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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

What a week! The New York Post cover says that Friday was a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” for Trump, but who among us is surprised about #Individual1 ? No one in Brooklyn, or his hometown Queens, or the City of New York, for that matter.

Now this national disaster opera is a 24 hour a day rolling dumpster fire that sells ads for TV and media companies – with no desire by them to make it end. Or as Leslie Moonves said famously about this institution-eroding tragedy: “It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS”.

And on that cheerful note, Happy Holidays to you! Sincerely. Best wishes to our Jewish friends now completing Hanukkah, to our African diaspora friends readying for Kwanzaa, to our Christian friends already in the Christmas spirit, to our pagan friends getting ready for Solstice, and to our atheist friends who are thinking positive about the New Year. We collectively are incredible and full or promise, if we can seize upon it and fulfill it.

And welcome to our last BSA Images of the Week for 2018! We can’t tell you how excited we are every week to share the new images of Street Art, graffiti, murals, and art in the streets that we find – mostly because their existence confirms the ever-present creative spirit that is flowing through the air like radio waves, waiting for us all to tune in to it and let it course through our minds and hearts. Next Sunday we present our Images of the Year and during this week will begin our year-end lists of top books, murals, postings of the year.

Then, as is our tradition, BSA readers will take over the site for the last couple of weeks of December to reflect on the year and tell us their Wishes and Hopes for 2019!

And here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $smell$907, Adrian Wilson, Blake2018, Bond TruLuv, City Kitty, Dee Dee, Ever Siempre, Gnome Surf, Jilly Ballistic, Kobra, Raf Urban, SicKid, and Vinny.

Top image: Adrian Wilson plays with words to reflect our pop culture trolling both Warhol and Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Landscape with graffiti. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty trolls Kobra. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don’t point your gun at me Sir! Blake2018 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jilly Ballistic appropriates an ad in the subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please do! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

$mell$ 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LA’s SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gnome Surf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinny (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ever & Friends (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utitled. SOHO, NYC. December 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Street View From Inside the Doors of Mexico City ; Galleries, Studios, Museums, and the Metro

A Street View From Inside the Doors of Mexico City ; Galleries, Studios, Museums, and the Metro

Street Art and graffiti and their relatives often go inside these days, including in Mexico City, where we recently found some interesting new intersections between urban art and contemporary art when we wandered off the streets into studio, gallery, and even museum spaces.

Here we’ll show you images from a few of these places, including; a versatile gallery and performance space that happens to serve pizza, a toy museum and the Street Art visionary who runs it who has facilitated some of the best installations around the city that you’ll see, a visit with a Mexican mural/fine artist who has made serious waves on the Street Art stage as well as museums, three Argentinians setting up a temporary art-making studio in preparation for a gallery show, and a serendipitous run-in with Keith Haring on a train in a metro station.

Bernardo Flores pays tribute to Mexican Luchadores on the walls, ceilings in the Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM) that features murals and tags by Street Artists throughout the exhibitions and up on the roof. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Perhaps taking its name from the largest cemetery in the city, or simply the Pantheon, the Roman temple with its multiple galleries leading off the grand rotunda, this Panteón opened in spring 2017 and is funded by Mexican pizza chain scion.

Inside a finely appointed 200 year old colonial mansion and former headquarters of the Mexican Academy of Language on Calle Donceles, one of the oldest streets in the city, the spacious two story building is now hosting a live concert stage with a bar off the pizza restaurant court on the first floor. Climb the winding stairs to discover an open balcony ringed with well-curated shows of current art movements that break your expectations in their diversity and quality, hung with care and well-lit in high-ceilings former libraries and entertaining salons, replete with hardwood floors and articulated cream and oak mouldings.

Motick. Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think frontiers are breaking apart across the world,” says director and curator Andres Medina, who is creating a blended focus on graffiti writers, Street Artists, master screen printers, illustrators, and painters whose work is informed by elements of street culture like tattoo, dark pop, skater culture.

The 9 month old series of exhibitions and shows have included group shows, installations, and pop up shops by Mexican street heavyweights like Street Artist/muralist Smithe, original 90s stencilist Watchavato, and modern stylemaster Buster Duque, who has helped out with some selected burners on the roof. The tight vision of the shows is quietly bringing inquisitive fans as well.

“So we are getting at least one international visitor per week who wants to know more about our projects,” he says. As an editor of zines and a student of films, he gradually has been defining his focus on curation with themes that have an almost personal touchstone that he develops with the artists along with curator Mariela Gomez, and they both speak about a need for gallery exhibitions to evolve.

KlaseOne. Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“One of the things that excites us the most is the idea of an exhibition as more of a ‘happening’. We want there to be a part that is graphic and a part that is an experience,” he says as he leads us to a separate white walled colonial space where handguns are made from molds in black wax and guests at the opening scrawled missives across makeshift walls related to violence in society. “It’s meant as an interactive critique,” he says, “these are guns that shoot ideas.”

Attendees are not typical art patrons interested only in collecting – for this show about violence and terror, “Dispara” by the Mexico City artist Ciler, the invited guests were policy makers, elected officials, journalists, even Tito Fuentes the lead singer of the popular rock band Molotov, as well as people directly affected by gun violence. “It was a pretty emotional night,” says Mariela Gomez, who recounts the fiery conversations that began when guests realized that they could express their thoughts about gun violence and organized crime, which is more-or-less openly terrorizing certain neighborhoods and cities in the country.

Ciler. “Dispara (nombre ficticio)”. Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ciler. “Dispara (nombre ficticio)”. Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wachavato. “No Esto No Es Lo Que Fue” Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wachavato. “No Esto No Es Lo Que Fue” Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Once everyone was here we found that everyone wanted to make art as well; so they all became part of ‘the happening’,” she says. Guests broke the guns, wrote screeds across the walls, even blasted black paint with a power tool “Everyone was covered in black dust and wax, were breathing some of it” she says,” which goes along with the concept of violence in society – no one can escape it really.”

Still young and at the behest of a fast food business, it’s unclear what kind of mandate Panteón has, but the owner has long term leased the historic building next door to further the show, which will now include his brother’s burger café and a freshly poured concrete mini-skate park and we climb a tattered yet elegant staircase to tour through grand raw spaces that will house martial arts, yoga training and yes, the occasional sports branded pop-up store. It’s a formula attempted before – life-style and entertainment intermixing with the plastic arts – and it will be good to see the integrity of the art game supported here. The balance is hard to strike, but it can be done.

