Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Street Vendors in Abidjan with YZ Yseult Digan
2. The Yok & Sheryo: Public Silo Trail. Albany, Australia
3. “Chile Estyle.” Trailer
4. Faith XLVII Talks About Her Installation for “Beyond The Streets”
BSA Special Feature: Street Vendors in Abidjan. YZ Yseult Digan
“I pay attention to the intensity of the gaze and the posture, so the passerby is challenged and seeks to question the project.”
A sociological experiment and intervention on the streets by the French Street Artist YZ takes place in Abidjan and camera work in the crowds allows you to appreciate the action on the street. A city of 4.7 million people and the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, the city has a lively culture of street vending that is unregulated and often populated by children.
YZ speaks with the folks she meets who are vending, who she refers to as “girls” although many are women. Her goal is to better understand them, she says, and to create a Street Art campaign of their portraits.
“I realized that their situation was very different from the men. So I wanted to know more about them. So I started the project ‘Street Vendors’,” she says.
The Yok & Sheryo: Public Silo Trail. Albany, Australia
The Yok & Sheryo brought a clever creature across an enormous four tower wall in Albany, Australia as part of a public art program funded by private interests like BHP, the Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum company. The Public Silo Trail is bringing artists like HENSE from the US and Phlegm from the UK to paint Artworks on grain silos, transformer boxes and all sorts of unexpected infrastructure to connect a series of regional towns.
“Chile Estyle.” Trailer
“Every social movement creates a cultural response,” says an organizer from the late 1960s who helps us trace the origins of Chilean Street Art and graffiti to the murals that became a crucial part of public discourse here. “We painted all of Chile for the Allende election campaign.” The trailer for the upcoming movie now in post production features a highlight of INTI and many open discussions of the evolution of graffiti and muralism simultaneously, eventually leading to the fascination for murals that currently reigns.
Faith XLVII Talks About Her Installation for “Beyond The Streets”
Faith leads you to the abandoned spaces and investigations of lives and stories that she often conducts when looking for the ideal places to make her art. “There is almost a holy, sacred feeling in that silence,” she says as she traverses places and stories and brings them together for an alter of sorts in the new exhibition now in Los Angeles called “Beyond the Streets.”
As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.
South African graffiti writer-turned-international-Street Artist Faith XVLII continues to evolve her mural and fine art practices as she grapples with global politics and personal emotion. This year her directorial role in a pop-up multi-media and live performance in Berlin with Inka Kendzia and Manthe Ribane exposed viewers to a full immersion of her deeper convictions about hedonism, race, militarism, and the war industry. As we witness the evolution of an artist born in the urban art scene, Faith XVII reminds us to keep expectations hopeful and wide open – especially if society is going to be able to meet our coming challenges. Today she shares with us her observations on the state of things right now and offers insight about how we might a gain greater understanding of it.
Recent events in world politics have been very disheartening, setting us back on much important work that has been done in the past to secure woman’s rights, workers rights and movement towards a more equal society.
The human condition seems to perpetually damage itself. The more I meditate on it the more I realize how its the simplest and most fundamental wisdoms that are out of sync. Our alienation is a root cause of our dis-ease. I believe rebuilding our connection to nature, to animals, to other cultures and ultimately to the eco-systems on this planet are an essential part of the healing process.
There is a dire need for new perspectives and new sustainable methods of living on the planet.
This installation with Lyall Sprong in Sweden was a part of this search, an ode to the timekeeper, the ancient Lunar force that silently watches over us.
The image is ultimately a call to a greater connection. A wish and intention of sorts, for a deeper understanding of the unseen forces that effect us.
Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.
We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.
As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.
The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.
We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.
“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.
“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.
“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”
Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.
By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.
The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.
Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.
The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?
“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.
You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.
Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.
“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.
While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.
Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.
No. 09 Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor
In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “
This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.
“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.
Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!
This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.
No. 07 FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”
“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.
“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.
“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.
No. 06 Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels
Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.
Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.
The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.
Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.
On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.
Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.
No. 02 Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street
Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.
Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.
No. 01 Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro
This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.
It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.
The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.
Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to stuff on the street for last nights opening of Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).
Readers of BSA will know that we are on the curatorial board of the new museum and have worked with 8 other curators along with Director Yasha Young to bring the inaugural show that happened last night to fruition. A block buster with thousands of people coursing through the perspective-bending walkways to see the GRAFT designed interiors, it was gratifying to see the 150 pieces admired by such interest, such avid curiosity.
As part of our mission, we want to foster an ongoing dialogue between the art in the streets and the art inside the museum. As UN’s first programmatic approach to this goal, the Art Mile invites the public to see installations that are made by many of the artists/collaborators which UN has had for projects in the city and around the world during the last few years of building the museum and reaching out to the community.
So with gratitude to you and to all the creatives and their supporters who rock our world, here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, 2501, Anthony Lister, Berlin Kidz, Blek Le Rat, David De La Mano, Faith XLVII, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Hot Tea, Icy & Sot, Inka Kendzia, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Louis Masai, Mademoiselle Maurice, Manthe Ribane, Seth Globepainter, Tankpetrol, Zezao, and Zio Ziegler.
Here is the first public look at the new print by Faith XLVII which she made especially to aid the programs in Haiti and Braddock, Pennsylvania for Heliotrope Prints. The limited run print will be released this week, April 6th at a pop up show opening in Manhattan and we hope you can come.
Faith XLVII 315 – 317 BC (image courtesy of the artist)
Street Artist Swoon asked BSA to curate this special Spring 2017 edition of prints and we chose Faith XLVII as one of six world renowned Street Artists whose work we admire greatly and whom we think you will appreciate as well.
