All posts tagged: Kwest

BSA Film Friday: 09.25.15

BSA Film Friday: 09.25.15




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

Now screening :

1. OLEK in India Covers a ‘Rain Baseras’ with Community Help.
Coney Art Walls 2015 by Ken Yamamura
3. KWEST: Graffiti Sculpture at Roskilde Festival
4. Björn Holzweg Mural for Knotenpunkt 15


BSA Special Feature: OLEK in India Covers a ‘Rain Baseras’ with Community Help.

St+art Delhi 2015: Olek

Today a brand new video on OLEK’s collaborative public project in India, giving you a much more comprehensive understanding of the involvement of folks from the community who all worked together with the Street Artist’s guidance and vision to create a piece of public work. The word “inspiring” can sometimes be applied to the work that artists do. Here OLEK and the many participants show us the level of dedication, collaboration, participation, effort and appreciation that contribute to this project can give the word “inspiring” a truly expansive meaning.

“Several thousand homeless people live in New Delhi for whom the government has set up ‘Rain Baseras’ (night shelters) in various parts of the city. However, these go mostly unnoticed by others living in the city, much like the homeless people themselves. Olek is one of the worlds leading crochet artists, and with the St+art India foundation, she made a massive artpiece adorned a nigh shelter in Sarai Kale Khan, to bring attention to the homeless and the ‘Rain Basera’ Project.”

For more on this read BSA’s piece from March, 2015 : Gender, Caste, and Crochet : OLEK Transforms a Shelter in Delhi



Coney Art Walls 2015 by Ken Yamamura

 A quick look at a few of the artists installing this spring at Coney Art Walls by Ken Yamamura, with some audio from Ethel Seno.


KWEST: Graffiti Sculpture at Roskilde Festival

 “I started this as a way of taking these letter forms that I had been creating and produce them out of a tangible material,” says Kwest of this 16 year quest. If only it was as easy as he makes it sound.

The Canadian graffiti artist visited the Roskilde Festival 2015 to build the World’s biggest graffiti letter sculpture. See the process of creating this monumental piece.

Björn Holzweg Mural for Knotenpunkt 15

“Nature is not your friend,” so goes the adversarial stance of bounty hunters and survivalists. It’s true, it is a dog-eat-dog world and sometimes feels like survival of the fittest. You may think that Björn Holzweg is rather driving the point home here with this foreboding and dark video of his latest mural for Knotenpunkt 15, the contemporary and urban art festival in Hamburg.

“Björn Holzweg, born 1979 in Leipzig, lives and works in Hamburg since 2004. His paintings, sculptures, drawings and aquarelles are mainly shaped very graphically. He deals a lot with simple geometrical figures. For him, they are symbolic for our society: calculating, repeating and everlasting. With repetitive arrangements of those, he creates new spaces and dimensions.”


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Poesia and Kwest Pay Tribute to Persue In San Francisco

Poesia and Kwest Pay Tribute to Persue In San Francisco

“It is an amazing hybrid piece,” says Brock Brake as he describes the letter structure and color combinations of this new piece in San Francisco.

With Poesia bringing the wildstyle flames that evoke the firestorms that race across the western region of the US every summer, the graffuturist continues to tighten the angles here with Toronto’s accomplished and hi-definition Kwest in this new wall in San Francisco.


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)

The wall is a tribute to their friend, the San Diego graffiti writer/graphic designer/ entrepreneur Persue, who is very much alive, says photographer Brock Brake, so don’t mistake it for a memorial wall but rather a “you’re rad, dude, we like your style” wall.  Nice.


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia, Kwest, and “Persue”. (photo © Brock Brake)

Special thanks to photographer Brock Brake for sharing these photos with BSA readers. For more about Brock please click HERE.




Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

Poesia and EKG Talk to BSA about an Audacious Survey

A new show organized by Poesia, a San Francisco based graffiti artist and founder of the site Graffuturism, pulls together one hundred or so artists from eighteen countries with the goal of mapping one constellation in the cosmos – a global survey of urban artists that hopes to articulate a body of aesthetics he’s calling Othercontemporary. And why not? Audacity and vision are qualities these times call for and if successful could lead to a clearer understanding of the trends, techniques, practices, and narratives underlying what has been happening on the streets for the last half century.




Kwest (photo © Brock Brake)

With New York artist/historian/semiotic explorer EKG as a guide, the two have been synthesizing their findings and discovering the genuine firing of synapses that indicate they are uncovering the electrical impulses that have made graffiti / street art/ urban art feel so completely relevant to the last two generations. A “Major Minority” hopes to chart the course for the third.


