All posts tagged: Lexington

ROA TOWERS : New Shots from UK, Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the US

ROA TOWERS : New Shots from UK, Belgium, Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the US

We’re back with a slew of new ROA pieces as he continues to share the absolute best images with BSA readers while traveling around the globe. The Belgian street artist, who we refer to as an Urban Naturalist, continues his astounding world tour at a pace that few Street Artists can sustain. Right now he in Hawaii for Pow! Wow! but will soon be in New York for what we hear will be a rather amazing solo gallery show.

The prolific painter has so many fresh images for you that ROA is getting two days of postings on BSA this week. Today we go to London (UK), Werchter (Belgium), Bromölla and Nassjo in Sweden, Queretaro (Mexico), Schmalkalden (Germany), Rome (Italy), Lexington, Kentucky(US), and Las Vegas, Nevada (US). Accompanying some of the images is commentary from ROA about the experience, the context in which he created the pieces and the relevance of the subjects he chose to depict.

Werchter (Belgium)

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ROA. Werchter, Belgium. North West Walls. 2014 (photo © ROA)

As is often the case, ROA raises consciousness about the deleterious effects our everyday selfishness causes for the animal world, who we crow so loudly that we care about. While ROA could stay with comfortable subjects, he has demonstrated a long lasting dedication to the plight of animals that few social activists doing work on the street can sustain or have the stomach for. Coupled with the ceaseless dedication to honing his craft over the last few years, sometimes the result is so monumental that your jaw drops open.

This container construction is a permanent installation for NORTHWESTWALLS in Werchter, Belgium. He explains how he arrived at the subject when he was given this massive sculpture of shipping containers as canvas. “Thinking about this situation and the given element of the containers, my thoughts were directly connected to freight and legal and illegal animal trafficking of exotic animals: a questionable practice,” he says.

“Illegal trafficking is an ongoing crime and we all know to what it can lead, however in the context of legal trafficking I was thinking about how the colonies exported exotic animals in poor conditions to show in Victorian zoos. I also thought about the ironic repercussions of zoos today: how they export animals for breeding programs and how some species only exist in captivity anymore, which is a paradox. So this is how I got the idea to use the containers as cages and instead of using native animals, it became a pile of exotic animals.”

Schmalkalden (Germany)

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ROA. Schmalkalden, Germany. WallCome Festival. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA chose this bat as his entry in the WallCome Festival in Schmalkalden.

Sweden (Bromölla and Nassjo)

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ROA. Nassjo, Sweden. Nassjo Kommun. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“I took the train to Nassjo, where Nassjo Kommun invited me to paint a bird on the rooftop,” says ROA.

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ROA. Tyrannosaurus. Bromölla, Sweden. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“Malverket (the building) is a part of a ceramic factory that makes huge insulators, located in Bromölla, in South Sweden. ‘Bromölla boasts remains from the Stone Age, and even some findings of dinosaurs‘,” he says, quoting the WikiPedia page I painted a tyrannosaurus. Teresa and Jonathan invited me, and I do know you already shown the reportage of Henrik Haven, thank you for that! That was great.

London

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ROA. Shrew in Dulwich, London 2014 (photo © ROA)

“The London shrew in Dulwich,” he tells us, is actually a depiction of a shrew is stuck into a jar. “It happens a lot in nature that shrews crawl into empty beer bottles and can’t get out because of the slippery/smooth bottle end… they die and the rotten smell attrack other shrews to check out the bottle and on tier turn they become trapped in the bottle.”

ROA thanks Ingrid Beazley from the Dulwich Picture Gallery who invited him over to paint the Dulwich wall.

 

 

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ROA. Flea. London 2014 (photo © ROA)

“Another local animal from London, the flea,” says ROA.

Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

“I also painted in the Bourbon Distillery District,” says ROA of his trip to Kentucky for the PHBTN Festival, “where I painted a chicken wing (as in Kentucky Fried…).”

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ROA. Lexington, KY. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROME, Italy

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ROA. Rome, Italy. 2014 (photo © Lorenzo Gallito/BlindEyeFactory.com)

You may recall we did a previous posting on this bear piece when ROA first completed it.

