When it comes to local lace and architecture, Nespoon has you covered.
The Polish street artist has had a very productive year, traveling to Spain, Italy, Sweden, and France – always in pursuit of historical examples of this time-honored and exquisite yet dying art. By enlarging the patterns of people’s needlework – some of it quite honored and revered – she re-lights the candle of interest for the contemporary topography of the city. As one woman’s mission, the sometimes forgotten craft is shared here with a modern audience – the original patterns and designs often created by generations before this.
Today we have the honor and pleasure of sharing many of the 10 murals she painted in several countries in the first nine months of the year – along with her descriptive texts to accompany the works.
“I always paint my murals as in-situ works. Wherever I am, I always research local lace-making traditions. In many cities, lace-making factories operated, in the countryside they were traditional, female lace-making circles. I often find interesting exhibits at the local historical museum. Sometimes I just visit the apartments of seniors living nearby, I always find some lace. Based on such patterns, I prepare a mural design,” says Nespoon.
“In Spain, in Penelles, I painted for the Gargar Festival, near Barcelona. I designed the mural on the basis of a traditional 19th-century ‘mantilla’, a veil used by women there for liturgical purposes, such as weddings and funerals.”
“I came to Halmstad, Sweden, at the invitation of the city council. Swedish lace is very simple, so I decided to approach the design issues differently. I created the pattern of the mural spontaneously by sketching it directly on the wall with my free hand. There was no historical reference here.”
“In Yffiniac, in Brittany, France, in a private historical museum, I found a magnificent Breton ceremonial shawl from the end of the 19th century. A fragment of the pattern became the basis of my design. I painted for the Street Arte en Baie Festival.”
“I found similar inspiration in another Italian city, Stigliano. A woman living near where I worked showed me the lace made by her mother. There I painted for appARTEngo artepublica, the local association.”
“In Mendicino, in the south of Italy, I painted for the Gulìa Urbana Festival. My inspiration was the tablecloth I found in the house of a woman living nearby.”
“Brescia is an Italian city near Venice. It was in Venice that the first handbook for lace making, Le Pompe, was printed in the 16th century. The mural I painted for the LINK Urban Art Festival was based on Venetian lace from the island of Burano.”
Today we speak with Analí Chanquia and Vanesa Galdeano, who are known professionally together as MEDIANERAS. They are originally from Argentina but presently they live in Barcelona; together they have been traveling around the world together for 10 years creating murals. They work as a couple developing a vocabulary of kinetic graphics and androgynous, anamorphosed portraits that are jarring, slickly virtual, and somehow transcendent. Each is of this moment in the environment it is painted, yet reminds us that we are entering a different age of interaction that is not necessarily physical. It is electric, accessible, and oddly, spiritual.
BSA:How many years have you been painting together and where and how did you begin?
Medianeras: We have been painting together for about 10 years. Both Vane and I (Anali) were already dedicated to making works of urban art before founding MEDIANERAS. Vanesa is an architect and has directed a mosaic workshop in the city of Rosario since 2009, a workshop with which they carried out collective mosaic interventions around the city. More than 15 interventions can be found; some are murals others are urban furniture cladding, such as stairs or public benches. In my case, I painted my first mural at the age of 18, but I began to dedicate myself more specifically to urban painting around the year 2011 when I did my Fine Arts thesis. This was a theoretical-practical project called “artist looks for a wall “, which consisted of making murals on walls that the neighbors offered me when they found this stencil that I left as a signature on each work.
We met in 2012 at a mosaic street workshop in the city of Rosario. Vanesa, who at that time was directing the workshop, contacted several graffiti artists to make a collective artwork of mixed techniques. That’s how we met; we began a life of love, travel, and art together. Until today we continue to grow together and enjoy together what we like the most.
