All posts tagged: graffiti

Lee Quinones : The NYC Graffiti Train Storyteller Tells His Own Story

Lee Quinones : The NYC Graffiti Train Storyteller Tells His Own Story

Never Seen Notebook Drawings and Recent Paintings Span 1975-2015

“It was an identity crisis for youth in NYC in the 1970s,” explains Lee Quinones, the whole subway car “bomber” who claims the mantel of aerosol story teller for NYC’s rolling gallery of public art during that nearly dystopian decade. He is sitting on a folding chair before a small crowd of gallery visitors with Glenn O’Brien talking about his youthful creative process during a time when New York was seething with raw emotion, roiling in an identity crisis of its own with social, political, and economic issues all contributing to a perception of pending anarchy.

The occasion is the end of his current show that includes work from two distinct periods: now and 40 years ago. Witnessing one clearly informs your understanding of the other.

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Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m a recovering graffiti artist,” the dynamo LEE likes to say with a wink, and signs of his addiction are framed around the unpolished Chinatown pop-up space to help you see how deep the scars are. Pulled directly from home sketchbooks done in 1975 at the age of 15, these original drawings, some nearly four feet across, belie the level of manic dedication and wizardry his illegal storytelling required in those rusted screeching halcyon days when graffiti tags began to metamorphose into the representational and a certain wilder style.

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Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With personal graffiti influencers on the street like the expressionistic Cliff 159 and the pop-painting Blade lighting his way, LEE says he was searching for a way to break out of the “alphabet soup” of the prevailing lettering and tagging that was enveloping trains and subway stations and burning city walls.

“The small umbrella we were under was too small,” he says as he describes the way he tapped into a superheroes’ courage to fly from the housing projects of Lower Manhattan into social and political themes that took him up and down the number 5 subway line; his own publishing platform that reached thousands, probably millions.

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Lee Quinones. Silent Thunder. Whole Car. Detail. 1984 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I wanted to create storytelling on the subway. Why not address the civil rights movement?,” he asks and you think immediately of the photos and film you’ve seen of the hand sprayed images and text addressing the Vietnam War, economic inequality, environmental degradation, nuclear annihilation, love, death, longing, community, brotherhood, and Donald Duck. A ninja in the train yards, LEE also was a conscience on the rails.

“I wanted to sarcastically address the doctrine that was being thrown at me,” and he did, often collaboratively with four other writers, forming The Fabulous Five. Over that time he estimates he painted many more than a hundred complete subway cars with characters, scenes and public speeches questioning accepted truths and advocating at least a reexamination of them.

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Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The show is a rare opportunity to see these works in person, an illuminating collection of detailed sketches, marker drawings, possible titles, poetry, crossed out ideas, musings, and paint lists. Even in his youth LEE was showing his undying commitment to his art and it’s expression, wherever it lead.

“I feel comfortable being uncomfortable,” he says of the winding route over four decades that now includes a very strong studio practice and shows in major institutions and work in significant collections. He says it has brought a desire to simplify. “On canvasses now I want to say more with less.”

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Lee Quinones. Subway Car Montage. Study #2 1980-1983. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coupled with a smaller collection of recent works, one large monochrome stylized wall tag, and his newest painting, Golpe de Suerte that includes his mother’s hand-written recipe cards and lists collaged and spelling out “amor”, this is a personal show not likely to be seen again.

Including his mother and her lettering style completes a cycle; that’s the same ‘mom’ to whom he dedicated in aerosol many of his trains in the late 1970s and early 80s. Considered as a whole, this show captures a passionate imagination that is still on fire, tempered by experience. Looking at it all, free from the hype, this is the kid who you hoped you would find.

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Lee Quinones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. Crossing Delancy (Basquiat at the Clarinet). 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. The Fabulous 5. 1976. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. In The Yards. Color palette list. 1982. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. Untitled. 1980 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. Golpe de Suerte. 2013-2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. Golpe de Suerte. Detail. 2013-2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lee Quinones. Golpe de Suerte. Detail. 2013-2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

For more information please contact Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

BSA Film Friday: 05.29.15

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

Now screening :

1. Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus
2. Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires)
3. Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015
4. Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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BSA Special Feature: Kiwie and Zabou in Cyprus

We don’t often get to post Street Art from Cyprus, but here is an entertaining look at the recent Street Life Festival in Limassol. Mainly we posted it because Kiwie from Latvia is a ham in front of the camera and Friday is a perfect time to get up and dance!

