In addition to addressing a common narrative, thematically curated group shows can draw attention to contrasts in style and present something that unified to the visitor. A new women-centered project opening at the end of the month in Roubaix, France, aims to draw similarities and differences among a variety of street artists to create a dialogue about how women are depicted in public space.
Using new and borrowed art pieces, curator and art dealer Magda Dansyz fills a 15,000 square foot exhibition space at La Condition Publique, a culture factory that inhabits an historic former wool and cotton processing facility and is now a venue for artistic creation. “I have been working for a year now about the place and representation of women in the public space through the light of street art practices,” she says about Urbain.es and the nearly 30 artists whose work is here.
They span perhaps 40 years of street practice from risk-taking activists to self-promoters leveraging activism as a brand builder, to more subtle artworks in the public sphere that raise incisive questions about perceptions of women in society.
“In a variety of forms, the exhibition presents in situ works, original art pieces lent by the artists or private and public collections, as well as documentary testimonials retracing historical urban performances,” says a text from the organizers. Exciting highlights include the inclusion of works by true old-school billboard activists like the Guerrilla Girls who for decades have been confronting art institutions for systemic sexism, the 1970/80s NY graff writer Lady Pink who painted trains in a male dominated subculture, and Yseult YZ Digan, whose painterly depictions of women represent a quieter tribute to the strength and steel of women that appears through many cultures, often overlooked.
Artistes I Artists Yseult YZ Digan, eL Seed, Guerilla Girls, Maya Hayuk, Icy and Sot, Invader, Mark Jenkins et Sandra Fernandez, JR, Kubra Khademi, Lady Pink, Madame, Miss.Tic, Miss Van, Mode 2, Robert Montgomery, Eko Nugroho, Obvious, Quik, Edmond Marie Rouffet, Magda Sayeg, Saype, Swoon, T-Kid, Aya Tarek, Amalia Ulman, Zevs
Exposition collective sous le commissariat de Magda Danysz Group Show curated by Magda Danysz
Du 31 mars au 24 juillet 2022 From March 31st to July 24th, 2022
Click HERE for more information and a complete preview of the artworks.
In a space massive enough for a Dutch sea vessel, the Street Art Museum of Amsterdam (STRAAT) has one of the largest collections of today’s mural stars anywhere. During its official maiden voyage, curious street art/graffiti/contemporary art fans look to see if this ship is seaworthy. The brainchild of former graffiti writer, curator, and publisher Peter Ernst Coolen in the early 2010s, the D.N.A. of the museum is rooted in his forward vision as much as the ideal waterfront warehouse that showcases close to 200 international artists.
Housed in a massive yet austere ship hull-welding hanger that closed in the 1980s, the airy space later hosted flea markets and similar events. Today the STRAAT is evolving into something more closely resembling a museum space due to recent structural and lighting improvements, but it hasn’t become a white box. If its origination story of punk culture, D.I.Y., and a well-loved graffiti Hall of Fame still holds water, this street art home by NDSM Wharf has the potential to be a world-class icon that retains credibility and out-paces other contenders.
The museum delivers a promise with a significant renovation, focused programming, public/private tours, an investment in marketing, branding/partnering, a sexy website, invited curators, and (no Banksy jokes, please) a gift shop. We’ve encountered the palpable energy of the select crew of creative directors, curators, content creators, and experience managers over the last few years. There is the desire to forge a soul of the new enterprise, as helmed by Coolen’s original business partner and civil engineer Peter Hoogewerf.
To appreciate where it may be heading, you now have a guidebook of works by the 200 or so artists who have created canvasses and sculpture here in the permanent collection. Given the wide span presented, the challenge will be to define a direction for this 8000 square meter shipyard space – aside from merely offering a broad survey of current names on the global stage.
STRAAT: Quote from the Streets (Lannoo Uitgeverij) is the name of the opening exhibition and a thick softcover tome of attractive art plates. It offers a collection of artists’ profiles, reflections, and artworks laid out in a spare and modern way, allowing the mind to wander or rest. With an intro by curator and founder of the Paris-based agency Le Grand Jeu Christian Omodeo, the travel/street art blogger Giulia Riva and writer Giovanna Di Giacomo are authors. Their essay explains that the STRAAT collection is organized here according to categories of Aesthetic, Ground, Empathic, and Conscious – with detailed descriptions of the respective characteristics and rationale laid out in the opening texts.
