All posts tagged: Germany

Vox Graffiti Roars in Berlin with New Fanakapan x 1UP Collabo

Vox Graffiti Roars in Berlin with New Fanakapan x 1UP Collabo

Berlin streets are regularly teeming with the Vox Graffiti in shouting chaotic profusion – and have been for decades. The bubbling laughing raging hordes proffer a visual conversation that often roars, and you’ll have to yell to get your voice above the rest.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP and Berlin Kidz are two of the graffiti crews who reliably blast out their viewpoint, each with a uniquely unmistakable cadence and flair. This week one gilded the urban stage while the other was transformed upon it by British guest star Fanakapan with a ringing whoop, and with the angelic welcome of Alanis at the entrance, the Frühling party of Berlin is in full bloom.

Set upon a newly opened urban arena in Kreuzberg (thanks to the demolishing of a building adjacent to it) the actual bubble letters that distinguish the guileful Londoners’ letter style now rise above the rubble with multi-colored glee. Spelling out the 1UP letters in a way they never could, his interpretative take is framed by two runners of Berlin Kidz translation of Pichaçao-style colored cryptic tagging.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As one can imagine this was just to good to be true,” says Sam Walter of YAP Productions, the organizers and facilitators of the lift and permissions. “Yes we did have problems with a security and also police since we had no official paper which gave us permission for the wall – but we got a couple of confirmations via phone calls,” he says with all the reassuring confidence of a Cheshire cat .

Together with the rest of the steel-spined-velvet-clad YAP posse, the 1UP crew and Fanakapan were celebrating on this vast muddy lot ringed in concertina wire as the sun set one night this week. Word spread quickly and the reunion at the wall felt like 50% Graffiti God magic mixed with 110% adrenaline helping everyone ignore the psychotic spring weather that warms you one minute and converts you into a popsicle the next.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The original motivation for the collaboration is based on an one-year-old idea between 1UP and Fanakapan, says Sam, “bringing those beautiful, shiny, giant 7-meter “1UP’ letters. These are young artists who take on a lot of risk to push the graffiti culture beyond its boundaries.”

“No animals, plants or 1UPs were harmed during this production,” quips the charismatic cultural curator and YAP team member Denis Leo Hegic as he texts process shots of the wall to the squad as the secret/public wall goes up.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“1UP carries the zeitgeist of Berlin out into the world like no other contemporary collective. The DNA of the crew is rooted in the streets of Kreuzberg, but the group also developed into a global family,” he says. The statement is only partial bravado, as a serious graffiti head in many cities will be able to tell you a rooftop, elevator, or train line that they’ve seen hit by the amorphous and amazingly anonymous crew that seems to shape shift and reconstitute itself – evidenced here where their enormous tag is painted by another artist entirely.

BSA: Is this a tribute piece to 1UP or is it a collaboration?
Denis Leo Hegic: It’s gravity graffiti. Collaborative and collective work is already included in their spirit “one united power”. Fanakapan managed to portray it in such a powerful and gravity defying way and gave us the largest 1UP letters hovering weightlessly over Berlin. 1UP is a ubiquitous tag in Berlin. You can’t help but be aware of it.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo

BSA: Did the authorities take any interest in visiting the site when Fanakapan was painting the tag, perhaps thinking that it was actually 1UP painting?
Denis Leo Hegic: We had quite an interaction with the local law enforcement. However, all the officers that appeared on site were being alarmed by other people and did not come on their own initiative.

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How did you get permission to paint on this wall?
Denis Leo Hegic: Through the intelligence of many. We managed to thrill lots of good, curious and courageous people who made everything possible: from a large wall in the center of Kreuzberg to the entire production. Fanakapan was extremely motivated and he literally blew those balloons up the wall.

BSA: Previously there was a building in front of the current wall. Now the whole wall is fully exposed, showing fully the long-running Alanis angel piece. Was any consideration given to the Alanis piece while planning the 1UP piece?

Denis Leo Hegic: Absolutely. I hate when some people say “curating a wall” or “curating a mural” – that’s such utter nonsense! How can one person possibly “curate” one single painting on one single wall? However, this wall succeeded to curate itself naturally. It’s a great composition with the two vertical stripes by Berlin Kidz on each side of the piece and being held by the Alanis angel from the ground. With Fanakapan’s addition of the 1UP bubble tag it became a marvelous “Kreuzberger Mischung” (Kreuzberg Mixture).

