All posts tagged: C215

Jardin Rouge: A Unique Garden for Street Artists to Grow In

Jardin Rouge: A Unique Garden for Street Artists to Grow In

The soil in this garden is a deep rich red hue, as is the lifeblood that pumps through this modern compound with echoes of Egyptian mastaba architecture. Jardin Rouge invites Street Artists, graffiti artists, and urban artists to step around the peacocks that strut around the grounds of this North African oasis and to come inside to paint.

Painting outside is encouraged as well.


Hendrik Berkeich AKA ECB. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

25 minutes outside of Marrakesh in the middle of a 32 acre olive grove, this is an artist’s residency unlike many, where vandals are invited. They also are encouraged to push themselves creatively and develop their skills, techniques and try new disciplines outside their comfort zones.

Created and funded largely by one visionary collector, a private French businessman of Russian heritage who says he discovered his own love of graffiti using china marker on city walls while he was a homeless teen in the 1960s, the residency stands apart from others in the full spectrum of support and direction it gives.

From French portrait stencilist C215 and German aerosol portraitist ECB to members of New York’s graffiti stars Tats Cru to the Franco-Congolese painter Kouka, the aerosol atmospherics of Benjamin Laading and abstractly juicy tag clouds of Sun7, the commonality of these street practitioners is their willingness to experiment, and their drive to produce quality work. Quietly building a reputation with this invitation-only residency, high quality shows marketed directly to collectors, and a new ambitious museum space with the Montresso Foundation, Jardin Rouge is setting its own standard.


C215. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When artists come here we ask them to express themselves in their own style. The second thing we ask is to concentrate on the quality of their work and the craft. I don’t like artists who don’t take care of their quality, I don’t respect them,” says Jean-Louis, a white maned lion with firm opinions and an empathetic gaze.

“Also it is about presentation – a lot of artists have no idea how to present their work – but we always talk to the artist about how to make their final presentation, their final work.” When he describes this dynamic, you realize that as an artist, no matter what level of professionalism you enter Jardin Rouge with, it will raise a notch or two by the time you leave.


Kouka. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking to current and former artists-in-residence, it’s clear that it is a tight ship with an expert crew. All materials, needs, and ideas can be discussed, and there is a focus on professionalism and readiness for development. Sun7 (or Sunset), a dynamic expressionist and graffiti writer who still runs a fatcap and a thick marker across city walls in Paris, London, New York as well as the occasional corporate brand gig, told us on a recent Saturday morning that he had gone into Marrakesh the night before to party with friends until sunrise, but he was determined to get into the studio by 10 am regardless. “These guys give us so much and I want to make sure I’m giving my best back too.”


Sun7. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jean-Louis purchased the area near the Ouidane village in 2003 and began coaching his first artist in 2007, not realizing that the guidance he was giving to one would grow into the double digits in terms of artists who he now works with. The Montresso foundation is essentially sponsored by its founder and by donations from different partners and art collectors.

“At the beginning of Jardin Rouge this was my hobby. Then artists began hearing about this little by little and asking if they could come for a residency. We began the project slowly and became perhaps more professional and expanded our team,” he says. Collectors were slow to come as well, but eventually that changed thanks to well-attended openings, studio visits, and a marketing push that produces print catalogues and video pieces about the artists.


The Montresso Foundation on the grounds of Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We started to do something more attractive and more people began to hear about this, and also collectors began to hear about it. We have a lot of collectors and they are not necessarily so interested in street art per se but when they come to a place like this their perception of street art begins to change.”

BSA: We have noticed that it is very important here to encourage artists to test themselves in new mediums that maybe they are not comfortable with but it is perhaps your philosophy to encourage them to do something outside of their normal practice. Can you talk about that because it is not something that we normally see.
Jean-Louis: At the beginning the idea was to meet with some young artists, some street artists and to give them the possibility to make something. I never want to encroach on their technique. You have your talents you have your technique. But slowly I began asking artists to please try to do something that was not in the street, perhaps with canvas or for something else. This was the idea in the beginning – to help some artists to grow.


TILT. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It is a place to do something different from what you are doing in your own studio,” says TILT, who has had two residencies here, and who is intensely working on two concurrent shows with Jardin Rouge this year. “I think the good thing is that you don’t have the environment, you don’t have the pressure that you have when you are in your own studio, in your own city and surrounded by people you know.”

During an interview we did with him there we found that a familiar story continued to emerge; a supportive environment can actually make artists dream bigger.

