All posts tagged: Chip Thomas

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

Read more
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<<>>

Read more
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
Read more
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

Read more
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)

Read more
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

 

Read more
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)

 

 

Read more
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-durango-colorado-10-2016-web-4

Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-durango-colorado-10-2016-web-3

Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Included in the days’ events were speeches, poetry readings and a demonstration addressing social and indigenous issues including police brutality and solidarity with #NoDAPL in Standing Rock, North Dakota. In fact so many small and large communities and demonstrations have been showing their support with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its battle against the $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, that on a recent September day a map showed 100 demonstrations in 35 states and 5 countries.

Clearly Indigenous communities are eager to have their voices heard and their issues addressed. Jetsonorama says he hopes his mural helps.

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-durango-colorado-10-2016-web-1

A real pow wow, and a prayer. Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-durango-colorado-10-2016-web-2

Chip Thomas’ mural of JC and her dog on the wall with JC’s family on the stage to take a bow. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

 

 

 

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-instagram

Read more
Jetsonorama’s New Piece in Telluride and “Wastewater Snow”

Jetsonorama’s New Piece in Telluride and “Wastewater Snow”

“What we do to the mountains we do to ourselves,” says the blocky hand written text across the Native American activists Klee and Princess Benally, and on the face of it you’re bound to agree with this gently oblique environmental sentiment. However, at the base of this black, white and crimson red portrait is a far stronger critique of the commercial practice of using wastewater to make snow for ski bunnies.

 brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-jim-hurst-telluride-05-16-web-1

Jetsonorama (photo © Jim Hurst)

Street Artist Jetsonorama (real name Chip Thomas) is on a ladder in Telluride just in time for the famed and prestigious Mountain Film Festival and he says he only has a two week permit for this mural during the Memorial Day-centered event that kicks off Wednesday downtown at Sheridan Bar. He seems like he has doubts about locals’ ability to stomach a broadside like this piece of art in public space, but he’s got a long history of bringing people’s history to the people.

It’s sort of an irony that a film festival named after mountains in a picturesque Colorado town that is lauded for its views of said mountains may not be addressing this issue more directly.

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-telluride-05-16-web-3

Jetsonorama (photo © Chip Thomas)

The website for the festival says that it “showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter” and yet it may takes a couple of tenderly posed Native Americans wheat-pasted on a prominent wall in a 96% white town to really get the conversation going. The festival is giving the new mural full support however and program director Kate Klingsporn even assisted in the installation and wrote about it on the festival blog.

“Chip’s work has made a huge impression in our small town this week and it’s been amazing to talk to people about it,” says David Holbrooke, the Festival Director. “One woman told me she was spending a lot of time with it and a friend told me that it sets the tone for Telluride,” he says and remarks about a spirit in the town that he thinks can countenance difficult issues where others might ignore them.

“Despite it’s size,” Holbrooke say, “Telluride has an unusual history of bold innovation and I think the mural reflects that very much.”

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-telluride-05-16-web-2

Jetsonorama (photo © Chip Thomas)

And the issue, as explained by native activist Klee Benally in the short video “Waste Water” below, directed by Mari Cleven, is that 13 indigenous nations consider a local mountain range to be sacred and that putting treated sewage effluent upon it is tantamount to desecration. Religious liberty aside, it also appears during public hearings in the video that standards of testing the water used to make this snow may be overlooking some pretty gross ingredients that will later turn local people and animals into science experiments.

“I wanted to help opponents of waste water snow so I interviewed several friends about the issue,” says Jetsonorama, “Whatever they said was written onto their faces and then photographed.” In addition to this large piece he also pasted a handful of other faces in Flagstaff with related opinions written across their faces.

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-telluride-05-16-web-1

Jetsonorama (photo © Chip Thomas)

This old mining town may like to talk about being home to the first bank robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but will it want to talk about yellow snow or pharmaceutical residues seeping into soil, washing into rivers, eaten by toddlers in snowsuits?

Interestingly, Jetsonorama tells us that the town of Telluride has a ban on public art but an exception was made for the film festival.  The temporary permit is expiring right after Memorial Day and the future of this mural is uncertain. He says that the town council will meet May 31st to determine the mural’s fate.  “My fingers are crossed,” says the artist.

