All posts tagged: Icy & Sot

John Fekner: Working for “A Change” for Fifty Years

John Fekner: Working for “A Change” for Fifty Years

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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 witness.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.”

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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?’

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.”

  https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote   https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote

John Fekner. A CHANGE (photo © Icy & Sot)

Due to the pandemic, both the exhibition and talk will be by appointment only. Please email contact@garageartcenter.org to schedule.

The Garage Art Center, Inc.
26-01 Corporal Kennedy Street Bayside, NY 11360


Gallery Hours
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm
(Opens during the exhibition only.)

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BSA Film Friday: 03.06.20

BSA Film Friday: 03.06.20

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.

See more in yesterdays’ posting Icy & Sot say “Our House Is On Fire!”

Said Dokins on Cultura Colectiva

Mexican muralist Said Dokins talks about his practice and his underlying social practice through coded calligraphy

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Icy & Sot say “Our House Is On Fire!”

Icy & Sot say “Our House Is On Fire!”

The vast expansive character of climate change is as elusive to visualize in the popular imagination as conceptual art. 

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.

Icy & Sot “Our house is on fire”. (photo © www.instagram.com/floontz./ )

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.

Icy & Sot “Our house is on fire”. (photo © www.instagram.com/floontz./ )

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.

Icy & Sot “Our house is on fire”. (photo © www.instagram.com/floontz./ )

“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.

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Top 10 Videos On “BSA Film Friday” From 2019

Top 10 Videos On “BSA Film Friday” From 2019

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.



No. 10

INTI / “PRIMAVERA INSURRECTA”, Spring Insurrection

From BSA Film Friday 11.29.19

From 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 new constitution.

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_-5wdutumQ

No. 09

Icy & Sot: Giving Plants. Film By Doug Gillen/FWTV

From: 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 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.


No. 08

Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind

From BSA Film Friday 09.20.19

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.


No. 07

Bordalo II “A Life of Waste”

From BSA Film Friday 08.09.19

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.”


No. 06

“Perpetual Flow” by Jorge Gerada in Morocco

From BSA Film Friday 01.04.19

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.


No. 05

Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing

From BSA Film Friday 08.16.19

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.

Artists include Theosone, Stohead, Warios, Naok Write, Jan Koke Parisurteil, Scon, Alpha Skao, Belloskoni, YAT, Drury Brennan, CRBZ, Schriftzug, Reano Feros, Paindesign, Alot, Bello, Cay Miles, Naok Write, Scon, Schriftzug, Parisurteil, CRBZ, Reano Feros, YAT.

The sound and editing are sharply done by Abstract Monollog with a certain finesse as well.


No. 04

Paradox and CPT. OLF and Daredevilry in Berlin

From BSA Film Friday 11.01.19

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 James Bond.

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.

Hold tight.


No. 03

Gross Domestic Product – Banksy

From BSA Film Friday 10.04.19

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

No. 02

Ella & Pitr “Heavy Sleepers”

From BSA Film Friday 01.11.19

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.


No. 01

Graffiti Jam in San Francisquito, Queretaro with Martha Cooper

From: A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

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.

Many universities, lower wages, and an easier regulatory environment have brought the big companies here as well as the fact that the city boasts an attractive protected historical area that was declared a World UNESCO zone. Now they have a subway, at least a temporary painted one.

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BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

BSA Top 10 Stories Of 2019 As Picked By You

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 BSA.


No. 10

The Dusty Rebel: “Resistance is Queer”

The Dusty Rebel. Hope Will Never Be Silent. In collaboration with #KeepFighting (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

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


No. 9

Blek Le Rat Tours the US South

Blek Le Rat. Nashville. (photo © Brian Greif)

From BSA:

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


No. 8

“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“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.


Evolucion De Una Revolucion continue reading HERE


No. 7

Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

From BSA:

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.

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


No. 6

“Martha: A Picture Story”. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

Selina Miles & Martha Cooper. MARTHA: A Picture Story. A film by Selina Miles. (photo © Nika Kramer)

From BSA:

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


No. 5

Riding the Rails in the Bronx With “Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977 – 1987”

Henry Chalfant. HENRY CHALFANT: ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977 – 1987. The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The Bronx, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“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


No. 4

F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva

REVS. Weld Up in DUMBO, 2000. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

“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.

REVLON, REVS, SHIESTA, AVENGE, FUCKING REVS, REVS SOUP, REVS NUKE…


F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA By Freddy Alva continue reading HERE


No. 3

“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

From BSA:

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 expression.

In this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin, transparently.

Like 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

No. 2

Banksy X Mercedes: Is This a Parody??

From BSA:

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


No. 1

Windswept Public Art at the Beach: Hot Tea’s New Installation in Asbury Park

Hot Tea. Wooden Walls Project. Asbury Park, NJ. May 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From BSA:

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


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Icy & Sot: Studio Visit and New Faces of Humanity

Icy & Sot: Studio Visit and New Faces of Humanity

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.

Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“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.

Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. Studio Visit. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy and Sot’s piece for “Faces of Society” at Underdogs Gallery in Lisbon entitled “What is Love II”
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Know Hope, Icy & Sot, and Eron Produce “The Distance Between” in Berlin

Know Hope, Icy & Sot, and Eron Produce “The Distance Between” in Berlin

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.

Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope . Icy & Sot . Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That allegory is plain and obvious in the new exhibition curated by Sasha Bogojev at Berlin’s BC gallery called “The Distance Between”.

Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope . Icy & Sot . Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope . Icy & Sot . Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope . Icy & Sot . Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope . Icy & Sot . Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eron “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Addam Yekutieli/Know Hope. “The Distance Between” BC Gallery. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The Distance Between” is currently on view at the BC Gallery located at
Libauerstraße 14
10245 Berlin

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BSA Film Friday: 08.16.19

BSA Film Friday: 08.16.19

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

Now screening :
1. Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing
2. Who Is My Brother?
3. Graffiti Hunting In NYC – Beyond The Streets 2019 Via Migz Tatz
4. Gray Mountain, Green Room
5. CARDI B Interviews Bernie Sanders

BSA Special Feature: Calligrafreaks Project – A New Era of Writing

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 artform.

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.

Artists include Theosone, Stohead, Warios, Naok Write, Jan Koke Parisurteil, Scon, Alpha Skao, Belloskoni, YAT, Drury Brennan, CRBZ, Schriftzug, Reano Feros, Paindesign, Alot, Bello, Cay Miles, Naok Write, Scon, Schriftzug, Parisurteil, CRBZ, Reano Feros, YAT.

The sound and editing are sharply done by Abstract Monollog with a certain finesse as well.

Who Is My Brother? A Film about artist Ben Farleigh by his brother Jacob Perlmutter

Those kooky middle class artists, making crafty art and movies about each other. Simply loveable aren’t they?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=89&v=XjXd9hZ0Rw8

Graffiti Hunting In NYC – Beyond The Streets 2019 Via Migz Tatz

Migz Tatz takes people on graffiti hunting escapades on the regular. Here is his hand-made trip to the Beyond the Streets exhibit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn currently on display – and now extended into late September. Not everyone can get to New York so this is one guys personal experience walking through the exhibit.

Gray Mountain, Green Room

Another homemade video tour without complete attribution to the artists, Jared Amiljo-Wardie wanders along U.S. HWY89 in Arizona. He happens upon a collection of illegal artworks from Gray Mountain that BSA published years ago. It is good to see that an arid climate preserves many of these works – even if he doesn’t know who they are by – because he thinks of them as part of his film making expression. He also describes his adventure with a poetic cadence.

“The earth has begun to reclaim most of the parking lots in Gray Mountain and with time the buildings too but for now it remains in the early stages of decay. As I sweat through perfecting a gimble shot a group of people stop to inspect the apocalyptic scene; an abandoned hotel and gas station. While I do my fourth take I hear windows begin to break. “

CARDI B Interviews Bernie Sanders

Nuff said.

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Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

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.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

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 Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

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.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

It’s a simple act full of symbolism and invokes the power of the natural world in healing our many wounds. “We know this project didn’t really change anything for those people,” the say, “They come to Europe to be far from the dangers of war, far from hearing bomb explosions, for a better future for their kids. They have had an exhausting journey and they deserve better. They deserve our support.”

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Icy & Sot: “Giving Plant” Gives Plants to Refugees

Icy & Sot: “Giving Plant” Gives Plants to Refugees

Springtime makes you do spontaneous acts of nature – like running to the local plant store or corner deli to buy a plant for your mom, or your grandma, or that colorful guy who runs the laundromat on the corner.

There is something very gratifying in the act of giving a living thing to another person that makes you feel grounded to the earth, connected to the family of humanity.

For the next five days Street Art brothers Icy & Sot are giving us all an opportunity to give plants to people who live in refugee camps, while they wait for a better future.

Icy & Sot “Giving Plant” (photo courtesy of Icy & Sot)

With the goal of improving quality of life and fortifying the dignity of the refugee population in Greece, Icy & Sot will be in Lesvos in person next month to hand out plants to the people there together with the foundation Movement On The Ground .

For the next five days, until April 22nd at midnight (EST) you can help by purchasing their new print, “Giving Plant”.

“The Idea is to give hope and joy to the people in the refugee camps while they are waiting for a better future,” says Sot.

Girl with flowers at the Olive Grove. (photo courtesy of Icy & Sot)

“Basically with buying a print you are buying plants for the refugees,” explains Icy.

Please Click on the link below to purchase the print:

https://givingplant.bigcartel.com/product/giving-plant

Please forward this link to friends and family as well – It’s an excellent way to give and show support in a place where nature will be welcomed.

