“Ostend isn’t a metropolis like London, Berlin and Paris” explains Belgian art curator Bjørn Van Poucke to reporter Colin Clapson. He’s referring to the limitation in the number of walls available for legal murals. He should know, he’s responsible for The Crystal Ship, a contemporary art festival that has taken place in this coastal city since 2016 and has become one of the most significant street art festivals in Europe, attracting renowned artists from around the world.
“Ostend certainly has an impressive collection of street art with a wide variety of large and small pieces painted on all kinds of residential and commercial buildings,” says renowned photographer Martha Cooper, who was invited there by Mr. Van Poucke this year. “There’s a good paper map available at the tourist office and also an excellent website so people can find the walls,” says Cooper.
Every year the Crystal Ship invites a diverse range of international artists to create large-scale murals and public art installations throughout the city – names have included well-known and regarded artists like Miss Van, Alexis Diaz, and Fintan Magee – each bringing their own aesthetic to this festival/event that receives support from a mix of private and government funding that is local and national. For more about the past artists, you can check out The Crystal Ship website. Many of these artists’ work can also be found in Ruby Gallery, where Van Poucke and co-owner Thierry Dubois organize exhibitions on canvas.
In the past, the festival has showcased over 60 murals and art installations, and many are spaced far from one another, so Ms. Cooper tells us she had an excellent driver named Lorre Soenen to take her around. “He was very knowledgeable about the murals,” she says.
“Bringing people closer to art is the aim of The Crystal Ship” explains Mayor Bart Tommelein on the VRT news website. “It happens at the heart of the city, on walls at the centre of neighbourhoods, where people live and work.”
French Street Artist Julien de Casabianca is debuting a new series of photographs that may appear as a surprising departure from his previous multi-year multi-city OUTINGS project, but a closer examination contains many similarities between that one and “Grand Mozeur Feukeur”.
The street artist’s pastings for his OUTINGS Project featured scenes from figurative artworks, classical and modern, from museum collections. Julien de Casabianca wanted the images displayed on facades of buildings in public view rather than hidden away for a limited audience. By bringing outside these selected artworks from cultural institutions worldwide, the artist created a genuinely new category of street art, which doesn’t occur with the frequency you might expect.
From Poland to Mexico to Palestine and Vietnam, OUTINGS expanded to be many things at once, including a form of public service that exposed passersby to cloistered artists whose works were prized but generally unseen by the everyday citizen, therefore unconsidered. Everyone was required to re-think the artworks as well as their pre-conceptions of propriety.
Sometimes partnering directly with local art institutions, Casabianca traveled the world, bringing images into the light of day. Considered anew in this city street context, these excised images took on newly discovered relevance, weights, and character. While some appeared as ghosts of the past, others were remarkably contemporary in these modern surroundings. With the implied or explicit imprimatur of academics and art institutions, his novel approach to art on the streets was timely and of our time, short-circuiting convention and garnering countless press articles in cities and cultures widespread.
For one campaign, he selected only “sex scenes,” as he calls them. Motivated by his disappointment at the lack of sexual themes in the street art scene, Julien de Casabianca isolated duos and polyamorous parties engaged in the erotic arts. “It was my first step of questioning sex, gender, and body in street art,” he tells us in an exclusive interview. A redefining of the street art scene, which can be ironically conventional considering its unconventional origins, was necessary.
“My pasting work used characters taken directly from classical paintings – and I put them in the streets,” he says. “There were dozen of sex scenes – heterosexuals and homosexuals – extracted from classical paintings.”
The impulse to expose audiences to these images was liberating, leading him to publish a manifesto on the streets of his home city, Paris. The long screed excoriated his fellow street artists worldwide for what he perceived as their lack of bravery and possibly hypocrisy by avoiding explicitly sexual scenes.
One excerpt says, “What’s wrong with you guys? Street artists are the purest of them all, then? The least ballsy, apparently. The least boobsy too.”
Today, following his own counsel, Casabianca presents a personal campaign in photographs that again introduces themes infrequently seen on the street, this time using himself as muse and canvas. As LGBTQ issues have mingled with a volley of newly coined terms and freshly minted (often self-appointed) experts in the academy, the media, and the street, many everyday persons have continued to navigate through life with seemingly new definitions of gender identity. This new campaign may clarify, or not.
As an artist familiar with both public display and figurative artwork, Casabianca models here his unique flair for fashion. He also displays a previously little-known relationship with gender, sexuality, and our coding guidelines for classification of each. In this new project, he models dresses that he has collected, each endowed with several associations and assumptions.
As in the OUTINGS project, these photographs are excised from their original intended context, if you will, and given a new venue for consideration. Along with the quality of materials and construction, the viewer will evaluate categories such as “day” or “evening,” occasion, income level, social status, age, gender, sexuality, sexual availability, and degrees of masculinity or femininity.
“This new series of pictures presents my body as a form of street art. I do not see the body used in street art either, but I believe it can be a kind of contemporary art performance,” he says in his description of the new project he’s calling “Grand Mozeur Feukeur.”
