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2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

BSA has been here with you for this entire decade – an honor and a priveledge. Reviewing the many interventions and events we witnessed and shared with our readers, we realize that this grassroots people’s art movement is reflecting our society in fundamental ways and reaching deep as well as wide. Here in roughly chronological order we recount for you a Top 10 for BSA the have impacted our way of seeing art on the streets.


1.

The “Girl In The Blue Bra” – December 2011

Oppressive regimes worldwide have a few commonalities. One of them is patriarchy. Over the last decade we have seen many female artists rise powerfully to smash it, harnessing their rage and power and taking their voice to the street.

There were countless images that encapsulated the ferocity and the tenacity of the protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings in Cairo, Egypt in December of 2011. One image, in particular, captured the attention of the media and the public. The image is commonly referred to as the “Girl In The Blue Bra”. The image depicts a young woman, whose identity remains anonymous, being beaten and dragged by soldiers as she was taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, against Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Her face is veiled and her jeans are still on but as she was being dragged by the soldiers her abaya came undone exposing her bare torso and revealing her blue bra as a soldier was about to kick her in her abdomen.

A young woman is being dragged and kicked, exposing her bare torso in the act by the military in Tahiri Square. Cairo, Egypt. December 17, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

While the image exposed the abusive practices and of power of the military in Egypt – it also swiftly sparked ferocious reactions around the globe, particularly with women who subsequently staged their own march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the end of military rule.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)

Among the artists who carried the Blue Bra theme to the streets was one artist, Bahia Shehab, whom BSA and its readers helped to get a movie made about Street Artists in the Arab Spring, called Nefertiti’s Daughters, directed by Mark Nicolas. Later we were the first to debut a scene from it at the Nuart Festival in Norway (“#Activism on the Street Now”), and years after that Nuart actually hosted professor Shehab. This is a small world, this Street Art community.

The actions of the young woman, the violent response of the military, and the overwhelming support of the public, in general, sparked a new wave of feminism in Egypt and inspired artists to create and display their artworks on the streets in protest.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)
An unidentified artist in Cairo. (photo from Pinterest)

2.

“Art In The Streets” Opens at LA MOCA – April 2011

Art in the Streets was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, an exhibition tracing the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it had evolved to. BSA was there to capture and share some of what was happening.

Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

From BSA

“Yes, Banksy is here. The giant ‘Art in the Streets’ show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of what is soon to be, maybe already is, a mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets its momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

The show is an audacious multi-platform, colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it’s influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, “Art in the Streets” makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities, and relationships within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show. “

“Art In The Streets” Blade . Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Art In The Streets” Invader’s invasion of Martha Cooper’s installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3.

Banksy’s NYC Residency – “Better Out Than In” – October 2013

An unprecedented city-wide near daily installation of works in New York established a new high-water mark in the flood of Street Art that took many cities in the 2010s. The British Street Artist played to a media capital in such an effective campaign that even the least interested residents became familiar with the elusive prankster.

Banksy’s Final Trick

From BSA

A Genuine October Surprise for New York Street Art Friends and Foes Alike.

“In a series of communiqués beamed from his website, the global Street Artist Banksy gave graffiti and Street Art followers a near-daily jolt of mystery and mouse clicking that had people looking at every street scene as a possible Banksy by the time it ended. While few can confirm the exact level of involvement the actual artist had in the five boroughs, if any, none will deny that the Banksy brand underwent a major “refresh” this month that again put his name on the lips of those who had begun to forget him and many who had never heard of him.

Thanks to this masterful marketing campaign billed as a month-long ‘residency’ on New York’s streets, many thousands were talking about him daily on the street, on television, radio, social media, in galleries, studios, office cubicles, art parties, and the mayors’ office. By effectively combining the sport of treasure hunting with humor and populism, each new cryptic appearance of something-anything gradually conditioned some grand art doyennes and the plainer mongrels amongst us to drool on command and lift a leg in salute to the curiously still anonymous artist and the team who helped him pull it off.”

BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Exhibitions with Swoon, Faile, BÄST, Haring, Basquiat, ESPO, JR Expand Knowledge, Appreciation

One cultural institution in New York City and indeed in the United States has been notable throughout the decade for its commitment to organizing exhibitions where graffiti, street art, and the artists whom have shaped it are given recognition for their contribution to the arts. The Brooklyn Museum’s leadership, including former director Arnold L. Lehman, current director Anne Pasternak, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives have been channeling resources and focus to the study, promotion, and exhibition of the works of important figures in the contemporary graffiti and Street Art movement. It notable that the museum has in its permanent collection the works of distinguished graffiti and Street Artists dating back to the dawn of the modern scene; something that other important cultural institutions in New York City that are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of modern, contemporary, and American art lack in their collections.

It’s for this reason that we have selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of the top ten graffiti and street art movers of the decade. Predated by 2006’s “Graffiti” exhibition the museum has mounted several important presentations during this decade that have not only been blockbusters but they have contributed to the cultural enrichment of all New Yorkers and the expanded discussion of the relevance of these art forms to established canons. Here are some highlights:

Keith Haring – March 2012

From BSA

Keith Haring 1978-1982 : Early Keith at The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring: 1978-1982, a traveling exhibition first shown in Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, introduces a period of his work not often examined, taking you up to the edge of the seemingly sudden international fame he experienced as artist, activist and public figure through the rest of the 1980s.

