All posts tagged: Esteban DEl Valle

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

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 plantiff, 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.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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 agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For today the plaintiffs will celebrate the win and derive a sense of validation for their works at the compound that hosted an organic evolution of works by local, national, and international graffiti and Street Artist for nearly two decades under tacit or explicit agreement with the owner.

“I am happy to see my art form recognized as true art,” says Mr. Cohen in an article from Hyperallergic today, and ultimately that is the message that the graffiti writers and Street Artists will take from the story. Others will argue that this is gentrification issue of developers profiting from and then dismissing the artists who bring attractive buyers to a neighborhood. Now that a dollar value has been attached, a certain audience will also begin to again consider the intrinsic value of those artworks in the streets that they dismissed as pure vandalism with little other merit.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the nearly 1,000 comments posted yesterday on our initial Facebook post about the decision, it is evident that many people still see this kind of art primarily as illegal vandalism and opine that a ruling like this is only adding credibility to criminal behavior. In that argument it is helpful to remember that these artists all had permission to paint.

Undoubtedly additional legacies of the ruling will play out in coming months and years. For the moment, it looks like the artists won this time, which is a seeming rarity during a time when technology has created a nearly unmitigated “Wild West” landscape of rights and responsibilities when it comes to aesthetic expression.


Related stories:

Judge Awards Graffiti Artists $6.7M After 5Pointz Destroyed

Judge Rules Developer Must Pay 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7M

https://qz.com/1107031/new-yorks-5pointz-graffiti-artists-are-suing-a-real-estate-developer-for-destroying-their-work/

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

5Pointz. Meres. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . Kkade . 5Pointz, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esteban Del Valle. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zeso . Meres. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Welling Court 2016 Part II and AD HOC’s 10th Anniversary this Weekend

Welling Court 2016 Part II and AD HOC’s 10th Anniversary this Weekend

Long before Bushwick Open Studios and the Bushwick Collective there was Ad Hoc Gallery in a part of Brooklyn better known for bullet proof plexi-glass at the corner deli than being any kind of artists haven. Kool kids were actually filtering in to find cheap rents and space in the early 2000s and Garrison and Alison Buxton and a few other closely knit creatives, teachers, entrepreneurs, and activists created a gallery/community center that welcomed Street Artists and graffiti peeps.

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Rubin 415 and Joe Iurato (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Their gallery featured solo and group shows that included Shepard Fairey, Swoon, C215, Chris Stain, Know Hope, and many others over a five year period and Ad Hoc provided an entrance to the contemporary art world. Somehow they did it in a way that honored the roots of the culture, not simply cashing in on it. Smart and worldly, they also had open hearts to other people’s projects. We even had our inaugural BSA show and book launch there in 2008, donating all the money to Free Arts NYC and selling work from an impressive number of talented artists whose name you might recognize.

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I am Eelco (photo © Jaime Rojo)

10 years later the actual gallery is long closed and they moved to Vermont to get more space to raise their daughter Halcyon, but the Buxtons still sell art, curate the occasional show, and have stayed seriously in the New York mix by hosting an annual street mural jam called Welling Court for the last half decade. True to their community roots, they keep the roster very wide and inclusive. This year the mural painting continued long after the actual event, so we recently went back to Queens to catch the ones we didn’t during this summers jam.

Coming up this weekend there is a big 10th Anniversary party for Ad Hoc here in Brooklyn again, we thought we’d show you the murals we missed for the first collection of 2016 murals HERE. Hope to see you at this weekends Ad Hoc 10th Anniversary event at 17 Frost.

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Free Humanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SeeOne and Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SONI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze . Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Werc and Zèh Palito (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink . J Morello (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Epic Uno  . M7Ser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. June (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sinned (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katie Yamasaki . Caleb Neelon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Depoe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Queen Andrea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ramiro Davaros-Coma (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ad Hoc Art. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Halcyon from Ad Hoc Art Crew… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Ad Hoc Art 10th Year Anniversary and Luna Park’s book launch Art Show will take place this Saturday, October 22nd at 17 Frost Gallery in Brooklyn. Click HERE for further details.

 

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Esteban Del Valle is “Displacing Waves” in Los Angeles

Esteban Del Valle is “Displacing Waves” in Los Angeles

Consider for a moment the irony of attending a gallery for an art show that confronts gentrification. Currently some critical philosophies born of urban studies and a fascination with the impact of a “creative class” will point to the art gallery as a central lever for converting a neighborhood from industrial/lower/working class to an attractive target for real estate development. Compound the irony with canvasses by an artist who also paints on the street, and you have a potential magnet for outraged anti-gentrificationists. Let’s discuss this over a slow-drip latte at the corner café.

