All posts tagged: Chip Thomas

BSA Top Stories Of 2018 As Picked By You

You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.

Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.

Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.

So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.

The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.

The timeliness of Jetsonorama’s wheat pasted photography series about Good Samaritans who leave water for people in the desert – and the US border guards who destroy them – resonated powerfully to us this week as  a 7 year old girl died in Border Patrol custody of apparent dehydration.

But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018


No. 15

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

From BSA:

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Survey of the Moment

DalEast is the author of the bird. Spyo tells the world who he really is… (photo © Tor Staale Moen)

From BSA:

A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.

With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.

Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

Pop Up “Trump Cemetery” Marks Death of Ideas on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration by INDECLINE Artist Collective

“Grave New World” installation by INDECLINE artist collective (image © INDECLINE)

From BSA:

So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.

“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.

The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.

“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

From BSA:

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE


No. 10

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall

NeSpoon. Emergence Festival. Catania, Sicily. March 2018. (photo © courtesy of NeSpoon)

From BSA:

Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From Fer Acala on BSA:

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE


No. 8

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

From BSA:

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE


No. 7

“Martha” the Movie: Selina Miles’ Most Ambitious Project To Date

Martha Cooper (photo © Selina Miles)

From BSA:

We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.

Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.

“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE


No. 6

DavidL Paints Hitchcock, Warhol, Tim Burton, Kubrick: Through The Lens of Fer Alcala

DavidL. ET. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From BSA:

After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).

But for David it’s not like that anymore.

Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.

DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE


No. 5

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.

We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

UPEA Special. Continue reading HERE


No. 4

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

From BSA:

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE


No. 3

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

Scenes From Eugene: Continue reading HERE


No. 2

Winston Tseng: Street Provocateur Brings “Trash” Campaign to NYC

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.

Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.

Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 1

OKUDA Sculpture Engulfed in Flames for Falles Festival in València

Okuda. Fallas 2018. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!

During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.

This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.

Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE


We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.

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Top 15 Videos On BSA Film Friday From 2018

It’s BSA Film Friday! Now we present the best of the year, according to you. We bring you new videos each week – about 240 of them this year. The beauty of the experience is that it can feel quite random and exhilarating – rather like the serendipity of finding new Street Art.

You helped us decide who made it to the top 15 – and we feel proud to see some of these because we liked them too. When we take videos on the road to different cities and countries doing our BSA Film Friday LIVE we also like to share these in classrooms or theaters or lecture halls with locals, students, city leaders. Nothing can beat seeing faces light up, a person thrilled to finally get the sense of something, better understanding the scene, helping people with a new way to look at art in the streets.

The best part is many of these videos encourage you to create, to co-create, to actively participate in public space with meaning and intention. As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, secretly otherworldly, and achingly beautifully human.

Special congratulations go out to artists/directors Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk who landed on the list two times this year, including the number 1 position. Their work is about the intersection of art and theory and life, how to create it, to see it, and how to re-see your world.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.


No. 15

Fatheat and TransOne/”The US Tapes”

From BSA Film Friday 06.01.18

“Listen, my only request…. When you’re done doing your thing, do an Italian flag with my daughter’s name on it,” says a guy who is shouting up from the street to the roof where two Hungarian graff writers are preparing to hit a wall with a giant rat in Jersey. That rat looks fantastic as it basks in the blinking glow of the marquee for Vinny Italian Gourmet on the streets in the Newark night below.

That scene alone can stand as their American iconic moment for the US Tapes, but Fatheat and TransOne documented a number of golden moments on their trip this winter to New York, Wynwood, LA, and Las Vegas. Travel with them as they try to square the television mythology of modern America with the one they are encountering in all its ridiculous free-wheeling self satisfied unreflective emotional consumerist funkified freedom*.  Standby for sonic blasts from the cultural pulp soundbook and prepare for a celebrity visit.

Slyly they observe and sample and taste and catalogue the insights by traversing the main stage and the margins, smartly not taking it too seriously, finding plenty of places for wide-eyed wonder and wiseguy sarcasm. Steeped in graffiti history with mad skillz themselves, this is all an adventure. Generous of heart, they also share it with you.

Ready for your Friday road trip?

No. 14

Nadia Vadori-Gauthier/”One Minute Of Dance”

From BSA Film Friday 10.26.18

“And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced.” ~ from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra


Every day since the shootings of artists and journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 14, 2015, dancer Nadia Vadori-Gauthier has made sure to dance for a minute or more. It sounds like a good idea.

