All posts tagged: jaw

BSA Film Friday: 05.02.14

BSA Film Friday: 05.02.14



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

Now screening :

1. Da Mental Vaporz and ‘The Wall’
2. YZ – Lost in the City
3. NYCHOS: Pen and Paper
4. Stealing Banksy
5. E1000 x Pablo Herrero at Memorie Urbane 2014

BSA Special Feature: Da Mental Vaporz and ‘The Wall’

To mark their new show that opened this week at BC Gallery, the 10 member France-based collective known as “Da Mental Vaporz” release this panoply of inventive and tight wall work and, as it turns out, canvasses. It is reassuring to see original thinking and solid skills still can win the day, and good to see artists sticking together to make great collaborations.

Included are Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Iso, Dran, Kan, Lek, Gris1, Jaw and Sowat.

“The works of these artists can speak for themselves independently, differentiating from each other mostly in medium as in style and technique that which as soon as they are shown in a common context, creates an extraordinarily interesting and thrilling relationship. As can be deduced from the name ‘Da Mental Vaporz’, which, translated, means “The Vapors of the Psyche” it is for the artists a matter of concern to make the observer aware of the abyss of the personal psyche.” – from the description on Vimeo.


YZ – Lost in the City

YZ takes us on a trip through her city and invites us to get lost with her. For those non-French speakers, it is still a rewarding discovery that comes two thirds of the way through the small film that features jazz rhythms that wend you through the avenues of Paris, the suburban streets and into her studio.


NYCHOS: Pen and Paper

“All of my family – my dad, my grandpa, they all are hunters,” says Nychos at the picnic table as he explains his fascination for slicing apart animals and allowing us to see what organs and systems are arranged within. While listening to heavy metal you learn that Nychos was elated when he discovered his love of depicting dissection in graphic detail. He said, “Okay this is something I can stick to and go crazy on it.” May we all be so fortunate to find that thing too.


Stealing Banksy

“It’s like looking at a collection of hunting trophies severed from their natural environment,” our narrator intones, “stuffed into frames and soon to be seen by the privileged few”. Fair enough, you say, as long as I’m one of them. Wendy Hurrell says in her description of her new documentary “Stealing Banksy”, that she has been following Banksy’s work for a decade or more, and “it has been my privilege to wallow through the moral dilemma that is taking his works from the streets, legally and selling them for charity – never to be seen by the masses again.”


E1000 x Pablo Herrero at Memorie Urbane

The Blind Eye Factory shot this very large mural painted on the wall of a cemetary for the 2014 Memorie Urbane Street Srt festival in Gaeta, Italy

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Mystery Revealed : Hellbent’s Jaw belonged to Sigmund Freud

The streets are covered with symbols and markings that have meaning to the maker, their peers, and to passersby. Depending on socio-political-geo-historical factors, you may or may not know what certain tags or images are meant to indicate and aside from gang indicia, no one seems particularly alarmed by this fact that street art and graffiti is often a nest of hidden meanings.


Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

One such symbol that has often appeared on the street is the bottom jaw from Hellbent, rough and jagged, hovering above a bed of psychedelic or pastel floral patterns. If it happened once, you might think “Oh, it’s part of a series and I’ll figure it out when I see the other pieces”. In fact, no. It’s the one symbol that Hellbent repeats most often, and it is perplexing.


Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

We finally got an answer from the artist regarding the genesis of the jaw when he was describing his current piece in the LA show “Street Art Saved My Life” and, while it sheds light on the background, somehow it raises more questions. In the story about this Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis, we postulate that the jaw represents our base animal qualities and our similarities to the ruthless animal kingdom, all the while acknowledging the ultimate fragility of a simple bone structure, and be extraction, us. Anyway, before we psychoanalyze it further and bore everybody in the room, here’s what Hellbent says:

“Sigmund Freud at age of 67 appeared in a clinic in Vienna because he had discovered some hard, smooth spots on his jaw. After the doctor examined him it was discovered that they were cancerous and the lesions had to be removed immediately. Since the hospital population at that time was at capacity, Freud was put in a makeshift room that he shared with dwarf. After his operation while his family was out, Freud began to hemorrhage and was unable to call out, while laying bleeding on the floor. If not for the dwarf roommate Freud would have surely died and with this I began thinking of the jawbone.


Hellbent currently on view at C.A.V.E. Gallery in the show “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (Photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The earliest images I was influenced by as a kid were the graphics on skateboards and punk albums. The image of the human skull was a constant in a lot of these images. It was a sign of rebellion and it seemed the embrace death, where society was much more concentrated on living. But as I grew up I noticed that a lot of people who where similarly influenced by these images began to bring the skull into the mainstream. Now you see cute skulls on Paul Frank baby clothes and such.
So to get away from this trend I began to concentrate on just the jaw bone as an image. The jawbone is what is used to communicate and form words with and the way we consume food to sustain life, an important part of the human experience. I have come back to the skull and separated it from the jaw; making it two unique images that are connected through this separation. I also use a lot of animal imagery on the streets, so the jaw bone represents the human element of this world…
Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

I have been calling the new use of multiple floral stencils “Quilting”. I like the idea of taking all these used “scraps” to form something more tangible, something other than its self. Sometimes it makes up the border around the image and other times it is used inside of the image, giving it a cubist like quality. The colors in each of the patterns also play off one another, giving them a natural 3D quality (which is actually intensified with 3D glasses, as was discovered at my last gallery show at Mighty Tanaka) that further emphasizes this cubist element. The shapes seem to pull and push of the surface, but the image is still readily available to the viewer.”
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