All posts tagged: Goldman Global Arts

Faile at GGA with BSA – Miami Art Week Marches On

Faile at GGA with BSA – Miami Art Week Marches On

Get in, get out, no one gets hurt. Our few days in Miami were full of adventure on the street and at parties and receptions for artists. The party rages on tonight and this weekend at the fairs and in the galleries and bars and streets of course, but our last events were interviewing Faile onstage at Wynwood Walls last night, going to the Museum of Graffiti 2nd Anniversary party/opening for FUZI, and, well there was this thing with Shepard Fairey and Major Lazer and a guy proposing marriage to his girl before the crowd…

Faile. Artists Panel. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. December 1, 2021. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

But really, where else but Wynwood do you see Blade and his lovely wife Portia on the street, or sit with Ron English and his son Mars on folding chairs directly on the street in front of his new pop-up, or have a hug with ever-sunny Elle in front of her lift, or hide in the shade with seven 1UP dudes across the street from their massive new space piece, or talk with Ket in the back yard with “Style Wars” playing on a large screen behind him and the DJ while a florescent colored Okuda marches by, or chase Lamour Supreme while he tries a one-wheel skateboard around a parking lot, nearly crashing into Crash who is in his cherry picker with Abstrk painting a wall? The dinner at Goldman Properties Monday night? Dude.

Faile. Artists Panel. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. December 1, 2021. (screengrab courtesy of Wynwood Walls)

We’re not really name-droppers, you know that, but honestly it was like a family reunion dinner with perfectly punctilious attention to detail over at Wynwood Walls this week – after two years of Covid fears killing everyone’s buzz. We saw Daze, Shoe, PichiAvo, Bordalo II, Jonone, Shepard Fairey, 1Up, Add Fuel, Case MacClaim, Nychos, Faile, Martha Cooper, Nika Kramer, Mantra, Ken Hiratsuka just to name a few – cavorting with collectors, cultural workers, fanboys, journalists, bloggers, academics, critics, bankers, gallerists, curators, museum people, real estate folks, photographers, dancers, silk climbing aerialists and hustlers of many flavors – and all the class of ’21 artists whom Jessica Goldman invited to paint this year. A Miami mélange, we’ll call it.

Faile. Artists Panel. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. December 1, 2021. (screengrab courtesy of Charlotte Pyatt)

We were even having dinner with Martha when a local stencilist named Gregg Rivero sat in an empty chair at the table with us to offer an array of small stencil works featuring graphically pornographic scenes – to choose from as a memento of Miami indubitably. Naturally, we carefully perused his entire collection of 20 or so spread-eagles, doggie-styles, Shanghai-swans, Mississippi-missionaries, Dutch-doors, bobbing-for-sausages, and lord-knows-what-else. After careful consideration and we each selected a favorite stencil and he autographed it. Just not sure what room to hang it in…

Faile. Artists Panel. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. December 1, 2021. (screengrab courtesy of Wynwood Walls)

Our treasured part of the Miami art vortex ’21 was meeting some BSA fans and Faile fans mixed together at the artist talk hosted by Peter Tunney at GGA Gallery last night. An action-packed hour of pictures covering their 35 year friendship was on offer for the assembled – focused mainly of course on their 22 year professional career. What an amazing career of image-making it is too – and even though we were prepared, there are always surprises with such dynamic dudes who have parlayed an illegal street art career into a well-respected and pretty high profile career with intense collectors and fans of their simplest silk screens and works on paper to their wood puzzle boxes, wood paintings, toys, ripped paintings, and their very new, completely radical approach that breaks their own mold for this “Endless” exhibition. And need we say it, Faile have already released a number of NFTs of course – which some in the audience didn’t know that Faile had – but could have guessed since Faile pioneered interactive digital games that accompanied their analog works as early as 2010 when most people still didn’t even have a smart phone.

