All posts tagged: EVOL

“Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, an Essay for “Eloquent Vandals”

The following essay by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art, appears in the book “Eloquent Vandals The History of Nuart”, edited by Martyn Reed, Marte Jølbo, and Victoria Bugge Øye and published in 2011 by Kontur Publishing. More information appears after the essay.

Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World

The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.

While that may seem hyperbolic, just witness the millions of images of Street Art uploaded on photo sharing sites, the time lapse videos and full length films online, the hundreds of blogs, websites, discussion forums, chatrooms, Facebook pages, Twitter addresses, and phone and tablet apps dedicated entirely or partially to Street Art and graffiti and the multifaceted culture that grows around it. Thousands of people daily are populating the databases, compiling a mountainous archive of something once quaintly referred to as an ephemeral art. This said, the transformative story is that the images are now freed from their sources to float in the ether for anyone with a digital device to access.  Within the space of a decade, art that once lived and died on a wall with a local population is now shared via digital capture and upload, gaining access to a worldwide audience. Immediately.

The multi-authored amorphous swirling whirlwind of street art, graffiti, public art, and urban art is simply too vast for any person to get their arms around or explain – yet our digital media tribes are enabling us to collect it, share it, and study it in larger numbers than ever imaginable. As artists and professionals for 25 years in New York, a city with a legacy of graffiti all its own, we have been extremely lucky to witness the blossoming of the current Street Art movement; to document it, analyze it, discuss it, and share it by real world means and virtual means with thousands of others.  With the dual forces of high rents and corporate gentrification pounding the final nails into the coffin of the established creative neighborhoods in Manhattan,   gritty bubbling new and youthful artist neighborhoods of Brooklyn became de facto showcases for the Street Art scene at the turn of the century, and we were shooting images and tracking its evolution from the beginning.

In concert with the Internet, all manner of art that occurs in the streets is being captured and shared, discussed, critiqued, celebrated or dismissed by people of searing intellect and those who cannot locate their own country with their finger if you spin a globe in front of them.  As text has been loosed from print in this post Gutenberg Parenthesis world of Sauerberg, so too our local Street Art is freed from its wall.  Going from “All City” to “All Timezones” has radically transformed how Street Artists perceive their work and their audience, with the concept of “place” profoundly altered.

Nuart became a focal point for many in the Street Art world in the early 2000s because of its highly curated nature and its expansive brand of personal interaction with public space.  A hybrid of high-minded civic involvement and an art form with roots solidly in anti-authoritarianism, Nuart has presented a rolling roster of Internet stars and miscreants of the Street Art scene. It’s a highly unusual mix: quality experimental elements birthed by the interconnectedness of the virtual world, soon imitated by other entrepreneurial Street Art enthusiasts.  With the help of the Internet this Norwegian port town of Stavanger is an international player in the Street Art scene, a by-invitation celebration capable of drawing a wide range of serious talent to create epic pieces in singular locations. When the images and videos of installations at Nuart are relayed through the forums and chatrooms and blogs and Flickr pages around the world, other cities begin rethinking public space and examining with a new interest the players in their own Street Art scene.

A large part of our understanding of art and its expression for generations has come from textbooks, lorded over by scholars and experts who were trained by others using similar texts passing along received knowledge and prejudices.  For those rebels of the graffiti and Street Art movement who have never given much credence to formal education, the unbound and chaotic nature of digital communications actually feels more organic and trustworthy.  In large part, with the exception of the formalism of the logical structure comprising the undergirding of the Internet, its explosive growth has been more intuitive and behavioral than left-brained or hierarchical. The beauty of a new Street Art piece on a nearby wall is electrifying to share with the digital tribe, and in so doing, it legitimizes ones status among peers and the work of the artist as well. With the innate desire to learn being regularly quenched by members of this tribe, collective intelligence is rising more quickly than any organized curricula could ever aspire.

