All posts tagged: El Seed

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2018

2018 has been a good year for Street Art books, and your interest in the ones we have highlighted continues to assure us that “Print” is not dead. There is no better way to document a moment in this evolving scene for posterity than with the bound volume, and sometimes there is no better way to appreciate an artists work than to sit by a lamp or window with a book on your lap.

We know that you appreciate our daily analysis and efforts to elucidate and illustrate a fluid global Street Art/ graffiti / urban art scene here in digital, but we’re thrilled to give you solid options in book form as well. If you’re looking for a good quality art book to give this year, consider one of these hits from 2018. Enjoy!


“Inti, Color, Carnaval y Resistencia”, INTI.

INTI Commands First Monograph : Color, Carnaval y Resistencia

From BSA:

“Certainties, simple explanations, last hopes, magic thoughts and fears. All of them confronted by what is evident.”

Thus describes the figure slung with bullets, holding a necklace with a cross and delicately balancing a small green apple on his index finger on a larger than life mural in Santiago, Chili. The visual language of this graffiti/Street Artist and muralist named Inti is his to wield, a cosmic folk expression that glows with celestial waves surrounding an other-worldly race of characters.

INTI. Éditions Albin Michel, 2017. Paris, France. Click HERE for more about this book.


Bordallo II: Bordallo II / 2011 –  2011

From BSA:

Such is the splendid stuff of dreams and discovery for Bordalo II, the Lisbon-based Street Artist and maker of garbage relief animal portraits in cities across the world.

These are the things that when arranged on shelves and placed in relation to a floor plan, within parameters and boundaries of our mundanity, will comprise a perfect environment of domesticity; full of memory, associative emotion, symmetry. Objects, materials melted and poured, carved and plain, screwed and snapped, polished and sprayed, emulsified, inset, extruded, coiled, soldiered, plated, woven. These dimensional collections of matter matter to us. Metal alloy. Plastic polymer. Blown glass. Rubber, copper, steel, bakelite, particle board, glue.

Disarrange. You create chaos, disruption, disunity, discontent. Arrange again and create a muskrat, a buck deer, a petulant parakeet, an undulant octopus.

Bordalo II 2011 – 2017. Editor & Publisher Bordalo II. In conjunction with ATTERO and exhibition by Bordalo II held in Lisbon. November, 2017. Lisbon, Portugal. Click HERE for more about this book.


Subvertising: The Piracy Of Outdoor Advertising

From BSA:

“The constant imposition of advertising in front of our eyes is an oppressive, dictatorial and violent act,” posits the artist, activist, and author Hogre in this new collection of works and words called Subvertising : The Piracy of Outdoor Advertising.

It sounds rather extreme when put this way, but perhaps that is the dulling power of advertising’s omnipresence in public space year after year. Each of us can certainly recall a time when there seemed like there was more open public space and fewer images and graphics and text telling us what to do, what to buy, who to hate, how to behave. Artists like Hogre are sounding the warning on our ability to recognize its power over our perceptions.

HOGRE. Subvertising: The Piracy Of Outdoor Advertising. Dog Section Press. London, 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Add/Fuel -1- Monograph”, Diogo Machado AKA Add Fuel.

From BSA:

Add Fuel Reimagines Azulejo in His First Monograph

Via his own pop-culture interpretation of the interlocking curvilinear, geometric and graphic motifs, the Portuguese artist is firing new pieces daily in the kiln of his studio in Cascais. For a decade or so his interpretations of the tin-glazed ceramic tilework have been appearing on inordinate secondary city skins in the paths of pedestrians: visual illusions meant to appear as layers of urban bark peeling back from surfaces you take for granted to reveal heritage, history, artisanship.

While the interiors and exteriors of churches, palaces, schools and subway stations are covered with azulejos in Lisbon, thanks to Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) they have travelled to other cities and cultures as well. Each time he is attracted to the tile-making traditions locally, and he often incorporates his study of these new histories as well.

Add / Fuel – 1 – Monograph. Published by Diogo Machado. Portugal 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


One Week With 1UP : Martha Cooper & Ninja K

From BSA:

A serendipitous meeting somewhere in Berlin set this project in motion, and the results unveil an adrenaline fueled ride that always pushes, often exceeds the boundaries of physical safety and social acceptance while simultaneously thrilling graffiti fans and pissing off some public officials and property owners.

A new book captures the nature of the actions and adds to our conversations about art, vandalism, branding, public/personal space and its radical visual disruption. It’s a story made all the more remarkable during an increasing level of surveillance in a city that has basically embraced the bohemian and rebellious types who have transformed large parts of its cityscape, making Berlin a de facto capital of subculture, especially among the young.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team) Click HERE for more about this book.


“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

From BSA:

A steel-wheeled graffiti train with Roger Gastman at the controls roars into LA’s Chinatown for a two-month stay at this station, a 40,000 square foot warehouse that houses “Beyond the Streets.” Originating at the streets and train yards of the 1960s and 70s, this express survey carries with it 100 or so artists and writers from across the last five decades as practitioners of graffiti, Street Art, and mural painting. Somehow, everyone gets represented.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper) Click HERE for more about this book.


“Canvas” Anders Gjennestad.

From BSA:

Anders Gjennestad: A Door as “Canvas”

A door as canvas. A door as canvas.

It sounds the same on the street as it does in the gallery space, and for Norwegian Street Artist Anders Gjennestad the two appear nearly identical, aside from context.

Whether he is discovering the neglected urban factory door long after the spirit of industry has roared its last turbine and reaching toward his backpack for a spray can, or he is hoisting a piece out from the pile of collected iron-bound wooded slabs in his Berlin studio, functionally each of these doors is a canvas.

