All posts tagged: FL

Etnik Splashes a Watery Icosahedron in Jacksonville, Florida

Etnik Splashes a Watery Icosahedron in Jacksonville, Florida

“If you look on the map, Florida is like Italy, all surrounded by water,” says Etnik as he finishes this new spatial composition of geometrical forms. “Ocean, river, fishes and everything that is in the water represented in the elements. Nature in opposition with geometric shapes.”

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

In fact he accounts for all five Platonic elements combined with a geometric shape for a series of walls he’s planning; the cube and the Earth, Air with the Octahedron, Fire with the Tetrahedron, and the Dodecadedron with the Universe.

Here in Jacksonville he’s not far from the Atlantic, St. John’s River, Nepture Beach – and the building itself houses a seafood market. With this environment lapping at his ankles wherever he turns, one can easily imagine his influences when conjuring and painting this 38 foot x 150 foot “Eikosi”, his largest mural ever, here organized by Iryna Kanishcheva.

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

The twenty-sided icosahedron overlooking a stream of cars on the highway is full of rippling, swirling, splashing aqua – something the Turin, Italy based Etnik finds refreshing and in alignment with his urban art practice.

“The icosahedron of Plato is a metaphor to represent the ocean sections created in my style,” he says. “Urban agglomerations and natural elements (that float in an indefinite space and represent the contradictions of the urban spaces we live in) is the line that always mark my evolving style in recent years, on the revenge of the nature on urbanization.”

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

 

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Etnik. Eikosi. In Collaboration with GNV Urban Art. Jacksonville, Fl. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

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Peeta Goes Mono on a 3D Piece in Gainesville, Florida

Peeta Goes Mono on a 3D Piece in Gainesville, Florida

“I went back to monochromatic pieces after a long time,” says Street Artist Peeta about his new anamorphic mural in Gainseville, Florida. His ability to master the optical illusion of three dimensions is well known and even revered by many – the result of talking measurements and doing calculations so that the geometric forms translate from the right point of view.

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

The Venice, Italy-based artist began writing graffiti in the early 1990s and developed his own precise and awe-striking 3D style and manner of working that has led him to opportunities to paint on walls and canvasses in many countries. Working in the context of the building here in West University Avenue, Peeta also playfully incorporates the existing windows into his mural.

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

“Windows on a wall can be an obstacle for many artists, but for some, it is an inspiration,” says Iryna Kanishcheva, who organized the wall. “Peeta elected them as the element to convey an anamorphic effect typical for his paintings. He extruded windows and used the natural color of the building creating a tone-on-tone sculptural effect”

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Peeta for GNV Urban Art LLC. Gainesville, FL. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

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GAIA Paints in Virtual Reality for New Mural in Gainesville, FL

GAIA Paints in Virtual Reality for New Mural in Gainesville, FL

Street Artist and renaissance man Gaia tried his hand at developing his mural for the Grove Street Neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida in Virtual Reality recently and we have few new shots to prove it.

Gaia. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Part of a community mural revitalization project in the historic neighborhood, Gais features a magnolia/azalea framed duo of local prominent educator Wilhelmina Johnson and the beat poet Jack Kerouac. Together they are connected by literary and African American history, says the artist. Now they are connected by virtual reality as well.

Gaia hitting the high notes at the Civic Media center in Gainesfille Florida. Here he is painting in the air and in Virtual Reality as a parallel performance to the wall installation above.

Gaia. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Following those images are new walls painted as part of the community initiative that is volunteer run and relies on community support. Walls here include local artist Nicole Holderbaum and Martin Torres (Jacksonville), Steven Speir and Sanders Soloman (Gainesville), Rachel Sommer (Gainesville), Chaya Av (Orlando), with contemporary graffiti by Ras Justo Luis (Gainesville) and Bhuta Bhavana Das Adhikari (Gainesville).

