All posts tagged: Brooklyn Street Art

From Troubles to Global Struggles: Political Mural Expressions in Belfast and Dublin

From Troubles to Global Struggles: Political Mural Expressions in Belfast and Dublin

Across the heart of Belfast, murals serve as powerful testimonies to the struggles and aspirations of people across the globe. Bill Rolston, a revered photographer and academic, has dedicated his career to capturing and archiving these poignant and powerful expressions. His current exhibition at the Ulster Museum, “Drawing Support: Murals, Memory and Identity,” serves as a compelling narrative of conflict, resistance, and identity, offering a lens through which we can understand the deeper implications of these artworks. Rather than focusing on the murals of “The Troubles” exclusively, we broaden the topic here to a variety of other forms of political expression on the street we found during our visits to Belfast and Dublin.

Unidentified artist. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Political expressions in Dublin tend toward the modern styles of street art, and students at Trinity College were stalwart in their protests about Palestine a few weeks ago when we visited. The political murals in Belfast that address current global conflicts, such as the war in Gaza, are primarily located in the Falls Road area. This area is renowned for its rich history of mural art, particularly in the context of political and social issues. The International Wall on Divis Street, which intersects with Falls Road, is a prominent site where murals addressing global conflicts and peoples’ movements can be found. These murals often reflect themes of resistance, solidarity, and international struggles, connecting local issues with global ones. For instance, murals on the International Wall have depicted support for Palestinian rights, drawing parallels between the struggles in Northern Ireland and those in Palestine.

Shane Sutton. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shane Sutton. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While Dublin went for the big statement of a 6 floor banner saying “Ceasefire”, the Belfast murals bring attention to international issues and foster a sense of global solidarity by extension, serving as a visual dialogue between local communities and greater movements. They provide a powerful medium for political expression and awareness. Rolston’s extensive documentation of murals pertaining directly to “The Troubles” provides a foundation for understanding how the visual language of murals has evolved to encompass broader global concerns. The murals are not just about the past but about our shared human condition and the ongoing fights for justice and peace.

Unidentified artist. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some historians say that the tradition of political murals in Belfast dates back to the early 20th century when a likeness of King William of Orange was painted on a bridge in the city. Accordingly, this act may have marked the beginning of what Rolston describes as the “longest continuous tradition of political murals in the world.” The murals initially focused on local political and historical events, particularly related to the Protestant Unionist community. However, over time, they evolved to include a wide range of topics, including international solidarity.

One prominent theme in the murals at this moment is the plight of the Palestinian people. The very fresh murals depict the deprivation and attacks on Palestinians, reflecting the intense international cry for Israel to cease its bombardment of Gaza. For viewers, these murals serve as a bridge between the struggles in Belfast and those in the Middle East, illustrating the universal language of resistance and solidarity.

Estenismo. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Another critical issue addressed in the murals is the problem of affordable housing in Belfast, which has resulted in homelessness and a reliance on hostels. The murals capture the stark realities faced by many in the city, drawing parallels to global economic inequalities. Murals have long been a way for communities to voice their grievances and demands for change.

Lastly, the theme of political imprisonment is evident, with comparisons drawn between Irish hunger strikers like Bobby Sands and Palestinian hunger striker Kader Adnan. These murals commemorate the sacrifices made by individuals fighting for their political beliefs and what is regarded as the right to be recognized as political prisoners. They serve as a memorial and a call to action, reminding us of the ongoing struggles for human rights and dignity.

Unidentified persons put up this vinyl poster that speaks to a common military history of Israel and Ireland and focuses on persons like John Henry Patterson, who is a notable figure in Irish military history primarily due to his role as a British Army officer and his contributions during the First World War. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In addition to the politically charged murals, a new generation of talented international and local street artists in Belfast is making its mark. These artists, equipped with stunning technical skills, photorealistic painting and illustration styles, pop culture characters, and painting techniques more frequently associated with formal academic training from the university, often avoid explicitly political themes. Their work adds a fresh aesthetic to the city’s mix of publically painted walls and has found fans across different communities. Despite the diverse themes, there appears to be room for both traditional political murals and newer street art, creating a varied, rich, and dynamic mural culture in Belfast.

The murals on the International Wall and throughout the Falls Road area continue to play a crucial role in voicing political opinions and fostering a sense of community. We also saw a few politically themed walls in Dublin, but we weren’t there long enough to fairly say we had a suitable survey. Collectively, these proudly public expressions stand as a testament to Ireland and Northern Ireland’s enduring spirit of resistance and its commitment to solidarity with oppressed peoples worldwide.

Unidentified artist. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For more detailed information, you can explore resources from the Museum of Orange Heritage and other historical sites in Belfast, which provide context and deeper insights into the city’s mural tradition.

Some resources:

Unidentified artist. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Images Of The Week: 05.19.24

Images Of The Week: 05.19.24

Welcome to BSA’s Images of the Week.

