All posts tagged: Curiot

Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Mexico and Estonia; an unlikely couple. But sometimes love is like that. In a time when orthodoxy globally is seemingly self-combusting and obviously falling short in meeting the needs of people, it is perhaps no surprise that the unique hybrids of shared strengths are those that arise and can lead.

Consider “Mextonia”.

Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel. Mextonia Co-Founders. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A cultural love child combining the traditions of these two nations has resulted in a surprising amount of cross-cultural exchange and mural making in the last year or two. Today we have just some of the artworks made during a two-part event held in each country, the first in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2017 and the second in Querétaro, Mexico during March 2018.

The unlikely pairing by two sociological searchers who love graffiti, Street Art, and the mural traditions of the past as much as the modern mural phenomena now speaks a common language of aesthetics in multiple spheres.

Renata Mtz. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel have mounted two large cross-culture jams, attracting numerous artists and trans-national interpreters (nearly 100), presenting and renewing interests in history, indigenous people, traditions, and the environment challenges of today.

By highlighting the similarities and distinct differences in traditional and modern culture, these two are the magnetic field around whom a multi-faceted public art practice is developing that showcases urban and mural artists.

You haven’t seen a hybrid like this before.

Goal. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together the two say that the effort is “a reminder of what makes us feel proud of being Mexicans, Estonians, and even better, what unites us beyond our nationalities: our cultural freedom. Our responsibility of making this place, this world, a better place than how we found it.”

The enterprise is frequently steeped in metaphor and symbolism and a search for meanings in the overlapping of traditions. One that is often sited is the Blue Deer/Fern Blossom intersection.

In México, according to ancient Huichol tribe tradition, people go to hunt Blue Deer to search for wisdom and inner vision. Searching is also involved in the Estonian ancient tradition of searching for the Fern Blossom that is said to appear only during the summer equinox of June, which they call Jaaniöö. Both traditional cultural stories represent prosperity, protection and fertility, they say.

Sänk. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Mextonia is a gift to remind the world about the Spirit; a collective soul in the shape of a Blue Deer, in finally finding a Fern Blossom,” say Sánchez and Tompel.

For Mr. Sánchez, the Mexican co-creator and author of the Mextonia Manifesto, there is a belief that there are larger forces at work in the Universe and that Mextonia is a platform and vehicle for the new generation.

When reading his observations you will see that the platform is hoping to lead Millennial artists to reconnect with a sense of culture and identity, two things that are sadly slipping away due to the dopamine-laced fire hose of mass media stimuli, social and otherwise, that we are collectively exposed to.

Brushleee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

For Tompel, the Estonian co-director of this bi-national transcultural journey, “Mextonia was born from a personal ‘vision quest’ to better understand the native wisdom of Mesoamerican natives.”

She says the enthusiasm and knowledge of Sánchez guided her to better appreciate ancient traditions like those of the Mexican Huichol tribe, and that this new appreciation enlivened her interest in her own homeland of Estonia, which she began to study in earnest. Together, the two of them have poured the molten iron of their combined roots and cast a foundation that many artists are now adding their interpretation to.

Markus Richard Tallvee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Whether it is costume or symbols or rites or ceremony, you can see a deep desire to be inclusive in the styles and expressions. The spring festival, for example, extended its message with the collaboration with the PangeaSeed Sea Walls effort, headed by Tré Packard and his team in pursuit of “combining art and activism on this level and caliber to champion for the oceans,” and often sited aspiration.

Tania Quezada. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Art and public activism can educate and inspire the global community to help save our water resources,” says Packard. “Regardless of its location, large metropolitan city or small coastal town, all drains lead to the ocean and the ocean provides every breath we take. The Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans and water resources.”

With this in mind the city of Querétaro was chosen for the multiple aqua-related public artworks as a way to draw attention to the city’s own reliance on water that is transported from a hundred kilometers outside the city. This chapter of “Mextonia” was also known as “Water is One”.

Ricardo Moste. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The experience and study has even helped coin new terms, like transgraffiti and transgraffiti muralism.

“Muralism and Street Art have proven to transform cultural symbols and catalyze culture,” says Sánchez. “Now, Transgraffitti is a trans-personal kind of muralism, which distances itself from both; names and pop culture, by taking deep cultural symbols and re-expressing them in a transcendental and contemporary way.”

Reyben. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

In this respect, it is a unique view of Street Artist and graffiti writers in contemporary practice from an evolutionary perspective. In the Water is One Manifesto 2.0 that was released this spring the organizers write:

“In today’s world we see millions of young people expressing on walls, influencing the streets and society. They write their names to identify with their space: we call them graffiti writers. As they grow and explore, some look beyond the writing of a personal name and embark into trans-personal-creation.

They research social challenges, paint visual metaphors and transcend borders. They discover the power of their painting over streets and culture. They become a kind of contemporary shaman, producing street incantations.

This is the transpersonal-graffiti, and we call it Transgraffiti muralism.”

