Borondo buffed his own work. It happens occasionally, not often.
Rarely inside an exhibition.
In a defiant act to reclaim the right to authorship and deny ownership and profit-taking, the Spanish graffiti writer/ street artist/ muralist/ fine artist is saying publicly that he, or one of his agents, has defaced his own work in an exhibition that is charging an entrance fee in Turin, Italy. The work in question, according to Gonzalo, was ripped out of a wall in an “abandoned” place by restorers who “claimed to be non-profit.”
Not so, says the artist, who discovered some of the works for sale later on Artsy.com, and he posted about it on his Instagram stories. He also learned of one piece being shown in a commercial exhibit that opened in June called “Street Art in Blu 3” in the foyer to the auditorium at the Colosseo theater in Turin. Boasting 150 works by 36 artists, the ticketed show promised a spectacular experience and works by artists like Blu, Banksy, and 3D.
That was not what he had planned when he painted the originals in their location-specific installations, says Borondo in an email. “These interventions in public space weren’t made with the intention to create objects to consume, but to dialogue and accompany their surroundings,” he says.
“Without their context, the interventions make no sense, the will and the intent of the artist have disappeared, so, in the end, the artworks don’t exist anymore,” he continues.
True enough, but once an artist has created a work, no one will ever be completely able to control how it is interpreted, how it is used – it may even be destroyed or integrated into other works by other artists – regardless of the original ‘intention’. Piss Christ by Andres Serrano used a religious icon never intended to be employed that way, Duchamp’s “Fountain” urinal was originally intended to be, well, a urinal, and Hirsts’ shark in formaldehyde doubtfully was intended to be used as someone’s private art by the Creator, or by the shark.
People are even now debating if any of those examples we give above make sense, or are ‘art’ – especially after their transformation or removal from their original context. But we get Borondo’s larger point, and even more, we understand his interest in deleting the image from a ‘for-profit’ carnival show like this one appears to have been. At the very least, a presentation of his work in this context detracts from his carefully built reputation as an artist.
The larger debate is still raging. Who owns street art – installed legally and illegally. What are the implications and limitations of intellectual property, and physical property? What is the role of documentation, or preservation – in light of the artists’ intention and the greater edification of future generations? And at which point is it worth fighting for, or about? We expect to hear these arguments for years to come.
Here is a video of the action courtesy of the artist.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. HEREDITAS – Gonzalo Borondo 2. HOTTEA “Aaron.” Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. 3. DRAGON76 “COEXIST” Video by Tost Films
BSA Special Feature: HEREDITAS – Gonzalo Borondo
A companion video to his exhibition project Hereditas at The Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art artist Gonzalo Borondo reveals the complexity of his intervention here.
“Its aim is to question the past on the basis of present presuppositions, in particular, to recognize the museum as a place to preserve our cultural heritage for future generations and to show art’s amazing capacity to bring back to life objects that have lost their original purpose. In addition, it pays tribute to nature as the foundation of culture and inspiration of art and religious symbols.”
HOTTEA “Aaron”. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ.
Back with his second installation in this historic and tourist town of Asbury, HOTTEA dances with the breezes of the sea.
DRAGON76 “COEXIST” Video by Tost Films
A fresh piece in Jersey City by Dragon76, the folks at Tost Films offer an up close view of the work in progress.
A site-specific immersive exhibition by the artist at Museum of Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente From April 8 to September 26, 2021
Style and genre, and era have never been particularly magnetic topics for Borondo; his heart is too poetic for such limitation. Instead, he continues to bring an ambiance, a sense of place – after he has studied it.
The former graffiti writer may have been political after leaving his childhood town of Segovia, Spain. Still, his senses and sensibilities were fed by this World Heritage Site’s atmosphere and its historical arches, turrets, towers, churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and convents – and possibly the enormous Roman aqueduct.
Now returning here to mount his own exhibition in Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art, his aesthetics and reverence for holy places are also tempered with his age, this age – a fusion now tempered by maturity, but only just so. Creating most of his work on-site, the searching is the story, and the journey is as important as the destination.
