All posts tagged: BrooklynStreetArt.com

Selina Miles : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Selina Miles : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

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As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Australian filmmaker and nomad Selina Miles specializes in street art and graffiti, and is also in love with music video, documentary, and most people she meets. First making her mark with a series of mind-baking action videos with Sofles a few years ago, Ms. Miles is now a dynamic storyteller. She is just as likely to be shooting artists as she is plundering their histories and connecting the dots of their influences, aspirations. Willing to take creative risks and to push her own limits, look out in 2017 for Selina to craft a piece on one of the biggest documentary subjects whom she’s profiled yet – in a way that only Selina can do.


Image of Charles and Janine Williams
Papeete, Tahiti
October 2016

Photo by Selina Miles

I love this photo because Charles and Janine Williams really embody my hope for the future street artist. I still love graffiti, the more ignorant/illegal the better, but if artists are entering into a community and putting up a huge mural in the context of street art, this is the right way to do it in my opinion.

They worked together on this wall in Papeete, Tahiti as part of a series they are working on, painting different species of birds native to a particular area, particularly focusing on endangered species. The CR on this painting of a Tahitian Monarch means the bird is critically endangered. They collaborated with the local bird watching group, who provided the photos and also attended a blessing when the wall was finished, where Charles and Janine sung a traditional Māori song as thanks.

In my opinion, this kind of deep, genuine engagement with people and place is the future of street art, in contrary to the commercialisation and trivialisation we see from sponsored / branded events. As a film maker, these are the kinds of stories I look forward to documenting in the future.

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Fernando Alcalá Losa : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Fernando Alcalá Losa : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

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As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Fernando Alcalá Losa is a talented photographer from Barcelona who has been shooting artists as they create their work on the street for some time. His momentary glimpses into an artists world, or of our world from their viewpoint, are a poignant gift that Fernando captures in a way that few other photographers can.


L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
Barcelona, Spain.
Date: September, 2016.
Photograph by Fernando Alcalá Losa

How important is it to show street art pieces when you are taking pics of street art? Of course, it’s important. All of us love it, don’t we?

But after years of hitting the streets, lots of walking, climbing walls, being on rooftops and sneaking into other people’s houses in order to get the best possible shot of the final result, I’m starting to think that this is not the most important issue for me.

Everyone can go for a walk and shoot a wall. Everyone. But not everyone has the chance of being there during the creative process. And this is what this shot is about.

It’s about being there, right there, feeling the energy of creation. It’s about intimacy, about detail, about the personal connection with the artist, because you were able to be that close. And not everyone can be that close, that’s for sure…

I’m grateful for having the chance of living these moments of proximity, knowing that those artists that you’re shooting at trust you and allow you to be there, right there. And this is what really matters to me as a street art photographer right now.

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Artists: Reskate and Cinta Vidal. Cinta is not shown in the pic. Assistant to the artists: Chea

Project: 12+1 by Contorno Urbano

 

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BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

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Museums, Festivals, and Activism – three of the themes that garnered the most traffic on our published stories on BSA and The Huffington Post this year.

From a scholarly Street Art related exhibition in St. Petersburg to the opening of the Mima Museum in Belgium to the Anti-Banksy exhibition with the Blu controversy in Bologna and the “Magic City” exhibition in Dresden, BSA readers were astutely studying the slow but steady move of Street Art from the street to the museum and the academic canons.

But you also liked the huge multi-player outside exhibitions as well – with stories from Sicily and Northern Spain to Northern Mexico, BSA readers were interested this year in seeing how eclectic locally-organized Street Art festivals and projects are done, and who is doing them.

Finally activism played a big role in what you were re-Tweeting and “liking” and sending to your friends – From Icy & Sot installing anti-radiation work in the Native American desert and then talking about oceans polluted with plastic, to a United Nations food program with kids and artists in El Salvador, to highlighting Indigenous peoples rights with Jetsonorama, to a US cross-country tour to save endangered species by one artist and a Greenpeace show in Barcelona addressing the same issue with 35 artists, it looks like BSA readers are engaged and concerned about socio-politico-environmental issues left and right.

On a side note, we were honored that our El Salvador article was picked up and published in spanish on the UN World Food program website – HERE.

Of course it was good to see that you liked the feature on the notorious graffiti crew 1UP and seeing Nychos slay New York as well. Tasty!

