All posts tagged: Erosie

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.28.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.28.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Trump thought he could lift his poll numbers or legitimacy or at least his personal wealth by taking a world tour this week where he sold $100 billion in arms to Saudia Arabia, scored $100 million for his daughters brand new women’s fund, appeared to curtsy to the king, stuffed an electoral map in the Western Wall, volunteered that Israel did not give him intelligence that he gave to Russians in the Oval Office, depressed the Pope, irked his wife, shoved the leader of Montenegro to get to the head of the line, was ambush handshook by the new president of France, told the Germans they were very very bad…. can he please stop now? This drip, drip, drip of rotten embarrassing news is driving everyone crazy. Please please don’t start a war. Now his son-in-law is being invited for some interviews with the FBI?

Meanwhile, New York is getting clobbered by rain and new Street Art and murals and is electrified with the excitement of the beginning of summer. Coney Island, Bushwick, Little Italy are hot for new stuff going up again, David Choe is at the Houston Wall this week, the Bushwick Collective Block Party is June 3, and Ad Hoc’s Welling Court begins June 10.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Alice Pasquini, Baron Von Fancy, Blanco, City Kitty, Crash, Drsc0, Erosie, Jim Drain, Jorit Agoch, kaNO, Martin Whatson, Nick Walker, Pear, Rocket 01, Serge Lowrider, and Tod Seelie.

Top image: Kano. Detail. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kano for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Jorit Agoch portrait of Brazilian twins and artists Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nick Walker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rocket 01 for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art “One Wall Project” in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blanco (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blanco. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these:
a) Anything can happen to anyone.
and
b) It is best to be prepared.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Among other things. Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Collaboration between CRASH and Nick Walker. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erosie for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporar Art. PM/12 “What In The World” Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Moloch is the Biblical name relating to a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. The name of this deity is also sometimes spelled Molech, Milcom, or Malcam.” We wonder whose children Moloch would sacrifice in this premonition from an unidentified artist on the streets of NYC. Yours? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pear. Or, in this case, Richie’s pear next to Fabco’s shoes. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tod Seelie for Art in Ad Places. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Coney Island, NY. May 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Evan Pricco Curates “What In The World” at Urban Nation in Berlin

Evan Pricco Curates “What In The World” at Urban Nation in Berlin

“The graffiti and Street Art movements – they have all these tentacles and they can be non-linear.”


A new exhibition in Berlin’s neighborhood of Schöneberg epitomizes one of the central schisms that has vibrated through Street Art and graffiti for years: the question of where to draw boundaries between these two scenes. Each may have been born in the margins of society but are now evermore commingled. Debates aside, everyone agrees that once in the gallery space, street become fine art after all.

Erosie on the left with Grotesk’s Juxtapoz News Stand on the right. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco based art magazine Juxtapoz and curator of this “What in the World” show at Urban Nation’s project space, Evan Pricco is well aware of the landmines that can explode when one is negotiating the terminologies and practices of sundry sub-cultural art manifestations that have bubbled to the surface in the last decades and which now often melt with one another inextricably.

“The graffiti and Street Art movements – they have all these tentacles and they can be non-linear,” Evan says as we walk down a subterranean parking ramp to see a low, long outdoor mural by Sweden’s EKTA; an abstract series of roughly square patches that closely emulate the sewn panels he has suspended from the ceiling inside the gallery.

Speaking of the tentacles, he continues, “It can be starting points to end points – it can be end points to starting points. There are all of these different cultures that grew out of that 1970s-80s set of counter-culture art movements.”

Hyuro. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think the people that I really wanted in this show are kind of on the periphery of that. They clearly dip their toe into those movements, are clearly influenced by them. Their practice doesn’t necessarily fit in with what is going on in Street Art and graffiti but also its informed by it.”

To introduce a new crop of artists to Urban Nation that haven’t been shown here yet, Pricco choses some of Europes street/mural/conceptual artists who emphasize color and mood, an expansionist approach that he welcomes at the magazine as well. Not surprisingly, the range reflects some of the same interests you’ll find flipping through the influential art publication; old school graffiti, commercial illustration, comic book history, abstract fine art, political art, some lowbrow, some conceptual. There is even Grotesk’s newsstand, the actual one that he designed and constructed with Juxtapoz that sat in Times Square in October 2015.

Erosie on the left with Grotesk’s Juxtapoz News Stand on the right. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Primarily from Europe and raised in the hothouse of the 1990s epic graffiti scenes that enthralled youth in many EU big cities, this group of 7 artists each has moved their practice forward – which may lose them some street cred and gather new audiences.

Included are Berlin’s Daan Botlek, Sweden’s EKTA, Ermsy from France, Erosie from the Netherlands, Hyuro from Spain, Serge Lowrider from Switzerland and Zio Ziegler from the US. If you speak to any of them, you may find the commonality is the freedom they actively give themselves to pursue an autonomous artistic route not easily categorized.