Consulting, convening, channeling his formal studies, his street practice, wanderlust, and an ever-present rebellious streak, Borondo still knows how to alchemize the environment. And this place has hosted many; a former city palace of King Enrique IV of Castile, a home of nobles, then a hospice, a school of arts, and a museum. In what time are we living right now? Borondo will not trouble us with such matters.
Gonzalo Borondo. “Hereditas”. Museum of Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente. Segovia, Spain. From April 8 to September 26, 2021. Curated by José María Parreño
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. A Series of TEMPERAMENTS / GONZALO BORONDO
BSA Special Feature: A Series of Temperaments from Gonzalo Borondo
As foul and as fickle and as steady and as sublime as the weather, so are the many temperaments of humankind. Seizing upon religious and scientific relics and our own yet rudimentary understanding of ourselves, Borondo brilliantly blends his ongoing experimentation with light, electricity, and layers of carved glass. Singular in the manner of its gentle pulsating, these new pieces are peculiar and familiar: at once alive, a laboratory specimen. Each temperament is deeply rooted in medicine and literature, all still encased in mystery.
Gorgeous and haunting images today from photographer Roberto Conte of street artist/fine artist Gonzalo Borondo’s latest installation fo “Non Plus Ultra”, this time in the Salina Palace in Salamanca, Spain.
qualities of glass once again, the artist screen prints 56 pieces and installs
them across 80 meters of space, evoking a chorus of forms, but who are these/is
suspended from the cross comes to mind, so does the drama of an army of models
marching down the stage.
and hardness; fragility and resistance; protection and danger,” he reflects as
Borondon considers what draws him again and again to glass as a canvas for
screen print. All of these are applicable and yet his placement in this
repetitive way strikes you as the ephemera of projection of image.
Gonzalo Borondo stages an insurrection against the authorities who would hope to instruct you how to think about art in the public sphere, the right of the overlord to pollute the visual landscape at will, and the limitations of our imaginations in Segovia a nine-month installation.
A 32 billboard installation totaling
17 locations, the Spanish street artist and conceptual installation artist
evokes sepia-soaked memories of history as told through the view of those recounted
in a communal uprising here 500 years ago.
Extending beyond the frames with sculpture, layered textures, and projection, the post-industrial modernist documents events and takes liberties with his interpretation, a 5 chapter “INSURRECTA” that instructs and reflects with symbols and figures and open spaces. For those familiar with his vocabulary over the last decade+, it’s a fulsome maturity that commands as it expands, with poetry. Sometimes it plays with it background, other times the background has its way with the canvas.
Paying homage to Goya, his engravings of “Los Caprichos” and “Los Desastres”, he works within a narrow palette and innovates forcefully, playing with perspective and your willingness to interpret.
In his description of the Segovian people
and their fierce spirit of defiance and riotous acts in pursuit of autonomy and
self-reliance, he says he is inspired by “humanity confronting nature, the
discourse of the urban in the natural landscape, the effects of imposition on
society, the reappropriation of spaces by different agents.”
Leaning heavily on visual metaphor,
many in the graffiti and street art communities can identify with his take on reappropriation
of land, resources, and the expression of art in the public sphere. It has
become commonplace to expound upon street art as an “outdoor gallery”, but this
mapped and self-guided tour looks as close to a museum exhibition as we’ve
seen, and it’s even walkable for many.
As ever, you decide the route.
Gonzalo Borondo presents INSURRECTA alongside the City Council of Segovia in collaboration with Acción Cultural Española (AC/E). The project sees the Department of Culture commemorate the 500th anniversary of the communal uprising in the city.
Segovia, Spain, from 29 June 2020 to 23 April 2021
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Gonzalo Borondo “Merci” Temple des Chartrons 2. ELLE in Allentown 3. Pejac: YIN-YANG 4. “Beyond The Streets” In A New York Minute – By Chop ‘Em Down Films 5. LL Cool J – I’m Bad
BSA Special Feature: Gonzalo Borondo “Merci” Temple des Chartrons, France. 2019
Finally opened, its the spirit of man and nature working in concert in this vast emporium, a transformatorium, of images and pieces of memory from Street Artist Borondo. If you are in Paris before August 18, it is a must see.
