All posts tagged: Ino

BSA Film Friday: 09.13.19

BSA Film Friday: 09.13.19

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

Now screening :
1. “Word on the Street” Debut
2. INO – “Freedom For Sale” in Athens
3. Two in a Row from Alex Prager: “La Grande Sortie” & “Despair”


BSA Special Feature: “Word on the Street” Debuts

“Fuck the old days. Graffiti is now!”

The last five years have been explosive for Street Art worldwide, and with “Word On The Street” you have a good indicator that the graff writing game is alive and well in New York as well – and tenaciously prolific.

Anonymous filmmakers infused the doc with vibrating audio and visual distortion and a sense of ever-present surveillance, or the implication of it cloaked in darkness. Interviews, late night runs, frozen wire fences, loose footing, bloody scrapes, and the sweet smell of aerosol lightly purring from cans across a shadowed wall. The labor of love for the filmmakers is the only thing that pushes a project like this to fruition. And fumes of course.

It’s first public screening is coming up September 29 in Brooklyn. Click HERE for more information.

It’s first public screening is coming up September 29 in Brooklyn. Click HERE for more information.

Featuring 143, AJES, BIO, BRAT, CASH4, CARL WESTON, CLAW, CHRIS RWK, DEK 2DX, DIVA, DSR, EDO, EL7, FAES, FLASH, JAKEE, JESUS SAVES, KLOPS, LEX, LOOSE, MERK, MRS, MUTZ, NEG, NOXER, PANIC, PLASMA SLUG, POE, SCAE, SEO, SILON, SMURFO, SPRAY, STOR, STU, and VEW.

INO – “Freedom For Sale” in Athens

Constantino Mass adds just the right amount of slickly pounding wipes and cuts to this installation by INO in Athens. We published photos from this a few days ago so have a look and enjoy the video.

Two in a Row from Alex Prager

Alex Prager debuted a new short film at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York this month, and it has piqued the interest of many in her work of disconnected, reconnected narratives. Impeccably styled, humorously shot, it’s a staged invoking of old Hollywood and street scenes, enveloped in drama and frequently suspense. Often the LA born director provides just the deconstructed portion of the scene you have seen, and keeps reworking it in surprising ways. Go to the gallery to see the new “Play the Wind”. Below are two of her short films from five and nine years ago respectively.

“La Grande Sortie” by Alex Prager

“Despair” by Alex Prager

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INO: “Freedom For Sale” in Athens

INO: “Freedom For Sale” in Athens

It’s true, Athens is still in the throes of austerity, but not for everyone, darling.

The severe financial austerity imposed on Greece’s government and people by the international bankers was never meant for everyone – vulture capitalism is designed with winners in mind.

INO. “Freedom For Sale”. Athens. August 2019. (photo © INO)

Just check out the clubs and nighttime entertainment near Kolonaki Square where this new INO mural is.

Once you pass the phalanx of security, you are welcomed into the party – preferably wearing designer labels – the men are in blazers and “casual cool” as they watch barely dressed women in high heels dancing on the stage, sometimes acting out fantasies to the aural euphoria and plumes of smoke blown skyward. In these thumping houses of free-market hedonism, you can feel free while waving your hands and glow sticks in the air at the DJ booth, but for a comparably hefty price.

INO. “Freedom For Sale”. Athens. August 2019. (photo © INO)

The average annual salary in Athens is €21,618, or about 60€ a day. A visitor to one of these clubs reports that “prices start from 90€ (bottle of proseco/wine), 290€ for a bottle of vodka, and 145€ for a bottle of gin”.

This financial inequality may have been on his mind when INO painted this new mural. “They did not give me a specific theme and I chose to create an image that from the first point of view may look optimistic but it is not,” he says. The title is “Freedom for Sale”.

Who’s buying?

INO. “Freedom For Sale”. Check out the 1UP extinguisher tag across the street. Athens. August 2019. (photo © INO)
INO. “Freedom For Sale”. Athens. August 2019. (photo © INO)
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BSA Film Friday: 11.09.18

BSA Film Friday: 11.09.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. GAIA “Still Here”
2. Jorge Rodriguez Gerarda at DEN Culture Space in Barcelona
3. INO – BOMBER in Łódź
4. TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite.