Image Capture, Sharing, and Platforms

Graffiti and Street Artists have always benefitted from documentation of photographers like John Naar, Keith Baugh, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, and James Prigoff, who are largely responsible for the capture and preservation of the historical knowledge we now have of graffiti in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s.  Without the benefit of instant communication of these images, copies of Cooper and Chalfant’s book Subway Art and Charlie Ahearn’s movie Wild Style relied upon actual physical distribution channels and commerce to travel around the world and inspire young artists. “Viral” was a word associated with antibiotics.

As film turned to digital at the turn of the century and cameras and personal computers became far more affordable, the convergence of technology gave professional and amateur photographers the incentive to roam the streets hunting for street art and the ability to have the instant gratification of seeing their photos online. As in the early days of graffiti, Street Artists of the 2000s didn’t shy away from the attention photographers were giving to their work and a new symbiotic relationship between the street artists and web savvy photographers was born where certain artists would place their work where it was likely to be seen and photographed, and hopefully distributed online. Like the days of Cooper et al., digital photographers assisted many of the current stars of Street Art to gain exposure to an appreciative fan base and to increase their popularity during the decade.

With the introduction of the online image-sharing platform called Flickr in 2004, the already rapid spread of Street Art photography completely ballooned as fans from every city and town and hamlet began uploading their Street Art images to one location where everyone could coalesce around their common interest. With a database structure and system for tagging, images could be categorized, sorted and most importantly, searched. No longer reliant on the approval of gatekeepers or site curators, Street Artists gained autonomy and audience largely on their own terms and with the help of photographers who scoured the streets to capture their work. Of the current 6 billion or so images uploaded to the site since then, millions are of street art – a de facto common repository and shared research archive for artists, professionals, curators, collectors, and casual fans.

A new central nervous system in formation, Flickr and other lesser-known sharing platforms had a profound causational relationship to the dissemination of Street Art culture to a worldwide audience.  You knew Melbourne and Bristol and São Paulo and New York had a Street Art scene, but Sacramento? Shanghai? Stavanger?  In addition to images and videos, the platform provided common space for exchange of opinion, ideas, and news, fostering online and offline relationships and enabling Street Artists and photographers to pursue their work as a possible career route.

Photo sharing sites of course are not the only means for the worldwide distribution and formation of a common understanding of Street Art culture. Today’s digital biosphere includes primary content sites and blogs, aggregators (or self-described “curators”), peer-to-peer forums, Social Media, and mobile apps as part of the overall knowledge base, forming an increasingly common understanding about Street Art, it’s origins and it’s evolving expression in the public sphere. No one can doubt that this familiarity has only aided its popularity.

In one significant role-reversal, the online experience of Street Art has also altered the behaviors on the streets and once sacrosanct “rules” of the street have been turned on their head. Although it was once verboten to reveal a street location for fear of reprisal, now both street artists and fans geotag their images so they can be found on a map with any GPS enabled device. As mobile device use eclipses Internet use in the next couple of years and hardware and software becomes more flexible, sophisticated, affordable, and available, there is no doubt that more apps and platforms using mapping and GPS are likely to thrive. Whether through image sharing platforms or mobile apps, these systems of tagging are providing exact information for self-guided tours by fans and tour groups, peers, enemies, and of course, law enforcement.

Excerpts from additional subtopics of this essay:

Tribes and Co-Surveillance

“The growth of connectivity is producing a foundational change to the world of the Street Artist and his or her relation to society as a hidden and/or marginalized figure. Increasingly it appears that it is impossible to be socially isolated when you are so busy relating, even if anonymously. Unwittingly, the stereotypical vision of the outsider is melting as one is pulled into a collective environment where peers regulate and monitor the actions of one another and settle disputes or give encouragement and opportunities. The new digital world, once thought to be impersonal, is increasingly fluid, intuitive, and connected; enabling a near eradication of feelings of estrangement, ostracization, marginalization, and isolation for many people, Street Artists included.”

