All posts tagged: Lodz

“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.

“Nostalgia” Brings Floriculture to the Tram Stop in Łódź, Poland.

Last night we listened to artist Futura speak with Timothy Anne Burnside at the “Beyond the Streets” about his initial impetus for hitting the streets as a teenage graffiti writer in the late 1960s in New York – an urban environment he described aptly as “the city was on fire”.

“I wanted to express myself,” he said. “That’s all anyone wants to do, no matter how they do it.”

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

As we move further from graffiti and mark-making in public art-making, is it a revelation that the desire to be seen, to have your voice heard, is the common denominator again, regardless of the form of expression.

In this case, a tram shelter in Poland preserves the natural world in resin, transparently.

Like a mix master, the artist here samples someone else’s handiwork and remixes it, adding a filter, chopping it up and repeating it.  

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Dominika Cebula, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts In Łódź, has created this street work for you to glance at and stare through while waiting for the bus, whatever the weather – rain, snow, morning sun.

She’s calling it “Nostalgia”, and you can see how those minutes of waiting could be affected; your memories triggered to remember birthdays, weddings, funerals, walks by yourself along a train track or beside the river. Hundreds of dried flowers are embedded in the resin, including cornflowers, forget-me-nots, roses, narcissus, freesias, daisies, fern leaves, muscaris, eustomas, alstroemerias, pansies, clover, daffodils, orchids.

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Curated by Michał Bieżyński, “Nostalgia” is an unusual horticultural intervention that adds one more point of visual interest in a city that has enjoyed an alluvial visual invasion of murals and sculptural works in the last decade.

Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)
Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)
Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)
Dominika Cebula. “Nostalgia”. Lodzkie Centrum Wydarzen. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)
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Breathe-in/Breathe-out In Łódź, Poland.

Breathe-in/Breathe-out In Łódź, Poland.

Remember that red-haired aerobics teacher that used to yell loudly over the thumping disco beat while her head-banded spandex army jumped and kicked in unison in front of a mirror at the community center?

“Don’t forget to breeeeeeeaaaath, people! Okay? And 2 and 3 and 4. Good!”

SUPERGUT STUDIO (Katarzyna Furgalinska, Lukasz Smolarczyk). Wdech/Wydech | Breathe-in/Breathe-out Łódź, Poland. March 2019. (photo courtesy of Michal Biezynski)

You cannot forget to breath if you are gazing down Piotrkowska Street in Łódź on your average Thursday night either. You will see the slowly pulsing acqua neon sign just installed there reminding you to do that normal thing that you may not pay much attention to.

“Wdech/Wydech”

“Breathe-in/Breathe-out”

The artist duo Supergut Studio (Katarzyna Furgalinska, Lukasz Smolarczyk), have just completed this new public art piece, “throbbing in line with human’s breathing, creating an illusion of synchronization between the neon light and the human organism, ” they say.

SUPERGUT STUDIO (Katarzyna Furgalinska, Lukasz Smolarczyk). Wdech/Wydech | Breathe-in/Breathe-out Łódź, Poland. March 2019. (photo courtesy of Michal Biezynski)

Made with old fashioned neon technology instead of the LEDs that are taking over public light fixtures everywhere, this sign is shrouded effectively in the darkness of night despite its proximity to illuminated crossings and traffic. Watching it silently from a distance, it also summons a memory of city life in the past – perhaps your past.

“The idea is to direct the installation’s influence at a single recipient and his individual sense of ‘here and now’,” says the project’s curator Michal Biesynski, who has over the last decade brought a huge number of artists opportunities to paint walls and erect sculpture here in the Polish city.

This new installation in the public sphere may actually be good for citizen’s health, and possibly their peace of mind.

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Perplexing the Poles, Mark Jenkins Plays Publicly in Łódź

Perplexing the Poles, Mark Jenkins Plays Publicly in Łódź

“Wanna taste these ramen noodles? They’re really good,” says the woman leaning forward to offer you a fork full of the Japanese food, dangling it over your head.

What?