Erosie at work on his piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lowrider is clearly in love with the letter-form, as is the graffiti tradition, but he steers sharply toward the calligraphic practices of crisp sign-painting and inverting the pleasantly banal messaging of advertising from an earlier era. Perhaps the tight line work overlaps with tattoo and skater culture, two creative brethren frequently in the mix in graffiti and Street Art scenes.

Hyuro uses a figurative symbolism heavy with metaphor and a color palette that is too understated for the flashy graphics that many associate with today’s mural festivals, yet she’s built a dedicated following among Street Art fans who admire her poke-you-in-the-eye activist streak. Daan Botleks’ figures wander and cavort amidst an abstractedly shaped world calling to mind the shading of early graffiti and the volumizing pointillism of Seurat after some wine.

 

Daan Botlek at work on his piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Painter Jeroen Erosie emphatically will tell you that he was in love with graffiti when he first did it on the streets as a teenager – and for many years afterwards. But he says he ultimately bristled at a scene that had once symbolized freedom to him but had become too rigid and even oppressive in its rules about how aesthetics should be practiced by people – if they were to earn respect within the clan.

At Saturday nights opening along Bülowstrasse with the front doors open to the busy street and with the sound of the elevated train swooshing by overhead, Erosie explained with a gleeful certainty his process of deconstruction that led him to this point. “I removed one of the pillars of graffiti from my work and I liked the result, the change. So I started to remove more pillars, one by one,” he says, describing the evolution that transformed his letter forms and colors into these simplified and bold bi-color icons that may call to mind Matisse’s cut outs more than graffiti bubble-tags, but you’ll easily draw the correlation if you try.

Daan Botlek. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Project M series of exhibitions over the past three years with Urban Nation, of which this is the 12th, have featured curators and artists from many backgrounds, disciplines, and geographies as well. The myriad styles shown have included sculpture, stencil, wheat paste, collage, calligraphy, illustration, screen-printing, decoupage, aerosol, oil painting, and even acrylic brush. It has been a carefully guided selection of graffiti/Street Art/urban art/fine art across the 12 shows; all presented respectfully cheek to jowl, side by side – happily for some, uncomfortably for others.

The ultimate success of the Project M series, initiated by UN Artistic Director Yasha Young, is evident in just how far open it has flung the doors of expectation to the museum itself. When the house opens in four months it will be a reflection to some extent 140 or so artists who pushed open those doors with variety of styles emblematic of this moment – converging into something called Urban Contemporary.

Daan Botlek and Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“What in the World” indeed: this show is in perfect alignment with the others in its wanton plumbing of the genres.

“I was trying to find people that are not part of the regular circuit – and I don’t mean that in a negative way but I mean there is kind of a regular circuit of muralism and Street Art right now – but I was looking for people who are really sort of on that periphery,” Pricco says. “Also because they are coming from these different parts of Europe, which to me sort of represents Juxtpoz’ reach, and they all kind of know each other but they’ve never really met – they all kind of bounce off of each other.”

Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: This grouping sounds anathema to the loyalty that is often demanded by these scenes – particularly the various graffiti scenes in cities around the world. You are describing an artistic practice that has a sort of casual relationship to that scene.

Evan Pricco: Right. And I think all of these artists have these graffiti histories but they weren’t completely satisfied with that kind of moniker or label. So it is slightly expanding out now. And then there’s something about them that makes me think of crafts, especially with Serge who is more of a sign-painter. I felt that all of these people approached their work in a way that felt very craft-oriented to me, and I really appreciated that. That’s kind of what I wanted to show too.

Ekta. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Each of these artists appears to have a certain familiarity with the art world that is outside a more strict definition of street culture – graffiti and Street Art and their tributaries. Would you say that you could see a certain development of personal style in this collection of primarily European artists that might be due to exposure to formal art history or other cultural influences?

Evan Pricco: Good question, and that could be the case for a few of the artists in the show, but I think the characteristics of each artist in the show is more of a result of the world getting smaller and influences and boundaries just blurring. You can see it Ermsy’s pop-culture mash-ups, or Erosie’s exploration of lettering and color; it’s not really about one place anymore but a larger dialogue of how far the work reaches now than ever before.

Erosie and I were having this conversation this morning about this, this idea of access and influences being so widespread. And that is exactly what I wanted to do. “What In the World” is sort of a nod to not really having to have boundaries, or a proper definition, but a feeling that something is happening. Its not Street Art, its not graffiti, but its this new wave that is looking out, looking in, and finding new avenues to share and make work.

Ermsie. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: From comic books to politics to activism to abstract to sign painting, this show spans the Hi-Low terrain that Juxtapoz often seeks to embrace in many ways.  Is it difficult to find common threads or narratives when countenancing such variety?

