Nevermind, we’re back on the streets where we belong, tracking the exciting new directions it is taking us.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Jason Naylor, INSA, Sticker Maul, Stikman, Degrupo, Diva Dogla, Mike Raz, Corn Queen, Jorit, Eric John Eigner, Smet Sky Art, Bad Boi, O. Grey, Steven Paul Judd, Katie Merz, and Delphinoto.
“We are committed to improving our town centre and art and culture has a big part to play in its future,” says Leader of Basildon Council Councillor Andrew Baggott. “We are also committed to climate change and are working towards a carbon net-zero borough by 2050.”
With a new street art initiative called Our Towns, curators Doug Gillen and Charlotte Pyatt are tying together environmental and social concerns with new large-scale murals here in the Essex, UK town.
Partnering artists with the local schools, university, market and community organizations, Gillen and Pyatt have been introducing new public artworks all summer by international artists like Arches (Ireland), Franco ‘JAZ’ Fasoli (Argentina/Italy), and Marina Capdevila (Spain), as well as homegrown UK talents including Erin Holly, Gabriel Pitcher, INSA, Michele Curtis, and Helen Bur.
While some on the roster are known for their street art and others have backgrounds in more formal studio practice, collectively perhaps their works are softening some of the brutalist edges of this town of just over 100,000 residents.
Owing its name to an idea of challenging ourselves to see art and public space in original and meaningful ways that affect positive change, the Re:Framed project is steered by two pros in street art cultural production and analysis. “We are dedicated to developing new and innovative strategies to reposition the role of culture in social and environmental conversations,” says a joint statement by the curators.
“The Our Towns: Climate project will be our most ambitious to date, the legacy for which will see Basildon join the growing number of cities and towns across the world adopting the Global Goals.”
Giving their partnership the moniker Re:FRAMED, Pyatt and Gillen have worked in production, strategy, consultancy and documentation with art on the streets for approximately the last decade and plan to coalesce artists and organizations around social and environmental themes going forward. With high-quality artists and artworks like these, you can look forward to the two reframing both contexts and conversations in public space in their future.
Our Towns Location Basildon, UK
Local assistants with whom this production would not have been possible without;
Ben Stewart | @fusion_walls Louis Cutts | @l.a.cutts.design Scotty Brave | @bravearts Annie | @lettersbetogether Yuki Aruga | @yuki.aruga
We will be hitting SCOPE shortly but in the interim we’ve been scoping for action or trouble; trolling around the streets of Wynwood and other selected odd locations to find Street Artists actively brush-painting, aerosol painting, markering, stenciling, wheat-pasting, even tying some wires and ribbons around fences. The walls and murals and the scene are all transforming in front of your eyes here, with photographers, videographers, and drones all flying around to capture the action as it progresses.
This neighborhood is an art fair, without the attitude. Well, maybe there is attitude occasionally on display as well.
Also, political speech was pushing through the carousing beer swilling, late-sipping, burrito chomping streets yesterday with a 50 person troop of protesters with home made signs addressing the massive oil pipeline that is routed through sacred land of Native Americans in North Dakota and a pipeline planned to go through Florida.
We followed them for a few blocks, listening to chants about water and hegemony and found that for many art/party fans it was a curiosity to see citizens demonstrating, and a few bystanders took the fluorescent green flyers offered and said thanks, while others took photos and naturally, selfies with the marchers.
Just one more element to add to your sense of cognitive dissonance.
Night time in the Wynwood District is a chaotic grimy glittery mix of high and low and middle in the neighborhood as well – where you are as likely to catch a whiff of a models’ perfume as she sashays past you in a backless silver mini dress with her 3 leggy friends flipping their long hair over their shoulders as you are to catch a whiff of sweet ganga smoke from the joint of an open-shirted, low-waisted Romeo in dreadlocks or one the acrid whiff of the rumpled grayish clothing worn by the guy who is sitting on a chair against a mural and is ready to spend another night laying on the sidewalk after you stumble back to your hotel.