“Without editing or effects, in the place and state of mind I find myself that day, with no special technique, staging, clothing, or makeup, nothing but what is there,” she says on her website.

“I dance inside or outside, in public or private places, alone or with others, strangers or people I know, sometimes friends.

I dance as protesters demonstrate, to effect a living poetry, to act through sensitivity against the violence of certain aspects of the world.

This is the solution I found: an action to my own measure, a concrete, repeated action that may redraw lines, disrupt the design, shake up the norms.”

Here she is in Paris on Esperance Street in front of a mural by Street Artist Seth.

No. 13

1UP Crew – Selina Miles /”Graffiti Olympics”

From BSA Film Friday 03.02.18

All the subversive drama of a terrorist cell, all the color of Mardi Gras, all the pomp and ceremony of an Olympic triathlon. Wielding the long-handled roller like a javelin in the hands of Järvinen, weight lifting multiple backpacks full of paint cans, climbing and jumping walls with speed and dexterity, the 1UP team goes for the gold.

Debuting today on BSA is the flaming new 1UP crew video directed by the ingenious Selina. Slicing the streets with the drone camera like a hot knife through butter, she follows the unruly yet highly organized vandals from overhead in a manner more melodic than menacing as Miles lines up one shot after another in this instantly classic continuous thread of aerosol mayhem.

Passing the aerosol can like a baton, this relay race puts 1UP over the finish line while many rivals would have just blasted out of the blocks. But will those Olympian circles turn into golden handcuffs before the closing ceremony?

No. 12

Banksy /”Banksy in Paris”

From BSA Film Friday 06.29.18

A quick overview to catch you up on the 7 most recent pieces attributed to Banksy in Paris. He’s said to be creating work more attuned to the plight of migration, but others have observed it is a return to the classic Banksy sarcastic sweetness that has characterized the clever sudden missives he has delivered since he began. See Butterfly Art News’ coverage here: Paris: Banksy for World Refugee Day

No. 11

Street Atelier /”Rocco And His Brothers”

From BSA Film Friday 04.13.18

It’s an Italian movie directed by Luchino Visconti in 1960, yes. It is also the name of a crew of Berlin graffiti/installation artists whose satirical interventions play on issues propriety and property – and on social experiments that dupe the media, the public, and banks.

Did they really set up an apartment inside the subway? Is that really the tracks and wall of a metro inside a gallery? Is that Wagner playing in the mobile war arcade set up in the Christmas market? Are those hand grenades being lobbed by children? Is the bank facade blinking red every 20 seconds?

Rocco und seine Brüder (Rocco and His Brothers) have you engaged. Now you have to answer the questions.

Shout out to Red Tower Films for the great storytelling.

No. 10

Colectivo Liquado /”Pandereteras” at Parees Art Festival.

From BSA Film Friday 11.23.18

The Uruguayan Street Artists/muralist Florencia Durán and Camilo Nuñez are “Colectivo Licuado” and here in the middle of Oviedo in Northern Spain to create a new mural for the Parees fest this September. As is their practice they study the culture that they are visiting and create an allegory that is familiar to the community, if still rather mystical.

In this case they visit Colectivo Licuado & Nun Tamos Toes for a visit of great cultural exchange – sharing sketches, songs, and learning the history of women’s roles in traditional Asturian culture. The resulting mural project is collaborative in nature and powerful in person.

No. 9

YZ YSeult Digan /”Street Vendors”

From BSA Film Friday 05.25.18

“I pay attention to the intensity of the gaze and the posture, so the passerby is challenged and seeks to question the project.”

A sociological experiment and intervention on the streets by the French Street Artist YZ takes place in Abidjan and camera work in the crowds allows you to appreciate the action on the street. A city of 4.7 million people and the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, the city has a lively culture of street vending that is unregulated and often populated by children.

YZ speaks with the folks she meets who are vending, who she refers to as “girls” although many are women. Her goal is to better understand them, she says, and to create a Street Art campaign of their portraits.

“I realized that their situation was very different from the men. So I wanted to know more about them. So I started the project ‘Street Vendors’,” she says.

No. 8

Bane & Paste /”Recover – Street Art in Chernobyl”

From BSA Film Friday 02.02.18

Chernobyl is a nuclear disaster that figures profoundly into the modern age – and for centuries into the future.