Pol Corona in Vicente Lopez (Buenos Aires) at Nai’s house

It’s barbecue and painting season bro. Come on over.

 

 

Clemens Behr at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015

Two murals in a row from this years ALT!rove – Street Art Festival in Italy, both videos from Blind Eye Factory. Going with this years theme of Abstractism, ALT!rove brought artist including 108, Alberonero, Giorgio Bartocci, Clemens Behr, Ciredz, Erosie, Graphic Surgery, Sbagliato, Sten Lex and Tellas.

Alberonero at ALT!rove Street Festival 2015.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.27.15

BSA Film Friday: 02.27.15

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

Now screening :

1. Banksy in Gaza: Vacation Promo
2. SOFLES Projection Mapping of His Mural in Melbourne
3.OLEK takes a Victory Lap Through 2014
4. Ben Eine Tags A Museum

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Banksy in Gaza: Vacation Promo

This new video from Banksy takes you on a grim tour of Gaza that is laced with sarcasm bordering on total cynicism. Released on his website Wednesday with a few photos from his trip, Banksy appears to have stenciled the last standing door in the ruins of a building. The anonymous UK Street Artist uses his art and satirical way with the language to make his point. “Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day,” he says on his page. His video says he climbed through tunnels to get there but maybe Banksy was in Tony Blair’s suitcase – the UN website says the former Prime Minister of the UK was there mid-month. “Gaza is a metaphor for all that is wrong,” wrote Mr. Tony Blair in an article after visiting Gaza on 14 February.

SOFLES Projection Mapping of His Mural in Melbourne

Selina Miles again directs and produces a film of Sofles at work that transcends the experience and gives you a sense of awe at his work, which truthfully is already often awesome. We’ve been a fan of and producer of events with projection mapping so we are glad to see a talented street artist use the technology in an effective way. The video begins innocently enough with some inking out an illustration on a canvas, then buffing of a wall in Melbourne. Later the sun goes down, and BAM!

OLEK takes a Victory Lap Through 2014

Expect to see Olek everywhere, we do!

 

Ben Eine Tags A Museum

London based street and graffiti artist Ben Eine knocked out a wall inside the Middlebury College Museum of Art as part of the upcoming exhibition OUTSIDE IN: ART OF THE STREET.

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Graffiti South Africa, The Book

Graffiti South Africa, The Book

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book cover © Jaime Rojo)

A big hardcover from South Africa arrived in the mail recently and we wanted to share it with you because we think you’ll like it.

“I’ve tried to keep my text concise and simple, without burdening readers with copious historical details or ponderous views on artistic expression, sociopolitical issues, or cultural trends,” says author Cale Waddacor of this survey, and you can tell that he intends to keep his word, but he just knows too much valuable stuff to keep hidden.

What he holds back in prose he delivers in a spectrum of representational images that give you an idea of the quality of work going up in this scene with quite a range. From basic outlines and fills to wild style to today’s illustrators, muralists and contemporary artists, South African streets boasts a lot more than you may have imagined.

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

Arranged by three main areas of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, you even get a helpful map to help you appreciate the relative distance between them and the higher concentrations of writers in each – Graffiti South Africa gives a rather thorough overview of the scene, its players, and its history. The first book by the founder of the website by the same name, he has collected many images and interviews with artists from the early days as well as some of the newer ones, striking a balance in a widely varied scene that leans heavily toward graff vernacular while trying to incorporate the burgeoning street art scene as well.

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

The book also features a number of quotes that quickly give you an idea about the environment and the community, ” Writers need to respect each other for being different, and not for being the same. My crew is made up of totally different individuals, with varying views and styles,” says Drone.  The artist React observes a scene that continues to grow and improve, “Graffiti is getting more and more polished and impressive. Mural art has always existed but the mediums have changed.”

Overall, you’ll be impressed by the variety and the quality of work, even if it is true that South Africa joined the international graffiti and street art scene a little later than others. Doesn’t matter, they can boast a rich soil now. Take it from the writer named Lazer, ” We may not have the quantity of writers, but the quality of the bombing, panels, and productions being painted here is world class.”

