All posts tagged: Guido van Helten

BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

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

Now screening :
1. “REWILD” from Escif
2. Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
3. How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art


BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

“The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the worlds most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving eco system alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.”  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.  

Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind

A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.

How Artist JR Is Helping Connect Our Humanity Through Street Art |

The Brooklyn Museum will be unveiling an exhibition with the works of French Street Artist JR this October. Here’s a small video of him explaining how his work is a connector between humans.

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Fintan Magee & Guido Van Helten in Tehran : “The Carpet Repairmen”

Fintan Magee & Guido Van Helten in Tehran : “The Carpet Repairmen”

Welcome to January 2 and you may be feeling a little more lethargic as you go through your duties today, looking askance at the empty bottles, stray glitter, the new rip in the rug. Yes, there is some damage to the carpet from all that dancing you and your Aunt Francine and cousin Ozzie were doing as the clock struck twelve!

Guess that is why it is called “cutting the rug”.

Fintan Magee & Guido Van Helten. ‘The Carpet Repairmen”. Tehran, Iran. (photo courtesy of the artists)

No worries, we’re bringing in the ‘The Carpet Repairmen’, a new large scale mural collaboration between Australian Street Artists Guido Van Helten and Fintan Magee that they finished as a commission recently in Tehran, Iran. Meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the Australian Embassy in Iran, the current US president naturally ruined the timing of the celebration of peace and goodwill by putting more sanctions on the country and tension on the event, say the artists.

As one may expect, mural making in Middle Eastern countries has often been reserved for politics anyway; with propagandist messages, murals of martyrs, images recalling war, political leaders. Van Helten and Magee concentrate instead on the valued talents of the carpet makers – a history and work of pride that no one can argue with.

Fintan Magee & Guido Van Helten. ‘The Carpet Repairmen”. Tehran, Iran. (photo courtesy of the artists)

They tell us:

“This mural is based on images of two carpet repairmen working in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. Persian carpets are famous world wide for their quality and craftsmanship. Then men work 8-10 hours each day rethreading and stitching old and damaged carpets, the repetitive work requires incredible hand skills and speed. This painting pays homage to the dignity of hard work while putting a human face to an important aspect of craft and culture in Persia.

The painting ‘The Carpet Repairmen’ also act’s as a broader metaphor for working life in Iran. Decades of economic sanctions and blockades on imports and have meant that people have to be resourceful in the country. Reusing, repairing and recycling products has become a necessity. Showing the resilience of the Iranian people and how life goes on in this hospitable, welcoming and ancient culture.”

Fintan Magee & Guido Van Helten. ‘The Carpet Repairmen”. Tehran, Iran. (photo courtesy of the artists)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.30.18 – UPEA Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora. We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.

So here is a sample from what we found from UPEART’s two previous iterations before the recently completed UPEART 2018.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Apolo Torres, Artz, Dulk, Espoo, Fintan Magee, Guido Van Helten, Pat Perry, Smug, Teemu Maenpaa, Tellas, and Telmo & Miel.

Top Image: Millo. UPEA 2017. Jyväskylä, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA 2017. Joensuu, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA 2017. Joensuu, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SMUG. UPEA 2017. Kotka, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

Guido van Helten. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Guido van Helten. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pat Perry. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pat Perry. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Teemu Mäenpää. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dulk. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apolo Torres. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apolo Torres. UPEA 2017. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artez. UPEA 2017. Espoo, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tellas. UPEA 2016. Helsinki, Finland. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

Murals Across Finland: UPEA ’17 Sweeps More Cities

From the country with the highest standard of living comes a country-wide mural festival called UPEA for 2017! Only in their second year, they are going big here at home.

Messy Desk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Okay, the murals are not in every city of this Scandinavian country, but if lead curator and visionary (and former graffiti writer) Jorgos Fanaris realizes his vision, there will be even more than the 40 or so murals the festival has already put up over the last two years in cities like Helsinki, Riihimäki, Kemi, Kotka, Espoo, Turku, and Hyvinkää.

Yes, some of the current international circuit of mural stars are here. So are a stunning selection of Finnish talents and less recognizeable names, making this a conscientious formulation that respects the culture and highlights the global movement simultaneously.