Today not so many people talk about this man-made horror that killed a Russian town and chased out its survivors in 1986 just 90 kilometers northeast of Kiev. Called the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, it evacuated 115,000 and spread a radioactive cloud around the Earth, with European neighbors like Scandinavia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, France and the UK detecting the effects of radiation for years afterward. Three scientists at The New York Academy of Sciences have estimated that over time the number of people killed by effects from the meltdown was almost a million.

Because of the nature of radiation, Chernobyl has been estimated to not be safely habitable for about 20,000 years.

No. 7

Gonzalo Borondo /”Matiére Noire”

From BSA Film Friday 07.06.18

A short documentary today taking us through last autumns On October 7th in Marseille, France in collaboration with Galerie Saint Laurent and Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo as they presented Matière Noire. A massive collection of individual installations that took over the top floor of an exhibition space normally used for shops, Borondo’s influence in the selections is throughout, a story told in three acts on Projection, Perception and Interpretation.

No. 6

Shepard Fairey/Johny Cash

From BSA Film Friday 09.14.18

“When I was just a baby, my Mama told me, ‘Son, always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns.’ But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Johnny Cash sings with some bravado in Folsom Prison Blues on an album released 50 years ago this year. Street Artist Shepard Fairey honors the album and here in Sacramento, California to raise consciousness about the outrageously high rate of incarceration here. “The United States has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of it’s prisoners,” he says, making you question the system in the Land of the Free.

No. 5

MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk/”Wasteland Wanderers”

From BSA Film Friday 10.05.18

This week we feature a couple of new film pieces from the Ukraine based duo of Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoschuk which fairly present an insightful treatise on a particular flavor of Post-Graffiti. Think of it as a two volume textbook and your professors will guide you through the darkness into the light.

A Dilogy.

“The place tells you what to do,” is a poetic and truthful phrase uttered in “Night” on the relationship a vandal has to an abandoned factory, school, home, medical facility; it is spacial and alchemical.

It is also personal, says the female narrator. “The presence of their absence,” is something that every Wasteland Wanderer will be familiar with, the knowledge and feeling that others have been there before you. The work is undeniably affected, even created in response.

“Echoes, whispers, shadows, lines.”

No. 4

FWTV/”On The Road With Add Fuel”

From BSA Film Friday 03.16.18

“I’ve started a new series called ‘On the Road’ which looks at life behind the scenes in street art culture,” Doug Gillen tells us about this debut episode. Look forward to Doug’s unique perspective on Street Art festivals, art fairs, and studio visits as he expands to the world of urban contemporary.

Not typically who you think of as a Street Artist, here we see Add Fuel and Doug talk about his first book and you see examples of work from this tile maker who infuses traditional Portuguese techniques and pattern making with pop-modern cultural references and cartoon archetypes.

No. 3

Chip Thomas

From BSA Film Friday 04.06.18

He has a hat, sunglasses, and he has been creating huge black and white photo installations of people wheat-pasted to the sides of buildings for how long? Surprising to us that Jetsonorama is not more of a household name in Street Art circles – his work is solidly tied to biography and human rights, uses his own photography, and routinely elevates humanity – and has been doing it for some time now.

Why isn’t he in huge museum exhibitions?

Today we have a new video giving you a good look at the work and the artist along with the genuine connection and presence that he has with community, taking the time to share their stories.

No. 2

Vegan Flava/”While They Seek Solutions”

From BSA Film Friday 01.19.18

“The speed of ruin is just something else,” says Street Artist Vegan Flava, and it’s an exasperating realization. Extrapolated to thinking about the enormous war industry, and there is such a thing, you realize that pouring money year after year into ever more sophisticated and destructive weaponry only results in broken bridges, buildings, water systems, vital infrastructure, lives.

Construction, on the other hand, can be arduous and time consuming, takes vision, planning, collaboration, and fortitude. Like great societies.

How quickly they can be eroded, destroyed.

But since Vegan Flava is creating during this destructive enterprise, you get a glimpse into his creativity, and sense of humor. Similarly the psychographics of this story and how it is told reveal insights into the artist and larger themes.

“A drawing, an idea on a piece of paper, can swiftly grow into something larger, thoughts and actions leading to the next. But creating something is never as fast as to tear it to pieces. The speed of ruin is just something else,” he says.

