This story starts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and ends in Madrid, Spain but its focus is global in nature.
With the earth at the center of the eye, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada tells us that the first of two murals he painted for the recent COP 25 conferences is called “Forest Focus.” As the world has been watching the largest forests of Australia burning this month, he clearly knows what we’re all facing.
“With an image of the world as the iris,” he says, “This mural has an artistic focal point that symbolizes the values set forth at the COP25 conference being held in Madrid.”
The Cuban-born Street Artist, now based in Barcelona, was partnering with a public art program/platform called GreenPoint EARTH during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference, or COP 25 to create two new street art pieces.
Well known for his “Terrestrial Series” of artworks spread over masses of land that are visible by planes flying overhead, Rodriguez-Gerada blends social and ecological themes seamlessly with sometimes profound results.
His second mural of the series is a portrait of Hilda Pérez, a person indigenous to Peru and theVice President of the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru (ONAMIAP). The team says she was chosen to represent indigenous people because their voices are frequently marginalized in discussions about ecology and climate change, despite occupying 25-50 percent of the Earth’s land.
“We need to think of every tool in our toolkit because time is ultimately running out,” said Greenpoint Innovations founder Stephen Donofrio at a panel discussion with the artist at the Action Hub Event during the COP25.
He was speaking about the pivotal role that Street Art has been able to fill in education, as well as his own interest in partnering with artists and other collaborators to raise awareness for a myriad of environmental issues. “That’s why it’s really important that Chile/Madrid COP25 has this really strong message that it’s time for action.”
more plans to involve Street Artists around the world “to inspire climate action with
positive messages about the interconnected themes of nature, people, and
climate,” Donofrio says he believes that the
power of communication that Street Artists wield can be focused to make real,
“The connectivity is really important
in these projects to establish that we are dealing with globally challenging issues
that boil down to a really local consequence.”
The videos that we present every week on BSA Film Friday give us as much inspiration as they do our readers, and we are honored to see the progression of artists and directors as they continue to capture, document, and share their skills, techniques, and stories. This year we have seen a continued professional quality, a widened scope, a desire to connect with an audience perhaps in a way that we haven’t seen before. Each of these videos, whether completed in-studio or shot by hand on a phone, touched you- and the numbers of clicks and re-shares tell us the story. Or many of them.
INTI / “PRIMAVERA INSURRECTA”, Spring Insurrection
vandalizing public sculptures to handmade signs to waving banners, banging oil
drums and pots and pans, lighting fires, chanting, and dancing in the streets –
these are the insistent voices and perspectives coursing through streets in
cities around the world, including these scenes from Chile last month. In one
of the tales of people’s victory, these marches and mobilizations of citizens
pushing for their rights and fighting state overreach actually worked this
month and Chile’s protesters have won a path to a
During the demonstrations Chilean Street Artist INTI was at work outside in Santiago as well, adding to the public discourse, with his new work entitled “Dignity!” It was a spring insurrection, now culminating in an autumn victory
Icy & Sot: Giving Plants. Film By Doug Gillen/FWTV
Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.
People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.
While they have traveled around many international cities in the last
five years creating site-specific interventions that contemplate issues
of immigration, environmental degradation, and endangered species, the
artists felt that the gravity of this place merited something more than
just an art installation.
Working with a group called Movement on the Ground and with Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV in tow, the two helped build raised gardens and planted vegetables, in addition to handing out many potted plants. Today we have images of persons in the camp from Icy & Sot along with the new video, one of Doug’s best.
Guido van Helten in Faulkton, South Dakota by Brian Siskind
A massive piece by the observant eye of Guido van Helten, who knows how to capture a spirit, a gesture, a knowing expression. Here on a grain elevator in Faulkton, South Dakota, his piece becomes a clarion, captured here by Brian Siskind.
Bordalo II “A Life of Waste” A short film by Trevor Whelan & Rua Meegan
Spending a lot of time and effort clawing your way to the top of the pile, braying
loudly about your achievements and kicking the people behind you back down the
hill? Look where you are standing. It’s a mountain of garbage. And you don’t really
care for the others up here.
Bordallo II has been examining our culture of waste. And making sculpture from it. “The artwork is really a reflection of what we are,” he says. “I always had my conscience.”