Buster. Centro Cultural Panteón. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Museum of Toys and Art on the Streets

A Street Art proponent and personal brand champion, Roberto Shimizu is the second generation 30-something who is running the five-story, decade old Museo Del Juguete Antiguo (Antique Toy Museum) aka MUJAM with his ever-curious and professional collector father in the Colonia Doctores neighborhood. A stylistically unremarkable structure in the thick of this middle class eclectic cluster of cantinas, mechanics garages, and a hospital, most of the streets are named after famous physicians and many of the initial Street Artists who painted his parking lot and roof have also gone on to make names for themselves.

Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Circus. Detail. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a few hundred thousand toys carefully arranged in “toy environments” customized from industrial machinery and unusual found items, these surreal scenes may move animatronically or glitter under rotating lights – or get pinched and refracted through specialized viewers. If you are not high on something, there will be no need to do so before entering the meandering homemade and hand-loved MUJAM. Just unbutton your childhood imagination and you’ll find complete display cases of original illustrations and figures of Mexican comedic character Cantinflas, or an arrangement of stuffed bunnies dancing erotically, or a colorful parade of luchador dolls with Shimizu-customized fashions that play with proportions and sometimes reverse their genders – getting married to each other.

Pavel Ioudine. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The beyond eclectic collection, estimated at only 5% of the total 60-year collection that has been hand-archived and warehoused, is only enhanced by large paintings by ROA or M-City that have graced the walls outside and the 75 or so intermediate and medium sized murals sprinkled through rooms, hallways, pillars, ceilings, stairwells throughout the museum, including a by-invitation-only rooftop gallery.

The younger Shimizu (and new father) weaves in and out of neighborhood streets with us in his truck the same way he navigates the museum, brooding and swerving and pulling aside to hold forth with bits of historical fanfare and numerical details, peppered by behind-the-scenes stories of intrigue and dalliances – all set off by his own striped and checked slim-waisted sartorial selections that effect an elegant carnival barker, a sixties mod rocker, or the mysteriously aloof millionaire in a family board game.

Arty & Chikle. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arty & Chikle. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arty & Chikle. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aligned with more commercial partners in the past when bringing appreciable Street Art names to Mexico City, Roberto says he prefers the organically grown festivals and exhibitions that have taken root in a few cities to the brand-flogging lifestyle-delivering “influencers” who are Snap-chatting their way through a Street Art tour. His own public/private collection of walls that he has organized over the last decade or so is rather impossible to categorize stylistically, veering from the cartoon to folkloric, photorealistic to abstract, magical-mystical to wildstyle bubbles.

With all these participants it is a come-one-come-all collection that reminds you of the vast reenactment of a circus that is under glass on the second floor, a menagerie of strongmen, tigers, lions, bearded ladies, and assorted crowds of various configurations lined up on the periphery of the big show.

Saner in Studio

Saner. Work in progress. Studio Visit. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a gated, if worn but serene, community of two story ranch houses built in the 1960s and 70s, the painter Saner has his studio and home. He meets you at the ornate iron gate to his concrete patio and invites you in while speaking on his phone to see the sun-sharpened shapes inside, a personal welcome replete with mask-painted characters interacting on the dining room wall, two large sculptural facsimiles of him and his wife and bright back deck.

A meteorically-rising yet not flashy spirit on the Street Art circuit, Saner is enjoying steady success with a carefully selected path of public walls, gallery shows and even museum representation in the last decade. Sitting in the small front living room while his beige retriever and muse chews through a basket of dog toys and vies for his masters attention, you can see that Saner’s art world accomplishments haven’t distracted him from a grounded view of Mexican socio-political history, his deep love for its people, and his almost mystical, darkly emotional storytelling.

Saner. Studio Visit. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In his studio you see his latest sketchbook that he is slowly building page-by-page with details of figures overlapping and radiating and sometimes dancing in warlike poses among the fern and fauna. His crossed-arm stance while leaning on his worktable tells you that he’s waiting for your ideas to help propel the conversation, partially because he is shy, partially as a challenge. A graffiti writer here during the explosive 1990s scene on the streets and trained as a graphic designer, his identity as a Mexican painter became more important to him as he grew older and he began to be less concerned with emulating European or American visual and cultural language.

Saner. Studio Visit. Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You look at the hand-illustrations of figures and costume, weaponry, instruments, flowers, feathers, and wild animals, and you realize that any of these could be the paintings you have seen on walls in neighborhoods and canvasses in galleries – suddenly perhaps a little awed to be in this artists sacred studio space. Then the talk turns to his dog and his recent travels across the world and you know that its just one guys’ greatness, that’s all.

3 Argentinian Street Artists in Studio

Elian. Studio Visit. Centro Historico. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The thick air is thumping with a live-performance of a 1980s Judas Priest song by the house band in a musical instrument store across the street here in the crowded old central district of the city at lunchtime. With French doors flung open over your head from the second floor, a cloud of green aerosol envelopes the body of Street Artist Elian and creates a silhouette as he coats an organic form carved from wood on the worktable before him. The shape will join others mounted on a wall next week in Toba Gallery as a smaller 3-D interpretation of his abstract compositions that he sprays across massive walls on buildings and even parking garages for festivals and private clients across Europe, the US, Russia, and his native Argentina.

Ever. Studio Visit. Centro Historico. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In this raw colonial former home with chipping paint and rusted hinges, the rooms serve as studios for a number of artists who pass by the small news stand with lottery-tickets and cigarettes before jogging up the central steps that are lit by an open sky. Also readying for the 3-artist show called “Deforme¨ are two Street Art brothers from the scene who have often painted in the same city with him, JAZ and Ever Siempre. Together the three are pushing their creativity beyond the work they are each known for in murals at festivals, each saying they are a little tired of the way the organic and illegal Street Art scene morphed into legal and often approved murals, even though they appreciate being paid by these events that are partially funded by municipalities or commercial interests. A symbol of mobility and fraternidad in the scene, local Street Art/graffiti artist Smithe, who is loaning the studio space to the artists as they prepare, also owns Toba.