Mags (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia invites you here to take a look at some of the pieces that will be on display, as shot by Brock Brake. Brooklyn Street Art asked Poesia and EKG about the survey and to make some conjecture about the way forward.

Brooklyn Street Art: Each generation and movement is defined and labeled by its participants, peers, and observers. In your treatise on this moment and this collection of artists you say that Stefano Antonelli coined the term Othercontemporary to perhaps set it apart from Contemporary. Why does this term sound appropriate to you?
Poesia: I had initially used the term Neo-Contemporary. After a brief discussion amongst some peers Stefano mentioned this term – it seemed the most accurate out of the terms being discussed. I feel it’s important because it starts a conversation about something other than contemporary art, and describes rather bluntly our separation from contemporary art, yet defines the contemporary nature of our art form. I have grown tired of comparing what we do to contemporary art, maybe this term will get people talking about something more present.



Slicer (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Take a guess and swing the bat wide, why has the established art world taken so long to give recognition to the urban artist?
Poesia: Canonization usually takes place long after the genuine moments of art movements, or when they are at their peak. Its no different even in today’s Internet era, even with all the information at their fingertips academics won’t ever understand why a 12 year old child and a 50 year old adult writes on walls. Its easier to make use of their MFAs by extending the reach of the contemporary art conversation than it is to look at society and to try to understand the writing on the walls.



Hellbent (photo © Hellbent)

Brooklyn Street Art: Has something happened in the last 5-10 years that has caused so many urban/street/graffiti artists to make more geometric and abstract work that usually avoids the organic, figurative, and pop? Any idea what is driving it?
Poesia: It’s a culmination –  one of those things where maybe all the right ingredients are there and it happens.

Graffiti, being an abstract art form in its nature, lends itself to pure abstraction. Experimentation with the letterform usually takes place more with color and shape than it does conceptually or from a representational perspective. Additionally with the birth of Street Art it opened up the playing field a bit. Artists now were forced to compete visually with representational imagery on walls. It has allowed many artists to leave letterform and the rectangular space of a piece or even “wild style”. The horizontal rectangle was replaced with the square or vertical rectangle – that also pushed for the evolution of the artist.



Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: What will a viewer begin to realize when looking over the constellation of works in this show?
That painting is alive, and urban art seems to be the most relevant embodiment of this. This post-historical art form seems to be sending a message that there is something left in the visual image and its power. The goal was to show the widest spectrum possible from figurative to minimal in the area of Urban Art and I think we accomplished that.



Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you speak about the “unique participatory and non-exclusionary nature” of urban/street/graffiti art practices?
EKG: Graffiti/Street Art (here defined as the public surfaces they affix themselves to, the container superseding the content, the medium as the message) is a broadcast channel that will not exclude anyone who wants to participate. Anybody with a passion to be seen and heard can broadcast on the graffiti/street art wavelength, as long as they are driven to take the risk of breaking the law in order to make their aesthetic statement.

When someone illegally transmits a signal on a public surface, aka a wall or monitor, there is no editorial hierarchy, no censorship board, no review panel, and no proofreaders. It is an individualistic and anarchistic means of expression. In order to transmit your mark, you don’t have to pay anyone, you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to take a vote, you don’t have to take into account anyone else’s approval or opinion about your message.

At heart, graffiti/street art are visual civil disobedience, no matter the initial conscious intention of the mark maker, although a combination of action and intention can make the mark more meaningful to the receiver once they learn more about the broadcaster.



Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)


Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: “Illegal” and “transgressive” are two root words that reappear in your discussion of the collection. Did this movement germinate from anti-establishment sentiments, marginalized populations?
EKG: Doing anything illegal can be considered transgressive, but, more specifically for this discussion, illegal aesthetic manifestations are a minor infrastructural irritant that accrue a massive semiotic tumescence of cultural weight.

Currently incarcerated under the simplistic and myopic legal category defined as vandalism, aka criminal mischief, illegal aesthetic manifestations should instead be interpreted as more of a cultural statement than actually being a debilitating crime that selfishly and meaninglessly attacks a particular individual or society as a whole, as has been promoted by institutional authorities protecting the status quo.

The Original Writers discovered that Graffiti was a powerful means to: express rebellious dissatisfaction on political, economic, societal and cultural levels; define one’s identity as a powerful entity that was omnipresent, by proxy omniscient; delineate physical and semiotic territories that were theirs as opposed to their foes or society at large; connect with other members of their age group to form alternative communities of like-minds; and gain recognition with their peers and the public overall.