Evan Pricco: We have been so fortunate with the magazine that we have been able to expand the content in the last few years, and the threads are starting to connect solely based on the idea that the creative life is what you make of it. There may not be a direct connection between Serge Lowrider and Mark Ryden, but there is a connection in the idea of craftsmanship and skill and how one goes about applying that skill in the art world. That is always wanted I wanted to help bring to Juxtapoz – this idea that variety in the art world is healthy and finds its own connections just in the fact that it exists and is being made.

Ermsie at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many of these names are not household names, though some have ardent fans within more narrow channels of influence. What role does a curator play by introducing these artworks/artists to a new audience and what connections would you like a viewer to make?

Evan Pricco: First and foremost, these are some of my absolute favorite artists making work right now. I do have the advantage of traveling a lot and meeting different people and seeing their process, but I really wanted to bring together a group that I hadn’t personally met but admired and communicated with from afar.

Ermsie. Detail. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I was thinking about this when I walked by Hyuro’s wall this morning. Her work is incredibly strong, and it has this really fascinating way of being a story and narrative from wall to wall while remaining fresh and really site-specific. Her work here just blew me away; its so subtle, has this really unique almost anonymous quality to it, but has a ton of thought and heart in it.

Really it would be great if the audience sees this and finds her other work, and starts seeing this really beautiful story emerging, these powerful political, social and economic commentaries. So really, I want that. I want this to be a gateway of looking at work and artists and then jumping into their really fantastically complex careers.

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Urban Nation has invited curators from around the world and Berlin during these 12 “Project M” shows, each with a take on what “art in the streets” is, how it has evolved, and how it is affecting contemporary art. What makes this show stand out?
Evan Pricco: I really do think what makes it stand out is that it represents all the things Juxtapoz stands for; Opening up an audience to something new and different. I think there is an aesthetic that the Project M shows have had, which I like, but I didn’t want to repeat what everyone had done before.

This is most definitely a Juxtapoz show; I mean our damned Newsstand that Grotesk designed is right in the middle of the space. But that is like this “representation” of the print mag, and all the walls around it are the avenues the magazine can take you; sign painting, textiles, graffiti, abstraction, conceptual art, murals, comics, politics. … So maybe in that way, the fact that the magazine is 23 years old and has covered such a big history of Lowbrow, Graffiti and other forms of art, this is a nice encapsulation of the next wave and generation.

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Serge Lowrider at work on his indoor piece. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zio Ziegler. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Evan Pricco. Curator of What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“What In the World: The Juxtapoz Edition” presented by Urban Nation will be on display through June, 2017. 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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UN Convenes Scenes, Creates Its Own in Berlin. Artists in Action for Project/12 and More

UN Convenes Scenes, Creates Its Own in Berlin. Artists in Action for Project/12 and More

Shepard, Findac, Stikki Peaches… and that’s before we even get into the UN exhibition space or the main museum space – both locations a combustible beehive of painting right now with perhaps twenty artists working at once.

Lowrider for Urban Nation Project M/12 curated by Evan Prico/Juxtapoz. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Somehow this is the frenetic energy that we have grown to expect of a typical Urban Nation event. It is simply not enough energy unless the event you came for is compounded by three or thirteen other Urban Nation events happening simultaneously, due in large part to the omnivorous aesthetic and cultural appetite of director Yasha Young and her big-thinking and resourceful team.

In the three years of Project M exhibitions leading up to the official opening of the UN museum this September, Ms. Young has spread the curatorial wealth, mixed multiple metaphors, ignored stylistic boundaries, stirred myriad emotions and fired up a lot of talk on the street with weeks like these.

Daan Botlek for Urban Nation Project M/12 curated by Evan Prico/Juxtapoz. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Evan Pricco’s description to us of his own curated show here helps to define this moment as well, “It’s sort of a nod to not really having to have boundaries, or a proper definition, but a feeling that something is happening. Its not street art, its not graffiti, but its this new wave that is looking out, looking in, and finding new avenues to share and make work.”

In New Orleans, they would call this savory multi-layered sensory-rich dish something like Jambalaya. In the Gambia it would be an Oyster Stew, in Spain it would be one of Valencian restaurateur Juan Galbis gargantuan paellas. Hungry yet?

Ermsy for Urban Nation Project M/12 curated by Evan Prico/Juxtapoz. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

At this moment there are artists and production folks preparing a new curated show by Pricco, Editor in Chief of Juxtapoz magazine in the UN auxiliary gallery called. He’s calling it “What in the World?”. Simultaneously there are preparations down the block for a huge dinner and night of live performances and temporary art installations inside the actual evolving museum space called “We Broke Night!”