… At a time when the small-town boy was developing his visual vocabulary as an artist, Haring was also discovering himself as a man in the world and in a city that he found endlessly fascinating and worthy of exploration. Capturing his spirit of hands-on experimentation, the show is almost entirely comprised of works on paper with one collaborative piece on plywood with his contemporary Jean Michel Basquiat, paper collage, video, and documentary photos.”

Keith Haring. Matrix, 1983. Courtesy of and © Keith Haring Foundation, The Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon – April 2014

From BSA

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Sharon brought me in here and said, ‘What is interesting to you in the building?’ and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me, if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site-specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. ‘It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie into the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,’ she says.”

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks – April 2015

From BSA

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

“In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile & BÄST – July 2015

From BSA

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

“FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images have been the bailiwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention-commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.”

FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen ESPO Powers – November 2015

From BSA

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside.

“Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, it’s fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.”

Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR – October 2019

From BSA

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby or business owners and workers of local stores. “

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5

Blu and Street Art – Banksy & Co.

Curated by Christian Omodeo, Luca Cinacabilla, and Sean Corcoran. March 2016

BLU buffing his own works in Bologna took the news cycle, his legion of compatriots armed with rollers and bucket paint. But it was the show that he was reacting to that brought thousands to the museum space to discuss the rightful place of Street Art, graffiti, and the relevance of preserving it for posterity.

From BSA

BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

“The contested Banksy and Co. exhibition contains, among many other works, walls removed from a privately owned abandoned building in Bologna that were painted by BLU. Displaying the walls and his artwork without his consent so angered the painter that he rallied artists and activists to help him snuff out all his remaining murals and paintings in this Northern Italian city last week. (See A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna)

The heavily attended Friday night opening of Street Art – Banksy & Co. at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna was curated by Luca Ciancabilla, Christian Omodeo, and Sean Corcoran and features roughly 250 historical and contemporary works spanning about fifty years and highlighting a number of movements within the so-called Urban Art genre. On balance it appears that 90 percent of the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches, and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged posters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.”

About Ponny (photo © @around730)

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

From BSA

“Reality TV is usually completely devoid of reality. That isn’t the exact comparison Andreco said on his Facebook page but we thought it was a fitting analogy. Street Art in a museum or gallery can sometimes feel like taxidermy.

Andreco actually said ‘Deciding which wall to paint or not to paint has always been one of our free choices. This operation, to uncork the walls and move them elsewhere, oversteps this freedom.’ Fair enough.

Of course, that is not the primary reason why activists and Street Artists joined in to help BLU paint over the many murals that he completed on Bologna city walls over the last two decades or so. In an English titled press release on the Italian website Wumingfoundation the artist lays out a multi-layered justification for destroying his own murals, many of which have become beloved landmarks around the city and which have helped make him an art star in some circles.”

BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

American conceptual, activist and street artist John Fekner, whose art and his art partner Don Leitch were represented in the exhibition Street Art: Bansky & Co weighs in the controversy by saying:

  • The bottom line is: what’s done in public-doesn’t remain in public. There’s no protection for artists who trespass. It’s the chance one takes outdoors.
  • If you create illegal art murals, street rules are always in effect:
  1. You can’t stop a drunk in the middle of the night from pissing on your wall.
  2. You can’t stop a bulldozer from razing your work.
  3. You can’t stop a neighborhood anti-graffiti squad from painting over your work.
  4. You can’t stop a well-dressed thief in a suit, or their hired slug with a chisel from removing your wall work and hauling it off to their laird, garage, museum or art market.

“Under any circumstances, don’t immediately and irrationally react. If your original aspirations were to be an artist- then just do what you were meant to do: be an artist. Don’t double shift and be a night watchman patrolling the streets to try and thwart thieves of your work. Unique temporary outdoor creations engender a public conversation that includes everyone: art lovers and art haters, lowbrow and highbrow, and everyone who interacts with your public work.”

John Fekner (© John Fekner)

6.

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art Opens in Berlin – September 2017

We had the unique perspective of being two of the foundational curators who made this exhibition happen and made the doors fly open to thousands of visitors, so it only made sense that we covered the opening that brought much promise to the institutional recognition of Street Art, graffiti, and its move into Urban Contemporary.

From BSA

“Inundated!” Scenes from the Opening: UN – Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin

“This week is Art Week in Berlin, and you just stole Art Week,” said a handsome and intensely opinionated German to us as we leaned on the arm rail of the M.C. Escher-inspired walkway before a Carlos Mare139 sculpture and above the capacity crowd on Saturday night at the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Not sure if that was the exact goal, but we get his larger point; the UN has just made a massive entry into a number of societally and culturally influential minds when it comes to the relevancy of Street Art and graffiti to visual culture and art history. This movement into so-called Contemporary began as early as the 1970s and has overcome and weathered cultural and market ebbs and flows – persisted, if you will – yet somehow institutions have been wary of this work and these artists and unable to fully embrace their importance, you decide why.”

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea’s installation. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7.

Five Pointz: A Legal Case For Urban Artists Shifts the Focus – February 2018

From BSA

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

“In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plaintiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of the agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.”

5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8.

The New York Times Publishes DONDI’S Obituary – February 2019

In an unprecedented posthumous publication of an obituary, this year The Times acknowledged something that it had so far failed to do; the contribution of graffiti writers to the cultural and art canons deserves serious recognition. By publishing the iconic image of DONDI taken by Martha Cooper that burned “Subway Art” into the mind’s eye of many generations of graffiti writers, the “paper of record” caught up with one the the scene’s leaders and heroes.

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)

The NYT obituary of Dondi begins like this:

Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary.”

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)


9.