Mark Jenkins. “Ramen Noodle”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

The ultimate public still life sculptor and installation artist, Mark Jenkins has just positioned this woman on a lamp post in Łódź, Poland as part of Michał Bieżyński’s ongoing curation of his city’s public space.

Jenkins continues to refine his true-to-life interactions, with realistic, if troubling and surreal, figures frozen mid-action. He casts his own body and sometimes others’ bodies, using packing tape and plastic wrap, and then dresses them in unremarkable clothing that is conventional to the culture and environment.

Mark Jenkins. “Ramen Noodle”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

This is a kind of human taxidermy, if you will, with bizarre scenarios invoked by the presence of the life-like figure in public space, implicating passersby into the scene before they even realize it.

Here we have six new installations from Jenkins in and around the city center, throwing people off their daily rhythm. They chuckle uncomfortably and point or snap a photo, slightly picking up the pace when walking by.

Mark Jenkins. “Ab Cruncher”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Holy Man”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Holy Man”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Rapunzel”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Rapunzel”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Back Stretcher”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)

Mark Jenkins. “Flower Girl”. For Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń in Lodz, Poland. November 2017. (photo © Rafaà Tomczyk)


Artist: Mark Jenkins
Location: Piotrkowska street, Łódz, Poland
Curator: Michał Bieżyński @lodzmurals
Organizer: Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń @lodzkiecentrumwydarzen

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BSA Film Friday: 11.03.17

BSA Film Friday: 11.03.17

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

Now screening :
1.“Collective Heartbreak” KNOW HOPE at Nuart 2017
2. Igor Ponosov “Too Far, Too Close”
3. UNIQA Art Łódź project in Łódź, Poland
4. Agostino Iaurci for Parees Fest.

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: “Collective Heartbreak” KNOW HOPE at Nuart 2017

Loquacious street poet Know Hope usually has a lot to say and the Isreali Street Artist’s somewhat cryptic text interludes often accompany imagery on walls and his indoor studio works. Custom made verses, sometimes heart rendering, contemplate isolation, unresolved miscommunications, aspiration, gnawing fears; interstitial vagaries that channel political as personal emotional drama, a suspended state of limbo.

For his interactive installations at Nuart this year Addam Yekutieli aka Know Hope spent time listening. He collected stories from Stavanger locals about their experiences of heartbreak and hand painted fragments from those stories in austere urban . For the outdoor part of the project, Addam extracted fragments of words from their stories and placed them around the city, drawing a common story that he hopes strikes universal truths.

 

IGOR PONOSOV “Too Far, Too Close”

“ ‘Too far, Too Close’ is a project by the Russian artist Igor Ponosov which sees a typical Stavanger sailing boat transformed into an abstract mural for Nuart Festival 2017.

The project is meant to symbolizes the distance or disconnect between the public and the vast majority of state-sanctioned public art. The piece was supplemented by Ponosov’s second outdoor art work, titled ‘No signal’, which critiques the growing use of projectors in street art mural production.”

 

UNIQA Art Łódź project in Łódź, Poland.

Regular readers of BSA will recognize almost every one of these sculptures from Łódź, Poland as we have published stories on them previously. Here is a quick round-up of the last couple of years’ worth of public sculptures featured in the UNIQA project, exploring another in-between strata of semi-autonomous Street Art/Public Art involvement that requires permissions (usually) and yet is not choked to death by bureaucratic committee.

 

Agostino Iacurci for Parees Fest. Oviedo, Asturias. Spain. Video Titi Muñoz

A process video of the creation of a new mural by Italian Street Artist/Muralist Agostino Iacurci done last month in Spain for the Parees Fest. Aside from the impressive result, it is notable to see that he has an ongoing daily audience sitting comfortably before the enormous wall, sipping a coffee.

 

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BSA Film Friday: 09.01.17

BSA Film Friday: 09.01.17

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. From Pakistan: The Writing on the Wall
2. “Wrong Weight” Sculpture by Górnicki and Chazme in Łódź
3. CUMA PROJECT: Walking with the Lenca. Stinkfish, Mazatl and Kill Joy
4. ONCE in Barcelona for 12 + 1 Project

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: From Pakistan: The Writing on the Wall

Deconstructing the psyche of Karachi, through the graffiti on its walls…

The capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh, Karachi is the site of an active ongoing political and social Street Art/graffiti scene. Not typically popping up in conversations of Street Art in so-called western countries of Europe and the US, this scene has a character that you would not necessarily recognize, until you completely recognize it.