And welcome to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where history and modernity converge in its mural narratives and lively streets, telling stories of resilience, an evolving culture, and a pensive optimism. As street art observers, our journey through Belfast’s neighborhoods has been eye-opening. The murals here are not just art; they reflect the city’s tumultuous past, vibrant present, and hopeful future. Belfast’s predominantly Victorian architecture is a testament to the city’s industrious heritage, particularly its shipbuilding legacy linked to the RMS Titanic. Still, some of the kids are rocking new attitudes, and a sizeable multi-disciplinary artist community is making new spaces for exploration.

The punk movement, which provided a rebellious soundtrack during the Troubles, has left a lasting mark on the city’s sonic legacy. Today, local musicians, DJs, and electronic artists draw inspiration from traditional instrumentation and this era of lucid experimentation, performing live in clubs and bars. There is an unmistakable convivial, welcoming atmosphere in Belfast’s pubs and a raucous laughter that shakes your ribs in many a cluster of revelers out for the night. We also noticed a gentle generosity – from its bakeries and cheesemongers to checkout clerks and museum provosts and park bench poets.

For an old shipbuilding city wracked by civil strife, this feels like a young city, eager to move forward while honoring the sacrifices made during the Troubles. Some of the murals here encapsulate perhaps a different spirit, blending poignant tributes, more muted political statements, and a willful optimism amidst the general confusion that is now plaguing most of the Western world.

So here’s this week’s interview with the street, featuring ROA, Conor Harrington, BustArt, MTO, Asbestos, Dan Kitchener, Kitsune Jolene, Aches, Evoke, KFIVEMFU, Studio Giftig, and Annatomix.

ROA for Hit The North Festival 2023 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BustArt (left), 2022 Edition. Annatomix (right) 2023 Edition. Hit The North Festival. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BustArt. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Asbestos for Hit The North Festival 2023 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ACHES for Hit The North Festival 2020 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ACHES for Hit The North Festival 2022 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ACHES for Hit The North Festival 2022 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
MTO for Hit The North Festival 2016 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Studio Giftig for Hit The North Festival 2023 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Studio Giftig for Hit The North Festival 2023 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kitsune for Hit The North Festival 2022 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
EVOKE. Hit The North Festival 2023 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Conor Harrington. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Conor Harrington. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Conor Harrington Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener is the Artist, as you can see. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Kitchener for Hit The North Festival 2017 Edition. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
KFIVEMFU. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Spring 2024. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Hit The North” Belfast 2024: Completed Murals, Part 2

“Hit The North” Belfast 2024: Completed Murals, Part 2

The “Hit the North” street art festival in Belfast is possibly Ireland’s largest street art event, established in 2013 by Seedhead Arts and the Community Arts Partnership.

This is our Part II compilation of works completed from the 2024 edition, an annual festival directed by Adam Turkington, who invites over 60 local and international artists to transform the city’s walls and create an urban gallery. The event features a live painting, workshops, and a fair amount of beer and culminates in a “paint jam” on Kent Street.

BSA was proud to be invited to Belfast to witness this grassroots organization at work, producing opportunities and fostering a genuine community spirit. The DJ, food trucks, and picnic tables in the streets create a festive atmosphere enjoyed by both artists and spectators​. With open hearts and a wide variety of styles that engage an impressive range of art fans on the street, “Hit the North” is a vital creative force for Belfast and Northern Irish culture.

Dalal Mitwally. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dalal Mitwally is a multidisciplinary artist based in Amman, Jordan, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her work focuses on the interaction between art and public space, often addressing themes related to community and social issues.

Dalal Mitwally. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
RAZER. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RAZER is a graffiti artist from Derry City, Ireland, and has been active since 2006. As a member of the Choke On It (C.O.I) crew and Altered Mindz Crew (A.M.C), his works are found not only on the streets of Ireland but also in locations across Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. RAZER’s art emphasizes themes of unity, self-expression, and the transformative power of graffiti​.

Joke. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Verz. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Verz Art is a street artist and street art consultant from Belfast.

Solus. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’ve seen this guy many times in New York, so we felt like we were back home, even though we were on his turf for the first time. Solus is a prominent Dublin-based street artist. Using spray paint as his primary medium, he paints walls and canvases and creates sculptures across Europe, America, and Asia.

Shona Hardie. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shona Hardie is an artist from Edinburgh, Scotland, specializing in painting, illustration, murals, and spray paint. Her style combines acrylics and spray paint, focusing on portraiture and community themes, and she also works with pyrography and sculpture. Influenced by the Scottish festival scene and collaborations with businesses like The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Innis & Gunn, her work often features dynamic and colorful compositions​.

Sophi Odling. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sophi Odling. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JMK. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Alex Nora. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Danni Simpson. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Danni Simpson is an Australian artist based in Belfast, Ireland, who specializes in commercial murals and illustrations. She is well known locally for her vibrant murals throughout Belfast and has worked extensively with school groups and communities.

