All posts tagged: Hense

Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

A unique duo of autonomous Street Artists from different backgrounds and paths somehow have melded themselves into a traveling tornado of tags, throw ups, and theatrics in a style that is theirs alone. The Yok and Sheryo (Perth and Singapore) continue to compliment, push, and pull against and with each other stylistically with a healthy dose of competiveness, inquisition, mutual respect and love for the fantastic and funny. If you take yourself too seriously with this pair, you lose baby, and no fools are suffered. This is badass, serious fun and when combined with lust and wanderlust, it takes you around the world.

Busting a trick in front of mural by Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

We didn’t invent the word “spraycation” (we think) but we first started using it in earnest years ago when showing their videos to audiences in auditoriums and theaters because adventure, graffiti, work, painting, surfing, and motor biking were always competing with each other – along with monsters, devils, pizza, and sexy ladies. Now back in the US after a 10 month tour, lets see some of the new installations and walls that Sheryo and Yok made in their travels around Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Berlin, and Indonesia.

Varuna’s vessel (India)

We worked with some rad Bollywood set builders and a local fisherman who donated his boat for the installation. We created the installation based off a local folklore story called “Varuna & Makara” about a Sea God riding a sea creature.

The Yok & Sheryo. Varuna’s Vessel. India. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

CAMBODIA for “Paint Phnom Penh”

We spent about 20 days hanging out with an amazing group of friends painting laughing and riding motorbikes in Cambodia for @paintphnompenh, says Sheryo. “After the after after party we managed to get this wall painted – Cambodian Paradise.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

SRI LANKA

A long, multi-character monocromatic wall really shows off the energy and regenerative imagination that Y&S can pull off on a mural for friends with a surf/yoga camp. “Loved spending a month cruising around Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk looking for waves,” says The Yok, ” and finding elephants, monkeys, turtles, lizards, dodging manic bus drivers, paying off cops. Amazing people, delicious food and a secret pirate village.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

SINGAPORE at the Art Science Museum

“After some Piña coladas and falling into waves kook-slams stylez, we went onwards to the big/small smoke of Singapore to paint a wall for the Art Science Museum about a post-apocalyptic material world,” says Sheyro. The full artist list also included artist like Remi Rough, M-City, Eko Nugroho, Tarek Benaoum, Zevs, Speak Cryptic, and YZ.

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

Australian Silos

“A 35 metre seadragon mural has been completed on the side of huge grain silos at Albany’s historic waterfront,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald, of the project featuring PhlegmHENSE, and Amok Island creating new works along a trail near the coast. To be clear, it is a “ruby sea dragon”.

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

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“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

“The Art Of The Mural: Volume 01” Captures a Moment

Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.

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Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.

Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.

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Antony Lister. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.

A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.

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Curiot. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”

This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.

“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”

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Evoca 1. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Fintan Magee. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Miss Van. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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MOMO. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Onur & Wes 21. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Telmo & Miel. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

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Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016

 

All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo

 

The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.

Participating Artists
Amose, Arraiano, Augustine Kofie, Axel Void, Bezt (Etam Crew), Chazme 718, Chor boogie, Clog Two, Curiot, Cyrcle, DALeast, Decertor, Dface, ETNIK, Faith47, Fintan Magee, Hense, INTI, Jade, Jaz, JR, Kenor, Lister, Logan Hicks, Low Bros, Meggs, Miss Van, Momo, Mr Thoms, Muro, Natalia Rak, Nosego, Onur, Pener, Reka, Robert “Tone” Proch,Ron English, Rone, Sainer (Etam Crew), SATONE, SEACREATIVE, Sepe, Smithone, Sten Lex, Stormie Mills, Telmo Miel, Tristan Eaton, TWOONE HIROYASU, Vhils, Wes21 and Zed 1

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HENSE Goes Abstractly Huge In Lima, Peru

Atlanta based graffiti artist and Street Artist Hense has just created a massive abstract wall in Lima that radically energizes a beige facade along a major artery through the city.

His largest mural so far, and yet one more Street Artist who is expressing this new romance with color, geometry and pattern on the streets, Hense says the scale presented some technical challenges on how to retain a loose, painterly feel even as he felt dwarfed by his own work. “We used strings and ropes to create circles and lines that needed to be accurate. However, most gestures and shapes were created freehand,” he explains.  Familiar with transforming architecture with his non-representational, sometimes graffiti tagged work, Hense was recently in the news for re-skinning a very traditional church in Washington.

