All posts tagged: Leon Keer

Leon Keer Goes Beyond Anamorphic and Into Augmented Reality

Leon Keer Goes Beyond Anamorphic and Into Augmented Reality

Street Artists continue to embrace new technologies as we race toward our own version of Huxley’s Brave New World. Personally, we’re still looking forward to the sleep-learning.

Leon Keer & Massina. “Once Upon A Time” Created for Vibrations Urbaines Festival in Pessac, France. (still from the video)

Anamorphic artist Leon Keer suggest you download his app on your phone before walking past his new mural created with Massina using Augmented Reality (AR) in Pessac, France. Otherwise the large piece on the side of an apartment complex will just look like an oversized den.

It’s not the first piece he’s done with AR of course, and we have seen a number of works in public space activated within phones and tablets, but Keer is excited because this one is viewable on his newly released APP, title appropriately Leon Keer.

Leon Keer & Massina. “Once Upon A Time” Created for Vibrations Urbaines Festival in Pessac, France. (still from the video)

The AR feature is created by Netherlands-based Joost Spek, a 3D Art Director for 3Dpicnic. They’ve worked collaboratively previously and you can expect more from this duo in the future. To get the full effect of “Once Upon a Time”, check out the installation in AR on the video below.

Leon Keer & Massina. “Once Upon A Time” Created for Vibrations Urbaines Festival in Pessac, France. (still from the video)

Leon Keer & Massina. “Once Upon A Time” Created for Vibrations Urbaines Festival in Pessac, France. (still from the video)

 

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UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEA Finland 2018, A Cross Country Installation of Quality Murals

UPEART 2018 in Finland took place during the month of September including 20 international and local artists in 12 different cities across the country.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we give you a recap of some favorite scenes from the festival across many cities of Finland thanks to the vision and organizing of Jorgos Fanaris and his team who collectively direct the festival from their headquarters in a post-industrial neighborhood of Helsinki. While there is a proud graff scene and history here, and the city has areas like the Pasila Street Art District, the capital is usually known as a sparkling international city of islands and a peninsula by the Gulf of Finland facing Tallinn, Estonia across the bay.

Proudly humble, elegant and rationally romantic, the city is flanked on all sides by arts and culture, low and high, with historical art institutions like the National Museum as well as the more contemporary Kiasma and cross disciplinary Kunsthalle Helsinki. A deeper rooted cultural history is also apparent in the traditional wooden architecture, the influence of its neighbors Sweden and Russia, and its ability even today to evolve with the most modern of global design practice.

Case Maclaim. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For urban explorers like ourselves who wander the margins and explore the forgotten, neglected parts of the metropolis, it was a bit of a shock to see 8 charming Finnish cities and towns in only a few days – interspersed with millions of birch tree forests and sweeping vistas of farmland, with Russia visible at one point just across a canal.

We drove from uncongested towns surrounded by woodlands like Joensuu and Hyvinkää to midsized cities like Tampere and Espoo, using a stick shift Volkswagen and minding the speed cameras on a smooth and well maintained system of roads and highways. Usually we’re looking out for rats and broken glass and homeless drug users, not slow-moving farming tractors and wily-eyed moose who may cross your path.

Case Maclaim. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But the murals! Choosing from among some of the most accomplished painters and planners of design in the current international scene, Fanaris relies on his own history with graffiti, hip hop, and perhaps the Finnish National Opera when selecting participants to invite.

The quality is high in many instances throughout the mural program and municipalities are gifted with some works may prove timeless – until they fade. Perhaps more decorative than transgressive as a whole, these are public works made in collaboration with local tastes. Some meanings are buried beneath layers, others more obvious and on the surface. An unrealized irony of many “legit” mural programs like this one is many of these artists used to do the illegal stuff too.

As UPEART travels and evolves it will be interesting to see how it changes. Fanaris tells us that the future will include installations, sculpture, even performance as the festival becomes more integrated with communities. With a solid foundation of curation on a massive country-wide scale in these first three years, we look forward to see where UPEART moves next.

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When I was a child I was not curious about painting,” Mantra says, “I was more curious about what I could find in the garden so that’s why I spent a lot of time studying these insects and these animals.” Later he shows us images of butterflies and other winged creatures rendered in high fidelity inside decaying factory rooms, including a large dead bird lying on its side. “I painted this because I had seen a dead bird in the garden only a week before.”