Family at the Olive Grove. (photo courtesy of Icy & Sot)

From Movement On The Ground Website: Movement On The Ground, is a group of independent business people responding to a humanitarian crisis affecting the innocent men, women, and children forced from their homes by climate change, poverty, and war. Movement On The Ground sets a new blueprint for humanitarian help worldwide.

The organization aims to maintain a fixed presence on the island of Lesvos. They work as much as possible with the local community in the attempt to connect locals with refugees. Their projects are all based on the goal of improving dignity for the refugee population.

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BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

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

Now screening :
1. Icy & Sot Overview
2. Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)
3. “Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.
4. Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

BSA Special Feature: Icy & Sot Overview

The Iranian brothers have been toiling and innovating and taking risks on the streets of Tabriz and Brooklyn now for more than a decade. Now commercial brands are discovering them as well. These guys just keep marching forward with purpose, staying true to their beliefs.

Icy & Sot Video Project

Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)

Entirely of their own volition and vision, filmmakers Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk created this ode to Stavanger and the Street Art festival called Nuart.


Two BSA quickvids in a row here from our recent travels in Berlin and Queretero…

“Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.

Urban photographer Martha Cooper now has 101 of her photographs on the streets — literally on the streets of Queretero, Mexico. Part of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival, the exhibition is called “Evolution of a Revolution” and we were pleased to be a part of the opening events with Ms. Cooper, who said she was very pleased with the quality of the large format photos and the reception of the people on the streets.

Thanks to Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel and their team for the vision and hard work. See more on “Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

Thanks to a new big empty city lot this building seems primed for the big stage! First the Alanis angel has ridden on this wall for a long time with grace and beautiful realism. Secondly, Berlin Kidz climbed vertically down from the roof in their distinctive and colorful language.

But we were lucky to see the British Fanakapan working with the worldwide, Berlin-based, anonymous graffiti crew 1UP for a stunning collaboration. This kind of shit can turn you into a fanboy or fangirl in a heartbeat. If you had a heart.

Shout out YAP and team! Read more about the project on Vox Graffiti Roars in Berlin with New Fanakapan X 1UP Collabo.


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“Trashplant” with Forest Dump Et Al : The Completed Installations – Part III

“Trashplant” with Forest Dump Et Al : The Completed Installations – Part III

Here at the Trashplant festival in Tenerife, the performance artist and eco-artivist Forest Dump re-added foliage to this new tree that once was a telephone pole that once was a tree. Then he jumped down off the fence.

For those who have been on the fence about their responsibility to the earth and our natural resources, many people in this new generation are making that jump as well.

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

“We have been building cities for years, replacing nature with concrete and steel,” he says in a recent Instagram post, “We tend to forget but our deepest roots are in Mother Nature and we truly need her to survive.”

Reminds us of all these online orders we’ve been placing lately for all kinds of household items, and the boxes that are piling high under the desk. Cardboard consumption had been reduced by manufacturers in recent years but now the world is consuming about 415 metric tons of paper and cardboard every year, and tons of water is involved in its production as well.

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

It’s something to think about when looking at the new Coruja owl that Montreal based artist Laurence Vallières has fashioned out of cardboard.

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Beginning with a small clay sculpture that she made for reference that is closer in scale to the diminutive size of the actual owl (usually about 8 inches, or 20 centimeters tall) she brought this one to life over the course of a few days while gazing out the studio window at the ocean. The new sculpture joins a long line of animals that the artist has made in the last few years using this same technique and material, at once impressive because of the volume of the work, then by it’s relative fragility.

Laurence Vallières. WIP shot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Laurence Vallières. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Portuguese artist Miguel Januário pokes at that corner of your consciousness that has stopped making connections through disuse. His new installations for Trashplant are in alignment with his ±MaisMenos± art project that is drawing attention to the connection between the natural internal environment and the natural external environment.

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

EMPHASEMA is translucently suspended in the air amidst a leafy wooded area that is always cleaning the air and aiding respiration. Similarly his intervention of the word CIRRHOSIS is afloat in the nearby surf where water brings to mind the role of your clean liver in all metabolic processes. As usual, the artist creates gently jarring messaged that may begin further inquisition and examination into our attitudes and behaviors.

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Trashplant as a project curated by Bordalo II is a potent reminder of the multiple functions that art can play in our daily intercourse and Street Arts’/Public Arts’ potential to reach larger cross sections of people who normally do not frequent galleries or museums. With the obvious, the subtle, and the conceptual at play, this festival takes a meaningful approach to the power of communication to a range of audiences.

Forest Dump has the last word here.

“No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain linked to the natural world! Respect it before is too late!”


Our sincere thanks to photographer Luz Sosa for sharing these photos with BSA readers over the past three days of our coverage of Trashplant.


To learn more about Trashplant please go here: http://trashplantfestival.org/

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

±MAISMENOS± Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Forest Dump. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Bordalo II. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Catarina Glam. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Icy & Sot. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

Diedel Klöver. Trashplant Festival. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. June 2018. (photo © Luz Sosa)

 

 

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