All posts tagged: London

Dan Witz’s “Breathing Room” Installs Meditating Figures in 10 London Phone Booths

Dan Witz’s “Breathing Room” Installs Meditating Figures in 10 London Phone Booths

“It was an insane install,” says Dan Witz of his London phone booth, “probably one of the most challenging of my career.”

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

The New York Street Artist who began working anonymously putting art on the streets in the late 1970s is sometimes given to hyperbole, but when you see the map of the ground he covered in the city in search of the right homes for his “Breathing Room” guerilla installations, you think he may be hewing to the truth. He’s also got the timing and delivery of a Catskills comedian when describing his efforts to put up these new people deep inside a spiritual practice.

“All 10 of the pieces are up and scattered nicely around greater London,” he says wide-eyed and nearly out of breath as if he had just finished running an interventionist art marathon. “Greater is the word. That place is huge. Vast. Endless. And it seems like I’ve seen every scruffy inch of it now.”

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

“Take my wife, please!” He didn’t actually say that one. Besides, Dan’s wife Tiffaney is the linchpin who helped him realize this project, putting together the video and Kickstarter page that raised money to bring him from New York to glue these paintings to the iconic red phone booths.

As it turns out, these quietly meditating illusionistic figures were measured and created for a size of booth that has fallen into disuse – a fact that he may have liked to know before painted these in his Brooklyn studio. There are two sizes of phone booths in London, Dan tells us; the K2 and the K6.

“The one that I measured for, the K2, is the older, rare and widely dispersed one. Apparently there are only a couple of hundred of them in use at remote and largely undisclosed locations. But, through the deep research skills of Mark Clack of Wood Street Walls  and my ever intrepid wife Tiffaney, we were able to locate enough K2’s for me to put my paintings on.”

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

Witz’s newest work is meant as a response to the terrorist attacks in many cities that have hurt many people psychologically and stirred an atmosphere of fear – now he hopes to encourage a place for people to create “breathing room” for reflection. He has dealt directly with darker issues before, particularly a well-documented street art campaign a couple of years ago in Frankfurt, Germany, of figures caught just behind dark windows and metal grates. It is a guerrilla style he has honed over years to subtly draw attention and unnerve a passerby, perhaps into action.

For that campaign a nearby QR code could be scanned and followed to the Amnesty International campaign in support of political prisoners. Here he hopes to spark individual acts of hope, with these serene images radiating an optimism and focus on more peaceful matters.

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

Mr. Witz says that the whole experience tracking down and installing in London phonebooths was challenging, and fun and rewarding as well. “Fortunately I had the foresight to rent a motorcycle and I figured out how to mount my phone with Google maps on the handlebars,” he says.

“I’m not sure how I would have done any of this without that. But don’t even get me started on how crazy it was to drive on the left side of the road for the first time in my life,” then adds somewhat conspiratorially, “Don’t tell Tiffaney but there were some close calls.”

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. “Breathing Room” London, July 2016. (photo © Dan Witz)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.15.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.15.16

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Coney Art Walls is back for 2016 and the artists have already begun painting, Duke Riley is on week two of performance with pigeons in The Brooklyn Navy Yard , the #notacrimecampaign is happening in Harlem to support a free press in Iran, Newark has started a huge public mural program called “Gateways to Newark: Portraits”, Urban Nation in Berlin promises a huge announcement this week,  and Vladimir Putin is in a lip-lock with Donald Trump on the street in Lithuania.  There is also a lot of new free-range, unsanctioned art on the streets.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring bunny M, Cdre, Crash, Dain, Dee Dee, Etnik, finDAC, Futura, Icy & Sot, Mister Cartoon, Myth, Pegasus, and Rone.

Our top image: CRASH and the first wall completed for the 2016 edition of Coney Art Walls, courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch and his amazing crew, especially Ethel Seno. BSA will bring you all the details, works in progress and behind-the-scenes juiciness for the entire duration of the project until all the walls are completed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAIN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Etnik for fallOutWalls fest in Torino, Italy. (photo © Etnik)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pegasus in London interprets The Beckhams from his series “Gods and Monsters”  (photo © Urban Art International)

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An unidentified artist creates “Urban Paleontology” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RONE in East Harlem for #notacrimecampaign (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RONE. Detail. East Harlem for #notacrimecampaing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FUTURA does something new and organic for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FUTURA. Detail. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FinDac in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon’s is pugilistic for Coney Art Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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We are hoping that one of you dear readers will help us ID this artist, whose signature we can’t figure out. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth says “Sayonara Dana P” and reaches for the Bowie phone. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. The Last Picture. F Train. Brooklyn, NYC. April 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Threatened Species Painted on London Walls for “Endangered 13”

Threatened Species Painted on London Walls for “Endangered 13”

23,250.

That’s how many wild species are listed as threatened worldwide by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A newly curated mural project in London aims to begin raising awareness of our behaviors devastating impact on the animal world and to reverse the trend of killing off these species.