Like the seers who were channeling the oracles of our time, the old school original writers instinctually discovered an art form that continues to engage and challenge our global culture. Fifty years later the movement is still kept alive inside and outside by practitioners of all ages, styles, and intentions. Graffiti is no longer perceived as merely vandalism perpetrated by megalomaniac antisocial teens, but a positive and powerful cultural change agent practiced by conscious objectors of all ages.


Drew Young (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Specifics please: please place an artists name next to each of the following word whose work comes to mind.

Poesia: Okay, here are examples.

Activist: Boniface Mwangi
Idealist: Moneyless
Geometric: Nawer
Minimal: Christopher Derek Bruno
Expressionist: Jaybo Monk


Askew (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes it appears that the street is providing the stage for an explosion/implosion of all other historical art movements coalescing and deconstructing and recombining and mutating before us. Perhaps it’s because the street is reflecting society and we are all drinking from the Internet River. Maybe we’re witnessing a true globalism. You can say the movement on the street has roots in graffiti, and we would agree. But is it even possible to make sense of what is happening right now?
Poesia: I can only be a participant in this moment and hope to engage the conversation in real time versus when it won’t matter anymore. I think Urban Art is one of many emerging art forms that have been bubbling on the surface for a while now. As the generation shift takes place we will be accepted at the moment when we are irrelevant, as so many art forms before us. This makes today more important than tomorrow. I don’t know if I have the capability to make sense of it all, but I appreciate every second of it.


Bezt Etam (photo © Brock Brake)


Vincent Abadie Hafez Zepha (photo © Brock Brake)


Thiago Toes (photo © Brock Brake)


Sat One (photo © Brock Brake)


Katre (photo © Brock Brake)


Sowat (photo © Brock Brake)


Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)


Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)


Dem189 (photo © Brock Brake)


Bom.k (photo © Brock Brake)


Borondo (photo © Brock Brake)


“A Major Minority” opens this Friday, March 14 at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco, CA.

Click HERE for more details on this show.

The Full Essay “A Major Minority” Group Exhibition by Poesia and EKG can be found HERE.

The interview answers from EKG were edited for length – please see his full responses on his Facebook page HERE.

We would like to thank Brock Brake for his excellent photos of the art and to Poesia and EKG for their thoughtful and insightful answers to our questions.


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Troy Lovegates and the Murals of Summer

Troy Lovegates and the Murals of Summer

For those of you north of the Equator who have been announcing that Summer is over, may we remind you that we still have till Saturday the 21st so keep playing in the sun together with short sleeves on till darkness starts invading and the smell of dinner wafts out of windows as you skateboard past them back home.

Further north of here in Canada, Street Artist Troy Lovegates (aka Other) hit some rails with his bud’s Labrona and Alex Produkt this summer and he got in some swimming too, he tells us. He also traveled around a little and knocked out some murals with some brushes instead of cans.

Oh no, does that mean he’s not “Street”?  Uh, no.

He gives BSA readers some detail about the pieces below the images.


Troy Lovegates in Montreal with the MU Project. “A giant wall … my first attempt at painting only with brush,” he says. Also, “I like my lungs.” (photo © Troy Lovegates)


Troy Lovegates in Toronto with Kwest and Bacon. (photo © Troy Lovegates)

Can’t call yourself a Canuck and not include a hockey player in your repetoire, right? This one was conjured during a reunion that Grandpa Troy had with some of the other geezers in BSM crew he used to get up with back in da day.  “Damn the graffiti crew I am in turned 20 !!!! All the old men got together and painted a giant wall … here is a hockey player I put up and the fringes is insane lettering by Kwest and Bacon,” he says. Next stop, coffin painting because Mr. Lovegates is obviously one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel.


A collaborative piece with Troy Lovegates in pied colored chose before a panther-seal-ish figure by Saddo in Halifax. (photo © Troy Lovegates)

“One of my favorite artists on this planet is Saddo from Romania. He had an art exhibition on the East coast of Canada and  the gallery space hooked us up with a giant wall and a lift,” says Lovegates.  “So we freestyled this masked man walking with a mythical beast “


Troy Lovegates in Wisconsin in collaboration with Pawn Works. (photo © Troy Lovegates)

“I was invited by Pawn Works out to Sheboygan, Wisconsin to spend the week in a park with my shoes off painting a toilet shelter,” he says with glee. “It’s a super fun part of the world, with bonfires on the beach,” he says of the project that is run by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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