Every urban explorer sees the potential of walls that are long abandoned and spoiled with rot and piss and pushed open by weeds, worn away by rain. The world is a temporary place anyway. I am only here temporarily.

Anders Gjennestad. “Canvas”. Published by Galerie Friedmann – Hahn. Berlin 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.

“FKDL” Frank Duval.

From BSA:

FKDL and the Collage of a Street Artists’ Life in a Book

As you look through this new slim volume about the Street Artist/fine artist FKDL it may strike you how much autobiography is the determinant of an artist’s path as well. It’s the tale of a teenager finding himself, finding his vocation, and eventually finding his voice on the street. When you reach the end you see that it takes a number of years and a lot of experimentation, this journey.

FKDL. Galiote Prenant. Choisy-le-Roi, France. 2017. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Street To Studio”, Rafael Schacter.

From BSA:

Rafael Schacter Investigates “Street To Studio”

“These are artists who are thus not slavishly reproducing their exterior practice within an interior realm but who are, rather, taking the essence of graffiti – its visual principles, its spatial structures, its technical methods, its entrenched ethics – and reinterpreting them with the studio domain,” says author Rafael Schacter in his introductory exposition for his book Street to Studio where he offers a unique assessment derived from his 10 years of researching the foundational, conceptual, methodological, and ethical considerations that impact the original graffiti/Street Art scene as well as where it is going.

Rafael Schacter. Street To Studio. Lund Humphries Publishers. London, 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Feather and Faces”, Adele Renault.

From BSA:

Adele Renault Takes Flight With a Message of “Feathers and Faces”

Street Artist/fine artist Adele Renault understands our interdependence with the birds and with each other perhaps better than many, and “Feathers and Faces” carries the message powerfully by delivering these works she has done on city streets and galleries in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Helsinki, Moscow…

We share this city with pigeons. We look to the same environment to supply us with what we need, including food, water, shelter – depending on physical factors like as soil, air, a temperate climate, other organisms. Adele studies our feathered friends and brings them full force to the streets, and we know that here only the scrappiest survive and get to display their colors.

Feathers And Faces by Adele Renault was published in 2018 and is distributed in the United States and Canada by SCB Distributors. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Ex Animo”, Faith XLVII.

From BSA:

“Ex Animo”, Eight Years of Poetry by Faith Forty Seven

Worn workers, wild beasts, a bloom in the rubble.

Prayers of supplication and longing, racing teams of stallions and master felines of fury, the exhausted figure of a dream barely still illuminated, a wistful stage in the plundered urban landscape, or a plundered life.

This is what she does to you. As Faith IXVII leaves her stolen stanza, her massive mural in washed hues, her tributes to a moment lost in a city that would leave you to die if it had its way, she makes you make poetry.

Faith XLVII. “EX ANIMO’ THE WORK OF FAITH FORTY SEVEN/ 2010-2018. Drago Publishing. Rome, Italy, 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Perception”, eL Seed.

From BSA:

El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

And el Seed is the first to tell you that in this deeply personal account of his art project across fifty buildings in Mashiyat Naser, a neighborhood of Cairo over two years ago. Born of his personal need to challenge himself and to add more to his career as a respected muralist, his original concept of working in this neighborhood of 70,000 recyclers was informed by his own assumptions, perhaps of helping a community known in the city as Zabbaleen, or “garbage people”.

Over the course of the project he and his team describe through interviews and with his own diary style how their own eyes were opened. It is an incremental revelatory experience that paralleled the quote that he stylized throughout the pattern of his piece, “Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eyes first,” from the writings of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a fourth century Coptic Bishop.

El Seed PERCEPTION Published by Point à la Ligne. Milan, Italy. 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Invasion: Los Angeles”, Invader.

From BSA:

Invader: “Invasion Los Angeles” Book and “Into the White Cube” Exhibition

One thing that some Street Artists do when their work enters the white cube is drop the “street” from their official moniker, instead preferring to be known simply as an “artist”. The decision is possibly to rid themselves of any subtle class distinctions or otherwise negative connotations that a potential collector or curator may have with the “street artist” label.

Other artists formerly known as “Street Artists” feel limited by the title because it doesn’t include all of their new interests and their complete practice – or because the term itself has evolved in their mind and the mind of the public to mean something unfavorable that they do not like to be associated with.

When it comes to the internationally renowned Street Artist Invader, its not a consideration – the street is in his DNA. His cryptic tile-made street practice is so proliferate across the world and so much a part of the metropolis like in his hometown of Paris that his art is literally and psychically fused with the city.

Invasion Los Angeles 2.1 / Updated Edition 1999 – 2018. A Book By Invader. Published by Control P. Editions. France 2018. Click HERE for more about this book.


“Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts”, Igor Ponosov.

From BSA:

Igor Ponosov Enlightens with “Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts”

An academically sourced opinion-based essay in book form that looks to art, social, economic, and geopolitical movements during the start of the 20th century to better understand the evolution of Urban Art in post-Soviet Russia, Igor Ponosov delivers a welcome reconstruction of the timeline and movements that bring urban art to this day.

With the renewed interest in public art and muralism that has erupted over the last decade in many so-called Western cities it is good to learn how the public space in Russia has been catalyzed not-only by Hip Hop and new graffiti forms from Europe but also the history of Avant-garde art movements and Soviet Muralism in Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts.

Igor Ponosov. Russian Urban Art: History And Conflicts. Moscow 2018. Published in collaboration with Street Art Museum, St Petersburg, Russia. Click HERE for more about this book.

