Famed graffiti and street art photographers Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer took to Jacó, Costa Rica, during the winter holidays in December, proving that they knew where to go when the weather up North is turning inclement and wintry. Naturally, they located some great walls to shoot as well.
A tourist destination since at least the 1920s, Jacó really took off in the 1970s when the first hotel opened here and, during the remainder of the century, transformed into a destination for vacation-residential development like the renowned Punta Leona just north.
Upscale accommodations, bachelor parties, party boats, and ex-pats in high supply, the town still retains connections to local culture thanks to its overwhelming natural beauty, hiking, surfing, and the mural program called Artify Jacó. Launched in 2016, its co-creator, Steward Invierno, also has owned a gallery/gift shop for the last decade that offers more traditional art-making workshops and sells canvasses by local and international artists.
Gravitating to broad themes relating to nature, love, community, and hope, the annual festival has been transforming the city with art and in some cases, has been likened to the neighborhood of Wynwood in Miami. Having spent a lot of time in that town as well during Art Basel, both Martha and Nika felt quite at home shooting the murals here at Artify Jacó.
Dourone has done it! They’ve painted the Internet!
You didn’t think it could be done; depicting this far-flung mass of hot-n-bothered pixels teaming with the past, the present, and the Google across two screens. However, the duo has painted the platform that informs and clouds your understanding simultaneously at the École de Communication (EFAP) and the BRASSART school of design in Aix-en-Provence, France.
The duo keeps it all within their range of the color palette, an appealing, disconcerting combination of hues lit from behind, combined as if through a software filter to be just two shades beyond real. “They were both made with our color range which consists of 41 different shades of acrylic and brush paint,” they tell us of these new paintings upon the two schools.
Somewhere in here is the DNA of this painting pair, an involuntary echo that reveals their true figurative nature, but passed within a screen of thousands of emoting, reflecting, archiving, gesticulating, glitched verbiage. The walls are in concert, yet not related. Painstakingly painted without automatic lifts, the creatively, kinetically connected artists tell us returned to the age-old tradition of scaffolding.
“This mural in two parts evokes the current state of communication,” they say, “or how we are constantly connected to each other and sometimes so alone.”
“For us, the key to a lasting relationship is based on respect and appreciating those little details that make your partner special,” say the street art duo named DourOne when talking about their new canvas called “La Pareja (the couple)”.
The 6-meter by 9-meter painting is freshly hung in Amsterdam’s Straat Museum as part of an ongoing program to populate the gridded exhibition space in this massive warehouse on a former shipping dock.
Seven years after their first painting for Straat, the artist team says this one represents an evolution in their lives. “It deals with the resemblance of two people who know each other very well, coming to seem like twins in many aspects but at the same time preserving their individuality and their own personality.”
Franco-Spanish duo Dourone show us their latest mural on the gable of a building in the Villa Normandie residence in Chennevières Sur Marne. They call it “Chez Soi” (at home) and they looked as if their intention was to bring a feeling a home to the neighborhood while they talked with passersby.
Done at the invitation of Alessandra and Mouarf and their project #Wallcity, Dourone says thank you to the hosts, the helpers, and to the neighbors who brought them treats, like ice cream, on hot summer days.
History is presented in a linear fashion often in the university, but in truth it happens in fragments. No life, no personal history adheres to a predictable and rational pattern?
Street Art duo DOURONE has been capturing and displaying a series they call “Fragmented Record” with murals this summer. The first featured friends and family, the second a group of 7 women living in Belgium.
Here in Sweden in Helsingborg they turn the mirror upon themselves for the third in the series. It is “a more intimate and personal stage,” they tell us, in which the artist and his partner Elodie “become protagonists of the work and reveal their feelings in the present moment that they are living.”
The palette is saturated with deep blues and blood orange, the harsh lines of a bright sun soaked summer day. While the progression of images and events may be clear to the authors, a passerby will agree that the story is, without a doubt, fragmented.