Here the battle is for your attention, usually reserved exclusively for political parties and, of course, advertising messages that give a particularly bent view of the world. This documentary looks at the ways artists are using public space and interviews them about their practice, and we find that the same approach to engaging the passerby exists here as well:

“I feel like if you are going to critique power or power structures it is kind of pointless to do it in the gallery… there is something about situating your art in a place that gives it greater meaning, a wider audience, more interactivity while making it .”

“I also wanted to see how a woman’s body would react in a space that is generally more dominated by the male.”

“The works present the state of a nation that is aware of it’s problem but not the solution.”

“Looking at advertisements, one finds interesting stories emerging from the layers of these overlapping messages.”

 “Wrong Weight” Sculpture by Górnicki and Chazme in Łódź

You may have seen our posting on this a short time ago : Times of Tumult Personified in Sculpture by Tomasz Górnicki and Chazme

“Wrong weight”, by sculptors Tomasz Górnicki and Chazme is the sixth in a series of public works around Łódź organized by UNIQA Art Łódź project with Łódź Events Centre. A surprisingly 3-dimensional outgrowth of a successful multi-wall mural program that has brought much attention to the city, you may say that somehow these sculptures contain within them the seeds of Street Art and its discontents.

Title: “wrong weight”
Artists: Tomasz Górnicki | Chazme
Address: Station Boat Station (from al. Family Poznań)
Project: Uniqa art boat
Curator: Michał Bieżyński
Organizer: Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń

 

CUMA PROJECT: Walking with the Lenca. Stinkfish, Mazatl and Kill Joy

CUMA Project is an independent Street Art project whose aim is to support popular and indigenous organizations/cultures of Latin America. “In April and May 2016, the street artists Stinkfish, Mazatl and Kill Joy visited the Lenca indigenous communities in the departments of Intibucà and San Francisco Lempira in Honduras”

 

Once for 12 + 1 / Contorno Urbano in Barcelona

“ONCE” Deconstructs and Reconstructs His Tag for 12 + 1 Project In Barcelona was how we described this project in June.

“Influenced by Bauhaus and Russian propaganda posters during the revolution, Catalonia born ONCE says he doesn’t really think that he is using abstract methods of manipulating his text into something unrecognizable. “Although for the general public,” he says, “these are only geometric shapes and they are more likely to think that I am painting with abstraction.” His control of aspects of fine art lettercraft reflects some of that heralded industrial society that was lauded a hundred years ago and it is somehow quite modern as well.”

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“The Head of John the Baptist” in a Water Fountain in Łódź, Poland

“The Head of John the Baptist” in a Water Fountain in Łódź, Poland

For a decade we’ve been saying that art in the streets of the modern city lies along a continuum between illegal, autonomous interventions and those that are officially sanctioned by institutions. In today’s posting from Łódź, Poland, we’re much nearer to the latter end of that continuum.

Szymon Ryczek for UNIQA Art Łódź project. Łódź, Poland. June 2017. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Part of UNIQA Art Łódź, a public art project that itself has metamorphosed from a multi-year mural program by (primarily) Street Artists on city walls to its current public sculpture program under the direction of Michał Bieżyński, here we have the head of John the Baptist.

Weighted with references to Biblical story of the martyr in spiritual opposition to King Herod and baptism by water, organizers also say that the sculpture commemorates the Jewish victims in Łódź ghettos during a time when their culture and lives were once blossoming, later destroyed by the Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany. With the decapitated head as a symbol, one also may draw a connection with the highly staged videos circulated in recent years that purport to show hooded ISIS militants beheading people.