No. 1

MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk /”Aesthetic of Eas”

From BSA Film Friday 01.12.18

“We wanted everything to occur naturally in this movie. We wanted to achieve spontaneity,” say film makers Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoshchuk about their up close look at graffiti writer/abstract painter EAS. In this new film they have captured the creative spirit in action as unobtrusively as they could, allowing the artist to speak – in a way he never does, they say.

Today on BSA Film Friday we’re proud to debut this new portrait by three artists – one painter and two film makers – to encourage BSA readers to take a moment and observe, inside and outside.

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Italian Street Artist in Navajo Nation: Gola Hundun Finds the Mountain

Italian Street Artist in Navajo Nation: Gola Hundun Finds the Mountain

Today is #indigenouspeoplesday – but of course we talk about them more often than this. The Native American people of the Southwestern United States are called the Navajo, or the Diné. Italian spiritual-cosmologist-naturist Street Artist Gola Hundun spent three days walking in the desert here recently going to the Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley trying to get in touch with the native folks to better understand the culture and the significance of the land itself.

Gola Hundun. The Painted Desert Project. Arizona. July 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“I tried to combine those two elements with very different weights to generate an united image that would suggest how I feel the heart and the mind of Diné people,” he says as he describes the one story desert mural he ultimately painted with his botanical and natural motifs. Bright and optimistic, the landscape mimics the stunning views that surround and permeate the life here and he says his time here has altered his own vision of reality. The structure itself is classic; a typical abandoned petrol station you’ve probably seen in those road movies.

Gola Hundun. The Painted Desert Project. Arizona. July 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“The piece represents Navajo Mountain that is in the background,” he says, and the spiritual searcher finds a kinship with traditional Navajo stories about the foundational relevance of the land mass.

“This is the head of their main goddess generator for everything of their world. For me it also includes a reinterpretation of the Hózhó in the middle of the mountain at the top – flowing in spiral way. Hózhó is the bedrock of Navajo religion, which, as I understand it, means it is a combination of existing state of balance, harmony, peace and completeness. They call it walk in beauty.”

Gola Hundun. The Painted Desert Project. Arizona. July 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

The Painted Desert Project, begun here and regularly refreshed by local Street Artist/activist/doctor  Chip Thomas, continues to invite Street Artists from around the world to paint here. The cross-cultural connections have been a boon to greater understanding – and continue to affect the visual experience of riding through this rich landscape.

“I am so glad and grateful to have had the opportunity to be in the Navajo Nation and to try to share my love and respect to these amazing people,” says Gola.

Gola Hundun. The Painted Desert Project. Arizona. July 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Gola Hundun. The Painted Desert Project. Arizona. July 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)


Gola Hundun would like to thank his host Chip Thomas @jetsonorama. He would also like to thank @danieljosley and @ballroomdaze for helping him realize this piece and his adventure there. “A special thanks to all the native and non-native people that helped me on this trip and helped me see reality with a different point of view.”

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Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

“To raise the call of our faith traditions as an act of resistance against the cruelty and violence that dominate US policy and actions,” says Street Artist and social activist Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama) about this new project of wheat-pasting his photographs that feature jugs of water in the Arizona desert.

Sorry. What?

Yes, jugs of water.

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Yes, it has come to this, in a nation that often proudly brays sanctimoniously about its Christian traditions and of being full of good God-fearing people. Somehow we think that its perfectly acceptable to go around destroying jugs of water in the desert because people who are thirsty might drink it.

So this is what Jesus would do, right? The Lord and Savior, who in the Bible actually multiplied fish and loaves of bread to feed people – would approve of us stomping among the cacti and tumbleweeds under the punishing hot sun in the desert and dumping on the sand jugs of water that were left for poor desperate Christians (~80 percent of Mexicans are Catholic), some of whom are possibly even named Jesus?

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

No More Deaths is a bluntly stark name for a humanitarian group, but there’s little room for romantic or cleverly turned phrases when you are talking about a grassroots organization that is helping people to stay alive.

“This last year has been rough for humanitarian aid workers in Ajo with No More Deaths volunteers charged with misdemeanors and fined for leaving water for migrants out on the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge,” writes volunteer Maria Singleton in a letter to Chip that helped inspire this new public work. “In order to get a permit to go on the wildlife refuge they are requiring people to sign a form that says they will not leave water, socks or first aid items out.”

