All posts tagged: Ethel Seno

Ethel Seno : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Ethel Seno : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

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As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Author, editor, curator, and cultivated corraler of unruly Street Artists for exhibitions like “Art in the Streets”, Wynwood Walls, Coney Art Walls, and this falls’ “Magic City” in Dresden, which she co-curated with Carlo McCormick, Ethel Seno is the sage point person for many Street Art, graffiti, and contemporary art heads. Endlessly curious and steeped in the geo-political influences and activist roots of Street Art, Seno shares with us this powerful image that shook her conscience this year.


Ieshia Evans in a Black Lives Matter protest
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Date: July, 2016.
Photograph by Max Becherer / AP

I love this photo by Max Becherer, which went viral this summer, because it is an inspiring example of peaceful resistance against state violence. The photo is of a nurse named Ieshia Evans in a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July 2016 after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling.

Unfortunately the November presidential election marks 2016 like a historical turning point, and makes it more urgent to act on what we believe in; to stand up against any unprovoked aggression, bullying, or terror being inflicted on innocent people, and against the destruction of our social and natural environments.

I am planning to go to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st because so much is at stake. As a good friend said, we must never normalize rhetoric rooted in fear, hate, greed, and ignorance. My wish for the new year is that we are braver and more empowered to move forward together.

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Photograph by Max Becherer / AP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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Belgian urban naturalist ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville . ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andy K. detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anders Gjennestad AKA Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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Replete (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Truly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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

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

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The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Full list of participating artists:

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

 

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

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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

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

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

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


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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

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

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

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

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

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Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so.

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jens is also a local historian and cultural observer so whether we were talking about a graffiti tag, aerosol hand styles, the Fürstenzug mural of 23,000 porcelain tiles, the overflow of the Elbe River during a European flood in 2002 or the architectural subterfuge of a former cigarrete factory/mosque named Yenidze that escaped allied bombings in 1945, he proved a friendly, adept and educational host.

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Optic Ninja – a hand rendered wheat paste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We did some investigating on our own later through Dresden’s more bohemian/neglected gritty neighborhoods but that first tour clued us in to some of the magic that can be found in this city that lies only two hours south of Berlin. The multitude of skills and voices on the street added additional color to the rich conversations we were invited to contribute to by sage and storied writer, critic and chief curator Carlo McCormick. Carlo generously asked us to be a part of his vision of a “Magic City”, a constructed simulacrum and somewhat surreal streetscape with 30+ artists creating new works of many disciplines and mediums inside a former plane engine factory here, and for years we have provided a platform for this form of storytelling on BSA so it’s fantastic to bring to a theater setting here.

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Optic Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McCormick has an intense affinity for the artists and the creative spirit that rivals how extensively he is versed in the antecedents, undercurrents, and greater intellectual and cultural implications of this world that is loosely described as Street Art or Urban art. We’re honored that Carlo tapped us to create a BSA Film Program to work within this newly designed city and to expand the definitions and perceptions of freewill art in the public sphere. Likewise we are grateful to the incredibly talented and ingenious Magic City team under the leadership of Christoph Scholz for inviting us on board for this project – all of which we’ll tell you more about soon.

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“Auch das Team von Brooklyn Street Art (Steven P. Harrington und Jaime Rojo) und das Kuratorenteam um Carlo McCormick und Ethel Seno freut sich, Euch als Magic Citizens ab 1. Oktober in der Magic City in der Zeitenströmung Dresden begrüßen zu dürfen. Der Vorverkauf startet am 3. August!” #MagicCityLife  (Photo © Frank Embacher)

In the meantime, here are new images from Dresden for you along with some more information about the upcoming show.

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Frm-Kid . Otecki for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in DresdenFriedrichstadt . Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Other . Saddo for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curarted by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mono Gonzalez. Dabtar . Gregor for Time for Murals. Curated by Jens Besser and Denise Ackermann. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Graphic Surgery for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JBAK. Detail. For CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ryan Spring Dooely . Moneyless for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenor . H101 for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artourette (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A day and night diptych from Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No Name . No Game. – An “open source” roller tag repeated often and seen in many locations in Dresden. We found this one poignant because of the placement of a commercial real estate developer above it, effectively showcasing two uneasy players in the ongoing discussion about the role of art and artists in the gentrification of neighborhoods. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ZCKR Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMC . GWK . ZBG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For more check out #magiccitylife  magiccity.de

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A version of this article was also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Film Friday: 09.25.15

BSA Film Friday: 09.25.15

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

Now screening :

1. OLEK in India Covers a ‘Rain Baseras’ with Community Help.
2.
Coney Art Walls 2015 by Ken Yamamura
3. KWEST: Graffiti Sculpture at Roskilde Festival
4. Björn Holzweg Mural for Knotenpunkt 15

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BSA Special Feature: OLEK in India Covers a ‘Rain Baseras’ with Community Help.