But we digress. Back in New York now and it’s grey and cold and unwelcoming, and of course we love it. Thanks Miami! See you soon.

Faile. Artists Panel. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. December 1, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The image below was taken in Wynwood, Miami. At the panel, with Faile, they talked about the process of making their art and one of the subjects was about ripping up posters from the street…. – and how their original name was Alife. Two blocks away we found these ripped posters advertising Alife.

Faile. Endless. Wynwood Walls/Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Endless. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Endless. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Endless. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Endless. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Endless. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FAILE: ENDLESS is currently on view at Goldman Global Arts Gallery at Wynwood Walls. Wynwood, Miami.

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Faile Debuts “Endless” Solo Show & Artists Talk w/ BSA at GGA in Miami

Faile Debuts “Endless” Solo Show & Artists Talk w/ BSA at GGA in Miami

The opportunity to be inspired by visual culture is indeed endless on the street, which explains the 22-year career of Brooklyn’s Faile, the street art duo who has parlayed their practice into prints, collage, video, sculpture, paintings, NFT’s, galleries, and museums.

Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As they keep the momentum from a new direction they pioneered last year at Magda Danysz in Paris, the Patricks continue their endless exploration of icons; pop, punk, and religious. Now, perhaps even more impressively, the artists are applying the model of collage to painted techniques, textures, proportions, even dimensions, for their new show at Goldman Global Arts Gallery at Wynwood Walls in the Wynwood District of Miami.

Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now considered a cornerstone of the nextgen of street art that turned the century, the duo has never stopped innovating or experimenting with ways to flatten the hierarchy of imagery – perhaps predicting the modern age. Whether the source or storyline is authentic or artificial is of little difference – if the image and the technique resonate, it’s worthy of re-mixing, endlessly.

Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In “Endless”, we see that it is not just images that need recombining, it’s techniques of art-making do as well. New forms of borrowing and recontextualization means that canvasses may feature references to Warhol’s last screenprinting methods of the 80s happily alongside photorealistic fruit and juicy lips, 2-D cartoon cut-outs, and gradient fills and fonts from your favorite 80s music tour t-shirt.

Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s true, this work honors the skewed norms of modern heroes of deconstruction – Richard Hamilton, Jacques Villeglé, even Kanye West – but Faile’s unique fluidity and mastery among different media again are challenging you to reach further. In an era when thousands of daily images overwhelm your social feed and respected institutions transform before your eyes in cheerful and sometimes discomfiting ways, this exhibition appears very contemporary.

Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile. Detail. Faile Endless. Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Join BSA and Faile LIVE onstage Wednesday, December 1st to talk about “ENDLESS”. See you there!

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.24.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.24.21

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! The streets are alive with fresh cool air, skateboarders, bicyclists, the smell of fresh street art, and of course, shootings.

Our interview with the street today includes BK Foxx, David Flores, Didirok, Drecks, Melski, Miss Me, Peat EYES Wollaeger, Rap Gang, Sticker Maul, Timmy Ache, Villarose, and Vitruvian Truth.

BK Foxx (photo © Jaime Rojo)
We Demand (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Timmy Ache (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David Flores. Detail (the lift was still in front of the mural). Houston Bowery Wall/Goldman Global Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jughead, your college advisor, suggests that you may want have a career as an orchestra conductor. Vitruvian Truth (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Healthy Mind Movement (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Healthy Mind Movement (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mask UP (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eyez (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drecks (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Didirok and Villarose (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sticker Maul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Melski (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rap Gang (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Miss Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Magnet Wall in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentifed artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Film Friday: 10.15.21

BSA Film Friday: 10.15.21

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. MANTRA in the Wynwood Jungle

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BSA Special Feature: MANTRA in the Wynwood Jungle

For this installment of BSA Film Friday week we offer you our own home-made video observing French street artist and naturalist Youri Cansell AKA MANTRA as he painted in situ among the plants and animals in Miami. Tuesday night’s conversation with our editor in chief Steve Harrington and the artist on the grounds of Wynwood Walls revealed the exacting nature of the artist’s contemplative study of the very pillars of our Earth-anchored existence.