JAZ. Studio Visit. Centro Historico. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking of galleries, the Celaya brothers have begun a number of commercial enterprises and spaces in the last half-decade, looking for the right formula for capitalizing on the Street Art zeitgeist and partnering with corporate brands. Not far from an enormous mural by the London-based D*Face, their most recent contemporary art gallery in Colonia Roma Norte was featuring a solo show “Trompe L’oeil” by the Italian born, Berlin-based Street Artist/ fine artist Agostino Iacurci as he adds a third dimension to his ornately synthetic forms and sophisticated bright palette. Curated by Vittorio Parisi, the room is spare, the sculptures pleasantly innocent, and slyly humorous.

Agostino Iacurci. “Trompe L’oeil” solo exhibition at Celaya Brothers Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Keith Haring on a Train

The metro train system in Mexico City, like many aspects of public life over the last two decades, is a faded shade of its previous zeal. It may also be the damage from a large earthquake three months earlier that shook this city, which adds to a feeling of insecurity as you navigate the swarming crowds and watch packed trains pull away while you wait your turn to board. You may also get a bit forcefully pick-pocketed in the middle of the day on one of these trains, as did your author, so you may favor zippers inside your clothing the next time you return.

Keith Haring on a whole car on the Metro. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hearkening back to the lack of public services in New York’s when it was fiscally broke in the 70s and 80s and Street Artists Keith Haring wrote freely on empty ad-spaces in the subway, it felt a little like the spirit of the Street Artist appeared unexpectedly in front of us while we waited for our next underground connection in this magic city. A swath of colorful characters jumping every which way across the full cars, the familiarly active Haring symbols of figures herked and jerked into place while the cars went through a series of starts and sudden stops. The riders slid back and forth, clutching their straphangers, and we quickly fumbled for a shot of this Mexico City train covered with the welcoming sight of a New York Street Artist who sparkled at the dawn of the go-go portion of the 80s, soon taken in the sadness of the AIDS-panic portion that struck the city.

Undoubtedly, the Street Art and graffiti scene continue to expand and morph into other scenes and venues – many now inside. For some, this is anathema to the true spirit of the mark-making practice that first took root in unsanctioned acts in illegal places, often in open defiance of accepted norms. For others, this route indoors only strengthens the appeal of voices that are now speaking inside the organizational structures we build, and it is remarkable to see such a diverse and lively number of examples throughout this doorway to Latin America aided by very gracious and friendly Mexican hosts at every stop we made.


Below are more images and video from the Antique Toy Museum, MUJAM – Mexico City

Alegria Prado. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ear One has a good play on words here, and a nod to cartoonist Vaughn Bodē, whose work inspired a generation of graffiti writers on the Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LELO. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ovrlnds. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NAS. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alina Kiliwa . OJE . Alegria Prado. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EsMARQ. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Noel. Roof top. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paola Delfin. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paola Delfin. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detail. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curiot. Detail. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This toy monkey served as the inspiration for a political mural by artist Erica Il Cane a few years ago visible to the street. See A Mexican Mural “Manifesto”, Blackened Flag Colors, and Censorship. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daniel Bauchsbaum. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daniel Bauchsbaum. Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM). Mexico, City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This is the second of two articles with BSA in Mexico City in collaboration with UN Berlin, it was originally published on the Urban Nation website, and the project is funded in part with the support of Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art (UN) in Berlin.


Additional coverage by BSA in Mexico City:

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

Saner, Mexican Muralist and Painter, Studio Visit. BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 2

Panteón and Watchavato “No Esto No Es Lo Que Fue” Opens In Mexico City

Exploring New Techniques and Processes with Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.17 Mexico City Special


This article is also published on the Urban Nation museum website:

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Exploring New Techniques and Processes with Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

Exploring New Techniques and Processes with Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

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


In a cacophonous neighborhood in downtown Mexico City that sells musical instruments and equipment the second floor verandas are emitting an aerosol fragrance, a cloud of lime green to mix in the air. Some how it mixes well with the honking cars and roaring live rock and roll concert across the street in a musical equipment store where they are performing covers of 80s metal bands like Mötley Crüe and Judas Priest.

Elian. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elian is balancing his new pieces on saw horses and fumigating them with bright paints which he normally might be covering a huge mural wall with.

“I’m trying to break with my tradition of being a painter do you know,” he says, one of three close friends on the Street Art scene from Argentina here in this studio.

Elian. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each of the artists say they are taking a little break from the work they normally do to experiment for their upcoming show at Toba Gallery here at the beginning of December.

The year-old gallery is owned by a local Street Art celebrity named Smithe, who still pursues his own art career while choosing artists from his peers to show at this location in el Centro de la ciudad.

Elian. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I want to build these kinds of objects and to create a dialogue with the space by changing the focus of attention by placing them around the gallery,” Elian says, pointing to imaginary spots in the air above and punctuating with his pointed index finger.

“Sort of like tick-tick-tick, like acupuncture needles, and I will mount all these pieces try to mix with the pieces of the guys.”

Elian. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The guys are Franco “JAZ” Fasoli and Nicolas “EVER” Romero, who each have their own small room in this artists’ studio enclave that is sort of hidden, requiring you to look carefully for an entrance hall behind a lottery ticket vendors signage on the street.

All three have often travelled and work together with a fourth Argentinian named Pastel in festivals and exhibitions over the past half decade, and these three consider this a happy reunion to work again with one another.

Ever. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nicolas “EVER” Romero is next door sitting cross-legged on the floor trying to balance a chunk of raw meat inside a papaya, accented by a jalepeno pepper. Around him are various tropical fruits and everyday vegetables teetering upon each other and bottles of sugary sodas.

He says his newest still-lifes are mixing traditional subject matter with pieces of modern life to draw attention to the contrasts and as a critique of the commercialized consumer culture that is eroding our connection with history.

Ever. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I feel like Mexico has the combination of ancient roots like the Mayan and Incan culture,” he says, “and their culture of cultivation of fruits and vegetables edit is in huge contrast with the modern world.” He blames a lot of the commercial junk food that has come into the country on the neighbor to the north, the United States.