Reaching an Audience

“Arguably the act of spraying a tag or signing your name to your art can be called advertising or at the very least, branding; A Street Art purist who rejects any ideas of the advertising taint may instead put their work on the bottom side of a railroad tie, but we haven’t heard of it. Everyone understands that the primary motivation is to have one’s work seen, and thanks to the Internet and digital media, an ever-growing sophistication in self marketing is on display from Street Artists who are adept at making art, and even those who are not.”

Democratization, Homogenization and Gate Keepers No More

“A certain homogenization of recurring styles, techniques, and themes due to mass disbursement also has begun, creating certain elements of an international style with clearly traced antecedents. A common language, vocabulary, and terminology that began with print media and graffiti continues to grow and refine itself. An international galaxy of galleries and festivals, and increasingly, museums, expands and contracts with lists of overlapping names traveling from continent to continent in search of walls.  Listed after the artist’s name in parenthesis is the abbreviation of their country but in practice the Internet has quickly enabled them to become virtually stateless. Thanks to instant availability, a 14 year old in a sleepy small town is schooling himself with YouTube right now and with luck and skill will inherit that state as well.”

 

~ Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art

Read the full essay in:

ELOQUENT VANDALS “THE HISTORY OF NUART”

Available Internationally on Amazon
Buy Now, Norwegian : Platekompaniet

Editors: Martyn Reed, Marte Jølbo, Victoria Bugge Øye,
Features: 304 Pages, full colour, hardcover
Format: 21 x 26cm
Language: English & Norwegian
Publisher : Kontur Publishing

Eloquent Vandals is the definitive book on one of the worlds leading street art festivals featuring exclusive essays from some of scene’s biggest names. Over 300 pages of exclusive images including works by Swoon, Brad Downey, David Choe, Vhils, Blu, Ericailcane, Logan Hicks, Dface, Nick Walker, Judith Supine, Graffiti Research Lab, Blek Le Rat and many more…

Eloquent Vandals tells the story of how Stavanger, a small city on the West Coast of Norway gained a global reputation for Street Art. For the past six years, the annual Nuart Festival has invited an international team of Street Artists to use the city as their canvas. From tiny stencils and stickers to building sized murals, from illicit wheat-paste posters on the outskirts of the city to “Landmark“ pieces downtown, found everywhere from run down dwellings and train sidings to the city’s leading galleries and fine art institutions, Eloquent Vandals documents the development of not only Nuart, but also one of the most exciting art movements of our times.

 

 

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BSA in Print : “Eloquent Vandals”, the Book about Nuart

The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.

While that may seem hyperbolic, just witness the millions of images of Street Art uploaded on photo sharing sites, the time lapse videos and full length films online, the hundreds of blogs, websites, discussion forums, chatrooms, Facebook pages, Twitter addresses, and phone and tablet apps dedicated entirely or partially to Street Art and graffiti, and the multifaceted culture that grows around it. Thousands of people daily are populating the databases, compiling a mountainous archive of something once quaintly referred to as an ephemeral art. This said, the transformative story is that the images are now freed from their sources to float in the ether for anyone with a digital device to access. Within the space of a decade, art that once lived and died on a wall with a local population is now shared via digital capture and upload, gaining access to a worldwide audience. Immediately.”Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, Eloquent Vandals : A History of Nuart Norway

Street Artist ROA in Norway (photo courtesy Nuart)

One of the three books BSA was published in during 2011, Eloquent Vandals tells the story of a Norwegian waterfront town that became a focal point for the emergence of Street Art during the first decade of the century. Edited by Marte Jølbo, Victoria Bugge Øye, and the Nuart festival founder Martyn Reed, the book explains how badass Street Artists and vandals can coalesce for a few weeks to make great walls come alive and educate through forums, roundtables, and lectures. Nuart and its accidental oracle, Mr. Reed, give us a smart and shining story of how to brilliantly engage public space with the very same artists who usually get blamed for defiling it.