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fanakapan x 1UP Crew adding to the wonderful and long running Alanis’ angel and the classic Berlin Kidz columns. Berlin. March, 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Michelle Houston, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Michelle Houston, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:

Michele Houston, enfant terrible, storyteller in the Queen’s English, curator at Monumenta festival Leipzig, at Zwitxhermaschine Gallery in Berlin, for this years very successful Wandelism, and co-founder of Berlin Art Society.


In times where the world seems to have gone mad, with segregation rather than inclusions and the unthinkable such as Brexit becomes a reality.

The photograph I selected is a night street view of the exhibition: “Bonjour Tristesse” by artist KITRA.

The show is titled after the infamous graffiti just off Schlesisches Tor (Berlin), which has crowned the building opposite the exhibition for the past 37 years, which translates to hello sadness and seems to embody the zeitgeist of now.

The public from all walks of life were invited to literally walk in to an artwork, as the walls, ceiling and floor were painted by the artist. It was an exhibition like a candy shop, where one could immerse themselves inside of an artwork.

In 2019 I wish for more colour and light to break through the impending darkness.

Artist: Kitra

Location: Berlin, Germany

Date: 29.04.2018

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Elisabetta Pajer, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Elisabetta Pajer, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:
Elisabetta Pajer,
Curator of Imago exhibition at Munich Museum, cultural manager, founder of laNori Management


The image I choose for the 9th edition of the BSA End of The Year Tradition is the mural Lagrangian by artist Addison Karl. The artwork was painted in July 2018 in Munich for the MUCA Museum.

The engagement I have with the artists I work with sometimes raises challenges that immediately become a dialogue. This helps us find solutions and pushes both sides to get out of the comfort zone. The surface where this artwork was executed was irregular and pretty hard to paint on. However, this project triggered a very interesting conversation with Addison ending in this beautiful artwork.

The powerful piece represents a man looking at the horizon. It translates for me into a metaphor of hope, challenge, and strength.  May the ‘good’ challenges, a feeling of hope and strength be with us all in 2019.

Artist: Addison Karl

Title: Lagrangian

Size: 40m x20m

Location: Munich, Germany

Date: July 2018

Photo Credit: @AddisonKarl

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Denis Leo Hegic, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Denis Leo Hegic, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:

Denis Leo Hegic, Curator, cultural manager, architect, Co-Founder of Monumenta in Leipzig, Wandelism in Berlin. Big talker, bigger doer.


You wake up one morning and snow has fallen on all the roofs – how can you not be happy?

This sharp rooftop bombing was created during my last exhibition “Monumenta” in Leipzig by SNOW21, an iconic writer known for his impressive large scale works.

I wish that SNOW21 will not remain the only snow in Germany this year and that we take responsible action for our planet in 2019.

 

Denis Leo Hegic

Location: Leipzig, Germany

Date: September 2018

Artist: Snow21

Photographer: Nika Kramer

 

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Pascal Feucher, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Pascal Feucher, Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:

Pascal Feucher, Impresario, articulate thought-leader, badass Founder of the Urban Spree compound in Berlin, Germany


Pixação is a form of graffiti rooted in the São Paulo underground, a rough colonization of verticality by writers who are prone to take extreme risk on makeshift scaffolds but usually, as in the sub genre of balcony writing, without any form of security. It is the most extreme form of graffiti in a sense where you put your own life at risk for the thrill of the game, in a time where street art becomes more and more colonized by branding and consumerism.

The photograph is also important as it marks the first collaboration between São Paulo’s Os Cururu and Berlin-based Paradox (Berlin Kidz), two of the most important pixacão writers who united their skills to invade Berlin in the summer of 2018.

The photograph was taken In Berlin Kreuzberg by @cpt_olf, whose remarkable photographic work is based on documenting urban exploration in extreme altitude, and specifically the works of the Berlin Kidz.

Artist: Berlin Kidz

Title: Signal

Location: Kreuzberg, Berlin. Germany.

Date: Summer 2018

Photographer: CPT Olf (@cpt_olf)

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BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals of 2018: A “Social” Survey

BSA’s 15 Most Popular Murals of 2018: A “Social” Survey

There’s street cred, and then there’s social media credit. These are 15 of the latter, compiled by BSA by our own rigorous methodology.

