All posts tagged: Jaime Rojo

BSA Film Friday: 01.14.22

BSA Film Friday: 01.14.22

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BSA-Film-Friday-2021-900.gif

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. Humask & Shadow _ Light off/Light on. Tuco Wallach Pacifico
2. Bastardilla: La lingue dei carciofi
3. Saber: Escaping Los Angeles. From Chop ’em Down Films

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BSA-Special-Feature-Static-900.jpg

BSA Special Feature: Humask and Shadow

For artist Tuco Wallach the street art story has nearly always been a family affair that mixes easily with his Humask campaign. His psychological treatise on man’s relationship with himself and society and masks may be internal, but the actual street practice is often externalized to include friends and family to create, place, document the new works that go into the public places. Here, as a chill holiday recording of a moment, we see the intimate and precise care that goes into his process – a process that is open and welcoming, and participatory. He says the video is about wood cabins, family, shadows, lights, friends, and Humask.

Humask & Shadow _ Light off/Light on. Tuco Wallach Pacifico

Bastardilla: La lingue dei carciofi

In the depths of New York winter, we like to escape to that sticky and warm time in summer when the air and the bees buzzed in unison, the thick richness of the days and nights, lingering in reverie. At the time we called it Bastardilla in Love With Bees and the Taste of Summer in Stornara, Italy. We dare you not to fall in love or at least be enchanted.

Saber: Escaping Los Angeles. From Chop ’em Down Films

“You can tell a lot about a city just by reading its walls.” Okay, Saber, you have our attention. And it’s shot by Chop ’em Down films? We’re there. Here the graffiti writer and fine artists narrate the police state of the LA during one of its more dismal periods caught on camera – and the record of a constant state of uprising.

Now a grand don of graffiti looking back, he sees the fall of LA hasn’t halted, only intensified, but his heart is still in it. He has become performative, crystalizing the movements of his work and his history into a gestural full-body modern performance; rebellious and distraught and yet full of passion – his own evolution from the street to the studio to the street again.

Read more
1UP Crew Magnum Opus In Wynwood, Miami

1UP Crew Magnum Opus In Wynwood, Miami

It was sunny that particular day in Wynwood, Miami in November of last year. The air was fresh and the humidity mercifully low. The sun rays weren’t piercing one’s shoulders. It was what winter in Miami is supposed to feel like. Dreamy.

That’s how we were feeling; dreamy – when we turned the corner and saw them. A motley crew of five or six men taking on a gargantuan wall in the less noisy part of Wynwood. The congenial 1UP Crew is the Berlin-based masters of the mixed message – here to vandalize, but politely. In this case of course the wall is completely legal, but associates of this notorious crew have been credited/blamed for leaving their marks on walls, trains, water tanks, elevators – anything that strikes their fancy in multiple cities across many continents.

1UP Crew. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The wall was still in progress that day with many more aerosol cans to go. We chatted, took photos, and reported on the encounter HERE. By the time we had to return to NYC, the wall wasn’t completed yet – so we returned to the winter paradise weeks later.

We were glad we pulled ourselves away from the ocean to see this in all its glory. Judging from the description below from one of the 1UP Crew members we think that this wall has it all.

“So it is kind of a movie planet, we don’t know which planet it is,” says one of the 1UP guys, “But it is a planet of the future – and there are all these Metro’s coming up out of the sand along with pyramids and street signs and figures… It’s growing now. I think that we have three more days to paint.”

Up to 13 artists joined in to complete it including members of 1UP Crew and members of the MSG Crew as well as Vlok, Giz, and Fuzi UV TPK crew from Paris.

1UP Crew. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Read more
Shepard Fairey Says “Invent Your Future” in Miami’s Little Haiti

Shepard Fairey Says “Invent Your Future” in Miami’s Little Haiti

Leave it to Shepard Fairey to tell you that he’s not too cool for school. The anti-establishment critic of corruption and hypocrisy throughout our history and our political system still knows that we have to have tools if we want to make a positive change.

