New from Genoa comes this circular system from Gola Hundun, called “The Ancient Way of the New Circle.”
It is reassuring to consider the systems of our lives and our world as we regard the passing seasons of the year; revisiting, reliving, remeasuring our progress and regress and aspirations.
of a 10 mural program here in the Certosa district, the artist tells us that
his painting is meant to “invite people to go back to a circular system.”
main character of the wall is Cernunnos,” Gola tells us, “- a mythological
creature belonging to the Celtic culture, a symbol of fertility, abundance,
manhood and wild nature – painted in the lower part of the wall, highly visible
Gazing upon the natural elements of the composition that include a balance of phytomorphic elements, a tree of life, and a mountain, you can believe that the artist also likes to write poetry when he is in the right mood.
The color scheme may also speak to you as a powerful representation of the natural world, with blue and green being predominant – here surrounded by the harsher city palette of reds, yellows, oranges. Perhaps what hits you the most is a sense of balance that this mural achieves, even if you don’t know why exactly.
Painting with a holistic approach to life, the earth, the physical-psycho-social balance of humans in daily life – why not?
talian painter Nicola Alessandrini has produced a somewhat surreal body of drawings and paintings during his relatively short career that appears to be turning the body, the animal world, and the plant world inside out to better understand the core systems that create balance and imbalance. In this new mural he just finished in Santa Croce di Magliano, you can see that again he is creating relationships between our corporeal systems and those of the earth.
“The artwork represents a human body connecting two different forms of life,
soil and lymphatic systems,” he says. He tells us that the two plants are
embraced by the body and that the woman’s floral dress is a fertile soil that
connects the two plants and gives energy and nutrition to the body.
Completed as a the sixth edition of Premio Antonio Giordano, the artist consulted with public health initiative called AVIS (Association of Voluntary Italian Blood Donors) and hoped to develop a metaphorical way to represent their conversations.
“I like the idea that giving blood is not just something physical,” says
Allissandrini, “but it is also a mental
predisposition, a practice of giving and sharing.”
A basketball court in summertime is a proving ground for skill, a place to kill time with friends, and sometimes a launchpad for dreams of going “professional”. Here in Fermo City in Northern Italy, it’s a place for Street Artist Giulio Vesprini to expand his abstract practice to the field of sport.
“The shapes, colors and unique elements of botany characterize my work,” he says, and you can see that his palette is carefully chosen, and sophisticated. His new work is in concert with the Fermo Urban Museum (FUM) and took an organic route to completion, with the help of a handful of assistance. It’s many steps away from the inner city work you might normally associate with innercity graffiti; the sound and fury transmuted. Primitive, graphic, and crisply illustrative, this freshly painted court provides a new field of art and nature for players he’ll never meet.
He calls it “Struttura G041”.
Giulio Vesprini. Struttura G041. FUM Festival. Fermo, Italy. 2019. (Video Andrea Amurri-New Media Solution )
The Turin-based illustrator Guerrilla Spam has interpreted the “Quarantana” as a stylized toy extended from the arm of an elegant, almost Egyptian figure in a tall fez. Alessandria-born Street Artist 108 depicts the traditional doll as a unique abstraction merged within a form, not specifically figurative, rather primitive perhaps.
are interpreting a pagan/Christian traditional ritual next to each other here
in Santa Croce di Magliano.
“ ‘Quarantana‘ is a doll made of fabric and straw, having the appearance of an old woman; the doll, usually hanged to a rope between the balconies or in front of the windows, stands on a potato with seven feathers attached,” say organizers at the Antonio Giordano Street Art festival. “The ritual, fusing Christian and pagan cultures, expresses the importance of living a life of sobriety and peace.”
“Do it with passion or not at all!,” says Giulio Vesprini on this acid red cloud of paint that engulfs a portion of his new mural. The fog effect has become popular in public performance of late, adding a mystery of murk to photoshoots and videos, but not so many Street Artists have found a uniquely intrinsic way to make it work with their painting.
So, fresh from the Pennelli Rebelli Festival in Bologna, here’s his new wall in hot cherry flames.
