French street artist and stencil master, Christian Guemy AKA C215 shows us all the spots he painted in Ukraine this spring. As has been his passion for many years on the street, he brought art to the most unusual of surfaces and locations.
There to help people and lift the spirits of people in the middle of a war, the artist chose the street as a platform to reach out to others with his visual poetry. Going back and forth to Ukraine in March, April, and May, the artist looked for unconventional surfaces to spray his multi-layer portraits and wildlife onto the ruins of the bombed buildings, abandoned and destroyed vehicles and tanks. Here with some explanations, the artist shares his works with BSA readers.
We return today to the streets of Paris for Dispatch 2 with Norwegian photographer Tor Staale Moen, who tells us that the streets are alive with stencils and aerosol paintings as much as ever. Our first Paris report a couple of days ago focused on the presentation of the female form and energy by street artist in this city. Today, it’s time for the guys.
Here we begin with one of the country’s most well-known stencil masters, C215. His portraits of unknown street dwellers, as well as important historical figures, have graced walls, mailboxes… even national postal stamps. Here C215 honors the memory of a French son of a Polish immigrant to France during the second world war, Samuel Émile Adoner (known as Milo Adoner). Deported with 7 members of his family by convoy in 1942 from the Drancy camp to Auschwitz, he was the only one to survive the Holocaust- along with an older sister who was not deported. With the help of activists and historians and artists like C215, the street can be a platform for the open exchange of ideas – and histories.
Recently we brought you coverage of Shepard Fairey’s newest work for the Djerbahood project on the island of Hara Sghira Er Riadh in Tunisia. A gradually-building project curated over the last decade or more by the Tunisian-French owner of Paris’ Galerie Itinerrance, Medhi Ben Cheikh, there must be nearly 200 artists from 30+ nations represented here now.
As each year passes we become more aware that the collection represents an era, a vast survey of a time when street art was graduating to murals worldwide. Some of these artists have risen in prominence in the street art/contemporary art world, while others have declined, or have shifted their attention to something else entirely. In that respect, Djerbahood is an archive for all to investigate and analyze.
Sensitive to local cultural values in terms of content, the various expressions of creativity may not follow one aesthetic – but they invariably are complemented by the predominant white stucco walls that define this pristine haven for street art murals. While some have aged quite beautifully, others have shown the passage of time and the elements, gently weathering the overall aesthetic.
The project is documented in a beautifully edited and printed book, which we reviewed here. To reacquaint you, below are a few selections from the project:
To reaquaint you, below are a few selections from the project:
The Pompei Street Art Festival features a familiar selection of events, tours, panels, workshops, performances, murals, and eye candy that you have come to expect from these public/private events meant to spark interest in a city, its downtown, its economy.
But the difference here is that the city of Pompei provides a link to ancient graffiti, the citizens of ancient Pompei used chalk and sharp tools to write on walls to express and communicate with each other and of course, it offers a link to the Romans and to the richest archaeological site perhaps in the world. It would be difficult to overemphasize its importance after the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, not only because of the scholarship that followed it but its influence over the 18th century in both France and England; the neo-classical style, of contemporary renditions of the imagination of the classical world. Buried under ash in 79CE, the history of the excavated city influences the environment, the architecture, the mosaics, water towers, schools, temples, taverns.
So without narration, we first gaze over the murals produced during this festival. One may reflect on that influence of centuries past on every artist participating here, and wonder how this is informing their choices, their techniques, their sense of place in history. We look forward to bringing you the second edition of this fresh new festival in 2022.
After three weeks of collecting plastic from nearby beaches, the fountain sculpture is completed with the hopes of bringing attention to the environment. The collection of plastic was done in conjunction with Plasticfreeit. The Cian team is composed of Carlos, Max, Rata, and Marcel.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours 2. Vhils – Annihilation 3. C215 Au Pantheon 4. On Set / Kenny Scharf
BSA Special Feature: Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours
The awesome expanse of one artists’ life during the course of a year, as expressed visually in the travels of Okuda San Miguel. Prolific, pro-people, kaleidoscopic in his imaginings; Okuda’s public works are as engaging as any artist working outside today, and in some cases, very inspiring. This is a good era for the artist, and with talented people on his team galavanting the globe, at this moment the world is theirs.
Okuda San Miguel. The World is Ours
Vhils – Annihilation
Finding the right partner for collaboration is no easy matter, and Vhils is here studying the contrasts and shiny chaos of the US in late stage capitalism, finding that harmony can be struck from the most unlikely of pairings. Europeans can’t believe the disparity here, and we know its setting aflame the very fabric of our society – but it’s so dazzling as it burns. Feel your pulse quicken as you see Vhils chip away at the veneer with Shepard, Retna, and a jackhammer.