Szymon Ryczek for UNIQA Art Łódź project. Łódź, Poland. June 2017. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Sited on a pedestal in Old Town Park in its central pond, the location is in the part of the city where the Jewish community once settled, and the visual itself may be quite disturbing to viewers as it reflects a mirror image here until the end of the season. The artist Szymon Ryczek is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Graphic Art and Painting, Strzemiński Academy of Art in Łódź and the sculpture is made of epoxy resin dusted with carbon dust.

Previous artists in the sculpture program have included Lump, Etam and Robert Proch, Crystal Wagner, and Mona Tusz. The next project will be a large-scale sculpture by two Warsaw artists Tomasz Górnicki and Chazme at the end of July at the Łódź Fabryczna train station.

Szymon Ryczek for UNIQA Art Łódź project. Łódź, Poland. June 2017. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 

 

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Opiemme Paints a “Black Hole Sun” with Lyrics for Chris Cornell

Opiemme Paints a “Black Hole Sun” with Lyrics for Chris Cornell

A tribute to singer Chris Cornell today from Street Artists and calligramist Opiemme.

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Entitled “Black Hole Sun”, the lyrics of the Soundgarden song were stuck in the mind of the artist since Cornell passed in May.

The monochrome layout of text appears on a wall for Urban Forms Foundation in Łódź, Poland and the artist says it is meant to evoke the stillness of the universe, a giant object appearing static because of its vast dimensions.

“The human-size mural is a freestyle painting,” Opiemme tells us, “and its composition is based on the repetitive rhythm of the elements in the white boxes. These elements, when viewed from left to right, produce the illusion of a slowly growing movement of the subject, similar as it is to the perceived movement in single film frames or slow motion footage.”

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

“In my eyes, indisposed
In disguises no one knows
Hides the face, lies the snake
The sun in my disgrace
Boiling heat, summer stench
‘Neath the black the sky looks dead
Call my name through the cream
And I’ll hear you scream again

Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain
Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come (won’t you come)”

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

Opiemme. “Black Hole Sun” Urban Forms Foundation. Lodz, Poland. June 2017. (photo © PAWEŁ TRZEŹWIŃSKI)

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Mona Tusz Creates New Relief in Lodz, Poland

Mona Tusz Creates New Relief in Lodz, Poland

Artist Mona Tusz creates a relief mural in Lodz, Poland using stained glass, wood, metal, and custom illumination in her latest esoteric journey of spirit and emotion for this latest creation for UNIQA Art Lodz.

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

The public art program has been looking for alternatives to the classically painted mural and encouraging artists to experiment with techniques and materials and Tusz’ new work evokes a weightlessness in her new look into a tale told across a submerged and twinkling marine atmospheric.

Here the graduate of the Katowice Academy of Fine Arts takes advantage of a low wide wall to breathe space between floating elements that she hand painted in great detail. Incorporating lighting that is specific to the piece on Gdańska 132 st, night time evokes a celestial and quietly gleaming scene while the stained glass and varied 3 dimensional elements cast shadows and change hue throughout the day movement of the sun across this southern-facing wall.

“The art of Mona in general is characterized by extremely detailed, painted texture, which is barely visible on the photos,” says Michał Bieżyński, Art Director of UNIQA Art Lodz project, but you can see the fine brushwork on the characters if you look closely. All tolled the unique relief approach takes her work in a new direction and lifts the sky toward you.

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 

 

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

Mona Tusz for UNIQA Art Lodz Project. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 

Please visit LODZ Murals below to learn more about this project.

www.facebook.com/lodzmurals

https://instagram.com/lodzmurals

Artist: Mona Tusz
Address: Gdańska 132 st.
Project: UNIQA Art Łódź #uniqaartlodz
Curator: Michał Bieżyński
Organizer: @lodzkiecentrumwydarzen

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 11.18.16

BSA Film Friday: 11.18.16

brooklyn-street-art-labrona-video-740-screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-8-07

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

 

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

Now screening :
1. Labrona Unveiled
2.  Opiemme: Lodz Of Eggs
3. Resoborg “Love Imvelo” in South Africa
4. Brad Eastman AKA Beastman in Sydney


bsa-film-friday-special-feature

 

BSA Special Feature: Labrona Unveiled

Not exactly overlooked but perhaps under-sung, the work of freight train-writer/figurative painter Labrona has appeared on BSA since our beginning and for the first time you have an opportunity to see the artist and hear his voice. Up until now he has preferred to be remain somewhat anonymous individually but is pulling back the curtain in his unassuming way.

