All posts tagged: Kiev

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.01.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.01.17


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Clearly we cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore, for those of us who are tempted to. We try to make light of things here or at least add levity, but right now many of our community in NYC are desperately worried about family members in Puerto Rico, and aid has not been getting to them after the storm.

While it is a relief for many to find that Trump is actually one of the most ineffective leaders in terms of getting major legislation or many of the pillars of his anti-everybody-except-the-rich agenda passed, that same ineffectiveness puts citizens in harms way – as appears to be happening right now on that island of US citizens of 3.4 million. When 55% of the island doesn’t have drinkable water, you know a human disaster is close. Meanwhile Trump is tweeting from his golf course in New Jersey to insult a mayor on the island.

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito is on top of the situation but cannot countenance the response from the feds: “I wanna cry. This is worse, not better, 10 days in. And Sr. Trump’s fragile ego is what is driving policy. Criminal.” she says in her latest tweet

At the recommendation of Lee Quinones, a proud New Yorker, Puerto Ricano, and NYC train writer of the 1970s and 1980s – here are some charities you can contribute to:

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, CB23, Ces53, City Kitty, Dan Witz, Dirty Bandits, GIZ, Jazz Guetta, Kafka is Famous, MRVN, Myth, NeverCrew, Smart, Stray Ones, and Such.

Top image: Adam Fujita . Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kafka Is Famous (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MRVN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ces53 . Smart . Giz . Such. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Giz. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Such. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ces53. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jazz Guetta. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

cb23 with friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nevercrew in Kiev for Art United Us.  (photo © Nevercrew)

Mind The Heart Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utitled. The Last Picture. Hudson River, NY. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Xav Paints New Mural In Kiev and Meets Racist Resistance

Xav Paints New Mural In Kiev and Meets Racist Resistance

Spanish tattoo artist and muralist Javier Robledo aka Xav brought an enormous joyful boy to Kiev in Ukraine this summer, his largest mural ever at 70 meters high by 15 meters wide. He was pleased by his feat and gratified with the opportunity and result, as was Iryna Kanishcheva, co-founder of Art United Us who organized the wall. The beaming and bright boy looks like he is having a true belly laugh, elated by something, caught mid-adventure during his play day. Often a scene like this is considered the least likely to offend, a safe bet for a public mural.

Javier Robledo AKA Xav for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

What Xav didn’t expect was a bubbling racism directed toward his mural by some locals as he unveiled it across the wall; a virulent mini-chorus so suddenly loud that the project was halted for a few days when he was only about 40% finished. “Most of the neighbors liked it, but some people protested because the boy was black,” says the artist, “I was very surprised, because I had not foreseen a possible racist reaction to my work.”

Acrimonious conversations turned to near-threats from a vocal minority and more conversations and sheer determination were needed to push the project forward. Somehow the painting re-started and continued through the rain and winds and the other typical obstacles a public mural initiative normally encounters. Xav eventually completed the mural successfully, but that’s not to say that the negativity hasn’t taken a toll on some who were involved, even if they were pleased with the mural itself.

Javier Robledo AKA Xav for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

According to Kanishcheva, some of those neighbors who delayed the project included a former deputy head of police who lived in the area and who used blatantly racist terms to describe dark skinned people in his complaints, saying that he simply didn’t want to see this kind of image in his city.

Often one expects some complaints for any creative public art project; it is something any organizer will tell you they deal with. There simply isn’t unanimity of opinions on such matters. Kanishcheva laments that there also isn’t really an  accepted formula for selecting artists and art that everyone will be pleased with when putting together mural programs, and she reflects on some of the factors that help in the decision-making process.

“You can make a decision yourself and take all the responsibility along with the artist,” she tells us, “or you could create a curatorial team, as many would suggest. But the team must be not be made simply of those with art-related diplomas, but also those who have done a few mural projects and have a name in the Street Art world. Finally, to judge and to suggest to an artist what to paint, you have to pay him accordingly,” she says, announcing the kicker, “None of the artists who paint in Ukraine are paid.” You have to agree here that with a lack of financial renumeration for an artist, one should at least give him or her some personal latitude to create work that is satisfying to them as well. To us, that is a given.