Vhils at Nuart (photo © CF Salicath)

Over the last few years this port called Stavanger became a high profile portal for thrilling work by many globally known Street Art explorers every September and thanks to the easy reach of digital communications, people in cities across the globe experienced it. That was the very aspect that drew us into the project; the fact that Street Art has become so global so rapidly thanks to the engagement of everyday people via digital technology. In our chapter “Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, we deconstruct the various pathways and digital social tribes that enable an elevated consciousness about this global peoples art movement.

“A large part of our understanding of art and its expression for generations has come from textbooks, lorded over by scholars and experts who were trained by others using similar texts passing along received knowledge and prejudices.  For those rebels of the graffiti and Street Art movement who have never given much credence to formal education, the unbound and chaotic nature of digital communications actually feels more organic and trustworthy.”

Skewville represents Brooklyn at Nuart (photo © Marte Jølbo)

To be invited to participate in this book along with experts whom we admire greatly, most notably culture critic Carlo McCormick and author and lecturer Tristan Manco, is a great honor. To give background and context for a festival that includes some of the heavy talents in Street Art including Vhils, Blu, Skewville, Logan Hicks, Graffiti Research Lab, Blek Le Rat, Chris Stain, Ericailcane, Swoon, Judith Supine, Nick Walker, Dot Masters, ROA, M-City, Evol, Dan Witz and many more, it was a rare honor indeed.

Dot Masters toying around at Nuart (photo © Nuart)

 

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“Wall & Frames”, Today’s Street Artists, Tomorrow’s Masters

There is an uneasy reluctance among some artists in the graffiti and the Street Art community to let themselves be seen hanging with art collectors or even entering galleries sometimes because they might lose credibility among peers for not being ‘street’ enough. Seeing well manicured men in pinstripes and shrieking birdberry women with tinted/straightened/plumped everything looking at your shit hanging on a wall and asking vaguely patronizing questions about it like you are an exquisite curiosity could make you go out and slice their tires after downing a few white wines.  Not surprisingly, “keeping it real” sometimes translates to keeping it out of private collections.

Even as there is an every-growing recognition of art and artists who work sometimes illegally in the street, it’s a sort of high-wire act for anyone associating with art born in margins, mainly because it forces one to face the fact that we marginalize.

Sociological considerations aside, over the last decade there is a less traditional definition of Street Artist entering the fray. The graffiti scene originally boasted a sort of grassroots uprising by the voiceless and economically disempowered, with a couple of art school kids and the occasional high-minded conceptualist to mix things up. It’s all changed of course – for myriad reasons – and art in the streets takes every form, medium, and background. Now we see fully formed artists with dazzling gallery careers bombing right next to first time Krinks writers, graffiti writers changing gears and doing carefully rendered figurative work, corporations trying their hand at culture jamming (which isn’t a stretch), and all manner of Street Art referred to as an “installation”.

A new book by Maximiliano Ruiz called “Walls & Frames”, just released last month by Gestalten, presents a large collection of artists who have traversed the now permeable definitions of “street”, gallery, collector and museum. Admittedly, this may be a brief period of popularity for Street Art, if the 1980s romance with graffiti is any indication, but there is evidence that it will endure in some form.  This time one defining difference is that many artists have already developed skill, technique, and a fan base. Clearly the street has become a venue, a laboratory for testing and working out new ideas and techniques by fine artists, and even a valued platform for marketing oneself to a wider audience.

A spread of work by Conor Harrington in “Walls and Frames”.

The resulting work, whether hanging on a nail inside or painted on a street wall, challenges our previously defined boundaries. The current crop of street art stars and debutantes, many of the strongest whom are collected here by Ruiz, continue to stay connected with the energy of the street regardless of their trajectory elsewhere. Some are relatively new, while others have been evolving their practice since the 70s, with all the players sliding in and off the street over time. The rich and varied international collection is remarkable and leaves you wanting to see more work by many of the artists. All considered, “Wall and Frames” is a gorgeously produced book giving ample evidence that many of today’s artists in the streets are tomorrow’s masters, wherever they practice.

