Tennessee and Texas Sample a Certain Street Savoir Faire
Look out for Le Rat!
He’s getting up in places down south that you wouldn’t normally associate with a French Street Artist, much less the one who started stenciling in a style and manner unusual on Paris walls in ’81 – an antecedent for much of what we later would call ‘Street Art”.
Thanks to gallerist and collector Brian Greif, Blek Le Rat made a run for it through Texas in cities like Waco, Austin, and Houston – after spending a week teaching students at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville how to create stencils in his distinct style.
It was a unique experience for the artist roughly 40 years after he first began doing these same activities illegally and under cover of night – and Greif tells us that the artist was so moved by the large audiences and appreciation by new fans that he is even encouraged to return.
think its time now to go back to the real sources of street art by painting
real walls in real cities and not just the major cities around the world,” says
Blek in an interview with Greif. “We need to touch people by painting walls in
cities that have not experienced this movement.”
As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.
The retro-futurist Italian Street Artist and sculptor Pixel Pancho sets imaginations running with his robotically romantic stories that weave together elements of dystopian breakdown, steampunk adventure, heartbreak, and good old fashioned man-V-Man-V-Nature-V-Society-V-Self drama. We’ve run into him this year in Hong Kong, New Jersey, Brooklyn and Berlin, and each time his sparkling inventive mind is what hits you first, then his work ethic that is focused like a lazer – with each rusty and surreal-o-botic storyline thoughtfully planned into his compositions on canvasses, on walls, and into sculpture. Today Pixel tells us about a mural he did this year in Texas honoring a special member of his family.
When you spend your life travelling, the concept of family and home are relative. But if home is where your heart is, I can be sure that I’ve always carried my family with me.
Before my last trip I lost a member of my ‘family’, the one who was with me since the beginning. Blanco my cat passed away into my arms. I made this wall to remind him that he will always be in my heart.
This is the motivation that defines my job; Painting walls, building sculptures to communicate to people that nothing is forever and we better take care of our beloved – and our planet – as long as we are here.
Street Artist Gaia Talks About New Installation and Latest Study
For the opening this Thursday Gaia will be talking about the impressions he has gathered and internalized of Houston’s urban sprawl and of some of the folks on the front lines of the everyday; using painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage. Much like his commissioned installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) in 2012-13, where he created portraits of individuals in the community of Baltimore using techniques inspired by Gauguin’s Vahine no te vi (Woman of the Mango), this new installation will open Rice University Art Gallery’s fall season with faces, textual excerpts, and city/landscape sweeps of the city he is studying.
“Essentially I am creating this mural as a pastiche of Houston and then interviewing faculty, staff and students at Rice University to get a sense of the institution’s place in the greater city,” says Gaia of his study of the city and its international populations. At the moment he is taking a break sitting atop a mountain of styrofoam that will be soon be cut, shaped, and sculpted for the installation – a constructed cloister within the gallery space. “I want it to mirror the campus’ architecturally byzantine quotation,” he explains of the temporary structure.
Since BSA was a very early profiler of the work of this artist, our readers are quite familiar with Gaia’s work on the street and his interest in depicting important figures who influenced the direction he grew personally – remember the large head of his grandfather floating on Brooklyn walls in the late 2000s?
Eventually his examination and studies of important figures expanded to profiling politicians, developers, leaders, architects, city planners, spiritual figures, citizens, workers – all identified as pivotal parts of the DNA that give a city or a neighborhood its true sense of place. With these new oil paintings of participants in his latest anthropological exploration, visitors will be seeing a marbled moment in the storied history of Houston as a city and a society.
Street messages and aesthetics reflect us back to ourselves – a continuous look in the funhouse mirror.
Sometimes the physical manifestations are straightforward and obvious, other times they stir more murky subconscious impulses and swirling feelings. While the country is being newly torn by the scene unfolding by the day in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, conversations that could have been easily ignored are now quickly blipping up the neuronic priority list.
It feels natural that this simple and strong DISS was bubbling to the top any minute. Who knows how deep and wide the plume below is.
This is a well-done animation (claymation) of three young urban hip-hop artists showcasing their art in the well known Sydney legal graffiti thoroughfare May Lane in St Peters, Sydney, Australia.
