Saturday is a great day to
spend indoors at a video arcade, right?
If arcades had interactive
installations like this new one from SpiderTag, it would be packed. Unfortunately
Covid-19, people can’t get packed into the Peinture Fraiche Festival in Lyon,
The festival features 50 French and international artists at La Halle Debourg operating loosely under the theme of innovation in urban art as a concept. Here we see the Spidertags new installation while he continues his explorations with Neon, transforming and mediating the thick dark night. He calls this his Interactive Neon Mural #10.
Feel like you are living on the other side of the looking glass? Yes, that is because your society is in the final collapse of this controlled demolition. No need to worry, though, Gilbert Petit has created an Alice in Wonderlandtheme for his newest mural to brighten your day.
The Parisian artist brought his illustration style 2-D interpretation to Moissy-Cramayel just as summers’ warm rays still had their full strength, the evening begins to cool. With his own interpretation of the children’s tale by Lewis Carroll and published in 1865, you may even find it tempting to step through the glass, but you may likely fall down through a rabbit hole of nonsense and hysteria.
“Curiouser and curiouser!”
The mural is part of this autumn’s 2020 Wall Street Art festival and we thank Galerie Mathgoth for sharing these photos with BSA readers.
“Gouzou” are on the loose in Grigny, thanks to their creator, French graffiti
writer and muralist JACE.
A children-friendly installation in a city that needs some love, the artist who began as a graffiti writer in 1989 here brings his famous faceless characters called the “Gouzou” to pop out of the box buildings and water the flowers of growth here.
JACE says he’s been painting this character since the early 90s and they are complex, despite their appearance. “The “Gouzou” is an anthropomorphic character, cheerful and endearing but not without a touch of malice,” says his bio, “Soft and delicate, he can be just as impertinent and teasing!”
This new community mural is in a housing estate in the district called “La Grande Borne”, or perhaps, “The Great Frontier”, but over time its reputation has become somewhat tarnished due to high unemployment, lack of economic opportunity, and probably systemic racism.
The Wiki entry says “Built as a 1960s social utopia with winding coloured buildings, it was intended to become an ideal dormitory town. With 11,000 inhabitants, it has become a by-word for poverty, drug dealing, arms trafficking, youth criminality and attacks on police, as well as arson attacks on public buildings.”
In a 2015 article in Le Parisien even the Socialist MP Malek Boutih has said about La Grande Borne, “A city where officials, including elected officials, make a pact with evil, thugs, offenders, corruption.” (translated with Google)
Maybe JACE’s Gouzou will bring a positive influence on the neighborhood?
At least that’s what the mural program “Wall Street Festival” has in mind.
“Bringing culture to working-class neighborhoods is like a duty for me,”
says organizer and founder Gautier Jourdain. “This is where the works are most
Moscovite graffiti artist/muralist Konstantin Danilov, aka ZMOGK, is our third in a row from the French “Wall Street Art Festival” this summer. A late 90s graffiti artist working primarily with the letter form, ZMOGK has deconstructed it and pushed it through a prism or two, now nearly entirely abstract. Look closely at the finished walls below and you may see why he has titled this one, “Butterflies”
One of the few Russian graffiti/Street Artists that you hear of outside of his mother country, he has participated in a number of Street Art festivals and jams in the last few years. On this commercially owned housing complex in this relatively small town of 13,000 named Lieusaint, the artist channeled his emotions, organizers say, bringing vibrant dynamic colors in a rather chaotic composition.
A press release says that his “first approach is based on intuition and the subconscious mind. This corresponds to the initial phase of working on a radically free canvas, when he closes the logical and rational mind and lets his hand draw the lines while focusing on his feelings.”
The Wall Street Art festival is organized by Grand Paris Sud, Gautier Jourdain, and Galerie Mathgoth in Paris.
The 2019 edition of Gautier Jourdain’s “Wall Street Festival”
across 24 cities of Grand Paris Sud has begun this summer with 3 frescoes that
will go up before the fabulous European summer holiday period.
Spanish Artist BELIN is the first to start the festivities, with his curious re-proportioning of the human form that looks oddly normal. The features are accurate, even hyper realistic. But BELIN consults his own photography, forces the perspectives, and skillfully juxtaposes a truly new form on this wall in Évry-Courcouronnes with surreally fun results.
He’s calling her “Laurita”.
