All posts tagged: Faile

Astronaut Street Art : Ground Control To Major Tom…

Astronaut Street Art : Ground Control To Major Tom…

Aside from signing the Outer Space Treaty that was ratified by 107 nations in which member states promise to not militarize the celestial heavens, US Vice President Pence tried to pull a fast one last week by announcing an idea for a US Space Force, the 6th branch of US Armed Forces.

Evidently being in 7 wars right now on Earth isn’t enough for the masters of war. There is surely more money to be made by further bloating a global weapons industry that focuses primarily on destruction rather than construction.

Victor Ash. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

What is Mike Pence needing defense from exactly? Gays? Gay aliens? Intelligent assertive women? African-American or immigrants struggling to make ends meet, living day-to-day from paycheck to paycheck? We decided to take the whole ridiculous announcement with humor and found ourselves pawing through the archives for Street Art images of astronauts. We found many!

As we contemplate war in space, we turn to our collective fascination with astronauts and cosmonauts and nauts of many kinds. Since the dawn of this popular spaceman fixation there has been this guy or gal floating around weightless in our collective imaginations, bouncing along at the end of his tether, or untethered altogether.

Victor Ash. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toven. Baltimore, USA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toven. Baltimore, USA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

B.D. White. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axolotl Collective. Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Topaz. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The London Police. Boras, Sweden. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton in Collaboration with CYRCLE. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

“Beyond The Streets” Exhibition : Gastman’s Train Pulls In to LA

A steel-wheeled graffiti train with Roger Gastman at the controls roars into LA’s Chinatown for a two-month stay at this station, a 40,000 square foot warehouse that houses “Beyond the Streets.” Originating at the streets and train yards of the 1960s and 70s, this express survey carries with it 100 or so artists and writers from across the last five decades as practitioners of graffiti, Street Art, and mural painting. Somehow, everyone gets represented.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Opening night featured many of the names associated with its earliest beginnings of the New York /Philadelphia graffiti scene like Cornbread, Taki183, Futura, Lady Pink, filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, among many others, including photographer Martha Cooper, who in addition to being an artist in the show, shares these photos with BSA readers. She also extensively shares her photos for the accompanying show catalog,  providing documentation from the scene that exist nowhere else.

Retna. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A diverse and almost overwhelming series of displays present the works in a way that can only hint at the thousands of artists who built this story, necessarily viewed through a wide lens: sculpture, photography, installations, and multi-media all join the canvasses and ephemera and Gastman’s collection of vintage paint cans. Smartly planned for the selfie generation, large pieces are presented almost as backdrop ready to be Instagrammed; a direction coming from the “Photos Encouraged” sign that is next to the wall covered with Retna’s original alphabet near the entrance.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Somewhat of a rejoinder to Art in the Streets, the eponymous graffiti and Street Art exhibition in 2011 at LA MoCA, Beyond the Streets takes a focused look at the multitudinous peoples’ art movement from the perspective of one of that first shows’ original curators, Roger Gastman. When arranging the two month exhibition that closes July 6th, Gastman says that his focus was to celebrate those with street cred, in terms of individual practice, and to combine that requirement with a respectable semblance of a studio practice.

Ultimately he looked for artists who have used their particular approach to expand the definition of art in the streets in some way. That definition by now has become quite wide and it’s also a tall order for any curator to find the common themes here and present them in a cohesive manner.

Beyond The Streets, compiled by Roger Gastman.

Both the accompanying catalog and exhibition take a welcome stance toward educating the audience in many ways, helping the viewer to decode this freewheeling graffiti and mark-making history with basic vocabulary terms, historical events, pop culture inflexion points and examination of tools of the trade all adding context. Catalog essays and interviews are incisive and enlightening, including wit, sarcasm and even the occasional admonishment – notably in the essay by author, filmmaker, and curator Sacha Jenkins, who has been documenting the graffiti scene for a least a couple of decades.