 

 

<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA

Jetsonorama’s The Painted Desert Project at The Navajo Nation will resume this year with in situ works by Icy & Sot, Sten & Lex among others. We’ll bring you their new works as they appear across the desert.

<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA

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

 <<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA<<>>><<>><<>>><<>>>BSA

A version of this article was also published on The Huffington Post

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-chip-thomas-telluride-snow-wastewater-Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.02.05 PM

Read more
Everyday Magic In The Navajo Nation with Stinkfish, Grafica Mazatl, and Killjoy Press.

Everyday Magic In The Navajo Nation with Stinkfish, Grafica Mazatl, and Killjoy Press.

Who is your muse? Most artists have one, or a few. The portraits that Street Artists leave on walls usually have a story behind them, a personal connection to the figure depicted. The Bogata based Stinkfish began doing graffiti and Street Art in 2003 and has focused his portraits on anonymous people he sees in streets or public spaces – usually without them knowing he has captured their expression while they are in the midst of daily life.

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-4

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

Creating these images usually only once, they impart their own personal story and create a new narrative when placed into an entirely original location – often in a city far from where they live. Using techniques of stencil, graphic design, and more traditional freestyling aersol graffiti, Stinkfish elaborates on an initial idea and allows it to take on a life of its own. By translating a daily life from one location to another context entirely, Stinkfish highlights our common ground, our shared humanity.

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-2

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

In September Stinkfish and two other artists worked collaboratively on three walls on or near the Navajo Nation courtesy of their host Chip Thomas (Jetsonorama). Stinkfish, Grafica Mazatl and Killjoy Press all intermingled their respective styles and visual vocabulary on structures in the desert – always collaborating with the vast sky all around them.

The sites include an abandoned trailer in Gray Mountain, Arizona which is about a mile away from the southwestern border of the Navajo nation. The remaining sites are on the Navajo nation and include the 89/160 junction near Tuba City and the Crossroads. Together the three created new works that are inspired by their immediate surroundings while bringing their own muses and travels with them.

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-3

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-copyright-Stinkfish-Instagram-740-Screen-Shot-2015-10-03-at-11.28

Original photo from Phnom Penh, Cambodia in March 2015 by Stinkfish (©Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-5

Mazatl at work. Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-6

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-crossroads-web-1

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Killjoy Press. Crossroads. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jess X Chen)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-6

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-5

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-4

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-1

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-7

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Copyright-Stinkfish-instagram-malmo-sweden-740-Screen-Shot-2015-10-03-at-11.50

Original photo from Malmo, Sweden in August 2014 by Stinkfish (©Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-2

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-3

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-gray-mountain-web-8

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. Gray Mountain, AZ. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-web-3

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. 89/160 Junction. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-web-1

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. 89/160 Junction. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Copyright-Stinkfish-Djerbahood-Tunisia-740-Screen-Shot-2015-10-03-at-11.49

Original photo from Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia during his time there for the Djerbahood project in August 2014 by Stinkfish (©Stinkfish)

brooklyn-street-art_killjoy_mazatl_stinkfish_navajo-nation-web-2

Stinkfish. Grafica Mazatl. 89/160 Junction. Navajo Nation. (photo © Stinkfish)

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA
Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!
<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

Read more
50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn

50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn

From Selma to Ferguson, Birmingham to Charleston, Jimmie Lee Jackson to Michael Brown, Street Artist Jetsonorama is crossing the country from Arizona to New York and a half-century of America’s struggle with our legacy of racism and injustice.

As marches have continued across the country in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore, New York, Dallas and Cleveland in the past year addressing issues such as police brutality and racism, the south is taking down confederate flags on state houses and the US is mourning another mass shooting.

Now as Americans everywhere are pulling out and waving the stars and stripes to celebrate freedom, this new powerful installation on a Brooklyn wall reminds us of what New York poet Emma Lazarus said, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-1

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Freedom and equality were the goals of those three marches from Selma to Montgomery, pivotal to the passage of the Voting Rights Act signed into law on August 6 1965, a turning point in outlawing discriminatory voting practices. But our legacy of racism cannot be easily legislated out of our hearts or institutions, nor extracted from our systems.

In preparation for this new public piece, Chip Thomas AKA Jetsonorama told us about his take on the undeniable similarities of  the state of the struggle then and today.