These are the TOP 15 articles on BSA for 2016 from the more than 365 postings we did this year – meaning they all beat at least 350 articles to get here. Congratulations to us all.


No. 15
Borders and Boundaries : A Multi-Disciplinary Exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Street Art Museum

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SpY. Street Art Museum (SAM). St. Petersburg, Russia. May 2016. (photo © Evgeniy Belikov)

Rafael Schacter Takes a More Nuanced Approach to the Migration Crisis

Commerce and technology have been eroding traditional constructs of the borders and boundaries, especially in the age of the Internet, satellites, transnational banking and trade agreements that create governing bodies that openly dismiss national sovereignty, integrity, identity, aspirations. Borders and boundaries are contested, guarded, or disregarded at will; open to international capital, porous to immigration, hardened by armies.

Daily they are in the headlines: Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Syrian war refugees immigrating across European borders, Israel and Palestine’s ongoing land and settlement disputes, even maritime territorial claims of China and the Phillipines in the South China Sea that were ruled upon yesterday  – all reveal clues to our historically complicated relationships and geo-political perspectives.

Art to the rescue! continue reading here


No. 14
Icy & Sot Stencil An Enormous Blue Whale in LA

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Icy & Sot. Endangered Species Mural Project. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016 (photo © Jess X. Chen)

“The brothers spent two solid days hand cutting the multi-layer stencil here on Melrose Avenue. How many pieces? “19 pieces,” says Icy. “Its not that big but it has a lot of details” The composite image features an enormous whale emerging from the sea in full view of a coastline packed with industrial forms which presumably are dumping contaminants directly into the waters.

As ever, the brothers crash into each others sentences while talking to us. “Whatever happens in the ocean… it comes back to us,” says Sot. “Whether is trash or plastics or oil..”

Icy jumps in, “The fish eat them and then we eat the animals and we have the plastics inside of us.”

“Yeah, It’s a cycle. We are all making a lot of trash – we are affecting the world. Then it all comes back to us,” says Sot… Continue reading here


No. 13
MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

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Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably…Continue reading here


No. 12
San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

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Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

“Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program…Continue reading here


No. 11
Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so…Continue reading here


No. 10

Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely…Continue reading here


No. 9
1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

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1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces…continue reading here


No. 8
A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

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RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone…Continue reading here


No. 7
“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

“They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils…continue reading here


No. 6
BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

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Tadlock (photo © @around730)

“An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones…Continue reading here


No. 5
Raising Yellowcake in Grand Canyon: Icy & Sot, Jetsonorama in Arizona

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Icy & Sot. “Nuclear Plant” Navajo Nation. Arizona. June 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Yellow Cake: A simple sweet dessert confection that gets its signature color from 8 egg yolks and a cup of butter, and is great with either vanilla or chocolate icing.

Yellowcake: A type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Also, its radioactive. Also, Colin Powell showed off a vial of it at the United Nations to sell the Iraq invasion in 2003 to that body and the world.

Being more knowledgeable about the dessert variety of yellow cake than the desert variety of uranium contamination, we turn to Street Artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot to educate us about the active uranium mines that are at the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. The three worked jointly in June to create new public works addressing the topic and we have each of them here for you to see.

“The issue of uranium contamination and nuclear waste is timely as there is an active uranium mine at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon presently and a proposal to start mining at the South Rim,” explains Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas), who is a local artist, a practicing doctor, and a social activist advocating for the people who live on the reservation and the natural environment in general…Continue reading here


No. 4
Nychos Slays in New York : IKONS Revealed as Never Before

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Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”

This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.

In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.

In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch…Continue reading here


No 3
35 Artists in Barcelona Trying To Save The Arctic with Greenpeace

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La Castillo. Save The Arctic. Barcelona, Spain. April 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“Yesterday our posting was about artists in London creating works about endangered species and today we go to Barcelona where 35 artists joined with Greenpeace and a local group named RebobinArt on April 9th to create works centered on environmental issues, especially the quickly disappearing polar ice cap.

Only three days later scientists announced that the Greenland “Melt” has happened one month earlier than usual this year, smashing records and causing scientists to reexamine their measuring instruments to make sure they were working correctly.

The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.

Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s…Continue reading here


No. 2
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

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Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”…Continue reading here


No 1
Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

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Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present…Continue reading here

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BCN Transit Walls Festival during La Mercè in Barcelona

BCN Transit Walls Festival during La Mercè in Barcelona

Cultural organizations and lifestyle brands often pool together their resources and coordinate events to capitalize on foot traffic. It’s like punk kids organizing a skate event – with bands, djs, graffiti jams, tattooing… You can catch some air, catch a great show, catch a tag, and hopefully catch secret kisses behind some old rusty freight train all on one perfect Saturday.

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Cayn Sanchez. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

During the La Mercè Festival in Barcelona in September the organizers for “BCN Transit Walls” brought to life a former ‘hall of fame’ stretch of wall and captured the attention of a lot of folks who were in town for the concerts, fireworks, drummer parades, wine festivals, projections, human acrobat towers – and many other events marking the end of the summer. Organizers brought many artists together to paint live on the wall at Passeig de Circumval·lació; the incredibly long wall that surrounds the Barcelona Zoo at the edge of the Estació de França train tracks.

Lluis Olive Bulbena was there with his camera and he shares some of the walls here with BSA readers.

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Cayn Sanchez. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kenor1 . Uriginal . Cintal Vidal . Lucas Milart. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kenor1 . Uriginal . Cintal Vidal. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kenor1 . Cintal Vidal. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Kenor1 . Uriginal . Cintal Vidal. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Lucas Milart . Cintal Vidal . Kenor1. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Uriginal . Cintal Vidal . Kenor1. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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SPOGO. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Aleix Gordo. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Roc Black Block . Cintal Vidal. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Roc Black Block . Cintal Vidal. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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BToy. BCN Transit Walls Festival. Barcelona, Spain. September 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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BSA Film Friday: 03.25.16

BSA Film Friday: 03.25.16

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

Now screening :

1. Seve Garza Paints Homeless People in Austin
2. Stik: London Street Artist by Ben Hanratty
3. Chris Dyer’s Artventure: Florida Art Road Trip
4. Time Travel Subway Car

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BSA Special Feature: Seve Garza Paints Homeless People in Austin

It only takes one person to make a difference.

You.

Never mind the hype and all those things that make you forget what Street Art can do. Artist Seve Garza is not going to change the world but he may change a couple of people’s world with his personal brand of art activism. It’s better than smugly commenting on an Internet forum.

 

Stik: London Street Artist by Ben Hanratty

That was my first documentary film, but definitely hope to make more. He was a really interesting man, very intelligent,” says 18 year old film maker Ben Hanratty, who is just completing his first year studying film and television at University of the Arts in London.  He’s done a splendid job and we all learn a great deal about the artist and the man, Stik, thanks to Mr. Hanratty.

 

Chris Dyer’s Artventure: Florida Art Road Trip

Painter Chris Dyer is often on an artventure with his work, interacting with people at festivals who are celebrating spirituality and positivity and advocating for an enlightened approach to heavy issues. Here’s the latest installment that follows Chris and many “LIVE” painters to the Zen Awakening Festival in Orlando, Florida to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg and the Moksha Family party in Miami while the Basel madness is happening.

Basically we really just want to ride that giant slide at the Zen Awakening Festival!! With this fresh new video Chris sends positive vibes out to the BSA family for this holiday weekend.

Time Travel Subway Car

Because, you know, what seeds you plant today will grow….

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen Bed Stuy Collabo: “Cypress, Top Wrung”

Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen Bed Stuy Collabo: “Cypress, Top Wrung”

The dynamics of collaborations between artists are often informative, even revelatory to the viewers as well as the artists. By deliberately casting your creative lot with that of another you are taking a bit of a risk, experimenting with your own conceptions, responding alongside and in tandem with the style and vision of your partner.

Sometimes it is symbiotic, like Warhol with Basquiat. Or hilariously stunning, like Christopher Walken dancing to Fat Boy Slim. More recently the reviews were awfully mixed with the performance art collaboration of Jay Z and Marina Abramovic.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today on a windy Brooklyn roof we look at a fresh collaboration with Oakland’s Faring Purth and Rochester’s Thievin’ Stephen, and we wonder how it will play to the J train audience who pass by it in Brooklyn’s Bedstuy neighborhood.