Paired with footwear that is not typical for the styles of dress, he poses with some deadpan expressions, occasionally appearing as solicitous, coy, non-plussed, or decisive. You may even say they are a parody of the poses in classical antiquity or fashion magazines. This is a very personal act of self-exposure, and the project reveals his questioning of identity and the paradox of self-expression – and society’s propensity for categorizing.
In total, “Grand Mozeur Feukeur” is a very intimate, provocative presentation that may surprise and draw closer examination by viewers. Grand, severe, and even humorous, the performer/muse/artist places himself against a “typical” scene of urban aerosol graffiti tags on walls. – It’s not exactly street art, yet you can imagine some of these images may end up on the street in a city near you.
“This work questions gender,” he says. “There is a malaise in the masculine aspect in our society at this moment, and I’m uncomfortable with manhood. I’m not gay; I’m a boy-girl, maybe. I’m attracted to women but not attracted to the heterosexual way of being. I identify as queer, and I’m sexually attracted to people who identify as this as well. Heterosexuality is a lifestyle. I may be something like a cross-dyke, because “dyke” at one time was a slang term for a well-dressed man. A well-dressed man for me is a man in a dress. A man cross-dressed.”
BSA interviewed Julien de Casabianca about his new project:
Brooklyn Street Art (BSA): Can you talk about what led you from your previous street art project to this new one? A number of those pasted works focused on sexual and erotic themes. Is the new project related to each other in any way?
Julien de Casabianca (JC): My OUTINGS work uses characters removed from classical paintings to paste them in the streets. I pasted a dozen sex scenes extracted from classical paintings in Paris streets, and I published the series in Nuart Journal. Some were heterosexuals in nature, and some were homosexual. So this was my first step in questioning sex and gender in street art. And I discovered how sex and gender are rare in street art.
Sexuality is seldom discussed, except in a way meant to be comical. Homosexuality is rarely addressed, except in a political way, in defense of visibility, for example. Rarely are these themes presented for just what they are: sex and love. So once I realized this, it opened my eyes, and I decided to continue to work on these queer questions.
BSA: The dresses present a traditional look at female gender roles. Here they are contrasted with perhaps more modern classic male presentation. How is a costume/dress selected?
JC: These are only “old lady” dresses, grand-mother style. I’m fascinated by kitsch and how there can be a beautiful state in the sublimation of ugly. I think these dresses fit me really well. Since I was 15 years old, I always wore these dresses when I went to a queer party. I did not intend it as a travesty or an absurdity, not just to “dress up.” It is just because I’m beautiful in it! I don’t act like a girl. I’m a man, with my virility intact, and I’m absolutely not androgynous. And some are funny, yes. I have a huge collection, around 150.
BSA: The footwear and socks are frequently well-matched to the color scheme of the dress, yet they are not directly related to the style. Is this intentional?
JC: Yes, I’m a sneaker addict, and I always wear sneakers, even in a dress. And I’m in urban style all the time, and it’s my job, so I wanted absolutely to create this mix between old-school and contemporary.
BSA: Does posing before heavily graffitied walls make these modeling sessions more “street” or “urban”?
JC: Yes, I’m a street artist, and this wall is in my home. There are two ways to connect this series of photography in the continuity of my street art work: the urban style association of the sneakers and the walls covered in graff.
BSA:Are you challenging gender roles and definitions, or are you expressing identity and sexuality?
JC: This work questions gender. There is a malaise in the masculine in our society. I’m uncomfortable with manhood. I’m not gay; I’m a boy-girl, maybe. I’m attracted to women but not attracted to the typical heterosexual way of being. I identify as queer, and I’m sexual attracted to people who identify as this. Heterosexuality is a lifestyle. Maybe I am something like a cross-dyke, because people used to use “dyke” as slang for a well-dressed man. And a well-dressed man for me is a man in a dress. A man cross-dressed.
BSA: Is there comedy here?
JC: There is comedy too, sometimes, because I’m funny in my life and the photographs are my work. But these styles are from my nightlife. At my house, my decor is full of old-lady stuff. I’m in love with those things. They are deeply moving.
BSA: In terms of society and your personal evolution, could this project have occurred in 1991? 2001? Or is there something about 2021 that makes it feel “right”?
JC: It has been an incredible evolution in the last few years in the overall recognition by people of the variety of genders that exist. Ten years ago, people would have regarded my looks as travesty or comedy, period. I’m not either one, not traditionally hetero. I’m queer. During the day, I wear what could be considered a “heterosexual urban” style – maybe androgynous. At night I’m wearing old lady dresses while keeping my virility and masculine behavior.
Julien de Casabianca of the Outings Project was invited to the Brooks Museum in Memphis, Tennessee last month for an exhibition, workship, lecture, and a monumental installation that we have exclusive shots of today here for you. In accordance with the artists practice in this project, he selected artwork from inside the museum and brought it to the streets in very grand fashion to a part of town that typically would not have occasion to look at this kind of work.