BSA: Medianeras is your artistic name. Could you please tell us about it? How did you arrive at naming yourselves “Medianeras”
Medianeras: We are a couple in both life and art, and thus our day-to-day existence and our projects capture our mutual growth. We called our duo Medianeras because we cherish the concept and idea of sharing. In Spanish, this means ‘lateral walls,’ which are those shared by neighbors. There’s a difference between walls whose function is to separate spaces, and lateral ones, which, conversely, join them. We maintain that public art, aside from making cities more attractive, proclaims the idea of a place shared by all the individuals who pass through it. We teamed up with the idea of conceiving and creating public art together. At present we are dedicating ourselves to mural painting, but we have also worked on collective mosaic interventions in public spaces.
BSA: Please tell us about your process for creating a mural from the idea to the sketch to the art on the wall.
Medianeras: The creative process is quite long. The idea that we are going to paint takes us more time than the days of painting the mural. We study the place a lot, the points of view, the architecture, and the surroundings; we take into account the culture of the place and the history. We draw the designs digitally, based on the photographs of the wall and its proportions and features.
The ideas to create the projects come mainly from certain characteristics of the town or city, the context, the proportions of the wall – width – height – unevenness – and the possible points of view. We mainly represent portraits, and we try not to necessarily define the gender of who we represent, giving rise to the viewer’s perspectives. The murals that we create considerably modify the urban space. In the case of the paintings that we make, they open a kind of window to artistic representation. However, it is important to remember that despite the fact that these murals are visually imposed, they are still ephemeral interventions in painting, linked to possible changes in the weather or any other.
BSA: Please tell us about your background in art and what you were doing independently before you formed Medianeras.
Medianeras: As a child, I (Anali) loved creating things, drawing, and inventing new objects. I attended different art workshops and studied at the University of Arts in the city of Rosario. While I was studying, I made several murals, and in the last years of my career, I was already doing all the artwork on the street. I also studied digital design, a fact that allowed me to handle 3d tools and have a solid idea about space representation.
Vanesa studied architecture and also fine arts. She always had a predilection for urbanism in general but began to carry out collective urban interventions through a mosaic workshop that she directed after finishing architecture
We are both from Argentina. We grew up in a city named Rosario which is located near the Paraná river. Our country, located in South America, is incredible and beautiful as well as uncertain, unstable, and unpredictable. This makes its inhabitants constantly adapt to different types of changes, whether these changes are economic, political, social, or otherwise. In my opinion, in general, it makes Argentine citizens quite creative in the face of different types of difficulties. We are a society that is accustomed to improvising and adapting quickly.
In relation to our activity, Street art is characterized by appearing in all its forms in various parts of the city in a somewhat uncontrolled and deregulated way. The techniques that are used are those that are at hand depending on the stage that the country goes through. For example, the colors and spray brands that can be found in Rosario are very limited, and that makes the artists or graffiti artists use only the colors that they can find or even mix between the same cans of spray they have. In turn, the high costs of spray paint often lead to the choice of cheaper paints, often acrylic paints or even a mixture of several.
In Argentina, there are fewer formalities to intervene in the public space, and this has resulted in a somewhat more spontaneous, less regulated, more experimental urban art, perhaps even more sloppy. However many times we lack the necessary materials or budgets to make murals of large formats.
Although it is an activity that is penalized, we could venture that as there are problems of another kind, more urgent and important, urban art remains somewhat more out of the main focus. In this sense, we appreciate that freedom of expression is not expressly controlled, often allowing experimentation and growth of various artists on the street. We grew up in this context, where through dialogue with neighbors in our beginnings we were able to carry out our works. It can be said that we learned to paint on the street itself.
There was always something that called both of us to create public art. We even met each other working on the Street. The objective that we always shared was to make street art for everyone, whether in mural format, urban intervention, or mosaic because we believe that it is the right place for MEDIANERAS. We consider that public art is the most honest way to create our artworks and that anyone has access to them. It is art for everyone. Medianeras was born with a shared desire to move and create our artworks in different places and for everybody.
BSA: The moment you paint on a wall on a building you’re immediately transforming the building and how the building is perceived by the people on the ground. How do the possibility of doing an intervention on any given building inform the theme and the execution of your work?