See and hear him describe his sort of organic progression from the illegal walls on street to the to legal murals and gallery canvasses. You do not get the sense that Labrona has been in it for fame, rather the love of art and his own studies of art history.

Opiemme: Lodz Of Eggs

The Italian artist Opiemme realized a site specific project for Urban Forms Foundation recently in Lodz with a collective performance involving community members throwing paint filled eggs.

It is rather difficult to understand what it all means, or how it is related to the astrological sign Taurus, or even if the participants had a clear idea what the bigger story was. But it looks like a fun interactive event for people to engage with art.

 

Resoborg “Love Imvelo” in South Africa

Wesley van Eeden aka Resoborg was in South Africa recently painting a mural for a lifestyle brand of clothing. He says that “Love Imvelo” is influenced by the Zulu word for the environment and he was to encourage our love for it.

Brad Eastman AKA Beastman in Sydney

Brad Eastman talks about his wall for a real estate firm in downtown Sydney.

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“UNIQA” Public Sculpture Project Begins in Łódź with “LUMP”

“UNIQA” Public Sculpture Project Begins in Łódź with “LUMP”

One of the most successful mural festivals in Europe is shifting the focus to the sculptural, considering seriously the public interaction with objects in the 3rd dimension.

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

6 years of Łódź Murals is now giving way to the UNIQA Art Łódź Project and, by years end. 6 new artists will be installing temporary and permanent sculptures, bas-reliefs, installations, and site-specific realizations in this Polish city of 722,000.

Today we have the first series of installations that reclaim public advertising columns as oversize kitchen objects commonly found in Poland during the 1950s-1980s, when this country was called The Polish People’s Republic.

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

A subtle ode to a period that the new generation of Millenials will not be familiar, the “Kingsize” project by the artist named LUMP recreates a coffee machine, vacuum flask, pepper shaker, jub, washing machine, and seltzer bottle that all would have been common in homes during those decades.

The three month installation along Piotrkowska Street by the Szczecin-based artist are meant to revive a sort of common memory, if not a longing for an earlier time – or maybe just to remind you of Grandma’s kitchen.

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

“ Łódź’s murals are famous all over the world and have become major icons of the city,” UNIQA director Michał Bieżyński, as he explains his new vision for these new artworks in the city that people can view from a different perspective.

“Diverse materials and technologies will be employed to make the project as varied as possible. It is essential that residents be presented with the broadest possible range of graphic solutions so that the project, beside the purely artistic format, will offer some visual education.”

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

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LUMP for  UNIQA Art Łódź Project. Łódź, Poland. August 2016. (photo © Michał Bieżyński)

 

Our most sincere thanks to Mr. Bieżyński for sharing this project in exclusive with BSA. For more about UNIQA Art Łódź Project visit:

www.facebook.com/lodzmurals

https://instagram.com/lodzmurals

.

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BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

BSA Top Stories As Picked by You from BSA and HuffPost in 2015

You picked them!

Last week you saw the Top Murals and the Top Videos. Today here are our Top Stories of 2015.

BSA readers told us by your direct comments and online sharing – that you love our coverage of Street Art festivals: 8 of the top 15 postings in ’15 were about them.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-TOP-15-Stories-of-2015

The rest of the most popular stories can be described as being about powerful personalities and consequential work on the street that is not simply visually impactful but is backed by a story that runs deeper.

Following are your top 15 postings from the year on BSA and our articles on The Huffington Post along with an excerpt from the original posting.

 


NO. 15

 A Mexican Mural ‘Manifesto,’ Blackened Flags And Censorship (March 04 2015)

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Erica il Cane (photo © Fifty24Mex)

“Striking and massive murals by international street artists have been populating the walls of Mexico City for the last five years thanks to the emergence of a global Street Art scene, a rise in mural festivals, and the country’s tradition of institutional support for murals that further a socio-political mission. There hasn’t been much of the latter lately, however, and it is doubtful that a new politically charged mural campaign underway in certain central neighborhoods is likely to receive tax dollars for the paint and ladders.