An ongoing slothful and bloated and thumping network of car-minivan-limo-Escalade-motorcycle traffic is rolling into a mechanical Ambian lethargy, at times looking more like a parking lot or tailgating party, grid-locking and popping and actively cruising the options parading down the sidewalks, with windows open and music pumping.
With no police at intersections to ease the flow of this jamtastic scene, low-bubbling rage mixes with cologne and produces slick insults hurled at the guy whose car is blocking the traffic flow, or more importantly, your flow. The song of the night wafting through the air on one corner, perhaps because a bicycle would be a perfect solution here, is called Bicycleta.
Luckily for us, we are usually on foot and not afraid to walk to find the good stuff. That is the best way to experience the street and the various events and to catch artists at work. Enjoy a few scenes from the day and one from the evening in Wynwood in Miami.
The worldwide fascination with murals expanded this month to Taiwan for the first exhibit of Pow! Wow! Taiwan! from organizers of the very similarly sounding festival in Hawaii. Actually, looking at the location names, there could be an anagram in there somewhere…
Truthfully, the first season edition of Pow! Wow! was in Hong Kong in the late 2000s before it migrated to Hawaii for four years, so when Jasper Wong and crew decided to go back to Asia for this new festival it was not uncommon territory – and they’ve made a number of great connections with artist in the interim. In between thunderstorms and the international roster hit up places like Tungnan University, Songshan Cultural Park, and the Taipei Zoo.
Visiting artists included James Jean, Aaron De La Cruz, INSA, Madsteez, Apex, Rone, Sheryo, Yok, Woes, Skewville and Brendan Monroe. Some of them were paired with or painted alongside the host talents like Reach, Mr. Ogay, Colasa Seazk, Saym Dabs, and Bobo.
Photographer Martha Cooper just returned to New York from Hawaiian paradise and the 5th Pow! Wow! Festival, which this year featured an unprecedented number of artist that some estimate at 100.
Naturally with a herd that big, you’d have to be a regular cattle hand with a camera to capture all of the action, but the fast moving Cooper collected a number of images that we can share here with BSA readers over the next couple of days, along with her notes on the experience.
Kaka’ako is the name of the neighborhood where most of the murals are located and Ms. Cooper compares it to the Miami site that also has hosted a large number of legal walls for the last few years. “It’s a Wynwood-type neighborhood but with a longer, more esteemed history,” she says, and “Like Wynwood it’s slated for development.” For example a library that many of the local Hawaiian artists painted will soon be torn down to make space for condos. Good thing Street Artist Gaia and Vhils were there to bring some of the local historical and mythological elements, including portraits of Hawaiian royalty.
An interesting aspect of this event, and there were many, was the pairing of many artists on walls to combine and merge their styles to create new works. “There were a surprising number of unusual collaborations at Pow! Wow!,” says Martha. “Some were odd mashups like Tatiana Suarez and Woes, and Buff Monster and Nychos seemed like a good match. I think it must have been challenging for the artists. Cope & Indie also asked Buff Monster and 123Klan to collaborate on their wall.”
Another trend this year: Elvis. “Elvis is big in Hawaii,” Martha remarks, and she says it is because of his celluloid records in addition to his vinyl ones. “He made three movies in Hawaii,” and she mentions the Elvis mask that Wayne White made as a good example of Presley magic on the tropical island of Honolulu. “I especially liked the way Madsteez incorporated existing graffiti into his wall because he made good use of the corrugated iron surface which was difficult to paint on but it had a nice patina when finished.” Interestingly, Madsteez gave his blue Elvis an eye patch that mimics the artist’s own worldview.
Insa is one of the first GIFFITTI artists – and his wall with ROID for Pow! Wow” recalls the typography and graphic style of commercial 1980s TV shows like Miami Vice and the New Wave as interpreted by MTV. The resulting GIF is a funny simple animation that somehow brings the nostalgia alive. Looks like paradise from here!
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. BROKEN FINGAZ “La Fabrica”
2. Half Way To Nowhere with Risk, Insa, Meggs, Echo and Steve Martinez
3. RONE Paints a Baby Grand in Miami for Basel 2013
BSA Special Feature: BROKEN FINGAZ “La Fabrica”
Just released, this is a stop animation by Broken Fingaz and a small crew in Mexico – that drips with green goo that overflows and slimes down the sides of barrels, walls, pipes, and out of holes. A well done adventure in a former factory, some have compared it to a famous aerosol stop action by the Italian Blu a few years ago, but this has its own distinctive personality and a stunner of an ending.