Studying the move of some artists from street practice to commercial gallery that began in earnest with early NYC train writers transitioning to canvasses in the early 1980s, Jenkins upbraids a disgruntled faction among old-school graffiti writers who he characterizes as perhaps intransigent in their stylistic evolution and unwilling to adapt with the game. Later in his essay he lambasts the overtly pleasant and narcissistic cultural newcomers who he sees as milk-toasting the scene with their adoration of pretty murals and shallow sentiments, obtusely ushering in gentrification and “leading up to hearing about how my mother’s building is going to get bulldozed for a hip residential building that has a hot tub in every apartment.” He also may be the only writer here so openly addressing race and class distinctions present during the evolution of the scene and now.

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The selection of artists and writers in the book and exhibition, many of them friends and colleagues with whom Gastman has worked with in the past, offers a rewarding and accessible panoply of styles and views. With some study the visitor understands connections in a widely dispersed multi-player subculture that coalesced and continuously changed its shape and character. But even if they don’t, they still get an amazing amount of eye candy.

The catalog offers extensive sections like those devoted to The History of Spraypaint and Graffiti in Galleries, and offers petite exegesis on influencing factors and benchmarks that shaped the art form’s route like Mobile DJs, The ’77 NYC Blackout, the European graffiti scene and graffiti’s role in gang culture, hip-hop and hardcore music. The compilation aids and supports the fullness of a story that frankly requires many voices to tell it. Gastman even gives forum and exhibition space to activist and defiant guerilla gardener Ron Finley and the holistic urban horticultural oases that he creates in South Central LA, calling it his form of graffiti in empty lots of the city.

Martha Cooper with Taki 183. Beyond The Streets. (photo courtesy of Martha Cooper)

With insightful interviews of artists in the exhibition from talented writers like Caleb Neelon, Caroline Ryder, John Lewis, Alec Banks, Evan Pricco, John Albert, Shelly Leopold, and Gastman himself, there are enough colorful anecdotes and decisive signposts en route to help tell the stories of the artists and their individual approaches to the street.

“The artists do not share a singular style, since they are primarily united by a common element of their personal biographies – the fact that they once made their art in the streets,” says self-described novice to the Street Art / graffiti world, Adam Lerner, the Director and Chief Animator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. “There are, however some threads that run through the works.”

Beyond the Streets will help visitors find some of those threads for themselves and undoubtedly they will forge their own interpretation of art in the streets.

Faile. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Invader. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Slick. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Takashi Murakami with Madsaki, Snipel, Tenga One and Onesker. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Lady Pink. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Charlie Ahearn . Futura . Lady Pink. Crash. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mr. Cartoon. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Futura. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Futura takes a photo of Haze’s art work. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Niels Shoe Meulman. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ron Finley’s Gansta Gardener installation. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Corn Bread. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Corn Bread. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

Crash . Daze. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Katsu. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bill Barminski. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Faith XLVII. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Shepard Fairey. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jenny Holzer, Flashlight (In Collaboration With A-One). Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Blade. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aiko. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Al Diaz. Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Barry Magee. Beyond The Streets. (photo and video below © Martha Cooper)

 

Beyond The Streets. (photo © Martha Cooper)


For more information please visit https://www.beyondthestreets.com/

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Magda Danysz Brings “Art From The Streets” to Singapore Art Science Museum

Magda Danysz Brings “Art From The Streets” to Singapore Art Science Museum

“Art From the Streets”, an exhibition at the Art Science Museum in Singapore opened this weekend to coordinate with Singapore Art Week that runs from tomorrow until the end of the month with fairs, festivals and art exhibitions. Commercial art dealer and writer Magda Danysz curated the show with names she represents and whom you will be familiar with – Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Faile, and Futura, for example.

Two versions of the catalogue, one by Felipe Pantone, the other by Futura, are available on the Magda Danysz website .

But she also brings an eclectic mix of others on her roster and possibly lent from some private collections. Collectively they span many of the high profile, the saleable and known over the past 5 decades from various disciplines and philosophical practices; In the case of Jacques Villeglé, whose practice of lacerating posters in the 1960s predates Failes’ by 4 decades, a lineage can be drawn. Other connections are not as easy.

Ultimately the collection gives a sense of the vast number of personalities and techniques that have characterized the street practice in Europe and North America primarily without focusing on any one specialty too greatly. Here are the revered names along with mid-career folks and current darlings who are sure to leave a mark. There is also a small inclusion of more regional favorites like Eko Nugroho from Indonesia, and Singapore’s Speak Cryptic, who each were on hand this weekend with many of the artists for the opening.