“So here you can try and you can fail,” TILT says. “And if you fail its okay – it’s part of the game. It’s a huge space and maybe you don’t have to think about all of the materials because it is also easy to get them here. The structure is so well managed that if you need something, something is going to come to you. So you think totally differently, it is like a “deluxe” studio. Your mind is not stopped because you thought ‘oh I wanted to do that but I can’t’ because the frame is going to cost too much… or I need 6 or 7 people to help me move this car from one room to another. So its like everything is possible and that can really open up your mind.”



Steven P. Harrington of interviews TILT. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Toulouse, France-born graffiti writer speaks from his own experience since the centerpieces of his new two-location show required cutting an entire car in half, reconstructing and stabilizing it, and mounting the half cars in two locations in two countries.

“When we decided to do the giant piece, the big car, I also wanted to experiment with something, to try to work with a different material, and since I think my work is kind of dirty – dirty graffiti, primitive graffiti – far from what Street Art can represent – I think that my work needs more knowledge about the history of graffiti, about the letters, about the texture, about accumulation. I had never worked with drywall and these other materials – it’s a super difficult medium to work with and so I thought that Jardin Rouge was probably the right place to try to make it work.”


TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The “Voyage Aller Retour (Outbound and Return Trip)” show was constructed over many weeks and made at Jardin Rouge studios, with the “Outbound Trip” shown at the Marrakesh Biennale this spring and the “Return Trip” half shown for the Epoxy event at Musée Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse, France in June.


TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each half of the car is piled comically high with worldly goods that are tied to the roof, and the entire car with possessions is sprayed with aerosol graffiti tags, throw ups, bubble letters and drippy callouts to peers and their family members. Two directions of migration are represented, with one carrying home-made and natural goods and articles that a family in the country may bring to the city, and the other transporting the electronic entertainment and consumer goods that a metropolitan family car might bring to relatives in the country. It’s a metaphor in degrees that addresses first and third world migration as well and a graffiti-covered touchstone that indirectly speaks to the refugee crises affecting war-torn Syria and much of Europe

Writer and cultural critic Butterfly describes TILT’s “Voyage”; “He is fetishizing an object, the Peugeot 404 car, appreciating it for its properties regardless of its practical, social and cultural interests. Tilt sanctifies the object by vandalizing it; he breaks down the unstable and fluctuating barriers of the work of art.”


TILT. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to see “Voyage Aller” mounted inside the new spacious and modern museum-quality Montresso Foundation building and TILT’s eye-popping explosion of color held its ground in the massive new modern space. For the team and the foundation partners, this inaugural show with an accompanying outdoor garden and terrace also showcases Jean-Louis’ unique and powerful vision as architect as well.


TILT. Detail. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alongside the reflecting pools and pens for horses, goats, cows, and other farm animals is a statue of a huge geometrically planed gorilla and painted facades with colorful character-based graffiti scattered across the property and popping in and out of view overhead. From atop one of these red roofs you can observe a wide hazy basin spreading for many kilometers south to the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains an hour and a half’s drive by car.

Manicured lawns, cacti, palm, and olive trees frame wending walkways that lead through the one or two story buildings and into the many indoor spaces and breezeways that connect artists studios, living quarters, guest accommodations, entertaining rooms, an ample dining area, production and professional offices. It all feels like a gallery and changing series of installations, indoors and out. As we walk with Elise Levine, the communications manager, throughout the buildings we see walls hung with canvasses of Jean-Louis’ collection and others of artists who have had residencies here.


TILT in the middle with Mr. Harrington on the right and a guest on the left standing in the lobby of the Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In these surroundings it is not difficult to imagine how artists can make the transition to contemporary art without losing their personal connection to the street. The sensual Fenx splashes pop beauties with thick tagging, Tarek Benaoum manifests calligraffiti as something ornamental and precise and Kashink’s comic characters make wisecracks in front of you, each with four eyes. With Elise’s personal warmth and knack for storytelling about artists and installations, the Moroccan wood cabinetry, mid century modern furniture, patterned textiles, and specially designed light fixtures all impart a non-restrictive peaceful environment.


Jo Ber. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to see an eclectic handful of the artists studios, which all come equipped with materials and tools that enable the artists to do their work and not worry about the typical concerns of artists life.


Kashink. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benjamin Laading leads us into his studio, about the sized of a family one-car garage, but with a full wall of window that allows the sun to flood the space with light. A Norwegian painter who says he still writes graffiti he is working here on capturing the impressive forms known to fat cap sprayers everywhere, the bending of light in waves of a tube-like pointillism. In fact, that’s what he is turning it into.

