All posts tagged: David Choe

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.18.17 / Selections From Welling Court 2017

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.18.17 / Selections From Welling Court 2017


“All’s Well That Ends in Impeachment #ShakespeareInTheTrump

“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”

“Twelfth Bankruptcy #ShakespeareintheTrump

New York’s jewel of free theater in Central Park is actually trending on Twitter, believe it or not. The production of Julius Ceasar features a Trumpian-looking lead character and it has inflamed people who haven’t heard of Shakespeare – which means a large swath of pretty/handsome bobble heads on US TV. The cautionary story actually has referenced modern leaders in productions historically in theaters in recent years and as a rule. There is even a story about Orsen Wells directing a version with actors in Nazi uniforms in the 20s or 30s.

More recent productions have included an Obama lookalike (“Caesar is cast as a tall, lanky black man” ) and a Hillaryesque woman in a white pantsuit, so why people are scandalized we don’t know. Two protesters actually stormed the stage Friday night during the performance, and lily-livered brands like Delta Airlines and Bank of Russia have pulled their financial support of the production. This is what happens when the Arts are cut out of a generation of schools, sisters and brothers.

And in other polarized news, the planned protest (and performance piece) in front of the Houston-Bowery wall is still scheduled for this afternoon. Artists and organizers have been reaching out to tell us about the protest along with possible other demonstrations which have been kick-started by the controversial choice of artist David Choe by Goldman Arts to paint the wall. Rape, Rape Culture, the normalization of sexual abuse, predatory behavior and attitudes toward women, and related issues will be in the discussion due to Choe’s own involvement in a possible rape scenario by his own account and his subsequent muddy explanations about it. Choe’s public apology yesterday via Instagram may have altered the calculus slightly but the bigger issues still prevail and many opinions on social media still question Goldman’s silence on the topic. Meanwhile, the wall has pretty much been dissed completely.

Finally, the drama of the Welling Court mural festival, which we actually do not know any drama about and which brought all sorts of community murals to this Queens working class neighborhood for the 8th year last weekend. We got out there to shoot a number of the walls without the crowds for you this week, and here’s a selection below.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring A Visual Bliss, ASVP, Below Key, Cey Adams, Crash, Daze, Dek 2 DX, Dennis McNett, Dirt Cobain, Eelco Virus, Eyez, EZO, Ghost Beard, I am Eelco, John Fekner, Jonny Bluze, LMNOPI, NYC Hooker, Patch Whisky, Queen Andrea, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Rob Sharp, Sean 9 Lugo, and Toofly.

Top image: Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rob Sharp. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Visual Bliss collab with Sean9Lugo. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Visual Bliss . Sean9Lugo. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I Am Eelco. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Queen Andrea. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cey Adams. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#dek2dx. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EZO. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NYC Hooker. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daze . Crash. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TooFly. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dan Witz. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASVP. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ramiro Davaro-Comas. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Below Key. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Patch Whisky . Ghost Beard. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Johnny Bluze. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EYEZ. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dirt Cobain. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Astoria, Queens. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)


Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.

Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

Every Sunday on, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular 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 2016.

Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.

The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.

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Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2016

Top 15 Videos on BSA Film Friday From 2016


Your 15 Top Videos of 2016!

Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or we just tripped over in the alleyway.

We call it BSA Film Friday and it doesn’t exist only online these days – we take the show to lectures in classrooms and museums and festivals to show people what kind of dope, strange, illuminating, elevating, soaring, and pedestrian films are being made about artists working in  the public sphere.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-copyright-Frank-Embacher-Steven_Harrington_Ethel_Seno-Carlo-McCormick_Jaime_Rojo-Dresden-Magic-City-740We even curated a film program this year for the Magic City exhibition in Dresden, Germany with 12 of the best – and it was our honor to present ‘Live’ there to audiences with those folks last month.

Today we’re giving you the BSA Top 15 Videos from 2016 – the ones that garnered the most traffic and conversation online. We are never quite sure what you will find interesting, so to see this collection of videos all together gives us a good idea that we have some of the smartest and savviest readers !

Included with each one is an excerpt of what we said for the original posting.

Grab the popcorn and enjoy the show!


No. 15
Sofles / Wayfarer by Selina Miles

From BSA Film Friday 03.11.15

“Selina Miles has just directed an epic excursion through the pleasant looking Collingwood and Fitroy areas of Melbourne and the graffiti culture there. The prolific and talented writer Sofles rides and runs center screen on this guided tour of his aerosol stomping ground and this (nearly) one continuous shot drone film is a revelation. Again Miles pushes the documentation category forward, going beyond merely recording toward capturing, creating a sense of drama, certainly poetry.

Omar Musa grabs you with his words before you even know where you are and holds your heart tethered to a string and pulling you along these streets and alleys and back lots. Many times this piece is soaring in its singularity and its sense of collaboration.”


No. 14
Chump for Trump. Ron English x The Sutcliffes

From BSA Film Friday: 07.01.16

“Seeing the new Ron English mural of Donald Trump in Bushwick, Brooklyn last week we were reminded of the video he released in April with a soundtrack by The Sutcliffes, a Beatles tribute band. It uses footage from Trump rallies and commercials interspersed with illustration and animation in an approachable folky way. Once you go down the rabbit hole of Trump satire and parody videos that have been made in the last year, you’ll find enough to begin a film festival.”


No. 13
Between The Lines With RISK

From BSA Film Friday: 04.15.16

“Risk talks about his evolution from a kid in New Orleans sketching in his notebook at school to getting up with a crew in LA, painting all over public space and property to gain a higher profile and retain the thrill of hit-and-run, and some highlights of his professional career. In route from illegal to legal he developed a reverence for color, form, and technical experimentation and aspirations for museum quality work and large scale public sculpture. Just don’t tag his stuff please.”


No. 12
“Street Food” from Mathieu Roquigny

BSA Film Friday: 09.30.16

“Some simple stencil activism well placed can be very effective. Vulgar, absurd, playful. Call it what you want, but Mathieu Roquigny is the first one we have seen do it. Do not view during your morning donut and coffee.”



No. 11
Faith 47, No Standing Anytime

From BSA Film Friday: 01.08.16

“A gorgeously ambient tribute to New York through the eyes of a visitor who takes some alternate routes through the city along with the more obvious ones to capture vignettes of mundanity and of wonder. Rowan Pybus shoots this city poetry as a series of visual stanzas stacked unevenly, accompanied by the occasional Faith47 mural (she has accumulated a few in NYC now) as well as the wistful sound recordings of lemurs by Alexia Webster that melt into the gentle audio cacophony of the street as designed by Jonathan Arnold.