Bears lead the pack! A monkey is here as well. Skulls and Biggie Smalls make it in again. Text wisdom also wins along with representations of the natural world like Pejac’s tree and Naomi Rag’s flower. And a rep for Game of Thrones and the horrors of Hitchcock as well – you knew popular culture would represent.

These are the top murals from 2018 via tabulations of our website, Instagram, Twitter, and two Facebook pages. In a thoroughly unscientific survey that calculates “likes” and “clicks” and “re-Tweets” and “impressions”, and every year we cannot predict which one’s are going to be popular, but sometimes you can guess. We don’t publish a lot of murals of cats, but if we did, they would probably win. Just guessing.

This year we’re drawn to the two written word pieces, likely because they are erudite and witty to some extent – and because it is good to see how smart BSA readers are. Brilliant, we say!

Welcome to your favorite murals of the year:


15 – Banksy.

A tribute. A plea. A denunciation. A well used example of the artist’s platform to bring awareness of the plight of artists who dare to set themselves free with their art. Depicted here is Ms. Zehra Doğan, an editor and journalist from Turkey. She is presently serving time in jail for painting Turkish flags on a painting showing destroyed buildings and posting the painting on Social Media. Marking the time with tick

Banksy. Free Zehra Doğan. NYC. Houston/Bowery Wall. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

14 – Sonny Sundancer.

Sonny Sundancer finishes his final mural for his #totheboneproject , a grizzly titled “Standing Tall” looking out over Greenwich Village.

“Standing Tall” was done in conjunction with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

13 – Axe Colours.

Axe Colours goes GOT and the question going into 2019 in many people’s minds is: Will she or won’t she?

The Mother of Dragons on the streets of Barcelona as interpreted by Axe Colours. This photo was taken on November 2017 but shared on Instagram on February of 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

12 – Owen Dippie.

New Zealand artist Owen Dippie is known for pairing pop characters in his realistic large scale work. Here’s an odd couple of film director Hitchcock and Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls.

Pigeons, Ravens, Cigars, Mystery and Music on the streets of Brooklyn. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

11 – Kobra.

Brazilian artist Kobra gave himself a residency in NYC this year with the goal of painting as many murals as time and available walls would permit him. He succeeded by painting 18 walls throughout NYC – mostly the top level easy to identify icons found on t-shirts, posters and postcards for decades here. One of his portraits of Amy Winehouse proved to be hugely popular.

Kobra. Amy Winehouse. Manhattan, October 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1o – Disordered.

Anxiety rings true when the giveaways to business interests for nearly four decades under both dominant parties have gradually placed folks like these in this neighborhood constantly in fear of missing the rent, the grocery bill, the car payment, the cost of providing for their kids. Disordered is right.

#DISORDERED. Done in Welling Court, Queens for Welling Court 2018. July 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

9 – Kaos.

The KAOS Factory, colloquially named because the German graffiti artist by the same name has slowly taken it over with his work during the last few years, by default converting the former steam factory into his de facto “residency”.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. October 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8 – Naomi Rag.

Not specifically a Street Artist, Naomi Rag crochets her favorite things and puts them up mainly on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This simple rose on a school yard fence steadily garnered attention throughout the year – and reminded us of this song from the 1960s.

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming…”

Jerry Leiber & Phil Spector

Naomi Rag. Red Rose in Spanish Harlem. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7 – GlossBlack.

New York is a constant source of inspiration for countless artists of all disciplines who have made a home and hopefully a career in this dynamic city of endless serendipity and challenge. GlossBlack hit the mark with this tough and tumble tribute to the city.

GlossBlack in collaboration with Klughaus in Manhattan. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6 – Bordalo II.

Bordalo II has evolved a spectacular practice of creating street works from our refuse that shock and thrill many a passersby with his ingenuity and evocative image making – while raising our collective consciousness about our responsibility to the earth.

Bordalo II. Lisbon, Portugal. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4 – BKFoxx.

With a commercial eye toward the natural world and larger societal issues BKFoxx chooses subjects for their emotional impact and their ability to translates easily for an image-savvy audience whose endless hours of personal screen entertainment has produced an expectation for a big budget Hollywood and consumer culture slickness with high-production values.

BKFoxx in collaboration with JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. April 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 – Terry Urban.

Inspiration to create flows from many rivers and tributaries. Many times that inspiration comes from a fellow artist as is the case here. Art is for everyone, and the street is more than ever a perfect place to see it.

Terry Urban channeling Basquiat in Manhattan. January 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3 – Egle Zvirblyte.