Because the city of Sydney, Australia actually sets aside a part of the city just for graffiti, artists there don’t have to look over their shoulder to get up. This is a brand new documentary called “From Vandalism to Art” about the current Street Art & Graffiti scene in this neighborhood of Sydney.
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Brooklynite’s Dancey Prep for Installation
DANCE ME A DANCE!
Meanwhile, back in Brooklyn – Musical Artist Riva Starr has just released a single and apparently this video is being used to inspire the staff of Brooklynite Gallery to bump and grind as they prepare their new installation. I dare you not to laugh.Or Dance.
When you look at this video and stop snorting, you can look at a couple images from the show they are preparing for, “Stealth, Above the Radar”
It features super cool work like this one from Derek Shumate called “Alien”. The dude is from Houston, Texas. Down there they pronounce that “hews-ton”.
Derek Shumate -"Bold colors, upon layers and layers of torn bits of information, which often resemble a topographical map, are collected from various sources, including but not limited to, personal tragedies, today’s headlines and the artists’ imagination." - say Rae and Hope of Brooklynite
The other artist in the Brooklynite Show on February 13 is Collin Van Der Sluijs. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that. I’m still working on “Doppelganger”, which at first I thought had something to do with testicles, but it turns out it has nothing to do with the Tea-bag Party at all. But I digress.
"Dutch "Pop-Fantasy Life" painter Collin Van Der Sluijs intermingles disproportionately sized animal/human hybrids, planet-like shapes, smoke-stacks and fresh socio-political views all from his subconscious ---directly onto the painting surface."
From your friends アルパカ×smooooch in Japan, a high-energy, low-fi, head-trippy dance attack that works better if you have put some medicinal mushrooms in your tea this morning. WARNING: Sped up Euro-Disco-Club-Anthem Ahead.
The consensus is that the summer in the City goes by way too fast. This year is not an exception. But the harvest has been good.
The green markets that dot NYC’s 5 boroughs boast some great fresh produce that isn’t sprayed with pesticides or that will give your children 3 eyes. From Bay Ridge to Borough Park to Bowling Green to Bronx Borough Hall to Sunnyside and St. Georges, the tomatoes were the superstars this September – big and meaty and fragrant.
And the bold brassy sunflowers have been clamoring into our little apartments and putting a smile on our worried faces.
The summer crop of Street Art of course has been bounteous! The creative output from the indomitable, wild, and restless street artists – home-grown and imported – seems record-breaking. From commissioned public murals with photo-ops for politicians to the secret stick-up kids on newspaper boxes, the voices of people on the streets grew.
The mural by Os Gemeos (photo by Jaime Rojo)
One truck-load of fresh produce that won a NYC Street Art blue-ribbon this summer was the giant colorful pop-surrealist mural by the hard-working and gentle twins from São Paulo, Os Gemeos.
Gustavo of Os Gemeos (photo Jaime Rojo)
During a brief 2-week growing period, Gustavo and Octavio labored in the fields of dreams and eye-popping colors while the curious and the hungry stood by on the sidewalk in clusters of cameras and black books, day after day watching the fantasy open up and reveling in the sunshine.
The ladder meets the scissor lift (Os Gemeos) (photo Jaime Rojo)
With cans of aerosol and buckets of latex, they worked the fertile soil of Deitch Projects orchards on the corner of Houston and Bowery under an intense heat and punishing sun.
Detail from Os Gemeos mural (photo Jaime Rojo)
In a location that had been painted in previous summers by other migrant street artists including Haring and Scharf, the Brazilians delighted the weary New Yorkers and curious tourists with their vivid imaginations.
Octavio and Gustavo; Os Gemeos (photo Jaime Rojo)
To say goodbye to the summer of 2009 we pay homage to their industry and talent once more. Long after the summer sun fades and the grey cold winter takes us over, this bright gift from Os Gemeos will remain on Houston Street.
With a history that started in writing graffiti in the late 1980’s, the brothers also found time to paint on a truck (photo Jaime Rojo)
Os Gemeos (photo Jaime Rojo)
Detail from Os Gemeos (photo Jaime Rojo)
Detail from Os Gemeos (photo Jaime Rojo)
A tribute to Dash Snow was added when he died during the creation of the mural, adding a historical touchstone to the event. (Os Gemeos) (photo Jaime Rojo)