Read more: Mantra in Hyvinkää for UPEART Festival 2018 Finland – Dispatch 5

Mantra. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Mantra. UPEArt Finland 2018. Hyvinkää, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Mantra)

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think my work is changing recently,” he says. “I have liked to do plainer paintings – like small landscapes . I’m not really into the characters that much in the same way that I was. When I do paint characters they are in the shadow. I like the idea of making portraits where the portrait is not the most important part of the painting.”

BSA: That’s so anti-intuitive – because normally that would be the center focal point, right?

Sainer: Yes – even here the portrait is central but I am trying to play all around it just to hide it. It’s just one of the ideas that I am trying to work with these days.

Read more from our interview with Sainer here.

Sainer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Waone. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ukrainian artist Waone, of Interesni Kazki titled his mural “Spirit of Antique Book”.

“Reading the real book in the age of technology and internet may look rare and a kind of old fashioned, but not for me,” he says. “This mural ‘Spirit of Antique Book’ I dedicated to all book lovers. It represents the wonderful way to escape from ordinary life to extraordinary worlds, and depicts that magic moment when you read the book and lose yourself between the pages.”

BSA: Does it concern you that school children today are becoming unfamiliar with reading traditional books on paper?

Waone: Hmm I didn’t think about books in schools, in Ukraine we still use “normal” books… But I’m sure normal books will become more and more rare. I don’t judge it and I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I just love the book esthetic, a strong symbol of knowledge.”

Waone. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Natalia Rak. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sepe. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Jyväskylä, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Helen Bur. UPEArt Finland 2018. Kotka, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eero Lampinen. Work in progress. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of his own work, he says, “It’s like a mix of fantasy with contemporary and realistic elements – kind of magic realism. I like to play around with fashion different types of characters.”

The characters are here in the evolving mural – three figures who are working the runways of the street in distinctly different styles.

“There is a night demon, a rubber-outfit person, and then an older character,” he says, “They are all walking separate ways in the streets – and it plays around with this street.”

Read more with Eero Lampinen here.

Eero Lampinen. UPEArt Finland 2018. Helsinki, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Eero Lampinen)

Pertti Jarla. UPEArt Finland 2018. Tampere, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fabio Petani. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How & Nosm. UPEArt Finland 2018. Lisalmi, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer. UPEArt Finland 2018. Salo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. Detail. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Proch. UPEArt Finland 2018. Joensuu, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal made a number of interesting installations in Karakallio in Espoo, including a haunting series of small buildings attached on trees throughout the forest.

Read more about Isaac Cordal at UPEA Art Festival 2018 – Finland. Dispatch 3

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. UPEArt Finland 2018. Espoo, Finland. September 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

NOTE: No trees were damaged by installing the birdhouse sculptures on them.


All the participating artists on UPEArt 2018 are: Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David De La Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi Twoseven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepe, Silja Selonen and Waone.

 

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BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA + UPEA in Finland

BSA is excited to bringing you new works from Finland next week as we explore Helsinki and nearby cities that are part of the UPEA 2018 Festival. A unique model of mural festival that invites international and local artists to paint across the entire country, UPEART has quietly entered the global Street Art and graffiti stage without entering the fray: providing top caliber artists with uncommon opportunities to create works in cities for a handful of years now.

Waone Interesni Kazki at UPEART (image © the artist)

The full line up for this year’s stellar UPEART edition is:

Andrew Hem, Case Maclaim, David de la Mano, Eero Lampinen, Fabio Petani, Gummy Gue, Helen Bur, How & Nosm, Isaac Cordal, Jussi TwoSeven, Kenor, Leon Keer, Mantra, Natalia Rak, Pertti Jarla, Robert Proch, Sainer, Sepeusz, Silja Selonen and Waone Interesni Kazki, who poses here yesterday with the mural he’s been working on for 10 days


To keep on top of the action on the ground and up on the lifts click on UPEA’s FB link below:

https://www.facebook.com/upeart/

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.10.18  X ONO’U Tahiti Festival Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.10.18 X ONO’U Tahiti Festival Special

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015


Hello from French Polynesia! All week we have been hopping around the islands from Papeete to Raiatea and now in Bora Bora. Celebrating its 5th anniversary/birthday last night at the huge community street party with founders Sarah Roopina and Jean Ozonder and with this years ONO’U festival artists slamming walls like crazy here  – you can see that hard work pays off sometimes.