Outings Project. William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 painting “Au pied de la falaise”. (photo courtesy of Outings Project)
His is a self-realized philosophically-rooted street practice that is intended to democratize the experience of appreciating art and to break past the inhibitions, and often the entrance fee, that the average person has to contend with when entering galleries, museums, or other institutions to see artworks. This seven story tall neoclasssical/realist girl sits on the fire escape of a dilapidated industrial building, geographically and historically far from the milieu of the 19th century French academic painter who created the original.
It is notable that Brooks Museum and other art institutions are somewhat beginning to embrace the Street Art practice in their programming – even as many graffiti and Street Artists have remained uninvited to be exhibited inside the doors or added to permanent collections despite a half century history of painting, sculpting, projecting, and creating installations in public space around the world. In the description for this project the museum webpage says that this project is part of “Brooks Outside, an innovative curatorial program that launched in conjunction with the museum’s centennial in 2016, consisting of an ongoing series of outdoor installations that, depending on each project’s scope, will enliven and invigorate Brooks Museum grounds, Overton Park, or our community at large.”
Outings Project. William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 painting “Au pied de la falaise”. (photo courtesy of Outings Project)
Mssr. de Casabianca tells us that this is only the first of 3 large wheat-pastes he is planning to do. The remaining two will be chosen in collaboration with the community and as part of a workshop he is planning. He says that he wants to consult with people who live in the area and that there will be a voting process.
We spoke with the artist about the project to find out more about his Memphis project.
Brooklyn Street Art: What is this original piece of art and where did you find it? Julien de Casabianca: It’s William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 painting “Au pied de la falaise” (At the Foot of the Cliff). Its part of the Brooks Museum collection.
Brooklyn Street Art: Why does it resonate for you and how do you think she likes her new home? Julien de Casabianca: She seems melancholic, I wanted to give her a second life in the real life, liberate her from the frame. I feel always guilty when I leave from a wall where I pasted a child, as in Nuart Aberdeen in Scotland, because even they are giants, I feel they are so fragile in this violent world and in this contemporary world. She’s a time traveller, she doesn’t know our new world and she’s probably surprise and moved.
Outings Project. William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 painting “Au pied de la falaise”. (photo courtesy of Outings Project)
Brooklyn Street Art: One of your underlying philosophies is to bring art that is hidden away to the public. Why is this important for you and society?
Julien de Casabianca: Museums are always in rich areas. I bring the art from the museum to paste in a poor area. Beauty has to be shared too. Classical beauty as well. There is lot of urban street art in poor areas which is of course amazing and beautiful, but where there is modern architecture and street art there and there is no place for the classical beauty. And the classical beauty has one power: to reunite all generations about a same taste. Old, young, teenagers, everybody loves what I paste, and that is not normal, not ordinary. It’s because we have all something in common; a long history of art and beauty that built the present. Nike is a brand and a goddess from Antiquity. Apple is a brand and an apple formed Adam & Eve. These two brand names this century have continuity 2000 year old stories that we still talk of!
Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.
The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.
You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.
And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.
No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.
From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.
“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”
Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.
“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”
Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.
Various & Gould: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE
says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.
We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.
Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE
It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.
“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.
“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”
“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”
By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.
Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.
“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.
Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.
Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE
Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.
“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:
1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.
Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”. Continue reading HERE
If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.
In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.
“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room. That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.
The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.
Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1. El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.
18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.
The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.
A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.
“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”
In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.
For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.
Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE
So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.
The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournementin earlier decades.
Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.
Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”
Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.
15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.
“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.
During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.
Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE
An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.
That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.
For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.
The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.
10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.
Halloween this year is on a Tuesday so its hard for people to know when exactly to celebrate it – we had 20 or so Trick-or-Treaters Saturday night so that tells you the kids vote in this part of Brooklyn.
Of course with the folks we have running the White House, every day feels like Halloween. “Here, I’ll trick you with this POPULIST costume, and my treat will be to take whats left of your middle class chocolate.”
Trick or Trick!
It doesn’t help that Tabloid TV loves the “Zombies on Parade” – they are like sugar addicts dancing for eyeballs and advertising dollars.
But from a Street Art and public performance perspective, New York is a thrill, a regular monster mash! The East Village parade 2017 on Tuesday will have puppets, 53 bands performing different types of music, dancers, artists, and thousands of New Yorkers in costume. Be safe out here ya’ll.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Karl Addison, Bifido, City Kitty, Denis Ouch, Don Rimx, Elliott Routledge, Julien de Casabianca, Julieta, Lungebox, Nevercrew, Outings Project, Revok, Sipros, Strayones, and TurtleCaps.
“Dimensional recipe” is a series of three interconnected mural paintings realized in Los Angeles (USA), curated by AnneLaure Lemaitre (FatCap), 2017.
About the work:
This is a work about mankind’s relation with creation, about the mutual influences between creativity and reality and the anthropological loop
that originates from this continuous correlation. It is about the feeling of being part of a system, of being a participant and being able to view it from a certain point of view, for what it is and for what it could be.”