The range of styles and techniques here mirrors many of the mural movements on streets around the world today. The writers give valuable contextual background for decoding what often are high-quality artworks. A unifying and concise overview of each artist is a supporting firmament with enough academic rigor to enlighten the reader – no small feat in a world populated with fanboys and pseudo-intellectualizing. Because of it, this introduction to the museum is more than average data reportage – helping to broaden understanding of this multi-headed hydra called the street art scene. With a firm grip guiding the rudder, this ship looks like it is ready to sail.
STRAAT MUSEUM: Quotes From The Streets. Published by Lannoo. Click HERE to learn more about STRAAT and to purchase the book.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Gregory Orekhov Rolls Out the Red Carpet in Moscow 2. A Brief Look Inside Icy & Sot’s Studio 3. Snowy Athens with INO is Paradise
BSA Special Feature: Gregory Orekhov Rolls Out the Red Carpet in Moscow
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Always watching celebs walking the red carpet? Now it’s your turn as the Russian artist Gregory Orekhov distills the magic of expectation and elegance and historical notions of royalty here in a Moscow forest.
The work titled “Nowhere” is the artist’s most recent and consists of 250 meters of polypropylene.
A Brief Look Inside Icy & Sot’s Studio
In preparation for their solo exhibition at Danysz Gallery in Paris, opening on Saturday, February 12 the gallery visited the artists at their studio in Brooklyn. We wrote about the exhibition HERE.
Rare snowfall in Athens prompts INO to grab his drone to shoot his murals under the coat of snow
Snowy Athens with INO is Paradise
Street artists and muralist INO tours his various works in his hometown of Athens, Greece on a snowy day flying with a drone. The musical score of piano and cello warms and stirs.
Human rights, unjust imprisonment, women’s equality, the plight of migrants and, the threats of climate change. The many pitfalls of unbridled capitalism.
These have been issues that Icy & Sot have been focusing on since we first knew of them, and later when we welcomed them to our city – and ever since. Undeterred by repression of their home country, they moved here to Brooklyn to pursue a new life, only to find that the fundamentals of human rights and the rule of law are globally, constantly in need of defense.
Without exception, their work has remained focused and insistent as it has changed venue from street to gallery. Those same values are unwavering as the materials have shifted from aerosol to barbed wire and iron, from stencil and mural to rigid sculpture. Whether their deliberately unflashy pieces are mounted against a Californian desert landscape, an expanse of Rockaway Beach, or floating a Georgian river, the world plays an integral roll in the success and the message of their artworks – an ultimate hewing to the street art axiom that physical context is paramount to the message of a piece.
As Icy and Sot begin their new Familiar / Stranger exhibition at Danysz gallery in Paris, they are unbowed by their discovery as fine artists, unimpressed with the charade, immune to unnecessary artifice, mindful of the world as it has presented itself. The work, some of it brand new, quietly yells. The canvasses are spectacular; a product of hand-made tools and hand-pressed paint in such a streaming plaintive state of consciousness that it will never be purely aesthetic despite its patterned abstraction. The work is, like its authors, authentic.
“I want you to panic. I want you to act as if your house was on fire.” – Greta Thunberg
The exhibition includes a set of video with an installation, as well as their more recent works ranging from sculpture to paintings all centered around the artists’ engagement for a more conscious world.
From the press release; “As writer Sasha Bogojev puts it, ‘In some way turning Greta’s inspiring words into poetic reality, Icy and Sot built a frame of an archetypal home and set it on fire. Allowing for the untouched surrounding nature to be seen between the blazing framework of the house, the artists suggest looking at the wider picture in which the Earth is our only home. The video shows the reversed footage of their installation being swallowed by flames and crumbling to the ground, creating an illusion of burning pieces of wood rising up and forming the familiar structure. With Greta’s voice in the background calling upon civil disobedience and rebellion, the video has a compelling incentive undertone reminding us that the change is possible if we put pressure on those in power.’ ”
Saturday, February 12, 2022 From 3 to 7PM
On view from February 12, to April 9, 2022
Danysz gallery 78 rue Amelot Paris (Marais) M° Saint-Sébastien-Froissart
This time of year, it is hard to find people in Manhattan on the weekends – they’re “weekending” in the Hamptons, darling.