“You can go to this store chain called Oxxo, like the 7-Eleven of Mexico, and you can see what the Mexican People are being offered to eat,” he explains.

Ever. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Basically they have tacos and tortillas and basically shitty food like Lays or Bimbo – super unhealthy foods.”

“That, for me, is a metaphor for Mexico. This super amazing strong food history and then you have this stuff – for me working with these real foods is part of the description for what is happening in Mexico today.”

Ever. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The still-lifes are a departure for EVER from his figurative work as well, and he is enjoying concentrating on craft in this way.

Free from the large walls and magic surrealism of his street murals, he says he can also hide his identity in this kind of painting that is a respected practiced thought to help artists “warm” their hands.

 

Jaz. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Another figurative painter known for his muscular strong characters and people, JAZ is taking a few steps back from realism to abstract. His studio features a large pile of ripped papers that he is gluing onto a sketch on brown paper.

The sketch comes from a digital collage on his laptop. He says he needed to separate himself from direct painting by creating a multi-step process like this. “I am kind of forcing myself into more abstract in a very artificial way because if I try to do it by myself.”

 

Jaz. Sketch shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 10 meter long fragile piece will hang from wires in the gallery and it reminds you that he was a sceneographer before he was know for graffiti or Street Art.

The finished rolls feature figures running with backs to the viewer in a jumbled, violent chaos of hooligans in the street. Strung overhead across the ceiling is a colorful fiesta decor, denoting a sarcastic overlay to the lawlessness. It’s contrast he enjoys.

Jaz. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This is a typical hooliganism that happens in South America but I also mixed up with this idea of a party or a celebration so I’m going to have these decorative streamers papers hanging from above,” he says. “It may be difficult to understand because it looks like it’s a party but at the same time there’s this clashing and it is in a sort of carnival environment in a formal way – it’s more of scene in a cinematic way.”

Having lived in Europe for the last couple of years, JAZ talks about his home town of Buenos Aires and his new ability to have perspective on some corrupt behavior and social structures that he has been examining.

Jaz. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Argentinian hooliganism is also a very strong political force,” he says. “It is not just about the activities related to the sport, it’s the mafia. It is 100% connected with politicians and drugs and crime all under one roof or protection of the sport.”

“It is a very social tool used for manipulation… extortion. It is very integrated into our society you can talk with any of us three Argentinians and talk about how deep inside our society it is. I do a kind of x-ray of how the society works by looking into just that particular segment of society.”

Jaz. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With Mexico City considered as a doorway to the Americas, it is interesting to note that these three Street Artists all express a certain admiration and solidarity with Mexico and are very familiar with the cultural traditions, heros and artifacts of the history and society; a pronounced departure from the neighbor to the north.

It is good to see again the maturation and evolution of these thirty-something artists as they dare themselves to try new techniques in pursuit of an art practice apart Street Art, and to witness the network of support that they create for each other regardless of their stylistic differences.


PROCESS: Elian, Jaz and Ever in Mexico City

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Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

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One of the fantastic parts of Miami’s Art Basel / Wynwood craziness, aside from the colorful drinks and hair sculptures and accidental tripping over almost every Street Artist you have heard of (and many whom you haven’t) is the sheer amount of madhouse chemistry that explodes in your face because of new partnerships and events – like the Juxtapoz Clubhouse in Wynwood opening today.

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Olek. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The premier contemporaty and underground magazine and cultural stew from the west coast teams up with New Jersey’s Mana Urban Arts and others this year to take over one of those previously run-down and neglected parts of the neighborhood to create an “immersive retreat”.

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Denis McNett. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We got a behind-the-scenes peek at the installations and artworks in advance of today’s opening and were pleased to see that the quality is slammin’ –with sufficiently large installations to create an environment and to stand on their own as fully realized concepts.

So many of these artists can work larger, and many have: Dennis McNett stages fully performances and parades of characters pounding like warriors through streets, for example. Dude, the energy is good.

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Denis McNett. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The mix of producers/collaborators at the Clubhouse is contemporary, theatrical, and somehow darkly comic –Jonathan Levine Gallery, Chandran Gallery, MILK Studios, ThinkSpace, and the 1xRun crew – a smartly flipped trip of heavy hitters that relies on the strangely symbiotic and the serendipitous to succeed.

Check out some of the work here and if you are in Miami go to 2400 NW 5th Avenue from December 1-4.

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Laurence Vallieres. Detail. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ever at work on his installation. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ever. Detail. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Detail. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern at work on his painting. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cinta Vidal. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zio Ziegler. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Scott Campbell. This is is an interactive piece which will involve the public. Mr. Campbell is a tattoo artist and through a raffle willing participants will have the opportunity to have their arm tattooed but they will not know what the tattoo will be until completed. The participants will stick his or her arm, trough the hole in the middle of the installation and Mr. Campbell will be unseen, working on the tattoo on the other side of the wall. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Low Bros. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Detail of her installation. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Detail of her installation. Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Adam Wallacavage. Jonathan LeVine Gallery x Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz. Jonathan LeVine Gallery x Juxtapoz Club House x Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai. The Art of Beeing. Mana Urban Arts Projects x The Bushwick Collective/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai. The Art of Beeing. Mana Urban Arts Projects x The Bushwick Collective/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim sketching his wall for Wynwood Walls/Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Please Do! Artist Unknown. Art Basel 2016. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 08.05.16

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

Now screening :

1. “Watching My Name Go By”
2. Nicolas Romero AKA Ever: “Logo II”
3. Gilf! …and counting

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BSA Special Feature: “Watching My Name Go By”

Directed by Julia Cave and originally shown on the BBC documentary series OMNIBUS in December of 1976, this was actually the second half of a program that followed a tour through the art gallery scene of Soho.

A hidden gem that surveys the variety of opinions held by citizens, historians, police and front stoop sociologists about the graffiti scene on trains and the streets, the story is measured and inquisitive. It’s without glamour, although there may be guile.

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This documentary predates Style Wars by about seven years and you get a surprising understanding about the priorities of the day at a time when New York was financially in a tailspin and socially ready to boil over. You see this resignation in the body language and descriptors about the state of the city, and while there is a stated desire by many to rid the city of graffiti, there are fervent fans of it as art and impassioned allies of the practice as political speech.