The combined passages allow you to slow down and contemplate the whirring city and a handful of its moments as sweet parenthesis in this run-on sentence called New York. Okay, that’s enough, move along now, no standing.”


No. 10
Ella & Pitr: Utsira Island

From BSA Film Friday: 08.26.16

“It is funny to see this video stamped with the name “Street Art, Utsira ” because Utsira is an island with about 200 inhabitants off the coast of Norway, and there not many streets.  Also, this piece is not on a street.

Regardless, french roof painting couple Ella & Pitr made a trip there recently and squeezed in one of there cuddly characters, who looks like he is on the lamb from the huge childrens story book that he escaped from. Stay tuned for some exclusive shots and reportage on the making of this piece and their upcoming show at the local pub!”


No. 9
Herakut: “Masters Of Wrong”

BSA Film Friday: 04.01.16

“HERA + AKUT=HERAKUT – a back-to-basics introduction to Herakut today, since new fans are joining the fold and need to become acquainted with a duo that has been on the street around the world for years and has been moving into galleries for a while also.

Here at the white box Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles for their “Masters of Wrong” show it is a different view entirely from the street surely, including paintings evenly spaced across white walls as well as an area for a more immersive environment.

Outside, “The wolf that wins is the one you feed” is the Cherokee wisdom they paint on the side of the local high school, and in the commercialization of the Street Art world, we see this enmeshed dichotomy more daily.

Let the softly kinetic paddling of the marimba escort you through their political and social commentary, now more overt and obvious and  satirical than ever, as they show you their new show and their new works for exhibition and for sale.”


No. 8
“Watching My Name Go By”

BSA Film Friday: 08.05.16

“Directed by Julia Cave and originally shown on the BBC documentary series OMNIBUS in December of 1976, this was actually the second half of a program that followed a tour through the art gallery scene of Soho.

A hidden gem that surveys the variety of opinions held by citizens, historians, police and front stoop sociologists about the graffiti scene on trains and the streets, the story is measured and inquisitive. It’s without glamour, although there may be guile.”


No. 7
Os Gemeos Mural: Hangar Bicocca Building

BSA Film Friday: 04.29.16

“Graffiti writers and assorted urban artists have a romantic fixation with the steel monsters that snake through our cities and across the backyards and fields of entire countries. For the urban art culture subways and freights have distinct but overlapping associations with freedom, wanderlust, a daredevil mentality, … and Brazilian brothers Os Gemeos have just created their latest ode to the subway train in Milan – almost as big as any writer’s dream.”


No. 6
David Choe: The Perfect Day in Cambodia

From BSA Film Friday: 01.15.16

“This looks like a trailer for a larger piece:

Artist David Choe writes “This trip to Cambodia was not a news trip, we were there strictly to spread the message of love, light, beauty, joy, free expression and creativity. I didn’t realize how many millions of musicians, artists, writers and creative people had been murdered in the Cambodian genocide, so I wanted to bring the best artists in the world to Cambodia, a country that has virtually no murals or street art. Our goal, working through the #IglooHong Foundation, was simple: to spread some light, joy and beauty to a country with such a dark past.”


No. 5
The Restoration of Blu for “Street Art Banksy & Co”

BSA Film Friday: 06.10.16

“Part II of a behind the scenes look by Good Guy Boris at the controversial show in Bologna that features art works by BLU and others that were originally not intended to appear in a museum, like most things in museums.

Here we learn about less sexy topics like copyright law and one lawyers interpretation of the realistic expectations of artists when painting illegally and legally as it applies to copyright in Italy and France. We also receive a quick education about traditional and modern techniques for the restoration of works for archival purposes, which is why people will be looking at these things long after you and we are gone.”


No. 4
Lister Prepares for “MAD PROPS STREET CRED“

BSA Film Friday: 02.05.16

“On the occasion of his show last fall at New Image Art in Los Angeles, artist/street artist Anthony Lister had an emotional meltdown. Told with the help of top name graffiti writer RISK, gallery owner Marsea Goldberg, and the artist himself we learn about a tumultuous personal backstory that informs his experience while creating new works on the street and for the show. Especially rewarding in this new short directed by Mark Simpson is an unobtrusive examination of the artists gestural technique, a revelation in itself.

Additionally, the performance artist Ariel Brickman on stage at the show opening is the personification of Lister’s  fantasic/heroic/treacherous figures; a spot-on example of his work come to life.”


No. 3
Pixel Pancho: “Teseo e il Minotauro” in Rome

From BSA Film Friday: 03.04.16

“In a city steeped in art history where every camera shot looks like a classic movie scene you have to be cognizant of the critical analysis that will be directed at your new mural from every Giovanni, Adriana, and Luca who are walking by or hanging out of the window.
These are the countrymen and women of Pixel Pancho so he takes it all into consideration and presents a classic of his own, merged with a steam-punked futurism of robots who are rather romantic in their own way.”


No. 2
Narcelio Grud: Public Music Box

BSA Film Friday :01.22.16

“Narcelio Grud has a track record of transforming public space in an unassuming manner that actually engages people directly. Here is his latest urban intervention – a music box for pedestrians to listen to while waiting for the light to change.”


No. 1

In Memory: Giulio Vesprini

From BSA Film Friday: 07.15.16

“Murals have an entirely different function in the urban environment than Street Art and graffiti, although some folks use the terms interchangeably. One of the time-honored functions of a public mural in many cities has been the “memorial mural,” the one that recalls a person or people or a  significant event that has impacted a neighborhood, even a nation. Because it is artwork mounted publicly, it can be used as a meeting point for people in a community to gather and talk about it, trading stories and impressions and gaining understanding.  At its’ worst, a memorial mural can be superficial or overwrought, moralizing, even stunningly unartful.

Sometimes however, it can provide to a community a sense of pride or history, and it can be empowering. Other times there is a mental, emotional catharsis that takes place with the artwork providing a forum, a safe space to discuss the undiscussible in a public forum or simply to share in a common sense of loss, or experience some sense of healing.

‘It’s not mere decoration, but deals with ethics,’ says Giulio Vesprini as he paints this mural remembering Camp No.70 Monte Urano, a WWII prison camp a mile or two from the sea and Porto San Georgio, in Italy. ‘So it has been very important to me that I could give my contribution.’ “


We dedicate this compilation to the filmmakers who bring so much joy, knowledge and awareness with their artistry and technical wizardry every day and especially every Friday from BSA Film Friday to all of us here at BSA and to our readers. Cheers for a wonderful 2017…

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2016 – A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2016 – A “Social” Survey


Murals have captured so much of the popular imagination about what the Street Art scene is today and although they may be part of the definition, murals remain only a part of the entire scene; a visual conversation that includes legal, illegal, small, anonymous, massive, deliberately confounding, low-energy scrawl, stickers, tags, poetry, diatribes, culture jamming, ad takeovers, sculpture, installations. Every week we aim to present a varied selection of expressions currently represented on the street, and then it is your turn to respond.