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Jonsey. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

Curlew, Orangutan, Rhino, Blue Whale, Bateleur, Polar Bear, and Grey-Breasted Parakeet are only a handful of animals who are critically endangered or vulnerable according to ecological conservators around the globe and 13 of the UK’s talented artists are creating a campaign about them called “Endangered 13”

“The idea of the project is to raise awareness of species in desperate decline, with many on the brink of extinction,” explains artist Louis Masai, who produced the program along with the environmental art platform Human Nature.

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Jonsey. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

“We believe that the choices made in our market driven, consumer orientated, fossil fuelled society are steering us to ever increasing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and species extinction,” says the groups’ manifesto, and the new paintings are ironically painted in London’s Tower Hamlets Cemetery as if to strengthen the dire results.

The artists gathered on the freshly grassy bank along the railway arches last weekend to create their missives of tribute and warning, each featuring one species that is currently endangered.

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Jonsey. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

According to Mr. Masai and organizers their goal is to “see these species rise in number and their natural habitats saved in the next ten years.”

Our special thanks to photographer Ian Cox for sharing these brand new exclusive photos of the fresh murals and some of the artists at work for BSA readers.

Participating artists: Andy Council, ATM, Carrie Reichardt, Dr Zadok, Faunagraphic, Fiya One, Jonesy, Jim Vision, Louis Masai, Rocket 01, Vibes, Von Leadfoot and Xenz.

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ATM. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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ATM. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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ATM. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Vibes. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Vibes. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Louis Masai. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Louis Masai. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Louis Masai. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Louis Masai. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Louis Masai. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Fauna Graphic. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Fauna Graphic. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Fauna Graphic. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Jim Vision AKA Probs. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Jim Vision AKA Probs. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Probs. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Xenz. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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FiyaOne. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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FiyaOne. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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FiyaOne. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Panther Boy. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Andy Council. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Andy Council. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Carrie Reichardt. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Carrie Reichardt. Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Endangered 13. The signage above the art is by Von Leadfoot pictured here with words by Tanya Dee. Endangered13.  London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

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Endangered 13. London. April 2016. (photo © Ian Cox)

For more information please see www.humannatureshow.com/endangered13.

 

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Bifido: “Meanwhile” …on a London Train Platform

Bifido: “Meanwhile” …on a London Train Platform

Hurry up and wait.

Much of modern life is like this. In cities especially where bottlenecks in tunnels, on bridges, on highways and streets can slowly… drive… you… crazy. We have long lines for dance clubs and drivers licenses, sample sales and Shake Shack, airport security and air-headed pop stars. And of course we wait for buses and trains. Time itself appears as a liquid commodity; pooling up and quickly slurping down a drain.

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Bifido. Work in progress. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

Italian photographic collage Street Artist Bifido is giving people who wait for the train on the Forest Gate platform in London something to contemplate that might make the wait entertaining, if not transcendent. Shooting his own photos of people and props in studio for perfect clarity, Bifido plays with proportion and relationships to create an Alice in Wonderland effect with otherwise normal looking images. Here’s a woman nearly falling into a huge cup of tea. There is a tree man is surrounded by swirling leaves that appear as butterflies in someone else’s stomach. A mammoth sized snail speaks to a small woman with an umbrella.

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Bifido. Work in progress. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

Bookended by clocks, this is the space you have between rushing.

Meanwhile, he calls it, and he is doing it as part of a vast urban regeneration program curated by Preznt Project on a MTR Crossrail commission.

Standing on the platform you can free your imagination for a moment and have some creative time, before the next train slides quickly into view.

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Bifido. Work in progress. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Work in progress. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo ©  Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. The Team. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. CLICK on image to enlarge. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Bifido. Detail. London. March 2016. CLICK on image to enlarge. (photo © courtesy of Bifido)

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Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street from Schacter & Co

Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street from Schacter & Co

Utopia, as you know, is unattainable.

Neither should one think that we are devolving into a Dystopian nightmare. Not just yet.

A new show at London’s Somerset House is examining the acts and results of so-called urban artists and their relationship to discussions about this imagined polarity.

We ask ourselves if graffiti and it’s variant unsanctioned public art cousins simply are a medium of messaging that runs outside of accepted pathways of delivery? Yes, and so much more.

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Lucas Dillon. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

One one hand some public servants, civic minders, and private real estate owners have their “hair on fire” moments when these actions/interventions/disruptions of the cityscape are portrayed as signs of the utter ruin of civilization. Concurrently, libertarians, anarchists and sundry romantics may present them as a form of self expression, even self empowerment; an act of claiming a voice in the public dialogue heretofore closed to certain members of society.

In the descriptive text for Somerset’s current series providing a full year of space for Utopian thinking, we learn that co-producers Somerset House, King’s College London and the Courtauld Institute of Art are marking the 500th anniversary of Utopia’s formal birth as a concept in writings by Thomas More. The reasoning presented says that because of his texts we are all equipped to imagine that a better world is possible and, thus knowing, “we are empowered to create it.”