And there are several outdoor installations roving throughout the neighborhood at the same time, with passersby interacting with and engaging the artists in discussions. All levels and disciplines of artists from the Street Art/Graffiti continuum are converging in this neighborhood painting, pasting, stenciling, hanging, installing, — enormous wall pieces (Shepard), smaller collaged wheatpastes (Stikki Peaches), hand-painted murals on a ladder outside walls (Findac), hand painted signage and calligraphy (Serge Lowrider), multi-layered stencil portraits (Snik), optically dizzying tape installations (Tape Over Crew), post-graffiti bucket painted organic geometries (Erosie and Daan Botlek), and yes, much more.

Erosie on the left with Grotesk’s news stand on the right for Urban Nation Project M/12 curated by Evan Prico/Juxtapoz. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Variety and quality like this is unthinkable at best and un-pragmatic at worst in formal exhibition spaces and institutions. But witness the panoply unfolding before your eyes and this hybrid may strike you as a truer contemporaneous representation of this complicated generation than most organizers have the gall to attempt.

Somehow, this all works. Being in the midst of this UN kitchen feels as alive as the scenes it convenes.

FinDAC for Urban Nation in conjunction with PM/12. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikki Peaches for Urban Nation in conjunction with PM/12. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey for Urban Nation in conjunction with PM/12. Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey for Urban Nation’s “We Broke Night” Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Snik for Urban Nation’s “We Broke Night” Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

James Bullough for Urban Nation’s “We Broke Night” Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fanakapan for Urban Nation’s “We Broke Night” Berlin, May 18 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Largely Geometric : Altrove ’15 Delivers Abstract Murals to Catanzaro

Largely Geometric : Altrove ’15 Delivers Abstract Murals to Catanzaro

Mural festivals are blanketing towns and cities with works that run the gamut from eye-poppingly stunning to banal and forgettable. The success of the mix is in the hands of organizers, and not surprisingly, there are many audiences to plan for. One strategy to set your festival apart from the teeming pack is to thematically curate your artists selection and the Altrove Festival in Catanzaro, Italy has settled upon abstraction as an aesthetic principle to organize around.

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Ciredz. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

Delighting in shape, form, and myriad manners of deconstruction, Altrove’s invited artists steer clear of the figurative and opt instead for patterns, reductive masking, organic forms sheared and overlayed, translucent polygons, optikal graphics, mise-en-scene illusion, paint-chip mosaics, nostalgic early 3D computer rendered graphics, minimalism, and even full-on Matisse like cut-outs and organic forms occupying gridded blocks of color.

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Ciredz. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

All considered, the collection hangs together quite well – even though the sophisticated mix is spread out. Without pandering to the merely pleasant, it actually hits one of Altrove’s expressed goals, to “make nearly invisible the boundaries between art and architecture, space and place.

Artists include 108, Alberonero, Giorgio Bartocci, Clemens Behr, Ciredz, Erosie, Graphic Surgery, Sbagliato, Sten Lex and Tellas.

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Tellas. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Tellas. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Clemens Behr. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Clemens Behr. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Graphic Surgery. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Graphic Surgery. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108 . Graphic Surgery. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108 . Graphic Surgery. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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108. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Sbagliato. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Sbagliato. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Sbagliato. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Erosie. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Erosie. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Bartocci. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Bartocci. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Alberonero. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Alberonero. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

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Tellas . 108. Altrove Street Art Festival. Italy, May 2015. (photo © @blindeyefactory)

 

Our sincere gratitude to Giorgio and Lorenzo @BindeyeFactory for sharing their photos exclusively with BSA readers.
Click HERE for more on BlindeyeFactory.

Click HERE for more on Altrove Street Art Festival

 

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Bien Urbain 2013 Update

Bien Urbain 2013 Update

With a theme of “Recover the Streets” the Bien Urbain festival is not so much a Street Art festival as an experiment with public space and our interaction with it. It has been interesting to see how the current romance with Street Art is absorbed by a variety of constituencies during the last decade – whether as tools of change, gentrification, commodification, commercialization, education, or simply celebration, artists are being challenged to see their work differently as well. Here in Besancon, France, we find a very inclusive experience where students and citizens and planners are all invited to participate, discuss, and evaluate the impact of the artists work on the built environment.  It’s culture as a wholistic practice.

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108 from Italy at work. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © Elisa Murcia Artengo) His bio says he spent 15 years working with traditional graffiti abstract shapes and feels that all of which contain organic roots.

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108 from Italy. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © Elisa Murcia Artengo)

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Erosie from The Netherlands. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © Yorit Kluitman) With a background in graffiti and lettering, Erosie has been working on a series of paintings and cycles and is a fervent proponet of urban art without blinders.