Not exactly the original setting you might associate with graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk rock, zines, and underground art culture but where else can curators Evan Pricco and Kim Stephens sell these works on paper while sipping cool drinks poolside?
“Beyond the Streets” carries the mobile party to Southampton Arts Center this Saturday with a wide swath of styles – 500 works from over 100 artists in an art fair-sized venue. It may remind you of the Urban Air Fair tried in Manhattan in summer 2017, but this one has something that one didn’t: Roger Gastman.
If it’s here, it’s because it is quality work and has a connection to the roots of these subcultural scenes usually as well. Expanding now to the more nebulous category of Contemporary, you may be surprised to see more accessible interpretive variations on the themes. Let’s see that paper, people.
Artists include: Action Bronson, Addam Yekutieli, agnès b, AIKO, André Saraiva, Andrew Schoultz, Andrew Thiele, Andy Rementer, Aryz, Bert Krak, Brandon Breaux, Broken Fingaz, Bryant Giles, Camille Walala, CES, Cey Adams, Charlie Ahearn, Chloe Early, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Clark Fox, Cody Hudson, Conor Harrington, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Daniel Rich, David “Mr StarCity” White, DAZE, DEFER, Emily Manwaring, Eric Haze, Ermsy, Escif, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Fucci, Greg SPONE Lamarche, Gustavo Zermeno, Hilda Palafox, House 33, HuskMitNavn, Ian Reid, Icy & Sot, Jaime Muñoz, Jamilla Okuba, Jane Dickson, JEC*, Jeremy Shockley, Jillian Evelyn, JK5, John Konstantine, Julian Pace, KATSU, KC Ortiz, Kelsey Brookes, Khari Turner, Kime Buzzelli, LeRoy Neiman, Linas Garsys, Liz Flores, Lucy McLauchlan, Lujan Perez, Maripol, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Marshall LaCount, Matt McCormick, Maya Hayuk, Michael Vasquez, MIKE 171, Mister CARTOON, Neena Ellora, Nehemiah Cisneros, Nettie Wakefield, NUNCA, Otto183, Paije Fuller, Paul Insect, POSE, Rebecca Morgan, Reko Rennie, Rello, Richard Colman, RISK, Ron English, Ryan McGinness, Sage Vaughn, Saladeen Johnson, Scott Campbell, Sean from Texas, Senon Williams, Shantell Martin, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, Sofía Enriquez, SNOEMAN, Spacebrat, STASH, Steve ESPO Powers, SWOON, TAKI 183, The Perez Bros., Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Troy Lamarr Chew II, Umar Rashid, Victor Reyes, Wasted Rita, Wulffvnky, Yarrow Slaps, Yusuke Hanai, ZESER, ZOER and 45RPM.
BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER July 17—August 28, 2021 Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, New York, 11968
Street artist and conceptual artist John Fekner participated in student demonstrations and peaceful moratoriums in New York in the 1960s, with his first outdoor work completed in 1968. When younger generations of artists are feeling inflamed about this spring and summers’ demonstrations it is helpful to remember that artists of each generation have been a crucial part of many, if not most, movements of social and political change.
With his new mini-retrospective in a space limited by Covid-19 considerations the exhibition is available to see only by appointment in Bayside, Queens, you can see that Fekner’s dedication to drawing our attention to our behaviors as citizens, cities, politicians, and corporations lies at the root of his advocacy.
Putting your mark on
society is an ironic way of describing the literal act artists and vandals engage
in when putting their work on the streets. While “getting up” for many is an
act of self-promotion or marking of territory, Fekner has often used his spray
paint and stencils to critique, to call-out the failure of societies to care or
take responsibility for their actions or inactions, and may trigger you to bear
Spraying “DECAY” on a rusting hunk of detritus breaks through the psychological defense systems you may array against “seeing” history and outcome. A blunt aesthetic written in a large format makes an impression – the simple act of tagging objects and surfaces of industrial and urban neglect is radical, a defiant gesture that calls the state and the citizen to account. By drawing attention, even cryptically, you may cause one to question – or even to regard these layers of debris as violence toward others, toward the natural world.
For A CHANGE, the show takes his 1981 painting and applies it broadly
to the running narrative throughout his work, as a proponent of self-reflection
and advocate of positive change.