Dreph. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Neequaye Dreph Dsane, known as Dreph, is a London-based visual artist renowned for his large-scale portrait murals and perhaps less known for the early graffiti roots that led him here. Born in Nottingham to Ghanaian parents, Dreph’s work celebrates the everyday heroes and heroines from African and Caribbean communities, highlighting their contributions to society. His “You Are Enough” series is well known on the streets of East London, featuring portraits of inspirational women. Dreph’s murals are characterized by their strong sense of community engagement, aiming to present narratives through his powerful visual storytelling​.

Dreph. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Qwynto. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Somewhere between Ireland and London, Qwynto brandishes his pop culture illustration style that brings character and gentle wit to large commercial projects, and small personal ones as well.

K.S. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sweat Tears And The Sea. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sarah, the creator and illustrator behind Sweat, Tears and the Sea, is inspired by personal experiences and stories of resilience and connection with nature. Her illustrative style is full of positive affirmations that remind her of what is important.

CODO. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kilians Art. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kilian, a graffiti artist based in Belfast, began his journey in 2009. Initially focused on traditional graffiti lettering for about a decade, he has since expanded his repertoire to include a variety of subjects. A version of this piece is also currently on Belfast’s Peace Wall.

Lucy Jasmine. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mack Signs. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mack Signs, led by Cormac Dillon, is a team of mural painters based in Ireland specializing in traditional and modern mural art.

Ana Fish. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
NOYS. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Looks nice doesn’t it? Noys is a graffiti artist originally from Derrycity, and is renowned for his vibrant and dynamic works that blend traditional graffiti elements with modern artistic techniques. Active since 2009, Noys has developed a unique style and is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of street art and muralism.

Malarko. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Malarko is a street artist originally from Southeast London, known for his playful murals that are heavily influenced by low-brow art and early skate consumer culture. Malarko’s artistic practice extends to ceramics, where he creates pieces that merge popular culture with found objects, giving his work a unique and outspoken character.

Leo Boyd. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leo Boyd is a Belfast-based street artist and screen printer known for his playful and experimental approach to art. Born in Hastings and educated in Bristol, Boyd moved to Ireland where he has been involved in various artistic endeavors, including residencies and exhibitions locally and internationally. Portraying scenarios from day-glo pop culture to surveillance capitalism and the absurdities of modern life, Boyd is a founding member of Vault Artist Studios and contributes significantly to the Belfast art scene.

HorHay Design. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
FENZ. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fenz is an Irish mural artist based in Belfast.

David McMillan. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Drum & Bass” – David J. McMillan is a Northern Irish illustrator and mural artist based in Bristol, England. His work is characterized by bold shapes, strong colors, and playful compositions featuring eccentric characters. McMillan draws inspiration from cities like Belfast and Berlin, incorporating quick, sketchbook-like mark-making into his pieces.

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Elfo Living La Vida Loca In Italy

Elfo Living La Vida Loca In Italy

Elfo goes to the countryside in Italy and writes VIDA LOCA! Is the artist telling us to stop worrying about things and start living? As in “let your hair down and live La Vida Loca”? Or is he implying something else? By now we are familiar with this artist’s style; using words to make the point. The point here is open to interpretation, as all art is, context is everything, and in the pastoral context in which this piece is placed, the viewer might be forgiven for thinking that it’s time to move from the frenzy of the city to the bliss of the countryside. What do you think?

Elfo. Vida Loca!. Somewhere in Italy. (photo © Elfo)
Elfo. Vida Loca!. Somewhere in Italy. (photo © Elfo)
Elfo. Vida Loca!. Somewhere in Italy. (photo © Elfo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.24 / Dublin

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.24 / Dublin

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

This week, BSA visited Dublin to see the city, talk to people, and check out the local street art scene, and we’ve brought you a few images to share what we discovered. Dublin is a polished and technologically advanced city, home to the European headquarters of major corporations like Google, Meta, and LinkedIn. The Grand Canal Docks area, often referred to as “Silicon Docks,” is known for its concentration of multinational tech companies and financial institutions, and there appears to be a rapacious appetite for new buildings, with cranes gliding slowly above head in a silent skyline dance. Dublin also appears as fertile ground for political discourse, erudition, and civic engagement. It often hosts debates, protests, and rallies on issues from ‘The Troubles’, an influx of immigration, and greater global concerns. Upon our arrival from Belfast, we were immediately struck by a six-story-high banner along the canal proclaiming “Ceasefire now” on Liberty Hall in bold, clear lettering.

Los Asbestos. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Similarly, Ireland’s most prestigious university, Trinity College, has been the focus of intense and sustained protests by its student body over its financial ties with Israel. On Wednesday, the university announced its decision to divest fully in response to the ongoing decimation of Gaza. In the realm of street art and graffiti, these political sentiments often permeate the works displayed in street art pieces, although graffiti writers typically reserve their most impressive efforts to create sick burners of high quality – and you’ll want to check out places like  Smithfield and Richmond Streets.