It’s the fourth edition of “Without Frontiers”, a festival of urban art in Mantova Italy, organized by Simona Gavioli and Giulia Giliberti. This is the first mural we’ve seen from the 2019 edition, a hail of man-made products falling from the sky called “Plastic Rain” by Street Artist Mr. Fijodor. Here Mr. Fijodor is helping to continue a recently begun public painting tradition in this city with his illustrative scene of humans repairing a robot amid destruction, a storm of plastic bottles falling all around them.
Since 2016 the festival has tried to balance the new muralism of the moment with the history of Mantova (or Mantua in Emilian dialect) sometimes referred to as “the cradle of Renaissance culture”. Truthfully it’s a city known perhaps more for its Gonzaga tapestries than it’s Street Art culture but since 2016 “Without Frontiers” has hosted artists including Bianco-Valente, Boogie Ead, Corn79, Elbi Elem, Ericailcane and Bastardilla, Etnik, Fabio Petani, Mach505, Made514, Molis, Panem and Circenses, Perino and Vele, Peeta, Sebas Velasco, Vesod, Zedz, Joan Aguilò and Joys.
When the plants and
animals take over again there will still be remnants of you, as they transform
your achievements and failures organically en route to natural balance.
The evidence of this eventuality lies not only in our predilection for self-destruction but on the current existence of the 7,000 tower-fortress structures that still dot this island of Sardinia. Time and elements have not destroyed these structures built over a period of 16 centuries – long before the event of Christ’s birth. Today they are remnants, monuments of that Nuragic civilization, but are also home to birds, four legged creatures, insects, grasses, bushes, and trees.
Italian Street Artist, muralist and land artist Gola Hundun thinks of communications towers and overlays them with references of totemic massings, historical human rituals, geographical coordinates, shamanic journeys, and patterns of aviary flight. For this installation called “Torre di volo” (Flight Tower) he also is thinking about guiding birds through controlled space.
“The central element of the installation is inspired by the forms of the flight control towers of the airports,” he says, “a type of architecture that has always fascinated me and had a strong influence on my imagination both aesthetically and poetically.”
Participating in an art residency on the property of the Campidate artists residency (near Monastir), the Italian born millennial finds the support he needs to pursue his natural art-making cycle in an environment that is closest to his personal ethos.
He says that he spotted a bird of prey called a Kestrel inside the Campidarte base buildings and became inspired to imagine himself directing the flight of birds, one further degree of interaction with nature he has pursued for most of his life.
stands today on a ridge of that land, in an elevated and strategic position,
generally loved by birds of prey,” he tells us.
A continuation of a personal artists’ campaign he calls ABITARE that more than contemplates his work as potential habitat, “Torre di volo” will be complete when Gola sees a winged friend entering the doorway of his central tower. He says the entire creation is based on his “desire to create a form capable of hybridizing my fascination for the ancestral totemic verticality and the desire to create a living space easily accessible to certain species and biological niches.”
“From the tower that I
interpreted, I hope that in the near future the flight of a bird of prey will
begin, allowing us to observe in reality the idea of flying, going and coming
back and making the structure itself come alive,” he says. “The occupation of
the tower by a bird is part of the idea of the installation and is
indispensable for its completion.”
Favara is a town located in south central Sicily, in Italy. Known for its Medival castle, Favara’s main trade is in agricultural products and mining. Until recently, Favara was in danger of suffering the same fate that has afflicted many of the small towns and villages throughout Italy; The exodus of its young population to larger, metropolitan areas, due to unemployment where they are able to find better opportunities and entertainment. With this exodus comes the lack in tax revenue and the subsequent abandonment of priceless architecture and the neglect of the old part of the town to decay and the ravages of time and weather.
Then came Andrea Bartoli and his wife Florinda Saieva. In 2010 they purchased several buildings that were neglected in the old city center and renovated them completely. Once the renovations were done they set up to create a cultural center that involved outdoor art exhibitions, shops, cultural events, screenings and the hosting of international artists to come and create art outdoors. They call it Farm Cultural Park. With this initiative Andrea and Florinda have created the renaissance of their historic city center and have put Favara back on the map. Favara as they happily exclaim is “A Place That Makes You Happy”.
Polish Artist, NeSpoon was invited to participate in this year’s edition of Farm Cultural Park and what an apt visual reference her contribution is to the concept of revival and the before & after.