Land artist Jorge Gerada mounts a large project in Ouarzazate, Morocco that extends over 37,500 meters in this commissioned job for a coffee brand calendar. Using rakes, stones, dark gravel, and vegetable oil, a scene of two hands under running water is created.
In a collaborative gallery space or at a barbecue on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin’s calligraffiti writers and artists are showing off the attitude and exactitude of the city as well as the evolution of this art form.
Hosted by Theosone at the “Scriptorium Berlin” and
curated by Makearte, a small selection
of scientists artists are convened at the Letters Temple where artists create
an exhibition with lucid and ornate letter skillz. Later on Devil’s Mountain
(Tefelsberg) they paint together for the first time.
In the videos featuring daredevilry, parkour and graffiti the Lengua Drona
has been adding words to our visual vocabulary that were once reserved
for extreme sporting, National Geographic docs, Crocodile Dundee and
Now the pixação writer and urban climber, Paradox releases
unprecedented adventure footage and editing from photographer CPT. Olf,
and its sending shockwaves.
Somehow this is a new way to synthesize wall-climbing and train
surfing; positioning it as a visual and audio symphony that almost makes
you forget that these are graffiti vandals “fucking the system”,
pushing their limits – and yours.
As you thrill to these evolving genre-combining aspects of Oleg
Cricket, 1Up Crew, Berlin Kidz, and Ang Lee, it’s important to realize
that these are real risks that people take that could result in serious
injury, death, and rivers of grief if a miscalculation happens. So,
yeah, we’re not endorsing the irresponsible risks or a mounting “arms
race” of stunts, but we are endorsing the athleticism, imagination, and
sheer slickness of this FPV drone mastery, which appears to have taken
this stuff up another level.
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
A culmination of five years of murals visible from planes, French duo Ella & Pitr nudge you awake on a sleepy Friday to say “Thank you for being part of this story!” You didn’t even realize that you were a part of it, did you? In a way, you can see your own reflection somewhere here.
Their sleeping giants have appeared in cities around the world, often too big even for the massive rooftops they are crammed uncomfortably atop. With a true knack for childhood wonder and illustration, perhaps because they have a couple of them at home for inspiration, Ella & Pitr bring the petite rebel spirit to these characters; imperfect specimens with stylistic idiosyncrasies and sometimes ornery personalities.
In the end, they were all “heavy sleepers” resting temporarily, as is often the case with (sub)urban interventions variously referred to as Street Art, public art, land art, pavement art… Make sure you stay for the end of this video that comprised most of the giants.
Graffiti Jam in San Francisquito, Queretaro with Martha Cooper
When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.
With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.
It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population.
It is always interesting to go into the studio space of a Street Artist to see how their big public practice translates to their “fine art” commercial work. Here we have new works from a figurative painter and portrait maker Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, who is preparing pieces for his upcoming “Fragments” series.
He says that the haunting and beckoning faces are painted upon textured surfaces that are at least 150 years old. How, exactly? “I have perfected a process that allows me to remove old interior wall paint surfaces from abandoned buildings to use as my canvases,” he says. The fragile cracked and flaking surfaces are stabilized and made whole so the new works can actually have an archival quality.
gazes at these beauties and considers the axiom, “beauty is only skin deep”,
meaning that a pleasing appearance is not a guide to character. Here,
Rodriguez-Gerada appears to adding character with old skin.
may think of them as architectural skin grafts newly preserved, or some form of
urban exfoliation. Seeing the process at play, you may also be reminded of
Italian preservationists “skinning” the first few centimeters of a façade to
remove a BLU piece in Bologna – later hung in a museum.
“While most walls surfaces touched by a restoration technique have some kind of tangible historic importance – frescos or murals, for example,” he says.
“I am giving importance to these commonplace textures for the intangible memory that they possess and the passage of time that they portray.” These fragments of memory and time are now merged with new spirit, enabling them to travel further into the future.
A popular city for Street Art in the early-2000s that attracted artists from across Europe and elsewhere to its intimate doorways and darkened small streets, Barcelona has become less inviting to illegal painting in recent years due to an organized campaign to contain the freewheeling art and convert it into a respectable city to shop in. Like many cities now engaging the talent if not the transgression of this generation of renegade artists, there are other ways now appearing to help artists get up on walls.
