All posts tagged: Gustav Klimt

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.26.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.26.16



Berliners called it the “großes Ohr”. The Big Ear.

Run by the American NSA and the British in their sector, this “listening station” stands atop a man made mountain of rubble, at the bottom of which is said to lie the unfinished Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer. These structures with round orbs could be seen above the city from many angles rising from deep in the Grunewald Forest and yes, we can confirm that the one complete geodesic orb at the very top has such astounding acoustics even now that the sound of a camera clicking or clearing your throat or stepping on a piece of broken glass is instantly amplified anywhere within it, then re-echoed multiple times.

Our top image: Plotbot at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Plotbot at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“In its day,” says security expert and former employee Bill Scannell in a video online, “Teufelsberg (‘Devil’s Mountain’) was one of the most secretive intelligence facilities in the entire world.” Now it is a relic of the NSA behind three rows of barbed wire fences and a sort of freewill painting destination but the hulking grey and ivy clad compoung is a strong reminder of the extensive spy apparatus that the general public continues to get glimpses of in leaks and reports today.

Today this is a graffiti haven and hippie/punk love-in where people go to experiment with cans and rollers and brushes, drink beer, listen to scratchy voiced acoustic versions of Amy Winehouse, and pad around barefoot wearing nothing but a towel. The “guard” at the entrance, also shirtless and barefoot with a somewhat serious gaze requires from you a toll of 7 euro per head to get in, then smiles benignly as continue your trudging up the hill.


Strok at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On the sunny hot sticky day that our guide took us, we saw enough good international and local artwork to offset the mediocre, boxes of old electronic doodads laying around on the ground and sticking out of boxes, blackbirds singing in trees, and strips of open asbestos fluttering in the breeze. Art themes ranged from standard graffiti name-making to the apocalyptic, the darkly sarcastic, pop culture parody, and a frequent critique of the surveillance stories we find in the news today.

It’s almost breathtaking with the Berlin views of the valley below – including another man-made mountain nearby that is often used for kite-flying, the Olympic Stadium from 1936, and the The Fernsehturm television tower close to Alexanderplatz in the central neighborhood of Mitte;  this devilish mountain definitely had us entranced. Then we hiked back down the mountain through the deep wood and fields looking for air conditioning and cold beer.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alaniz, Biko, Crisp, Deuce7, Fanakapan, JBAK, Jule, Icy & Sot, Jule, Low Bros, Moe79, Mundano, Nasca, Never, Plotbot, Self Made Crew, Strøk, Tony Bones, and Wing.


Alaniz at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alaniz at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alaniz at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alaniz at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alaniz at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mundano built a three step platform for you to climb and look directly into the eyes of his figure, who pleads with us to “Damn the Dam on the Tapajos River” at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JBAK at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOE79 did this stencil of Edward Snowden at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOE79 at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A tongue-in-cheek public service message from MOE79 at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nasca at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Self Made Crew reinterprets Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” eating a Döner kebab at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Self Made Crew reinterprets Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” eating a Döner kebab at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Self Made Crew paints a big ear at “The Big Ear” (großes Ohr), abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NEVER is always getting the short end of the stick at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BIKO & MACK at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Low Bros at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hulk Hogan victory lap at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Something awfully Jeremy Fishy about this Jule piece at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Some old stuff Tony Bones and Deuce7 that we’ll guess is 8 years old at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fanakapan at the abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Crisp . Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Girl Power (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Abandoned NSA spy compound in Teufelsberg Hill in Berlin. Berlin, 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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Fun Friday 08.24.12

DUUUUUUUDE, it’s Fun Friday! We changed the sign today. Looks fresh right?

1. ICY & SOT “Made in Iran” (NYC)
2. Barry McGee at Berkeley (CA)
3. BORF Solo in Newcastle (UK)
4. “Klimpt Illustrated” at Lazarides (London)
5. Lush Does “Shitty Drawings in New York City”
6. Shepard Fairey Does “Americana” (LA)
7. Dabs & Myla: Artists Driven (VIDEO)
8. CYRCLE “Beautiful Disaster” (VIDEO)
9. ALL STYLES Dance Battle at Postmasters Gallery in NYC (VIDEO)

ICY & SOT “Made in Iran” (NYC)

Two Street Art brothers, Icy & Sot, born in Iran and encouraged by their parents to pursue their dreams and aspirations have ventured outside their country and landed in New York, their first foreign trip, their first international city, their first art show in which they were able to attend. “Made in Iran” is now open to the everybody at the Open House Gallery in Manhattan.