NeSpoon is known for her exquisite, lattice-like paintings and sculptures that take inspiration from old crocheted patterns. Here, visitors will be able to have a “sight for sore eyes” moment as they turn the corner and are regaled by the vision of a wall transformed from decay into a monochrome pattern very familiar with all of us.
Her use of monochrome helps the building retain its ancient character while at the same time it elevates it to a piece of art.
The Italian textual conceptualist and urban/suburban public space instigator
ELFO has lodged his complaint on a wall against the misinformation that forms
our perceptions. The humorous one-off screed caught our attention so we asked
him about this low-fi textwork that seems decidedly Duchampian, with a nod to
BSA:Duchamp challenged conceptions of the art world with his “readymade” pieces and many a critic called him a fake. Your commentary references the “fake news” meme favored by the right wing news and politicians. How did you make the connection?
ELFO: Currently my work is returning to this message. I want to speak of the world and the history of art in ironic and contemporary way using contemporary terms. I chose Duchamp because his artwork changed the world of art. Duchamp is perfect because he played with fake identity and the critic system rendered him as a fake. He changed the rules of art, for me and many artists.
BSA:What role should art play in this world of “fake news”?
ELFO: In this world of fake news, art probably is a big fake – if it does not reflect society as a mirror.
BSA: Do you think art should always reflect our society like a mirror?
ELFO: The problem is not fake news in this world – it’s the human brain. Art must speak about serious issues like pollution for example. This is the next subject I’ll address since I have been looking at it for a long time.
always been fascinated by the idea of including vegetation in my artwork,” says
Italian painter Greg Jager. “This way the work will never be the same. Every
day you will notice differences due to the natural life cycle of the trees in
front of it”.
A mural for all seasons it is; A natural collaboration between the Roman graffuturist and the branch spread of this city tree. Usually you can see the reflections, refractions of architecture in the work of this graffiti writer turned commercial/fine artist. Here in Turin the geometry will frame the organic as the tree continues to go through its life cycle.
Through an international open call, three artists were selected: Greg Jager (ITA), Geometric Bang (ITA) and Himed & Reyben (USA / MEX). Each artist was invited to create an urban art painting and to direct a workshop in collaboration with Collegno schools and citizens of Turin.
The transition from graffiti to abstract painter invariably captures our attention. The two disciplines that would be so insulated from one another, yet many times we find a graffiti writer who fifteen years after spraying his first illegal tag is now parsing a very different visual language.
Then you think of the endless permutations of wildstyle and all the subgenres of the graffiti practice of deconstruction as applied to the letterform. It is only a short jump from there to complete abstraction.
In the case of Russian Street Artist Alexey Luka, the route was made smoother perhaps by his study of architecture, provided entrée to a less literal interpretation of shape and form. Here his two newest wall pieces in Santa Croce di Magliano (CB), Italy, remind us of his wooden wall sculptures, assemblages as well, the palette warm and the snug overlapping feeling of the forms is almost nested.
For this fifth edition of the Antonio Giordano Urban Art Award in October and November, we are told that Alexey has hidden organic forms and even faces in his work. We’ll leave it up to your sleuthing and imagination to identify them. See anything?
You got furious at us sometimes this year. Or rather, you were mad at artists whose work pissed you off. Thanks for the emails though bro. We still love you of course sister.
Without a doubt the polarized atmosphere in social/economic/geopolitical matters worldwide in 2018 was increasingly reflected in the graffiti and Street Art pieces and projects that we wrote stories about. Loving it or hating it, often BSA readers were motivated to share the story on social media for discussion and to write directly to us to take issue, or even to chide us for “being political”.
Let’s be clear. Art has always been and will always be “political”. We tend to think that the artwork that we agree with is not political because it is expressing our values, opinions, and worldview.
So that’s why you propelled stories about a clandestine Trump cemetery installation by InDecline onto the list this year. That’s why Winston Tseng’s inflammatory campaign against a certain kind of Trump supporter on NYC trashcans proved to be so provocative and offensive to so many people, while others crowed support.
The topic of free speech under fire also attracted high interest for Fer Acala’s story of artists and rappers who took over a Spanish former prison to protest restrictive recent federal laws aimed at protest in that country.
