All posts tagged: Helsinki

BSA Film Friday 9.24.18 – From UPEART in Finland. Dispatch 4

BSA Film Friday 9.24.18 – From UPEART in Finland. Dispatch 4

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BSA is in Finland this week to see firsthand the work of UPEART, an expansive mural art festival in its third iteration. Unique for its geographical breadth as well as it’s curatorial depth, UPEART has quietly revealed its amazing strengths without being self-aggrandizing or showy, slowly transforming cities and towns across the entire country with consultation of the locals and an eye toward the incredible international. Come with us this week as we traverse the country with you.


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

Now screening :
1. Mantra in Hyvinkää
2. Isaac Cordal in Espoo
3. Sainer in Helsinki
4. Eero Lampinen in Helsinki

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BSA Special Feature: Scenes from UPEART this Week

This week BSA had the privilege of touring the sites from the mural arts program called UPEART in Finland which continues to showcase the work of many artists from graffiti/Street Art culture, their work now often morphing into public art. While on the road from city to city in this Nordic country full of natural lakes, forests and sparkling clean cities during the advent of fall, we also caught some past and present murals as well as a few artists in action. Here are a few quick home-made videos to share with BSA readers what we found.

Mantra in Hyvinkää

French entomologist and former graffiti writer Mantra studies insects – here specifically butterflies and a large moth that are all found in this region of the world. We found him just as he was finishing his newest work for UPEART in Hyvinkää.

Isaac Cordal in Espoo

Spanish Street Artist and sculptor Isaac Cordal has begun his nearly surreptitious installations of his concrete figures here above Finnish heads. Often businessmen, they contemplate existentially as you walk by them a number of times during your daily travails – until one day you discover them.

Sainer in Helsinki

Polish artist Sainer completed a massive portrait here in Helsinki this week on the side of a multi-story building – yet he tells us that he is less concerned with the mystery woman in the center than his is with the planes and palette that back her.

Read more here: UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 1 – Sainer

Eero Lampinen in Helsinki

Helsinki native, illustrator and graphic designer Eero Laminen is at work on his second large scale mural here behind a complex scaffolding. We walked with him during a break to see the characters that he is imagining for this neighborhood.

Read more here: Eero Lampinen at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 2

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Eero Lampinen at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 2

Eero Lampinen at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 2

BSA is in Finland this week to see firsthand the work of UPEART, an expansive mural art festival in its third iteration. Unique for its geographical breadth as well as it’s curatorial depth, UPEART has quietly revealed its amazing strengths without being self-aggrandizing or showy, slowly transforming cities and towns across the entire country with consultation of the locals and an eye toward the incredible international. Come with us this week as we traverse the country with you.


“The street has kind of a bad reputation in Helsinki and has a long history of illegal alcohol trade and strip clubs and sex shops and bars,” says Eero Lampinen, the young illustrator now working on his second large scale mural ever here for UPEART.

His characterization rings true as you stand with him on the sidewalk next to a sandwich board advertising scantily clad ladies in elegant, and difficult, poses. Across the street from this busy doorway is the multi-story mural that he is working on, heavily flanked and intersected by scaffolding that you can climb with him after donning a hard hat.

Eero Lampinen. Detail. Work in progress. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Helsinki native, the graphic design and illustration student designed for school books, festival posters, and various editorial jobs while in training. Now on his own professionally, his magic realist illustrative style has earned him a number of awards, including at the Mikkeli Fiction Exhibition and the Grape’s Year Peaks competition – and his figurative fantasies have made their way into a number of prestigious publications.

Eero says he loves the work of filmmaker David Lynch, and for illustration he really loves the work of Winsor McCay, the American cartoonist and animator know for his comic strip Little Nemo.

Eero Lampinen. Detail. Work in progress. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of his own work, he says, “It’s like a mix of fantasy with contemporary and realistic elements – kind of magic realism. I like to play around with fashion different types of characters.”

The characters are here in the evolving mural – three figures who are working the runways of the street in distinctly different styles.

“There is a night demon, a rubber-outfit person, and then an older character,” he says, “They are all walking separate ways in the streets – and it plays around with this street.”

Eero Lampinen. Detail. Work in progress. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As with all the murals in this nationwide festival of UPEART, the community plays an important role in the decision when creating the scene. As a result, the spirit of the street is somehow reflected in the new works on walls.

“We thought about it with the people living in the neighborhood. I proposed three different sketches for them to choose from and then we worked on the idea together,” he says. “They wanted to have like the spirit of the street somehow in the drawings so in that way it’s like a reference to the community and the life here.”

Eero Lampinen. Detail. Work in progress. UPEA Finland 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Finland’s Formidable Multi-City “UPEA” Mural Festival

Finland’s Formidable Multi-City “UPEA” Mural Festival

Finland joined the mural festival fray with some astounding and complex murals for UPEA this autumn. Created simultaneously in different cities, the festival soars with a large scale and with big international talents.

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Guido Van Helten from Australia painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

Wisely, they included Finnish artists who are prominent on the local Street Art scene as well and carefully curated the murals to have longevity.

For being their first edition, UPEA16 already claims that it is the biggest street art event in Finland. Of course, they mean “mural event” as true Street Art does not seek permission and is not commissioned, rather it is done illegally. But we know what they meant.

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Guido Van Helten from Australia. Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

UPEA16 artists and cities featured are Italian Tellas (in Helsinki), Swedish duo Graffitisthlm (in Helsinki), Australian artist Guido van Helten (in Helsinki), Bulgarian duo Arsek & Erase (in Turku), Swedish artist Ola Kalnins (in Riihimäki), Indonesian artist WD (in Kemi), U.S. artist Andrew Hem (in Vaasa) and Finnish artists Kim Somervuori and Teemu Mäenpää (in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna).

Learn more about UPEA by clicking here.

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia painting in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia painting in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Wild Drawing from Indonesia in Kemi. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Tellas from Italy painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Tellas from Italy in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Arsek & Erase from Bulgaria painting in Turku. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Arsek & Erase from Bulgaria painting in Turku. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland painting in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Teemu Maenpaa & Kim Somervuori from Finland in Hyvinkää and Hämeenlinna. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Graffitisthlm a duo from Sweden painting in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Graffitisthlm a duo from Sweden in Helsinki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA painting in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA painting in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Andrew Hem from USA in Vaasa. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

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Ola Kalnins from Sweden painting in Riihimäki. UPEA Festival 2016. Finland. (photo © courtesy of UPEA)

 

 

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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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