“Urban[R]Evolution: A Journey from Graffiti to Contemporary Art” is a large exhibition that marks the rise and popularity of urban art and features original installations by 18 renowned Portuguese and international artists. Curated by Pauline Foessel and Pedro Alonzo, this showcase takes place at Cordoaria Nacional in Lisbon, running from June 21st to December 3rd.
The historic and iconic building that once served as the National Rope Factory during the late 18th century, catering to the needs of the Portuguese Navy by producing ropes for naval purposes, is situated near the scenic Tagus River. With its imposing neoclassical and industrial design, the building stands as a testament to the city’s cultural heritage and is now a versatile venue for hosting events after its meticulous restoration. With free-standing booths carefully built not to endanger the historic structure, the flow of the exhibition offers a pod-like adventure to visitors to experience individual artists’ work and visions. Some utilize the spaces fully with installations, while others choose the homey quality of an artist’s studio with work in progress.
The exhibition brings together a lineup of artists whose work was featured in early graffiti images by photographer Martha Cooper, second-wave western street artists who have burnished their names in the commercial urban contemporary art milieu, and a collection of names more locally known – each with profound ties to the graffiti and street art scene. Among them are esteemed names such as Barry McGee, Futura, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Vhils, and Obey SKTR, to name a few. The curators thoughtfully selected these artists to narrate the fascinating development of urban art, tracing its origins from early tags, graffiti, and subway pieces to its current expression as street art and mural art.
Many of the artists are associated with previous projects of the curators and with one of Lisbon’s anchors of the street art scene, the artist and businessman Vhils. Aside from these connections and the common roots of early graffiti culture, it may be difficult for ticketed visitors to the show to discern the commonalities of the works on display. The connective tissue between the booths will be the many iconic photographs of North American photographer Martha Cooper, whose lens has captured the human experience in urban areas for about 50 years, immortalizing the origins and evolution of graffiti, street art, and urban art – when the scene was viewable directly on the train cars and streets of major cities like New York.
Another nerve center for the show is the installation by conceptual street artist ±MaisMenos± , known for his thought-provoking art pieces and street activations that sublimely challenge social norms and provoke critical thinking. Within this kinetic electronic display, a phalanx of screens emulates a bustling stock trading floor, listing street artists and graffiti artists and their market line charts bumping up and down alongside various commercial, academic, institutional, and cultural influencers and influences that have coalesced to foster their success.
In this exhibition’s composition of artistic expressions, each artist has the opportunity to tell their unique story through their installations and accompanying texts, reflecting on their journey from the streets to the contemporary art world. “Urban[R]Evolution” is a testament to the significance of Lisbon as a vital city for urban art, with the show embracing a dynamic mix of international pioneers and established/emerging talents from Portugal.
This major exhibition, presented by Everything is New and Underdogs Gallery, invites visitors on a dreamlike, poetic, and moving journey, oscillating between light and shadow, the humor and rancor of the street, expressing the heart of urban art’s evolution. It is an immersive experience into urban art’s origins and possible future, exemplifying a sample of the boundless creativity and diverse voices that have emerged from the graffiti and street art scene.
Our sincere thanks to exhibition participant and famed photographer Martha Cooper for sharing here her photos exclusively with Brooklyn Street Art, and to Vasco Vilhena, one of the exhibition’s official photographers.
The artist presented a video installation addressing the “market” for graffiti and street art, the intersection with art and commerce in a brilliant display.
“This took me to what is my thesis subject, where my work is the centerpiece of an eventual (or questionable) dichotomy between street art and the art market, the evolution from illegal, interventive and subversive work into a continuous institutionalization, mercantilization and commoditization, normalized with the (before pursued) but now consecrated and valuated (street) artists.