“Disposing Machine” is the new mural from Nevercrew in Melano, Switzerland for Artrust. Their statement:
“Habits, attitudes, principles and awareness are conditioned by reality, and reality is conditioned by the perception everyone has of it. The position of humankind in its environment, in its World, is at the same
time part of its nature and a point of view from which to perceive it.
Systems are then interpretations, a way to give human shape to
something that’s not necessarily made for it, as well as a way to decide
which shapes to give and how to read them. As reality could be built and
altered by systems, so nature could then risk to be detached from
human sensing; an human reconstruction of something that exists
outside this given shape but that still is directly subjected to each action
that’s made on it.”
The Italian Street Artist Bifido and Spanish artists Juelieta completed this fantastical work in Lecce, Italy this week for the 167 Art Project. Bifido tells us that the title is “First Fire” and it “talks about the possibility to love each other in a fantastic way, and it focuses on the importance of play in our lives.”
There is a lot you can do in Mong Kok, one of the most commercial and bustling neighborhoods in the Kowloon section of Hong Kong. There’s the Ladies’ Market with more than 100 vendors offering bargains on clothing and accessories, Sneakers Street, which will have you swimming in pumped up kicks, and don’t forget the Bird market – where you find old guys “walking” their birds in cages and see someone feeding live crickets to others.
All is here today gone tomorrow, regularly replenished, some seriously styled. Local names are here, but so are a lot of international names so you know its a go-to spot for traveling vandals. Hidden from the main hustle of the streets and underneath a major viaduct lies a secret alley bursting with color…and trash…and homeless people and art. Some furtive lovers come here to steal a kiss or two.
On the day we went the sweet smell of weed hung in the air as if being blown from some secret pipe to keep the residents of this monstrous city chilled…Some tags we recognize, many other we don’t or simply can’t read.
Boom! There it is! This is springtime and there is a lot of new stuff popping up like tulips and out like cherry blossoms. If you didn’t get to the Martha Cooper opening at Steven Kasher gallery this week it is open during the week- a great cross section of her work during the last four decades or so. Additionally the Richard Hambleton film “Shadowman” debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival Friday night and is making a lot of waves and you can see works of his at Woodward Gallery right now.
The sky is still twilight blue above the streets of Aberdeen at 21:00 this time of year and as you walk the city’s edge on the beach of the North Sea the winds pick up with a chilly bluster. Of course, that’s just for this minute. In a half hour it may be a gentle warm caress, or you’ll be pelted with hail and sleet mercilessly. Locals like to say that this northern Scottish seaside city has 4 seasons in one day. During one Street Art tour that we gave for 350 Aberdeenians on the day before Easter, we cycled through those seasons, twice.
This is Nuart, the festival begun in Stavanger, Norway in 2001 by loveable bad boy and (some would argue) curatorial visionary Martyn Reed which invites Street Artists from around the world to partake in thoughtful aesthetic excursions on the street and in public space.
The cumulative success of Nuart’s indoor/outdoor programs is now well recorded and looked to as a model. Remarkably they have risen despite tensions that occur when commingling frameworks of illegality and institutional acceptance; including a relatively new academic rigor that is now investigating the family of practices called Urban Art, their absorption into the commercial market as contemporary art, the badass anti-establishment musings of jilted outcasts who want nothing of it, and a somewhat romantic notion of communicating with the public in a meaningful dialogue.
Ah, but this is the bumpy, potholed, slimy street along which counter-culture becomes culture and the marginalized becomes the mainstream – producing a modicum of nausea for all involved. While not explicitly aiming for legitimacy on these fronts, the Nuart Festival has gradually metamorphosed into a standard by which some others are judged, with reason.
Now for the first time Nuart exports its hard won and uniquely prickly formula in a perhaps more reserved manner to this new, old city which lies 500 kilometers across the North Sea in Scotland.
This is the stirring, storied North Sea known globally for the black oil lurking beneath it, and the two cities of Stavanger and Aberdeen have both been impacted greatly by the plunge of world-wide petroleum prices since the end of the last decade; a downturn described by London’s Telegraph as “vicious”. We may have stumbled upon evidence of this during one of our walking tours when we remarked on the large number of people there who were interested in seeing the new artworks and one woman cracked with some sarcasm, “that’s because none of us has jobs.”
And here we are with eleven international artists to ease the grayness of this historic and granite Gothic city by the sea where daffodils cover the meadow in Union Terrace Gardens and single malt whisky eases the sight of iron leg fetters in the 17th century prison museum called Tolbooth.
When it comes to Nuart Aberdeen the people whom we met are nearly exuberant in their responses, even awestruck by the appearance of this new art in their city. With the introduction of aerosol, brush paint, wheat-paste, stencils, miniature sculpture, and poetry to street walls, it is as if a hidden pent-up desire for art in the public sector has burst open, a geyser if you will.
“I think there are quite a lot of places now in Aberdeen that are quite plain. It’s like there are a lot of empty canvasses. It’s good to see something be done with them,” says Mark, who’s touring the new pieces through the streets with Julia, who’s originally from the capital Edinburgh. Map in hand, the couple appears to be about 30 and they say that while they’ve seen work like this in other cities, they’re glad to see something more youthful now appearing here in a historical seaport that boasts soaring, turreted and spired cathedrals and narrow stone streets.