St+art Delhi 2015: Olek

Today a brand new video on OLEK’s collaborative public project in India, giving you a much more comprehensive understanding of the involvement of folks from the community who all worked together with the Street Artist’s guidance and vision to create a piece of public work. The word “inspiring” can sometimes be applied to the work that artists do. Here OLEK and the many participants show us the level of dedication, collaboration, participation, effort and appreciation that contribute to this project can give the word “inspiring” a truly expansive meaning.

“Several thousand homeless people live in New Delhi for whom the government has set up ‘Rain Baseras’ (night shelters) in various parts of the city. However, these go mostly unnoticed by others living in the city, much like the homeless people themselves. Olek is one of the worlds leading crochet artists, and with the St+art India foundation, she made a massive artpiece adorned a nigh shelter in Sarai Kale Khan, to bring attention to the homeless and the ‘Rain Basera’ Project.”

For more on this read BSA’s piece from March, 2015 : Gender, Caste, and Crochet : OLEK Transforms a Shelter in Delhi

 

 

Coney Art Walls 2015 by Ken Yamamura

 A quick look at a few of the artists installing this spring at Coney Art Walls by Ken Yamamura, with some audio from Ethel Seno.

 

KWEST: Graffiti Sculpture at Roskilde Festival

 “I started this as a way of taking these letter forms that I had been creating and produce them out of a tangible material,” says Kwest of this 16 year quest. If only it was as easy as he makes it sound.

The Canadian graffiti artist visited the Roskilde Festival 2015 to build the World’s biggest graffiti letter sculpture. See the process of creating this monumental piece.

Björn Holzweg Mural for Knotenpunkt 15

“Nature is not your friend,” so goes the adversarial stance of bounty hunters and survivalists. It’s true, it is a dog-eat-dog world and sometimes feels like survival of the fittest. You may think that Björn Holzweg is rather driving the point home here with this foreboding and dark video of his latest mural for Knotenpunkt 15, the contemporary and urban art festival in Hamburg.

“Björn Holzweg, born 1979 in Leipzig, lives and works in Hamburg since 2004. His paintings, sculptures, drawings and aquarelles are mainly shaped very graphically. He deals a lot with simple geometrical figures. For him, they are symbolic for our society: calculating, repeating and everlasting. With repetitive arrangements of those, he creates new spaces and dimensions.”

 

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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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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

An international team of heavy hitting women in Street Art are the centerpiece of the Wynwood District this weekend as Jeffrey Deitch returns to Miami to co-curate Women on the Walls. Reprising a more central role for Wynwood Walls that he played when Tony Goldman first established this outdoor mural playground, Deitch says he is reserving center stage exclusively for the women this year as a way of highlighting their history and growing importance in the graffiti/street art scenes around the world.

“It’s to correct the historical imbalance,” says Deitch as he talks about the new wall murals painted this week and the accompanying gallery exhibition showcase that celebrates the contributions of outstanding women artists in a scene that, with a few notable exceptions, has been primarily run by the guys.

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Miss Van at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“After this historical imbalance there was something that needed to be addressed about the misperception that graffiti is just a boys club,” says the enthusiastic bespectacled curator who shares the role for this show with the team of Janet Goldman, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, Meghan Coleman, and Ethel Seno.

As with the Living Walls Atlanta festival on the streets in 2012, this show gives full voice to women in a holistic and powerful way that rather redefines the context of a graffiti/street art/tattoo/skater scene which sometimes veers too close to being overtly sexist, if not outright misogynist in it’s depiction of women and their roles.

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Miss Van at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Maybe it’s the scene itself – much of the graff / Street Art scene has always had partially skewed perceptions about the gals because they were traditionally populated almost exclusively by males.  Since work on the streets is a mirror that reflects society back to itself, it makes sense that we’re looking at a funhouse on the walls sometimes. But you don’t have to accept the narrative entirely and shows like this argue for greater authorship of the visual dialogue. Right now in civic life you’ll see strong positive images as more women are assuming more history-making leadership roles than ever, but there are also a lot messages in media and pop culture that portray women as little more than one dimensional giggly jiggly sex toys.

For Parisian artist Fafi, a show with this theme could not be more timely.

“The atmosphere about women these days is really fucked up, especially towards younger ones,” says the street artist as she relates the sentiment of conversations at a late dinner she recently had with co-participants Miss Van and Maya Hayuk.

