All posts tagged: French Polynesia

BSA Top Stories Of 2018 As Picked By You

You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.

Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.

Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.

So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.

The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.

The timeliness of Jetsonorama’s wheat pasted photography series about Good Samaritans who leave water for people in the desert – and the US border guards who destroy them – resonated powerfully to us this week as  a 7 year old girl died in Border Patrol custody of apparent dehydration.

But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018


No. 15

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE


No. 14

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas’ New Work in AJO, Arizona

Chip Thomas. AJO, Arizona. July. 2018. (photo © Chip Thomas)

From BSA:

Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor  human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”

Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE


No. 13

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Survey of the Moment

DalEast is the author of the bird. Spyo tells the world who he really is… (photo © Tor Staale Moen)

From BSA:

A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.

With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.

Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.

Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE


No. 12

Pop Up “Trump Cemetery” Marks Death of Ideas on 1st Anniversary of Inauguration by INDECLINE Artist Collective

“Grave New World” installation by INDECLINE artist collective (image © INDECLINE)

From BSA:

So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.

“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.

The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.

“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE


No. 11

Borondo Finds Community on The Island Of Utsira in Norway

Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)

From BSA:

Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.

“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”

Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE


No. 10

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall

NeSpoon. Emergence Festival. Catania, Sicily. March 2018. (photo © courtesy of NeSpoon)

From BSA:

Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.

Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE


No. 9

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From Fer Acala on BSA:

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE


No. 8

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance In Bologna, Italy.

Ericailcane. Pennelli Ribelli Festival. Bologna, Italy. October 2018. (photo © NemO’s/Andrea Casciu)

From BSA:

Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.

At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.

NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE


No. 7

“Martha” the Movie: Selina Miles’ Most Ambitious Project To Date

Martha Cooper (photo © Selina Miles)

From BSA:

We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.

Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.

“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE


No. 6

DavidL Paints Hitchcock, Warhol, Tim Burton, Kubrick: Through The Lens of Fer Alcala

DavidL. ET. Fraggle Rock. Spain. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

From BSA:

After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).

But for David it’s not like that anymore.

Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.

DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE


No. 5

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.

We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

UPEA Special. Continue reading HERE


No. 4

‘Wandelism’ Brings Wild Change for One Week in Berlin

Marina Zumi. “Wandelism”. Berlin, Germany. (photo © Harald Geil)

From BSA:

When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.

On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.

Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE


No. 3

Scenes from Eugene: Murals of the 20x21EUG Festival in Oregon

Alexis Diaz. 20x21EUG Mural Project / 2018 Edition. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

The city of Eugene in Oregon is preparing for the 2021 IAAF World Athletics Championships and like many cities these days it is transforming itself with murals.

With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.

A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.

Scenes From Eugene: Continue reading HERE


No. 2

Winston Tseng: Street Provocateur Brings “Trash” Campaign to NYC

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.

Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.

Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE


No. 1

OKUDA Sculpture Engulfed in Flames for Falles Festival in València

Okuda. Fallas 2018. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Martha Cooper)

From BSA:

Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!

During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.

This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.

Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE


We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.

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The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.

Charles and Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.

Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.

Charles and Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a similar sized surface to paint, the comparing and contrasting between styles and techniques among the artists was suddenly on full display. In contrast to the cities that many of these artists began in, you could not have found a more appreciate audience of people for these artists and their talents. The best part is that these buses are currently rolling through the streets even though the festival is over.

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Raiatea, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cola. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018. Bora Bora, French Polynesia. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.24.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.24.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

As upbeat as celebrations like today’s LGBTQ Pride events are here in NYC, they are rooted in defiance of the suffocating unjust norms that entrapped people in this city and across the country for generations – newly emancipating broad groups of people over the last 50 years or so. As New York City led the way with the Stonewall riots for sexual minorities, it sends this message today to people across the globe that you will be free too, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now in your country.

But LGBTQ folks needed straight allies to get their rights over five decades. Today we have to speak up loud and proud for immigrants. If you need to punch, figuratively, don’t punch downward. These people have done nothing to hurt you and are bringing a the identical aspirations your parents, grandparents, great grandparents did. Don’t believe the hype of the traumatizer who blames the traumatized.