Augustine Kofie in “Walls and Frames”.

 

Sixe in “Walls and Frames”.

Remed in “Walls and Frames”.

Anthony Lister in “Walls and Frames”.

Judith Supine in “Walls and Frames”.

Alexandros Vasmoulakis in “Walls and Frames”.

D*Face in “Walls and Frames”.

Interesni Kazki in “Walls and Frames”.

Jorge Rodriguez Gerada in “Walls and Frames”.

M-City in “Walls and Frames”.

 All images © of and courtesy of Gestalten and Maximiliano Ruiz.

Artists included are Aaron Noble, AJ Fosik, Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Alëxone Dizac, Amose, Andrew McAttee, Anthony Lister, Antony Micallef, Axel Void, Basco-Vazko, Base 23, Ben Frost, Blek le Rat, Bom-K, Boris Hoppek, Boxi, C215, Cekis, Conor Harrington, D*Face, Dan Witz, Daniel Muñoz aka San, Dave Kinsey, Der, Dixon, Docteur Gecko, Doze Green, Dran, Duncan Jago aka Mr. Jago, Eine, Ekundayo, El Mac, Evan Roth, Evol, Faile, Faith 47, Fefe Talavera, Gaia, George Morton-Clark, Herakut, Herbert Baglione, Interesni Kazki, Jaybo, Jeff Soto, Jeremy Fish, Jesse Hazelip, Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez, Joram Roukes, Jorge Rodriguez Gerada, Josh Keyes, JR, Judith Supine, Katrin Fridriks, Kevin Cyr, Kofie, L’Atlas, Lightgraff, Logan Hicks, Ludo, M-City, Mark Jenkins, Mark Whalen aka Kill Pixie, Maya Hayuk, Medo & Demência, Meggs, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Morten Andersen aka M2theA, Mr. Kern, Mudwig, Nicholas Di Genova, Okuda, Patrick Evoke, Paul Insect, Pedro Matos, Peter Owen, Pose, Pure Evil, Remed, Remi/Roughe, René Almanza, Retna, Ripo, Ródez, Sam3, Sat One, Shepard Fairey, Sixe, Smash 137, Sowat, Sten & Lex, Stephan Doitschinoff, Tec, Tilt, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Turf One, Vitché;, Wendell McShine, Will Barras, and Zosen.

 

The launch; “Walls & Frames” will be presented at Gestalten Space Berlin on December 15th.

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Stencils Of The Week 10.05.10

Stencil-Top-5

As chosen by Samantha Longhi of Stencil History X

brooklyn-street-art-Evol-stencil-history-x

Evol at Galerie Bodson-Emelinckx. Installation View /Main Room (Photo © Evol)

Grobkonzept. Boardstock 2010. (Photo © Grobkonzept)

Grobkonzept. Boardstock 2010. (Photo © Grobkonzept)

Zibe Tso “Jump in my car” ( Photo © Zibe Tso)

M-City View of the exhibition “Urban Jungle” ( Photo © SHX)

brooklyn-street-art-Chris Stain-stencil-history-x-web

Chris Stain Outdoor stencil mural Dumbo, NYC (Photo © Lois Stavsky)

BSA……….BSA…………BSA……….BSA…………BSA……….BSA…………BSA……….BSA…………BSA……….BSA…………

Stencil History X

See more EVOL here

For more Grobkonzept go here

For more Zibe Tso

Galerie Itinerrance

M-City

Chris Stain

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Martyn Reed: Art Saves Lives

Martyn Reed: Art Saves Lives

The Founder of Nuart, Nordic Jewel of Street Art

Erica Il Cane and Blu (Photo © Ian Cox)

Erica Il Cane and Blu (Photo © Ian Cox)

The small but very expensive (if you are not a resident) and oil rich Coastal town of Stavenger in Norway must be feeling a bit blue right now. Nuart 2010 artists cleaned up, packed up their tools and left after two weeks of painting monumental murals for the town’s folk to enjoy during the long, dark winter months ahead. This years’ Street Artists included Dotmasters, Dolk, EVOL, Sten & Lex, Vhils, and ROA, among others. As in the past 5 years under this curator, the ’10 group is a stellar selection of talent that is helping define what direction Street Art is heading.