Martha Cooper: A Picture Story Premieres at TriBeCa. A film by Selina Miles. April 2019

From BSA

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

“First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes. “

Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Director Selina Miles with Martha Cooper. Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

10.

Street Art and Activism Takes Larger Share of the Cultural Stage

This decade that is coming to an end has seen its share of natural disasters, human rights violations, atrocities of large scale against humanity, corruption at the highest levels, the reversal of hard-fought policies to protect the planet and keep our air and water clean. We have witnessed with despair the renaissance of hatred based on people’s nationalities, their skin color, their religion, their choice of attire, their level of material affluence and their sexual preferences.

We have seen progress as well. Women around the world have been freer to speak their mind against oppression and abuse of power thanks to social movements that have flourished around the world in big cities and small towns. Our LGBT brothers and sisters have scored numerous legal battles in their favor thanks to enlightened lawmakers and judges who have searched deep inside their intellect to find the right answer to make sure everybody is treated equally. Likewise, our peers whom we need to advance our cause have taken seriously the responsibility at the ballot box to make the correct choice with policies that will bring relief to those who have less than we do.

Art and artists have often reflected back to us the world we live in, it is for this reason that we have chosen Street Art and Activism as an important action in this decade. We have always championed the work of artists who imbued their art with a strong sense of social urgency. It is with their art that they talk to us in the hopes to change one mind, one action, one concept, one attitude towards the goal creating a common good. There are many of them currently active on the streets. This wouldn’t be the appropriate space to list all of them but we would like to give you some highlights:

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

Barcelona, February 2019.

From BSA:

“This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first ‘No Borders Festival.’

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art, and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

‘Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.’

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.”

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Andreco: Reclaiming Air and Water for Delhi, India “Climate 05”

New Delhi, March 2019.

From BSA:

An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco

“And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.

The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate Art Project, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water’.”

Andreco. Climate Art Project. In collaboration with St+ART India Foundation. Delhi, India. March 2019. (photo Akshat Nauriyal)

“Post-Posters” Puncture Public Discourse in Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, May 2019.

From BSA:

” ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,’ says a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who will argue with that?

Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the world to do the same.

Over a two month period the creative place-makers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel. “

John Fekner . Carole Douillard. Post-Posters Project. Strasbourg, France. April 2019. (photo courtesy of Syndicat Potentiel)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: When the Lion Roars Back, a small overview

Brooklyn, NY. July 2019.

From BSA:

“By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.

After all, it belongs to the public.

“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.

Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.”

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama Tells “Stories From Ground Zero”

Church Rock, New Mexico. August 2019.

From BSA:

“This spill and these events did not happen in San Diego or Palm Beach. The story doesn’t affect wealthy white families and cannot be used to sell shampoo or real estate. That’s probably why we don’t see it in the press and never on the talking-head news. Street Artist Jetsonorama is not only a photographer who has been wheat-pasting his stunning images of people and nature on desert buildings for over a decade, he is also a doctor on the Navajo reservation, a human-rights activist, and an erudite scholar of American history as it pertains to the poisoning of this land and these people. Today we’re pleased to bring you this long-form examination from Jetsonorama’s perspective on a complicated and tragic US story of environmental poisoning and blight that affects generations of native peoples, miners, military personnel, and everyday people – and has no end in sight.

Most alarming is the news the current White House administration is endeavoring to mine uranium here again.

‘Private companies hired thousands of Navajo men to work the uranium mines and disregarded recommendations to protect miners and mill workers. In 1950 the U.S. Public Health Service began a human testing experiment on Navajo miners without their informed consent during the federal government’s study of the long-term health effects from radiation poisoning.  This study followed the same violation of human rights protocol as the US Public Health Service study on the long-term effects of syphilis on humans by experimenting on non-consenting African American men in what is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment from 1932 – 1972.’ ~ Jetsonorama”

JC with her younger sister, Gracie (who is a NBCS participant).  (photo © Jetsonorama)

BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

Sumatra, Indonesia. September 2019.

From BSA:

“As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

‘The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the world’s most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.’  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.

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BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

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

Now screening :
1. “REWILD” from Escif
2. Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
3. How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art


BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

“The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the worlds most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving eco system alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.”  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.  

Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind

A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.

How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art |

The Brooklyn Museum will be unveiling an exhibition with the works of French Street Artist JR this October. Here’s a small video of him explaining how his work is a connector between humans.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.22.19

BSA Film Friday: 02.22.19

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

Now screening :
1. Escif: Magic Piano
2. Adele Renault: St+Art India. Lodhi Art Festival 2019
3. Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean Museum
4. OS Gemeos: Flying Steps at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin

BSA Special Feature: Escif: Magic Piano

Spanish Street Artist Escif creates a museum installation that uses irony, sarcasm, and deep truths that we’re not always ready to see.

By hi-jacking some of the current interactive nomenclature enabled by augmented/mixed realities and the normalizing of tablet use, he alerts viewers to the connection of age-old mineral mining that is just as contemporary as the hi-tech gadgetry many have embraced.

Since you can use the device to contemplate human suffering and make music, it is an indictment of modern attitudes that dehumanize and turn real stories into a video game.

From the artist:

“Coltan is a mineral, found specially in eastern Congo, used to make cells and computer chips. Violent rebel groups are exploiting coltan mining to help finance a bloody civil war which is now in its 12th year.

The link between the bloodshed and coltan is causing alarm among high-tec manufacturers slowly they are beginning to realise that their products may contain the tainted fruits of civil war. Since the outbreak of fighting in august 1998: an estimated 5.4 million people have died; 45.000 continue to die each month; Children account for 47% of these deaths.