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

According to the Bible in the book of Matthew 15:32, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way,” which leads you to believe that Jesus would have condemned the actions and the people who destroy water and food supplies here if he were to, say, pass judgment on them.

The new art installation is directly across from the entrance to Cabeza Prieta which is the national wildlife refuge near the border of the US and Mexico and in a region that has the highest migrant death rate due to the brutality of the desert crossing. “Some 32 sets of human remains were found there last year, according to the Pima County office of the medical examiner, making it one of the region’s deadliest crossing routes,” says an article in The Guardian earlier this year.

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

The Street Artist, who has used his own photographs to wheatpaste for on walls for a decade or so, says that a member of the humanitarian/religious group called Ajo Samaritans offered to him and his small team to create his new artwork on the walls of the ironically named “ice house” in the town of Ajo.

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

“We were welcomed warmly by the Ajo activist community to whom I’d like to recognize for their expression of shared humanity and for their bravery,” says Chip. “Shout out to my crew as well – Justin Clifton, Drew Ludwig, Stash Wislocki and Jerrel Singer.”

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

 

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BSA Film Friday 04.06.18

BSA Film Friday 04.06.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Chip Thomas AKA Jetsonorama new KQED mini-doc
2. Sinclair Says: Multiple Sources for Your News? No.
3. Studio Visit with Mark Dean Veca

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Chip Thomas AKA Jetsonorama

He has a hat, sunglasses, and he has been creating huge black and white photo installations of people wheat-pasted to the sides of buildings for how long? Surprising to us that Jetsonorama is not more of a household name in Street Art circles – his work is solidly tied to biography and human rights, uses his own photography, and routinely elevates humanity – and has been doing it for some time now.

Why isn’t he in huge museum exhibitions?

Today we have a new video giving you a good look at the work and the artist along with the genuine connection and presence that he has with community, taking the time to share their stories.

 

Multiple Sources for Your News? No.

They don’t call it programming for nothing. The reasons Biff and Buffy newsreader don’t seem to have any souls is because that’s not really them talking. Thanks to the 1996 Telecommunications Act signed by Bill Clinton, the majority of TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, news websites, and billboards are now consolidated into the hands of about 6 companies, instead of 36, or 300.

This system seems ripe to put out any message and hit you with it three, five, seven times a day every day from multiple sources – until you think that the message must be the voice of the people. Imagine what they can convince you of.

When they say “deregulate” often what they really mean is “we regulate”. Moments of truth like this video only pop their heads up out of the foxhole once in a while – then disappear in a fog.

Juxtapox Magazine x Chop’em Down Films: Studio Visit with Mark Dean Veca

A quick visit to Mark Dean Veca and boom we out.

 

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BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.


No. 15

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE

 


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE


No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE


No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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Chip Thomas and “American Domain” at The Museum Of Capitalism in Oakland

Chip Thomas and “American Domain” at The Museum Of Capitalism in Oakland

An upside down American flag and a Navajo baby flying through the air.

The two images appear in this new wheatpasted project from Street Artist/Activist Chip Thomas in Oakland California for American Domain, the inaugural exhibition that opened June 17 at the Museum of Capitalism.

Chip Thomas with a photo of  Dan Budnik from 1983 in the Navajo Nation. Oakland, CA. June 2017 (photo © Chip Thomas)

Mr. Thomas says that he was inspired to use this image when reading about the philosophical underpinnings for the show from Erin Elder, who is part of the curatorial collective that organized the show and who asked Thomas to “consider submitting work for a pop up show critically evaluating land use in a capitalist economy,” he tells us.

While an artist could possibly take this charge in a number of directions, he returned to the Navajo and Hopi people and their 130+ year land dispute, specifically a 1984 forced relocation of 9,000 Navajo tribal members. The irony of native peoples fighting over land is not lost on Mr. Thomas, who traces the concept of ownership to the European invaders of North America.

Elder explains of her American Domain show within the inaugural group show which includes artists such as Dread Scott, Jennifer Dalton, Futurefarmers, and Packard Jennings,“…Under capitalism, land is measured, marked, bounded, guarded, and owned; it is a commodity, a site of production, and oftentimes, capitalism’s dumping ground. Though land ownership is not an inherently American phenomenon, the United States was founded on a land grab and its identity has been consistently wrapped up with the economics of territory. Through artists’ work about fences and walls, boundaries and their trespass, American Domain examines notions of property and ownership.”