 

Guido Van Helten. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Erho Aalto)

Like many of today’s mural festivals and far from their illegal Street Art/graffitti roots, many of UPEA 17 are mega-murals; multi-story and sophisticated images borrowing from many strains of art history and popular culture – even conceptual art – as much as anything else.

These and other signs of curatorial/organization maturity are not typically hallmarks of two year old festivals, and we could provide a list of rookie mistakes that have plagued others we’ve covered over the last decade. This is probably because UPEA 17 is the result of many years of on-the-ground organizing experience and street culture knowledge – and multiple false starts and obstacles that blocked organizers in the years leading up to last years inaugural outdoor exhibition. People on the ground will tell you that logistics and costs and bureaucracy and local politics are always factors to pull off a festival well. In our experience, so is time.

 

Teemu Mäenpää. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

We were lucky to have an extensive interview with Jorgos Fanaris about this years successes, the challenges along the way, and his roots in the scene.

Brooklyn Street Art: How is UPEA 2017 different from the first edition?
Jorgos Fanaris: Compared to UPEA16, UPEA17 was of course much bigger. More artists and more projects, but also bigger projects. The first edition was more of testing the concept and feeling around what we could do. The second edition was really about making an impact, letting everyone know about UPEA as an event that creates notable art in public spaces, that we are serious and we are here to stay.

Millo. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (Photo © John Blåfield)

Brooklyn Street Art: You had an incredibly wide variety of artists painting: From large scale realist portraiture, to surrealism to cartoons, landscape etc…is there a specific style that resonates better with the public?
Jorgos Fanaris: The amount of talented artists that have already participated in UPEA in the first two years, is humbling to say the least. We are very privileged and honored to have had them.

If I evaluate the response the artworks have received from the public, I think raising a specific style in a position that it somehow communicates more with the audience wouldn’t be right. For example if we think realistic portraiture and classic style of Guido van Helten, its easy for anyone to understand that this is technically really difficult to execute in this scale. This year in Hämeenlinna we did the 56m high silos, which of course by the sheer size is something that makes people go “Whooaaaa, how can he do that? We must go and see”.

 

Dulk. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

The project gathered and still gathers spectators in huge numbers. During the project there were traffic jams in the area on Sundays. On the other hand in Lahti, the artist named Messy Desks did the crazy cartoon style piece that has million things happening. It created a huge buzz and received a lot of response from people. She was getting gifts from people from the area and was taken out for formal dinners after for appreciation and show of gratitude. Kids are ecstatic about it, knocking on the “doors” and “windows” trying to get someone to open.

At the same time, the second wall we did in Lahti with Roberto Ciredz, a surrealistic piece with total harmony, which by no accident is totally different from Messy Desks wall, was voted as people’s favorite of the two in local newspaper. There are so many things that contribute the overall feedback. I think every style and approach has its place and purpose.

Brooklyn Street Art: Murals become part of a neighborhood, part of the storytelling and lifetime benchmark associations and memories people have – as well as part of the fabric and character of a city. How has the festival been received by the people whose daily lives will be impacted with the presence of the murals?
Jorgos Fanaris: The artworks created a lot of excitement and grassroots movement in their own areas and communities. In Kontula Helsinki, the triple walls by Fintan Magee, Apolo Torres and Pat Perry encouraged the residents to do a “night of arts” event for the unveiling of the artworks. They had food, live music, fire performance and other artistic activities. Over 1500 people attended and possibly the event will continue next year.

 

Eero Lampinen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Henrik Dagnevall)

In Espoo Matinkylä, where Artez did a great piece, the residents organized an celebration event with huge number of activities, dozens of performances and speakers, about thousand people attending the event. In Kotka, where Smug did the amazing wall right in the city centre, the city made an official unveiling for the wall by closing the street and having a horn orchestra perform. Hundreds of people attended even though it was on a Friday during the work hours.

These are just few examples. We saw a lot of these type of things grow from the artworks we did this year.. We see that street art gets reactions from people who might not be too involved with art in general, like going to the galleries for example. The artworks are a refreshing injection into the community and it’s super exiting for us to see things starting grow from them.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you get support from community and city officials for the festival?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, we are working with the officials in every city we are in. The support has been great, possibly due to the fact that we have been able to create an event this size with fairly limited organization and funding.

