We’re celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next by thanking BSA Readers, Friends, and Family for your support in 2021. We have selected some of our favorite shots from the year by our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, and are sharing a new one every day to celebrate all our good times together, our hope for the future, and our love for the street.
Norwegian street artist Dot Dot Dot charmed the street with this NFT pirate this fall, and we predict that both will be in full effect in ’22: especially pirates.
NFTs have captured the imagination of the street art world this year finally, and cryptocurrencies are being introduced more widely as a means for exchange gradually through the economies of the world. But it will be the digital currencies introduced by banks and nations that we’ll be watching, especially digital dollars, as the paper version gets more useless by the hour.
As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.
The Norwegian visual, public and conceptual artist DOT DOT DOT continues to define and explore his voice in his stencil works, whether solo or in collaboration. This year his detailed illustrations of vintage spray cans drew attention to his bonifides as an aerosol culture preservationist and his indoor/outdoor installations with the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) exposed him and his work to new audiences. For a 90s graff writer growing up outside Oslo, the move to an international stage continues, as does his taste for discovery. Today, at the beginning of the New Year, DOT DOT DOT says he is inspired by the work of another Street Artist/fine artist, Borondo, and his animated multi-layered glass installation on the art mile at Urban Nation this September- encouraging each of us to move forward.
DOT DOT DOT
We all have ended up in a certain safe path, and when something works it’s difficult to step back and break out.
“Hierarchie” by Gonzalo Borondo at the opening of the new Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin, is a proof that we evolve.
“I wish the best to everyone out there to never stop growing, never be the same, make room for the possible and to believe in creating infinity… Happy New Year!
“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”
In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.
The traveling exhibition “Magic City” curated by Carlo McCormick and Ethel Seno that displays the wide range of works by todays’ interventionists now features a section devoted to sculpture including a selection of Street sculpture photography by Jaime Rojo.
Certainly when fine artists began joining the graffiti game they brought many additional techniques to the street, most of them applied to the surface of existing walls – stencils, wheat paste, rollers, for example.
Others have procured objects and attached them to the city; either creating new sculpture or replacing or adapting existing sculptures. For the public the experience may feel more intimate and evocative of the museum and gallery experience, encouraging one to regard the work from many perspectives. Naturally one would like to take selfies with them as well.
For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.
Blek Le Rat arrived at the Urban Nation office today with his wife Sybille after a long car ride from Paris, ready for a coffee and possibly to take a look at the wall he’ll be painting here to celebrate “UNSTOPPABLE”, the inaugural exhibition of the UN museum this weekend. The wind taunted BustArt as he attempted to lay his irreverent stencil of Mother Mary coddling Pluto Jr. and the sliced cutout cardboard bent and bowed beyond an average person’s patience while his buddy Stephan helped hold it down for spraying.
Under the elevated train a legion of police and traffic cops removed 80 or so cars so the team could begin building stages, cages, platforms, lighting, electricity – for a slew of fresh outdoor pieces which will be installed Thursday and Friday for the weekend outside component.
Who is going to be on display as part of the Art Mile? Try Pixel Pancho, Franco JAZ Fasoli, Bordalo II, Mimi S., HowNosm, Zezao, Isaac Cordal, Olek, Seth Globepainter, Blek Le Rat, Hottea, Dot Dot Dot, Borondo, Herakut, Deih XLF, Faith 47, David De La Mano, Nespoon, Tank Patrol, Lister, Cranio, Sandra Chevrier, Aaron Woes M, Yok & Sheryo, Haroshi, Don John, Ben Frost, Various & Gould, Icy & Sot, Mademoiselle Maurice, the Juxtapoz newsstand, Mark Bode, Shepard Fairey, 1 Up, James Bullough, and 2501. It’s a real cross section of styles, influences, and voice that will be engaging guests this weekend.
The Berlin police actually use a truss and truck that picks up the offending car, puts it on a flatbed. Then, believe or not, they look for an empty parking spot in the neighborhood an place the car into the new place – also signs are posted to let you know where your car was re-located to.
In New York City if you are unfortunate enough to park your car in the wrong place it is simply towed away to a massive car yard somewhere, banging into things occasionally on the way and flying through potholes – and then held for a King’s ransom. Then you have to simply guess if it was towed or stolen. No word on what the London Police do in regards to cars parked illegally.