Chip Thomas with a photo of  Dan Budnik from 1983 in the Navajo Nation. A man is seen walking in front of the mural on his way to the recycling center near by. Oakland, CA. June 2017 (photo © Chip Thomas).

This wall in particular now has this 1983 photo from a demonstration over the Navajo/Hopi dispute taken by photographer Dan Budnick that evokes the feelings of chaos, rootlessness, and rage that characterized the fight about territory. It also may remind some of the many who could not adjust to the relocation and losing their tribal ways and who became homeless over time.

“Dan’s images from his time at Big Mountain immediately came to mind,” says the Street Artist when he was conjuring an idea for a public wall addressing the exhibition theme. “I approached Dan about using one of his images for an installation and found him to be excited by the idea.  Next I sought out a part time resident of Big Mountain whose mother was active in the relocation resistance.  We agreed that, in light of the ongoing struggles of First Nations people to maintain sovereignty over their land, this image is as timely now as it was when it was taken in 1983,” says Thomas.

Chip Thomas with a photo of  Dan Budnik from 1983 in the Navajo Nation. Oakland, CA. June 2017 (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Oakland, CA. June 2017 (photo © Claudia Escobar)


Addendum from Chip Thomas:


The United States Flag Code
Title 4, Chapter 1

The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

Installing the image over a week in Oakland led to several insightful moments such as the police officer who pointed out the flag was upside down as he passed in his cruiser or the fireman who stopped his firetruck, got out and engaged me in conversation about the photo.  The most compelling interaction was with a vet who vehemently proclaimed one evening while I was on the lift that he fought for that flag and didn’t appreciate seeing it upside down.  He concluded by saying “Trump 2017!”

Chip Thomas. Oakland, CA. June 2017 (photo © Claudia Escobar)

Two days later he returned and shared that after 8 years of combat in Afghanistan seeing things no one should ever see he now suffers from PTSD, sleeps poorly and can’t hold a job.  Things set him off easily and he has trouble controlling his emotions.  He said he’d gone into service believing in this country and it’s promise of democracy both here and abroad only to realize he’d wasted 8 years of his life and is a changed man.  He apologized for his aggressive tone 2 days earlier and cried as he recounted some of his life experiences.  I thanked him for returning and providing an opportunity for discussion.  We shook hands and embraced before he headed on his way.


BSA<<>>BSA<<>>BSA<<>>
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Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Just in time for May 1st, International Workers Day, we find a young member of the Hopi nation planting in his grandfather’s cornfield, thanks to this new project just completed by photographer/street artist Jetsonorama.

 

Chip Thomas. Hawthorne. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Chip Thomas. Hawthorne. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

Chip Thomas. Andrea Polli. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

 

To learn more about Biocultura click HERE
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BSA Film Friday 04.28.17

BSA Film Friday 04.28.17

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. Colouring The World. A Film By Okuda San Miguel
2. Borondo “Golden Gate”
3. Elbi Elem in Barcelona for 12+1 P
4. Chip Thomas in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Biocultura

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Colouring The World. A Film By Okuda San Miguel

The pleasing and bright geometry of Okuda has wide appeal to many audiences and he maximizes the effect with his choice of amiable animals and friendly themes. It’s a worldwide dance party for this artist and last year he took his public and commercial murals to many cities in places like Australia, Tahiti, and Thailand. And Miami, naturally.

Borondo “Golden Gate”

Dude, I told you – turn your phone so it’s landscape when you are doing video!

Just kidding. Here’s a video installation from a group show in March 2017 called COLERA in Rome’s Galleria Varsi.

Made as a stop action animation of a house on fire by Matteo Beradone with music by Enzo Pietropaoli. The multiple monotype prints by the Street Artist/Fine Artist Borondo are moving and crackling, inflected with gold leaf shadings, each different and evocative of the rapid flickering of fire, drowning in a reflective sea.

The group show also included Run, Canemorto and Michele Servadio during a two week residency at the gallery. You can see how the images were displayed in the photo from Borondo below the video

 

Elbi Elem in Barcelona for 12+1 Project

Here’s a process video of artist Elbi Elem at work on her mural for the 12+1 Project in Barcelona this spring.

