All posts tagged: Bust Art

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

The brilliant Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark (C100) have been at the graffiti/street art/contemporary art nexus for much of the last decade, delineating the boundaries, and then artfully shifting them.

A multi-year project now welcoming guests at Urban Nation’s Special Projects space in Berlin reveals the imprecision of terminologies and commonly-used nomenclature in this period of hyper-hybridization.

Mick La Rock/Aileen Middel VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

When you consider the volley of influences that bounce and collide on metro cars and street walls and digital screens these days, it makes sense to describe the experimentation now afoot as a dialogue. As the Munich-based duo called Layer Cake, the two artists have been doing exactly that with one another’s art for a half dozen years.

“One begins to paint, the other reacts,” say Hartl and Hundertmark in their recent interview for the UN website. “Thus (we) conduct an artistic dialogue. The marker asks a question, the paint can answers, the brush completes or provokes,” they say, “until both artists agree that the mural is finished.”

It is not an automatic process for graffiti writers to create work this way; as one of the basic tenets of the street, you don’t go over someone else’s work unless you mean to show disrespect or provoke a battle.

Drawing upon an eclectic selection of participants with experience on the street, the two act as curators of the new show called ‘Versus’. The rules are similar to their personal practice – produce a collaborative piece with another artist whose style and references may not match yours directly – with each contributor agreeing when the piece is complete.

The clashing and crashing can be seen on the canvass as each new addition rebalances the abstraction, and not everyone was sure it would work.

Bisco Smith VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

Artist Flavien Demarigny hesitated to participate versus Layer Cake because he wasn’t sure if he could work with their style that often incorporates calligraffiti techniques, he says. “As it is a major ingredient of Layer Cake‘s visual language I wasn’t sure if I was the right fit for it,” he says in a Facebook post.

“Then I remembered this is precisely what collaborations are about: pushing your limits, opening your perception, and create together new horizons. As a result, we started three collaborative pieces and one came out fantastic, which we decided to present in this show. Their choice of sticking to the repetitive pattern of my style was the wise one, so the two vocabularies can interact, as accidents make it unexpected and create the poetry of it.”

Dave The Chimp VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

With 13 different artists passing canvasses back and forth – each adding and subtracting, obliterating and augmenting, they say that at the root of the process was a rule not to consult, but rather, react.

The results fairly wrestle under the constraints, each cutting forward, marking and gesturing and claiming space on the canvass. These works illustrate the tension you may associate with the harshly pounding street in cities, sometimes still glittering insistently despite the struggle.  

Usugrow VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

“It is not easy to make an intervention in someone else’s painting,” says graffiti style-writing veteran Mick La Rock of her ingrained hesitancy during the art-making process. “You want to avoid taking the painting over and make it your own style. Every part I added to the painting was thought over at least ten times before painting it,” she says in an interview for the show.

On view in the Special Projects room near the museum, “Versus” is a sharp reminder of the community that joins together on walls and surfaces all over the world. Each style challenges the one next to it, sometimes holds it accountable, other times revealing its true nature. The curators say “The Versus Project is an artistic experiment in communication, challenging dialogue, the struggle for a final form.”

Chaz Bojorquez VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Wandal VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Flavien VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:

Layer Cake (Patrick Hartl und Christian Hundertmark aka C100), Chaz Bojorquez (Los Angeles / US), Mick La Rock / Aileen Middel (Amsterdam / NL), Sebastian Wandl (München / DE), Dave the Chimp (Berlin / DE), Bisco Smith (New York / US), Vincent Abadie Hafez (Zepha) (Toulouse / FR), Formula 76 (Hamburg / DE), Usugrow (Tokio / JP), Bust (Basel / CH), Jake (Amsterdam / NL), Egs (Helsinki / FI), Imaone (Tokio / JP) und Flavien (Apt / FR).

“The Versus Project” curated by Layer Cake is currently open to the general public at the Urban Nation Project Space. The exhibition will be on view until December 31, 2021. Click HERE to find more information about the exhibition, Covid protocols, and schedule.

Project space of the URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 97, 10783 Berlin

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Basel is “Home Sweet Home” for Bustart and 40 Friends at “Change of Colours” in Switzerland

Basel is “Home Sweet Home” for Bustart and 40 Friends at “Change of Colours” in Switzerland

The international art fair Art Basel announced today that this year’s flashy Miami event is cancelled, joining its two other high-profile annual fairs in Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland, which had both already met this fate earlier – all due to the complication of COVID-19.

One of the best parts about graffiti, street art, mural, and hip hop culture events like Urbane Kunst here in the city of Basel is you don’t have to worry about air kissing on both cheeks.

BustArt. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Graffiti jams are more interested in getting up on the wall, drinking beer, and having a barbecue – which 40 local and international artists did here from August 20-30, thanks to the event’s sponsor, Bell on Neudorfstrasse in Basel.

“The top criterion for artists was we have to know them: because we’re going to spend a lot of time together,” explains street artist BustArt, who has been working for about five years to make this wall happen. “You are together every day for about two weeks and so the main important thing is having a good time and for this, we just wanted to have cool people here with whom we’ve worked in the past and who we could trust that we were going to have a great outcome.”

BustArt. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Not that “Change of Colours”, as this event is called, didn’t have a lot of complications from the worldwide virus. The artist list kept changing as certain countries were eventually banned from traveling here – First the US, later Spain.

BustArt and Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

A final list of names was not available at press time but scheduled were artists like Boogie, Cole, Kesy, Kron, Tizer, Seyo, and Sonic. Photographer and journalist Nika Kramer caught a handful of the artists to ask a few questions, including Mr. Cenz (UK), Chromeo and Bane (CH), and event organizer BustArt (CH).