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: GAIA “Still Here”

“The ability to paint realistically is magical. And so it is nice to possess a little bit of magic,” says Street Artist, muralist, social observer, citizen anthropologist, lecturer GAIA as he talks about his new mural project in Providence, Rhode Island.

A student and avid practitioner of multi-sectionalism the 30 year old Baltimorian researched the area and its history long before he began the project in September. Invited by Avenue Concept and its residency manager Nick Platzer, the artist partnered with the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter and artist Lynsea Montanari, a member of the Narragansett tribe, who is depicted in the mural holding a picture of Princess Red Wing, a Narragansett elder who founded the museum in the 1950s.

Follow the process, and hear GAIA speak about the path in “Still Here.”

 

Jorge Rodriguez Gerarda at DEN Culture Space in Barcelona

Cuban-American contemporary artists and large-scale terrestrial public artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada has worked in culture jamming and degrees of détournement on billboards in the street but is featured here today for his recent project with the tender ephemeral charcoal drawings many know him for. Part of an initiative with the JET8 Foundation the artist is receiving an art and technology grant to be used to support social and artistic projects. More on that later, but in the mean time, here is his mural of his friend Desislava Staneva, a Barcelona based art curator.

INO – BOMBER in Łódź

A quick flick of INO’s “Bomber” wall that he did with Urban Forms in Łódź, Poland. Whose the bomber, you ask? Atlas of course.  Look out below!

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite.

The midterms are over, but Trump is still great TV! The corporate media loves him and hates him and is absolutely hooked on him because he keeps bringing them advertising money. Don’t worry, they’ll quit him in 2024. Promise!

Democracy? That is a different matter.

Trump Rat and Democracy at Jeffrey Deitch “Protest Factory”


 

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Praying for Money with INO in Ibiza

Praying for Money with INO in Ibiza

Yes, money falling from the sky, that’s what people pray for sometimes.

As long as those metal coins flying at high speed don’t hit you or your dog, it would appear to be a splendid idea. INO had the scenario in mind in Ibiza, Spain for the BLOOP festival, and he painted this mural of a girl on the side of a hotel. He’s calling it “Hopeless’.

INO. “Hopeless” Bloop Festival 2018. Ibiza, Spain. (photo © INO)

While we don’t sidestep the financial suffering of the many millions of families who are neighbors on the Earth, you also know that sometimes money is not the solution to everything.

Recently The Simple Dollar website compiled a list of 100 things to do for free, and while they don’t apply universally, especially when your fundamental needs are not being being met, the list is an excellent way to imagine larger parts of life without seeing them through the prism of cash.

For INO, this mural is likely a topic more serious – when one feels so desperate as to pray for money.

INO. “Hopeless” Bloop Festival 2018. Ibiza, Spain. (photo © INO)

INO. “Hopeless” Bloop Festival 2018. Ibiza, Spain. (photo © INO)

INO. “Hopeless” Bloop Festival 2018. Ibiza, Spain. (photo © INO)

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BSA Film Friday: 06.01.18

BSA Film Friday: 06.01.18

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. “The US Tapes” with Fatheat and TransOne
2. Said Dokins: Stories of a Word
3. INO: Lost in Greece
4. Low Bros x Viva Con Agua

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: The US Tapes with Fatheat and TransOne

“Listen, my only request…. When you’re done doing your thing, do an Italian flag with my daughter’s name on it,” says a guy who is shouting up from the street to the roof where two Hungarian graff writers are preparing to hit a wall with a giant rat in Jersey. That rat looks fantastic as it basks in the blinking glow of the marquee for Vinny Italian Gourmet on the streets in the Newark night below.

That scene alone can stand as their American iconic moment for the US Tapes, but Fatheat and TransOne documented a number of golden moments on their trip this winter to New York, Wynwood, LA, and Las Vegas. Travel with them as they try to square the television mythology of modern America with the one they are encountering in all its ridiculous free-wheeling self satisfied unreflective emotional consumerist funkified freedom*.  Standby for sonic blasts from the cultural pulp soundbook and prepare for a celebrity visit.

Slyly they observe and sample and taste and catalogue the insights by traversing the main stage and the margins, smartly not taking it too seriously, finding plenty of places for wide-eyed wonder and wiseguy sarcasm. Steeped in graffiti history with mad skillz themselves, this is all an adventure. Generous of heart, they also share it with you.

Ready for your Friday road trip?