Grassroots, not overly commercial, inclusive, responsive to the neighbors, high quality artworks – its a solid, even golden mix. Also Sarah’s parents are always happy to pitch in, whether it is pushing a broom or making lunch for everyone at home in their kitchen and bringing it to the work site to make sure that everyone eats. It is touches of warmth like this which reminds you that in many ways this scene that started in the street is as much about community as it is self expression.

For BSA readers who are just catching up with ONO’U we thought we’d use Images of the Week as an ONO’U Greatest Hits collection today. Most of these have never before published on BSA from the four previous editions. We took winding streets, back alleys, roundabouts, promenades, rooftops, abandoned lots and just about any place we could enter alongside Martha Cooper and had a blast for three days finding these walls again. Enjoy and Māuruuru roa!

DalEast. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seth . HJT. ONO’U Tahiti 2015. Papeete. In 2016 this particular wall was chosen by the French Polynesia Postal Service as a stamp. We wrote about it HERE. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Suiko. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. Roosters, hens and chicks run wild on the streets of many towns in French Polynesia. We haven’t figured out who feeds them, or how they survive, but they seem to roam free of owners and masters. One can hear the roosters making their distinctive call (here is what they sound like) every morning – sometimes before you are fully aware that the new day has begun. It is also not unusual to see a mother hen with her chicks crossing the roads at their leisure, sometimes stopping traffic. We of course stop for them. Always. Lore has it that there are big mean centipedes in the archipelagos and that the chickens eat them. See they earn their keep balancing the natural population of insects, besides being very effective alarms clocks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Keer’s anamorphic Street Art, literally on the street, creates a mind-bending illusion with perspective. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DalEast. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mast’s tribute to the NYC Subway creates a new faux subway stop that is roughly 6,300 miles (10,103 km) from New York. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INTI. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MadC. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDac. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KOBRA. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PEETA. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93. ONO’U Tahiti 2017 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Besok. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams. The Ōma’o is a bird from the island of Hawaii is placed at the highest risk of extinction thus the “Critically Endangerd” or CR designation.  ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abuz . HTJ . JUPS. ONO’U Tahiti 2016 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Askew . Sofles. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inspired by the Polynesian legend of “The Coconut Tree” the mural has to do with an eel’s head, a forgetful young girl and the birth of the coconut tree:  

“The coconut tree is one of the most common trees in The Islands Of Tahiti. The Polynesians always tell a legend about its creation… The coconut tree legend…

A long time ago, a young girl called Hina was of real beauty due to her sun kissed skin and silky hair. She was meant to marry the prince of eels. Frightened by the physique of her suitor, who had a gigantic body and an enormous head, Hina ran away and took refuge in the house of the fishing God – Hiro.

The latter was dazzled by the beauty of Hina and touched by her history, so he took one of the young woman’s hairs and with it fished the approaching eel. Hiro cut up the prince of eels and wrapped his head in leaves. Before dying, the eel said to Hina: “of all the Men who hate me, including you Hina, you will one day kiss me to thank me. I will die, but my prediction is eternal.”.

Hiro entrusted the head of the eel to Hina and then advised her:

Hina, girl of beauty, you can return to your family and there, you will destroy this head. But throughout your journey do not put it on the ground because then the curse of the eel will come true.’

On her way back, the beautiful young woman and her followers who accompanied her, became tired and decided to take a bath in the river, forgetting the warning of the God Hiro. The eel’s head which had been put on the ground penetrated the earth, and from it a large tree was born, with a long trunk just like an immense eel, and with foliage similar to hair; the coconut tree had just been born.

Hina was then condemned by the Gods to remain close to this river because the tree had become taboo… Life went on until the day when a terrible dryness struck the lands and during which only the coconut resisted the sun. Thus, in spite of the God’s prohibition to touch this tree, men picked its fruit full of clear and nutritive water. Each fruit was marked with 3 dark spots laid out like two eyes and a mouth on which the men put their lips in order to drink the coconut water…. Hina did the same thing ….. And the prophecy of the prince of eels had just come true.”