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

This time he and a lead assistant and a crew of 10 professional painters took about a month to layer multiple patterns and sections and colors mainly in latex, with some aerosol, to mask out and create and re-create until Hense felt like he hit the mark. Without a distinct plan in hand, he took inspiration from the colors of the region, the nearby architecture, and the imagination machinations of the moment.

“One thing I feel is important when working on this scale is the improvisational use of tools to create the marks and shapes. In order to reach heights and lengths I had to attach brushes to extension poles to paint in hard to reach areas,” he says. “Every shape and mark that we made on the wall had to be massive to be seen from a great distance. I also wanted to leave smaller, details that would be seen by viewers close to the work.”

The project was organized by Morbo Gallery and funded by the ISIL Institute in MiraFlores, and Hense says he is really grateful for the hospitality of people he met and worked with. He’s still sort of marvelling at the project, his biggest yet.

“I’m always wanting to challenge myself and the viewer in regards to painting and what that can be.”

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense. The Crew. (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense. The Artist. (photo © Jules Bay)

Hense. The Mural. (photo © Jules Bay)


With very special thanks to: Jules Bay, Taylor Means, Morbo Gallery, ISIL Institute, Luar Zeid, Panorama, Angel, Paul, Pedro, Alex, Miguel, Jaime, Mayo, William, Christian Rinke, Gino Moreno, Os Villavicencio, Carlos Benvenuto, Candice House, and Elard Robles for all the hard work and making this project come to fruition.

 

 

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Fun Friday 12.14.12

Hey bro and sis! Here are some of our favorite picks for the weekend around the global way as we head into the final holiday and New Year beauty that we hope everyone is surrounded by. Happy 7th night of Hanukkah to the Jews, and Happy ongoing holidayz to the Christmas and Kwanzaa and Solstice people.

1. 215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)
2. “Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)
3. Fresh Low-cost Original Silkscreens at “First Worldwar in Silkscreen” Group Show (BKLN)
4. “Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)
5. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)
6. “Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)
7. New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)
8. Dave Kinsey “Everything at Once” at Joshua Liner (Manhattan)
9. Brett Amory at 5 Pieces (Switzerland)
10. RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)
11. Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)

215 “Orgullecida” (Barcelona)

French Street Artist C215 has a new solo show titled “Orgullecida” at the Montana Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. The artist has been for awhile using a lot of color with his multilayered stencil work – expanding his established vocabulary bravely in a way that most artists are too afraid to do. His portraits are placed well, are individually hand-cut, and sprayed with a sense of the humanity he’s always giving center stage.  This show is now open to the general public.

A one color stencil from an earlier period by C215 on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A detail from a more recent C215 (© and courtesy the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Kids Eat For Free” at Tender Trap (BKLN)

A phrase lifted from restaurant franchises that serve food like you are livestock at a trough, “Kids Eat For Free” is a mini survey of train riders who know the back sides of the country well. Under the moniker of The Superior Bugout, curator Andrew H Shirley continues to explore fresh talent from the emerging margin, and this group exhibition features work by North Carolina’s NGC Crew. Now open, and don’t forget the kids!

For further details regarding this show click here.

Fresh Low-cost original Silkscreens at “First Worldwar in Silkscreen” Group Show (BKLN)

The best way to support your local artist is to give their stuff as a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Soltice present. No kidding. Everybody wins. Tonight a show of original silkscreens at totally reasonable prices is at Low Brow Artique in Bushwick. For tonight’s opening of their silk screen print show where you’d be able to purchase prints for $20…yes you read it right $20 bucks buys you art from 25 artists – many of them with work on the street – from Sao Paulo, Brooklyn, Buenos Aires and Berlin. Participating artists include: Selo, Markos Azufre, Hellbent, El Hase, ND’A, XOXU, Daniel Ete, Salles, Baila, Anderson Resende, DOC, SHN, XILIP, Serifire, Vero Pujol, Marquitos Sanabria, Diego Garay, Desastre, and Head Honcho.