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Erosie from The Netherlands. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © Yorit Kluitman)

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Akay from Sweden. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © David Demougeot)

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OX from France. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © OX)

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OX from France. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © OX)

OX has been repurposing billboards and commercial space to bring it back to its more basic elements. With relatively simple changes directed at the viewer, his reconfiguring gives a new sense of context and purpose to these places, now acting as geometry and sculpture instead of simply a vehicle for commercial messages. The result also makes you reconsider the environment it is placed in.

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OX from France. Bien Urbain 2013. Besançon – East of France (photo © Quentin Coussirat)

With our gratitude to David & Johanna for sharing these exclusive images with us.

http://bien-urbain.fr/en/

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Fun Friday 12.14.12

Hey bro and sis! Here are some of our favorite picks for the weekend around the global way as we head into the final holiday and New Year beauty that we hope everyone is surrounded by. Happy 7th night of Hanukkah to the Jews, and Happy ongoing holidayz to the Christmas and Kwanzaa and Solstice people.

1. 215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)
2. “Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)
3. Fresh Low-cost Original Silkscreens at “First Worldwar in Silkscreen” Group Show (BKLN)
4. “Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)
5. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)
6. “Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)
7. New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)
8. Dave Kinsey “Everything at Once” at Joshua Liner (Manhattan)
9. Brett Amory at 5 Pieces (Switzerland)
10. RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)
11. Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)

215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)

French Street Artist C215 has a new solo show titled “Orgullecida” at the Montana Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. The artist has been for awhile using a lot of color with his multilayered stencil work – expanding his established vocabulary bravely in a way that most artists are too afraid to do. His portraits are placed well, are individually hand-cut, and sprayed with a sense of the humanity he’s always giving center stage.  This show is now open to the general public.

A one color stencil from an earlier period by C215 on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A detail from a more recent C215 (© and courtesy the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)

A phrase lifted from restaurant franchises that serve food like you are livestock at a trough, “Kids Eat For Free” is a mini survey of train riders who know the back sides of the country well. Under the moniker of The Superior Bugout, curator Andrew H Shirley continues to explore fresh talent from the emerging margin, and this group exhibition features work by North Carolina’s NGC Crew. Now open, and don’t forget the kids!

For further details regarding this show click here.

Fresh Low-cost original Silkscreens at “First Worldwar in Silkscreen” Group Show (BKLN)

The best way to support your local artist is to give their stuff as a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Soltice present. No kidding. Everybody wins. Tonight a show of original silkscreens at totally reasonable prices is at Low Brow Artique in Bushwick. For tonight’s opening of their silk screen print show where you’d be able to purchase prints for $20…yes you read it right $20 bucks buys you art from 25 artists – many of them with work on the street – from Sao Paulo, Brooklyn, Buenos Aires and Berlin. Participating artists include: Selo, Markos Azufre, Hellbent, El Hase, ND’A, XOXU, Daniel Ete, Salles, Baila, Anderson Resende, DOC, SHN, XILIP, Serifire, Vero Pujol, Marquitos Sanabria, Diego Garay, Desastre, and Head Honcho.

Head Honcho. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Salles (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)

This is like an exclamation point for the end of the year. No kidding.

POESIA, founder of Graffuturism, the term and website, continues to explore the depths of “Progressive Graffiti” or, as it was previously known, “Abstract Graffiti”. With great intelligence, passion and an acute eye for detail, POESIA brings to the forefront the importance and beauty of this emergent new direction that is impacting the Street Art and graffiti scene (with ramifications for others).

“Graffuturism” opening tonight at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles and promises a smart-headed visual feast of shapes, patterns and color from a mini-galaxy of talent from all over the world. Perhaps more significantly, it’s a bit of a decentralized movement that has been centralized for you. The artists list includes: 2501, Aaron De La Cruz, Augustine Kofie, Boris “Delta” Tellegen, Carl Raushenbach, Carlos Mare, Clemens Behr, Derek Bruno, Doze Green, Duncan Jago, DVS 1, El Mac, Eric Haze, Erosie, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Futura, Gilbert 1, Greg “Sp One” Lamarche, Graphic Surgery, Hense, Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch, Jaybo Monk, Joker, Jurne, Kema, Kenor, Lek, Marco “Pho” Grassi, Matt W. Moore, Moneyless, O.Two, Part2ism, Poesia, Rae Martini, Remi Rough, Samuel Rodriguez, Sat One, Sever, Shok-1, Sowat, Steve More, West and Will BarrasSoze Gallery in Los Angeles .

Also New York chronicler and enthusiastic lover of the graff/street art scene  Daniel Feral will be there with a  special edition of the Feral Diagram in glicee prints, and a couple other formats (salivate). An ambitious exhibition like this is rare and not easy to come by so if you are in Los Angeles you must go.

El Mac on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show and to read a great essay for the show written by Daniel Feral click here.

“Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)

Self-appointed moral custodians (mostly white men) have traditionally hampered the exploration of sexuality in formal art history and the academic canon of what gets celebrated and revered continues to evolve more quickly now. The sea change that modern social liberation that was once revolutionary is now a given, but the debate of the appropriate role of sex and sexuality in the arts is far from over. We may have just quashed one Trojan horse of social conservatism in the White House, but the radical right wing has pulled the center pretty far in the last decade and some have even said there was a war on women launched legislatively throughout 2012. So we are pleased to tell you about fine artist and Street Artist Robyn Hasty AKA Imminent Disaster, who has a new show in collaboration with Alex Pergament entitled “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”. Furthering her exploration of photography Ms. Hasty has semi-retired her now well known hand cut paper pieces and lino prints on the street and traded the cutting knife for the camera. With this show of photographs, sculptures and performance art she’s aiming to tear apart the inhibitions associated with the  sexual act. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets” opens tomorrow at Weldon Arts Gallery in Brooklyn.

Imminent Disaster and Alex Pergament (exclusive photo for BSA © courtesy of the artist)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)

Freshly snapping back to New York from their successful truck trip to Miami, Klughaus Gallery brings Brooklyn natives RIME and TOPER for their new exhibition titled “Snap Back – Dangerous Drawings About New York”. The storytelling show features illustration and painting inspired by personal stories. Says RIME. “This show aims to tap into our life experience coming up in New York.” Show opens Saturday.

Rime and Toper shown here with Dceve in NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)

The White Walls Gallery in San Francisco are fortunate to host Australian artist New2 with his solo show titled “In One Hand a Ghost, The Other an Atom”. New2’s work on the streets is complex and dynamic with aerosol, but his handcut collage work for the gallery is moreso somehow – maybe because of a painstaking process of arranging thousands of hand cut pieces of paper. This show opens on Saturday.

New2. Detail of one of his hand cut paper pieces. (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

New2 on the streets of San Francisco. (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend:

Dave Kinsey with “Everything at Once” at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details.

Brett Amory at the 5 Pieces Gallery in Berne, Switzerland opens on Sunday with his solo show “Lil’ Homies”. Click here for more details.

RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)

Art in the Streets from MoCAtv

 

Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)

Street Artist Swoon is looking to return to Haiti to build more shelters for people in the rural part of the country. This video gives a great look at the families and community who are helped. You also can participate by donating to the Kickstarter campaign to help Swoon make it happen.

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Soze Gallery Presents: “Graffuturism” A Group Exhibition (Los Angeles, CA)

Graffuturism

Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

Since Graffuturism’s inception as a public blog and private Facebook group in 2010, there have been two major group exhibitions that featured associated artists: “Rudimentary Perfection” in Glasgow and “Futurism 2.0″ in London. Both were successful in their curatorial intentions and created a sense of community and motion for the movement. Soze Gallery also has been an early advocate hosting solo exhibitions in 2012 by Jaybo Monk, Moneyless, Remi Rough, Dale Marshall, and a two-man show with Augustine Kofie

and Jaybo. Recognizing the significance of the Graffuturists, Soze Gallery also presented the opportunity for Poesia to curate this exhibition, which he chose to simply call ““Graffuturism.” This exhibition has been eagerly anticipated as the first group show to be curated by Poesia, because he is the founder of Graffuturism.com and also a well-respected graffiti artist with a twenty-year history. Ending up in this unique dual position as artist and commentator, it has fallen on him to be the cultural instigator and diplomatic facilitator of this renewed interest, practice and discourse surrounding what he calls “Progressive Graffiti,” which has also previously been called “Abstract Graffiti.” At this juncture in the three-year history of the website, as well as in the thirty-year history of this over-looked aesthetic trajectory within the Graffiti movement, Graffuturism.com has become a hub and Poesia the dedicated and consistent chronicler and theoretician. With the internet as his podium and round table, he has been historicizing and canonizing these artists, young and old, who have been creating art outside the norms of traditional graffiti, esoteric forms of painting and sculpture that veer outside of the proscribed boundaries into the experimental, the abstract, the poetic, and the hybrid.Artists that fall under the term Progressive Graffiti are generally innately gifted draftsmen, who aspire to a Master’s Level at their craft. Overall this movement could be classified as a “High Style New Millennial Aesthetic.” The art they produce is derived from a dialogue that ricochets around within a pin-ball matrix constructed of coordinates lying between the historical and the contemporary, including high and low influences, fine art and graffiti studies, scholarly and street pursuits, intellectual and visceral marks. Whether the resulting output is graffiti, painting, murals, design, sculpture or installations, the pictorial elements are mutated and transformed through each artist’s unique vision into a personal vocabulary of cross-pollinated styles. Whereas the Street Art movement of the mid-2000s tended to focus on figurative stencils and wheat-pastes, this group of artists on the whole is more concerned with hands-on, singular creation, whether within an academic or street setting. Unlike Post-Modernism, the resultant overall aesthetic is a seamless personal statement, not a collaged juxtaposition of historic styles.

