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2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

2010-2020 : 10 Impactful Street Art & Graffiti Interventions & Events of the Decade

BSA has been here with you for this entire decade – an honor and a privilege. Reviewing the many interventions and events we witnessed and shared with our readers, we realize that this grassroots people’s art movement is reflecting our society in fundamental ways and reaching deep as well as wide. Here in roughly chronological order we recount for you a Top 10 for BSA that have impacted our way of seeing art on the streets.


1.

The “Girl In The Blue Bra” – December 2011

Oppressive regimes worldwide have a few commonalities. One of them is patriarchy. Over the last decade we have seen many female artists rise powerfully to smash it, harnessing their rage and power and taking their voice to the street.

There were countless images that encapsulated the ferocity and the tenacity of the protesters during the Arab Spring uprisings in Cairo, Egypt in December of 2011. One image, in particular, captured the attention of the media and the public. The image is commonly referred to as the “Girl In The Blue Bra”. The image depicts a young woman, whose identity remains anonymous, being beaten and dragged by soldiers as she was taking part in the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo, against Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Her face is veiled and her jeans are still on but as she was being dragged by the soldiers her abaya came undone exposing her bare torso and revealing her blue bra as a soldier was about to kick her in her abdomen.

A young woman is being dragged and kicked, exposing her bare torso in the act by the military in Tahiri Square. Cairo, Egypt. December 17, 2011. (Stringer/Reuters/Landov)

While the image exposed the abusive practices and of power of the military in Egypt – it also swiftly sparked ferocious reactions around the globe, particularly with women who subsequently staged their own march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand the end of military rule.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)

Among the artists who carried the Blue Bra theme to the streets was one artist, Bahia Shehab, whom BSA and its readers helped to get a movie made about Street Artists in the Arab Spring, called Nefertiti’s Daughters, directed by Mark Nicolas. Later we were the first to debut a scene from it at the Nuart Festival in Norway (“#Activism on the Street Now”), and years after that Nuart actually hosted professor Shehab. This is a small world, this Street Art community.

The actions of the young woman, the violent response of the military, and the overwhelming support of the public, in general, sparked a new wave of feminism in Egypt and inspired artists to create and display their artworks on the streets in protest.

Stencil work by Bahia Shebab “No to stripping/Long live a peaceful revolution” (image courtesy of the artist)
An unidentified artist in Cairo. (photo from Pinterest)

2.

“Art In The Streets” Opens at LA MOCA – April 2011

Art in the Streets was the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose, an exhibition tracing the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it had evolved to. BSA was there to capture and share some of what was happening.

Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

From BSA

“Yes, Banksy is here. The giant ‘Art in the Streets’ show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of what is soon to be, maybe already is, a mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets its momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

The show is an audacious multi-platform, colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it’s influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, “Art in the Streets” makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities, and relationships within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show. “

“Art In The Streets” Blade . Os Gemeos. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Art In The Streets” Invader’s invasion of Martha Cooper’s installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

3.

Banksy’s NYC Residency – “Better Out Than In” – October 2013

An unprecedented city-wide near daily installation of works in New York established a new high-water mark in the flood of Street Art that took many cities in the 2010s. The British Street Artist played to a media capital in such an effective campaign that even the least interested residents became familiar with the elusive prankster.

Banksy’s Final Trick

From BSA

A Genuine October Surprise for New York Street Art Friends and Foes Alike.

“In a series of communiqués beamed from his website, the global Street Artist Banksy gave graffiti and Street Art followers a near-daily jolt of mystery and mouse clicking that had people looking at every street scene as a possible Banksy by the time it ended. While few can confirm the exact level of involvement the actual artist had in the five boroughs, if any, none will deny that the Banksy brand underwent a major “refresh” this month that again put his name on the lips of those who had begun to forget him and many who had never heard of him.

Thanks to this masterful marketing campaign billed as a month-long ‘residency’ on New York’s streets, many thousands were talking about him daily on the street, on television, radio, social media, in galleries, studios, office cubicles, art parties, and the mayors’ office. By effectively combining the sport of treasure hunting with humor and populism, each new cryptic appearance of something-anything gradually conditioned some grand art doyennes and the plainer mongrels amongst us to drool on command and lift a leg in salute to the curiously still anonymous artist and the team who helped him pull it off.”

BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BANKSY “Better Out Than In” NYC Month Long Residency. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

4.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Exhibitions with Swoon, Faile, BÄST, Haring, Basquiat, ESPO, JR Expand Knowledge, Appreciation

One cultural institution in New York City and indeed in the United States has been notable throughout the decade for its commitment to organizing exhibitions where graffiti, street art, and the artists whom have shaped it are given recognition for their contribution to the arts. The Brooklyn Museum’s leadership, including former director Arnold L. Lehman, current director Anne Pasternak, and Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives have been channeling resources and focus to the study, promotion, and exhibition of the works of important figures in the contemporary graffiti and Street Art movement. It notable that the museum has in its permanent collection the works of distinguished graffiti and Street Artists dating back to the dawn of the modern scene; something that other important cultural institutions in New York City that are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of modern, contemporary, and American art lack in their collections.

It’s for this reason that we have selected the Brooklyn Museum as one of the top ten graffiti and street art movers of the decade. Predated by 2006’s “Graffiti” exhibition the museum has mounted several important presentations during this decade that have not only been blockbusters but they have contributed to the cultural enrichment of all New Yorkers and the expanded discussion of the relevance of these art forms to established canons. Here are some highlights:

Keith Haring – March 2012

From BSA

Keith Haring 1978-1982 : Early Keith at The Brooklyn Museum

Keith Haring: 1978-1982, a traveling exhibition first shown in Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, introduces a period of his work not often examined, taking you up to the edge of the seemingly sudden international fame he experienced as artist, activist and public figure through the rest of the 1980s.

… At a time when the small-town boy was developing his visual vocabulary as an artist, Haring was also discovering himself as a man in the world and in a city that he found endlessly fascinating and worthy of exploration. Capturing his spirit of hands-on experimentation, the show is almost entirely comprised of works on paper with one collaborative piece on plywood with his contemporary Jean Michel Basquiat, paper collage, video, and documentary photos.”

Keith Haring. Matrix, 1983. Courtesy of and © Keith Haring Foundation, The Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon – April 2014

From BSA

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum

“Sharon brought me in here and said, ‘What is interesting to you in the building?’ and I really love that because the thing about working on the street is that you are always thinking site-specifically. And so that thinking has to translate into your work in all places. For me, if I make something in a museum I want it to be very site-specific and this is probably one of the most site-specific pieces I’ve ever done,” explains Swoon.

Under the advice and guidance of an engineer, the artist also modified her design process to allow for foundational considerations like truss sections and lift points. “I showed him an initial model and he showed me an engineered system and then I built another model based on the system that he engineered.”

It is probably unusual for a grand museum to be so amenable to the requests of an artist for a site-specific piece that literally inhabits the furthest reaches of space, and Swoon says she recognizes the leeway she received. “You know, they have been really adventurous in letting us create this. We’ve been sort of pushing a lot with the creation of this piece.”

For Matt Atkins, the opportunity to bring an internationally known street artist and neighbor into the museum has been the result of just over two years of planning. ‘It’s been so wonderful working with Swoon to realize her vision for this project. This is the first time we’ve really used the full height of the 72-foot dome, so it’s quite spectacular. I am thrilled to see her boats back in New York and for them to have this new life. The underlying ideas about climate change in the installation also make this project an appropriate tie into the Museum’s focus on activism with our other exhibitions and collections,’ she says.”

“Swoon: Submerged Motherlands” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks – April 2015

From BSA

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

“In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile & BÄST – July 2015

From BSA

Holy Faile ! “Savage/Sacred Young Minds” at Brooklyn Museum

“FAILE may be a religious experience this summer at the Brooklyn Museum, but only one of the hallowed installations is called Temple. The seedier, more dimly lit venue will surely have the larger number of congregants by far, bless their sacred hearts.