Punch UP at the folks who shifted all the jobs away, just lowered their own taxes to their lowest rate in your entire lifetime, who are shredding the social safety net, who are creating jobs that pay so little you still have to get food stamps, who are trying to convince poor people that poor people are their enemy.  It’s an old old trick and it appears to still work marvelously.

This week on BSA Images of the Week we see that just a few Street Artists are addressing these new disgusting revelations and systemic problems, even as 700 Migrant Kids Separated From Parents Are in NY.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anthony Lister, Bordalo II, Charles Williams, City Kitty, Danny Minnick, Etnik, FKDL, Lapiz, LMNOPI, Individual Activist, Niko, Nick Walker, Olivia Laita, Revaf, Sofles, Soten, and Strayones.

Top image: This beautifully hand rendered drawing is signed but unfortunately we can’t read the language so we can’t identify the artist. Please help. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This beautifully hand rendered drawing is signed but unfortunately we can’t read the language so we can’t identify the artist. Please help. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Individual Activist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister being entertained by The Drif in Little Italy for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An outstanding collaboration between Charles Williams and Bordalo II in Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Strayones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NIKO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty in collaboration with LMNOPI. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lapiz. Farblut Festival 2018. Bremen, Germany.  (photo © Lapiz)

“The soccer world cup has begun and I took the opportunity to paint a mural about Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. It was painted during the FARBFLUT festival which took place last weekend where 200 artist painted a 1000 m wall. The mural itself measures 6 x 3.50 m.

The motive shows the Russian president Vladimir Putin kissing Vladimir Putin. The colours are those of the rainbow flag and it has the words ‘One Love’ written above it. The picture addresses Putin’s narcissism and even more the homophobic tendencies supported by the Russian
government.”

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Soten. Moorea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti Festival 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Etnik. Prato, Italy. (photo © Etnik)

Sofles. Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sofles. Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Danny Minnick for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nick Walker. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not Invaders in Tahiti, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gulf Revaf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. West Village, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tahiti So Long : BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Bora Bora

Tahiti So Long : BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Bora Bora

Last week BSA was checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene there while the 5th Annual ONO’U was taking place. BSA readers joined in the tropical action while we took you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


Here’s our last posting from Tahiti, now that we’re recovered from the jet lag and are back in dirty old New York. We parted ways with the artists on Bora Bora who continued to paint in a place where the word ‘paradise’ is redundant. How many times did artists here simply jump in the water to cool off after painting and installing in the tropical sun for a few hours?

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The community was involved as well, with public officials and traditional representatives hosting welcoming ceremonies and receptions, artists like Pixel Pancho and Bordello II teaching students about technique in an art class, and countless interactions with clusters of interested onlookers who provided a revolving audience for the muralists while they created new works. Local artists Rival and Abuzz helped with explanations and communications also while they joined in with their international guest artists in painting new walls.

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

French muralist Vinie reimagined her popular female figure as an underwater explorer in a way that delighted and reassured some of the kids in the neighborhood. In an unexpected twist, Portugal’s BordalloII and Spain’s Okuda decided to collaborate on a piece, a unique collaboration of pop surrealism and spontaneous sculpture with recycled materials on the end of a seaside home.

In the end ONO’U is always far more than you expect, a unique collection of settings, interactions with people, meeting of new friends, learning of history and communing with nature that inspire the artists to dig a little deeper inside to find a response to all they are seeing and experiencing.