“I’ve been to Leipzig lots of times and there’s lots of sides of buildings,” says Mark, “they’re similar in size to these, with lots of murals in the city center, and it really kind of brightens the place up, makes it a lot more lively.”
“Welcome to a city investing it its city and its culture,” says Councilor George Adam, the Lord Provost, a prestigious post and an ancient office with its roots in the 13th century. During a reception with other members of the Aberdeen City Council and the local business improvement district (BID) named “Aberdeen Inspired,” Mr. Adams says that he is excited by Nuart and has received a lot of positive feedback as well.
Indeed, the reception from youth, middle aged and senior patrons at our 14 short-video film lecture and the sold-out screening of the premiere of “Finding Bansky” at the independent art theater Belmont Filmhouse was ardent, enthusiastic and full of inquiries afterward. The walking tours had more people than anyone had predicted, with a few people using canes and others pushed in strollers. It would appear that the worldwide Street Art phenomena had seemed frustratingly out of reach for some of the young people, who have been fascinated by it from afar. Seeing these works by international artists here in their city was like a jolt of electricity.
During an entertaining slide show by festival participant Julian De Casabianca at the Lecture Theatre at the Anatomy Museum Thursday night, the steeply angled seats held a full capacity crowd, with many sitting on the floor and steps. The somewhat inebriated and raucous artists and students in their twenties hooted and hollered and pounded on desks during the 50 minute lecture which included mobsters, murder, the Holocaust, stolen artworks, and Street Art – specifically the museum art images which De Casabianca has been wheat-pasting on public streets for all to see for the last decade or so called “The Outings Project.”
Martin Reed’s curation of the program is wise and the selections are contextual from the perspective that Nuart Aberdeen 2017 presents an array of disciplines from a solid thoughtful selection of perspectives, each attached to the history of graffiti and Street Art from their unique evolution of practices – as well as to the culture of Aberdeen.
Germany’s Herakut dominates one concave wall of Aberdeen Market overlooking “The Green” with their improvisational blending of illustration style portraiture, textual flourish, and symbols germane to the city. De Casabianca chose images form the Aberdeen Art Gallery of two children – haunting in a narrow street known by local folklore for ghosts of children who were sold as slaves to America in previous centuries.
Belgium’s Jaune peppers doorways and electrical boxes with multi-layer stencils of fluorescent-vested municipal workers in humorous scenarios. These are partnered in scale by small grey-suited and somber businessmen by Spain’s Isaac Cordal, which are hidden before your eyes and camouflage into the daily city until you discover one standing on a ledge, balancing on an electrical line, or sitting atop a CCTV camera.
Norway’s Martin Whatson has perhaps the most obvious reference to the locality, with a golfing figure swiping into a plume of colorful graffiti tags. With Donald Trump’s golf course only minutes away, the piece raises an immediate association with a guy who is heartily disliked here. The Street Artist named Add Fuel create an enormous tile-patterned wall that refers to local motifs and decorative artisans on a wall that can be seen easily by pedestrians looking from Aberdeen’s Union Bridge the largest single-span granite arch in the world. Italy’s Alice Pasquini brings imagery of the harbor into her figurative pieces and Norway’s Nipper works directly with local artists to compile gifts of art posted on clipboards around the city.
This is not to say that Reed is running from possible controversial material or opinion: Poland stencilist M-City is without doubt critiquing the oil industry with his oil barrels flying through the sky and tankers in the sea, the UK poet Robert Montgomery’s piece addresses topics like the definition of modernism, race, and social equality, and Australia’s Fintan Magee’s very large mural diptych obliquely references rising sea levels and man made environmental degradation.
In review of the successful event and the relatively young history of the Street Art movement as one that is continually in motion, a few points come to mind as worth mentioning: The first is the ongoing discussion of illegal graffiti and Street Art culture giving way to legal mural festivals that have as their aim some form of business improvement and/or gentrification in a city, particularly when a city previously persecuted and derided the organic and illegal artists who began the scene.
This situation is not specific to Aberdeen, but the concern probably will come up in conversations (including during panel discussions at Nuart) and at the very least it is an irony that art practices once reviled or verboten are now to some extent embraced as worthwhile because they can be economically advantageous. These are not direct relationships, but close ones certainly.
Similarly there have been a few so-called Street Art festivals in recent years where the primary driver is commercial brand-building and while they give opportunities to artists they somehow cheapen the dialogue between people. It is always ironic, if inevitable, when a subculture becomes more closely associated with mainstream culture, sometimes specifically because of its cache as being rebellious. The trick here would be to accommodate the activist voices in the program, and clearly Nuart aims to do so with panache.
An argument could be made that counters the quick-on-the-draw “selling out” charge that says true rebels are somehow abandoning their values by working for “the man”. From our perspective, we’re happy when artists are working, are treated fairly, and when people get to enjoy their work. Even in this second least affordable city in Scotland where artist spaces are at a premium if not scarce altogether, it is a good development to see art on the walls outside and a public dialogue facilitated by art.