Javier Robledo AKA Xav for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Art United Us has conceived of, funded, and produced about 50 new public murals in this city over the past five or so years, and along with some other mural initiatives, the total of new murals may total three times that. In her thoughts about the sheer number of new walls in such a relatively short time, Iryna says the city may need to take a break. Additionally, public projects like hers are not funded by the government and there are limited resources to execute the programs like these, compounding the difficulty of making them happen. Not that she isn’t committed to the positive results of public art programs.

When talking about this new mural, both artist and organizers still stand by it and are glad they persevered to complete it, even if it took a month instead of two weeks as planned. In Kanischeva’s view, the success of the program hinges on pushing questions about racism and other social issues like these to the fore, where they can be openly discussed.

Javier Robledo AKA Xav for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Dronarium)

“Ukrainian population is totally white, except the guests of the city and some students from overseas. That’s why they simply couldn’t understand and said things like ‘why do we need this black boy here’.  Similar questions arose when Nunca created his mural for a city art project a while ago.”

“I wouldn’t call it racism,” she says, “it is rather a lack of understanding. Many Ukrainians are open minded and culturally developed, but there are still enough of those who spit, throw cigarette butts on the ground and Christmas Trees out of the window into the yard. It is not their fault that they are not properly educated and have these attitudes; it is a more general problem caused by anger, economic instability, dissatisfaction with the Government, unemployment, and hunger. Some of these folks were ready to protest and even cut the high voltage wires of the swing stage – putting an artist and themselves into a danger. To me it just looks like despair.”

Javier Robledo AKA Xav for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Dronarium)

And maybe that proves the success of the program.

“It’s like a cultural injection with an unpredictable reaction – but it is good to see people react and think, because it makes you human,” she says. “For any country, regardless of the economic conditions, arts and education programs must exist. People learn and express their feelings through art and learn to start a dialogue. Art United Us brought a lot of artistic diversity in Kiev, but I feel like people may need some time to digest this.”


This article is also published on The Huffington Post
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Turbulent Waters In The Black Sea From Jake Aikman in Kiev

Turbulent Waters In The Black Sea From Jake Aikman in Kiev

Getting a feel for dramatically upscaling my process,” says London born Jake Aikman as he brings a foreboding and riling image of the Black Sea to Kiev in the Ukraine. Primarily a studio painter back in Cape Town, South Africa, where he obtained a Masters at Michaelis School of Fine Art, this is his first wall ever, and the emotional drama erupts to the surface in a very public way.

Jake Aikman for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Typically his natural canvasses of sweeping seascapes, remote coastlines, and dense forests are rich but calm, perhaps alluding to something beneath the pacifically ambiguous and scenic tableaux. After nine days in July painting this new wall for Art United Us here in Kiev, Aikman appears to be telling us about an aqueous turbulence gathering and materializing before our eyes, capturing with his layering technique the truly storied spirit of this sea, itself known for a turbulent mixing of two layers.

Jake Aikman for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Jake Aikman for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Jake Aikman for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)


Learn more about Jake Aikman HERE.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.30.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.30.17

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We really dig these new collaged political cartoons that are on the street as quickly as the weeks news – each depicting one of the many rich white men who are impacting our minds and our bank accounts and our health and sense of security right now. Are we watching the White House or Good Fellas? The backstabbing, front stabbing, chicanery, and ongoing systemic tomfoolery makes you wonder who’s actually running things.

The news cycle is hourly it seems, with tweets and personnel changes and threats happening so fast that people are developing PTSD that is triggered by news alerts on the phone. We have to admire any Street Artist who tries to keep up with the developments and get their commentary on a wall.