Up on a lift for painting today also were Mademoiselle Maurice, David De La Mano, and James Bullough, and the company plastering the corner façade of the museum with pink letters. When the winds got to strong everybody was forced to bring the lifts down for an hour. Intrepid and lucky photographers like Jaime Rojo and Nika Kramer still managed to go up in the buckets to get some good shots in.
Hot Tea is spraying a big installation space with a rainbow of colors – on the walls and floors completely. People who are peeking through the plastic sheeting that protects the windows are wondering what this world of color is going to be.
Meanwhile the onslaught of arrivals continues, including hopefully we’ll see Martha Cooper and Carlo McCormick. Martha of course will be here to celebrate the beginning of the Martha Cooper Library within the museum and Carlo will be here to see the didactics and texts he wrote for the exhibition and catalogue –as well as speaking at the Unlock Book Fair. This publishing fair for graffiti, street art and related practices is a must see for those who relish the independent thinking minds who publish on paper in this scene. Other great speakers featured will be Pedro Soares, Jens Besser, Susan Phillips, Thomas Chambers, and Javier Abarca.
Okay that’s your update for today. See you on the streets tomorrow.
Some walls just lend themselves perfectly to a piece, don’t they?
This arching-forward piece reminded Oslo-based DOT DOT DOT of the bending of a filmstrip and called to mind the continuous updating of images that people feel compelled to do right now in the “always on” social media world.
The single image is DOT DOT DOT’s strength: Not overly cluttered or a complex composition, and rarely a direct in-your-face confrontation. But the intention is there, and the layers of implication are as well. Here the analogy is the status of a person (or the social image of the person) is dependent upon a constant self-report. This new piece in Kristiansand, Norway is telling you that his current status is sunnily “Okay”.
On the topic of social media “sharing” DOT DOT DOT tells us his critique of this evolutionary moment; His actual phsyical art and the expectations he feels from a connected digital life lead him here with a piece called ‘Analogram’
“So this is what is expected as social behavior from us : always be out there and feed the people with content and information all the time. Social media keeps putting the pressure up and often creative work is now measured by how fast the progress or by the way you reveal your activity,” he says.
“The social media scene and the activities that come with it has escalated almost like a stock market or marketing view, the focus has shifted and often it is no longer about just making art for art.”
Because you just can’t get enough warfare, return with us now to the land of the Vikings…
DOTDOTDOT just collaborated with David de la Mano for an ellipses full of battling silhouetted Norsemen way up north, where the sun does not even go down this time of year. “The sun and the moon effect us there in every way in our daily life,” says DOTDOTDOT, so they call this one “Solstice”
UpNorth festival in the town of BODO says “The goal for the festival is to present high quality art for the public – in environments you wouldn´t normally expect to find this type of artistic expression.” That’s true, this city of 50,000 just above the Arctic Circle is not the first place we think of for piecing and bombing and putting up a stencil.
50,000? I think that’s how many people were at the bar last night. Seemed like it anyway.
A lot of people thought so, and the rise of commercial festivals and commissioned public/private mural programs probably brought more artists to more walls than in recent history. Judging from the In Box, 2016 is going to break more records. Enormous, polished, fully realized and presented, murals can hold a special role in a community and transform a neighborhood, even a city.
But they are not the “organic” Street Art that draws us into the dark in-between places in a city, or at its margins.
We keep our eyes open for the small, one-off, idiosyncratic, uncommissioned, weirdo work as well, as it can carry clues about the culture and reveal a sage or silly solo voice. It also just reinforces the feeling that the street is still home to an autonomous free-for-all of ideas and opinions and wandering passions. For us it is still fascinating to seek out and discover the one-of-a-kind small wheatpastes, stencils, sculptures, ad takeovers, collages, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.
The main image above is from a vinyl subway advertisement that was high-jacked and we published it in February of this year on our Images of the Week posting. It’s small, personal, and very effective as you can see someone suspiciously similar to Batman is jumping out of the mouth of someone looking awfully similar to Hedwig of “Angry Inch” fame.
Of the 10,000 or so images photographer Jaime Rojo took in 2015, here are a selection 140+ of the best images from his travels through streets looking for unpermissioned and sanctioned art.
Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo
Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
365xlos43, Amanda Marie, Andreas Englund, Augustine Kofie, Bisser, Boijeot, Renauld, Bordaloli, Brittany, BunnyM, Case Maclaim, Casg, Cash4, CDRE, Clet, Cost, Curve, Dain, Dal East, Dan Budnik, Dan Witz, David Walker, DeeDee, Dennis McNett, Don Rimx, Ricardo Cabret, LNY, Alex Seel, Mata Ruda, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, ECB, El Mac, El Sol25, Ella & Pitr, Eric Simmons, Enest Zacharevic, Martha Cooper, Martin Whatson, Ever, Faile, Faith47, Findac, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hanksy, Hellbent, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot, Inti, Invader, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Janet Dickson, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Le Diamantaire, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Low Brow, Marina Capdevilla, Miss Van, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nafir, Nemos, Never Crew, Nick Walker, Nina Pandolofo, Old Broads, Oldy, Ollio, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, Pet Bird, Kashink, Smells, Cash4, PichiAvo, Pixel Pancho, QRST, ROA, Ron English, Rubin415, Saner, Sean 9 Lugo, Shai Dahan, Shepard Fairey, Sheryo & The Yok, Sinned, Sipros, Skewville, Slikor, Smells, Sweet Toof, Snowden, Edward Snowden, Andrew Tider, Jeff Greenspan, Specter, Stray Ones, Sweet Toof, Swil, Willow, Swoon, The Outings Project, Toney De Pew, Tristan Eaton, Various & Gould, Vermibus, Wane, Wk Interact
After Stavanger Mayor Christine Sagen Helgø made the official declaration of the opening of the Nuart gallery show at Tou Scene last night the sliding barn door on the ex beer factory moved back to allow the crowd to flow in like a river to see this years collection of art installations in the “tunnels” of the space. This component of the Nuart experience allows a certain degree of curation and idea development that brings you a fuller appreciation of the artists who create murals on the street as well.
Additionally, and we are telling you nothing secret here, the adhoc crew of technicians and scene creators here are rough and ready; obviously over qualified and with a fair degree of refinement when it comes to helping the artist realize some of their grander aspirations. Artists are encouraged to think big and a number of them have this year, including some who are so capacious they nearly collide or eclipse one another, but visitors this year may feel like the quality and depth of this editions 5-week show just advanced by a length.
This week’s interview with the street is not actually on the street – but rather a reflection of the direction that the street can take a curated collection of current artists and corollary influencers from years past.
Clearly you can go as deeply or shallowly as you want with this years theme of “Play”. Harmen de Hoop’s video of Thursday’s performance piece on Stavanger’s streets by a renowned mathematics and statistics professor Jan Ubøe, who mystifies the assembled audience while explaining the factors that form our world economy is rather utterly balanced on a jerking seesaw with Bortusk Leer’s incessantly cheery monster diorama.
50 years of selected photographs by ethnographer Martha Cooper of children in cities around the world at play with improvised tools and methods are almost matched in impact by Ernest Zacharevic’s slowly tumultous sea waters tossing a child’s paper boat with a handful of kids inside, evoking the current news with immigrants escaping to Europe in dangerous waters. Isaac Cordal’s installation of achingly desperate white-collar men in a desperate diorama is uplifted by Ella & Pitr’s fairy tale giant reaching from the heavens to pick one from a chair.
Sandra Chevrier brings a signature masking of a woman’s visual and olefactory senses, quite alone in the bright spotlight. The iconic ripped shreds and piled irony of Jamie Reid brings the radicalized hippie and punk politics into front and center while Pixel Pancho and Bordalo II each take swipes at the oil economy that dominates our lives while killing others.
Bordalo alone could command the entire space with his found/reclaimed Stavanger refuse that is fashioned into a immensely tragic scene of a spent whale submerged in muck and spouting that black gooey pulp from it’s blow-hole. Icy & Sot next door use their understated humor and biting criticism with a summer tree in a verdant hue captured as soliloquey, first appearing leafy and fluttering from a fan-stirred breeze, then revealed as suffocated by 300 petroleum-based green plastic shopping bags that are caught in its branches.
Finally the painterly abstractions of Futura across half a tunnel are set free, poignantly balancing the symbolic liberty of Martin Whatson’s graffitied butterfly, now cravenly pierced and readied for your private collection.
While you can practically smell the brands hovering over quality events like these to hopefully insinuate themselves into – Nuart continues to keep its independence of curation, broadening its branches with the Tou Scene installations and deepening its roots with academic forums and related programming in such a way that its true nature remains. Hopefully it will be to continue this way despite a tightening Norwegian economy.
