All posts tagged: From Here to Fame Publishing

Carlo McCormick, “Magic City: The Art Of The Street”

Carlo McCormick, “Magic City: The Art Of The Street”

Nature is a petrified magic city.

With apologies to Novalis, this magic city of New York is too alive to be considered petrified – unless you are talking about being petrified by the sight of five rats on the subway tracks while you wait for the M train.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

“New York has more artists than rats,” Carlo McCormick once told us at a gallery opening a few years ago, with a glint of mischief in his eyes, which is often there. Since that time the greedy dullard named “Gentrification” has been pushing so many creative types out of NYC that the artist/rat ratio has been surely swinging in the rat population’s favor.

The art and culture critic McCormick writes about the ubiquity rats in his new book MAGIC CITY, a catalogue for the traveling European exhibition of the same name just published by From Here to Fame Publishing under the guidance of editor Don R. Karl.  Rats, McCormick writes, have appeared in many Street Art pieces during the last few decades; dropping names of seminal figures like Blek Le Rat, whose rats allegedly influenced Bristol’s Banksy, among others like eco-artist Christy Rupp, who wheat-pasted the long tailed critters on New York walls in the late 1970s and Ivar Vics, aka “Dr. Rat”, an early graffiti writer in Amsterdam.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

The 40+ strong artist lineup for this show that just moved from Dresden to Munich and that will open in Stockholm this autumn includes artists from across a spectrum of disciplines and backgrounds and influences: a survey that includes early NYC graffiti train writers like DAZE and photographers who captured them like Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper – to modern muralist Street Artists like ROA and Tristan Eaton, to illusionists like Leon Keer and Odeith, to head-scratching interventionists like Dan Witz and Brad Downey and social/political activists like Icy & Sot and Ganzeer.

Full disclosure: BSA was invited to curate the film program for MAGIC CITY and Jaime Rojo is one of the featured artists in the show with a children’s trail of his photographs as well as a section of his photography focusing on street sculpture. We’re proud of our involvement and thankful for the opportunity to share what we have learned with visitors.

The well-designed and easily accessible book gives ample overviews and concise descriptions of the artists, the work, their relevance to an ever-evolving urban art scene, and of course savory writings by McCormick with essays by Amber Grunhauser, Biancoshock, and journalist/filmmaker Annie Nocenti, whose writing is featured extensively throughout the entire exhibit as well.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

“The urban landscape is the physical manifestation of humankind’s uneven, uneasy, and even unhealthy relationship with nature,” begins McCormick in “Interventions”, one of the many essays throughout that bring into focus the various art practices at play in the man-made public environments that people traverse daily.

With historical reference and straight-up knowledge delivered with a wizard’s finesse and a sharp dry gin humor, he leaves you with an inescapable sense that you have been missing a great deal in the experience of your own city every day. Critique, mystery, discovery; It’s more than information, it’s a way of seeing.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

For the seer McCormick the messages are coded, the dialogue welcomed, the right of contesting public space assured. As curator and writer his reach is necessarily wide, yet his is also discerningly focused where it needs to be. By now we have grown accustomed to his innate talent for winnowing down to the pertinent and quietly powerful voices which give foundation to the whole, telling us that much more is possible on the street – and that we should expect it.

The fact that Director of SC exhibitions Christoph Scholz, who writes the introduction, embraces the street credo of ongoing reinvention and the ephemeral qualities of this broad practice of art-making speaks to Carlos’ ability to paint these complex concepts with words – as well as Scholz’ Spiderman sense of the pulsating rhythms that stir just below an audiences consciousness, leaving their synapses sparking.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

The roots of these forms of expression are said to be activist, even anarchist, as least subversive. To see many of these MAGIC CITY practitioners today lauded and their messages magnified in a traveling family-friendly exhibition means that sometimes we witness the flashpoint when subculture becomes the culture, by dint of its pure industry – and possibly because good ideas are good ideas and they resonate far and deep.

But presenting a truly alive and contemporary art-making scene inside a formal exhibition space is rife with landmines, any curator will tell you. Straddling, or perhaps surfing, across this ocean of practices, dichotomies, factionalism, political/social movements, territorial piss fights, accusations of cultural appropriation, and the ongoing turmoil of the commodifying forces that shape our perception of a global grassroots art-making movement – all these make putting together a show, at best, a somewhat harrowing task and appropriate for those with a steel stomach.