“I started to think about how I could look at and talk about the tag – the core of graffiti that is the first line, the expressive line on the canvas,” he says as he pulls out his newest studies of this momentary movement of a gestural spray technique.


Benjamin Laading. Detail. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each canvas captures a momentary movement, but each is actually carefully hand-rendered with refined dabbing over a longer period of time to achieve the exact effect. It is a tribute to the untamed wildness of quick tagging by graffiti artists but he hopes to delivery a galaxy inside the spray.

“They are always pushing me to do experiments,” he says, “I tried to find natural movement that looks like it was drawn very quickly.” The twist is that he recreates them with a brush, painstakingly pointillizing the dust and the energy that swoops across the canvas as a painting. After all, he says, “The spray stroke is made out of an accumulation of dots.” The effect is stark and energetic, atmospheric, and structural.


Benjamin Laading. Detail. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s really a laboratory for a lot of artists to try something new here,” says Estelle Guilié, the artistic director since joining in 2014 and producing the first Jardin Rouge exhibition entitled “Behind the Red Wall” featuring a graffiti-heavy roster including BIO, BG, CEEK, and SY along with stencil artist ECB and warrior painter Kouka.

“We have one artist here who uses canvases for example all the time and I said to him ‘hey man for 20 years you have worked on the same medium and you don’t have your own signature. Maybe if you reflect on your work you can choose another language to express your art. He tested something new here for the first time and he has had a lot of success,” she says with a smile, “and now he can continue with it.”


C215. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Finally, it strikes one that the entire complex is a diary, a philosophy of making work and the process of discovery. Sometime when Street Art / and Urban Art enters into a place, it dies. Here it feels alive, and many times just as consequential as it can be on the street.


The Gold Fish pool provides serenity and inspiration. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It would be a great present to us if after 4 or 5 years someone sees one of these works by an artist and they say, ‘This artist was at Jardin Rouge, – or Montresso Foundation – and for this person it will stand for a label of quality,’” says Jean-Louis. With the establishment of the Montresso Foundation exhibition space, plans are afoot to develop larger exhibitions and the expansion of a permanent collection that reflects the movement of urban art into the contemporary art realm – obviously with an eye for what comes next.


TILT. Montresso Foundation. Jardin Rouge, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This article is a result of Brooklyn Street Art partnership with Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin and was originally published at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

A partial list of Jardin Rouge alumni:

Benjamin LAADING
Roxane Daumas



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Never Crew: “Inhuman Barriers” and Cities Of Hope

Never Crew: “Inhuman Barriers” and Cities Of Hope

Manchester in UK hosted a street art convention in May called “Cities of Hope” and 10 international artists worked on pieces that often addressed issues of social justice. Swiss duo Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, who comprise Nevercrew, addressed the theme of immigration and there piece gives a sense of the seemingly impossible odds that many people face when attempting to escape war and persecution in search of a refuge.


Never Crew. Inhuman Barriers. Manchester Cities Of Hope. Manchester, UK. June 2016. (photo © courtesy of Never Crew)

“We are extremely glad to have been part of this project based on social justice issues and so strongly connected to the city and to its people,” the guys say in reference to the experience painting “Inhuman Barriers.” The two worked in support of the local solidarity group WASP (Women Asylum Seekers Together).

Additional participants in Cities of Hope include Axel Void, C215, Case Maclaim, Faith47, Phlegm, Martin Whatson, Pichi&Avo, Hyuro, and Dale Grimshaw.


Never Crew. Inhuman Barriers. Manchester Cities Of Hope. Manchester, UK. June 2016. (photo © courtesy of Never Crew)


Never Crew. Inhuman Barriers. Manchester Cities Of Hope. Manchester, UK. June 2016. (photo © courtesy of Never Crew)

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“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

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.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The project’s completion at the turn of the year culminated in one of the largest Street Art/Graffiti artists’ collective shows in Italy held in the city’s main public gallery Palazzo Platamone, entitled “Codici Sorgenti” (Source Code), which was curated by Stefano S. Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano from Rome’s 999 Contemporary Gallery.