Celebrating the duality and appropriation of words, slogans, and images have been the bailiwick of the duo since they first began hitting Brooklyn streets at the turn of the century with their stencils and wheat-pastes on illegal spots and neglected spaces. In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds, their new attention-commanding/refracting exhibit organized by Sharon Matt Atkins at the Brooklyn Museum, these guys pour it on, compelling you into a complex panoply of possible re-imaginings of meaning that reference pop, pulp, myth, art history, 50s sci-fi, 60s advertising, comics, punk zines, consumer culture and their own pure artistic and branded fiction.”

FAILE. Temple. “Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” Brooklyn Museum, July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen ESPO Powers – November 2015

From BSA

Coney Island Dreaming: Following the Signs to Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull) is one of 3 new exhibits inspired by the historic attractions of Brooklyn’s seaside.

“Graffiti artist-turned-sign painter Stephen Powers is dreaming of Coney Island and he is bringing a colorful collection of found and freshly produced signage that evokes a forgotten era to climb the columns of a Brooklyn Museum gallery.

Given the boisterous parade of brands and logos into museums that is happening as part of the institutional funding and programming mix, it’s fun to see the ninth episodic installation of this traveling ICY SIGNS shop here; its simplicity and guile recalling amusing persuasive techniques from the mid-century American advertising lexicon. Simultaneously, for those who have been lucky enough to sicken themselves on cotton candy and The Wonder Wheel, the new show imparts a rather reassuring and seedy nostalgia for Coney Island, complete with an inexplicable hankering for a thick beef hot dog.”

Steve Powers “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull)” Brooklyn Museum. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR – October 2019

From BSA

“JR: Chronicles” Revels in His Explorations at Brooklyn Museum

“A retrospective at Brooklyn Museum currently showcases the photographic works and public projects envisioned and created by French Street Artist JR. Covering roughly two decades of work, JR: Chronicles dedicates an in-depth examination into his practices and personal philosophies when creating – as evidenced by this collection of his murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials.

Brooklyn Street Art: JR created a new digital collage for this exhibition featuring a thousand or so people individually interviewed and photographed. Can you tell us about what criterion he used for selecting his subjects?
Sharon Matt Atkins: JR’s main focus was on capturing the rich diversity of New York City. As such, he photographed people in all five boroughs of the city, including many neighborhoods that were new to him. While he did invite some guests to participate, most of the people were passersby or business owners and workers of local stores. “

JR. 28 Millimètres, Portrait d’une génération, Braquage (Holdup), Ladj Ly, 2004
JR: Chronicles. Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5

Blu and Street Art – Banksy & Co.

Curated by Christian Omodeo, Luca Cinacabilla, and Sean Corcoran. March 2016

BLU buffing his own works in Bologna took the news cycle, his legion of compatriots armed with rollers and bucket paint. But it was the show that he was reacting to that brought thousands to the museum space to discuss the rightful place of Street Art, graffiti, and the relevance of preserving it for posterity.

From BSA

BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

“The contested Banksy and Co. exhibition contains, among many other works, walls removed from a privately owned abandoned building in Bologna that were painted by BLU. Displaying the walls and his artwork without his consent so angered the painter that he rallied artists and activists to help him snuff out all his remaining murals and paintings in this Northern Italian city last week. (See A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna)

The heavily attended Friday night opening of Street Art – Banksy & Co. at Palazzo Pepoli – Museo della Storia di Bologna was curated by Luca Ciancabilla, Christian Omodeo, and Sean Corcoran and features roughly 250 historical and contemporary works spanning about fifty years and highlighting a number of movements within the so-called Urban Art genre. On balance it appears that 90 percent of the works are studio works, paintings, sculpture, videos, original sketches, and ephermera and were probably collected in a more conventional way and the tagged posters, stickers, metal doors, and wall fragments are viewed in the context of the whole scene.”

About Ponny (photo © @around730)

A BLU Buffer Talks About the Grey Action in Bologna

From BSA

“Reality TV is usually completely devoid of reality. That isn’t the exact comparison Andreco said on his Facebook page but we thought it was a fitting analogy. Street Art in a museum or gallery can sometimes feel like taxidermy.

Andreco actually said ‘Deciding which wall to paint or not to paint has always been one of our free choices. This operation, to uncork the walls and move them elsewhere, oversteps this freedom.’ Fair enough.

Of course, that is not the primary reason why activists and Street Artists joined in to help BLU paint over the many murals that he completed on Bologna city walls over the last two decades or so. In an English titled press release on the Italian website Wumingfoundation the artist lays out a multi-layered justification for destroying his own murals, many of which have become beloved landmarks around the city and which have helped make him an art star in some circles.”

BLU action in Bologna. (photo © Andreco)

American conceptual, activist and street artist John Fekner, whose art and his art partner Don Leicht were represented in the exhibition Street Art: Bansky & Co weighs in the controversy by saying:

  • The bottom line is: what’s done in public-doesn’t remain in public. There’s no protection for artists who trespass. It’s the chance one takes outdoors.
  • If you create illegal art murals, street rules are always in effect:
  1. You can’t stop a drunk in the middle of the night from pissing on your wall.
  2. You can’t stop a bulldozer from razing your work.
  3. You can’t stop a neighborhood anti-graffiti squad from painting over your work.
  4. You can’t stop a well-dressed thief in a suit, or their hired slug with a chisel from removing your wall work and hauling it off to their laird, garage, museum or art market.

“Under any circumstances, don’t immediately and irrationally react. If your original aspirations were to be an artist- then just do what you were meant to do: be an artist. Don’t double shift and be a night watchman patrolling the streets to try and thwart thieves of your work. Unique temporary outdoor creations engender a public conversation that includes everyone: art lovers and art haters, lowbrow and highbrow, and everyone who interacts with your public work.”

John Fekner (© John Fekner)

6.

Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art Opens in Berlin – September 2017

We had the unique perspective of being two of the foundational curators who made this exhibition happen and made the doors fly open to thousands of visitors, so it only made sense that we covered the opening that brought much promise to the institutional recognition of Street Art, graffiti, and its move into Urban Contemporary.

From BSA

“Inundated!” Scenes from the Opening: UN – Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin

“This week is Art Week in Berlin, and you just stole Art Week,” said a handsome and intensely opinionated German to us as we leaned on the arm rail of the M.C. Escher-inspired walkway before a Carlos Mare139 sculpture and above the capacity crowd on Saturday night at the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Not sure if that was the exact goal, but we get his larger point; the UN has just made a massive entry into a number of societally and culturally influential minds when it comes to the relevancy of Street Art and graffiti to visual culture and art history. This movement into so-called Contemporary began as early as the 1970s and has overcome and weathered cultural and market ebbs and flows – persisted, if you will – yet somehow institutions have been wary of this work and these artists and unable to fully embrace their importance, you decide why.”

Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hot Tea’s installation. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

7.

Five Pointz: A Legal Case For Urban Artists Shifts the Focus – February 2018

From BSA

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

“In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plaintiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of the agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.”

5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
5Pointz. LIC Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

8.

The New York Times Publishes DONDI’S Obituary – February 2019

In an unprecedented posthumous publication of an obituary, this year The Times acknowledged something that it had so far failed to do; the contribution of graffiti writers to the cultural and art canons deserves serious recognition. By publishing the iconic image of DONDI taken by Martha Cooper that burned “Subway Art” into the mind’s eye of many generations of graffiti writers, the “paper of record” caught up with one the the scene’s leaders and heroes.

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)

The NYT obituary of Dondi begins like this:

Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary.”

Dondi White by Martha Cooper. (photo courtesy of NYT / Martha Cooper)


9.

Martha Cooper: A Picture Story Premieres at TriBeCa. A film by Selina Miles. April 2019

From BSA

MARTHA: A Picture Story. Shots from the Premiere and Movie Review

“First things first – Full disclosure; we are featured in the movie and we are close friends with both the subject of the doc and the director and we first suggested to the director that she was the perfect candidate to make a film about Martha Cooper. Now that we have that out of the way here are a number of shots from the premiere and our review of the movie:

Martha: A Picture Story had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday to an enthusiastic crowd that included big graffiti, Street Art, international press and film industry names, to see the highly anticipated documentary about the venerable photographer Martha Cooper by the Sydney director Selina Miles.