Without sighting a specific ill to address, the new mural initiative named “Manifesto” is challenging a select group of local and international street artists to express their opinions on weighty and topical matters through murals, “using art as a social tool to propose, reflect and inform.” Among possible topics that might be addressed, the manifesto for “Manifesto” says, are increasing poverty, glorified materialism, the exhausting of natural resources, a fraying social web, and a dysfunctional justice system.”

More…


NO. 14

Malik and ‘Note’ Bring 17 Street Artists To A Swiss Prison (November 04, 2015)

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(photo © Malik)

“Initiated by Aarau-based graffiti/street/fine artist Malik in May of 2012, the project eventually corralled 17 street artists, all but one from Switzerland, to enter the confines of the new high security Lenzburg Prison to paint murals on exterior walls, courtyards, hallways, and common areas.

‘I was looking for a new challenge and a new and exciting project where I could show my art,’ says Malik and while the 18 month project originated with his vision of getting a nice wall for himself, quickly the project grew far beyond his expectations to become an educational, sociological meditation on the penal system, the appropriate role of art within it, and our collective humanity.”

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NO. 13

The Coney Art Walls: First Three Completed and Summer Begins  (May 27, 2015)

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Kave (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Instead of being hunted down for catching a tag or bubble-lettered throw-up, a couple dozen graffiti/street art painters are invited to hit up Coney Island this summer — and since we’ve just marked the unofficial first weekend of summer in New York — we’re bringing you the first three freshly completed pieces.

Part of “Coney Art Walls”, the muralists began taking the train out to this seaside paved paradise that is re-inventing itself once again, this time courtesy of art curator Jeffrey Deitch.”

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NO. 12

50 Years From Selma, Jetsonorama and Equality in Brooklyn  (June 27, 2015)

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Jetsonorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“From Selma to Ferguson, Birmingham to Charleston, Jimmie Lee Jackson to Michael Brown, Street Artist Jetsonorama is crossing the country from Arizona to New York and a half-century of America’s struggle with our legacy of racism and injustice.

As marches have continued across the country in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore, New York, Dallas and Cleveland in the past year addressing issues such as police brutality and racism, the south is taking down confederate flags on state houses and the US is mourning another mass shooting.

Now as Americans everywhere are pulling out and waving the stars and stripes to celebrate freedom, this new powerful installation on a Brooklyn wall reminds us of what New York poet Emma Lazarus said, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’ ”

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NO. 11

Gender, Caste, And Crochet: OLEK Transforms A Shelter In Delhi  (March 25, 2015)

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Olek (photo © Street Art India)

” ‘It felt like I gave a birth to an oversize baby without any pain killers. I had to pull the black magic to make it happen. Physically and emotionally drained. Was it worth it? Absolutely YES,’ she types onto her Facebook page to let friends and fans know that she has finished the seven-day marathon of crocheting and directing a full team of volunteers and St+Art Delhi organizers. Triumphant, she stands atop the woman’s shelter, a one story structure of corrugated metal and concrete 40-feet long and 8-feet high, with a fist in the air, a symbol of celebration as well as a show of solidarity with the sisterhood of those who helped her make it and those will seek refuge here when other options have been exhausted.”

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NO. 10

A Tidal Wave of Lodz Reborn: ‘Lodz Murals’ Distinguishes a Polish City (October 28, 2015)

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Alexis Diaz (photo © Maciej Stempij)

“Now I don’t want to create any new festival, any new brand — just want to keep the name as simple as possible,” he says of Lodz Murals, an ongoing program that functions year round rather than focusing specifically on a short-term festival. With all responsibilities for organizing, promoting, and working with city and private business under one roof, Michał says that his vision is to create the same sort of iconic image of Lodz with murals as Paris with the Eiffel Tower.

“I would like that people on the global scale would think of Lodz as a city with exceptional public art,” he says grandly while acknowledging that public art shines in many other cities as well. “When you are thinking about public art, one of the first places that you will see in your mind’s eye is Lodz. Of course, comparing the mural project to the one of the most important “pearls” of modern architecture is pure overstatement, but I would like to create this type of mechanism, this type of association.”