To commemorate the third anniversary of the collapse of a 210 meter section of the Ponte Morandi on August 14, 2018, today we share Dourone’s newest mural in Genoa, Italy. The bridge collapsed during a torrential rainstorm, crossing the Polcevera river and an industrial area of Sampierdarena. The bridge was gradually replaced, but for many in the city, the events of that day are still very fresh.
“The mural is an homage to the 43 victims of the tragedy,” the mural duo says, “which is why we have used 43 colors for these portraits.”
About midway through this video, the artist is lifted into the air above the street, away from walls, suspended – and the audio is that of a heart thumping quietly, uncrowded, unfogged, unadorned.
You may think this is about a particular painting, as these videos often are. But instead, it is a video about the practice of painting in public and a relationship built around it.
A late 90s graffiti writer in Madrid, Dourone flew solo on the streets, teaching himself the craft, experimenting with painting styles and disciplines. Later in the 2010s, he joined together with Elodie, forming a painting duo. With 90 murals around the world – Lyon, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid, Zurich, Miami, Johannesburg… you wonder more about the people than their work at some point.
Fragmented Record is a project that allows you to see behind the scenes and initiates the viewer into the process and approach. “All these years we have shown you the result of our work but very rarely the realization.”
The artist duo Dourone (Fabio Lopez Gonzalo, Elodie Arshak) are in Sweden
this week and have created their first large format installation – and they are
calling her LITA. The 170 anchor points, when pulled together, are a
consolidation of this visage – a uniting of multiple fragments. Finished in
Angelholm, it is good to see public works in an often pristine cityscape.
Here in Basque country you can casually drive between Bilbao (Spain) and Bayonne (France) as if you were just heading out to the shopping mall to buy new kicks. The signs of course are in multiple languages (Spanish, French, Basque) and there is much more political street art in these towns- addressing topics like fracking, racism, women’s rights and amnesty for political prisoners.
With an atmosphere that is more politically charged than other parts of the world, you can quickly forget it when you see so many rolling green hills dotted with puffy round sheep and old white farm houses along the highway.
Arriving in Bayonne we were happy to see many of the medieval small streets still boast Gothic-style cathedrals, a cloister here, the occasional castle there. It’s a walkable city with centuries of history, conservative cultural values, and a cool Street Art festival from the last few years called Points de Vue. Co-Founder Alban Morlot obliged us with a tour of the city and a multitude of murals produced over the past few years (You can read here our article of the recent 2018 edition of the festival with exclusive images from Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer).
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here and in Lyons and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism.
Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth.
A topic close to our heart for a decade, they also began a new film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here, Lyons, and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism. Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth. A topic close to our heart for a decade, they have also began a film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
As we walk through a very windy afternoon that kicks up the new construction dust that coats this neighborhood by the river, Alban talks to us about the suspicious embrace of locals and politicians of his work, the various working personalities of artists for the festival, the creation of a new currency by the Basque community, the tradition of socialist bars and political activists in the neighborhood, and his own connection to graffiti that began when he was hanging out in his hometown of Pau as a teenager with other skaters.
would listen to music, smoke a blunt, and skate all day. At some point graffiti
became my culture,” he says of those times that formed his character and
informed his aesthetic eye. “I don’t think I realized it at the time when
I was a teenager but by the time I was 25 I said to myself ‘this is my culture’.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way but I knew that I wanted to share
this experience and make it visible for other people in my generation.”
and riding in a car to see murals, small installations, illegal graffiti, and
formally approved artworks, you may wonder how this organizer and curator looks
at his position in an evolving urban art scene that has witnessed the arrival
and departure of many over the last 15 years. He says that his work has always
centered on the artists, and that despite the chaos and change, this may be why
job is to know the artist and learn where they want to go and what their
context is,” says Alban. “Afterwards I let them express their hearts without any conditions
because I want them to have the maximum pleasure to produce their art. This way
you receive the best from them.”
You may wonder where this philosophy comes from, and ask if he always felt this way.
“I think I just love artists so much,” he says. “People at Space Junk often ask me if I am an artist and I am not. I just consider artists to be very important in our lives and in society and I think we have to put artists in the middle of the system and not like they are just observers. I think artists belong in the center of society and I think people have to learn again how to listen to what they have to say. The way they present society is a very different point of view that helps us to understand who we are, who our neighbors are and help us to drive together.”