But BSA readers also love the spectacle, the vast animated murals, the scintillating stories behind the art and the artist; the connection that communities and festivals create with art in the public sphere – or in abandoned factories, as it were. The biggest splash this year was the over-the-top creation of and the fiery destruction of an art sculpture at the Falles de València celebration in Spain by Street Artist Okuda. You loved the tantalizing images by Martha Cooper, and somehow everyone relishes the idea of building and constructing a large, colorful, inspiring piece of art and then lighting it on fire in the public square – propelling that story to the top of the BSA list in Top Stories in 2018
Box trucks are a favorite canvas for many graffiti writers in big cities and have become a right of passage for new artists who want the experience of painting on a smooth rectangular surface that becomes a rolling billboard through the streets advertising your name, making you truly “All City”.
When in French Polynesia a few weeks ago with the ONO’U festival, a number of artists were given the significant gift of a large truck or school/commuter bus on which to create a mural, a message, a bubble tag.
Together on the islands of Raiatea and Bora Bora there were about 10 of these long and low autobuses that became sudden celebrities in the sparsely travelled streets, debuted as some of them were in Raitea, when painted live at an all night party for the public.
The Painted Buses of Raiatea and Bora Bora. Continue reading HERE
Ajo Samaritans describe themselves and their mission on their website like this; “Samaritans are people of faith and conscience who are responding directly, practically, and passionately to the crisis at the US/ Mexico border. We are a diverse group of volunteers around Ajo that are united in our desire to relieve suffering among our brothers and sisters and to honor human dignity. Prompted by the mounting deaths among border crossers, we came together to provide food and water, and emergency medical assistance to people crossing the Sonoran Desert.”
Destroying Desert Water Bottles; Chip Thomas New Work in AJO, Arizona. Continue reading HERE
A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.
With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.
Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.
Copenhagen Diary: A Street Surevey of The Moment. Continue reading HERE
So INDECLINE picked a swell morning to debut their long-planned and complicated site-specific installation at this golf-course in New Jersey.
“INDECLINE felt is necessary to commemorate some of the victims,” they say. “The dates on the headstones correspond to some of the highlights of Trump’s first year in office.” You may remember some of these milestones on the tombstones, you may have to Google others.
The saddest death for us all year has been the civility and respect of Americans toward one another – as those hard working families who are just scraping by are being skillfully manipulated through sophisticated PR / media campaigns into thinking that they are the only real uber-patriots and to hate the wrong people. Most importantly they are fighting and voting against themselves without realizing it.
“Grave New World” Trump Cemetery. Continue reading HERE
Borondo. Utsira. Utsira, Norway. Summer 2018. (photo courtesy of the organizers)
Today we revisit Utsira, the tiny island in Norway that has hosted a few Street Artists over the last couple of years, like Ella & Pitr and Icy & Sot. This year the fine artist and Street Artist Gonzalo Borondo blended into the hills and the forest and the lapping waves, making his spirit dissipate into the community and into a boat.
“There’s a strong sense of community,” he says as he reflects on the metaphor he has chosen to represent his time here on an island of only 420 people, “There is a mutual support among citizens and a common feeling of enjoying the same unique condition.”
Borondo Finds Community on The Island of Utsira in Norway. Continue reading HERE
Equally gifted in the heavier handmade artisanal crafts of porcelain and ceramic as she is with aerosol, Nespoon did installations of both this month during the Emergence Festival in Sicily (Valverde + Catania. The seventh year of this international festival for public art, Nespoon shared the roster with American Gaia and Sicilian Ligama from March 10-26 creating works related to the city and its stories. In many respects these new works appear integral, interventions that belong there, may have been there a long time without you noticing; a sort of netting that holds the skin of the city together.
Nespoon Casts a Lace Net Across a Sicilian Wall. Continue reading HERE
One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.
The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.
No Callarem. La Modelo Prision. Barcelona. Continue reading HERE
Highlighting collective efforts that advance events during war and the tales of heroism, butchery, resistance, intrigue, and subterfuge that are braided into historical retelling, three Italian Street Artists commemorated citizen resistance and a Nazi massacre in a lengthy mural for the Penneli Ribelli Festival this month in Bologna.
At the center of the story is the resistance by everyday Italians of various ages, genders, and social classes, a movement known as the Italian resistance and the Italian Partisans, or Partigiani. The icon of the festival is a wolf in honor of the Partisan who led the group, Mario Musolesi, whose nickname was “Lupo”, or “Wolf”.