Mr. Cinzah. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jonky. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As BSA correspondent from Tallinn and Querétaro, veteran photojournalist and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the installations, exhibitions, celebrations, and ceremonies in both countries and she collected a wealth of important information to share.

In her own words Cooper says, “Street art is a worldwide art movement and Mextonia has shown how creative two different cultures can be when combined. Excellent idea – brilliantly realized.”

As mentioned Part 2 in Querétaro, Mexico was a collaboration with Pangea Seed and it was a concerted effort to highlight water resources,  and “The Water Is One” theme was reflected in the murals.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

While these 40 or so photos are resplendent in conveying the spirit and dedication shown daily by participants, they are ultimately a very small sample of the hundreds Cooper took.

Similarly a blog platform like this cannot comprehensively cover the events or the perspectives in their entirety, but we hope that you can gain a greater appreciation for the depth of feeling, scholarship, and talent that is represented here in Martha’s photographs and our descriptions.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We conclude our text here with an interview that Ms. Cooper conducted for BSA with Sigre Tompel to better understand the breadth of the festival and also to get more detail about a sacred spiritual ceremony that Cooper attended with native peoples and the artists during her Mexican visit this spring.

Martha Cooper: Can we call “Water Is One” in Querétaro Part 2 of Mextonia? Are you planning Part 3?
Sigre Tompel: Yes, it is a sequence of Mextonia, part 2 (Mextonia in Estonia was the element of Fire, Water Is One was the element of Water. Yes, we are planning part 3 and 4 (Earth and Air).

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Montreal-based artist Jason Botkin met and exceeded human and creative limits at one point by successfully and arduously rappelling down, up, and around this great dome to recreate an astounding version of the Aztec calendar which can only be appreciated by flying overhead. Ms. Cooper tells us that all artists working on the cupola or dome were required to have a periodic medical check to ensure their good health during the installation of the frescoes.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Martha Cooper: How many artists participated in both the Estonian and Mexican festivals?
Sigre Tompel: In Estonia we had 60 artists and in Mexico 33 – together with graffiti writers and neighboring walls of the Dome. These 5 artists were actually in both festivals – Aaron Glasson (New Zealand), Sänk (Estonia), Sermob (Mexico), Renata (Mexico), Goal (Mexico). Our whole core crew is a total of 15 people.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: What was the name for the type of group that performed the ceremony at the walls? What was burning in the pot that produced the smoke? Copal?
Sigre Tompel: They are called Concheros, they use Copal , smudging for blessing. The message was smudging the artists to thank them for their work and to bless their way back home, so they can arrive healthy and happy. The name of this particular group of Concheros is “In Xochitl In Cuicatl”, Flor y Canto (Flower and Singing) and they are lead by Conchero General Manuel Rodriguez. The name is in Nahuatl, the ancient language of the Mexica.

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: Does the ceremony have a name? Can you say a few words about what kind of blessing it was or what message they were sending the artists?
Sigre Tompel: The Concheros hold the tradition of the old Mexican belief system. After being conquered by the Spanish, they decided to hold balance and harmony between the two belief symbols, so they started honoring Christian symbols, while honoring also Mexican symbols, usually in secret. Concheros need to be reconsidered as a Cultural Heritage of the World, they are not “syncretic” by ignorance, but to keep the sacred balance of cultural hybridization.

The Concheros were very happy because the artists expressed the metaphors of their dances into the murals, and because this represents a kind of Mexican renaissance that returns to an earlier time, reinterpreting the ancient classic pre-religious Mexican belief systems.

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Curiot. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demencia. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Nosego. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Smithe. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

Pogo. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aaron Glasson. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Renata. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Juez. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Valiñas. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Atole Parra . Solé. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Graffiti Wall. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Artists participating include:

Aaron Glasson (New Zealand)
Curiot Tlapazotl (Mexico)
Dementia (Mexico)
Goal (Mexico)
Jason Botkin (Canada)
Mantra (France)
Nosego (United States)
Paola Delfín (Mexico)
Pogo (Mexico)
Renata (Mexico)
Ryper (Mexico)
Sermob (Mexico)
Smithe (Mexico)
Sänk (Estonia)


For more information on Mextonia please visit Mextonia.com

For more information on PangeaSeed please visit PangeaSeed Foundation

Read this article in Spanish / Leer este articulo in Espanol aqui:

TRANS-GRAFFITI Y EL FESTIVAL TRANSNACIONAL “MEXTONIA

Publicado el 26 de Mayo, 2018

México y Estonia; una pareja improbable. Pero a veces el amor es así. En una época en la que la ortodoxia global es autocomplaciente y obviamente no satisface las necesidades de las personas, quizás no sorprenda que sean los híbridos únicos de fortalezas compartidas los que pueden liderar en el mundo.

Consideremos “Mextonia”.

El retoño que combina las tradiciones… MAS


Our sincere thanks to Martha Cooper for her leadership on this effort as well as her talents documenting the action.