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

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Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor. (photo of book spread © Jaime Rojo)

 

Graffiti South Africa by Cale Waddacor available from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

 

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BSA’s Piece on “Submerged Motherlands” Acclaimed for Year

BSA’s Piece on “Submerged Motherlands” Acclaimed for Year

BSA with Swoon at Brooklyn Museum Sited by Huff Post Editors as Proud Moment of 2014

We’re very pleased and thankful to be included in this short list chosen by the editors of Huffington Post Arts & Culture as a story they are most proud of publishing last year.

In her introduction to the list, editor Katherine Brooks writes:

“It turns out, 365 days is hard to summarize in anything but a laundry list of seemingly disparate phenomena, filled with the good — woman-centric street art, rising Detroit art scenes, spotlights on unseen American art– and the bad less than good — holiday butt plugs, punching bags by Monet, Koonsmania. But, as a New Year dawns, we found ourselves just wanting to focus on the things that made us beam with pride in 2014. So we made a list of those things, a list of the pieces we’re proud of.”

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Describing why we thought this was an important story for us we wrote:

“We loved a lot of stories this year, but this hometown Brooklyn one about a street artist with humanity mounting her first solo major museum exhibition was a special turning point — and an astounding success. For us street art is a conversation, a continuum of expression, and Swoon is always a part of it. From following her street career to her transition to international fame to witnessing this exhibition coming to fruition in person in the months leading up to the Brooklyn Museum show, it is easy to understand why Swoon still remains a crucial part of the amazing street art scene and continues to set a standard.”

-Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington, HuffPost Arts&Culture bloggers and co-founders of Brooklyn Street Art

In fact, we wrote 48 articles that were published on the Huffington Post in 2014, and as a collection we hope they further elucidate the vast and meaningful impact that the Street Art / graffiti / urban art movement continues to have on our culture, our public space, and our arts institutions.

Together that collection of articles published by BSA on Huffpost in ’14 spanned the globe including stories from Malaysia, Poland, Spain, France, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, New York, Arizona, The Navajo Nation, Philadelphia, Sweden, Istanbul, New Jersey, Lisbon, The Gambia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Rome, India, Italy, Delhi (India), Montreal, San Francisco, London, Coachella, Chicago, Kabul (Afghanistan), and Kiev (Ukraine).

Here on BSA we published another 320 postings (more or less).

We thank you for allowing us to share these inspirational and educational stories with you and we are honored to be able to continue the conversation with artists, art fans, collectors, curators, academics, gallerists, museums, and arts institutions. Our passion for Street Art and related movements is only superceded by our love for the creative spirit, and we are happy whenever we encounter it.

Our published articles on HuffPost in 2014, beginning with the most recent:

 

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?

For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.

It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.

Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.

But the photo remains.

And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world. 

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Jaime’s personal favorite of 2014; The site specific Kara Walker in front of her site specific installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in May of this year in Brooklyn. Artist Kara Walker. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.

Read more about Kara Walker in our posting “Kara Walker And Her Sugar Sphinx At The Old Domino Factory”.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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31 Days of Mystery: “Banksy Does New York”

31 Days of Mystery: “Banksy Does New York”

The Director and Producers Talk About Their New Street Art Documentary.

The Banksy show is about to begin again. For those who are not familiar with what that statement implies, you’ll definitely be surprised.

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Capturing Banksy. Police stuffing B-A-N-K-S-Y balloons in the back of a van on Day 31 of the street artists month-long residency on the streets of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Banksy Does New York”, a new documentary by director Chris Moukarbel, meticulously culls and artfully arranges the play and the actors for you in just over an hour with new revelations popping up every few minutes – and you may not believe what you actually missed. But don’t feel bad; everyone missed something during the one-month “Better Out Than In” residency of the Brisol-based street artist during October, 2013. Luckily Moukarbel has done the hard work of sifting through the thousands of Instagram posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, and Banksy’s own digital clues to deftly tell you the story, or rather, stories.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The latest HBO documentary, which airs November 17th, confronts the conventions of typical documentary making by compiling user-generated digital content, or crowd-sourcing the thousands of individual perspectives that occurred in tandem as the new works were unveiled on the streets of New York’s five boroughs. (Full disclosure: We are both interviewed in it.)