Ruben Ubiera. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Chaya Av. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Nicole Holderbaum . Martin Torres. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Nicole Holderbaum . Martin Torres. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Nicole Holderbaum . Martin Torres. Gove Street Neighborhood. Gainesville, FL. February 2017. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Grove Street Neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida is founded and coordinated by Iryna Kanishcheva (Curator and Photographer) and Maria Huff Edwards (Project Coordinator). The project is coordinated by including Iryna Kanishcheva, Maria Huff Edwards, David Edwards, John Wilson, Rachel Sommer, neighborhood supporters Mary Mehn, Tom Salmon, and Greg Stetz.  For more information please click HERE.

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Icy & Sot, Razor Wire & Flowers Along a Wall in Miami

Icy & Sot, Razor Wire & Flowers Along a Wall in Miami

By festooning foreboding razor wire with decorative flourishes of welcome, Icy & Sot invert a symbol of exclusion and fear. The effect is shocking in its embrace of joy and color and life; the surreal visual combining  two opposing views of a border that uses their contrast for unusual illumination.

Icy & Sot “Imagine A World Without Borders” Miami, FL. January 2017 (photo © Icy & Sot)

In fact the brothers say this recent intervention in Miami is to address the surreality that we have been plunged into by forces who would divide us as citizens with fear-mongering, the ban on travel from majority Muslim countries and the presentation of a huge barrier wall across the southern boarder as a panacea.

Icy & Sot reliably put their finger into the wound to see how deep it goes. As artists they have also learned that a little truth goes a long way, especially when it’s an ugly truth. Maybe that explains the flowers. They tell us that because the constant flow of bad news about immigration and the government actions they weren’t able to focus and work on their future projects for a couple of days but instead they just wanted to make works in response to those actions.

Icy & Sot “Imagine A World Without Borders” Miami, FL. January 2017 (photo © Icy & Sot)

“This country couldn’t have been great without its immigrants,” they tell us in a statement. As recent immigrants themselves, they feel the topic very personally. “It’s not fair that one persons decision can affect the lives of so many people inside and outside the country – we are some of those people who have been affected. We came here as immigrants and what we have accomplished here we couldn’t have accomplished anywhere else but its sad that we don’t feel the same anymore.”

Of their new art piece, they say, “Barbed wire has long been connected to crimes against humanity. A person trying to pass through or over barbed wire will suffer discomfort and possibly injury,” they say of the razor coil that often entangles a those who attemp to cross it. “In our piece we change the barbed wire into flowers, which is a metaphor for welcoming people at the borders.”

“We wanted to show how beautiful it could be to imagine a world without borders.”

Icy & Sot “Imagine A World Without Borders” Miami, FL. January 2017 (photo © Icy & Sot)

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One Artists’ Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

One Artists’ Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

9 weeks, 8,000 miles, 20 murals, 13 cities.

Dozens of species going extinct every day.

Those are some telling statistics for Street Artist Louis Masai as he completes criss-crossing the United States during this moment when it looks like the country is on the precipice of a social and political revolution.

Louis Masai painting in Oakland © @lmnotree

At a time when industries and media are consolidating under ever larger private umbrellas that seem unassailable it is all the more striking to witness the audacity of the single crusader, like this one with a spray can, that may prove to be very inspirational. It’s difficult to imagine the willpower of one person to devise an educational campaign like this and then to raise funds to pay for it and use his artistic talents to raise awareness in this manner.

It may strike you that endangered species are an appropriate constituency to speak for since they have no voice of their own, and Masai says the bee is the queen that lead him on with two friends in October, November and part of December. With his thoughtful, studied and “chill” stance on many topics, it sounds charming when the London-based artist tells you his campaign is called “The Art of Beeing.”

With a metaphorical protective patchwork quilt being stitched by the bee around a different animal in each mural, Masai carefully researched and chose endangered animals that are specific to the region he painted in from New York to Detroit to Nevada to California to Texas to Tennessee to Miami. We had the honor to meet him at the start of the journey and at the termination, and to publish as many of his travels as his schedule would allow.