The electricity was in the air as Director Miles and producer Daniel Joyce along with the just-arrived Australian members of the “Martha” crew looked for their seats in the Village East Cinema. After a brief introduction by Miles, who told the audience that the film had been a great pleasure to make, the curtain went up to reveal the mother of the superstar art twins Os Gemeos on the big screen. She is sitting at her kitchen table in São Paulo remarking how her boys used to draw on everything, including fruit, and how Cooper and Chalfant’s 1984 book “Subway Art” changed their lives forever. With their story as a backbone for the film, the theme of personal transformation is repeated in a hundred large and small ways for the next hour and twenty minutes. “

Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Director Selina Miles with Martha Cooper. Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper “A Picture Story” TriBeCa Film Festival. April 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

10.

Street Art and Activism Takes Larger Share of the Cultural Stage

This decade that is coming to an end has seen its share of natural disasters, human rights violations, atrocities of large scale against humanity, corruption at the highest levels, the reversal of hard-fought policies to protect the planet and keep our air and water clean. We have witnessed with despair the renaissance of hatred based on people’s nationalities, their skin color, their religion, their choice of attire, their level of material affluence and their sexual preferences.

We have seen progress as well. Women around the world have been freer to speak their mind against oppression and abuse of power thanks to social movements that have flourished around the world in big cities and small towns. Our LGBT brothers and sisters have scored numerous legal battles in their favor thanks to enlightened lawmakers and judges who have searched deep inside their intellect to find the right answer to make sure everybody is treated equally. Likewise, our peers whom we need to advance our cause have taken seriously the responsibility at the ballot box to make the correct choice with policies that will bring relief to those who have less than we do.

Art and artists have often reflected back to us the world we live in, it is for this reason that we have chosen Street Art and Activism as an important action in this decade. We have always championed the work of artists who imbued their art with a strong sense of social urgency. It is with their art that they talk to us in the hopes to change one mind, one action, one concept, one attitude towards the goal creating a common good. There are many of them currently active on the streets. This wouldn’t be the appropriate space to list all of them but we would like to give you some highlights:

No Borders: Murs Contra el Murs (Walls Against Walls)

Barcelona, February 2019.

From BSA:

“This past Sunday, February 17 at La Plaza de las Tres Chimeneas (Three Smokestacks Square) in Barcelona an international group of artists participated in the first ‘No Borders Festival.’

NO BORDERS is a grassroots organization that was created to raise awareness about the refugees, to demand their acceptance, and to raise funds through debates, art, and documentaries.

They say they want to raise the uncomfortable questions – which will undoubtedly lead to uncomfortable answers as well. To paraphrase the text on their website:

‘Do we settle for a society that violates its moral and legal obligations to refugees? A refugee is a person who flees – Flees because he is on the losing side. Because he thinks, feels or prays differently than those who point him with their weapons.’

As usual, artists are bringing these matters to the street for the vox populi to debate.”

Enric Sant. No Borders Festival. Barcelona, Spain. February 2019. (photo © Lluís Olive)

Andreco: Reclaiming Air and Water for Delhi, India “Climate 05”

New Delhi, March 2019.

From BSA:

An Art, Science and Climate Action project by Andreco

“And the statement isn’t hyperbole, according to AIR-Ink, the company that made his ink, which is “the first ink made entirely out of air pollution,” they explain on their website.

The unique art-making material is part of the Italian Street Artist / Activist’s most recent installment of his Climate Art Project, which he orchestrated on the streets here in New Delhi for the St+Art Festival this year. Part of a global, multi-city installation and demonstration, ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water’.”

Andreco. Climate Art Project. In collaboration with St+ART India Foundation. Delhi, India. March 2019. (photo Akshat Nauriyal)

“Post-Posters” Puncture Public Discourse in Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, May 2019.

From BSA:

” ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Ass Ads,’ says a new stencil-style printed poster by New York’s epic, if sometimes cryptic, street commentator of four decades, John Fekner. Anyway, who will argue with that?

Post-posters is a cooperative proposition about public billposting,” says French conceptual street anarchist Matthew Tremblin about his new project with hit-and-run situationist street posterer Antonio Gallego. Together they reclaim space with individually produced posters and they invite artists from around the world to do the same.

Over a two month period the creative place-makers are facilitating an international crew of artists to post posters on the occasion of the double exhibition by Banlieue-Banlieue group* (°1982, Poissy) taking place in Strasbourg, at both AEDAEN and the Syndicat Potentiel. “

John Fekner . Carole Douillard. Post-Posters Project. Strasbourg, France. April 2019. (photo courtesy of Syndicat Potentiel)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: When the Lion Roars Back, a small overview

Brooklyn, NY. July 2019.

From BSA:

“By putting these images of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks on the street with their blunt-force sentiments addressed to would-be harassers, she not only stands with them, but Tatyana has also used her work and vision to give them the courage to stand proud, assert their voice and to take public space.

After all, it belongs to the public.

“Women are not outside for your entertainment”, a startling truth for some guys that pointedly highlights abusive behavior toward women on the streets of Brooklyn and many cities around the world. Brooklyn Street Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has been targeting daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people with her campaigns of art on the streets – and in the gallery.

Addressing themes of social justice, racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and sexist street harassment, her beautifully drawn campaigns on wheat-pasted posters and painted murals across the globe have brought attention to issues sorely in need of addressing during hostile rhetoric from some men in the highest offices.”

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama Tells “Stories From Ground Zero”

Church Rock, New Mexico. August 2019.

From BSA:

“This spill and these events did not happen in San Diego or Palm Beach. The story doesn’t affect wealthy white families and cannot be used to sell shampoo or real estate. That’s probably why we don’t see it in the press and never on the talking-head news. Street Artist Jetsonorama is not only a photographer who has been wheat-pasting his stunning images of people and nature on desert buildings for over a decade, he is also a doctor on the Navajo reservation, a human-rights activist, and an erudite scholar of American history as it pertains to the poisoning of this land and these people. Today we’re pleased to bring you this long-form examination from Jetsonorama’s perspective on a complicated and tragic US story of environmental poisoning and blight that affects generations of native peoples, miners, military personnel, and everyday people – and has no end in sight.

Most alarming is the news the current White House administration is endeavoring to mine uranium here again.

‘Private companies hired thousands of Navajo men to work the uranium mines and disregarded recommendations to protect miners and mill workers. In 1950 the U.S. Public Health Service began a human testing experiment on Navajo miners without their informed consent during the federal government’s study of the long-term health effects from radiation poisoning.  This study followed the same violation of human rights protocol as the US Public Health Service study on the long-term effects of syphilis on humans by experimenting on non-consenting African American men in what is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment from 1932 – 1972.’ ~ Jetsonorama”

JC with her younger sister, Gracie (who is a NBCS participant).  (photo © Jetsonorama)

BSA Special Feature: “REWILD” from Escif

Sumatra, Indonesia. September 2019.

From BSA:

“As part of our core commitment as a non-commercial platform that has helped hundreds of artists over the last decade+, BSA significantly helped Escif to raise money for his Indiegogo fundraiser in Spring 2017 when we promoted his “Breath-Time” horticultural project heavily as he planted trees to reforest Mount Olivella in Southern Italy.

Today BSA debuts REWILD, a new tree-related project by the Spanish Street Artists – just as the Global Climate March is spreading to cities around the world, including New York.

The concept of the short film is simple: can’t we just push the “Rewind” button?

‘The narrative runs in reverse, rewinding the clock on deforestation to undo the damage caused by the unsustainable production of one of the world’s most versatile commodities. Beyond the industrialisation of the land, we end at the beginning, a thriving ecosystem alive with wildlife. The concept mirrors the real world action of the Sumatran Orangutan Society and their partners in reclaiming land on the borders of the Leuser rainforests to rewild them with indigenous trees, expanding the boundaries of one of the most biodiverse places on earth.’  