The Wall Street Art festival is organized by Grand Paris Sud, Gautier Jourdain, and Galerie Mathgoth in Paris. Upcoming autumn artists include L7m (Brazil), Andrea Ravo Mattoni (Italy), and Jace (France).
Research about Grenoble, France was foundational to Canadian Street Artist Li-Hills’ new mural for this street art festival, as was science.
“The figures become an allegory for the technological
advancements of humans through history,” says Li-Hill, “pulling the water from
the neighboring rivers and harnessing energy into innovation throughout time.”
Hidden within this multiple exposure action painting is the artists research into the city’s geographic setting “amid the mountains and rushing rivers, allowing for the advancement in early Hydrological energy,” says the artis when explaining the inspiration and interpretive process that went into the planning of the new wall he does here for the Grenoble Street Art Festival, 4th edition.
The church has been closed for 30 years. If you wait long enough the natural
world will overtake this temple, covering it with moss, wrapping it with ivy, filling
it with trees.
Borondo is already there. “The columns are connected to trees,” he says as
he projects a tall thin ghostly forest down the nave to the apse in preparation
for his multimedia installation at the summer solstice.
As he researches this environment and the forests and gardens of Bordeaux
the Street Artist is studying decay, growth, re-growth, and the dialogue
between architecture and the world that preceded us.
As he prepares the paintings, projections, and sounds he looks for the
duality of our experiences as well – the fear and the attraction that a holy house
can evoke, as well as an immense and thick forest, full of movement and
Who will fall to their knees here and cry it out to the sky first? “Merci !” “Mercy !”
See our first installment on “Merci” by Borondo here on BSA :
The blackened blueish rivers of energy swirling around this former government building in Nantes beguiles your inquisitive mind, wondering what fluid velocity and movement you have been swept into.
Is it the pulsating grid of power that once coursed through the maze of 130 offices on four floors inside; a buzzing quotidian beehive of 20th century hierarchy, efficiency, government bureaucracy, personal transactions, business ledger balancing. Or is it the newly spray-painting lifeblood of artists’ labor that transforms these spaces into immersive environments?
The Lisboan Street Artist Pantonio is not typically one to tell you about the creatures who swim or fly through his work, instead allowing the streams to weave around the façade, carrying your imagination with it. In the case of this waterside project by “L’Art Prend la Rue” called DéDalE (maze), the immersion begins before you have entered.
We’re accustomed to watching artists interact with the unpredictable mood swings of Mother Nature when creating interventions in public space. Whether it is in the built environment of urban architecture or the crumbling remains of it in the city, followers of Street Art and graffiti are wise to anticipate the wild embrace of the sun, the winds, the floods, the fire, the ice, the snow. Now in the Bordeaux region of France people are preparing for the growing season.
The natural cycles are rarely invited indoors as part of an exhibit but this new artistic project of this summers’ MERCI by Gonzalo Borondo hopes to establish a healthy reverence for the revolutions and rotations of agronomy, history, mystery, and inspired variations of natural poetry.
“He is working indoors and outdoors in an attempt to create a dialogue with and in the streets of Bordeaux,” says project manager Silvia Meschino of the multi-stage installations that will pour into the temple as we near the grand opening precisely upon the summer equinox. “He has always tried to find a connection with the environment that surrounds him,” she says, and you recall his studied interventions of the past decade.
Today we bring you exclusive images and a teaser video of this first phase of Borondo’s adaptation in Le Temple des Chartrons. The old protestant church has been closed for thirty years but has been granted to the Spanish Street Artist/ muralist by the Bordeaux council so that he can freely create within it. We watch with interest as he creates his own version of sanctuary for visitors and of course, the natural world. Possibly the temple will achieve a balance.
Unearthed by Artsy this week, the paper is ricocheting across social media with shock and dismay uttered by some artists who lament the hollowness of the modern graffiti/ Street Art/ Urban Art world, purporting to be distinct and above it all, yet posing in countless photos on their social pages with myriad peers and professionals and potential clients cheek-to-cheek.
It may be time that some hardcore Graffiti and Street Artists can shed some of the charades about how the globe turns, even if you are a graduate of the “School of Hard Knocks”. This movement we are witnessing toward self-promotion and marketing has always been true: This research paper doesn’t even use modern artists as a model for study – the subjects were part of the 20th Century abstract art movement and most died years ago.
You’ll recall that a central tenant of graffiti is that writers spread their names on every wall in different neighborhoods and cities to get “Fame”. As the authors of the paper Banerjee Mitali and Paul L. Ingram say, “CEOs, activists, scientists and innovators all benefit from fame. Meanwhile, the struggle for fame is becoming ever more intense and complex in a digital economy.” Download the paper here.
Yes, networking helps your career. In other breaking news, puppies are cute, the Pope is Catholic, and boys like short skirts.
This week our Images of the Week are coming to you directly from our latest visits to Madrid, Bilbao, and Bayonne. We’re excited to share what we found with BSA readers.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Anna Taratiel, Artez, Aryz, C215, Dan Witz, Eltono, Invader, Monkeybird, MSW, Stinkfish, and Suso33.
Here in Basque country you can casually drive between Bilbao (Spain) and Bayonne (France) as if you were just heading out to the shopping mall to buy new kicks. The signs of course are in multiple languages (Spanish, French, Basque) and there is much more political street art in these towns- addressing topics like fracking, racism, women’s rights and amnesty for political prisoners.
With an atmosphere that is more politically charged than other parts of the world, you can quickly forget it when you see so many rolling green hills dotted with puffy round sheep and old white farm houses along the highway.
Arriving in Bayonne we were happy to see many of the medieval small streets still boast Gothic-style cathedrals, a cloister here, the occasional castle there. It’s a walkable city with centuries of history, conservative cultural values, and a cool Street Art festival from the last few years called Points de Vue. Co-Founder Alban Morlot obliged us with a tour of the city and a multitude of murals produced over the past few years (You can read here our article of the recent 2018 edition of the festival with exclusive images from Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer).
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here and in Lyons and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism.
Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth.
A topic close to our heart for a decade, they also began a new film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
Headquartered in the public/privately run community center/gallery called SpaceJunk since the early 2000’s Alban and director Jérome Catz have been organizing shows here, Lyons, and Grenoble as their interests and network of artists has expanded. The two met when Catz was better known as a celebrity snowboarder organizing an art show for a sponsoring brand, and Marlot attended the show as a self-described “groupie”.
With a common interest is providing artists a platform and complementary abilities with funding and collecting, the two have gone on to mount shows and festivals in their organic path through the lenses of “board culture”, graffiti, Street Art, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism. Shows and exhibitions over the last decade and a half have included artists such as Lucy McLauchlan, Adam Neate, Will Barras, Jeff Soto, Laurence Vallières, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Isaac Cordal, Vhils, C215, Slinkachu, Ron English, Zevs, Shepard Fairey, JR, Lister, Augustine Kofie, Beast, NeverCrew, Monkey Bird, Daleast, and Seth. A topic close to our heart for a decade, they have also began a film festival for there 2017 edition of the Grenoble Street Art Fest.
As we walk through a very windy afternoon that kicks up the new construction dust that coats this neighborhood by the river, Alban talks to us about the suspicious embrace of locals and politicians of his work, the various working personalities of artists for the festival, the creation of a new currency by the Basque community, the tradition of socialist bars and political activists in the neighborhood, and his own connection to graffiti that began when he was hanging out in his hometown of Pau as a teenager with other skaters.
would listen to music, smoke a blunt, and skate all day. At some point graffiti
became my culture,” he says of those times that formed his character and
informed his aesthetic eye. “I don’t think I realized it at the time when
I was a teenager but by the time I was 25 I said to myself ‘this is my culture’.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way but I knew that I wanted to share
this experience and make it visible for other people in my generation.”
and riding in a car to see murals, small installations, illegal graffiti, and
formally approved artworks, you may wonder how this organizer and curator looks
at his position in an evolving urban art scene that has witnessed the arrival
and departure of many over the last 15 years. He says that his work has always
centered on the artists, and that despite the chaos and change, this may be why
job is to know the artist and learn where they want to go and what their
context is,” says Alban. “Afterwards I let them express their hearts without any conditions
because I want them to have the maximum pleasure to produce their art. This way
you receive the best from them.”
You may wonder where this philosophy comes from, and ask if he always felt this way.
“I think I just love artists so much,” he says. “People at Space Junk often ask me if I am an artist and I am not. I just consider artists to be very important in our lives and in society and I think we have to put artists in the middle of the system and not like they are just observers. I think artists belong in the center of society and I think people have to learn again how to listen to what they have to say. The way they present society is a very different point of view that helps us to understand who we are, who our neighbors are and help us to drive together.”
Our sincere thanks to Alban and Jérome for their work and hospitality and we hope you enjoy some of these pics from Bayonne.