All posts tagged: Ernest Zacharevic

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.

Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.

Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.

And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.


Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.

1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola

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Doug Gillen Writes: Ernest Zacharevic Is Sending An “SOS”

Doug Gillen Writes: Ernest Zacharevic Is Sending An “SOS”

SOS ! The Earth is increasingly sending out this message. And increasingly artists are answering the call As we near the end of 2018 we feel indebted to Street Artist / fine artist/ activist Ernest Zacharevic for what has been one of the most impactful and important art projects to raise awareness for other inhabitants of the planet. Here in Sumatra he raises awareness and proposes exact actions to protect the Sumatran Orangutan and the environment.

Today we sincerely thank filmmaker Doug Gillen, better known as the funny, entertaining and informative founder of FifthWall TV, who illustrates with his words the aerial image of Mr. Zacharevic’s distress signal:


By Doug Gillen

I often wonder if an artist has ever actually stopped a war by writing “stop wars” on a wall. I don’t have access to any hard empirical evidence to confirm or deny this, but I’ll go out on a limb here and say, probably not. Gauging the impact of art is tricky. All too often well-meaning messages of positivity become lost in the ether of narcissism and capitalist conquests that flood our Instagram news feeds.

Ernest Zacharevic. Splash & Burn. Sumtra, Indonesia. 2018. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Every so often though something pops up, a piece, a project, a stunt and it stops you in your tracks, because you know it’s the real deal. This happened for me back at the start of the year when Ernest Zacharevic came good on his ongoing battle with the Palm Oil industry.

For two years running the Lithuanian artist has been running a festival of sort in Indonesia. For Splash and Burn he invites several artists to the country he now resides in to engage publicly with the theme of palm oil deforestation. The likes of Issac Cordal, Vhils, and Mark Jenkins have all stepped up to the plate but for me the real home run came when Zacharevic revealed he had bought 52hectares of unnatural palm oil plantation to it repopulate it with naturally occurring trees, native to the region. As he tore down the palm oil trees, he carved out a large scale “SOS” into the land in what is one of the most visually captivating and symbolic statements of the year.

It should be said that this project was not done by one person. It was only made possible thanks to groups such as the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS), the cosmetic company LUSH and a swath of behind-the-scenes and front line cogs that brought it together.

There are many known problems with the palm oil industry; it’s contribution to climate change, the unregulated black market, the forests are uninhabitable for wildlife, the list goes on. The industry is wreaking havoc on the region, particularly on the island of Sumatra, where Splash and Burn takes place. This was a small, but vital push back but more so, it was an artist coming good on their ethos, taking their vision to the next level to play their role in making the world a better place.

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 08.10.18

BSA Film Friday: 08.10.18

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

Now screening :
1. VHILS Splash and Burn
2. MONUMENTA PREPARES with The Intelligence of Many SEPT 2018

a. Yairan Cinco Montejo
b. What Inspires You?
c. Super Fresh Air

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BSA Special Feature: VHILS Splash and Burn

“The prime location we have to communicate is the public space. It can have a huge impact on society,” says Vhils in the introduction to this new video, and it is a mantra we have been repeating for over a decade. Powerful work well placed with authenticity – that can have resonance.

In this new piece to raise awareness about endangered species in general and the Tapanuli Orangutans’ habitat in specific, the Portuguese artist creates a portrait that is perhaps outside his usual collection.

“The world is not taking the time to consider how to move forward, there is no effort to reflect on the real impact of decisions,” he says in a warning that should send a chill up your spine.

Click on the link below to sign the petition to save the Tapanuli Orangutans’ habitat:

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/save_the_tapanuli_orangutans_42/?cRimElb

MONUMENTA PREPARES with The Intelligence of Many SEPT 2018

A magnetism of like minds is pulling together in Leipzig, Germany next month; a modern merging of  current critical thinking in the fields of urban art, public performance, city planning, architecture and the flattening of the hierarchies that once defined how we interact with our cities and with each other. As paradigms rapidly shift it is The Feelers, The Thinkers, and The Fun-Seekers who are all in attendance, and BSA introduces the MONUMENTA Talks on September 1st in this inspiring hulking former home of industry.

Our guests; artists, futurists, planners, architects, curators, thinkers all – we’ll hope to have on parade the intelligence of many.