Because of Poesia’s dual roles within the movement, he as been in the unique position to attract this international line up of esteemed contemporary artists, which includes many of the significant forefathers from the seventies and eighties. As a result, by including so many of these original Masters, he has created a chronological continuum within the line up, which defines this historical thread from its earliest days. Therefore this group show has developed into a “survey” that historicizes and canonizes each artist within the Progressive Graffiti thread, as well as within the larger Graffiti movement. One of the earliest, and possibly the most influential to most these artists, is Futura. In the early eighties, after a ten-year career as one of the early seventies writers, he broke away from one of graffiti’s most sacred traditions, the letterform as subject matter. At that point he began to paint in what became known as an “Abstract Graffiti” style. With his groundbreaking subway whole-car “Break,” as well as on the canvasses he was painting at the time, he pushed an atmospheric geometric style to the forefront of his work and began to experiment with a wide array of experimental spray can techniques that had not been seen before.

Around this same time, other early NYC writers, who had also started their careers in the seventies, began to experiment with new hybrid directions not based in pure graffiti traditions. In 1985, Carlos Mare began to combine abstraction and Wildstyle within the medium of sculpture, which over the past couple of decades has expanded to include other mediums under the term Urban Modernism. Haze also began to cross over into the fine art domain and over the years has created a body of work that might be referred to as Iconographic Minimalism. Doze Green was also a significant member of the early community of writers who crossed over with an experimental style that included the use of archetypal icons, poetic typography, figurative motifs and painterly styles. West was also another early intrepid explorer, adopting a gestural expressionist style, applying the muscle memory of train and wall painting to the canvas with his long whole-body marks and splashy, dripping strokes.

This exhibition has also united artists from the second generation who took off along the path forged by those early pioneers. These artists started to formulate their progressive aesthetics in the late eighties, such as Delta, the European three-dimensional geometric letterform pioneer turned pure abstractionist; New Yorker Greg Lamarche aka SpOne, who has been able to establish an abstract typographic collage aesthetic parallel to his foundation as a graffiti writer obsessed with the hand-written letterform; Part2ism was one of the earliest UK experimentalists in Hyperrealism, as well as co-founder of the Ikonoklast Movement in the UK with Juice126, which also came to include abstract colorist Remi Rough in the early-nineties.

Also beginning in the late eighties on the West Coast of the US, the Wildstyle-reductionist Joker was one of the first graffiti artists to paint purely geometric abstractions and pushed for its acceptance within the graffiti community by founding the Transcend Collective in 1991 with She1, who was an abstract writer in the UK. Poesia, became a key member of the collective in 1995, exploring a more hybrid, expressionistic approach to Wildstyle, as well as taking it into pure abstraction, which he is currently pushing in new directions, as well as reaching back to the Baroque painters and reinterpreting their masterpieces as graffiti-dissected new millennial re-paintings. Over in Europe, first in Paris then Italy during the same time period, Marco Pho Grassi started out as a wall and train painter but quickly started mixing in abstraction and more painterly expressionist techniques much like Poesia, yet totally unknown to each other. Then in the mid to late nineties, back in the US along the West Coast, other artists with alternative, experimental mind-sets, who were aware of recent developments, were coming out with brilliant, refined hybrid styles, such as Augustine Kofie and El Mac.

Artists such as these had been forced to skirt the edges of graffiti culture as well as the fine art world for the past ten to thirty years. Due to the esoteric nature and hybrid aesthetics of their graffiti-based paintings, and their disparate locations around the globe, they had no way to band together or find an audience to support them because of the lack of enough interest in their local communities for their esoteric and singular aesthetics. On the other side of the tracks, they were also ignored by the fine arts establishment because of their association with graffiti culture and for unabashedly continuing their gallery-related practices under the term Graffiti, which they still did not entirely leave behind. But, as the world population grows and becomes more connected through the internet, these geographically disparate artists have found it easier to come together, work together, and share global opportunities with each other, rather than being confined to tiny local communities.

Now, as this historical thread comes of age and recognizes itself in the mirror of history and on the faces of its youth, as the pioneers of the culture are canonized and the younger artists are united, there are many more opportunities afforded them within the design market, auction houses and fine art world, as these communities continue grow in their recognition of the cultural value and influence of Graffiti and Street Art, as the most prevalent styles and art movements in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This particular Graffuturist group exhibition, as well as the previous two, are significant steps in the growth of awareness and activity. This is a significant exhibition because it connects all the artists across the continuum of this overlooked historical trajectory back to these forefathers to finally make the connections and give the recognition due to Progressive Graffiti in all its current manifestations and their historical referents.