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In Your Face With Sekone and Rexenera Fest in Carballo, Galicia

In Your Face With Sekone and Rexenera Fest in Carballo, Galicia

Dude! Turn the can around!

SekOne. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Sekone caught our eye in this Spanish Oceanside town of 36,000 recently with this mural that gets it all backwards – nevermind the handstyle.

Carballo in Galicia on the northwest tip of Spain is home to the Rexenera Fest, a mural festival that gathers local and international urban artists like Curiot (Mexico), Sekone (Galiza), Pixel Pancho (Valencia), Jorit (Italy), Aryz, Isaac Cordal (Galiza), Cinta Vida (Catalunya, and AnimitoLand (Argentina). Now planning for a fourth year, the town is blessed with some high quality works and photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena shares some of the loot with BSA readers here today.

SekOne. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Cinta Vidal. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Cinta Vidal. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Yoseba M.P. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Yoseba M.P. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Isaac Cordal. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Isaac Cordal. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Jorit Agoch. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Curiot. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Animalito Land. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Animalito Land. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Saturno. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Saturno. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Saturno. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

Saturno. Detail. Rexenera Festival. Third Edition. Carballo, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olivé Bulbena)

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Mexico City: Aerosol Artists, Aztecs and Magic on the Street

Mexico City: Aerosol Artists, Aztecs and Magic on the Street

Every city has its own particular energy; it’s own articulated rhythm, its own unique chaos.

Mexico City’s is full of flourish and aspiration and fascination for the international new, while firmly rooted in respect for the past. When it comes to Street Art, murals, graffiti and discordant sub-cultural art movements that can disrupt the norm, this city shows the capacity to absorb and adapt and to continue moving forward, providing meaningful insights into the true nature of its people.

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This magic city of more than 20 million is often referred to as a gateway to Latin America: economically, socially, and politically. With high tech industry, banks, multi-national companies, a university system that serves 300,000 students, 150 museums, three UNESCO World Heritage sites… you can see why. With heavy traffic despite a subway system and many forms of public transportation, it can take hours for you to cross Mexico City (Distrito Federal (D.F)) and you can be assured that you’ll probably never see all 16 boroughs.

El Mac. Detail. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Street Art and its associated movements move through Central and South America, invariably D.F. appears as an important tierra cultural to traverse. From an active graffiti scene and occasional mural festivals to a growing gallery representation and increasing museum interest, urban artists are capturing the attention of the Americas, making heads spin in public space. With Mexico City capturing nearly all the aspects at once, today we take a look at the city and give you only a few examples of the art in the streets here.

El Mac. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The September 19th earthquake of 2017 shook Mexico City exactly 32 years after 10,000 lost their lives in a larger one, the largest. With broken sidewalks and taped off buildings still as physical evidence, you can hear in the voices the trauma that rocked tall buildings back and forth like huge ships on the sea. In addition to these more physical shocks, the city has been rocked in recent years by a rising evidence of frightening power shifts relating to drug traffickers, accusations of institutional corruption, and a sharply rising economic inequality that is transforming developing/developed societies across the globe.

Built upon the ruins of the Aztec city called Tenochtitlán, which was one of the worlds largest in the 15th century, Mexico City appears persistently ebullient when banding together against adversity. Determined to excel beyond the horrors of conquest by the Spanish that decimated an entire indigenous culture, still the ruins rise above the ground and this multi-hued global city rumbles forward with determination.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sleek high rises and brightly patterned folkloric art and aerosol sprayed graffiti tags next to massive murals all blend and swirl like the jarabe Tapatío hat dance from block to block – a decisive commixture of the “brand new” with a heritage of indigenous/invader cultures that ruled here hundreds of years before. Today it’s a hybrid of purposeful optimism and wizened survival instincts that pushes the city forward, despite the shocks endured.

SEGO. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The magic and realism so famously combined by authors like Garcia Márquez and Esquivel along with the brutal honesty of Mexican filmmakers like Inarritu, del Toro and Cuaron is fused onto the bricks of colonial mansions and cinderblock industrial neighborhoods like Roma-Condesa and Centro Histórico. These colonias and others like Xochimilco and Coyoacán are historic, commercial, somehow always in transition.

Buster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you walk and weave over the chunks of disrupted sidewalks, the local mechanic’s car-repair taking place on the curb is complimented by the smell of stacks of fresh tortillas from the tiny tortilleria. The booming tented markets of witty pop-culture t-shirts, knock-off sneakers, and decorative phone cases are sharing your memory space with the eye-popping magenta, sea foam green, and lemon sherbert yellow hues of huge layered toile netting as quinceañera skirts plumped full of Dior and displayed regally behind full glass windows, shop after shop.