During 2016 BSA readers responded to images via our website, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbr, and Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, we tallied up which murals (or images) got the most interest from you all. Care to read into the results?

The top 3 really sum it all up for 2016 and shouldn’t surprise us, but they still do; Militarism, Mis-information, and the Man of the Year.

If you ever doubted how much art on the street reflects the psyche of a society back to itself, no need to wonder anymore. If only we could read these tea-leaves and tell the future…

No 15.
David Choe’s Portrait Of Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls / Art Basel 2016.


David Choe. Detail. Wynwood Walls / Art Basel 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally appearing here:


No 14
Plotbot Ken’s car installation on the Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin.


Plotbot Ken’s post-apocolyptic installation on a car at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.


No 13
Faust and Shantell Martin in Manhattan, NY.


Handstyle and all New York, baby. Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 12
Swoon in Brooklyn, NY.


One of Swoon’s new additions to the street in 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 11
ASTRO in East Harlem.


ASTRO in East Harlem for #NotACrime campaign in collaboration with Street Art Anarchy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 10 
Nychos in Manhattan, NY.


More than his multiple murals published here this year, this sculpture on 23rd Street in Manhattan in the spring captured the imagination and gave his work an added dimension. Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 9 
MadC in Marrakesh, Morocco.


Mad C. MB6 Street Art. Marrakesh Biennale 6. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 8
Maya Hayuk in Brooklyn, NY.


Maya Hayuk. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 7
Invader in Jersey City, NJ.


Space Invader in Jersey City for Mana Urban Arts Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 6
Collin Van Der Sluijs. Super A in Berlin.


Collin Van Der Sluijs . Super A.  Detail. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. One Wall. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 5
Kurar in Berlin


Kurar for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. NOTE: This piece was created late in 2015 but we got to it early in 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 4
Biggie Smalls in Brooklyn, NY.


Rocko & Zimer. NOTE: This piece was created late in 2015 but we got to it early in 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 3
Otto “Osch” Schade in Brooklyn, NY.


OSCH for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 2
Klops in Brooklyn, NY.


Klops for The Bushwick Collective illuminates the concentration of 90% of the media in the hands of 6 companies. In 1983 there were 50. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

No 1
Ron English in Brooklyn, NY.


Ron English brings Donald Trump as Humpty Dumpty on a wall – in collaboration with The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to see the original posting on BSA.

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Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time


An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both.


1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls.

International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake.

Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence mixed with plaid, shot-callers and violins, strollers and stillettos, an undertone of aggression and sexual tension, salt-of-the-earth with self-admiring clubbers, perfect skin and aerosol painted hands, a whiff of weed and a sense of wonder waiting to be discovered.


Audrey Kawasaki at The Hotel. Goldman Global Arts. South Beach. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there was a parade of 40 or so citizens and activists carrying signs and handing out flyers down the street to protest the oil pipelines taking sacred lands from native tribes and polluting natural water supplies, the thousands of art fans flooding the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami would have been hard pressed to find any Street Art talking about those topics.

Ironically the political shockwaves this year in Miami seemed to emanate from behind doors at the fair with Sam Durant’s “End White Supremacy” piece that many interpreted as a direct response to the election of a president whose followers include radical organizations that champion white supremacy. Alas, the piece was made in 2008, and although its hand-style emulates the hit and run scrawl of some graffiti on the street, it was a thoughtfully executed piece constructed as an illuminated sign.


David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With one very notable exception, the enormous and frightful mural featuring Donald Trump as Heath Ledger’s Joker wielding a knife at the neck of the Statue of Liberty with the screaming headline “Come On… What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?” by 12 artists for The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Arts Project, the professionalization of Street Artists and their murals may be steering the paintings in Wynwood away from in-your-face activism.

Granted, no one is thinking that commercially branded ventures that actually pay artists to paint will encourage the outright expression of social or political opinions – that may challenge or frighten potential customers and investors. Hotel lobbies need murals, sport cars need decorative painting, beer cans need labels. A number of liquor and lifestyle companies have invited artists here over the last few years and paid them to make their special events and products visually appealing, but little else.


David Choe portrait of Martha Cooper and her cat Mélia. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The newly refurbished Hard Rock stadium a few miles north of Miami features huge mural installations by international Street Artists that are curated by Goldman Global Arts, a division of Goldman Properties, the same real estate organization that has brought artists from around the world to the Wynwood Walls compound and featured their fine art canvasses in gallery expositions since the late 2000s. The pieces are opus works in an unusual setting and now sports fans are going to be up close and personal with some of the bigger names in Street Art right now.

It would be hypocritical for anyone to expect that these artists should accept commercial work and yet disrespect guidelines about the content. Similarly, expecting artists not to seek commercial opportunities for fear of “selling out” is arrogant and unrealistic and often the convenient provenance of privileged youth who dabble in “slumming” as a rebellious lifestyle. Later they are bankers.


David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even so, where’s the anger right now? Why didn’t you see a lot of furious diatribes, challenges to power, and mockery of small-minded thinking on the street in Wynwood – and what would it take for Street Art to embrace its power to affect social and political change?

Just posing the question here now, again – as the topics of impending fascism, the increasing acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, corruption, oligarchy, state-corporatism, and a systematic eroding of respect for our institutions – all came up in conversations at bars, art openings, panel discussions, and roof parties.


Okuda. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The murals you see here are often technically superb and their themes, while muted, may address some of the larger themes affecting society, but one wonders if there is an internalized censorship that we have accepted.

These images are admittedly of a modest percentage of the hundreds of legal murals and illegally dashed-off pieces we saw this week, but that’s only because we have edited for our individual aesthetics, not because of content. Also admittedly, as people in the arts, we are exhausted from the recent election and all it portends, and we were happy for some glorious eye candy to salve the psychic wounds – so maybe we were selectively seeing what we wanted to.

Probably not too much though.

For an art practice with some serious and proud roots in activism, the walls in Miami are curiously quiet. But they definitely look amazing.


Pixel Pancho. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Findac. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Faith 47. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Felipe Pantone. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Martin Whatson. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. June. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © INO)


Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vhils. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pichi & Avo. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pichi & Avo. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tristan Eaton. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The London Police. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hueman. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jen Stark. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


AVAF. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Case Maclaim. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bordalo II. Uninhibited Festival 2016. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Peeta. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Knarf. Work in progress. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 Our week’s coverage on BSA:

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

You’ll Need Good Shoes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 3

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 6

This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

This article is also published on The Huffington Post.