Still the way we execute different projects really varies. Regardless of how much the city is involved, the permits, which are always a big thing in Finland, are handled by their own unit inside the city. In some cases the city assists us in the permit process and it can be very helpful. But also in many cases we handle the whole process completely. From searching locations and handling all the permits and other things all the way to executing the artwork. The range is very wide on different projects. Still, the city is involved and even if we are doing permits and related responsibilities ourselves, it helps that they are officially supporting the project in the background. Everyone has a common goal to make the project happen and in a positive spirit they work towards that goal together.

Onur. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © John Blåfield-Valmis)

Brooklyn Street Art: What drives you to make this festival happen? What is the motivation? The incentive?
Jorgos Fanaris: Upeart is a collective of people from various backgrounds; from graffiti, city development to event organizing and more. I think the motivation varies depending on who you ask. But in general, it’s about interest in the possibilities art has in public spaces. The vision to push for ambitious ideas, pushing limits further and willingness to take chances.

I personally, have a graffiti background from late 80’s to beginning of the new millennium. When I painted myself, I was mainly, especially in the later years, interested in graffiti as a tool in getting reactions from ordinary people by using public space or things that move in that space. At some point, I moved away from actively painting and started working in music projects, doing shows and stuff like that.

During those years, Finland gradually started to dismantle the very strict zero tolerance on graffiti and street art they had imposed in the country for years. Many youth and grassroot organizations worked years relentlessly on it and it started finally to show some results around 2008. At some point, I thought the time would be right to start something like this. Do it seriously and professionally. We actually tried to start an ambitious project like UPEA for few years, but it was difficult. We had of course no money at all and with that also no guarantees about anything.

 

Ricky Lee-Gordon. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Rikupekka Lappalainen)

Then we tried to get a group of people together with the same goal to work on the project. With 3-4 people each contributing a little, combined, it creates an effort big enough to start an interesting thing – on paper at least. It proved to be very difficult. We had actually two tries that failed to make any progress.

We came together with a couple of people, agreed about the goal and how we should work towards it. But when it came down to doing real work for it – nothing much occurred. To me it was really strange. I feel that we wasted a lot of time and energy of course, and it was really frustrating. But eventually, probably after three years or something from the original idea, Upeart started to come together and this time with people who have the drive and are actually willing to work for it. So finally, the organization and the event UPEA was born on the third try.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a very young festival, only two editions. Did you look at other festivals as an inspiration for UPEA?
Jorgos Fanaris: Yes, of course. You look around other festivals and different things that people do everywhere for ideas. I personally think that there are a lot of new and exciting things happening in several places around the globe. That’s why keeping your eyes open and trying to learn from everything is important. You see things and think, wow that’s so cool, could we do something like that? You add your own ideas in to it and it changes to something else.

Wasp Elder. UPEA Festival  2017. Finland. (photo © Matti Nurmi)

It’s a notable fact that UPEA is so young, like a little baby. We are not there yet and have huge task ahead of us on refining the concept. Already this year we wanted to do several other things besides murals, but we just didn’t have the resources to execute. But its ok, things always need time. The organization needs to grow, the concept needs to be refined and we need to build up our personal networks and several other things. In this process of maturing and finding the way for you, it helps if you see what else is going on around the world.

Brooklyn Street Art: What distinguishes UPEA from other European Street Art Festivals?
Jorgos Fanaris: I guess one obvious thing compared to many others, is that UPEA is a multicity event held all over the country. Finland is a small country, only 5 million people and the biggest city the capitol Helsinki, has only 1 million. When we thought about the concept, we really had to think about what will happen when we do a large number of big artworks and how it progresses when we do this year after year. We thought we would need serious space to execute on the level that we want year after year.

Apolo Torres. UPEA Festival 2017. Finalnd. (photo © Anna Vlasoff)

One thing of course also is that we have seriously big projects, especially on the second edition this year.

Considering we had the 56m high silos, triple side by side 8 story buildings, a complete house on all four sides and several single big 6-8 story buildings and so on, the sizes of the projects were huge. However now that we are looking forward at upcoming years, I think UPEA will become more and more original and mature to something very unique. Also one thing is, that several artists have told me, UPEA is one of the best organized events they have participated in. True or not (I think they are nice and say that in every event), I think this a proper note to end an interview!