Enjoy some titillating video tidbits for MONUMENTA

MONUMENTA: Yairan Cinco Montejo

 

MONUMENTA: What Inspires You?

 

MONUMENTA: Super Fresh Air

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.01.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.01.18

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This week’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week is heavy with messages, especially on the subject of refugee children and our responsibility to keep them safe. Family Values, as we once heard on a near daily basis here, are apparently not to be mentioned when applied to certain families according to the people pulling children away from immigrants – certain immigrants anyway.

New York streets had people marching yesterday about these families, and our top Street Art image by Ernest Zacharavic features little kids set afloat figuratively. As Mexico elects a new president today, the US Supreme Court looks rightward with Kennedy’s resignation last week. Meanwhile the country will celebrate “liberty and justice for all” this week – and the streets are thick with politics like we haven’t had in a while.

On a practical, art-making level, we have also noticed the prevalence of wheat-pasted posters on the streets this spring/summer. Whether mass-printed or labor-intensive one-off paintings, wheatpasting is a practice that has been a staple since we began documenting the arts on the streets worldwide. We are glad to see that the ‘paster, like the humble one-color stencil, hasn’t lost its appeal in the face of the current fascination with big murals.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adage, AJ LaVilla, Baron Von Fancy, Boutros Buotros Bootleg, C3, Damon NYC, Drsc0, Ernest Zacharevic, Indie184, Jason Naylor, Jeff Henriquez, LMNOPI, Praxis, Simon (Xi An), REVOK, Tristan Eaton, Unapologetically Brown Series, and Voxx.

Top image: Ernest Zacharevic sets these kids afloat in Manhattan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

AJ Lavilla (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Unapologetically Brown Series (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Indie184 for 212Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adage (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damon NYC for 212Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jeff Henriquez (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

VOXX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Boutros Buotros Bootleg (photo © Jaime Rojo)

REVOK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

\

Adage (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Simon (Xi An) somewhere in China. (photo © Simon)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The wheat pastes above and below remind us of the early works of Faile and Bast…on the streets of Williamsburg. It’s fun to see their influence on the streets today.

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. An spectator taking in Tristan Eaton’s crafty work at the Houston/Bowery Wall. NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.21.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.21.18

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The streets across the US were again flooded with justifiably angry, determined women yesterday. Nothing we can say here will do justice to the enormity of the crowds protesting in 250 cities on the first anniversary of the inauguration, nor the range of political and social fronts that are being contested.

Clearly the world stage has been thrown off kilter by the the erosion of trust and confidence in this government, in the economy, in the fraying social fabric, the attacks on people and the earth. “The decline in confidence in the U.S. president has been severe in some countries since Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017,” says FactCheck.org, and it “is especially pronounced among some of America’s closest allies in Europe and Asia, as well as neighboring Mexico and Canada,” the Pew Global Attitudes Project found. That’s in only one year.

Oh, did we mention that the US has a government shutdown right now?

Today we chose the top image by Alex Senna to symbolize the people who are in the shadows who are hiding and who think we don’t know they are there and that no one is looking out for them. Immigrants across the country are being threatened, yet exploited day after day – afraid to go to the police or even hospitals when abused by employers, by family members, by misguided racists. We see you and we hear you. As a nation descended from immigrants, the indigenous, and the enslaved, we remember our history. Similarly, people who are being sex trafficked, or who are unable to speak up because of financial restraints, religious restraints, psychological restraints. We see you.

Heavy topics, but these are the streets, our streets, all of us. Roberta Smith said this week in The New York Times when reviewing the Outsider Art Fair; “Art Is Everywhere”. We’ll widen that sentiment and say that art is for everyone, and the street is more than ever a perfect place to see it.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Ai WeiWei, Alex Senna, Cholula, Ernest Zacharevic, Fontes World, Mr. June, Retna, Roman, Stray Ones, Terry Urban, and Zola.

Top Image: Alex Senna ( photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ai Weiwei. “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. NYC wide multimedia/multi site exhibition for Public Art Fund. Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art Council (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Terry Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita and Fontes World collaboration brings to mind our recent article about artists endless fight for affordable housing in NYC Indeed a Dying Breed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic fills the space with a cube. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paris (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zola (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn vs Everybody (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Retna in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Román in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. June for The Buschwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This public ad campaign against fur borrows from the street art stencil technique. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist in Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Untitled. January 2018. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Street Artist StrØk in Indonesia Ready to Catch Orangutans

Street Artist StrØk in Indonesia Ready to Catch Orangutans

Activism in the practice of Street Art and murals continues to inject itself into different situations, adding to its own definition, and perhaps challenging ours.