Notably, one commenter who is familiar with law enforcement practices says that police were actively encouraged to focus more on violent offenders like muggers and rapists than graffiti writers. The hand style is pretty basic, certainly not wild, and check out the difficulty of painting with those cans; but that doesn’t detract from the ubiquity of the social-art phenomena and the fact that many consider these early writers as pioneers of what became so much more.

“Watching My Name Go By” © Karen Goldman, Philip Bonham-Carter, BBC. 1976

Nicolas Romero AKA Ever: “Logo II”

Nicolas Romero, the Street Artist variously known as EVER or EVERSIEMPRE brings you a conceptual performance from his recent stay in Cordoba, Argentina for the exhibition “Pioneros de un viaje a ningún lado”.

A would-be heroic/holy/handsome businessman/pop star/savior marches through the street buckling under the weight of his brand.

Logo II is a public test”, EVER tells us. “It is a study that I have been conducting on the relationship between the ‘individual’ and the ‘logo’. The logo by definition usually includes some symbol that is associated with almost immediate way what it represents. This means that the individual summarizes his being as a symbol. In this case I wanted to use two logos, one with a political charge and one with a purely economic burden. Both carried in a theoretical context are antagonistic, but in your reality are quite similar.

Based on this, we decided to take this intervention in the most literal way.”

 

 

Gilf! …and counting

Street Artist and political activist GILF! recently created an installation called “And Counting” in Cleveland during the Democratic National Convention there. Focusing purely on the surface data of the persons killed during a police encounter this year, she says that the installation will continue to enlarge as it will eventually cover the entire year.

It presents the facts around each police involved death in America during 2016,” she says. “By presenting only the facts this project gives the viewer an objective and all encompassing opportunity to face our nation’s heartbreaking and ubiquitous problem of death at the hands of police, which will aid in developing solutions.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Rose Béton Festival in Toulouse, France in Year 2

Rose Béton Festival in Toulouse, France in Year 2

Concrete Rose. Sounds like the name of a jailhouse jezebel with a beauty mark on her cheek and feathers and pearls in her hair. Translate it to French and you get the second edition of Rose Béton, a street art and graffiti festival in the “Pink City” of Toulouse, which has more than its share of pink paint and terra cotta brick.

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Hendrik Beikirch AKA ECB.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © ECB)

Organized around murals, graffiti jams, workshops, talks, and exhibits, Rose Béton had a New York centered theme this year, including an evening entitled “Hello Brooklyn” although the majority of artists painting were not from NYC aside from the ever youthful and sage Futura – so maybe the “Brooklyn” branding was more an inspiration derived from hip-hop music and the love of Jay-Z.

It also had a few large murals, including ones by Ben Eine, ARYZ and this beauty above by ECB, who painted a portrait of a Moroccan man on a building inhabited by many North African immigrants and a stunning view was captured here by the artist of prayer mats spread out next the building – especially significant during this month of Ramadan.

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Hendrik Beikirch AKA ECB.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Two actual New Yorkers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant were there to exhibit their photographic works in one of oldest places dedicated to photography in the world, the Château d’Eau, an old nineteenth century water tower near to the cours Dillon. Along with their seminal New York graff-centered photographs were the work of a young photographer named Sylvain Largot whose specialty is illegal graff.

Martha tells us that the Toulouse event was all male except for one female from Bogota named Ledania and ironically here work received the most “likes” and attention on Martha’s Instagram account. She had come with a crew of mostly Columbians artists for a program called “Latino Graff” which held a show and soiree at Espace Allegria and Galerie Zunzun.

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The “Hello Brooklyn” graff jam was held at a spacious former factory called Le 50Cinq, which has been renovated by artists and turned into artists’ spaces, studios, and commercial event rental venue.

A round table was held with Toulouse native TILT, who spoke with Bernard Baudron who founded the Toulouse graffiti shop “South Painters,” and Jordi Rubio Rocabert, who started Montana Colors.

Nearby at Musée Des Abattoirs there was an exhibit of graff and street artists including Delta, Krink, Mist, Futura and Boris Tellegen. As Martha shared with us, Toulouse has a long history of graffiti, and the range and passion of the events at Rose Béton this month again confirm that Toulouse is still at the top of its game.

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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ARYZ.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ben Eine.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Futura. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Martha Cooper in the center flanked by Sylvain Largot on the left and Henry Chalfant on the right at Galerie Le Chateau D’Eau for their show “EPOXY”. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo courtesy of Martha Cooper)

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Poster for “Open Summer” graff jam was called “Hello Brooklyn”.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bomin82. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bomin82. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ledania. “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Ever and ECB happy encounter at the “Open Summer” graff -jam.  Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Remeio. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Krink. Work in progress. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Delta. Work in progress. Musée Des Abattoirs. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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From let to right: Tilt, Jordi Rubio Rocabert and Bernard Baudron. Rose Béton Festival. Toulouse, France. June 2016. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Thank you to Ms. Cooper and Mr. Beikirch for sharing their photos with us.

To learn more about Rose Béton Festival click HERE

To learn more about Musée Des Abattoirs and their hours of operation, exhibitions etc…click HERE

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.17.16

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Hillary Clinton announced in Brooklyn this week that she supports raising the minimum wage to $250,000 a speech while Bernie Sanders scoped around the showroom of a Danish furniture designer in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to order a new blond wood desk and chair for the Oval Office. The two sparred live on national TV from Brooklyn Thursday but you couldn’t tell they were in the BK because the CNN logos engulfed the screen and candidates and the actual citizens were reduced to a babbling rabble who hooted and hollered like sports fans somewhere in the dark. Wonder how long CNN intends to have their brand new warehouse-sized logo beaming across the river at Manhattan.

Meanwhile, on the streets here it is pretty evident who many New Yorkers favor and the majority of new Street Art pieces and graffiti pieces are feeling the Bern. It’s true, we tend to hang out with artists, creatives, punks, hippies, and assorted wild-eyed weirdos – so its not exactly a true cross-section, but Clinton fans are not making much art on the streets. Possibly that is because level-headed reasonable people don’t feel the need to express their support for her so loudly and visibly. It will be interesting to see if Big Media predictions of a 17% Clinton lead are true by Wednesday morning. The Wall Street Journal seems to be banking on it.