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(click to enlarge)

Chicago born, Brooklyn-based street artist/fine artist Esteban del Valle is in LA for his first west coast solo show, “Displacing Waves,” and he tells us he is referring to the swelling, cresting, and breaking forces of gentrification that displace communities across the country – and he’s conflicted about it. Most of us think it’s a local story, confined to our own city, but as the middle class is hollowed out and collapsed in the US, del Valle tells us its national and his study of the topic has fueled these “painterly vignettes of contemporary colonialism”.

A student of history, sociology, and anthropology, it is his politically sharpened sense that slices beautifully, an exacting sarcasm that leaves hypocrisy freshly fanned out among the filleted meat selections displayed on canvas.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

He says the show’s theme evolved after “a culmination of seven months of traveling throughout the United States, from rural Alaska to New York, Miami, and Los Angeles”. The figures are rich, the dynamic styling and tensions ready to be read into.

His techniques of drawing, painting, ink, and wash are amply intermingled, giving layers of emotion and verve to the compositions, pushing personalities to sharp definition. The wet-into-wet wash watercolors and inks reveal layers of character and circumstance, the pladdling and blotting brushes of oil trigger associations, building volume and movement. This is multi-discipline, with a fair margin for rumination and discovery.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

Will these waves of del Valle creates displace the apathy of your average gentrifier? We spoke to him as he prepares for the opening of “Displacing Waves.”

Brooklyn Street Art: “Creative Class” has evolved into a loaded term of late; can you talk about how you are seeing it through a critical lens?

Esteban del Valle: I have been looking at the “creative class” as a group of creatively fluent individuals actively and willingly participating in a post industrial economy with the same capitalistic motivations connected to colonialist notions of “progress”. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a part of this problem; I am a formally educated artist with an advanced degree and I have consistently worked creative jobs using my skills to service the capitalist ambition of upward mobility. However, I am driven by the idea that creativity is at the core of consciousness and the impulse to acknowledge and question the presence of another. I feel like one of the consequences of contemporary “progress” is a tendency to strip creativity of its mystical powers and to view it as a space for material and technological innovation.

Through educational institutions and  America’s career-centric culture, we have reserved creative energy for advancements in organizing and storage of measurable information. This has distanced us from the possibility of being open to something different, an expansion of the soul. The cruel twist is that while funding from the arts are being cut in schools, businesses are desperately looking for creative thinkers to help them enter the next phase of the economy. The desire for measurable outcomes is so strong that it bullies any form of thought into a predetermined container, a vessel labeled “progress”.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

This whole body of work really grew organically out of my travels. But the funny thing is, as much as I was seeing these issues of displacement everywhere I went from Alaska to Miami, the main thing that kept repeating was my anxiety about returning home to Brooklyn. I found myself looking to more affordable areas of Queens and I felt the conversation happening all over again. The conversation that was happening in Bed-Stuy when I first moved to New York and into a live/work art space near the Marcy Houses. I started to think about how my arrival in a neighborhood could be a reflection of the same gentrification that I found so upsetting. This went hand in hand with my feelings about certain practices in the Street Art movement that were not sitting right with me, such as being used by developers to set the groundwork for displacement.

I began to think about how murals function over time, like how a WPA mural changes in its function and meaning as we move into and increasingly technological economy with out-sourced labor. It occurred to me that I could create my own paintings with a sense of historical distance. So an image of a young man drinking coffee could become a loaded subject when placed in a larger context. This correlation interested me because it reflects my relationship to the seemingly innocent acts of the creative class itself when it is engaged in “progress”. David Foster Wallace once described it as us viewing ourselves as emperors of our own skull sized kingdom. We begin to view the world as an extension of ourselves, while seeing our objective of personal fulfillment and entertainment as seemingly innocent and unrelated to larger injustices.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about the variety of personalities that you capture with your line-work? Are you rendering an opinion of the individuals or are you capturing them dispassionately?

Esteban del Valle: This show is the first stage of my reaction to the issues. I think it’s a mixture of anger and a sense of futility as a self-assigned voyeur. There are only a few pieces that outright attack the issues violently, most can be glossed over as attractive with a tinge of irony. I recently heard the saying, “irony is the song of a bird that has come to love its cage.” I think that’s what I felt implicated in. I wanted to show how an image can seem innocent and even glamorous. The beautiful renovations, improvements in the neighborhood, the bustling shops, all seem to be an image of “progress”. So my goal was to couple that surface interaction with hints of conflict and place them next to blatant conflict. This tension between the “attractive” and the “difficult” is the main interest behind my color choice as well. I cannot separate myself from the accountability, which is one reason why several of the pieces are portraits of friends or direct criticism of my self as an artist.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

Brooklyn Street Art: For your selections of techniques – staining, masking, washes, dry-brush, granulation – how do you decide what comes next? Does the composition tell you? Do you discover it? Are you using a cognitive process or an emotional one?