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Telmo & Miel. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Antti Ryynänen)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Rustam Qbic. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Artez. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Kaukolehto)

Andrea Wan. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Jorma Simonen)

Smug. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tommi Mattila)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Vesod. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Roberto Ciredz. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Markus Hänninen)

Jussi27. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Anssi Huovinen)

Pat Perry. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Fintan Magee. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

Logos or graffiti tags? Jani Leinonen. UPEA Festival 2017. Finland. (photo © Tomi Salakari)

 

 

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12 Finalist Artists Announced for Contorno Urbano Mural in Barcelona

12 Finalist Artists Announced for Contorno Urbano Mural in Barcelona

Almost 300 artists and collectives from around the world (42 countries) have entered the 2018 Contorno Urbano competition for this wall/residency/7000€ prize in Barcelona! It is astounding how many high caliber artists are at work today in cities everywhere, bringing innovative new techniques and unique perspectives to public space like never before.

After reviewing all applications and submitted materials during a process begun this summer, today we are excited to announce that this list has been narrowed to just 12 finalists. Next month their names will go to the final stage of selection in Barcelona with esteemed co-jurors from organizers and creators in the areas of art academia, mural art, public art, and Street Art to narrow the list to one.

The 12 premiere finalists for the Mural de la Salut in Sant Feliu de Llobregat (Barcelona, Spain) are:

Axel Void
Borondo
Colectivo Licuado
David de la Mano
Escif
Guido Van Helten
Hyuro
Innerfields
Millo
Otecki
Sabotaje al Montaje
San

Congratulations to each artist! It wasn’t an easy task for the pre-selection committee to decide the best from 300, but your work rose to the top 4% of the applications according to the selection criteria.

#MuralSalut: Finalistas – Finalists from Contorno Urbano on Vimeo.

Among the considerations for selection were academic studies, experience and history creating murals in public space, previous internships or residencies, and suitability of artwork style to the central purpose of this 400 square meter mural.

Each of the 12 finalists will be asked to submit a sketch and a written proposal.

The final stage of the selection will be on November 15th and 16th, with the following professionals travelling to Sant Feliu de Llobregat:

Monica Campana (Cofounder of Living Walls and project manager for the urban art exhibition Open Source),
Fernando Figueroa (PHD in History of Art and independent researcher specialized in graffiti and urban art),
Esteban Marin (President of Contorno Urbano and mural artist),
Jaime Rojo (co-founder of Brooklyn Street Art and curator), and
Veronica Werckmeister (painter and muralist, curator).

The mural will commemorate the neighborhood’s fight 30 years ago to have this public square created for the neighbors instead of building a gas station. After meeting with the Association La Salut and the neighbors who live in the area, members of the jury will review previous artworks and experience of the 12 finalists to help them to select the artist who is best suited for painting the mural.

The winner will receive an artistic residence beginning in Spring 2018 and will receive a 7000€ prize. The wall will be painted after an artistic residency in order for the artist to become acquainted with the historic context of the project and the city itself.

The project is a collaboration between the municipality (Ajuntament) of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Fundacion Contorno Urbano and Kaligrafics.

Kaligrafics: Founded in 1999, it’s the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to graffiti and street art in Cataluña, and a significant record of experience in Spain.

Contorno Urbano: The first Foundation in Spain to be fully dedicated to street art and graffiti. The team has over 10 years’ experience organizing murals and urban art dissemination locally and internationally.


Following in no particular order are the 12 finalists:

Guido Van Helten / United Kingdom

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Borondo / Spain

Borondo for Urban Nation this spring (UN) in the Tegel section of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Escif / Spain

Escif. Living Walls Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daniel “SAN” Muñoz / Spain

Daniel Muñoz. The curtain ( 983 followers). The Highlands, Scotland. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Axel Void / USA

Axel Void. Los Muros Hablan. El Barrio/Spanish Harlem. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hyuro / Spain

Hyuro. What In The World PM/12. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin, May 19, 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Colectivo Licuado / Uruguay

Colectivo Licuado. Lisbon, Portugal. (photo © courtesy of Colectivo Licuado)