Trump is #1 in NYC for the Republicans, presumably because of “New York values”.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Caratoes, Elle, Ever Siempre, Faust, Flood, Icy & Sot, Lola Jiblazee, Lora Zombie, Nafir, Shantell Martin, Stuart Ringholt, Thiago Goms, Thievin’ Stephen, Thomas Allen, TriHumph, Vandal Expressionism, Vanesa Longchamp, Vexta, You Go Girl!, and Zabou.

Our top image: Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot . Nafir for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thomas Allen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Flood (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vandal Expressionism (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thievin’ Stephen in Rochester, NY. (photo © Thievin’ Stephen)

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Lola Jiblazee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TriHumph styles Bernie as Bowie. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EverSiempre in Ostend, Belgium for Crystal Ship Fest 2016. (photo © EverSiempre)

“Homage to the Past and Future”

The city of Oostende began its great reforms in 1883. King Leopold II earned the nickname the “constructor” for his contribution to public works. These reforms were possible thanks to the large profits that were made from the king’s colony, an area sixty times larger than Belguim: the Congo. In the Congo, rubber was a resource that became precious because of its use in the automotive and bicycle industries. The king imposed high quotas on rubber production in the Congo and forced the indigenous population to comply using coercive methods and extreme violence. It is estimated that during Leopold’s years of domination about ten million natives were killed in the Congo.

“Homage to the Past and Future” is a work that talks about the heavy legacy of the past, about how societies live with the consequences of those that came before and how they build their current reality to be better. The mural is located at the urban entrance to the city, a work that perhaps Leopoldo II had not imagined at the gates of the resort town. Today, the reality is different; diversity flourishes in the city and the image is of a resident of Oostende. Humans learn from their mistakes and the future will always be better if our present remembers and pays homage to the real heroes.”

-Ever

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Faust. Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zabou for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Caratoes for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stuart Ringholt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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You Go Girl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elle for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vexta for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lora Zombie for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vanesa Longchamp for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GOMS for Urban Nation Museum Of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. Spring 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

Was 2015 the “Year of the Mural”?

A lot of people thought so, and the rise of commercial festivals and commissioned public/private mural programs probably brought more artists to more walls than in recent history. Judging from the In Box, 2016 is going to break more records. Enormous, polished, fully realized and presented, murals can hold a special role in a community and transform a neighborhood, even a city.

But they are not the “organic” Street Art that draws us into the dark in-between places in a city, or at its margins.

We keep our eyes open for the small, one-off, idiosyncratic, uncommissioned, weirdo work as well, as it can carry clues about the culture and reveal a sage or silly solo voice.  It also just reinforces the feeling that the street is still home to an autonomous free-for-all of ideas and opinions and wandering passions. For us it is still fascinating to seek out and discover the one-of-a-kind small wheatpastes, stencils, sculptures, ad takeovers, collages, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

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The main image above is from a vinyl subway advertisement that was high-jacked and we published it in February of this year on our Images of the Week posting. It’s small, personal, and very effective as you can see someone suspiciously similar to Batman is jumping out of the mouth of someone looking awfully similar to Hedwig of “Angry Inch” fame.

Of the 10,000 or so images photographer Jaime Rojo took in 2015, here are a selection 140+ of the best images from his travels through streets looking for unpermissioned and sanctioned art.

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

365xlos43, Amanda Marie, Andreas Englund, Augustine Kofie, Bisser, Boijeot, Renauld, Bordaloli, Brittany, BunnyM, Case Maclaim, Casg, Cash4, CDRE, Clet, Cost, Curve, Dain, Dal East, Dan Budnik, Dan Witz, David Walker, DeeDee, Dennis McNett, Don Rimx, Ricardo Cabret, LNY, Alex Seel, Mata Ruda, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, ECB, El Mac, El Sol25, Ella & Pitr, Eric Simmons, Enest Zacharevic, Martha Cooper, Martin Whatson, Ever, Faile, Faith47, Findac, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hanksy, Hellbent, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot, Inti, Invader, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Janet Dickson, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Le Diamantaire, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Low Brow, Marina Capdevilla, Miss Van, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nafir, Nemos, Never Crew, Nick Walker, Nina Pandolofo, Old Broads, Oldy, Ollio, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, Pet Bird, Kashink, Smells, Cash4, PichiAvo, Pixel Pancho, QRST, ROA, Ron English, Rubin415, Saner, Sean 9 Lugo, Shai Dahan, Shepard Fairey, Sheryo & The Yok, Sinned, Sipros, Skewville, Slikor, Smells, Sweet Toof, Snowden, Edward Snowden, Andrew Tider, Jeff Greenspan, Specter, Stray Ones, Sweet Toof, Swil, Willow, Swoon, The Outings Project, Toney De Pew, Tristan Eaton, Various & Gould, Vermibus, Wane, Wk Interact

 

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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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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“Monument Art” Murals Sing of El Barrio in 2015

“Monument Art” Murals Sing of El Barrio in 2015

Some of these new murals are definitely monumental. As are some of the social ills addressed by themes such as immigration and the world refugee crisis. With a dozen international artists painting over the last two weeks, the debut show of the Monument Art Project in the New York neighborhoods of El Barrio, East Harlem and the South Bronx, some logistics have been equally immense, but finally the job is complete and people are talking about the new works they watched being painted.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not quite street art and not quite your local community mural, these finished opus works are more poetic than activist, more visionary than purely aesthetic; occupying a modern mid-way between those archetypes of public art we call the “New Muralism”.

Following on the success of the Los Muros Hablan festival staged a couple of years ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico and New York, organizers Jose Morales and Celso González expand their international reach and bring it back home with the stalwart and vehement support of New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Argentina, Belgium, Los Angeles, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa – an admirable list of participants for a festival this size. What this dispersed program has that many recent commercial “Street Art” festivals have been lacking is a cognition of community, a connection– however refracted – to the people who are going to live with it. MonumentArt is aiming to engage the community with images and themes that resonate with many of the members – perhaps sparking conversations among chance encounters.