Today we compile a quote and a couple of images from each one of those on-the-road reports below with links to each posting.

We finish our complete coverage of “The Art of Beeing” with a 15 question interview with Louis, who tells us about his personal attachment to the animal world, the startling and gorgeous geography of the US, and which populations seemed most receptive to his message of the Earth’s sixth era of extinction that we are currently engendering.

Thanks for taking this trip with us.



NEW YORK
Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

“I’m painting toys because if we don’t act now to stop extinction, only toys will remain in place of animals”
– LM

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. New England Cottontail Rabbit. Vulnerable. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



DETROIT
The Gray Wolf and “The Art Of Beeing” in Detroit

“The media talks about Detroit as if it is a derelict forgotten city, but we discovered a whole community that has been here for a long time and they definitely wouldn’t agree with their city is a dead or abandoned space,”
– LM

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Gray Wolf. Endangered. Detroit. Michigan. October 2016. (photo © @teebyford)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Gray Wolf. Endangered. Detroit. Michigan. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



RENO
Cutthroat Trout & “The Art Of Beeing” in Reno, Nevada

“After 4 days of driving from Detroit to Reno we felt empowered by the incredible landscapes we had driven through, from salt lakes to deserts and the Rockies, not one part of the trip was unexciting,” says Louis Masai of the journey. “Well perhaps the 7 hours of corn fields.”
-LM

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Endangered. Reno. Nevada. October 2016. (photo © Mia Hanak)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Endangered. Reno. Nevada. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



SACREMENTO
Jumping Salmon! Louis Masai is in Sacramento. “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

“We drove through snowy mountains from Reno to Lake Tahoe, and then descended a continuous downwards road for 6000 feet – which took about an hour to get into Sacramento,” he says. “What an incredibly diverse landscape! It’s just mind-blowing.”
-LM

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Coho Salmon. Endangered. Sacramento, California. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Coho Salmon. Endangered. Sacramento, California. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



SAN FRANCISCO
Louis Masai: Onward Ho! To San Francisco with “The Art Of Beeing”

“We met some amazing beekeepers in San Francisco that really opened up this idea that nature and the engagement with nature can definitely start to generate a sense of love for oneself and the environment”
– LM

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Island Fox. Near Threatened / California Channel Islands. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Island Fox. Near Threatened / California Channel Islands. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Honey Bee. Jetty extracts Oakland. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

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Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Honey Bee. Jetty extracts Oakland. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)



LOS ANGELES
Louis Masai, Leaping Frogs and Crawling Crayfish in LA : “The Art Of Beeing”

“I painted the Shasta crayfish (or as Americans call it; crawfish) in Venice, an endangered species native to northeast California There are only seven remaining populations of the Shasta crayfish left and are found only in Shasta County, California, in the Pit River drainage and two tributary systems, Fall River and Hat Creek drainages,”
-LM

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Yellow Legged Frog. 90% have disappeared in the last 100 years. Downtown, LA. November 2016. (photo © Lmnotree)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Yellow Legged Frog. 90% have disappeared in the last 100 years. Downtown, LA. November 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Shasta Crayfish. Critically Endangered. Venice, LA. November 2016. (photo © Lmnotree)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Shasta Crayfish. Critically Endangered. Venice, LA. November 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)



PHOENIX
A Jaguar in Phoenix: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

“It’s always hard to formulate too much of an understanding of a city when you are only there for a very short time…and I guess a lot of this trip has been that way, but even more so in Phoenix, with only two nights and one day.”
-LM

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Jaguar. Only 15K remain in the wild. Phoenix, AZ. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Jaguar. Only 15K remain in the wild. Phoenix, AZ. November 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



TEXAS & TENNESSEE
Flying Squirrels and Houston Toads : Louis Masai

“I guess the attraction is the abundance of frats and bar culture in the area. I got to know a handful of these homeless folks over the five days this mural took to complete and I can definitely see that the new mural in their neighborhood gave them some new color and appreciation in their lives. Several vowed to protect its longevity, bless them.”
-LM

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“The wall that I painted shadows a section of the city that I am sure will get pushed out. Men hang out on the street not doing much; we met a cowboy inspired gentleman that was proud to admit to eating gopher tortoise – a federally protected species. He said he had three in his freezer…he grew up eating what they hunted, from squirrels to rabbits and tortoise. Hopefully my line of work can help to steer people away from eating these species.”