Millo / Italy

Millo in Kiev for Mural Social Club Festival/NGO Sky Art Foundation. (photo © Maksim Belousov)

Innerfields / Germany

Innerfields for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

David De La Mano / Spain

David De La Mano. Urban Nation Musuem For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabotaje Al Montaje / Spain

Sabotaje Al Montaje. Los Alcazares. Murcia, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Otecki / Poland

Otecki. Urban Forms. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Courtesy Urban Forms)

 

 

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Guido Van Helten, Mr. Estes, and Changing “The Nations” in Nashville

Guido Van Helten, Mr. Estes, and Changing “The Nations” in Nashville

The great irony of painting a mural about the evils of gentrification is that you may indirectly aid gentrification in the process.

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

The up and coming, soon-to-be-hip Nashville neighborhood christened “The Nations” will undoubtedly presently have an ironically old-timey barbershop with Millenially bearded men wearing pocket watches and tattoos as trendy arts neighborhoods often do at the moment.

“You know I grew up on Pennsylvania Ave,” says local Vickie Gilliam Keeton on a Facebook post that addresses the new massive mural by Australian Street Artist Guido Van Helten. “But I’d never heard this area called ‘the nations’ till just in the past 10 years. It was always just West Nashville.” It may be a case of re-branding a former industrial zone for future development.

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

“It used to be Gilette grainery,” says the man who is the subject in the new soaring portrait, 91 year old Lee Estes, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1920s – a time when houses like his didn’t have indoor plumbing. In an interview with Amy Eskind of Nashville Public Radio he continued “And we had another, Purina grainery, that was demolished years ago, but they left this one as a historical part of the Nations.”

It is a stand out for sure, this old silo, raising into the sky above all the others nearby. With the dignified Mr. Estes representing the past history of the area in almost sepia tones, it is a reassuring reminder of the areas character and working class industrial roots. Three Corners Coffee on Centennial Boulevard may already indicate the changing character of the area that the new mural joins. Describing itself as “a homey coffee shop specializing in great brews, friendly baristas, and vintage charm,” it also sells vintage furnishings, baby onesies, and dish towels and provides a retro 1970s domestic warmth for visitors. Nevertheless it appeared to let down one customer writing on Yelp recently who could not give it five stars. “Deducted one star because they were out of brioche breakfast sandwiches at 9am on a Friday morning.”  From no indoor plumbing to no $5.95 brioche breakfast sandwiches is a bit of a jump.

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

This is all part of a mural project called Nashville Walls Project that has brought a number of Street Artists to the city to paint in the last couple of years, including Herakut, Louis Masai, Curiot, Niels “Shoe” Meulman, Rone, and Tavar “Above” Zawacki. Co-founded by Street Art gallerist and art collector Brian Greif, who produced the movie “Saving Banksy” in which he personally recovers an original Banksy from a wall in San Francisco, the Nashville Walls Project is adding a new excitement and character to the area that is approximately bounded by Charlotte Avenue, the Cumberland River, Richland Creek and the CSX railroad tracks.

We’ve contemplated it in our writings, debated it on panels around the world, listened to impassioned conversations about it in bars, this gentrifying cycle and the accusations lobbed at artists; this cycle of gentrification that the creative community unwittingly aids sometimes through its own industry. There appears to be a direct relationship between the positive aspects of reviving a moribund sector of a town or city with murals and the eventual rise in rents and costs of services that invariably push out the poor and working class.

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Not surprisingly, the artist who created this beacon of warmth and humanity has the same observations that he has gained from his travels.

“I find the relationship between murals and gentrification conflicting, and in this work there is this conflicting yet harmonious composite of the two sides of social change,” says Van Helton in an interview with the other co-founder of Nashville Walls Project, Éva Boros, published on NashvilleArts.com “There is juxtaposition between a mural that discusses and commemorates the blue-collar demographic while at the same time being a powerful part of the change in the area. This is a dialogue and talking point that I hope this mural can create.”

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

For the moment, this new looming portrait is a fine example of elevating a local citizen in his community and a focal point for neighborhood pride, and Mr. Estes has enjoyed a great amount of congratulations in person from folks who have known him for years. Mr. Van Helten has also received much praise and thanks from people in the area in postings on social media. The young kids painted on the mural around the corner are also local from the community center nearby, representing the future of the neighborhood that many are hopeful for.