ELLE in Allentown
Former tagger and now fulltime muralist, Elle talks about a new work in Allentown, PA, which is trying to kindle a creative arts / high tech reputation after the iron industry left. “The gist of the entire collage is that all of women are more powerful together,” says Elle.
Spanish Street Artist and studio artist Pejac is back with one of his visual aphorism that addresses climate change ironically.
“Beyond The Streets” In A New York Minute – By Chop ‘Em Down Films
Like we said earlier this week when this video debuted:
“It’s a unique talent to capture the fervor of an opening like “Beyond the Streets” in one minute. The show spreads over two floors and fifty years – the reunions alone were enough for an hour movie. But somehow Zane catches an individual, personal, flavor in a New York minute.”
LL Cool J – I’m Bad
Also, the because it’s Friday and because LL is Bad
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Non-Trivial – Jesse Hazelip 2. Banksy Overlooked in Venice 3. DEGON 12+1 Project / Contorno Urbano Foundation. Barcelona 4. Christian Rex van Minnen ponders aloud about the creative process and how words can’t really explain a painting. 5. Gonzalo Borondo MERCI. Teaser #2
BSA Special Feature: Non-Trivial – Jesse Hazelip
“People think ‘Oh, prison is for people that are bad.’ That’s
not the case. It’s a racist system. We need to raise the awareness on that.,”
says graffiti writer, street artist and fine artist Jesse Hazelip in this new
In addition to speaking about his technique of engraving
animal skulls, he speaks about the US justice system of incarceration that he
compares to a “mass epidemic that is affecting marginalized people, mainly people
of color who are black and brown.”
Banksy Overlooked in Venice
The Street Artist Banksy posted this video to cry crocodile tears on his Instagram during the Venice Biennale. “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.” Is the large seafaring vessel spread over multiple canvasses a self portrait, perhaps? It’s simply massive.
Christian Rex van Minnen ponders aloud about the creative process and how words can’t really explain a painting.
It begins with the heaviest of sighs.
“There’s never really a blank canvass moment in my process.
There is a constant cycle of paintings that are at very stages of completion”
“ I guess I see these as just one long continuous painting”
And so we end our excepts from the dramatic reading.
Thumbs up to visual effects editor Mike Gaynor.
Gonzalo Borondo MERCI. Teaser #2
Spanish Street Artist and installation artist Borondo is taking over a church, bringing the cathedral qualities of the dark forest with him. His teasers for this project (culminating as “Merci” on June 21) are as illuminating as they are elusive.
“The church has been closed for 30 years,” we wrote this week. “If you wait long enough the natural world will overtake this temple, covering it with moss, wrapping it with ivy, filling it with trees. “
The church has been closed for 30 years. If you wait long enough the natural
world will overtake this temple, covering it with moss, wrapping it with ivy, filling
it with trees.
Borondo is already there. “The columns are connected to trees,” he says as
he projects a tall thin ghostly forest down the nave to the apse in preparation
for his multimedia installation at the summer solstice.
As he researches this environment and the forests and gardens of Bordeaux
the Street Artist is studying decay, growth, re-growth, and the dialogue
between architecture and the world that preceded us.
As he prepares the paintings, projections, and sounds he looks for the
duality of our experiences as well – the fear and the attraction that a holy house
can evoke, as well as an immense and thick forest, full of movement and
Who will fall to their knees here and cry it out to the sky first? “Merci !” “Mercy !”
See our first installment on “Merci” by Borondo here on BSA :
We’re accustomed to watching artists interact with the unpredictable mood swings of Mother Nature when creating interventions in public space. Whether it is in the built environment of urban architecture or the crumbling remains of it in the city, followers of Street Art and graffiti are wise to anticipate the wild embrace of the sun, the winds, the floods, the fire, the ice, the snow. Now in the Bordeaux region of France people are preparing for the growing season.
The natural cycles are rarely invited indoors as part of an exhibit but this new artistic project of this summers’ MERCI by Gonzalo Borondo hopes to establish a healthy reverence for the revolutions and rotations of agronomy, history, mystery, and inspired variations of natural poetry.