“There’s no way we could have gotten cameras everywhere even if we were trying and if we wanted to,” said Moukarbel at a special screening in Manhattan at HBO’s offices last week for many of the “content creators” whose work is woven together to reveal the larger narratives arising from the events.

“No one really knew what Banksy was doing. No one had put a frame around it,” says Chris as he describes the process of allowing the stories to tell him and producer Jack Turner what actually happened. “I mean he so expertly used social media,” says Turner, “Having an Instagram account from the first day — he invented a way for communicating his work and created a following for it and created an event that is a work itself.”

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aside from the mechanics of the unfolding dramas, “Banksy Does New York” attempts to give many of the actors center stage here where other film makers would have relegated them to the roles of extras. Out of town vloggers drive into the city to record their daily discoveries, bonafide Banksy hunters who pool their clues in real time virtually and race to discover the new piece before it is stolen or vandalized, neighborhood entrepreneurs who charge a fee to onlookers for peeking at the paintings, and even the human stories behind the public heist and subsequent art sale that is arranged for one of the sculptures.

Somehow the elusive street artist pulling strings behind the scenes comes off as a sardonic populist everyman although he probably really is just a flagrant [insert your personal projection here]. By removing himself from the show, everyone else is revealed.

And they are nearly all here too. Like the fictional nightlife doyen Stefon Zolesky on Saturday Night Live might say, “This club has everything”; artists, fans, intellectuals, court jesters, minstrels, charlatans, sideshows, soldiers, police, politicians, a priest, dogs, passion, sweetness, sarcasm, irony, jealousy, chicanery, a Greek chorus, car chases, a few fights, a couple of heartfelt speeches, some arrests, bleating lambs being lead to slaughter.

… And a winking wizard somewhere behind the curtain.

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Banksy (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Like we said last year as the month drew to a close in an article entitled Banksy’s Final Trick, “No longer asking, ‘Who is Banksy’, many strolling New Yorkers this October were only half-kidding when they would point to nearly any scene or object on the street and ask each other, ‘Is that a Banksy?’”

We turned the interview tables on director Chris Moukarbel and producer Jack Turner to see how they developed their story for “Banksy Does New York”.

Brooklyn Street Art: They say that a documentary filmmaker can’t really have a story in mind going in to the project – because the story reveals itself as you go. Did you see the story developing as you met people and looked at video?
Chris Moukarbel: No one had really looked at the residency in its entirety so we felt like archeologists piecing together all these bits of information and trying to create a complete vision of what went down that month. Certain themes began to emerge and it was interesting to find where the work was actually pointing. The locations of each piece appeared random and actually were incredibly important to how you were supposed to see the work. Sometimes you realized that the work itself only served to bring peoples attention to the significance of the location.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: There are so many moving parts in this story – the enigmatic artist, the illegal nature of the work, the intersection with social media, the unpredictable nature of the responses. Was this a story that was difficult to get your hands around?
Jack Turner: Good question…the basic idea from the start was simply to relive that month-long circus for those people who were not aware, not in NYC or just missed it. To be honest, we originally thought that a sequential catalogue of the work would feel repetitive – but as we did more research, we found that each of the works created vastly different reactions from the public and they helped us explore all of these themes. We can only draw our own meaning from some of the work but that is when the public reaction becomes part of the work itself – which is why public art, street art and graffiti exist.

Brooklyn Street Art: Had you had much exposure to the Street Art and graffiti worlds previous to taking on this project? What surprised you about it that you wouldn’t have expected?
Chris Moukarbel: I was never a part of the street art world but I have an art background and a lot of my work was site specific. I would create pieces that were meant to live online or on public access TV, as well as street pieces. It was interesting to get to know more about an art world with its own language – available in plain view of New Yorkers.

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What element first attracted your interest in the Banksy story when you heard that he had executed this residency in New York?
Chris Moukarbel: When HBO approached us about making the film I felt like it could be a great archive of an artists work and also a snapshot of the Internet for one month. I love public art and I was interested in the way that Banksy was using the Internet and social media as if it were the street.