Askew . Sofles. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faith XLVII. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs & Myla . Kems. ONO’U Tahiti 2014 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs & Myla . Pose. ONO’U Tahiti 2015 / Papeete. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tic Tac No: Leon Keer and Team at Venice Chalk Festival in Florida

Tic Tac No: Leon Keer and Team at Venice Chalk Festival in Florida

TIC TAC NO

Anamorphic Street Art has been a parallel universe to the illegal Street Art scene for years, and Dutch pop-surrealist Leon Keer is one of the most ingenious on the scene and well travelled; having been to Europe, The United States, The United Arabic Emirates, Australia and several Asian countries with his work.

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Here in Venice, Florida before heading to Miami for Art Basel he worked with four other artists to create a huge piece of anamorphic land art in a grass field at the airport grounds for the 10th anniversary of the Chalk Festival during the second week of November.

Using symbols of some of the world’s religion in a 3-D game of tic tac toe, Keer designed an environmentally friendly chalk piece that required the work of 5 artists over 4 days painting with rollers and a handheld garden sprayer. Also, the field had to be mowed. With the longest line in the artwork at 300 feet, you can begin to appreciate how difficult this game is.

Lead artist and design: Leon Keer.

Other artists: Massina, Sjem Bakkus, Ives One and Eric Keer.

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

Leon Keer. Tic Tac No Chalkfestival. Venice, Florida. November, 2017. (photo © courtesy of the artist)

 

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“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

“Magic City” in Dresden : Exhibition of Street Artists and City as Muse

An unusual amalgam of the interactivity of the street combined with the formality of a gallery environment, Magic City opened this fall in a converted factory in Dresden, Germany with an eclectic selection of 40+ artists spanning the current and past practices of art in the street.

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Skewville. Children enjoying Skewville’s “tete-a-tete” shopping cart. Ernest Zacharevic’s mobile in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With revered culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick at the helm alongside curator Ethel Seno, the richly marbled show runs a gamut from 70’s subway train writers and photographers like Americans Daze, Henry Chalfant, and Martha Cooper to the Egyptian activist Ganzeer, Italian interventionist Biancoshock, popagandist Ron English, and the eye-tricking anamorphic artist from the Netherlands, Leon Keer.

Veering from the hedonistic to the satiric to head-scratching illusions, the collection allows you to go as deep into your education about this multifaceted practice of intervening public space as you like, including just staying on the surface.

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Ernest Zacharevic mobile with a “listening station” on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s not an easy balance to strike – some of these artists have heavy hearts and withering critiques of human behaviors and institutional hypocrisies ranging from 1st World treatment of refugees to celebrity culture to encroaching surveillance on individual rights, government oppression, and urban blight.

Magic City doesn’t try to shield you from the difficult topics, but the exhibition also contains enough mystery, fanboy cheer, eye candy and child-like delight that the kids still have plenty of fun discoveries to take selfies with. We also saw a few kissing couples, so apparently there is room for some romance as well.

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 A visitor to Magic City enjoys a “listening station”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We believe that even the typical city is uncommon, and that the idiosyncrasies that make each city unique are collectively something they all have in common,” says McCormick in his text describing the exhibition. “This is then a celebration of the universal character of cities as well as a love letter to their infinite diversity. The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions.”

Of particular note is the sound design throughout the exhibition by Sebastian Purfürst and Hendrick Neumerkel of LEM Studios that frequently evokes an experiential atmosphere of incidental city sounds like sirens, rumbling trains, snatches of conversations and musical interludes. Played at varying volumes, locations, and textures throughout the exhibition, the evocative city soundscape all adds to a feeling of unexpected possibilities and an increased probability for new discovery.

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Olek’s carousel from above. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Obviously this Magic City cannot be all things to all people, and some will criticize the crisp presentation of a notably gritty series of subcultures, or perhaps the omission of one genre or technique or important artist. It’s not meant to be encyclopedic, rather a series of insights into a grassroots art and activism practice that continues to evolve in cities before our eyes.

For full disclosure, we curated the accompanying BSA Film Program for Magic City by 12 artists and collectives which runs at one end of the vast hall – and Mr. Rojo is on the artist roster with 15 photographs of his throughout the exhibition, so our view of this show is somewhat skewed.