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda . BordaloII. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo with Narvila who inspired the artist for the themes on this wall of human rights, inclusion, acceptance, GLBTQ rights and love. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yellow Buff: Cranio painted the character plus the door and the walls next to it. As you can see most of what he did got buffed with yellow paint by the owners of the wall. They told us they didn’t like the words and lettering on the other walls, preferring the figurative to the text-based. A shame that the hard work was destroyed so quickly. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams and Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . Soten . Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A triptych from Charles Williams, Soten, and Abuze at ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bordalo II. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Bora Bora. June 2018. (photo © Olivia Laita)

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BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 6 – Raiatea Wrap Up

BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 6 – Raiatea Wrap Up

This week BSA is checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene here while the 5th Annual ONO’U is taking place. Join in the tropical action while we take you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


The walls in Raiatea have been completed and the town folks came out for a block party with music and food and for the unveiling of Spanish artist OKUDA’s fiberglass sculpture of dolphins playing with the globe that he  created specifically for this festival and for the the people of Raiatea.

Each of the artists created new walls while our traveling troupe was stationed here so before moving on to Bora Bora action here are some finished walls in Raiatea. We’ll report on the happenings of that beautiful island soon (when we are not cavorting in the ocean) but in the meantime we leave you here with the Raiatea Walls.

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinie . Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ABUZE. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ABUZE. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ABUZE. The artist painted a sunset dedicated to his father. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. We wrote a piece with WIP shots of this piece here.  ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. We wrote a piece with WIP shots of this piece here.  ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . Cranio . Abuze. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rival. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina working on the sketch for her wall. This is a portrait of ONO’U Tahiti co-founder. Sarah Roopinia. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Christina Angelina. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 5 – Cranio Brings Indigenous Life to Raiatea

BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 5 – Cranio Brings Indigenous Life to Raiatea

This week BSA is checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene here while the 5th Annual ONO’U is taking place. Join in the tropical action while we take you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


Feeling blue in Tahiti even though you are surrounded by banana, mango, papaya, coconut, and pomegranate trees each offering the wild fruits of the island? Impossible.

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yes, you are blue if you are one of Cranio’s characters, who remind us with a jolt that indigenous people of many shapes, sizes, and costume traveled and organized life on this earth long before we arrived.

With many ties to traditional costume and customs despite French Polynesia’s history of colonization, we have witnessed that there is an evident level of respect for native ways here across these islands as well.

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With bright blue guys that have red eye bands across the face, these characters were originally based on indigenous people from his native Brazil and Cranio brings them with him wherever he goes to city streets, galleries, museums, and private collections throughout the world. Appearing suddenly on the street, he places them in curious situations that personify the cultural confusion that happens in the contemporary world that hasn’t allowed for traditional ways.

Here in Raiatea he converts a set of double doors into the entryway to a tree trunk, a fantasy world that you want to be true. Painting for two decades, Cranio’s semi-surreal settings have an adventurer’s sense of play for his blue buddies to explore and cavort in – yet they gently/pointedly poke fun at social, political and environmental weaknesses in the Euro-centric world.

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio with Charles Williams on the background. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 4 – Charles Williams (Phat1) in Raiatea

BSA X ONO’U Festival 5: Day 4 – Charles Williams (Phat1) in Raiatea

This week BSA is checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene here while the 5th Annual ONO’U is taking place. Join in the tropical action while we take you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


Auckland’s Charles (Phat1) and Janine (Lady Diva) Williams bring the wildlife wherever they are, and not just on the wall. A graffiti writer with mad skillz and founder of TMD Crew, Charles considers family, history, nature and his Māori heritage when creating new pieces that often combine the natural world with graphic and geometric elements. Here in Raiatea the aerosol naturalist took time and special attention to detailing the plumage of an U’upa, a species of fruit dove that is frequently seen on the islands of French Polynesia.

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . Cranio. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Raiatea. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA X ONO’U Festival 5 : Day 2 / Pixel Pancho In Papeete

BSA X ONO’U Festival 5 : Day 2 / Pixel Pancho In Papeete

This week BSA is checking out French Polynesia to get an appreciation for the Street Art, graffiti and street scene here while the 5th Annual ONO’U is taking place. Join in the tropical action while we take you to Tahiti, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea to see the artists and the action.