 

 

Said Dokins: Stories of a Word

You saw great shots and heard the story this week on BSA :

Said Dokins in Queensland: Ghosts, Memories & Language.

Now you can see the video. Oh, word?

 

INO: Lost in Greece

A perfect wistful interlude that turns this massive mural into an interlude.  See more earlier on BSA with “INO and ‘LOST’ in the Port of Piraeus, Greece”.

 

Low Bros x Viva Con Agua

A brief shot with Berlin’s Low Bros as they create a wall “in our own visual language” in Los Angeles.

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INO and “LOST” in the Port of Piraeus, Greece

INO and “LOST” in the Port of Piraeus, Greece

She’s lost, so much on her mind.

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

The triangulation of financial, governmental, and corporate power locked Greece (and Europe) in a downward spiral only three years ago, and although there are some signs of stabilization this year, the downturn “wiped out a quarter of the nation’s economic value (and) runs deep and is still vivid in the minds and pocketbooks of the country’s 11  million citizens.

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

Perhaps this contributes to the troubled mind of INO’s latest full mural on the side of a hotel in the Port of Piraeus, Greece.

And what a port! Now 51 percent owned by the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) , Piraeus is on track to be the busiest port of the Mediterranean in terms of container traffic by 2019.

Surely she must be overwhelmed by that prospect as well.

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

Possibly, she’s just mad about a boy – and springtime tends to mess with young people’s hearts more than others. Reminds you of that blues standard, “I’ve Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good.”  In a more contemporary vein she may be closer to Rianna’s new standard, “Love On The Brain.”

In any case, “They finally took off the scaffolding,” INO tells us. He says, “It’s a pretty woman who is thinking. She has a blue vortex on her mind.”

The title is “Lost”.

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (photo © INO)

INO. “Lost” Greece. May 2018. (Constantino Mass)

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INO and “Broken” in Fortaleza, Brazil

INO and “Broken” in Fortaleza, Brazil

The Greek Street Artist INO has been consistently observing the social and political factors that are at play in modern society and has been addressing these themes through his work painting large murals in more cities around the world. This week in Fortaleza aside the Atlantic in northeastern Brazil, INO created a headless female form that for him is evocative of a socio-political order that is “Broken”.

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

“This is a place where someone can see very big contradictions,” he tells us, “the poverty in the street, people begging for food – while you eat in the restaurant, the prostitutes every night in the streets.”

He shows us a photo of a street scene where  women are being questioned by the police that he took at night while he was painting his wall from the vantage point of his lift up above. His imagination is activated by the scene, and he thinks of the frightening circumstances that women in the sex trade are put in that exploit them repeatedly.

“All of this, together with the rich people, the expensive apartments in huge luxury buildings that look empty, surrounded by barbed wire fences in each condominium yard…” It all is disturbing to him, and a scene repeated in many cities in so-called developed nations where the stratification between rich and poor is getting more pronounced than ever before in the modern era, leaving more feeling powerless and easily victimized.

For his new mural entitled “Broken”, completed here during the 4th Concreto Festival, the anonymous form is an obvious reference to people caught in a de-humanizing system. “The piece is depicting a naked thin woman in a position of offering her body, with a black splash coming from the head,” he says.

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

INO. “Broken”. Festival Concreto. Fortaleza, Brazil. November, 2017. (photo © INO)

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The “Melting Earth” and INO at Bloop Fest Ibiza 2017

The “Melting Earth” and INO at Bloop Fest Ibiza 2017

Topical and timely, street artist INO has the scoop on global warming right now at the Bloop Festival in Ibiza, Spain.

INO “Melting Earth”. Bloop Festival 2017. Ibiza, Spain. July 2017. (photo © Mr. Mini)

A woeful visual play on the cold summer treat that kids in many countries have associated with good times, this Ice Cream man from Greece tells us that the situation is getting messy.

“Our world is changing because of the worst animal that has ever lived on earth – the human,” INO tells us, “And we’re all denying it.” The piece is on the side of a school, so certainly it will spark many conversations among students and teachers – a powerful example of how public-facing art can have an impact.