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Barry McGee at Berkeley (CA)

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) mid-career survey of San Francisco based artist Barry McGee.  From the press release: “Using a visual vocabulary that borrows elements from comics, hobo art, sign painting, and other sources, McGee’s work addresses a range of issues, from individual survival and social malaise to alternative forms of community”. This exhibition is now open to the general public.

Junior, what up with the car? Barry McGee in Miami for Primary Flight 2009 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this exhibition click here.

BORF Solo in Newcastle (UK)

Detroit native BORF has traveled to England for his solo show “Walls Are Two-Sided” at The Outsiders Newcastle. With this new body of work, Borf illustrates the derelict aspect of Detroit and elevates the decay to art by zeroing in on a detail of the building’s peeling and corroding facade and transporting that vision on to the canvas. The result in the words of the press release is: “Rothko talked about wrestling with opposing and competing elements to eventually discover an equilibrium, what he called a pocket of silence” says BORF. “For this show I was fighting through layers of ambivalence and opposites: graffiti as youth expression and Rothko as adult expression; the art market and property rights; education and improvisation, youth and adulthood.” This show is now open.

Borf on the streets of Brooklyn C. 2007 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Klimpt Illustrated” at Lazarides (London)

Gustav Klimt the famous Austrian painter is turning 150 years old and The Vienna Tourist Board has teamed with The Lazarides Gallery in London to give Klimt street creed in the hopes that younger audiences will start following him on Twitter to gain knowledge on the secrets of his longevity and hopefully on his craft as well. To this effect curator Sydney Ogidan tapped nine international artists to take inspiration from some of the master’s most iconic masterpieces and create their own paintings. The opening reception for this show “Klimt Illustrated” is tonight at Lazarides Gallery in SOHO.

For further information regarding this show click here.

Lush Does “Shitty Drawings in New York City”

We thought we noticed a change in the air when the Australian storm called LUSH landed on these shores. Well here he is, likely to offend a few uptight prone-to-nose-bleeds stiffs and even more likely to amuse a lot more of us loose New Yorkers. LUSH has been madly working on a series of drawings/illustrations for his show “Shitty Drawings In New York City” opening Saturday night at the Klughaus Gallery in Manhattan. Half political cartoons/ half comic book with a blunt appreciation of the mechanics of the male and female reproductive organs, LUSH’s commentary on social, political and popular culture can be right on the spot. Dimwits need not apply.

LUSH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Shepard Fairey Does “Americana” (LA)

Shepard Fairey needs no introductions at this point in his career or this point in our dang blog. One can always be certain to find him busy at work and getting involved in as many projects as he can humanly fit in his schedule. Mr. Fairey is constantly looking for inspiration and finding it often in popular culture that is around and accessible to all of us. For his new show “Americana” opening tomorrow at the Perry Rubestein Gallery in Los Angeles the artist has created a new body of work inspired by the songs of the great artist-musician Neil Young.  Shepard has found material for his canvases in the songs of Mr. Young new album “Crazy Horse”.

Shepard Fairey in Miami for Wynwood Walls 2009. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Dabs & Myla: Artists Driven (VIDEO)

CYRCLE “Beautiful Disaster” (VIDEO)

ALL STYLES Dance Battle at Postmasters Gallery in NYC (VIDEO)

You gotta give it up peoples! These are some of the best kids doing their thing right now. BSA Love to all of y’all.

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Street Artist XAM : Architecture for the City Bird

Architect to the urban aviary set, Street Artist XAM is one rare bird. Averaging one per week over the last year, the California born former graffiti writer has designed, constructed and installed homes and feeders for New York City birds on street signs above your head.

While studying architecture and object design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he followed an open interdisciplinary structure that allowed him to develop his vision, and made him prove the soundness of his work. “I had very intense conceptual-based architectural studio courses in school that didn’t allow time to slack off, to say the least.”