“The economic imbalance,
the energy crisis, health insurance, pollution, and global warming increase
exponentially every day,” Fekner says in an overview of the exhibition, “all
compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of our issues boil below the
surface, making it convenient to turn a blind eye.”
Meticulously curated, the exhibition is showcasing a selection of Fekner’s paintings, mixed media sculpture, and ephemera as well as a “sampling of art objects, photographs, books, and a glimpse into Fekner’s personal archive spanning a fifty-year timeline,” viewers can get a broader overview of the artists’ sincere belief that his art in the streets has the power to affect the world. “Although some of the work is decades old, their relevance resonates today, maybe with even greater urgency,” says his description.
BSA had the opportunity to ask Mr. Fekner about his work and worldview as we appear at a nexus of profound change.
Brooklyn Street Art: Looking back on the issues you contemplated fifty years ago, we can’t deny that things have indeed changed – but we are also discovering that things really didn’t change, especially when it pertains to race and poverty. How do you, as an artist confront this reality? Are you despondent?
John Fekner: The greatest ferment of change, I believe, is the risks that people are willing to take in the face of tremendous setbacks. This has been true throughout history whether it’s the storming of the Bastille to the toppling of Confederate monuments. I’m heartened by the courage I see today and despondent art doesn’t help.
BSA:What do you think about the concept of “voluntary human extinction”. Is it possible to just simply stop making more humans to save the earth?
John Fekner: I believe that optimism and the survival of the human race are hard-wired into our nature.
BSA:Rich countries are on a heavy diet of “consumerism” fueled by the endless appetite of tech giants for quarterly profits to appease shareholders. People spend money they don’t have. Most people don’t have savings and live paycheck to paycheck. What went wrong?
John Fekner: This is nothing new. The exploitation of the poor by the rich is the perennial struggle of humanity and will probably always be. There is no reason to stop fighting. We should never lose our courage and vigilance.
BSA:On Wednesday the CEO’s of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will testify before Congress. If you were the one asking the questions what would you ask them?
John Fekner: The greatest safeguard of capitalism in our country has always been the resistance to monopolies. My question would be: ‘What are you going to do to insure that your companies don’t monopolize and dominate every market?’
BSA: Can we still have hope? Is there still time to change course to save our communities?
John Fekner: If I didn’t have hope, I would stop making art.
Mr. Fekner asks us to “remind everyone they have to REGISTER in order to VOTE. Do It. Make A Change.”
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “Offset” by Nevercrew at Urvanity in Madrid 2. Icy & Sot: “Our house is on fire” By COlabs / Marco Figueroa 3. Said Dokins on Cultura Colectiva
BSA Special Feature: “Offset” by Nevercrew at Urvanity in Madrid
Welcome to BSA Film Friday with a new mural from the Urvanity commercial art fair in Madrid that culls together 30 or so galleries and mounts a public art campaign during the same week. “Offset” by the Swiss muralists called Nevercrew presents a massive pile of bears, one stacked upon the other.
The manner of arrangement of the bears presents creatures of the wild as no more than commodities, in the same way that corporations and countries think they can “purchase” offsets through a surreal trading market where one purchases the right to pollute and kill our atmosphere. In a positive light, the title “Offset” may refer to the practice of biodiversity offsetting, where previous wrongs are righted following a mitigation hierarchy to produce “no net loss” of biodiversity.
Also, bears are really cute.
“Offset” NEVERCREW in Madrid for Urvanity Art Fair 2020
Icy & Sot: “Our house is on fire” By COlabs / Marco Figueroa
The pacing is quick, the reversal of the timeline adds a sense of mystery and mastery to the brothers’ fox-witted ability to communicate horror in a rather elegant way.
The vast expansive character of
climate change is as elusive to visualize in the popular imagination as conceptual
Conversely, conceptual art may prove to be an effective messenger of the immediacy and danger that we are presented with during this quickly maturing threat to life and quality of life called Climate Change.
With the release of new images and video record of “Our House is on Fire”, the Iranian artists Icy and Sot again drive us to the brutal heart of the matter without quite employing brutality. Their firey deconstruction performance leaves nothing, just a quickening of the blood, a sinking of feet into wet concrete. But is has staying power.