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Miss Van (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“There’s something in the air that’s telling us we absolutely need to talk about empowering women in our female artist life,” she explains as she describes the condescending and denigrating attitudes she still encounters from some men even after she has been painting on the streets and in studio for more than two decades.

Fafi says that there are still some who tell her and her female peers that what they do is cool “for a woman”, and more worryingly, “it’s something that comes up more and more often nowadays.”

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Maya Hayuk at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“It seems like in 2013 it is almost a passé sort of gesture that a bunch of women would have to get together to make a statement when we’ve all been doing this for so long,” says Maya Hayuk, whose bright geometric patterns were on the forefront of a current Street Art fascination with the abstract. “Hopefully in the future we don’t have to do ‘all women’ or ‘all men’ or ‘all anything’ shows,” she says sort of wistfully, “We can do shows on ‘all awesome’.”

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

So perhaps Deitch and Co. are rebalancing much more than they realize by creating this environment that values the contributions of artists who also happen to be women.  Whether it was their original intention or not, the experience this week for many participants has been about empowerment – and networking. The complexity of the list itself speaks to the varied and unique stylistic influences that are now brought to the street by women and a certain validation of these voices is reflected in the fact that many here have had commercial success on their own terms.

“I think it’s a great privilege to be here with these women artists, to be in a show with them, and to create this work in a public space,” says the Polish born Brooklynite Olek, who has made a singular name for herself on the street in the last handful of years by covering bicycles, shopping carts, public sculptures, even people with her hand-crocheted pink and purple camouflage.  We have called her the Christo/Jeanne Claude of the streets, which gives an apt sense of the skin-like quality of her wrapping as well as the interventionist instinct she follows, but it doesn’t quite tap the personal level of involvement Olek has with her pieces.

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

For Wynwood she has been hand-crocheting covers for the large heavy boulders that dot the inner grounds of the complex in a blunt and rugged manner. “Of course I love these rocks because I like to highlight things in the existing environment and to give them a new life, a new beginning,” she says while sitting on the grass joining the pieces of her new coverings by hand.

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Does she think the energy and atmosphere here is positive? “All the girls are really wonderful and I love working with them – we are all just working here, eating, talking, and I think we have made some friendships that will last a very long time.”

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

So why does Deitch think it is important to create a show that specifically draws attention to women artists at this time?

“It’s a very simple thing,” he says, “The first reason is that some of the major talents in Street Art are women.” He then speaks about the individual contributions and talents of some of the participants this week before he comes to Lady Pink, the NYC graffiti artist who painted trains in the 70s and who went on to serve as an active role model to girls and young women around the world, giving them confidence to assert and explore their creative talents.  “We wanted to celebrate Lady Pink, whose work is better than ever.”

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Lady Pink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lady Pink. Her sketch for her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Speaking of the 70s, the other woman in the show whose work extends back to those times is photographer Martha Cooper, who shares her work here for this article and whose images of the new walls will be projected in the gallery show tonight.  Deitch can not be more pleased with the results of the work from this new collection of artists, and traffic on the streets from fans has been thick and exuberant, whether it is for South Africa’s Faith 47 or London’s Lakwena.

“These walls by Maya Hayuk, Miss Van and Sheryo are outstanding and as fresh as ones that many male street artists are doing now,” he says as he talks about the new collection of work this year.

Singapore’s Sheryo, who also spends much of her time in Brooklyn, says that her walls actually reflect the extended two year aerosol “spraycation” around the world that she’s been on with her male cohort The Yok (her assistant this week). “We have been chasing summer weather, we love warm weather!” she says as she looks up at her wall.  “My characters are seen painting, surfing, drinking rum coconuts and chilling out around palm trees and lush forest environments, which is what we usually do on our vacations.”

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

As with many of the women in Women on Walls Sheryo has been in a number of these Street Art festival type of events as well as numerous ad hoc painting sessions on roofs, climbing fences, hitting walls, all primarily with men. How does the environment change when all this female energy hits the streets? Not to trash the guys, but Sheryo’s response is very similar to women we spoke with here and at Atlanta’s Living Walls last year.

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“It is a whole lot of fun! Girls are way more caring and there are a lot more hugs going down, which I love.” To be fair, boys probably give good hugs too.

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

For Fafi, the motivation is also simple for her and many of the solid talents involved in this show, “We felt it’s the time now more than ever for more “Girl Power”. The goal of all this is to inspire younger girls to do the best they can, to search for new ideas, and to come up with something new and different as soon as it gets too easy and comfortable. I want them to be inspired.”