Magic Piano is a music installation. With the help of a tablet (that obviously contains coltan) you will be able to play the piano. Use the device to navigate on the wall. When you pass on the screen over a charater, a sound will be activated. If you push the character with your finger a sound loop will be activated. You will also activate the animation of each character.”

Adele Renault: St+Art India. Lodhi Art Festival 2019

A couple of weeks ago we shared with you new photos by Adele’s mom of the Street Artist painting this wall for St+Art India in New Delhi. Today we share a video made of her installation.

📺Lodhi Art Festival 2019 || Adele RenaultAdele's imprints are visible in the winged beauties that now adorn the walls at Lodhi. Laying on a main arterial road know the colony, her birds now peek through the trees and woo passersby.Watch the film to get a closer look into her creative process! 📽 Pranav Gohill & Jay NuEdited by Filterkaypee Festival supported by Asian Paints.#artforall #startindia #startdelhi #startdelhi2019 #asianpaints #lodhiartdistrict #lodhiartfestival2019

Posted by St+art India on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean Museum

“It lacks all the give and the breath of fresh art,” the bespectacled art critic intones with all the weight of a final damnation.

“We need haters out there. They are affirmations that we’re doing something right,” says the streetwise pop star with clever sunnies and sans big hat.

Taking a break from the Banksy beat, Doug appears to put forth that supposition that Jeff Koons is proving once again that as long as you are a white guy and you reference European art history you are 80% on your way as an artist whose work will be collected and exhibited.

OS Gemeos: Flying Steps at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin

A splendid hybrid that sends heartbeats racing, even involuntarily, here is a trailer for Flying Steps and Os Gemeos as they interpret Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, the famous piano composition that has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. Good to see museums of contemporary art truly stretching, redefining the street and Street Art.


Another interpretation by ELP from December 1970.

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ESCIF “La Pared Es Nuestra”. Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona

ESCIF “La Pared Es Nuestra”. Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona

When Street Artists and graffiti vandals are looking for a spot in public space they sometimes claim a wall as their own – even if someone else owns it. It’s a bit of hubris, but it helps with the street credibility among peers. In the case of this neighborhood in Barcelona, the whole neighborhood owns the wall – and Street Artist Escif knows it.

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Winner of a competition among 300 international and national Street Artists last summer/fall on which BSA was part of the jury, the Spanish Street Artist has now completed his new mural in Sant Feliu de Llobregat entitled “La pared es nuestra” (The Wall is Ours). The wall borders the central square of outdoor civic life in a community of working people who coalesced and actively fought government neglect and resisted private capital brutality in the 1970s to create streets, services, and public space for themselves here.

To commemorate that victory and the struggle that led to it, this true community mural was conceived and realized last month in a grand opening ceremony and celebration that invited a few generations of its proud inhabitants.

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Known for his study and critiques of social, political and environmental undercurrents that form the framework of modern society, Escif worked with local leaders and the projects’ sponsors Contorno Urbano and Kaligrafics to conceive of and produce the result. The wall features a non-linear representation of historical events and popular/civic engagement that were necessary to transform the neighborhood. Referencing photos from the elders from the earliest days of struggle, the warmly flat characters and graphic elements are open and frank, focused the the central elements of democratic processes and the chaotic forms that can ultimately yield the right to self determination .

The greater message can provide inspiration to groups of individuals who are knocked back on their heels and yet find common cause, reminding us all about the power of the people.

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

In a statement about his perspective for conception and execution of the piece, the artist says that a galvanizing event on this very square provided him with greatest inspiration and many in attendance at the opening celebration would agree that his vision is perfectly realized.

“In May 1977 [during Franco’s dictatorship], the residents of the Sant Feliu neighborhood called La Salud managed to halt the construction of a gas station. Neighbors say that it was during the night, while the city was still sleeping, when some brave women and men decided to push a concrete mixer into the construction hole where the foundations were going to be established.
They covered the hole with soil and then they planted a tree. Legend has it that if a tree is planted on an occupied plot of land, nobody will ever be able to remove it. That was exactly the genesis of that square, a square that still belongs to the neighbors, the residents of Sant Feliu.

“ ‘La Pared es Nuestra’ [The Wall is Ours] is a retaining wall that rescues the voices of those who are gone, that keeps the voice of those who remain, and that suggests the voice of those who are yet to come. An inclusive wall made by and for the neighbors, it is a wall that can be heard, that contains the sounds of the neighborhood, of its history, and of its inhabitants. This is a wall that can be read, and that has as many readings as visitors who come to contemplate it.”

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

 

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

Escif. “La Pared es Nuestra”. A project between Contorno Urbano Foundation, Kaligrafics and The Municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat. (photo © Clara Antón)

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No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

A new sharply political campaign championing the freedom of expression has caught fire in Spain in the last few weeks under the hashtag #NoCallaremos, and Street Artists are now adding their talents to the protest. Rather shockingly for a modern European nation, a rapper’s prison sentence for offensive lyrics was upheld in Spanish Supreme Court in February (Billboard) and that decision along with other recent events has sparked a number of creative protests across the art world in cities across the country. Today BSA contributing Street Art photographer Fer Alcalá shares his opinions and new images of the murals in progress with BSA readers.


THE NO CALLAREM PLATFORM

~ by Fer Alcalá

…or how some of Spanish top artists react against censorship and repression of the freedom of speech from the central government…

Enric Sant at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s now known worldwide: the Spanish government is imprisoning hip hop artists like Valtonyc and Pablo Hasel because of their sharp and truthful lyrics as well as sentencing people like you and me because of their critical posts on social media.