Part of a larger campaign called “Splash and Burn,” today we have Norwegian stencil artist Strøk, aka Anders Gjnnestad, with a brand new piece he did in Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

The image of a huge net is not remarkable except for Strøk’s characteristic play on perspective and planes, and the fact that the subject is Orangutans, or rather, an increasing lack of them.

Strøk for Splash & Burn Project. Sumatra 2016. (photo © Strøk)

EcoTourism has become such a huge industry in the last decade and a half thanks to Westerners longing to do something meaningful and engaging on their vacations aside from going to an amusement park or lying by the beach. Unfortunately, irresponsible development, untrained “guides” and uncaring tourists have trampled over the natural areas, changed the natural behavior of wild animals and endangered their future – with Orangutans in Bukit Lawang as a prime example. The lure of tour money and the behaviors of visitors ignoring even basic rules like “don’t feed the wild orangutans” has created a lot of aggressive animals who are now dependent on you for food and the uncontrolled hordes of visitors have damaged the living environment.

“I just found that what I wanted to create was a mural about Orangutans and one of the main problems they are facing – destruction of habitat,” says Strøk of his new piece.

Reference photo. Rescuers working for  Sumatra Orangutan Society or SOS for its initials in English prepare a net to catch an Orangutan about to fall down from a tall tree. (photo © Andrew Walmsley)

With a desire to educate himself about what orangutans are like and how some of them need rescuing and relocating, the artist went to the Orangutan Information Centre headquarters in Medan and met with the people working there. “While being given a presentation of their work, I got the idea of what I wanted to paint. They showed us photos of how they work with the SOS (Sumatran Orangutan Society) to rescue and relocate orangutans in trouble,” he explains. “Orangutans travel great distances almost daily, in search for food. If the jungle is cut down around them and they get stuck in a small pocket of trees, that’s bad news for them.”

“Basically, OIC/SOS have a hotline that people can call if they see a distressed orangutan. Then the OIC/SOS gets together their team that is on standby, go to the location and they shoot the Orangutan with a sedation dart. When it sleeps and falls down from its tree, they are standing below it, breaking the fall with a net – much like the old school fireman rescue method. Then the orangutan gets checked by a vet, and depending on its condition it is either relocated into the wild, or taken to a rehabilitation facility.

Strøk for Splash & Burn Project. Sumatra 2016. (photo © Strøk)

The new stenciled and sprayed wall piece was created to evoke the image of the animal falling to safety and as a larger metaphor about our collective responsibility to care for nature and its other inhabitants. Strøk says he really liked the location he worked with, and after taking photos while standing on a roof of local guys holding the net, he created the stencils and started painting.

“I was free to do whatever I wanted, on whatever wall or surface I preferred and that we could get permission to paint. On top of my list was a rusty old tourist agency billboard with a barely visible map of Sumatra that was along the main road as you enter the village. I integrated the oil palm tree that was already directly behind and leaning over the billboard into the composition of my painting,” he says

Strøk for Splash & Burn Project. Sumatra 2016. (photo © Strøk)

This might be a bit of a sidenote, but I wanted to include this photo of the construction I was standing on to paint. “I´ve always had massive respect to people who can put together something good and solid, in an effective way. This construction was put up for me by two local men in about an hour, and proved to fit me and the work I needed to do, like a glove. I am glad they got a look at me before they started, though, as I am about 1,5 times the height and at least double the weight of an average Indonesian. They tailored it so I could stand up straight on the middle level and climb up and down with confidence.”- Strøk

Strøk for Splash & Burn Project. Sumatra 2016. (photo © Strøk)

The palm oil tree that reaches over the front of the new piece is significant because this installation is part of a larger campaign about the palm oil industry begun by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who raised money for Strøk and six other artists this January by selling a special lithograph print called “Splash and Burn

Other artists like Mark Jenkins, Isaac Cordal, Pixel Pancho, Gabriel Pitcher, Bibichun, and Axel Void all participated in the first series of installations, and Zacharevic intends to develop the project further to raise awareness about the negative impact that our often unregulated industrial world is having on the natural one, and the people, animals and ecosystems that depend on it. For more information on “Splash and Burn” check out the new article just published in The Guardian.