Yes there was some talk at panels this week about the fact that a 15 year old Street Art mural festival is in itself an institution and anathema to what the graffiti/street/urban art practice may have originated from, but one of the myriad outcomes of pounding away with purpose at thoughtful parallel programming like this Tou Scene show year after year is that you may also develop something uniquely relevant in its own right.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street – this week via the exhibition space of Nuart 2015 and featuring Bordalo II, Bortusk Leer, Dolk, Dot Dot Dot, Ella & Pitr, Ernest Zacharevic, Furtura, Harmen de Hoop, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jamie Reed, Martha Cooper, Outings Project, Pixel Pancho, and Sandra Chevrier.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. BSA PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” Documentation by Dario Jurilli, Urban Nation, Berlin.
“Pipedream“ feat. Tok Tok by PARASITE SINGLE
2. Urban Nation Berlin and BSA: PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” by Talking Projects
Today we debut two videos on BSA Film Friday that have just been released in support of PERSONS OF INTEREST, our curated program for Urban Nation last month in Berlin. The Project M/7 was all about honoring the practice of cultural exchange between the borough of Brooklyn and the City of Berlin.
Artists from both cities have been collaborating and influencing each other for years and we were honored to work with such a talented and varied group of Brooklyn-based artists who each came at the project from very different perspectives. We follow a philosophy that says “honor the creative spirit in each person” first and great amazing things will follow.
While it is challenging the structures that have codified art through centuries, we deeply regard the art that took root on the streets as democratic and idiosyncratic and as something that is given to all of us. This movement doesn’t necessarily require or benefit from gatekeepers and exclusivity to prove its value to a culture – we see it every day.
And speaking of talent, our hats off to the driving forces behind these two videos which tell different stories about the same program. Our partners at Urban Nation augmented the program with ideas of their own and grew the scope of our original ideas further. We admire the point of view taken by the documentary style video that appears first because it captures the message and the atmosphere we had hoped to engender – one of mutual support and respect. PERSONS OF INTEREST honors the artist and the muse. As artists and directors we know that this kind of thinking actually goes a long way – and art can save lives and hearts and minds – we’ve been lucky to see it.
The second video is styled more as a music video, an atmospheric pastiche that plays on the second meaning associated with the words “Persons of Interest” – one where graffiti and Street Art overlap with the darker aspects of a subculture that is transgressive. Carefully not dipping into cliché territory, the stories woven here give a serious nod to the graffiti/skater/tattoo/BMX cultures – which among many other influencers are in the DNA of, have given birth to today’s art in the streets. Its a cool concept and it produces a few surprises.
We hope you dig both of these works.
Our sincerest thanks to the videographers, musicians, stylists, performers, technical experts, participants, administrators, artists, marketers, directors, poets, captains and dreamers who make this stuff happen.
URBAN NATION PROJECT M/7
“Persons of interest” curated by Jaime Rojo & Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art
ESTEBAN DEL VALLE
EL SOL 25
DOT DOT DOT
Norwegian street artist DOT DOT DOT is one of the artists from the mid 2000s who was quite influenced by the stencil work and sarcastic tone of Banksy and who faithfully stays true to the aesthetics and situational placement of his pieces, even though his roots are from the graffiti scene of Oslo. Not married to any one style, he looks for opportunity to be ironic, and perhaps cause the viewer to be puzzled, or to illicit an inside-joke smile.
Crisp, painstaking, and understated, the style of work from DOT DOT DOT sometimes comes across as benign even if the ultimate message is shocking. Take the dogs fighting over the Chanel purse in a chic neighborhood in Malibu, for example. You make first think the playful tug-of-war is cute before you ever realize it is an insult to status-hungry consumerism.
His signs posted on California beaches warning against radioactive material in the water in Japanese may be mistaken as genuine although his intent is to shake you out of your awe at the magestic ocean view. “Fukushima continues to contaminate over 400 tons of water daily, most of which is let out to sea,” says the artist. To this date the plant has produced over 500,000 tons, and they have already found radioactive contamination all along the California coast as well as Hawaii.” To drive the point home he leaves a stencil of men in hazmat suits spraying down a boy whose been playing at the beach.
Here we give you some images from DOT DOT DOT’s recent trip to the west coast of the US, and a few of his interventions.
Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.
Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?
For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.
It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.
Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.
But the photo remains.
And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world.
And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.
Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.
Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.
Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.
The Norwegian mural festival named Nuart took place last week with a marked tilt toward the conceptual and the interventionist, a direct debate about the relevance of activism amidst a rising tide of sanctioned murals, and Tilt leading us down a path toward traditional graffiti.