Los Asbestos. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dublin is clean, green, and cosmopolitan, albeit not unnecessarily flashy. Even so, there were some sketchy moments in a couple of neighborhoods that boasted casinos and more than average shares of people who appeared to struggle with addiction. The city boasts a strong café and pub culture and has a genuinely diverse population, with Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Romanian, and Polish commonly heard on the streets and in the lush parks full of lovers, players, statues, and magpies. Literary giants like James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and W.B. Yeats are frequently depicted on banners and backpacks on university campuses and outside museums. The music scene appears to lean toward the big names and sounds on the global stage, distinguished by a strong respect for traditional Irish music and folk music, no doubt shaped and formed in the storytelling by groups like the Chieftains and of course, the Dubliners.

Los Asbestos and Neto Vettorello. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We also had the opportunity to visit Francis Bacon’s studio, thanks to a tip from Hooked Blog’s Mark Rigney. This visit to see and listen to recordings of interviews with him at Hugh Lane Gallery reaffirmed that there is no unanimity in the holy space called the artists’ studio. While some artists thrive in chaos and clutter, others prefer a nearly clinical sense of order. Here, we got a greater sense of how Bacon’s Irish heritage and formative years in Dublin influenced his bold, emotionally raw imagery and unique embrace of distortion.

As a balancing act, while we explored the streets, we viewed impressive works by the Dublin-based street artist Asbestos, known for his sharp critiques of social policy and politics. Seeing Asbestos’s work firsthand underscored his art’s scale and emotional depth, reflecting his introspective approach during these times of widespread uncertainty and change.

Los Asbestos and Neto Vettorello. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Los Asbestos and Neto Vettorello. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Magdalena Karol. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
REYK. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Finger Print. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Finger Print. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
EVOKE. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
At the Hugh Lane Gallery exhibition on Francis Bacon: Brian Bourke (b. 1936) “Self-Portrait in Blue Hat”
1965
Oil on canvas, 127 x 114.4 cm
Purchased, 1982
“This is one a series of self-mocking portraits in which Bourke depicts himself wearing incongruous headwear. The modeling of his naked body is in stark contrast to the abstract background, heightening the definition of the figure. There are parallels with Francis Bacon’s work in the placement of the figure in an unidentifiable spatial setting and the way the figure is built up with thicker applications of paint.”
KONE. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ICN KONE. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
KONE. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
At the Hugh Lane Gallery exhibition on Francis Bacon: Isobel Gloag (1865 – 1917) “The Woman with the Puppets” c. 1915
Oil on canvas. 64.5 x 82.5 cm
Donated by M. R. Gloag

“Gloag depicts a woman lying naked on a bed with a puppet in one hand, and another four cast aside. The puppets are all suited male figures. When this painting was shown in 2016, art critic Cristín Leach described it as “an incontrovertible statement of ownership of space and of self. There is no shame,
only freedom – in every cell… Gloag’s depiction is of a woman as a self-sufficient individual, woman as person not object, woman as an active player not a symbol.”
PCC. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
AKEN. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Neto Vettorello. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Neto Vettorello. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ASIK. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
PENS. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BOBBY130. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eraquario. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
#greyareaproject Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shane Sutton. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shane Sutton. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BOBBY144. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BLAME. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SYSER. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JBT. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ESTENISMO. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ANSEA. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Irwin. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Ferns. Spring 2024. Dublin, Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Mando Marie – “Take Me Down” at Straat Gallery

Mando Marie – “Take Me Down” at Straat Gallery

Mando Marie, an American artist currently dividing her time between Amsterdam and Portugal, stands out with her unique blend of stencil art and painting. Her work subtly echos themes of childhood nostalgia wrapped in layers that are both comforting and slightly phantasmal. Her latest exhibition, “Take Me Down,” showcased at the STRAAT Gallery in Amsterdam from May 12th through June 23rd, 2024, highlights her as the first female artist to hold a solo exhibition at this venue.

Her artistic style draws heavily from mid-20th-century children’s books, echoing that era’s simplicity and illustrative clarity. Influenced by artists like Eloise Wilken and Henry Darger, Mando Marie integrates vintage sewing patterns and twin imagery to produce a repetitive, mirrored visual effect, creating a naive, intriguing ambiance at play with the childlike forms. This visual strategy not only amplifies the impact of her work but subtly introduces complex themes through seemingly innocent scenarios.

Mando Marie extends her artistic expression beyond the studio into urban spaces, engaging with street art practices that enrich her gallery works. This dual approach enables her to resonate with a diverse audience, appealing to street art fans and fine art collectors. The use of nostalgia serves as a narrative tool in her art, prompting viewers to delve into their memories and question the simplicity of the narratives they recall from childhood. Her exhibitions offer a space where viewers can explore a blend of clarity and depth, bridging the gap between public urban art and the intimate gallery setting.