“He is working indoors and outdoors in an attempt to create a dialogue with and in the streets of Bordeaux,” says project manager Silvia Meschino of the multi-stage installations that will pour into the temple as we near the grand opening precisely upon the summer equinox. “He has always tried to find a connection with the environment that surrounds him,” she says, and you recall his studied interventions of the past decade.
Today we bring you exclusive images and a teaser video of this first phase of Borondo’s adaptation in Le Temple des Chartrons. The old protestant church has been closed for thirty years but has been granted to the Spanish Street Artist/ muralist by the Bordeaux council so that he can freely create within it. We watch with interest as he creates his own version of sanctuary for visitors and of course, the natural world. Possibly the temple will achieve a balance.
It’s BSA Film Friday! Now we present the best of the year, according to you. We bring you new videos each week – about 240 of them this year. The beauty of the experience is that it can feel quite random and exhilarating – rather like the serendipity of finding new Street Art.
You helped us decide who made it to the top 15 – and we feel proud to see some of these because we liked them too. When we take videos on the road to different cities and countries doing our BSA Film Friday LIVE we also like to share these in classrooms or theaters or lecture halls with locals, students, city leaders. Nothing can beat seeing faces light up, a person thrilled to finally get the sense of something, better understanding the scene, helping people with a new way to look at art in the streets.
The best part is many of these videos encourage you to create, to co-create, to actively participate in public space with meaning and intention. As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, secretly otherworldly, and achingly beautifully human.
Special congratulations go out to artists/directors Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk who landed on the list two times this year, including the number 1 position. Their work is about the intersection of art and theory and life, how to create it, to see it, and how to re-see your world.
We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.
“Listen, my only request…. When you’re done doing your thing, do an Italian flag with my daughter’s name on it,” says a guy who is shouting up from the street to the roof where two Hungarian graff writers are preparing to hit a wall with a giant rat in Jersey. That rat looks fantastic as it basks in the blinking glow of the marquee for Vinny Italian Gourmet on the streets in the Newark night below.
That scene alone can stand as their American iconic moment for the US Tapes, but Fatheat and TransOne documented a number of golden moments on their trip this winter to New York, Wynwood, LA, and Las Vegas. Travel with them as they try to square the television mythology of modern America with the one they are encountering in all its ridiculous free-wheeling self satisfied unreflective emotional consumerist funkified freedom*. Standby for sonic blasts from the cultural pulp soundbook and prepare for a celebrity visit.
Slyly they observe and sample and taste and catalogue the insights by traversing the main stage and the margins, smartly not taking it too seriously, finding plenty of places for wide-eyed wonder and wiseguy sarcasm. Steeped in graffiti history with mad skillz themselves, this is all an adventure. Generous of heart, they also share it with you.
“And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced.”
~ from Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra
Every day since the shootings of artists and journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 14, 2015, dancer Nadia Vadori-Gauthier has made sure to dance for a minute or more. It sounds like a good idea.
“Without editing or effects, in the place and state of mind I find myself that day, with no special technique, staging, clothing, or makeup, nothing but what is there,” she says on her website.
“I dance inside or outside, in public or private places, alone or with others, strangers or people I know, sometimes friends.
I dance as protesters demonstrate, to effect a living poetry, to act through sensitivity against the violence of certain aspects of the world.
This is the solution I found: an action to my own measure, a concrete, repeated action that may redraw lines, disrupt the design, shake up the norms.”
Here she is in Paris on Esperance Street in front of a mural by Street Artist Seth.
All the subversive drama of a terrorist cell, all the color of Mardi Gras, all the pomp and ceremony of an Olympic triathlon. Wielding the long-handled roller like a javelin in the hands of Järvinen, weight lifting multiple backpacks full of paint cans, climbing and jumping walls with speed and dexterity, the 1UP team goes for the gold.
Debuting today on BSA is the flaming new 1UP crew video directed by the ingenious Selina. Slicing the streets with the drone camera like a hot knife through butter, she follows the unruly yet highly organized vandals from overhead in a manner more melodic than menacing as Miles lines up one shot after another in this instantly classic continuous thread of aerosol mayhem.