Here we share photographs from the exhibition taken recently inside the exhibition for you to have a look for yourself.

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A MadC installation made with thousands of spray can caps. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Belgian urban naturalist ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville . ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant at the gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Andy K. detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anders Gjennestad AKA Strok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot with Asbestos on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Replete (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Truly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. A young visitor enjoying the Kids Trail through a peephole with Jaime’s photos inside an “electrical box”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaime Rojo. The Kids Trail wasn’t only for kids it seems. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton on the right. Olek on the left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko at the Red Light District. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Full list of participating artists:

Aiko, AKRylonumérik, Andy K, Asbestos, Benus, Jens Besser, Biancoshock, Mark Bode, Bordalo II, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Isaac Cordal, Daze, Brad Downey, Tristan Eaton, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Fino’91, Ganzeer, Anders Gjennestad, Ben Heine, Herakut, Icy & Sot, Leon Keer, Loomit, MadC, OakOak, Odeith, Olek, Qi Xinghua, Replete, Roa, Jaime Rojo, Skewville, SpY, Truly, Juandres Vera, WENU, Dan Witz, Yok & Sheryo, Ernest Zacharevic.

 

Visit MAGIC CITY DRESDEN for more details, news, videos and the blog.

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

ONO’U Festival 2016 as Captured by Martha Cooper in Tahiti

Lucky Us! Our senior reporter on the ground in Tahiti for this years’ ONO’U Festival is the quick-witted eagle-eyed Martha Cooper, who shares with BSA readers her fresh shots of the action in paradise.

Personable and outgoing, Cooper covers a lot of ground quickly, introducing herself and asking questions and snapping pictures. Of course people often know her before she knows them, especially in the Street Art/ Graffiti game – but frankly she just wants to see artists work and learn about their process.  So get working!

We’re thankful that Martha is taking the time to share with us all her images and some details of the surrounding action, which we elaborate on here for you.

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Charles is painting an Omamao bird endemic of Tahiti,” says Martha, “and it is listed as a critically endangered species.” Why do you hear this same story in whatever part of the world you are in today? More importantly, are you doing anything about it?

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Phat1 AKA Charles at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Phat1 AKA Charles with help from Lady Diva AKA Jeanine Williams. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

After the mural was finished, Martha says there was a blessing of the mural. Above you can see the minister in the photo above performing the blessing.

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Bordalo’s sketch for his installation. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Bordalo shows us the original sketch for his new piece made with recycled trash.

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Bordalo II at work. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Bordalo II. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate at work on his mural. Martha tells us that his muse for the mural was a woman whom both he and Martha had photographed in the market.  ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Adnate & Askew. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Returning mural champion Seth made good use of “an odd shaped wall, turning it into the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship which led a flotilla of yachts protesting again French nuclear testing in French Polynesia,” Martha tells us. According to Wikipedia, “Fernando Pereira was a freelance Dutch photographer, of Portuguese origin, who drowned when French intelligence detonated a bomb and sank the Rainbow Warrior, owned by the environmental organization Greenpeace on 10 July 1985.”

Martha notes that Pereira also was a photographer and he was trying to save his equipment at the time that the ship went down.  “The mural shows Polynesian girl in her fragile canoe pulling alongside the ship.”

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Seth at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Seth. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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NIKO at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“This guy says he can paint any animal he’s seen out of his head—very impressive!” says Ms. Cooper about NIKO, whose mural shows animals arriving in Tahiti from around the world from the harbor close to where the wall was. “The USA is represented by an alligator with a Miami Dolphins hat on,” she says.

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Okuda taking a break. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Okuda at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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MAST at work on his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Mast sketch for his mural. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

MAST was channeling Brooklyn hard in Tahiti, with this shout out to the honeys back home, the subway at Franklin Avenue, and he reconfigured the train lines to reflect the letters of his crew – The Great Escape (TGE).

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Mast. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Cranio. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The anomorphic master Leon Keer is pictured here with his wife assisting. Martha says that these figures are “Painting of robots arriving from the harbor.” As usual, Mr. Keers work rather blows your mind when it is completed and you are standing in just the right location.