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Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2


The police here in Miami have taken over the Goldman family offices in the Wynwood district.

Correction: Those would be the artists named The London Police and they are painting a new wall inside the just-opened offices of Goldman Properties – which is a different situation entirely.


The London Police at work on their mural at the new Goldman offices in Wynwood. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

However there was at least one arrest.


Hoisted overhead and hauled down to the station, Martha Cooper still manages to throw a gang sign as she is carted away by The London Police. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The real estate company has a new compound in Wynwood after years of supporting the famed Wynwood Walls compound where perhaps 100 or so international Street Art and graffiti names have brought their skillz since its inception as a living, breathing art project by family visionary Tony Goldman in the late 2000s.


David Choe. Detail. Portrait of Martha Cooper with her cat Mélia. The figure on the left that appears as half human/half whale is a reference to David’s graffiti days when whales were his signature. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a shaded, gardened area of Wynwood we found Ken Hiratsuka pounding away with hammer and chisel Monday on the large boulders that have distinguished this part of the compound for years. It may have been only for a minute, but we’re pretty sure we saw these boulders covered with paint by Anthony Lister at one point, and perhaps one of these was washed in color at the foreground of a Ron English wall not long after. Definitely they’ve been a foundation for the crocheted pink camouflage skin created for them by OLEK only a couple of years ago during one of Jeffrey Dietch’s curations.


Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A close friend of Tony, who passed away in 2012, Mr. Hiratsuka has chiseled his continuous line-work into the sidewalks of Manhattan many times over the years – especially the ones made of slate and granite. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find his distinctive carvings where you walk in Soho right now, making him a true New York Street Artist.


Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Since first bringing his hand-pounded mark-making into the nearly lawless lower Manhattan after arriving from Tokyo in 1982, Hiratsuka may have done as many as 50 large pieces in the pedestrian paths of New York. He didn’t stop there but created a full career of it; with sculpted environments and chiseled streets in 21 countries. In this particular context, these new pieces may call to mind the paintings of Haring (and LA2) and Basquiat. All considered, it is remarkable to find him here for Wynwood’s wall celebrations this year – kicking off with the huge ‘artists dinner’ tonight.


Faith 47. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking of artists, we caught a few on the street, somewhat feverish in this winter warmth, protected often by clouds. Trolling around this outdoor beehive with photographer Martha Cooper in the afternoon, we found that many murals have just been finished – like Pixel Pancho’s gilded and caged paradise, Faith 47s heroic poetry and Okuda’s blended portrait. Earlier in the day while touring the nearby new Hard Rock Stadium we found new pieces in progress, like those by Spanish duo Pichi and Avo and Australia’s Fintan Magee.


Pichi & Avo at work on their mural at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


David Choe. Detail. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


David Choe. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Okuda. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Faith 47. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pixel Pancho. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Beau Stanton. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Findac. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee at work on one of his two murals at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

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BSA Film Friday 01.15.16

BSA Film Friday 01.15.16




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

Now screening :

1. A time lapse of sunny skies and weaves: Damian Fulton
2. The Perfect Day in Cambodia
3. PUN18 1985-2016 In Memoriam
4. Zheani X Shida Collaborate


BSA Special Feature: Damian Fulton

A time lapse of sunny skies and weaves — “It’s such a righteous image that once you see it you go “YES!” Got it!” “I want that,” says Greg Escalonte, co-founder of Juxtapoz. He’s speaking to the gut reaction that California surf culture folks have when they see the new piece by Damian Fulton. Also, there’s a dream sequence!



The Perfect Day in Cambodia

This looks like a trailer for a larger piece:

Artist David Choe writes “This trip to Cambodia was not a news trip, we were there strictly to spread the message of love, light, beauty, joy, free expression and creativity. I didn’t realize how many millions of musicians, artists, writers and creative people had been murdered in the Cambodian genocide, so I wanted to bring the best artists in the world to Cambodia, a country that has virtually no murals or street art. Our goal, working through the #IglooHong Foundation, was simple: to spread some light, joy and beauty to a country with such a dark past.”


PUN18 1985-2016 In Memoriam

A small collection of video pieces from the recently passed psychadelic graffiti writer/ Street Artist Pun18 from Puerto Rico by his friends at TostFilms.

“Every moment that passes is one of learning and value all that we have, so Pun18: Today is a day to celebrate your life and all the moments I shared with you. Thanks for including me and count on me for all the inventions had. With great respect and love I dedicate this short video of some of those moments we shared . I will miss you very much and continue forward like you taught me well . I love you like a brother. Rest in peace.”


Zheani X Shida Collaborate

Berliner Shida is experimenting with some digital op art in this little promo video for his collaboration with Zheani Sparkes. It’s interesting to see how his street work is also reflected in this interpretation in video

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Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

Technology, Festivals, and Murals: 15 Years on the Street Art Scene

It’s good to be asked to write an essay once in a while as it makes us take a step back and more fully examine a topic and appreciate it. On the occasion of Nuart’s 15th anniversary and it’s accompanying print publication last week Martyn Reed asked us to look at the street art / urban art / graffiti scene and to give an analysis about how it has changed in the time that the festival has been running. The essay is a long one, so grab a cup of joe and we hope you enjoy. Included are a number of images in and around Stavanger from Jaime Rojo, not all of them part of the festival, including legal and illegal work.

Technology, Festivals, and Murals as Nuart Turns 15

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Nuart is turning 15 this year and like most brilliant teenagers it is alternately asking you challenging questions, finding you somewhat uncool, or is on your tablet ordering a new skateboard with your credit card. Nuart started with mainly music and is now mainly murals; an internationally well-regarded venue for thoughtfully curated urban art programs and erudite academic examination – with an undercurrent of troublemaking at all times. Today Nuart can be relied upon to initiate new conversations that you weren’t expecting and set a standard for thoughtful analysis of Street Art and its discontents.


Pøbel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We are in the thick of it, as it were, this great expansion of a first global grassroots people’s art movement. Give it any title you like, the flood of art in the streets that knocks on BSA’s door daily is unabated. We admit that we often get caught up in the moment and forget to study our forebears, Street Art’s progenitors and contributors – and that we sometimes are unable to appreciate the significance of this incredible time. So we are happy when the Nuart team asked us to take a long view of the last fifteen years and to tell them what we see.

As we mark Nuart’s milestone, we see three important developments on the Street Art scene while it evolves: Technology, Festivals, and Murals.

And just before we discuss these three developments in Street Art we emphasize what has stayed the same; our own sense of wonder and thrill at the creative spirit, however it is expressed; we marvel to see how it can seize someone and flow amidst their innermost, take hold of them, convulse through them, rip them apart and occasionally make them whole.