NemO’s, Ericailcane and Andrea Casciu Ride a Tandem Resistance. Continue reading HERE
We knew that these two talented and powerful personalities would compliment each other stunningly and that’s why we encouraged them two years ago to do a doc. A short term one was the original plan. But the two hit it off so well and when you are looking at a five decade career like Ms. Cooper’s and you have the dogged determination to do her story justice, Ms. Miles tells us that even an hour and a half film feels like its just getting started.
Now “Martha” the movie is at a unique juncture in the project and YOU may be able to participate; Selina and the team are looking for any original footage you may want to show them – and it may be used in the documentary.
“Martha” The Movie. Selina Miles Most Ambitious Project To Date. Continue reading HERE
After 25 years writing graffiti, DavidL has found his own way of working. It’s funny because one of the inherent issues about graffiti and street art is visibility. All the trains, the bombing, the tagging…it’s all about being noticed, being every f-ing where. It has been like this since day one (Taki 183, Terror161, 1UP…you know how it works).
But for David it’s not like that anymore.
Maybe it’s a sign of the days that we are living with social media, communication 2.0, etcetera. It’s obvious that if you have certain skills managing all this and a little bit of talent, plus a pinch of good taste, you can reach a global audience and show your work to the entire world even when you are concentrating the majority of your creations in a secret location.
DavidL, Through The Lens of Fer Alcala. Continue reading HERE
This week we have a selection of the UPEART festivals’ two previous editions of murals – which we were lucky to see this week after driving across the country in an old VW Bora.
We hit 8 cities and drove along the border with Russia through some of the most picturesque forests and farmlands that you’ll likely see just to collect images of the murals that this Finnish mural festival has produced with close consultation with Fins in these neighborhoods. A logistical challenge to accomplish, we marvel at how this widespread program is achieved – undoubtedly due to the passion of director Jorgos Fanaris and his insatiable curiosity for discovering talents and giving them a platform for expression.
When I was asked how to name the exhibition few weeks ago, I merged the words “vandalism“ and “Wandel“ (the German word for “Change“). That’s how Wandelism (or Changeism) was born and how it started transforming itself into an exhibition, which is truly accepting, embracing and living CHANGE.
On the grounds of a former car repair shop that is soon to be demolished, one can literally feel the constant movement and transformation of the urban fabric we all live in. Everything changes. Constantly. Change is evolution. Change is progress. Change is also the DNA of the art represented in the Wandelism show.
“Wandelism” Brings Wild Change For One Week in Berlin. Continue reading HERE
With a goal of 20 new murals by ’21 (20x21EUG), the city began in 2016 to invite a slew of international Street Artists, some locally known ones, and a famous graffiti/Street Art photographer to participate in their ongoing visual festival.
A lively city that is bustling with the newly blooming marijuana industry and finding an endless array of ways to celebrate it, Eugene has been so welcoming that many artists will report that feeling quite at home painting in this permissively bohemian and chill atmosphere.
“At the end of the day when one is towing the line of being provocative, you may cross that line in some people’s mind but I think if one is not trying to find that line then the work is not going to make any impact”.
Winston Tseng has probably been crossing that line, pissing off some people and making others laugh for a few years now. He appears to consider it an honor, and possibly a responsibility. Relatively new on the Street Art scene the commercial artist and art director has also created his 2-D characters on canvasses and skate decks that depict the abridged characteristics of a typecast to play with the emotions and opinions of passersby.
Winston Tseng: Street Provocatour Brings “Trash” Campaing to NYC. Continue reading HERE
Yes, Street Art is ephemeral, but OKUDA San Miguel just set it on fire!
During the annual Falles de València celebration, it’s normal for artworks to be destroyed publicly in about 500 locations throughout the city and in surrounding towns. Part of a spring tradition for València, Spain monuments (falles) are burned in a celebration that includes parades, brass bands, costumes, dinners, and the traditional paella dish.
This year the first Street Artist to make a sculpture in the traditional commemoration of Saint Joseph is the un-traditional OKUDA, creating his multi-color multi-planed optic centerpiece.
Okuda Sculpture Engulfed in Flames in Valéncia. Continue reading HERE
We wish to express our most heartfelt gratitude to the writers and photographers who contributed to BSA and collaborated with us throughout the year. We are most grateful for your trust in us and for your continued support.