Giving tours with microphone in hand during the opening days, the energetic Ms. Danysz educates new fans and potential buyers about an organic artists scene that grew from the streets and is now more frequently being offered for sale in places such as her three gallery locations in London, Paris, and Shanghai. Today it is slowly appearing more often in museums as well.

“Conscious that promotion of the emerging scene is necessary, Magda Danysz took part in many fairs,” says a press release, “such as for example Art Brussels, Arte Fiera in Bologna, Artissima in Torino, Fiac in Paris or Pulse in New York, and is one of the four galleries at the origin of the Show Off Paris art fair.”

This weekend’s activities included short presentations panel discussions and a screen of Wild Style.

Art from the Streets tickets are $17.00 on the Marina Bay Sands website.


A complete list of artists varies online with artists listed on the museum website including:

Banksy, Tarek Benaoum, Stéphane Bisseuil, Blade, Crash, Speak Cryptic, D*face, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Futura, Invader, JR, L’Atlas, Ludo, M-City, Nasty, Eko Nugroho, Nunca, Felipe Pantone, Quik, Lee Quinones, Blek le Rat, Rero, Remi Rough, André Saraiva, Seen, Seth, Sten Lex, Tanc, Hua Tunan, Yok & Sheryo, YZ, Zevs “and many more“.

Elsewhere online the roster is said to include 2Koa, Jef Aérosol, Ash, André, A-One, Aplickone, Banksy, Benjamin Duquenne, Tarek Benaoum, Stephane Bisseuil, Blek Le Rat, Boulaone, C215, Crash, Dface, Dondi, Dran, Eror729, Shepard Fairey, Faile, Futura, Keith Haring, Isham, Jayone, Jonone, Jr, Katre, Kaws, L’atlas, Lem, Ludo, Barry Mc Gee, Mikostic, Miss.Tic, Mode 2, Steve More, Nasty, Nord, Yoshi Omori, Os Gemeos, Psyckoze, Quik, Rammellzee, Recidivism, Rero, Remi Rough, Seen, Seth, Skki, Sore, Space Invader, Spazm, Spécio, Swoon, Tanc, Toxick, Vhils, Jacques Villeglé, Nick Walker, West, Yz, Zevs, Zhang Dali, Zlotykamien and Zuba.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.03.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.03.17


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While You Were Sleeping is a Korean TV series about a woman who can see the future in her dreams, and a prosecutor who fights to stop these future events from happening. The title also makes us think about the scam of a Tax bill passed while you were sleeping in the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday.

The servants of the rich, these wolves, are facilitating the largest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class up to their masters for well into the future, and it appears that few are awake to see it. It also pulls health insurance out from underneath 13 million sleeping people. The majority of the country was against this but the servants pushed it through anyway when you weren’t stirring. Good night!

When the US had its largest growing middle class and economic expansion in the 1950s the top tax rate was more than 90%. Did you know that? Reagan lowered it to 39%. This bill lowers the top rate to 20%. Since as a group, hundreds of corporations paid an effective federal income tax rate of just 21.2 percent over a recent eight-year period because they’re working the system, that means many won’t pay any taxes soon, joining GE, Priceline.com, PG&E – who already pay absolutely nothing. Just you will pay the taxes. Congratulations!

Street Art better be dope ya’ll, because that’s where many of us will be living soon – the street.

But we are wide awake for sex scandals, by golly. Powerful men are being accused by past alleged victims from every sector in society right now. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Santa Claus can stay above the fray!

Meanwhile, the tree got lit this week in Rockefeller Center, a lot of people are going to get lit this month at their office holiday party, many NYC art denizens are heading to the Miami Basel Circus this week, and apparently there is supposed to be some Street Art thing happening there too.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring BD White, Daek, Elbi Elem, Elisa Capdevila, Faile, Jason Woodside, Jerkface, Kai, Killjoy, Magda Love, Mazatl, Mr. Toll, Ola Kalnins, Praxis, Timothy Goodman, and Sonni.