It’s a shame that the dropout rate for many schools is high, and that many schools don’t have the resources needed to effectively encourage and train students for the future. But the LA-based street artist knows that by holding up role models and celebrating positive contributions to culture, his murals can have a positive impact on the next gen.

Shepard Fairey. “Invent Your Future”. Little Haiti, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here next to the track behind Miami Edison Senior High School in the neighborhood of Little Haiti, Fairey says “We all play a role in shaping the future, but high school is an especially important time in developing the tools to mold it.” He’s describing the new mural incorporating his graphic signature motifs, powerful personalities, and palette – including a fresh aqua that calls to mind the tropical connections between this neighborhood and the island from whence it gets its name.

Shepard Fairey. “Invent Your Future”. Little Haiti, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thanks to a program that has worked with the schools in the neighborhood for nearly a decade called The RAW Project, founded by Robert de los Rios and his partner Audrey Sykes, this mural joins many others by local and international street artists near here. Recent names on the roster inside and outside local halls of higher learning include Eric Skotnes, Jazz Guetta, Kai, Kevin Ledo, Sandra Chevalier, Hyland Mather, The Lost Object, Telmo Miel, Marina Capdavila, Mr. June, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Patrick Kane McGregor, and Wayne Horse.

As ever, Shepard had his sharpest hands on the can with him as his brilliant crew in Miami, including Dan Flores, Nic Bowers, Rob Zagula, and Luka Densmore.

Shepard Fairey. “Invent Your Future”. Little Haiti, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Read more
Pompei Street Art Festival, First Edition

Pompei Street Art Festival, First Edition

The Pompei Street Art Festival features a familiar selection of events, tours, panels, workshops, performances, murals, and eye candy that you have come to expect from these public/private events meant to spark interest in a city, its downtown, its economy.

Emmeu. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)

But the difference here is that the city of Pompei provides a link to ancient graffiti, the citizens of ancient Pompei used chalk and sharp tools to write on walls to express and communicate with each other and of course, it offers a link to the Romans and to the richest archaeological site perhaps in the world. It would be difficult to overemphasize its importance after the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, not only because of the scholarship that followed it but its influence over the 18th century in both France and England; the neo-classical style, of contemporary renditions of the imagination of the classical world. Buried under ash in 79CE, the history of the excavated city influences the environment, the architecture, the mosaics, water towers, schools, temples, taverns.

Bosoletti. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)

So without narration, we first gaze over the murals produced during this festival. One may reflect on that influence of centuries past on every artist participating here, and wonder how this is informing their choices, their techniques, their sense of place in history. We look forward to bringing you the second edition of this fresh new festival in 2022.

M-City. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
M-City. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
C215. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
C215. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Feoflip. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Feoflip. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Feoflip. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Feoflip. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Kilia Llano. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Kilia Llano. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Soen Bravo. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Leho. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Cool Disco Rich. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Cool Disco Rich. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Yessiow. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
JahOne. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
JahOne. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Asur. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Asur. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Asur. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Monks. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Mr. Kas. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Mr. Kas. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Mr. Kas. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Colectivo Cian. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Colectivo Cian. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)
Colectivo Cian. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)

After three weeks of collecting plastic from nearby beaches, the fountain sculpture is completed with the hopes of bringing attention to the environment. The collection of plastic was done in conjunction with Plasticfreeit. The Cian team is composed of Carlos, Max, Rata, and Marcel.

Colectivo Cian. Pompei Street Art Festival. First Edition/2021. Pompei, Italy. (photo courtesy of Pompei Street Art Festival)

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Read more
Dan Ferrer: On Life, Resilience, Art, And Loss

Dan Ferrer: On Life, Resilience, Art, And Loss

Somewhere between realism and abstraction lies a figurative allegory that plays out in saturated color for the Spanish street artist/studio artist Dan Ferrer.

Moving between a loosening of realism and tightening of abstraction and the storyland that only children inhabit, you find the bloodied, almost clownish dripping lips and limbs of his mamas and babies and children, their thickened blue patches inspired by jazz, he says.

Dan Ferrer. “Resilience”. Detail. Torrijos, Spain. (photo courtesy of the artist)

During these pandemic years, Ferrer has turned to his studio work, and turned to his family, enduring loss and finding inspiration, possibly hope.

A former graffiti kid from Madrid’s Hortaleza neighborhood, Dan tells us that his own feelings of a troubled childhood now come face to face with his ability to be a good father – a transformational experience. These newly painted pieces invoke the pride of nation and culture, of intimacy and the complexity of everyday life – a diary and an escape and a form of therapy as captured by a painter on an outside wall and on a studio canvas.

Dan Ferrer. “Resilience”. Torrijos, Spain. (photo courtesy of the artist)

 “A roller coaster in my family life and in my interior,” says Ferrer of these last few years as an artist and a person, “these things have made me a different human being.” Listening to his stories of a families love and loss and joy and hope, it appears that this work cannot be closer to the skin, closer to the bone.

“This is why color suddenly floods my art,” he says, and you realize the saturation reflects passion. “That is why the firm lines are mixed with the delicate ones and the need arises in me to turn my eyes to look towards my roots, while I look towards the future, chewing every moment of my present.”

Dan Ferrer. “Art”. Detail. Torrijos, Spain. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Dan Ferrer. “Art”. Torrijos, Spain. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Dan Ferrer. “Winter & Spring”. Canvas. Artist’s studio. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Read more
BSA Images Of The Week: 01.09.22

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.09.22

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BSA-Animated-Banner_Images-Week-Jan-2021-V2.gif

Welcome the first BSA Images of the Week of 2022! How are you feeling? You’re looking great!

The street art parade marches on, perhaps ever clearer in its intent to reflect the mood, the zeitgeist, the intellectual meanderings of the artist class. In the process of demystifying the graffiti and street art scene over the few decades, we’ve long realized that there always will be surprises, no matter how much of the scene you have decoded. That’s what keeps it FREEEESSSSSSSSHHHH!

This week, as the snow is falling in dirty old NYC and as people are rescinding into their homes for another de facto Covid “lockdown”, we discover that artists are hard at work getting out their message, their id, their frustrations, their aspirations, their wit.

May this adventure never end, and may this trail never go cold.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Anderson Bluu, Dorothy Gale, Ernesto Maranje, ERRE, Ethan Minsker, Fake Banksy, Gold Loxe, Ill Surge, J. Cole, Johann Art, Marka 27, Miss 17, NEST, Praxis VGZ, Salami Doggy, and Winsten Tseng .

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adam Fujita “So Many Beautiful Hearts All In One City” Ain’t that the truth! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nest (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Virgil Abloh memorial in Wynwood, Miami by Ill Surge. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Virgil Abloh memorial in Wynwood, Miami by Johann Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Miss 17 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gold Loxe as Frida (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gold Loxe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dorothy Gale Has A Posse in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Anderson Bluu honors rap legends and hip-hop icons from the 2010s to today. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, and Nicki Minaj. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
#boxtruck (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Erre & Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Marka_27 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ethan Minsker (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ernesto Maranje in Wynwood Miami for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Salami Doggy (photo © Jaime Rojo)
#fakebanksy spotted in the NYC subway. Or is it? (photo © Jaime Rojo)
#fakebanksy spotted in the NYC subway. This illegal vendor in the subway is selling exact copies of Banky’s artwork – that was originally placed illegally on someone else’s property. Please, no photos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. January 2022. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Read more
Peeta and a Soaring Heron in Fort Lauderdale

Peeta and a Soaring Heron in Fort Lauderdale

During the cold winter months, many of us Northerners in the US flock to Florida if we can – to relax in the sun, run on the beach, commune with the ever-present heron.

Emblematic of the “Sunshine State” and of Fort Lauderdale in particular, this pretty bird looks like it standing on one skinny leg most of the time, a clumpy cloud of white feathers hovering about the ground as it roosts. Some call it majestic, this commonplace unassuming neighbor will happily land on top of of bush near you as you present yourself on a chaise lounge to the sun god.

 

Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)

Here in Port Everglades the Italian street artist Peeta creates his ode to this down to earth yet soaring symbol, selecting “representative colors, shapes and subjects in order to create a harmonious relationship with the surrounding environment,” says Iryna Kanishcheva, who produced the project with the Broward County Cultural Division. In the composition you see echoes of the ocean, ground, sky, the sun… and you notice that the artist has engulfed the corner of the building, effectively hiding it if you stand at the right vantage point.

Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)

“Through the use of anamorphism, he creates a surreal space where selected symbolic elements live side by side,” says the organizer, and you can see that the sophistication of the presentation supercedes the typical fare offered by a municipally funded public mural. Undoubtedly it is largely due to the precise eye and cunning mind of Peeta, who has constructed exquisite optical illusions on walls all around the world.

Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)
Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)
Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)
Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)
Peeta. “Heron”. In collaboration with Monochronicle/Iryna Kanishcheva. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (photo © B4flight Films)
Read more
BSA Film Friday: 01.07.22

BSA Film Friday: 01.07.22

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BSA-Film-Friday-2021-900.gif

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. Banksy – A t-shirt sold to help the Colston 4 in Bristol.
2. Don Rimx en Dorado Puerto Rico via Tost Films
3. Murals For The Movement DUMBO
4. Open Arms x Montana Colors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BSA-Special-Feature-Static-900.jpg

BSA Special Feature: Banksy – A t-shirt sold to help the Colston 4 in Bristol.

“Who the hell was Edward Colston?”

“Edward Colston was a slave trader from Bristol who supervised the kidnap of over 80,000 people. Up to 20,000 of them died in transit and were thrown overboard. This isn’t about erasing history — it’s about confronting it.”

Banksy – A t-shirt sold to help the Colston 4 in Bristol.

Don Rimx en Dorado Puerto Rico via Tost Films

Beautiful brother and street artist/muralist Don Rimx shares his newest mural celebrating Homenaje a Jose “Chico” Lind, a Puerto Rican former Major League Baseball second baseman, and former manager of the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. The new piece is regaled with celebration and song in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Murals For The Movement DUMBO via Tost Films

Curated by Liza Quiñonez of Street Theory Gallery, artists Cey Adams, Sophia Dawson, and Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez, celebrate African American and Latinx heritages in a city and a social climate that is always on the move. Nationally and internationally renowned Brooklyn artists with histories and talents for miles, the three painted new works in DUMBO that combine elements of fine art, hip hop, and pop culture – with a background of deeply needed conversations about racial and social justice in this city, and this country.

Open Arms x Montana Colors

Open Arms protects the lives of the most vulnerable people in international waters,” says Laura Lannuza, communications director for the group, “where adminstrations are allowing people to die.” The paint company Montana has created a program raising awareness about the activities of this group and the greater problem of refugees chased from their homes due to economic, geographic reasons as well as those in the international war industry that profits from human suffering.

Read more
AKUT: Insights Gained From the Faces of Street Artists on Display in Heidelberg

AKUT: Insights Gained From the Faces of Street Artists on Display in Heidelberg

The culmination of a decade-long photography and painting project by artist AKUT (one half of Herakut) brings many of your street art heroes a new level of super-hero status in Heidelberg, Germany, right now until February 25th.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. MadC (photo courtesy of AKUT)

Asking friends and colleagues to sit for a photograph, AKUT (Falk Lehman) projected images of their own artworks across their closed eyes, leaving them gleaming under the imprint of their own distinctive motifs, their skin soaking in the patterns, colors, wildstyles of their own works.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Obey. (photo courtesy of AKUT)

Now that the Insight project has gathered more than 70 photographs of his cherished circle, AKUT brings the unique program, curated by Metropolink, to the old commissary at Patrick-Henry-Village. Some faces you’ll recognize, others are rarely on public display. All of them keep their eyes closed and their secrets to themselves, preferring introspection to opening their windows to the soul.