Passing the aerosol can like a baton, this relay race puts 1UP over the finish line while many rivals would have just blasted out of the blocks. But will those Olympian circles turn into golden handcuffs before the closing ceremony?
A quick overview to catch you up on the 7 most recent pieces attributed to Banksy in Paris. He’s said to be creating work more attuned to the plight of migration, but others have observed it is a return to the classic Banksy sarcastic sweetness that has characterized the clever sudden missives he has delivered since he began. See Butterfly Art News’ coverage here: Paris: Banksy for World Refugee Day
It’s an Italian movie directed by Luchino Visconti in 1960, yes. It is also the name of a crew of Berlin graffiti/installation artists whose satirical interventions play on issues propriety and property – and on social experiments that dupe the media, the public, and banks.
Did they really set up an apartment inside the subway? Is that really the tracks and wall of a metro inside a gallery? Is that Wagner playing in the mobile war arcade set up in the Christmas market? Are those hand grenades being lobbed by children? Is the bank facade blinking red every 20 seconds?
Rocco und seine Brüder (Rocco and His Brothers) have you engaged. Now you have to answer the questions.
The Uruguayan Street Artists/muralist Florencia Durán and Camilo Nuñez are “Colectivo Licuado” and here in the middle of Oviedo in Northern Spain to create a new mural for the Parees fest this September. As is their practice they study the culture that they are visiting and create an allegory that is familiar to the community, if still rather mystical.
In this case they visit Colectivo Licuado & Nun Tamos Toes for a visit of great cultural exchange – sharing sketches, songs, and learning the history of women’s roles in traditional Asturian culture. The resulting mural project is collaborative in nature and powerful in person.
“I pay attention to the intensity of the gaze and the posture, so the passerby is challenged and seeks to question the project.”
A sociological experiment and intervention on the streets by the French Street Artist YZ takes place in Abidjan and camera work in the crowds allows you to appreciate the action on the street. A city of 4.7 million people and the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, the city has a lively culture of street vending that is unregulated and often populated by children.
YZ speaks with the folks she meets who are vending, who she refers to as “girls” although many are women. Her goal is to better understand them, she says, and to create a Street Art campaign of their portraits.
“I realized that their situation was very different from the men. So I wanted to know more about them. So I started the project ‘Street Vendors’,” she says.
Chernobyl is a nuclear disaster that figures profoundly into the modern age – and for centuries into the future.
Today not so many people talk about this man-made horror that killed a Russian town and chased out its survivors in 1986 just 90 kilometers northeast of Kiev. Called the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, it evacuated 115,000 and spread a radioactive cloud around the Earth, with European neighbors like Scandinavia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, France and the UK detecting the effects of radiation for years afterward. Three scientists at The New York Academy of Sciences have estimated that over time the number of people killed by effects from the meltdown was almost a million.
Because of the nature of radiation, Chernobyl has been estimated to not be safely habitable for about 20,000 years.
A short documentary today taking us through last autumns On October 7th in Marseille, France in collaboration with Galerie Saint Laurent and Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo as they presented Matière Noire. A massive collection of individual installations that took over the top floor of an exhibition space normally used for shops, Borondo’s influence in the selections is throughout, a story told in three acts on Projection, Perception and Interpretation.
“When I was just a baby, my Mama told me, ‘Son, always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns.’ But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Johnny Cash sings with some bravado in Folsom Prison Blues on an album released 50 years ago this year. Street Artist Shepard Fairey honors the album and here in Sacramento, California to raise consciousness about the outrageously high rate of incarceration here. “The United States has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of it’s prisoners,” he says, making you question the system in the Land of the Free.
MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk/”Wasteland Wanderers”
This week we feature a couple of new film pieces from the Ukraine based duo of Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoschuk which fairly present an insightful treatise on a particular flavor of Post-Graffiti. Think of it as a two volume textbook and your professors will guide you through the darkness into the light.
“The place tells you what to do,” is a poetic and truthful phrase uttered in “Night” on the relationship a vandal has to an abandoned factory, school, home, medical facility; it is spacial and alchemical.
It is also personal, says the female narrator. “The presence of their absence,” is something that every Wasteland Wanderer will be familiar with, the knowledge and feeling that others have been there before you. The work is undeniably affected, even created in response.