What has changed is that the practice and acceptance of Street Art, the collecting of the work, it’s move into contemporary art, have each evolved our perceptions of this free-range autonomous descendant of the graffiti practice that took hold of imaginations in the 2000s. At the least it hasn’t stopped gaining converts. At this arbitrary precipice on the timeline we look back and forward to identify three impactful themes that drive what we are seeing today and that will continue to evolve our experience with this shape-shifting public art practice.



Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hands down, a primary genesis for the far flung modern embrace of Street Art/Urban Art/Graffiti/public art lies in the booster rocket that propelled it into nearly everyone’s hands; digital communication and all its sundry technologies. From the early Internet websites and chat rooms accessed from your desktop to digital cameras and photo sharing platforms like Flickr in the early-mid 2000s to ever more sophisticated search technology and its accompanying algorithms, to blogs, micro blogs, and social media platforms, to the first generations of laptops and tablets, iPhones and Android devices; the amazing and democratizing advance of these communicative technologies have allowed more of us to access and share images, videos, experiences and opinion on a scale never before imagined – entirely altering the practice of art in the streets.

Where once there had been insular localized clans of aerosol graffiti writers who followed arcane codes of behavior and physical territoriality known primarily to only them in cities around the world, now new tribes coalesced around hubs of digital image sharing, enabling new shared experiences, sets of rules, and hierarchies of influence – while completely dissolving others.



Tilt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As old guards re-invented a place for themselves or disappeared altogether, a new order was being remixed in front our eyes. There were a lot of strangers in the room – but somehow we got used to it. Rather than making street art pieces for your local peers, artists began making new compositions for somebody’s phone screen in London or Honolulu or Shanghai.

Cut free from soil and social station, now garden variety hoodlums and brilliant aesthetes were commingling with opportuning art collectors, curious gallerists, unctuous opinionators, punctilious photographers and fans… along with product makers, promoters, art-school students, trend watchers, brand managers, lifestyle marketers, criminologists, sociologists, journalists, muckrakers, academics, philosophers, housewives, and makers of public policy. By virtue of climbing onto the Net everyone was caught in it, now experiencing the great leveling forces of early era digital communications that decimated old systems of privilege and gate keeping or demarcations of geography.

Looking forward we are about to be shaken again by technology that makes life even weirder in the Internet of Everything. Drone cams capture art and create art, body cams will surveil our activity and interactions, and augmented reality is merging with GPS location mapping. You may expect new forms of anonymous art bombing done from your basement, guerilla image projecting, electronic sign jamming, and perhaps you’ll be attending virtual reality tours of street art with 30 other people who are also sitting on their couches with Oculus Rifts on. Just watch.


Swoon and David Choe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Thanks to the success of festivals like Nuart, myriad imitators and approximaters have mushroomed in cities everywhere. Conceived of philosophically as a series of stages for the exhibition of artistic chops with the proviso that a cultural dialogue is enriched and moved forward, not all festivals reach those goals.

In fact, we have no reason to expect that there is one set of goals whatsoever and the results are predictably variable; ranging from focused, coherent and resonant contributions to a city to dispersed, unmanageable parades of muddy mediocrity slammed with corporate logos and problematic patronage.


MCity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some festivals are truly grassroots and managed by volunteers like Living Walls in Atlanta or MAUI in Fanzara, Spain. Others are privately funded by real estate interests like Miami’s Wynwood Walls or business improvement district initiatives like the L.I.S.A. Project and LoMan Festival in Manhattan, or are the vision of one man who has an interest in Street Artists, like the now-discontinued FAME festival in the small town of Grottaglie, Italy and the 140 artist takeover of a town in Tunisia called Djerbahood that is organized by an art dealer.

In some ways these examples are supplanting the work of public art committees and city planners who historically determined what kind of art would be beneficial to community and a public space. Detractors advance an opinion that festivals and personal initiatives like this are clever ways of circumventing the vox populi or that they are the deliberate/ accidental tools of gentrification.

We’ve written previously about the charges of cultural imperialism that these festivals sometimes bring as well where a presumed gratitude for new works by international painting superstars actually devolves into charges of hubris and disconnection with the local population who will live with the artwork for months and years after the artist catches a plane home.


Dotmasters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nonetheless, far from Street Arts transgressive and vandalous roots, the sheer number of Street Art/Urban Art/Mural Art festivals that have popped up – either freestanding or as adjuncts to multi-discipline “arts” festivals – is having the effect of creating a wider dialogue for art in the public sphere.

As artists are invited and hosted and scissor lifts are rented and art-making materials are purchased, one quickly realizes that there are real costs associated with these big shows and the need for funding is equally genuine. Depending on the festival this funding may be private, public, institutional, corporate, or an equation that includes them all.


Faith47 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you may expect, the encroachment of commercial interests is nearly exhaustive in some of these newer festivals, so eager are the merchants to harvest a scene they had little or no hand in planting. Conceived of as vehicles for corporate messaging, they custom-build responsive websites, interactive Apps, clouds of clever #hashtags, company logos, Instagram handles, branded events and viral lifestyle videos with logos sprinkled throughout the “content”.

You may recognize these to be the leeching from an organic subculture, but in the case of this amorphous and still growing “Street Art Scene” no one yet knows what lasting scars this lifestyle packaging will leave on the Body Artistic, let alone civic life.



Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stylistically these festivals can be a grab bag as well with curatorial rigor often taking a back seat to availability, accessibility, and the number of interested parties making nominations. While some festivals are clearly leaning toward more traditional graffiti schools, others are a hodgepodge of every discernable style from the past fifty years, sometimes producing an unpleasant sense of nausea or even tears over regrettable missed opportunity.

Clearly the quality is often uneven but, at the danger of sounding flip or callous, it’s nothing that is not easily remedied by a few coats of paint in the months afterward, and you’ll see plenty of that. Most art critics understand that the metrics used for measuring festival art are not meant to be the same as for a gallery or museum show. Perhaps because of the entirely un-curated nature of the organic Street Art scene from which these festivals evolved in some part, where no one asks for permission (and none is actually granted), we are at ease with a sense of happenstance and an uneven or lackluster presentation but are thrilled when concept, composition, and execution are seated firmly in a brilliant context.



TUK (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Finally, murals have become big not just in size but popularity. Every week a street artist is exclaiming that this mural is the biggest they have every made. It is a newfound love, a heady honeymoon, a true resurgence of muralism. Even though you can’t rightly call this legal and sanctioned work true Street Art, many former and current Street Artists are making murals.