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)



ATLANTA
The Box Turtle in Atlanta: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Box Turtle. Critically Vulnerable. Atlanta, GA. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Box Turtle. Critically Vulnerable. Atlanta, GA. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)



MIAMI
A Manatee, A Crocodile and a Heart of Coral in Miami: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

“Well its not my first time to Miami for Basel, so I know what I’m heading into…and actually I think that because I was there doing my own thing and for my own reasons, i.e. the tour, things were a lot easier for me. I also had linked up two good people, the Raw Project and Bushwick Collective so the ride was smooth.”
-LM

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. American Crocodile. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. American Crocodile. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Coral. Threatened. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Coral. Threatened. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

 

 An interview with Louis Masai about “The Art of Beeing”

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you share with us a memory or a story from your childhood relating to a pet or an animal or animals that made an impact on you and stayed with you for the rest of your life?

Louis Masai: Ever since I can remember I have felt strong emotions towards animals, we had family pets and all of them became very good friends of mine…however my love for the animal kingdom was far deeper than that. For me spirit animals are very real and I have always felt a huge connection towards lions. I admire their strength, charisma, loyalty, stubbornness, and of course leadership. Those that know me well will know that, I myself share a lot of those traits. Now that I grow older I realize that a spirit animal can’t be chosen and in fact it chooses you, some might say that the bee has chosen me.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did that story inform your growth into adulthood?

Louis Masai: Well I guess the idea of spirit animals has stayed with me into adulthood and become something that I understand in a different kind of way than when I was younger. For me the relevant difference in mindset, is that I realize that life finds you. When you look for something too hard or try and orchestrate a result, the journey might not be as fulfilling as if life is allowed to lead the way. I see one chapter lead to the next in a very organic manner. I evolve as an artist in the same way allowing for one idea to develop into the next.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: What do you think drives humans to destroy what sustains them? It is as if we are killing ourselves slowly by killing what gives us life and keeps us alive in the first place.

Louis Masai: Mmmmmmm…I’m not so sure that I think it’s a drive, perhaps there are agendas that drive humans towards destruction, for example money, but I don’t believe that its actual destruction itself that motivates this unsustainable lifestyle we live. Ultimately its the average person who populates the majority of this planet. I would be inclined to believe that the majority of this demographic have little understanding of what words like finite, extinction, deforestation etc result in. It’s only when I talk to scientists, environmentalists, or activists that I manage to find a true understanding of what we face ahead of us.

Here I am sat at a laptop with my, iPhone in company and a disposable bottle of water on a train, speeding towards Birmingham for Christmas. The minerals in my laptop and phone are finite and the plastic in that bottle is extremely likely to end up in the ocean, or at the very least spending the next 450 – 1000 years biodegrading on a landfill. Ultimately we are uneducated and in denial. If everyone used water filter bottles instead of bought disposable plastic bottles in the developed world alone, the ocean and what survives from its wealth would be hugely affected and in a positive way.

Equally we should be looking at how to extend the lifespan of our smart phones and laptops, its not very smart to run out of the rare earth minerals that makes them work. And even less smart to not know what impact that lack of mineral will have on the planet itself. I have so much to talk about with regard this question…where I will conclude is that I have a personal belief. I believe nature doesn’t make mistakes and that the destruction of the current stage in the earth’s life cycle is what nature has intended for us.

I feel that perhaps given that humans are one of the youngest additions to the planets kingdom and we have become the most destructive, that we are only doing what is required of us. Geographically, we are thousands of years overdue a shift in the planets alignments and I have this idea that nature allowed humans to be so dominant, only to help her speed up this change… so who else is looking forward to the new iPhone then?