In October Difusor, a non-profit cultural association that works with the city, businesses, and the artists mounted Open Walls, a conference and mural program for four days that included installations/interventions, workshops and lectures from an international roster.
Included among the speakers were Todd W. Bressi from City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, mural conservator Will Shank and Leon Cullinane from Nuart. Artist represented were people like Escif, Alexis Diaz, Pastel, Joao Lelo, 310 / Stepan Krasnov, M-City and Madsteez.
The resulting mix is wide reaching and good quality, and just when the palette is becoming too subdued and the geometry possibly municipal the wild acid royal canine court by Madsteez parries forth in a line kicking formation. Not everything is rainbows and butterflies; of note are the swarming drones by the Polish M-City, their insect-like bodies clustered madly together in a cloud of all-seeing killers in the sky.
For an “approved” roster of works the variety of styles represents what is happening as modern and contemporary art movements gain currency in the public art eye. Also, you can still check out plenty of illegal spots nearby and Barcelona still is popping with possibility if you know where to look for one of Miss Van’s ladies, or maybe even an old C215 or Faile one-color stencil.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
1. ICY & SOT Double Header
2.”Wish” by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda
3. Buenos Aires Street Art Part 1 & 2
4. The Lurkers in NYC
BSA Special Feature: ICY & SOT Double Header
Two Brand New Videos from the Street Art Bros Who Are Not Twins
Iranian brothers and Street Artists Icy & Sot have been painting and observing a great deal about New York since moving to Brooklyn a couple of years ago. You may remember that BSA was one of the first to interview them as they prepared for their first show in New York and they were getting acclimated to the streets here. We’ve been able to see the work evolve and the artists discovery the city and the people here in their process and it is gratifying to watch.
Today we have two brand new videos of Icy and Sot to present on BSA Film Friday – one about them and one by them.
First, let’s see New York through the eyes of the artists themselves as they take in the mechanized and sometimes callous quality of the buzzing street life in New York. With rather poignant storytelling, the brothers focus on the ability of the brutal crowd to rush by and overlook the guy in the margins. As immigrants in this city of immigrants and this nation of immigrants it is not surprising that they know how to poetically depict the utter aloneness of being in currents of an ocean.
Icy and Sot by Dan Perez Films
“Wish” by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerarda
“For the 2013 Ulster Bank Belfast International Festival at Queen’s, Cuban-American Artist, Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, has created WISH, a portrait of an anonymous local girl photographed by the artist in the process of making a pure and simple wish for the future. Spanning an 11 acre site in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, the photographic image of this girl – made of topsoil, sand, grass and stones – can be seen from various locations around Belfast. This innovative public artwork pushes boundaries and uses cutting edge technologies, making it one of the most ambitious land art projects in the world.”
– from the official press release.
Buenos Aires Street Art Part 1
A bit of insight into the Buenos Aires scene, the heavy influence of murals now in some cities and the state of commercialism and television where it intersects with it all. (via CosmoArteTV)
Buenos Aires Street Art Part 2.
The Lurkers in NYC
Who knew? The Lurkers were here in the BK and nobody even told us! Figures. They only hang out with rich kids and models, two of New York’s primary crops these days. Nice zen-like Fischerspooner early 2000s inflected soundtrack for the slow-mo, bro.
Looks like the Yankees could have used Joe Biden last night. “Who is this grandpa man?”, said my homey Ikbar behind the counter at the news stand, irritated that the Vice President has to hog half the cover of the New York Post from Derek Jeter. Guess the Scranton Slugger was knocking them out of the wrong park for some New Yorkers last night.
Also, anybody know why there are 10 TV vans with their saucers rotating on top and kleig lights at the end of their extended electronic probes blinding innocent semi-sleeping commuters walking by the Marcy projects in Brooklyn this morning? Saw Blondy McBlonderwig with perfect teeth and fishbowl eyes shrieking in a trench coat in front of the camera on the way to the M train, safely behind all the “crime scene” tape. Think the news has decided to do a story on the class war?
And now LIVE, here are the important up-to-the-minute stories we’re following for you this hour on WBSA.
1. Bedlam in London
2. Jaye Moon Breaks the Code (NYC)
3. Moniker 2012 (London)
4. John Breiner at Mighty Tanaka (Brooklyn)
5. “Good Guys” in Chicago
6. "Street Art Live" in Da Bronx All Day Sunday
7. SANER "Catharsis" From The Cinema (VIDEO)
8. I Love Paris Volume 5 by kouettv (VIDEO)
For further information regarding this show click here.