“For this project I knew I wanted my work to connected on more levels, to tell a more specific story in a way,” StrØk tells us. “I wanted to create a work about Orangutans without painting one. It was a challenge, but a very welcome one.”

To read about an unregulated industry of ecotourism that is not eco-friendly and is very possibly ruining the habitat for orangutans, go here.


Our sincere thanks to Charlotte Pyatt for her help in the project and with this article.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.29.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.29.17

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Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Able, Alexis Diaz, Bruno Smoky, Case Ma’Claim, Crash, Dan Flavin, Ernest Zacharevic, Inti, Jose Mertz, Kryptick, Logan Hicks, Maya Hayuk, Miro, Pichi & Avo, Santiago Rubino, Shalakattak, and Sipros.

First image above: Alexis Diaz. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Able. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jose Mertz. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sipros. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miro. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Santiago Rubino. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kryptik. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic in collaboration with Martha Cooper. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inti. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crash. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichi  & Avo. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Logan Hicks. Wynwood Walls, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bruno Smoky and Shalakattak. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bruno Smoky and Shalakattak. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Dan Flavin. Chelsea, NYC. January 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

An unusual amalgam of the interactivity of the street combined with the formality of a gallery environment, Magic City opened this fall in a converted factory in Dresden, Germany with an eclectic selection of 40+ artists spanning the current and past practices of art in the street.

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Skewville. Children enjoying Skewville’s “tete-a-tete” shopping cart. Ernest Zacharevic’s mobile in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With revered culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick at the helm alongside curator Ethel Seno, the richly marbled show runs a gamut from 70’s subway train writers and photographers like Americans Daze, Henry Chalfant, and Martha Cooper to the Egyptian activist Ganzeer, Italian interventionist Biancoshock, popagandist Ron English, and the eye-tricking anamorphic artist from the Netherlands, Leon Keer.

Veering from the hedonistic to the satiric to head-scratching illusions, the collection allows you to go as deep into your education about this multifaceted practice of intervening public space as you like, including just staying on the surface.

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Ernest Zacharevic mobile with a “listening station” on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s not an easy balance to strike – some of these artists have heavy hearts and withering critiques of human behaviors and institutional hypocrisies ranging from 1st World treatment of refugees to celebrity culture to encroaching surveillance on individual rights, government oppression, and urban blight.

Magic City doesn’t try to shield you from the difficult topics, but the exhibition also contains enough mystery, fanboy cheer, eye candy and child-like delight that the kids still have plenty of fun discoveries to take selfies with. We also saw a few kissing couples, so apparently there is room for some romance as well.

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 A visitor to Magic City enjoys a “listening station”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We believe that even the typical city is uncommon, and that the idiosyncrasies that make each city unique are collectively something they all have in common,” says McCormick in his text describing the exhibition. “This is then a celebration of the universal character of cities as well as a love letter to their infinite diversity. The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions.”

Of particular note is the sound design throughout the exhibition by Sebastian Purfürst and Hendrick Neumerkel of LEM Studios that frequently evokes an experiential atmosphere of incidental city sounds like sirens, rumbling trains, snatches of conversations and musical interludes. Played at varying volumes, locations, and textures throughout the exhibition, the evocative city soundscape all adds to a feeling of unexpected possibilities and an increased probability for new discovery.

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Olek’s carousel from above. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Obviously this Magic City cannot be all things to all people, and some will criticize the crisp presentation of a notably gritty series of subcultures, or perhaps the omission of one genre or technique or important artist. It’s not meant to be encyclopedic, rather a series of insights into a grassroots art and activism practice that continues to evolve in cities before our eyes.

For full disclosure, we curated the accompanying BSA Film Program for Magic City by 12 artists and collectives which runs at one end of the vast hall – and Mr. Rojo is on the artist roster with 15 photographs of his throughout the exhibition, so our view of this show is somewhat skewed.

Here we share photographs from the exhibition taken recently inside the exhibition for you to have a look for yourself.