More clinical than didactic in his descriptions, his study of this species and their endangered circumstances is nonetheless passionate. Speaking against a video backdrop of Mantra painting enormous murals around the world, his sharp eye is surpassed only by his reverent appreciation for beauty, executed in precision and warmth.

Here in the temporarily verdant environment created in the gallery by curator and artist Peter Tunney, MANTRA appears to be painting in the forest preserve, surrounded by the lush and the leafy, anchored by a full-wall photo by friend Ryan Lynch of an Equadorian reserve.

A graffiti writer as a teen, an ardent and self-professed amateur entomologist and preservationist in his thirties, Mantra took it as a near-mystical sign when he spotted an actual caterpillar eating leaves on a plant next to him. He has been painting in near solitude while visitors quietly mill around behind him and he looked down to see the unique markings of this visitor, identifying it as a Monarch butterfly en route. Now the artist says that he is ever-clearer of his future projects – as we are of his future successes.

Mantra. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra with Steven P. Harrington. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Peter Tunney with Steven P. Harrington. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © World Red Eye)
Mantra with Steven P. Harrington. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © World Red Eye)
Mantra with Steven P. Harrington. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © World Red Eye)
Mantra with Steven P. Harrington. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © World Red Eye)

Mantra “Metamorphōsis” is open to the general public at Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami.

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Mantra in Miami to Open “Metamorphōsis” at GGA

Mantra in Miami to Open “Metamorphōsis” at GGA

Half biologist, half street artist, all gentleman. The French painter Youri Cansell AKA Mantra opens his very first US solo show tonight at Goldman Global Arts (GGA) in Miami. In preparation for “Metamorphōsis,” the artist has been painting non-stop all summer at a temporary studio in Cancun.

Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 15 or so canvasses are gathered comfortably against a fresh seafoam green interior, nestled among large leafy installations by curator Peter Tunney, who finds a fine balance in his quest for creating a complementary environmental context in the space. Anchored at one end of the gallery by a full-wall spread photographic print (by Ryan Lynch), guests gain some sense of scale for the places Mantra has traveled in search of this species – in this case, an Ecuadorian forest preserve that the artist has traveled many times to in search of the blue morpho butterfly.

He found one and he has the pictures and paintings to prove it – two as the pristine collector’s presentation in shadow boxes, one in his new direction of presenting the Lepidopteran world – in their natural habitats of wood and leaves.

The precisely detailed, hued, textured, and shimmering beauties are evocative of autumn art-show glamour – all clad in satin and furs and bubbling golden champagne. Fashion may clearly not be Mantra’s intent here, but how can you not see these gorgeous beauties this way – a soiree of international stunners arriving single and with crew in tow; against this wall is his Costa Rican Collection – hanging directly across the room from his Mexican Ensemble.

Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Precursors to the butterfly, three moths are repping as well and in stunning detail. One’s massive wing-span is as large as yours – fingertip to fingertip – its textures and patterning subtle and luxurious tone-on-tone beige. Precise and accurate, any entomologist who sees this show will approve of Mantra’s depictions, and most likely they’ll marvel as well.

A departure from the pop-inspired, graphical, or wild-styled, Mantra’s studious realism is a far cry from what street art fans may associate with ‘the scene’. However, his teenage escapades on French city streets with aerosol-can-in-hand under cover of the night are exactly what brought him to this point. His professional ‘tag’ is to bear witness to realities of the natural world, and that can earn you just as much street cred in some circles as all species are increasingly under temporary and permanent threat.

We plan to ask him more tonight when BSA interviews Mantra here live for his official US debut.

Hope you can fly in.

Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. “Metamorphōsis”. GGA. Wynwood, Miami. October 12, 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mantra: “Metamorphōsis”. Open to the public at Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami. Click HERE for details.