Our sincere thanks to Alban and Jérome for their work and hospitality and we hope you enjoy some of these pics from Bayonne.
The Madrid born illustrator Fabio Lopez aka DOURONE just completed his new mural with Elodieloll in the Costa Rican village of Jacó. You may be familiar with his earlier monochrome figurative and surreal work, perhaps reminding you of the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, who made woodcuts and lithographs that are somehow recalled in these images.
Most recently you may recall his black and white mural with Elodieloll in downtown LA last spring for the DoArt foundation and the local business improvement district. Now he is incorporating more color into the illustrations and they remain aesthetically decorative with images of faces and abstractions.
A commercial artist by trade, DOURONE’s self-taught style has enabled him to work with a number of lifestyle and spirit brands, an evolution in style from his public aerosol genesis as a graffiti writer.
The new wall is titled “Pura Vida”, is 7 x 30 meters, and incorporates elements of Jacó’s landscape and the amazing sunsets he and Elodieloll enjoyed while there.
New York is bittersweet as we are welcoming summer this weekend and remembering those who served and who were lost in war as well (Memorial Day); amidst a changing political atmosphere where the country is tentatively beginning to seriously debate whether the US should have gone to Iraq and Afghanistan.
So it’s also Fleet Week in New York, which means a lot of sailors and marines and Coast Guard personnel are carousing the tourist spots and bars – sort of a military spring break and a chance for the local girls and boys to yell out “Hey Sailor!” – and flash some flirty eyes. It’s also big weekend for movies, barbecues, beers, burping, suntans, rummage sales, bike rides, and of course spray painting empty trailers in cluttered lots. That’s why we start this weeks pack with a new stallion just sprayed on a trailer in Williamsburg by Cern. He’s running wild with a great view of the cityscape behind him.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Cern, Christos Voutichtis, David De La Mano, Din din, Dont Fret, DourOne, Iraq Veterens Against the War, Kuma, Mata Ruda, Miishab, Musketon, Pablog H Harymbat, Rebel, Smells, Sweet Toof, Temo & Miel, and Urma.
In case you thought that your uncle Ernie was the only one full of hot air, public artist creates this installation that attempts to capture the breath of the city. He tells us that in the end he decided his experiment was a good mix of architecture, Art, and postmodern French literature.
“I applied simple means to build parametric and temporary installations;
It is an open system, varying with steadily modifying environmental processes, but without completely changing its own structure.”
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Rap Quotes ATL: Dirty South Edition 2. Narcelio Grud – Cinetic Graffiti
3. DourOne in South Park LA by Phil Sanchez
4. Haeler Keeping Detroit Alive
Rap Quotes ATL: Dirty South Edition
We’re here in the Waffle House in the dirty south talking about putting up site-specific rap lyrics all around Atlanta. Pass the syrup please. This Rap Quotes project has taken you from New York to LA and Philly and now to the gateway. It’s a treasure hunt, it’s educational, it’s musical, historical, geographical, features strip clubs, – fun for the whole dysfunctional family! Big ups to Jay Shells and Animal New York for keeping this flame high!
Narcelio Grud – Cinetic Graffiti
The latest project incorporating hand made creations and artistic vision, Grud may have perplexed more participants than titilated with this one; a hand-powered sound installation.
DourOne in South Park LA by Phil Sanchez
The neighborhood of South Park hired DourOne to paint this mural in Los Angeles through their business improvement initiative. The commercial artist from Madrid has done a number of jobs with alcohol brands so his chops are smooth and this multi-sliced portrait is meant to evoke the character of various neighborhoods in LA.
Haeler Keeping Detroit Alive
Another entry from Animal New York this week – the graffiti artist Haeler in Detroit, where all things are running wild right now as entrepreneurs, artists, prospectors, and snake oil salesmen are laying claim to the bones that the banks left. Sidenote: why do people sound like Darth Vader in these videos?