Converting planes of flesh into molded metal gives humans a certain robotic quality, including this Tahitian muse, imbued with a certain Steampunk patina of nostalgia for the past’s imagination about the future. Now living in the actual future, Italian Street Artist Pixel Pancho is mining a metaphor that AI may appreciate someday, but so far robots don’t fall in love at Carnegie-Mellon Robotics program, do they?

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here in Papeete, Tahiti, Pixel has finished his most recent muse in a garden of Eden, her visage frozen, her elegant drawing room in muted tones. A tray or basket of Pixel’s animal friends are expressed as future-past sculptures or animated robots ready to pounce. The mural took him only about 4 very productive days here in this tropical locale – and now he’s off to swim on another island.

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. The kitten sitting on the woman’s shoulder is his lil’ pet Diana who he rescued before he came to Tahiti. He found out she died while he was painting the mural and he added her at the last minute as a memento moris. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho. ONO’U Tahiti 2018 / Papeete. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.22.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.22.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

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.

Aside from new street art pieces going up on the street JPO had an opening at Wall Works in the Bronx, Bezt was at Spoke Art, Royce Bannon and Matt Siren had Ember City, Philipe Pantone was at GR Gallery, Dusty Rebel is launching his “Street Cuts” App Monday, and we’re just getting a look at the new show we’re co-curating for VINZ Feel Free in a couple of weeks.

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.

Top image: Felipe Pantone in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrew Tarlow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain in collaboration with The L.I. S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Strayones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gods In Love in Cerignola, Italy. (photo © Gods In Love)

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.”

Thrashbird (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RUN in Anacona, Italy. (photo © RUN)

City Kitty in collaboration with D7606 and Arrex Skulls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Megzany (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee in Raiatea, French Polynesia for ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jean Ozonder)

Untitled. Busker in the NYC Subway. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.15.17. ONO’U-Raiatea Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.15.17. ONO’U-Raiatea Special


BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Raitea, or more correctly, Ra’iātea, is the second largest of the Society Islands, after Tahiti, in French Polynesia. A 50 minute plane ride from where we spent a week in Tahiti for the ONO’U Festival, the organizers treated us and some of the artists and documentarians to an additional few days on this island this week.

The experience in this down to earth environment deepened our understanding and appreciation for the history, the sacred sites, and people here – many who have not previously had any interest in so-called Street Art or graffiti- or the current iterations of it anyway. The mainly port town is lush in vegetation with modest architecture, a lot of fresh produce, bare feet, a number of impressive tattoos, coral reefs, brightly colored schools of fish, vanilla beans, pineapples, black pearl farms, and now, murals from Street Artists from New Zealand, Paris, Madrid… Yes, we had the conversations about colonialism, cultural imperialism, hip hop culture, western culture, respecting traditions, giving and receiving. We’ll probably need more.

In the end, the artists thought perhaps more carefully about their work here than usual, sensitive to the audience, wanting to share. It’s this attitude of cultural exchange that inspires us to share them with you as images of our week. With gratitude to the organizers Sarah Roopinia, Jean Ozonder, Sarah’s kind parents, people of Tahiti and Raitea, and to you the loyal BSA reader here are some of the scenes that Jaime shot this week.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Akimbo, Charles & Janine Williams (Phat1 and Lady Diva), Kalouf, Marko93, Okuda, and Soten.

Top image: Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo . Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. Martha Cooper modeling the new pair (0nly pair available at the time) of Okuda sunnies. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akimbo. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Phat1. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Phat1 . Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Selina Miles)

Charles & Janine Williams. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Selina Miles)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Selina Miles)

Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Selina Miles)

SOT for short. Soten. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Diva. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Raiatea Edition. French Polynesia. October 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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ONO’U Tahiti – Murals from the Raiatea 2016 Edition

ONO’U Tahiti – Murals from the Raiatea 2016 Edition

This week BSA takes you to the French Polynesian Islands to see the new murals going up for this tropical island cultural festival called ONO’U Tahiti 2017. We’re happy to bring you the daily events and the insights as we discover them.