A visual poet, painter and urban explorer, the South African now Los Angelino Faith XLVII has created classically inspired works on the walls of inspiring ruins for the last few years and her print is exactly one of those hallowed interventions from her time in Detroit last fall. With some similarities in social consciousness to Swoon and her practice, Faith often expresses through her work a deep connection to people, stories, and political/social issues that affect communities and cultures. Perhaps its why Faith didn’t hesitate for a second when we asked her if she would participate in this benefit for Heliotrope Foundation.
BSA:Can you tell us about the image you have chosen for this new release? FAITH XLVII: The painting is entitled “315 BC – 307 BC,” and it forms a part of the 7.83Hz series that is still ongoing. I’m interested in exploring the inner workings of my own psyche and the abandoned spaces, like this cathedral in Detroit, form perfect chambers for me to quietly explore notions of human connection, alienation, bare skin, the comfort of human touch in a brutal world.
BSA:Do you have a special connection with the people of Haiti or Swoon? FAITH XLVII: We were in Haiti during the hurricane last year, for a project with Artists for Peace and Justice.
The history of Haiti is shocking. It is a country that highlights the true brutal force of imperialism and the consequences thereof.
It is truly heartbreaking that we as a human race have not been able to create a new system that would allow for us all to peacefully and sustainably share in the abundant resources that this planet has to offer. We have the technology but not the wisdom to make this happen.
The fact that there are people living in sub-conditions on this planet while others live in excess, is shameful.
A great culture and strength of spirit prevails in the people of Haiti, i am sure. But i can’t express enough the frustration i felt when i learnt the history, echoing too loudly that of other countries who have been systematically pillaged and raped by foreign powers.
I admire that Swoon is doing her project there, these kind of interventions, when done in conjunction with local teams on the ground, can be very effective on a personal and collective basis.
BSA:How do you see the role of an artist in relation to addressing socio-political/humanitarian issues in the world? FAITH XLVII: In order for us to heal and to make better decisions, we need to open up more.
Creative thought can assist in this, so I guess all artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, dancers and filmmakers are naturally a part of this larger process. Whether their work is directly addressing socio-political issues or not, it is creating space for us to expand emotionally and intellectually.
We are honored that Faith XLVII agreed to participate in this show with us and pleased that she is part of this great effort.
Hello and happy Saturday to you! Hope you are finding time to relax and to do some laundry and maybe bake some cookies or go out and paint or see some art today. We’re starting the day with an egg and cheese on a roll and a large coffee from the local deli – and thinking about how lucky we are to be curating a small print show for Street Artist Swoon next week. We hope you will be able to come by and support her and her team, our team, your team – next week in NYC.
And what a strong show it is! We’re honored to present six world-renowned Street Artists who each have established clarion voices of their own in the last decade or so – on the street and in more formal settings, with inspiring, sometimes breathtaking work. Additionally we know that each one of these artists hasn’t forgotten why they started doing work on the street and each have a deep connection to helping others – which is the real way of keeping it real.
Starting Monday, one by one, we’ll reveal each of the the new prints from works by Case Maclaim, Li-Hill, Faith XLVII, Miss Van, Icy & Sot and Tavar Zawacki (aka Above) for this brand new edition of Heliotrope Prints. You will have the first look! In addition to the prints Caledonia Curry AKA Swoon will present a new series of her hand drawings from Haiti – a selection you will totally dig.
Have a good Saturday! Sending love from Brooklyn.
WHAT: Swoon x Heliotrope x BSA Pop-Up Opening Reception WHEN: Thursday, April 6 at 6 PM – 9 PM
WHERE: 88 1/2 7th Avenue, between 15th & 16th St., New York, NY
Heliotrope Prints Fundraiser Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, Brooklyn StreetArt
Join us for the opening for our pop-up exhibit, featuring newly released sketches by Swoon Studio and limited edition prints by six world-renowned street artists:
Not surprisingly, as is the custom of Street Artists everywhere, the wheat-pasting romantic portraitist introduced a number of her friends to the streets of the Incense Harbor city among its myriad winding cobblestones, wending staircases, and wiley alleyways.
The experience of a local is perhaps to discover this new entity on a wall suddenly, a figure so full of presence and personality as if it may speak to you. As an international traveler the experience may be to be greeted in a foreign land by a friendly familiar face.
In our case, that same face greeted us again in the entirely scrubbed austerity of the white cube of a Parisian art dealer, nested as it was among a honeycomb of other white boxed and illuminated beneath a vast white canvas on a pier by the Ferris Wheel.
We meditated lightly on this topic of the gallery on the street – commercial gallery – museum gallery continuum during our Images of the Week wrap up this week. It is an unusual position that Street Artists’ occupy and one that introduces topics around speech, advertising, commercialism, and traditional graffiti practices of getting up and marking one’s name.
And now we muddy those waters once again, by telling you of a BSA-curated show of new prints that will benefit the Heliotrope Foundation when it debuts next week in New York. Swoon’s Heliotrope non-profit is literally building community, homes, shelter, and helping people become teachers in Haiti. (more at end of posting)
By donating our efforts along with the donated talents of 6 world-renowned Street Artists; Miss Van, Tavar Zawacki (Above), Li-Hill, Case Maclaim, Faith XLVII, and Icy & Sot, we encourage others to contribute to Heliotrope and to buy a custom new print from these artists. We’re proud to curate for this project, to be associated with these great artists, and to provide a platform for everyone to make these connections.
Additionally, Swoon herself will release new drawings from Haiti.
SWOON X Heliotrope X BSA : A Benefit for Heliotrope Foundation
curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of BSA
Opening Event: Thursday, April 6 from 6-9pm.
Beats and refreshments provided.
Location: 88 ½ Seventh Avenue (between 15th & 16th St.)
in Chelsea, New York
Pop-Up Exhibit runs April 7-9 from 11am – 6pm daily