He points to his years as a student as pivotal in his development as a thinker and artist today. That’s probably why his design, materials, and technical discipline can stand up to academic rigor, but it won’t completely explain why these bird “dwelling units” have a satellite dish for television reception, a solar panel on the roof powering a night light, nor the certain minimalist elegance overlaying it all. Clearly XAM is a Street Artist for more than just the bird watchers and one worth keeping your eye on.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With military influenced abbreviation and terminology and a three decimal point precise measurement for components, XAM creates his installations with specific intentions for their use. That said, despite a rigid “rule set” the work has a lot of humor, and even social commentary. There are the Dwelling Units; intended for all the comforts of a modern fine-feathered home, the Feeding Units; a sort of fast food option in your busy bird day, and the brand new Non-Dwelling units; a conceptual project that disallows entry into a “Foreclosed” unit – inspired by our bank-induced housing crises.

For ease of conversation, there is a real need to categorize stuff that happens in the public sphere – and we default to the term “Street Art” or “Art in the Streets” most of the time. But sometimes we find a new category and we lack a sufficient way to describe it. XAM is part architect, engineer, designer, environmentalist, social activist, urban ornithologist, Street Artist, graff writer, and humorist. His output is all within the self-induced confines of a rational process that is defined and re-defined based on results, and whim. The installations actually feed birds and provide shelter to them. They are not commissioned, not permissioned, and not vandalism. They are labor intensive thoughtful one-offs ⎯ a handmade functional sculpture that takes XAM eight to ten hours to complete, and yet you can easily lift it off a sign and take it home.

A very green dwelling unit by Street Artist XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As frequently occurs on the graffiti and Street Art scene, the artist has adopted his nom de guerre, an alternate persona that he inhabits and views the world through when working. It could be an idealized version of himself, or a refracted image of his id. As you might surmise, often the fictional is autobiographical. In this case, XAM says his character is a purple robot.

From his tiny shared Brooklyn apartment, XAM showed us his complete process in detail – converting surfaces and home-made ventilation structures into an economical production facility before our eyes. In the following extensive interview with BSA, XAM’s very first, the artist explains his process, intention, inspiration, and what educational television programming he envisions for the city birds who stop by.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the steps or phases that are necessary to build one dwelling unit?
With my original dwelling units (CSD series) I did a ton of research on common birds that make use of birdhouses. I read through books, blogs and articles to make sure I fulfilled all requirements in making a proper birdhouse. I then added what I obtained from my contemporary design education to make the units as efficient and self sustainable as possible.

The more I built, the more I took notice of birds in the urban environment and how they were much more adaptable than the research I had been provided by “backyard” birders. I could not find information regarding building birdhouses for use in a city so I learned by observation. From there I started my Sculptural series, which allowed me to create a form that uses less material, identifies the units as more of a contemporary object and removes itself further from the archetype of a bird house.

My steps include;

  1. Coming up with a design by drawing in Illustrator or on scraps of paper,
  2. Designing my cutsheets in Illustrator,
  3. Sending my file off to get cut by my laser cutter,
  4. Painting my designs and masking for each color,
  5. Clear coating,
  6. Soldering the wiring,
  7. Assembly,
  8. Clear coating again,
  9. Hanging my work on a sign near you.

XAM rests on a sign by Street Artist Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How does a dwelling unit vary from a feeding unit?
My dwelling units, unlike my feeding units incorporate passive ventilation, solar panels, LED porch lights (to attract insects), green roofs (for insulation), a food storage area that I fill before hanging and a dwelling space. My feeding units are gravity fed and the feeding trough is refilled from a large food storage cavity.

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve been a graff writer, street artist, and architect. Somehow this project ties it all together.
For sure. The form of my original unit was inspired by the letter “I”. The façade is similar to the results you would get from framing sections of a graffiti piece. The exterior also brings me back to when I used to create stencils and the overall form plays with volumes and functions the same way architecture does.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How do you think your training as an architect impacted your process?
It has made me a very harsh critic of my own work. I continue to reexamine everything I produce to make sure every detail has intention and serves a purpose. I also find myself trying to make my process more efficient by sourcing cheaper and locally found materials, improving storage (I just designed my own modular storage units), cutting costs, and attempting to lower my carbon footprint.