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Raul Ayala: Houston Bowery Wall as a Portal

Raul Ayala: Houston Bowery Wall as a Portal

Steering away from potentially inflammatory political content or street beef of the past on this high-profile wall with a New York street art/graffiti history, the current occupants of the Houston Bowery Wall are more focused on allegory, and community. Featuring a fleet of volunteers and a mural full of history and aspiration, Raul Ayala thinks of this wall as a teachable moment. The artist employed many of the 21 days that this mural took to complete to do just that: teach.

With ten talented young artists/activists from the locally-based Groundswell NYC community organization, Ayala planned and painted various phases of the mural together while under the gaze of curious New Yorkers who paraded by hour after hour while the artists painted. Included in that team were Gabriela Balderas, Charlize Beltre, Brandon Bendter, Junior Steven Clavijo, Jennifer Contreras, Maria Belen Flores, Hafsa Habib, Cipta Hussain, Karina Linares and Gabriel Pala.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ayala describes the piece as “opening a portal,” and you quickly realize that it is a portal of the mind to imagination and inspiration. “For me, building imagination and sharing knowledge alongside a younger generation of artists is a great manifestation of the fruits of this shift,” he says. “With this mural, we are also bringing inter-generational participation into a future that honors our past while actively creating a different path of existence.”

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA talked to Raul about the mural and his experience painting it. Below is the interview:

BSA: At both ends of the mural you have depicted two masked characters. One on the left is wearing what seems to be an Aztec mask with the skyline of Manhattan in the background as he pulls down a monument. The one on the right is a black man at the moment when he is either about to put an African mask on or at the moment when he’s taking it off. Could you please describe the significance of both characters and how they relate to each other in the mural?

RA: Masks have always been a part of culture and are the recipients of many powerful archetypes; they are a space of connection to different realms of existence. In recent times, due to the pandemic, the mask has become necessary protective gear and is part of the current cultural landscape. With the masks depicted in the mural, I wanted to drive the conversation towards a more ample understanding of the mask as it relates to specific cultural heritages. Black, brown and indigenous solidarity is a constant effort in my practice. I strive to practice solidarity in the themes I paint and also in the way a lot of my murals are made. I think of mural-making as a learning space, where I get to have conversations with my peers and my students. African and Indigenous (Wirarika/Huichol) inspired masks have a lot in common, as one of the proposals for the idea of “opening portals” that is the overarching theme of the mural.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There is also a symbolic connection. In the Andes, where I come from, the Jaguar is a very powerful spirit animal related to water. The Black Panther as a representation of Black Power has a lot of cultural relevance as well and I wanted to hint to those connections. Many passersby have referenced one of the masked people as Chadwick Boseman. Even though it was not necessarily my intention, I love that people -especially younger generations- read that on the mural.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: There’s a skeleton with his arm around a skull character in a suit holding what seems to be a scepter. What are these two doing in the mural and who are they?

RA: The whole mural is an allegory of our current times. For me, part of the work that needs to happen is to address systemic oppression and white supremacy as prevalent forces that are endangering our relationships to each other, to our ancestry, and to the natural world. The two characters represent these forces. There are also a lot of symbols relating to these structural powers: There is a big fish eating small fish and an Icarus falling, both as cautionary tales of a late capitalist society and its extractive, individualistic strategies.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Can you talk about the women that are making a quilt? Who are they? What do they represent? Why are they making a quilt?

RA: Textile arts at large, including practices like Quilting Bees have been spaces not only of resistance and resilience but also spaces to pass on knowledge between generations. I wanted to depict a pluricultural, multigenerational circle of women. I believe these are great examples of the kind of relationships that will sustain and create health in these times. Additionally, the designs are another type of “portal.” They are traditional symbols in different cultures; the women in the back are creating a “tree of life,” a traditional African American quilting design. The women at the fore are holding a Chakana, which is a very important symbol of the Andean cosmogony. 

