School is out, unemployment is higher than they’re reporting, and your younger sister is driving you crazy. Time to take off with some friends to the local abandoned building for some summer spray-cation!
Maybe you’ll finally do that masterpiece, maybe you’ll just spray some genitalia or extremely large breasts. Since they are on your mind anyway, why not? These are the last days of July, you might as well carry on what has become a modern tradition for many urban youths over the years.
Who has a speaker we can plug into a phone? I want to hear my jam!
Thank you for these Barcelonian hidden jewels from Lluis Olivas.
For those who are nostalgic for the early days of the Internet and the pop of Lichtenstein shredded by the hands of Jacques Villeglé, here balances the bright fluorescence of Dante Arcade. The self-described urban and contemporary artist from Barcelona is here in Torre-Pacheco, a municipality in the autonomous community of Murcia in southeastern Spain, bringing the colors and swimming likening his street experience to the digital dreams possible in Photoshop and less fancy paint programs.
In a world where everything now appears in your life like a screen, his new wall for the Artate Fest is transformed equally so, complete with pop-up messages and layers of content piling up and interrupting one another.
Please clean up this desktop! That’s what folders are for, people! Honestly.
But for Dante and his multi-color soaked tableau, this is about love via the comic strip… one “in which you can interpret a romantic love scene in the purest Vintage comic style. An intervention that transports us the madness of the digital boom and the appearance of technology as we know them.”
Super Walls 2021 says that the theme of this year’s festival is “Rebirth” – which is in alignment with the mission of the public art project, bringing new life to Veneto, Italy with 38 urban artists of all stripes.
Street artist Mr. Fijodor selected this image of a burning cigarette on the ICS Briosco middle school sidewall to illustrate a larger theme and point to a culprit of the modern age: thoughtless, toxic consumerism.
“The cigarette is the iconography of a ritual gesture that many people perform daily, sometimes without even realizing it,” he says of the white and black burning column stained with yellow nicotine. “A practice dictated by a physical as much as unconscious addiction.”
The larger theme is portrayed in a horror of bodies, animals, plants and objects all being consumed mindlessly. In pursuit, you may ask, of what?
He calls the work “Consumerism Consumes Us.” Indeed during the fires that rage across our lands in summers that stretch further into the year, one may sense that this way of life is going up in smoke.
At a time when Barcelona has received criticism for allowing iconic murals to disappear, it is a joyful sight to witness street artist and muralist Jaz create a new iconic one after full immersion into the neighborhood of Trinidad Nova. Similarly, it is gratifying to see a contemporary painter creating something relevant and new for a community rather than creating banal niceties or, worse, using public space to sell a sneaker or brand.
Intended as part of a permanent dialogue between the neighborhood and artist, this clearly links to the people’s fighting spirit here, complete with pugnacious bulls, roaring boars, and rebels on motorcycles. The Argentinian consulted closely over a period of weeks with panels of leaders, circles of residents, experts, and historians in the square.
A coalition project under the auspices of B-Murals, Centro de Arte Urbano, and School of Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage of Catalonia, Jaz integrated histories and aspirations into a triumphant, defiant, and uniquely expressive tableau worthy of a people. With his talents, the artist reflects the community and empowers it – honoring a TIME of the past while propelling its intentions of actualization into a TIME of the future…
People are so careful sometimes to let you know that certain artists are self-taught. You wouldn’t think it so necessary to make the distinction but it’s often an important demarcation for the academic or self-appointed expert who wants to preserve the class divide, assuring that only persons from families who can afford luxury branded education could possibly be awarded highest distinction in any category.
Consider even newer terms like “Outsider Art”. It’s right there in the name, people.
Talk about so-called “outsider artists,” and there is a certain air of incredulity that such original, imaginative, high-quality work and brilliance could come from those who haven’t been to an art academy. The occurrence is likened to a supernatural fluke, something mystical perhaps channeled through this vessel of a person, not indicative of their own talents necessarily.
“Self-taught” is a source of pride for graffiti writers – taught by the university of the streets, a few will tell you. Some street artists like to say they evolved from the Do It Yourself (DIY) subcultures of punk and anarchists. It’s a source of pride, often hard-won. For those making money selling graffiti or street artists’ work in a gallery, however, they’ll check your resume in addition to your canvas. Its easier to assure potential buyers that an artist attended an accredited, if not acclaimed, university or program, or studied under the tutelage of an art star. It’s about branding, for sure, but it is also infused with class.
The Mata Ortiz pottery style from the northern central region of Mexico took hold in the 1990s when the Santa Fe style of home décor became popular in parts of the US. Originating from the Indigenous peoples who lived here and in this region before the Europeans arrived, the geometric designs and stylized animal patterning on pottery fragments from prehistoric cultures like the Mimbres and Casas Grandes inspired a new interest among ceramicists and potters.
