In a demonstration of people power and the role of street artists as activists, we look today at a neighborhood called Poblenou in Barcelona, whose residents have been gripped in a struggle with real estate developers. The developers have tried to destroy the buildings, the history, and the culture of the area, the local citizen’s group says, and they intend to dissuade them. According to Poblenou neighbors, the large real estate company has attempted to persuade the local city board to purchase a cluster of buildings, including houses with great historical and emotional value, to replace them with offices and high-end residential buildings.
After about five years, the battle rages, with locals saying that the Poblenou neighborhood stands as a symbol of struggle and resistance for the working-class people who built it and that people are proud of what the area has accomplished over time. It is a familiar refrain, this gentrification brought by investors – often these days aided and abetted by the “beautification” of the neighborhood by artists.
In this case, the artists are lending their skills to help the fight for the neighborhood instead. The number includes artist Tim Marsh who lives here. Today we see the wall he and like-minded creatives created, focusing in many cases on people who live here, in “the Passage” of Poblenou.
We thank photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing his photos of some of the artists and their murals with BSA Readers.
We continue to see a dissolving of previous tensions between the worlds of graffiti writing and mural artists and other disciplines of art-making as we travel around cities around the world. Artificial divisions have persisted, and indeed the lived experience of graff and street art and mural making are distinctly different in certain respects, but the piece is the piece, regardless of style, and each creator can be an ambassador with a message.
Our own philosophy is if art is going to have the transformative power that we believe it can have on all of our societies, families, and institutions we need to dissolve artificial divisions in the creative community as well – as they serve little constructive purpose. As art in the street usually reflects society at large, we have our own challenges with classism, sexism, and racism as well.
So it’s great to see the continuance of brotherhood and sisterhood at small neighborhood festivals like the 3rd Edition of the Kronos Art and Arts Santa Mònica here in an area of Barcelona during the third week of October. One core philosophy at this festival this year was to re-consider the future of art and its role by actively consulting kids in defining what art is, and what it could be.
“Be aware of the role of ARTIST and his work in our PRESENT, without
judging, without imposing criteria, with the sole conviction that what we are
creating is the prologue of the FUTURE in the ART”
During their ‘live painting’ events at 3 Chimney Plaza (Plaza de las 3
Xemeneies) it was the men and women, graffiti writers and street artists – all working
side by side. Part of a much larger group of events that included 70+ artists,
photography, sculpture, performance, music, video art, cinema, talks, and workshops,
these painters just did their thing and had a good time.
“Becoming cultural activists, taking the reins of how to express ourselves and about what to express ourselves through art; and by doing so becoming key pieces for the freedom of creation, we become aware as spectators, as thinkers, as artists, as a species. KRONOS ART BCN 2020 is a wager to the freedom of society through the freedom of the artist; free to catch everything that interests and surrounds them, without fear of being judged and without judging the protagonists of their artwork. Free to BE in all the aspects that make us human, thus turning the PRESENT into the prologue of a FUTURE world full of diversity.”
Our thanks to photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for capturing a few of the artists at work at the plaza.
“Have you taken down the names for your paper yet?” she asked me. “Stay by my side and I will dictate them to you: the Count and Countess of Caralt, the Marquess of Palmerola, the Count of Fígols, the Marquess of Alella, the …
~ A Barcelona Heiress, By Sergio Vila-Sanjuán
In the decade before the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona was on the verge of boiling over, and perhaps this castle in the Pyrenees mountains to the south was at its height of glory thanks to workers in its coal mines. The Count of Figols and his family enjoyed the view from the tower while the miners, some as young as 14 years old, kept toiling about 13 kilometers away – until they revolted in 1932.
“The mining company, the greater part of which was owned by Liverpool-born José Enrique de Olano y Loyzaga, First Count of Figols, prohibited union organization and paid its workforce in tokens redeemable only in the company stores.”
Revolution and the State: Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, by Danny Evans.
Today you can hashtag Figols (#figols) on social media and you can see the tower (Torre del Compte de Fígols) and wander through the ruins of the castle (Castillo Conde de Fígols) – and discover new graffiti pieces and paintings throughout the rooms. That’s what photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena did last week when he went to check out some fresh stuff he heard was painted here about 120 km north of Barcelona. We thank him for sharing his images with BSA readers from the castle of the Count of Figols.
Anamorphic Street Art has been a parallel universe to the illegal Street Art scene for years, and Dutch pop-surrealist Leon Keer is one of the most ingenious on the scene and well travelled; having been to Europe, The United States, The United Arabic Emirates, Australia and several Asian countries with his work.
Here in Venice, Florida before heading to Miami for Art Basel he worked with four other artists to create a huge piece of anamorphic land art in a grass field at the airport grounds for the 10th anniversary of the Chalk Festival during the second week of November.
Using symbols of some of the world’s religion in a 3-D game of tic tac toe, Keer designed an environmentally friendly chalk piece that required the work of 5 artists over 4 days painting with rollers and a handheld garden sprayer. Also, the field had to be mowed. With the longest line in the artwork at 300 feet, you can begin to appreciate how difficult this game is.