Our top image : Timothy Goodman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

B.D. White for The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

B.D. White for The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Toll. Vanity Project. This piece is visible from the street level in front of Crest Hardware in Williamsburg. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elisa Capdevila for Contorno Urbano in Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elbi Elem for Contorno Urbano in Sant Feliu de Llobregat. Barcelona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jerkface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Magda Love and Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ola Kalnins (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jason Woodside (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Killjoy collabo with Mazatl in Cholula Puebla for La Linea Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Lower East Side of Manhattan, NYC. December 02, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

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Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.

Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.

Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.

The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.23.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.23.16

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We have an unusually high number of “Unidentified Artist” pics this week along with some new names – which to us means the streets are alive and changing again, responding to new voices. Of course it is good to see some of the more familiar players as well.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Astro Naut, BelowKey, BenFGraphic, BustArt, Cern, Faile, Free the Hearts, GB Pigeon, Megavote, Panmela Castro, SheWolf, Specter, Tatiana Fazlalizadeh, Who is Dirk.

Our top image: Panmela Castro borrows a phrase from Hillary Clinton to make her point. Or did Hillary borrow it from Panmela? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter updates the Yusuf Hawkins mural again. See our story on the last time he did this here. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile through the window (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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GB Pigeon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“The Thinker” from Bustart (photo © Bustart)

“I just finished a huge wall for the Kettenreaktion,” Bustart says. “This is an art project in a abandoned factory in Switzerland. The last two months lots of artist were working in and on the factory and made installations, paintings, performances and much more. After the transformation the area will be open for cultural events. For more information please click HERE.

 

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Bustart (photo © Bustart)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist. A miniature piece can be just as impressive as the largest of murals. Is this vandal tossing an aerosol can? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shewolf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Belowkey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist. Good luck cat. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Who Is Dirk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben F Graphic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Megavote (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Astro Naut at an abandoned factory in Reggio Emilia, Italy. (photo © Astro Naut)

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Astro Naut at an abandoned factory in Reggio Emilia, Italy. (photo © Astro Naut)

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Loose lips sink ships! Lip Slip (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Utitled. SOHO, NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images of the Week 10.09.16

BSA Images of the Week 10.09.16

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Donald Trump didn’t change. Your “News” did.

Any New Yorker on the street can tell you that Donald Trump has always been this way – he hasn’t made a “secret” of it. We just called this stuff “tabloid news”, and tabloids were an exception. Now they nearly rule all public discourse.

Lowest-common-denominator “News” has produced a lowest-common-denominator candidate. He almost clinched the highest elected office. There is a trail of polarized destruction in the wake.

For over a year this profit-driven entertainment media actually created a cancerous candidate who gives them daily “clickable content” while they hold their noses and count the dollars. These people aren’t serving you, or democracy. We are all collectively debased – men and women, black and white, Mexican and Muslim, rich and poor, families, children, teachers, workers, nurses, doctors, cashiers, church people, atheists – as a result.

The GOP’s flirtation with starting and fanning racist bonfires over the past decade or so has finally swallowed it in flames, leaving it in smoking embers, their leaders completely covered with fecal matter, quieted and stunned. The reputation of the US around the world took a battering thanks to this tabloid news candidate as well. Traveling to Street Art events outside the US this year, invariably someone would shake us by the lapels and ask us what the hell was going on with this Trump guy?!.

In recognition of the woman-hating man who came dangerously close to the White House, here are a number of different women and girls by Street Artists creating in the public sphere at the moment, covering a range of styles, backgrounds, techniques and points of view.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Beast, Danielle Mastrion, Faile, finDAC, Jilly Ballistic, Kevin Lyons, Leticia Mondragora, LMNOPI, Marina Capdevila, Myth, Never Crew, Ouch, Shepard Fairey, Sipros, Slick, Spaik, Stray Ones, Taker, Who’s Dirk, and Zimer.