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A MadC installation made with thousands of spray can caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Belgian urban naturalist ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville . ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andy K. detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anders Gjennestad AKA Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot with Asbestos on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Replete (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Truly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. A young visitor enjoying the Kids Trail through a peephole with Jaime’s photos inside an “electrical box”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. The Kids Trail wasn’t only for kids it seems. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton on the right. Olek on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko at the Red Light District. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Full list of participating artists:

Aiko, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benus, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Fino’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, Herakut, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OakOak, Odeith, Olek, Qi Xinghua, Replete, Roa, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo, Ernest Zacharevic.

 

Visit MAGIC CITY DRESDEN for more details, news, videos and the blog.

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

40 Artists Up Along Main Street, 12 More in the BSA Film Program

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Curators Ethel Seno and Carlo McCormick in front of a new mural by German duo Herakut announcing the premiere of Magic City in Dresden. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

Curator Carlo McCormick quotes Novalis by way of describing this new exhibit of an eclectic blend of terrific troublemakers, pop-culture hijackers, and show-stopping crowd pleasers drawn from cities all around the Street Art/ graffiti /urban art scene today – and forty years ago. This is a welcoming walk of unexpected intersections that only McCormick and co-curator Ethel Seno could imagine – and pull together as a panoply of street wizardry that acknowledges activism, artistry, anarchy, and aesthetics with a sincere respect for all. It will be interesting to see how this show is viewed by people who follow the chaotic street scene today in the context of its evolution and how they read the street signs in this city.

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Curator Ethel Seno with Managing Director Dieter Semmelmann and exhibition Designer Tobias Kunz cutting the ribbon at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

McCormick, in his customary self-effacing humor, expects there to be some shit flying – as anyone who is involved in this scene expects from the hard-scrabble rebellious margins and subcultures that this art-making interventionist practice rises from. There also are a growing and coalescing mini-legion of scholars and academics who are currently grappling with the nature and characteristics of this self-directed art-making practice rooted often in discontent – now organized inside an exhibition that is ticketed and sold as a family friendly show.

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Street Artist and pop mashup painter Tristan Eaton in front of his new mural wall at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

In his descriptions of the public sphere, the writer, historian, author, and cultural critic McCormick often refers to graffiti and street artists messing with “contested space”. It’s an apt description whether we are talking about the public space in high-density gleaming metropolises or the bombed-out grid-less and polluted quagmires of human fallibility and urban un-planning that dot our globe; all public space its nature is contested.

Here is a place used by many artists to protest, agitate, advocate, or deliver critique – and many of the artists in this exhibition have done exactly this in their street practice, often pushing limits and defining new ones. Dig a little into many of the individual story lines at play here and you’ll see that the vibrant roots of social revolution are pushing up from the streets through the clouds of propaganda and advertising, often mocking them and revealing them in the process.

Ultimately, this Magic City experience is an elixir for contemplating the lifelong romance we have with our cities and with these artists who cavort with us within them. “Our Magic City is a place and a non-place,” McCormick says in a position statement on the exhibit. “It is not the physical city of brick and mortar but rather the urban space of internalized meanings. It is the city as subject and canvas, neither theme park nor stage set, but an exhibition showcasing some of the most original and celebrated artists working on and in the city today.”

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Mixed media Street Artist Asbestos from Dublin, graffiti master/ painter Chris “Daze” Ellis from NYC, and Tristan Eaton from Los Angeles at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Curator Carlo McCormick with New York billboard/culture jammer and artist Ron English in front of his new wall mural at premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Dutch anamorphic art master Leon Keer with Polish crochet transformer/Street Artist Olek at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

BSA curated the film program for Magic City with a dynamic array of some of the best Street Art related films today presented together in a relaxed environment. In this video hosted by Andreas Schanzenbach you get a taste of the works that are showing that we draw from our weekly surveys on BSA Film Friday. Over the last few years we have had the honor of presenting live in-person to students and scholars and fans an ever-evolving collection of videos that speak to the spirit experimentation, discovery and culture-jamming outrageousness of urban interventions, graffiti and Street Art.  The BSA Film Program at Magic City presents a survey of some of the very best that we have seen recently.

Magic City artists include:
Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo

The BSA Film Program for Magic City includes the following artists:
Borondo, Brad Downey & Akay, Ella + Pitr, Faile, Farewell, Maxwell Rushton, Narcelio Grud, Plotbot Ken, Sofles, Vegan Flava, Vermibus

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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DAZE reviewing his work at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Urban naturalist ROA at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Sheryo strikes a pose while the guys build the installation she did with The Yok at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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A Magic City Slowly Unfolds In Dresden : Artists Building Now

A Magic City Slowly Unfolds In Dresden : Artists Building Now

“The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions,” says curator Carlo McCormick when talking about the new show opening in Dresden, Germany this week in a former engine factory called Magic City : The Art of the Street.

