All posts tagged: Germany

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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MONUMENTA Opens: The Intelligence Of Many / Leipzig

MONUMENTA Opens: The Intelligence Of Many / Leipzig

MONUMENTA: The Intelligence Of Many.

Below is an excerpt from our press release on this weekend’s MONUMENTA TALKS which BSA is hosting for the opening of the Monumenta exhibition in these massive halls of a tool-making factory that has laid quiet for 20 years:

Utopia is not dead! The idea of it anyway.

It may simply be obscured by the clutter of this dystopian era. We’ve all been imagining what Utopia looks like since your parents were kids. Visions of moon landings, living in geodesic domes, flying on skateboards, printing your own food, hacking time and space, making love to robots – we’ve all thought of our versions of Utopia.”

Vikor Frešo. Angry Boy in what we are now calling “The Church”. Monumenta 2018. Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Is Utopia now dead? Do we know how to banish Dystopia?

MONUMENTA TALKS entertains and asks you if we can optimize our cities and systems. Does art play an important part? Who gets to decide?

With our guests and the audience we want to revive utopias. Seeking ‘monumental’ and ‘iconic’ ideas for a city/society of the future. We’ll examine the Intelligence-of-Many instead of the Limitation-of-the-Individual for pushing us all forward.”

For information on all events, directions and schedule click on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/408659719538221/

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Street Artists At Munich Museum Present the Portrait, “IMAGO” Curated by Elisabetta Pajer

Street Artists At Munich Museum Present the Portrait, “IMAGO” Curated by Elisabetta Pajer

From cave carvings in Angoulême in western France 27,000 years ago to your daily, perhaps hourly selfie on a cell phone today, our desire to depict the figure is as much a reflection of the artist and their times as it’s sitter.

A new show at MUCA Munich (Museum of Urban Contemporary Art) opening today invites 30 primarily Street Artists to choose a significant reference portrait of any historical time, country of origin, or artistic movement and interpret their inspirations into a portrait.

Whether drawing influences from Vermeer, Courbet, or Lucien Freud, each artist ultimately represents their own life experiences in their choice of subject and the technique of portrayal. Perhaps that is why curator Elisabetta Pajer has asked each of the artists to give us a statement with their work to help put it into context. Pajer tells us that she looks at the collection of works and the statements create a ‘harmonic mosaic’ of these figurative and written testimonies.

“These artists have sought out inspiration from many mediums that portraiture finds itself interpreted within,” says Pajer. “Taking their themes and inspiration from classical paintings, sculpture, film, theater, photographer, interactions, culture, religion, and science. Exhibiting a great understanding of the complexity of self-reflection with art as the catalyst.”

We’re pleased to be able to present some of the artists and their own words here.


Andreas Englund

Andreas Englund. Tripping. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

TRIPPING
Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 116 x 90 cm
 
-Statement
“I chose to tribute my artwork to the ‘‘Portrait of a smoking man’’ by Anders Zorn 1860-1920 – Swedens most internationally acclaimed artist. Born in my home region and very inspirational when it comes to his sketchy technique. By doing my own version of this masterpiece with my superhero, I have learned more about ‘‘the great Zorn’’ and his technique.”

Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper. Futura 1983. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

FUTURA 1983
Media: Archival pigment print
Size: 50,8 x 76,20 cm

 
-Statement
“This is a 1983 photo of Futura, a legendary New York City graffiti writer, with a classic can of Krylon spray paint. Thirty-five years later, Futura is still spray painting and I am still taking photos of graffiti writers.”

Icy + Sot

Icy & Sot. Under The Water Light. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artists)

UNDER THE WATER LIGHT
Media: Stencil spray paint on canvas
Size: 91,5 x 123 cm
 
-Statement
“This portrait is part a series we created reflecting on the relationship between human and nature. Nature plays a big role in human lifespan, but nowadays people have distanced from nature. With this work, we want to show humans closer to nature and pay a tribute to it.”

Swoon

Swoon. Thalassa. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

THALASSA
Media: Screenprint on paper with coffee stain and hand painting with collage mounted on board
Size: 123 × 138 cm
 
-Statement
“The name Thalassa is Greek word for ‘‘ocean’’, a primordial incarnation of the sea that is not often personified. Thalassa is said to have given birth to all tribes of fish in the sea. She is the pull of the sea that comes from inside the salt water in our blood. ‘Thalassa was originally created for New Orleans. It was the months after the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf in 2010, and this body of water that I’d loved since I was a child was in peril. As I drew Thalassa surging up from the water I felt her rising like a wake up call, one reminds us of our inseparability from the sea. When I stand in front of the ocean, the word that always appears first in my mind is “mother”. For me there is no mistaking the sense that the sea is our first mother.’ ”

Borondo

Gonzalo Borondo & Diego Lopez Bueno. Selfie Elvis II. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo © Blind Eye Factory)

GONZALO BORONDO & DIEGO LOPEZ BUENO
SELFIE ELVIS II
Media: Acrylic and plaster on wood – Plasma TV 50’’- Video on loop – 16:9 Digital – Color
Size: 7 panels each – 120 x 70 x 1 cm + 1 TV
 
-Statement
“Inspired by several passport photos found within the Marseilles “Marché aux Puches” (FR), Borondo and Lopez Bueno have designed an installation project with the title “Selfie Elvis II”. Imagination is the basis of the multimedia work with self-portraits of a man recalling the contemporary “selfie”. There are dozens of frames describing human aspects and obsessions. They have been digitally elaborated and assembled in a video by López Bueno. Borondo portrayed Elvis with acrylic on wood and applying gypsum, then scratched with sharp instruments. Faces appeared by subtraction, the absence tells about an ancestral and intangible dimension, wondering about its existence. Is Elvis looking at himself or us in that picture? And what about our images, do they look like us or they are just our dreams? Elvis is not there, Elvis is still there.”