There is talk about the possibility that this exhibition of about 60 artists work will tour throughout Europe with its message of the historic roots of modern graffiti and Street Art along with many of its most impactful practitioners pushing into the contemporary art world.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

According to Arianna Ascione in, the gallery exhibition was “divided into three sections that tell the birth, interactive development and consecration of the (graffiti/street art) phenomenon” Indeed, the list contains works by 108, A One, Augustine Iacurci, Alexis Diaz, Alexone, Bo 130, Boris Tellegen (aka Delta), Brad Downey, C215, Clemens Behr, Conor Harrington, Crash, Delta 2, Dondi White, Doze Green, El Seed, Ericailcane, Eron, Escif, Evol, Faile, Feitakis, Gaia, Herbert Baglione, Horfee, Interesni Kazki, Invader, Jaz, Jeff Aerosol, Mark Jenkins, Jonone, JR, Judith Supine, Kool Poor, The Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Maya Hayuk, Mensanger, Miss Van, Momo, Moneyless, Peeta, Rammellzee, Retna, Roa, Seth, Philippe Baudelocque, Sharp, Shepard Fairey, StenLex, Swoon, The London Police, Todd James,Toxic, and the aforementioned Vhils.


Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

Ironically the genre-melting inclination of so-called “urban art” has eroded the silo mentality of many who follow these art forms as they become known, followed, collected, and exhibited; As a metaphor “Art Silos” may more accurately refer to the past and the dogmatic separation of genres such as graffiti, tattoo, illustration, ad jamming, and Street Art for example.

Although not strictly what you might call public art either, the scale of “Art Silos”, with its major artworks that typically may take years to be approved in large cities elsewhere, is an occurrence routinely happening in cities around the world.


Vlady Art and BO130. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

For us this is one more example of the “New Muralism” that is enabling Street Artists to do major works in public spaces via non-traditional routes. On par with a public art works of other committee-approved sorts, this silo project was a private/public collaboration that made selections, secured funding and permissions from the harbor authorities, city figures, politicians and the manager of the silos themselves, according to VladyArt, who along with Microbo is one of the artists and a resident of Catania.


Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

He says the size of the project and the power of the imagery combined with the process of watching them go up has drawn a lot of attention to the area lately. “The people here were amazed by our speed and the large scale operation. Catania had no large murals like this… this was the very first time for Sicily. They can be seen from far away and even from taking off from and landing at the airport – or coming by cruise line on the sea. It seems that nobody really paid that much attention to this spot before, and everyone is talking about it now.”


BO130 and Vlady Art. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

To understand why a project of this nature can happen so quickly these days, look no further than the location. As we have recounted numerous times, often these efforts are deliberately programmed to draw attention to economically challenged areas as a way of encouraging tourism and investment.

In fact VladyArt says that this historic region and city that dates back many centuries before Christ is having a very challenging time economically and socially and could use positive attention from a crowd that appreciates art. “Catania is somehow the most dynamic city of Sicily, because of its industrial and commercial features,” he says.


Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Having said that, please be aware that the south of Italy is no way wealthy or an easy place, despite its beauty and lucky location in the sun. Almost the whole city is rough, I can name a many neighborhoods where this is the case.”

So it is all the more remarkable that a multi-artist iconic installation can happen here in Catania and people are exposed to a grassroots-fueled art scene that is currently galloping across the globe.


Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Regular people around here don’t know much about the whole thing, street art and stuff,” says Vlady Art. “So, quite frankly they wouldn’t care much about Okuda, Vhils or Interesni. They never heard of them before and probably people will find hard to spell their names. They cannot catch the meaning or the purpose of this. They simply like what they see – they like this energy. They do get the ‘message’, the power of art.”


Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)


Okuda (photo © VladyArt)


Microbo (photo © VladyArt)


ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)


The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)


Vhils on the side of the silos facing the water. (photo © VladyArt)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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!


This article is also published in The Huffington Post.


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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.16



Armory Week : The art fairs are happening in NYC and folks are finding new, original and purely derivative ideas from the commercial shows that swarm with fans and lookyloos. The few folks we spoke with say that sales have been average to slow with guests carefully considering before purchasing, with the occasional big splurger. It could be that the market has been in an unspoken soft period for the last year or so due to a weak economy or the tumultuous political landscape in this election year. Nonetheless, there is nothing like the hivelike high you can get swimming through rivers of art fans at a New York fair, periodically bumping into a peer or a tanned celebrity.

Meanwhile, we have some dope street stuff for you from Jersey City to Morocco to Italy and Switzerland. Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Atomiko, Bifido, C215, Dmote, Bradley Theodore, Dylan Egon, El Anatsui, Fintan Magee, MSK, Obey, Otto “Osch” Schade, PK, Post, Rime, Sean9Lugo, Sharon Lee De La Cruz, Space Invader, and Toner.

Our top image: C215 at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech. (photo © Jaime Rojo) In the prolific work of French master stencilist C215 cats appear with some regularity. It is very fitting then to have found this kitty in the wild in a city where hundreds of cats roam the streets without a particular home to go to. While not officially kept as pets the cats are being fed next to doorways. Many of them struggle for food and are visibly in need of some medical care but you will see very some happy felines comfortably bathing under the warm Moroccan sun.