Here we are, contemplating the reassuring framework of normality; the structure of the home, sweet home. Now it falls to the ground, as are our previous frameworks for measuring danger.
The video: The pacing is quick, the reversal of the timeline that adds a sense of mystery and mastery to the brothers’ fox-witted ability to communicate horror in a rather elegant way. The static images are sad and unwavering, damnation, a burning bludgeon of warning that goes unheeded.
Set in the California desert, the
brothers say they took inspiration from climate activist Greta Thunberg as she
vilified those who have chased only plunder to bring the Earth to this point.
“I want you to panic. I want
you to act as if your house was on fire,” she says.
“Allowing for the untouched
surrounding nature to be seen between the blazing framework of the house,” says
writer Sasha Bogojev, “the artists suggest looking at the wider picture in
which the Earth is our only home.”
See the new video tomorrow on BSA
Film Friday. Meanwhile, enjoy these exclusive images only for BSA readers.
The videos that we present every week on BSA Film Friday give us as much inspiration as they do our readers, and we are honored to see the progression of artists and directors as they continue to capture, document, and share their skills, techniques, and stories. This year we have seen a continued professional quality, a widened scope, a desire to connect with an audience perhaps in a way that we haven’t seen before. Each of these videos, whether completed in-studio or shot by hand on a phone, touched you- and the numbers of clicks and re-shares tell us the story. Or many of them.
INTI / “PRIMAVERA INSURRECTA”, Spring Insurrection
vandalizing public sculptures to handmade signs to waving banners, banging oil
drums and pots and pans, lighting fires, chanting, and dancing in the streets –
these are the insistent voices and perspectives coursing through streets in
cities around the world, including these scenes from Chile last month. In one
of the tales of people’s victory, these marches and mobilizations of citizens
pushing for their rights and fighting state overreach actually worked this
month and Chile’s protesters have won a path to a
During the demonstrations Chilean Street Artist INTI was at work outside in Santiago as well, adding to the public discourse, with his new work entitled “Dignity!” It was a spring insurrection, now culminating in an autumn victory
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants. Film By Doug Gillen/FWTV
Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.
People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.
While they have traveled around many international cities in the last
five years creating site-specific interventions that contemplate issues
of immigration, environmental degradation, and endangered species, the
artists felt that the gravity of this place merited something more than
just an art installation.
Working with a group called Movement on the Ground and with Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV in tow, the two helped build raised gardens and planted vegetables, in addition to handing out many potted plants. Today we have images of persons in the camp from Icy & Sot along with the new video, one of Doug’s best.
Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.
Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan
Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying
loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the
hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really
care for the others up here.
Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”
Land artist Jorge Gerada mounts a large project in Ouarzazate, Morocco that extends over 37,500 meters in this commissioned job for a coffee brand calendar. Using rakes, stones, dark gravel, and vegetable oil, a scene of two hands under running water is created.
In a collaborative gallery space or at a barbecue on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin’s calligraffiti writers and artists are showing off the attitude and exactitude of the city as well as the evolution of this art form.
Hosted by Theosone at the “Scriptorium Berlin” and
curated by Makearte, a small selection
of scientists artists are convened at the Letters Temple where artists create
an exhibition with lucid and ornate letter skillz. Later on Devil’s Mountain
(Tefelsberg) they paint together for the first time.
In the videos featuring daredevilry, parkour and graffiti the Lengua Drona
has been adding words to our visual vocabulary that were once reserved
for extreme sporting, National Geographic docs, Crocodile Dundee and
Now the pixação writer and urban climber, Paradox releases
unprecedented adventure footage and editing from photographer CPT. Olf,
and its sending shockwaves.
Somehow this is a new way to synthesize wall-climbing and train
surfing; positioning it as a visual and audio symphony that almost makes
you forget that these are graffiti vandals “fucking the system”,
pushing their limits – and yours.
As you thrill to these evolving genre-combining aspects of Oleg
Cricket, 1Up Crew, Berlin Kidz, and Ang Lee, it’s important to realize
that these are real risks that people take that could result in serious
injury, death, and rivers of grief if a miscalculation happens. So,
yeah, we’re not endorsing the irresponsible risks or a mounting “arms
race” of stunts, but we are endorsing the athleticism, imagination, and
sheer slickness of this FPV drone mastery, which appears to have taken
this stuff up another level.