Purth travels the country in service to her nearly spiritual in-the-moment musings, her willow-limbed figures ephemeral and hash-marked, comporting themselves outside of realism. The surety of a knife-cut line ensures that stencil-wielding Stephen would not be as on-the-fly when spraying out a portrait, even that of a surrealistic frog sponge being squeezed by his main lady.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with the artists to get their take on the collaborative experience and we learned that despite their stylistic differences the creative partnership was strengthened by “Cypress, Top Wrung” and by facing the challenges of painting outdoors in Brooklyn during January.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did the collaboration come about?

Faring Purth: We met a few years back during the 2013 Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, New York.  We formed a very unusual close bond after a crazy week of creating – and subsequently surviving a chemical fire on the rooftop of an abandoned building where we were working with a few other artists.  Since then, we have adopted each other as family, becoming very familiar with each other’s work. Collaborating was a natural progression to that.

Thievin’ Stephen: Whenever Faring is back in Rochester we make it a habit to link up, and I’ll take her to paint in one of my favorite abandoned spots. We used to explore together and do separate pieces, but after we had fun on a quick collabo this fall in the abandoned Rochester subway, the next logical step was to work together on a bigger wall. Our schedules lined up, so we decided to take advantage of the bizarre January heat wave and meet in Brooklyn

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faring Purth: It’s our first official, large scale collaboration. We tossed around a few different locations and ideas. Brooklyn ultimately won – we both have a particular love for this area. The piece itself developed through dialogue and then through exchanging sketches until a cohesive blueprint was formed. That blueprint was the basis and we are thrilled with how the piece ultimately manifested.

Brooklyn Street Art: Where did the name Cypress come from, and is that the character in the painting?

Faring Purth: It is. While we were completing the work, two friends of mine gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby girl whom they named Cypress Valentina. The name immediately struck me and resonated as I continued to carve away at this pearl in the freezing cold. I found myself rolling it off my tongue while shivering and clapping my hands together to get the circulation back in my fingers. The elements tested us to say the very least and “Cypress” became a strange mantra for me the following week – helping me feel a little bit stronger and a tiny bit warmer every time I said it.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thievin’ Stephen: Yeah, Faring usually gives her women a name, and I enjoy using word play related to my imagery

Faring Purth: I ultimately decided the figure in the painting should take the name of her celestial twin.  It’s not every pearl that gets to share their shucking with a human birth. And it’s not every name that carries such profound wisdom. Cypress Valentina is now ten days old.  Cypress, Top Wrung is two days old. I hope one day their paths cross and that they unlock some universal secret not even I know.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The work began immediately after the new year began and that became of certain significance in itself: It’s the first of an epic year to come, the release of an epic year just lived.  This piece exposed me to a very different process than my own and provided me with many tools and lessons going forward. The experience simultaneously tested my body & spirit greatly. By the time the work was actually done, I had massive bruises, battle wounds, & life lessons to show for it.

As for the stylistic juxtaposition of the work & the various narratives the piece inspires, both are open to interpretation and a happy side effect of our familiarity as artists and friends. We knew how to work with and play off of each other’s visions and allow that dialogue to unfold on its own.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Your styles couldn’t be more different yet the balance and the composition works really well within the context of the piece. Can you talk about your thoughts and experiences creating it.

Faring Purth: “Cypress, Top Wrung” was an incredible learning experience both in the complications of the wall itself and in the personal life that was being lived during its creation. As for me, the two are impossible to separate… One always reflects and reveals elements of the other and in so doing provides me with certain personal epiphanies I needed to have at that moment. Suffice to say, creating Cypress was no different in this respect.

Thievin’ Stephen: My favorite collaborations are those where two friends divergent styles come together so that was the most exciting thing about melding my work with Farings’. My color theory mixed with Faring’s grey-scale compliment each other, and I think that’s what makes this mural feel like the true winter-time creation that it is.

It was fun watching the interplay between my sharpness and her fluidity unfold, and you can see it best where the hand and sponge connect, which was the last thing we did. Waiting for that moment to be done, as we went back and forth getting it right, that felt like a big pay off as it was really the first time our two styles merged into one piece. The wall also benefits from the combination of Faring’s painterly line work with my style of stencilism. I put forty something layers of stencils up on this wall. While our aesthetics are certainly far apart, I think the surreal anatomy that Faring gives her women harmonizes with my impossible creatures.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The finished piece probably means quite different things to Faring and me, and I think that makes it a more intriguing creation for the viewer.