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AIKO at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

Along with curator Ethel Seno and a creative team (full disclosure, BSA is part of it) McCormick is evoking an interstitial city that rises from the streets in many urban centers globally. Whether it is graffiti, Street Art, urban interventions, detournement, adbusting, or myriad cultural refinements, artists and activists are commonly, sometimes radically, altering the city and our experience of it.

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Mad C at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

By engaging some of the best visual and intellectual examples of the whole current scene with a full knowledge of our recent past, Magic City lays out a route for you to appreciate the individual and a sense of the cumulative. It’s bold and somewhat romantic move to look for magic in the Graffiti / Street Art / Urban Art scene. Some may argue that it consists of nothing less.

Over the last few weeks about 40 artists have been installing brand new pieces and environments in the long wide factory space in advance of the grand preview this weekend. Here are some process shots of the building of a Magic City.

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OLEK at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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OLEK at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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ROA at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Ernest Zacharevic at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Benuz at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Qi-Xinghua at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Replete at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Ori Carino and Benjamin Armas at work on their piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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WENU at work on their piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Jens Besser at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Leon Keer at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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SpY. Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2015 – A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals Of 2015 – A “Social” Survey

People’s Street Art preferences can be very hard to predict. On social media we can reliably tell you that opinions are unreliable. Murals that we are sure you’ll love fall flatter than a one-sided pancake. Conversely, that piece we were tepid about? – Up the charts faster than a Kardashian in search of a camera.

With that in mind we thought you might like to see how the top social platforms sorted out the shots of 2015 by our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo.

 

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We surveyed the number of “Likes” and shares his images received on Instagram, and Facebook in 2015 and based purely on the numbers, here are the Top 15.

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No. 15 : Os Gemeos in Manhattan

Brazilian twin brothers Octavio and Gustavo are Os Gemeos and this year they began popping out of walls – and that’s not all! See the original posting here :

OS Gemeos Pop Through Walls Downtown NYC, Screens in Times Square

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Os Gemeos in Manhattan. August 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 14 : Icy and Sot in Berlin

Looks like we picked a winner when BSA curated Iranian brothers ICY and SOT onto this Berlin facade of the Urban Nation. Following the theme of our “Persons of Interest” show there in March with some of Brooklyn’s finest Street Artists, the brothers reflected the fall of the Berlin Wall in the face of this Brooklyn-based woman. Look for a release of their book by Lebowski Publishers with an essay by BSA telling the story of the Tabriz-now-Brookyn-based ICY and SOT to be released in Spring 2016.

See more about our Persons of Interest show and ICY and SOT’s mural here : Complete “Persons of Interest”: Brooklyn in Berlin

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Icy & Sot in Berlin for Urban Nation. March 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 13 : Alexis Diaz in NYC

Surreal illustrationist Alexis Diaz has been making brains stretch and stand up and clap with his murals from Miami to Hawaii to Lodz, Poland this year, continually impressing with his meticulous and tight cross-hatching skills, wildly wide imagination, and his uncanny ability to collaborate stylistically with other artists.  This relatively small piece by him in Manhattan turned heads for months and earned this pic lots of attention via BSA.

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Alexis Diaz in Manhattan. May 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 12 : Dian in Brooklyn

Essentially a live shot of the last frame for a stop -action mural video (featured on BSA Film Friday: 11.06.15) this image got a lot of traffic probably because of it’s perceived political critique of the Republican Party – but the artists say that they weren’t even familiar with US politics when they made it.

“Dian is a street artist from European art label Life is Porno. In 2015, he decided to do a series of stop-frame stop frame animations around Europe and the world. This time he turned a building in Brooklyn, NYC into his animated reality. And grew an elephant from his mushrooms…

(The) whole animation was spray-painted, without any computer animation. The Bullshit sign was installed by a legendary fusion artist Shalom Neuman.”