The exhibition “Take Me Down” is likely to evoke a mix of nostalgia and subtle, enigmatic qualities, reflecting the dual nature of Mando’s work: an engaging visual experience and possibly a cerebral journey.

Mando Maire is at work in her studio. Amsterdam. (photo courtesy of Straat Gallery)
Mando Marie. “Boundless”. Mando Marie – Take Me Down. Straat – Museum for Street Art and Graffiti. Amsterdam. (photo courtesy of the gallery)
Mando Marie. “The Power of Wishper”. Mando Marie – Take Me Down. Straat – Museum for Street Art and Graffiti. Amsterdam. (photo courtesy of the gallery)
Mando Maire is at work on the streets. (photo courtesy of Straat Gallery)
Mando Maire (photo courtesy of Straat Gallery)

MANDO MARIE – TAKE ME DOWN

Exhibition Dates: Sunday May 12th – Sunday June 23rd, 2024

Opening Reception: Saturday May 11th 6 – 9 PM. For more details click HERE

STRAAT – Museum for Street Art and Graffiti 

NDSM Plein 1 / 1033 WC Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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“Hit The North” Belfast 2024: Completed Murals, Part 1

“Hit The North” Belfast 2024: Completed Murals, Part 1

Fast and furious, that’s how the neighborhood filled with people – and how the paint hit the walls yesterday. Returning today long after the aerosol cloud dissipated, we discover so many things the first time we missed. In truth, it wasn’t all finished when we left earlier, and the artworks came to life while we were gone. Some even climbed walls. Here’s a quick rundown of the first few that we capture in their entirety, as artists for this years’ ‘Hit the North’ boarded planes, trains, and automobiles to places in the country and out – leaving behind a stunning array of new pieces in Belfasts’ Cathedral Quarter.

Vibes. Odisy. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A dynamic duo whose steps are in sync, Vibes has the style and the letters, and Odisy wows with the characters precisely drawn. Together this London based team show you how their world pops off the wall like a page from your favorite graphic novel. With solid skills in graffiti for years, it is good to see such a shared dedication to the culture and an updated version of it as well.

Vibes. Odisy. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Perspicere. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Perspicere, a leading figure in East London’s street art scene, mesmerizes with his enchanting string portraits and large-scale installations. Using single long threads, he creates intricate, nostalgic narratives that evoke themes of vulnerability and self-discovery. With exhibitions in galleries, museums, and street art festivals, Perspicere’s work continues to captivate audiences with a live-action technique that borders on sorcery.

Perspicere. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Perspicere. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zabou. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zabou. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zabou, a French street artist based in London, specializes in realistic black and white portraits, skillfully capturing expression and emotions with her subjects. With over a decade of experience, she has created about 250 large-scale murals across 22 countries, infusing each piece with inspiration drawn from everyday life in the surrounding environment. Contemporary and universal, it remains human.

Lidia Cao. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Spain-based Lidia Cao is a contemporary artist  favoring emotive paintings that explore themes of identity, memory, and connection. Introspection rules the day, as do her tight lines and bold colors.

Sr. Papá Chango. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sr. Papá Chango is a Mexican artist based in Berlin. He often paints vibrant realms of his own construction and everyday scenes, merging his fantastical characters with otherwise mundane scenes or offbeat scenes imbued with a hint of baroque opulence.

Sr. Papá Chango. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pens. KVLR. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Entertaining illustrator of characters and large-scale and loved Belfast muralist Kev Largey took on a rollikick horizontal strip with his buddy Pens to liven up the corner here at Hit the North.

Veks Van Hillik. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Veks Van Hillik is a French street artist known for his captivating and surreal murals, draws inspiration from nature (often fish), pop culture, and art history. His unique style, influenced by artists like Gustave Doré and Salvador Dalí, features intricate details, richly warmed colors, painterly strokes, and fantastical creatures. Based in Toulouse, Hillik has left his mark on cities across Europe with his paintings, aiming to evoke emotion and curiosity while inviting viewers into a world of boundless imagination.

Veks Van Hillik. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Veks Van Hillik. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
EOIN. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eoin, an enigmatic artist with roots in 90s-era graffiti, has also roamed the globe, adorning walls across four continents with his mesmerizing anamorphia and energetic abstraction. With training in Fine Art Sculpture from the UK, he delved into painting in the city’s margins, drawn to abandoned sites and the allure of vast outdoor canvases. While his outdoor escapades once took center stage, he now crafts a harmonious fusion between his street art adventures and his studio explorations, weaving together a narrative that crosses boundaries.

FGB. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hurmorous FGB – or Francois Got Buffed, is an artist in Belfast known for his versatility in illustration, painting, and cartoon art. His vibrant use of colors and tightly rendered outlines immediately draw attention, creating visual entertainment that conveys narratives or roundabout societal commentary. Through his art, FGB sometimes brings attention to overlooked or disregarded issues, connecting with viewers of all demographics and leaving a lasting impact with his ability to engage audiences regardless of background.