C215 at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee in Jersey City. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Space Invader  in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rime / MSK  in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. PK added at a later time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Obey / Toner / MSK in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Obey / Rime / Post / MSK in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Post in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rime in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Atomiko in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Project. The ENX wolves were painted at an earlier time and featured on BSA already. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dylan Egon in Jersey City. Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bifido’s new work in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)


Ruby Bridges stencil in Hunts Point by Sharon Lee De La Cruz AKA Maripussy inspired by the iconic Norman Rockwell painting depicting a seminal event in the USA during the civil rights movement. Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American activist known for being the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana during the 20th century. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dmote /RVCA in Hunts Point, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dmote /RVCA in Hunts Point, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Otto “Osch” Schade in Aargau, Switzerland. (photo © Urban Art International)


Sean9Lugo in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hey there, bear. Sean9Lugo in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bradley Theodore in Jersey City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A monumental tapestry by El Anatsui at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. It is made entirely of metal bottle caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Anatsui’s monumental tapestry at the Palais El Badii for the Marrakech Biennale 6 in Marrakech, Morocco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Water Bearer at The Medina, Djama El Fna Central Square in Marrakech, Morocco. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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The Genius of C215 In One Storied Tome : La monographie

The Genius of C215 In One Storied Tome : La monographie

A rich and storied collection from one of the streets most loved modern stencillists is C215: La monographie.


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On the street and in the studio this guy has pretty much mastered the art of stencils over the last decade in a way that makes the medium have a human depth; something that few can do. He manages to give his subjects a character, revealing even the soul of his subjects in the lines on their faces, bringing life in their eyes. A proud and tormented fellow who honors art history as much as the suffering of people today, this is a talent that is fully engaged in the modern world.

Every letter of the alphabet demarks a new chapter – from Amsterdam to Barcelona to Cinema to Enfants, Justice, Prisons, Tel Aviv and Zurich; An interesting method of marking the travels of an artist as he circles the world that we live in and the one that lives in him.

“I paint in the street for my pleasure as well as for the others, fairly shared. But always and more and more I paint outdoors for the others,” he says in his preface that lays across from a series of photos showing him on various streets in many countries with stencil and can, alone and with an audience.


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each chapter gives a few examples of Christian Guémy’s work pertaining to the title and as you turn the pages you are struck by the poignancy and the skill, the element of surprise as he moves from homeless to goddesses, cats to couples, religious icons to icons of his daughter Nina as she grows. In studio and gallery you see the translation he makes from the street, but it is most rewarding to gaze upon mottled walls, mailboxes, doorways and remnants of plaster or broken window, seeing well-placed works of monochrome sometimes bloom into full riotous color.


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A small text from the artist in most chapters will bring you back to earth as he describes a memory or an observation, his biography told through his work, and you feel like he is there on the couch next to you narrating his book for you. Notable exceptions are a treatise and recollection of a public display of support he made for the French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira and to decry racism and incivility, and his remembrances of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

It is in these texts where you see the fire that burns deep in the artist and you understand how he is able to make that same fire burn bright in the eyes of his subjects.

“All of you carry me on your shoulders and it helps me see farther away and makes the pathe less painful. You are the one who makes me go ahead and I thank you for that.” – C215


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215. La Monographie. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


C215 La Monographie / The Monograph. Éditions Albin Michel. Paris 2015



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Amsterdam Dances with Graffuturism and Stencil Masters

Amsterdam Dances with Graffuturism and Stencil Masters

Amsterdam rocked the decks this month to celebrate urban contemporary art and street art in the Netherlands with visual and music based events giving artists many platforms to shine.


BustArt and Fake for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)

Graffuturism, a term and movement coined a handful of years ago to describe an intersection of graffiti, street art, and abstract geometry continues to stake out new territory and here were gallery and street exhibitions proffering some of the current practitioners whose work could be described as such.

The 5th Urban Art Festival Amsterdam featured their own collection of Graffuturists from Europe, the United States, and South America including Poesia, the unofficial founder of Graffuturism in a show of works on canvas, prints, drawings on paper, murals and site-specific abstract installations.


BustArt for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)

Running concurrently was a Stencil Masters show featuring some of the top knife-wielding artists known on the street today along with a few senior early proponents. The diverse program of gallery, street installations and DJs courtesy of the ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) helped further contextualize the art forms for a wider audience of fans.