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Dian in Brooklyn, NY. November, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 11 : Pichi & Avo in Sweden

“The Spanish Street Art duo Pichiavo brought the antiquities and modern day graffiti together last week on a soaring multi-story wall in Borås, Sweden,” we wrote of this multi-story mural that appealed to many readers this September. It’s the sort of formula that works again and again for these guys, most recently in Miami last week.

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Pichi & Avo in Boras, Sweden for No Limits. September 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 10 : Dal East in Sweden

Participating in the same small festival (Borås “No Limit)” as PichiAvo above, the artist Dal East captured the imagination of BSA readers with this soaring wingspan painted high upon a five stepped modern facade building across from a textile university campus.

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Dal East in Boras, Sweden for No Limits. September 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 9 : Owen Dippie “Radiant Madonna” in Brooklyn

The first of two entries by Kiwi Owen Dippie on our Top 15 list for 2015, this merging of Raphael’s Madonna with Haring’s radiant baby snapped people out of their stupor with the unconventional paring. A fan of both artists, Dippie’s mural reminded us of Haring’s flirtation with Christian “Born Again” fundamentalism before he decided to be an out gay man in the 1980s – at a time when the so-called Moral Majority was ready to send gays to be quarantined because of the AIDS crisis. This three story mural by Dippie is still vibrating with the tensions he encompassed in this one powerful composition.

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Owen Dippie in Brooklyn. July 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 8 : Ernest Zacharevic in Brooklyn

Outside of this Lithuanian Street Artists’ typical wheelhouse, its the irony of this piece that contains his DNA. Capturing the same commercial advertising linguistic that Street Artists typically lampoon, the text based riff clearly draws the connection to the appreciation for hand-style that originally marked a “style” revolution in graffiti. Maybe it was this timeless “instant classic” quality that drew so many fans on Instagram and Facebook.

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Ernest Zacharevic. Brooklyn, NY November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 7 : Ella & Pitr in Norway

The French couple were in the town of Stavanger to create the World’s Largest Mural so comparatively this was just doodle on the back of an envelope for Ella & Pitr, but something about it struck a chord with you this September.

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Ella & Pitr in Stavanger, Norway for NUART 2015. September, 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 6 : ECB in Brooklyn

His pensive and looming old men and women from Morroco have been made into a book recently, but ECB made this guy in dirty old Brooklyn this year and photographer Jaime Rojo caught it a day after heavy rains provide this reflective moment. Read more about ECB’s portraits of working folks in : The Trades: Street Artist ECB Traces Morocco’s Faces

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ECB in Brooklyn. May 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 5 : Okuda in Manhattan

Nearing 20 years in the game, the Spanish Street Artist Okuda is always a pleaser with his rich-hued pop surrealism and geometrics that mimic the man-made urban environment. Here his organic forms in a New York doorway pop out from the dim grayness of the streetscape.

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Okuda in Manhattan. June 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 4 : Case Ma’Claim in Berlin

One of the current crop of photo-realists that are drawing so much attention, Ma’Claims’ meditation is often on hands. This one may have had additional appeal on Social platforms because of it’s combination of skin colors and its appearance during the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” marches in cities across the US.

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Case Ma’Claim in Berlin. March 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 3 : Nick Walker

The Bristol-born Mr. Walker has a soft spot for New York and this placement outside a pizza parlor of his iconic bowler-hatted avatar made a lot of connections for viewers on Facebook who shared this image like crazy last winter.

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Nick Walker. Manhattan, NY. January 30 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 2 : JR in Manhattan

A commercial wheatpaste project with The New York City Ballet, their principal dancer the ballerina Lauren Lovette, a documentary called LES BOSQUETS, and a real estate developer, this image of a woman flying through the air to kiss Manhattan’s sky was so riveting that it continued to ricochet JR’s image across digital devices for months after we posted it.

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JR in Manhattan. August 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No. 1 : Owen Dippie “Ninja Renaissance Masters” in Brooklyn

With 1.1 million shares across our Facebook page, this merging of four Renaissance master visages and the 1990s Ninja Turtles masks leap-frogged every other image we posted this year, and busted peoples’ brains open. The New Zealand based Dippie was killing it this summer in Brooklyn before heading out to the West Coast, but this trackside trick continued to draw visitors long after he headed back to his homeland, and his pic wins 2015 decisively. See the original posting here : Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello Spotted in BKLN : Owen Dippie Lies in Wait

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Owen Dippie in Brooklyn. July 2015  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

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This article is also published on 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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