Egle’s feminism is abundantly clear on her work. A mixture of pop and riddles and unabashedly self assured.

Egle Zvirblyte. A project curated by BSA with the production assistance and wall access from Joe Franquinha / Crest Hardware and paint donated by Montana Cans. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2 – Pejac.

The Spaniard Pejac came for a few weeks to New York this spring and left this piece in Bushwick. The wall is a brick façade typical of many Brooklyn neighborhoods, but this one appears to have grown a tree this week. Perhaps he chose to paint this tree because the promise of spring had inspired him, or because this neighborhood remains industrial and could benefit from some more of nature’s influence. For us it’s all about context so it is good to see that a tree grows in Brooklyn.

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1 – Adrian Wilson

Just in under the wire and straight to number 1, this cleverly turned phrase and hooded ideogram is an ironic amalgam of Banksy and Warhol that hit the nerve of readers who are becoming acutely aware of us all slipping into a surveillance society. Also, it’s funny.

We only published this mural in December but the number of hits and comments across social media indicated that it resonates strongly across a wide demographic. Photographer, videographer, former gallery owner and infrequent Street Artist Adrian Wilson clearly is not shooting for anonymity.

Top image: Adrian Wilson plays with words to reflect our pop culture trolling both Warhol and Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Discovering “The Kaos Factory” in Leipzig

Discovering “The Kaos Factory” in Leipzig

The Industrial Revolution ushered in miracles of production, mechanics, engineering, speed, ease of global distribution – possibly the most important event in human history. It also killed cultures, decimated families, poisoned the Earth, air, water, radically changed civil society, enslaved people in dangerous conditions and caused workers to unite as never before.

The flight of industry has now given us incredible relics to explore and create art inside of or upon.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As industrial production migrated away from so-called Western societies in the last four decades we have been gifted the glorious and treacherous legacy of the factories in our cities. Urban explorers are now nearly legion on some cities, graffiti writers and Street Artist part of the mix. While the goals are often at odds – with explorers wishing only to preserve and archive and urban artists interested in finding new canvasses or installation environments – no one denies the sense of wonder and discovery wandering these carcasses of production in preservation or dilapidation.

If you have the luck to explore the steel and broken glass and possibly toxic materials sprayed with names and characters and patterns or adorned with sculptures of found materials spotlighted by natural beams of luminous fine matter, it can all present itself as a splendid chaos.

Or KAOS.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Whenever we travel to a new city as guests for academic talks on Street Art, art curating, or just seeing festivals and exhibitions we make it our priority to visit the forgotten margins of the industrial environs; spots where creativity and loose talk can happen uncensored, without permission and absent considerations of financial gain. The abandoned, decaying buildings like this one serve as a laboratory for many artists around the world, presenting an unintended studio environment and university function for artists who are experimenting, discovering, refining their skills.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the good fortune to visit one such place during our most recent trip to Leipzig, Germany on the occasion of our participation in the first edition of Monumenta Art. With our friend and colleague, photographer Nika Kramer we visited the KAOS Factory, colloquially named because the German graffiti artist by the same name has slowly taken it over with his work during the last few years, by default converting the former steam factory into his de facto “residency”.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

He gave us a tour of the sprawling compound and told us about how much he loves coming here to paint. He told us stories about how young writers come to the factory to paint and due to their lack of experience or knowledge of “street rules” go over his work or his friends work and how he has to confront them and inform them that it may look like chaos to some, but there is actually an unwritten set of guidelines of respect that graff writers show for one anothers’ work – usually.

Similarly these young, inexperience writers take unnecessary risks while walking through the occasionally dangerous factory ruins, he says, with sometimes disastrous results. Today we share with BSA readers some of the many KAOS rooms here where the hospitable graffiti writer has done installations, finding a certain joy when he sees people who have managed to break in to enjoy the works – or to add their own.

Our thanks to KAOS for sharing with us the glorious chaos.

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Plotbot Ken. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atomic Ant. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ixus. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Reve. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benuz. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Benuz. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KAOS. The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The video shows the attempt to implode the smokestack in the factory in 1995. While the implosion was somewhat successful it didn’t go as planned and it could have been a fatal disaster for the community around the factory. The photo below the video shows the very bottom part of the smokestack as it currently is and to the left it shows the potential damage to property and most likely fatalities as well should the stack have fallen to the left.