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Fafi at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Fafi at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Aiko at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Aiko (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Some male alumni of previous Wynwood Walls shows gather with many of the Women on the Walls crew for a group shot here by Martha Cooper. Front row from left to right: Kashink, Janet Goldman, Lady Pink, Miss Van, Aiko and Maya Hayuk,. Second row from left to right: Shepard Fairey, Olek, Jessica Goldman, Sheryo, Lakwena, Jeffrey Deitch, Faith 47 and Dal East. Back row from left to right: Ron English, Fafi, Myla and Kenny Scharff. Wynwood Walls. Miami, Florida. December 2013. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

 

Women on the Walls is on display in the Wynwood District of Miami. For more on Wynwood Walls click here.

Artists included are Aiko, Claw Money, Fafi, Faith 47, Jess & Katie, Kashink, Lady Pink, Lakwena, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Van, Myla, Olek, Shamsia Hassan, Sheryo, Swoon, and Too Fly.

With Special Thanks to Ethel Seno.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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BSA at LA MOCA for “Street Art Stories” Presentation and Panel

HuffPost Arts and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) hosted a presentation and panel discussion presented by Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo this past Saturday at the Ahmanson Auditorium with 150 guests. Five days after the closing of the record breaking “Art in the Streets” show at LA MOCA, which was seen by over 200,000 visitors, BSA charted some new ground going forward in the ever evolving graffiti and street art movement.

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Panelists having a lively discussion at “Street Art Stories” hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA at Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand in downtown Los Angeles. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The panelists, who included HuffPost Arts Editor Kimberly Brooks and Street Art phenom Shepard Fairey, watched a presentation by Harrington and Rojo about a new storytelling direction that artists are bringing to the streets of New York and other cities around the world. With examples of relative newcomers not seen by many in the audience, they pointed to precursors from the last 40 years to this storytelling practice and questioned how its sudden growth may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.

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Steven P. Harrington talks about community murals and memorial walls to illustrate antecedents to the new movement of storytellers who engage passersby on a greater level than in the recent past.  Shown is a community mural by New York’s Tats Cru shot by and © of Martha Cooper.  (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

After a conversation with panelists Brooks, Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno that covered topics like the paucity of females in the street art scene, the influence of the Internet on “getting up”, and the significance of personal engagement in the work of many of today’s new street artists, Harrington and Rojo opened the discussion up the auditorium. Here topics ranged from LA’s evolving approach to Street Art to include public and permanent art, the influence of money on street artists, and how a show like “Art in the Streets” effectively influences the next generations’ perception of street art.

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BSA’s Steven P. Harrington gestures toward the screen while panelists look on in the front row. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The packed event was interesting enough to bring many audience members down to the stage after the show to continue the conversation and meet the panelists and LA MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, who took great interest in the presentation, talked with a number of people before taking off. Fairey, with his wife Amanda at his side and a healing black eye from his recent trip to Copenhagen (see his account for HuffPost Arts here) gamely took on questions from many and posed for pictures after the event and at the reception which HuffPost hosted afterward.

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During the presentation, Brooklyn Street Art talked about the use of Street Art as a way of addressing a variety of social and political issues, including this example of Shepard Fairey and the topic of peace. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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BSA co-founder and Director of Photography Jaime Rojo introduces the panelists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Brooklyn Street Art Co-founders Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington converse with esteemed panelists at “Street Art Stories”, hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA.

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Contemporary American Painter and the Founding Arts Editor of the Huffington Post, Kimberly Brooks next to street artist Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Shepard Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Marsea Goldberg, Director of New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, who since 1994 has launched or mobilized the careers of artists such as Shepard Fairey, Ed Templeton, Neckface, Faile, the Date Farmers, Judith Supine, and Bäst just to name a few. Next to Ms. Goldberg is Ken Harman, Managing Online Editor at Hi-Fructose Magazine, the owner and curator at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, and the creator and editor of the the “Art of Obama” website. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Ethel Seno, Curatorial Coordinator for the MOCA exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and the Editor of the book “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” published by Taschen. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Street art photographer Jaime Rojo of Brooklyn Street Art. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Edward Goldman, LA art critic, Huffpost blogger, and host of KCRW’s “Art Talk” for 20 years, poses a question on the effect of a big museum show like “Art in the Streets” on the new generation of would be street artists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Seno and Harman (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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The Ahmanson Auditorium for “Street Art Stories” at LA MOCA (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Thank you to Kimberly Brooks and our great panel. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Director of LA MOCA and co-curator of “Art in the Streets”, Jeffrey Deitch, talks with Shepard Fairey after the presentation and panel (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