Brooklyn Street Art: After seeing “Exit Through the Gift Shop” many people reported feeling like they were more confused than before about Banksy and his story. How would you like people to feel after “Banksy Does New York?”
Jack Turner: Banksy is an incredibly prolific artist and this film covers only one of the many chapters in his career. By remaining anonymous, Banksy takes the focus away from the artist or the source and he puts the focus on the statement and the work. There is a reason that he is the most infamous artist working today, he represents an idea that many people identify with…and he is really funny! I think this film, more than anything, highlights how well he uses social media to his disposal.

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

Brooklyn Street Art: You must have imagined what a response might be from Banksy to your film. What do you think he will think of this piece?
Jack Turner: It is extremely important in any project that Chris or I do to make sure that we present the whole story in a truthful way. That is why we have had such success accessing user-generated footage. We went from having a one camera crew, as documentaries are often made, to having a thousand cameras throughout the city – each giving us footage that reflects what really happened. Maybe Banksy will love it, maybe he will hate it – but the most important thing to us is that he feels like it is a true reflection of what happened over the course of that month.

Brooklyn Street Art: As producers and the director, do you think of yourselves as artists, reporters, sociologists, detectives?
Jack Turner: A couple years ago a friend of mine said that making a documentary is like getting paid (very little) to learn an enormous amount about something. I’ll take that.
Chris Moukarbel: I think of myself as a storyteller. In a way, I was still a storyteller when I was making fine art but now I’m using a popular medium that reaches a wider audience.

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

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Banksy. Still from “Banksy Does New York” (courtesy © HBO Films)

Banksy Does New York airs November 17 on HBO and is available now on HBO GO.

Director: Chris Moukarbel
Producers: Chris Moukarbel, Jack Turner
Executive producer: Sheila Nevins
Directors of photography: Mai Iskander, Karim Raoul
Editor: Jennifer Harrington
Production companies: Matador Content, Permanent Wave, Home Box Office

No rating, 70 minutes

 

 

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.05.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.05.14

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School’s back in session, the Jews just celebrated a new year, Kobra painted new portraits of Warhol and Basquiat in Williamsburg, and if you were at Brooklyn Museum last night you got to see Street Artist and muralist Don Rimx and us live – and us with markers in our hands looking completely lost.

But that’s not nearly all the action this week; Gaia was in the Rockaways, Dain showed up in BK, the old Os Gemeos was “unveiled” on Houston Street, Nychos was in Hamburg, Nick Walker was in Yonkers, Ludo was readying his big solo show in London, we marked a year since Banksy hit NYC, students were in the streets in Hong Kong, ebola showed up in Texas, banks are being cracked open by cyber hacks, the US has begun another war, the new SNL is almost unwatchable, and you better start thinking about your Halloween costume.

Other than that, not much is happening.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, Apples on Pictures, Conor Harrington, Dain, EKG, Funky13, Jack the Beard, Jeff Huntington, Jesse James, Matthew Reid, Mr. Prvrt, Os Gemeos, Pyramid Oracle, Ramiro Davaros-Coma, Sam3, Square, Stikman, and What Is Adam.

Top Image >> EKG and Stikman collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MR. PRVRT for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Not sure if this is true. Jack the Beard (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brazilian twins Os Gemeos are back on the Houston Wall after a long hibernation under a constructed cover that hosted Shepard Fairey, Faile, and a petite litany of others. So if you missed this the first time around and you are in NYC go and take a look before the wall comes down. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos. Otavio and Gustavo. They painted the mural on a hot day on July 10, 2009. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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New work from Dain has recently appeared in Soho and parts of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A portrait of Maya Angelou; a collaboration between Jesse James and Jeff Huntington for Annapolis, Maryland’s first Street Art Festival. (photo © Jesse James)

““I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable.” ~ Maya Angelou ~

Facing Evil With Maya Angelou (Full Show)

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Ramiro Davaros-Coma (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An Unknown Artist made this original piece from duct tape in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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What Is Adam? Apparently a pipe-smoking duck sailor. That’s what. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Square is back with this melting facade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Another melting facade, this time from Conor Harrington for The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam3 in Rome, Italy for Wunderkammern Gallery. (photo © Giorgio Coen Cagli)

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Apple On Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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2 Face Work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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2 Face Work with Ai Wei Wei in the center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matthew Reid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Funky13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Reflection. Flatiron Building. Manhattan, NYC. Fall 2014. Via Instagram @jaimerojoa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

 

 

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YO Banksy! A Year Since “Better Out Than In”

YO Banksy! A Year Since “Better Out Than In”

As we hear of the sudden appearance of a new Banksy in southeast England we recall that it was exactly a year ago today that the international Street Art man of mystery grabbed New York by the mobiles and invited everyone to a month-long exhibition of painting, sculpture, installation, performance and real life detective games on our own streets.