The Kaos Factory. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Monument-Of-Many” Installation at Monumenta Leipzig

“Monument-Of-Many” Installation at Monumenta Leipzig


An unusual exhibition that combines works from the established to the newcomer, Monumenta was mounted by a team of about 25 people in only five weeks inside this cavernous former metalworks factory in Leipzig, Germany and now on display through mid-October for the public. A grandly soaring gesture that welcomes visitors to an austere modern re-use of the cavernous industrial hall, the space is now referred to as ‘the church’.

Flanking its grand red staircase are 100 monuments hanging on swings, a literal interpretation of the thematic “Intelligence of Many” called “Monument-of-Many”. We asked Antoine Te, who organized the monuments portion of the exhibition, to speak to BSA readers about his experience with the show, specifically what his observations have been of how people interact with the works in this unique space.

– Antoine Te –

The Monument-of-Many is a beautiful installation that consists of one hundred aerated concrete blocks that are transformed by 100 artists in the fields of visual, street and urban art to create their vision of a future city: an alternative urban space for a iconic installation.

The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I love watching visitors’ facial expressions when entering the hall…. their eyes widen and the eyebrow rises. Then you see the head tilt slightly back to they begin looking up, with Victor Fresco’s Angry Man sculpture staring back down. It is a grand space but each concrete artwork has an intimate feeling as it appears to levitate in front of and around you, giving you room to contemplate or confess which artwork you may like or dislike, or to simply experience the old factory in a new context.

The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This creates an interesting atmosphere in which to observe and speak to the visitors – which has been an amazing part of the exhibition. Even though all artists shared the same starting point not all have treated their monument equally. For example the artist Bea Puschkarski’s monument titled ‘reflexion’ and she covers her block with reflective mirrors, making it a piece that is frequently used for selfies.

As the hundredfold monuments quietly sway on red platforms beside the angry man,  I also noticed that visitors tend to whisper as they walk around the hall, adding to the calm environment. Some visitors choose to photograph the original Pittlerwerke machinery, the halls, the oiled rope or the yellow crane hook. However my favorite is when I hear visitors hum ‘I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block’ when they see the Jennifer Lopez lyrics.

Christoph Voy. Jenny” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ultimately the Monument-of-Many installation symbolizes a sentiment that great ideas and beauty can arise from the intelligence of many.

Antoine Te. Naturity” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SC Szyman. Sz Cube” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Teresa Braunschweig. Utopie keimt im Kopf” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marshal Arts. Grave New World” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hemma & Silvan. “Log-In” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gomez. Ego” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dino Richter. Utopia” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maximilian Zeitler. 3 Turning Icons” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Naok Write. Material Time” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alina Debski. Seeing yourself” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Irwin Suimuri. Neue Karni Mata” The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Monument-of-Many. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.09.18 / Monumenta Leipzig Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.09.18 / Monumenta Leipzig Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

It’s great to be back in New York! Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Shana Tova to all our Jewish friends and the best to you in the new year! Congratulations to all our Indian friends for India’s decriminalizing homosexuality this week and showing the love and respect for everybody in our human family. Woo hoo! Shout out to Jackson Heights and half of Queens – India is in the house! In other NYC news, apparently art dealer Mary Boone can now add ‘convicted felon’ to her list of accolades.

Also in Queens this weekend you can check out all shades of gender-bender theatricality at BushWig for 23 hours of non-stop drag by over 160 performers.  You can also pose in 29 rooms of Instagram Bait here – a reality that is radically impacting museums and exhibitions.

You probably missed Sir Paul McCartney live at Grand Central Station Friday night since he only invited 300 of his closest friends to launch his new tour, but you can still see live pygmy goats in clever uniforms Saturdays this fall in Jonathan Paul’s To The Victor Belongs The Spoils show.

This week we have new shots from site of the Monumenta exhibition in Leipzig that we just returned from. With graffiti writers and Street Artists in your show it is a given that the rest of the walls will be hit up by visitors, peers, even the main artists. Who knows, the curators may like your contribution so well that it gets a name/date plaque of its own.

Our sincere thanks to the teams with whom we worked and played with in both Moscow and Leipzig in the last two weeks where we were curators at the Artmossphere Biennale and hosts/presenters at Monumenta. While the individuals and outcomes are quite different in both cases – the passion and ability to think big are the same. We are gratified to work, follow and lead in these very collaborative environments with such committed and creative people – and to know that our passion for Street Art / graffiti / public / urban art is met and magnified by the passion of each of you. We will probably be saying “intelligence of many” a lot now, thanks to Denis and Jan and the Monumenta team.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Harald Geil, Karies, Liz Art Berlin, Margier Dire, Nespoon, Ostap, Otto “Osch” Schade, RCS, RUDE, SNOW, Tobo, and Zoon.