The narrow street in old Centro Historico surges with the sound of a live heavy metal band demonstrating the equipment at a music store at lunch time, and three Argentinian Street Artists (Ever, Elian, and Jaz) are creating plumes of aerosol paint from the opened second floor veranda doors across the street while home-made Judas Priest reverberates over and around the slowly moving bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Arty & Chikle. “Only Love”. Street Art MUJAM in collaboration with the Mexico City National Youth Institute for Young Adults. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of Mexico, “it’s always high noon and what glows is fuchsia and what’s dead is dead,” said author Henry Miller in his book Black Spring, and some spirit of that rings true here where so many objects and situations you encounter can be amazing and revelatory and yet locals simply roll them in a tortilla and toss it on a hot oiled comal for dinner.

The music options alone can be illustrative of the variety here: Las Madrigalistas are performing holiday classics in the Palacio Bellas Artes, Ricky Martin just played free for 100,000 in the Zocalo, there is an active punk scene that rivals many, a hiphop scene that draws fans from nearby cities, and a reverence for 1980s artists like Depeche Mode and The Misfits, and an almost religious devotion to Morrisey.

D*Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The scale of the murals can be as vast as the city, equally eclectically handmade and warm. Thanks to a rich heritage of mural-making and artists like Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros in the last century, the new generation of Mexicanos are interpolating the currents that ripple and wave through a society wedded to fierce independence and tradition. Today it is again rocked by our instant access to information and a global sense of modernity.

JET (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This means that an international Street Art scene in D.F. features not only Mexican alchemists like Saner, Curiot, Farid Rueda, Lesuperdemon, Dhear and Sego (among others) but also invites the English D*Face, Italians Ericailcane and BLU, Belgian ROA, Los Angelianos Retna and El Mac, Polish M-City, Argentian JAZ and German duo Herakut to influence the voice of the street. With a visual wealth of inspiration and disruptive or unusual imagery in play on the street, this still  jittery city smiles and confronts you as the year turns, a response that is in flux and fiesta, sorrow and memory, outrage and magic.

ROA. All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While traveling through the city with Roberto Shimizu, a central figure in the modern Street Art/mural scene here, and by visiting Street Artists and critical curators and organizers in studios and alternative spaces inside and outside the city, we garnered a greater appreciation for the complexity of the story here. It is distinctly different from the model we’ve seen elsewhere and explains the less showy trajectory that this still organic ecosystem has taken.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As in most cities today you’ll find the organic and autonomous quality of works is best represented by one-off, handmade individual pieces of art and stickers throughout neighborhoods, many anonymous. These are not the large scale legal murals that unfamiliar observers sometimes refer to as Street Art. These are still the lifeblood of any real Street Art scene and are often indicators of its truer eclectic nature.

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maybe because there isn’t a large collector base for this work, or because some brands/marketers have already cheapened its image a bit, but Street Art hasn’t blossomed in the gallery world here to a great extent. Instead, true cultural curators like Shimizu have consistently led it directly to his festival programs or his family’s Mexico City’s Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM), and professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) are teaching about it to students .

Milamores and El Flaco. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We usually find the true nature of Street Art here is still in the streets – and in the artists community. In the Chulula area of nearby Puebla outside Mexico City, the mysterious renaissance seer named Milamores has quietly curated walls of many local and international artists over the last half decade, offering his compound and dogs for rest and companionship in a supportive artists space. Together with video animation artist Flaco he is presenting Street Art via Virtual Reality experiences that are in tandem with his organically grown mural program. Built on the site of a collapsed building from the 1985 earthquake, the artist/activist collective and community garden Huerto Roma Verde provides classes and workshops on art, sustainable architecture, gardening, and theater and has helped many artists to with mural opportunities as well.

Diana Bama . Martin Ferreira. Huerto Roma Verde. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Diana Bama . Martin Ferreira. Huerto Roma Verde. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As an emblem of the conflicting and harmonious forces at play, we cite the relatively recent mural painted by the Spanish Street Artist Escif on the wall of the Chihuahua housing complex on the Plaza of Three Cultures just north of the city center. Illustrating the privately funded public projects that Street Artists are doing now throughout cities, this one plumbs the unhealed wounds and still unanswered questions of a shocking event of political repression almost 50 years ago here in the plaza designed by Mario Pani.

Not only does the plaza physically join together a Spanish colonial church and the remains of a pre-Columbian Aztec temple with the 13 story housing complex, the square is most known today for the October 1968 suppression of a student movement where troops ran directly over the ruins and fired on a peaceful rally and secret police captured and tortured student leaders who were speaking from the balcony. Protest art and public installations about the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping of 43 disappeared students recall the stories from 1968 today, and many make connections between the events.

Unidentified Artist. Installation in El Centro Historico for the 43 Desaparecidos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some academics have said the crushing of the student movement was part of a secret “dirty war” by the government to quiet dissent and present a unified Mexico image to the world ahead of the upcoming Olympics, but Shimizu tells us that visiting politicians to Escif’s new wall are pleased with the mural and made a tour by bus with guests to admire it. A monument to the Tlatelolco massacre stands in the plaza memorializing the events, and Escif made a few statements about his interpretation of his mural.