Our top image: FinDac (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Detail. For The L.I.S.A. Project in The East Village. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. The L.I.S.A. Project in The East Village. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Beast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faile (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leticia Mandragora (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marina Capdevilla in Switzerland for Vision Art Festival. (photo © Marina Capdevila)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stray Ones. Catch him if you can! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ouch (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Taker for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Never Crew in Luzern, Switzerland for Viva Con Agua. (photo © Never Crew)

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Sipros for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jilly Ballistic. Palimpsest in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Sexual predator for USA President. How can you people defend him still? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. She is not perfect. She is also not crazy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Whos Dirk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Slick. Murals In The Market/1XRun 2016. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kevin Lyons. Murals In The Market/1XRun 2016. Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Spaik. Sardegna in Italy. (photo © Spaik)

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Untitled. Subway dreams. NYC Subway. Manhattan, NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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

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

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

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

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

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.02.16 : Spotlight on Climate Change

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he tells me I’m an idiot because I trust scientists about climate change and that actually it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Sorry, everything reminds us of Donald J. Trump and his outlandish claim for the presidency. Even when we are looking at the new Faile mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Love Me, Love Me Not.

The Greenest Point is an initiative that wants to raise awareness of Climate Change and three Street Artists have just completed two murals here in Brooklyn to support it. The organization says that they hope to gather “together people from different backgrounds, professions and skill-sets who are bonded by aligned values and a common vision.” By integrating Street Art with technology, film, sound and voice, they hope that we’ll be more capable of piecing together the climate change puzzle as a collective.

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Faile. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We don’t pretend to be scientists, but we trust the ones we have and we decided that this week we would dedicate BSA Images of the Week  just to this new project and this topic. We also know that it is now well-documented that tobacco companies fought us citizens with disinformation and legislative trickery for decades before they finally admitted that smoking was killing us and our families, so there is reason to believe that oil companies and related industries who flood our media and politicians with money are possibly buying time while we’re all heating up the atmosphere.

Here are new images of the two new murals in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an interview with the three artists who participated; Vexta, Askew, and long time Greenpoint studio residents, Faile.

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Faile: We feel it’s important to create work that can resonate with people on an emotional level. Something that we can live with everyday and that has a place in our lives that brings meaning to our experience. This is how we think people must learn to connect to climate change. It’s not something you can just think about, it’s something that you have to do everyday. It has to become part of you. We hope art has the power to be that wink and nod that you are on the right track. That the little things you do are meaningful and that change starts with you in the most simple of ways.

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Vexta and Askew. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Greenpoint has a history of blue collar communities who worked in factories producing goods for the both the merchant marine and the USA Navy. Those factories are all gone and only a few of the original settlers remain in the neighborhood such as the Polish community. How do you think the murals painted for the festival relate to them?
Vexta: Our collaborative mural hopefully offers a voice to people directly to people who will become a part of the history of Greenpoint and its legacy. We will have QR codes installed that link to video pieces that physically give Askew’s subjects a voice as well as linking to the birds calls and information about their situation.
Faile: We tried to be aware of the history of Greenpoint. The communities that make this neighborhood what it is. We tried to incorporate some nods to them through the work, specifically with the traditional Polish pattern in the socks. Unfortunately, Greenpoint is also home to some of the worst ecological disasters this country has ever experienced, the effects of which are still present. We wanted to bring something positive and something beautiful to the neighborhood that spoke to everyone. There are other historical murals in the neighborhood so it didn’t feel like it required another.

The neighborhood is also quickly changing. It’s home to many young families and has a vibrant creative class, not to mention our studio for the last 12 years. When creating an artwork in a public space, especially a park, there’s always that balance of trying to make something that people can connect with on a visceral, then psychological level in an immediate way–once that connection is made you hope they can dig a little deeper into the more subversive side of the meaning.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Faile:Whether you believe it or not there are basic things that people can do in their everyday lives to create a more beautiful environment around them. Picking up trash, recycling, being mindful that our resources are precious – none of these really imply that you have to have an opinion about climate change. Just the fact that we have a green space now in Transmitter Park is progress towards an environment that we can fall in love with.

We think that’s ultimately what the idea of Love Me, Love Me Not is asking. What kind of environment do you want? Do you want renewable green spaces that offer future generations beauty and room to reflect within nature? Or do you want to pave over the toxic soil and oil spills with the risk of repeating the past? If people can even ask themselves that question then we are at least engaging them into the dialogue where the seeds of action can be planted.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Why do you think art is an important vehicle to highlight climate issues?
Vexta: For me as an artist it is the means that I have to talk about what I know to be important. Art also stands as this symbolic, most often visual, gesture that can bring people together, ignite debate and shine a light towards a new way of thinking that is perhaps still in the shadows of the mainstream. There is no more pressing issue right now than Climate Change.