The doublespeak of Banksy very effectively demanded a whirlwind of media
attention in the art/Street Art world once again this week. The
anti-capitalist launched a full street-side exhibition while his
personal/anonymous brand benefitted by the new record auction price of
9.9 million pounds with fees for one of his works depicting a “Devolved
Parliament” full of apes – precisely during the height of inpending Brexit hysteria
A culmination of five years of murals visible from planes, French duo Ella & Pitr nudge you awake on a sleepy Friday to say “Thank you for being part of this story!” You didn’t even realize that you were a part of it, did you? In a way, you can see your own reflection somewhere here.
Their sleeping giants have appeared in cities around the world, often too big even for the massive rooftops they are crammed uncomfortably atop. With a true knack for childhood wonder and illustration, perhaps because they have a couple of them at home for inspiration, Ella & Pitr bring the petite rebel spirit to these characters; imperfect specimens with stylistic idiosyncrasies and sometimes ornery personalities.
In the end, they were all “heavy sleepers” resting temporarily, as is often the case with (sub)urban interventions variously referred to as Street Art, public art, land art, pavement art… Make sure you stay for the end of this video that comprised most of the giants.
Graffiti Jam in San Francisquito, Queretaro with Martha Cooper
When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.
With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.
It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population.
Greece, Mexico, Poland, Detroit, Brooklyn, Tennesee, Texas, Asbury Park in New Jersey. Your favorite BSA stories were not limited to geography. Aerosol, wheat-paste, yarn, soldered steel, cut stencils, rollers, photography, even plants; Nor were they contained by technique or materials.
Giving live plants away in a refugee camp, queer pride phone
booth takeovers, a floriculture bus stop, a windswept installation constantly
in motion at a seaside resort. We paid homage to foundational documentarians of
graffiti and Street Art culture, watched an early 1980s French stencil
originator travel through the US south, and provided a platform for one of New
York’s most elusive writers who blasted apart definitions with his texts and
sculpture – all while keeping his own profile on the serious DL.
The creative spirit appears wherever we look on the street,
and luckily you love to observe and learn and get inspired by other’s work as
much as we do.
Based on the traffic to the website, on social media, and in
our email box, here are the top 10 stories that you loved the most in 2019 on
The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer”
Who writes your history? Who would gladly suppress it?
By reviving and celebrating those who the mainstream historically underplays, undercuts, neatly overlooks, and otherwise de facto silences, a new takeover campaign on NY streets helps write the history of LGBTQ struggle, and keeps it just as relevant as this moment.
Photographer and journalist The Dusty Rebel now curates the same streets he documents and shares with BSA readers today his determined campaign to revive, preserve, propel forward the significant players and events that have fought in their myriad ways, with the admonishment to keep fighting. With “Resistance is Queer” he uses his images and his respect for LGBTQ history to ensure that the full spectrum of people are recognized for their contributions to this civil rights struggle for equality.
We’re grateful that he has taken the time to explain in detail the people behind the images and their significance to him personally as well as their role in a people’s history.
The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer” Phone Booth Campaign in NYC. Continue reading HERE
Blek Le Rat Tours the US South
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”.
Blek le Rat Tours The US South continue reading HERE
“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico
“Martha Cooper isn’t only a
photographer, she’s a historian as well and you are here with us today
to pay homage to her work. Martha is my teacher and she taught me more
than graffiti, she’s taught me the way in which we live with art every
day. When we see a piece of art on the street we bring it into our daily
lives. That’s precisely Martha’s contribution to our lives”
Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.
Under the magical spell of the Jacarandas in full bloom, a spirit of
Pax Urbana flowed through Queretaro’s lush public park Alameda Central
this weekend as dignitaries from the city, including the honorable
Andrea Avendaño, the Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro, and
the Nueve Arte Urbano team hosted the opening of an outdoor exhibition
by famed photographer Martha Cooper.
The 101 photographs spanning four decades were enlarged and mounted
in weather resistant vinyl throughout the park, representing the full
range of Ms. Cooper’s continued focus on art in the streets.
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece
Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.
People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as
countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last
decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named
Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but
With a goal of softening the hardship for people living here, Icy and Sot raised money through a print sale online and with the proceeds purchased fresh flowering plants to give away. “It was wonderful to see that actually put a smile on peoples’ faces for a moment,” they say in a press release.