Half Way To Nowhere with Risk, Insa, Meggs, Echo and Steve Martinez
Birdman continues to shoot photos and has this week entered storytelling with this video of a handful of artists on a hike through modern ruins, spending the day in an abandoned water park outside Los Angeles. Dry heat like this has turned many a town into a dustbowl in the west, and when you add 100 degree farenheit and scantily clad painters to a day of aerosol fumes you experience a certain delirium.
RONE Paints a Baby Grand in Miami for Basel 2013
Hop on the SPRAY CAM to watch RONE paint one of his signature beauties for an event called Pop-Up Piano Miami.
For the first week-long “residency” on BSA, Spencer Elzey has been sharing his experiences and Street Art photos from his recent trip to Europe. Today we finish with London, a polished and presentable collection of some of the current scene from the streets.
The city has long played host to a rolling panoply of urban art and artists and is a prime example of the professionalization of the practice featuring a greater absorption into the culture and economy at large with galleries, museums, shops, and paid tour guides all joining in. The upshot is you will see some of the best examples of talent and it may at times seem all quite combed over and generally safe for a general audience. Not that there isn’t dynamism and risk taking, and you will still find unsanctioned work to be seen inside and outside of the tourist hotspots.
“London had a lot of Street Art but it felt more corporate and organized for the masses,” says Elzey of his time walking through Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Hackney, Bethnal Green, and Camden. “In the week that I was there I walked by around five Street Art tours.”
“Most of London’s street art is confined to these places – The other areas that I explored around London all seemed pretty clean. This may have been due to the fact that there are security cameras everywhere,” he says. An international first world city, London usually is a destination for the international “circuit” of Street Artists whose names tend to reappear on lists of the various street/graffiti/urban art festivals that now pop up in global cities from Lima to Łódź and Living Walls to Nuart to Upfest and the recently ended FAME.
As with any art form that begins as transgressive and underground and evolves to be adopted by the dominant culture, at times the whole scene begins to resemble the commercial and institutional interests it once mocked or attempted to subvert. “London is great but felt more catered to the bigger players and had the most street art in commissioned form (by the various Street Art organizations), which is good to see some amazing work but cheapens the art a little,” he says.
In the images he shares with BSA readers today you can see the really strong work that is throughout those neighborhoods as many of the artists consider strongly what they will do – and it results in some quite striking pieces. As always, you want to keep an eye on London. Surely it will keep an eye on you.
This art is Not Safe for Work or School, even though it’s on public streets.
It sounds strange to say it but these images of Street Art are erotic, sometimes violent, and might even be considered prurient or pornographic by some viewers – yet they are part of today’s free-wheeling ever expanding visual feast on the streets that any random passerby may see. In New York, many of these pieces ride for a long time fully on display for hundreds or thousands before someone crosses them out or otherwise damages them.
With flesh increasingly paraded across all manner of screen and print publications, it is no wonder that large public billboards in cities throughout the western world have grown increasingly blunt in their depiction of sexual themes and innuendo; with near-coital poses, barely covered breasts, and bulbous packages thrust into the public eye while we drive, walk, and sip a pumpkin frappuccino. As long as the image is in pursuit of the sale of a product, it’s hardly mentioned today.
Street Art today falls into that nether region of art too, where certain liberties for free expression and the depiction of the human body are protected from criticism because they can be classified as artful and part of our right to freedom of speech. As we continue to scan the streets for clues about ourselves and the direction that Street Art is taking, here are more than a handful of scintillating beauties that are beckoning for the attention of, well, everyone.
Yo Yo what’s up all the Brooklyn peepuls and the New Yorkers and the LA’ers and the Chicago’ers and the Stavanger Norway buddies and shout out to Martha as she hangs in Johannesburg today and to everybody who’s brave enough to tap into the creative spirit. Today in Brooklyn it’s sunny and bright and there’s a bird singing on the chain link fence outside my house. As usual the place to be is where you’re at. Also, we’d be really happy to meet you tomorrow at our show in Red Hook if you can fly by.