Here El Mac channels his influences of Caravaggio and Chicano culture to collaborate with Cero on a portrait evocative of haloed church icons. This serious and thoughtful figure rising high above everyone’s head is the well known Nuyorican writer Nicholasa Mohr, who has told many stories of Puerto Rican women, their travails and ascendency in the Bronx and El Barrio.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Notably Viajero’s boy in a handmade boat of newspaper pages addresses the dangerous figurative and literal waters that refugees are facing today, including children. With his back turned to us and his distrustful glance over the shoulder he may be questioning our commitment to saving those poor and needy in country that congratulates itself for its religious roots.

While quite different stylistically the mural reminds us of a 3-D installation done by Lituanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic in Norway’s Nuart Festival just last month.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The topic of immigration is hammered home by Mexican muralist Sego as well as he strips away the skin of the Statue of Liberty, as if in an attempt to see what lies beneath that oxidized copper exterior in New York harbor symbolizing “welcome”.  Look again and see the points of her famous crown are transmuted into a feathered headdress, similar to those of the continents’ original citizens. In a nation of immigrants, New York’s multitude of populations typify the immigrant life and their plight is intrinsically tied to our history.

The quality of work is here, as is the articulation of ideas and themes. Curated thoughtfully and selected carefully, the MonumentArt collection gives back to the community it is nested within.

Argentinian artist Ever appropriated local kids as inspiration along with photos taken by Martha Cooper of immigrants in the 1990s and themes related to Puerto Rican independence and the US occupation of the island of Vieques. His signature kaleidoscope visions and voices pile and wind around the head like folkloric waves of energy.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But even working directly with the community, Ever tells us that things don’t go as smoothly as you might expect. He also discusses how intrinsic the topic of immigration is to his piece and to the story of New York.

Brooklyn Street Art: The top figure on your mural is of boy. Can you tell us who he is?
EVER: This is funny. I was here doing some research and these kids were playing basketball on the courts and I saw one of them and he caught my attention and I decided to approach him. It was kind of hard for me since I’m not from here and I didn’t think I’d have the right words to talk to him so I was a bit nervous.

I told him my pitch and his first reaction was “No I don’t want you to take my picture”. So it was hard for me because he was the one I wanted to paint on the wall. And he told me he didn’t want to be a part of it. So I said cool. But when his friends, one by one came forward and told me that they would like to do it and got excited he then at that moment he changed his mind and told me he wanted to do it.

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Ever. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I was very happy but when I told him he had to pose of a photo first he said, “OK but take only three pictures”. I said to myself, ‘Come on you are like Madonna.” Finally he posed and I got my photo.

Then for the other kids I went to Martha Cooper’s studio to do some more research on East Harlem and to find more photos related to the neighborhood. The other two figures are from photos Martha Cooper took in the 80’s and 90’s in El Barrio. One was taken during a Latin-American parade more than 20 years ago.

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Faith 47. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When I was on the plane coming here I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I wanted to talk about the issue of immigration in my piece. For me is insane that in the 21st Century we are still having problems with immigration. I’m a product of immigration. My parents came to Argentina from Spain. Most cities in most nations are created by immigrants. So it is crazy that there are still some people who see immigrants like the enemy. They are talking about people who live next to them, people who are their neighbors. So we must accept immigration as a reality of all nations and New York is a huge example of different cultures living together without big problems. In New York one can breath freedom. And that’s the subject I wanted to approach.

We all move to different places all the time. As humans it is in our nature to be nomads. When we look up at the sky we see the birds flying around without papers, without limits. And we humans we have to be limited to a piece of paper that determines if we are allowed in or not.

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Faith 47. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

These three figures on this mural represent the future of this country: The next generation. It is absurd to hear politicians when they talk about immigration and they make the immigrants their enemies. This is a beautiful country and for the most part people who come here are trying to find a better future. Furthermore I think that most people dream of someday being able to go back to their countries of origin.

I was recently in Tijuana and I noticed two individuals having a conversation but they were separated by this fence, this wall. You could see the two families on two different sides of the fence and it was something that made a big impression on me.

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Luis R. Vidal. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SEGO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SEGO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SEGO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SEGO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Viajero. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Viajero. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Mac and Cero. Detail. Collaboration on this Mosaic and paint portrait of poet Nicholasa Mohr. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Mac. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Mac. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Mac and Cero. Collaboration on this portrait of poet Nicholasa Mohr. The mosaic portion was done by Cero and the portrait by El Mac. Monument Art Project 2015. El Barrio, East Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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This article is also published in The Huffington Post.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.17.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.17.15

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Shout out to all the great Swoon fans we met last night during the artists talk with her. All the seats were filled so it was standing room only in the back but yet it felt so intimate. Ya’ll are stupendous and smart and handsome and beautiful and we were honored to be with you.

Shout out to the family of American blues institution BB King who passed on this week. His music and talent influenced so many. Sending love and condolences to his family and friends.

Let’s see what Jeffery Deitch has in store for Smorgasburg Coney Island starting this week in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend opening – published reports have the roster of street artists at 15 but we’re hearing closer to 25 will be hitting up temporary concrete walls in this outdoor gallery he is doing in partnership with a large real estate firm to promote the new Coney Island.  Some names you’ll recognize are old skool 70s-80s train writers like Lee Quinones, Crash, Daze, Lady Pink, Futura, and new people he has been reaching out to from the 2000s and 2010s scene who we bring you regularly like How & Nosm, Skewville, Steve Powers, possibly even ROA . This list will surely grow as word gets out and artists besiege Mr. Deitch to participate. The full installation is to last a month and will be surely caught on film and timelapse video.

Meanwhile, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alexis Diaz, Alka Murat, Appleton, Marco Berta, Blaqk Blaqk, City Kitty, Creepy Creep, Dain, Dasic Fernandez, Duke A. Barnstable, Elsa Sauguet, Eva & Adele, Ever, Goldman Rats, Ines Maas, JR, Penny Gaff, Robert Janz, Sebastian Reinoso Salinas, Seikon Stav6, and Swoon.

