artist Swoon’s Heliotrope Foundation continues to add artists to its lustrous roster
of prints and projects with a new program of pieces for you and your kids to
with a few artists to make this activity book in response to all the need for
home schooling and anyone else who likes to color,” she tells us.
collection is called Compass: “a unique and beautiful handbook, a collection of
creative activities and an inspirational journal. The aim of the project
is to generate work for artists while sharing the joy and necessity of art to
heal, grow and play.”
COMPASS is a free PDF activity book available for distribution to those at home, those with children, and those looking for something to be motivated by. If you would like to distribute Compass in your local area, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we go
to Barcelona in Spain, where the country held a memorial ceremony July 16 to
honor more than 28,000 people who have died there from COVID-19. This new mural
contemplates what it means to be connected, and considers what it takes to have
the architectural barriers as metaphor for the obstacles to connection, artists
Josep Fernandez Margalef and Rice created ‘Esperança’ (Hope) in the Granollers area of Barcelona.
“Even at a distance, hope
acts as a power that can bring us closer to each other, helping us to reach tomorrow. We honor connections, longing,
and a feeling greater than ourselves when we are alone; love, friendship, and
care all belong in this realm of being,” say the artists.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. The weather has been beautiful in NYC and the organic art popping up on the streets is still forcefully advocating for social and political solutions amidst great upheaval, even while…
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billie Barnacles, Black Lives Matter, Bosko, Detor, Downtown DaVinci, Eric Haze, Fumero, Insurgo, Marco Santini, Marina Zumi, Praxis VGZ, Sara Lynne Leo, and Who is Dirk.
The New York street artist who works under the moniker “Almost Over Keep Smiling” reinterprets slightly this Boston warning poster telling anybody who was black in a “free” state like Massachusetts or New York to stay away from the police because the federal government had passed a law empowering people to capture them and return them to slavery.
The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a “slave power
conspiracy”. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be
returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states
had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Bill,” for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves.
The Act contributed to the growing polarization of the country over the issue of slavery, and is considered one of the causes of the Civil War.
Instagram commenter transparentlemon is irked by Banksy’s apparent defacement of the Tube. “I’m all for graffiti on walls of buildings that’s art,” he says on Instagram, “But on public transport that’s just vandalism”
Oh dear. The Bristol born artist has built his entire career on mucking up public space with his clever observations, but somehow it is still grinding the gears of some peeps who think he might have veered too much into the “vandal” category on this one.
The commenter who self-describes as cultural_creative cannot contenance the idea that the anonymous do-gooding street artist has been fooled by the obviously Bill-Gates-funded conspiracy to take away people’s rights and force them to wear masks and get micro-chipped.
“I’m taking this subjectively..,”
they write, “I refuse to believe @banksy would peddle government propaganda he’s
too slick for that”
Yes, he’s done it again, Banksy, presenting
his view on a topical topic using his preferred method of aerosol – and heavily
edited video – posted to nearly 10 million fans.
“if you don’t mask – you don’t
get”, he calls it, a double negative that implies that wearing a mask will
increase your chances for Covid-19? Surely not. Surely not?
Posted on his Instagram account we
see a video of a man, believed to be the elusive international man of mystery
himself, wearing the ubiquitous protective cleaning gear of many public
professionals and holding the sanitizer sprayer for quite a different task. The
“cleaning” man proceeds to stencil several rats wearing masks and
sneezing in full pandemic mode.
A special shout-out and respect today goes to the creater of the I (heart) NY logo and campaign, Milton Glaser, who passed away this week at 91. Many artists on the street today are aware of his other contributions to graphic design and illustration in the last fifty years or so. Rest in Peace.
In street art news, downtown Manhattan is still largely boarded up, so artists are taking advantage of the new canvasses. You see, there is a silver lining to everything if you look for it. Or a plywood one.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Daze, DPF Studio, Dragon 77, Hek Tad, Sara Lynne Leo, and Stikman.
Black Lives Matter is rolling forward, quickly and unevenly, causing revelation, elevation, discomfort, and hopefully eventually liberty and freedom and equality.
