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.
Always good to get to Berlin to see what waves of text and pattern and outrage and snark and myriad metaphor are more-or-less relentlessly rippling across buildings and empty lots. The rippling effect was swelled by 4 days of rain, which makes windows streak with rivlets and wheat-pastes peel from the top, leaning forward and down and toward their demise, often sticking to themselves, halved and horrid in the process.
Nonetheless we got a lot of work done, seeing artists, urban gallerists, and of course the labyrinthine interior of the ‘secret’ project that is no secret any longer, the five floor Berlin HAUS, a former bank building in a well trafficked part of the city that is swarmed every day and nearly every night with graffiti writers, professional painters, Street Artists, illustrators, and the like – mainly, if not entirely, Germany based artists doing elaborate installations throughout.
Across the street in the under-construction UN museum space the scene was a “secret dinner” for 100 thrown by Director Yasha Young to stir up the buzz for the inaugural exhibit in September as well as take stock of the hundreds of artist locally and internationally who have been part of the UN before the doors even open. In attendance were artists, graffiti writers, arts writers, photographers, academics, cultural organizers, supporters, elected officials, a spare ambassador or two, all lined up to hear of few speeches, a video or two about programming – and eat off plates designed by 100 or so artists.
But the real story of course was the stuff we found on the streets – legal and illegal, a bit of dashed text and time intensive murals. Berlin doesn’t stop surprising you, and regardless of rain that completely drenched us, we didn’t care frankly.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Alaniz, Berlin Kidz, BoxiTrixi, C215, Crisp, Damien Mitchell, Dave the Chimp, Don John, Eins92, Fink 22, Gilf!, Icy & Sot, K, Missing Girls, Priznu, Rinth-WLNY, Sozl35, Telmo & Miel, and Various & Gould.
Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.
Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.
Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.
Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.
The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.
Art Basel in Miami is part of an annual three city fair that includes Hong Kong and it’s name sake Basel in Switzerland. This years fair in Miami hosts 269 galleries and your brain will be fried after the first 150, in an excellent way.
An art fair is not really a rarefied environment but many patrons walk with that air, presumably because they find it to be a flattering look, but most people are just excited to discover new ideas and techniques for channeling the creative spirit in a multitude of ways.
Far from the action of the actual graffiti and Street Art scene in long rows of white wall cubicles that average the price of a new car to rent for four days, SCOPE nonetheless has a healthy number of Street Artists represented with studio pieces that rock as hard as any killer piece under a bridge.
Inside this environment we’re probably calling the category Urban Contemporary and it’s always interesting to see how the street practice translates to a frame on a wall – and who can do it successfully. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it’s always surprising to see how many other derivative, hackneyed, or underwhelming works are proudly on display – by artists whose main connection to actual street culture is tenuous at best.
But imitators and replicators have existed in every genre of the plastic arts for as long as anyone reading this has been alive, so it shouldn’t be a shock when you have seen 5 Banksy-esque canvasses even before you stop at the commissary for your $14 pressed vegetable panini.
For the actual fans and collectors of actual graffiti and Street Artists, it may be irksome to see the common tropes of colorful paint drips and ironic pop images mutated and slapped with cleverness – especially in view of the fact that there is a fleet of new kids outside in our cities and streets today whose work is regularly amazing.
Since many of the current generation of Street Artists have had a little or a lot of formal training as artists, the quality of work in the good spots is very high and we were happy to find many excellent pieces throughout the fair by folks whose name you may recognize. Here is a sampling of pieces we found during an audit of this year’s SCOPE just so you have an idea of the offerings.
“France has been a crossroads and a host country forever: Greeks, Romans, Teutons, Vikings, Arabs all settled here in antiquity and then in the middle ages. The Spanish, Russian, Italian, and Polish came here more recently, not to mention the North Africans, and Africans, the Indo-Chinese, Lebanese, and Iranians who have taken refuge. Even the Chinese have recently settled here successfully. Today we have the Syrians who come to us and we must welcome them,” says Street Artist C215 of his newest mural of children’s faces.
The inaugural mural for the project 100 WALLS FOR YOUTH, C215 has made a strongly resolute defense of his views on Liberté, égalité, fraternité – the motto of the French. He also throws in one more: Laïcité – a core concept in the French constitution which formally states that France is a secular republic. This is going to be a powerful campaign, based on what we have heard from artistic director Gautier Jourdain of the LE M.U.R. association and the Gallerie Mathgoth, which he runs with his wife Mathilde in the 13th Arrondissement of Paris.
After sitting with and photographing 27 different school children in June, C215 created stencils of each of them to paint on the street here in Paris where they all live. This would be a remarkable project if only for the effort and the talent, but in a time of stewing anti-immigrant fervor in France and other areas of Europe that has awakened the right wing and the would-be racists among us, this wall takes on additional significance.
This wall is part of what will be a much larger effort under the patronage of Mr. Francois Hollande, the President of the French Republic, says Mr. Jourdain, of the project that will spread to school walls and walls near other schools in partner cities with the help of many other Street Artists around the world.
As these murals and artworks provide an open gallery and an effective method for discussing these issues, organizers hope that this will be an unprecedented artistic adventure reaching many in the contemporary art world along with people on the street. Gaultier tells us the intentions and messages are those “built around altruistic values of respect, solidarity, diversity and brotherhood, citizenship and tolerance.”
BSA will be bringing you more of these walls by Street Artists as they come to neighborhoods around the city and globe. We have already heard of a number of them in the pipes! But first, here is C215 to start off the festivities.
“For the first of these frescoes, we wanted an iconic artist who is able to send a strong message,” says Gautier. “C215 seemed like the guy who could deliver this.”
On his Facebook page, C215 met with much praise for the project, and a fair number of intolerant, xenophobic, and racist ones. There were even some insisting that the country is being flooded deliberately as part of a neoliberal “One World Order” plan to dilute the culture and ruin everything. Sorry, France. If it helps at all, we’ve had the same kinds of people yelping about those new immigrant groups every twenty years or so throughout history – and the US is a nation comprised almost entirely of immigrants. Go figure.
“France has no ethnic or religious orientation,” C215 says. “France is a melting pot, a crossroads which since antiquity welcomes the peoples and the aggregates, in the mixing for a common ideal, which is today one of the republic.” Laïcité!