Finally, a stunning custom soundtrack by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah captures and carries this into another world, which is possible.

Shout out to the folks behind the project Splash and Burn: a cultural initiative curated by Ernest Zacharevic and coordinated by Charlotte Pyatt run in association with the Sumatran Orangutan Society and the Orangutan Information Centre.

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BSA Film Friday: 10.04.19

BSA Film Friday: 10.04.19

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

Now screening :
1. Gross Domestic Product – Banksy
2. New Stop Animation Project from Caledonia Curry AKA Swoon.
3. Henry Chalfant “Art vs Transit 1977-1987” Bronx Museum of the Arts
4. Street Art Summer Round-Up – 2019 from Fifth Wall TV / Doug Gillen

BSA Special Feature: Gross Domestic Product – Banksy

The doublespeak of Banksy very effectively demanded a whirlwind of media attention in the art/Street Art world once again this week. The anti-capitalist launched a full street-side exhibition while his personal/anonymous brand benefitted by the new record auction price of 9.9 million pounds with fees for one of his works depicting a “Devolved Parliament” full of apes – precisely during the height of inpending Brexit hysteria.

Gross Domestic Product / Banksy Installation. Video Courtesy Ash Versus


New Stop Animation Project from Caledonia Curry AKA Swoon.

Street Artist Swoon (Caledonia Curry) has been pushing her creative limits in a medium she is not known for, and the results are exhilarating.

Facing a backlog of fears and eager to go out of her comfort zones of that include linotype printing and wheat-pasting on the street – and the many projects building community – her last two years of study in stop animation are ready to be seen. Present her narrative practice and character in a surprising new way, Swoon takes chances bravely, and is ready to share her new work.

Her new exhibition with Jeffery Deitch is coming up in New York – but today we offer a sneak peek of what the deep diving Swoon has discovered.

Henry Chalfant “Art vs Transit 1977-1987” Bronx Museum of the Arts

Its here and the reviews have been glowing. One of the originals in documenting and providing platforms to artists and participants of art on the streets and trains, Henry Chalfant is please to present an impressive retrospective through next spring at Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Street Art Summer Round-Up – 2019 from Fifth Wall TV / Doug Gillen

Hop into the Doug soup of insight, mangled pronunciation and zealous fannery for projects and Street/public art concepts he wants you to remember from this summer.

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BSA Film Friday: 11.09.18

BSA Film Friday: 11.09.18

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

Now screening :
1. GAIA “Still Here”
2. Jorge Rodriguez Gerarda at DEN Culture Space in Barcelona
3. INO – BOMBER in Łódź
4. TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite.

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BSA Special Feature: GAIA “Still Here”

“The ability to paint realistically is magical. And so it is nice to possess a little bit of magic,” says Street Artist, muralist, social observer, citizen anthropologist, lecturer GAIA as he talks about his new mural project in Providence, Rhode Island.

A student and avid practitioner of multi-sectionalism the 30 year old Baltimorian researched the area and its history long before he began the project in September. Invited by Avenue Concept and its residency manager Nick Platzer, the artist partnered with the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter and artist Lynsea Montanari, a member of the Narragansett tribe, who is depicted in the mural holding a picture of Princess Red Wing, a Narragansett elder who founded the museum in the 1950s.

Follow the process, and hear GAIA speak about the path in “Still Here.”

 

Jorge Rodriguez Gerarda at DEN Culture Space in Barcelona

Cuban-American contemporary artists and large-scale terrestrial public artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada has worked in culture jamming and degrees of détournement on billboards in the street but is featured here today for his recent project with the tender ephemeral charcoal drawings many know him for. Part of an initiative with the JET8 Foundation the artist is receiving an art and technology grant to be used to support social and artistic projects. More on that later, but in the mean time, here is his mural of his friend Desislava Staneva, a Barcelona based art curator.

INO – BOMBER in Łódź

A quick flick of INO’s “Bomber” wall that he did with Urban Forms in Łódź, Poland. Whose the bomber, you ask? Atlas of course.  Look out below!

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite.

The midterms are over, but Trump is still great TV! The corporate media loves him and hates him and is absolutely hooked on him because he keeps bringing them advertising money. Don’t worry, they’ll quit him in 2024. Promise!

Democracy? That is a different matter.

Trump Rat and Democracy at Jeffrey Deitch “Protest Factory”


 

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Trump Rat and Democracy at Jeffrey Deitch “Protest Factory”

Trump Rat and Democracy at Jeffrey Deitch “Protest Factory”

Halloween comes to a close after what seemed like a week-long series of events and celebrations thanks to it occurring on Wednesday and no one knowing when to have a party or go trick or treating.

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One thing that many agree on this year is that the guy who is haunting the White House is trying to scare the bejesus out of everybody – and apparently its working! But like most good thrillers, it’s the stuff that’s happening behind curtain backstage that is the most sinister – like lowering the tax rates on the rich to pre-Depression era levels. Because that worked out so well in the 1920s, right?

A few blocks from the East Village parade last night at Jeffrey Deitch on Wooster Street, Downtown For Democracy hosted a pop up exhibition titled “Protest Factory”. A lot of hot air sent Jeffrey Beebe’s TrumpRat to a soaring height and suitably spooked a number of guests in costume who milled around the opening show.

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In addition to the satirically bloated man-mouse, curious onlookers got to see a number of new works and in-person interactions, including artist and activist Marilyn Minter screen-printing her own Trump Plaques, alongside photographer and activist Nan Goldin and her group P.A.I.N. which is addressing the opioid crisis and those who may profit from it, Richard Hell signing custom T-shirts, and Ryan McGinley taking Polaroids.

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Downtown For Democracy is a PAC founded by creatives to “Transform cultural influence into political power and to put the power of art and creative expression to work for democracy”

The Protest Factory event will remain open to the public with talks, workshops and interviews with some of the participating artists until November 6th.

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TrumpRat by Jeffrey Beebe courtesy of BravinLee Offsite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marlyn Minter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marilyn Minter at work on her Trump plaques which she has also printed as posters and wheat pasted on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marlyn Minter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Protest Factory (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nan Goldin/SacklerPain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Protest Factory (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Richard Prince. 18 & Stormy This work is based on a composite image constructed of photographs of the eighteen women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, plus Stormy Daniels. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Protest Factory (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paul Chan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Protest Factory (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Protest Factory (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Coney Art Walls : 30 Reasons To Go To Coney Island This Summer

Coney Art Walls : 30 Reasons To Go To Coney Island This Summer

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called Coney Art Walls and today you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.

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How & Nosm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

By way of defining terms, none of this is street art. These are murals completed by artists who are street artists, graffiti writers, fine artists, and contemporary artists. In the middle of an amusement park, these are commissioned works that respond in some way to their environment by thirty or so local and international heavy hitters and a few new kids on the block comprising a 40+ year span of expertise.

Open to many strata of the public and fun-seekers who dig Brooklyn’s rich cultural landscape, this outdoor show will surely end up as backgrounds for selfies — while perhaps simultaneously elevating a discourse about the rightful place of graffiti/street art/urban art within the context of contemporary art. Okay, maybe not such loftiness will result, but let’s not rule it out entirely.

 

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How & Nosm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It should come as no surprise that it is the dealer, curator, perennially risk-taking showman Jeffrey Deitch who is the ringmaster of this circus, or that the genesis of this cultural adventure is perplexing to some who have greeted his newest vision with perplexity and derision. His Deitch Projects and related activities in the 2000s regularly presented and promoted the street-inspired D.I.Y. cultural landscape, having done his due diligence and recognizing that new life springs from the various youth movements always afoot. The Jeffrey-conceived “Art Parade” itself was a street-based all-inclusive annual panoply of eye candy and absurdity; inflicting humor, sex, gore, fire, glitter and possibility into the minds of Manhattan sidewalk observers.