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NO. 9

WALL\THERAPY 2015: Surrealism and the Fantastic (July 29, 2015)

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Never Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We don’t know for sure if it was our current funhouse mirror atmosphere that drove the Wall\Therapy festival in Rochester, NY to choose this years’ themes. It may simply be a way of organizing artists whose work reflects these notions back to us and to illuminate one specific growing trend in street culture and murals.

Surely Magritte, Dali and Ernst would be very pleased by the uptick of modern surrealists and practitioners of the bizarre, fantastical, and dream-like in galleries, in the public sphere, and throughout popular culture in recent years.”

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NO. 8

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street (September 12, 2015)

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Ella & Pitr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“As we mark the halfway point of this decade and see the institutional discussions of Street Art taking form while academics try to place it in the canon of art-making and decide upon the nature of its impact, they do it with the knowledge that gallery shows, museum exhibitions, high-profile auctions, individual collecting, lifestyle marketers, and public festivals of many configurations and aspirations are already embracing its relevance. No one can possibly gauge this story in all of its complexity but some will capture its spirit. Being on the street helps.

One way to get a pulse on the present is to attend shows like Nuart and witness the diverse stratagems that artists are using to engage their audiences and judge if they are successful at realizing their intentions. With a deliberately mixed bag of thinkers, feelers, documentors, aesthetes, and pranksters culled together for your edification, this show stokes the discussions.”

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NO. 7

Coney Art Walls: 30 Reasons to Go to Coney Island This Summer  (June 24, 2015)

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Daze (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The gates are open to the new public/private art project called “Coney Art Walls,” and today, you can have a look at all 30 or so of the new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a helluva lot of New York street culture history. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of the action as it happened over the last five weeks and the range is impressive. These are not casual, incidental choices of players lacking serious resumes or street/gallery cred, but the average observer or unknowing critic may not recognize it.”

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NO. 6

Barcelona: “Open Walls” Mural Festival and Conference 2015 (November 11, 2015)

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RocBlackBlock (photo © Fernando Alcalá Losa)

“Barcelona was known as a city at the epicenter of a bustling lively organic street art scene in the mid 2000s. Today that has greatly been cracked down upon by authorities, but the Spanish city now boasts a mural festival called Open Walls, which celebrated its third edition last month with public works spanning a great number of influences and styles. Of course there is still plenty of autonomous, non-comissioned street art to be seen as well.”

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NO. 5

Basquiat’s Rarely Seen Notebooks Open At The Brooklyn Museum (April 01, 2015)

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Basquiat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In ‘Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,’ now running at the Brooklyn Museum until August 23, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.”

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NO. 4

Borås ‘No Limit’ 2015: Graffiti Tags, Murals, Greco-Roman Antiquities (September 17, 2015)

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Pichi & Avo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This is No Limit, the second installation of murals done primarily by street artists in Borås, a pristine and pleasant city about 45 minutes east of Gothenberg. With the leadership of artist Shai Dahan and organizers Stina Hallhagen and Anders Khil the local tourism office works year round to promote this festival and the quality of the pieces are top notch due to the careful choices of international big names and up-and-comers.

In addition to this diversity, the scale is varied with massive walls like those by the Chilean Inti and Poland’s Robert Proch, and more personal-sized installations in surprise locations around town by American illustration artist David Zinn and New Jersey’s sculptural stencilist Joe Iurato.”

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NO. 3

Street Art Sancocho: ArteSano Project Brings Dominican Flavor  (January 08, 2015)

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Mario Ramirez (photo © Tots Films)

It could be the name influencing our perception, but in one way or another it looks like these artists are chosen for their down-to-earth hand hewn approach. Sometimes decorative, sometimes storytelling, there are familiar themes and motifs that play well to their local audience as well as the virtual gawker.