“I’ve started a new series called ‘On the Road’ which looks at life behind the scenes in street art culture,” Doug Gillen tells us about this debut episode. Look forward to Doug’s unique perspective on Street Art festivals, art fairs, and studio visits as he expands to the world of urban contemporary.
Not typically who you think of as a Street Artist, here we see Add Fuel and Doug talk about his first book and you see examples of work from this tile maker who infuses traditional Portuguese techniques and pattern making with pop-modern cultural references and cartoon archetypes.
He has a hat, sunglasses, and he has been creating huge black and white photo installations of people wheat-pasted to the sides of buildings for how long? Surprising to us that Jetsonorama is not more of a household name in Street Art circles – his work is solidly tied to biography and human rights, uses his own photography, and routinely elevates humanity – and has been doing it for some time now.
Why isn’t he in huge museum exhibitions?
Today we have a new video giving you a good look at the work and the artist along with the genuine connection and presence that he has with community, taking the time to share their stories.
“The speed of ruin is just something else,” says Street Artist Vegan Flava, and it’s an exasperating realization. Extrapolated to thinking about the enormous war industry, and there is such a thing, you realize that pouring money year after year into ever more sophisticated and destructive weaponry only results in broken bridges, buildings, water systems, vital infrastructure, lives.
Construction, on the other hand, can be arduous and time consuming, takes vision, planning, collaboration, and fortitude. Like great societies.
How quickly they can be eroded, destroyed.
But since Vegan Flava is creating during this destructive enterprise, you get a glimpse into his creativity, and sense of humor. Similarly the psychographics of this story and how it is told reveal insights into the artist and larger themes.
“A drawing, an idea on a piece of paper, can swiftly grow into something larger, thoughts and actions leading to the next. But creating something is never as fast as to tear it to pieces. The speed of ruin is just something else,” he says.
MZM Projects – Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk /”Aesthetic of Eas”
“We wanted everything to occur naturally in this movie. We wanted to achieve spontaneity,” say film makers Kristina Borhes and Nazar Tymoshchuk about their up close look at graffiti writer/abstract painter EAS. In this new film they have captured the creative spirit in action as unobtrusively as they could, allowing the artist to speak – in a way he never does, they say.
Today on BSA Film Friday we’re proud to debut this new portrait by three artists – one painter and two film makers – to encourage BSA readers to take a moment and observe, inside and outside.
Every Friday we invite you to stop by and take a look at new videos that have been submitted or recommended or that we tripped over walking by the railroad tracks. This year we showed you about 250 of them.
We call it BSA Film Friday and it travels with us to cities around the world now when we do it LIVE with you and other audience members in theaters and lecture halls and museums. The beauty of the video/film form is you can get a full story quickly, and you are often surprised by how transformative it can be. You can also see how many people are affected by urban and street culture through these films – we see people’s eyes light up when they realize that they too can create in public space, that the world is not simply a product but is a piece of art that many of their peers are now jumping in to co-create.
As a collection, these 15 are illuminating, elevating, riveting, strange, soaring, and achingly beautifully normal. From looking at the Separation Wall and Banksy to a travelling crew of graffiti writers on farms in Polish pig country to the amazing dance troupe who interpreted the 5 floors of art installations in a downtown Berlin former bank, you have before you a massive buffet of a visual feast.
The final desert is hand-held phone video caught in the moment last month in Mexico City. We didn’t know Keith Haring was coming down the tracks to surprise us, and we didn’t know that this unpolished jewel would garner thousands of viewers and commenters – effectively placing this little piece of video at number 1 for its popularity. Maybe the fact that it is so raw is what people relate to – along with an ongoing adulation for Haring.
We hope you can take some time to enjoy some of the best Street Art videos from around the world and on BSA this year.
“Distant universes delicately tangled,” says the near-whispering narration as you are gazing upon scenes from Hong Kong – those interstitial moments that carry you between the more remarkable ones. Faith XLVII gives us a quiet look at these inside a the dencse cacophony called “Aqua Regalia”, looking at the parts of a culture that a visitor is sensitive to because they are not taken for granted. With this ability to see, one takes a quick course of a city, a society. Invariably you end up with more questions.