INO “Melting Earth”. Bloop Festival 2017. Ibiza, Spain. July 2017. (photo © INO)

INO “Melting Earth”. Bloop Festival 2017. Ibiza, Spain. July 2017. (photo © Mr. Mini)

INO “Melting Earth”. Bloop Festival 2017. Ibiza, Spain. July 2017. (photo © INO)

INO “Melting Earth”. Bloop Festival 2017. Ibiza, Spain. July 2017. (photo © INO)

 

 


For more information on Bloop please go to:

www.bloopfestival.com #bloopfestival

For INO please go to:

www.ino.net #inoexpo

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Isaac Cordal + INO. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway.  UPN Dispatch 1

Isaac Cordal + INO. Up North Fest X BSA: Røst, Norway. UPN Dispatch 1

This is the third year for Northern Norway’s UPN Festival and this year it’s on an Island called Røst and includes a collection of artists eager to do site-specific and environmental works – one evolutionary development in the mural festivals that blossom throughout the world right now. This week BSA is proud to bring you images and interviews along with Urban Nation this year at UpNorth, where the seagulls never stop calling and the sun never goes down this time of year.


Today we look at new work by Isaac Cordal from Spain and INO from Greece, with each artist telling us about their street practice up north.

“I think it was very interesting as Upnorth subtly left its footprint without overturning the aesthetics of the Island,” says Isaac Cordal about his experience at the UPN festival. You may be familiar with the miniature sculptural interventions by Isaac Cordal, whose corporate businessmen have sold their souls and are looking down at the traffic of the city from a ledge, contemplating their existence, dread, and guilt. Partly social critique, partly comedic play, partly redefining public space and scale, Cordal’s figures are reliably surprising. You can see that at UpNorth this year some of them are evolving as well.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us about the new figures that you did for UpNorth?
Isaac Cordal: In a way they are part of the same series called “Isolated in the modern outdoors”. They are covered by a blanket with the colors of the houses of Røst. They are isolated in the middle of the sea with no possibilities of returning, without a house, like a kind of shipwreck. Unfortunately blankets have become the street fashion for many homeless people. Blankets remind us of other times, of the devastation, of the migratory crises and of the human being succumbing to the hostilities of the outside.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Brooklyn Street Art: We notice that they look quite different from the little businessmen that many have become familiar with. What inspired you to change them?
Isaac Cordal: As I said before perhaps the idea is a little dense. In modernity itself we have intense reflections of the Middle Ages, there are still different speeds outside exponential progress, too many contrasts between rich and poor, the so-called globalization leaves a trail of images of people delocalized, confused in space and lost in time.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
Isaac Cordal: Working in Røst was an interesting experience since you had to adapt to the peculiar nature of it; there were not many buildings to intervene so that gave me the opportunity to experiment with its geography. With its 24 hours of light its landscape became something completely hypnotic at certain times. The hours of sleep are altered and the perception of time changes in a certain way.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
Isaac Cordal: I’m going to try to work more in the studio after an intense year from one side of the world to the other. Perhaps I will decrease a little more – until disappearing.

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

 

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Isaac Cordal)

Isaac Cordal. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)


Muralist INO uses a monochrome palette and a splash of color with most of his photorealist/surrealist figurative metaphors to talk about society. Not exactly critique, often the commentary comes across as straightforward observation, openly stated.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

An aerosol bomber in his teens in Athens, his hard work in his early thirties has brought his murals to many international cities and he says UPN was a great opportunity to address a favorite issue of late, our lack of privacy. The new piece is called “Photobombing”.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us about the piece that you did for UpNorth? 
INO: The invasion of privacy in our societies is constantly increasing with the pretext that our lives are improving. This exposure may not concern some, but maybe they should think again about it.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe the environment working in Røst?
INO: It was interesting working on an island  that has only one policeman and 24 hours daylight.

Brooklyn Street Art: How are you challenging yourself as an artist right now?
INO: The production of images that will remain on people’s mind in this era of over-information could be a challenge.

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © Tor Ståle Moen)

INO. Up North Fest 2017. Røst, Norway. (photo © INO)

Our thanks to our partner Urban Nation (UN) and to photographer Tor Ståle Moen for his talents.


See our Up North roundup piece on The Huffington Post

 

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Two Miami Schools Enveloped in Murals : The RAW Project in Wynwood

Two Miami Schools Enveloped in Murals : The RAW Project in Wynwood

Reimagining Art in Wynwood: The RAW Project.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received $148 million in 2016. The war budget, also called the “Defense Budget”, was approved for $582 billion for this year.

For comparison’s sake, that means the “Defense Budget” is 3,900 times the size of the NEA.