Fake for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)

Stencil Masters exhibition
ABOVE (usa) – BTOY (es) – BUSTART (ch) – C215 (fr) – CANVAZ (irl) – CZARNOBYL (de) – E.L.K. (au) – FAKE (nl) – HUGO KAAGMAN (nl) – IVES.ONE (nl) – JANA & JS (de) – JAUNE (be) – LIJNE (nl) – MANDO MARIE (usa) – NAFIR (iran) – ORTICANOODLES (it) – OTTO SCHADE (uk) – PIPSQUEAK WAS HERE (nl) – STF (fr) – TANKPETROL (uk) – TERA ONE (de)

Graffuturism exhibition
BLAQK BLAQK (gr) – CORN79 (it) – GRAPHIC SURGERY (nl) – KENOR (es) – LABUENA YLAMALA (es) – MICK LA ROCK (nl) – OKUDA (es) – OVNI (es) – POESIA (usa) – POETA (ar) – SKOUNT & GWION / TVBdesign (es) – VESOD (it) – WOW123 (de) – X-O / THE LOST OBJECT (nl / usa)



Fake for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


XO for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


Skount for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


Markus Gnusius for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


C215 for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


Jana & JS for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


LABUENA YLAMALA for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)


Lijne and TerraOne for Urban Art Festival Amsterdam. (photo © courtesy of UAFA)

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Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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BSA Film Friday 07.17.15

BSA Film Friday 07.17.15




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

Now screening :

1. Roma Street Art Tribes as Captured by Dioniso Punk


BSA Special Feature: Roma Street Art Tribes as Captured by Dioniso Punk

Gwen Stacy Parts I and II

Disorderly, discordant, and richly chaotic, these two videos are centered around the Italian street art paintings and artists whom you will recognize from our earlier postings on community/gallery organized urban art programming – but within the context of historical art publicly displayed, peoples movements, patronage, fascism, the classics.

Dioniso Punk allows everyone to talk – neighbors, artists, organizers, curators, public philosophers, elected officials, psychologists, sociologists, entrepreneurs, posers, professors, historians, students, an opera singer, the petite bourgeoisie, international visitors and hapless puzzled opinionated locals.

Discussions at panels cut into impassioned discussions by senior women in the courtyard or didactic examinations in the street – some for illustration, others for whimsy, none to be ignored. More of a fact finding mission than cogent analysis, you may find it difficult to follow the narrative and so it is better to let go and allow yourself be battered by the insights and observations delivered with the jumpy cuts and uncompleted thoughts and discussions, preferring instead to sink into the tribe of the humans, here selectively displayed for your pleasure and hopefully, edification.

(turn on the CC (closed captioning) if you do not speak Italian)


Featuring interviews with Solo, Gaia, Diamond 0707, Maupal, Best Ever, Bol23, Jerico, Guerrilla Spam Sen One, Sabrina, Dan, Stefano Antonelli (999 Contemporary,) Marta Ugolini (Galleria Ca’ D’Oro), Agathe Jaubourg (Pasolini Pigneto), Alìn Costache (YUT!), Edoardo Martino (Villaggio Globale), and Eleonora Zaccagnino (Acid Drop).

Special Guests: Mp5, Alice Pasquini, Mr. Thoms, Jessica Stewart, Sandro Fiorentini (La Bottega del Marmoraro).

Murals by Blu, Roa, Borondo, Etam Cru, Space Invaders, C215, Hogre, Herbert Baglione, Sten & Lex, JB Rock, Ernest, Pignon-Ernest, Etnik, Axel, Avoid, Sbagliato, Jim Avignon, Fin DAC, Jef Aerosol, Seth, Zed1, Ericailcane, Clemens Behr, Caratoes, Momo, Derek, Bruno, Kid Acne, Mto, Alexey Luka, Tellas, Moby Dick, Philippe Baudelocque, Mr. Klevra, Lucamaleonte, Diavù Kocore, Agostino Iacurci, Danilo Bucchi, Jaz, Desx, Reka, Lek & Sowat, Hopnn, Matteo, Basilé Alberonero, Ex Voto, Andreco, Moneyless, Nicola, Verlato, Ludo, L’Atlas, Escif, and Pepsy Zerocalcare.

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BSA Film Friday: 04.24.15

BSA Film Friday: 04.24.15



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

Now screening :

1. C215 and Caravaggio
2. East London Quick Tour of Street Art of : BUSH
3. Vinz: Feel Free Project  (NSFW)
4. Woozy in Athens: Moving Shadows


BSA Special Feature: C215 In the Footsteps of His Favorite Painter: Caravaggio.