C215 Au Pantheon
master C215 continues his move into other arenas, in this case the crypt of the
Pantheon with his portraits of great men and women. Full of character and
dignity, his people are somehow brought to life in his depictions through
On Set / Kenny Scharf
Is this a commentary on the times, or a commentary on The Times? Maybe Kenny knows
Unearthed by Artsy this week, the paper is ricocheting across social media with shock and dismay uttered by some artists who lament the hollowness of the modern graffiti/ Street Art/ Urban Art world, purporting to be distinct and above it all, yet posing in countless photos on their social pages with myriad peers and professionals and potential clients cheek-to-cheek.
It may be time that some hardcore Graffiti and Street Artists can shed some of the charades about how the globe turns, even if you are a graduate of the “School of Hard Knocks”. This movement we are witnessing toward self-promotion and marketing has always been true: This research paper doesn’t even use modern artists as a model for study – the subjects were part of the 20th Century abstract art movement and most died years ago.
You’ll recall that a central tenant of graffiti is that writers spread their names on every wall in different neighborhoods and cities to get “Fame”. As the authors of the paper Banerjee Mitali and Paul L. Ingram say, “CEOs, activists, scientists and innovators all benefit from fame. Meanwhile, the struggle for fame is becoming ever more intense and complex in a digital economy.” Download the paper here.
Yes, networking helps your career. In other breaking news, puppies are cute, the Pope is Catholic, and boys like short skirts.
This week our Images of the Week are coming to you directly from our latest visits to Madrid, Bilbao, and Bayonne. We’re excited to share what we found with BSA readers.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Anna Taratiel, Artez, Aryz, C215, Dan Witz, Eltono, Invader, Monkeybird, MSW, Stinkfish, and Suso33.
Here in Basque country you can casually drive between Bilbao (Spain) and Bayonne (France) as if you were just heading out to the shopping mall to buy new kicks. The signs of course are in multiple languages (Spanish, French, Basque) and there is much more political street art in these towns- addressing topics like fracking, racism, women’s rights and amnesty for political prisoners.
With an atmosphere that is more politically charged than other parts of the world, you can quickly forget it when you see so many rolling green hills dotted with puffy round sheep and old white farm houses along the highway.
Arriving in Bayonne we were happy to see many of the medieval small streets still boast Gothic-style cathedrals, a cloister here, the occasional castle there. It’s a walkable city with centuries of history, conservative cultural values, and a cool Street Art festival from the last few years called Points de Vue. Co-Founder Alban Morlot obliged us with a tour of the city and a multitude of murals produced over the past few years (You can read here our article of the recent 2018 edition of the festival with exclusive images from Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer).
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here and in Lyons and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism.
Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth.
A topic close to our heart for a decade, they also began a new film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here, Lyons, and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism. Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth. A topic close to our heart for a decade, they have also began a film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
As we walk through a very windy afternoon that kicks up the new construction dust that coats this neighborhood by the river, Alban talks to us about the suspicious embrace of locals and politicians of his work, the various working personalities of artists for the festival, the creation of a new currency by the Basque community, the tradition of socialist bars and political activists in the neighborhood, and his own connection to graffiti that began when he was hanging out in his hometown of Pau as a teenager with other skaters.
would listen to music, smoke a blunt, and skate all day. At some point graffiti
became my culture,” he says of those times that formed his character and
informed his aesthetic eye. “I don’t think I realized it at the time when
I was a teenager but by the time I was 25 I said to myself ‘this is my culture’.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way but I knew that I wanted to share
this experience and make it visible for other people in my generation.”
and riding in a car to see murals, small installations, illegal graffiti, and
formally approved artworks, you may wonder how this organizer and curator looks
at his position in an evolving urban art scene that has witnessed the arrival
and departure of many over the last 15 years. He says that his work has always
centered on the artists, and that despite the chaos and change, this may be why
job is to know the artist and learn where they want to go and what their
context is,” says Alban. “Afterwards I let them express their hearts without any conditions
because I want them to have the maximum pleasure to produce their art. This way
you receive the best from them.”
You may wonder where this philosophy comes from, and ask if he always felt this way.
“I think I just love artists so much,” he says. “People at Space Junk often ask me if I am an artist and I am not. I just consider artists to be very important in our lives and in society and I think we have to put artists in the middle of the system and not like they are just observers. I think artists belong in the center of society and I think people have to learn again how to listen to what they have to say. The way they present society is a very different point of view that helps us to understand who we are, who our neighbors are and help us to drive together.”
Our sincere thanks to Alban and Jérome for their work and hospitality and we hope you enjoy some of these pics from Bayonne.
Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.
Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.
Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.
And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.
Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.
1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola
It’s part of the fascinating world that you inhabit when you follow street art – you have no idea what you will discover in any city at any time because of it’s LIVE daily evolutionary personality. Here in Moscow we don’t see so much of the improvisational extra-legal type of works that characterize cities like Rio or Berlin or Paris, but we have been seeing a bunch of familiar international names in the last few days. Here are some shots of stuff we’ve found – much of it that you will also recognize – along with some great local Moscow stuff.