To commemorate Banksy’s very successful offering to the city and the excitement that ensued with its inhabitants we decided to put together a series of messages left out for him on walls, doors, trucks and fences. Not all the messages are demonstrations of love (indeed some are hostile) but all them are an indication of his clever ability to move people with wit and indicate a certain feeling of familiarity that people have with the anonymous Street Artist.

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COST played on his own famous wheatpastes from an earlier era (“Cost Fucked Madonna”) and updated it for a new time and gender. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ve all recovered quite well of course from the month-long treasure hunt, and for many it was enough of a jarring public works project/ anthropological experiment / hype campaign to merit a year of examination and reflection. And now, the commemorations: This fall we know of at least one book (Banksy in New York) and one documentary (Banksy Does New York) that will mark the anniversary of the “Better Out Than In” residency and many New Yorkers will remember their own keen behaviors on social media and crowded sidewalks chasing after the near-daily revelations – and a few may possibly experience joy or a twinge of awkward discomfort in retrospect.

We think the biggest takeaway for us was that whether it was man or marketing team, Banksy helped New Yorkers to re-examine nearly everything in the man-made environment and to consider that it may actually be a piece of art.

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COST. Redacted (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For the guys and gals who make up the graffiti/ Street Art scene in New York of course, not everyone was gob-smacked by this peer, this charming and wisecracking Brit who monopolized the mindshare of fans of art in the streets. Almost from Day 1 the buffs, the side busting, the cross-outs, and the free-flowing entreaties addressing our visiting jester were alternately ringing of respect, bemusement, longing after, semi-passive xenophobia, or full-on red-faced insults.  And of course there were those just along for the coat-tail ride.

It’s all really just part of the ongoing conversation that always exists on the street, and while you may not have caught all the action last October a look at these images will inform you that Banksy’s impact was felt by many.

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alex Gardega (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. This piece predates his “Residency” but we decided to include it as a tribute to him. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. This piece is predates his “Residency” but we decided to include it for the same reasons expressed above. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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#Anonymous (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Franksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Franksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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“West Side is the Best Side”, Vogue & BAM In Oakland

“West Side is the Best Side”, Vogue & BAM In Oakland

Today we have the honor of photographer, author and lecturer Mr. James Prigoff sharing with BSA readers his images and observations about a new 8,000 square foot mural that went up in Oakland last month paying tribute to graffiti’s love of locomotives, Oakland’s history as a port town and ship builder, and a line out of Tupac Shakur’s “California Love”.  A neighborhood project that aims to educate and beautify, two old school writers from The O named Vogue and BAM (Norman Chuck and Mike Tyau) gathered together some friends and interns to knock this mammoth one out. But enough from us, we’ll let Mr. Prigoff paint the scene for you.

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jim Prigoff)

By James Prigoff

I have been documenting Norman Vogue and Mike “BAM” Tyau’s Spraycan painting for thirty years. It was evident in the early days of West Coast “writing” that the two of them and their crews had very special talent.

Following their work over the years brought me to the Wrist Ship Supply building in West Oakland yesterday.

Modern Graffiti Art started on the East Coast with simple tags and evolved over the years until it became the most significant art form of the last forty years. In the evolution, part of the art form became Street Art and today is entitled Urban Art. The variety of imagery would fill endless books, light years away from what once were known as Graffiti Masterpieces.

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

The mural that these artists have created, “West Side is the Best Side”, is historically important for many reasons and I think it has an significant place among the art form’s historical images for these reasons;

  1.  It is technically very proficient as an example of how sophisticated the use of the spray can has become.

  2.  It pays tribute to a few of the most important writers to develop on the West Coast, particularly an iconic young R.I.P who wrote DREAM.