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El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

El Seed Illuminates Ways to See Others with “Perception”

The perception you may have of Tunisian calligraffitist el Seed’s new limited edition hefty white-box tome is that it will contain austerely designed blue chip contemporary works, a book meant to be stacked for aesthetic impact on the toniest of coffee tables. But often perceptions won’t give the full picture.

And el Seed is the first to tell you that in this deeply personal account of his art project across fifty buildings in Mashiyat Naser, a neighborhood of Cairo over two years ago. Born of his personal need to challenge himself and to add more to his career as a respected muralist, his original concept of working in this neighborhood of 70,000 recyclers was informed by his own assumptions, perhaps of helping a community known in the city as Zabbaleen, or “garbage people”.

Over the course of the project he and his team describe through interviews and with his own diary style how their own eyes were opened. It is an incremental revelatory experience that paralleled the quote that he stylized throughout the pattern of his piece, “Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eyes first,” from the writings of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a fourth century Coptic Bishop.

Scaling the power networks seems as natural to el Seed as scaling a massive wall, and he demonstrates his acumen for winning the approval and involvement with his project from the Othodox Church religious leader Father Samaan, whose permission is used to open doors in the community for painting. With the project the artist also garners the attention of  MoMA in New York, specifically Glenn D. Lowry, who introduced him at Art Dubai after the project was completed and who writes the introduction to this book.

But here the artist tells you that nothing prepared him for his own personal transformation plunging himself into the neighborhood. With time he says he realized that he had an incorrect perception of the people who recycle the city’s garbage and that he received the larger gift from them.

Through photography and interviews el Seed illustrates his own learning process as well as his own teams meeting the social, political and physical demands of such a public artwork. By following the story the reader gains appreciation for the process and the nature of life there in a part of the city that even his first taxi driver was hesitant to drive into. Despite the impressive massive public artwork that can be seen in its entirety from one specific vantage point, it almost feels to the artist that the art was secondary to the project.

“The project helped establish a dialogue, create a connection. Looking back, we understood that this was born out of recognition,” he writes. “We approached a rejected community and involved it in a piece of artwork. They were part of the creative process by their presence, their looks, their smiles and their proffered hands. There’s no doubt that’s how we got through it, despite the steep streets, unsteady houses, unexpected electricity cables and heaps of garbage.”

The neighborhood has garnered international attention in recent years, drawing a string of international ‘news’ crews who produce shallow, sensationalist and ultimately degrading pieces, a series of bad experiences that have left locals feeling far more suspicious of outsiders – especially those with probing questions and camera equipment.

Mahdi is a photographer/videographer who has worked with el Seed in the past and who followed the team throughout the weeks of installations capturing not only the community, the architecture,  and the painters but also the various livestock that are raised on roofs or in backyards in this dense part of the city – contributing to an often overwhelming acrid smell. As the documenter of the Perception project Mahdi says that he gradually realized that he had misjudged the folks who lived there.

“I was not so convinced that these people really like their life or that they were not bothered with any details of their job until the day I interviewed Abu Atef,” he says. “That man and his wife were proudly announcing in front of my camera that it is their job to collect the trash from the big city and that without them Cairo would be full of trash and dirt. They were so proud and happy with their life; I’ve never seen people as happy as them. The life in that neighborhood is hard, the work is so hard, but their smiles are stronger.”

One of the team painters says that although the work of using less-than-optimum hand cranked lifts to paint poorly constructed brick walls day after day in intense heat caused him to discover “some muscles that I had no idea existed in my body,” the bonds he made were stronger than any other job he’d had.

“The connection that we had with the community was insane. I worked with people for years in offices and for different companies but I didn’t stay in touch with anyone. I worked for three weeks with these people and the team, and we are still in touch.”

“After a few days the light they had inside of them started to come out. I stopped judging them and I started to see who they really are. I’ve never seen people who work like that in my life. They never stop, they work almost every single day and they only have one week off during the whole year. And they are smiling all day long. I still remember the family of Uncle Bakheet while they were sorting the trash, laughing and joking with us. This project made me “wipe my eyes”.

The photographs are genuine, generous, and not sentimental. The prose a bit sweetened, the emotions expressed not always flattering, the descriptions even-handed, the vulnerability a gift. In the end, the artist says that he and the team were amazingly proud of the massive anthromorphic mural and the group effort that made it happen. They and the neighbors were also thrilled with the effect of the large black lights that turned the fluorescent underpaint of the white areas into a miraculous view – a secret for the audience until the moment the switch was thrown. What resonates is the deep emotional connection that appears to have affected so many of the participants; lives that were indeed transformed by art.

“In the touching and colorful tranquility of their existence, the exceptional and unique community of the Zaraeeb offered us a valuable philosophy of life, of inevitability, equanimity, humor, human values, hard work, generosity and determination,” says el Seed.

El Seed PERCEPTION Published by Point à la Ligne. Milan, Italy. 2018.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.

JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.

“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”

SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.

“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”

Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.

Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.

Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.


The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.

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BSA Film Friday: 07.01.16

BSA Film Friday: 07.01.16

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

Now screening :

1. Chump for Trump. Ron English x The Sutcliffes
2. 100 Persianas by MVIN
3. Street Heroines by Alexandra Henry
4. Der Hampelmann – Naive Street Art in Berlin from Erik & Nils Petter

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BSA Special Feature: Chump for Trump. Ron English x The Sutcliffes

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.

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

100 Persianas by MVIN

A few months ago eL Seed created a multi building mural in Cairo that can only be seen in toto from a specific physical vantage point. Here is a similar project where the only way to appreciate a tag in Barcelona from MVIN is to assemble a grid of photos from 100 pull-down gates (persianas)  he painted.

Check out the Instagram account that documents the progress here.