To quote ourselves: ” ‘Break with the rectangle as the space to intervened,’ says artist Elbi Elem, the March painter for this wall curated monthly in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain. The abstract muralist says she began making kinetic sculpture in 2002 and has an interest in movement, composition and form.”

 

Chip Thomas in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Biocultura

Chip Thomas is a master at wheatpasting his large scale photographs, and has been doing this kind of art for many years now, usually with a genuine social mission and without great fanfare. This project is with Social Media Workgroup on the side of the Biocultura event space in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Jetsonorama Wraps a House with Pots in Penland, North Carolina

Jetsonorama Wraps a House with Pots in Penland, North Carolina

When one thinks of pots and pottery and clay urns, you may imagine them with patterns and motifs wrapped around their exterior. Botanicals, animal life, figures, even architecture, all become decorative elements or patterns. Street Artist Jetsonorama is flipping the script in the North Carolina mountains this week by wrapping a house with photographic images of pottery, and sitting in the woods the presentation is striking, even provocative.

Jetsonorama. Penland School or Arts. North Carolina, USA. April, 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Jetsonorama told us about the project, which he calls “Clay pieces pretending to be contestants on The Apprentice.” But seriously he says it is about a curriculum that was developed to train people for a trade so that they could provide an income for their families. Here below is his description of the genesis for the new curious looking work;

Jetsonorama. Penland School or Arts. North Carolina, USA. April, 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“I’m just completing a week long residency at the Penland School of Crafts which is nestled in the North Carolina mountains. The craft school was founded in 1929 by Lucy Morgan to teach local women how to weave in order to contribute to their families economically. Over the years Penland has added courses in metal smithing, glass blowing, printmaking, photography, clay and has expanded offerings in textiles.

The institution is recognized internationally as a leader in the crafts taught. I was offered the opportunity to spend a little time there to get a feel for the place and to then install work on a building that houses gardening equipment called Green Acres. Having only a day to decide upon an image before sending files to the printer I opted to use a photograph of pots waiting to be placed in a traditional Japanese kiln where the pieces are fired over 8 days.”

Chip Thomas. Penland School or Arts. North Carolina, USA. April, 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

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Chip Thomas Invoking Life Back Into a House for 2017 Joshua Treenial

Chip Thomas Invoking Life Back Into a House for 2017 Joshua Treenial

Curators Kóan Jeff Baysa and Bernard Leibov selected about 15 artists and collaborators to create installations for the 2nd edition of the Joshua Treenial, which opened the first weekend of April and today we have one of the artists who showed his work, Street Artist Chip Thomas aka Jetsonorama. An initiative to educate about ecological issues in the desert – as well as an attempt to stir up cultural tourism, the organizers chose the title “Event Horizon” this year. The title is a tellingly foreboding spacetime term that here is referring to environmental disasters now nearing the point of no return.  Nearby the Salton Sea already has passed that point. (see video at end)

Using his wheat-pasted photographic works on walls to summon the sky and clouds, he hangs a translucent panel from the skylight and watches it dance in the breezes, invoking the life that once was in this abandoned home, revitalizing a moribund space.

Here Chip talks about his installation in the 3 walled structure built half a century ago and how this public/private installation came to be.

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)


By Chip Thomas

I went to Joshua Tree in January 2017 to select a site for my work and to collect source photos.  After prepping the work over a couple weeks I returned in March and worked for a solid week to install the project – through some of the most intense winds.

The site chosen has an interesting history.  In the 1940s there was a land grant/homesteading movement where people were given a tract of land on which they had to build a home of a minimum size within 5 years of getting the land.  Many of the people who took advantage of this program were citizens of Los Angeles who liked to get away to the Mojave Desert.  Now there are scores of abandoned, small homes slowly returning to the earth.

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

One of the things I feel good about with this project is having had an opportunity to reactivate an abandoned space.  Blake Simpson, who owns the property where the abandoned house is, said that he’s not been in the house for over 10 years.

After the original tenants moved out the house became a squat. When I began working there was one old sofa that had been infested by mice with mouse nests in 2 of the corners of the house.  Now Blake plans to use the space as a place for community gatherings and art making and performance.

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

 

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Chip Thomas. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)

Street Artist/fine artist Chip Thomas standing in front of the house. Event Horizon. Joshua Tree National Monument, CA. March 2017. (photo © Diane Best)


Here’s an excellent primer on this subject of the homestead structures by an artist who has documented many of the jackrabbit homes.

