All posts tagged: Christian Hundertmark

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

Layer Cake Bring Their “Versus Project” to UN

The brilliant Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark (C100) have been at the graffiti/street art/contemporary art nexus for much of the last decade, delineating the boundaries, and then artfully shifting them.

A multi-year project now welcoming guests at Urban Nation’s Special Projects space in Berlin reveals the imprecision of terminologies and commonly-used nomenclature in this period of hyper-hybridization.

Mick La Rock/Aileen Middel VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

When you consider the volley of influences that bounce and collide on metro cars and street walls and digital screens these days, it makes sense to describe the experimentation now afoot as a dialogue. As the Munich-based duo called Layer Cake, the two artists have been doing exactly that with one another’s art for a half dozen years.

“One begins to paint, the other reacts,” say Hartl and Hundertmark in their recent interview for the UN website. “Thus (we) conduct an artistic dialogue. The marker asks a question, the paint can answers, the brush completes or provokes,” they say, “until both artists agree that the mural is finished.”

It is not an automatic process for graffiti writers to create work this way; as one of the basic tenets of the street, you don’t go over someone else’s work unless you mean to show disrespect or provoke a battle.

Drawing upon an eclectic selection of participants with experience on the street, the two act as curators of the new show called ‘Versus’. The rules are similar to their personal practice – produce a collaborative piece with another artist whose style and references may not match yours directly – with each contributor agreeing when the piece is complete.

The clashing and crashing can be seen on the canvass as each new addition rebalances the abstraction, and not everyone was sure it would work.

Bisco Smith VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

Artist Flavien Demarigny hesitated to participate versus Layer Cake because he wasn’t sure if he could work with their style that often incorporates calligraffiti techniques, he says. “As it is a major ingredient of Layer Cake‘s visual language I wasn’t sure if I was the right fit for it,” he says in a Facebook post.

“Then I remembered this is precisely what collaborations are about: pushing your limits, opening your perception, and create together new horizons. As a result, we started three collaborative pieces and one came out fantastic, which we decided to present in this show. Their choice of sticking to the repetitive pattern of my style was the wise one, so the two vocabularies can interact, as accidents make it unexpected and create the poetry of it.”

Dave The Chimp VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

With 13 different artists passing canvasses back and forth – each adding and subtracting, obliterating and augmenting, they say that at the root of the process was a rule not to consult, but rather, react.

The results fairly wrestle under the constraints, each cutting forward, marking and gesturing and claiming space on the canvass. These works illustrate the tension you may associate with the harshly pounding street in cities, sometimes still glittering insistently despite the struggle.  

Usugrow VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

“It is not easy to make an intervention in someone else’s painting,” says graffiti style-writing veteran Mick La Rock of her ingrained hesitancy during the art-making process. “You want to avoid taking the painting over and make it your own style. Every part I added to the painting was thought over at least ten times before painting it,” she says in an interview for the show.

On view in the Special Projects room near the museum, “Versus” is a sharp reminder of the community that joins together on walls and surfaces all over the world. Each style challenges the one next to it, sometimes holds it accountable, other times revealing its true nature. The curators say “The Versus Project is an artistic experiment in communication, challenging dialogue, the struggle for a final form.”

Chaz Bojorquez VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Wandal VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Flavien VERSUS Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)
Layer Cake. Versus Project. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo courtesy of UN/layer Cake)

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:

Layer Cake (Patrick Hartl und Christian Hundertmark aka C100), Chaz Bojorquez (Los Angeles / US), Mick La Rock / Aileen Middel (Amsterdam / NL), Sebastian Wandl (München / DE), Dave the Chimp (Berlin / DE), Bisco Smith (New York / US), Vincent Abadie Hafez (Zepha) (Toulouse / FR), Formula 76 (Hamburg / DE), Usugrow (Tokio / JP), Bust (Basel / CH), Jake (Amsterdam / NL), Egs (Helsinki / FI), Imaone (Tokio / JP) und Flavien (Apt / FR).

“The Versus Project” curated by Layer Cake is currently open to the general public at the Urban Nation Project Space. The exhibition will be on view until December 31, 2021. Click HERE to find more information about the exhibition, Covid protocols, and schedule.

Project space of the URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 97, 10783 Berlin

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BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2017

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2017

Documenting the Street Art scene has always been important to BSA and we know it is important to many of our readers as well. This year BSA brought you a number of reviews of Street Art related books that we have run across during the year. It’s not an exhaustive list but now that it is Christmas / Hannukah / Kwaanza / Solstice / New Year time we thought you would like our brief roundup of some of the best books of 2017. Enjoy!


“Street Art World”, Alison Young.

From BSA:

Alison Young Examines and Presents the “Street Art World”

Contested space is a term accurately describing the Street Artists’ relationship with the world outside your door; a place where the aesthetics are up for grabs, autonomously determined, willfully exploited.

Drawing upon twenty years of empirical observation, scholarly study, and interviews with artists and experts throughout a constellation of cities where this art-making has flourished, “Street Art World” by Alison Young examines this contested space from every angle to present a balanced assessment for understanding our moment.

