All posts tagged: KKade

AKUT: Insights Gained From the Faces of Street Artists on Display in Heidelberg

AKUT: Insights Gained From the Faces of Street Artists on Display in Heidelberg

The culmination of a decade-long photography and painting project by artist AKUT (one half of Herakut) brings many of your street art heroes a new level of super-hero status in Heidelberg, Germany, right now until February 25th.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. MadC (photo courtesy of AKUT)

Asking friends and colleagues to sit for a photograph, AKUT (Falk Lehman) projected images of their own artworks across their closed eyes, leaving them gleaming under the imprint of their own distinctive motifs, their skin soaking in the patterns, colors, wildstyles of their own works.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Obey. (photo courtesy of AKUT)

Now that the Insight project has gathered more than 70 photographs of his cherished circle, AKUT brings the unique program, curated by Metropolink, to the old commissary at Patrick-Henry-Village. Some faces you’ll recognize, others are rarely on public display. All of them keep their eyes closed and their secrets to themselves, preferring introspection to opening their windows to the soul.

“The projection of an artwork onto the face creates a mask-like, archaic expression,” he says, and one wonders if these masks are more obscuring or revealing.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Kryptik. (photo courtesy of AKUT)

In addition to the photography show, AKUT invited four artists to collaborate on canvasses with him,  including KKADE, MADC, STOHEAD, and JULIA BENZ. Additionally he collaborated with the artist KKADE on “the street” for an inaugural mural to celebrate the project in the giant hall of the commissary. The images are stunning, even stirring, in their mystery.

Only AKUT’s uncontested mastery of the photorealist technique can enhance the poignancy of these photos; his hyper sensitive application of texture and volume enables another spirit to free itself from the handpainted works in a way that may supercede the original shot.

Considering the Insight theme, it is evident that on display here as well is the potential network of social and personal connections that one may accrue over time in this street art/contemporary art milieu. If you possess additional talent for listening to the stories of others, not to mention the art of documentation, there can be rich friendships forged too.

AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Fafi. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. ECB. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. WIP. Jonone. (photo © Alex Krziwanie)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. WIP. Jonone. (photo © Alex Krziwanie)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series. Jonone. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Installation. (photo © Shreiber Poetter)
AKUT. “Insight”. Photo series installation. (photo © DNA Creative Collective)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Kkade. (photo © Sandra Lehmann)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Kkade. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Julia Benz. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. Stohead. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo © Sandra Lehmann)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Canvas Collaboration. MadC. (photo courtesy of AKUT)
AKUT. “Insight”. Mural collaboration with Kkade. (photo © Shreiber Poetter)
AKUT. “Insight”. Mural collaboration with Kkade. (photo © DNA Creative Collective )

The “INSIGHT” exhibition will be on view until February 25th, 2022 at Metropolink’s Commissary in the Patrick-Henry-Village in Heidelberg. (in compliance with the current hygiene restrictions)

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

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

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

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

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

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

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For today the plaintiffs will celebrate the win and derive a sense of validation for their works at the compound that hosted an organic evolution of works by local, national, and international graffiti and Street Artist for nearly two decades under tacit or explicit agreement with the owner.

“I am happy to see my art form recognized as true art,” says Mr. Cohen in an article from Hyperallergic today, and ultimately that is the message that the graffiti writers and Street Artists will take from the story. Others will argue that this is gentrification issue of developers profiting from and then dismissing the artists who bring attractive buyers to a neighborhood. Now that a dollar value has been attached, a certain audience will also begin to again consider the intrinsic value of those artworks in the streets that they dismissed as pure vandalism with little other merit.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the nearly 1,000 comments posted yesterday on our initial Facebook post about the decision, it is evident that many people still see this kind of art primarily as illegal vandalism and opine that a ruling like this is only adding credibility to criminal behavior. In that argument it is helpful to remember that these artists all had permission to paint.