1. Kit Kat Flex Dancer in Brooklyn (VIDEO)
2. GEOMETRICKS Opens Saturday (BKLYN)
3. Shai Dahan “Broken Window” (Sweden)
4. Fall Group Exhibition at C.A.V.E (LA)
5. Sydney curates a show on the Street (Australia)
6. “Luchadores” by El Hase is now open to the public at One Art Space in Manhattan.7. Ricky Powell is “Back in BK” and you can catch him tonight at Mishka in Brooklyn
7. PUBLIC WORKS PART I By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
8. PUBLIC WORKS PART II By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
9. Narcelio Grud: “Spiral” Invention and Graffiti (VIDEO)
10. TEJN Has a lock on Street Art (VIDEO)
11. Don John in Copenhagen by Alexander Lee (VIDEO)
Let’s start Friday by getting inspired by KitKat – a Brooklyn flex dancer who knows her stuff. (VIDEO)
GEOMETRICKS Opens Saturday (BKLYN)
Of course we had to put this one first because we have 11 cool artists showing work that collectively illustrates one of the major new directions that Street Art and Graffiti are going in right now.
The Red Hook neighborhood is where the fun will be this Saturday as the opening of “GEOMETRICKS”, curated by Hellbent, takes place at Gallery Brooklyn. With a FREE shuttle from the G/F Trains on Carroll St to the Gallery courtesy of local Brooklyn Crab restaurant, a Young Collectors Wall with dope pieces by the artists in the show all priced at $200 each (you must have valid student ID for these pieces), and music provided by Sleptember, you are going to see a slice of community we’ve all grown to love.
Support the inaugural show of “Vandal or Visionaries” Series by BSA and enjoy the beautiful art works by: Augustine Kofie, Chor Boogie, Drew Tyndell, Feral Child, Hellbent, Jaye Moon, Maya Hayuk, MOMO, OLEK, OverUnder, See One. Then join us at Brooklyn Crab to hang after the show – and the restaurant will be offering a FREE shuttle back to the G/F Trains. So what’s there not to like? And we thank our local Red Hook based sponsor, SixPoint Brewery.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Sydney curates a show on the Street (Australia)
It looks like the Australians’ love affair for Street Art continues strong. Ambush Gallery has teamed up with Darling Quartet, Sydney’s new precinct and public arts space to mount an outdoor exhibition opening to the public today. The works of art on view are by a handful of well known and respected Street Artists working today including: Anthony Lister (Bris/NY), Beastman (Syd), Shannon Crees (Syd) and Hiroyasu Tsuri/TWOONE (Melb). The exhibition is FREE, open 24/7 and it will be illuminated at night.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also happening this weekend:
“Luchadores” by El Hase is now open to the public at One Art Space in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.
Ricky Powell is “Back in BK” and you can catch him tonight at Mishka in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.
PUBLIC WORKS PART I By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
PUBLIC WORKS PART II By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
To learn more about LALA Arts Public Works Project with the participation of Ron English and Shepard Fairey, as well as How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Seen, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar and Zes click here.
Narcelio Grud: “Spiral” Invention and Graffiti (VIDEO)
TEJN Has a lock on Street Art (VIDEO)
Sculptor TEJN from Copenhagen broadens our conception of what street art and public art and sculpture are with his installations that he chains and locks and leaves. Basically, he’s just giving you his art, and if you really want it probably you will need a blow torch.
Yo what’s up Neeeewwwww Yawwwwk! You mean aside from brand new work on the streets this week in NYC from Faith 47, DAL, ROA, and JR? Oh, nothing really, just a normal boring summer. Street fairs, skateboarding, popsicles, public drunkeness, and I think the Olympics are still running but apparently only Michael Phelps is in them this year according to the TV. Also, something about VISA I think. Anyway, here are some fun activities for your weekend!