“As in my previous works, there is not a limited meaning in the ‘Chihuahua Mural’, but as many meanings as people try to approach it with,” said Escif to us recently about the two suited figures. He discusses his research into the events that took place, but ultimately he leaves the painting more open to interpretation. “Those two guys painted on the wall can be secretive executives, military officers, corporate people or anybody. That will depend on who sees the wall and his previous experiences.”

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For visitors to Mexico City looking for the local Street Art or graffiti scene it is helpful to recognize that this moment for a near-global fascination for art in the streets is here also intertwined with a national and local history, cultural pride, and the treasured heritage of indigenous peoples.

While so-called “western” countries may see a rebellious disaffected rage or critique as an overarching narrative for the graffiti and Street Art scene in New York, London, or Berlin, it may be that Mexico City, and Latin America by extension, is also very cognizant of its roots, in love with them even, always infusing new work with a certain respect for their progenitors. For an art practice that is characterized in part for its ephemerality the context of this particular urban environment reminds you of its often remarkable resilience.

Dueke . Miss1 Guette for MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RETNA. The Beauty Project, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detial. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SINKO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interezni Kazki. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kill Joy . Mazatl. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fusca .  Blast. La Linea Street Art. Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This is the first of two articles with BSA in Mexico City in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.

Read Part II here:

A Street View From Inside the Doors of Mexico City ; Galleries, Studios, Museums, and the Metro


Additional coverage by BSA in Mexico City:

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

Saner, Mexican Muralist and Painter, Studio Visit. BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 2

Panteón and Watchavato “No Esto No Es Lo Que Fue” Opens In Mexico City

Exploring New Techniques and Processes with Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special


This article is also published on the Urban Nation museum website:

 

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2017.

Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.

 

Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special

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This week BSA is in Mexico City in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN) to see what is steering the scene on the street, meet artists, visit artist compounds, museums, galleries, and studios – and of course to capture the wild and dynamic Street Art and graffiti scene here. Where Mexico City goes in art and culture makes big waves elsewhere in Latin America, and its Street Art scene has been quickly evolving in the last decade. Join us as we investigate the character and players in this modern/traditional city of more than 21 million people.


Mexico City this week was full of graffiti tags, large murals oozing with character, astral techno hippie dudes, strong women, slick talkers, traffic jams, street protests, stories about the 43, couples kissing on park benches, rooftop tours, men in suits, professional ladies in really high heels, smoothly running buses, sustainable community gardens, pick-pockets, indigenous people selling crafts, police with high pitched whistles, wannabe hipsters, live rock bands, tacos, craft beer, poinsettias, quesadillas, chille rellenos, pulled pork, nopales, avocados, tortas, Frida Kahlo, babies, Bohemia, marijuana smoke, and ultimately, Ricky Martin singing for hundreds of thousands of people free in the Zócalo.

We’ll catch you up on on the details soon.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Arty & Chickle, Blu, Curiot, DFace, El Mac, Erica Ilcane, Escif, Herakut, Interesni Kazki, Maria Guardado, Retna, ROA, Saner, and Sego.

Our top image : Erica Ilcane. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. Deatail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curated by Roberto Shimizu with the collaboration of the Mexico City Goverment on the Metro and the official building of The Nation Youth Institute

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot in Roma neighborhood for Capital Mural. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Retna. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saner. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sego. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Mac. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Portrait of Maria Guardado, a social activist and poet from Guatemala. Ms. Guardado was tortured and killed by the Guatemalan army during the bloody civil war in 1980.

El Mac. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arty & Chikle. “Only Love”. Street Art MUJAM in collaboration with the Mexico City National Youth Institute for Young Adults. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Torre Latino Americana. Mexico City. November 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

This week BSA is in Mexico City in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN) to see what is steering the scene on the street, meet artists, visit artist compounds, museums, galleries, and studios – and of course to capture the wild and dynamic Street Art and graffiti scene here. Where Mexico City goes in art and culture makes big waves elsewhere in Latin America, and its Street Art scene has been quickly evolving in the last decade. Join us as we investigate the character and players in this modern/traditional city of more than 21 million people.


Not much happens in Mexico City’s modern Street Art scene that Roberto Shimizu Jr. doesn’t know about.

El Mac is in good company. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With his namesake father at the helm of the Mexican Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM) since it opened in 2006, the younger Shimizu has organized 30 or so Street Art events, founded the All City Canvas program, worked with city and federal public art programs. He has also been a personal clearing house for some of the most recognized talents and new practitioners on the scene, inviting them to paint inside and outside this eclectic and curiously expansive, overwhelming museum of toys that span a century or so.