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Leon Keer. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Inkie at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf at work on his wall. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Kalouf left with Marko on the right. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Peeta. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Hoxxoh. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Jobs & Abuzz. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Tribal Pursuit” is the name of this wall by Tahitians Jobs and Abuzz, named so after the board game called Trivial Pursuit. “The black lines are the Maquesa’s cross,” Martha says, and “the designs are the contradictions of old and modern traditions from Polynesia such as  the ‘head breaker’ a traditional weapon and tiki, the sea animal because they are surrounded by water.” The skull, of course, “represents the atomic tests.”

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Charles and Askew partake on  traditional dance with a local troupe of female dancers. ONO’U Festival 2016. Tahiti. (photo © Martha Cooper)

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“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

“Magic City” Premieres in Dresden : Seno and McCormick as Alchemists

40 Artists Up Along Main Street, 12 More in the BSA Film Program

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Curators Ethel Seno and Carlo McCormick in front of a new mural by German duo Herakut announcing the premiere of Magic City in Dresden. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)


 

“Nature is a petrified magic city.” – Novalis

Curator Carlo McCormick quotes Novalis by way of describing this new exhibit of an eclectic blend of terrific troublemakers, pop-culture hijackers, and show-stopping crowd pleasers drawn from cities all around the Street Art/ graffiti /urban art scene today – and forty years ago. This is a welcoming walk of unexpected intersections that only McCormick and co-curator Ethel Seno could imagine – and pull together as a panoply of street wizardry that acknowledges activism, artistry, anarchy, and aesthetics with a sincere respect for all. It will be interesting to see how this show is viewed by people who follow the chaotic street scene today in the context of its evolution and how they read the street signs in this city.

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Curator Ethel Seno with Managing Director Dieter Semmelmann and exhibition Designer Tobias Kunz cutting the ribbon at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

McCormick, in his customary self-effacing humor, expects there to be some shit flying – as anyone who is involved in this scene expects from the hard-scrabble rebellious margins and subcultures that this art-making interventionist practice rises from. There also are a growing and coalescing mini-legion of scholars and academics who are currently grappling with the nature and characteristics of this self-directed art-making practice rooted often in discontent – now organized inside an exhibition that is ticketed and sold as a family friendly show.

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Street Artist and pop mashup painter Tristan Eaton in front of his new mural wall at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

In his descriptions of the public sphere, the writer, historian, author, and cultural critic McCormick often refers to graffiti and street artists messing with “contested space”. It’s an apt description whether we are talking about the public space in high-density gleaming metropolises or the bombed-out grid-less and polluted quagmires of human fallibility and urban un-planning that dot our globe; all public space its nature is contested.

Here is a place used by many artists to protest, agitate, advocate, or deliver critique – and many of the artists in this exhibition have done exactly this in their street practice, often pushing limits and defining new ones. Dig a little into many of the individual story lines at play here and you’ll see that the vibrant roots of social revolution are pushing up from the streets through the clouds of propaganda and advertising, often mocking them and revealing them in the process.

Ultimately, this Magic City experience is an elixir for contemplating the lifelong romance we have with our cities and with these artists who cavort with us within them. “Our Magic City is a place and a non-place,” McCormick says in a position statement on the exhibit. “It is not the physical city of brick and mortar but rather the urban space of internalized meanings. It is the city as subject and canvas, neither theme park nor stage set, but an exhibition showcasing some of the most original and celebrated artists working on and in the city today.”

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Mixed media Street Artist Asbestos from Dublin, graffiti master/ painter Chris “Daze” Ellis from NYC, and Tristan Eaton from Los Angeles at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Curator Carlo McCormick with New York billboard/culture jammer and artist Ron English in front of his new wall mural at premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Dutch anamorphic art master Leon Keer with Polish crochet transformer/Street Artist Olek at the premiere of Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

BSA curated the film program for Magic City with a dynamic array of some of the best Street Art related films today presented together in a relaxed environment. In this video hosted by Andreas Schanzenbach you get a taste of the works that are showing that we draw from our weekly surveys on BSA Film Friday. Over the last few years we have had the honor of presenting live in-person to students and scholars and fans an ever-evolving collection of videos that speak to the spirit experimentation, discovery and culture-jamming outrageousness of urban interventions, graffiti and Street Art.  The BSA Film Program at Magic City presents a survey of some of the very best that we have seen recently.