Brooklyn Street Art: You talk about doing your work and your projects with a sense of “intention”. Can you describe that?
My units are intended to share my education, interests and to create curiosity. In my eyes, progress comes from education and being curious… I am also aware of street art being ephemeral and so I create my work so that it can easily be removed if seen as a blight to the surrounding community.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: With an almost regimented methodical approach to planning, constructing, and installing, do you ever find that the rule set under which you operate needs to evolve?
I do see my process as always evolving. By reexamining my creations, I understand more about my results, but interestingly, I have never done the same thing twice. I am always pushing forward and working on the understanding of all my interests regarding my project.

Brooklyn Street Art: From a stylistic perspective, one can see influences of Modernism and Bauhaus in your work. Where and who do you draw your inspiration from?
Modernism and Bauhaus are two major design/art movements that I do deeply admire. I like the idea of using new materials and technologies to expand the definition of art and design. In a way my units are similar to the Case Study Houses of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.Through research, I try to make the most efficient birdhouses and feeders possible that can be reproduced on a large scale, but retain individuality. I am inspired by artist/designers that push boundaries like Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Victor Horta, Gustav Klimt, Santiago Calatrava, Charles & Ray Eammes, Daniel Libeskind, Eero Saarinen, William McDonough, Mies van der Rohe and so on. At the same time I am also very interested and inspired by biomimicry, movement through space, and removing oneself from the “mundane”.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Are you encouraging birds to become slovenly dropouts from society by installing Dish network on the dwelling units? Might this contribute to a larger percentage of overweight birds who cannot touch their claws?
In all honestly I hope the Dish network only encourages the birds to tune into educational programs like Design e², Art 21 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The TV package accounts for a large portion of my per unit cost, and I do hope that it is used in productive manner.

Brooklyn Street Art: The patterning on the sides of the units is evocative of camouflage. Were you intending to help the units blend into the environment?
The interesting thing is, I did not mean for this to happen, but when I look at my intention and manner of execution I realize that the result is camouflage. I simply wanted to play with the juxtaposition between variants of value and size of shapes to create the illusion of foreground and background.  I later realized that I was recreating Razzel Dazzel – a camouflage effect used on British naval ships during WWI and also a short lived art movement.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: When you talk about XAM, he is a third person – a robot with a specific personality and set of behaviors or attitudinal characteristics.
I found it interesting that in graffiti, street art and logo design, an identity is associated to your name. The companies, street art and graffiti that I found myself remembering and interested in have a strong identity that remains consistent… I spell XAM in all sans serif caps because I like the strong architectural structures that the letters create. XAM is a larger than life rogue-bot with a destructive interest in contemporary architecture. He destroys the architecture that he loves so much to investigate its functions, but he can’t help it due to the way he was programmed. Remorse is deeply felt by him, so to give back he creates contemporary birdhouses for communities around the world. As a kid I use to love to destroy electronics to understand their functions. In a way XAM is The Hulk and I’m Dr. Bruce Banner.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you have any other personalities, or is it pretty much you and XAM?
XAM is my only personality, but as I progress in creating work around XAM, I realize he has more interests needing to be expressed, therefore expect to see a lot of new work as time progresses.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Your method of installation; using a custom designed utilitarian “Swiss Amy knife” all-in-one tool, leaves the unit resting upon a sign. Why not make the installation more permanent?
I like the community to decide the longevity of my work. I guess I like playing with ‘Grey Areas’. Are we supposed to accept and/or appreciate the units because they are in a way trying to reverse our destructive effects on nature? Or should we remove them because they are illegally placed? I like to provoke thought and challenge our belief system as well as expand definitions.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: You include a small QR code on the bottom of each unit. Where does that take someone if they scan it?
The QR code is located on the unexposed back of each unit and is intended to be discovered by the person who decides to remove my units. When scanned you are taken to a list of facts that explains how we benefit from birds in the urban environment. You’re asked a question of morality, then you are given my email address to bring up any comments or concerns.