  3.  It is a classic in that it goes back to the roots of name writing and characters.

  4.  It celebrates the train writing that brightened the drab railroad cars and became a vehicle to send the “writer’s” name to distant cities.

Put it all together and they have created a very special piece of art, far more so than the average eye would perceive.

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

Sage coordinated the deal at first and got all the scissor/boom lifts for the artists to use and coordinated daily operations early on. Jase, King157, Sear & Done/TDK all painted their pieces within one day. Vogue painted his & Dream’s throwies all within one day also. The “Schmoe” piece was painted by Done on the caboose in memory of him since he passed away in a car accident back in July and he was a part of the TDK crew.

I’ve told Sage to help us file this at the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest train mural.

 
(Continued credits continue at the end of posting)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

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Vogue/Bam collaboration with help from Derp, Jase, King157, Goser, Sear & Done/TDK, Robz & Colour. West Oakland, CA. (photo © Jim Prigoff)

In addition to Bryan “DERP,” three other interns who worked on the mural include Thavin Rajanakhan, Thitiwat Phromratanapongse, and Dominic Cheng

“We would not have been able to complete the first half of this mural without these guys,” say Vogue and Bam, who wish to express their gratitude to everyone and especially to the interns.

 

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Sweden Starts “No Limit” Mural Festival in Borås

Sweden Starts “No Limit” Mural Festival in Borås

It isn’t just Nuart any more.

Scandinavia is taking their mural festivals seriously thanks to buoyant economies, arts programming support, and a growing global appreciation for art in the streets in general. Included in the list of recent festivals are Denmark’s Galore (Copenhagen) and We Aart (Aalborg) and Sweden’s Artscape (Malmö) as well as the more graffiti-inflected Örebro, Helsinki’s Arabia and of course the one-kilometer long graffiti/Street Art slaughter that accompanies the mammoth music festival Roskilde.

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ECB. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

This month humbly began No Limit in the small city of Borås, Sweden, and artist / curator Shai Dahan hopes to enliven the daily views for this population of 66,000 with his curated collection of international artists from street / graffiti / fine art backgrounds.

An artist and entrepreneur who moved here from New York three and a half years ago, Dahan has been rallying local building owners and government institutions to aid in his idea of mounting a show on walls in the city that emulates the success of such festivals elsewhere.

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Isaac Cordal. The small scale installations by the Spanish artist provide a welcome answer to the ever more massive tendencies of wall installations in mural programs. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

“I’ve been on quite a journey and accomplishing this project has been something I have been working on personally for over a year,” he says. With participation and funding from the city of Borås, No Limit this month invited and hosted artists from countries such as The Netherlands, Brasil, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and Sweden and included artists like Natalia Rak, ETAM Cru, Peeta, ECB, The London Police, Kobra, Ollio, Ekta, Carolina Falkholt, Issac Cordal and one of the earliest Street Art stencilists, Blek le Rat.

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Isaac Cordal. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

“And best of all, we had no bad weather. The day Natalia landed (she was the first to arrive) the sun came out, and it stayed out until the very last day,” says Dahan of the festival that he deemed “phenomenal” and included guided tours for over 200 people at a time.

“After everyone left, it began raining, ” he smiles.

For countries that have a so-called “zero tolerance” for illegal art or any kind like Sweden, mural festivals like these effectively circumvent the rigid approval process that typically characterizes public art projects and many make inroads into engaging public space with art in a new way that is emblematic of a vibrant global movement. It may be a tenuous line to walk, but more cities seem willing to embrace this swing of the pendulum with art in the streets.

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The Brazillian Street Artist named Kobra created a portrait of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist, engineer, industrialist, and inventor of dynamite. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Kobra. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The London Police began stripping because of the hot sun and of course, Jane Fonda. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The London Police. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Natalia Rak. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Natalia Rak. Detail. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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The graffiti writing artist from Venice named Peeta basically killed his wall with a signature three dimensional tag that floats off of the wall. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Simple. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Simple)

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Ollio. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Carolina Falkholt. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Ekta. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

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Etam Cru. No Limit Borås, Sweden. September 2014. (photo © Anders Kihl)

 

Click HERE to learn more about No Limit Borås.

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