ROA and An Orphaned Bear in Rome

Queretaro, Mexico

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ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA did a number of paintings of animals local to the area while in Queretaro for the Board Dripper Festival, which celebrated its fifth year in September. ROA would like to says thanks to Isauro for the hospitality.

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ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

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ROA. Queretaro, Mexico. 2014 (photo © ROA)

Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)

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ROA. Las Vegas, Nevada. 2014 (photo © ROA)

ROA painted this horned lizard for the Life is Beautiful festival, and he extends his thanks to Rom and Charlotte.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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Fighting Prohibition with MTO In Lexington, KY

Fighting Prohibition with MTO In Lexington, KY

“The Bluegrass State” is probably one of the first things you think of when you hear about Kentucky. Also bourbon, horse racing, and college basketball.  And Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

Nope, street art and graffiti don’t spring to mind.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

Well gird your loins; How & Nosm, ROA, and Kobra all have big pieces here in Lexington. So does Phlegm, Gaia, and now MTO (though barely, we’ll get to that in a minute). The point is, these are well known and regarded artists from the street art scene globally, and each is still on the rise professionally.

Spearheaded by John and Jessica Winters, gallerists and the co-founders of a mural and cultural program called PRHBTN, about a dozen international artists and a number of local ones have been putting up work on walls here since 2011. While it’s not the free-range illegal sort of graffitti and is mostly comprised of legal murals, the room for expression is great and the program undeniably brings a lot of life to the city, engendering a lot of discussion between neighbors and people on the street.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

“We don’t necessarily have a particular vision aside from the idea of continuing to bringing amazing artists to Lexington, for them to create art on our walls,” say John and Jessica in a recent interview with Christine Huskisson in a local cultural arts website named UM (Under Main). In fact their desire to not intrude on the creative vision of the artist may have spurred some neighborhood conflict with the newest addition by MTO.

The enormous piece MTO did upset some of the neighbors and community leaders because the hands and fingers of the figure reminded them of something they might have seen on TV dramas. Before you knew it, there was a “controversy” about gang signs and discussions about whether it would draw unsavory types to the area.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

You know – gangs! Here! Soon! According to the folks at PRHBTN, the majority of the businesses and community responses they had were supportive, but a few vocal concerns lead the narrative for awhile. They also say they sought all the necessary permissions to put the art up on private property. Some say the criticisms are about personal tastes, but it may also reek of deeper prejudices.

MTO has triggered this sort of response in the past, and we’ve published a piece about a Floridian community response to his work that was startlingly similar. Here again it looks like he has provoked a subconscious reaction that is very telling about the “discomfort” that perfectly nice folks can’t quite put their finger on.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

In reality, MTO is just spelling out his initials, silly. Of course he is poking the monkey by putting himself (or someone) behind bars – and the aspirator ads to the scary mask effect.”I finished the biggest mural I ever did in Kentucky,” he says, “The controversy started when I was just starting to sketch on the wall.” He explains the particulars and doesn’t really mind the discussions his art has started, and is pleased with his wall overall.

Along with a video he has just released, the back story is now told – or at least a colorful fictional version of it. Taking his tip from the Winter’s program name, he tells an winding tale about Prohibition that drunkenly mixes real life and metaphor. The guy makes interesting film/videos too, by the way.

Its guaranteed that you will not predict the end of this tale – and it probably isn’t over.

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

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MTO “My Name Is MO” For PRHBTN 2014. Street Art Festival in Lexington, KY. (photo © MTO)

 

 

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Additional stories about the issues that some took, and some rode, with this new mural by MTO.
http://www.wtvq.com/story/d/story/new-lexington-mural-draws-complaints/12600/BmTuJfXCxE-TS6y7UXajLw
http://www.kentucky.com/2014/10/24/3498530_manchester-street-mural-raises.html?sp=/99/322/&rh=1
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=547713198705900
http://www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/this-mural-painted-on-the-james-pepper-warehouse-on-manchester-street-appears-to-be-someone-in-jail-flashing-hand-signs/
http://www.billwarnerpi.com/2012/01/fast-life-gang-sign-mural-on-tube-dude.html

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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