Esteban del Valle: I begin with an abstract base and I draw on top of it, but I have always viewed my process as a sort of call and response, an exchange between painting and drawing. Illustration is historically a communicative medium while painting has evolved to abstract communication. But the evolution of both seems to be the rooted in the same intention. Abstraction seems to aim at abandoning spoken language to create a mood and maximize its audience.

That being said, we have found ways to categorize and contextualize arbitrary marks, record them in a historical perspective, and create an information-based language, which is the foundation of many institutions. Illustration has often served the purpose of conveying literal information as it priority with the same goal of maximizing its audience. My personal project has been to dance between these two spaces.  At the moment, I don’t feel like I am discovering as much as learning from the problems each painting creates, both in regards to form and content.  In that way I think it is both cognitive and emotional.

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Esteban del Valle. Process shot working on a large piece for his show “Displacing Waves” (photo © courtesy of Esteban Del Valle)

 

Brooklyn Street Art: These people are often in groupings. How important are the relationships between them?

Esteban del Valle: Very important. The figures provide tension between each other and different elements of their respective narrative. They are used to depict a moment of a story which hopefully leads to questions from the viewer as to what, how, and why they ended up in this space.

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you give us a little background on the theme of “Displacing Waves” – are these political waves, energetic waves, historical/cyclical ebbs and flows?

Esteban del Valle: All of the above. It began as a thought regarding the pushing and pulling of gestures between the backgrounds and foregrounds of my paintings, allowing the abstraction to impose itself back on top of the illustration. I found that when this happened, I couldn’t help but read the arbitrary gestures as having a narrative function. They became clouds, fire, waves, etc. This reflected my feelings regarding the content as I tried to understand my role in it all. What did it mean to be displaced and/or being an agent of displacement, which sometimes occurs simultaneously. I began to think about oppression as a byproduct of power grabs, like ripples from a splash. It struck me as a terrifyingly poetic image, something like a person trying to use force to posses a single wave in an ocean.

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve painted outside and in studio a number of times over the last year. How is your work affected by the presence of an audience as contrasted with the solitude of the studio?

Esteban del Valle: I think I carry the “public” audience with me even in the studio, almost like a phantom limb left over from painting outdoors. But I will say that when I am alone in the studio, I try to push myself to find something new and uncomfortable. I take risks and see where they lead me, but I often do so with the idea that I am preparing the next stage of my work for public space. I think it’s important for artists to find time away from an audience to try to find the closest thing to their intuition, a voice less bothered by the suggestions and opinion of others. Then you reveal it to the world as a way of destroying it, leaving you to start all over and rediscover your differences.

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Esteban del Valle Displacing Waves will open this Saturday, January 9th at Superchief Gallery in Los Angeles. Click HERE for more details.

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BSA Film Friday: 08.07.15

BSA Film Friday: 08.07.15

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

Now screening :

1. DAZE at Wall\Therapy
2. Andreas Englund at Wall\Therapy
3. Risk: “Old Habits Die Hard”
4. Esteban Del Valle in Alaska
5. Trance by Slicer

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BSA Special Feature: DAZE at Wall\Therapy

New York graffiti and Street Art golden alum DAZE worked with local graff folks in Rochester during the recent Wall\Therapy event and this video captures the three walls he headlined. An original experimenter with different influences entering his compositions, DAZE works in the moment and is happy to share the experience, sometimes mentoring and allowing others to shine as well in a collaborative spirit.

Andreas Englund at Wall\Therapy

Coming at it from a different angle, Switzerlands Andreas Englund was doing only his second mural ever at Wall\Therapy. Of course he is an established fine artist so his transference was from canvas to brick with a decidedly painterly approach.

Risk: “Old Habits Die Hard”

“Risk was looked at as being an innovator, someone who was known for doing something before other people did,” says Roger Gastman of the west coast graffiti king whom he pays tribute to with this new book.

 

Esteban Del Valle in Alaska

“I just landed back in Brooklyn after spending 7 weeks in Alaskan wilderness as the artist in residence at Chulitna Lodge,” says Esteban.  See him painting in sun and rain a wild scene in a wild part of the world.

NUART Turns 15

And they are throwing da House out the window

…and BSA will be there to tell you all about it.