“A quote by James Baldwin comes to mind,” he says,  ” ‘…To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.’ Though the times have changed, issues such as institutionalized racism as evidenced by discriminatory law enforcement practices, poverty, high unemployment rates, challenges to voting rights have not. The struggle for respect and equality continues.”

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-7

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The original photograph by Dan Budnik that he replicates across the wall comes directly from those marches to freedom fifty years ago. “Frederick Moss, a 54-mile core group marcher, rest from exhaustion on Dexter Avenue, the Terminus of the Selma to Montgomery March (25 March 1965)” says the handwritten description of the black and white photograph of a young man lying on his back with one hand behind his head and with his other hand balancing a small American flag perpendicular above his stomach. Jetsonorama wheat-pasted that description on this wall as well.

The original image tells of the fatigue and determination of one marcher in a moment of respite, confident and asserting his place at the American table, willing to endure threats, insults, the fear of reprisal. By itself it can also feel solitary, abandoned.

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-2

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Using the visual language of contemporary art on the streets Jetsonorama ingeniously updates the image through replication and repetition of the silhouetted photographic image, evenly spacing the image across a deep red wall. Like Magritte’s Golconde, Warhol’s Cow Wallpaper, or corporate advertiser wildposting all over our cities, the repeated image evokes the impersonality of the mass production of everything, cheapening a life and lessening its importance. When multiplied like a mere decorative motif across a diagonal grid it hints at the callous disregard for a huge number of black bodies beaten and bloodied. The addition of a flag calls to mind a graveyard in high contrast, full of nameless lives cut short. The placement also implies that the graveyard extends further than your eye is seeing.

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-3

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with Jetsonorama about the genesis of this project which was many months in the making:

Brooklyn Street Art: On the one hand the 50th anniversary of the marches from Selma gives the events an even stronger resonance. But it may also seem distant from the concerns of a new generation. How do you hope to re-ignite the conversations with this work?
Jetsonorama: I chose to work with a visual metaphor in this piece.  By repeating the image of Selma to Montgomery marcher Frederick Moss who was photographed exhausted, lying on his back in the street at the completion of the march, I’m referencing Eric Gardner, Michael Brown and other African-American men who have died on American streets by the institutions that are tasked with protecting all citizens. I like the fact that Frederick Moss is holding an American flag – emphasizing his status as a citizen who is deserving of equality. and his faith in the promise the flag represents.  Granted, most viewers won’t know who Frederick Moss is but I think the poignancy of a black man on his back holding an American Flag, ad infinitum, will resonate.

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-4

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about Dan Budnik and his work and why you thought it would translate well to a wall as “street art”?
Jetsonorama: I was raised in the 1960s reading Life and Look magazines. The work of documentary photographers like Eugene Smith, Gordon Parks, Charles Moore affected me such that when I got my first 35mm camera at age 12, I started shooting black and white film, wanting to be a visual storyteller like them. For 22 years I maintained a darkroom where I live and work now on the Navajo reservation and I became part of a community of photographers based in Flagstaff, Arizona.  A long time friend and photographer told me about this guy named Dan Budnik who had moved to Flagstaff.

The first time I met Dan I found him to be an unassuming, gentle spirit.  I had no idea of the breadth of his work until a year later when he approached me about wheat pasting some of his work in Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march.  I saw a copy of his book “Marching to the Freedom Dream” that documents approximately three years of witnessing the Civil Rights Movement and I couldn’t believe this guy was in Flagstaff.  I mean, here was one of the photographers from the humanist photography movement that influenced me – living only 2 hours away.  When the possibility of getting work up in Selma fell through I started looking for walls elsewhere to get some of Dan’s work from the march up.  Dan’s images are powerful and timeless.  They’d work well in any context.

 

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-9

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: The country is gripped in a conversation about police brutality and its use against communities of color and the poor. How can an artist address such a prevalent systemic racism and classism?
Jetsonorama: You know, like Bob Marley said “…Who feels it, knows it.”  I think it’s especially true for artists of color that we don’t have the privilege of pretending like we’re living in post-racial America now that we have a black president. The challenge really is how to get a conscious message out without alienating wall owners (for those people working on legal walls).  Personally, I still find inspiration in the utopian ideals of artists like Diego Rivera and the witty criticism of Robbie Conal + Blu who chant down Babylon.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think of this work as appropriation? Collaboration? Repurposing?
Jetsonorama: It’s straight up hip hop and punk in that Dan gave me the source photo and I remixed it.  I think of it as a collaboration. Dan saw the mock up for the piece and was cool with it.