Carlo McCormick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Thankfully, McCormick also has steel-toed boots – good for walking and perhaps kicking ass if that seems appropriate, backed as he is with academic erudition, street cred, and that insouciant punk rock adoring stare that intones, “Talk all you want, this music is so loud that I can only see your raging eyes and your bloodied lips moving, darling. Kiss me.”

In his introduction, McCormick says, “Like the art it features, MAGIC CITY is a zone of unexpected encounters, art as born in interstice and the peripheral, appearing along those rips in the fabric of the ordinary where the extraordinary intrudes its wonderful illogic.”

Therein may lie the magic.

Carlo McCormick. Tristan Eaton. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

MAGIC CITY, The Art in the Streets, curated by Carlo McCormick, co-curated by Ethel Seno, features the work of: AIKO, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benuz, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey , FINO’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OAKOAK, Odeith, OLEK , Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo and Ernest Zacharevic.

Carlo McCormick. Ernest Zacharevick. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Carlo McCormick. Olek. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Carlo McCormick. Leon Keer. Magic City: The Art Of the Street. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin 2017

Photos of all the catalogue plates by Jaime Rojo

Novalis quote stolen from essay by Mr. McCormick.

Magic City: The Art Of The Street by Carlo McCormick was published by From Here To Fame Publishing, Berlin 2017. Produced by SC Exhibitions


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A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Travelogue Through Familiar Land Leads the Aerosol Writer Along New Routes

eL Seed took a trip to discover his country and his roots and in the process learned about authentic and storied history, local culture, the generosity of strangers, and the strangeness of Darth Vader in the desert.


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is no separation between form and language in eL Seed’s work. His images embody language to the extent that the line and the subject become one, and the flow of the line is part of the meaning. The viewer does not have to understand Arabic to sense the poetry of the message,” says Jeffrey Deitch in the preface to Lost Walls, A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia, and the seamless integration of intent, inquiry and inspiration carries throughout this country-wide journey.

Choosing walls, blocks and buildings to leave his visual poetry is not an act of graffiti as much as it is a weaving of this modern moment with historical heritage and public art as he discovers and shares his observations and conversations in this travelogue of towns and communities.


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

“I wake up to the full light of day. The city, it seems, is up well before me. From the window of my room, I can see a wall in shambles. It calls out to me. I leave quickly to find out its history and who owns it,” he writes of El Kef, one of about 20 towns and cities he visits and paints while exploring history and perspectives of neighbors. Spurred on by his near life-changing experience painting a verse from the holy Quran on a minaret in his ancestral home of Gabes, the revelations about how people reacted to his work illuminated his impressions of himself as well as others, eL Seed took on a path of inquisition and the discovery of new places to leave his mark.


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

The book is richly illustrated, heavily essayed, and openly spoken. The physical journey accompanies and internal one; a full spectrum of issues, ideas and quandaries that propel his ride through this small northern African country bordering the Mediterranean. While essayist Wassim Ghozlani examines the role of public art in the democratization of society, Amel Djait contemplates the role of cultural tourism to the future of the country. As a corollary to both threads eL Seed quizzically studies the semi-preserved site of a Star Wars movie filmed here in the desert and finds a sort of Western incursion that trivializes the heritage and struggle of the people, even as “music from the film resonates in my mind”.


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

Seeing these freestanding pieces of calligraffiti in the midst of monochromatic and sun bleached scenes baked in clay and sand is surprising and singular, a clarion call to the past using tools of the present. eL Seed has his unique perspective as he observes and acts, questions and listens, and finally as he blends what he learns into his gestural and stately script. If there is a way forward for the tribes and the traditions of such storied lands, it will be perhaps by a new third party who gains the trust and respect of the old and the new. By trekking carefully along many a cultural fine line containing myriad curves and turns, eL Seed is creating his own path forward in his home land while others are doing the same.


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)



eL Seed constructed this wall by hand, before dismantling it in “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)


eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed “Lost Walls” A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin, Germany 2014

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From Here To Fame Publishing Present: Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art in Frankfurt. (Frankfurt, Germany)

From Here to Fame

Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art in Frankfurt

Graffiti artists from Egypt, Tunisia and Germany will create a street art gallery from 10th of April around the Tutankhamun exhibition hall in Frankfurt. Some of the best known and most active street artists from Egypt will participate, including Aya Tarek, Ammar Abo Bakr and Ganzeer. El Seed, a street artist from Tunisia whose work has influenced graffiti artists around the Arab world, and Andreas von Chrzanowski aka Case from Germany, who recently did murals in Egypt, complete this distinguished line-up.