 

Trance by Slicer

His show at Juddy Roller opens tonight in the Melbourne neighborhood of Fitzroy for local boy Slicer, a graffiti writer turned abstract gestural painter. He says he is exploring interdimensional, hypnotic aspects of the psyche and you can see him here working himself into a sort of trance.

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.02.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.02.15

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Did you see the blue moon over New York Friday night? Looked to be more crimson actually. Welcome to August and the hot sticky band of dirty grit that comes with it. Escape from New York if you can, even if it is just on a lawn chair in a park. NYC parks have a lot of free movies this summer and a huge array of free concerts all through the remainder of dog days. Naturally there is great deal of artful expression on the streets available on your way to and from the venue, very dramatic in its own way.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, 52, Brolga, BustArt, Esteban Del Valle, Dain, Dasic, Don Rimx, Droid, JR, Julien de Casablanca, KFA, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Ron English, Rubin415, Sokar Uno, and Willow.

Top image above >>>  London Kaye. This is perhaps the artist’s largest piece and, as is the artist’s practice, it was made entirely with crocheted yarn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KFA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English. Hot Pink Temper Tot. Zephyr. For LoMan Art Fest 2015/L.I.S.A. Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain for LoMan Art Fest 2015/L.I.S.A. Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 . Dasic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle . Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bikismo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Portrait of Indian girl Dongria Kohnd. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Portrait of Iranian kid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Willow. Portrait of Rwandan child with Emu turban. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR. Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia. For Mural Arts Program “Open Source” Series. (photo Steve Weinik. Courtesy Mural Arts Program).

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Sokar Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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52 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Julien De Casabianca (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BustArt and shades of Lichtenstein in Basel, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Bustart)

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BustArt. Basel, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Bustart)

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Brolga goes skinny dipping to beat the summer heat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Felis traces flight patters with tape (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Felis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Droid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Baphomet (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Flying over New York State. July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.14.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.14.15

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Hillary Clinton was on Roosevelt Island yesterday formally announcing her candidacy under blue skies with an enthusiastic crowd speaking about income inequality and the poor and sounding more populist than ever. Let’s see if she can stretch the 2 Billion Dollars in donations she is reported to have raised all the way to next November. It all adds up quickly bro, and before you know it, you just blew a billion!

Wonder if she saw the Hot Tea pool while she was there on the island.

This weekend is the annual Welling Court community mural party in Queens. Don’t miss it. Run on almost no budget it features over a hundred muralists who always dig the friendly neighborhood vibe thanks to organizers Alison and Garrison Buxton.

And of course we are seeing a lot of new dope stuff on the streets…

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Brolga, Chris RWK, Dasic, Esteban Del Valle, James Bullough, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, QRST, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Rubin415, SheWolf, Sonni, Tats Cru, Wing, and WK Interact.

Top image above >>> Paper Skaters upping the game (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Paper Skaters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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New Zealander Owen Dippie has a small show at Low Brow Artique Gallery and though we don’t feature gallery images too often, this painting seems like something you would like. His marriage of Raphael and Haring is a bit of mashup genius; a Renaissance Madonna and Radiant Baby. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Owen Dippie at Low Brow Artique Gallery. Show is now open to the general public. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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James Bullough for Sugarlift Studios. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact is back on the street this week showing you his nunchucks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact with Vandalog’s Caroline Caldwell as muse. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle does a piece named “real estate” for Sugarlift Studios, presumably in reference to the value his work is adding to the building and the neighborhood. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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QRST  has a few new endangered (extinct?) anthropocenes on the street, along with some burnt real estate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tats Cru for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Soni for Sugarlift Studios. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato updates his son’s portrait with Logan Hicks providing patterned background for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SheWolf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ramiro Davaro-Comas for Sugarlift Studios. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brolga (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 for Sugarlift Studios. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris – Veng . Roborts Will Kill for Sugarlift Studios. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Coney Island, NYC. June 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

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

Now screening :

1. BSA PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” Documentation by Dario Jurilli, Urban Nation, Berlin.

SONG:
“Pipedream“ feat. Tok Tok by PARASITE SINGLE

2. Urban Nation Berlin and BSA: PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” by Talking Projects

 

Today we debut two videos on BSA Film Friday that have just been released in support of PERSONS OF INTEREST, our curated program for Urban Nation last month in Berlin. The Project M/7 was all about honoring the practice of cultural exchange between the borough of Brooklyn and the City of Berlin.

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Artists from both cities have been collaborating and influencing each other for years and we were honored to work with such a talented and varied group of Brooklyn-based artists who each came at the project from very different perspectives. We follow a philosophy that says “honor the creative spirit in each person” first and great amazing things will follow.