Top Image: OSTAP with the Graffiti Emergency Cleaners at Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A lot of SNOW on the roof at Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SNOW. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RCS. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude . Nespoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nespoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nespoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified aritst. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liz Art Berlin. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Otto OSCH Schade. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zoon . Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rude. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zoon. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

OSTAP. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Margier Dire. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentifed Artist. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TOBO. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TOBO . Harald Geil. Monumenta Leipzig Outdoors. Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untiteld . Monumenta Leipzig. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“PasteUp Festival” Brings 130 Voices to Berlin Walls

“PasteUp Festival” Brings 130 Voices to Berlin Walls

We start here with a fresh paste-up directly from Iran. It depicts the entrance to a mosque bathed in a jewel reddish haze. The lower half of the door contains a cryptic message in the three-dimensional wildstyle graffiti that captured the imagination of New Yorkers, Europeans, and Middle Easterners over time. Descending the stairs and coming out to the street it reads, “Nothing”.

From an anonymous Iranian artist. The letters in Arabic read: ………. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“If they would paste this in Iran,” says the Berlin Paste-Up Festival organizer Moritz Tonn from the artists collective Wandelism. “It would probably be considered blasphemy and the government would most likely go after the artist”. Here in the so-called “western” world the ability to criticize all institutions, including religious ones, is still officially preserved and honored – so it is interesting that a theocracy could judge this as possibly flammable piece and it has to stay anonymous here inside very permissive Berlin.

RUN . METZ. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And that is only one of the reasons why exhibits like this are so crucially important to the dialogue on the street and to our collective awareness. Political, social, comic, pop, photographic, illustrative, painted, drawn, copied, figurative, immature, sarcastic,international, local, cryptic, explicit, inventive, verging on profound- these are the vox populi from many cities around the world stuck alongside one another. The mix is unusual, even odd. But the sound of the voices can be quite clarion.

Senor Schnu (center) . Stenandol (figure with crown on left). Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We got submissions from 130 artists, one to five paste-ups each,” says Moritz. “We have run out of room so we asked some of the the artists if we could put their art in the streets elsewhere around the neighborhood.”

Truthfully, there is a lot of space here that hasn’t been slapped with stickers or slathered with wheatpaste, and you can imagine that with time there will be a lot of organic growth in the massive piece that will bring the walls to full maturity/immaturity.

Members of the festival helping with the pasting up of the works. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If one really is interested on experiencing the full scope of what’s happening with art in the streets one really must pay special attention to the artists whose practice is small. At the moment it may be that stickers and paste-ups are getting lost amidst the hurricane of mural festivals – But big murals don’t paint the whole picture.

The small stickers, the stencils, the wheat pasted posters attached to walls in back alleys, on post lamps and street furniture are a fundamental component of this truly democratic art movement. So we’re satisfied to see a large spot like this one solely dedicated to paste-ups in all their glorious incarnations.

City Kitty . Gasky Graffiti . DCTRCHBS . Subdude. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Young boys pausing on their scooters to take a look at the art works. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anna Dimitrou. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eye Of The Donut signing his piece. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eye Of The Donut . Phobe NY. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mesy. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ron Miller. Stec. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Snik . Beatsen . Not Pinky . Mary Cula . Subdude. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NNC CT Theran . Bona Berlin . It’s Rolf.  Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not Pinky. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Sasa . Dazez. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ONI . SKA. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Otto OSCH Schade. Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paste Up Festival Berlin / September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Play With Art” is a Slam Dunk @ Monumenta Leipzig 2018

“Play With Art” is a Slam Dunk @ Monumenta Leipzig 2018

“I don’t know shit about art,” says the provocative Denis Leo Hegic as he tours you through the Monumenta show in the vast former metalwork-manufacturing factory of Pittlerwerkes here in Leipzig. Partially speaking for his enfant terrible alter ego and for the shock effect of a tour guide telling you this, the exhibition co-curator is also demonstrating a facetious ideal. It’s meant to be a liberating statement that allows those who know little about formal art history or modern art practice to forego the pretentious gatekeepers and their classism and to feel free to interact with the art and form opinions about it nonetheless.