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The central character is dressed in a Whipala, an emblem that represents indigenous peoples from the Andes. The animals that are coming out of the designs (with the exception of the hummingbird, which is a migratory bird) were part of the ecosystem of that very location before colonization. I took the information from the Welikia Project, a map that overlays the city with the ecosystem of Mahannata before 1609. I would also like to acknowledge that my partner Fernanda Espinosa, an oral historian and cultural organizer has been a great help in imagining this side of the piece, and with who I often collaborate.

BSA: The flowers on the mural are very similar to the Moon flowers one sees in NYC in full bloom at night during the summer. Are these Moon Flowers?

RA: It is great to hear all the different readings the public has. In the end, it is about what people take and interpret themselves, I love that the flowers can also be Moon Flowers. I wanted to bring the idea of passing on traditional knowledge through generations. The plant depicted is Guanto, a plant that has been used as medicine in the Americas for millennia.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: The female character holding a seed or a seedling. Can you talk about her and the seed she is holding?

RA: This is another allegorical character that is both using plants as medicine and holding the seed as a symbol. For me, it talks about the idea of the future. The title of the piece is “To Open A Portal,” this seed may be seen as a sort of key to that portal; a key that requires sustained care so the fruits of the labor can be enjoyed in a possible future.

In Kichwa, one of the indigenous languages of the Andes, we can say that we are living through a Warmi (female) Pacha (time/space) Kuti (shift). These seeds also represent that Warmi Pachakuti. In a way, this speculative approach to the future that has a strong female character at the center is an homage to Octavia Butler’s oeuvre. The figure above is also a historical character, Harriet Tubman. These are proposals to enter a new monumental landscape, not necessarily to depict one main person, but the sets of relationships and changes they have created through their actions.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How was your experience painting in such a prominent spot with so much noise and traffic?

RA: I really enjoy working in public space! The conversations that I witnessed and that the mural and activity sparked were very interesting. A lot of people told me that they see themselves in the characters and that was one of the biggest compliments I have received. There were also some people triggered by what was perceived as an attack on “white culture.” For me to question white supremacy and celebrate protests in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, allow us to place this shift in the context of History. When monuments are brought down, a sort of portal to a different reality is being created. I see this seemingly aggressive act also as an opportunity to manifest different futures: when a symbol that stands for the values of civilization is put into question, domination and power imbalances are being contested too. This portal allows us to walk through the pain and find futures where we consider the way in which we are not only connected but also dependent on each other.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Your assistants were also your students. Where do you teach?

RA: While I am a visual artist, teaching has always been an important part of my practice and one that I center often. I started first teaching art in a project I started in detention centers in Quito many years ago. Since then, I have taught with multiple projects and organizations. With Groundswell, I have had the pleasure to teach for about 7 years. This project was in collaboration with them and it really was the only way it made sense for me to do this wall. I have been witnessing the growth of these young artists for some time now and I feel very proud of them and what we have done together. My responsibility as an artist is also to educate the younger generations of artists of color.

Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. His students and assistants. From left to right: Marila Belen Flores, Karina Linares, Gabby Balderas, Cipta Hussain, Raul Ayala, Amelia Calsi, Jennifer Contreras, and Charlize Belttre. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Raul Ayala. “To Open a Portal” in collaboration with Groundswell and Goldman Global Arts. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.29.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.29.19

Gorgeous, tremulous days and nights in New York as we march with determination into fall – Tomokazu Matsuyama and his 12 assistants finished his epic contribution to the Houston Wall, a huge crowd overflowed the Bronx Museum to celebrate the photographer/filmmaker Henry Chalfant and his pivotal work that brought fame to graffiti writers, and Kehinde Wiley stunned Times Square with a new monument entitled “Rumors of War”, which the artist says “attempts to use the language of equestrian portraiture to both embrace and subsume the fetishization of state violence.”