As a reaction to these acts against the freedom of speech that are more in tune with a well established dictatorship than with 40 years of democracy, some projects like the No Callarem (we won’t shut up) platform have raised their voices.

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

The patio with Enric Sant in the background at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I was invited to witness the filming  and painting session by local artist Javier de Riba, from Reskate Studio, who invited some fellow artists to paint at La Modelo walls as a part of the whole process. Franco Fasoli JAZ, Twee Muizen, Txemy, Joan Tarragò, Enric Sant, Milvietnams, Werens and Fullet gave a new voice to the walls surrounding that backyard, providing 2D images that perfectly matched the spirit behind the beats and the rhymes.

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

This is what Javi has to say about his collaboration with the project:

“Our involvement with No Callarem happened thanks to the Catalan rap artist Pau Llonch. He lit the spark for recording a clip against the Valtonyc and Hasel sentences. They wanted to do it at La Modelo no matter what and the No Callarem platform supported the action. We helped to spread the word for putting together a team with different languages together to visually enhance the video clip.

At the beginning, was what meant to be an ‘atrezzo action’ turned into a bunch of pieces that can be visited in the backyard of Gallery 4. In fact that backyard is not open to the public, but you can see it from the watch guard pit. We think that, from a conceptual point of view, it’s very powerful to keep those pieces locked – especially when thinking about how things are going in Spain regarding freedom of speech.”

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Additionally it’s worth mentioning Reskate’s initiative about shouting against the suffocating atmosphere that we are experiencing here for some time: ‘Our idea is that every artist post one piece / illustration / painting / picture (old or new) supporting our initiative promoting freedom of speech in order to criticize the lack of democracy within the Spanish government.

Some of the hashtags that we will use are #NoCallarem #EzGaraIsilduko #NonCalaremos #NunVamosCallar #NonCararam,#NoCallaremos being the main one.

Visual artists from Madrid, Zaragoza, Almería, Oviedo, Valencia, Vila-real, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valladolid, Tenerife…are supporting this initiative. Some of them are: Malakkai, Escif, Paula Bonet, Aryz, Ricardo Cavolo, Enric Sant, Twee Muizen, Franco Fasoli, Hyuro, Javier Jaén, Boa Mistura, Conrad Roset, Jordi Borràs, Danjer, Cinta Vidal, David de las Heras, Juan Díaz-Faes, Chamo San, and Marina Capdevila, among others.

Fullet at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Semana por la Libertad de Expresión (Freedom of Speech Week) is happening now, with different activities taking place all over the country. The funds raised from these activities will go to a resistance fund for the platform in order to defend all those people chased and brought to justice because of censorship and repression. You can check the whole program of the week HERE.

So, yes: we have a fight going on. Comedians, actors and actresses, musicians, journalists, visual artists, the guy / girl next door who is active in social media… It’s kind of a Russian Roulette game where, if you are critical with the established system and you are using 3rd grade humor as a weapon, you can end in jail. And all of it is happening in a country whose government is accused of being the most corrupt on the whole continent.

Werens at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I have a very well informed friend who has been kind of disappointed with the absence of critical vision and combative behaviors from most of the big names in the local street art / graffiti scene. Thanks to initiatives such as No Callarem and the impulse of people like Javi de Riba, she is reconciling herself with this small, but powerful little world whose images have the strength for making important things happen.

Finally, I’d like to recommend that you check the publications under the hashtag #nocallaremos that are out, as there will be some fine and unique art being produced for the occasion in the upcoming days.

As it’s being said in Los Borbones son unos Ladrones:

– rap music is not a crime
– we need scratches, we need paintings
– I don’t dream about Versace, I dream about barricades
– …because of the poetry that still sleeps in the ditches…

Big props to Javi de Riba, Xavier Urbano and all the artists behind the No Callarem movement.

#nocallarem

Fullet, Werens and Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Milvietnams at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Txemy . Joan Tarragó . Twee Muizen . Franco Fasoli AKA Jaz. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Joan Tarragó. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens . Javier De Riba . Milvietnams . Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Javier De Riba. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Overview. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones. feat, FrankT, Sara Hebe, Elphomega, Rapsusklei…


The guys behind Delabrave @delabrave have filmed a parallel clip about the creative process of these pieces.

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ESCIF, BLU, SAM3, More Join “SenseMurs” as Activists Protecting “La Punta”

ESCIF, BLU, SAM3, More Join “SenseMurs” as Activists Protecting “La Punta”

AYÚDANOS A DEFENDER LA HUERTA Y PARAR LA ZAL – Help Us to Defend the Garden and Stop the ZAL.


Street Artists in Valencia, Spain are using their work to reclaim land for a people’s agenda.

BLU. Detail. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Street Artist Escif organized with other artists to fight the commercial development of seaside land in Valencia last month. With the help of other socially responsible artists including Aryz, BLU, Borondo, Escif, Anaïs Florin, Hyuro, Luzinterruptus, Daniel Muñoz “SAN”, Sam3 and Elías Taño, Escif and local organizers are publicly pushing a message that shows the local council what it means when citizens are engaged.

According to the organizers La Punta is a hamlet of orchards and gardens located in the south of the city of Valencia where more than 15 years ago the “Logistics Activities Zone” (ZAL) project of the Port of Valencia decided to chase hundreds of people out of this land to give to developers as a new port initiative.