This mural initiative will invariably jump-start two outcomes. One will be a renewed interest in the zone in which the art appears, driving foot traffic and, if all goes according to plan, new business initiatives and increased interest in the arts in general.
Secondly, it will spur an uptick in locally grown Street Art. We already witnessed it mushrooming overnight on surfaces during the days we were in the city and were pleased to learn of many local artists who have been looking for opportunities for exposure in addition to this one and last years’ “Painted Doors” project, which was spearheaded by Aberdeen artist Mary Butterworth. As this local scene continues to coalesce in public space, one hopes that the city will challenge itself to find healthy and proactive ways to support this organic scene as well.
Overall, the first year of Nuart Aberdeen has been hands-down successful by many standards, and talk of a 2018 program has already started popping up in discussions online and elsewhere. From what we could see and hear, the city is longing for more.
“We want you all back! You showed us what can be done!” says Dr. Fiona-Jane Brown, the author of “Hidden Aberdeen” and founder of Graft Theater Company in her comment on Facebook to the Nuart team.
We would like to express our gratitude for the professionalism and support of the Nuart Team, to all the volunteers whose work and dedication made our work more efficient and our stay a lot more pleasant, to the team at Aberdeen Inspired and to the people of Aberdeen for being such gracious and generous hosts, and to all the artists whose work we love and admire and for your inspiration and talent. Thank you. We hope to meet again next year.
For more information on Nuart Aberdeen click HERE.
End of Passover for many, the best day of Easter weekend for others, just another spring day for still others, and a fine finish to our little Aberdeen excursion. As we ready ourselves to charge forward on small streets in this city that has a severe case of Multiple Weather Disorder, we’re bringing scarves, gloves, umbrellas, a zip-lock bag with salt, sun block, swim suits, a snow shovel and a road flare in the backpack, for emergencies. Also a small flask of Highland Park 18 single malt skotch whisky for medical purposes.
The panel discussions with Evan Pricco and Pedro Soares and artists and Brandalism representatives were intellectually stimulating and sometimes deliciously gossipy. According to one audience member who attended Saturday’s talks, a favorite feature was when one participant was when a German guy in the audience took an opportunity to launch a diatribe against simply pretty pleasant public art and to compare this pleasantry with Hitler and death camps. That sort of thing always advances the conversation, don’t you think? But the point is well taken, even if it was delivered by hammer.
Interesting to see that smaller pieces are also popping up here and there in the areas that these large and small approved artworks have appeared. You can sense again that there is an excited contingent of visual artists here who are feeling like they need an outlet and an outlet. We spoke with some really enthusiastic art students at the Drummond club, yelling over the thumping electronic music, who had fashioned hats and costumes out of tin foil.
Alexander Campbell, a sprightly and activist artist and student here at Gray’s School of Art who has the intensity of three, explains that the tin hats are really “conspiracy hats”, and speaks about larger issues that his photographic collage work addresses about war profiteering, definitions of terrorism, objectification of people, power, the coercive power of sex. The usual.
It appears that joy and pain are intertwined always, histories overlap with today of the city always includes stories from locals about the white slave trade that flourished here in the area where Julian de Casabianca wheatpasted his two enormous children. Taken directly from images in the collection of the Aberdeen Museum he says, and a stunning installation that acknowledges the cultural history.
The overwhelming response of people on the tour to the pleasant and the unpleasant themes expressed or alluded to in a number of the works in Nuart Aberdeen says a lot about a culture’s willingness to look things frankly in the eye, as well as to just celebrate for the art of it. At the very least, people here say that they are experiencing something new in the public space with many other Aberdeenians, a true measure of the successful engagement of art in the streets.
Okay, gotta go do our last tour. See you all soon.
So here’s our Aberdeen interview with the streets with images from Alice Pasquini, Herakut, Isaac Cordal, Juane, Jet Pack Dinasaur, Julian De Casabianca, and Martin Whatson
Aabody* at the club got tipsy* last night in the Anatomy Rooms, a former academic space for students at University of Aberdeen that still has random skeletons and 3-D plastic diagrams of humans cut in half.
Anatomy Rooms is now an artist-run space with studios for “makers” and creatives of various disciplines and the Nuart Aberdeen event brought a central focus to Street Artist Julien De CasaBianca in the main lecture hall; we watched attentively pacing back and forth in front of us where bodies were probably dissected for lectures.
To many people’s delight, he gave a riveting and humorous lecture to the packed hall of rowdy desk-pounding bookish attendees, recounting his path of accidental entry into the Street Art scene via reluctant museum visits and classical painters – which alone would have been entertaining enough.
However Professor Julian just happened to throw in additional colorful story-lines about Corsican mobsters, stenciled signs at concentration camps, jail time, accidental homicide, and an uncle’s planned suicide that was accompanied by an elaborate display of fireworks.