Medianeras: Our murals center on the representation of gender in its vast diversity. Although the works vary according to where they are located and how they are viewed, one of their standard features is faces whose gender is not necessarily distinct. Our theme corresponds closely to our way of thinking about gender. Throughout our education, we are taught what a man does and what a woman ought to do. However, in both our case as well as that of a broad range of human beings, gender is something that can change and be unable to adapt to this binary imposition. We want our works to convey the message of a broad concept of gender. We believe that once the rigorous distinction between men and women comes to an end, we will see the development of freer social relations and generations of people who are less concerned with what they should be and more attentive to what they could be.
In other words, we believe that by breaking these rigid and constrictive molds, we can overcome certain forms of discrimination, as well as roles imposed on us from the outside. Our works reflect individuals, poetically and visually transformed, who often struggle to break out of the molds in which they find themselves.
These molds are the architectures where they are found. That is why we like to make holes in the spaces, like breaking down the walls.
BSA: How do you view context when doing a mural? The context here includes not only the architectural structure that you are using as canvas but also the neighborhood where the said structure is located, as well as the city and indeed the country.
Medianeras: Before starting a design we try to inform ourselves as much as we can about society and the place such as the wall where we are going to paint the mural. In this research, we investigate the customs and characteristics of the culture and its history. We also make a virtual tour of the areas where the wall is located through google maps. This tool allows us to obtain some possible perspectives of the place. With a set of data that includes colors of the environment, the architecture of the place, or even stories, among many others, we create a sketch that is adjusted specifically for that particular surface (wall). That sketch can only be represented on that site since we think about it in relation to the architecture and the points of view from which it will be observed. Through our representations of diverse individuals, we convey an idea of inclusion and conviction about the ideals we stand for.
BSA: You are not afraid of color and geometry in your work. Your murals have almost a tri-dimensional depth, is this technique informed by your previous experiences in art making or was it born out from merging your talents together?
Medianeras: Both. We have enough knowledge to be able to bring to painting what we projected in the initial idea. Through the years, we have combined our styles in such a way as to arrive at what we currently do. Each project is a new challenge to integrate portraits into architectures, which are different in each case. We believe that we can achieve great complexities in the representation of depth thanks to the unification of our knowledge, both geometry and color and drawing.
We like to use the technique of anamorphosis. From one angle, one sees images of faces while, from another, one sees the distortion of these faces—the images reveal that they are illusions, something we believe is real, but that is not necessarily so. This is why we study the area around as well as the points of view from which the wall will be perceived: the image is conditioned both by the wall on which it will be displayed and the environment it is in.
Just in time for considering Halloween costumery that evokes fantasies of alter ego, BSMT Gallery in the creative hub of North East London gives you a push, encouraging you to explore the possibilities.
The beauty of opening the field of street art up to nearly anyone to join means that today’s “urban contemporary” scene also embraces those with formal art-school education and commercial art industry careers – sometimes delivering a fusion of street and modern aesthetics that are eye-popping. In the case of ‘Alter Ego’ opening on October 7th, you get to see portraiture that is varied as the practice, each selection presenting personality, character, and life in the post-industrial, knowledge-worker, surveillance age.
A meditative survey in the search for meaning, these profiles offer varied lenses through which one can gaze, backed by bonified painting talents. The results are distinctly human, and interpretive. As a collection the group show reflects this moment, this extended network, this Western society on the cusp of economic hardship and expanding war; the last moment before all the rules change again.
Artists include Aches, Alexander Chappel, Ange Bell, Angela Ho, Belin , Ben Wakeling, Caryn Koh, Edwin, Guy Denning, Jose Luis Cena, Joseph Loughborough, KMG, Pang, Panik, Perspicere, Stephen Anthony Davids, and Sweet Toof.
BSMT Space. ‘Alter Ego’ will run from October 7th through to October 30th. 529 Kingsland Rd, London, E84AR
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! It’s Fall Y’all !