ROA. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spent hours with Roberto walking the floors of this imagination-provoking museum today – oggling an ocean of hand-made and mass produced items here that his father has collected for almost 60 years in every state of Mexico, only 5% of an estimated 5 million individual pieces in their collection. As the son of a voracious lifelong collector with a razor sharp eye and appreciation for positive energy Roberto Jr. has an omnivore’s appetite for Street Art, public art, graffiti.

So naturally since the museum first opened he’s been bringing in an eclectic array of aerosol/brush painters, wheatpasters, stencils, sticker slappers to hit up walls in the courtyard outside, on the roof, inside the museum, and on walls around the industrialized/residential neighborhood of Colonia Doctores.

Curiot. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ll be telling you more about this ingenious genius and his heartfelt amor for toys and Street Art later, but we thought we’d just show you some excerpts of a large rolled canvas signed by the important artists, curators, sincere fans and occasional rock stars that he’s been amassing for the last few years.

Here you’ll find a number of the big names from today’s Street Art scene from before anyone really knew them – people to whom he personally gave opportunities and encouragement and materials and who later have landed in the collections of museums and collectors thanks to him giving them an opportunity, or two, or three. Also it was good for us to see names of the new kids on the block and a number of Latin American talents we all will be getting to know in the future.

Herakut. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Neuzz. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liqen. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M – City. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Luca Dalto. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

For more information about MUJAM click HERE

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“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.

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Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.

Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.

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Antony Lister. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.

A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.

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Curiot. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”

This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.

“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”

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Evoca 1. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Fintan Magee. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Miss Van. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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MOMO. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Onur & Wes 21. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Telmo & Miel. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

 

All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo

 

The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.

Participating Artists
Amose, Arraiano, Augustine Kofie, Axel Void, Bezt (Etam Crew), Chazme 718, Chor boogie, Clog Two, Curiot, Cyrcle, DALeast, Decertor, Dface, ETNIK, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Hense, INTI, Jade, Jaz, JR, Kenor, Lister, Logan Hicks, Low Bros, Meggs, Miss Van, Momo, Mr Thoms, Muro, Natalia Rak, Nosego, Onur, Pener, Reka, Robert “Tone” Proch,Ron English, Rone, Sainer (Etam Crew), SATONE, SEACREATIVE, Sepe, Smithone, Sten Lex, Stormie Mills, Telmo Miel, Tristan Eaton, TWOONE HIROYASU, Vhils, Wes21 and Zed 1

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Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

Borås “No Limit” 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities

The Spanish Street Art duo Pichiavo brought the antiquities and modern day graffiti together last week on a soaring multi-story wall in Borås, Sweden. Ironically both are under attack at any given time these days – one by terrorists eager to erase and loot symbols of unholy civilization and the other by the municipal buffing of unsanctioned aerosol tags. In one mural the Valencia-based duo are encompassing many battles and, as it rises amidst a building complex that was once a textile mill here by the Viskan River, the duality of the piece is awash with color and movement like so many fabric dyes being dumped into a stream.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Pichi and Avo, who merge their names as one on artworks, the creation process of their murals includes first laying down a blanket of aerosol tags and then precisely rendering the figures of Greek and Roman mythology and sculpture over top as a semi-transparent screen. In this case the fierce Greek goddess Latona guards her son Apollo and his sister Artemis, commanding the bricked space and raising questions.

As a passerby looks at this mashing of imagery one may be reminded of the fiery and perplexing tensions that exist in discussions in academic and public-policy circles about the worthiness of graffiti, street art, and urban art alongside traditionally more revered art forms and styles. Another audience will see the battles between the various practices on the streets themselves, of which Pichiavo are well acquainted. Witness the faded “Toy” bubble branded on the infants hip – a term used to disparaged new unskilled graffiti writers.

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Pichiavo. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichiavo tell us that the supportive relationship depicted extends between the mother and her children and that the figures are deliberately chosen to portray their own experiences. “Our aim was to represent graffiti and Street Art and the overall movement through Leto’s figure. Here her children are the writers, or artists. According to Greek mythology Apollo and his sister Artemis were the most important protectors of Leto, defending her from attackers of all kinds. This allegory can be applied in the Street Art world, where many people try to take advantage of something that it is growing and we, the writers ourselves, need to defend and protect that which we care about.”

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Pichi & Avo showing off their work at No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by Street Artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencillist Joe Iurato.

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Pichiavo. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With maps, food trucks, tours, and near daily coverage from local media, including the largest outlet “Borås Tidning”, whose façade was painted this year by Los Angeles native Tristan Eaton, this city of about 65,000 turns out small crowds to watch the progress from the sidewalk and interact with the artists.

“The people here are enthusiastic about the artists and their works and really engage with the art,” says Dahan, who serves as director of the “No Limit” festival and who also organized a pop-up gallery show of work by international and local artists in the heart of the city.

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David Zinn. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Across the street from the university is a “first” for a mural by the Chinese-born artist DALeast, who has not previously worked in the industrial cerulean hue that dyes the fibre-like threads weaving an enormous flying bird’s wingspan across a graduated modern façade. Dahan tells us that it is meant to be seen from the ground level for students and faculty at The Swedish School of Textiles.