Many young and old New Yorkers are wincing from high rent, high debts, crumbling infrastructure, and everyone is working longer hours, if they are lucky enough to work. Some just give up. Meanwhile the one plausible healthcare option that many have gained over the last handful of years? – the servants of the rich have been trying to stab it to death – but they couldn’t muster it this week. Even now – Trump says he’ll stand by and watch it die rather than improve it in any way. Have we ever had a leader who is so cynical?

Even Senator McCain – in our top image above – fresh off his tax-payer funded brain cancer surgery, waivered this week before providing the pivotal vote that saved healthcare for 20 million or so. Most GOP Senators ignored the majority of the US citizens who implored them to fix Obamacare not nix it. But their bank accounts proved far more important than our health. The rich and their corporations are flooding our entire political system and only after we get their money out would we be able to call the USA a democracy. Otherwise we are just fooling ourselves.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Bifido, El Sol 25, Jarus, London Kaye, Luna Park, Miss17, MSK, Myth, Otto Schade, Rime, SikaOne, Solus, Sonni, Spy33, and Wonderpuss Octopus.

Top image: Unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Solus for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sidka One (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Otto OSCH Schade “Taurus” in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Otto Osch Shade)

Otto OSCH Schade “Taurus” in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Otto Osch Shade)

Otto OSCH Schade paints a small Snoopy and Woodstock on a sunsent in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Otto Osch Shade)

London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss 17 with unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rime . MSK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bifido for Oltremare Festival in San Cataldo, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

“In this area the government is building a gas pipeline and to do it they are cutting many olive trees. Part of the local economy is based on olive oil production, so people are fighting for preserve their lands and trees. I wanted to address this situation with my artwork.” -Bifido

Bifido for Oltremare Festival in San Cataldo, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

Bifido for Oltremare Festival in San Cataldo, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

Luna Park for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. We want to attribute this to Mr. Toll but we don’t think this is his work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jarus for Art Untied Us in Kiev. Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

“This mural depicts a woman sitting at the window sill and reaching outwards. Turning the wall into a window is a metaphor for opening your mind and heart towards new ideas and concepts. The woman is in a red dress because I felt it would compositionally fit into the area of the wall and surrounding buildings.”-Jarus

Jarus for Art Untied Us in Kiev. Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

El sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spy33 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wonderpuss Octopus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Looks a lot like JMR work but we don’t think it is his. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Boots on the NYC Subway. March, 2017. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 07.21.17

BSA Film Friday: 07.21.17

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

Now screening :
1. Jessie + Katey Cover a House Completely in Massachusetts
2. Fabio Petani in Kiev, Ukraine
3. Ampparito in Walthamstow, North London
4. Chris Wunderlich in Portland: Painting with an overcast sky
5. The Future of Cities

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BSA Special Feature: Jessie + Katey Cover a House Completely

Bringing art to the public sphere is dicey when you have to be on the run – but that is how some vandals self-style. Others think of the work as a big open-air craft project and are happy to engage with the public. During their month long residency in Allston, Massachusetts in May, Jessie + Katey covered an entire building on Western Avenue with colorful geometries. They’ve been transforming large public spaces with their projects for six years, and each site-specific art installation redefines the relationship between you and the location – often making both more engaged.

 

Fabio Petani – Kiev- Art United Us

We posted the images and some background of Fabio Petani’s new wall earlier this week (Fabio Petani and the Golden Light in Kiev for Art United Us) and now we have the sweet video to accompany it.

Painting with Ampparito in Walthamstow, North London

Spanish Street Artist Ampparito sits with Doug from Fifth Wall to talk about his singular image of a typical Spanish napkin that would be recognizable to his countrymen and countrywomen but not necessarily to people in this neighborhood. See him soon here when we bring you the action at Nuart in Norway this September.

 

Chris Wunderlich in Portland: On how it is much better to paint with an overcast sky

A strangely named architectural creation called the Fair-Haired Dumbell in Portland, Oregon also has the distinction of being a radically patterned double full-building mural under creation this summer. A quick talk with muralist Chris Wunderlich gives you insight into some of the logistics.