Street artist Julian Phethean aka Mr. Cenz is internationally known for his unique, expressive portraits of women. He tells us “I created one of my futuristic female portraits that I’ve been doing for a few years now and I paint a lot of black women as well because I think they are under-represented in the street art world. It’s very important to me, coming from a multicultural city like London.

Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Also for me, hip-hop is a black culture that’s why I paint mainly black power for women,” he says. “If you look at it, it’s quite spiritual as well. My style is kind of something transcendent. It’s for people to look at and to get lost in. That’s just what I do, and it’s amazing to do it on a big scale in such a prominent place and I hope people enjoy it.”

Mr. Cenz. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Two Swiss artists Fabian Florin aka Bane and David Kümin aka Chromeo, have worked together on smaller walls in the past, but the two masters of photorealism have never truly collaborated on something new together, and they say that they’re very satisfied with the result.

For Chromeo, Basel holds a special meaning to him in the development of his career as a graffiti writer and an artist.

Bane and Chromeo. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Basel is history. Back in the days when I started graffiti it was like a duty: you have to go to Basel!” he says. “Because it was considered state of the art. No disrespect to other places in Switzerland but… The graffiti history is here and it is the most important, I would have to say – even though I’m not from Basel.”

Bane and Chromeo. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)

In the opinion of Bane, Basel left a major impression as well, but it is much more personal. “I came here with completely fresh eyes. I was drug addicted during the time that Chromeo’s referring to,” he explains. “I’ve just been painting for about 10 years so Basel for me is a very fresh place, like new. What I enjoy here is the community. There’re so many people. It’s a community I’m stepping inside of – kind of a small family already. It was heartwarming and I felt very welcomed and for me, that is the best thing about Basel.”

For organizer and hometown boy BustArt, who just completed his largest wall to date for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin a couple of months ago, this wall has been beckoning to him and the event is the result of persistence in pursuing it. “I’ve been wanting to paint this wall for 20 years so we are happy that the company actually paid for it,” he says. He calls his new piece, “Home Sweet Home” because it symbolizes the place and the city he loves more than any other.

CRBZ. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Need A Pencil. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Tizer. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Tizer. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Sonic. Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urbane Kunst 2020. Basel, Switzerland. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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Largest Piece by BustArt in Tegel, Berlin for Urban Nation

Largest Piece by BustArt in Tegel, Berlin for Urban Nation

Massive and bright and staring at the summer sky, the new mural in the Tegel area of Berlin is quintessential BustArt. Two decades after starting his mark-making as a Swiss graffiti writer, his style borrows elements from that classic graffiti mixed with cartoons, pop art, and perhaps an eye toward others like Crash and D*Face who themselves point to the Roy Lichtenstein.

BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)

His  brand of ‘neopop” mixology is unique to him of course, and the tireless effort, scale of work (40 meters x 16 meters), and relative speed that he works sets him in a category of his own.

“This is the biggest wall I have painted so far and I could not be more happy with the outcome,” he says of the two week gig. The confident command of visual vocabulary, character and line work tell you that this new mural is a challenge BustArt was more than ready for.

BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)

Bustart also wants to shout out his mate @sket185 for the enormous help, the folks at @yesandpro who orchestrated along with Urban Nation, and we all give thanks to photographer Nika Kramer for sharing her work here with BSA readers.

BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
BUST Art in Tegel Berlin / One Wall Project. Urban Nation Museum. (photo © Urban Nation/Nika Kramer)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.13.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.13.14

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2014

Apparently there is another spectacular sporting event that’s got everyone captivated today and for a couple hours it will be easy to get a cronut or a seat on the subway because people will be worshipping flat screens inside a dark sports bar on the Lord’s Day. We recommend you jog right over to the High Line because it’s free and will likely be a little more commodious than usual. You can lounge while listening to a sleek waterfall, stroll arm in arm with your beloved, gaze upon the urban-wild landscaping and even catch a new billboard high-jacking that might make you crack a  smile.

The billboard space is great if reserved for Art On The High Line, but has been recently replaced by straight up garishly banal advertising, sort of marring the beauty of this big public works project whose spirit is better served when it steers clear of commercial messaging. This week sometime a few buckets of yellow paint were used to selectively buff the message to create a new one. A bit of genius goes a long way sometimes, doesn’t it? Although, for all we know, it’s a clever way to draw attention to the original ad, since you can still read it.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alice Pasquini, bunny M, Bust Art, Cera, Damon, Gazoo, Gum Shoe, Kid Monkey, Knarf, Labrona, LMNOPI, Low Bros, Miriam Castillo, Mr. Prvrt, Pyramid Oracle, Sweet Toof, Trentino, UD, Urban Spree, Vexta, Wing, and Zaria.

Top Image >> Unknown artist billboard takeover. Please help us ID the artist. Is it Posterboy perhaps? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Summer fashions can get quite skimpy in July in New York. Gum Shoe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf new mural in Poland. (photo © Knarf)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Low Bros mural for Urban Spree. Berlin, Germany. 2014 (photo © Phillipp Barth)

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Kid Monkey for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cera. Hand painted portrait. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Labrona new piece in Montreal, Canada. (photo © Labrona)

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UD (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zaria and Bust Art new piece in Amsterdam. (photo © Bust Art)

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Gazoo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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When Lavinia jumped, unknowingly she left behind her feet. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An unknown artist’s sculpture of a face with tree branch below and existing and previously published WING glass hummingbird.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Pasquini new mural in Trentino, Italy. (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Sweet Toof (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miriam Castillo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lower Manhattan engulfed by fog.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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