All of this materialized in an art industry (or market) of artist-companies, studios, galleries, festivals, fairs, museums, curators, collectors, political and media attention, touristic tours, financialization, etc, as so it is with the art world as a whole. Being this specific show, for its size, importance, where it is, its public, a realization of this “evolution”, or this stage of the urban arts. So I thought of an installation as a self-critique and self-awareness of this stage and present context of urban art (one of which myself and my work makes part), how capitalism kidnaps, agglutinates and transforms its (possible) critique and counter-culture, commodifying, massifying and selling it.”
They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this
neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.
Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.
Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.
Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene.
The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art
As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.
When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal
street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies
sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged
the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s
where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the
scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first
glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic
Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in
America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a
fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long
line of underground classics.”
The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.
With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.
Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.
spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director
Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding
the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it
With 150 artists whose practices span five decades
and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in
this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial
team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz
Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David
CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the
graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the
Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).
“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as
a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was
coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have
imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains
and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really
“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.
“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.
One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.
“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”
Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.
Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations
The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.
The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.
also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the
sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a
kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables
from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by
writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight
on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and
original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.
are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of
changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim
overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.
is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to
signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the
train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started
making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he
recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag
freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have
perplexed other travellers.
came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of
cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal
interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they
saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”
it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot
high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is
hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to
show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow
coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during
the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly
confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.
Digging Deep to Take Risks
to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness
by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks;
a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the
writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said
he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but
felt they were too “safe”.
“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”
Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”
color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of
space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography
and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded
many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early
photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was
obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in
inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.
New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.
Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to
his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who
used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid. “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the
studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he
says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the
Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”
An expanded version of the show that first mounted
in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the
American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history
– in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That
makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.
“It’s both a historical and current look at where
the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says
co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big
name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets
and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two
floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with
museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind
of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”
So is Beyond the Streets
a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist
Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown
Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt
cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize
what kind of art this is.
“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so
even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he
says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll
let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t
want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”
Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.
Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York
Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Evan Roth “Since You Were Born” 2. “Island” Hamburg Max Mortal and Robert Lobel 3. Isaac Cordal In-Studio Visit. Bilbao, Spain. 4. ARTRIUM in Moscow
BSA Special Feature: Evan Roth “Since You Were Born”
Graffiti Research Lab
co-founder Evan Roth has been hacking his way through life and art practice for
the mid-2000s when he was a student at Brooklyn’s Parsons, where he was
valedictorian. Now an older wiser daddy of two, he turns his attention to the
saturated everyday data pileup generated from Internet browsing. The
accumulated images, logos, maps, banner ads in the cache is like so much DNA of
the person behind the mouse, and when it is printed to display, one becomes
Our favorite term from his new exhibit?
“An alternate form of art-making,
memory-making, and storytelling”.
Project Atrium: Evan Roth
“Island” Hamburg Max Mortal and Robert Lobel
From Hamburg an animated short video by Max Mörtl & Robert Löbel explores the irresistible desire to communicate with this stop motion & 2D animation piece. Adorable exotic creatures come alive during the day to explore and seek kindred spirits.
Isaac Cordal In-Studio Visit. Bilbao, Spain.
From our visit to his studio comes this silent overview of how to turn a pig into a pig-man. “Here is where you see the craftsman at work; carefully attentive, problem-solving industry in play, possibly more at peace while he is creating than when he is left to think too much. He picks up a pink pig figurine and begins the plastic surgery, the fine reconstruction; a gentle whirring, a whittling away of snout and a defining of chin-line.”
When we were in Moscow last summer as
curators at Artmossphere, we had the opportunity to meet the director of the
new program to bring international Street Artists to paint a shopping
mall. The magnetizing force that drew
artists to hit these walls is pretty strong; just ask Shepard Fairey, Felipe
Pantone, Tristan Eaton, Ben Eine, PichiAvo, Okuda San Miguel, Pokras Lampas,
Faith47, WK Interact, Faust, and Haculla.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Shredding the Girl and Balloon – The Director’s Cut
2. JKS Crew in Italy & France
3. Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression / Trailer
4. The Hut – A Partial X / Felipe Pantone
BSA Special Feature: Shredding the Girl and Balloon – The Director’s Cut
We start our weekly selection with the followup release that takes hold of the narrative of the moments leading up to this month’s Banksy auction and self-destruction at Sotheby’s.
In it you hear the auctioneer chit-chatting beforehand saying things like “It’s a fun auction, you know. Everyone’s got a chance.” And by ‘everyone’ he means…everyone here in this room and on the 30 phones who are also bidding.
Okay class, who wants to tell us what they did on their summer vacation?
Looks like JKS Crew were on spraycation this summer in Italy and France. The jazz bassy groove that accompanies the scenes in this video make us pine for those dreamy days of July and August already, and its only mid-October.
Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression / Trailer
Who owns public space? The oligarchs, yes, but after them?
Who should paint it?
When graffiti writers and Street Artists take it over with acts of transgressive painting one may expect that the next step is probably the buff, unless you living are in an aesthetic lawlessness like Berlin, or Athens, or 2000s Detroit. It is infrequent that one may countenance the self-appointed citizen buffer, but they exist in many a neighborhood. A combination of ornery rebel and a justice-minded citizen; This is the vehement, street cleaning vigilante.
If you were writing a bespectacled urban guidebook about characters found on city streets you may advise, “Think twice before crossing this curiously civic interbreed, broken windows can be sharp.”
The Hut – A Partial X / Felipe Pantone
A Liberian surfer camp that just happens to capture the artworks of some of the biggest names in Street Art? Organizers say that its to reduce the stigma that surrounds the country that was hurt so badly by ebola a few years ago. Perhaps that what has drawn artists like Faile, Conor Harrington, 1010, Martin Whatson, Marke Jenkins, Herakut, Ted Pim, Sandra Chevrier, Ben Eine, and Seth Globepainter here to create new works here. Today we see works by Felipe Pantone, JR, and Slinkachu.
Felipe Pantone may see the dangers of the modern age, as he contemplates the over saturation of images and messages – traditional symbols and systems neatly sliced away from their original meanings and histories. It is a world of movement and alienation and dislocation coursing with eye candy and violence. For his current show at Joshua Liner he looks to the kinetic art of the recent past (Victor Vasarely, Carlos Cruz-Diez) and pays homage while setting it alight in the ideal promise of a digital future.
The graffiti writer, Street Artist, mural painter, kinetic sculptor and multi-media fine artist is brave facing the future; embracing his own 90s childhood full of earlier digital fantasies, now transforming the geometry, waffling the levels and oscillating the transparencies and streaming the patterns. Are these laboratories or galleries. Is this a time, or is this timeless.
“In a powerful dynamic, Pantone extends on the walls with its futuristic style with psychedelic accents that evokes Italian Futurism,” says the show description from the gallery. “There are also abstract and stroboscopic touches that articulate black and white geometric shapes that he combines with bright metallic colors, not unlike the Mire, a visual that appears on the television when there is no show.”
It’s part of the fascinating world that you inhabit when you follow street art – you have no idea what you will discover in any city at any time because of it’s LIVE daily evolutionary personality. Here in Moscow we don’t see so much of the improvisational extra-legal type of works that characterize cities like Rio or Berlin or Paris, but we have been seeing a bunch of familiar international names in the last few days. Here are some shots of stuff we’ve found – much of it that you will also recognize – along with some great local Moscow stuff.
We’ll bring you more of the scene at the Artmossphere Biennale this week as artists and curators like us are arriving right now at the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art. We’ve already seen Faith XLVII, FAUST, Adele, Martha Cooper, CaneMorto, Cedar Lewisohn … As the lounge singers say, “We’ll be here all week folks”. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 0331c, Ben Eine, C215, Felipe Pantone, Haculla, Interenzni Kazki, Jan & JS, Losaer, N888K, Neue, Stasdobry, The RUS Crew, Theo Lopez, Tristan Eaton, Vasya, and WK Interact.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Banksy in Paris 2. Art Meet Milk III – Zeso – Carl Kenz
3. UDANE: 12 + 1 Project.
4. Beyond The Streets Presents: Felipe Pantone
5. Beyond The Streets Presents: Lee Quinones
BSA Special Feature: Banksy in Paris
A quick overview to catch you up on the 7 most recent pieces attributed to Banksy in Paris. He’s said to be creating work more attuned to the plight of migration, but others have observed it is a return to the classic Banksy sarcastic sweetness that has characterized the clever sudden missives he has delivered since he began. See Butterfly Art News’ coverage here: Paris: Banksy for World Refugee Day
Art Meet Milk III – Zeso – Carl Kenz
Zeso and Carl KENZ are splashing about in that white liquid you are all familiar with. The title leads you to believe there have been two more graffiti/Street Art murals meditating on this as well, and in fact it is a campaign. Not sure what its about.
The temptation for the typical young buck who is hitting up a wall with cans is to completely cover it in as much paint as possible and leaving the view reeling with combustible imagery. UDANE decides that strength is in restraint, leaving part of the wall uncluttered, giving room for you to think and consider and wonder what this guy with the backpack is thinking about.
A sneaker brand has sponsored some of the Beyond the Streets exhibition currently running in Los Angeles and following are a couple of brief artist spotlights. The first is the Spanish Argentinian master of visual glitch and kinectic/op-art Felipe Pantone.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1.Felipe Pantone Does Visuals for DJ SOAK “Run
BSA Special Feature: Felipe Pantone Does Visuals for DJ SOAK “Run Away”
We used to call this feature FUN FRIDAY before we became more serious with BSA Film Friday but today it’s definitely back to fun when Street Artist Felipe Pantone does his Op Art magic for the video debut here by DJ SOAK. Behind the turntables for over half his life, this child prodigy of the scratch has shared stages with artists like Diplo, Justice, Skrillrex, 2Many Djs, A-Trak and Moby, but today is the release of his first EP “Run Away” accompanied by Anderson. Paak.
The video visuals are on point and dopily eye popping thanks to the direction and graphic design of Street Artist Felipe Pantone along with Nachei Sanchez – who also knocks out the 3d modeling and animation. The press release says it feels like a gove to Soak’s sound – and you’ll likely agree.
Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.
Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly 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 2017.
Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.
Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.
Absent worries that the banks and oligarchs are poised to crash our economy into the ground and that the privatized profiteering war machine wants Trump to start WWIII its been a fantastic and sunny and crisp warm week in New York. Of course the city is a little more somber since the Yankees missed their chance at the World Series last night. In the spirit of sportspersonship we wish the best to the Astros.
Speaking of Pantone, the two walls he did this week were strong and optically dizzying/thrilling as you would expect – while the subtley more sophisticated walls were inside for Planned Iridescence near by at the GR Gallery on Bowery. The big wall done with The L.I.S.A. Project presented several technical and material difficulties which the artist eventually solved but not without having to spend a whole lot more of time on it than originally estimated: a remarkable feat, even if the wall itself isn’t a large one compared to many others he’s executed around the world. Sure enough it got the New York welcome from a graffiti artist who took the liberty to vandalize it under the cover of darkness and on the very same night of the opening party for his show.
We have grown accustomed to see the artworks by Street Artists and muralists in public vandalized, disrespected and gone over. We don’t know what justification or reasons a graffiti writer has when tagging a well executed wall and the so-called “rules” on the street depend on who’s telling them. It is interesting that the color fits right into the palette, almost as if the tagger found an unspent can that had been left on the sidewalk nearby.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Arrex Skulls, Bunny M, City Kitty, D7606, Dain, Felipe Pantone, Fintan Magee, Gods in Love, Megzany, RUN, Stikman, Stray Ones, and Thrashbird.
The Street Artist who goes by the name Gods in Love did this mural in the San Samuele district of Cerignola, Italy last month. He says that this part of the city is called “Fort Apache” by the locals – an indirect reference to the 1981 movie (and 1976 book) about a crime-ridden neighborhood in the Bronx during the 1960s-70s. The Native American tribe named The Apache that preceded the European’s arrival who lived/live in the mid-western part of this continent were known for being fierce warriors – thus the connotation with a violent proud, yet financially destitute, neighborhood in The Bronx, New York.
“A totem is a natural or supernatural entity that has a particular symbolic meaning for a person or tribe, and to whom it feels bound throughout life,” explains the artist. The term derives from the word ototeman used by the Native American people Ojibway. My choice of working on this figure arises from the need to create an image that can be symbolic of belonging to a neighborhood to a group, a symbol of belonging to the protection of the offspring and therefore of the future, a need for legality and correctness to fight or understand, integrating and accepting it, the illness stemmed from the discomfort of life in a changing neighborhood, willing to redeem. Mine is a metaphor, a symbol in which the neighborhood can fully recognize.”
Street Artist Felipe Pantone opens a new show tonight and gifts two new outside walls to NYC. BSA talks to him and GR gallery director Alberto Pasini about the exhibition.
An established studio in the north-eastern Italian town of Sacile since the late 1970s, the Studio d’Arte GR has specialized in Kinetic, Op, and Programmed art for decades. Curating what they estimate to be over 300 shows worldwide over that time, their GR Gallery is relatively new to New York, opening in 2016 with a 40 piece group show spanning the most unusual and dynamic techniques of the genres.
As it turns out, they are here just in time to offer a show to Argentinian/Spanish Street Artist Felipe Pantone, who has been expanding upon a geometric graffuturism vocabulary that the last decade has set free on the streets in cities around the world.
Already a recognized and rising name due to his ocular experimentations with graffiti, video, sculpture, computer graphics, digital and other visual glitchery, Pantone is defining while discovering – tonight with “Planned Iridescence,” his debut solo New York exhibition.
The 1600 square foot gallery in the Bowery gives plenty of room for movement to the 14 pieces that include wall collages and sculpture, each using some of the experimental patterns and visually vibrating elements you’ve come to expect, yet are still surprised by.
The iridescence referred to is in the form of panels of controlled synthetic oil spills, cut into shimmering quadrilaterals, deliberately placed within a a neat cluster of visual tremor. In addition to the indoor exhibition, Pantone has created two new murals in the neighborhood, welcome gifts to a city that never tires of being blown away by new talent.
We spoke with Pantone about his work inside and outside, his optic/kinetic influences and his evolutionary approach to learning.
Brooklyn Street Art:So much of your work is capturing the optical/informational/technological chaos we are countenancing daily. Do you think you are mastering the chaos, or reflecting it? Felipe Pantone: I am trying to reflect it. I’m not trying to send a message but to propose questions. Some people look at my work and they find it overwhelming, loud, strident. Some other people relate to its dynamism, the speed, and find that it might even evoke the way they interact with the world and our modern cities.
BSA:Part of the graffiti writer life is about disrupting a space, taking it, claiming it. Your Street Art also can be described as disruptive, competing for attention. Is this true?
Felipe Pantone: Graffiti was my first way to show my work immediately, for free, and worldwide, before the Internet was available for everybody. Graffiti is to art what H&M is to fashion, or what Ikea is to furniture: disposable, ephemeral, but a true product of our times. Thanks to my quest to claiming my space on the street I found the style that today has become my work, and now everything makes sense to me because I feel like a true product of my times myself, and as an artist one should always be oneself.
BSA:You’ve talked about your work as belonging to the present. With its references to 1960s/70s optic art, a low-fi video recalling 80s art installations, and graphics reminiscent of 80s/90s early consumer computer paint programs, could you also say you are recognizing the past? Felipe Pantone: The fact that Op-Art explored movement in the 60s is something that has always attracted me irrationally but it’s also something that today I include in my work intentionally to convey dynamism. I usually have elements that might remind you of 80s computers graphics to bring some sort of technological idea, but it’s not in my interest to talk about the 80s or 90s in particular.
Of course I recognize the past, I’ve always been really curious about what happened in history, but it’s not my intention to talk about history in my work.
BSA:Is art a means of transmission, and if so, what is your art transmitting? Felipe Pantone: I intend to talk about what I understand about the world as a person that travels constantly and lives intensely.
BSA:The current speed of technology and the volume of images that we are consuming must be met with new skills for processing them or at least editing them. What skills are you learning? Felipe Pantone: I try my best to keep myself up to date with all the new techniques that I think are interesting for my work. I studied fine arts, mostly model painting and sculpture. So everything else I learned online: design programs, 3D, video editing, photography, film. I’m working with CNC and laser cutters, UV printers, vinyl cutters… but there’s so much still to be learned!
We spoke with GR Gallery Director Alberto Pasini, who sees the work of Pantone as an evolution of other optic/kinetic artists, some of them founders and masters, whom they have represented in the past such as Bruno Munari, Gianni Colombo, Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Getulio Alviani, and Dadamaino.
Luckily, these movements of Street and Optical art have coalesced just at the right moment and there are already a few eye-popping players, enabling a new generation to push the boundaries on the street and here in the gallery setting; all fusing together striking elements of graphic design, lettering, and an endless sophisticated manipulation of geometric shapes.
BSA: Why did you decide to give Felipe his first solo exhibition in NYC?
Alberto Pasini: We made contact with Felipe in the last two years because he represents the new generation of this movement. He is the one who is bringing this art movement established in the 60’s back to life. So that’s why we picked him, why he picked us and why we have started this collaboration.
BSA: We are constantly bombarded with images. How in your opinion does Felipe integrate into his work the chaos that we see on our daily lives and what we experience on TV, billboards and the news?
Alberto Pasini: Felipe obviously pays attention to light and movement but he also brings the Optical and Kinetic Art to the next level and brings it up to date because he takes a lot of inspiration from the street, from the billboards, from TV.
Nowadays our lives are heavily influenced by Social Media, computer design and technology – so this is what he brings in his art and how he keeps up to date and how he re-invents Optical and Kinetic Art.
BSA: How many artworks will comprise this exhibition and can you talk about the medium?
Alberto Pasini: There will be 14 pieces. With this exhibition Felipe is introducing for the very first time a brand new series on this new body of work. This is the first time he is working with this new kind of material.
Basically he adds to his normal material, which is enamel, plastic, and aluminum – different elements, which are made of several overlapping layers of plastic that are printed and carved. All these overlapping elements give the viewer the illusion of an optical interference. They give the sensation of movement even when they are not actually moving.
BSA: So the art moves when we move?
Alberto Pasini: Absolutely. The art changes according to our eyes. It changes according to the environment. It changes according to the illumination. It changes according to our reference point. The art then becomes very interactive, especially with the sculptures. When the viewer goes around them they change color and the interaction is even stronger.
BSA: What’s the difference between this new series and what he has shown in his previous group shows in this gallery?
Alberto Pasini: Basically the difference is in the materials. Before he was just painting on aluminum or on board. Now there’s this new element which gives the viewer the actual sensation of movement. The people attending the exhibition will be able to experience the making of this series in a video which will be shown at night in the window of the gallery so people walking on the street will be able to see his process.
We are very proud of this exhibition and also for the fact that this is the first time Felipe is presenting this new series. This is his best work to-date. I also like the fact that this exhibition is not constrained just inside the gallery but it is also outside on the street. He’s painted two walls in the neighborhood close to the gallery.