Head Honcho. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Salles (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Graffuturism” at Soze Gallery (LA)

This is like an exclamation point for the end of the year. No kidding.

POESIA, founder of Graffuturism, the term and website, continues to explore the depths of “Progressive Graffiti” or, as it was previously known, “Abstract Graffiti”. With great intelligence, passion and an acute eye for detail, POESIA brings to the forefront the importance and beauty of this emergent new direction that is impacting the Street Art and graffiti scene (with ramifications for others).

“Graffuturism” opening tonight at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles and promises a smart-headed visual feast of shapes, patterns and color from a mini-galaxy of talent from all over the world. Perhaps more significantly, it’s a bit of a decentralized movement that has been centralized for you. The artists list includes: 2501, Aaron De La Cruz, Augustine Kofie, Boris “Delta” Tellegen, Carl Raushenbach, Carlos Mare, Clemens Behr, Derek Bruno, Doze Green, Duncan Jago, DVS 1, El Mac, Eric Haze, Erosie, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Futura, Gilbert 1, Greg “Sp One” Lamarche, Graphic Surgery, Hense, Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch, Jaybo Monk, Joker, Jurne, Kema, Kenor, Lek, Marco “Pho” Grassi, Matt W. Moore, Moneyless, O.Two, Part2ism, Poesia, Rae Martini, Remi Rough, Samuel Rodriguez, Sat One, Sever, Shok-1, Sowat, Steve More, West and Will BarrasSoze Gallery in Los Angeles .

Also New York chronicler and enthusiastic lover of the graff/street art scene  Daniel Feral will be there with a  special edition of the Feral Diagram in glicee prints, and a couple other formats (salivate). An ambitious exhibition like this is rare and not easy to come by so if you are in Los Angeles you must go.

El Mac on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show and to read a great essay for the show written by Daniel Feral click here.

“Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”, Photography by Imminent Disaster (BKLN)

Self-appointed moral custodians (mostly white men) have traditionally hampered the exploration of sexuality in formal art history and the academic canon of what gets celebrated and revered continues to evolve more quickly now. The sea change that modern social liberation that was once revolutionary is now a given, but the debate of the appropriate role of sex and sexuality in the arts is far from over. We may have just quashed one Trojan horse of social conservatism in the White House, but the radical right wing has pulled the center pretty far in the last decade and some have even said there was a war on women launched legislatively throughout 2012. So we are pleased to tell you about fine artist and Street Artist Robyn Hasty AKA Imminent Disaster, who has a new show in collaboration with Alex Pergament entitled “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets”. Furthering her exploration of photography Ms. Hasty has semi-retired her now well known hand cut paper pieces and lino prints on the street and traded the cutting knife for the camera. With this show of photographs, sculptures and performance art she’s aiming to tear apart the inhibitions associated with the  sexual act. “Dark Corners, Savage Secrets” opens tomorrow at Weldon Arts Gallery in Brooklyn.

Imminent Disaster and Alex Pergament (exclusive photo for BSA © courtesy of the artist)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Snap Back…” Rime and Toper at Klughaus (Manhattan)

Freshly snapping back to New York from their successful truck trip to Miami, Klughaus Gallery brings Brooklyn natives RIME and TOPER for their new exhibition titled “Snap Back – Dangerous Drawings About New York”. The storytelling show features illustration and painting inspired by personal stories. Says RIME. “This show aims to tap into our life experience coming up in New York.” Show opens Saturday.

Rime and Toper shown here with Dceve in NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

New2 at White Walls (San Francisco)

The White Walls Gallery in San Francisco are fortunate to host Australian artist New2 with his solo show titled “In One Hand a Ghost, The Other an Atom”. New2’s work on the streets is complex and dynamic with aerosol, but his handcut collage work for the gallery is moreso somehow – maybe because of a painstaking process of arranging thousands of hand cut pieces of paper. This show opens on Saturday.

New2. Detail of one of his hand cut paper pieces. (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

New2 on the streets of San Francisco. (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend:

Dave Kinsey with “Everything at Once” at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details.

Brett Amory at the 5 Pieces Gallery in Berne, Switzerland opens on Sunday with his solo show “Lil’ Homies”. Click here for more details.