We’ll bring you more of the scene at the Artmossphere Biennale this week as artists and curators like us are arriving right now at the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art. We’ve already seen Faith XLVII, FAUST, Adele, Martha Cooper, CaneMorto, Cedar Lewisohn … As the lounge singers say, “We’ll be here all week folks”. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 0331c, Ben Eine, C215, Felipe Pantone, Haculla, Interenzni Kazki, Jan & JS, Losaer, N888K, Neue, Stasdobry, The RUS Crew, Theo Lopez, Tristan Eaton, Vasya, and WK Interact.
BSA is in Moscow as curators of 50+ international artists in the Artmossphere Biennale 2018 for its 3rd edition called Street Art Wave. Till the end of the month we’ll working with a stellar cross section of people involved with Urban Art/Street Art/Graffiti at curious and fascinating intersections. We’re meeting with Street Artists, academics, collectors, gallerists, museum curators, organizers, and thoughtful pontificators of all sorts in studio, on the street, behind the scenes, and on display. Come with us!
Finding Street Art is sort of like a treasure hunt – one that you become addicted to and can never fully peel away from your psychological experience of the city.
Today we found by chance an eight year old stencil piece in Moscow that we had imprinted in our minds probably ever since French Street Artist C215 first posted it on his Flickr page in 2010. Of course his stencil style is his alone, but the style of these two figures is also impeccable – if fading from its original grandeur. If we find more information regarding their identity, we’ll update this post. In the meantime we’ll enjoy the serendipity of meeting old friends for the first time on the streets of Moscow.
“Contemporary Muralism” is the tag that organizers of this international exhibition gives to the current practice, and this northeastern Spanish city of 35,000 has hosted a number of primarily European Street Artists for a half dozen years here to do just that.
“Urban art is an incomparable tool for the transformation of the public space,” say organizers, and this years roster includes SpY, Miquel Wert, Kenor and Lucas Milà. Additionally a program of workshops was given by Andrea Michaelsson – Btoy, along with round tables and conferences in which international and local speakers participated.
Under the auspices of the Department of Culture and the City Council of Tudela – EPEL Castel Ruiz, the program of “Arte Urbano, Espacio Humano” focuses on a democratic approach to the city that recognizes the contributions of many people who make a city work.
“In the street the work merges with the morphology and geometry of the city,” says one of the curators of this years edition, Arcadi Poch, “at the artistic level the city is an extraordinarily fertile land”.
Our sincere thanks to photographer Fer Alcalà for sharing his excellent documentation here with BSA readers.
In this new piece by Catalan artist Lucas Milá the paint itself plays a role in the story because it appears and disappears with the light and temperature – a project of photochromic paint.
In the mural, made in the town of Peralta, you can see a vegetable farmer, possibly from the area known as the Ribera, whose shirt goes from a dark blue to an absolute white covered with vegetables. Similarly in the background landscape some clouds disappear when the sun hits.
VI AVANT GARDE TUDELA Y RIBERA 2018 International Exhibition of Contemporary Muralism ‘ARTE URBANO, ESPACIO HUMANO’ VI International exhibition of contemporary muralism. Avant Garde Tudela ‘Arte Urbano Espacio humano’ is an international exhibition of contemporary muralism that was organized by the Department of Culture of the City Council of Tudela – EPEL Castel Ruiz. In this VI edition, the exhibition opened to Ribera with the participation of the towns of Arguedas and Peralta.
Two versions of the catalogue, one by Felipe Pantone, the other by Futura, are available on the Magda Danysz website .
But she also brings an eclectic mix of others on her roster and possibly lent from some private collections. Collectively they span many of the high profile, the saleable and known over the past 5 decades from various disciplines and philosophical practices; In the case of Jacques Villeglé, whose practice of lacerating posters in the 1960s predates Failes’ by 4 decades, a lineage can be drawn. Other connections are not as easy.
Ultimately the collection gives a sense of the vast number of personalities and techniques that have characterized the street practice in Europe and North America primarily without focusing on any one specialty too greatly. Here are the revered names along with mid-career folks and current darlings who are sure to leave a mark. There is also a small inclusion of more regional favorites like Eko Nugroho from Indonesia, and Singapore’s Speak Cryptic, who each were on hand this weekend with many of the artists for the opening.
Giving tours with microphone in hand during the opening days, the energetic Ms. Danysz educates new fans and potential buyers about an organic artists scene that grew from the streets and is now more frequently being offered for sale in places such as her three gallery locations in London, Paris, and Shanghai. Today it is slowly appearing more often in museums as well.
“Conscious that promotion of the emerging scene is necessary, Magda Danysz took part in many fairs,” says a press release, “such as for example Art Brussels, Arte Fiera in Bologna, Artissima in Torino, Fiac in Paris or Pulse in New York, and is one of the four galleries at the origin of the Show Off Paris art fair.”
This weekend’s activities included short presentations panel discussions and a screen of Wild Style.