FGB. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kitsune. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kitsune Jolene, born Jolien De Waele in Ghent, Belgium, has a background in Visual Art & Architecture and experience assisting others on the street art scene. She embraced spray paint in 2017 and has expanded her reach from Belgium to Portugal and Dubai. Her portraits of women, animals, and nature reference myths, dreams, and folkloric storytelling.

Decoy. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Decoy likes big walls for his flat graphic abstract and plenty of the current palettes for illustration-style rendering. From Cork, Decoy can tell the real thing from a facsimile easily…

Friz. Hit The North Festival. Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Friz, originally from Sligo, on the northwest (Atlantic) coast of Ireland, is a visual artist currently based in Bangor, Co. Down. Working fluently across both digital and traditional mediums, she adeptly blends aerosols and acrylics to realize her creations, adjusting her technique to suit the canvas at hand. Her art delves deep into the layers of history, myths, and folklore, serving as a conduit for cultural exploration and enlightenment. Her portfolio often concerns formidable female figures and their interconnectedness with the natural world, offering reflection and aspiration.

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“Hit The North” Belfast 2024. Dispatch 2

“Hit The North” Belfast 2024. Dispatch 2

You might not expect it, but the Belfast Cathedral Quarter was quite a mad rush of activity on Sunday morning. We heard “Ave Maria” played on church bells through the fog out the hotel window, raucously accompanied by the squawks, screeches, and cries of seagulls nesting on the roof next door. Next, we heard and saw the boisterous fans of the 26.2-mile May Day Marathon who were piled 2 deep and hollering and clapping from the sidewalk as several thousand damp runners flew by with numbered banners on their chests. We signaled our support for the athletes by lifting breakfast forks full of fried eggs, boiled tomatoes, potato bread, bacon, and black pudding as we watched through the gauzy curtains of the hotel lobby.

FGB. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But you are here for the “Hit the North” festival, now in its 12th year, only a few blocks from the cathedral. With the Sunflower bar at the intersection of Union Street and Kent Street, you have reached the epicenter where long wooden tables are set up in the middle of the street for visitors to have refreshments, and 50-60 artists are lining up to paint side by side up and down the block. The smell of aerosol thickens through the streets. The Seedhead Arts team—Adam, Eoin, Zippy, Rory, and a few others—are all arriving with boxes of paint supplies, t-shirts, ladders, and maps for the stream of visitors who are gathering to watch, have a beer, take selfies, and possibly talk with artists as they create.

FGB. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With Seedhead, the aim is to provide platforms for artists and performers to showcase their talents while fostering connections between artists and audiences. They often collaborate with local venues, artists, and cultural organizations to create dynamic and engaging events that contribute to Belfast’s street art/public art scene.

One such example of the evolution of community art festivals was the presence of the rest of the family for Northern Irish painter and print-maker Sara Majury, who has only recently begun to translate her art to the street, having taken a course on how to do so. Her small family, with whom she traveled this morning from a rural part of the country called County Down, sat on the sidewalk across the street, watching curious visitors walk past them while she prepared her wall. Her husband Johnny spoke briefly to us while their kids Rory and Freya enjoyed a snack and knocked over their flasks of water a couple of times. While mom was testing paint cans and sifting through the bag of stencils to layer on the wall, Johnny, a leather costume designer for shows like “Game of Thrones,” tells us that the children will stay still for a few more minutes because they were promised food. A moment later, he produces small sandwiches and chips for them before describing the further entertainment he plans to offer – to take them to see the Festival of Fools performances at a location just two blocks away.  

Supporting the artist. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

We had some other great conversations with artists and visitors here this afternoon but we’ll bring you more later. For now, here we bring you scenes of some works in progress at “Hit the North.” These walls will be completed by six pm if the weather stays dry. Then, off to the bar for some curry and a glass of beer to celebrate with the artists, many of whom have traveled a great distance, for a job well done at this year’s “Hit the North.” To summarize a sentiment that we’ve heard here a few times from organizer Adam Turkington; the artists, visitors, and advertisers all leave, but in the end, it is the art that remains here on the street.

FGB. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
PENS. KVLR. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kitsune Jolene. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Glen Molloy. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Glen Molloy. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Perspicere. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
VIBES. ODISY. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
VIBES. ODISY. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
KVLR. DECOY. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Novice. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
PSOMAN. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CODO. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Hit The North” Belfast 2024 – Dispatch 1

“Hit The North” Belfast 2024 – Dispatch 1

As the busy streets of Belfast hum with anticipation for the weekend’s festivities, an air of artistic energy and cultural vibrancy permeates the city, punctuated by the occasional liberty of a flying seagull overhead to remind you this is a historic port town.

