Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. URBAN ART 2014 on Auction
2. Building Detroit – Revok, Nekst, Pose
3. Sheryo and Yok in Indonesia
4. Coachella Walls: Date Farmers by Medvin Sobio
5. Spaik and Libre. Mexico City 2014
BSA Special Feature: URBAN ART 2014 on Auction with Artcuriel
A film by Jérémy Jaoui
This is what it looks like now; a powerful visual documentation and summary of one plainly commercial aspect of this moment in the evolution of graffiti art/ Street Art/ urban art – and its collectability with a growing global artworld fan base. The video follows Artcuriel and it’s personable auctioneer Arnaud Oliveux as the crowd gathers and clinks glasses, listens to speeches, views live art-making and inspects a collection of fine art created by graffiti and Street Artists which will soon be auctioned.
As one observer notes while thumbing through the show catalog “Urban Art is becoming something real!” Now the vulgar rap lyrics that describe sexual acts to a beat which accompanied the visuals of the artists in the gallery are replaced with rarefied classical strings and no percussion when we enter the auction room where commerce takes place.
Excitement in the packed house is palpable and the auctioneer is the entertaining and electrified ringmaster, with poised assistants tensely perched on the telephone with international bidders.
“With an artist like LUDO, Arnauld is being very avant-garde,” says a knowledgeable admirer while we see the piece reach a record price to applause and pieces are placed on the mantel by men in white gloves. “Urban Art is now happening as we wanted it to,” says Monsieur Oliveux to us from his desk.
Well edited and skillfully presented, the film by Jaoui Jérémy gives you a rare glimpse into a world far removed from the street yet inextricably tied to it – where one time vandals become art stars, collectible artists, performers and celebrity endorsers. It’s your call whether it is a celebration or an indictment, and perspectives will vary according to where you sit, but here the elements are all on parade before your eyes and presented in a passionate way.
Building Detroit – Revok, Nekst, Pose
The graffiti and Street Art scene in abandoned Detroit is “thriving like I don’t think we’ve seen in the US for quite some time,” observes artist Pose, one of the few writers/artists who is straddling the street and commercial gallery world. “When you leave something and don’t care about it, we come here.” It’s a rallying cry for painters, a cautionary statement for authorities that encapsulates one of the primary dynamics of the graffiti/street art/public art scene.
But then Pose offers an additional sentiment that gets missed in these often simplified arguments. “We care about it, we’ll paint it all day.”
From MOCA in LA to MOCAD here, where both Revok and Pose have created large scale works, the institutional recognition of the contribution of the art form is remarkable. Simultaneously the freewill act of it a few blocks away from the museum has greater implications from a legal aspect.
Oh no! Complexity to contemplate.
Sheryo and Yok in Indonesia
“Sheryo and The Yok go to Indonesia to learn batik and sculpture” says their description but we think they may already know a thing or two about both. Here they are line illustrating with hot wax, adding a third dimension in clay to characters with phallus noses, and hitting up random walls throughout the city and on the beach with aerosol. Like any good guests, they make sure to credit their hosts here, which is real nice. Oh yes, and there’s a gallery show at Turner Gallery in Purth March 21 – mentioned at the very end.
Coachella Walls: Date Farmers by Medvin Sobio
Hey man, ¿Qué haces? For this Coachella street-art-related event the dude Medvin Sobio is setting the scene again with unscripted social outtakes and interactions are positioned as the main story – and he is framing it with this jukebox music. Yes, this is where The Eagles are national treasures, Marvin Gaye is a nice reminder of a time when singing about the environment could still get airplay, and MJ is always a party starter. Errrbuddy get up!
Spaik and Libre. Mexico City 2014
Part of a commercial gig for a traveling corporate electronic dance music festival, Spaik and Libre knock out a colorful wall while participants pile onto the big lot in DF for the multi-screen festivities.