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants And New Life To Refugees In Grece continue reading HERE
“Martha: A Picture Story”. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review
First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:
Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.
Martha A Picture Story. Shots From The Premiere And Movie Review continue reading HERE
Riding the Rails in the Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977 – 1987”
“We may have lost the trains, but we’ve gained the whole world.”
That’s a quote on the wall in the new exhibition at the Bronx Museum spotlighting the work of Henry Chalfant. The quote comes from Mare 139, one of the early graffiti writers of 1970s-80s trains in New York, referring to the now-scrubbed subway cars that once functioned as a mobile gallery for the young masters of cans throughout a metropolis that was in the grips of financial and social upheaval. Thanks to the work of artists and documentarians like Mr. Chalfant, the ephemeral works were captured, cared for, preserved, and spread throughout the world in the intervening years, in some ways helping to spawn a global interest and practice among burgeoning artists.
Riding The Rails in The Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art VS. Transit 1977 -1987 continue reading HERE
F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva
“Graffiti ain’t something you do, it’s something you live,” says the text above a wildly lettered REVS piece in a 1996 photo taken in El Paso. If there is a New York graffiti/Street Art icon that you would identify with a credo like this, he’s definitely one. Self-secreted away from the limelight and distrustful of many of the characters that are on the graffiti/Street Art “scene” today, REVS is nearly a New York folk hero, despite appearing to be completely firm in his anti-establishment, anti-commercial views – rooted in punk and hardcore music and those values that helped form his sometimes shape-shifting character since the the 1980s.
F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA By Freddy Alva continue reading HERE
“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.
As we move further from graffiti and mark-making in public
art-making, is it a revelation that the desire to be seen, to have your
voice heard, is the common denominator again, regardless of the form of
this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin,
a mix master, the artist here samples someone else’s handiwork and remixes it,
adding a filter, chopping it up and repeating it.
Nostalgia Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Lodz, Poland continue reading HERE
Banksy X Mercedes: Is This a Parody??
Yes, of course.
This artists’ interpretation of a car ad that features Banksy’s work is a parody, a farce. No one would try to take one of Banksy’s Street Art pieces to help sell their luxury cars, claiming that his work is in public domain and therefore fair game for any use.
Similarly, if it was a mural on the street by Brooklyn Street Artist KAWS, whose fine art canvas sold at auction this week for $14.7 million dollars at Sothebys Hong Kong, Mercedes wouldn’t simply grab it and run the art behind their newest off-roader on Instagram to infer that “Urban” edginess.
Or would they?
“And now they have filed a lawsuit against me trying to strip away all of my rights. I feel like I am being bullied and intimidated,” says graffiti/street artist artist Daniel Bombardier (a/k.a DENIAL) in a statement regarding the luxury brand that is instead suing him along with three other artists, apparently for having the temerity to demand to be paid, according to an article by James David Dickson in The Detroit News .
Bombardier’s mural and the artworks of the other artists – James Lewis (a.k.a. Olayami Dabls), Jeff Soto, and Maxx Gramajo appeared in published advertisements for the company’s cars, apparently without permission. The artists hired a lawyer to contact the carmaker to seek redress, according to news reports, social media postings, and emails that fairly flooded us yesterday.
Banksy x Mercedez: Is This a Parody? Continue reading HERE
Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation in Asbury Park
They designed the Ritz, the Vanderbilt, the Ambassador and the Biltmore hotels in Manhattan, along with townhouses for the Astors, the Yacht Club, and apartment buildings on 5th Ave and Park.
They were also architects on the team for Grand Central Terminal, that Beaux-Arts centerpiece of Gotham with its high marble walls, majestic sculptures, and lofty domed ceiling.
Also, Whitney Warren & Charles Wetmore designed the Casino Building here in Asbury Park, New Jersey a celebrated historical magnet for thousands of tourists escaping the heat and seeking buffeting breezes. The soaring glass paned windows may remind you of Grand Central, but also of that illustrated postcard on the cover of the Bruce Springsteen album, and of colorful resort town living.