BLU. Detail. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Well, that failed spectacularly, probably because funding fell through due to the global financial crisis, and 15 years later development has not happened. The land has begun to evolve and return to its more natural state and a local farm economy has sprouted up. Meanwhile city planners are hoping they can conjure up another way to use these public lands for private profit.

But grassroots organizers say they want the public/private predatory folks to step back and let citizens decide what to do with this area. Thanks to this new “SenseMurs” public art initiative that is drawing a lot of critical eyes to the matter, more citizens may actually get a seat at the table. Well organized and great communicators, on March 10 and 11 the artists and activists gave tours of the murals of SenseMurs, called a press conference, threw a concert, and opened the doors to other citizens for their participation in the process.

BLU. Detail. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Within this context, neighbors and associations are trying to bring attention to this reality in order to negotiate with the Administration and start a public participation process,” says the art collective Luzinterruptus in an email, “where it will be decided how these lands will be used and to mend the injustices committed against the neighbors so another chance is given to the deported families to return and work the lands of l’Horta de la Punta.”

Enjoy these shots of the installations from Martha Cooper and two from Juanmi Ponce, starting off with the one and only BLU.

BLU. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Escif. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Escif. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Because there are lettuces!

From Escif’s Instagram:

A: ¿ Porqué HAY LECHUGAS ?
B: Pues porqué alguien plantó semillas en esta tierra fértil, les puso agua y dejó que el sol hiciese su trabajo. Imágino que es un ciclo natural. La tierra es generosa y muy prospera. A poco que la cuides, te regala lechugas como estas.
A: No me refiero a eso. Mi pregunta es porque escribes la frase HAY LECHUGAS.
B: Ah! …pues porque hay lechugas!

Hyuro. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Borondo. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Borondo. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aryz. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aryz. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sam3. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

SAN. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

SAN. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Luzinterruptus. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Juanmi Ponce)

Luzinterruptus. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Juanmi Ponce)

Elías Taño. SenseMurs. La Punta, Valencia, Spain, March 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 


SenseMurs participating artists: Blu, Luzinterruptus, Aryz, Hyuro, SAN, LIQEN, Anaisflorin, Eliastano, Sam3, Escif


To learn more about the project please go to RECUPEREM LA PUNTA / Valencia, Spain
Recuperem La Punta, aturem la ZAL and La Punta.

 


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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week BSA is in Mexico City in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN) to see what is steering the scene on the street, meet artists, visit artist compounds, museums, galleries, and studios – and of course to capture the wild and dynamic Street Art and graffiti scene here. Where Mexico City goes in art and culture makes big waves elsewhere in Latin America, and its Street Art scene has been quickly evolving in the last decade. Join us as we investigate the character and players in this modern/traditional city of more than 21 million people.


Mexico City this week was full of graffiti tags, large murals oozing with character, astral techno hippie dudes, strong women, slick talkers, traffic jams, street protests, stories about the 43, couples kissing on park benches, rooftop tours, men in suits, professional ladies in really high heels, smoothly running buses, sustainable community gardens, pick-pockets, indigenous people selling crafts, police with high pitched whistles, wannabe hipsters, live rock bands, tacos, craft beer, poinsettias, quesadillas, chille rellenos, pulled pork, nopales, avocados, tortas, Frida Kahlo, babies, Bohemia, marijuana smoke, and ultimately, Ricky Martin singing for hundreds of thousands of people free in the Zócalo.

We’ll catch you up on on the details soon.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Arty & Chickle, Blu, Curiot, DFace, El Mac, Erica Ilcane, Escif, Herakut, Interesni Kazki, Maria Guardado, Retna, ROA, Saner, and Sego.

Our top image : Erica Ilcane. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erica Ilcane. Deatail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blu. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curated by Roberto Shimizu with the collaboration of the Mexico City Goverment on the Metro and the official building of The Nation Youth Institute

Curiot. Detail. For Lienzo Capital Project with Street Art MUJAM. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot in Roma neighborhood for Capital Mural. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Retna. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saner. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sego. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Mac. Detail. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Portrait of Maria Guardado, a social activist and poet from Guatemala. Ms. Guardado was tortured and killed by the Guatemalan army during the bloody civil war in 1980.

El Mac. For All City Canvas 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arty & Chikle. “Only Love”. Street Art MUJAM in collaboration with the Mexico City National Youth Institute for Young Adults. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Torre Latino Americana. Mexico City. November 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.19.17 : Barcelona Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.19.17 : Barcelona Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Barcelona this week was a tale of many opinions, passionately expressed, even hammered home. Geographically at the epicenter of a fight for/against the secession of Catalonia this fall, the conversations about everything from futbol to Guaudi to tourists can take on great enthusiasm.  Although, no one argues about tapas. Tapas are just always good.

The organic Street Art scene in the city that was famous during the early 2000s has been calmed as a result of a crackdown on illegal works, but some still exists in pockets of stencils and stickers and one-off paintings. The legal stuff, or ‘permissioned’ murals, are more likely what you will find in the central city, with a little more illegal stuff as you move away from the center to Sant Feliu de Llobregat or L’Hospitalet de Llobregat,

In general the Barcelona scene feels alive, vibrant, varied; and the quality of execution can be quite high. There is also an elusive feeling of magic and history infused within the integrated street scene and a healthy amount of socio-political critique – a swirling mix of illegal murals, commissioned murals, and controlled chaos in the artist compounds. Our sincere thanks to our hosts on the streets this week, especially Fernando and Esteban.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1Up, Axe Colours, Escif, Hosh, Kenor1, Kwets1, Mina Hamada, Pantonio, Rice, and Zosen.