“We speak of death and birth in terms of celebration and mourning.” Faith XLVII is in search of more universal truths, the timeless ones, since we understand them so poorly. Herein are glimpses, romantic and unvarnished.
“This is one of the first videos I’ve co-directed, alongside filmmaker Dane Dodds,” Faith tells us. “Its a project that is close to my heart.”
Borondo keeps it open for you. He provides the stage, the staging area, the proscenium, the altar, the emanating light, the associations and memories you have with your belief system, or lack of one. During his artist residency with Pubblica, curated by Carlo Vignapiano and Elena Nicolini in May, the Street Artist (among other things) creates a journey as much as a destination in this intimate chapel. The video by Gerdi Petanaj captures this and perhaps a little more.
By inviting Creative Director/dancer Serdar Bogatin and the film crew “Shuto Crew” into the space with members of the Lunatix Dance Production troupe, these spaces and art environments come completely alive, invoking stories and dramas – clearly making the spaces into elaborate set-design pieces.
The French duo Ella + Pitr here revel in the simplicity of the gestural act of a full-body full-bucket splash of black paint.
Carnal, visceral, overlaid with psychographical information, the motion of splashing inky pigment across a white quadrilateral is an act of defiance and a release of the inner chaos – instantly recognizable as chaos elsewhere in the world.
The uncontrollable quality, especially when purveyed within an atmosphere of prim control, provokes amplified emotions in some. Fear, liberation, rage, release. Which ones will you experience?
“This reminds why I hate vandals! All this does is create more unnecessary work for the guys at the paint shop,” says a commenter on the Vimeo page where INDECLINE has posted this locomotive takeover.
You see kids, this is why we can’t have nice things. I just mopped this floor and you come running in here with your muddy boots! For Pete’s sake.
Truthfully, this decidedly unpolitical piece is a surprise coming from INDECLINE. Guess they were taking the day off from railing against hypocrisy and injustice with this animated train that recalls Saturday morning cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.
“It is one thing to read about the events in those parts of the world, but it is something totally different to actually look in the eyes of the women who lost everything while running from the war,” says artist Olek about how her world view changed when crocheting the project featured this week.
While gathering and producing materials for her installation with Verket Museum in Avesta, Sweden, the Brooklyn based Street Artist was holding informal crochet workshops with volunteers who would be producing the decorative yarn skin that covered every single item inside and outside of the house with their handmade crochet stitches.
Some invited guests were refugees who had escaped war in Syria and Ukraine and the artist and local folks shared stories and crocheted, sewed, and prepared the art materials together over the course of a number of days. It was during these exchanges of personal stories that, “a conversation started that has changed me forever,” she says – and she immediately needed to reflect it in her project with the museum.
No. 09 Sebastian Purfürst – Soniconoclasm / Broken Motor
In Berlin recently we met a photographer/media artist/musician who showed us a music video he just made of regular people whom you might meet on the city streets at night. This spring he asked more than 25 of them to recite phrases and “cut-up of army radio slang phrases” and by splicing them together with his band mate’s recitation of the lyrics synched to their lips, the rawness and rage and disconnected connectedness of people whom you can meet on the street rang true. “
This unvarnished quality bypasses the styled self-awareness of a lot of commercial media, and the anger actually comes across as fear. Perhaps you’ll think its too dark in demeanor – but then suddenly the melding together of the faces into one common entity makes it magic, even transcendent – revealing a simple sameness of everyone.
“This suspenseful individuality of the people is almost completely dissolved in the chorus,” says Sebastian Purfürst of his video with bandmate Markus F.C.Buhl.
Pixel’s original installation was nixed by the city at the last moment but that didn’t prevent the Italian Street Artist from rallying to find another solution!
This new installation in the back courtyard was conceived of, designed, and constructed over a period of 4 days last week and became the secret surprise behind the museum for those who wandered there. Using landscaping techniques and botanical knowledge that come naturally from his farm in Italy, the artist create a mise en scène of epic impact with his robotic folk-futurist sculptures. Night time lighting took it to another world, but you can see the details better here in this short video Jaime Rojo shot on site.