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes the placement on a sign blocks the letters of the sign. Does that endanger anyone?
Many signs are printed on both sides. What appears to be the cover up of an important message is just a waste of paint due to the direction of traffic never facing the back of the signs. A piece that I put up last March in NY is still hanging on a one way sign and I believe it is for this reason. I am making use of a common useless space.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How long does a typical unit remain on the street where you place it? Have you ever seen one being taken?
It all depends on where it has been placed. When hanging in Willamsburg, Brooklyn the units last about as long as a scoop of ice cream in the Sahara Desert. When mounted in industrial parts of LA, I see units remaining up from multiple visits prior. It all depends on location. I tend to avoid Willamsburg these days due to the lack of longevity.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about how sustainability enters into the planning of each unit?
I make sure that my units have no unnecessary functional attributes.  I use a structural material that is the byproduct of another process.  I take advantage of resources that are renewable (the sun, gravity, plant life, and weather). Environmental ethics are deeply seeded into all my work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you considered creating your custom materials?
I am very interested in getting involved in as many aspects of the project as possible. I would love to eventually make my own paint, structural materials, solar panels, energy storage units and bounding agents. As time progresses, I know I will only get deeper into my process and have my hand involved in more aspects.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: The spraying process alone is so impressive with the pragmatic selection of materials and venting, and economical use of space…
Originally I had a studio near my apartment. (After that) I was painting my units on the streets in cardboard boxes. I tried to find a place to rent a spray booth by the hour, but eventually I drew up plans and made my own. I now paint in my house using a retrofitted storage bin that has a bathroom fan for ventilation, a heater filter to catch paint and other partials – plus a dryer tube to guide the exhaust out my window.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Initially the color palette was purple, lavender? Why? Why did it change?
The exterior of all the units is actually composed of fragments of XAM. I scale and crop sections of XAM’s body to create compositions on the façade, then I paint them in multiple values. Originally I used a monochromatic color scheme of purples because XAM is purple and his body is what wraps the surface. Slowly I phased out that rule by using at least one purple. Now it no longer matters to me because I have always been interested in the use of color.

Brooklyn Street Art: If Dish TV approached you to do a collaborative project, would you dress as a purple robot for the commercial?
I wouldn’t want to sellout by being XAM in a Dish TV commercial. I would rather be an extra in the background dressed up as Sweetums, the big scary, hairy monster from the Muppets who is nothing more than a gentle giant. Wait, that sounds kind of like XAM…

The original prototype for the Dwelling Unit. XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Not only do you utilize nearly the entirety of a sheet of tempered hardwood, you use your relatively small living space as your workspace also.  Would you prefer a separate studio, or do you like to challenge yourself to maximize resources?
I always make sure I minimize my waste and make all parts of my process as efficient as possible. I have been offered a free studio that is probably 10+ times the size of my entire apartment, but I don’t feel I need that much space. I like the intimacy and the efficiency I experience by having to work in a small space. My work is modular and packs flat so it is all about using space and material efficiently. I feel working in a small space reinforces my design philosophy.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about your new collection of foreclosed units and the intersection with social or political advocacy?
I feel my work has always had a social and political voice, but one that may not have been realized on a large scale, perhaps understood more by contemporary designers. With the introduction of my NON-DWELLING series I feel I have created a voice that hits home and that a larger audience can understand. By creating what I view as the same spectrum, I hope to open up an opportunity to understand my CSD work. In a way, I am giving a thought provoking solution or option (CSD series) to a problem we face (NON-DWELLING series).

Brooklyn Street Art: You have a vision of how the “Foreclosed” units will change over time, right? It kind of makes me think of squatters and homeless people taking over abandoned real estate.
With my NON-DWELLING units I have glued the structure with waterproof wood glue and the mounted signage with water resistant wood glue. I look at America as a country that is constantly reinventing itself over time. With time we will discover a solution to our housing crisis and with time (and weather) the “Price Reduced”, “Foreclosure” and “Bank Owned” signs will fall from the units and allow birds to live in the once vacant houses… To be honest, I would love it if homeless birds were to expedite the process and remove the signs themselves.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you see your work going forward containing more message-driven content?
I feel like my work has a message behind it, but I am beginning to realize that it may not be so obvious or people don’t care enough to realize it. I will continue to figure out ways to deliver the same message with different work.