As MOCA Los Angeles director Deitch also flipped the script with his “Art In The Streets,” organizing a vast survey of a half-century of the modern grassroots genres including graffiti/street art/urban art/tattoo/punk/hip-hop/skater culture that far surpassed anyone’s predictions for audience attendance and public engagement. Aside from tripping wires and a public misstep here and there, the show earned critical praise, pinched art-school noses, and pushed skeptical institutions and patrons to question their prejudices. It also gave voice to a lot of people.

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Notably, that MOCA exhibit drew a little over 200,000 attendees in four months. Coney Island beach and boardwalk gets about 14 million annually. Even if the Smorgasbord pop-up village food trucks feed a fraction of that number, there will be more folks viewing art and interacting with it here than, say, the Four Seasons dining rooms, which also display street artists and contemporary artists in the restaurants’ artistic programming. Side by side comparisons of Smorgasbord/Four Seasons diners ethnic diversity, income, age, education level, museum board membership or real estate investments were not available at press time. But neither can be fairly described as exploitative to artists or audience without sounding patronizing.

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

These multicolored and monochromatic murals illustrate a wide and balanced smorgasborg of their own; examples of myriad styles are at play with some engaging in activism and local politics and Coney Island history. From original train writer Lady Pink to aerosol drone sprayer Katsu, from eL Seed’s lyrical Arabic calligraffiti to Retna’s secret text language to graffitist-now-collagist Greg Lamarche, from Shepard Fairey’s elegant Brooklyn salute to polluters and blasé consumerism to Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s spotlight on current Coney Island neighbors, from urban naturalist ROA’s monochrome marginalized city animals to How & Nosm’s eye-punching and precise graphic metaphors, you are getting a dizzying example of the deep command Deitch has of this multi-headed contemporary category that is yet to settle on a moniker to call itself.

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Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls assembles world travelers from NYC and LA and Miami and internationally; Belgium, Barcelona, Brazil, Paris, Tunisia, London. Some are 80s Downtown NYC alumni, others were train writers in the 70s or big crew graff heads and taggers from the decades after. Some are considered historical originators of a form and cross-genre risk takers pushing beyond their comfort zone. Take a close look and you’ll find names that are in major collections (private, institutional, corporate) and that go to auction.

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Crash (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Some are regularly showing in galleries and are invited to street art festivals, exhibited in museums and discussed in academia and print. Others have studio practices spanning three decades, are lecturers, panelists, authors, teachers, community advocates, art stars, reality TV personalities, film actors, product endorsers and art product makers working with global brands. One or two may be considered global brands themselves. A handful have been painting on the streets for 40 years. Monolithic they are not.

One more notable aspect occurred to us as we watched this parade making its peregrination to these summer walls – either because of Deitch or the romance or history of Coney or both; When you are looking at the range of ages and ethnicities and family configurations and listening to the variety of accents and opinions expressed and seeing the friendly but tough-stuff attitudes on display — you might guess you were in Brooklyn. You are.

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Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse Edwards (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse Edwards (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Irak (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Aiko (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Aiko  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jason Woodside (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jason Woodside (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed with Martha Cooper (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenny Scharf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jane Dickson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Retna (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaves (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lauren Halsey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our previous weekly updates track the installation period of Coney Art Walls:

Coney Art Walls: First 3 Completed and Summer Begins

DEITCH Masters, Coney Art Walls Part 2 : Coney With a Twist

Eine, Hayuk: A Riot of Color at Coney (Update III)

Coney Art Walls: Gypsies, Stallions, Mermaids, and Pop Optics! Update IV

Coney Art Walls Opens for the Mermaids! Update V

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia with eL Seed

A Travelogue Through Familiar Land Leads the Aerosol Writer Along New Routes

eL Seed took a trip to discover his country and his roots and in the process learned about authentic and storied history, local culture, the generosity of strangers, and the strangeness of Darth Vader in the desert.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is no separation between form and language in eL Seed’s work. His images embody language to the extent that the line and the subject become one, and the flow of the line is part of the meaning. The viewer does not have to understand Arabic to sense the poetry of the message,” says Jeffrey Deitch in the preface to Lost Walls, A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia, and the seamless integration of intent, inquiry and inspiration carries throughout this country-wide journey.

Choosing walls, blocks and buildings to leave his visual poetry is not an act of graffiti as much as it is a weaving of this modern moment with historical heritage and public art as he discovers and shares his observations and conversations in this travelogue of towns and communities.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

“I wake up to the full light of day. The city, it seems, is up well before me. From the window of my room, I can see a wall in shambles. It calls out to me. I leave quickly to find out its history and who owns it,” he writes of El Kef, one of about 20 towns and cities he visits and paints while exploring history and perspectives of neighbors. Spurred on by his near life-changing experience painting a verse from the holy Quran on a minaret in his ancestral home of Gabes, the revelations about how people reacted to his work illuminated his impressions of himself as well as others, eL Seed took on a path of inquisition and the discovery of new places to leave his mark.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

The book is richly illustrated, heavily essayed, and openly spoken. The physical journey accompanies and internal one; a full spectrum of issues, ideas and quandaries that propel his ride through this small northern African country bordering the Mediterranean. While essayist Wassim Ghozlani examines the role of public art in the democratization of society, Amel Djait contemplates the role of cultural tourism to the future of the country. As a corollary to both threads eL Seed quizzically studies the semi-preserved site of a Star Wars movie filmed here in the desert and finds a sort of Western incursion that trivializes the heritage and struggle of the people, even as “music from the film resonates in my mind”.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

Seeing these freestanding pieces of calligraffiti in the midst of monochromatic and sun bleached scenes baked in clay and sand is surprising and singular, a clarion call to the past using tools of the present. eL Seed has his unique perspective as he observes and acts, questions and listens, and finally as he blends what he learns into his gestural and stately script. If there is a way forward for the tribes and the traditions of such storied lands, it will be perhaps by a new third party who gains the trust and respect of the old and the new. By trekking carefully along many a cultural fine line containing myriad curves and turns, eL Seed is creating his own path forward in his home land while others are doing the same.

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

 

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eL Seed constructed this wall by hand, before dismantling it in “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

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eL Seed “Los Walls” (photo from the book © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed “Lost Walls” A Calligraffiti Journey Through Tunisia. From Here To Fame Publishing. Berlin, Germany 2014

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Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

An international team of heavy hitting women in Street Art are the centerpiece of the Wynwood District this weekend as Jeffrey Deitch returns to Miami to co-curate Women on the Walls. Reprising a more central role for Wynwood Walls that he played when Tony Goldman first established this outdoor mural playground, Deitch says he is reserving center stage exclusively for the women this year as a way of highlighting their history and growing importance in the graffiti/street art scenes around the world.

“It’s to correct the historical imbalance,” says Deitch as he talks about the new wall murals painted this week and the accompanying gallery exhibition showcase that celebrates the contributions of outstanding women artists in a scene that, with a few notable exceptions, has been primarily run by the guys.

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Miss Van at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“After this historical imbalance there was something that needed to be addressed about the misperception that graffiti is just a boys club,” says the enthusiastic bespectacled curator who shares the role for this show with the team of Janet Goldman, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, Meghan Coleman, and Ethel Seno.

As with the Living Walls Atlanta festival on the streets in 2012, this show gives full voice to women in a holistic and powerful way that rather redefines the context of a graffiti/street art/tattoo/skater scene which sometimes veers too close to being overtly sexist, if not outright misogynist in it’s depiction of women and their roles.

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Miss Van at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Maybe it’s the scene itself – much of the graff / Street Art scene has always had partially skewed perceptions about the gals because they were traditionally populated almost exclusively by males.  Since work on the streets is a mirror that reflects society back to itself, it makes sense that we’re looking at a funhouse on the walls sometimes. But you don’t have to accept the narrative entirely and shows like this argue for greater authorship of the visual dialogue. Right now in civic life you’ll see strong positive images as more women are assuming more history-making leadership roles than ever, but there are also a lot messages in media and pop culture that portray women as little more than one dimensional giggly jiggly sex toys.