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you have any expectations or anxieties as you started your tour in NYC?

Louis Masai: Eeeeeeesh, well it was a huge expectation from the three of us, and I knew that from the beginning. So with that in mind, based purely on my acceptance for organic flow I definitely had my concerns, but I didn’t have anxieties. I think that any artist who is painting in the public domain, within communities, will always have a slight element of reservation. I know that if I didn’t, then it would be a case of not caring enough about where I was leaving my work. The last thing I want is for my work to be undesired, especially given that it comes with an environmental point of urgency. But as for the nine weeks of intense work within confined spaces, filming and editing 5 films, driving across 8000 miles, to paint 20 murals in 13 cities…piece of cake!

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Yours was an art tour but it also was a round road trip, across the USA from the East to the West and in reverse in the company of your team, which included your videographers, Emil Walker and Tee Byford. What was the hardest part of the road trip?

Louis Masai: Yeah it certainly was never intended to be just a painting tour, there is only so far that a painting can direct influence and it’s our belief as a team that film can create a new chapter for the project. 5 mini docs were filmed and edited as we traveled across the states, each discussing new issues with the people and scientists that we met along the way.

I think that purely based on the fact that I’m used to not really knowing where I’m always going to paint and being able to foresee that element, creating the murals wasn’t really the hardest part. I would definitely say that the editing and creating five engaging films proved the most complicated. All the interviews were found whilst we were traveling with exception of only a few, so that in itself was a task.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you have a preconceived idea of what you were going to paint in each city and if so did you change your plans/animals as you drove across the country?

Louis Masai:  So…as we traveled I also was editing the website to keep the public up-to-date with our progress. Within the website is information about each species and what the general public can also do to help the endangered species out, a call to action. Before I left London I had already selected species for each city that we would travel through, within that list I had double what I needed for completion, that was purely so that I could negotiate with building owners and also switch species in accordance to the composition. There are still a good number of species on that list in the website to be created, I’m sure I will be back to the states in the coming years to complete that list.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: How was it driving from state to state and city to city in regard to experiencing the variations in culture, attitudes and accents from the people whom you met as you drove across?

Louis Masai: Its mesmerizing, no in fact there is no word that I know of, that justly describes the intense, awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. That alone is a reason to preserve and encourage the masses to realize what they have before it’s too late. Within each of these ever changing landscapes or screen-savers as we called them, are some of the kindest, and humble of spirits I have met in a long time. However there is always shadow to the light and of course there are also some of the most narrow-minded bigots.

We did indeed meet the many faces of the states from native Indians to illegal aliens; freeway fireworks shop owners to Detroit poets. If I was to generalize purely based on our nine week experiences, the east is very unaware of the environment, the west coast is very awake and starting to take action, the south is in total denial and the middle Americas we drove through seem very detached. Given that we spent so much time on the road – inside a car, I would have to say; that the cars you share the roads with in America definably act as indicators as to how that state thinks about its carbon footprints.

Brooklyn Street Art: In Detroit you discovered a vibrant city with deep rooted and kind citizens but you also witnessed nature taking over the abandoned parts of the city and in fact that’s a good thing for the bees. Can you talk a bit more about that?

Louis Masai: Well the movie world has certainly created many times over, a very good image of what an abandoned city could look like. That city is not Detroit. Of course it has many fallen and crumbled factories, but there aren’t trees growing through the structures or bears and wolves occupying the city. Instead, the people who have remained in the city and the many that have moved to Detroit have returned to backyard horticulture and that alone has changed the dynamics of the people who inhabit this city.

We met many people within Detroit who gave us first-hand accounts of how they are a part of this DIY culture. That was never more evident than when we met Joan from City Bees. She pointed out that the best habitat for bees is one where lots of native wild fauna is left to grow and humans are not interested in disturbing it. Detroit is exactly that to the many bees and their keepers that live there.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: In San Francisco, besides painting you also attended the Bioneer Conference. At the end of the conference did you walk out of it feeling more hopeful or less hopeful for the environment? What new radical thing did you learn that people talked about during the conference?