Friday 13th of April

Opening of the Street Art Gallery

First Friday Egyptian Street Art & Arabic Graffiti
7:00 pm – Midnight

Arabic Graffiti – El Seed & Don Karl present the book and project
8:00 pm – Exhibition Foyer

Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution – Ganzeer & Don Karl
9:00 pm –  Exhibition Foyer
Tutankhamun exhibition hall, Mainzer Landstraße, Güterplatz, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

Since the start of the Arab uprisings the Middle East has seen an unparalleled explosion of graffiti. Many slogans which were later sung by the people on the streets first appeared on walls from Tunisia to Bahrain. Egypt has played a remarkable role in this phenomenon. Even when the army tanks rolled onto Tahrir Square in Cairo, they were immediately adorned with graffiti. Along with people from all walks of life, artists, calligraphers and designers took over the public space. In no time a vital and now globally acclaimed street art scene emerged. Arabic Graffiti is an intercultural project by From Here To Fame that involves artists, activists and academics from various Middle Eastern countries and their diasporas. Started as an art and book project, the recent events in the region have led to an active involvement of many participants in the transforming changes of the region. Events and exhibitions are currently being developed in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Germany.

The project  Arabic Graffiti & Egyptian Street Art is part of the Festival of Egyptian Culture, the program for the exhibition Tutankhamun – His tomb and treasures in Frankfurt.




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From Here To Fame Publishing Presents: Muralismo Morte. Book Release And Exhibition (Berlin, Germany)

Muralismo Morte


We are delighted to commence our fall season with a beautiful new title.

Wir freuen uns sehr mit diesem außergewöhnlich schönen Buch in den Herbst zu starten.

Muralismo Morte – The Rebirth of Muralism in Contemporary Urban Art reveals the vibrancy of a new type of muralism as it rises from the shadows of urban spaces in metropolises worldwide. From much celebrated pieces in prominent places to those hidden in anonymous, decayed ruins, it features the large-scale murals and small interventions of some of the most exciting international artists associated with this movement. Muralist and art activist Jens Besser uncovers these treasures and offers special insights into the emerging scene that is coloring our urban experience.

Artists/Künstler: Roa, Remed, Klub 7, Aec & Waone (Interesni Kazik), Blu, Os Gemeos, Escif, Jens Besser, BerlinBeamBoys, Sonice Development, 3ttman, Kain Logos and many more.

Muralismo Morte – The Rebirth of Muralism in Contemporary Urban Art, zeigt die Dynamik einer neuen Form der Wandmalerei, die seit einigen Jahren weltweit aus den Schatten der urbanen Räume der Metropolen hervor tritt. Von den gefeierten Arbeiten an prominenten Plätzen zu den anonymen Werken, versteckt in verfallenen Ruinen, bietet dieses Buch die großen Murals und kleinen Interventionen einiger der spannendsten internationalen Künstler dieser Bewegung. Muralist und Kunst-Aktivist Jens Besser deckt diese Kostbarkeiten auf und bietet einen tiefen Einblick in eine aufstrebende Szene, die unsere urbane Landschaft in neuen Farben zeichnet.

Take a look inside the book here!

Title: Muralismo Morte – The Rebirth of Muralism in Contemporary Urban Art
Author: Jens Besser
Pages: 200, color, ca. 300 Illustrations & photographs
Format: 28.5 x 21 cm (11.22 x 8.27 inches)
Language: English edition

Price Hardcover: 24.95 € | £ 24.99 | US $ 34.95
ISBN Hardcover: 978-3-937946-29-0

Book Release / 1. October 2010!

Exhibition & Book release party / Common Ground Gallery / Berlin:
1.October 2010 / 7 pm-open end
Lecture / Buchvorstellung (Jens Besser): 8:30 pm

Live video performance – BerlinBeamBoys
DJ Dejoe

Common Ground Gallery / Hip Hop Stützpunkt
Marienburger Str. 16 A (Hinterhof)
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg

Muralismo Morte Events Schedule:
for detailed information please check

1. October 2010 – Berlin
Common Ground Gallery
Exhibition & Book release party / lecture by Jens Besser

7 – 10. October 2010 – Berlin
Stroke.03 Urban Art Fair
Muralismo Morte lecture by Jens Besser & live painting by Roa, Sepe and Aryz (TBC)

27. October 2010 – Dresden
Muralismo Morte lecture by Jens Besser

3. November 2010 – Leipzig
Mzin Book Store
Muralismo Morte lecture by Jens Besser & exhibition

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