Jaye Moon Breaks the Code (NYC)
She’s been constructing on the streets for a year or two, but her main tricks have been in the gallery for about a decade. Street and Fine Artist Jaye Moon has a new solo show titled “Breaking the Code” at the Newman Popiashvili Gallery in Manhattan so you can see where some of this Lego madness came from. Study the numbers and the text and break the code. And don’t forget to hit up Red Hook Brooklyn because Jaye Moon is also an artist in GEOMETRICKS currently on view at Gallery Brooklyn.
For further information regarding this show click here.
For further information regarding GEOMETRICKS click here.
Moniker 2012 (London)
MONIKER ART FAIR is in full swing and open for business until this Sunday. Take a trip to The Village Underground in Shoreditch if you are interested on seeing original works of art by some Street Artists who are moving the conversation on the streets right now. Remi Rough, Penny, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Ludo, Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, Hush, C215, Ben Slow are all represented with installations and new works of art.
For further details and a full list of artists and schedules click here.
John Breiner at Mighty Tanaka (Brooklyn)
Not a Street Artist but seemingly always in the street mix – maybe he has a lot of Street Art friends or something because Jon Breiner has been at a lot of events over the last couple of years and we’ve had the opportunity to see his studio work evolve so here’s a shout out. Breiner might be one of those definitely underrated fine artists that you don’t pay much attention to and then BAM!, where the hell did this kid come from? A curator of shows and DJ, Breiner goes deep below still waters; Fastidious in his craft Mr. Breiner’s work gets close and personal, meticulously drawn and painted, portaits with weight intricately real and occasional surreal little stories with plots that are off center. His new show titled “Sooner or Later We All Make the Little Flowers Grow” opens tonight at the Mighty Tanaka Gallery in DUMBO.
John Breiner. Detail. (image courtesy of the gallery)
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Good Guys” in Chicago
Wanna know who “The Good Guys” are? Head over to 2381 Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago where The HOTBOX MOBILE GALLERY new group show will open tomorrow showcasing local talent of Chicago born and raised Street Artists including, Left Handed Wave, Brooks Golden, Clam Nation, Don’t Fret, Espir, Nudnik, Lucx and Nice-one.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Street Art Live” in Da Bronx All Day Sunday
This Sunday the Sermon is at The Bronx and the Minister is SinXero.
Showing brotherly love New York style, a group of Street Artists including Army of One/JC2, Fumero, ADAM DARE, TONE TANK, Elle Deadsex, ENX, Choice Royce, Royce Bannon, See One & Danielle Mastrion, VEXTA, Mike Die, KID Lew, & ZIMAD, as well as, SinXero (SX) & colleague Bayoan will gather at Graffiti Universe for “Street Art Live”. An event to honor Iranian brothers and Street Srtists Icy & Sot.
It’s a Sunrise Service so just stay up Saturday night >> The event begins at 5:00 am until the whole block at Graffiti Universe is completely painted.
For further information regarding this event click here.
Also happening this weekend:
The Kosmopolite Art Tour in Amsterdam, brought to you by Aerosol Bridge Club began on Wednesday and will continue until this Sunday at the MC Theater in Amsterdam. Big mural live painting with appearances from local and international artists with tons of side events. Click here for more details regarding this event.
Monsieur A the French artist is in Mexico City for his solo show “André Saraiva” at the Anonymous Gallery. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details about this show.
Low Brow Artique Gallery goes soft brow with Dickchicken’s solo show “The Penis Mightier Than the Sword” opening tonight in Brooklyn. Click here for more details about this show.
Mad One and Neely II are hosting “Sticker Phiends” in Tempe, Arizona opening tomorrow. This annual sticker feast attracts a huge following of national and international sticker artists and fans. Click here for more details about this event.
Major bus routes: 8, N8, 26, N26, 48, 78, 149 (24H), 242 (24H), 388, 35, N35, 47, 135 and 67
Near Shoreditch High Street Station (5 min), Old Street Station (10 min) and Liverpool Street Station (10 min).