As we were scouting around the island of Raiatea with Martha Cooper and Selina Miles and the artists watching the new murals going up for ONO’U Tahiti this week we thought we would collect the walls put up by artists in last year’s edition. To say that this island is picturesque isn’t enough praise, and that its inhabitants are friendly doesn’t capture the kindness – on this homeland of the Māori people that was/is called Havai’i.

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the main township of the island called Uturos most of the 12,000 or so inhabitants live and many folks stop to watch the artists paint, asking questions, making observations to one another. In an environment like this the artists noticeably recalibrate their work to be be more relevant to the context, responsive to the people who live here and meaningful to the daily living of everyday.

Here are some shots of murals from 2016.

Kalouf. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seth Globepainter. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inkie. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inkie. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles Williams . AskewOne. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The text reads “I am the seed scattered from Havai’i”. Havai’i is the traditional name of Raiatea. Askew One writes about the wall on his blog:

“On first visiting the wall it struck Charles & Janine Williams that it had the shape of a Wharenui (Māori meeting house) and the vacant lot in relation was like the grounds of a Marae. Charles had the idea to take the Māori proverb featured in the Tupaia documentary which was ‘He kakano ahau, ruia mai I Rāngiatea’ or ‘I am a seed scattered from Rai’ātea’ in english. After consulting with Viliamu we got the Maohi (Tahitian) translation which read ‘E heuro puehu vau no te fenua Rai’ātea” and then after further advice from many locals we changed Rai’ātea to Havai’i – the islands original name. Janine took on the task of painting the text onto the wall.”

Read more about his experience here.

 

Charles Williams . AskewOne. ONO’U Tahiti 2016. Raiatea, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A view over the island from the plane (© Sergio Calleja)

 

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Street Art and Murals Get a Tahitian Post Office Stamp of Approval

Street Art and Murals Get a Tahitian Post Office Stamp of Approval

A new postal stamp in French Polynesia highlights a mural at the “ONO’U” festival in Tahiti, a first for the multi-island country as well as the French Street Artist SETH and his local Tahitian collaborator, HTJ.

Introduced in New York last week at the decennial World Stamp Show, an eight-day stamp extravaganza visited by a quarter million people, the new 140 CFP stamp depicts his mural at the 2015 “ONO’U” festival, as shot by photographer Martha Cooper.

brooklyn-street-art-jaime-rojo-seth-tahiti-postal-stamp-06-2016-web-2

French Street Artist SETH mural for ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival in Tahiti, French Polynesia in 2015 was selected by the country’s Postal Service for their new Philatelic Stamp issued in time to represent French Polynesia at the World Stamp Show in New York City this year. SETH was assited on this mural by HTJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 6-story painting depicts a sleeping French Polynesian girl wrapped in a traditional pareo dress that also morphs into the traditional bed covering called a tifaifai. “To design the patterns he collaborated with a local artist, HTJ, “ says ONO’U co-founder Sarah Roopinia,“and Seth conceptualized the girl sleeping, protected under the traditional patterns. It’s like a guardian protecting her with her culture and also she’s also representing dreaming about the future of French Polynesia.”

The white cut-out forms on the intense rouge background have propelled the design to stardom among ONO’U’s social media followers and when the postal service approached organizers to make a commemorative stamp of the 2-year old mural festival in downtown Papeete, Roopinia and her co-founder Jean Ozonder jumped at the chance. “what we liked with this production was having the opportunity to broaden the impact of street art and to have more people be aware of it,” she says. “To us the idea of a postal stamp was an original initiative and a way to bring this art into an area where you would not expect to find it.”

brooklyn-street-art-seth-martha-cooper-onou-tahiti-2016-web-1

SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Looking at the patterns in the bedspread you may also see more than the folklore forms of typical plant leaves and the Tiaré flower that many wear tucked behind an ear in archetypical portraits however. You also may recognize a symbol for radiation near the girls back and the form of a an atomic mushroom cloud near her bended knees, both referencing the approximately 175 nuclear tests that France did on the island of Moruroa from roughly 1966 to 1996, tests which The Gaurdian now says ‘showered vast area(s) of Polynesia with radioactivity‘.