Louis Masai: Ah man…where do I start, I’ll be honest with you, it’s not looking so great. Devastation is happening on a worldwide scale, climate change is in effect. The ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, ocean temperatures are increasing, coral reefs are dying, plastic is destroying the ocean, species are disappearing – consistently, climate change refugees still don’t have any rights and way too many leading corporations are running the planet for their own benefits… but, hey… we have known that was the cards on the table since before the 70s.

The difference is that now it’s really actually happening, and faster than anticipated. What I learnt at Bioneers is that humans are resilient and that there are many people out there who do care enough and we can turn things around, but only if we all start today. I urge everyone to pick one environmental issue to tackle a month. Before you know it, being conscious could become a part of your daily routine…three good issues to try and tackle are;

  • Palm oil – just don’t buy it.

  • Consumption of all cow products (everything with secret ingredients too) – if you can’t eradicate it, half it.

  • Plastic – recycling ain’t cutting it, stop buying it, and if you can’t eradicate it from your weekly shopping at least lose some of it – veggies come without plastic cellophane too you know!

To understand more about the current situation, check out these films…Racing Extinction, Cowspiracy, and Before The Floods. Don’t take them for gospel, do some research around the topics but if everyone picks something and activates their life in conjunction with that, we could fix this mess we are in…of course fixing politicians and politricks is another story…

Brooklyn Street Art: In Phoenix you talked with a Native American named Breeze and the conversation touched on the topic of “the lack of respect” for our planet. Do you think that this “lack of respect” is a result of our public education systems being decimated by budget cuts and capitalism running amok in our societies?

Louis Masai: Well I think that there are strong possibilities that this is one reason, but I’m not one for believing that school is the only place we learn. I have learnt more about respecting the environmental long after my time at school than I ever did whilst in school. I also had pretty cool parents who didn’t do the NORM, so my widened perspective of life and what goes on around me was in part their doing.

I also think that lack of respect is something that has been amidst the American settler way before any kind of budget cuts existed, you have only to look at the culling of the buffalo to see that. It’s the responsibility of my generation to make sure that the youth are learning about respect with or without cuts in the education system.

In my opinion, the system that is being really abused is our eco-system, I’m not sure we need to make any excuses as to why we are showing it a lack of respect; we just need to fix up.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you ever experience hostility from some of the residents of the cities or a city where you painted?

Louis Masai: Yeah in New York, it was the second wall, the bog turtle. A disheveled looking guy who I think lived inside a warehouse in Bushwick, took a dislike to us. He shouted some abuse on the eve of the first night to which we ignored but on the second day he picked up from where he left off, so I confronted him.

By the time I had reasoned him, amidst his highly abusive claims and insults he returned an hour later for a hug and cuppa coffee…all is well that ends well. Other than that we were blessed from one city to the next with awesomeness. Oh…except in San Francisco, we fell victim to the everyday car smash and grab…

Brooklyn Street Art: You were in the middle of the tour when the presidential election took place. Was there a before and after in regards of energy and on enthusiasm from the residents? Did you notice a change of the mood?

Louis Masai: I knew when I was planning the tour that the elections would be happening and I knew that there was little if any evidence to show any regard for the environment from either candidate. I also had a strong saddened gut instinct that the result would be as has become. I’m very sorry for what is still to come. And it’s not America alone that is falling victim to this domino effect of politicians.

We definitely were in company of many anti-Trump supporters throughout the tour, but we did spot the supporters; from shops, to car bumper stickers. Did it change the mood, sometimes yes, but for the most part as we were in company of such awe-inspiring people and non-supporters of Trump I can’t say it affected us too much. But of course we discussed it solidly for two months.

Brooklyn Street Art: In Nashville a resident confided to you that he actually hunts and eats and endangered and federally protected tortoise. Did that make you angry? What were your reaction and your approach?