The Future of Cities from Oscar Boyson

For urban planners and designers and, well, the rest of us: A quick paced and riveting examination of the urban environment and how it is likely to change in global locations as cities become the place where the majority of human populations live.

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Fabio Petani and the Golden Light in Kiev for Art United Us

Fabio Petani and the Golden Light in Kiev for Art United Us

The bright light of truth reveals things you may not have seen previously and Fabio Petani, the 30 year old Turin-based muralist is talking about it in Ukraine. The mural combines two elements often seen in his works – botanicals and geometric shapes. What is new is his use of bright colors by way of drawing attention to a specific element of this Malva plant which is typical to the region.

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Fabio Petani)

Daylight savings time was discovered in 1886, says Petani, and so was fluorine. (F) on the Periodic Table this element is the lightest halogen and it exists as a highly toxic pale yellow diatomic gas. “The translation of fluorine is флуор is from latin and means flow (flow of light),” the artist tells us. Now we understand better the flow of golden yellow light into this composition of the Malva plant.

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

“The composition runs around the central circle part where I also put the malva flower,” says Petani. “You can see a mix of layers that moves all the composition like a travel in other dimensions. All is inverted: the plant is black and each element creates a small world where the plant changes form.”

He says it is the first time he has used bright colors and he was encouraged by the bright golden color from the Ukrainian flag that indicates the bread basket of agriculture and the golden grains harvested. It was important to him to do something that the community would enjoy and he says he does as well. “And I love this wall,” he says.

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Fabio Petani)

Fabio Petani “Fluorine (флуор) & Malva sylvestris” for Art United Us 2017. Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © Iryna Kanishcheva)


The mural is a part of the public mural program Art United Us, curated by Geo Leros and Iryna Kanishcheva.

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Innerfields, Dourone, Le Bonnar, Dima Fatum and Ernesto Marenje in KIEV for “Art United Us”

Innerfields, Dourone, Le Bonnar, Dima Fatum and Ernesto Marenje in KIEV for “Art United Us”

New work today from many artists who are participating in the the mural program in Kiev called Art United Us. In the wake of war and threats of aggression and instability, it is admirable when an art program can be successful and project an aura of hope despite fears.

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Innerfields for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

Art United Us says they are committed to pursuing positive life-affirming goals and they ask the artists to create works that reinforce themes of peace and brotherhood/sisterhood. The murals in the city are primarily a beautification project and the areas that they appear in are naturally affected by their overall pleasant messages. Here are some of the newest ones.

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Innerfields for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

The Berlin based trio who call themselves Innerfields created this figurative piece where one person is there and the other is not, yet they are hugging. “Present” is the name of the multi-story painting and the authors remain vague about it’s possibly meanings, saying it “deals with desire and interpersonal relations.”

Certainly that arrow looks painful physically, but it may also be a metaphor for emotional pain.

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Dourone for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

Madrid based world traveler DOURONE brought his fantasy figurative portrait work to Kiev on his largest mural ever to promote “Fraternity,” he says. Our more honorable qualities of respect, freedom, and valuing diversity are being gradually eroded, says the artist in a statement.

“These aspects of life are being erased by other aspects like individualism and selfishness.” Perhaps fourteen floors of fraternity will help to re-focus viewers on our shared humanity and foster mutual respect.

 

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Dourone for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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Dourone for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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Olivier Bonnard for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine in collaboration with Artsynonym and Pangeaseed Foundation. (photo © @dronarium)

“This combines the role of Cossacks in the historical development of Ukraine and the consequences of human impact on the Black Sea,” says artist Olivier Bonnard, whose painting of a vase is in coordination with the organization named Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans. A peon to biodiversity, the deterioration of our seas and killing off of species is creating “dead zones’ where no animals can survive and the artist wants to draw attention to this.