Until then, big wheels keep on turning. Berliner’s Various and Gould are the duo behind these new vintage clip-art wonders that may recall the permutations of yesterday’s kaleidoscopes, although the images may be new. That’s the paradox baked in to the truisms that these perennial mixologists offer. Just think of these new powerful and ironic artworks as a mirror on events of this moment, with a through-line to the past.
Norwegian Street Artist Pøbel is offering artists proofs of
his “The Lovers” print to raise funds for Covid-19 efforts in the Amazon. Today
you have an opportunity to get an original and unique piece that has been
featured on many publications since he first put this image of a couple in
embrace on the streets.
He tells us that he’s travelled many times to South America
and has made friends with folks in indigenous communities. “Many of these are
now suffering due to the pandemic, and we hear little about this in our part of
the world. Hospitals have been collapsed for months, some are dying in the
streets, the government restrictions and economic fall make it impossible for
many people who live day-by-day to get what they need.”
100 % of this sale is going to a goo friend of his who has studied with and
lived with different indigenous families for a decade, he says. “The indigenous
people are strong and their ancestors have survived similar things in the past
on their own, but this time I, like many others, would like to reach out a
helping hand to try to do some good.”
The Lovers AP
Dirty test print
88 x 62 cm
34,6 x 24,4 In
300 gsm paper
5% art tax included
Signed and numbered
DON’T FORGET TO CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT AND TO PLACE YOUR BID:
Barcelona, Spain has begun
the process of re-opening the city from the confines of Covid-19. Lluis Olive,
a frequent BSA collaborator tells us that phase I of re-opening includes bars
and restaurants but only at 50% of their capacity. Stores under 400 square
meters are also allowed to re-open. Groups up to 15 individuals are permitted
to gather in public as well. For him this is a welcome relief for much needed
And what does a street art
fan and photographer do when you let him outside after weeks stuck in his home?
That’s right, he captures the voice of the artists in the public sphere.
Here Mr. Olive shares a few
shots on the streets of Barcelona – artists’ view on the pandemic.
The street and its art is a reflection of the society that
it is part of, and right now in New York many in our communities are mourning
the loss of family, friends, leaders, and followers.
Because of the circumstances of the illness, many people
could not see their loved ones while they were in the hospital, could not bid
them goodbye in the way they would have wanted, worry about what their last
days had been like.
No matter the station, the loss of someone can have an
impact on you. One street artist has created a new campaign honoring those who
have left us called “Forget Me Not”.
“For those parts of our community whom we can not
properly mourn, a small tribute asking that we honor the overlooked. Reminding
us of our fellowship,” the artist says.
For more please see @forgetmenot.nyc on Instagram.
While New York has always been a melting pot of cultures and languages and people from all over the world, it’s also a fundamental responsibility to also keep our eyes and ears on the folks who are “born and bred” here as they say.
They hold a deeper sense of the DNA of an ever-evolving city and its history, its true nature; the lowdown of what it means to be from this place.
We’ve been hit hard. Some much more than others.
The economics and their implications of this Covid-19 disaster are devastating to many of us, but the mourning and human loss compounds our sense of sadness, even while we are resolute to overcome. If we are all metal in that melting pot of New York that explains how we create a powerfully strong alloy of humanity. We know how to triumph together in times of need and we are unbeatable and loyal allies, despite our sometimes aggressive side.
Artist Oliver Rios was raised in El Barrio of New York from Puerto Rican parents and grew up as an artist drinking in the color, sounds, smells, and style of late 70s Hip Hop culture. Shaped and formed by the beauty and the devastation that life can bring to us, he has channeled his spirit into memorial wall painting, illustration, photography, advertising, digital design.
Profoundly moved by the events that Covid-19 has spun into existence here, Rios is sharing with us a dense and meaningful piece of art that speaks to his history, his heroes, his fears, and his passion for this city and the people in it. Using a subway map for canvas, he depicts first responders – in this case people he knows personally or admires sincerely.