Louis Masai: Furious…and I reached out to my contacts as to what to do about it; there was a mixed response. I’m still to reach my decision as to what to do but I’ll probably send his information directly to the species protection society. He didn’t seem like an evil man, just one that grew up surviving eating what his family could salvage from the woods and that’s what he has grown up to continue doing. I suppose in many ways its no different form eating cows and chickens…

Brooklyn Street Art: In Miami you bartered your art in exchange for accommodations. The Aztecs didn’t have minted currency, yet they were an empire. They bartered goods and services in an enormous open market in their capital city. Do you think bartering could make a popular come back in our civilizations to the point that it could make social impact in the markets?

Louis Masai: Not a chance unfortunately. And the biggest reason for that is everyone perceives something’s value differently. Even with the painting I did for the Miami accommodation it wasn’t a simple task of, I do a painting you provide a room. I emailed about 50 air BNB establishments before I got lucky and the logistics of what that lucky find perceived the value of what I was painting, was very different to what he valued his own accommodation to be.

Bartering is very complicated and in many ways money is much simpler because we all need the same object, we just swap different items or services for that object. With bartering most of the time the object in question is not desired by one of the bartering members. That being said, I love swapping and would happily welcome anyone to strike a swap with me…

Brooklyn Street Art: Is there something more personal you might want to share with us about your experience driving and painting across the United States?

Louis Masai: Well I would like to give massive props to Emil and Tee for maintaining a vegan diet for 9 weeks. For me that’s my diet anyway, but for the tour the boys accepted the challenge to be vegan. It wasn’t easy at times, and humus/salsa/salad/avocado wraps definitely don’t need to be on the menu for a bit.

For me it was important to do this as it sets an example of how an environmental idea played out can have impacts. Of course just two extra vegans for two months has a low impact but imagine 200, one week out of every month over a year, that makes impacts and the challenge opened that up as a discussion with the people we met along the way. We actually converted the concept to a handful of people, so it’s worked out.

America as it happens is incredibly good at catering for vegans, I guess that’s mainly because people don’t cook at home in the states. Thumbs up America!

 

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing on The Huffington Post

 

For for more information regarding The Art Of Beeing click HERE

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A Miami Waterfront Stadium Slaughtered by Street Artists to Save It

A Miami Waterfront Stadium Slaughtered by Street Artists to Save It

Just over 50 years ago Cuban architect Hilario Candela designed the Miami Marine Stadium using modernist design to create a great open air theater along the water to watch powerboat racing. In the thirty or so years between its construction and Hurricane Andrew, the 6,566 seat stadium on Miami’s Virginia Key provided natural shade and entertainment including the races, orchestral music, popular music, political events, prize fights – all in a very original and unusual setting. And who can forget it was in “Clambake” with Elvis on skis!

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Because of damage sustained during the 1992 hurricane storm, subsequent inspections have left it condemned by the city engineers and a six-year-old restoration and preservation project has been drawing attention to the site and raising money with the hopes of funding its return. While the restoration organization has received support from the original architect, local dignitaries, celebrities and even some corporate funds, the $30 million dollar renovation is still some distance away.

Recently a group of Street Artists and graffiti artists were invited to continue the visual adornment begun by many uninvited writers over the years. “Graffiti artists have been drawn to the stadium and its architecture,” says Street Artist/ fine artist Logan Hicks who participated in and helped organize many of the artists to check out the mid-century modern structure.

“While the city forgot about the stadium, artists continued to embrace it, illegally painting while the city left it to decay,” he says. In fact it is an irony to consider that one city demonizes the same behavior that another invites, but this isn’t the first time that a subculture is recognized for its contribution. Naturally, we know that the work of these artists will most likely be obliterated in the final design.

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Now a part of an official campaign to draw attention to the restoration effort, artists from around the country and world have been traveling to the stadium to add their visual signature to the interesting venue. Today we share with BSA readers recent shots by photographer Martha Cooper, who spent some time with Logan and some of the artists for a few days this summer as they explored and hit up some spots in the stadium.