By inclusion of these symbols with more traditional symbols in the new piece one is reminded of the inclusion of historical disasters traditionally in folk art ranging from pottery to quilting. Since we began making art we have been storytelling about natural disasters, man-made disasters, wars, political upheavals, societal shifts, milestone events and religious practices.

brooklyn-street-art-seth-martha-cooper-onou-tahiti-2016-web-7

HTJ assists SETH with the mural’s background motif. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As Street Art influenced murals have gained a wider audience across the world and certain works and artists are highly celebrated, there have been other issues of official stamps in recent years including works from Invader, Shepard Fairey, C215, Rero, Vhils, Ludo, and Mis Tic. The presidents of France and Singapore released a dual “Street Art” stamp a year ago and a recent Polish stamp depicts a 4 story wall by Polish painter Natalia Rak in Białystok, Poland of a young girl in traditional Polish dress who is watering a tree.

The “ONO’U” festival is now readying for its third edition and Ms. Roopinia was in New York with Mr. Ozonder to check out the current Street Art scene, the Coney Art Walls, the Governors Ball concerts and to share their new stamp with the thousands of people trekking by at the stamp exhibition. Roopinia tells us that the hugely successful festival draws top names for exhibition and competition from both the Street Art and graffiti world, but initially the mayor of Papeete, landlords, and the local businesses were rather hesitant, as were Street Artists who had not considered going to a place where there was not a large graffiti or Street Art scene to speak of.

 

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The challenge that we had was convincing the best street artists in the world to come to a ‘lost paradise’ to paint gigantic walls right in the center of the city. For a whole year we were working on finding walls, convincing the owners. Basically for the first six months no one was willing to give us their walls because they thought that it was all going to be horrible – so convincing the population was difficult,” she says.

“I could feel that some of the politicians were not very happy that we were going to do this in the beginning because they didn’t understand exactly that a small team could do such great things with artists,” she says, but the response of locals and businesses was overwhelmingly good, and word of the festival spread among artists, not least because most of their costs are covered and, by the way, they are painting in Tahiti after all.

 

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The second year the volume was really incredible,” says Jean of the interest that was piqued and the good reviews that went out among artists. “So many guys wanted to be invited to be a guest or to make a wall and we said ‘We can’t invite everybody because there is a budget.’

And quite a substantial budget it is. The partners say they have to raise over €300,000 a year and “80% of the festival is funded by private partners and sponsors,” including brand names like Nissan, Perrier, and Montana paints. The remaining 20% is funded by the city and the Ministry of Tourism.

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“The festival is always about two things,” says Roopinia, “There are “the main walls” which are by larger names like Seth or Kobra that are right in the center of the city you can walk from one wall to the other, making a very beautiful art  promenade or city walk. At the same time that this is happening there’s a contest that invites mostly graffiti artists – in the rules it’s only aerosol and there are no stencils – we really try to keep it strictly graffiti.”

Considering they already have a stamp and cruises are now dropping off visitors to walk through the streets and discover murals, it looks like ONO’U is putting Tahiti on the map for international street mural fans. “There is a general enthusiasm,” says Roopinia of people not just in Tahiti but across many of the 118 islands of French Polynesia. “So the festival is taking place on Tahiti and in Pepeete (the capital) where most people live but the impact is also through the TV, the Internet, and on the social media. But also in the outer islands they were flying to come in to see the walls and talk to the artists during the festival. Everybody is out walking in the streets talking with the artists, taking pictures.”

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HTJ assists SETH with the mural’s background motif. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH . HTJ. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH. ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival. Tahiti, French Polynesia. 2015. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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SETH and HTJ’s mural for ONO’U Street Art and Graffiti Festival in Tahiti, French Polynesia and the Philatelic Stamp on a post marked envelope. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The full sheet of stamps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Click HERE to learn more about ONO’U Tahiti Festival. Graffiti and Street Art. Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Our very special thanks to photographer Martha Cooper for sharing her photos with BSA readers.

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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