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Street Heroines by Alexandra Henry

BSA has supported many great Kickstarters and this is one that we are truly excited about. Of course we’ve brought you work from many of the women whom Ms. Henry is including in this documentary, but there are faces we haven’t seen before and people whose stories haven’t been told.

She’s almost done filming but the project needs your help and we urge you to help get her over the finish line!

 Please click on the link to help Alexandra Henry complete her project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/274344236/street-heroines

Der Hampelmann – Naive Street Art in Berlin from Erik & Nils Petter

Okay, we try to stay away from “cute”. This is a rare exception because it is interactive art on the street and it hearkens back to simple methods of entertaining children and, um, its so damn cute.

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Artists Bring 22 New Murals to “Coney Art Walls 2016”

Artists Bring 22 New Murals to “Coney Art Walls 2016”

Just in time for this weekend’s Mermaid Parade, London’s D*Face is finishing up “Live Fast Die Young,” his beauty-and-the-zombie comic couple sipping an ice cream float at the soda counter. Austrian surrealist slicer Nychos has completed his dissection of a Ronald McDonald-ish character without a sketch; running, jumping, nearly flying through the air with aerosol in hand, flinging the spent cans over his shoulder blindly to skitter across the pavement. Baltimore-based freeform anthropologist Gaia is cavorting with passersby who want to take cellphone selfies in front of his painted wall that depicts exactly that; selfies taken in Coney Island.

This is a modern version of the multi-mirror funhouse in mural form, and Coney Art Walls is bringing it again.

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Nychos. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

22 new murals on standing slabs of concrete join a dozen or so that were retained from last summer to present an eclectic and savory selection from the old-school and the new. When it comes to art in the streets, a salty luncheonette of city-style treats is on a large public platter these days, with names like graffiti, street art, urban art, installation art, public art, fine art, even contemporary art. For some of those hapless gatekeepers of any of these respective categories, this show in this location presents degrees of discomfort and anger as many subcultural roots are now brought into the light in tandem with one another in a public display – funded by a real estate firm. For the artists and majority of fans, however, the trend is more toward delight and gratitude.

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Nychos. The London Police photo bomb. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While you are unpacking that, consider that lead curator Jeffrey Deitch has often proved very adept at plumbing the aesthetic margins of our culture while rearranging and intermingling the parties, helping the viewer to appreciate their differences. This outdoor exhibit co-curated with Joseph Sitt provides a venue for a wide audience to contemplate the range of expression that New York streets have had over the last few decades, including a few artists who are trying this manner of expression for the first time.

As the Thunderbolt, Steeplechase, Cyclone and Wonder Wheel spin and swerve nearby and overhead, sending screams and personal projectiles into the ocean breeze, you have this paved lot full of paintings to peruse, lemonade in one hand and the cotton-candy-sticky hand of a sunscreen-slathered child in the other. Here you’ll see a large two-walled corner smashed with Coney Island themes by Bronx graffiti masters Tats Cru (Bio, BG183, and Nicer), a selection of hand-drawn wheat pasted portraits of Coney Island youth by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and 4 full-form sculptures by John Ahearn creating a modernist view of divers on the beach .

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Nychos. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tooling elsewhere through the loose labyrinth you come upon a monochromatic cryptically patterned tribute to Brooklyn-born Beastie Boys vocalist Adam “MCA” Yauch by Brooklyn tagger/train writer/artist Haze and a seemingly lighthearted abstractly collaged wall of mermaids by fine artist Nina Chanel Abney, whose work is currently on the cover of Juxtapoz. There is also a spectacular underwater-themed symmetrical fantasy topped by pylons bearing the likenesses of characters from “The Warriors” film by artist duo The London Police, and a stenciled “Last Supper” featuring heads of world currency playing the disciples and George Washington as Jesus sprayed across the face of a huge dollar bill by Iranian brothers Icy & Sot.

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Pose. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We often travel streets and neglected spaces in cities looking for signs of freewill artistic expression and often the creative spirit surprises us as it can be expressed in so many ways with emotion, agenda, and idiosyncratic point of view. It may be the plurality of voices one experiences surfing the Internet or the multi-cultural nature of living in New York with a continuous river of fresh arrivals mixing in with established and old-timers every day, but one comes to expect this variety of viewpoints and rather naturally creates accommodation for inclusion that celebrates without negating – and in many ways Coney Art Walls does that as well.

Oppositional viewpoints are present if you look: There are coded messages and obvious ones, critiques of corporate hegemony, issues of race, commentary on police relations, sexuality, religion, capitalism, community, the languages of advertising, movies, music, entertainment, local history, and examination of roles and power structures.

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John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When tooling around this collection, you may wonder what, then, are the commonalities of this survey. Certainly there are the recurring references to Coney Island lore and aspects of performance and flimflam, oddity, fantasy, even the erotic. Naturally, there are elements of natural wonder as well, perhaps expected with the proximity to the beach and the ocean and the history of this place as a vacation getaway.

Aside from this, the connective tissue is what we frequently identify as what is distinctly New York – the plurality of voices. Arguing, making fun, praising, preening, bragging, lambasting, mocking, singing. Despite the continuous attempts by others to divide us, we’re strangely (very strangely), beautifully united.

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Jeffery Deitch with John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“11 Instagram Posts”, by Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Haze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Haze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts has multi-generational roots here and her work makes you stop and study it. She has painted many visions and views around the neighborhood, and is considered the artist-in-residence. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Side A. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally from Japan, Brooklyn’s AIKO has a double sided stencil sonnet to the romance of the sea. With “Tale of the Dragon King and Mermaids in Water Castle” Aiko tells a new version of Urashima Tarō, an old Japanese legend about a fisherman who rescues a turtle and is rewarded for this with a visit to Ryūgū-jō, the palace of Ryūjin. Says Aiko, “This piece speaks to my and all women’s fantasies; chilling hard super sexy in the beautiful ocean with friendly dragon who is super powerful and a smart guy – they are about going to water castle having good time.”