Kelly Evans wrote in a Facebook posting to the artist a sentiment that combines the sentiments of many. “From the bottom of my native Nashvillian heart thank you so much for understanding. Before I even read the commentaries and articles, when I stood outside your unfinished work, I understood some of what you are trying to say. This so strongly moved me. Tears of love for our fathers that built this “big little city” poured. My prayer is that we are not priced out of our homes we so lovingly built and raised our families in.”

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Guido Van Helten for Nashville Walls Project. Nashville, TN. June 2017. (photo © Eric E Johnson)

Brian Siskind documented on Guido Van Helton painting for 17 days to complete the enormous figures. This is his record the final day. Mr. Siskind says he will be combining all the videos into one complete overview of the project shortly.

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Film Friday: 06.17.16

BSA Film Friday: 06.17.16

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Film-Friday-Guido-Van-Helton- Selina-miles- isceland-740-Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.56.53 AM copy

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

 

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

Now screening :

1. Portrait of an Artist Guido Van Helten
2. Who’s Your Daddy?
3. Shida Bombing – Hong Kong . Seoul . Tokyo
4. Moses & Taps™ EUROPA™ From The Grifters

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Portrait of an Artist Guido Van Helten

“First when you say ‘Can I do a Street Art piece?’, the answer is no,” says Guido van Helten, known, among other things, as an Australian Street Artist.

“I see it as some sort of a finale for me,” he says as he describes the years of experience as a preparation to paint this ship in only two days – a restriction placed on him by nature of the ship being an active courier during the week and he is only granted access to it during the weekend.

“I’m trying to create a sense of identity that relates to all of the people who live in a place,” he says while the camera shows him painting on a dock in near darkness. People always gravitate to capturing well known people but I’m not trying to capture that. It’s got to be a painting where people are relating in their own way. They make their own story up.”

Director Selina Miles does the capturing here in a town named Akureyri on the north coast of Iceland, and as usual she captures something more than what the eye sees.

 

Kolly Gallery / Who’s Your Daddy?

“In September 2015 the Kolly Gallery initiated a series of exhibitions, held in temporary locations, that are intended to bring attention to urban art movement. Temptingly entitled “Who’s Your Daddy?” each of these shows presents new works from a selection of cutting-edge international artists coming from a graffiti background. For its first edition in New York City, the gallery is pleased to exhibit the new paintings and sculptures of Crash, SupaKitch, Grotesk and Flying Förtress.”

 

Shida Bombing – Hong Kong . Seoul . Tokyo

Berlin-based Mik Shida is not your typical bomber, especially when using a very wide brush in a calligraphic manner to create figurative and patterned abstract works. Here you travel with him to dingy spots in a guerilla fashion with a sharply skipping glitch soundtrack and murky lighting, which rather adds to the atmospheric primitivism effect of his work as he skips through Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo.

 

 

Moses & Taps™ EUROPA™ From The Grifters

Opening tonight Kolly Gallery in Zurich, graffiti writers turning conceptual artists MOSES & TAPS™ re-work the typical nomenclature of illegal/legal while asserting their right to command the elements. If successful, they will have caused you to ask “who owns public space” and to question how many inroads into your consciousness you have allowed advertising, media and branding to go. Also, art.

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BSA Film Friday: 05.20.16

BSA Film Friday: 05.20.16

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

Now screening :

1. Christian Omodeo Talks About “Street Art – Banksy & Co.”
2. Guido Van Helten on Abandoned Silos in Australia
3. CTVà Street Fest 2016 Recap
4. How & Nosm’s Monumental Mural in Detroit by Dennis Porto
5. Shepard Fairey being Quick on his Feet

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: Christian Omodeo Talks About “Street Art – Banksy & Co.”