Undoubtedly additional legacies of the ruling will play out in coming months and years. For the moment, it looks like the artists won this time, which is a seeming rarity during a time when technology has created a nearly unmitigated “Wild West” landscape of rights and responsibilities when it comes to aesthetic expression.

Related stories:

Judge Awards Graffiti Artists $6.7M After 5Pointz Destroyed

Judge Rules Developer Must Pay 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7M

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

5Pointz. Meres. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . Kkade . 5Pointz, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esteban Del Valle. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zeso . Meres. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut



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

Now screening :

1. BSA PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” Documentation by Dario Jurilli, Urban Nation, Berlin.

“Pipedream“ feat. Tok Tok by PARASITE SINGLE

2. Urban Nation Berlin and BSA: PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” by Talking Projects


Today we debut two videos on BSA Film Friday that have just been released in support of PERSONS OF INTEREST, our curated program for Urban Nation last month in Berlin. The Project M/7 was all about honoring the practice of cultural exchange between the borough of Brooklyn and the City of Berlin.


Artists from both cities have been collaborating and influencing each other for years and we were honored to work with such a talented and varied group of Brooklyn-based artists who each came at the project from very different perspectives. We follow a philosophy that says “honor the creative spirit in each person” first and great amazing things will follow.


While it is challenging the structures that have codified art through centuries, we deeply regard the art that took root on the streets as democratic and idiosyncratic and as something that is given to all of us. This movement doesn’t necessarily require or benefit from gatekeepers and exclusivity to prove its value to a culture – we see it every day.


And speaking of talent, our hats off to the driving forces behind these two videos which tell different stories about the same program. Our partners at Urban Nation augmented the program with ideas of their own and grew the scope of our original ideas further. We admire the point of view taken by the documentary style video that appears first because it captures the message and the atmosphere we had hoped to engender – one of mutual support and respect. PERSONS OF INTEREST honors the artist and the muse. As artists and directors we know that this kind of thinking actually goes a long way – and art can save lives and hearts and minds – we’ve been lucky to see it.


The second video is styled more as a music video, an atmospheric pastiche that plays on the second meaning associated with the words “Persons of Interest” – one where graffiti and Street Art overlap with the darker aspects of a subculture that is transgressive. Carefully not dipping into cliché territory, the stories woven here give a serious nod to the graffiti/skater/tattoo/BMX cultures – which among many other influencers are in the DNA of, have given birth to today’s art in the streets.  Its a cool concept and it produces a few surprises.



We hope you dig both of these works.

Our sincerest thanks to the videographers, musicians, stylists, performers, technical experts, participants, administrators, artists, marketers, directors, poets, captains and dreamers who make this stuff happen.


“Persons of interest” curated by Jaime Rojo & Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art


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NeverCrew, Andreas Englund, Onur Dinc, KKade, and Dot Dot Dot at Urban Nation

NeverCrew, Andreas Englund, Onur Dinc, KKade, and Dot Dot Dot at Urban Nation

Street Art is this enormous moveable and on-the-move feast for the eyes and mind and heart. The players and places change, the songs and the dancing revolves, the color and texture everchanging. Exploring Street Art in Berlin is like wandering onstage at the Metropolitan Opera during Wagner’s Ring and discovering that there is a superstar DJ with lasers, a death metal band, and a poetry jam on live horses as well. Die Fledermaus meets DeadMaus meets Mickey Mouse.

Mounting a show with Urban Nation (UN) in windows and the gallery was already a feast for senses, but in addition Yasha Young invited guest performers to join in the festivities, making every movement new and many of them revelatory.

So while 12 artists from Brooklyn were mounting Project M/7 we also had the opportunity to see and meet new folks we had not seen before – The NeverCrew (Switzerland) , Andreas Englund (Sweden), Onur Dinc (Switzerland), KKade (Switzerland), and Dot Dot Dot (Norway). Actually DDD was a Nuart last year but evidently was very shy.