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AIKO. Side B. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jessica Diamond. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh photographing her subjects. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crash. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BIO – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NICER – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BG183 – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam Vernon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam Vernon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Timothy Curtis. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Timothy Curtis. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls
2016 New Artists: Nina Chanel Abney, John Ahearn, Timothy Curtis, D*Face, Jessica Diamond, Tristan Eaton, Gaia, Eric Haze, Icy & Sot, London Police, Nychos, Pose, Stephen Powers, Tats Cru, and Sam Vernon. Returning artists who created new works: Lady Aiko, Mister Cartoon, Crash, Daze, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Marie Roberts. 2015 Murals on display: by Buff Monster, Eine, Ron English, How & Nosm, IRAK, Kashink, Lady Pink,  Miss Van, RETNA, eL Seed and Sheryo & Yok. There are also three community walls.

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The project’s completion at the turn of the year culminated in one of the largest Street Art/Graffiti artists’ collective shows in Italy held in the city’s main public gallery Palazzo Platamone, entitled “Codici Sorgenti” (Source Code), which was curated by Stefano S. Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano from Rome’s 999 Contemporary Gallery.

There is talk about the possibility that this exhibition of about 60 artists work will tour throughout Europe with its message of the historic roots of modern graffiti and Street Art along with many of its most impactful practitioners pushing into the contemporary art world.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

According to Arianna Ascione in Artsblog.it, the gallery exhibition was “divided into three sections that tell the birth, interactive development and consecration of the (graffiti/street art) phenomenon” Indeed, the list contains works by 108, A One, Augustine Iacurci, Alexis Diaz, Alexone, Bo 130, Boris Tellegen (aka Delta), Brad Downey, C215, Clemens Behr, Conor Harrington, Crash, Delta 2, Dondi White, Doze Green, El Seed, Ericailcane, Eron, Escif, Evol, Faile, Feitakis, Gaia, Herbert Baglione, Horfee, Interesni Kazki, Invader, Jaz, Jeff Aerosol, Mark Jenkins, Jonone, JR, Judith Supine, Kool Poor, The Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Maya Hayuk, Mensanger, Miss Van, Momo, Moneyless, Peeta, Rammellzee, Retna, Roa, Seth, Philippe Baudelocque, Sharp, Shepard Fairey, StenLex, Swoon, The London Police, Todd James,Toxic, and the aforementioned Vhils.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

Ironically the genre-melting inclination of so-called “urban art” has eroded the silo mentality of many who follow these art forms as they become known, followed, collected, and exhibited; As a metaphor “Art Silos” may more accurately refer to the past and the dogmatic separation of genres such as graffiti, tattoo, illustration, ad jamming, and Street Art for example.

Although not strictly what you might call public art either, the scale of “Art Silos”, with its major artworks that typically may take years to be approved in large cities elsewhere, is an occurrence routinely happening in cities around the world.

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Vlady Art and BO130. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

For us this is one more example of the “New Muralism” that is enabling Street Artists to do major works in public spaces via non-traditional routes. On par with a public art works of other committee-approved sorts, this silo project was a private/public collaboration that made selections, secured funding and permissions from the harbor authorities, city figures, politicians and the manager of the silos themselves, according to VladyArt, who along with Microbo is one of the artists and a resident of Catania.

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Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

He says the size of the project and the power of the imagery combined with the process of watching them go up has drawn a lot of attention to the area lately. “The people here were amazed by our speed and the large scale operation. Catania had no large murals like this… this was the very first time for Sicily. They can be seen from far away and even from taking off from and landing at the airport – or coming by cruise line on the sea. It seems that nobody really paid that much attention to this spot before, and everyone is talking about it now.”

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BO130 and Vlady Art. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

To understand why a project of this nature can happen so quickly these days, look no further than the location. As we have recounted numerous times, often these efforts are deliberately programmed to draw attention to economically challenged areas as a way of encouraging tourism and investment.

In fact VladyArt says that this historic region and city that dates back many centuries before Christ is having a very challenging time economically and socially and could use positive attention from a crowd that appreciates art. “Catania is somehow the most dynamic city of Sicily, because of its industrial and commercial features,” he says.

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Having said that, please be aware that the south of Italy is no way wealthy or an easy place, despite its beauty and lucky location in the sun. Almost the whole city is rough, I can name a many neighborhoods where this is the case.”

So it is all the more remarkable that a multi-artist iconic installation can happen here in Catania and people are exposed to a grassroots-fueled art scene that is currently galloping across the globe.

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Regular people around here don’t know much about the whole thing, street art and stuff,” says Vlady Art. “So, quite frankly they wouldn’t care much about Okuda, Vhils or Interesni. They never heard of them before and probably people will find hard to spell their names. They cannot catch the meaning or the purpose of this. They simply like what they see – they like this energy. They do get the ‘message’, the power of art.”

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Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)

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Okuda (photo © VladyArt)

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Microbo (photo © VladyArt)

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ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)

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The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)

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Vhils on the side of the silos facing the water. (photo © VladyArt)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article is also published in The Huffington Post.

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A Quick Look at Wynwood Walls of Change 2015

A Quick Look at Wynwood Walls of Change 2015

Among the various events at this years’ Miami madness called Basel were the multiple projects that intersect with Street Art in the Wynwood District. Walls of Change brought new large scale murals and installations from fourteen international artists who have all done art in the streets at some stage of their career and represent some of the better known as well as a few up-and-comers.