At the end of Julien’s barrage of 234 slides and the accompanying raucous applause, the rambunctious guests headed down the steps for the beer (2 pound donation), the loo, the Street Art Instagram projection show by Jon Reid, and the darkened DJ chill lounge which seemed to be playing slow jams from the 80s and 90s, encouraging art folk to gently sway their anatomies in close proximity to one another.
De CasaBianca’s “Outings Project” completed his second enormous installation of a thoughtful boy in a previously industrial passage over slippery rounded brick streets.
With all that wheat-paste splashed acrossed the wall in buckets there was a huge puddle of the white gooey stuff just waiting for at least one intrepid camera-happy Street Art hunter to evaluate carefully.
M-City put the final aerosol touches on his two walls, which are set at a 90 degree angle with one another along a tightly winding street that snakes among old factories with smokestacks and a parking garage that serves a nearby shopping district.
The images of oil barrels falling through the sky onto two oil tankers below and into the ocean have a direct relationship to the petroleum-fueled economy of Aberdeen and we’ll need to get that full story from the Polish stencil machine and professor – We’ll get back to you on it.
Jasmine was high on the lift making final adjustments to the Herakut mural that on Aberdeen Market that now commands a triangle of pedestrian activity while Falk, the second half of the German Street Art/fine art duo, was off getting married. Slacker.
Juane continued to find secret small locations to install his miniature workmen stencils while Isaac Cordal prepared a wall for a larger multi-terrace show of his morose and guilty businessmen to contemplate their existences upon.
Nipper, the Norwegian (Bergen) of generous spirit, worked with local artists and volunteers to create his glassine envelopes stuffed with artworks – which are then snapped onto clip-boards and hung around the city center. These missives are meant as encapsulated communications, with some containing directives to carry out activities, while others are simply a collection of collage, drawings, crafts from local artists, poets. He calls them #missiondirectives .
This is Street Art as a most engaging act, a method of somewhat random communication that meets you at eye level and asks you to participate if you would like. While Cordal and a friend and Jaime played Jenga nervously at the breakfast table and the waitress brought a small iron skillet of eggs, tomato, sausage and bacon, (John) Nipper talked about one of the local artist contributor’s idea for the street missive that she was making contents for.
John says that she wanted to encourage the concept and practice of taking a creative journey, so she was thinking of buying a bus ticket to a favorite Scottish destination and putting it in the pack to be hung anonymously on the street.
Fintan Magee has been working on the first of two walls that will together form one complete story, with the assistance of local artist and public art curator Mary (check out “Painted Doors” here in Aberdeen) and her legs and knee-high boots are actually featured standing upon a boulder in the brand new mural.
Fintan tells us that he still has a lot of work to do, but he will be to stop work today by 1800 hrs so he can get over to our BSA Film Friday LIVE show tonight – we’re actually showing one of his videos among the 12 we have selected for the Belmont Filmhouse – Aberdeen’s foremost independent cinema. As our special guest tonight, Fintan is going to regale the audience about the genesis of the film and what he was doing in Amman, Jordan at the time.
So we are about to run out on the street and see as much as possible right now – but if you are in Aberdeen we’re really looking forward to meeting YOU tonight at BSA Film Friday LIVE! (see more information below).
If you got tickets to “Saving Banksy” which we’re introducing tomorrow, lucky you! It’s sold out the for largest theatre of their three screens. Aberdeen represent, yo!
This white and grey skurry appears rather plump as he waddles across the stone road in Aberdeen toward the cherry picker that holds Jasmine from Herakut aloft as she paints the new piece on the concave wall. Skurry is the Doric term for seagull, and Doric is a dialect of the North East of Scotland that thrives principally here in this seaside oil city of 230,000, so you’ll hear a few terms creeping into the sentences here and there.
There are plenty of skurries flying above and cawing and milling about these narrow streets. With their clean feathers and portly dispositions they are also looking a lot like a Sunday dinner, bellies round from a hearty diet of shellfish and other small sea creatures – and Doritos, according to a humorous story of theft you’ll hear here over a tall beer in a dark bar.
We’ve just arrived and it’s a cold and windy Passover/Easter week and nope, no bagpipes or kilts yet. Well, except for the one punk girl in a kilt-inspired skirt and black boots near Belmont Street walking past the former St Nicholas Congregational Church, now the home of booming nightclubs called Priory and Redemption over the last couple of years.
Elsewhere we found a kilt on one of Street Artist Jaune’s miniature stencil workmen, newly sprayed at the foot of a larger 13 year old stencil of a traditional ‘piper’ by Scottish Street Artist Elki, who now does a lot of studio stencil work in Glasgow. This fresh collaboration is a metaphor for what is happening here with Nuart Aberdeen this week, say a number of the local art scenesters, including artist Jon Reid, who is touring us around on foot with his friend Justine and Evan Pricco from Juxtapoz.
Jon peppers his tour with plenty of local history and pointed commentary as we head up Castle Street (well named), past the Salvation Army citadel, glancing at the old clock tower, the courthouse tower, the Tolbooth Museum in a 17th century former jail with steep spiral staircases and tales of crime and punishment.
