing together clues about the world in these dark dens of possibility and teenage angst, awash in fantasy, aggression, testosterone and communal alienation.

Miller talks about the arcade atmosphere with a certain reverence, “All through Middle School, especially on the weekends, you’d just get dropped off at the mall and be there all day. There is something about the idea of this being a somewhat sacred space as a teenager in arcades. They are sort of a “Candyland” – a magical space mixed with a little seediness. You had kind of a large age range in there. You could get in trouble if you wanted but through the video games you could live out these crazy fantasy experiences. Historically arcades have been like that – very much with the Times Square notion. They’ve always had that connection to an underbelly of things.”

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you think New York is still seedy?
Patrick Miller: It seems like it is getting harder to find, in a way.
BSA: So really you might say that this is a public service, this installation.
Patrick Miller: There are so many young people who have never had this experience today. Not only are we trying to share what that was like, it is something that shaped the way we are inspired as artists and the way we make imagery, the way we make icons. The roots of video-game culture are there and now that has sort of bled out today – but also we’re interested in the shared experience because so much of the video game experience is now mobile or is just had on your couch, I think people have forgotten that there used to be these places were you congregated to do this.

For the 5th public offering of FAILE BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade and the first in a museum setting, Faile extends the scope and adds a handful of new NYC-centric scenarios to the mix and again partners with fellow Brooklyn street artist and spin-cycle collage mutator-in-chief BÄST, whose stylistic counterplay alerts undercurrents of tension with a punk-naïve primal hand painting and humoristic Dada collaging.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Can you describe the working dynamic with Faile and BÄST?
Patrick Miller: We’ve always been really inspired by BÄSTs work because we start from a similar place but we end up totally differently.
BSA: Yeah the end result is very different
Patrick Miller: Ours are probably more structured and narrative.
Patrick McNeil: I think over time we have tried not to step on each others’ toes. He generally controls the half-tone territory and we control the line-drawing territory.
BSA: So his are more photography-based and yours tend more toward the illustration.
Patrick McNeil: Yep
Patrick Miller: I think the work comes from the same place but his is just turned up to “11”.
Patrick McNeil: Yeah his is more put into a blender.
Patrick Miller: But that has always been what makes us work well together, the styles mix and marry really well and they kind of bring the best out of both.
BSA: And he has become even more abstract recently – more lo-fi outsider artish…., although you guys have delved into children’s coloring books for inspiration as well
McNeil: I think BÄST would like to call it more “outsider art”.
BSA: Why has it been important to keep Deluxx Fluxx a Faile-BÄST collaboration over the last five years thoughout its various iterations?
McNeil: We started this project as a collaboration and we’ve been collaborating with BÄST for fifteen years. We’ve always enjoyed working with him because we just love the friendship and we love the product of our collaborations. I think having the opportunity to be at the Brooklyn Museum and to do it together with him is really special.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Twenty-two in all, the custom designed variations on arcade video and pinball games from the 1970s and 80s alert competitive urges and quests for domination alongside more mundane tasks like alternate side of the street parking and completing atypical digital art-making sessions where “winning” is defined entirely differently.

Social, sexual, comical, criminal, and environmental concerns all pop and parry while you nearly mindlessly and repetitively punch buttons and fire guns at herky-jerky 2-D motion graphics that transport you to the hi-charged arcade experience rumbling in malls and sketchier parts of town before the Internet. Get a taste for those darkened caves where you racked up points while quarters were sucked from your pockets; you are the favored hero at home in this seductive lair, surrounded by an ear pounding audio-musical triumphalist barrage of hypnotic hormonal victory and id-shattering explosions.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The adjoining cavernous black-light illuminated fluorescent foosball room is papered with mind-popping illustrations derived and sutured from comics, pulp and smarmy back-pages advertising that once stirred secret desires. Walking in on this teen temple you may feel like looking for dirty magazines sandwiched between mattresses; surely a hyped up juvenile would choose these alternating graphic “floor tiles” in radiation yellow, sugar coated pink and neon orange, giving your footsteps a spongey depth perception test on your way to a round of table football.

The floor-to-ceiling hand painted posters took four people six months to complete, both Patricks tell us, and they all compete for your attention, each a narrative re-configured and augmenting secret storylines, myths, and plenty of white lies.

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FAILE’s Patrick Miller demonstrates an art experience where you rip posters off the wall to reveal yet more Faile posters underneath, which you can rip further. FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Somehow it is here in the day-glo madness that we see the closest approximation to the original Street Art experience passersby had in the early 2000s with Faile’s work when they were still a trio that included artist AIKO and in those years just after her departure. These are the bold, familiar graphic punches thrown in a direction you weren’t expecting and can make you laugh.