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Case Ma’Claim. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

The corporate sponsored program curated by real estate CEO Jessica Goldman Srebnick of Goldman Properties also debuted The Wynwood Walls Garden, a new space that cleverly added instant height to the scene by stacking shipping containers on top of each other.

Our thanks to Todd Mazer for sharing these fresh images for BSA readers to see what new pieces captured his eye at the installation. The invited list of artists includes Case (Germany), Crash (USA), Cryptik (USA), el Seed (France), Ernest Zacharevic (Singapore), Fafi (France), Hueman (USA), INTI (Chile), The London Police (UK), Logan Hicks (USA). Pichi & Avo (Spain), Magnus Sodamin (USA), and Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico).

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Case Ma’Claim. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Case Ma’Claim. Detail. “Walls For Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Logan Hicks. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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El Seed. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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El Seed. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Hueman. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Cryptik at work. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Cryptik at work. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Cryptik. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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The London Police at work. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Ernest Zacharevic’s Miami collaboration with photographer Martha Cooper. Mr. Zacharevic recreated Pablo Picasso’s 1958 sculpture “Bull” and placed it a scene from Ms. Cooper’s photo of children at play taken in 1978 in The Lower East Side of Manhattan. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Detail. “Walls of Change” at  Wynwood Walls 2015. Miami, Florida. (photo © Todd Mazer)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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: 07.31.15

BSA Film Friday: 07.31.15

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

Now screening :

1. eL Seed in London
2. Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015
3. Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser
4. Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin
5. Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

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BSA Special Feature: eL Seed in London

In town for the Shubbak Festival, London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture, Parisian/Tunisian artist eL Seed creates a wall using his distinctive blending of Arabic and graffiti lettering.

Here an added dimension to his practice is revealed as you listen to a political blogger and patron describe the context of a rise in graffiti in the Middle East in the last few years. Similarly you can gain a quick appreciation for the art and the history of the Arabic calligraphic script and how eL Seed adapts it to convey a deliberate textural message as a highly ornamental mandela on a busy London street.

The site is the Village Underground and the video’s producer Mr. Cedar Lewisohn.

 

Amo-Te Lisboa: An Ignominious Street Art Movie (Trailer) 2015

“This Street Art thing is a mountain of soft-boiled shit,” says Txakurra, the wizard-like dragon seer who admonishes the boys from Cane Morto for wasting their painting talents on mere mural making. To make amends he sends them on a mission to Lisboa where they promise to do illegal works of art and possibly, to regain their endangered souls. Let’s see a show of hands for people who can’t wait to see this movie!

 

Wall Therapy 2015: A Teaser

Wall Therapy is wrapped for this session, but the videos will keep coming all through August, so keep your eyes on this space. You can also see more of the images in our piece this week for BSA and The Huffington Post

 

Face Time: Various & Gould in Berlin

You read our posting when it first went up (“Face Time” with Various & Gould in Berlin) – now you can see the video!

 

Lurky Wolfpack: The Lurkers

The troublemaking Lurkers are back with their street meat interludes, rhyming sessions at the home made studio, and drop dead gorgeous lady friends looking at you as if they wished you would drop dead.

“Sarajevo based Grime collective Lurky Wolfpack bring to you their hotly anticipated street banger ‘Eastern Block Anthem’.”

 

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BSA Film Friday 07.24.15

BSA Film Friday 07.24.15

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

Now screening :

1. Brazilian Street Artist Eder Muniz
2.
David Flores’ Nelson Mandela Mural Project
3.
New TED Talk from eL Seed
4. BSA LIVE Tonight in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2015 and Urban Nation (UN)

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BSA Special Feature: Brazilian Street Artist Eder Muniz

Eder Muniz joins the Wall\Therapy mural festival this year with his magic infused fantasy forms that have been blanketing his hometown of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The self-taught artist goes by the name of “Calangos de Rua” (Street Lizard) back home but clearly that must be an endearing term as his sentiments toward humans and nature are anything but reptilian. Here is a profile made of the artist three years ago that gives some good insight into his inspirations and working style.

David Flores Nelson Mandela Mural Project

This week was Nelson Mandela’s birthday and we were reminded of the great mural David Flores did of the man two years ago.  Done to commemorate his 95th, we remember him through his own words on his 97th in this video by Banded Arts.

New TED Talk from eL Seed

“Born in France to Tunisian parents, eL Seed delights in juggling multiple cultures, languages and identities. Not least in his artwork, which sets Arabic poetry in a style inspired by street art and graffiti. In this quietly passionate talk, the artist and TED Fellow describes his central ambition: to create art so beautiful it needs no translation.”

BSA LIVE Tonight in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2015 and Urban Nation (UN)

Join us tonight in person for BSA Film Friday LIVE – at University of Rochester. We’re proud to be working with this grassroots festival and to be your hosts at the revered 100+ year old Memorial Art Gallery in the MAG Auditorium. We’ll be showing 16 of our favorite videos from the past year of BSA Film Friday, pieces that are examples of what’s been on our radar – exploring, experimenting, inspiring, and just plain badass videos that keep this scene fresh. If you are in the area we’s love to see your smiling face in the audience tonight!

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Click HERE for further information

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Coney Art Walls : 30 Reasons To Go To Coney Island This Summer

Coney Art Walls : 30 Reasons To Go To Coney Island This Summer

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called Coney Art Walls and today you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.

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How & Nosm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

By way of defining terms, none of this is street art. These are murals completed by artists who are street artists, graffiti writers, fine artists, and contemporary artists. In the middle of an amusement park, these are commissioned works that respond in some way to their environment by thirty or so local and international heavy hitters and a few new kids on the block comprising a 40+ year span of expertise.