There is an uneasy reluctance among some artists in the graffiti and the Street Art community to let themselves be seen hanging with art collectors or even entering galleries sometimes because they might lose credibility among peers for not being ‘street’ enough. Seeing well manicured men in pinstripes and shrieking birdberry women with tinted/straightened/plumped everything looking at your shit hanging on a wall and asking vaguely patronizing questions about it like you are an exquisite curiosity could make you go out and slice their tires after downing a few white wines. Not surprisingly, “keeping it real” sometimes translates to keeping it out of private collections.
Even as there is an every-growing recognition of art and artists who work sometimes illegally in the street, it’s a sort of high-wire act for anyone associating with art born in margins, mainly because it forces one to face the fact that we marginalize.
Sociological considerations aside, over the last decade there is a less traditional definition of Street Artist entering the fray. The graffiti scene originally boasted a sort of grassroots uprising by the voiceless and economically disempowered, with a couple of art school kids and the occasional high-minded conceptualist to mix things up. It’s all changed of course – for myriad reasons – and art in the streets takes every form, medium, and background. Now we see fully formed artists with dazzling gallery careers bombing right next to first time Krinks writers, graffiti writers changing gears and doing carefully rendered figurative work, corporations trying their hand at culture jamming (which isn’t a stretch), and all manner of Street Art referred to as an “installation”.
A new book by Maximiliano Ruiz called “Walls & Frames”, just released last month by Gestalten, presents a large collection of artists who have traversed the now permeable definitions of “street”, gallery, collector and museum. Admittedly, this may be a brief period of popularity for Street Art, if the 1980s romance with graffiti is any indication, but there is evidence that it will endure in some form. This time one defining difference is that many artists have already developed skill, technique, and a fan base. Clearly the street has become a venue, a laboratory for testing and working out new ideas and techniques by fine artists, and even a valued platform for marketing oneself to a wider audience.
A spread of work by Conor Harrington in “Walls and Frames”.
The resulting work, whether hanging on a nail inside or painted on a street wall, challenges our previously defined boundaries. The current crop of street art stars and debutantes, many of the strongest whom are collected here by Ruiz, continue to stay connected with the energy of the street regardless of their trajectory elsewhere. Some are relatively new, while others have been evolving their practice since the 70s, with all the players sliding in and off the street over time. The rich and varied international collection is remarkable and leaves you wanting to see more work by many of the artists. All considered, “Wall and Frames” is a gorgeously produced book giving ample evidence that many of today’s artists in the streets are tomorrow’s masters, wherever they practice.
Artists included are Aaron Noble, AJ Fosik, Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Alëxone Dizac, Amose, Andrew McAttee, Anthony Lister, Antony Micallef, Axel Void, Basco-Vazko, Base 23, Ben Frost, Blek le Rat, Bom-K, Boris Hoppek, Boxi, C215, Cekis, Conor Harrington, D*Face, Dan Witz, Daniel Muñoz aka San, Dave Kinsey, Der, Dixon, Docteur Gecko, Doze Green, Dran, Duncan Jago aka Mr. Jago, Eine, Ekundayo, El Mac, Evan Roth, Evol, Faile, Faith 47, Fefe Talavera, Gaia, George Morton-Clark, Herakut, Herbert Baglione, Interesni Kazki, Jaybo, Jeff Soto, Jeremy Fish, Jesse Hazelip, Johnny “KMNDZ” Rodriguez, Joram Roukes, Jorge Rodriguez Gerada, Josh Keyes, JR, Judith Supine, Katrin Fridriks, Kevin Cyr, Kofie, L’Atlas, Lightgraff, Logan Hicks, Ludo, M-City, Mark Jenkins, Mark Whalen aka Kill Pixie, Maya Hayuk, Medo & Demência, Meggs, Miss Bugs, Miss Van, Morten Andersen aka M2theA, Mr. Kern, Mudwig, Nicholas Di Genova, Okuda, Patrick Evoke, Paul Insect, Pedro Matos, Peter Owen, Pose, Pure Evil, Remed, Remi/Roughe, René Almanza, Retna, Ripo, Ródez, Sam3, Sat One, Shepard Fairey, Sixe, Smash 137, Sowat, Sten & Lex, Stephan Doitschinoff, Tec, Tilt, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Turf One, Vitché;, Wendell McShine, Will Barras, and Zosen.
The launch; “Walls & Frames” will be presented at Gestalten Space Berlin on December 15th.