Top Image: Alexis Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic for Welling Court in LIC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Appleton (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An unknown artist created this installation of a suspension bridge in Chelsea and we dig it! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Front view of the suspension bridge in Chelsea by an unknown artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A scene from Nicolas Romero AKA Ever in Buenos Aires, Argentina in collaboration with performers Elsa Sauguet, Sebastian Reinoso Salinas y Ines Maas and sculptor Marcos Berta (photo © Ever)

About the show, from Ever:

” ‘头部 (The Head)’ is an art installation based on the analysis of Chinese Communist posters. When the posters represent the ‘idea’, people are always down the picture and the Mao Tse Tung portrait always floating in heaven, protecting that theory founded in the Russian winters. When they want to describe the pragmatics, Mao is cultivating flowers, going to visit schools, etc.

The idea with ‘The Head’ is to think why the “communist theory” fails in its application to reality, and this is because many times the idea has to be corresponded o taken through a body, a body that exercises the idea, that exercises power. That’s why, part of the installation that we present here, invites people to get into the head, so we all can have the feeling that we are not loyal to the theory; the idealization is as dangerous as it is obsessive.”

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stav6 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Creepy Creep (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blaqk Blaqk in collaboration with Seikon in Greece. (photo © Alka Murat)

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JR from his Walking New York series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Penny Gaff must be warming up for the Faile arcade show coming to Brooklyn Museum in July. War games…lethal. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Goldman Rats already has selected the next president. You may now return to your regular scheduled programming. Enjoy! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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It’s lilac season! Duke A Barnstable is feeling poetic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Art in the streets as Berlin based performance artists and fine artists Eva & Adele are seen here “performing” some  last minute ensemble adjustments before hitting the art fairs – as is their wont. Chelsea, New York City. May 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Street Art Sancocho : “ArteSano Project” Brings Dominican Flavor (VIDEO)

Street Art Sancocho : “ArteSano Project” Brings Dominican Flavor (VIDEO)

New Year, new mural festival! 

Truthfully, the appearance of new mural festivals today is faster than annual – it’s more like quarterly – but this one in the Dominican Republic was inaugurated three weeks ago and brings a certain hand crafted authenticity that holds promise for its future.

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Jade. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

“ArteSano Project” gives you an indication of the personal nature of the art you are likely to see from the 25 local and international artists invited to Rio San Juan from December 11-22.  It could be the name influencing our perception, but in one way or another it looks like these artists are chosen for their down-to-earth hand hewn approach. Sometimes  decorative, sometimes storytelling, there are familiar themes and motifs that play well to their local audience as well as the virtual gawker.

Even with two dozen artists, it isn’t bloated: no logos or product tie-ins or DJs or high flying scissor lifts scaling massive multi-story walls with abstract surrealism, hyper photo-realism or dark pop human/animal/robot hybrids here – yet. Well, we take that back on the surrealism score; Pixel Pancho is here with a brood of chickens bobbing their industrial mesh necks atop fired tile bodices, hunting and pecking their way toward the beach, and Miami artist duo 2alas & Hox created a portrait of a boy with a partial mask overlay that calls to mind cyborgs (and Sten & Lex). But here in the loungey bare-foot tropical DR coastal area, even Pixel Pancho mutes the hues toward sun-bleached pastels, more easily complimenting their surroundings.

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Jade. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Free-running fowl overtook a few artists thematically, including another international artist who usually paints hybrid forms with dimension and almost mythic metaphor, but who this time tried his hand at something much more folkloric. “Importacion Cultural”, the flatly bright piece by Buenos Aires born Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, presents an entire wall with hand cut and paper collage, adding to the general feeling of approachability, and introducing a form of craft-inspired art-making more common to DIY Street Art of the 2000s than recent aerosol-infused mural festivals.

“The community was transformed during those days and over two weeks they began to see these great artists’ work and create specific pieces in different places around the town,” says Mario E. Ramirez, a Puerto Rican artist who has been documenting and capturing the burgeoning graffiti/Street Art scene in his country and places like DR with his partners at Tost Films. He says that an event like this that connects with a community yields a greater dialogue than some of the more commercial Street Art and graffiti enterprises, because the artists get to interact with neighbors closely. “At the completion of the ArteSano each artist felt like a distinguished guest of Rio San Juan. They made us feel at home, it was one of the best experiences of 2014.”

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Jade. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

One of the organizers, Dominican born artist Evoca1, has experience working as a Street Artist as well as bringing actual physical sustenance and support to a community. For about four years the Miami based artist has delivered many meals to folks living on the street with his wife and friends through an organization he began called “Sketches For Mankind.”

With Evoca1 hosting the ArteSano project it became another form of community outreach and the curatorial responsibilities for the public art initiative was offered by the folks at the Vienna based INOPERAbLE Gallery, who have represented a mix of urban artists work including some in this show and others that are range into pop, dark pop, graphic irony, and more “traditional” contemporary Street Art.

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Vero Rivera. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

Organizers say they hope that ArteSano gains traction and that people get to know the Dominican Republic as a good place for urban arts and muralism. There is not much transgressive here; With its mix of mainly latin name-brand and local homegrown talent, it looks like ArteSano makes a respectable entry into the international mural festival mileu with what may be the emerging alchemy of the decorative and the pleasing – peppered with some more challenging themes and muted socio-political messages.

Overall no one will argue that Rio San Juan is a great location for a painter or street artist from the northern hemisphere in December. Among the invited artists were BIKISMO, JADE, 2ALAS, HOXXOH, PASTEL, JAZ, EVER, ELIAN, LEO, VERO RIVERA, MODAFOCA, ENTES, FAITH47, AXEL VOID, PIXEL PANCHO, FILIO, ANGURRIA, 3TAMAROOTS, GABZ, POTELECHE, BAD6, SHAK, RUBEN, JOHANN,SEBAS, and PAOLA.

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Bikismo. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Entes. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Entes. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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IO. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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JAZ. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Elian. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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BAD6 . SHAK. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Fili . 2alas . Hox. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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HOXXOH. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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HOXXOH. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Gabz. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Pixel Pancho. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Pastel . Pixel Pancho. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Pastel. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Moda Foca. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Axel . Faith47. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Ever. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Johann. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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Poteleche. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

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3tamaroots. ArteSano Project. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. December, 2014. (photo © Mario E Ramirez/TostFilms.com)

 

 

 

Thank you to Mario E Ramirez for his invaluable help to make this article possible for BSA readers.

 

 

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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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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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