Open to many strata of the public and fun-seekers who dig Brooklyn’s rich cultural landscape, this outdoor show will surely end up as backgrounds for selfies — while perhaps simultaneously elevating a discourse about the rightful place of graffiti/street art/urban art within the context of contemporary art. Okay, maybe not such loftiness will result, but let’s not rule it out entirely.

 

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How & Nosm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It should come as no surprise that it is the dealer, curator, perennially risk-taking showman Jeffrey Deitch who is the ringmaster of this circus, or that the genesis of this cultural adventure is perplexing to some who have greeted his newest vision with perplexity and derision. His Deitch Projects and related activities in the 2000s regularly presented and promoted the street-inspired D.I.Y. cultural landscape, having done his due diligence and recognizing that new life springs from the various youth movements always afoot. The Jeffrey-conceived “Art Parade” itself was a street-based all-inclusive annual panoply of eye candy and absurdity; inflicting humor, sex, gore, fire, glitter and possibility into the minds of Manhattan sidewalk observers.

As MOCA Los Angeles director Deitch also flipped the script with his “Art In The Streets,” organizing a vast survey of a half-century of the modern grassroots genres including graffiti/street art/urban art/tattoo/punk/hip-hop/skater culture that far surpassed anyone’s predictions for audience attendance and public engagement. Aside from tripping wires and a public misstep here and there, the show earned critical praise, pinched art-school noses, and pushed skeptical institutions and patrons to question their prejudices. It also gave voice to a lot of people.

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Notably, that MOCA exhibit drew a little over 200,000 attendees in four months. Coney Island beach and boardwalk gets about 14 million annually. Even if the Smorgasbord pop-up village food trucks feed a fraction of that number, there will be more folks viewing art and interacting with it here than, say, the Four Seasons dining rooms, which also display street artists and contemporary artists in the restaurants’ artistic programming. Side by side comparisons of Smorgasbord/Four Seasons diners ethnic diversity, income, age, education level, museum board membership or real estate investments were not available at press time. But neither can be fairly described as exploitative to artists or audience without sounding patronizing.

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

These multicolored and monochromatic murals illustrate a wide and balanced smorgasborg of their own; examples of myriad styles are at play with some engaging in activism and local politics and Coney Island history. From original train writer Lady Pink to aerosol drone sprayer Katsu, from eL Seed’s lyrical Arabic calligraffiti to Retna’s secret text language to graffitist-now-collagist Greg Lamarche, from Shepard Fairey’s elegant Brooklyn salute to polluters and blasé consumerism to Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s spotlight on current Coney Island neighbors, from urban naturalist ROA’s monochrome marginalized city animals to How & Nosm’s eye-punching and precise graphic metaphors, you are getting a dizzying example of the deep command Deitch has of this multi-headed contemporary category that is yet to settle on a moniker to call itself.

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Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls assembles world travelers from NYC and LA and Miami and internationally; Belgium, Barcelona, Brazil, Paris, Tunisia, London. Some are 80s Downtown NYC alumni, others were train writers in the 70s or big crew graff heads and taggers from the decades after. Some are considered historical originators of a form and cross-genre risk takers pushing beyond their comfort zone. Take a close look and you’ll find names that are in major collections (private, institutional, corporate) and that go to auction.

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Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some are regularly showing in galleries and are invited to street art festivals, exhibited in museums and discussed in academia and print. Others have studio practices spanning three decades, are lecturers, panelists, authors, teachers, community advocates, art stars, reality TV personalities, film actors, product endorsers and art product makers working with global brands. One or two may be considered global brands themselves. A handful have been painting on the streets for 40 years. Monolithic they are not.

One more notable aspect occurred to us as we watched this parade making its peregrination to these summer walls – either because of Deitch or the romance or history of Coney or both; When you are looking at the range of ages and ethnicities and family configurations and listening to the variety of accents and opinions expressed and seeing the friendly but tough-stuff attitudes on display — you might guess you were in Brooklyn. You are.

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Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse Edwards (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse Edwards (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Irak (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Aiko (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Aiko  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jason Woodside (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jason Woodside (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed with Martha Cooper (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenny Scharf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Retna (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lauren Halsey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our previous weekly updates track the installation period of Coney Art Walls:

Coney Art Walls: First 3 Completed and Summer Begins

DEITCH Masters, Coney Art Walls Part 2 : Coney With a Twist

Eine, Hayuk: A Riot of Color at Coney (Update III)

Coney Art Walls: Gypsies, Stallions, Mermaids, and Pop Optics! Update IV

Coney Art Walls Opens for the Mermaids! Update V

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Coney Art Walls Opens for the Mermaids! Update V

Coney Art Walls Opens for the Mermaids! Update V

Dude/Dudette, it’s Mermaid Parade Day – part of Coney’s modern pop-carney cultural heritage. Rolling up Surf Avenue, turning right and coming back down the boardwalk, the three decade old event is both a well organized and entirely rag-tag D.I.Y. affair simultaneously. It’s the enthusiasm of the participants and their street performances and costumery that pull in the equally enthusiastic fans, but it is the bedazzled breasts and free-flowing beer that make them seek that illusive and effervescent feeling of abandon.