Vhils (Photo © Ian Cox)

Vhils (Photo © Ian Cox)

The offerings this year were super sized and in many cases bold in color. All of the participants this year were painters, masters at their craft and supremely independent. Martyn Reed, curator and visionary engine behind this elaborate but accessible street art festival doesn’t limit himself to one large festival – instead he marries it with a prestigious electronic-based music festival he created as a result of his years as a DJ. This years’ NuMusic festival featured performances by luminaries like Krautrock grandaddies Neu! and American hip-hop cornerstone Grandmaster Flash.

The affable bad boy Reed took a moment this week to look at his route to success so far and tell BSA about what the Nuart festival is and why it is important to him.

Brooklyn Street Art: Putting on a festival of this magnitude must be a big task. How do you do it?

Martyn Reed: Actually, this year, though the largest in scale, was a much easier production than we’ve been used to. We’ve learned so much from previous events that this year things ran incredibly smoothly. The biggest challenge was the weather in the second week. A good 90% of the walls required cherry pickers, these are obviously booked well in advance, set up, artists arrives and yeah.. we’re on. The walls that required scaffold are rigged by professionals and we made sure that all of this years artists were painters. So once set up, people were pretty autonomous. It helped that we spread out the production period to cover two weeks and also that we had Marte, a Nuart regular, on an internship for a month during the planning phase.

Dotmaster (Photo © Ian Cox)

Dotmaster (Photo © Ian Cox)

Brooklyn Street Art: What has been the town folks’ main reaction when they see all the big creatures on the walls of their city?

Martyn Reed: It’s incredible, there’s nothing but love for Nuart in this city, and it’s spread across a really broad demographic, from toddlers to grandparents, and from bakers to the city mayor.

It’s interesting because in a city this size anything new, any new developments in culture for example, are judged on their intrinsic merits and not due to media hype or “trends”. The city has a population of 120,000 and though a few will be aware of Banksy, Dolk etc..that will it. The art isn’t really tied to a “culture”, to Juxtapoz or hipsters or the gallery set or limited edition sneakers and vinyl toys and all the other commercial detritus that’s blossomed around the scene. It’s simply art on the street, big bold beautiful artworks that noticeably improve the surroundings. It’s astonishing to me that more city councils around the world haven’t yet embraced and recognized the value of Street Art.

Evol (Photo © Ian Cox)

Evol (Photo © Ian Cox)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have combined music with the plastic arts. Is there a cross-over between the two? Does one influence the other when curating the festival?

Martyn Reed: Interesting question, but the short answer is no, not anymore. Interesting in that Nuart was established to explore the questions you raise.

The Numusic festival, like many other European electronic music festivals, was born from an involvement in early rave and club culture. Arts graduates social life’s began to merge with their studies and aspects of academic pursuits began to influence club culture, especially with Vj’s, the early web, digital arts and new media. This proved an especially fertile and creative arena for subversives and artistic outsiders who naturally gravitate to these still lawless new frontiers. Nuart was initially set up as a sister festival to Numusic back in 2001 to provide a platform for “cutting edge” digital arts and new media, which of course had parallels with Numusic which at the time was billed as “Scandinavia’s leading festival of Electronic music”. New Media quickly became the baby of Arts Councils and funding bodies around the globe with new departments established to support and fund the medium. Art and New Technology grants were everywhere and as a Techno Dj and promoter with a degree in fine art, I was ideally placed to take advantage of the situation. I wrote the applications and we hired in various freelance curators between 2001 and 2005 and opened up the galleries during the club nights mixing up the art and the music.