Even with two dozen artists, it isn’t bloated: no logos or product tie-ins or DJs or high flying scissor lifts scaling massive multi-story walls with abstract surrealism, hyper photo-realism or dark pop human/animal/robot hybrids here – yet. Well, we take that back on the surrealism score; Pixel Pancho is here with a brood of chickens bobbing their industrial mesh necks atop fired tile bodices, hunting and pecking their way toward the beach, and Miami artist duo 2alas & Hox created a portrait of a boy with a partial mask overlay that calls to mind cyborgs (and Sten & Lex). But here in the loungey bare-foot tropical DR coastal area, even Pixel Pancho mutes the hues toward sun-bleached pastels, more easily complimenting their surroundings.”

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NO. 2

Renaissance Masters, Keith Haring and Ninja Turtles in Brooklyn Streets (July 15, 2015)

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Owen Dippie. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

And so it made sense last week when Dippie skillfully merged imagery spanning five centuries, two continents, and two distinctly different art movements. Call it a measured miracle, a ratherish revelation that Dippie completed a deftly realized mashup of Raphael and Keith Haring, with the Madonna del Granduca holding Haring’s icon-symbol that is variously referred to as ‘Radiant Baby,’ ‘Radiant Child,’ and ‘Radiant Christ.’ ”

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NO. 1

YZ and Her ‘Amazone’ Warrior Women On Senegalese Walls (January 14, 2015)

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YZ (photo © YZ Yseult)

“French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street ‘Amazone’.”

More…

 

 

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1300 Metal Bars in Lodz: Cekas Creates Sculptural “Silence” on a Wall

1300 Metal Bars in Lodz: Cekas Creates Sculptural “Silence” on a Wall

The mercurial role of light and shadow continually vex the Street Artist as no two days are the same, sometimes no two hours. If you are a photographer or a fan, your experience of the work outside will be subject to weather, lighting, and wiseguys who want to buff or diss someones work. These elements are part of the game and you might as well get used to it.

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Lukasz Berger „Cisza” | “Silence” for Lodz Murals. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Maciej Stempij)

This fall in Lodz, Poland the urban art organizer Michal Biezynski chose the Wroclaw-based artists Cekas (Lukasz Berger) to more fully play with the elements with his sculptural installation of 1300 metal bars protruding at different lengths perpendicular to a wall.

“The installation is permanent and it’s playing with the light and the sunbeams,” Biezynski tells us, “The everyday cycle of the sun creates a dynamic character and the “drawings” made of the shadows are directly related to the time of the day and the season of the year. Apart from that, the installation also works at night with the light of the moon.”

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Lukasz Berger „Cisza” | “Silence” for Lodz Murals. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Maciej Stempij)

A graduate of the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Cekas favors experimentation – something not uncommon in graffiti, Street Art, and mural-making. As he watches the sun trace across the sky overhead and sees the configuration of the shadows produce new forms and patterning, he talks about the meaning of “Silence,” the name of the installation.

“The installation is an answer to the communication between the modern man and the reality around him,” he says, explaining that our individual an cumulative actions are “producing noise, which at times may seem inaudible, but it is still present.” So each one of those small metal bars (which cumulatively weigh more than 500 kg) is a contributor to a collective sound – in this case a sort of visual noise, if you will.

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Lukasz Berger „Cisza” | “Silence” for Lodz Murals. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Maciej Stempij)

Michal says “Silence” (spelled in the Polish “Cisza”) is a great departure from the mural program he has fostered over the last few years that has drawn nearly 50 artists to walls around the city, and it has piqued his interest in what else may be possible when programming art for the public sphere. “I would like to implement new things in Lodz’s urban tissue – modern sculptures and installations. What’s more, in the framework of my work in Lodz Event Centre, I want to renounce the festival form – I want to convert it more into an all year round public art program.” That’s the sound of someone thinking for new ways for art to engage the public; another curious evolution of the Lodz festival that grew from graffiti and Street Art, casting his goals in a different light.

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Lukasz Berger „Cisza” | “Silence” for Lodz Murals. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Maciej Stempij)

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Lukasz Berger „Cisza” | “Silence” for Lodz Murals. Lodz, Poland. (photo © Maciej Stempij)

 

To learn more about Lodz Murals click HERE
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