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Olivier Bonnard for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine in collaboration with Artsynonym and Pangeaseed Foundation. (photo © @dronarium)

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Ernesto Marenje for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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Ernesto Marenje for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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Dima Fatum. Detail. ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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Dima Fatumm for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

ArtUnitedUs is co-founded and curated by Geo Leros and Iryna Kanishcheva.

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INO “Instability” in Kiev

INO “Instability” in Kiev

The frank pop symbolism and dark sarcasm of artists like Banksy and the early punk graphics of albums and ‘zines has reached into the monumental public murals of today and this new one of a ballerina balancing on a lit bomb is an apt example. Idealized beauty teetering upon disaster is an image that you’ll understand quickly. Certainly everyone has experienced this feeling at one point in life, if not many points.

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INO. Work in progress for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

Greek artist INO may have familiarity with “Instability”, the name of the piece, which could easily apply to economic matters in that country. The symbolism of paintings will of course be interpreted by the viewer, as ever, and instability often applies to our politics, our trade relations, our warring countries and cities, immigration of refugees, access to clean food and water, our shifting environment, even our our banking systems. Ukraine itself has suffered the crisis of war and division in recent years as well, so this mural may evoke emotions which people in Kiev can relate to.

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INO. Work in progress for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

The monochrome figure, split across the middle and slightly shifted to one side, is a common treatment of the subject by INO, as is the accented splash of a bright hue that rides across the composition as different layer. This blue divination of the sky appears to be melting the celestial sphere and dripping downward into the main piece.

Sponsored by the arts organization called ArtUnitedUS, the new mural is 48 meters above the ground and the group says it is the largest that INO has ever created.

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

 

Our sincere thank you to co-founders/curators of Art United Us; Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, and Waone Interesni Kazki for sharing the project with BSA readers.

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“Rise” from James Bullough In Kiev for “Art United Us”

“Rise” from James Bullough In Kiev for “Art United Us”

The fractured photorealism of James Bullough continues to rise on walls around the world, a precise sampling and re-laying of images that will be familiar to the viewer but rivetingly rearranged. Here in Kiev to participate in the ArtUnitedUs project, the Washington DC native who now lives in Berlin says he wanted to indirectly address the geo-political conflicts here and elsewhere on the globe that is leaving a great many people feeling stressed and discouraged.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo detail © James Bullough)

The artist has been building a body of work that recasts the form as a digital image that can be sliced, slidden, replaced, relayered – which for most classically trained painters is anti-intuitive, as the corporeal is something to be contemplated, idealized holistically. The effect is jarring and leads the viewer to reexamine the image, perhaps trying to re-align the pieces – but we learn here that they are not always derived from one image only.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

BSA: When you create this multiples effect, how do you describe it, and what does it represent to you – energy? spirit? altered perspectives?
James Bullough: I began fracturing and fragmenting my figures a while back in an effort to abstract what I saw as fairly straight forward portraiture.  This shifting brought a new sense of movement and energy to the work and the multiplying of elements (i.e.. hands, feet, faces, exc.) created a bit of a mind f*** which I really liked.

What may look like a simple random cutting and fracturing of a single photo is actually the result of hours and hours of work finding just the right image, or in most cases an amalgamation of multiple different images, and experimenting with countless different versions of fractures and abstractions until something really clicks.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

BSA: Can you tell us about the process for this piece and how you would like it to convey a possibly optimistic message?
James Bullough: The specific image I chose to use for this painting comes from a series of photos and paintings I’ve created this year called “Breaking Point”.  With this series I asked my models to consider dramatic moments in life when things change instantly, good or bad, and you are not the same after.

With this direction and the choice of dancers and my models, I was able to capture amazingly dramatic positions and angles. Of the hundreds of photos that I have from this series, this image was the clear choice for the feeling of hope and transcendence that I was looking for. With the addition of the red brushstrokes swirling around her symbolizing chaos and confusion, and the fragmented figure breaking free, I offer a bit of strength and optimism to anyone seeking it.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

Our Sincere thank you to co-founders/curators of Art United Us; Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, Waone Interesni Kazki

 

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