Paola Delfin at work on her mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arts and artists get very little or no financial or institutional support from the federal, state, or local government in the United States, which is always a shock for Europeans to learn – and many won’t believe it when you tell them. This website, for example, receives no funding or grants from any organization despite publishing daily for almost nine years, and it has remained non-commercial during that entire time.

Paola Delfin with some fans. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It may be getting even worse for the arts in the US now that the new Trump administration in Washington is proposing cutting all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Arts and music programs in many American schools have already been eliminated slowly but surely over the last 40 years since the beginning of trickle-down economics in the 1980s.

That is why it is rather astounding that two of Miami’s Wynwood schools, Eneida M. Hartner elementary school and Jose De Diego middle school, are completely covered in murals.

Mr. June. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Raw Project in Wynwood, Miami is the initiative of Robert De Los Rios, who partnered with private contributors, did fundraising, and asked a coalition of artists to paint the walls of the schools for the kids.

 

Part of its success of course is due to the status of the Wynwood neighborhood as a magnet for graffiti and Street Artists over the last decade or so. Already coming to Wynwood for Art Basel or to partake in a related art event, these artists have given of themselves and their talents to create a completely unique and dynamic environment for students to learn and grow up around.

Zed1. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We captured a number of these walls during successive visits over the last few years and share them with BSA readers today.

Please consider donating to the school organization to continue this program and to refresh or replace murals as they age. http://www.projectwynwood.com/raw/

Martin Whatson. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2501. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INO at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INO. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © INO)

Kevin Ludo at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kevin Ludo. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai. The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Emil Walker)

Dan Witz. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pip Squeak. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axel Rod. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bik Ismo. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Findac. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face on the left with Pixel Pancho on the right. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MTO. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paola Delfin. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spencer Keeton Cunnigham. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Word To Mother. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pastel. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jose Mertz . Lister. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Looks like the kids at the Jose De Diego middle school are being inspired by the art of Ben Eine. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Txemy. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

bsaxurban-nation-miami-art-basel-2016-740

An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both.

brooklyn-street-art-1010-jaime-rojo-hard-rock-stadium-miami-art-basel-2016-web

1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls.

International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake.

Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence mixed with plaid, shot-callers and violins, strollers and stillettos, an undertone of aggression and sexual tension, salt-of-the-earth with self-admiring clubbers, perfect skin and aerosol painted hands, a whiff of weed and a sense of wonder waiting to be discovered.

brooklyn-street-art-audrey-kawasaki-jaime-rojo-wynwood-walls-miami-art-basel-2016-web

Audrey Kawasaki at The Hotel. Goldman Global Arts. South Beach. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there was a parade of 40 or so citizens and activists carrying signs and handing out flyers down the street to protest the oil pipelines taking sacred lands from native tribes and polluting natural water supplies, the thousands of art fans flooding the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami would have been hard pressed to find any Street Art talking about those topics.

Ironically the political shockwaves this year in Miami seemed to emanate from behind doors at the fair with Sam Durant’s “End White Supremacy” piece that many interpreted as a direct response to the election of a president whose followers include radical organizations that champion white supremacy. Alas, the piece was made in 2008, and although its hand-style emulates the hit and run scrawl of some graffiti on the street, it was a thoughtfully executed piece constructed as an illuminated sign.

brooklyn-street-art-david-choe-jaime-rojo-wynwood-walls-miami-art-basel-2016-web-3

David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With one very notable exception, the enormous and frightful mural featuring Donald Trump as Heath Ledger’s Joker wielding a knife at the neck of the Statue of Liberty with the screaming headline “Come On… What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?” by 12 artists for The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Arts Project, the professionalization of Street Artists and their murals may be steering the paintings in Wynwood away from in-your-face activism.

Granted, no one is thinking that commercially branded ventures that actually pay artists to paint will encourage the outright expression of social or political opinions – that may challenge or frighten potential customers and investors. Hotel lobbies need murals, sport cars need decorative painting, beer cans need labels. A number of liquor and lifestyle companies have invited artists here over the last few years and paid them to make their special events and products visually appealing, but little else.

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David Choe portrait of Martha Cooper and her cat Mélia. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The newly refurbished Hard Rock stadium a few miles north of Miami features huge mural installations by international Street Artists that are curated by Goldman Global Arts, a division of Goldman Properties, the same real estate organization that has brought artists from around the world to the Wynwood Walls compound and featured their fine art canvasses in gallery expositions since the late 2000s. The pieces are opus works in an unusual setting and now sports fans are going to be up close and personal with some of the bigger names in Street Art right now.