There was a famous piece of graffiti up for a long time in my home city of Melbourne that read “No Jobs on a Dead Planet” in a beautiful font running down a power plant chimney. This work spurred my thinking back before I had begun making art professionally. That simple creative action out in public space was powerful and it spoke a simple truth and showed me that you can do a lot with a little. Art and art out in the streets is a great vehicle for talking about issues like climate change, because its a gesture in a shared space, it provides something to meditate on or think about that ultimately is a shared reality, this makes sense to me as climate change is a problem we need to work together to address.

Askew: I think that in particular art in the public space can be a very powerful way to put messaging on issues that matter right out in front of people who may not otherwise engage with it. Also an artist has the freedom to make the image captivating in a way that perhaps other platforms for speaking about serious issues don’t. People get bombarded with so much conflicting information every day especially via the mainstream media, art can put people in the contemplative space to engage differently.

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Vexta and Askew. Detail. The Greenest Point Project. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: You have participated in at least one other art festival whose principal mission is to highlight the well being of our ecology and our planet. What would you say is unique characteristic of The Greenest Point that differentiates it from other festivals with equal goals?
Askew: Well I think this is different because it’s so focused on a specific place whereas the scope of other events I’ve painted look more generally at global issues. I think it’s great for communities to narrow their focus to directly around them to tackle very tangible local change. If every neighborhood did that globally, imagine the impact.
Vexta: I agree with Askew, What is special about The Greenest Point is that it’s very locally based yet has a global focus. The Greenest Point has brought so many different parts of our local community together, from creatives to government to business. It has shown us that people in our neighborhood really care about Climate Change.

BSA: Your collaborative mural with Askew represents the current and future generations of children. What do you think is the principal message to send to the children so they are more aware of the problems facing our planet?
Vexta: My mural with Askew represents a coming together of numerous ideas. The future belongs to the youth and the world’s children will be the ones most impacted by Climate Change. I think they are really aware of this problem and it’s a very scary prospect. Our mural brought together not only representations of young people but also birds found in the NY state area that are currently climate threatened & endangered (according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report) as well as icebergs made of my shapes that represent the particles that make up all matter.

I would hope that we can inspire them to feel empowered to make small changes that they see as being possible whilst also acknowledging that all the other parts of our world – the birds, animals, water, air and land are just as important as they are. We are all in this together.

Askew: For me personally, celebrating young local people who are giving their time to make change in Greenpoint around sustainability and community-building issues is immediately inspiring to other young people.

BSA: Do you think art and in particular the murals painted for this festival have the power to change the conversation on climate change and positively move and engage the people who either are indifferent to the issue or just refuse to believe that climate change is a real issue caused by humans? 
Askew: Everything we do has impact, positive and negative – that’s the duality we deal with inhabiting this space. It’s a closed system, resources are finite and so we must respect them and do our best to live in harmony with this earth that supports us and live peacefully amongst each other and the various other creatures we share this planet with. No one thing is going to make pivotal change but everyone being mindful and keeping the conversation and action going is what will make a difference.

Our special thanks to the team at The Greenest Point and to the artists for sharing their time and talent with BSA readers.

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One image from this week by Street Artist Sipros depicts Climate-Change-denying Donald Trump as the character The Joker, from the Batman movies. A frightening piece of political satire, or perhaps propaganda, depending on who you talk to. Mana Urban Art Projects. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Lincoln Street Art Park. Detroit, Michigan. Septiembre 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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

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

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Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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

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

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)

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Okuda (photo © VladyArt)

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Microbo (photo © VladyArt)

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ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)

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The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)

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

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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 in The Huffington Post.

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MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

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MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably.

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MOMO. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Rather than recreating the slap-dash chaos of street clash, and aside from the aforementioned drips and splatters in geometric neon hues by Hayuk, the museum setting is contained and crisply defined. Perhaps because of the cross-disciplines hinted at and welcomed, the overall effect is more contemporary than urban.