Magic City artists include:
Akrylonumerik, Andy K, Asbestos, Ben Heine, Benuz, Biancoshock, Bordalo II, Brad, Downey, Dan Witz, Daze, Ernest Zacharevic, Ganzeer, Henry Chalfant, HERAKUT, Icy & Sot, Isaac Cordal, Jaime Rojo, Jens Besser, Juandres Vera, Lady Aiko, Leon Keer, Loomit, MAD C, Mark Bode, Martha Cooper, Oakoak, Odeith, Olek, Ori Carin / Benjamin Armas, Qi Xinghua, Replete, ROA, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, SpY, Tristan Eaton, Truly, WENU Crew, Yok & Sheryo

The BSA Film Program for Magic City includes the following artists:
Borondo, Brad Downey & Akay, Ella + Pitr, Faile, Farewell, Maxwell Rushton, Narcelio Grud, Plotbot Ken, Sofles, Vegan Flava, Vermibus

Some behind the scenes shots days before the Premiere

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Popagandist Ron English preparing his Temper Tot at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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DAZE reviewing his work at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Urban naturalist ROA at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Sheryo strikes a pose while the guys build the installation she did with The Yok at Magic City in Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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A Magic City Slowly Unfolds In Dresden : Artists Building Now

A Magic City Slowly Unfolds In Dresden : Artists Building Now

“The special magic that comes from our cities is germinated in the mad sum of their improbable juxtapositions and impossible contradictions,” says curator Carlo McCormick when talking about the new show opening in Dresden, Germany this week in a former engine factory called Magic City : The Art of the Street.

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AIKO at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

Along with curator Ethel Seno and a creative team (full disclosure, BSA is part of it) McCormick is evoking an interstitial city that rises from the streets in many urban centers globally. Whether it is graffiti, Street Art, urban interventions, detournement, adbusting, or myriad cultural refinements, artists and activists are commonly, sometimes radically, altering the city and our experience of it.

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Mad C at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

By engaging some of the best visual and intellectual examples of the whole current scene with a full knowledge of our recent past, Magic City lays out a route for you to appreciate the individual and a sense of the cumulative. It’s bold and somewhat romantic move to look for magic in the Graffiti / Street Art / Urban Art scene. Some may argue that it consists of nothing less.

Over the last few weeks about 40 artists have been installing brand new pieces and environments in the long wide factory space in advance of the grand preview this weekend. Here are some process shots of the building of a Magic City.

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OLEK at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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OLEK at work on her piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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ROA at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Ernest Zacharevic at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Benuz at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Qi-Xinghua at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Replete at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Ori Carino and Benjamin Armas at work on their piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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WENU at work on their piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Jens Besser at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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Leon Keer at work on his piece for Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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SpY. Magic City. Dresden, Germany. (photo © Rainer Christian Kurzeder)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.18.16

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We debated whether or not to open today’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week on a political note with new Donald Trump related art or with an uplifting image of an almost universally recognized sweet little bird: The Sparrow.

The Sparrow won.

Who hasn’t seen them enjoying a good old dust bath or just happily munching on whatever crumbs fall from the public while eating al fresco. They have natural predators in the city and country and have been featured in songs, poems, books for centuries. More recently Chairman Mao Zedong ordered them to be killed The Kill a Sparrow Campaign in 1958 – where millions of them were killed by citizens, unleashing an environmental disaster of locusts destroying food crops, and people starving.

We prefer to think of these little birds in terms of the gospel hymn “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”

“I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me.”

This week two street pieces we discovered feature this finely feathered friend by LMNOPI and Elbow-Toe aka Brian Adam Douglas.

So, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Brian Adam Douglas, Dirty Bandits, Indecline, Joe Caslin, Leon Keer, LMNOPI, MSK, SacSix, Swoon, The Flying Dutchman, Vexta, and WK Interact.

Our top image: LMNOPI.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas. Detail. Speaking of sparrows. They make and appearance on this portrait. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brian Adams Douglas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SWOON (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In New Jersey on a rooftop the passing car traffic is now able to catch a glimpse of a nude statue of Donald Trump. The anonymous artists collective Indecline has done of number of recent installations addressing political topics in the New York area. This one has garnered national coverage in the media. There’s not much that we can say that hasn’t already been addressed elsewhere.