For Parisian artist Fafi, a show with this theme could not be more timely.

“The atmosphere about women these days is really fucked up, especially towards younger ones,” says the street artist as she relates the sentiment of conversations at a late dinner she recently had with co-participants Miss Van and Maya Hayuk.

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Miss Van (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“There’s something in the air that’s telling us we absolutely need to talk about empowering women in our female artist life,” she explains as she describes the condescending and denigrating attitudes she still encounters from some men even after she has been painting on the streets and in studio for more than two decades.

Fafi says that there are still some who tell her and her female peers that what they do is cool “for a woman”, and more worryingly, “it’s something that comes up more and more often nowadays.”

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Maya Hayuk at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“It seems like in 2013 it is almost a passé sort of gesture that a bunch of women would have to get together to make a statement when we’ve all been doing this for so long,” says Maya Hayuk, whose bright geometric patterns were on the forefront of a current Street Art fascination with the abstract. “Hopefully in the future we don’t have to do ‘all women’ or ‘all men’ or ‘all anything’ shows,” she says sort of wistfully, “We can do shows on ‘all awesome’.”

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Maya Hayuk (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

So perhaps Deitch and Co. are rebalancing much more than they realize by creating this environment that values the contributions of artists who also happen to be women.  Whether it was their original intention or not, the experience this week for many participants has been about empowerment – and networking. The complexity of the list itself speaks to the varied and unique stylistic influences that are now brought to the street by women and a certain validation of these voices is reflected in the fact that many here have had commercial success on their own terms.

“I think it’s a great privilege to be here with these women artists, to be in a show with them, and to create this work in a public space,” says the Polish born Brooklynite Olek, who has made a singular name for herself on the street in the last handful of years by covering bicycles, shopping carts, public sculptures, even people with her hand-crocheted pink and purple camouflage.  We have called her the Christo/Jeanne Claude of the streets, which gives an apt sense of the skin-like quality of her wrapping as well as the interventionist instinct she follows, but it doesn’t quite tap the personal level of involvement Olek has with her pieces.

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

For Wynwood she has been hand-crocheting covers for the large heavy boulders that dot the inner grounds of the complex in a blunt and rugged manner. “Of course I love these rocks because I like to highlight things in the existing environment and to give them a new life, a new beginning,” she says while sitting on the grass joining the pieces of her new coverings by hand.

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Does she think the energy and atmosphere here is positive? “All the girls are really wonderful and I love working with them – we are all just working here, eating, talking, and I think we have made some friendships that will last a very long time.”

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Olek at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

So why does Deitch think it is important to create a show that specifically draws attention to women artists at this time?

“It’s a very simple thing,” he says, “The first reason is that some of the major talents in Street Art are women.” He then speaks about the individual contributions and talents of some of the participants this week before he comes to Lady Pink, the NYC graffiti artist who painted trains in the 70s and who went on to serve as an active role model to girls and young women around the world, giving them confidence to assert and explore their creative talents.  “We wanted to celebrate Lady Pink, whose work is better than ever.”

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Lady Pink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lady Pink. Her sketch for her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

Speaking of the 70s, the other woman in the show whose work extends back to those times is photographer Martha Cooper, who shares her work here for this article and whose images of the new walls will be projected in the gallery show tonight.  Deitch can not be more pleased with the results of the work from this new collection of artists, and traffic on the streets from fans has been thick and exuberant, whether it is for South Africa’s Faith 47 or London’s Lakwena.

“These walls by Maya Hayuk, Miss Van and Sheryo are outstanding and as fresh as ones that many male street artists are doing now,” he says as he talks about the new collection of work this year.

Singapore’s Sheryo, who also spends much of her time in Brooklyn, says that her walls actually reflect the extended two year aerosol “spraycation” around the world that she’s been on with her male cohort The Yok (her assistant this week). “We have been chasing summer weather, we love warm weather!” she says as she looks up at her wall.  “My characters are seen painting, surfing, drinking rum coconuts and chilling out around palm trees and lush forest environments, which is what we usually do on our vacations.”

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

As with many of the women in Women on Walls Sheryo has been in a number of these Street Art festival type of events as well as numerous ad hoc painting sessions on roofs, climbing fences, hitting walls, all primarily with men. How does the environment change when all this female energy hits the streets? Not to trash the guys, but Sheryo’s response is very similar to women we spoke with here and at Atlanta’s Living Walls last year.

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

“It is a whole lot of fun! Girls are way more caring and there are a lot more hugs going down, which I love.” To be fair, boys probably give good hugs too.

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Sheryo at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

For Fafi, the motivation is also simple for her and many of the solid talents involved in this show, “We felt it’s the time now more than ever for more “Girl Power”. The goal of all this is to inspire younger girls to do the best they can, to search for new ideas, and to come up with something new and different as soon as it gets too easy and comfortable. I want them to be inspired.”

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Fafi at work on her installation. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Fafi at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Aiko at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Aiko (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Kashink (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Lakwena at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Faith 47 at work on her wall. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

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Some male alumni of previous Wynwood Walls shows gather with many of the Women on the Walls crew for a group shot here by Martha Cooper. Front row from left to right: Kashink, Janet Goldman, Lady Pink, Miss Van, Aiko and Maya Hayuk,. Second row from left to right: Shepard Fairey, Olek, Jessica Goldman, Sheryo, Lakwena, Jeffrey Deitch, Faith 47 and Dal East. Back row from left to right: Ron English, Fafi, Myla and Kenny Scharff. Wynwood Walls. Miami, Florida. December 2013. (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

 

Women on the Walls is on display in the Wynwood District of Miami. For more on Wynwood Walls click here.

Artists included are Aiko, Claw Money, Fafi, Faith 47, Jess & Katie, Kashink, Lady Pink, Lakwena, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Van, Myla, Olek, Shamsia Hassan, Sheryo, Swoon, and Too Fly.

With Special Thanks to Ethel Seno.

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BSA Film Friday: 08.02.13

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

Now screening: Dylan on Deitch: Reinventing the Experience of Art, and SANER MXDF .

BSA Special Feature: Dylan on Deitch:
Reinventing the Experience of Art

“The best art re-invents art for the next generation, but in addition, it references the long tradition that goes before.”

Jeffrey Deitch for President! In this new video interview with the departing director of Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), film maker Jesse Dylan (yes) creates a warm and human six minute re-iteration of Deitch’s core appreciation for the magnificence of art and its power to transform. The video, popping somewhat out of nowhere a week after his announced cordial departure, is not quite “A Town Called Hope”, but you can imagine this running over a bed of thoughtfully plinking piano keys just before soaring with the eagles and the candidate emerging onto a starkly lit stage to the swelling of applause.

A polarizing figure in the art world for people who questioned his appointment there from the beginning and the appropriateness of a commercially successful gallery owner/showman taking over the helm of such an institution, from this perspective it looks like Deitch has stayed true to one of his core interests – exposing new work to new audiences and challenging conventional wisdom on how to engage, and who with. Much of our own abiding love for Street Art and graffiti is based on the concept that traditional purveyors of wisdom or art criticism have no place in its curation whatsoever.

Art in the Streets”, although obviously a programmed exhibition, succeeded in mowing down the protests of many who steadfastly resisted giving such formal recognition to the impact and backstory of graffiti and Street Art on the culture and accepted canons of art. Everyone knew it would be a messy endeavor, and given the entrenched classism, racism, and gatekeeping that tripped wires for months, it succeeded on many levels nonetheless. So, this marriage didn’t work out, and in this country more than half of them end. No one will deny his unique vision and given his comfort with discomfort and curiosity for how people can engage with art, only a fool would think Deitch won’t be breaking new ground for exploration in the future.

“Art creates community experience, spiritual experience. The best art absolutely affects the way people see, understand the world and builds a sense of tolerance, openness, appreciation for different points of view.”