It’s always great to be surrounded by the humanity you encounter in Brooklyn, and Bed Stuy never disappoints. A lot of crazy shit and hilarious things happened during the creation of this wall, but nothing overshadows the roof top experience. The elevated train line of the J right behind me was a nice inspiration, along with busy-ass Broadway directly below. You know it’s a memory when you have to put rock salt under your ladders! Being at the top of a ladder on the very corner of a roof top definitely attracts attention. MTA construction guys thought we were nuts. Maybe we were. I’m happy with the wall, and glad it felt like the good old days.

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth & Thievin’ Stephen “Cypress, Top Wrung”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The artists would like to thank Cernesto and ArtsOrg for their help.

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Happy New Year 2016 from BSA

Happy New Year 2016 from BSA

Our very best wishes to you and yours for a Happy New Year! Don’t these hubcaps look like stars in the sky? Feliz año nuevo 2016! Let’s have a great year together.

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(photo ©Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon and 20,000 New Roof Tiles: “Braddock Tiles” Project Takes Off

Swoon and 20,000 New Roof Tiles: “Braddock Tiles” Project Takes Off

We’re all about this project.

Street Artist Swoon and many friends and volunteers are getting this huge community art project in full swing and it is more than just a feel-good project. This impacts people first-hand and builds something that can house a community.

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And you can support it right now.

The Braddock Tiles project – designing and making 20,000 tiles to fix this old church and make it into a community center is underway and you can be a part of it.

“As artists who spend our lives attempting to build spaces that induce wonder and bring people joy, we felt we were the right people to work together with friends and neighbors in North Braddock to help invent a new life for the building. Our goal is to reopen this building as a living work of art that is in service to it’s neighborhood. To do this, the first thing we need is a new roof.”

Simple enough! You get great swag too. Everybody is jumping on this — your turn.

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Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-6-Swoon-Heliotrop-Braddock-animation-Oct-2015-Stacked-Images  Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-8-Swoon-Heliotrop-Braddock-animation-Oct-2015-Stacked-Images   Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-4-Swoon-Heliotrop-Braddock-animation-Oct-2015-Stacked-Images  Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-5-Swoon-Heliotrop-Braddock-animation-Oct-2015-Stacked-Images Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-1-Swoon-Heliotrop-Braddock-animation-Oct-2015-Stacked-Images

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Check out the KICKSTARTER Campaign and Get Amazing Swoon and Braddock Tiles stuff.

Thank you for your support.

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What Happened with BSA + FAILE at the Brooklyn Museum?

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)

Yes, it was a big deal for us so we want to share it with you. A few years after we introduced Faile to the Brooklyn Museum we have been blown away by the success of their exhibition Savage/Sacred Young Minds all summer long, as well as the long lines of people who have flowed through both of their immersive environments (Temple, and Deluxx Fluxx with Bäst). Under the guidance of curator Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director, Exhibitions and Collections, the museum has again produced a relevant, modern and dynamic show that brings in the street and resonates strongly with the local Brooklyn community and academics as well.

You must have seen (or been a part of) the ocean of people here one night in July when Swizz Beatz and Faile celebrated art and art-making with many of the youth who gave birth to this current Street Art movement in New York. A central tenet of this encyclopedic museum for the last decade and a half has been to produce exhibits and events that involve the community, that are relevant and impactful and the audience at our event in the auditorium attests to the success of exhibitions like Faile’s in this respect.

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Patrick McNeil installing Deluxx Fluxx this spring at the Brooklyn Museum (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Following their work on the street since the late 1990s when Faile began making Street Art, we didn’t actually get to meet them in person until many years later, but we’ve always admired their tenacity and risk-taking and experimentation with their work. The crowning event for us was to interview them on the stage of the museum with the show’s curator Sharon Matt Atkins and to introduce some new people to them live and online; along with a bunch of stalwart longtime fans, collectors, gallerists, art students, and journalists.

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The pre-show began with some collaged video of commercials and TV/movie excerpts inspired by Faile’s personal history as youth growing up in the 1980s. Our presentation momentum hit a few speed bumps at the beginning because of microphone outages and we almost lost the rhythm but eventually we got it back and we had a great time with the guests and the audience members, who were so astute and amazing and articulate in their questions and during the conversations we had later with them at the reception.