Today we wanted to share with you these additional dishes that were on the table at the UN feast, these talented folk deserve their own posting and we are pleased to share them with you.


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Onur Dinc (photo © courtesy of @urbannationberlin)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Andreas Englund (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NeverCrew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A KKade observer one second before she began cursing at us and waving us away. Oops! (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


DotDotDot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Urban Nation Walls took place in conjunction with Project M7 “Persons Of Interest”. The walls are currently on view 24/7 at:

Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

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Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

While famed LA/Chicago/Detroit graffiti artists Revok and Pose are in town getting up on the Houston Street wall this week and many members of the MSK crew were in Bushwick doing tributes to Nekst over the weekend, New Yorkers have had the opportunity to talk with a lot of visiting friends who are in town in advance of the Revok/Pose dual show at Jonathan Levine this Saturday. As graffiti culture continues to assert its place in modern art history even while expanding and redefining itself on the street and in homes, galleries, and museums along a storied continuum, we are reminded again about the foundational role that graffiti has played in our aesthetic, helping to define urban culture and at least partially fueling the evolution of what we call a Street Art scene today.

MERES. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As with most subcultures in a capitalist society, there are a fair amount of commercial influences swimming around and through the graffiti world too, the products and motifs employed to sell them somehow simplifying graffitis complex nature and diluting its emotional resonance for many. This is the water we’re all swimming in, however, and you could drown trying to fight it. Despite commercial pressures and their mutations, it is evident that the graffiti style is alive and well and building upon itself in new ways. For some, graffiti is analogous to the early punk scene for some others it could be inextricably tied to hip hop. But as it continues to morph into multiple subgenres it still seems perfectly clear that it is born from a scream, a helluva celebratory and defiant yell ; very individual, often powerful, it is tied to an agonizing drive to be heard and to be seen, to capture by hand something that is channeling by its own volition through your mind and from your gut. Probably. That incisive wisdom from BSA and $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.

Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA will never be versed enough to speak authoritatively about graffiti culture, nor do we pretend to – it is so vast and storied and sort of outside our wheelhouse. But seeing all this graff action this week brings our minds to a place like 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens. Begun as Phun Factory and eventually changing its name, this 200,000 sf factory building cannot be overestimated in its impact visually over two decades as well as for the community service it has provided for many artists, young and older, to practice, experiment, and even hit a level of mastery of their craft.  We won’t call it a Mecca, as we’ve been schooled that some of our brothers and sisters think that’s disrespectful – So we’ll just call it a Holy Place for many here and around the world. An ever evolving canvas viewable from the street and passing trains, many a tourist has made the pilgrimage to check it out; a touchstone for the true New York, and perhaps one that is disappearing.

Sen2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the fevered pitch of cries from fans and community for the preservation of 5 Pointz runs up against the dual realities of a crumbling infrastructure and an increasingly  desirable location for real estate development, we all reluctantly cede that the writing is probably on the wall (pardon the pun). Absent a deep-pocketed philanthropist who wants to preserve it (Jay-Z?) or a groundswell of citizenry demanding public seizing of private property (torches and pitchforks anyone?), you have to know that this can’t last forever despite what many see as its importance and relevance to this culture, history, and this time. But really, just take a look around this spot. If you are here now, or are planning to come soon, you know that 5Pointz has the power of a beacon for many; a living thriving vessel for the creative spirit to be expressed in myriad ways, many personal. All hail 5Pointz and those who have made it successful all these years.

Here is a small collection of more recent images of 5Pointz.

Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Blob (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See TF (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ZMOGK . Shiro on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop203 . Bisco203 . Leais203 Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok . Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pablo Mustafa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monsieur Plume . Raid Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spidertag (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spud (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Help (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grafik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

el Seed . Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Color at 5Pointz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Much respect to Meres and to all the writers on this epic wall and whole compound. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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