Here is a new short documentary that follows the unique pathway of Caravaggio, as told by one of his biggest fans, the street artist and master stencillist C215 visiting Palermo. He says he is sure Caravaggio would be a street artist if he were alive today. Who would argue?


Quick Tour of Street Art of East London: BUSH

We get many video submissions every week and this one really caught our eye because it features two fellows whom you are convinced are going to be singing the lyrics to the soundtrack at any moment — but in fact they never do anything of the sort.

Perhaps they are just telecommunicating the lyrics to us. Possibly they are here to adorn the street art and graffiti, or provide a measuring guage for us to more accurately estimate the various sizes of aerosol pieces. Expressionless and unfazed, they could be modeling their handsome fashions. Perhaps they are protecting the cameraman from thugs who could sneak up on him unannounced. You just don’t know.

“My work is low-fi and I work on no budget and work with unsigned musicians and reaching out to the wider creative community only for this video as I feel there hasn’t been one like this created out there about London,” says Eric, who made the piece. That last bit is probably true. Eric, thank you for sharing. Regards to the actors, and thanks for the tour.


Vinz: Feel Free Project  (NSFW)

“The naked people with birds heads represent freedom. They are naked because they have nothing to hide.” explains the street artist Vinz, who was adopted by the gallery system nearly seconds after these bare breasted birds first began appearing on public walls. This is a good opportunity to hear the artist speak for himself and to understand the various visual codes present in his work and their corresponding meanings.


Woozy in Athens: Moving Shadows

This car burning during protests against the Greek government takes on a second meaning as street artist Woozy walks up to the burned metal and plastic carcass and begins painting upon it. The shock of the reality leaves you stunned, even as he begins to transform the charred car with art.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15



Can we please not talk about snow? Spring, you temptress.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Angelina Christina, Bifido, BiP, Bortusk Leer, C215, Chris Stain, Crummy Gummy, Dan Witz, Dave the Chimp, Ease One, El Bocho, Icy & Sot, Little Lucy, London Kaye, Never, Otto “Osch” Shade, Peter Phobia, Punk Paul, Tuco, and Zid Leon.

Top Image >> C215 in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


London Kaye. So, if you are made of crochet, do you get cold? Also see the Smells tag floating above this little lady. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Angelina Christina, Ease One and Never painted this wall in the Summer of 2014. I really never took a good photo of it due to cars always parked in front. The harsh winter conditions of the New York Winter 2015 made possible for me to take this photo. On a great day like this, as we endure our 154th snowstorm of the season, many of us have low hopes for the spring. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tuco. Manimal Chimp in Switzerland from his “Manimal” series. This image also looks rather like it was shot on the set of a TV show. More on this artist to come shortly. (photo © Tuco Wallach)


El Bocho in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Bocho . Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bifido in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)


Chris Stain in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


We spotted this ceramic sculpture perched on a beam on the platform of the Berlin metro. This is the only one we saw so we are thinking it wasn’t sanctioned art. Who is the artist? That gold crown looks familiar. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Witz in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BiP in San Francisco, California. (photo © BiP)


Otto “Osch” Schade in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Kate O’Callaghan)


Would you like a ride in my golf cart? Peter Phobia in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)


Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)


Crummy Gummy in Las Vegas, Nevada. (photo © Crummy Gummy)


Oof! My head! Must have been those last few shots. Dave The Chimp in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zid Leon in Berlin in line for the porta-potty. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BSA in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Punk Life, No Limit in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Um, personal comment: beauty queens should not smoke. It sends the wrong message to impressionable kids. That is all. Nick Flatt and Punk Paul in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy and Sot in Berlin for Urban Nation One Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Layers in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



BSA Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Paris Street Art Update : “Je Suis Charlie” and “Pochoirs à Vendre”

Paris Street Art Update : “Je Suis Charlie” and “Pochoirs à Vendre”


Cash For Your Warhol.  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Street Artist Combo says he was beaten for his street art advocating religious tolerance and naturally there has been a series of Je Suis Charlie variants appearing in the streets of Paris since we last checked in with this hot spot on the Street Art scene, so you know that many newly appearing works are charged with socio-political relevance. In these new images you will also see some fresh ideas from new names as well as long-term players, so those are encouraging signs of a vibrant scene as well.

You may also note an increase in the professional/commercial quality of some of these pieces and murals and begin to question how long a free-wheeling organic Street Art scene can last before low level opportunists cash in on it and turn it into a sad strip mall selling tchotchkes or derivative works by anonymous artists like a machine. Ah, capitalism, of thee we all sing.