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While it is challenging the structures that have codified art through centuries, we deeply regard the art that took root on the streets as democratic and idiosyncratic and as something that is given to all of us. This movement doesn’t necessarily require or benefit from gatekeepers and exclusivity to prove its value to a culture – we see it every day.

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And speaking of talent, our hats off to the driving forces behind these two videos which tell different stories about the same program. Our partners at Urban Nation augmented the program with ideas of their own and grew the scope of our original ideas further. We admire the point of view taken by the documentary style video that appears first because it captures the message and the atmosphere we had hoped to engender – one of mutual support and respect. PERSONS OF INTEREST honors the artist and the muse. As artists and directors we know that this kind of thinking actually goes a long way – and art can save lives and hearts and minds – we’ve been lucky to see it.

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The second video is styled more as a music video, an atmospheric pastiche that plays on the second meaning associated with the words “Persons of Interest” – one where graffiti and Street Art overlap with the darker aspects of a subculture that is transgressive. Carefully not dipping into cliché territory, the stories woven here give a serious nod to the graffiti/skater/tattoo/BMX cultures – which among many other influencers are in the DNA of, have given birth to today’s art in the streets.  Its a cool concept and it produces a few surprises.

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We hope you dig both of these works.

Our sincerest thanks to the videographers, musicians, stylists, performers, technical experts, participants, administrators, artists, marketers, directors, poets, captains and dreamers who make this stuff happen.

 

URBAN NATION PROJECT M/7
“Persons of interest” curated by Jaime Rojo & Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art

ARTISTS:
DAIN
GAIA
DON RIMX
SWOON
SPECTER
ESTEBAN DEL VALLE
CHRIS STAIN
NOHJCOLEY
CAKE
EL SOL 25
ICY&SOT
ONUR DINC
KKADE
NEVERCREW
DOT DOT DOT
ANDREAS ENGLUND

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See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

Behind the Scenes for the Brooklyn-Berlin Pop-Up

Last Saturday the 14th the public was invited to an open reception to meet the artists who had flown to Berlin to create new portraits for Urban Nation (UN), curated by BSA.

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Don Rimx checks his original illustration on his phone while creating much larger color version on the wall at the UN Gallery Pop-Up show (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The companion show for “Persons of Interest” at the UN Gallery is a pop-up show by the same Brooklyn artists whose portrait works were in the windows of the future museum but there were two important differences from those installations:

1. The artist had no limitations or guidelines regarding the subject or style of their chosen piece
2. The installation was to be mounted directly on the wall and not for sale.

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After asking each artist to research and select their “person of interest” for the main windows and façade of the UN, it only seemed fair that we put no restrictions on the content or inspiration for their other piece for the opening to allow more free expression.

While we like gallery shows that sell art it felt much more natural to see the artists hit the walls directly as they would on the street – from floor to ceiling and side by side, they created a sort of continuum that lead out of the gallery doors out to the walls of this much-decorated city.

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Don Rimx “Ache”, a bendicion in the spirit of his birthplace of Puerto Rico.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because these new artworks will have a limited run that ends in their destruction, the experience for the gallery goer of viewing them is an acknowledgement that the roots of this art-making practice embraces its ephemeral quality.

Something about that fact makes the work more immediate, more consequential, knowing that the work you are viewing on the street may not be there tomorrow. Each one of these artists knows this on the street, something another kind of artist may find difficult to accept or incorporate into their thinking.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the first couple of days everyone was recovering from serious NY-Berlin jet lag, and a handful of the artists were wearing the same clothes they arrived in while  waiting for their luggage that was stuck in Düsseldorf because of a strike by bag handlers. One artist missed his plane, others got a little lost on the metro, and there were two lost phones – but these are small problems once you are confronted with a blank wall next to 11 peers on which to create something amazing.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a prospect full of opportunities and maybe a little bit of anxiety, but each artist brought their A-game and knew they were in a supportive environment. They also created it – reaching out to help with a brush or a ladder or can of paint, a word of advice and some problem solving too. Ultimately they were total professionals with skillz to lay down. By adapting and excelling at their work, the collective effect that this eclectic harmony produced clearly energized the crowd that overflowed onto the sidewalks Saturday night.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The result on the gallery walls is an acid rainbow pop of personality, metaphor, text, pattern, socio/political commentary, activism, and a tribute to ancestors. Each artist brought their individual style and approach to gallery walls in much the same way that appears on the street. For a few it was the first time meeting while others were long-time friends and clearly some were fans of each others work.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One coincidence that sort of blew us away was that Don Rimx and Specter both told us that their pieces were meant to be a “blessing” to their hosts; Rimx featuring a re-worked traditional image of a Puerto Rican grandmother and overflowing bucket of water – “the source of life” he said, and Specters post-modern repetition of leaves from a plant that he said you would bring someone as a gift. Neither had consulted with the other or us, and yet both mounted these pieces side-by-side.