Miss Van at La Escocesa from 2012. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Van at La Escocesa from 2012. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Van at La Escocesa from 2012. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif at La Escocesa. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axe Colours. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pantonio at The Hangar. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pantonio at The Hangar. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rice. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rice. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rice. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zosen and Mina Hamada. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hosh. Contorno Urbano.12 + 1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kenor1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bombers. Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kwets1 . Kaligrafics. Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kwets1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist and muralist Kwets1 spent three months working on two monumental murals on two tunnel walls right across from each other in the immigrants friendly, working class town of Hospitalet de Llobregat in Barcelona. The obvious theme of the mural is nature, conservation and climate change. The underpass is located right next to a river that attracts a plethora of exotic birds that use as a sanctuary and a rest stop as they migrate south during the winter season. We were actually witness to several large parrots flying from tree to tree while we were there.

The artist says that he took his inspiration directly from the nature story, and the human one of immigration here as well.

The other source was the human immigrant stories in this town. In the late 60’s and 70’s the immigration to the town was from several regions of rural Spain, with agrarian families who left farmlands and came to Barcelona seeking job opportunities in the large manufacturing companies that had established themselves in Barcelona. Many of those original immigrants eventually left the town to retire within Spain or to other European countries – leaving room for a new wave of immigration coming from several parts of Africa and Central and South America.

Presently Hospitalet is a vibrant community of old and new residents, and these murals capture the feeling of colorful, tumultuous, exiting and difficult change.

Kwets1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kwets1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kwets1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kwets1. Hospitalet de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Mine is bigger than yours. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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And The Winner Is… ESCIF !  (Barcelona Dispatch 2)

And The Winner Is… ESCIF ! (Barcelona Dispatch 2)

This week BSA is in Barcelona to participate in the Contorno Urbano competition to select an artist for a new community mural and residency in the municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat – and of course to see the famed Barcelona Street Art scene as it continues to evolve.


Street Artist ESCIF is Chosen as Contorno Urbano Winner.

From 300 to 12 to 1, we have a winner.

The final phase of the judging process was the meeting of the citizens who have a stake in the outcome that far outstrips the considered analysis of experts in the Street Art/ Public Art world. Four veteran members of the Sant Feliu De Llobregat Neighborhood Association generously shared their personal oral history recounting the struggles of this neighborhood that coincided with the passing of Franco in the 1970s.

Theirs is a story of people’s struggle; a coalescing neighborhood’s movement to fight for self determination, democracy, education, health, women’s rights, union rights, human rights, and yes, the right to public space in battles against the dictatorship and powerful private interests. Hearing these people talk was illuminating, educational, and inspiring – as was our visit to the Plaza De La Salut (La Salut Square), itself a result of the neighbors fight for public space against moneyed interests who wanted to build a huge gas station there in 1977.

After reading through close to 300 submissions and asking 12 to submit specific proposals, a thoughtful deliberation and strict voting process took place among an assembled panel of Mónica Campana, Verónica Werckmesiter, Fernando Figueroa, Esteban MarÍn and Jaime Rojo.

The chosen proposal was submitted by Escif, a Spanish artist who lives in Catalonia.

“Any public intervention is political as it modifies the daily life of people in the cities. This modification can be directed in two possible directions: bringing people closer to their reality or away from it,” he says on his website today.

“Even if my work is inevitably within the parameters of spectacle, I try to find a way to bring painting closer to reality. I try to erase (or at least blur) boundaries between life and spectacle, between presentation and representation, between contemplation and experience, between landscape and territory, between the power of institutions and the power of the people.”

More details will follow about his winning submission later, but here’s a loose collection of some examples of Escif’s previous work.

Learn more about Escif at Street Against.

Escif. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif. (photo © lluis Olive Bulbena)

Escif. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Escif. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Escif. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

BREATH – TEMPO DI RICARICIA

 

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BSA en Barcelona: Miss Van, La Escocesa, and Reskate!  Dispatch 1

BSA en Barcelona: Miss Van, La Escocesa, and Reskate! Dispatch 1

This week BSA is in Barcelona to participate in the Contorno Urbano competition to select an artist for a new community mural and residency in the municipality of Sant Feliu de Llobregat – and of course to see the famed Barcelona Street Art scene as it continues to evolve.


Fresh off the plane from New York at 7 am, BSA hit the streets with the talented Street Art photographer Fer Alcalá and the director of Fundacion Contorno Urbana, Esteban Marin – both amazing and generous hosts.

Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We covered a lot of terrain in this pretty, clean and relatively quiet European city (Catalonian referendum marches last month not withstanding) and there is a wide variety of sanctioned and unsanctioned art on the streets even today, years after the city began cracking down on an organic Street Art scene that flourished here in the mid 2000s.

You’ll find a lot of local Street Artists here as well as a few international names who are passing through, or who have settled here and have studios in addition to a street practice.

Yo también ! A very early Escif at La Escocesa. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For lunch you may want to check out the regional special dishes like Escudella d’Olla , a hearty Catalan stew with poached meats and vegetables, or fideuà, a noodle dish that locals may prefer to paella – made with seafood like cuttlefish, monkfish, prawns all cloaked in alioli, a thick garlic and olive oil sauce.

Afterwards you can check out La Escocesa, a self-managed artistic production center that focuses on the visual arts with the public in mind. The artist spaces, performance spaces, gallery spaces – a real hothouse of invention and an art factory on the site of a former textile factory  that reminds you of what artist communities can be like when the right elements are present and in balance.