Meanwhile, the highest office in the land lies in disgrace, under a cloud of increasing impeachment odds even as the state exports multiple wars and the Feds are quietly pumping 75 billion dollars into financial markets with more planned over multiple days to stave off the coming crash.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Bunny M, Diana Garcia, Matzu, Muck Rock, RED, Sunflower Soulz, and WK Interact.

Matzu. Houston/Bowery Wall. Goldman Global Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Matzu. Houston/Bowery Wall. Goldman Global Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Matzu. Houston/Bowery Wall. Goldman Global Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Matzu. Houston/Bowery Wall. Goldman Global Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sunflower Soulz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diana Garcia (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diana Garcia (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Muck Rock (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Muck Rock (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact for RED (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact for RED (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact for RED (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact for RED (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.16.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.16.19

Its an exciting time for art in the public sphere right now in NYC as Roger Gastman and his huge team are seriously preparing 100,000 sf of space in Williamsburg to completely blow away graffiti and Street Art fans alike this week with Beyond The Streets. Meanwhile the city is pumping full of at least 50 sanctioned and unsanctioned World Pride murals, Garrison Buxton pulled off the 9th Welling Court grassroots mural festival in Queens, Joe Ficalora brought Rick Ross and a host of Street Artists to Bushwick for a block party, MadC was in town hanging with Crash, Joe Caslin and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh were putting up new pieces with L.I.S.A. Project yesterday, Queen Andrea finished her commercial Houston Wall gig, and a lot of ad hoc illegal and legal graffiti and Street Art is in full effect in all five boroughs. When it comes to art in the streets, New York says ‘Bring it!’

yeliner, Jason Naylor, John Ahearn, JPO, MadC, MeresOne, Misshab, Outer Source, Queen Andrea, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, SacSix, Sonni, Tonk Hawaii and The Drif.

Adrian Wilson commemorates the struggle that was Tiananmen Square 30 years ago. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adrian Wilson (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Meres One. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sonni for St. ART NOW. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPO. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
John Ahearn (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sac Six (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tonk Hawaii (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tonk Hawaii (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Below Key . Ramiro Davaro-Comas . Outer Source (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Drif . Miishab. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
MadC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea at the Houston/Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts (and a certain banking institution) (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea at the Houston/Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea at the Houston/Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea at the Houston/Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Queen Andrea at the Houston/Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. The Last Picture. NYC Subway. June 2019 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Tristan Eaton “Intermission” Video Debuts

Tristan Eaton “Intermission” Video Debuts

Tristan Eaton completed his turn at the famed Houston/Bowery Wall in Manhattan back in July…he wanted an Intermission from the noise, the bad news, the stress, the BS and the haters, he says.

So he regaled us and the city with a burst of color and old Hollywood nostalgia. We wrote about the mural HERE and now Zane from Chop ’em Down Films just sent us his video of his capture of the artist and mural. Since we are all mid-summer here in NYC  we’d like to take Tristan’s intermission further and give it some love once more…

Zane caught in the action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zane catching the action with Tristan and Sheryo’s happy encounter and Martha Cooper doing what she was born to do… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Intermission. Houston Bowery Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

And now its time for a mid-year intermission to pause and reflect upon the events that have happened in the first act. We’ve had plenty of treachery, intrigue, jailbirds and back alley suspense. Clearly it is time for a serendipitous summer romance, with Tristan Eaton as director.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An historic reenactment of sorts, this scene is usually full of its own drama; the painting of the Houston Wall in Manhattan appears once again on this drive-by screen, crammed with special effects as multi-talent Tristan Eaton explodes for days with the coursing traffic roaring and halting and honking and rumbling behind him.