Brooklyn Street Art: What motivates you to do this project?  In the last 12 months you must have spent 1,000 hours of your life doing this.
In my eyes the design process only ends when you decide to step away from it or deadlines require you to do so. There is always room for more research, investigation and understanding. My project has no final deadline to meet and endless amount of opportunities to reinvestigate, therefore I continue to work at it. I am an artist/designer that is very interest in the process.  Once the work is done and examined, I move on to the next area of investigation. On top of that I love to explore. Crossing my design interests with street art fulfills all my needs.

XAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This article was also published on The Huffington Post,


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Miss Bugs Top Feature on Huffpost ARTS Today

The “Parlour” Show Produces Some of the Most Riveting Scenes of the Summer

If you missed the BSA inteview of UK Street Art duo Miss Bugs a little while ago, you can read the interview and vote on your favorite shot on the slideshow on the Huffington Post Arts page. Special thanks to Miss Bugs, Rae & Hope at Brookynite Gallery, and Kimberly Brooks.


Leave a comment or vote on your favorite Miss Bugs slides from this remarkable installation here.

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Miss Bugs in Brooklyn: Girls, Sex and a Car Crash in the Forest

A horrendously stunning car crash, windshield smashed in by a wooden stump, a shard of white light cutting sharply through a smoke cloud which rises to eerily announce the arrival of UK Street Artists Miss Bugs in Brooklyn.  In “Parlour”, their first solo on view right now in Bed Stuy, the backyard diorama is a plastered paper perimeter of gnarled and murky indigo off road forest, a haunting backdrop to the cut-out distorted and riveting forms who break the 4th wall toward you with intent.


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The curvaceous ladies are cousins of the street pieces Miss Bugs places with great care publicly, cut outs that fade into their surrounding and pop out from it, undulating and teasing and riveting, a perfectly charged counterweight of sex to the violent metal and glass carnage before you. Throughout the inside gallery and backyard installation, Miss Bugs plays with a scale slightly larger than life, giving imperious and distantly cool figures a personal, almost intimidating immediateness.

brooklyn-street-art-miss-bugs-jaime-rojo-brooklynite-gallery-07-11-web-1The front room of “Parlour” at Brooklynite Gallery with Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The distortion of the forms and come hither stand-offishness is softened and sweetened by saturated pop colors and cleverly patterned replications of art you have seen somewhere else. Always willing to take appropriation to new heights, Miss Bugs gladly incorporates signature elements of other artists works into their distorted and sensuous forms, weaving them into the hair, tattooing them across the skin, wrapping their ladies with a body conscious knitted brocade.


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking with the royal “we”, the very anonymous Miss Bugs talked with Brooklyn Street Art about “Parlour”:

Brooklyn Street Art: What was the genesis for “Parlour” in general and this outdoor installation in particular?
Miss Bugs:
We wanted it to be a place that unsettles you… The concept of the ‘Parlour’ exploits the idea that the art establishment plays on people’s desires, whether for money, beauty, sex or ownership. We’ve always looked at these themes within our work, so here we continue to question them. However, this time, we wanted to extend the ideas beyond the work and have the pieces viewed in their own theatrical space making us see the works’ symbolism in a different, darker light. We place our own fictional characters in the middle of the space. ‘The Madam’ is here with her open eyes; to convey ourselves as part of this sometimes strange and seedy world.

The outside installation grew from the concept that the parlour is being protected by a few souls and that this can be a twisted place, full of contradiction… We suppose it’s a nightmare or maybe just a bad dream! Comparisons can be made throughout the show between our ‘Parlour’ and the real world of the art establishment. Just depends how deep you want to scratch!


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How was it to install your work in Brooklyn this time around?
Miss Bugs
: It’s great to show in New York especially Brooklyn, we love it… Just to spend time walking around soaking it all up is brilliant. Since we were kids we saw and heard Brooklyn in music, film and art, so it feels great when we’re here and it always makes us feel at home!