Our sincere thanks to Ms. Matt Atkins, Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller, Director Anne Pasternak and The Brooklyn Museum for hosting us, Alicia Boone the Adult Programs Manager for helping put it all together, previous Director Arnold Lehman for his support, as well as Brooke Baldeschwiler, Shelly Bernstein, Emily Annis, Radiah Harper, Patrice Capobianchi, Matthew Branch, Osaro Hemenez, Robert Nardi, Tim, Emily Liebowitz, Paul Bessire, Meryl Cooper, Fatima Kafele, Lauren Zelaya, Margo Cohen Ristorucci, Sally Williams, and all of the staff and folks at the museum with whom we have been working with over these past few years and Chris Jordan, Doc Gregory, and Ray Cross. It is an honor and a privilege to be a Brooklyn neighbor and a part of The Brooklyn Museum family.

 

Faile’s show closes October 4th! Hurry!

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Review of BSA at Brooklyn Museum with Faile on artnet news
Street Art Duo FAILE Urges Fans to Make a Statement at the Brooklyn Museum – Amanda Thomas

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Also read our review of the BKM exhibit when it opened:
Holy FAILE! ‘Savage/Sacred Young Minds’ at Brooklyn Museum

See Part II of the interview with Faile on Livestream

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.06.15 NUART 2015 SPECIAL

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.06.15 NUART 2015 SPECIAL

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After Stavanger Mayor Christine Sagen Helgø made the official declaration of the opening of the Nuart gallery show at Tou Scene last night the sliding barn door on the ex beer factory moved back to allow the crowd to flow in like a river to see this years collection of art installations in the “tunnels” of the space. This component of the Nuart experience allows a certain degree of curation and idea development that brings you a fuller appreciation of the artists who create murals on the street as well.

Top image above >>> Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pixel Pancho with Bordalo II in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Additionally, and we are telling you nothing secret here, the adhoc crew of technicians and scene creators here are rough and ready; obviously over qualified and with a fair degree of refinement when it comes to helping the artist realize some of their grander aspirations. Artists are encouraged to think big and a number of them have this year, including some who are so capacious they nearly collide or eclipse one another, but visitors this year may feel like the quality and depth of this editions 5-week show just advanced by a length.

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Ella & Pitr with Isaac Cordal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This week’s interview with the street is not actually on the street – but rather a reflection of the direction that the street can take a curated collection of current artists and corollary influencers from years past.

Clearly you can go as deeply or shallowly as you want with this years theme of “Play”. Harmen de Hoop’s video of Thursday’s performance piece on Stavanger’s streets by a renowned mathematics and statistics professor Jan Ubøe, who mystifies the assembled audience while explaining the factors that form our world economy is rather utterly balanced on a jerking seesaw with Bortusk Leer’s incessantly cheery monster diorama.

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Ella & Pitr with Isaac Cordal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

50 years of selected photographs by ethnographer Martha Cooper of children in cities around the world at play with improvised tools and methods are almost matched in impact by Ernest Zacharevic’s slowly tumultous sea waters tossing a child’s paper boat with a handful of kids inside, evoking the current news with immigrants escaping to Europe in dangerous waters. Isaac Cordal’s installation of achingly desperate white-collar men in a desperate diorama is uplifted by Ella & Pitr’s fairy tale giant reaching from the heavens to pick one from a chair.

Sandra Chevrier brings a signature masking of a woman’s visual and olefactory senses, quite alone in the bright spotlight. The iconic ripped shreds and piled irony of Jamie Reid brings the radicalized hippie and punk politics into front and center while Pixel Pancho and Bordalo II each take swipes at the oil economy that dominates our lives while killing others.

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Isaac Cordal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo alone could command the entire space with his found/reclaimed Stavanger refuse that is fashioned into a immensely tragic scene of a spent whale submerged in muck and spouting that black gooey pulp from it’s blow-hole. Icy & Sot next door use their understated humor and biting criticism with a summer tree in a verdant hue captured as soliloquey, first appearing leafy and fluttering from a fan-stirred breeze, then revealed as suffocated by 300 petroleum-based green plastic shopping bags that are caught in its branches.

Finally the painterly abstractions of Futura across half a tunnel are set free, poignantly balancing the symbolic liberty of Martin Whatson’s graffitied butterfly, now cravenly pierced and readied for your private collection.

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Isaac Cordal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While you can practically smell the brands hovering over quality events like these to hopefully insinuate themselves into – Nuart continues to keep its independence of curation, broadening its branches with the Tou Scene installations and deepening its roots with academic forums and related programming in such a way that its true nature remains. Hopefully it will be to continue this way despite a tightening Norwegian economy.