Addison Karl

Addison Karl. Kamassa. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

KAMASSA
Media: Bronze, edition 1 of 10
Size: 30,48 x 20,32 x 15,24 cm
 
 
-Statement
“Portraiture in context to sculpture and form – referencing the masterpieces from both European Classical and Neoclassical time periods. From a culture l mirror of taking inspiration from Gods and Goddess of the ancient world, my sculpture’s subject is focused on a contemporary Chickasaw Elder. Using portraiture as a means of Cultural Preservation but equally re-appropriating classic sensibilities of art history to a Native Cultural narrative. “

 


Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Trigger (Rokhaya Diallo). IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artists)

TRIGGER (ROKHAYA DIALLO)
Media: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 200 x 140 cm
-Statement
“Our portrait of Rokhaya Diallo refers to an iconic work by Nikide Saint Phalle: The artistically revised film still “Daddy” shows the artist pointing a gun directly at the viewer. Even almost 50 years later, her eye and the muzzle of her rifle leave no doubt that she is serious about it. Anyone who sees the work feels immediately like coming into the firing line.
In our painting, the French journalist and film maker Rokhaya Diallo takes the place and – freely recreated – also the pose of Niki de Saint Phalle. Thus, an early feministic, vigorous artist of the twentieth century is followed by a modern, committed internet feminist with no less strong verve than her predecessor. Both women are even the same age at the time of the illustration. Only instead of the rifle, Rokhaya Diallo relies on her very own “weapon”, the hashtag. At first glance, it may seem more harmless than a rifle, but in times of #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo it can be an even more powerful tool.”

 


Fintan Magee

Fintan Magee The Removalist. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

THE REMOVALIST
Media: Canvas and acrylic on wall installation
 
-Statement
“The portrait has been ripped off the canvas and dragged across the ground and projected onto the wall. The artist has destroyed the canvas and made the portrait ephemeral, rendering it worthless and unsellable. The work comments on the commodification of artwork and the uneasy and paradoxical relationship between artist and the financier of his artworks. With street art becoming increasingly commoditized and contributing to gentrification this work doesn’t aim to make any grand statements on how art should or shouldn’t be produced, only highlight the illusionary, absurdist and contradictory image the art industry presents of itself.”

VHILS

VHILS. Matta. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

MATTA
Media: Bas-relief carving on plasterboard mounted on metal structure
Size: 181 x 120,5 x 34 cm
 
-Statement

“Resorting to a bas-relief carving technique, applied here to a free-standing structure of plasterboard, this piece is a homage to the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, which became a major influence on me after I first saw it at an exhibition in Portugal, in 2002. Matta-Clark was one of the first artists to look at the urban space as a space of creation and reflection on the human condition in the contemporary times we live in. Those are the considerations I try to translate in my own work too, reflecting about the human condition in the contemporary times we live in.”


Andrea Wan

Andrea Wan. Being Of Light. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

BEING OF LIGHT
Media: Ink on paper
Size: 50 x 70 cm
 
-Statement

“Fascinated by the lively and dynamic landscape in the paintings of native Canadian Artist Emily Carr, I chose one of her most renown works, Indian Church (1929) as the subject of reinterpretation. Seemingly more accurate than a realistic approach, Carr’s abstraction of nature elements not only communicated to me that nature is vast and subliminal but also ever-changing in form and expression. The white church which stands calmly in the midst of the mystical environment inspired me to personify the subject as a being who is in tune with all that’s around her.”


DALeast

DALeast. FIII. IMAGO. MUCA Munich. (photo courtesy of the artist)

FIII
Media: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 100 x 80 cm
 
-Statement
“A still moment of Fiii standing in the windy land, which is existing inside the transitory gathering of the particles of the magical net.”

IMAGO: A History of Portraits opens today at MUCA Museum of Urban And Contemporary Art. Munich. Curated by Elisabetta Pajer the show runs until November 2018.

IMAGO is a show dedicated to the history of portrait: over 30 artists from five different continents are invited to pay homage and interpret a portrait in their medium of their choice. IMAGO aims to lead visitors through different artistic eras, helping discover the international history and evolution of the portrait.

Artists include:

Jef Aerosol
ASKEW ONE
Borondo
Vesod Brero
Martha Cooper
DALeast
Paola Delfin
Anna Piera Di Silvestre
Andreas Englund
Evoca 1
Ricky Lee Gordon
Hubertus Hamm
Handiedan
Icy&Sot
Addison Karl
Know Hope
Klone Yourself
Fintan Magee
Mario Mankey
Marco Mazzoni
Antony Micallef
Miss Van
Nychos
Sepe
David Shillinglaw
Søren Solkær
Sten Lex
SWOON
TelmoMiel
TWOONE

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Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew Reifies on “One Wall” in Berlin

Nevercrew is unifying in Berlin with their new “One Wall” project with Urban Nation. The immense marine mammals depicted are not typical in their upright position in this reflective scene. Are they flying? Art they floating?

The artists tell us that they decided on the configuration based on the building walls themselves and are surprised by the opposite yet complementary pose the new mural creates.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Ironically by turning the subjects 90 degrees the scene is more disturbing: you may become more aware of the powerful forces of man and nature that are upending these magnificient beasts and appreciate their fragility.

“It is about common responsibilities and aims despite distances and differences: towards a lost balance between humankind and nature and with human nature itself,” Christian and Pablo say in a statement for this powerful painted piece of unity called “Reification” that suddenly makes it all real.

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

Nevercrew. “Reification”. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 2018. (photo © Nevercrew)

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