It’s impossible to enter a chatroom or a bar frequented by graffiti/Street Art types today without some mention of this exhibition in Italy. The topic centers around an unresolved, largely heretofore undiscussed question of any removal of illegally placed art from property for any purposes except to destroy it. Here one of the curators of the exhibit, Christian Omodeo takes you on a tour of the complete exhibit discussing tags, photography, collectors habits, the relevance of an object as a conveyor of culture. Finally the interviewer, Good Guy Boris, broaches the subject of works taken from the urban wild. The topic is tackled head-on with Omodeo very clearly laying out a case for …

Guido Van Helten on Abandoned Silos in Australia

A beautifully shot feel-good story of a small town farming community decimated by corporate industrial farming in Brim in the Wimmera region of Victoria, Australia. It is a familiar story about the disappearing family farm and our control of the food supply that has happened across much of the so-called First World but most people still haven’t connected the dots. Here artist Guido Van Helten focuses on the local story, the left-behind individuals affected directly by economic downturn and loss of community – and paints them heroically across an architectural archetype that rises triumphantly above the land, a row of grain silos. Juddy Roller produces, Round 3 Creative directs.

CTVà Street Fest 2016 Recap

Highlights of the CVTA Festival – Street Fest in Civitacampomarano in Campobasso (Italy). A small town of 400 celebrated for 4 days in April with Biancoshock (Italy) , David de la Mano (Uruguay) , Pablo S. Herrero (Spain) , Icks (Italy) , Hitnes (Italy), and ONE (Italy).

 

How & Nosm’s Monumental Mural in Detroit by Dennis Porto

A huge new piece by How & Nosm captured here helps you appreciated the talents and the scope. More on this project soon here.

 

Shepard Fairey being Quick on his Feet

Quick! A word choice game that keeps you apprised of your local Street Artist’s preferences. Video by Konbini

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Fun Friday 12.07.12

Happy Friday! Wipe that stain off your shirt from last nights office holiday party and brush your teeth and get to work so you can be a zombie all day. For our part –  it’s time for a little Street Art roundup of some things that you might like.

1. Miami in The House All Weekend
2. “Deck the Walls” at Stolen Space (London)
3. “Rinse & Repeat” Group Show at Ambush (Sydney, Australia)
4. Skewville in France, Quel Surprise! (Lille, France)
5. Jaye Moon at Paik Hae Young (Seoul)
6. “Sowing The Seeds of Love” – Just Seeds Group Show Friday (Manhattan)
7. Icy & Sot at Nu Hotel (Brooklyn)
8. Zombie Nation – Ezra Eismont
9. Herakut The Giant Story Book Project (VIDEO)
10. SWOON’s Konbit Shelter – Art in the Streets – MOCAtv (VIDEO)

Miami in The House All Weekend

This weekend the fun is for Street Art in Miami and check out some of our recommendations (Best Miami Street Art: BSA Picks Awesomest for Basel ’12) for hoofing it around that we posted Wednesday. Tonight of course there are a number of grand opening parties/after parties (including Fountain), but really just being on the street is equally fun if not funner! Thanks for that adverb from 7 year old Darnell Wilsen of Brooklyn.

Dcypher, CBS and Supher wall. Wynwood Arts Disctrict 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Entes, Pesimo and Jade wall. Detail. Wynwood Arts District 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For a full listing of Art Fairs, Events and Street Murals click here and here.

But not all the fun is in Miami here are a few picks of what’s happening elsewhere in the world:

“Deck the Walls” at Stolen Space (London)

Greeting cards are a nice way to say Merry Christmas to Grandma, and for suburban white middle class families to distribute photos proving that their kids are not on drugs. This is Stolen Space Christmas Show celebrates greetings cards and holiday cheer with D*Face, Word to Mother, Will Barras and David Bray among others putting their own imprimatur on Christmas. Come on, Uncle Bert and Aunt Dolittle will be there, so comb your hair, put some shoes on and get out of the house!

D*Face on the Streets of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Rinse & Repeat” Group Show at Ambush (Sydney, Australia)

With a collection of Australian Graffiti and Street Art Artists, “Rinse & Repeat” finds its inspiration by taking a look at the Old Masters and re-interpreting them with their own styles and techniques. An interesting proposition albeit fraught with risks – there are a few good ones here though that will delight your academic/street sensibilities. Included in the line up are: Adnate (AWOL Crew), Bridge Stehli, Cam Wall, Carl Steffan, Deams (AWOL Crew), Fintan Magee, Guido van Helten, Phibs, Shannon Crees,  Slicer (AWOL Crew) , Team and Teazer.

For further information regarding this exhibition click here.