ROA (Photo © Ian Cox)

ROA (Photo © Ian Cox)

I’d had an interest in Street Art through Banksy having Dj’d at Cargo in London where he had his first UK show, 2001 I think. It hadn’t occurred to me until 2005 when I took over curating Nuart, that Street Art was occupying the same ground as these early digital pioneers had previously, with a similar message, greater coverage, mass appeal and for the price of a craft knife and Internet connection. Suddenly new media looked like the bloated expensive state sanctioned art-form it was, obsessed with the technology of production when the real technological revolution was in its ability to distribute. I’d already worked with C6/Dotmasters on a new media show which led to Graffiti Research Lab etc so in 2005 I made an application to the arts council with a view to pushing things into a more street art orientated direction. And of course it was rejected outright..We thought ‘fuck it’, took out a private bank loan and did it anyway.. that was the start of Nuart in it’s current form. I guess the only similarities with movements in music is how the form is distributed, though it’s interesting to note a few artists, Faile in particular, messing with “remix” culture.

Dolk (Photo © Ian Cox)

Dolk (Photo © Ian Cox)

Dolk (Photo © Ian Cox)

Dolk (Photo © Ian Cox)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have to deal with painters and musicians. How do you see their differences as artists and do you approach them differently?

Martyn Reed: We treat people as people, no heirs and graces and pretty plain talking. We’re an easy going bunch and I think most artists and musicians feel comfortable around the crew, obviously we have to adapt to certain peoples quirks of character, but for the most, peoples social antenna’s are tuned to the same channel. Our main goal is to ensure that the production and service we provide ensures that the artists have nothing to worry about other than their own performance or piece.

Alexandros (Photo © Alexandros)

Alexandros (Photo © Alexandros)

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you grow up in a family where the arts and music were a big part of growing up? If not when did you realize that music and art were your calling?

Martyn Reed: Ha Ha, no no, quite the opposite, lower working class council estate upbringing, trailer trash in your parlance, didn’t know universities existed until I was maybe 17 or so, left home and school at 16 and just tried to get on..

During all these centuries of the celebration of high art, of its life-affirming philosophies, the glorification, elevation and idolization, it’s monuments to human artistic achievement and even more monumental museums celebrating its history, you’d think, somewhere down the line..an attempt would have been made to bring this to my council estate. To our lives. Because I know for a fact, art is not only capable of “improving” lives, but of saving them also. Literally.

But for all the grandstanding, the “high” arts don’t run that deep, which is why I’m a massive supporter and promoter of street art.

As for realizing, not sure, to be honest, from a very early age I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, and the “in” seemed to be missing a few things. I guess Nuart is my attempt to provide the community and the artists (and my 4 year old kid), with the thing that I missed.

M-City (Photo © GT)

M-City (Photo © GT)

Sten & Lex (Photo © Sten & Lex)

Sten & Lex (Photo © Sten & Lex)

All Images are Courtesy of Nuart and © Ian Cox, © GT and © Alexandros © Sten & Lex

http://nuart09.blogspot.com/

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A Visit to Stroke02

A Danish Street Artist Reports from Munich About Last Week’s Stroke02 Urban Art Fair

by Don John

A piece by Morten Anderson and Sainer (© Don John)
A piece by Morten Anderson and Sainer (© Don John)

Last week I attended Stroke02,  a 4-day art fair for Urban Art that takes place in Munich, Germany. It is held in a former Federal Bank office building that is about 4 stories completely full of exhibitors.

Herakut and Case at work at Stroke02  (© Don John)
Herakut and Case at work at Stroke02 (© Don John)

Herakut and Case  (© Don John)
Herakut and Case (© Don John)

I was with the gallery/store called Rocket, where I exhibited together with Lake from Berlin and Johannes König from Munich.  Last year the Stroke festival had 7000 visitors and my guess is that this year was about the same.