Yes there was some talk at panels this week about the fact that a 15 year old Street Art mural festival is in itself an institution and anathema to what the graffiti/street/urban art practice may have originated from, but one of the myriad outcomes of pounding away with purpose at thoughtful parallel programming like this Tou Scene show year after year is that you may also develop something uniquely relevant in its own right.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street – this week via the exhibition space of Nuart 2015 and featuring Bordalo II, Bortusk Leer, Dolk, Dot Dot Dot, Ella & Pitr, Ernest Zacharevic, Furtura, Harmen de Hoop, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jamie Reed, Martha Cooper, Outings Project, Pixel Pancho, and Sandra Chevrier.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martin Whatson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sandra Chevrier with Martin Whatson. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Outings Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jamie Reid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Harmen De Hoop (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bortusk Leer with DotDotDot in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dolk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

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

Now screening :

1. Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus
2. Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires)
3. Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015
4. Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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BSA Special Feature: Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus

We don’t often get to post Street Art from Cyprus, but here is an entertaining look at the recent Street Life Festival in Limassol. Mainly we posted it because Kiwie from Latvia is a ham in front of the camera and Friday is a perfect time to get up and dance!

Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires) at Nai’s house

It’s barbecue and painting season bro. Come on over.

 

 

Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015

Two murals in a row from this years ALT!rove – Street Art Festival in Italy, both videos from Blind Eye Factory. Going with this years theme of Abstractism, ALT!rove brought artist including 108, Alberonero, Giorgio Bartocci, Clemens Behr, Ciredz, Erosie, Graphic Surgery, Sbagliato, Sten Lex and Tellas.

Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

As lines continue to blur in fields of art and technology (and everything else) it is easier to see Street Art as an online/on-street diary, a forum for speech making, a laboratory for testing ideas, a publishing platform for the dispersing of truths and lies and theories and maxims and slogans and aphorisms. A timely new exhibition of personal notebooks by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat further affirms the direct relationship between the personal and the public voice of one New York expressionist, revealing lesser-known aspects of him as artist and individual.

A teenage poet on New York streets, Basquiat used his own brand of graffiti to pursue his own brand of fame. His text was intended in part as a visual element but unlike graffiti writers who produced ever more expressive tags during that heated moment in New York graffiti history, Basquiat also sought an audience who may be hip to his cerebral wordplay of poetry that puzzled and enticed – a foxy style of William Burroughs-inspired automatic writing he adapted for his own uses.

 

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Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, 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.

 

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Untitled. Circa 1987. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The art collector Larry Warsh lends these eight notebooks that span 1981-1987, 160 pages in all, for you to scan and contemplate. New to most audiences, they also feel familiar. While they do not provide a play-by-play account of his daily affairs, they do provide insight into his state of mind, interests, and creative process. Knowing his reputation for being very aware of his public perception, you may wonder how private these were in his mind if he was at least partially writing for a greater audience here sometimes as well.

But these are definitely his voice. Even in lengthier poetry pieces, Basquiats’ reductive approach to writing produces the same clipped cadences that appeared on walls and gallery paintings, a process of addition and subtraction that he could eventually pare down to one word that would command a canvas.

“Famous”.

 

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Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A two sided, free standing piece from 1982 midway through the gallery space gives a bittersweet focus to one of his aspirations, as well as to his application of photocopies of his own work in multiples on the canvas – a replication/repetition technique from commercial wildposting that was popularized on walls and lamp posts by graffiti writer/street artists like Revs and Cost in New York in the 90s.

“I think this show points out that the conceptual and poetic side of JMB’s work is central to and integrated with his more overtly visual and expressionistic paintings,” says Tricia Laughlin Bloom, who worked in collaboration with Dieter Bucchart, Guest Curator in organizing this exhibition. “He enjoyed exploring the play between text as visual sign or symbol and the layers of historical, sociological, personal meaning that words activate.  Some of the very restrained word drawings and notebook entries are intensely expressionistic, for instance, without the use of gesture or color.”

 

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Famous. 1982. Detail. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The notebooks are part of a larger offering of paintings, drawings, and moving image in this well balanced show that keeps the focus on the writer and painter of text while placing it in the greater context of all his work. Included here are drawings of his fictional character Jimmy Best, for example, who appeared in early SAMO© street writings and elsewhere as an ongoing and developing narrative that hinted at his self image.