Skewville in France, Quel Surprise! (Lille, France)

Hope they realize what they have gotten themselves into, but Vertikal Gallery is hosting Brooklyn Street Art collective Skewville for a solo show entitled “Be Inside”. Considering we have had one or two Lillians in Brooklyn putting work up on the streets over the last few years, this sounds like a cultural exchange program of some kind, right?

Skewville being territorial in Bushwick. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this exhibition click here.

Jaye Moon at Paik Hae Young (Seoul)

New York Street Artist Jaye Moon is in Seoul, Korea on an Art Residency Invitation and tonight his her solo exhibition with her “Lego Tree House” opening tonight at the Paik Hae Young Gallery.

Jaye Moon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this exhibition click here.

“Sowing The Seeds of Love” – Just Seeds Group Show Friday (Manhattan)

The Art Collective Just Seeds new group exhibition titled “Sowing The Seeds of Love” opens tonight at the Munch Gallery in Manhattan. The artists in Just Seeds aim to put forth their world views on a variety of issues – looking to inform and bolster you through the power of art. Participating in this show are: Jesus Barraza, Kevin Caplicki, Melanie Cervantes, Santiago Doesntsitstill, Alec Dunn, Molly J Fair, Thea Gahr, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, Fernando Marti, Colin Matthes, Dylan Miner, Roger Peet, Jesse Purcell, Pete Railand, Favianna Rodriguez, Shaun Slifer, Chris Stain, Meredith Stern, Mary Tremonte and Bec Young.

Chris Stain and Billy Mode in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this exhibition click here.

Icy & Sot at Nu Hotel (Brooklyn)

Iranian expats and brothers Icy & Sot invite you to celebrate with them their first foray in the hospitality business. The brothers designed a room at the Nu Hotel in Brooklyn and you are invited to come over tonight for some refreshments.

Icy & Sot in Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this event click here.

Zombie Nation – Ezra Eismont

Artist Ezra Eismont has a Kickstarter fundraiser to help publish his Zombie Nation book, which features his zombified portraits of icons and celebrities. Seems like a heartwarming holiday thing to do, doesn’t it? Please support your local artists and small family businesses.

 

Herakut The Giant Story Book Project (VIDEO)

 

SWOON’s Konbit Shelter – Art in the Streets – MOCAtv (VIDEO)

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Ambush Gallery Present; “Rinse & Repeat” A Group Exhibition. (Sydney, Australia)

Rinse & Repeat

For centuries, art has marched alongside history, and history alongside art. Each movement, from the painstakingly detailed oils of the Renaissance to the tongue-in-cheek boldness of 1960s Pop Art, has marked and been marked by the great heights and most regrettable lows of its cultural and temporal context.
Having bubbled below the surface, in tunnels, on train lines and under the ominous cloak of midnight hours, the persistent and controversial street art and graffiti subculture has burst into the foreground of popular attention and established itself, however unexpectedly, as the defining art movement of our time.
Characterised by conflict, enigma and the burgeoning curiosity of growing audiences, it is undeniable that this movement belongs in the same echelon as other controversial, yet ultimately significant and culturally reflective art movements of centuries past.
Rinse and Repeat seeks to articulate this sentiment by showcasing the work of twelve Australian established and emerging street and graffiti artists as they find inspiration in history’s master works and reinterpret them from the perspective of today’s most prevalent and exciting art form.
Comprising the work of Adnate (AWOL Crew), Bridge Stehli, Cam Wall, Carl Steffan, Deams (AWOL Crew), Fintan Magee, Guido van Helten, Phibs, Shannon Crees,  Slicer (AWOL Crew) , Team and Teazer, Rinse and Repeat articulates the evolution of a movement that, in its irrepressibility, has rendered it the defining art form of contemporary culture.
Proudly supported by aMBUSH, ABSOLUT, The Apple Thief, Doss Blockos and premium paint brand Molotow, Rinse and Repeat launches at aMBUSH Gallery on Thursday 6 December from 6-10pm. The exhibition continues until Sunday 9 December 12-14pm.
What: Rinse & Repeat
Where: aMBUSH Gallery, 4a James Street, Waterloo (Sydney)
When: Thursday 6 December
Time: 6pm-10pm
Cost: Free Public Event
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