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FAILE’s Patrick McNeil demonstrates how to tag subway walls before the “Bast Ghosts” come after you. FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a media- and advertising-saturated society our tools of discernment and reason are compromised, deliberately so. Faile is recognizing some symptoms of this compromise and is examining the stories and the narratives that are told, crafting their own dramatic nomenclature from the pile. You might say that their stories are melding with an idealized simplification of North American white dude history, a heroic paranoid absolutism that lays bare the prejudices behind it.

A simple survey of words illustrates the perspective: prayer, bitch, horse, rainbow, sinful, Jesus, warriors, forbidden, Indian, hero, poison, brave, strong, boy, guilty, pleasure, bedtime, cowboys, hotrods, savage, gun, trust, stiletto, tender, hotel, confessions, fight, wolf, saved, girls, lies, vanity, inexperience, restless virgin, innocent, willing, heartbreak, torment, stories.

These are Faile stories, reconfigured with a slicing knife down the middle of the belly, an idiosyncratic collaged pop/pulp style that owes as much to the Dadaist Hannah Höch and pop collage originator Richard Hamilton as it does to Lichtenstein’s sense of storybook romance and Warhol’s repetitive emotional distance.

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FAILE. The FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the book accompanying the exhibit, Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, who organized the exhibition, says the presentation of the arcade in a museum setting “highlights how the present work relates to the art of the past and expands our expectations of the use of public spaces dedicated to art.” Here, she says, “Deluxx Fluxx’s arcade machines, which are simultaneously sculptures and functioning games, may call to mind Surrealism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as the enigmatic boxed assemblages of Joseph Cornell.”

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Similarly, the signature Temple project has not been presented in its entirety in museum settings previously, and it feels like it is a bit of inspired genius when you are standing in its shadow beneath the soaring sky light at the Brooklyn Museum. The full scale church in ruins was presented out of doors in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon in conjunction with Portugal Arte in 2010. Echoing its surroundings in Lisbon, the Temple here is also a willful remix of the epic and the rather lesser so.

Culture-jamming at its height, it’s a punk subversion in ceramic, marble and iron that simultaneously genuflects and gives the finger to antiquity and to our soulless consumer culture. By casting reliefs of stylized font-work, romance novelette themes, and ads for call girls in puzzling non-sequitors, the Temple ridicules vapidity while honoring connections to age-old themes, sort of humbling all involved. Here again Faile is questioning the received wisdom of art history, religious customs, and tales of great societies we’ve learned to be reverent of, or maybe just questioning our true knowledge of history altogether.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

During the last months while it was being unpacked and assembled we heard the Temple also called a tomb, a mausoleum, a chapel – the differences shared by their ties to the architecture and sculpture and tiled mosaics and ceramic under one roof. The roof in this case is destroyed – possibly because it caved in or because it was ripped off by an angry god who said, “You have missed my point entirely!”

In any case it is a formidable structure allowing meditation, reflection, confusion. In an act of ultimate bait and switch, Faile has deliberately played with what you are supposed to be paying attention to, substituting the associated original intended and inferred meanings of a religious institution and its power. You approach with reverence, looking perhaps for an allegorical means to access the transcendental, but expected symbols have been supplanted by the shallow relics of a culture you may have intended to escape.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately Faile is not unlike a lot of the world’s great religions; Comforting, reassuring, challenging, mysterious, inpenetrable. Sometimes you have the feeling that there are other people who understand it much better than you. Oh, ye of little Faile. Lean not upon your own understanding. Failes ways are not necessarily our ways. Whether these words and narratives are written by man or handed down from a higher power, why sweat it? It’s a holy good show.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds the Brooklyn museum is once again meaningfully invested in the present and jumped ahead in the examination of what clearly is the first global grassroots art movement, giving the stage to the current century’s voices of the street – perhaps because it has engaged with the city’s artists and communities.

With an enormous new Kaws sculpture in the lobby, Basquiat’s notebooks and Kehinde Wiley’s exhibition in the same year, Faile adds an important voice to the local/global narrative and to the dialogue about the appropriate role of art in the public sphere and major institutions in the cultural life of the community they a part of.

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Fantasy Island.  “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Wolf Within. Detail. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Ripped canvases. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FAILE. Ripped canvases. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at the Brooklyn Museum will open Friday, July 10th. Click HERE for further information.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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