– Jeffrey Deitch

Top image: Screenshot of Jeffrey Deitch combined with a partial derivation of a piece by Fernand Léger (image © Jesse Dylan)

 

SANER MXDF – Mexico City

And in that same vein, prepare to be blown away by Mexican artist Saner, who embodies the true sense of inquisitive engagement and reverence for history while exploring new ways to connect. Through his own observations and study and romance with the Mexican mural art tradition, graffiti, Street Art, and his sense of magic realism, Saner shows us how to be fully engaged and question our own motivations.

In the translation here he says, “If you do not know what you are doing, or don’t have something to tell or say; a piece of yourself, a gift to the people, then what you are doing is cold, lifeless.”

Directed & Edited By Colin M Day, shot by Colin M Day & Kapta, additional footage by Gral Treegan & Jasso. Shout out to Ethel Seno and John Toba – excellent work.

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Me Collectors Room Berlin Presents: “At Home I’m A Tourist” The Collection of Selim Varol (Berlin, Germany)

Selim Varol

“my collection, that’s me –
my childhood, my friends, my heroes, my role models, what i enjoy, what moves me. pictures from my journey: ‘at home i’m a tourist’” (Selim Varol)

From 26 May to 16 September 2012, me Collectors Room Berlin will be presenting the collection of Selim Varol. The exhibition will thus mark a return to an essential leitmotif of the foundation: the theme of collecting and the passion of the collector. The 39-year-old collector from Düsseldorf with Turkish roots has been collecting toys since his childhood and owns one of the largest collections of figurines in Europe, numbering some 15,000 pieces. A further focus of his collection lies in works by artists who trace their origins back to street art and ‘Pop Surrealism’. One characteristic shared by all the works in this collection is the close link between art and the everyday, as well as their often playful and humorous or subversive character.

The world of toys, most of which are produced in Asia, is a world full of plastic and vinyl. The figurines are detailed miniature sculptures that have variously emerged from the imaginations of contemporary urban artists and designers, or from politics and current events (Andy Warhol, Fidel Castro, Hitler), the dream factory of the film industry (Batman, Superman, Rambo and many others) or comics and manga. Many works in this collection are well-known due to their presence in public spaces. Shepard Fairey helped create a groundswell for Barack Obama with his iconic ‘HOPE’ poster during the United States presidential race in 2008. And JR, the current TED Prize winner, attracted international attention in 2008 with his film ‘28 millimètres: Women Are Heroes’ in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where he mounted giant images of female residents on the façades of houses in order to raise awareness about their life stories and give these women a voice. The New York artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is another artist who has exerted a major influence on Selim Varol’s collection, with Varol’s first acquisition of his work in 1999. KAWS first made a name for himself in 1998 with his alienated images on bus stops, phone boxes and billboards (for instance the ‘Christy Turlington Calvin Klein Ad Disruption’). He is represented in this

exhibition with more than 160 works. The exhibition includes a total of 3,000 works by more than 200 artists & designers from over 20 countries.

Plans are under way to enable artists involved in the exhibition to paint or paste designated facades in the area around the venue.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive catalogue of the collection that will include a text by Jeffrey Deitch.

Events:

Saturdays, 3 p.m.: Public guided tour

01.06.2012, 6.30 p.m.: Expert talk with Selim Varol

September: Reading with Autonama & Participation in “Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin”

Children’s Programme: For schools and kindergartens (upon agreement); scavenger hunt (anytime)

Pop-Up Shop: In collaboration with Toykio, a selection of designer toys and exclusive editions will also be on offer in our shop.

Prior registration is required for all events. Programme details are available on our website: www.me-berlin.com

List of artists:

123Klan, Rita Ackermann, Adam5100, Chiho Aoshima, Giorgio Armani, Suki Bamboo, Banksy, Garry Baseman, Bäst, Beast Brothers, Beejoir, Andrew Bell, Biff, Bigfoot one, Tim Biskup, Blek le Rat, Blu, Bob Dob, Bountyhunter, Randy Bowen, Brin Berliner, Bshit, Buffmonster, Milton Burkhart, Thomas Campbell, Case, James Cauty, Mori Chack, Henry Chalfant, Chip Kidd, David Choe, Luke Chueh, Coarse, Martha Cooper, Harmony Corine, Matias Corral, Robert Crumb, Dalek, Date Farmers, Dehara, Delta, Devilrobots, Dface, DJ Shadow, Dolce & Gabbana, Dolk, Doma Dr.Romanelli, Dran, Dust, Tristan Eaton, Eelus, Ben Eine, El Mac, Ron English, F.C .Ware, Fafi, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Ferg, Jeremy Fish, Florian Flatau, Sam Flores, Flying Fortress, Pete Fowler, Glen E. Friedman, Friends with you, Phil Frost, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Futura, Rene Gagnon, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Huck Gee, Os Gemeos, Doze Green, Sadi Güran, Eric Haze, Evan Hecox, Herakut, Jean-Louis Dumas Hermes, Jamie Hewlett, Damien Hirst, David Horvath, David Horvath & Sun-Min Kim, Marc Jacobs, Todd James, Jamungo, James Jarvis, Oliver Jeffers, JR, Nathan Jurevicius, Alex Katz, Rei Kawakubo, Audrey Kawasaki, KAWS, Peter Kennard, Josh Keyes, K-Guy, Margaret Kilgallen, Dave Kinsey, Jeff Koons, Frank Kozik, Charles Kraft, Curtis Kulig, Kurt Vonneggut & Joe Petro III, Christian Lacroix, Lady Aiko, Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, Michael Lau, Joe Ledbetter, Karin Lehmann, Matt Leines, Michael Leon, Paul Leung, Anthony Lister, Livingroom Johnston, London Police, Robert Longo, Lunartik, MAD*L, Herman Makkink, Mantis, Martin Margiela, Marok, Mars 1, Ben Mathis, Barry Mcgee, Lucy McLauchlan, Bill Mcmullen, Dennis Mcnett, Tara McPherson, Alexander McQueen, Eugenio Merino, Mexxer, Anthony Micallef, Donny Miller, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Mist, Brendan Monroe, Polly Morgan, Mr. Clement, Takashi Murakami, Scott Musgrowe, Muttpop, Yositomo Nara, Caleb Neelon, Nigo, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Steve Olsen, Katsushiro Otomo, Tony Oursler, Jose Parla, Paul Insect, Marion Peck, Perks & Mini, Stefano Pilati, Ricky Powell, Miuccia Prada, Rob Pruit, Pure Evil, Pushead, Oliver Räke, Jamie Reid, Retna, Terry Richardson, Rocketworld, Jermaine Rogers, Rolitoboy, Ryca, Mark Ryden, Saber, Erick Scarecrow, Todd Schorr, Semper Fi, Since, Jason Siu, Sket-one, Skewville, Skullphone, Hedi Slimane, PaulSmith, Hajime Sorayama, Jeff Soto, Space Invader, Spanky, SPQR, SSUR, Jeff Staple, Stash, Static, Tyler Stout, Stefan Strumbel, Suckadelic, Superdeux, Judith Supine, Swoon, Tado, Gary Taxali, Osamu Tezuka, Tilt, Tokidoki, Touma, Tim Tsui, Nasan Tur, Unkl, Urban Medium, Usugrow, Valentino, Gee Vaucher, Mark Dean Veca, Donatella Versace, Viktor & Rolf, Amanda Visell, Nick Walker, Vivienne Westwood, Dondi White, Kehinde Wiley, WK interact, Jim Woodring, Word to Mother, Bubi Au Yeung, Zevs

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BSA at LA MOCA for “Street Art Stories” Presentation and Panel

HuffPost Arts and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) hosted a presentation and panel discussion presented by Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo this past Saturday at the Ahmanson Auditorium with 150 guests. Five days after the closing of the record breaking “Art in the Streets” show at LA MOCA, which was seen by over 200,000 visitors, BSA charted some new ground going forward in the ever evolving graffiti and street art movement.