1. OS Gemeos Solo at ICA Boston
2. Fairey / Hecox / Houser at Black Book (Denver, CO)
3. “Public Works” at LALA Gallery (LA)
4. Faring Purth at Anno Domini (San Jose, CA)
5. Brett Amory and Adam Caldwell “Dirty Laundry” at ThinkSpace (LA)
6. “Cause and Effect” Group Show (BK)
7. “Eye in the Sky” Group Show @ Stolen Space (London)
8. Summer Exhibition at Joshua Liner Gallery (Manhattan)
9. Snyder’s ART HUNT in Carlsbad, CA
10. “Dead Meat” Conor Harrington By The Baron (VIDEO)
11. Does Anyone Care About the Olympics (VIDEO)
OS Gemeos Solo at ICA Boston
The first USA solo exhibition of Os Gemeos enjoys it’s first opening weekend at ICA Boston and you can see the first piece before you even enter the museum because they have just completed a large outdoor piece on a ventilation building over the Big Dig. The Brazilian Twins began their artistic career since 1987 doing graffiti and and have been painting all manner of imaginative pieces and murals non-stop on the streets of the world ever since. Along the way they have garnered the respect of their peers and thousands of art fans across all continents.
For further information regarding this exhibition click here.
Fairey / Hecox / Houser at Black Book (Denver, CO)
The Black Book Gallery in Denver, Colorado new Group Show includes Shepard Fairey, Even Hecox and Jim Houser and it opens today. The gallery is also organizing mural installations at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Public Works” at LALA Gallery (LA)
“Public Works” is the title of the second show that is opening today at the still smelling-like-new LALA Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Contributing artists include How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Ron English, Seen, Shepard Fairey, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar, and Zes.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Faring Purth at Anno Domini (San Jose, CA)
Portraitist Faring Purth spent a year or so traveling from city to city last year finding abandoned places to mount giant faces, full of character. “I will be sharing a body of work I’ve been preparing since my return from that insane journey last year and I will be taking over their entire space with pieces scaling from 10′ x 12′ to 3 “x 5”.
“This Snow Rising” opens at the Anno Domini Gallery San Jose today.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Brett Amory and Adam Caldwell “Dirty Laundry” at ThinkSpace (LA)
“Amory and Caldwell each mobilize their unique representational strategies to invoke the modern day disconnect between time and space, self and other, and present and past,” which is exactly what I was gonna say.
“Dirty Laundry” features very cool work by Artists Brett Amory and Adam Caldwell’s opening Saturday at the ThinkSpace Gallery in Culver City, CA. Feel free to show up and air some of your own.
We are thrilled to announce the opening of our second show, PUBLIC WORKS, at LALA Gallery on Friday, August 3, at 7:00 pm.
This groundbreaking two-part exhibit, a collaboration with LA Freewalls and MacDonald Media to benefit Art Share LA, features murals by renowned contemporary artists in one of public media’s most controversial spaces – the billboard. Contributing artists include How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Ron English, Seen, Shepard Fairey, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar, and Zes.
The first part of the exhibit will feature the murals up-close-and-personal at LALA Gallery from August 3 to 17. The murals will then be on display on billboards throughout Los Angeles on a rotating basis during the next year.
The great thing about a California King Size mattress is you can fit six people on it comfortably. Five if you need to accommodate beer, corn chips, coffee cake, and a bong.
The point is California is a quintessential long-ass big-ass state that rivals many entire countries in terms of the size of the overall economy, the miles of beach, quantity of Mexicans, and metric tons of silicone injections. That’s why it hardly surprises us when Daniel Lahoda reports that recently his LA Freewalls project crossed the 100th wall mark and that INSA just completed the biggest project so far. Clocking in at 9,300 square feet, the Street Artist covered more space with paint than the Kardashian sisters use preparing for a poolside photo shoot. But these results are spectacular and the scale is quite fitting for this city.
Our thanks to collaborator and photographer Todd Mazer, who doesn’t just capture the action here. He rhapsodizes with it before revealing the full project at the end. Enjoy the largesse.
INSA had a mission to complete on the walls of this building. He also has a philosophy and a work ethic when doing his craft. Click on the link below to read how he came about to see this project completed: