All posts tagged: Jamaica

BSA Covers the Globe, Top Stories with HuffPost in ’12

BSA is not just Brooklyn, you know. Last year we brought you new Street Art from Atlanta, Arizona, Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Bronx, Brooklyn, Brisbane, Bristol, Costa Rica, Chicago, China, Dominican Republic, The Gambia, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Istanbul, Italy, Jamaica, Johannesburg, Kenya, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Miami, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, NYC, Palestine, Panama, Paris, Perth, Queens, Reno, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and Trinidad. And that is a partial, incomplete list. Remember that the next time someone says we cover just Brooklyn and New York. Not quite.

Also while we were surveying what we did in 2012, we were curious to see which were the top stories we covered for the Huffington Post, measured by hits, social sharing, and emails sent to us. Here are the top stories you liked the most of the 44 we cross-published with Huffington Post Arts & Culture in 2012. (A complete list at the end of the posting)

Baltimore Opens Its Walls To Street Art


MOMO. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Atlanta Hosts First All Female Street Art Conference 

Neuzz (photo © Wil Hughes)

OS Gemeos And “The Giant Of Boston” 

Os Gemeos “The Giant of Boston” at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Rize. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

(VIDEO) 2012 Street Art Images of the Year from BSA 

Slideshow cover image of Vinz on the streets of Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico City: High Art in Thin Air

Escif (photo © courtesy of All City Canvas)

UFO Crashes at Brooklyn Academy of Music

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

‘See No Evil’ in Bristol Brings Thousands to the Streets 

El Mac. (photo © Ian Cox 2012)

What’s New in Bushwick: A Quick Street Art Survey 

QRST in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sex In The City: Street Art That is NSFW

Anthony Lister in NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NUART 2012: International Street Art Catalysts in Norway 

Ben Eine (photo © Ian Cox)

Springtime in Paris : Une Petite Revue of New Street Art

David Shillinglaw and Ben Slow (photo © Sandra Hoj)

Pulling Strings in Berlin; “Heinrich” The Public Marionette

Various & Gould “Heinrich” (photo © Lucky Cat)

“Poorhouse for the Rich” Revitalized by the Arts

Adam Parker Smith. “I Lost Of My Money In The Great Depression And All I Got Was This Room”, 2012. Installation in progress in collaboration with Wave Hill. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here is the complete list of BSA / Huffington Post pieces for 2012


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“NUART 2012” International Street Art Catalysts in Norway

“By far the best exhibition we’ve yet created,” says Martyn Reed, organizer of the Nuart 2012 street art festival as it draws to a close in Stavanger, Norway.  What’s left after two weeks of painting, panel discussions, and parties stands on it own; The Art.

On old factory buildings, bricked stairways, in labyrinthine tunnels, and hanging on gallery walls, the city itself has welcomed international Street Artists to do these installations over the last decade and the funding for the events, artists, and materials are largely contributed to from public grants.

It’s a stunning model of arts funding that we’d like to see more of; one that is sophisticated enough to make behavioral and aesthetic distinctions and that is appreciative of the positive contributions of Street Art to the contemporary art canon. Here is one model that recognizes the importance of art in the streets as something necessary, valued. And the city of Stavanger keeps inviting a varied mix of well-known names and newcomers who show promise year after year.

Ben Eine (photo © Ian Cox)

At some point during the panel discussions at Nuart Plus this year there was talk about the dulling effect that the growing popularity of Street Art festivals specifically and sanctioned public art generally can sometimes have on the finished pieces. Certainly we are all familiar with those brain-deadening community murals of yesteryear that include lots of diversity, droning morality lectures and cute ducks. But we think the right balance of currency, community, and unchecked creativity can often catalyze great results, and smart people will know how to help keep it fresh.

Another topic discussed this year, at least in part based on our 2011 essay “Freed from the Wall, Street Art Travels the World”, which we wrote for Nuart’s “Eloquent Vandals” book, is the game-changing influence that the Internet continues to have on the Street Art movement itself.  Considering that in the last year alone we have shown you art in the streets instantly from Paris, Iceland, Istanbul, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Copenhagen, London, Sweden, Atlanta, Bristol, Baltimore, Boston, Berlin, Beijing, Brooklyn and about 25 other cities on five continents, we think it’s worth quoting the intro from that essay; “The Internet and the increasing mobility of digital media are playing an integral role in the evolution of Street Art, a revolution in communication effectively transforming it into the first global people’s art movement.”

Aakash Nihalani (photo © Ian Cox)

Solidly, Stavanger took a lead in the Street Art festival arena early and is still setting standards for high quality as an integrated cultural event without compromising integrity with so-called ‘lifestyle’ branding. These images from 2012 show just a sampler of the many directions that Street Art is taking us, with traditional graffiti and letter-based influences and new overlays of 20th century fine art modernism keeping the scene unpredictable and vibrantly alive. Nuart artists this year included Aakash Nihalani (US), Dolk (Norway), Eine (UK), Ron English (US), Saber (US), Sickboy (UK), Mobster (UK), HowNosm (US), Niels Shoe Meulman (NL), Joran Seiler (US), and The Wa (France).

Thanks to Ian Cox for sharing these images, some exclusive and some previously published.

Aakash Nihalani installing a piece on the street. (photo © Ian Cox)

Sickboy takes in his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber at work. (photo © Ian Cox)

Saber (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

How & Nosm (photo © Ian Cox)

Jordan Seiler (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr takes in the wall. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes MOM proud. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr indoor installation. Detail. (photo © Ian Cox)

Mobstr makes friends with the notoriously wet climate in Stavanger. (photo © Ian Cox)

Ron English at work on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Shoe Muelman working on his indoor installation. (photo © Ian Cox)

Niels Show Muelman (photo © Ian Cox)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Heartbeat in the Barrio: Caribbean and Central American Street Art

“Worked in some countries – in others, not so much.”

Newsflash: Global Street Art is not homogeneous. If you were beginning to think that international Street Art superstars like Banksy and Shepard Fairey had the whole scene on lockdown, Jim Avignon can assure you that will never happen.  Each local scene is as individual as the culture it grows from, subject to the opinions and perceptions of the people, politicians, and police in each city. When the Berlin/Brooklyn – based artist traveled to seven countries this spring to organize walls with local artists, Avignon found that scarcity of art supplies or water can just as easily derail a mural as feelings of competition and the fear of the Devil Himself. Working with about 50 artists over six weeks in a cross-cultural Street Art program sponsored by the Goethe Institute, he learned that local is not necessarily global, and all manner of comedy will crop up on the road to a dope wall.

“The main intention was not to have just a wall with ten paintings next to each but to find ways for people to work together,” explains Avignon about the program he brought with Brazilian DJ Holger Beier and curator Alicia Zamora from Nicaragua. “We did an open call via the Internet and Facebook and we asked people to send in designs,” he explains while talking about the mix of Street Artists, graffiti artists, graphic designers, and illustrators who were ultimately selected.  The plan included a week of painting and wheat-pasting, followed by a community party to celebrate the new work. Admittedly, they could have been a bit better prepared, but Avignon and team found a variety of working styles, weather conditions, and perceptions about the nature of the art and it’s proper place that they didn’t realize would face them. While the tour was a success in terms of building cultural relationships via Street Art, Avignon says getting people to work together, “Worked in some countries – in others, not so much.”

In English speaking countries the project was called “Urban Heartbeat” and in Spanish speaking countries “De Mi Barrio A Tu Barrio”.  Here are images of the various walls and Jim Avignon’s personal observations and experiences, which are illuminating and sometimes very entertaining.

San Jose, Costa Rica (Duration: 7 days)

Our beautiful wall was not only in the center of the city but was also part of the Parliament, which ultimately caused us a couple of problems that we could not have foreseen. Street Art and graffiti art seem to have a long tradition in Costa Rica and our group was well organized and held together by a local artist named Mush. The guys worked so fast that the wall almost looked finished after a day.

Since the wall was a part of the Parliament the press was very keen to find any political statements in our work. They found plenty. Freddy Masis’ monkey character, which had a couple of similarities in appearance with a local politician was next to a gate that let the cars in. So every once in a while when the gate swung open the monkey was behind the gate, giving the appearance of being in jail. TV teams came and made a big fuss, placing upset politicians on camera in front of our wall and all the attention achieved a complete halt of the whole project after three days. The German ambassador had a long discussion with the minister of cultural affairs, and they eventually allowed us to continue and finish.

Freddy Masis. San Jose, Costa Rica (photo © Jim Avignon)

MUSH. San Jose, Costa Rica (photo © Jim Avignon)

Kingston, Jamaica (Duration: 3 days)

Our official wall next to the national stadium was postponed because we couldn’t show a sketch of it in advance. We were moved to a wall that was next to an empty lawn in the middle of nowhere. There were a lot of local kids who came to help but most of the locals were rather skeptical.

Most of these artists had never done a wall before, and they needed some help on how to work large. There was a tendency to start late, with some people only showing up in the morning of the last day. This was our first country and we had no idea how to organize everything – like where to buy paint and get water and provisions, etcetera. In the end there was a nice mood with everybody working at their own place. Some local people thought we were doing the Devils work, unfortunately. The paste-ups that we put up next to the wall all got destroyed in the night. At another time while artists were painting a policeman arrived and told us it would be better if we remove certain images which were considered devilish – like one portrait that showed a third eye.  It was clear that if we didn’t repaint, the walls would be repainted for us, and that actually happened in the night after the opening party. It seemed like it would be a difficult country for young artists.

For our celebration party the sound system was giant and very impressive – too bad nobody knew about our party and only a few people came, the foreign minister among them – which didn’t impress the local artists.

Group Wall. Kingston, Jamaica (photo © Jim Avignon)

Group Wall. Kingston, Jamaica (photo © Jim Avignon)

Managua, Nicaragua (Duration: 5 days)

We had a very dusty and moldy wall next to the university. There were a lot of trees around so we had some shadow but also it was a bit difficult to take photos. We had to prime the wall by ourselves – a task that consumed almost half of the time we had allotted for the project. Finding and purchasing the paint at the Mercado Oriental (a very big local market) turned out to be difficult and we got lost and almost didn’t find our way out there.

The Nicaragua experience was rather tough as most of the artists didn’t speak any English and we had to deal with 3 generations of sprayers, who were all a bit suspicious about us and the project. They believe that Graffiti in Central America started in Nicaragua, and therefore didn’t want anyone to come and tell them how to do it (which we never had in mind). Additionally, the painters didn’t want to deal with the paste-ups or collaborate with the participants from other countries. The final challenge was that they understood the whole project as a competition that they wanted to win, and they kept claiming that they were the best.  Indeed one could say that they had a very unique style; they were all focusing on natural and pre-Columbian imagery, a bright range of colors, and avoiding “negative” images like skulls or guns. They also avoided any influences of contemporary pop culture and did not want to put their images on any blogs or Facebook.  I was fascinated and irritated about it and for 3 days the mood while working was relatively down, while only on the last day it cheered up a bit.

STK, Danser. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Stchex, STK. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Simer. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Dorian Serpa. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Brake Rivas. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Jim Avignon. Managua, Nicaragua. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Panama, Panama (Duration: 7 days)

Our walls were in a very nice place in the old part of the city with two walls facing the ocean, the others on the side of a building. Kids came and skated around and played football while we painted but there were no shadows and there was a lot of direct sun beating down on us.

Panama City seems to be on the way to becoming the next Singapore or Dubai; There is a brand new skyline in the south of the city, money is a big issue, and the population is very mixed, almost like New York. We had a nice mix of artists, and they were pretty open to letting their work merge with one another’s art. Also all of them seem to be quite professional – trying to make a living from their art and many saw our project as a promotional platform. Sadly, the local organizers tried to cut down expenses and it resulted in no water for the artists and no money for paste-ups. To overcome these obstacles, we made our planned paste-ups out of a hundred A4-sized sheets of paper and some bad moods.  There were also plans to make some money with our opening party, which would have stopped the nice people from coming. We fought against it and in the end the party was free and there were more than 400 guests.

Gladys Turner, Alexandr, Jaramillo Levleva. Panama, Panama. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Alexandr. Panama, Panama. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Port of Spain, Trinidad (Duration: 4 days)

We had a nicely prepared wall next to the Savanna – a big arena where the Carnival happens every year.

The situation was a bit like the one we had in Jamaica. Music is the much bigger business here and there is not a big tradition for painting in the streets. There is only one famous Street Artist, who had painted birds in black and white all over the city, but he now has moved to Mexico.

None of our artists had worked on walls before and they came from a graphic design background. It was a well mixed group but also I had a feeling that many of the artists were sort of introverted and they just focused on their individual work without interacting with the other artists. I didn’t do a piece of my own but helped everybody with the backgrounds and the graduations. This was the first time we were done with the wall a day earlier than planned. Our celebration party in Trinidad was the biggest one of the tour with over 500 people, free food and drinks, a bunch of DJs, and a big capoeira dance group performing.

Kriston Banfield. Port of Spain, Trinidad. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Duration: 7 days)

Because all of the central part of Santo Domingo is a historical landmark it was impossible for us to get a wall there. The organizers considered the suburbs to be too dangerous so instead they found us an abandoned tower next to the harbor with a large semi-indoors space. Here they covered the walls with four  giant canvasses.  In front of the canvasses was a big scaffolding, making it pretty much impossible to get a view of the wall while we working on it.

There is not much of a big Street Art culture in Santo Domingo and during a tour through the suburbs we saw some nicely painted shags and delis – but that was it. Naturally it was no surprise almost all our painters came from at least a semi-academic background and when you combine that background with the fact that everybody had to paint on canvas, it pushed the entire project in a different direction. Paint was difficult to get and only came in pre-mixed colors that were not very bright. We were disappointed by some of these things but on the other hand the organizers brought food every two hours. It was no surprise that everybody worked rather slowly and thoughtfully. We decided pair up two artists for each canvas, and the nice results told us that it was a good decision.

Sadly, after one week of sunshine there was a heavy thunderstorm on the night of the opening party and it  destroyed any party feelings that we had.

Citlally Miranda. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Ana Leon and Luis Geraldino. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Guatemala, Guatemala (Duration: 4 days)

For our final city we had a 120 meter wall that was pre-painted cyan blue in the heart of the city next to the main square. Also there was electrified barbed wire on top of the wall, which we were told we should not touch under any circumstance.

Our group of artists was mixed in a good way; graffiti guys, illustrators, street artists, half guys, half girls, and all of them spoke English. Artist Fla K.O., a local hero, helped to get everything organized and the mood was really nice, with us meeting the artists every evening for drinks.

Painting the wall was more of a difficult situation. Many people were carrying guns around there and brutality on the streets is a big issue. One artist Lily Acevedo made the stencil of the portrait of an 8 year old kid that had been killed in the streets a few weeks earlier. Just as we began painting the wall the city began a construction project that included tearing up the street and replacing the old cobblestones with new ones. Artists mixed with street workers, and there was a TV team around us making a documentation of the project. It was difficult to get good photos of the wall without artists standing in front of it. It was a bit of a mess but also it was funny situation many times.

Zapato Verde. Guatemala, Guatemala. (photo © Jim Avignon)

Jim Avignon. Guatemala, Guatemala. (photo © Jim Avignon)

The list of participating artists in the program are as follows:

Brianna McCarthy, Richard Taylor (para Richard Williams), Danielle Boodoo-Fortune, Luis Vasquez La Roche, Dean Arlen, Jennifer Perez, Kriston Banfield, Alicia Milne, Raquel Vasquez y Maria Elena Joseph
Dorian Serpa, Caroline Broisin, Moises Garcia, Jose Luis Zapata, Rafael Antonio Rivas, Danilo Espinoza, Roger Roke Romero, Guimel, Angel Soto, Jean Philip Meio, Christian
Fla.Ko, ES Bird, Alebara, Cheks, Petunia, Lily Acevedo, Zapato Verde, Luis Fer Izquierdo, FUENTES, WAKA, ZOAD1, Sexi Zombie, Rodrigo Aguilar, Hans Uno, ARIZ y Mr.KrazyMan
Dominican Republic:
Angel Urelly, Luis Geraldino, Luis Hidalgo, Ana de León, Coller Art, Citlally Miranda, Jose Ramia, Carlos Estrada, Patricia Grassals
Fabrica de Malvaviscos, Purple King Crew, Nel One, Alexandr Jaramillo Ievleva, Rolodesedas, Manuel Choy, Thomson Moore, Jaqueline Brandwaym Fallenbaum, Veco La Tienda de Remedios, Gladys Turner Bosso
Costa Rica:
Mush, Piloy, Piem Quesada Cedeno, Alfredo Flores, Ghoke, Zisco, Gussa, Yiyo, Nava Remix Bang, Jairo Miranda, Chesr, Diego Fournier y Freddy Masis
Naecia Dixon, David DaCosta, Amanda Choo Quan, TAJ, Dahcia Hong, Ikem Smith, Naita Chamberlain and Jonoi Messam


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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ROA’s Magic Naturalism: Street Art’s Wild Kingdom in Mexico


An ant eater inspects a new friend in a small town near San Miguel De Allende in Mexico. Piece by ROA (copyright Roa)

It was magic, Mexico”

ROA continues at the pace of a hungry prairie dog running across landscapes dusty and rusted in search of a fitting tableau for his traveling animal reserve. Fans of the Belgian Street Artist are accustomed to his rats and birds and furry creatures climbing rugged weathered urban walls in Europe and the US. More recently ROA discovered the enchanted sunlight that warms the winter earthen hues of central Mexico at the invitation of Gonzalo Alvarez of Mamutt Arte.


A buzzard adorns this abandoned construction in an agricultural area north of Mexico City. ROA (photo copyright Roa)


This “still life” by ROA is in collaboration with MUJAM (The Antique Toy Museum of Mexico City) (photo copyright Roa)

“I love to integrate the native animals of the country I visit,” he relates as he talks about the armadillo, buzzards, raccoon, anteater, and fighting cock he gave to his hosts in the metropolis Mexico City and a bit north in the tiny town of Jamaica in the State of Guanajuato.  Part naturalist and part social activist, ROA gives center stage to the underdogs of the natural world as if to elevate their status among the lions and peacocks of the planet.


“This big armadillo was a new one for me, ” says the artist about his piece on the facade of The House of Cauce Ciudadano A.C., a non-profit youth services center that serves young people in Mexico City. ROA (photo copyright Roa)

Adhering to an austere monochrome palette, he swiftly renders his realist studies using cans and a variety of caps over a rollered silhouette of blanco, if necessary. With wiley coyote agility, a sharply assessing eye and an audacious appetite for painting as many walls as you can source for him, this quick-moving Street Artist continues to populate the wild ROA kingdom wherever he migrates.


A visit to a farm raising roosters in Jamaica, Guanajuato inspired ROA to create a fowl portrait on the side of a home (below) (photo copyright Roa)


ROA (photo copyright Roa)

brooklyn-street-art-ROA-Mexico-7-webROA (photo copyright Roa)


ROA would like to extend a big thanks for everything to the wonderful people who welcomed him in Mexico, particularly Gonzalo at Mamutt Arte and Roberto from MUJAM.


Click here to learn more about Cauce Ciudadado C.A.

More ROA on Brooklyn Street Art

brooklyn-street-art-roa-jaime-rojo-05-106VIDEO: ROA on the Water Tower

VIDEO: ROA in NYC with BSA – The Ibis

INTERVIEW: Winging It With ROA – FreeStyle Urban Naturalist Lands Feet First in Brooklyn

Flying High With ROA in Brooklyn, NYC

Photo copyright Jaime Rojo

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