A farmer who liked to explore near the remains of Paquime countryside and to discover pottery remnants in this desert and forest region, Juan Quesada took inspiration and began to develop his own pottery designs beginning in the 1960s. Over the course of the next decades, his work was “discovered” by an anthropologist and ceramic collector north of the border, and he helped Quesada to develop a sustainable business of sales and to spread word of his talent. These prized pottery works that later became part of museum private collections eventually spawned a small cottage industry in the surrounding area that is primarily known for ranching and lumber. Today Quesada continues to create his own art and has helped hundreds of family and friends to participate, learn, and thrive with the opportunity he authored.
He was also self-taught.
So, we lift a glass of tequila to him and all the self-taught artists and artisans – and those who share their skills with others.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street here in Mexico, this week featuring ARSK, Aser, Bianca S, BN One, CFN, Damasco, EXPm, Llario, Jeack, Juan Quezada, Mabe, Mecivo, Neth, Pese, RCW, Seyk, and Shutney,
Elfo’s furtive and artful wanderings can veer off into the neo-Dadaist fields at times, sometimes wittily so, and textually. The Italian graffiti writer and street artist uses the simplest of devices to capture attention, a reductive and deliberate strategy born of careful consideration girded by impulses to broadcast his view, to be seen and heard.
Here in Turin (Torino) the artist diagrams the messages in a butcherly way – a triangulation of views on class structures, the street-to-gallery continuum, and the tensions separating carnivores and herbivores. Oink!
He says it is “a new ironic artwork” and pays tribute to the late Italian artist and art collector G.A. Cavellini.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Vhils Explodes in Slow-Mo at Nifty Gateway 2. Giulio Vesprini: No Comply // Struttura G0055 3. RIDE a Film by Paul Bush
BSA Special Feature: Vhils Explodes in Slow-Mo at Nifty Gateway
The time elapsed between blasting a new artwork and destroying it? 2 seconds.
Thanks to documentation, you can luxuriate in this human/natural cycle of creation and destruction over two and a half minutes. Portuguese street artist VHILS explores the space in between, and the rapturous flight of atoms and molecules, volume, velocity, light and dark.
Giulio Vesprini: No Comply // Struttura G0055
Skate parks are sacred spaces for those believers whom you find there endless hours, meditating, catching air, lying prostrate. Giulio Vesprini helps us to understand his process for this artists commission to adorn the temple.
RIDE a Film by Paul Bush
Summer is prime season for bikes, no matter what kind. In a little more than 5 minutes filmmaker Paul Bush bowls us over with stop action bicycles, motorbikes, and your nostalgia.
This time of year, it is hard to find people in Manhattan on the weekends – they’re “weekending” in the Hamptons, darling.
Not exactly the original setting you might associate with graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk rock, zines, and underground art culture but where else can curators Evan Pricco and Kim Stephens sell these works on paper while sipping cool drinks poolside?
“Beyond the Streets” carries the mobile party to Southampton Arts Center this Saturday with a wide swath of styles – 500 works from over 100 artists in an art fair-sized venue. It may remind you of the Urban Air Fair tried in Manhattan in summer 2017, but this one has something that one didn’t: Roger Gastman.
If it’s here, it’s because it is quality work and has a connection to the roots of these subcultural scenes usually as well. Expanding now to the more nebulous category of Contemporary, you may be surprised to see more accessible interpretive variations on the themes. Let’s see that paper, people.
Artists include: Action Bronson, Addam Yekutieli, agnès b, AIKO, André Saraiva, Andrew Schoultz, Andrew Thiele, Andy Rementer, Aryz, Bert Krak, Brandon Breaux, Broken Fingaz, Bryant Giles, Camille Walala, CES, Cey Adams, Charlie Ahearn, Chloe Early, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Clark Fox, Cody Hudson, Conor Harrington, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Daniel Rich, David “Mr StarCity” White, DAZE, DEFER, Emily Manwaring, Eric Haze, Ermsy, Escif, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Fucci, Greg SPONE Lamarche, Gustavo Zermeno, Hilda Palafox, House 33, HuskMitNavn, Ian Reid, Icy & Sot, Jaime Muñoz, Jamilla Okuba, Jane Dickson, JEC*, Jeremy Shockley, Jillian Evelyn, JK5, John Konstantine, Julian Pace, KATSU, KC Ortiz, Kelsey Brookes, Khari Turner, Kime Buzzelli, LeRoy Neiman, Linas Garsys, Liz Flores, Lucy McLauchlan, Lujan Perez, Maripol, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Marshall LaCount, Matt McCormick, Maya Hayuk, Michael Vasquez, MIKE 171, Mister CARTOON, Neena Ellora, Nehemiah Cisneros, Nettie Wakefield, NUNCA, Otto183, Paije Fuller, Paul Insect, POSE, Rebecca Morgan, Reko Rennie, Rello, Richard Colman, RISK, Ron English, Ryan McGinness, Sage Vaughn, Saladeen Johnson, Scott Campbell, Sean from Texas, Senon Williams, Shantell Martin, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, Sofía Enriquez, SNOEMAN, Spacebrat, STASH, Steve ESPO Powers, SWOON, TAKI 183, The Perez Bros., Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Troy Lamarr Chew II, Umar Rashid, Victor Reyes, Wasted Rita, Wulffvnky, Yarrow Slaps, Yusuke Hanai, ZESER, ZOER and 45RPM.
BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER July 17—August 28, 2021 Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, New York, 11968
“I drew inspiration from Joseph Beuys’ visit to Ireland where he spoke in the gallery about the soul and its transition between different levels of existence.” Street artist Asbestos is talking about the near ritualist manner of creation he used for this new mural he’s painted in Dublin.
By uttering an incantation after completing each extinguished match stick, the artist may have held the hand of a dearly departed individual as they passed from this life to the next.
Each of the nearly five thousand people who passed away during the pandemic in Ireland is intimated here – a searing tribute that he completed over ten days. “Each match represents the life of a person… each extinguished at a different stage of existence,” he tells us. “Each life cut short, along with their hopes, ambitions, and the memories.”
Part of a new initiative for the Hugh Lane Gallery, and the new exhibition ‘From Secret Block to ROSC’ by Joseph Beuys, Asbestos tells us about the anonymous figure made of figures just completed.
“When you stand back and view the work from a distance, it forms a profile of me standing and looking up, with my hands raised to the sky,” he says. “This symbol unites the many intertwined matches to form a single representation of hope. United, we are stronger.”
20 students took part in painting at the 2nd edition of Poli Urban Colors last month in Milan, which is appropriate since its mounted hand in hand with a university. The rich diversity of styles combined with a few big names illustrates the wisdom of involving local talents and the community in a street art festival.
Curated by Luca Mayr with the support of Politecnico of Milan, the self-described urban design festival invited 45 Urban Artists in all, each following their individual style and technique, whether formally or self-trained. As many students of Politecnico have gone on to pursue careers as designers, engineers, architects, and illustrators, you get a real sense of the level of appreciation here for the work of the artists on the street.
Among the works most talked about, perhaps, was the mural of the graffiti writer from Veneto named Peeta, who disobeyed laws of perception once again with the artist’s command of spray can and brushes; effectively removing the wall and creating a new sculptural construction entirely. At a university of two campuses dedicated separately to design and industrial engineering, it is easy to see how Peeta nailed the top spot with his intervention. Known for his brain-fooling paintings, the Italian wizard with a solid foundation in graffiti is able to play with dimensions and hold them on a leash.
Poli Urban Colors 21 organizers say they wanted to present viewers with a healthy survey of the Italian and worldwide Graffiti Writing movement – and they did. With the range of talents and styles on display, they gave the nod to the roots of modern graffiti history here as well as a strong representation of where it continues to take us in public space.
Bad weather and two broken lifts later – Bustart has created this tribute to the precision of Swiss watchmakers in the small town of Le Locle (population 10,200) in the Canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Known as one center of Swiss watchmaking since the 1600s, the town is famous for numerous watchmakers and watch companies respected around the world.
“I have highlighted the precise and complicated gears of the watch,” he tells us of the crisp illustration-styled mural he created in his home country. “As in life itself, it’s the gears in the background that make the outside work.” He calls the mural “Time Out.”
Opening this week here in New York, Bustart has new works on display in his first solo show in the city at Krause Gallery, entitled “Graffiti Pop.” He planned to attend but sadly will not due to current visa regulations and the ongoing Covid situation affecting international travel. If only all things worked as precisely as a Swiss watch!
Giulio Vesprini is all over the Italian basketball court, so to speak, covering 5 of these playgrounds this spring and summer. His canvas is huge, and he’s using it to experiment stylistically, all the while realizing that athletes throughout their game will consciously and subconsciously absorb his tones, shapes, and patterns.
With “Horizon” in Treviglio/Bergamo, Giulio says he is lifting direct inspiration again from the surrounding environment, “the green of the park that delineates the basketball court, the blues of the sky and the reds of the scorching sun during the games; a color-space that affirms itself in the urban fabric.”
Composed in situ, this original work will not be repeated elsewhere, a bespoke rendering of this moment and this place.