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-5

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: With this topic and Dan Budnik’s photographic work, you could have prepared a show in a more formal setting. How does the experience of your art here on the street differ from seeing it in a gallery, museum, or a home?
Jetsonorama: After presenting work indoors for 22 years I started getting up outdoors in 2009 and haven’t looked back since.  I started working on the Navajo nation in northern Arizona in 1987 and have been photographing people from the tribe since that time. I’ve had shows of that work in various places around the county but the people who I was photographing never saw the work. Now that 95% of what I do is pasted images along the roadside on the reservation of people from the reservation, the work feels more honest and has deepened my relationship with the community.  The dialog with the community and the level of trust have grown through the project.

Brooklyn Street Art: What do you hope a viewer will take away from this piece?
Jetsonorama: The piece speaks to parallels and patterns. A successful intervention might be for the viewer to be prompted to recognize patterns of behavior in his/her life and to consider whether those patterns are contributing to or detracting from humanity. On the other hand, not getting tagged would be a good thing.

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-6

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-8

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-11

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-12

Jetsonorama. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-14

The photo from Dan Budnik is of Frederick Moss. On the caption above, Mr. Budnik explains with his own handwriting the circumstances of the photo. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.  The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-jetsonorama-jaime-rojo-06-15-web-13

Jetsonorama in collaboration with Dan Budnik. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NY. June 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama and BSA wish to extend a heartfelt Thank You to photographer Dan Budnik for the use of his photo for this project. Also to LNY, Nanook and Jess X Chen for their assistance and to Joe Ficalora at The Bushwick Collective for facilitating the wall in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA
Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!
<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

 

This article is also published in The Huffington Post

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-copyright-Jaime-Rojo-Huffpost-Jetsonorama-Screen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-9.46.51-AM

Read more
Labrona and Troy Lovegates Join Season 3 of “Painted Desert Project”

Labrona and Troy Lovegates Join Season 3 of “Painted Desert Project”

We’re in the Arizona desert today where the third season of Street Artist Jetsonorama’s “Painted Desert Project” has been gently and purposefully been rolling out this summer. The wholistic blend of the political, social, and personal in these works completed in the Navajo Nation is a natural alchemy; the idea of separating them is a non-starter for this doctor/artist/organizer/activist otherwise known as Chip Thomas.

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-other-painted-desert-08-14-web

Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona.  (photo © Labrona)

With the project and his own work Chip says he aims to amplify the voices of the people on the reservation. The invited artists roll in at different intervals through the year, giving them time to absorb the life and the environment and to respond to it in a way that is perhaps more integrated than other projects with Street Artists.

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-other-painted-desert-08-14-web-1

Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

“Photogenic country, eh?” says the Canadian Street Artist named Labrona, who shows us today some of the works he left with his buddy Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER, who he doesn’t get to see too much of these days since OTHER moved to California. “It was a great trip and I got to spend time with Other.”

Included artists over the course of this years “Painted Desert Project” are Monica Canilao and Doodles (Nick Mann), LNY, Jaz, Hyuro, and next year Nicolas Lampert of Justseeds is already on board.  Chip and Monica also have completed a collaboration that is also being used as a poster in coordination with Justseeds to promote the “People’s Climate March” in New York next month. See a copy of the poster at the end of this posting.

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-other-painted-desert-08-14-web-2

Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

brooklyn-street-art-dede-painted-desert-labrona-08-14-web

Troy Lovegates aka OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-chip-thomas-painted-desert-08-14-web-1

Labrona and Chip Thomas The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-chip-thomas-painted-desert-08-14-web

Labrona and Chip Thomas for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

brooklyn-street-art-other-painted-desert-labrona-08-14-web-1

Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Monica-Canilao-and-Jetsonorama_Nicholas-Lampert-of-Justseeds-Climate-March-poster2014

A collaborative image created by Jetsonorama and Monica Canilao for JustSeeeds and the promotion of the People’s Climate March in New York September 21.

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA
 
Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!
 
<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA
Read more