Un-civically minded urban art rebels have inferred that Street Art has softened, perhaps capitulated to more mainstream tastes. As Dan Witz recently observed, “Murals are not a schism with Street Art as much as a natural outgrowth from it.” We agree and add that these cheek-by-jowl displays of one mural after another are emulating the graffiti jams that have been taking place for years in large cities both organic and organized.


JPS . Mizo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From illustration to abstraction to figurative to surreal and even letter-based, this eclectic injection of styles won’t bring to mind what one may typically associate with the homegrown community mural. Aside from the aforementioned festivals that are festooning neighborhoods, the growth in mural-making may be attributable to a trend of appreciation for Do It Yourself ( D.I.Y.) approaches and the ‘makers’ movements, or a desire to add a personal aspect to an urban environment that feels unresponsive and disconnected.

Philadelphia has dedicated 30 years to their Mural Arts Program and relies on a time-tested method of community involvement for finalization of designs and most municipal murals have a certain tameness that pleases so many constituencies that no one particularly cares for them.


Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The New Muralism, as we have been calling it, that is popping up is often more autonomous and spirited in nature than community mural initiatives of the past with their ties to the socio-political or to historical figures and events. Here there are few middlemen and fewer debates. Artists and their advocates approach building owners directly, a conversation happens, and a mural goes up.

In the case of upstart community programs like the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, one trusted local person is ambassador to a neighborhood, insuring that community norms about nudity or politics are respected but otherwise acts purely as facilitator and remains hands-off about the content.


JPS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On that topic, effectively a form of censoring often takes place with murals – another distinguishing characteristic from Street Art. Given the opportunity to fully realize an elaborate composition, normally wild-eyed and ornery aerosol rebels bend their vision to not offend. Sometimes an artist can have more latitude and you may find a mural may clearly advocate a political or social point of view, as in recent murals addressing police brutality, racism, and inequality in many US cities, anti-corruption sentiments in Mexico, and pro-marriage equality in France and Ireland.

This new romance with the mural is undoubtedly helping artists who would like to further explore their abilities in more labor-intensive, time absorbing works without having to look over their shoulder for an approaching officer of the law. It is a given that what they gain in polished presentation they may sacrifice as confrontational, radical, contraventional, even experimental. The resulting images are at times stunning and even revelatory, consistent with the work of highly skilled visionaries, as if a new generation of painters is maturing before our eyes in public space where we are all witness.


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving Forward

Despite the rise in festivals and mural programs and the growing volume and sophistication of technology for sharing of the images, Street Art is still found in unexpected places and the decay of neglected spaces. As before and well into the future these self ordained ministers of mayhem will be showing their stuff in the margins, sometimes identified, sometimes anonymous, communicating with the individual who just happens to walk by and witness the work. The works will impart political or social messages, other times a simple declaration that says, “I’m here.”

Whatever its form, we will be looking for it.


Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Niels Show Meulman (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nafir (photo © Jaime Rojo)


John Fekner (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Blek le Rat (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Site of an old piece by BLU (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dieche (photo © Jaime Rojo)


HUSH (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dolk (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The remnants of a Phlegm piece from a previous edition of Nuart. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!




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BSA Film Friday: 11.15.13 – Exclusive Premiere David Choe / Aryz

BSA Film Friday: 11.15.13 – Exclusive Premiere David Choe / Aryz



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

Now screening:

1. David Choe/Aryz PREMIERE on BSA: Medvin Sobio’s “L. A. Nights”
2. Niels “Shoe” Meulman Calligraffit
3. Tom Herck aka Atek84 2012-2013
4. The End Of The Line Pt 2; NYC Train Lines by Janosch Delcker.
5. NUART 2013: Showtime
6. M-City in Norway. Time lapse.
7. Alex Yanes: Woven Into Me

BSA Special Feature:

Medvin Sobio’s “L. A. Nights”

Director-film maker Medvin Sobio takes another unconventional spin on the now somewhat conventional mural-painting subgenre by playing with time signatures, hitting straight up wrong angles, and stirring in a thick sinuous sucrose veneer that makes us begin asking existential questions by the time the droll closing credits roll by.

It’s all here directly from the perfectly banal and brutal life on the street, with little clusters of gadflies and homies swimming around sort of drunkly – aided by a soundtrack heavy with Spanish-language 45s that were left sitting on the radiator. Just as you get the groove, prepare for Sobio to switch it, and for David Choe to glide by the screen like a ninja/Vader/suburban lawncare specialist from San Antonio with leaf blower in hand. The new film captures just a little bit of the LA street insanity of summer where almost everyone is baked — and its debut is here for BSA readers today exclusively.



Niels “Shoe” Meulman: Arts In The Streets

Shot and edited by Colin M. Day

“I guess it all started with me as a little kid being into looking at signs and letters,” says Niels in an understated way as he traces his evolution into an amalgam of graffiti and calligraphy that he has fashioned. Follow him as he narrates through the studio environment into a number of venues, all the while rhythmically marking walls, floors, cars with his signature U and N characters.

Tom Herck aka Atek84 Video Compilation 2012-2013

A sizzle reel of sorts by artist Tom Herck that hits upon his tangling with the meaning of selling ideas and beliefs and the paranoiac behaviors bred by surveillance. At least, that’s what we think. Guy has some good ideas and a knack for dramatic symbols, but some may be jarring – like the burning cross at the beginning, for example.


The End Of The Line Pt 2; NYC Train Lines by Janosch Delcker.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Jonosch Delker offers the companion piece to his “End of the Line” film that explored the final stops on the train lines in Berlin two years ago; Today he brings us the final stations of the NYC subway system.  He likes to say they are “non-places” because tourists rarely see them but just the glimpses of human interaction that he captures tell you that these are full of life and possess an urban poetry of their own. It’s true, a rare tourist will ever see these termination stations, as the major hubs of visitor activity are smack in the middle of many train lines. An adventurous or dozing visitor can find these places, though most probably won’t.  With his choice of Moby to accompany you on your trip to the ends of the lines, you won’t need to do it either – but you may be encouraged to.


NUART 2013: Showtime

Time for a victory lap on the 2013 installment of Nuart.


M-City in Norway. Time lapse.

Quietly he works. M-City in Norway.


Alex Yanes: Woven Into Me

 “Every artist that I ever met that is successful has paid dues,” says visual artist Alex Yanes in this tight video shot and edited by Duffy Higgins that traces the process Yanes followed to create and mount his first New York show – a show we caught at Low Brow Artique for its opening.  It captures the energy and enthusiasm of the artist who had some trepidation about bringing his Miami style to Bushwick and the ready to rumble every day life of New York.

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Splashes of Color in the Norwegian Rain: NUART 2013

The pale wan institutional hues of the Stavanger International Airport now are punctuated by the brilliant blues and stencil patterning wrapping around the control tower.