RISK: The Skid Row Mural Project by Todd Mazer (VIDEO)

Art in the Streets from MoCAtv

 

Swoon’s Konbit Shelter in Haiti (VIDEO)

Street Artist Swoon is looking to return to Haiti to build more shelters for people in the rural part of the country. This video gives a great look at the families and community who are helped. You also can participate by donating to the Kickstarter campaign to help Swoon make it happen.

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Soze Gallery Presents: “Graffuturism” A Group Exhibition (Los Angeles, CA)

Graffuturism

Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

Since Graffuturism’s inception as a public blog and private Facebook group in 2010, there have been two major group exhibitions that featured associated artists: “Rudimentary Perfection” in Glasgow and “Futurism 2.0″ in London. Both were successful in their curatorial intentions and created a sense of community and motion for the movement. Soze Gallery also has been an early advocate hosting solo exhibitions in 2012 by Jaybo Monk, Moneyless, Remi Rough, Dale Marshall, and a two-man show with Augustine Kofie

and Jaybo. Recognizing the significance of the Graffuturists, Soze Gallery also presented the opportunity for Poesia to curate this exhibition, which he chose to simply call ““Graffuturism.” This exhibition has been eagerly anticipated as the first group show to be curated by Poesia, because he is the founder of Graffuturism.com and also a well-respected graffiti artist with a twenty-year history. Ending up in this unique dual position as artist and commentator, it has fallen on him to be the cultural instigator and diplomatic facilitator of this renewed interest, practice and discourse surrounding what he calls “Progressive Graffiti,” which has also previously been called “Abstract Graffiti.” At this juncture in the three-year history of the website, as well as in the thirty-year history of this over-looked aesthetic trajectory within the Graffiti movement, Graffuturism.com has become a hub and Poesia the dedicated and consistent chronicler and theoretician. With the internet as his podium and round table, he has been historicizing and canonizing these artists, young and old, who have been creating art outside the norms of traditional graffiti, esoteric forms of painting and sculpture that veer outside of the proscribed boundaries into the experimental, the abstract, the poetic, and the hybrid.Artists that fall under the term Progressive Graffiti are generally innately gifted draftsmen, who aspire to a Master’s Level at their craft. Overall this movement could be classified as a “High Style New Millennial Aesthetic.” The art they produce is derived from a dialogue that ricochets around within a pin-ball matrix constructed of coordinates lying between the historical and the contemporary, including high and low influences, fine art and graffiti studies, scholarly and street pursuits, intellectual and visceral marks. Whether the resulting output is graffiti, painting, murals, design, sculpture or installations, the pictorial elements are mutated and transformed through each artist’s unique vision into a personal vocabulary of cross-pollinated styles. Whereas the Street Art movement of the mid-2000s tended to focus on figurative stencils and wheat-pastes, this group of artists on the whole is more concerned with hands-on, singular creation, whether within an academic or street setting. Unlike Post-Modernism, the resultant overall aesthetic is a seamless personal statement, not a collaged juxtaposition of historic styles.

Because of Poesia’s dual roles within the movement, he as been in the unique position to attract this international line up of esteemed contemporary artists, which includes many of the significant forefathers from the seventies and eighties. As a result, by including so many of these original Masters, he has created a chronological continuum within the line up, which defines this historical thread from its earliest days. Therefore this group show has developed into a “survey” that historicizes and canonizes each artist within the Progressive Graffiti thread, as well as within the larger Graffiti movement. One of the earliest, and possibly the most influential to most these artists, is Futura. In the early eighties, after a ten-year career as one of the early seventies writers, he broke away from one of graffiti’s most sacred traditions, the letterform as subject matter. At that point he began to paint in what became known as an “Abstract Graffiti” style. With his groundbreaking subway whole-car “Break,” as well as on the canvasses he was painting at the time, he pushed an atmospheric geometric style to the forefront of his work and began to experiment with a wide array of experimental spray can techniques that had not been seen before.

Around this same time, other early NYC writers, who had also started their careers in the seventies, began to experiment with new hybrid directions not based in pure graffiti traditions. In 1985, Carlos Mare began to combine abstraction and Wildstyle within the medium of sculpture, which over the past couple of decades has expanded to include other mediums under the term Urban Modernism. Haze also began to cross over into the fine art domain and over the years has created a body of work that might be referred to as Iconographic Minimalism. Doze Green was also a significant member of the early community of writers who crossed over with an experimental style that included the use of archetypal icons, poetic typography, figurative motifs and painterly styles. West was also another early intrepid explorer, adopting a gestural expressionist style, applying the muscle memory of train and wall painting to the canvas with his long whole-body marks and splashy, dripping strokes.

This exhibition has also united artists from the second generation who took off along the path forged by those early pioneers. These artists started to formulate their progressive aesthetics in the late eighties, such as Delta, the European three-dimensional geometric letterform pioneer turned pure abstractionist; New Yorker Greg Lamarche aka SpOne, who has been able to establish an abstract typographic collage aesthetic parallel to his foundation as a graffiti writer obsessed with the hand-written letterform; Part2ism was one of the earliest UK experimentalists in Hyperrealism, as well as co-founder of the Ikonoklast Movement in the UK with Juice126, which also came to include abstract colorist Remi Rough in the early-nineties.

Also beginning in the late eighties on the West Coast of the US, the Wildstyle-reductionist Joker was one of the first graffiti artists to paint purely geometric abstractions and pushed for its acceptance within the graffiti community by founding the Transcend Collective in 1991 with She1, who was an abstract writer in the UK. Poesia, became a key member of the collective in 1995, exploring a more hybrid, expressionistic approach to Wildstyle, as well as taking it into pure abstraction, which he is currently pushing in new directions, as well as reaching back to the Baroque painters and reinterpreting their masterpieces as graffiti-dissected new millennial re-paintings. Over in Europe, first in Paris then Italy during the same time period, Marco Pho Grassi started out as a wall and train painter but quickly started mixing in abstraction and more painterly expressionist techniques much like Poesia, yet totally unknown to each other. Then in the mid to late nineties, back in the US along the West Coast, other artists with alternative, experimental mind-sets, who were aware of recent developments, were coming out with brilliant, refined hybrid styles, such as Augustine Kofie and El Mac.

Artists such as these had been forced to skirt the edges of graffiti culture as well as the fine art world for the past ten to thirty years. Due to the esoteric nature and hybrid aesthetics of their graffiti-based paintings, and their disparate locations around the globe, they had no way to band together or find an audience to support them because of the lack of enough interest in their local communities for their esoteric and singular aesthetics. On the other side of the tracks, they were also ignored by the fine arts establishment because of their association with graffiti culture and for unabashedly continuing their gallery-related practices under the term Graffiti, which they still did not entirely leave behind. But, as the world population grows and becomes more connected through the internet, these geographically disparate artists have found it easier to come together, work together, and share global opportunities with each other, rather than being confined to tiny local communities.

Now, as this historical thread comes of age and recognizes itself in the mirror of history and on the faces of its youth, as the pioneers of the culture are canonized and the younger artists are united, there are many more opportunities afforded them within the design market, auction houses and fine art world, as these communities continue grow in their recognition of the cultural value and influence of Graffiti and Street Art, as the most prevalent styles and art movements in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This particular Graffuturist group exhibition, as well as the previous two, are significant steps in the growth of awareness and activity. This is a significant exhibition because it connects all the artists across the continuum of this overlooked historical trajectory back to these forefathers to finally make the connections and give the recognition due to Progressive Graffiti in all its current manifestations and their historical referents.

Across the board, 2012 has been an explosive year for Progressive Graffiti. The synchronicity of all these group exhibitions and solo shows can only emphasize that there is increased activity by the artists and an amplified interest in the audience. Futura had his first solo show in ten years, which attracted a massive turn out of the wealthy and the fashionable, as well as the highly-respected hardcore members of the graffiti community, which is a testament to his growing importance outside the culture, as well as cementing his stature within it. Following on the heels of the success of his solo show, Futura exhibited with two other crucial esoteric Old School Masters, Rammellzee and Phase2, in conjunction with the Modernist Master Matta in the exhibition “Deep Space” in NYC. This exhibit was particular significant because it canonized these three graffiti artists within the fine art pantheon by successfully illustrating their undeniable aesthetic accomplishments in relation to Matta’s masterworks. Rammellzee also had a banner year, being included in the “Vocabularies Revitalized” exhibition at the MoMA, as well as being given a complete retrospective at the Children’s Museum, both of which were in NYC, not even to mention his solo show at the Suzanne Geiss gallery in 2011 called “The Equation.”

In London, also significant in its curatorial aims to canonize and historicize, as well as it’s grand scope, was “Futurism 2.0,” which compared and contrasted the Futurists and the Graffuturists in an exhibition, book and documentary. Another group show of significance was BrooklynStreetArt.com’s exhibition “Geometricks” which held high the torch of Abstract Graffiti in it’s title and Progressive Graffiti in its roster, which included Hellbent (the curator), Augustine Kofie, Drew Tyndell, Momo, OverUnder and SeeOne. One of the most significant of the many murals and “in situ” collaborations painted this year by Graffuturist-related artists was the abstract mural painted on the Megaro Hotel by Agents of Change members Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Lx.One, and Steve More, which is currently the largest mural ever painted in London. Also, a slew of solo and duo exhibitions opened every month around the world by many of the artists associated with Graffuturism and Progressive Graffiti: Poesia, Dale Marshal, Part2ism, Remi Rough, Augustine Kofie, Jaybo Monk, Mark Lyken, Moneyless, Carlos Mare, She One, Matt W. Moore, Jurne, Greg Lamarche, Delta, Hense, Rae Martini, Marco Pho Grassi, and Graphic Surgery. In order to see the full scope of activities though, one would have to go back through Graffuturism.com for a complete review.

Above and beyond the growing interest in Progressive Graffiti is the expanding interest in the over-all culture as well during these first two decades of the new millennium. Massive museum exhibitions encompassing the full spectrum of subcultures and historical threads within the Graffiti and Street Art cultures have also opened to wide acclaim. The success of ticket sales for “Street Art” in 2008 at the Tate Modern in London and “Art in the Streets” in 2011 at the MOCA in Los Angeles revealed the mass cultural interest of these art movements and all the art forms that are connected to them. The fact that these two exhibitions happened at all signifies the growing acceptance by the fine art community as well.

These museum exhibitions, as well as the trend towards many other smaller historical exhibitions, such as “Deep Space” and “Futurism 2.0” at the end of 2012, and “Pantheon: A history of Art from the Streets of NYC” in 2011, indicate a new interest in the study of the history and cultural significance of these movements. Other indicators are the release of high quality scholarly books, articles and movies, such as “Abstract Graffiti” by Cedar Lewisohn in 2011; “Beyond Graffiti” published in ArtNews in 2011 by Carolina Miranda; the 2005 documentary “Next: A Primer on Urban Painting” by Pablo Aravena; and “The Feral Diagram 2.0: Graffiti and Street Art” published in 2012 by Daniel Feral. These are all testament to the growing enthusiasm of scholars, historians, and theoreticians to examine, define and record the fifty year history of graffiti and street art, and recently in particular the Progressive Graffiti thread. Like any misunderstood movement before these, such as rock’n’roll, comic books, and cinema, eventually the art forms, the audiences and the scholars united to finally recognize the movement’s undeniable cultural value, relevance and resonance in all their forms from the simple and visceral to the esoteric and intellectual.

Text by Daniel Feral

On Friday, Dec 14, 2012, the eponymously-titled “Graffuturism” exhibition curated by Poesia, the founder of Graffuturism.com, opens in the new Soze Gallery location at 2020 E 7th St, Unit B, Los Angeles, CA, 90021.

The complete artist list in alphabetical order by first name is as follows: 2501, Aaron De La Cruz, Augustine Kofie, Boris “Delta” Tellegen, Carl Raushenbach, Carlos Mare, Clemens Behr, Derek Bruno, Doze Green, Duncan Jago, DVS 1, El Mac, Eric Haze, Erosie, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Futura, Gilbert 1, Greg “Sp One” Lamarche, Graphic Surgery, Hense, Hendrik “ECB” Beikirch, Jaybo Monk, Joker, Jurne, Kema, Kenor, Lek, Marco “Pho” Grassi, Matt W. Moore, Moneyless, O.Two, Part2ism, Poesia, Rae Martini, Remi Rough, Samuel Rodriguez, Sat One, Sever, Shok-1, Sowat, Steve More, West, Will Barras.

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