Hayuk’s space, with its raised ceilings and stained glass window treatment is a hand-hewn modern chapel, borrowing a holy inflection and spreading it across to the urban art faithful who will make the pilgrimage to this new hallowed space.

On opening day (which was delayed by weeks because of the recent airport and transit bombing here) the crowd who queued on an overcast day down the block along the Canal in Molenbeek was undaunted by the wait and expectant. Housed in a former beer factory, the greater collection includes large installations by the marquee namesin the main spaces and smaller pieces ranging from Stephen Powers and Todd James to Piet Parra and Cleon Patterson in galleries evoking whitebox galleries.

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MOMO. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

In precisely the ex-industrial part of town that is usually slaughtered with graffiti you can still see a variety of throwies and bubble tags floating above murky waters along the canal walls from the terrace of the 1300 square meter, 4 story MIMA. It’s an oddly storied juxtaposition perhaps, yet somehow perfectly natural and modern.

If the popular imagination of “museum plus Street Art” conjures anything for you, it may present some kind of overture toward the continuation of the street into the formal space and vice-versa. Faile’s two-color stencils and slaughtering of walls inside clearly connect to ones they have done over the last 15 years and that are currently on New York streets. Their huge prayer wheel assembled here was actually shown in the center of Times Square last fall with tens of thousands of tourists climbing it, sitting upon it, posing for selfies with it and spinning it, so the continuum is very much intact in that respect.

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MOMO. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Similarly Swoon’s wheat-pasted family of figures and her hand-cut paper patterns on mottled walls in the basement recall her work on street walls in Red Hook Brooklyn at this moment – as well as her periodic takeovers/installations inside choice areas of abandoned urban neglect through the years. To complete the dialogue at MIMA her hand-painted linotype  prints are also wheat-pasted outside on Brussels walls near the museum, not slapped but placed with her customary consideration of context and proportion.

Ever the developer of new methodologies for painting, MOMO piled long strips of fabric in an overlapping circular pattern upon layered patches of color and unveiled the new work by gathering the invited artists and museum founders to watch as Faile’s Patrick McNeil slowly pulled the “rope” outward, breaking sealed layers and revealing a heretofore non existent composition. To share and remember the birth process he leaves the tools of revelation in a pile before it. In this way MOMO recalls his street practice of conjuring and developing new tool-making and art-making techniques when bringing work into the public sphere.

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MOMO.  MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © MOMO – MIMA MUSEUM)

Aside from each evolving from the subcultures of the street in some capacity, the nature of the works transcend the partitioning that can define exhibitions, allowing the various practices to become the language of the culture. MIMA appears to have the physical space, as well as the psychological and philosophical space, to contemplate the multiplicity of voices that are flooding the streets and the Internet; forming subcultures and ultimately culture. The City Lights in this case are as much on the various dialogues of the street as the street itself.

MIMA is the creation of four co-founders; Florence and Michel Delaunoit, Alice van den Abeele, and Raphaël Cruyt. The inaugural show is curated by van den Abeele and Cruyt and many of the artists shown in the extended collection here have a history and special meaning to the two through their venture the ALICE Gallery, which has as its strength a focus on art collaborations and exhibition with sculpture and installations.

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SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

We spoke with Alice van den Abeele about the selection of these four artists for the opening, the intersection of Internet with museum curation, and the changing nature of our perceptions of culture. Here is an excerpt from our conversation

Brooklyn Street Art: In your initial descriptions of the museum a focus is made on the uprooting of culture as it pertains to geography by way of the Internet during the last decade and a half. How do these artists represent this free-travelling cultural reality?
Alice van den Abeele: This cultural reality is easy to feel when you are in the CITY LIGHTS exhibition. The installations by Swoon, Maya Hayuk, FAILE and MOMO immerse you in different artistic worlds but share an extroverted language that is direct and playful. It is a language acquired with the street and with travel – a mixture you may call a “world citizen”.

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SWOON. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: The museum addresses a range of subcultures that are directly or tangentially related to the street art scene during the last decades. Why is it important for us to consider these contributors?