“The projection of an artwork onto the face creates a mask-like, archaic expression,” he says, and one wonders if these masks are more obscuring or revealing.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Kryptik. (photo courtesy of AKUT)

In addition to the photography show, AKUT invited four artists to collaborate on canvasses with him,  including KKADE, MADC, STOHEAD, and JULIA BENZ. Additionally he collaborated with the artist KKADE on “the street” for an inaugural mural to celebrate the project in the giant hall of the commissary. The images are stunning, even stirring, in their mystery.

Only AKUT’s uncontested mastery of the photorealist technique can enhance the poignancy of these photos; his hyper sensitive application of texture and volume enables another spirit to free itself from the handpainted works in a way that may supercede the original shot.

Considering the Insight theme, it is evident that on display here as well is the potential network of social and personal connections that one may accrue over time in this street art/contemporary art milieu. If you possess additional talent for listening to the stories of others, not to mention the art of documentation, there can be rich friendships forged too.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Fafi. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. ECB. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. WIP. Jonone. (photo © Alex Krziwanie)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. WIP. Jonone. (photo © Alex Krziwanie)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Jonone. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Installation. (photo © Shreiber Poetter)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series installation. (photo © DNA Creative Collective)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Kkade. (photo © Sandra Lehmann)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Kkade. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Julia Benz. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Stohead. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo © Sandra Lehmann)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Mural collaboration with Kkade. (photo © Shreiber Poetter)
AKUT. “Insight”. Mural collaboration with Kkade. (photo © DNA Creative Collective )

The “INSIGHT” exhibition will be on view until February 25th, 2022 at Metropolink’s Commissary in the Patrick-Henry-Village in Heidelberg. (in compliance with the current hygiene restrictions)

Read more
Leon Keer “Equality Diversity” in Tampa, Florida

Leon Keer “Equality Diversity” in Tampa, Florida

Ah Florida! So close to heaven, so far from sane.  But as New Yorkers, we appreciate this.

We just returned from holidays there after a 48-hour Amtrak ride through a snowstorm and can confirm all those adages about the gorgeous sunsets, storks, sandpipers, beach babes, and whacked-out/ semi-menacing sea-creatures that walk the streets and in the frozen food section at Publix.

Leon Keer. “Equality Diversity” in collaboration with Casscontemporary and WaterStreetTampa. Tampa, Florida. (photo courtesy of the artist)

In Tampa, home of the revered Busch Gardens, the Big Cat Rescue refuge, and the hottest housing market of 2022, a new AR animation by designer Joost Spek allows you to see Dutch pop-surrealist street artist Leon Keer’s new mural blast apart into pieces.  Entitled “Equality Diversity”, the artist says that the project focuses on people of all talents and abilities regardless of their background.

Leon Keer. “Equality Diversity” in collaboration with Casscontemporary and WaterStreetTampa. Tampa, Florida. (photo courtesy of the artist)

“The mural depicts the balancing of different colored stones to represent the diversity of the individual,” says Keer of this project where he collaborated with Cass Contemporary and Water Street Tampa.

“Equality comes with recognizing, respecting, and celebrating each other differences. A diverse environment is one with a wide range of backgrounds and mindsets, equality gives us an empowered culture of creativity and innovation.” Where else to enjoy all this diversity, than in Florida?