This is one aspect of many that we have always appreciated and valued about graffiti, Street Art – all manner of art in the streets; there is a truly democratic access to persons on the street who come from all walks of life. Through the act of putting work truly out in public to be ignored, accepted, revered, or reviled by anyone who passes, one recognizes that the experience of the art will be received and processed via the filters of each individual regardless of their life path.

One may argue as well that the public art practice possibly merits greater respect for those implied true democratic ideals of accessibility than the art which is selectively chosen after its maker has conformed and legitimized itself to the gatekeeper – one who successfully run the gauntlets of the class system, its taste makers, its money makers, and its assumed academic rigor. Notably for the convenience store clerk or factory worker, they don’t need to cough up 3 hours of their weekly wages for the privilege.

Play With Art. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monumenta marries this philosophy of access with the “intelligence of many” at a few power junctures throughout this peeling and vast factory, but none are more interactive and auditorially bombastic as the basketball courts. A large area caged on three sides, a comical mulitiplication that looks like the repetitive output from digitally malfunctioning software – plopping hoops and backboards in doubles and triples up, down, and across the cage – some nearly overlapping one another. They call the installation “Play With Art”.

Play With Art. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On some backboards there are pieces of flat art of unspecified origin, each now transformed into a target for ballers of all backgrounds to bounce off to get in the bucket. The wooden floors may recall a school gymnasium for many, especially when they hear the pounding, thumping, semi-rhythmic dribbling. As players pick up balls and begin to ‘play’ with the art installation and the artworks they are shooting for, it is a loud and entertaining full-court press for chaos that reverberates across the walls and across the hand-taped patterns that reflect and refract the traditional diagrammatic guidelines of the game across the floor by artist Guillermo S. Quintana.

Play With Art. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It is actually about playing with art, not making it so precious,” says Hegic as he yells above the raucous discord. How you interpret the works is up to you, but in this case the viewer is encouraged to think less seriously about the structures that typically deliver the hallowed artworks, and even possibly express athletic aggression toward them. The chaos may not be an end in itself, but these courts may be a means to a less class-based description about art’s merits.

Also you can practice your layup – which is good for basketball players and graffiti writers alike.

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Senor Schnu Tackles Police Brutality at Monumenta, Leipzig 2018

Senor Schnu Tackles Police Brutality at Monumenta, Leipzig 2018

Same as it ever was,” David Byrne from the Talking Heads might say.

The topic of police brutality keeps coming up every year, every decade, every week sometimes. Señor Schnu, the Street Artist/fine artist who created this new sculpture at the Monumenta exhibition in Leipzig, Germany tells us that the feedback he gets from visitors is that he must be talking about something they just saw in the news. “The truth is, this sculpture is always current.”

Senor Schnu. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The uniformed Polizei here are actually made of mannequins but look particularly life-like probably because Schnu broke the figure in multiple locations to reposition the limbs in more natural angles. Hearing that he “broke” the figure sends chills, as you can imagine being one of the people thrown to the ground by these armed people, your limbs pressed upon and even broken.

As Baby Boomers in the US commemorate 50 years since the 1968 Summer of Love, certain news reports are recalling the unbridled brutality of the Chicago police that summer against people protesting the Vietnam War. The youth were eventually vindicated by the 60,000 dead American kids and the millions of Vietnamese killed in what was revealed to be deceitful US leadership of generals and politicians . What many of those idealistic youth of the late 60s didn’t realize then was that when they reached their 70s the stories of new brutality against protestors and everyday people of color would still be in the news. Almost daily.

Senor Schnu. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Around Europe and the world you find the same right now in the news; Romania, Bucharest, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, The Balkans, Turkey, Catalan..

It’s an ongoing debate as societies define what the role of police is in admittedly a sometimes unthankable unpredictable position; just how much power and weaponry they should have, how they are accountable, and to whom.

In the US a vocal activist and superstar athlete and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick has withstood criticism for protesting police brutality in particular and systemic racism in general in the US by kneeling at games during the national anthem. That story has taken a unusual twist this week with global sports brand NIKE announcing they have chosen him as a spokesman.

To be clear, the topic is not police. It is brutality. And art. And certainly it’s a contemporary theme here in Germany as well, but like artist Señor Schnu says, it isn’t new.

Senor Schnu. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Senor Schnu. Monumenta Leipzig 2018. Leipzig, Germany. 09-2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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