No. 07 FifthWall TV / Occupied in Bethlehem – A visit to BANKSY’s “Walled Off Hotel”
“It’s almost become a playground for people to come to,” says your host Doug Gille as he looks at the section of the Separation Wall that the Banksy “Walled Off” Hotel is installed upon. “I think it is so crucial for people not to just come to see the wall or to paint on the wall,” he says.
“50 years under military control makes it the longest occupation in history,” is a quote that Gillen brandishes across the screen from the United Nations. The fact that Banksy is using his art star power to keep this on the front burner says a lot about the man.
“I think a lot of these people feel like we are forgetting about them and we have to remind them that we’re not,” says Gillen as he soul searches next to the Dead Sea.
No. 06 Various & Gould / City Skins – Marx und Engels
Conceptual Street Artists often perform interventions without explanation, satisfied with their own observations of the outcome. For Berlians Various & Gould the process has more often included the participation of the public – a way for more to take ownership and inspire dialogue. Sometimes many dialogues.
Now to the Polish pig farms! Another Street Art/Mural road trip movie, this time across Poland with JAYPOP, Seikon, Krik KONG and filmmaker Cuba Goździewicz. See the discoveries, the relationships, the reactions to the work from a warm and considered human perspective.
The beauty of randomness and the randomness of beauty. These guys are fully engaged with their surroundings, the opportunity, the myriad people they befriend or portend to make allies. It’s an uncharted trip where permissions are sought and often refused, but they never stop painting somehow.
Using existing and new footage of Street Artist Swoon and selected interviews with people in her orbit, director Fredric King presents and hour long documentary that looks over two decades of art making. The stories told and the insights that Calendonia Curry aka Swoon presents while en route to her next adventure illustrate the fluidity with which she pursues the creative spirit, whether on the street, on a vessel down a river, or installing in a museum. An integrated explorer, Swoon brings you into the fold to go on this journey that always feels like its just begun.
On an expansive rooftop in rainy/sunny/rainy San Francisco, Street Artist Fin Dac brings to life ‘Shukumei’, an ebullient and mysterious muse. The film is largely a stop motion record of the work set to music, but did you notice how much dexterity and effort goes into this precision play when you are working at this angle, basically painting the floor? The remarkable integration of the glowing skylight orb, dramatically revealed, imparts the figure a mystical dimension as well.
Video editing by Tonic Media, Soundtrack by Mombassa/Lovechild, and shout out to Ian and Danielle at Rocha Art and Missy Marisa, model.
No. 02 Niels Shoe Meulman In Magic City / The Art Of The Street
Niels Shoe Meulman spent some nights in a Munich jail thirty years ago for mucking about on the walls. This year he was paid to do it in Munich for Magic City, the travelling morphing exhibition (now in Stockholm) where Street Art is celebrated along with all its tributaries – including a film program and a number of photographs by your friends here at BSA.
Born, raised and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shoe shares here his new improvisational piece and some of his reflections on his process and his evolution from being in advertising as an art/creative director and reclaiming his soul as a graffiti/Street Art/fine artist. As ever, Martha is in the frame, putting him in the frame.
No. 01 Keith Haring- Rough Cut / Mexico City Metro
This rough cut lil’ video reached more than 300K individuals and had 100K views with thousands of shares on FB and on Instagram with dozens of comments and high engagement was easily propelled to the #1 spot.
It all took us by surprise last week in Mexico City when suddenly a whole train covered on both sides with Keith Haring’s work approached while we were waiting at the platform to catch the Linea 2 of the Metro. He made his name in part by illegally doing drawings like these in NYC subways and here now they are crushing a whole train. The name of the project is “Ser Humano. Ser Urbano” or “Being Human. Being Urban” and it aims to promote human values and human rights. The pattern you see is from “Sin Titulo (Tokyo Fabric Design)” – now stretched across these whole cars, if you will.
The train itself is inexplicably having brake troubles, so we get some jerky spur-of-the-moment footage but all week on Instagram and Facebook we’ve received tons of comments from people reacting to this little bit of Keith video by Jaime Rojo on BSA.