MONICA ROACHE, JESSICA YOUN, CHRIS RICHMOND, DAVID BRADSHAW, JEFFREY DEITCH, LYN WINTER, PATRICK IACONIS, TANYA PATSAOURUS, TRAVIS KORTE, MELINDA BROCKA, TINA SOIKKELI, EUTH, ANDREW
HOSNER, CARLOS GONZALEZ, KIMBERLY BROOKS, MARSEA GOLDBERG, KEN HARMAN,SHEPARD FAIREY, ETHEL SENO, THE MOCA MUSEUM STAFF AND SECURITY,

THE HUFFINGTON POST, THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES (MOCA), BROOKLYNSTREETART.COM, HI-FRUCTOSE, JUXTAPOZ,

IMAGES IN PRESENTATION BY JAIME ROJO WITH ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY MARTHA COOPER, REVS PHOTO BY BECKI FULLER, and FAUXREEL PHOTOS BY DAN BERGERON

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Fun Friday 08.12.11

Fun-Friday

Fun Friday Stories this week

1. Opening Tonight “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (LA)
2. Anthony Lister’s Wall Still Shining
3. LUDO Gets Up Downtown LA
4. “Art in the Streets” Closes
5. Dabs and Myla at ThinkSpace Tomorrow (LA)
6. “Street Art Stories” Presentation and Panel Discussion at LA MOCA Saturday

Opening Tonight “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (LA)

If you are in LA tonight, please check out some New York stories at C.A.V.E. Gallery. The show is hung, the brand new pieces out back by Creepy, Gilf!, NohJColey, Adam Void, Hellbent, and Tiptoe are still wet, and Patrick just rollered a thick layer of black on the floors to cover up the mess we made. People from 7 or 8 countries have put in such personal and meaningful pieces, the quality is high, and so are a lot people in LA we’ve discovered. And there are a few surprises that you won’t believe – like Futura’s piece called “Brooklyn Street Art”, made of, guess what? And Nick Walker’s piece and accompanying mannequin will raise some eyebrows no doubt. It has been so great to work with these artists and these partners (ThinkSpace, C.A.V.E., Juxtapoz, LA FreeWalls, HuffPost Arts, LA MOCA) for the last half year to pull this together, and we are deeply indebted to everyone’s talents, vision, and positive attitudes. Before the doors are open, it feels like a total success.  Love you guys and gals more everyday.

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photo © Jaime Rojo

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A detail of NohJColey’s piece “Piss Pub” in the foreground. From Left to right: Radical, Miss Bugs, Hellbent and Swoon in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister’s Wall Still Shining

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It was sunny again in LA yesterday and we got a nice shot of this Anthony Lister piece that BSA curated with Daniel Lahoda for LA Freewalls. Pretty nice, huh?  For a full photo essay of the piece going up with images by Todd Mazer click here (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LUDO Gets Up Downtown

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LUDO was up a ladder again yesterday in a new spot in downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with LA FreeWalls and BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO’s new wall in Downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with LA FreeWalls and BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO’s new wall in Downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with LA FreeWalls and BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO’s new wall in Downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with LA FreeWalls and BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO’s new wall in Downtown Los Angeles in collaboration with LA FreeWalls and BSA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Art in the Streets” Closes

Monday was the last day for the largest exhibition of graffiti and street art under one roof at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), “Art in the Streets”. Over the last four months the expansive show gave a little over 200,000 people an opportunity to see and learn about and understand a great deal more about the history of this multifaceted scene which continues to grow and morph and evolve around the world. Congratulations to curators Jeffrey Deitch, Roger Gastman, and Aaron Rose for their tenacity and everyone who played a part in putting this show together, a real collaborative effort.

Dabs and Myla at ThinkSpace Tomorrow (LA)

Hundreds of household items have been painted, many of them interconnected with larger pieces, are all over the ThinkSpace Gallery right now as final prep is happening for tomorrow night’s Dabs and Myla show by the Melborne/LA couple who have been keenly tag teaming to finish everything on time. Tomorrow we’ll have some pics for you. In the meantime here’s an interview on Sour Harvest and on Juxtapoz.

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Dabs and Myla on the gallery wall at Thinkspace (photo courtesy the gallery)

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For more information about this show click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=23137

“Street Art Stories” Presentation and Panel Discussion at LA MOCA Saturday

Taking a look at one direction that Street Art is going today and talking about what it augers for the future as more artists are investing time and labor into narratives behind their pieces on the street. Really looking forward to this one!

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This event is at capacity. RSVP is closed.

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