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline. MSK . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indecline . Mana Urban Arts Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Keer. Aruba Art Fair. Aruba. (photo © Leon Keer)

Title: ‘Niets aan te geven / Nothing to declare’. The 3D painting depicts the story on the crisis of critical shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela and the effect it has on the nearby island of Aruba. The location were the painting was made is behind the former customs office in San Nicolas. -LK
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VEXTA . Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Caslin. Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival (photo © Joe Caslin)

A new mural in Waterford, Ireland by artist Joe Caslin speaks to the topic of mental health and our awareness of it. On the façade of an abandoned hotel that overlooks the city, Caslin created this figure, quiet and troubled, as part of a mural festival there. The wheatpasted drawing by Caslin is entitled ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’, which translates as ‘we live protected under each other’s shadow’.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Flying Dutch Man (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Jersey City, New Jersey. September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

A couple of weeks ago BSA was in Dresden, Germany to help lay plans for a new Street Art show opening there this fall called “Magic City” and naturally we hit the streets with bicycles three days in a row to see the city’s graffiti, Street Art, and murals whenever time would permit. The first day we had the honor of getting a tour from Jens Besser, an artist, author, lecturer, and producer of mural festivals in the city who sped ahead of us through a labyrinth of streets to show us a number of the impressive murals he and partners have brought to the city in the last decade or so.

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jens is also a local historian and cultural observer so whether we were talking about a graffiti tag, aerosol hand styles, the Fürstenzug mural of 23,000 porcelain tiles, the overflow of the Elbe River during a European flood in 2002 or the architectural subterfuge of a former cigarrete factory/mosque named Yenidze that escaped allied bombings in 1945, he proved a friendly, adept and educational host.

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Optic Ninja – a hand rendered wheat paste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We did some investigating on our own later through Dresden’s more bohemian/neglected gritty neighborhoods but that first tour clued us in to some of the magic that can be found in this city that lies only two hours south of Berlin. The multitude of skills and voices on the street added additional color to the rich conversations we were invited to contribute to by sage and storied writer, critic and chief curator Carlo McCormick. Carlo generously asked us to be a part of his vision of a “Magic City”, a constructed simulacrum and somewhat surreal streetscape with 30+ artists creating new works of many disciplines and mediums inside a former plane engine factory here, and for years we have provided a platform for this form of storytelling on BSA so it’s fantastic to bring to a theater setting here.

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Optic Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McCormick has an intense affinity for the artists and the creative spirit that rivals how extensively he is versed in the antecedents, undercurrents, and greater intellectual and cultural implications of this world that is loosely described as Street Art or Urban art. We’re honored that Carlo tapped us to create a BSA Film Program to work within this newly designed city and to expand the definitions and perceptions of freewill art in the public sphere. Likewise we are grateful to the incredibly talented and ingenious Magic City team under the leadership of Christoph Scholz for inviting us on board for this project – all of which we’ll tell you more about soon.

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“Auch das Team von Brooklyn Street Art (Steven P. Harrington und Jaime Rojo) und das Kuratorenteam um Carlo McCormick und Ethel Seno freut sich, Euch als Magic Citizens ab 1. Oktober in der Magic City in der Zeitenströmung Dresden begrüßen zu dürfen. Der Vorverkauf startet am 3. August!” #MagicCityLife  (Photo © Frank Embacher)

In the meantime, here are new images from Dresden for you along with some more information about the upcoming show.

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Frm-Kid . Otecki for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in DresdenFriedrichstadt . Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Other . Saddo for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curarted by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mono Gonzalez. Dabtar . Gregor for Time for Murals. Curated by Jens Besser and Denise Ackermann. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Graphic Surgery for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JBAK. Detail. For CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ryan Spring Dooely . Moneyless for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenor . H101 for CityBilder – Collaborative Murals in Dresden Friedrichstadt. Curated by Jens Besser and Frank Eckhardt. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artourette (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A day and night diptych from Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jens Besser (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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No Name . No Game. – An “open source” roller tag repeated often and seen in many locations in Dresden. We found this one poignant because of the placement of a commercial real estate developer above it, effectively showcasing two uneasy players in the ongoing discussion about the role of art and artists in the gentrification of neighborhoods. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ZCKR Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SMC . GWK . ZBG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For more check out #magiccitylife  magiccity.de

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A version of this article was also published on The Huffington Post

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