He looks at the old Elki stencil of the bagpiper and says that its one of those Street Art pieces that somehow is taken care of, despite the rules of ephemerality one usually expects in the urban art game. “They’ve always preserved this one. There’ve been tags and stuff around it and you can see where its been whitewashed but they’ve always preserved it.”
For Jon, a tall young guy with a beard and strong voice who has been following and advocating the local art scene with his blog “Dancing in the Dark” for a number of years, seeing this new addition of Jaune’s signature workmen is a meaningful development, symbolic for the local artists scene and to street culture here. And Nuart is a part of it.
“Seeing it makes me quite proud, to see that Aberdeen has got this festival up and that people are embracing it – everybody can take something from it, the artists and yourselves and the local people,” he says as we walk a few more meters past the a large billboard that will be new Robert Montgomery piece for Nuart Aberdeen.
Only two words from the upcoming missive are visible so far, written in white block font on the upper left corner of the black rectangle.
Perhaps this is a most apt description for a this new festival that is inserting fresh artistic voices among the winding streets and the historic buildings of Aberdeen. Sort of like these teens you watch doing hardcore BMX bike tricks despite the cold April winds blowing here across the fortified base of the yet another ornate Flemish-Gothic granite behemoth from hundreds of years ago. The tricks and energy of the new generation brings the site alive on the street, startling and relevant in these raucous moments of change and upheaval.
With yesterday’s official announcement that Norwegian artist Martin Whatson and Belgian artist Jaune will be participating this April at NUART / Aberdeen the full line up of artists has been announced. It’s 11 international artists from 10 different countries, sort of like a New York melting pot in Scotland over Easter Weekend. Nuart Aberdeen 2017, it’s on, and we’ll be there with you.
Here are some highlights of each artist courtesy the folks at Nuart.
“Leading the line up for Nuart Aberdeen is Scottish-born artist and Venice Biennale participant Robert Montgomery, whose text-based artworks come in the form of light installations, murals and temporary paste-ups.“
Image courtesy of Nuart
Julien de Casabianca is founder of the global participatory art initiative Outings project, which embellishes the streets with portraits plucked from classical paintings. He’ll be raiding the archives and liberating characters from the prestigious collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery.
“Jasmin Siddiqui and Falk Lehmann AKA HERAKUT will be making the trip to Scotland. Widely regarded as leading lights of the global street art movement, we can’t wait to see what these two get up to in The Granite City!”
“Portugese visual artist and illustrator Add Fuel is known for producing optical illusions with painstaking attention to detail, Add Fuel’s interventions hint at the history and heritage that lies beneath our cities. We couldn’t think of anyone better to dig below the surface of The Granite City!”
Image courtesy of Nuart
“Transferring his participatory art project, Mission Directives, from Stavanger to Aberdeen this Spring is Bergen-based artist Nipper. Through utopian ideals of sharing, creativity and citizen-led communication in public space, Mission Directives questions who has the power and authority to communicate messages and create meaning in our shared spaces.”
Image courtesy of Nuart
“Born in 1985 in Lismore, Australia but of Scottish descent, Fintan Magee is considered one of the world’s leading figurative street artists. Following his blockbuster ‘rorschach’ inspired mural for Nuart Festival 2016 we can’t wait to see what Fintan has up his sleeve for Nuart Aberdeen!“
“M-City is an artist and lecturer at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland. A long-time collaborator of Nuart, M-City is best-known for his large-scale, industrial-themed murals, which involve piecing together hundreds of carefully cut stencils to create a coherent imagined cityscape. Always a joy to work with and guaranteed never to disappoint, we can’t wait to let him loose on Aberdeen’s walls!”
“Alice Pasquini is a multimedia artist from Rome whose affectionate street art explores the brighter side of human relationships. Encompassing murals, paintings, and illustrations which tell stories about various acts of kindness and love, Pasquini leads a new breed of female street artist bringing some much-needed femininity to our public spaces.”
“Leading our penultimate artist announcement is Spanish sculptor and interventionist Isaac Cordal, whose small-scale installations capture the humour and absurdity of human existence. At just 25cm tall and hidden in multiple locations throughout the city, little by little Cordal’s characters transform the urban environment in its natural habitat.”
“Celebrating the unsung heroes of our everyday lives is Jaune, a stencil artist and urban interventionist from Brussels. Sanitation workers (Jaune’s ex-profession) are the protagonists in his humorous installations and paintings, which playfully draw on the paradox between the visible and the invisible in our cities. Jaune’s participation comes courtesy of our good friends at The Crystal Ship festival in Ostend, Belgium.“
Image courtesy of Nuart
“Completing this year’s artist line-up is a Nuart favourite and one of Norway’s leading stencil artists, Martin Whatson. Cleverly combining the aesthetics of abstract graffiti and stencil art, Martin Whatson’s distinctive urban scenes have brought him worldwide acclaim and an international band of fans and followers. We are greatly looking forward to seeing how he responds to the unique environment of Aberdeen!“