Veks Van Hillik (France). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There’s a lot on,” says the cashier at Sawers, a specialty food shop that will sell you some smoked salmon or a bucket of mixed olives or a plate of boxty (a traditional Irish grated potato pancake). On your way to a talk by Bill Rolston at the Ulster Museum about his 40 years photographing political murals in Belfast, you’ll have a chance encounter with artist Lidia Cao atop a cherry picker. This Gen Z muralist offers a glimpse into the creative fervor igniting the city, and this time. Her solitary portraits of young women in contemplative states are lyrical; Cao’s work adds a touch of introspection to this urban landscape.

Veks Van Hillik (France). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile, French muralist Veks Van Hillik is hard at work, channeling the spirit of Irish mythology into his latest creation. Inspired by the legendary tale of the Salmon of Knowledge, Hillik’s mural depicts a nine-eyed fish, a symbol of wisdom and insight. “I grew up in a countryside not unlike the ones here – where we have a lot of landscapes like the one I placed here behind this Salmon of Knowledge,” he says while speaking of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France.  Drawing from the techniques of Flemish painters like Flanders and Jan van Eyck, Hillik’s brand-new masterpiece promises to transport viewers into an enchanting surreality.

Two blocks away, Mexican artist Sr. Papá Chango references those warm painting techniques as well. Still, his references are to the homey reproductions that are sometimes found in family homes – eventually given to a charity second-hand store. Since his painting is on the side of such a store that sells donated homewares and personal goods to benefit those in need, it’s a perfect way to render his golden vase, which accompanies one of his signature imagined creatures. The 4-leaf clover not only refers to good luck but to the tales told in Ireland for decades, or centuries perhaps.

Veks Van Hillik (France) with his painting assistant Frank. WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the city pulses with excitement, visitors are spoiled for choice with many events, attractions, and conversations. From the Moy Park Belfast City Marathon to the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival to the Festival of Fools, there’s no shortage of arts and entertainment. If you seek the thrill of live music that invites you to participate, the streets are also blessed with live musicians playing on wee stages in bars and pubs; everything from American country covers of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers to “Whisky in a Jar” and “Wild Rover” to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. Not that they compare to the floating euphoria of the periodic hen & stag parties on “party bikes” as they roll past you singing with unmatched enthusiasm, their voices bouncing off small winding brick streets. Notable songs sung at the top of lungs this afternoon were “Wonderwall” from Oasis, and a screaming rendition of “Back to December” from, yes, Taylor Swift.

Veks Van Hillik (France). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But perhaps the true highlight of the weekend lies in the celebrated tradition of street art, as “Hit the North” returns for its 12th installment. Spearheaded by the brilliant self-effacing cultural advocate and organizer Adam Turkington of SeedHead Arts, this small team of creatives and producers somehow host and direct over 60 local and international artists who have arrived to showcase their ideas and talents on the streets. And while the May Day March on Writer’s Square is raising consciousness about Palestinians in Gaza, we’ll save stories about that very public demonstration for, as they say, another day.

Lidia Cao (Spain). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

‘If you can see the mountains, it’s going to rain. If you can’t see the mountains, it’s already raining.’ – just one of the witty quips that people here say to face the soggy inclemency. It helps that all that rain has brought a spring that is deeply green and blossomed. On a foggy spritz of a day like today, the enthusiasm and stoic insistence on enjoying the public sphere is on proud display here in Belfast. Maybe we’re just suckers for emotive expression, but coupled with the occasional poem someone recites on a barstool or a park bench, these songs all make one feel nostalgic and yearning, even if you’re drinking a Guinness Open Gate Pure Brew.

Sr. Papá Chango (Mexico). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sr. Papá Chango (Mexico). WIP. Hit The North Belfast 2024. (photo © Jaime Rojo).

Hit the North 2024

Thursday 2 May – Sunday 5 May 2024

Street Art — Seedhead Arts

The weeklong celebration will culminate in a ‘Block party’ on Sunday 5th May where spectators can soak up the party atmosphere and enjoy entertainment, food trucks, and refreshments as they watch murals come to life. HTN 24 will welcome an impressive list of international street artists.

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Arriving in Belfast, Seeing the Bobby Sands Mural

Arriving in Belfast, Seeing the Bobby Sands Mural

BSA has arrived in Belfast to attend the Hit the North Festival and hopefully gain a greater appreciation for the role political murals have played here, even as a new generation of painters moves forward from the Troubles of the recent past in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The first encounter with the Bobby Sands mural in Belfast can be a moment of profound connection with the city’s history and the complex evolution it has undergone. As you stand before the gable end of the Sinn Féin Headquarters on Falls Road, your gaze meets the smiling image of Bobby Sands, an iconic figure in the Irish Republican movement. Painted in 1998, this mural encapsulates the spirit of resistance and sacrifice that defines Belfast’s tumultuous past.

Bobby Sands Mural with French street artist Jef Aerosol’s stencil on the lower right corner. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Upon our first entry into the city, before even going to the hotel, the well-versed and talented historical guide Billy Scott, takes us to see this memorial to this Belfastian. Born in 1954, Sands was deeply embroiled in the Troubles from a young age, witnessing firsthand the sectarian violence that tore through his community. His journey led him to join the Provisional IRA, and he became a pivotal figure in the Republican struggle.