If you know us, it’s a Mexico-Brooklyn fusion. Just one of the endless combinations you discover when you truly explore New York, where we speak 700 languages and dialects.
It is no surprise that graffiti, its style and aesthetic, spanned many of the world’s cities and cultures over five decades – as does street art today. You’ll see similarities this week between pieces we just caught in Chihuahua, in the north of Mexico, and NYC, in the North of the USA. The styles recognize history, but there is definitely a youthful vibe out there and here.
Shout out to the Brooklyn (now LIC) street art duo Faile for opening Deluxx Fluxx in the underground of Manhattan’s Webster Hall this week. Thursday night’s opening was full of fans, admirers, friends, and collectors – with Patrick Miller walking the line outside on the sidewalk to greet patient guests who were waiting to get in. Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling Faile, the new club is eye-popping with fluorescent image making and graphic design in the Faile vocabulary – and yes, there are new video games that are digital eye candy with a sense of irony and humor. Miller told us that the new version of their classic kiosks would hopefully also provide a platform to other artists – an open inclusive attitude that only comes from street artists who actually believe in community. With a stage for performances, a DJ HQ, smoke, and lasers – it is going to be an instant New York classic house to escape into.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Donut, Muck, Maze, Diez, Imok, Ollin, Griz, Tee, Derk, Bonk, Retos, Merck, and TCK.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. “Gilded Darkness” Fondazione Nicola Trussardi 2. Edoardo Tresoldi. Monumento. Procuratie Vecchie. Venice, Italy. 3. How To Make A Concrete Bike. Via DIY 4. Britain’s Long Goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II. via The New Yorker
BSA Special Feature: “Gilded Darkness” Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
“An Omni-comprehensive, multimedia spectacle,” says Massimiliano Gioni of Nari Ward’s ‘Gilded Darkness’ now on display at Centro Balneare Romano in Milan. The artistic director and the artist speak about the new exhibition that is on view until October 17th.
It’s part of an ongoing opportunity for artists to conceive of and build their sculptures and other installations in an environment that blends seamlessly into street culture, says Gioni.
“We rediscover forgotten or hidden places in the neighborhoods of Milan and invite artists to intervene in these very charged and unusual spaces. The center is a complex of buildings dating back to the 1920s; a very beautiful mixture of metaphysical architecture and rationalist and modernist architecture,” he says.
“Monumental architecture is a composition that neglects function in order to ritualize a thought by means of a three-dimensional work. The history of peoples is that of a hereditary flow of rhetorical figures which continuously recur in cycles; they redefine their own meanings and establish symbolisms that we have not only learned to read but which, generation after generation, we have absorbed as a sort of latent language of the collective unconscious.”
How To Make A Concrete Bike. Via DIY
Questions answered. That’s our job here. You were dying to learn how to make a concrete bike. You’re welcome.
Britain’s Long Goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II. Via The New Yorker
The largest funeral in modern memory, this week people said goodbye to the Queen
Ferraro-based mural artist Allessio Bolegnesi continues our summertime fascination with Italian painters on this last day of summer. This “Whale-man” is a provocative fusion you haven’t probably considered, yet now you may wonder if it will be possible someday. Actually, he says the new 15 x 7.5-meter mural is just a metaphor.
Allessio tells us, “The Whale-man is a symbol of the relationship that binds the human being to the sea and vice-versa.” It is true if you have ever met an oceanographer or a surfer. This relationship, the artist says, is, “A bond that we’re forgetting.”
Alessio Bolognesi. “The Whale-Man”. Caorle Sea Festival 2022. Caorle, Italy. (photo courtesy of the artist)
By way of highlighting the talents of a creative class who often work behind the scenes, a new exhibition mounted at Boston University Art Galleries puts one creator in the graffiti and Hip Hop story on center stage.