Any day you get to work with artists is a good day – especially driven dynamic talented ones who are always challenging themselves, digging deeper to pull out something that speaks, that means something. These few precious days in Berlin with these few artists were very good days indeed for us and we hope for them too.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s undulating biomorphic and ornate paper cuts were at center stage of the gallery, wrapped around the columns in the middle of the room.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olivia from Swoon’ Studio working on the installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter took off his shoes to create but remained in his long-johns while waiting for his luggage to arrive a day and a half after him. This plant was understated and yet commanded attention – this guy is one of the most intellectually adventurous in his street practice, easily sliding between mediums and concepts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain prepped his wall by tagging the surface multiple times in multiple colors and mucking it up with a roller – effectively bringing the street into the gallery so he could paste his new longer form enigmatic collage portrait on it and within the sea of colors and texture. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain likes to work alone so he took his body parts and pieces into the adjacent store room to assemble and reassemble, spray, color, cut out, selectively damage or damask – a process that allows for experimentation and discovery while the artist relies on some intuitive guidance to get to the final piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain and Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Some place in there you’ll find Chris Stain at work on his piece – an artist whose work always reflects the people you see on the street and in your neighborhood. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain brings a bit of Brooklyn to Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia’s gallery piece was directly related to his portrait of Fereshta Ludin that he completed for the “Persons of Interest” window installation. An artist who makes a fulsome study of his subject matter and the historical/social/political/anthropological factors that surround it – Gaia here incorporated the marching mass of right wing anti-Islamic Pegida demonstrators as a backdrop to a disembodied draped head scarf, a symbol of religious expression by Muslim women. Posted on the front, with dropped shadow to pop it forward, is a published interview with Ms. Ludin -who attended the opening reception last Saturday, meeting the artist and us in person for the first time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia, Ms. Farestha Ludin and Steven P. Harrington (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia and Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 and the German translation of “Here today, gone tomorrow”, his reference to the ephemerality of the graffiti/street art game, and perhaps larger existential considerations. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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For some, these are two essential products to survive while painting in a foreign country (or at home) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot used this opportunity to create something more abstract than the work that they are known for, which can be quickly understood. According to a few people at the opening, they liked it more than the brother’s typical work for that reason, so it was successful in that respect. Icy explained that it is a crouching figure with a mashup of a destroyed city within it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nice Keds dude… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake . Swoon . Dain  . Gaia . Chris Stain  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon . El Sol 25 . Esteban Del Valle . NohJColey . Gaia CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx . Specter . Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Project M/7 “Persons Of Interest” Street level exhibition and the Pop-Up show are currently on view and free to the general public at:

URBAN NATION
Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 10.00 -18.00

 http://www.urban-nation.net/

 

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Complete “Persons of Interest”: Brooklyn in Berlin

Complete “Persons of Interest”: Brooklyn in Berlin

All the Works Completed for Project M/7 at Urban Nation with BSA

Our trip to Berlin with 12 of Brooklyn’s finest street artists was a quintessential cultural exchange; bringing together artists, curators, social activists, ministers of art, museum board CEOS, collectors, gallerists, fans, and the director of a future museum called Urban Nation. The seventh Project M, a program to draw artists and attention to the enormous UN haus while it is under construction, was called “Persons of Interest”. All week we got to meet interesting people – not a surprise in this raw cultural hot spot that bubbles with an effervescent underground and creative laboratory that is full of youthful vigor and serendipity.

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How fitting then that our first youthful arrivals were Icy & Sot, who set the tone with their 4 story portrait of an anonymous Brooklyn woman with “Freedom” scrawled across her face, an iconic scene of the celebrants at Berlin’s fallen wall inside her. With one of the brothers turning 24 that week, it was even more touching to see them marking an important event that predated him by one year – a new generation of artists helping us identify what events of the modern age are truly touchstones.

The 176 piece stencil had taken about 10 days for them to cut back in Brooklyn and the brothers methodically sprayed their missive to Berlin’s people over the course of 5 more days. This, their largest mural ever, was enormous and peaceful and an incredible act of discipline, determination, and dedication to teamwork.

 

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot. A passer by spans a photo of the completed mural with her iPad. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Persons of Interest” was meant to celebrate the connections between the lively artists communities in these sister cities over the last few decades, and being in Berlin felt like home to most of the artists in many ways. The curatorial vision was also meant to counter the criticism of many of the new Street Art mural festivals that have taken hold in cities around the world that they are not considering their hosts and to help focus on the neighborhoods where the new works appear.