It would be hypocritical for anyone to expect that these artists should accept commercial work and yet disrespect guidelines about the content. Similarly, expecting artists not to seek commercial opportunities for fear of “selling out” is arrogant and unrealistic and often the convenient provenance of privileged youth who dabble in “slumming” as a rebellious lifestyle. Later they are bankers.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even so, where’s the anger right now? Why didn’t you see a lot of furious diatribes, challenges to power, and mockery of small-minded thinking on the street in Wynwood – and what would it take for Street Art to embrace its power to affect social and political change?

Just posing the question here now, again – as the topics of impending fascism, the increasing acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, corruption, oligarchy, state-corporatism, and a systematic eroding of respect for our institutions – all came up in conversations at bars, art openings, panel discussions, and roof parties.

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Okuda. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The murals you see here are often technically superb and their themes, while muted, may address some of the larger themes affecting society, but one wonders if there is an internalized censorship that we have accepted.

These images are admittedly of a modest percentage of the hundreds of legal murals and illegally dashed-off pieces we saw this week, but that’s only because we have edited for our individual aesthetics, not because of content. Also admittedly, as people in the arts, we are exhausted from the recent election and all it portends, and we were happy for some glorious eye candy to salve the psychic wounds – so maybe we were selectively seeing what we wanted to.

Probably not too much though.

For an art practice with some serious and proud roots in activism, the walls in Miami are curiously quiet. But they definitely look amazing.

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Pixel Pancho. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Findac. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faith 47. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martin Whatson. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. June. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © INO)

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Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hueman. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jen Stark. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II. Uninhibited Festival 2016. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Peeta. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf. Work in progress. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


 Our week’s coverage on BSA:

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

You’ll Need Good Shoes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 3

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 6


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

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The gallerists and merchants have begun arriving in the South Beach area of Miami to uncrate the art they’ve shipped for the enormous Art Basel and the assorted satellite fairs of Art Basel Miami 2016. Across the Venetian Way heading inland and minutes to the north you see that artist have already been painting on walls in the Wynwood neighborhood.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First adorned by an entirely organic graffiti and Street Art scene in the late 90s and early 2000s, the low-income neighborhood with a light-manufacturing base has been transformed by real estate and economic development. Now after a decade of inviting local and international artistic talent to come and paint, the Wynwood area of Miami is a beacon of mural art that showcases this moment in its evolution.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Nation (UN) returns this year as well, having worked with many of these artists who will be getting up throughout Wynwood, and BSA is on the streets here with you to see the action as it unfolds with exhibitions, shows, and possibly a party or two. While Wynwood events certainly popped up in the shadow of the annual Art Basel exhibition, art fair patrons and a modicum of celebrity have made the pilgrimage here in greater numbers every year for some urban decay realness, now sprinkled with glitter.

It is no surprise that many of these same artists are now featured in the art fairs as well, represented by new and established galleries and hired by lifestyle brands and moneyed corporations to carry their messages. It’s a heady mix of power, rebellion, politics, aesthetics, and aerosol; and sometimes it is a pure revelation to see the transformations, given the anti-establishment undercurrents that have run through graffiti and the more socio-political activist elements of Street Art throughout the last half-century.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 70s, minutes away from the sand and the ocean, this grit is just getting stirred up again, and the aerosol fumes are already wafting through the blocks that are now looking less run-down, and decidedly under development.

West Coast based mural magician and philosopher Chor Boogie, with his protective air mask perched like mini-horns atop his head, smiles and welcomes a visitor happily because this time is just before the flood, before the sidewalks are thick with ipad-photographers and selfie-takers and fans of all sorts.

With moving vans and ladders and boxes of cans being unpacked, this neighborhood is clearly gearing up for a party again, and many artists have already laid down line work to play alongside pieces that have survived previous years. As the events unfold we’ll keep you apprised of the ones we trip into.

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It could just be us, but does this look like Al Pacino to you? Greece’s INO in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face from a previous edition of Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. Detail. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crash. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic Fernandez from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mateo. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This Herakut mural was executed in 2o12 and it is still in a remarkable condition. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MSK. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TCP. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

 

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