Lead artist and design: Leon Keer.
Other artists: Massina, Sjem Bakkus, Ives One and Eric Keer.
Graffuturism, a term and movement coined a handful of years ago to describe an intersection of graffiti, street art, and abstract geometry continues to stake out new territory and here were gallery and street exhibitions proffering some of the current practitioners whose work could be described as such.
The 5th Urban Art Festival Amsterdam featured their own collection of Graffuturists from Europe, the United States, and South America including Poesia, the unofficial founder of Graffuturism in a show of works on canvas, prints, drawings on paper, murals and site-specific abstract installations.
Running concurrently was a Stencil Masters show featuring some of the top knife-wielding artists known on the street today along with a few senior early proponents. The diverse program of gallery, street installations and DJs courtesy of the ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) helped further contextualize the art forms for a wider audience of fans.
Here our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Cabaio, Cern, Chris Stain, Crummy Gummy, Damon, Dylan Egon, Ebaycs, Ellis G., Hot Boys, Hot Tea, Ives One, JB, Jerk Face, Nathan Sawaya, QRST, Rambo, Serban Ionescu, Tec, and Zimer.
Pink Flamingos are known as lawn ornaments, a ladies drink, and of course the classic John Waters movie. Pink Flamingos is also the name of a drag show down the strip from the 2 star hotel you flopped in last time you went gambling were out of town on business.
Amsterdam based Ives One was splashing and splattering and dripping his way through some Miami walls last week and rendered a few of the iconic feathered friends as long as the sun was shining. Wait, the sun is always shining there, isn’t it?
Hells yes, it’s the invasion of the art fairs in New York – and all the associated events around them, including Bushwicks Beat Night and Williamsburg’s Arts Not Fair in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn and many galleries have special programming planned for the weekend around the city. The big fish is the Armory, which is apparently taming itself down a bit if last nights opening was any indication, and their door is a hefty $30 – boutique indeed. But the hardy street art fan never pays anyway, from what we’ve seen.
Also this weekend are Fountain,PooL Art, Scope New York, Volta , Art Now, and Theorize which are more affordable or free and can be a lot more interesting frankly. Or, just hang out on the street with your bagged container and check out the street art on selected streets and abandoned lots in neighborhoods like the L.E.S, Bowery, Chelsea, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Red Hook, Long Island City, Dumbo. It’s cheap and you might get invited inside for a party if you bring a couple cans of beer. As you know, it doesn’t cost money to access the creative spirit.
1. Armory Arts Week
5. Lisa Enxing at Le Salon d’ Art
6. Ambush Gallery, “Project 5, Volume 4”
7. “Beat Nite”
8. “Hyper/Hypo” at Secret Project Robot
9. OBLVN “100 Paintings at Klughaus Gallery
10. Jef Aerosol “Hot Spots” @ Galerie Austral
11. Street Artist Ives.One (Video)
For further information regarding Armory Arts Week click here
This year Fountain has provided a 200 foot long wall for a slew of Street Artists, including Chris Stain, Know Hope, GILF, Imminent Disaster, Joe Iurato, LMNOP, Elle, ShinShin, LNY, Cake, En Masse, Sophia Maldonado, Hellbent, Radical! and Wing. See some behind the scenes photos posted yesterday here.
Fountain include a great line up of galleries that promote, support and represent Street Artists including: Kestin/Ray Gallery, Mighty Tanaka Gallery, The Market Place Gallery and Marianne Nems Gallery.
The Brooklyn gallery Mighty Tanaka will be having a greatest hits collection of work by almost everyone in their stable of untamed horses. One of the best walls is the dual red white and blue side by side 3-D sculptural wall installations by Skewville and Miguel Ovalle – including swords on the bottom of the Ovalle piece for the kids.
Featured at Might Tanaka are Abe Lincoln Jr. Adam Leech, Adam Void, Alexandra Pacula, Alice Mizrachi, Andrew H. Shirley, Burn 353, Cake, CAM, Celso, ChrisRWK, Conrad Carlson, Criminy Johnson, Curtis Readel, Don Pablo Pedro, Drew Tyndell, ELLE, Ellen Stagg, EVOKER, Flying Fortress, Gigi Bio, Gigi Chen, Greg Henderson, Hellbent, Hiroshi Kumagai, infinity, JMR, Joe Iurato, John Breiner, Katie Deker, Lamour Supreme, Masahiro Ito, Matt Siren, Max Greis, Mike Schreiber, Nathan Pickett, Nathan Vincent, NEVER, Peat Wollaeger, Robbie Bush, See One, Sofia Maldonado, TooFly, UFO, Vahge, VengRWK, VIK with exclusive murals by Miguel Ovalle & Skewville.
For further information regarding Fountain Art Fair click here
Carmichael Gallery from Culver City, CA will be exhibiting new works by Aakash Nihalani.