You’ll also see 5,760 pieces of colored yarn hanging from the beams above, forming a shape-shifting brick of radiating color that appears to levitate. The brand new installation by Street Artist Hot Tea is lifted and pulled and choreographed by the ocean air, dancing to the sounds of waves crashing, emulating the currents of the sea. 17 rows define the physical boundaries, but your imagination can go much further with it in a matter of minutes.
Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation at Asbury Park HERE
An in-studio visit today on BSA with Street Artists Icy & Sot. We were happy to check in with them and talk about new techniques they are discovering and creating to make art recently. Remembering the astounding sculpture they created during our curation of the opening exhibition at the Urban Nation museum a couple of years ago, where they created an eerie steel immigrant family silhouette; people who were harrowingly trying to pass through a steel wall. Recalling the power of that piece we were interested to see the evolution of this 2-D method of conveying the features of an individual yet representing the aspirations of humanity in a much broader way.
In the seven years since we first met them, having just arrived from Iran in Brooklyn, we have witnessed such a rigorous, considered set of ethical guidelines in their choices of subjects and techniques, even as we could see their personal and professional evolution. Minimalist, even spartan, they hue to a simple line that is personal and yet universal.
These new profiles in steel are an example of new tools they
have personally crafted from discarded items.
“We used to walk like every day around here,” says Icy as he
motions out of the grimy factory window of their Brooklyn studio to the
industrial truck traffic below on the street.
“We found this rusty shovel and we said, ‘What are we going
to do with this?’” he says as he twirls the wooden shaft in revolutions, the
profile of a man cut out of the shovel’s blade. Once they collected a number of
the discarded diggers and developed a way to saw them into shapes and smooth
their rough edges, they decided to make a number of them.
“Then we did this series about working-class people,” Sot
says. Lined up and leaning forward on the wall, the sculptures seem like they
might talk in gruff and frank voices, might tell you about their toil, or speak
of the soil.
“We wanted to cut them out like ‘workers’ profiles,” says Icy.
They tell us about a grouping of the shovels shown this spring in Lisbon at Underdogs Gallery, owned and operated by Street Artist Alexandre Farko aka Vhils. The exhibition, named “Faces of Society” expanded the new cutting technique to include other materials like the brush of a hand-broom, the brass plates of the scales of justice, a sawed briefcase full of money, a pair of leather gloves smashed one upon the other. For followers of the artists, these new works all recalled the people-shaped holes in chain link fences that they have been cutting in recent years as well.
Aside from this reductionist approach to art-making, they have also been developing a unique process for applying paint with the inner core of a cutout. By specifically smearing paint directly to the metal shape, pressing it on canvas or parchment, and pulling away, the remaining paint gives the impression of movement and action. One series called “Dreams” features the guys singular focus on color, and on metal to create streaming portraits in red, green, blue, yellow, bronze, copper, gold and silver.
The artists then showed us their technique for creating
these new paintings, a simple and possibly profound revelatory form of
portraiture that infers stories in its streaks, suggests individual character
in each rhythmic pulling back of the painted blade. When on display at
Underdogs, they called this series “What is Love?”. A good question, as usual.
Somber and sorrowful, this distance in between. Distance between people geographically, politically, ideologically. Distance between dreams and reality, between what is possible and what we achieve. Yet, we’ve seen that each of these distances can be bridged.
That allegory is plain and obvious in the new exhibition curated by Sasha
Bogojev at Berlin’s BC gallery called “The Distance Between”.
Perhaps because of their personal backgrounds, or in spite of it, three Street Art talents of today (one of them a duo) address a series of politically charged and ultimately human crises that play out on an international stage today. Because of their own nationalities, one may surmise their points of view quickly, but in arts’ expression we can find greater complexities, gradations, and subtleties.
Iranian brothers Icy & Sot, Israeli Addam Yekutieli (aka Know Hope), and Italian aerosol artist Eron each come to the global migration crisis from distinct perspectives, each willing to explore the human cost of war, dislocation, grief, longing.
Unconventional pairings perhaps, these makers of metaphor and poetry and gesture, yet in their nexus lies a certain possible common understanding. In the minds of some these collaborations could be unthinkable, so their work product is charged with socio-politics by its mere existence. The understated presentation in the gallery setting is suitably serious and somewhat cramped, with room for the cracked smile of irony, and disgust.
“The Distance Between” is currently on view at the BC Gallery located at Libauerstraße 14 10245 Berlin