Artists invited to the site include Stinkfish, Axel Void, HoxxoH, Tatiana Suarez, Abstrk, Pixel Pancho, Logan Hicks, Joe Iurato, Rone, Elbow Toe, Risk, Doze Green, Evoca1, Ian Kuali’i, Luis Berros, Dabs Myla, Ron English, Tristan Eaton, The London Police, Crash, Johnny Robles, Reinier Gamboa, Jose Mertz, and Lucy McLauchlan.

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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A view from the stadium when it was doing live shows floating in the water offshore from the Miami Herald website (thus the watermark). To look at original photos the paper has for sale click on the photo or HERE.

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Reinier Gamboa. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Reinier Gamboa. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police, Crash and Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police, Crash and Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Hoxxochs. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Tristan Eaton getting aerosol satisfaction. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Tristan Eaton. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

 

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Pop International Galleries Presents: URNewYork “Breaking & Entering” (Miami, FL)

URNewYork

UR NEW YORK

BREAKING AND ENTERING | Miami Art Basel 2011

POP International Galleries is proud to present BREAKING AND ENTERING –

UR New York’s first exhibition in conjunction with Miami Art Basel 2011.

BREAKING AND ENTERING is a demonstration of UR New York’s
vast range and ability to continuously produce groundbreaking urban
inspired art. Artists Michael Baca – aka “2ESAE” and Fernando Romero aka
“SKI” are committed to “breaking and entering” into the mainstream – letting their art loose on the world, all the while breaking the status quo and entering the art world on their own terms — offering intensely personal and colorful works of art with an amazingly beautiful and compelling yet universal appeal.

UR New York
tells the stories of a new generation of artists…those talented urban
and street creators generally hidden in the shadows and more often than
not found arrested and punished for nothing more than expressing their
massive talents.

UR New York
has grown up on the streets of New York City — both artists born and
bred in some of New York’s most notoriously tough neighborhoods.
Continuing with their fascination with and the allure of the street,
Mike and Fernando started their own “gallery stand” on the corner Prince
and Greene Streets a few years ago in SoHo, New York’s original gallery
district. Since claiming the street corner, Ski and 2ESAE have now
moved onward and upward, having been received by the gallery world and
are now fully represented by Pop International Galleries on West
Broadway.

Breaking the cycle of struggling street artists and entering the
professional art world with shows and collaborations globally, with
companies such as Nike, VH1, and of course Pop International, these two
authentic, skillful and versatile artists have begun to make their name
known. BREAKING AND ENTERING
will be the first time they will present an entire solo collection
making them some of the first artists ever to sponsor their own show in
Miami around Art Basel in the Wynwood District.

UR New York
is the premier collective to watch. Propelled by sheer determination, a
hunger for success and growing validation by galleries, collectors and
their peers, Mike and Fernando have a somewhat guerilla approach to the
art world — a point of pride for the two of them, who remain genuinely
grateful and humble. This unconventional approach has already allowed
them some early benefits resulting from their burgeoning success. They
have traveled extensively and work determinedly with kids from all walks
of life, earning admiration and respect the world over. “BE WHO YOU ARE®”
is their credo and they take their growing visibility seriously,
genuinely recognizing their responsibilities as they have an impact on
the kids they encounter, while still maintaining a solid work ethic and
commitment to their community.

BREAKING AND ENTERING will have pieces inspired by traveling the world and the different people that have touched their lives. Ur New York
brings everything back home, with an approach to art that relies
heavily on the city from where they come and the people and culture to
which they’re paying homage.

Baca
and Romero truly work together – allowing two distinct personalities to
magically meld on the canvas, creating an enormous a fusion of energy,
hope, power, community and imagination in every piece they make.

BREAKING AND ENTERING
is presented by UR New York in conjunction with Pop International
Galleries and will open through Miami Art Basel till the December 12.

Tel: 212-533-4262    EMAIL: popart@popinternational.com

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