Escif at the wonderfully raw The Hangar.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

A number of artists have residencies here at the moment, including muralists Mina Hamada and Zosen, who we just saw in Brooklyn at the Vinz Feel Free “Innocence” show while they were in town to paint a huge wall in Jersey City – it is a small world.

Unfortunately in two years La Escocesa will be demolished to make room for affordable housing – it’s owned by the city council which purchased it from the banks.

Reskate (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reskate (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also if you come here you’ll want to check out a new mural by Reskate, an artistic collective formed by Maria López and Javier de Riba, who have a workshop and studio in the Sants district of Barcelona.

With an illustrative style full of life, you can see influences from popular culture, graphic design, pop and traditional sign-painting. Our hosts tell us they often paint referencing social themes – and they certainly are loved here. Here’s a shot of our little touring group at one point. See you all tomorrow!

Miquel Wert. A “secret” spot curated by Jiser. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Brooklyn King in Barcelona. Biggie Smalls by Axe Colours (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axe Colours goes GOT. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Costa Rican artist is still a revolutionary act!” Akore (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rice (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

1UP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sixe Paredes (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fàbriques de Creació. La Escocesa from Barcelona Cultura on Vimeo.

 

For more about Jiser: www.jiser.org

For more about The Hangar: www.hangar.org/es

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12 Finalist Artists Announced for Contorno Urbano Mural in Barcelona

12 Finalist Artists Announced for Contorno Urbano Mural in Barcelona

Almost 300 artists and collectives from around the world (42 countries) have entered the 2018 Contorno Urbano competition for this wall/residency/7000€ prize in Barcelona! It is astounding how many high caliber artists are at work today in cities everywhere, bringing innovative new techniques and unique perspectives to public space like never before.

After reviewing all applications and submitted materials during a process begun this summer, today we are excited to announce that this list has been narrowed to just 12 finalists. Next month their names will go to the final stage of selection in Barcelona with esteemed co-jurors from organizers and creators in the areas of art academia, mural art, public art, and Street Art to narrow the list to one.

The 12 premiere finalists for the Mural de la Salut in Sant Feliu de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain) are:

Axel Void
Borondo
Colectivo Licuado
David de la Mano
Escif
Guido Van Helten
Hyuro
Innerfields
Millo
Otecki
Sabotaje al Montaje
San

Congratulations to each artist! It wasn’t an easy task for the pre-selection committee to decide the best from 300, but your work rose to the top 4% of the applications according to the selection criteria.

#MuralSalut: Finalistas – Finalists from Contorno Urbano on Vimeo.

Among the considerations for selection were academic studies, experience and history creating murals in public space, previous internships or residencies, and suitability of artwork style to the central purpose of this 400 square meter mural.

Each of the 12 finalists will be asked to submit a sketch and a written proposal.

The final stage of the selection will be on November 15th and 16th, with the following professionals travelling to Sant Feliu de Llobregat:

Monica Campana (Cofounder of Living Walls and project manager for the urban art exhibition Open Source),
Fernando Figueroa (PHD in History of Art and independent researcher specialized in graffiti and urban art),
Esteban Marin (President of Contorno Urbano and mural artist),
Jaime Rojo (co-founder of Brooklyn Street Art and curator), and
Veronica Werckmeister (painter and muralist, curator).

The mural will commemorate the neighborhood’s fight 30 years ago to have this public square created for the neighbors instead of building a gas station. After meeting with the Association La Salut and the neighbors who live in the area, members of the jury will review previous artworks and experience of the 12 finalists to help them to select the artist who is best suited for painting the mural.

The winner will receive an artistic residence beginning in Spring 2018 and will receive a 7000€ prize. The wall will be painted after an artistic residency in order for the artist to become acquainted with the historic context of the project and the city itself.

The project is a collaboration between the municipality (Ajuntament) of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Fundacion Contorno Urbano and Kaligrafics.

Kaligrafics: Founded in 1999, it’s the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to graffiti and street art in Cataluña, and a significant record of experience in Spain.

Contorno Urbano: The first Foundation in Spain to be fully dedicated to street art and graffiti. The team has over 10 years’ experience organizing murals and urban art dissemination locally and internationally.


Following in no particular order are the 12 finalists:

Guido Van Helten / United Kingdom

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Borondo / Spain

Borondo for Urban Nation this spring (UN) in the Tegel section of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif / Spain

Escif. Living Walls Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daniel “SAN” Muñoz / Spain

Daniel Muñoz. The curtain ( 983 followers). The Highlands, Scotland. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Axel Void / USA

Axel Void. Los Muros Hablan. El Barrio/Spanish Harlem. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hyuro / Spain

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

Colectivo Licuado / Uruguay

Colectivo Licuado. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © courtesy of Colectivo Licuado)

Millo / Italy

Millo in Kiev for Mural Social Club Festival/NGO Sky Art Foundation. (photo © Maksim Belousov)

Innerfields / Germany

Innerfields for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

David De La Mano / Spain

David De La Mano. Urban Nation Musuem For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabotaje Al Montaje / Spain

Sabotaje Al Montaje. Los Alcazares. Murcia, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Otecki / Poland

Otecki. Urban Forms. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

 

 

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

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

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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

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

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Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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

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

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)

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Okuda (photo © VladyArt)

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Microbo (photo © VladyArt)

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ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)

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The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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This article is also published in The Huffington Post.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Huffpost-Sicily-Silos-740-Screen-Shot-2016-05-04-at-1.41.39-PM

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