“When he arrived in town he sat with his black book right here,” he says, motioning to the contiguous wooden seating platform running along steps leading up to the august bird. “He sketched the entire mural from this vantage point, and this is the best perspective to see it from.”

Next year the city is planning a sculpture festival and the murals will return in 2017. In the mean time, have a look at new work from Curiot, DalEast, David Zinn, Dulk, Inti, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Robert Proch, and Tristan Eaton.

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Robert Proch. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Proch. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Curiot. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dulk. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dal East. Detail from a photo taken above ground. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. Detail. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti. No Limit 2015. Boras, Sweden. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See our previous updates:

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 1 : Temporary, Anamorphic David Zinn

“No Limit” in Borås, Update 2: Joe Iurato Climbing the Streets

“No Limit” in Borås: Update 3: Shots of Murals in Process

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BSA Film Friday 12.05.14

BSA Film Friday 12.05.14

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-Gaia-Film-Friday-Screen-Shot-2014-12-02-at-9.15

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

Now screening :

1. Street Artist GAIA, Super Modernity in Italy, Austria, Turkey
2. JR: RIVAGES  a film by Guillaume Cagniard
3. Curiot at the Mexico City’s Youth Institute

BSA Special Feature: Street Artist GAIA, Super Modernity in Italy, Austria, Turkey

“Traversing places in order to respond to place, what an absurd proposition.”

And yet, that is what Street Artist Gaia has been doing for the last 3 years or so.  In route he has been seeing many other artists doing the same thing, and has been feeling super modern about it.

While Street Art grew out of the graffiti tradition of tagging your local city with your name and your artwork and calling it a day, few are satisfied with that audience today. True fame happens via the Internet and mural festivals, and Gaia has made it one of his goals to study the history and culture of his host city and the resulting art works have been affected by his self-education and observation.

In this new video mini-treatise, an existential examination of his own journey to this point, Gaia poses questions while cleverly jabbing at the roving rootless lifestyle that has arrested many artists in the Street Art scene; reveling in its benefits — possibly counting its costs.

The petite piece is scored by Max Muffler in a postmodern electronic timber, evoking the charging swing of perpetual cross-cultural travel that can be rich and repetitively banal.

Sounds like the beginning of a larger work to come.

 

 

JR: RIVAGES  a film by Guillaume Cagniard

 

Curiot at the Mexico City’s Youth Institute

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LA in Berlin, Urban Nation Unveils Project M/4

LA in Berlin, Urban Nation Unveils Project M/4

Urban Nation in Berlin bellows quietly again as it partners with Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace in LA for an eclectic Project M/4 installation and group show.

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Dabs & Myla on the facade. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

The forth iteration of this open/secret streetside exhibition in the the front windows of soon to be renovated building near Nollendorfplatz, M/4 highlights the myriad influences of the New Contemporary scene that Hosner has crafted and curated for roughly a decade now. With LA-via-Australian couple DabsMyla festooning the five-story façade with signature cartoonish characters, the ground floor windows portend the ever widening array of influences that may reflect in the Urban Art story that UN founder Yasha Young envisions telling in the future.

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Joao Ruas (A) and Fernando Chamarelli (B). Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

In addition to the windows reflecting a titillating tomorrow for this edifice, the group show “LAX/TXL” fills a nearby gallery space with Hosner’s handpicked top 60 artists from the ever growing spheres of dark pop, pop surrealism, tattoo, illustration, street art, graffiti, new folk, and skater culture that have characterized the rolling visual feast that follows wherever he goes. With so many new voices and spirits in this neighborhood that sports a rich modern history of germinating subculture, it appears that Berlin is poised to again reconfigure, even if current passersby may be a bit puzzled.

Window murals for Project M/4 are planned to showcase works by Alexis Diaz (aka La Pandilla, Andrew Shoultz, C215, Curiot, Fernando Chamarelli, Glenn Barr, Joao Ruas, Low Bros, Nosego, and Word To Mother

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Alexis Diaz/La Pandilla. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Alexis Diaz at work on his piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

The ‘LAX / TXL’ gallery show features 16” square works by
Aaron Nagel, Adam Caldwell, Alex Yanes, Alexis Diaz (aka La Pandilla), Allison Sommers, Amy Sol, Andrew Hem, Andrew Schoultz, Anthony Clarkson, Ariel DeAndrea, Bec Winne, Brendan Monroe, Brett Amory, Brian Mashburn, Brian M. Viveros, Bumblebee C215, Camilla d’Errico, Carl Cashman, Christine Wu, Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker, Cryptik, Curiot, Dabs Myla, Dave MacDowell, David Cooley, Derek Gores, Ekundayo, Erica Rose Levine, Erik Jones, Fernando Chamarelli, Frank Gonzales, Ghostpatrol, Glenn Arthur, Glenn Barr, James Marshall (aka Dalek), JBAK, Jeff Ramirez, Jeremy Hush, Joanne Nam, Jolene Lai, Keita Morimoto, Kelly Vivanco, Kevin Peterson, Kikyz 1313, Kyungyup Kwon, Linnea Strid, Luke Chueh, Mari Inukai, Meggs, Mike Egan, Nosego, Paul Barnes, Paul Romano, Pixel Pancho, Rodrigo Luff, Ryan Hewett, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Sarah Joncas, Seth Armstrong, So Youn Lee, Word To Mother, Yoskay Yamamoto, and Yosuke Ueno.