Alice van den Abeele: Because of our history. With the communication revolution and the relative low cost of Internet connectivity, the beginning of the millennium brought changes to our perception of the world. A feeling of being a citizen of the world is developing in the West – by which I mean to say there is a cosmopolitan attitude that makes us more empathetic, collaborative, and cross-cultural.

For artists this means there is a greater mobility between creative fields. The artist can easily be a skateboarder, a designer, a musician, a graffiti artist and they can also exhibit in a gallery or a museum. He or she adapts to different creative contexts and their identities are many – not limited to being a ‘street artist” or “a musician”.  The subcultures mix easily together. Lust look at the New York art scene at the time of the Alleged Gallery for example.

On the other hand, society moves it through the prism of the Internet today and selects artists that reflect a new thinking. The values ​​that define the artist’s behavior in the street are close to those that define our behavior on the Internet: Empathy, the right of access rather than ownership, a collaborative spirit, authenticity, and a cross/hybrid culture.

Somehow, the street work embodied physically very early this paradigm shift that was occuring in our society, this new way of perceiving the world. That’s the story the MIMA wants to tell through the exhibitions and the works in the permanent collection. We are living through a revolution that is slowly rewriting the history of art “bottom up” – which may have a thousand faces.

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SWOON. An assistant helps with a large wheat paste. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo ©Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it important to examine these subcultures separately or is it more relevant to see what their combined influences are producing for the world as aesthetic movements, social movements?
Alice van den Abeele: Cultures are not compartmentalized. They mix to reinvent themselves. Besides, don’t they all become mainstream? In a world of continuous flow of information we should beware of categories and labels – which are often more commercial than artistic. As I said earlier, subcultures today are of great interest to society because they can inspire in us a common ideal – better than our politicians.

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SWOON. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA MUSEUM)

Brooklyn Street Art: As a group, these inaugural artists have an association in our minds with early-mid 2000s New York street art culture. Can you talk about the significance in broad terms of your choice of these artists for your initial exhibition?
Alice van den Abeele: Initially, when we visited the MIMA building in ruins, we immediately imagined an intervention by Maya Hayuk in the room called The Chapel. We know Maya really well because we have had the pleasure of working with her for such a long time. With that first intention, we thought that it would be great to have artists who know and appreciate each other, share a common history, and to create a synergy between them!

This combination of talent and affection has produced a unique exhibition, full of spirituality. More generally, the New York scene of this period is particularly rich for us and it was a good matrix to introduce the vision of the MIMA to the public!

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FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

Brooklyn Street Art: What sort of artists or influences do you envision for near future exhibitions?
Alice van den Abeele: It is certain that we will continue to work with artists in the same vein as those that are present in the permanent collection. At the same time we want to leave the door open to the future for the unknown and to surprise ourselves for the fun of it.

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FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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FAILE. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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FAILE. Detail. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Pascaline Brishcoux – MIMA Museum)

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Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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Maya Hayuk. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

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The artists with curators. Work in progress. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

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Maya Hayuk talks with Patrick Miller in the foreground and Patrick McNeil chats with MOMO on the background in Maya’s installation. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © Alice van den Abeele)

 

The MIMA Museum “City Lights” inaugural exhibition in Brussels, Belgium is currently open to the general public and will run until August 28, 2016. Click HERE to learn more about MIMA.

 

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.17.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.17.16

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This week David Bowie died. There isn’t much more for us to say.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Axe Colours, Faile, Homo Riot, J Morello, Jorge Rodriguez Gerarda, Jules Muck, KAS, London Kaye, Marina Capdivila, Nueks, SacSix, and Verb Five.

Top Image: London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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David Bowie organic memorial outside his and Iman’s apartment building in Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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David Bowie organic memorial outside his and Iman’s apartment building in Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kas. “The Kiss” Brussels, Belgium. (photo © Kas)

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Verb Five (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Axe Colours paints a tribute to soccer star Lionel Messi on account of his Golden Ball award in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Nueks (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kabuki faces in SOHO by an unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Homo Riot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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J. Morello with Jules Muck. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marina Capdevila in Miami, Florida. (photo © Marina Capdevila)

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FAILE window dressing in SOHO. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan skyline. January 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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