Most riveting for the new generation of writers may be the film clips shot in 1980-81 during the filming of New York Beat (released in 2000 as Downtown 81). Not true documentary footage, it nevertheless captures the artist outside mark-making in a determined, self-aware, sometimes hesitating manner across walls with letters and lines of simple black aerosol.

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Famous. Verso. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving into “the City” from his middle class Brooklyn home as a teenager in the late 70s, you have to wonder how or if his street practice with friend Al Diaz had been influenced by the students and workers who wrote slogans, epigrams, maxims, in black aerosol letters during the Paris uprisings of 1968. Quick passages on the street then like “Sous les paves, la plage” (under the paving stones, the beach) also played with text and sometimes cryptic meaning in ways similar to his on city walls and in these notebooks. Neatly penned, his was a deliberate meditation and experiment with words – a process that allowed you to see the deletions and additions, fully part of the finished product.

“We were presented with the rare opportunity to exhibit Basquiat’s notebooks, which offer fascinating access to his thoughts and process,” says Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, when talking about the decision to mount Notebooks.

 

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Untitled. 1980. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course its not the first time Street Artists have been featured meaningfully here. Under the guidance of Director Arnold L. Lehman the Brooklyn Museum has shown a serious and committed interest in highlighting the contributions of artists whose practice comes directly from the streets of New York and its graffiti/Street Art traditions; including the huge Basquiat show a decade ago, the Graffiti show in 2006, the more recent Keith Haring show, Swoon’s Submerged Motherlands last year, Olek’s display at the annual Artist’s Ball, and the upcoming Faile exhibit this July, which will also feature their collaboration with Bäst. For Matt Atkins, this show is in perfect alignment.

“The Brooklyn Museum has had a commitment to showing artists whose work embraces contemporary culture. Basquiat seamlessly synthesized the world around him in his art, including elements culled from the streets, music, literature, history, and more,” she says.

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Untitled. 1986. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It has been 27 years since Basquiat died at the age of 27. Somehow you can imagine that mathematical equation appearing here on one of the larger canvases; dense with symbols, sentence fragments, lists and formulas. Sifting through the tenuously connected word constellation it occurs to you that people like Basquiat and Burroughs and the Beats were forebears of the post-Gutenberg dislocation of text from its moorings  one that we all swim in  with passages and words and texts floating to us and past us from multiple screens of varying sizes throughout each day.

As this stream of messages blurs from the intensely personal to the public spheres, this show confirms how the art-making process for the street has always been rich with storytelling, even if not evident at first. A show of this moment, seeing these notebooks first hand will complete a cycle for many.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail.. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had an opportunity to speak further with one of the curators, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, about Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.

Brooklyn Street Art: Often we think of the work we see on the street as part of a continuum, a conversation back and forth between the artist and the passerby. How does this exhibition illustrate the continuum that extends from private neatly penned journals to public aerosol missives?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Going through the exhibition you find a lot of similarity between the voice he used in his street writing and in his notebooks, that also extends to his word paintings. Fragments of SAMO text recur in larger scale works that we have included, and many of his notebook passages read like they could have been SAMO texts.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the dynamic between yourself and the guest curator Dieter Buchhart and how it informed some of your joint decisions for presenting the work?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Dieter brought the initial checklist together as Guest Curator, and we shaped it together from there. We both felt it was important that the show be about the notebooks—that the paintings and drawings should be carefully selected to compliment the notebooks and not overwhelm, and to highlight Basquiat the poet and thinker AND visual artist. Getting the right number of works and the precise balance was a long process, and many conversations.

Brooklyn Street Art: How has preparing this exhibition changed or affected your perception of his work in the intervening ten years since the “Basquiat” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, if at all?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: I was always a fan, and I loved the 2005 show, but I feel I understand him better and my admiration has deepened after the opportunity to work with the notebooks. It’s more intimate in scale and the whole experience feels more personal.

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All Beef. 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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All Beef. 1983. Verso. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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From left to right: Untitled (Crown) 1982. Tuxedo. 1982. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Famous Negro Atheletes. 1981. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Antidote. 1981. Untitled (Ego) 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by Dieter Buchhart, Guest Curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum and current Curator of American art at the Newark Museum.

With special thanks to Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Sharon Matt Atkins, and Sally Williams.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum opens on April 3, 2015 to the general public. Click HERE for further details.

 

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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