Leon Keer. “Equality Diversity” in collaboration with Casscontemporary and WaterStreetTampa. Tampa, Florida. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Leon Keer. “Equality Diversity” in collaboration with Casscontemporary and WaterStreetTampa. Tampa, Florida. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Leon Keer. “Equality Diversity” in collaboration with Casscontemporary and WaterStreetTampa. Tampa, Florida. (photo courtesy of the artist)
Read more
Isaac Cordal, Stupefaction of Modern Existence, and “24/7”  in Bilbao

Isaac Cordal, Stupefaction of Modern Existence, and “24/7” in Bilbao

Now on view until January 28th at SC Gallery in Bilbao, street artist/contemporary artist Isaac Cordal’s hapless little men are being subsumed into the machinery of our meaningless times, positioned in perpetual fog, adrift and submissive, unable to resist the march to a digital life that is in never-ending production mode. While the electronic prison walls of everyday existence appear to be closing in, perhaps Cordal’s dire scenarios are cautionary, not definitive, for our future.

Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)

His second solo exhibition here, he calls this collection “24/7”. As work life has implicated itself into every aspect of so-called “leisure” time, these color-drained scenarios present themselves as a series of connections without connectedness, trapped in their own cycles. In his essay that accompanies the exhibition, philosopher, curator and cultural critic Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego describes the insipid trappings of modern life as a disabling process of dumbing-down the everyman.

Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)

“His mode of existence is none other than stupefaction, a term that comes from the same root as stupidity. It is that of the individual who sees everything, but can no longer do anything.”

As ever, Cordal’s lead-heavy scenarios suggest that this is not a benign truth, but a profoundly catastrophic one. Using animals, machines, and dismally austere architectural forms that recall institutional incarceration, his balding concrete avatars are engaged with allegories that are inescapable. Yet de Samaniego suggests that the artist doesn’t want you to succumb, even as it appears there is no escape.

“We have to proceed from the astonished helplessness with which, like the man on the balcony of Isaac Cordal’s premises, we often contemplate and witness daily life,” he says, suggesting there is something more transformative at its root. “Each scene is a moment of crisis and describes the imminence of a tragedy, a catastrophe, a denouement – a catharsis, perhaps.”

Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)
Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)
Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)
Isaac Cordal. “24/7” SC Gallery. Bilbao, Spain. (image courtesy of the gallery)

Isaac Cordal’s “24/7” at SC Gallery in Bilbao will be open from December 17 to January 28 2022. Click HERE for more details.

Read more
Betty White, Beloved Comedian (and Street Art Icon), R.I.P

Betty White, Beloved Comedian (and Street Art Icon), R.I.P

It is hard to pinpoint the precise moment a star becomes beloved currency in culture but perhaps one of the flashpoints is the day they become street art.

Gilf! homage to Betty White on the streets of NYC from 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For us the realization that Betty White had transcended the realm of popular comedy actress to a scale bordering on icon when then-new street artist GILF appropriated her visage for a simple one-color stencil sometime in the late 2000s.

Not avid television watchers, we were of course aware of her roles in the sitcoms of the 70s and 80s, and that over time The Golden Girls program was taking on a cult-like glow among certain campy sectors.

But when we first saw a GILF! tag in Bushwick, Brooklyn, sprayed on the street, we knew Betty had crossed over into a beloved pop culture family member. Maybe she reminded you of your aunt, or the Home Economics teacher in junior high, or a sales representative at the jewelry counter at a department store, or behind the glass at the movie theater, or the nice lady setting out a pleasant picnic on the grass near the fountain in Central Park, or the grandmother you might like to have – even if for one afternoon.

Everyone knew someone like Betty White who was raised in a different era, who smelled nice, had a teased cotton-candy cloud of a hairdo and wore a smart blouse and a smart mouth with equal panache.  Sweet, but sharp, her delivery featured an  innate polished sixth sense of comic timing – making you spit your soda out through your nose – a sudden pokerfaced barb that was almost blue, delivered without sullying anyone in the room

She made it 99.9 years, which is more than any of us have, and she kept her style and her sharp wit, and many across the culture grew to love her in one way or another – a link to a time, or a part of the past, that we appreciated. Of the thousands of tributes pouring in on social media since she passed away on December 31, one sentiment sticks with us. While we’re sad to see her go, at least many people got to tell Betty White that they loved her while she was still alive.

Read more