All posts tagged: BrooklynStreetArt

Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France and Their Largest Monkey/Bird Stencil

Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France and Their Largest Monkey/Bird Stencil

The Bordeaux-based Street Art duo Monkey Bird Crew were in the northern French capital Lille in November to create their largest mural ever and today we have some exclusive shots of the enormous piece from the natural stencilists as they scaled the bricked wall and sprayed the new work.

 

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

Phototographer Aline Mairet tells us “This collaborative work was realized as part of the major cultural event called “Renaissance” (by Lille3000) and was built with the contribution and participation of the neighborhoods residents.”

It’s standard practice for Edouard and David to portray their chosen avatars of monkey and a bird – of many varieties – in a composition that shows their reliance on one another. Aline says that she sees the their inspiration as being derived “principally from sacred or lyrical works such as illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, and architectural ornamentation – as well as Japanese prints and fantastic illustrations from the ‘Arts and Crafts’ period.”

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

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Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France. (photo © Aline Mairet)

 

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

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Heads Up! Swoon Says You Will Die

New show by Mike Snelle is about death, and Swoon Carves a Human Skull

Memento Mori in Latin translates as ‘remember that you will die’

Street Artist Swoon spoke to us yesterday about the 18th century skull of a woman that she spent weeks carving for a new show of Memento Mori inspired art for the Museum of Curiousity. Gallery owner Mike Snelle has transferred Black Rat Projects and is now dedicating his time to this curious effort, one which Swoon says has captured his attention for a while.

“Mike set up the Memento Mori show because he has kind of long been obsessed with how people reckon with their own mortality,” Swoon explains in her Brooklyn studio, “He studied philosophy at Cambridge partly out of an obsession with all of these kinds of questions like, ‘how do we die?’.”

In fact Memento Mori refers to a number of traditions throughout many cultures (German, Victorian, Mexican, Tibetan, others) of examining death and its role in our lives. The new group show is perhaps a more frank look at death than some of the traditions – but even those contain elements of light-hearted humor, so that may be an incorrect characterization.

Swoon. “A Slender Thread” Hand carved human skull, Book, Paper Cut Outs, Pill Bottle. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosity)

“It’s about wonder,” explains Mike as he speaks about the dream reliquary sculpture Swoon spent a week installing, “This exhibition mixes historical objects with contemporary interpretations of the theme and brings together an extraordinary selections of artworks.” Later he rattles off a list of other curiousities guests will see that include a hippo skull, a taxidermied ostrich from 1785, and paintings and carved human skulls commissioned specifically for the show.

And what about Swoon’s new contribution, a carved skull design that includes a symbolic birthing and her distinctive hand designs emanating from the natural lines and curvature of the cranium?

“I was wondering ‘what subject matter is befitting of this, something of this gravity?’ ,” she says of the carving project on this skull that came from a trader of artifacts who assured her of its rightful origins,  “So I thought about it and I thought that the only thing that seemed to make sense was to draw a birthing scene. So I ended up doing the birthing scene and then created a lot of patterns around it.”

The Connor Brothers take a decidedly humorous and ironic approach to the Grim Reaper. “Death Calls” Acrylic on canvas. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosities)

While she was deeply interested in the project and is gratified with the results, she felt a certain sense of weight was upon her during the experience – partially because of the subject matter and partially because of her own examination of mortality, her family, her experiences. Naturally all of these elements contributed to the outcome, including the choice of the accompanying book and medicine bottle that she chose to adorn and serve as foundation for the skull.

“I really felt that I was re-sacrifying the remain. It was already in a museum. That was why I thought long and hard about what kind of a scene could really be equal to the subject matter, because you don’t feel like it is something that you can do casually. So one of the German traditions is that they often put it on a Bible. But at the time I was carving it I was looking at my bookshelf and I took down a book that is called “The Slender Thread”. It is about a woman who worked on a suicide hotline and about her experiences with trying to talk people down from suicidality,” she says as describes the serious considerations that went into her choices.

“I was thinking about this woman’s work and about my own thoughts about mortality and people’s relationship to that in their own life and so that became the book that I used.”

Dr. Viktor Schroeder Memento Mori With Heilige Schrift, 2013. Cast human skull, 19th Century Bible, Victorian syringe and pocket watch , taxidermy butterfly. (photo courtesy © Museum of Curiosity)

Brooklyn Street Art: That is some powerful imagery and symbolism that you chose to work with. What did it feel like – what kind of relationship did you have to the skull over this period of time?  What was it like to let go of it?
Swoon: I was really glad. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t an easy piece, you know? It felt like there was a heaviness that is not present in almost any other work that I have done and I was glad to be done with it. Like I said, you chose to be in the process of contemplating mortality and this has been tied into my own process of trying to understand.

In all creative endeavors there is a certain amount of anthropological and historical at play and Memento Mori may be more so, even as it sometimes includes humor by way of  bringing to the fore a topic that many modern Western cultures find difficult to grapple with.

“It is a really respectful treatment of the subject,” says Swoon of her contribution, “ and it is out of a serious inquiry.”

 

From the Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut (1493)

18th Century Memento Mori, Carved Human skull. (photo courtesy of Museum of Curiousity)

Artists exhibited for Memento Mori include:

Butch Anthony, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mat Chivers, Darren Coffield, The Connor Brothers, Nancy Fouts, Tom Gallant, Keaton Henson, Heretic, Saira Hunjan, James Lavelle, Michal Ohana-Cole, Marcos Raya, Dr. Viktor Schroeder, Jim Skull, Paul Stephenson, Kai & Sunny, Swoon, Ian Wilkinson,  Brian Adam Douglas and AVM Curiosities.

Memento Mori Opens on May 17th and continues until June 20th. 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London.

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

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How and Nosm Brand New Video – How They Started

Artists, muralists, and graffiti artists How and Nosm – “That’s what we do, that’s who we are.” In this new video they talk about their beginnings in the world of graffiti, before becoming world renowned fine artist and epic muralists.

Produced and directed by The Little Squares.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

The always classy and beautiful Leonora, the Queen of Williamsburg, wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas full of love. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Erik Burke Captures Nick Spilling The Beans (and sweeping them up)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Nick-the-amazing-copyright-Erik-BurkeThe vicissitudes of daily living get in the way of creating life. I just made that up. Genius, right? These days when things can seem so difficult, it’s good to remember that creative folk like you are also struggling with demons, and everybody has occasional victory.

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” ~ Alan Ginsberg

In this brand-spanking new film, “Nick The Amazing”, artist ND’A and director Erik Burke follows a Street Artist around Brooklyn, camera in hand, and catches the manic thinker and worrier as he goes about making art, frantically talking and painting and cutting and pasting and performing verbal and physical stunts. The resulting urban pastiche is a welcome poem on the inner and outer life of an artist and by extension, a filmmaker. Or, as Erik says,  “A manic portrait of Brooklyn based artist ND’A that follows him as he creates artwork in the streets and spills the beans at work, literally.”

Nick the Amazing

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and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” ~ Jack Kerouac

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