The Salton Sea: The Accidental Sea

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.09.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.09.17


BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Hooray! Spring is here in New York again. That means daffodils and crocuses are sprouting up among the soda cans and candybar wrappers and cigarette butts in the park’s gardens, and new proud or furtive aerosol missives are being sprayed on crumbling walls and phone booths are getting hi-jacked with posters by artists and galleries are again overflowing onto sidewalks for openings.

Our thanks to everyone who came out for the Heliotrope fundraiser this Thursday, to Swoon for being Swoon, and to her for asking us to curate the new line of prints, and to the six artists who gave their best to us all and to the Heliotrope projects in Haiti specifically:  Case Maclaim, Faith XLVII, Icy And Sot, Li-Hill, Miss Van, and Tavar Zawacki (Above). Thank you also to all of Swoon’s team for helping us mount the show.

Also saw the press preview of the new documentary about NYC Street Artist Richard Hambleton called “Shadowman” this week, which was thrilling, frightening, sickening, and beautiful. People in the room were all feeling a bit nauseous when the lights came up – but for various reasons; the commercial art world seems to suck the beauty out of things, artists can be finicky like cats, and the worship of drug culture is dreadfully overglamorized and it killed off lots of cool people and cancer (from smoking) is actively killing the artist right in front of your eyes, which he freely admits to. Also, his work is amazing.

Accurately capturing the ragged, wooly, wildly creative downtown scene in which Hambleton first came up, Director Oren Jacoby premieres “Shadowman” at The Tribeca Film Festival in NYC on April 21, 2017.

On a totally related note, we were sad to learn Friday afternoon of the death of Glenn O’Brien, influential part of the NYC “Downtown” art and cultural scene in the 1970s, 80s and much much more. We had last seen him doing an interview with Lee Quinones in Chinatown for Lee’s show two years ago.

This week we’ll be seeing you at Nuart Aberdeen! It’s Nuarts’ first foray into another city and really it’s just a stone’s throw across The North Sea to Stavanger, the original home of Nuart in Norway. The kids are on spring vacation in Aberdeen all week so we know we’ll see a lot of swag youth traipsing around to see new artworks going up by artists and thoughtful academic types attending conference lectures. Drunken types will be attending the Friday night fight at a local bar. BSA will be at Belmont theater presenting BSA Film Friday LIVE and introducing “Saving Banksy” and “Beautiful Losers” over the weekend. Come on over; can’t wait to meet you!

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Bifido, Chip Thomas, Chzz, Faust, Hydeon, Janz, Mdom, Nick McManus, Pyramid Oracle, Rubin 415, SacSix, Sheryo, Sonni, Swoon, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and The Yok.

Top image: Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hydeon at The Centrifuge Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Janz. Ransom notes and collage. The main collaged figure in the center reminds us of the work of Richard Hambleton and the Studio 54 fixture Grace Jones. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Janz. Ransom notes and collage. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Janz. Ransom notes and collage. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh for Art in Ad Places. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chip Thomas’ portraits of Rose and Paul at The Reservation. “Rose and Paul who have been together living, loving and experiencing lives challenges + joys together for the past 65 years” -CT (photo © Chip Thomas)

Chip Thomas portraits of Rose and Paul at Antilope Hills. “Rose and Paul who have been together living, loving and experiencing lives challenges + joys together for the past 65 years” -CT (photo © Chip Thomas)

Faust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Indeed. And shameful. MDOM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bifido. Mommy. “This is in a squat place. Some people occupied this space and they use it to give  Italian language courses for new migrants, to present concerts, mount exhibitions, build a study room and generally create others things for people in the district. I made this work here to support activity and the guys who every day spend their time helping other people.” Bifido (photo © Bifido)

Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Woody is riding the wrecking ball by SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A bejeweled storm trooper from SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chzz experiments with robots in Ukraine. (photo © Chzz)

The prints of the six artists for Helitrope Prints that BSA had the honor to curate for Swoon. Form left to right: Tavar Zawacki (Above), Icy & Sot, Miss Van, Fiath XLVII, Swoon, Case Maclaim and Li-Hill. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The photographer and, in our humble opinion, performance artist Nick McManus perilously stands atop a foot stool to snap the perfect Polaroid group shot at The Heliotrope Foundation’s Pop-Up on Thursday with Swoon’s new hand drawn sketches to his right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. SOHO, NYC. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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