 

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake at work on her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undeniably the Internet has supercharged this worldwide peoples’ art movement and has allowed us to learn about and connect with artists and their street work as we never would have encountered previously. It also has created a strata of international artists whose names appear again and again on these festival lists and while it is sort of exciting, it also is producing a sort of cultural imperialism that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of locals who don’t feel a connection to the artists or the art works that remain in their neighborhoods long after the festival has ended.

Our aim with “Persons of Interest” was to suggest a new model that may also be considered, one that is based on impactful work and meaningful exchange.

From this experiment that took us roughly six months to conceive, organize, and execute, we discovered two things:

1. Artists actually like to do research and create art that is meaningful and relevant to their personal stories, and
2. Many street passersby and art audiences are elated to find work that they can relate to – that reflects their lives, history, and culture.

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Cake at work on her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each of the artists had really challenged themselves to learn about the city they were making work for, and each had a story that also spoke of their own. Every day we were learning from them and they were learning from each other and without hesitation our hosts were schooling us as well.

Of course it helps when you are working with a dynamic urban contemporary art expert like Yasha Young, who has a deep well of ideas about community and more connections than the WiFi router at a One Direction concert. All week we were treated to a rotating list of visiting photographers, videographers, art directors, reporters, radio hosts, writers, culture mavens — and to many artists who were in town to put up new walls, show us their black books and iPhoto libraries, or just to meet their New York friends who were painting in the gallery.

 

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Dain on the left with Gaia on the right at work on their portraits for “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shout out to Onur Dinc, Andreas Englund, Herakut, The Never Crew, KKade, Various & Gould, Strok, David Walker, FKDL, James Bullough, Vermibus, Roland Henry, Nika Kramer, Butterfly, Mark Rigney and other very cool well-wishers. While we’re at it, we all send a gold-plated shout out to the three women who kept us all cared for in so many ways in the gallery and on-site at the UN – Alejandra, Elisabetta, and Ana were indispensable.

 

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Dain at work on his portrait of Marlene Dietrich. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain. Portrait of Marlene Dietrich. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking of meeting interesting people, a huge highlight of the program for us was when two of the artists got to meet their “Person of Interest” face to face. We had arranged a surprise visit of one of them; NohJColey had no idea that Katharina Oguntoye would walk on the sidewalk in front of the UN and peer in the window where he was preparing his portrait of her.

To witness the enthusiasm with which they greeted one another and to hear them excitedly asking and answering each others questions regarding his work as an artist in Brooklyn and hers as an Afro German feminist in Berlin was the epitome of art as a catalyst for cultural exchange. We didn’t know life could be so rich.

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Gaia at work on his portrait of Fereshta Ludin. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia’s person of interest, Fereshta Ludin also attended the opening in person on Saturday night, the first time that the two had met in person. Only two days before a Berlin law had been overturned allowing Muslim school teachers to wear headscarves – and Ms. Ludin has been a social activist advocating for the right for the last decade and a half.

The politics around this of course are highly charged and there have been xenophobic right-wing marches against Muslims and others in their defense in the streets in Berlin in recent months. Meeting Ms. Ludin in person and seeing her reaction to Gaia’s portrait of her gave such a powerful additional dimension to the entire experience of “Persons of Interest” that we never could have predicted when we first conceived of it. Gaia said it was a “life affirming moment”.

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Gaia’s portrait of Fereshta Ludin in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Probably what is most gratifying is when you see someone’s eyes light up with recognition at seeing one of their icons brought to life. One woman told us that she couldn’t believe that El Sol 25 knew Hannah Höch so well. Was it that she couldn’t imagine a former graff writer honoring the central female figure of Berlin’s Dada movement? We were shocked when a UN board director told us Marlene Dietrich had grown up in the same neighborhood where this new DAIN portrait of her was going up – we even met someone who went to her funeral here in ’92!

In the final analysis once again we witnessed the creative spirit alive and well in the street and in the gallery. Unlike early graffiti writers, these artists come from different backgrounds and disciplines – yet all intersected with art in the public sphere in New York; graffiti writers, muralists, painters, wheat-pasters, paper cutters… In Berlin you would have thought that they all had been working together for years, the collaborative spirit was so high – and luckily for us, Berlin welcomed them all.

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Gaia. Portrait of Fereshta Ludin. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Olivia from Swoon’s Studio at work on “Cairo”. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Olivia from Swoon’s Studio at work on “Cairo”. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon and her tribute to Turkish immigrants for “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The photo above captures the moment when NohJColey learns that Ms. Oguntoye is outside on the sidewalk looking at him through the window working on his portrait of her.