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: The imagery gives off sex, cars, alcohol… what are some of the messages you are working with?
Miss Bugs: All these elements we try and show in a warped way; For example, placing glamorous but distorted nudes next to a burnt-out car, which hopefully makes us question our desires and see them differently! When we got the car into the gallery and we realised just how horrific a smashed up car is, it had a sadness about it which we hope we were sensitive to with our cut out figures. The installation of the woodland clearing we wanted to be experienced at night to create a haunting and again unsettled atmosphere, but the smoke machine could have done this job by itself …


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: You borrow from different artists and other cultural art forms (including Shakespeare in one instance) and incorporate many of those images into your work. How do you go about selecting the images? Are they your favorite artists or is it purely aesthetic?
Miss Bugs:
The list of artists that we ‘stole’ from and remixed for this show is massive…Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vera Lehndorff, Gustav Klimt, Picasso, Mc Escher, Man Ray, David Lynch, Mel Ramous, Takashi Murakami, Leonardo De Vinci, Banksy, Warhol, Stanley Kubrick

We’ll stop now but the list goes on!  You have to look harder for some of them and others can be staring you in the face but sometimes still go unnoticed as they’re seen out of context. Playing with ideas of how we view artwork and how much of its reasoning we understand.

We look at links between the artists and their working methods throughout history. Artists that would not normally be considered to sit alongside each other are then remixed together showing just how the working style of (for example) Keith Haring can gel together with Picasso, and how artists from very different periods in time and culture are using very similar approaches, often where you wouldn’t expect to see it.

Here we’ve selected elements of artists whose work goes someway in helping us tell our own story within ‘Parlour’… Suppose we’re like some sort twisted museum curator cramming the world’s greatest artists together into a small room for an orgy, then throwing some classical writers and iconic film directors in for good measure!


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Panoramic view of the outdoor installation (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Bugs “Parlour” is currently on view at Brooklynite Gallery. Click below for more information.

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CircleCulture Gallery Presents: “New Art-Formely Known As: New Art” Group Show (Berlin, Germany)

CircleCulture Gallery

Urban artists paying homage to innovators from the history of art

Opening: January 20, 7 – 9 PM

In this exhibition, artists from all over the world take reference to some ground breaking artists of the past. An homage to the spirit of innovation, non-conformity and alternative thinking of the older days.

Judith Supine / Christian Awe / Jonathan Yeo / Helle Mardahl / XOOOOX / Kevin Earl Taylor / Anton Unai / Jaybo Monk / Adriana Ciudad / Stefan Strumbel / Marco “Pho” Grassi
Gustav Klimt, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Pierre Soulages, Henri Matisse, Théodore Géricault, James Ensor

Art looks back on a history that is as multi-faceted and fascinating as our own time. Among the illustrators, designers, sculptors, painters, calligraphers, fashion designers and architects of the past centuries, new avant-gardes have constantly emerged, establishing themselves to be replaced soon enough by the next generation craving innovation.
A process of creation that naturally builds upon preceding aesthetics, concepts and techniques that deconstructs them in order to create a contemporary art-remix. Many artists eschew this conscious connection to history. Freely and radically, they create new approaches: the new art.

Exhibition:           January 21 to March 05 2011
Opening hours:    Tue – Sat 12 – 6 PM

For more information please see the press release and online:

Circleculture Gallery
Gipsstrasse 11
10119 Berlin Mitte

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Where’s your REVS? Sculpture is HOT!


You would think that the current doldrums with bear markets worldwide, discussions of entire countries in imminent bankruptcy, the banker-induced housing crisis here and unemployment rolls hitting record heights, the appetite for buying art might have dried up. Um, nope.

Apparently for art collectors with big pockets, a keen eye, and good intuition there’s no such a thing as a recession. Art continues to be made, bought and sold regardless of the economic environment, if the recent record sale of Alberto Giacometti’s “Walking Man I” for a whopping $104.3 was any indication. It was the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction.

The 1961 “L’Homme Qui Marche I,” a life-size sculpture of walking human figure is 72 inches (183 centimeters) tall. According to Sotheby’s auction house, it “represents the pinnacle of Giacometti’s experimentation with the human form” and is “both a humble image of an ordinary man, and a potent symbol of humanity,”

Good news for REVS! Sculpture is hot! (photo ©Jaime Rojo)
The recent record-breaking news has got to be good for REVS! Sculpture is hot! (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Here’s a chart of the ten most expensive pieces of art ever sold throughout booming economies, bull markets and financial crisis regardless.


Image Courtesy of "Transparency"

Image Courtesy of GOOD

Read more about this at GOOD here:

Also check out a new interview by Sebastian Buck of Fauxreel at GOOD.

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