Small multi-layered stencil portraits pop from post-boxes, primary color-clad children hang off of stoop stairs and balance on stacked chairs and a graffiti slathered Michaelango stands on the corner next to the eye doctors office.  Turn up another street and an aerosoled sultry geisha rises, wrapped in boisterous brocade on a typically white wall in this rather monochromatic sea town.

With these new wall works by M-City, C215, Ernest Zacharevic, Martin Whatson, and Hush (respectively) and a number of others, Nuart 2013 brought a lot of color to the streets this year as it celebrated what founder Martyn Reed called “one of, if not thee, finest Nuart events yet”.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Best Wishes from cold and rainy Stavanger!” says Ernest’s friend Gabija in her note to us as she talks about the cool grey storms that held up many of the visiting artists waiting to paint. It didn’t delay the pieces going up on tunnel walls of the venue where the opening party crowds teamed Saturday night. The special installations by C215, David Choe, and Aiko among others also included a 1,300 slide show at the end of one tunnel that showed 50 years of graffiti, Street Art, and street life photography by Martha Cooper, who was invited as an artist.

Even the minister of culture stopped by for a tour on Thursday, which shows how far graffiti and Street Art have grown, or strayed, in the years since public service commercials equated aerosol art with illicit drug use, truancy, terror, and illegal firearms.  Today we give tours in the streets to appreciative people who snap photos and pose with friends in front of the spray painted walls.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

Of course this is an international mural festival, and much of the work is done by more accomplished artists who may have once (or still do) sprayed their stuff illegally. The themes may need to pass some review process, but the opportunities that come from taking your time are appreciable also.  One of the newest talents showing this year was the Lithuanian twenty-something Ernest Zacharevic, who photographs and paints kids interacting and playing on a variety of wheeled machines, usually the self propelled kind.

Ably steering clear of cute, Zacharevic uses props with his wall paintings to “tap into the original instincts of adult viewers who may have lost their ability to access their playful nature,” or so we said in our interview with him. He also merges 2D with 3D quite seemlessly. For his tunnel installation on opening night, Zacharevic sawed a car in half so his kids could dance on the roof, cram inside, and push it from the back like it was out of gas. More than likely it was the missing wheels that kept the car stationary. But no harm in playing.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)

But of the 16 artists invited this year, each can say they brought life and their A-game to this jewel of an outdoor art show in Norway.  Nuart 2013 included MARTHA COOPER (US), DAL EAST (CN), ROA (BE), M-CITY (PL), FAITH47 (ZA), HUSH (UK), VHILS (PT), ERNEST ZACHAREVIC (LT), C215 (FR), DOT DOT DOT (NO), DOTMASTER (UK), STRØK (NO), MARTIN WHATSON (NO), DAVID CHOE (US) AIKO (JP).

With very special thanks to photographer Martha Cooper for sharing these images with BSA readers.


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)


Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Martha Cooper)


Stroek casts a shadow. (photo © Martha Cooper) Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-Nuart2013-copyright-Martha-Cooper-7574

Stroek and a street scene. (photo © Martha Cooper) Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-Nuart2013-copyright-Martha-Cooper-Stroek7913

Stroek finishing up his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 does this portrait of fellow Street Artist Indi. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 self portrait looking perplexed, perhaps. (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 (photo © Martha Cooper)


C215 on a post box in Stavanger. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martin Whatson (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO (photo © Martha Cooper)


A tour of the walls in Stavanger with AIKO’s piece on the background. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO and Martha Cooper’s collaborative tunnel, with Aiko’s stencils on both sides and a slide show at the end. This slide is of New York graffiti writer and fine artist Futura as a young buck at the tunnels’ end. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO’s walls and Martha Cooper’s portrait of her in a perfect collaboration. (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO and Martha Cooper’ slide show on the background. (photo © Martha Cooper)


VHILS (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City. Detail. (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH in a stunning shot by Ms. Cooper, who caught a woman in a hijab walking past at just the right moment. (photo © Martha Cooper)


DOT DOT DOT keeping warmed by the fire. (photo © Martha Cooper)


ROA’s whale is spouting oil, a reference to the driving force behind the local economy perhaps. (photo © Martha Cooper)


FAITH 47 (photo © Martha Cooper)


Dal East (photo © Martha Cooper)


Founder of NUART Festival Martyn Reed, standing in front of David Choe’s piece while giving a tour of the art to Norway’s Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik. (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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NUART 2013 Update – David Choe, C215, Aiko, Vhils, Ernest Zacharevic, Dot Dot Dot, Hush, and M-City


“We’ve had terrible weather–rained most of the day today–so artists have been slow getting their walls done,” said Martha Cooper about the scene in Stavanger for Nuart 2013 on Friday. Today is looking much better, she reports, almost good enough for a boat ride.

Each of the artists have been commenting on the sometimes heavy rains, which can sort of kill your aerosol buzz, but no one really minds because the festival buzz is building toward tonight’s big events. We think the folks at Nuart had it planned this way because there is work that needs to be done underground in the tunnel gallery spaces for the Saturday night opening.


Ernest Zacharevic uses the attitude of childs play in his Street Art installations around the world, often incorporating a third dimensional installation element to complete it. Look for an interview with him on BSA shortly. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Here under cover from the storms C215 is hard at work on a very large and color drenched portrait, Hush is on a ladder glossing the lips of a modern geisha, and Aiko is stenciling a signature sexy pop-inspired theme that covers two thirds of the front of one tunnel – leaving the remaining space for Ms. Cooper to project some 1300 of her photos for the expected crowd this evening.

DalEast and Faith47 have been slowed down a bit too. “Raining now,,, waiting for it to stop,” she taps out on her keyboard in a brief cadence as if sending a guarded cable in Morse code across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, there are some other diversions to be inspected, and other artists to meet. Everyone has been talking about taking a local fjord boat ride up Stavanger Peninsula so they may accompany Martha on the voyage to see the natural beauty of the Norwegian coastline while things are drying out today.


Founder of NUART Festival Martyn Reed, standing in front of David Choe’s piece while giving a tour of the art to Norway’s Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Luckily a fair share of work has been completed, and the Minister of Culture has already stopped by to tour and pose for a photo in front of the David Choe piece, and the scaffolding on the airport control tower came down to reveal the new large stenciled mural wrapping it by M-City, who has since moved on with ROA to Lodz, Poland for the Urban Forms festival.

“We’ll all be here through the weekkend so that’s when the bigger walls may get finished,” says Martha. Martin Whatson is just about finished and Ernest Zacarevic completed his outside installation with a stack of chairs for his stencil to balance upon. He also rather conspiratorially reveals this teaser to BSA, “my main installation for Nuart 2013 will feature a car, half sliced.” He says it will continue a theme in his previous work.

More from Nuart soon, but in the mean time, here are some progress shots for BSA readers including work by David Choe, C215, Aiko, Vhils, Ernest Zacharevic, Dot Dot Dot, Hush, and M-City.


C215 at work on his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


DOT DOT DOT (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH (photo © Martha Cooper)


HUSH working on a second piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


VHILS (photo © Martha Cooper)


AIKO working on her piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City. Detail. (photo © Martha Cooper)


M-City (photo © Martha Cooper)


Martha captures the mimicry of Martin Whatson’s body language with the fellow working in his piece. (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Martha Bikes the Hills, Martyn Keeps Up at NUART 2013


“We’re really honored to have Martha amongst us this week,” says Martyn Reed, the barely well behaved director of Nuart 2013, as he welcomes the photographer Martha Cooper, who has just touched down next to the new piece going up on the airport control tower by Polish Street Artist M-City. Not that Martyn was there when she landed. “Unfortunately not, what with the Mayor and everything there wasn’t room in the limo,” he says in the joking manner that tells you he is still kind of in awe of the success of this internationally known Street Art festival now underway for its ninth year.


Martha Cooper. “Banner on wall in arrival area at airport” -MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The trip was fine—a short flight from Oslo,” says Ms. Cooper, who immediately snuck an iPhone photo of the welcome banner with her name at the top, before wondering whether photos were actually allowed in that area of the airport. “I was met by Krystal, a Stavanger resident who has worked with Nuart before and who is very knowledgeable about the artists and the whereabouts of murals past and present,” she says.

“Faith 47 and Daleast were also waiting at the airport, having arrived a few minutes earlier from Cape Town and it was fun to reconnect with them.” And did they all get a look at the new piece that M-City is painting?  “Unfortunately it was raining so we were unable to get a good look at the airport control tower which was shrouded in scaffolding and plastic,” says Ms. Cooper, but “The fact that permission had been obtained to paint the tower is an indication of how city officials have embraced street art.”


Martha Cooper. “This is Stavanger. I have a bike to ride around on but need to get in better shape to handle the hills”- MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As the visiting artists continue to land in Stavanger, already a number of pieces have gone up – ROA and David Choe have installed theirs and run out of town, for example.  “I was especially happy to see C215 again because I hadn’t seen him since visiting Vitry a couple of years ago. Also I was excited to see a number of artists on the list whose work I was unfamiliar with. That always makes a festival more exciting,” says Martha.

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you been to Nuart before?
Martha Cooper: This is my first trip to Stavanger and I was really looking forward to it because I’d heard many great things about the festival from How & Nosm and also photographer Ian Cox, who had shown me beautiful photos of the walls and the charming seaside town.

Brooklyn Street Art: Typically you are an invited guest as a photographer. This time you are also regarded as an artist, right?
Martha Cooper: Correct. Although I usually say that I’m not an artist, it’s actually a relief not to be responsible for official photography.


Ian Cox. David Choe teaser. (photo © Ian Cox)

Brooklyn Street Art: What sort of project are you thinking of doing?
Martha Cooper: I’m not doing anything unusual. I’m having a slideshow of over 1300 photos; a sort of graffiti/hip hop/Street Art retrospective that we’ll be showing in an underground tunnel in the main venue. There is a series of short tunnels that artists are painting. Aiko is stenciling the sides of mine and the slides will be projected at the end.”

Cooper mentions her buddy Aiko, who will also be stenciling some work of her own on distinctive Norwegian seaport architecture that sometimes has as much character as the new stuff that adorns it. Aside from her projected installations, Ms. Cooper will of course be every where she can possibly be with her camera in hand, and probably one or two in her backpack.

“Martha’s here as an artist and our guest, she’ll be treated the same as all of our artists; Like a Queen,” Reed cracks, “only on a bike with a camera.”

“But seriously,” he continues, ”Martha’s quite rightly perfectly happy being recognized as a documentary photographer and I wasn’t sure she would accept being invited as an artist, but she did and we’re very thankful of that. I don’t see any reason why Martha can’t occupy this space. Inviting Martha to participate as an artist is due to the fact that, when I look at her work, I see art. I’d also heard she was a wonderful down to earth person with few airs and that’s very important for Nuart, which is fundamentally a volunteer-run organization.”


Ian Cox. Aiko teaser. “The blurred character is a volunteer who was helping Aiko to move her scaffold”-IC. (photo © Ian Cox)

Already the two of them have been having fun together checking out possible walls for projects, digging up found materials and strategizing how to prevent visitors from stepping in front of the projector on opening night. Also there was the moment in one of the installation tunnels when Martha came rushing toward him with her phone out to him saying “,Quick, quick, it’s the attaché to the Norwegian Culture Minister, they want to speak to you”. It was a confusing moment he won’t ever forget he says, because he couldn’t imagine why the minister was on Martha’s phone.

Reed recalls, “I was thinking, a) it was a practical joke, b) ‘how did they know where I was,’ and more importantly, c) How the hell did they get Martha Cooper’s private number?” While Martha stood there beaming he took the phone and the voice on the other end said, “ Hello, this is the personal assistant to the culture minister Hadja Tajik, she’d like to visit Nuart on Thursday…” .

“After the call, we stood there a little dumbfounded, but after scratching our heads for a while trying to work out how they came to call Martha, we realized the festival had used my bank card to buy a Norwegian SiM card for her phone and that the Government had searched and found the number registered to me,” he says with a brightening realization, and then a darkening one. “I know, very NSA. Anyway, mystery solved.”

But for him, the moment was a marker in his memory, he says, “The image of Martha Cooper rushing over to pass me the phone to speak with the Culture Minister of Norway will stay with me for life. It felt like the festival had finally come of age.”


Martha Cooper. ROA. “Whale spouting oil. Stavanger is an oil rich town”-MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)

For her part, Ms. Cooper is laying plans for the out door component of her participation as artist/documentarian/photographer. “We are also planning to project photos on the sides of buildings in town,” she reveals, “ – including a huge silo. This will be the night of the opening and we won’t know whether it works until it happens. I’ve selected about 25 verticals and horizontals with a little more contrast that I think might work well.”

Reed doesn’t much mind what they end up doing – he’s just glad that he’s having this opportunity right now. “Martha holds the unique position of being a forerunner, pioneer, ambassador and also important contemporary voice in our culture – we wanted to salute that.”


Ian Cox. M-City painting the Air Traffic Control tower at Stavanger Airport. (photo © Ian Cox)


Martha Cooper. “M-City with his completed control tower mural. Scaffolding to be removed in a day or two but he has already left”-MC. (photo © Martha Cooper)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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