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Panelists having a lively discussion at “Street Art Stories” hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA at Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand in downtown Los Angeles. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The panelists, who included HuffPost Arts Editor Kimberly Brooks and Street Art phenom Shepard Fairey, watched a presentation by Harrington and Rojo about a new storytelling direction that artists are bringing to the streets of New York and other cities around the world. With examples of relative newcomers not seen by many in the audience, they pointed to precursors from the last 40 years to this storytelling practice and questioned how its sudden growth may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.

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Steven P. Harrington talks about community murals and memorial walls to illustrate antecedents to the new movement of storytellers who engage passersby on a greater level than in the recent past.  Shown is a community mural by New York’s Tats Cru shot by and © of Martha Cooper.  (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

After a conversation with panelists Brooks, Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno that covered topics like the paucity of females in the street art scene, the influence of the Internet on “getting up”, and the significance of personal engagement in the work of many of today’s new street artists, Harrington and Rojo opened the discussion up the auditorium. Here topics ranged from LA’s evolving approach to Street Art to include public and permanent art, the influence of money on street artists, and how a show like “Art in the Streets” effectively influences the next generations’ perception of street art.

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BSA’s Steven P. Harrington gestures toward the screen while panelists look on in the front row. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The packed event was interesting enough to bring many audience members down to the stage after the show to continue the conversation and meet the panelists and LA MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, who took great interest in the presentation, talked with a number of people before taking off. Fairey, with his wife Amanda at his side and a healing black eye from his recent trip to Copenhagen (see his account for HuffPost Arts here) gamely took on questions from many and posed for pictures after the event and at the reception which HuffPost hosted afterward.

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During the presentation, Brooklyn Street Art talked about the use of Street Art as a way of addressing a variety of social and political issues, including this example of Shepard Fairey and the topic of peace. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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BSA co-founder and Director of Photography Jaime Rojo introduces the panelists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Brooklyn Street Art Co-founders Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington converse with esteemed panelists at “Street Art Stories”, hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA.

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Contemporary American Painter and the Founding Arts Editor of the Huffington Post, Kimberly Brooks next to street artist Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Shepard Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Marsea Goldberg, Director of New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, who since 1994 has launched or mobilized the careers of artists such as Shepard Fairey, Ed Templeton, Neckface, Faile, the Date Farmers, Judith Supine, and Bäst just to name a few. Next to Ms. Goldberg is Ken Harman, Managing Online Editor at Hi-Fructose Magazine, the owner and curator at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, and the creator and editor of the the “Art of Obama” website. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Ethel Seno, Curatorial Coordinator for the MOCA exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and the Editor of the book “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” published by Taschen. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Street art photographer Jaime Rojo of Brooklyn Street Art. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Edward Goldman, LA art critic, Huffpost blogger, and host of KCRW’s “Art Talk” for 20 years, poses a question on the effect of a big museum show like “Art in the Streets” on the new generation of would be street artists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Seno and Harman (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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The Ahmanson Auditorium for “Street Art Stories” at LA MOCA (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Thank you to Kimberly Brooks and our great panel. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

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Director of LA MOCA and co-curator of “Art in the Streets”, Jeffrey Deitch, talks with Shepard Fairey after the presentation and panel (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

MONICA ROACHE, JESSICA YOUN, CHRIS RICHMOND, DAVID BRADSHAW, JEFFREY DEITCH, LYN WINTER, PATRICK IACONIS, TANYA PATSAOURUS, TRAVIS KORTE, MELINDA BROCKA, TINA SOIKKELI, EUTH, ANDREW
HOSNER, CARLOS GONZALEZ, KIMBERLY BROOKS, MARSEA GOLDBERG, KEN HARMAN,SHEPARD FAIREY, ETHEL SENO, THE MOCA MUSEUM STAFF AND SECURITY,

THE HUFFINGTON POST, THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES (MOCA), BROOKLYNSTREETART.COM, HI-FRUCTOSE, JUXTAPOZ,

IMAGES IN PRESENTATION BY JAIME ROJO WITH ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY MARTHA COOPER, REVS PHOTO BY BECKI FULLER, and FAUXREEL PHOTOS BY DAN BERGERON

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BSA in LA (Update) – Walls Underway in Prep for MOCA Show

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“Art In the Streets” has begun exactly where it started – outside on walls. The number of people in Los Angeles this week to mark Sunday’s opening of the show at the Museum of Contemporary Art grows by the hour and there are more walls in progress than a housing boom. Just in the last couple of days we’ve seen commissioned and non-commissioned new murals, pieces, tags, and installations freshly dripping by people like How & Nosm, Lee Quinones, Shepard Fairey, Blade, Cern1, JR, Augustine Kofie, Invader, Os Gemeos, Nomade, Saner, and many others.

brooklyn-street-art-lee-quinones-jaime-rojo-MOCA-LA-04-14-web-12Lee Quinones takes a break on “Birds of a Feather”, the wall collaboration he’s directing that features  Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1. The new installation is on the wall that was previously installed by Italian artist Blu but was buffed soon after by the museum a few months ago – a subject still on the minds and lips of people here. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura says it’s like Summer camp and others have likened it to a family reunion, which makes us think of lawn chairs, cheap beer, barbecue, and crazy old uncle Jed sitting on a picnic table rubbing egg salad into his hair and talking about the Republicans. But yeah, right now in this little part of LA there is a feeling of a camp that is headed maniacally toward total circus.

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Cern 1 workinfg on “Birds of a Feather” wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The show itself, which we’ve seen in it’s entirety, is an audacious and colorful endeavor to bring about 50 years of Graffiti and Street Art history and a number of it’s influencers and influences under one roof. Engaging and educational, visitors will have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this river. No show on this worldwide phenomenon could ever hope to include everyone, and Curator Jeffrey Deitch, along with associate curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose have chosen touchstones and flashpoints that push their individual visions of how the story unfolded. While it doesn’t break much brand new ground, only the Bittersons (or Jealousinskis) will find sufficient cause to try to mug this solid, entertaining and participatory show full of surprises. But for a scene that never sought permission in the first place, it won’t matter.

Here are a collection of images on the museum grounds itself. Previews from the show tomorrow.

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“Birds of a Feather” (detail) wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Birds of a Feather” (detail) wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Birds of a Feather” (detail) wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Birds of a Feather” (detail) wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Birds of a Feather” (detail) wall collab with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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In this photo by Martha Cooper, Futura lends a hand to Cern1 to complete the collaborative mural on the side of Geffen Contemporary in time for the opening.  (photo © Martha Cooper)

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“Birds of a Feather” wall collab in progress with Lee Quinones, Futura, Risk, Able, Seno, Push, Loomit and Cern1  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Barry McGee (Twist) finished this wall before heading indoors to reprise an installation he did in 2000 with ESPO and REAS called Street Market.  Roger Gastman says of the new installation that was still being finished as of yesterday afternoon, “This is another version ten years later, basically on crack. They brought in a number of other great artists to help work with them on it. Now it includes Alexis Ross, Dan Murphy, Jeff Flynn and a few others.” (photos tomorrow)

(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This Blade wall in progress is a direct reference to the famous Martha Cooper photo of one of his burners on an MTA train in the 70s.  It was begun after the museum washed off a fresh new Katsu fire extinguisher tag that appeared suddenly a few days earlier. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blade. Finish wall (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos cube in progress will contain something quite special that is being prepared in a garage nearby.  It actually looks like it could hold a dozen go-go dancers if that other thing isn’t finished in time for the opening. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos cube in progress (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos cube in progress (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos with mini-train painted by Blade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Blade painting the Os Gemeos mini-train (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Os Gemeos mini-train opposite side (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sullivan takes off (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader’s “Blue Invasion” of the museum starts outside. Or is that BLU invasion? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Risk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fab 5 Freddy speaking on today’s press conference in front of bus by Risk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Not all brows are unfurrowed for the impending opening of “Art In the Streets”, as in these by French Street Artist JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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