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Curiot. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Curiot at work on his piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Low Bros. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Low Bros at work on their piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Glen Barr (F) Nosego (G). Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Nosego signing his piece. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Andrew Schoultz (H) Word To Mother (I). Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Andrew Schoultz working on his piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Word To Mother working on his piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Detail of Word To Mother piece. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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C215 (J). Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Andrew Schoultz and Word To Mother couldn’t resist the empty walls inside the building. Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

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Word To Mother and Andrew Schoultz beautifying the empty soon to be demolished walls inside the building . Project M/4. Urban Nation, Berlin. (photo © Henrik Haven)

 

Click HERE for more information on Urban Nation and Project M and to see the previous editions of Project M

Special thanks to photographer Henrik Haven for sharing these exclusive images with BSA readers.

 

 

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Hot Shots and Video From 1st FIAP in Holbox, Mexico

Hot Shots and Video From 1st FIAP in Holbox, Mexico

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It must be sooooooooooo hard to paint a mural in paradise.

Hollbox Island is the home of the first international public art festival in Mexico and appears to be a good location to test this theory.

Canada’s Labrona was one of the first street artists to participate this February and he characterizes the experience as “the most magical location for a mural festival ever.” Hyperbole, perhaps but look at these images, many of them provided for BSA readers by painter and FIAP participant Jason Botkin, another Montreal artist and fellow EN MASSE crew member who has also made major inroads in the mural circuit.

Says Labrona, “I painted this mural on a tranquil sand street a few blocks from a beautiful beach. I made a ton of friends,” he says.  Most notably he says were the two incredible Mexican artist-muralists Curiot and Lesuperdemon. Mexicans who are outrageously talented at murals? Stop!

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Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. Detail. (photo © LunAzul Photography)

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Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. (photo © LunAzul Photography)

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Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. (photo © Events Playa)

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Labrona (photo © Jason Botkin)

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Labrona (photo © Jason Botkin)

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Dherzu (photo © Jason Botkin)

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Le Super Demon (photo © LunAzul Photography)

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Jace (photo © Jason Botkin)

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Omen (photo © Jason Botkin)

 

 

Click HERE to learn more about Festival Internacional de Arte Publico (FIAP) Holbox 2014

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ThinkSpace Gallery Presents: “Vanguard” A Group Exhibition. (Culver City, CA)

Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘Vanguard’, an exciting group exhibition of new works by the gallery’s established artists, and by recent additions to its roster. This special exhibition will provide a curated glimpse into the New Contemporary Art Movement with a dynamic selection of artwork representing the diverse range of its artists and their practices. These artists are unified by the shared intent to create exceptional artwork that speaks relevantly to contemporary culture. Distilling inspiration from a variety of sources including illustration, pop culture, comics, street art, and graffiti, the New Contemporary Art Movement culls its content from the world and presents imagery saturated with powerfully populist forms. As a movement with its beginnings firmly grounded in Los Angeles, Thinkspace has been a significant conduit and catalyst for its expansion worldwide. While it is young, New Contemporary Art has gained traction and recognition the world over and continues to establish itself as a potentially inveterate art movement with a steadily evolving history.

‘Vanguard’ will feature artwork by Thinkspace artists Allison Sommers, Derek Gores, Kevin Peterson, Sarah Joncas, Seth Armstrong, Shark Toof, and Yosuke Ueno, and will also include works from recent gallery additions: Curiot from Mexico, NoseGo from Philadelphia, Jeremy Enecio from Brooklyn, Kikyz1313 from Mexico, and Halsey Swain from Portland. Each artist imparts their own unique and unrepeatable contribution to the movement in keeping with its core tenets of accessibility and contemporaneity; their work speaks democratically in a relatable way, and draws from the realities of the contemporary culture in which we are all imbricated. As an art movement that seeks to reflect popular cultural forms rather than to exclude them, the New Contemporary Art Movement is unified by its diversity and its appeal to shared sensibilities and social currencies. An aggregate of distinct and yet concomitant voices, each exponent is different and informed by his or her own vision, but each resonates with a desire to show the viewer something identifiable, real, imminent, and firmly grounded in the now. ‘Vanguard’ will present an inspired cross-section of these exceptional and varied talents, offering a rare opportunity to hear their voices in unison.

http://thinkspacegallery.com/shows/2013-05/#photos

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