In the photo you see Ms. Oguntoye meeting NohJColey for the first time.

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey. Portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter at work on his portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter at work on his portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter. Portrait of Sally Montana in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter. Portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx at work on his portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx at work on his portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx. Portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle. Portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 at work on his portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 at work on his portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25. Portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain at work on his portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain at work on his portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain portrait of Charles Bukowski in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain. Portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Urban Nation Project M/7 “Persons of Interest” is currently on view on the streets of Berlin until June 22nd at Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany.

 

For more details on each artist’s Person of Interest click on the links below:

CAKE and Käthe Kollwitz, “Persons of Interest”

Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski – “Persons of Interest”

DAIN and Marlene Dietrich – “Persons of Interest”

Don Rimx and John A. Roebling – “Persons of Interest”

Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

El Sol 25 and Hannah Höch – “Persons of Interest”

GAIA and Fereshta Ludin – “Persons of Interest”

ICY & Sot and Berlin’s People – “Persons of Interest”

NohJColey and Katharina Oguntoye – “Persons of Interest”

Specter and Sally Montana – “Persons of Interest”

Swoon and Turkish Immigrants – “Persons of Interest”

____________

From Katherine Brooks at the Huffington Post, an interview with us and more images to recap.

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Dispatch from Germany: Pop-Up Show at UN Gallery with BSA

Dispatch from Germany: Pop-Up Show at UN Gallery with BSA

A great many things underway here in Berlin for the debut of “Persons of Interest”, a show of 12 artists who have worked on the streets of Brooklyn bringing their A Game to Berlin. This group of talented people have transformed the Urban Nation Pop-Up gallery with an astounding array of styles, skillz, techniques, and a lot of imagination. We couldn’t be happier with the results. The camaraderie is strong and the creative display directly on the gallery walls is iron-clad.

If you are in Berlin anytime Saturday come see the windows being installed in the UN Haus and at 7 pm come to the reception. Both events are curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo co-founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com and we will be very happy to meet you.

Here is a preview of the Pop-Up Exhibition…more to come

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Swoon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon with Chris Stain on the backgorund. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey asses his progress. Swoon on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter tries some yoga. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (“Here Today”) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy and Sot (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

Click HERE for the FaceBook event and more details about UN Project M/7 Persons of Interest and Pop-Up Exhibition.

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Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to Esteban Del Valle and ask him why he chose his person of interest, George Grosz.

An interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, Del Valle has been rendering figures and scenarios on walls here and in his native Chicago, San Antonio, Kansas City, Spartanburg – even at 5 Pointz, the graffiti holy place in Queens that was recently buffed and destroyed. A performance artist in the public sphere as well as painter, his complex stories run deep with his contemplations on an imbalanced world. His is an activist approach to tearing apart and rebuilding to reveal influences, emotions, and motivations. In these ways and others he is not unlike his selected subject, George Grosz, a pivotal figure in Berlin’s Dada movement.

A German artist known especially for his drawings of people as caricature during the roaring days and nights of Berlin’s 1920s, Grosz was acerbic, crude and corrosive in his depiction of corruption and abuse of power. Eventually moving to New York and settling down in Bayside, Queens, the artist continued his work as a painter and cultural critic. For his portrait of Grosz, Del Valle inserts the artist into Grosz’ own 1926 painting, Eclipse of the Sun, along with ex Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley and some headless businessmen. Too much to describe here, Grosz can speak for himself:

My drawings expressed my despair, hate and disillusionment, I drew drunkards; puking men; men with clenched fists cursing at the moon. … I drew a man, face filled with fright, washing blood from his hands … I drew lonely little men fleeing madly through empty streets. I drew a cross-section of tenement house: through one window could be seen a man attacking his wife; through another, two people making love; from a third hung a suicide with body covered by swarming flies. I drew soldiers without noses; war cripples with crustacean-like steel arms; two medical soldiers putting a violent infantryman into a strait-jacket made of a horse blanket … I drew a skeleton dressed as a recruit being examined for military duty. I also wrote poetry. —Grosz  Friedrich, Otto (1986). [note] Before the Deluge. USA: Fromm International Publishing Corporation. pp. 37. [/note]

“I believe art is inherently powerful,” says Del Valle, “and that power can be used to reflect and reshape reality. Much like I aspire to do, George Grosz used satirical imagery to call attention to social inequalities while blurring the line between illustration and painting. His poignant content and aesthetic seems just as relevant today as it did in post 1920’s Berlin.”

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Esteban Del Valle in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle in New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Check out the Facebook page for PERSONS OF INTEREST

See Full Press Release HERE

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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