Across the board, 2012 has been an explosive year for Progressive Graffiti. The synchronicity of all these group exhibitions and solo shows can only emphasize that there is increased activity by the artists and an amplified interest in the audience. Futura had his first solo show in ten years, which attracted a massive turn out of the wealthy and the fashionable, as well as the highly-respected hardcore members of the graffiti community, which is a testament to his growing importance outside the culture, as well as cementing his stature within it. Following on the heels of the success of his solo show, Futura exhibited with two other crucial esoteric Old School Masters, Rammellzee and Phase2, in conjunction with the Modernist Master Matta in the exhibition “Deep Space” in NYC. This exhibit was particular significant because it canonized these three graffiti artists within the fine art pantheon by successfully illustrating their undeniable aesthetic accomplishments in relation to Matta’s masterworks. Rammellzee also had a banner year, being included in the “Vocabularies Revitalized” exhibition at the MoMA, as well as being given a complete retrospective at the Children’s Museum, both of which were in NYC, not even to mention his solo show at the Suzanne Geiss gallery in 2011 called “The Equation.”

In London, also significant in its curatorial aims to canonize and historicize, as well as it’s grand scope, was “Futurism 2.0,” which compared and contrasted the Futurists and the Graffuturists in an exhibition, book and documentary. Another group show of significance was BrooklynStreetArt.com’s exhibition “Geometricks” which held high the torch of Abstract Graffiti in it’s title and Progressive Graffiti in its roster, which included Hellbent (the curator), Augustine Kofie, Drew Tyndell, Momo, OverUnder and SeeOne. One of the most significant of the many murals and “in situ” collaborations painted this year by Graffuturist-related artists was the abstract mural painted on the Megaro Hotel by Agents of Change members Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Lx.One, and Steve More, which is currently the largest mural ever painted in London. Also, a slew of solo and duo exhibitions opened every month around the world by many of the artists associated with Graffuturism and Progressive Graffiti: Poesia, Dale Marshal, Part2ism, Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Jaybo Monk, Mark Lyken, Moneyless, Carlos Mare, She One, Matt W. Moore, Jurne, Greg Lamarche, Delta, Hense, Rae Martini, Marco Pho Grassi, and Graphic Surgery. In order to see the full scope of activities though, one would have to go back through Graffuturism.com for a complete review.

Above and beyond the growing interest in Progressive Graffiti is the expanding interest in the over-all culture as well during these first two decades of the new millennium. Massive museum exhibitions encompassing the full spectrum of subcultures and historical threads within the Graffiti and Street Art cultures have also opened to wide acclaim. The success of ticket sales for “Street Art” in 2008 at the Tate Modern in London and “Art in the Streets” in 2011 at the MOCA in Los Angeles revealed the mass cultural interest of these art movements and all the art forms that are connected to them. The fact that these two exhibitions happened at all signifies the growing acceptance by the fine art community as well.

These museum exhibitions, as well as the trend towards many other smaller historical exhibitions, such as “Deep Space” and “Futurism 2.0” at the end of 2012, and “Pantheon: A history of Art from the Streets of NYC” in 2011, indicate a new interest in the study of the history and cultural significance of these movements. Other indicators are the release of high quality scholarly books, articles and movies, such as “Abstract Graffiti” by Cedar Lewisohn in 2011; “Beyond Graffiti” published in ArtNews in 2011 by Carolina Miranda; the 2005 documentary “Next: A Primer on Urban Painting” by Pablo Aravena; and “The Feral Diagram 2.0: Graffiti and Street Art” published in 2012 by Daniel Feral. These are all testament to the growing enthusiasm of scholars, historians, and theoreticians to examine, define and record the fifty year history of graffiti and street art, and recently in particular the Progressive Graffiti thread. Like any misunderstood movement before these, such as rock’n’roll, comic books, and cinema, eventually the art forms, the audiences and the scholars united to finally recognize the movement’s undeniable cultural value, relevance and resonance in all their forms from the simple and visceral to the esoteric and intellectual.

Text by Daniel Feral

On Friday, Dec 14, 2012, the eponymously-titled “Graffuturism” exhibition curated by Poesia, the founder of Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

The complete artist list in alphabetical order by first name is as follows: 2501, Aaron De La Cruz, Augustine Kofie, Boris “Delta” Tellegen, Carl Raushenbach, Carlos Mare, Clemens Behr, Derek Bruno, Doze Green, Duncan Jago, DVS 1, El Mac, Eric Haze, Erosie, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Futura, Gilbert 1, Greg “Sp One” Lamarche, Graphic Surgery, Hense, Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch, Jaybo Monk, Joker, Jurne, Kema, Kenor, Lek, Marco “Pho” Grassi, Matt W. Moore, Moneyless, O.Two, Part2ism, Poesia, Rae Martini, Remi Rough, Samuel Rodriguez, Sat One, Sever, Shok-1, Sowat, Steve More, West, Will Barras.

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