The action unfolds and cameras are ablaze as documentors are there to capture it, including the stalwart Martha Cooper, the in-flight Zane Meyer, and our own private-eye Jaime Rojo.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan’s cunning recombinative practice of recalling images from pop, television, cinema, and advertising languages, selecting many of their most emotionally charged aspects in exquisite fullness is all leveled here with a tropical lushness almost never found in this forbidding city, safely encased behind a protective gloss.

It’s the nostalgic stuff of marquees and beige canvas directors chairs, patterned jacquard wall tapestry, crimson velvet curtains, butter soaked popcorn, sticky floors and a certain smokey Saturday matinee reefer madness. This all once reigned in cinematic and tawdry Manhattan; mixing showgirls and space scientists and dames with sex-workers and 25 cent peepholes. Of course, the glam and the grind are all still here in Gotham – they’ve just become uberized and swiped right.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eaton’s influences from Sunset Boulevard and Detroit’s motor city grit translate well here in the thick of our own version of mid-summers’ insouciance. It’s all hustle, hormones, and a finely pulsating particulate matter that sticks to you; a humid cloud of complex desires clinging to your skin, now flickering in warm succulence as you ride by on your wheels.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our guy on the street rolled past the one-man show many times over the past couple of weeks to check on progress and mingle with the ever-more-gilded gentry that frequent the sidewalks/runways here. Cuffed tonal highwaters, PVC wedges and fugly white dad sneakers aside, New Yorkers still walk the walk and have a certain respect for their Street Art, if only to pose before it for the 1,000th selfie.

The affable showman Eaton is not shy for the endlessly inquisitive fan, either – ready to layer on additional color and texture. For this particular intermission, our summer romance will continue long into autumn’s golden glow.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton photo bombs Jessica Goldman, Sheryo and Martha Cooper. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.12.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.12.17

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“It’s surreal to be on the south side of the US border,” we said last week about being in Mexico. Sorry to report that it may be even more surreal on this side.

Trump and Co. suffered a setback on their Muslim travel ban via the courts but are reportedly breaking out the ICE and going after undocumented people inside US cities suddenly. Politicians are reportedly being flooded with phone calls, letters, postcards, and overflowing town halls from people riled by extreme actions of the new president, and protests pop up sort of everywhere right now about DAPL, Planned Parenthood, immigration….

Meanwhile he’s raging against the judiciary in ALL CAPS, still saying the murder rate is high when its actually low, bankers and corporate captains are sailing into positions in his cabinet, his manic spokes-spinners are attacking/being attacked rhetorically and/or selling his daughters’ fashion wares on live news, his National Security Advisor may have tipped off Russians about easing sanctions before the inauguration, and his top advisor appears to have a large Armageddon roast slathered with terror sauce for breakfast…  frankly there is too much fresh horror every day to re-count and we all have a giant pile of laundry to get caught up on. Jeez!

Meanwhile New York had an impressive snowstorm this week, BAST had his first show of new work in something like 4 years at Allouche Gallery, and Jilly Ballistic is cutting and slicing her way through subway billboard satire in a way that’s pretty funny!

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: 1Up, Icy & Sot, Jilly Ballistic, Josef Foos, Karm, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Pichi & Avo, Sam Durant, Street-People, and Sebastien Waknine.

Top image: Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michelle Angela Ortiz for #artinadplaces. NYC phone booth ad takeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“If my parents are deported, I will have to raise my sister.” Erick 13 years old

Jilly Ballistic. NYC Subway ad takeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jilly Ballistic. NYC Subway ad takeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sam Durant “End White Supremacy” sign outside Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichi & Avo. Houston Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichi & Avo. Detail. Houston Bowery Wall for Goldman Global Arts in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

143 ?? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street-People on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street-People on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP and company. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Josef Foos in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified Artist on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Karm on the streets of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SebastienWaknine on the streets of Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

 

SebastienWaknine on the streets of Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

SebastienWaknine on the streets of Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Untitled. Buskers. NYC Subway. February 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

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Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

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An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both.

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1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls.

International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake.

Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence mixed with plaid, shot-callers and violins, strollers and stillettos, an undertone of aggression and sexual tension, salt-of-the-earth with self-admiring clubbers, perfect skin and aerosol painted hands, a whiff of weed and a sense of wonder waiting to be discovered.

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Audrey Kawasaki at The Hotel. Goldman Global Arts. South Beach. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there was a parade of 40 or so citizens and activists carrying signs and handing out flyers down the street to protest the oil pipelines taking sacred lands from native tribes and polluting natural water supplies, the thousands of art fans flooding the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami would have been hard pressed to find any Street Art talking about those topics.

Ironically the political shockwaves this year in Miami seemed to emanate from behind doors at the fair with Sam Durant’s “End White Supremacy” piece that many interpreted as a direct response to the election of a president whose followers include radical organizations that champion white supremacy. Alas, the piece was made in 2008, and although its hand-style emulates the hit and run scrawl of some graffiti on the street, it was a thoughtfully executed piece constructed as an illuminated sign.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With one very notable exception, the enormous and frightful mural featuring Donald Trump as Heath Ledger’s Joker wielding a knife at the neck of the Statue of Liberty with the screaming headline “Come On… What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?” by 12 artists for The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Arts Project, the professionalization of Street Artists and their murals may be steering the paintings in Wynwood away from in-your-face activism.

Granted, no one is thinking that commercially branded ventures that actually pay artists to paint will encourage the outright expression of social or political opinions – that may challenge or frighten potential customers and investors. Hotel lobbies need murals, sport cars need decorative painting, beer cans need labels. A number of liquor and lifestyle companies have invited artists here over the last few years and paid them to make their special events and products visually appealing, but little else.

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David Choe portrait of Martha Cooper and her cat Mélia. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The newly refurbished Hard Rock stadium a few miles north of Miami features huge mural installations by international Street Artists that are curated by Goldman Global Arts, a division of Goldman Properties, the same real estate organization that has brought artists from around the world to the Wynwood Walls compound and featured their fine art canvasses in gallery expositions since the late 2000s. The pieces are opus works in an unusual setting and now sports fans are going to be up close and personal with some of the bigger names in Street Art right now.

It would be hypocritical for anyone to expect that these artists should accept commercial work and yet disrespect guidelines about the content. Similarly, expecting artists not to seek commercial opportunities for fear of “selling out” is arrogant and unrealistic and often the convenient provenance of privileged youth who dabble in “slumming” as a rebellious lifestyle. Later they are bankers.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even so, where’s the anger right now? Why didn’t you see a lot of furious diatribes, challenges to power, and mockery of small-minded thinking on the street in Wynwood – and what would it take for Street Art to embrace its power to affect social and political change?

Just posing the question here now, again – as the topics of impending fascism, the increasing acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, corruption, oligarchy, state-corporatism, and a systematic eroding of respect for our institutions – all came up in conversations at bars, art openings, panel discussions, and roof parties.

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Okuda. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The murals you see here are often technically superb and their themes, while muted, may address some of the larger themes affecting society, but one wonders if there is an internalized censorship that we have accepted.

These images are admittedly of a modest percentage of the hundreds of legal murals and illegally dashed-off pieces we saw this week, but that’s only because we have edited for our individual aesthetics, not because of content. Also admittedly, as people in the arts, we are exhausted from the recent election and all it portends, and we were happy for some glorious eye candy to salve the psychic wounds – so maybe we were selectively seeing what we wanted to.

Probably not too much though.

For an art practice with some serious and proud roots in activism, the walls in Miami are curiously quiet. But they definitely look amazing.

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Pixel Pancho. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Findac. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faith 47. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martin Whatson. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. June. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © INO)

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Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hueman. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jen Stark. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II. Uninhibited Festival 2016. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Peeta. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf. Work in progress. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


 Our week’s coverage on BSA:

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

You’ll Need Good Shoes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 3

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 6


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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