A professor of criminology at University of Melbourne, Young delivers her fourth volume on the topic of Street Art with a confidence and unique perspective that few can claim thanks to extensive travel and periodic, repeated and ongoing tracking of an evolving family of practice.

Alison Young Street Art World was published by Reaktion Books Ltd. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Shoe Is My Middle Name”, Niels Shoe Meulman

From BSA:

“Shoe” is His Middle Name: New Book by Niels Shoe Meulman

Carlo McCormick writes in his essay, “We honor Shoe as the great cross-pollinator who came to New York City as a kid to meet the graffiti master Dondi and brought Wild Style back to Europe, but his strength remains just how far he can still can carry this immoderate load.” Based on his path and his evolution, we’ll consider this beautiful monster to be in a mid-career retrospective and some of his most masterful work is yet to come.

Niels Shoe Meulman “Shoe Is My Middle Name” was published by Lebowski Publishers / Overamstel. Amsterdam, 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Time Traveller Artist Man”, Giacomo Bufarini AKA RUN

From BSA:

RUN: “Time Traveller Artist Man” Tells All With His Hands

The founder of analytical psychology would have looked at the hands of RUN and perhaps understood more about his lifelong psychological process than the average intellect, and yet seeing RUN’s carefully formed people on the street captivates your imagination as well.

These are the dreams he creates with his expressive hands, conscious or unconscious features that over time have developed into archetypes to be combined, adorned, alone, and recombined. Not surprisingly, his people often have a grasp, a hold, a flair for the five fingered gesture as well.

RUN Time Traveller Artist Man is published by Unicorn Publishing Group. London, UK. 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art”, Ed Bartlett

From BSA:

“Street Art” by Ed Bartlett: A Quick Primer for the World Traveler

Since the early 70s Lonely Planet publishing has made guidebooks for travelers of the world, enabling people to gain a greater understanding and to appreciate localities, cultures, and histories. Ed Bartlett now adds to this vast compendium of understanding a concise and varied survey of Street Art from his vantage point as an avid bicyclist, traveler, and expert on Street Art.

Ed Bartlett’s “Street Art” Was published by Lonely Planet Publishers. UK, April 2017.  Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Happily Ever After”, Jeremy Fish

From BSA:

Jeremy Fish and “Happily Ever After”

It’s unusual to see his work in New York (or in this case New Jersey) since after leaving Upstate New York nearly two decades ago this fine artist/commercial illustrator has been dancing in the arms of San Francisco. You think we’re being poetic about his West Coast cred, but he literally illustrated 100 drawings in SF City Hall over 100 days, was awarded with his own “Jeremy Fish” day by the city, might have the record for the most shows at Upper Playground Gallery, and has even collaborated with a cannabis company to create a branded oil and vape pen.

Jeremy Fish “Happily Ever After: The Artwork of Jeremy Fish”. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name”, Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark

From BSA:

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Saturday Mornings”, Jerkface

From BSA:

Jerkface: “Saturday Mornings” Deconstructed, Reconstructed, Repeated

A direct link to his childhood and the televised cartoons of Saturday morning, where the majority of cartoons were relegated to appear in the 1970s and 1980s, Street Artist Jerkface recreates and multiplies his associations of happy times full of adventure, mysteries easily solved, crimes categorically punished.

His new book “Saturday Morning” collects the recognizable works of other artists and removes the emotional expressions found in facial features, recombining their other characteristics and playing with their associated resonance.

Jerface “Saturday Morning”. Published by Over The Influence. December 2016. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Street Art In Sicilia”, Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino & Luisa Tuttolomondo

From BSA:

“Street Art In Sicilia” Tours You Through 31 Cities and 200 Artists

A serious undertaking that documents 31 urban centers that vary widely in distinctive personality, more than two hundred artists are captured and carefully, succinctly described for a wide audience of tourists, Street Art fans, students, even academics. With three authors who collectively have studied architecture, semiotics, sociology and photography, you get a mapping that reveals not only physical location but a describes a cultural one as well.

Street Art in Sicilia – Guida ai luoghi e alle opere
Mauro Filippi, Marco Mondino, Luisa Tuttolomondo
Dario Flaccovio Editore, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“Metamorphosis”, Tavar Zawacki

From BSA:

Tavar Zawacki: Being Fearless and “Metamorphosis” with Urban Spree

“The whole thing is a metaphor,” he says at one point when describing a particular piece, but you realize that the statement applies to the show as well. A metaphor for the evolutions that an artist must go through to keep alive; a recreation, a metamorphosis, however bold or subtle, that can push him or her into a new direction.

He sits on a window sill and pulls back the sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal a tattooed sleeve that moves from densely inked pattern to bare skin. The finespun graduated marking is repeated on the books’ cover, designed by Kelly Jewell.
“I’m really interested in gradients as well because it’s a slow transition – when you can see the tattoo and the cover of the book; it’s like with each circle, if you look at it compared to the neighboring one, you won’t see a big difference. But over time and with effort you can keep going forward, day by day.”

Tavar Zawacki. “Metamorphosis” Published by Urban Spree Gallery. Berlin. September 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.

JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.

“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”

SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.

“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”

Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.

Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.

Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.


The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.

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