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Skewville at work on their piece…while some folks go against gravity above…(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile more walls were being painted at Coney Art Walls this week by another impressive cross section of talents from points local and international. The Skewville twins completed their free-standing monster boom box, El Seed brought his lyrical Arabic inspired calligraffiti, fine artist Jane Dickson applies her eye to the symbols of the carnival footprint and turns amusements into colorful cakes, Katsu spreads wider with his investigations into drone painting that are looking impressionistic, Mr. Cartoon enlivens a Vandal/Copper chase with a grim reaper and a selfie-snapping angel, former graffiti outlaw Gregg LaMarche slams his collaged font explosion with color, Coney-Island artist icon Marie Roberts invokes ghosts and her own family’s deep roots in this place’s history, Miami’s Rage Johnson of Inkheads Crew brings crisp psychadeliac forms with AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus), Sheryo and The Yok use a new palette to depict a beach inspired hotdog caper, and Tatiana Fazlalizadeh creates warm black and white portraits of local current neighbors who live in these environs here year round.

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The Twins Skewville at work on their piece…yes the other one showed up for photo op… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Briefly, a snafu in the proceedings popped up when Cope2 suddenly did one of his eponymous bubble tags smack on the center of a freshly finished Retna wall Friday. Shortly thereafter Retna’s assistant was seen buffing the tag. Sources tell us that Cope’s participation in the project wasn’t originally scheduled and while some permissions had been secured, not all parties were in agreement before work commenced. The affair spurred speculation about who gave permission and who denied it in a flurry of social media postings, but the matter has been resolved. No doubt rumors on the street and online will be profligate – it is the nature of these aerosol Olympic games. Let’s see how the buffed section of Retna’s wall is addressed now that fin-fested visitors are schooling through the concrete complex chomping on cotton candy and sausages.

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Skewville at work with the help of an assistant. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But don’t let this petit drama overshadow the talent and effort and storied history of the two dozen other artists whose work is on display. A more diverse collection of artists from the past four decades from across this spectrum is rarely assembled in one location – a mini reprise of Mr. Deitch’s Art in the Streets, minus the ceiling. It’s not street art, urban art, or graffiti so none of those labels rightly apply to this amusement park exhibit. To the visiting crowds this is primarily background for selfies but fans of these artists will attach a much greater significance to some of these brand new works, as they should. Stay tuned for our final roundup of all the walls next Wednesday on a screen near you.

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Skewville… for a dollar we’ll show you the rest… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville practicing an abundance of caution while at work …  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Seed (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Seed with Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Seed (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson’s work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katsu tried his hand at Impressionism with a drone. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Cartoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rage Johnson of Inkheads Crew working on the piece designed by Brazilian AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus). (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF executed by Rage Johnson of Inkheads Crew. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sheryo and The Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh…”The Day Before Easter And The Day After Labor Day – People Still Live Here. People Die Here. People Love Here” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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Tour Paris 13 : Fluorescent & Towering Show Book

Tour Paris 13 : Fluorescent & Towering Show Book

Another book to tell you about today! Remember when BSA took you to Paris that time and we skipped the line and went into all the floors of this soon to be demolished building?

“The numbers are astounding; 105 artists, 9 floors, 36 apartments, 30,000 visitors.

One hour.

That is how much time Street Art enthusiast Spencer Elzey had to himself inside the largest gallery of Street Artists and graffiti artists ever assembled specifically to transform a building for a public show. As he looked out a window to see the snaking lines of Parisians and tourists restlessly waiting to get in, he couldn’t believe his luck to be able to walk through the exhibit by himself and get off some clear shots before the throng hit.”

That is how we described it in November 2013 when Spencer took us on a whirlwind tour of TOUR 13.

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Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Published last month this towering book with the page edges sprayed neon orange was released by Mehdi Ben Cheikh in French and English to commemorate the event, and seeing the installations this way is going to make you wish the place wasn’t destroyed. 500 new photos previously unpublished allows you to see the show as you travel from the cellar to the top floors.

You may wish you had more background on the artists and the context and clearly not all of the artistry is of similar quality but you will be satiated by the images and thankful that they were recorded during their brief duration. Published by Editions Albin Michel, in partnership with the Itinerrance Gallery, this show will continue to soar long after the dust has settled.

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Entes . Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inti . Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ethos .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Seth .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Moneyless .Tour Paris 13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artists included in the Tour Paris 13 project:

108, 2MIL FAMILIA, A1ONE, ADD FUEL, AGL, AGOSTINO IACURCI, AMINE, ALEXÖNE, ARRAIANO, AWER, AZOOZ, BOM.K, BTOY, C215, CEKIS, CELESTE JAVA, CLET, COPE2, CORLEONE, DABRO, DADO, DAN23, DAVID WALKER, DEYAA, EIME, eL SEED, ENTES, ETHOS, ETNIK, FENX, FLIP, GAËL, GILBERT, GUY DENNING, HERBERT BAGLIONE, HOGRE, HOPNN, INDIE, INTI ANSA, INTI CASTRO, JAZ, JB ROCK, JÉRÔME GULON, JIMMY C, JOYS, JULIEN COLOMBIER, KAN, KATRE, KEITH HARING, KRUELLA, LEGZ, LEK, LE CYKLOP, LILIWENN, LOIOLA, LUDO, MAIS MENOS, MAR, MÁRIO BELÉM, MARKO, MARYAM, MATÉO GARCIA, MAZ, MONEYLESS, MOSKO, MP5, MYRE, NANO, NEBAY, NEMI “UHU”, NILKO, ORTICANOODLES, PANTÓNIO, PEETA, PHILIPPE BAUDELOCQUE, RAPTO, REA ONE, RODOLPHE CINTORINO, ROTI, SAILE, SAMBRE, SAMINA, SEAN HART, SÉBASTIEN PRESCHOUX, SENSO, SETH, SHAKA, SHOOF, SHUCK 2, SOWAT, SPAZM, SPETO, STeW, STINKFISH, SWOON, TELLA’S, TINHO, TORE, UNO, URIGINAL, VEXTA, VHILS, and WISIGN

 

Click HERE to read BSA’s coverage of this project before the building was demolished.

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