Don John and Kid Acne  (© Don John)
Don John and Kid Acne (© Don John)

The visitors did not only consist of young people, but also a fair amount of middle-aged visitors. I thought it was great that Stroke had succeeded in reaching out to this segment as well.

A Sainer piece on display  (© Don John)
A Sainer piece on display (© Don John)

The fair also featured live paintings from: Case, Herakut, Ma’Claim, Claudio Ethos and Morten Andersen among others.

EVOL creates building facades in his pieces  (© Don John)
EVOL creates fascinating building facades in his pieces (© Don John)

ROA created one of his rabbits  (© Don John)
ROA created one of his multi-panelled rabbits (© Don John)

All in all I think it was great to participate as an artist, and I think that the visitors got a lot of great art for their 12 euro entrance fee.

This dude in what looks like a dunce cap looks really similar to someone in my nightmares.  (© Don John)
This dude in what looks like a dunce cap looks really similar to someone. (ECB, Henbdrik Beikirch) (© Don John)

For all the toy fans here is a sculpture by Biserama (Alexander Becherer) at Stroke02 (© Don John)
For all the toy fans here is a sculpture by Biserama (Alexander Becherer) at Stroke02 (© Don John)

I also grabbed the opportunity to do two paste ups while in Munich; one on Blumenstrasse and the other on Fraunhoferstr.

An outside piece by Don John  (© Don John)
An outside piece called “Buzzard Kid” by Don John (© Don John)

www.donjohn.dk
http://donjohnstencils.blogspot.com
/
Pics from Stroke02: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48068772@N02/

STROKE02 Website

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GAIA “The Reinvention of Nature” at Gallery Heist (SF)

gaia_poster_horizontal_2-01_web-1Gallery Heist is pleased to present The Reinvention of Nature, the San Francisco debut exhibition for Brooklyn/Baltimore based street artist GAIA. The Reinvention of Nature – Opening reception: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 7-11pm MAY 15 – MAY 31, 2010 Gaia is a Brooklyn and Baltimore based street artist with a background in Printmaking and Sculpture. He is currently enrolled in his final year at MICA (Maryland Institute of Art) with a major in interdisciplinary sculpture. At the age of 21 Gaia has built an impressive resume having exhibited in art fairs and galleries through out Brooklyn, London, D.C, Miami and Los Angeles. His work has appeared along side street art contemporary geniuses such as Blek Le Rat, Shepard Farey, Swoon, Matt Small, D*face, Sweettoof, Brian Adam Douglas, Lucas Price, Nick Walker, Slinkachu, Imminent Disaster, EVOL, Pisa 73, Oliver Vernon, and Dalek just to name a few.

Marrying the animal and the human form, Gaia conjures mysterious figures that carry a heavy sense of mythology and recall a past when man and nature were once united. These romantic creatures stand in relief to the urban environment as they lurk and beckon in the city’s forgotten and neglected spaces. The conveyance of their story relies on the chance coincidence with a passerby, and even in that intimate moment, their narrative is precarious and delicate. Gaia works with linocut prints and painted images applied to paper and then mounted as paste ups on the street or on panels for finished works.

ABOUT THE GALLERY Art is an extension of our culture and our communities and in many ways art defines our times. Art is not a luxury it is a necessity. My mission is to foster innovative artistic expression and provide sanctuary for the creative process while stressing the importance of it. The walls of Heist will house work that is representational to this generation offering a contemporary program of artists who challenge and analyze our social and cultural responsibility, traditions, and behaviors; artists who are on the forefront of a conscious art movement. To encourage and support this conscious art movement, I have opened Heist and hope that you will choose to be a part of it. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12:00-8:00pm Mondays by appointment. Gallery Heist is located at 679 Geary Street near the corner of Leavenworth, southeast of the intersection.

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