Bobby Sands Mural with French street artist Jef Aerosol’s stencil on the lower right corner. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Phrases adorning the mural—”Everyone A Republican or Otherwise, has their Own Particular Role to Play,” and “Our Revenge Will Be The Laughter Of Our Children”—serve as poignant reminders of ideals for which Sands fought and the enduring legacy he left behind.

The Bobby Sands mural is painted by an artist named Danny Devenny, a well-known muralist in Northern Ireland, recognized for his contributions to the political and cultural landscape of Belfast through his artwork. Additional work by the French street artist Jef Aerosol on the lower right hand section is a continuation of the mural’s narrative, adding layers of artistic interpretation to amplify Sands’ legacy and the broader themes of resistance and remembrance depicted in the mural.

Bobby Sands Mural with French street artist Jef Aerosol’s stencil on the lower right corner. Belfast, Northern Ireland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Paul McCartney Holds Your Gaze: Scenes from ‘Eyes of the Storm’

Paul McCartney Holds Your Gaze: Scenes from ‘Eyes of the Storm’

Touring is not unusual for Paul McCartney, who has traversed the globe nearly non-stop for six decades. Yet, this time, his photographer’s eye is center stage, with the imagined tour t-shirt swapping one-night stands for months-long engagements. Launched last year at the National Portrait Gallery in London and having traveled to the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, ‘Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64, Eyes of the Storm’ now graces the Brooklyn Museum before heading to Portland in the autumn. Happily, McCartney attended this week’s opening, where the program of over 250 photographs impressed with its quality craftsmanship and unpretentious candidness—hallmarks of the artist’s approach.

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. The Beatles at Heathrow Airport, London getting ready for their North American tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Paris leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The multi-gallery exhibition on the 5th floor provides a chaptered overview of more than 250 photographs, many unseen by the public, taken between November 1963 and February 1964. These images offer a unique insider’s view of Beatlemania, capturing intimate and candid moments as The Beatles rose from UK sensations to global superstars. McCartney’s collection confidently showcases his talents with peerless high-quality prints that capture the essence and communicate the dynamics during those frenetic months. Rather than hurried or slapdash shots, the works reveal the sensitivity of the shooter, his respectful empathy for the subjects, and what can be described as the innocence of the time.

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Portrait of Ringo Starr. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s easy to forget that these photographs document a significant period in 20th-century music and culture, a time so transformative that it seems improbable any band could again evoke the excitement and intensity of The Beatles’ early fame. Now viewed as a foundational moment for future popular culture and musical entertainment developments, these frank and sometimes humorous shots provide a crucial historical record.

McCartney’s detailed curation and collaboration with galleries worldwide emphasize his singular vision and appreciation for the rich culture fostered by collaboration. For Beatles fans and photography enthusiasts alike, this exhibition offers a delightful glimpse into history through the lens of one of its most iconic figures.

Life Magazine Cover. August 28, 1964. Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
At Brooklyn Museum, Paul McCartney © 2024 MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: Theo Wargo.
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Footage of the press conference at JFK. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. NYC leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Photo call at Central Park. NYC leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. NYC leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. NYC leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Lyrics to I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Miami leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Miami leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Miami leg of the tour. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
At the post-opening reception for “Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64 Eyes Of The Storm,” DJ ___ entertained the party attendants by accompanying his electronic atmospheric beats with hand-held wind power. Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm

May 3–August 18, 2024

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor

Click HERE for more information about the exhibit.

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Books in the MCL: ROA Codex

Books in the MCL: ROA Codex

As founding members of the Martha Cooper Library at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) proudly showcases a monthly feature from the MCL collection, illuminating the extensive and diverse treasures we’re assembling for both researchers and enthusiasts of graffiti, street art, urban art, and its numerous offshoots. Below, we present one of our latest selections.


Text Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo Photos by Sebastian Kläbsch

ROA Codex,” a comprehensive exploration of the enigmatic Belgian street artist ROA, compiled by Ann Van Hulle with notable contributions from Lucy Lippard and Johan Braeckman and others, offers an unfiltered window into a decade of work that defies conventional artistic boundaries. ROA’s journey, beginning in the industrial landscapes of Belgium, extends to global outdoor canvases, where his art disrupts the mundane, evoking a primal connection to the natural world.

In this monograph, ROA’s artistry is portrayed as large-scale murals and an ongoing dialogue between our baffling constructed human existence and the animal kingdom. His work, often emerging from unexpected urban and rural backdrops, confronts the viewer with the familiar yet unknown. This juxtaposition of animals and architecture, depicted in stark monochrome, resonates with an uncanny sense of the creatures within and around us, often forgotten in our contemporary lifestyles.” Click URBAN NATION BERLIN to continue reading.

“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
“ROA CODEX” Books in the MCL. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Sebastian Kläbsch)
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