“The image of the nurse is my wife Carol Rios,” he tells us. “She is a Nurse Practitioner at the John Therur Cancer Center in Hackensack, NJ. The police officer is PO Ramon Suarez who perished in 9/11 and who was also my first daughters’ grandfather. The image of the fireman is inspired by a retired fireman and childhood friend from East Harlem who helped at Ground Zero in the days after 9/11. His name is Dennis Mendez. The subway train is an homage to the Late Great Dondi White.”
We asked him more about the creation of and motivations behind “Native New Yorker 2020”:
Brooklyn Street Art: As a Native New Yorker you’ve probably seen and experienced this city being hit hard by different crises while living here: Financial crisis, economic downturns, 9/11 etc…This pandemic is possible New York’s biggest crisis during our lifetimes. What do you think makes New Yorkers get up and fight every day? Oliver Rios: In order to survive you have to be “NY Tough”, to quote Governor Andrew Cuomo! It’s a different kind of toughness that not many people understand. To live in NYC you have to understand and go through the city’s everyday grind! Understanding the everyday hustle, the history, the diverse cultures, the crime, the rats, the pigeons, the parades, the clubs, the bars, the historical sites, the crowded subways, the cabs… everything. Once you live in NYC and understand that lifestyle – to overcome anything is possible.
Going out to party in the greatest city in the world also helps ease the daily stress. We as New Yorkers protect and love the city and that’s why we get up every day and fight!!
BSA: Your work on the poster sends a message of unity and perseverance while at the same time it honors those who are at the forefront of the pandemic. Can you tell us what was your inspiration to create this artwork? OR: This project was really about painting a piece on a subway map. As I tuned into Instagram and join DJ DNice’s “Club Quarantine”, I heard him play “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey , a favorite song of mine. I immediately started with the “Native New Yorker” theme and decided to give it a 2020 version. I wanted to really honor my wife Carol Rios who’s a Nurse Practitioner at the John Theur Cancer Center in Hackensack NJ, my Brother-in-Law who’s a Fireman/Veteran in Belleville, NJ, all the first responders and essential workers dedicating their lives to help fight this pandemic.
I started with my wife who is on the top of the poster and it evolved from there.
BSA: You mentioned that your wife is a nurse. How has it been for the family to see her every day going to work knowing the risks and dangers she will confront at the hospital? OR: It’s an uncomfortable feeling every day, knowing that your loved ones are heading out the door to face danger every day. I try to keep the kids busy with school work and video games as we wait for her to get home to have dinner, watch our favorite TV shows, or play board games. We appreciate all she does and her patients do as well.
BSA:By including some members of your family and friends in your artwork you are honoring them and their work, preserving and commemorating their memory, and at the same time you are persisting with your creativity. How does an artist find the motivation to create works like these in such challenging times? OR: For me, it’s never easy… the inspiration is around me every day in my studio; I have a framed photo taken by Martha Cooper of a memorial mural dedicated to my good friend Juan Anthony “TEE” Castro that I painted during 1993 in El Barrio (East Harlem). On the frame, I have prayer cards of family and friends who have passed away during the years. Next to it I have a photo of my brother who was murdered by gun violence in 1981. My oldest daughter’s grandfather PO Ramon Suarez is there too; He perished saving lives during the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. The UPS worker is the guy I see driving up and down the street delivering packages. Fireman Dennis Mendez is a childhood friend from East Harlem who helped dig out debris at ground zero days after 9/11. The Subway train is an homage to the Late Great Dondi White.
I find that as artists we have to remind ourselves how we are all connected. This is my way to thank and connect to my Native New Yorkers. God Bless!
Dark humor is precisely what we need at this moment. 20,000 people in New York City have died. Bodies are stacking up in refrigerated trucks and unmarked common graves in New York while the obtuse Trump is trying to tell us its safe to “reopen” states.
Right. You first.
Meanwhile Italian artist Elfo is taking inspiration from the classic horror zombie film, “Day of the Dead” with this new text intervention scrawled across a wall.