CEY ADAMS, DEPARTURE: 40 Years of Art and Design, curated by Liza Quiñonez, features original artworks and archives from an artist who helped put some of the greatest artists of the age on the turntable, screen, and streets with his design eye and ability to be a step ahead of the curve stylistically.
The founding Creative Director for Def Jam, he created some of the iconic imagery that brought you the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, and Mary J. Blige, among others. A Queens, NY, native running the streets as a teen in the 70s and 80s, Adams was also a graffiti writer – giving him a strong sense of the street aesthetic that would reverberate in commercial design as well. He parlayed his talents into the commercial realm of hip hop just as it was taking off, capturing the zeitgeist of that moment.
Now after a storied career, he’s collaborating with some of the documentarians of the age like Martha Cooper, Janette Beckman, Ricky Powell, & Robert Bredvad on newer works, some of them instantly re-classic. The press release calls Adams a “visionary artist, a cultural pioneer, and an innovative designer.” The show opens on October 4th and runs through December 11.
Here we show you some more recent works Adams has on the streets in the last few years.
OCTOBER 4 – DECEMBER 11855 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA CEY ADAMS, DEPARTURE: 40 Years of Art and Design.
The Italian street art interventionist named Fra. Biancoshock loves to reinvent space – especially public space.
Always on the lookout for patterns in the piles of discarded urban detritus, he converts them with paint to match his imagination. Recently in Lodi Italy, he looked through the viewfinder of his mind and discovered a couple of cameras that looked suspiciously like classic Cannons.
Festival d’Art Urbà Poliniza Dos may have an online presence that is difficult to access for the average street art fan. Still, the murals created for this ongoing urban art festival at the Polytechnic University of Valencia speak for themselves.
Brilliant productions and unusual investigations are created in and around the campus, engaging students and the local community to consider the role of art in the public sphere, its pertinence and meaning, and our relationship to it. Its direct and scholarly approach means that the public is invited, and artists are given an opportunity to share their practice with an appreciative and considered audience.
For more than a decade, this competition has selected from an open call for submissions and invited many of Spain’s curious thinkers, experimenters, interventionists, trouble-makers, street artists, and muralists to create new pieces for consideration, discussion, and appreciation. This program is where the work is done on the wall, inside the mind, and in the heart.
Recently photographer Luis Olive captured these murals from the 2021 and 2022 editions of PolinizaDos, and he shares what he found today with BSA readers.
Learn more about Poliniza Dos on their Instagram account.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Sofles / Elevate. By Sofles and Aftermidnight Film Co. 2. Queen Elizabeth II Almost Died / The Simpsons 3. SAABE, “I’M NOT DONE YET” Via Montana Colors
BSA Special Feature: Sofles / Elevate. By Sofles and Aftermidnight Film Co.
Oh yes, the oppressive, stultifying, soul-sucking corporate office job. It deviously diminishes you, taking credit for your ideas, and uses a thousand cuts to demoralize you slowly but surely (human “resource”, anyone?). Australian graff/street artist Sofles plays the role here as a character lifted from a graphic novel; the unwilling cog in the machine whose urge to create bucks the system.
“Awesome editing and story!” says one of the hundreds of comments amassed on this 5-day-old video that suggests no one gives up on their dreams, especially you.
Sofles / Elevate. By Sofles and Aftermidnight Film Co.
Queen Elizabeth II Almost Died / The Simpsons During this period of mourning where many are reflecting on QE II’s influence on society, culture, art, even Homer Simpson…
SAABE, “I’M NOT DONE YET”
Sabe knows. After three-plus decades getting up he has inspired a lot of fans and peers with his wild style writing in Europe, making him what some call a true legend from Copenhagen. He’s known for a wide range of styles, bombs, burners, and panels, seemingly talented at them all. Stay to the end, as they say, to hear some of the insights that he shares about himself, his work, and his life.
This is not your average graff head video because he keeps it real, even if painful to say or hear.
“I feel like I had a family.”
“Maybe I feel like a loser.. but Iam happy because I can paint.”