Ironically graffiti seemed a rather tame topic for once.
“Urban interventionism is about not only making social commentary through artistic expression, but actually intervening in a public and social space in a poetic, unexpected or provocative way,” said architect and organizer Nicola Markhus when speaking to the local Stavangernews. Markhus may have been thinking about the Portuguese artist ±Maismenos±, who constructed a miniature oil tanker platform from found objects and installed it temporarily atop a sculpture honoring canning workers in Lervig Courtyard, by way of contrasting the past with the present.
Or maybe she was thinking about the Madrid-based SpY, who painted a massive red-lettered “ERROR” on two sides of a brutal block long building in decay down by the waterside, an ironic judgment on the eyesores of unfortunate urban decay. Among the contextual social commentary as well were the oil-dripping sentiments of geologist/artist Andreco, who regaled the façade of a classic Norwegian building with his geometric interpretation of rocks found poking up from the soil, and the three dimensional mural of homeless people by Brooklyn-based Iranian brothers Icy & Sot only three blocks from an outdoor encampment of homeless travelers whom some locals call gypsies.
Such is one of the traditions of Street Art: social and political commentary that some call activism because of its advocacy, or at least its stubborn acknowledgement of imperfections in the human condition. This year’s Nuart fosters the spirit and intellectual pursuit associated with academic examination and in doing so again separates itself from the growing number of Street Art festivals who implicitly or explicitly censor the choices of the invited due to commercial or political pressures. Even during the painting this year there were conversations among artists about a high profile festival underway elsewhere that had just dis-invited certain Street Artists because of their “political” work in the past.
As if to drive the point home, New York street and multimedia artist John Fekner, who created hundreds of environmental, social, political and conceptual works consisting of stenciled words in NYC beginning in the 1970s that highlighted failed urban planning and public policy, was invited to reprise his classic text based “False Promises” stencil here. The choice of Fekner was perhaps atypical and one that could be overlooked if Nuart founder Martyn Reed didn’t decide to champion the artists work in his mini-retrospective indoors.
And need we mention that his indoor installation space for Saturday’s gallery opening was shared by Fra.Biancoshock’s instantly controversial merging of the nazi flag with the Facebook logo? Moments after we posted an early image of the installation in progress, cheers and condemnation populated our social media feeds – a happy discord that Nuart isn’t traditionally spooked by.
“This is a representation of two different iconic movements; the Nazis and the Facebook age,” says the Milan based Fra.Biancoshock who specializes in street interventions, not Street Art, per se. “I wanted to unite the two concepts in a unique logo as a way of describing two different ways to have control of the masses in two different ages. It is a provocative representation that is meant to say, ‘Imagine if these two things had met in the same period,’ ” he explains of the illuminated wheel of instantly recognizable letter f’s popping from a four alarm red background at the temporary gallery show in “tunnels” at Tou Scene.
“Obviously the story of the Nazis is very dramatic and heavy and Facebook is only social media but for me if it is not used in the right way it could result in some serious damage; in the areas of privacy, in having control (of people). So I wanted to make this interpretation of our contemporary situation of a certain totalitarianism in our communications today.”
Comparatively the graffiti writer on display this year is a relative lightweight! Toulous-based Tilt actually created one of the more visually compelling installations (and an instant hit) at the indoor gallery of Tou Scene entitled “Panic Bathroom”, which consists of a tiled men’s restroom evenly split between YMCA and CBGB. The untouched half is pristine and gleaming white while its brother across the line is slaughtered floor to ceiling by pugilistic color, swollen bubbles and drippy tags; all just out of reach of the velvet rope that holds guests back.
For the Norwegian born Street Artist named Strøk, Nuart this year is as much about aesthetics and the beauty of the moment as it is the intellectualizing that was on display here during the pub debate and two days of presentations for Nuart PLUS, organized by Eirik Sjåholm Knudsen. He shows us his rendering of figures casting long shadows across the wall on his glossy tablet and he talks about composition, negative space, and the serendipity of catching figures in motion.
“I like watching people running around and seeing these movements, these frozen moments when they are heading somewhere but you don’t know exactly where – like a moment when time has frozen,” he says. “It’s a snapshot and you just happened to be there.”
Fortunately for many Nuart still knows how to produce a memorable shot of art in the public sphere, and we have some here for you to enjoy.