The London scene has elements of this, so do New York and Melbourne, but we didn’t see it so obviously until photographer Geoff Hargadon returned from Paris with these excellent photos for BSA readers and gave us his account of a store he wandered into.  Enjoy his account further along in this posting.

In the mean time, long live Paris and it’s many players on the street!


Love or money? Mygalo (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Philippe Herard (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Philippe Herard (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Kashink . Bault (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Philippe Vignal (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Don’t slip! Not a Clet banana peel, but it easily could be. Cash For Your Warhol (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Ender (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


VHILS (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Jerome Mesnager (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Combo (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Invader (It is a fake Invader we heard) . Mega Matt (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Invader (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Invader (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Una Vida (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Graffity…sans graffiti  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Bault (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Bault . Artist At Ome AKA Atom (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Fred le Chevalier (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Alaniz . Sebr (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


C215 (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Berns . FKDL (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Michael Beerens (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


We couldn’t ID this artist. It bears a certain resemblance to ALIAS but we can’t say for sure.  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Tragic Optimist . Gzup . Le Diamantaire . Mega Matt . Monsieur BMX (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Tragic Optimist (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Suriani (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Sebr (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Sara Conti (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Nemo (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Madame Moustache  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Michael Kershnar  (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Monkey Bird . Le Diamanataire (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Hopare (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Geoff’s account of his discovery in a heavily trafficked area known for Street Art in Paris recently. “Rue Déyonez is an active street for street art, with de facto legal walls on each side showing work from the most prolific Parisian artists. So I was walking up Rue Déyonez and this door was half open. I would not say it was exactly inviting but somehow I wiggled my way in. This guy named Pedro was in there with a friend, drinking tea.”


A quick scan reveals Warhol, Hendrix, Obama, Woody Allen at the clarinet, Freud, and of course Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks? Pedro’s Gallery (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

“I looked around and saw that the room was completely filled with stenciled paintings of (mostly) American figures such as Warhol, Obama, Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, and lots of Jimi Hendrix. The smell of aerosol was intense, and I quickly concluded my host had never worn a protective mask in his working life. Pedro probably set up camp to capitalize on the flow of visitors to this concentrated display of street art. I didn’t quite catch where he was from originally and I don’t think it was France. He was certainly cordial. I poked around his rooms full of literally hundreds of stencils while he allowed me to ignore the PAS DE PHOTOS sign on the pole. I left with a (overpriced) stencil on a Paris map.”


Pedro’s Gallery (photo © Geoff Hargadon)


Our sincere thanks to Geoff Hargadon for his contributions and for sharing with BSA readers his unique perspective and talent.


For more Street Art from Paris:

Paris Street Art : Spencer Elzey in Europe

Towering Gallery Full of Art to Be Demolished : “La Tour Paris 13″

Paris: A Mid-Summer Mural Art Dispatch


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.


Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist


Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory


Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013


Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings


Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right


4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can


Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion


Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York


Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Tour Paris 13 : Fluorescent & Towering Show Book

Tour Paris 13 : Fluorescent & Towering Show Book

Another book to tell you about today! Remember when BSA took you to Paris that time and we skipped the line and went into all the floors of this soon to be demolished building?

“The numbers are astounding; 105 artists, 9 floors, 36 apartments, 30,000 visitors.

One hour.

That is how much time Street Art enthusiast Spencer Elzey had to himself inside the largest gallery of Street Artists and graffiti artists ever assembled specifically to transform a building for a public show. As he looked out a window to see the snaking lines of Parisians and tourists restlessly waiting to get in, he couldn’t believe his luck to be able to walk through the exhibit by himself and get off some clear shots before the throng hit.”

That is how we described it in November 2013 when Spencer took us on a whirlwind tour of TOUR 13.


Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Published last month this towering book with the page edges sprayed neon orange was released by Mehdi Ben Cheikh in French and English to commemorate the event, and seeing the installations this way is going to make you wish the place wasn’t destroyed. 500 new photos previously unpublished allows you to see the show as you travel from the cellar to the top floors.

You may wish you had more background on the artists and the context and clearly not all of the artistry is of similar quality but you will be satiated by the images and thankful that they were recorded during their brief duration. Published by Editions Albin Michel, in partnership with the Itinerrance Gallery, this show will continue to soar long after the dust has settled.


Entes . Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Inti . Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ethos .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Seth .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Moneyless .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artists included in the Tour Paris 13 project:



Click HERE to read BSA’s coverage of this project before the building was demolished.

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