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Lucas Dillon. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

Raphael Schacter and the arts organization A(by)P are presenting a portion of this discussion with their exhibit Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street, just opened. Commissioning seventeen street artists for one’s show is in itself so rare and splendid as to be only in the realm of one’s imagination today. But here they are; new pieces and performances from a healthy spectrum of practitioners on the graffiti/Street Art scene like Shepard Fairey, Swoon, REVOK, Brad Downey, Horfée, and Eltono.

Schacter and company are “arguing against the traditionally-held belief of graffiti as a dystopian movement or ‘glorified vandalism’.” With installation works, in-house residencies, and a wide-ranging program of events that include workshops, talks, films, music and performances, no stone will be un-thrown in this wo/man-made island of inquiry and imagination.

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Petro. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

Say A(by)P, “Above all, graffiti and street art act as an alternative voice, whether it is loud and brazen or more subtle and difficult to decipher, which strive to challenge the well-worn systems of society – something which Thomas More’s seminal text also set out. All of the artists will uniquely interpret their ideas on these utopian foundations of graffiti.”

 Here are a small series of images from the organizers from Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street.

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Petro. Detail. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Russell Maurice. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Filippo Minnelli. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Les Freres Ripoulain. Detail. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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El Tono. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Antwan Horféé. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Misha Hollenbach. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Sixe Paredes. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Saleo & Rizote. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Shepard Fairey. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Nano. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

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Revok, Russell Maurice, Nano and Filippo Minelli. Approved By Pablo. Somerset House. London. March 2016. (photo © courtesy of AbyP)

3 March – 2 May 2016
Daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.15)
Terrace Rooms, South Wing
Free admission

 

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London Walls in Conjunction with Saatchi “XX: A Moment in Time”

London Walls in Conjunction with Saatchi “XX: A Moment in Time”

New murals today in London in conjunction with the Olly Walker curated “XX: A Moment in Time” show at Saatchi Gallery, which is now running until March 6. The all-female show highlights the depth of field that has emerged during these last few years with formally trained artists of many disciplines explanding the definitions of contemporary art and Street Art.

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Elle (photo © Allison Crawbuck)

A mix of emerging and established, the show brings in an international selection of artists, including: Aiko (Japan/USA), Alice Pasquini (Italy), Caratoes (Belgium/Hong Kong), Crajes (Spain), Elle (USA), Faith47 (South Africa), Handiedan (Netherlands), Hera (Germany), Hueman (USA), Lora Zombie (Russia), Madamoiselle Maurice (France), Marina Zumi (Argentina), Martha Cooper (USA), Mimi S (Germany), Miss Van (France), Olek (Poland), Sandra Chevrier (Canada), Vexta (Australia) and Zabou (France).

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Elle (photo © Allison Crawbuck)

Here we see new walls by Elle, Zabou, Marina Zumi, Himbad, and Alice Pasquini.

“XX: A Moment in Time”  is curated by Olly Walker of Ollystudio and is supported by Yasha Young. The exhibition is on view in the Prints & Originals Gallery at the Saatchi Gallery from until March 6. Please check the Saatchi Gallery homepage for some closure days in February and see the additional pieces available online.

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Elle (photo © Allison Crawbuck)

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Zabou (photo courtesy of Zabou)

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Zabou (photo © Allison Crawbuck)

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Zabou (photo © Zabou)

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Marina Zumi (photo courtesy of Marina Zumi)

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Marina Zumi (photo courtesy of Marina Zumi)

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Himbad and Marina Zumi (photo courtesy of Marina Zumi)

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Alice Pasquini (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Alice Pasquini (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Alice Pasquini (photo © Jessica Stewart)

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Alice Pasquini (photo © Jessica Stewart)

 

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Alan KET Brings You “Urban Art Legends”

Alan KET Brings You “Urban Art Legends”

A new hard cover book by Alan Ket aka KET One will be released next month that spotlights a select group of artists from both the graffiti and Street Art scenes, people whom KET calls “Urban Art Legends”.

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This book is about the artists who have pioneered, promoted and transformed this ‘other’ art world,” says the author, himself a graffiti writer, artist, curator, activist, advisor and entrepreneur. What is fresh about his approach is the egalitarian respect that is given to artists regardless of their genre or associated scene, something we have always tried to balance as well amid a sometimes turbulent volley of antagonism that can sometimes distinguish graffiti/street art discourse.

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here “Urban Art Legends” focuses on a short list of widely agreed upon influencers of art in the streets throughout the last half century – since the early gang and tagging days of the late 60s in NY/Philly/LA through its various evolutions of the figurative, cartoon-inspired, Wild Style, symbolist, and abstract iterations to its intersections with fine art and DIY movements and pop, politics, illustration, duplication, and multiples. He’s right, this is the ‘other’ art world – and we daily see signs that it is seriously altering the more conventional contemporary art world, sometimes remaking it in its image.

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With names as varied as Crash, Cost, Blade, ROA, Lee, Banksy, Sane Smith, Faith47, Daze, Nick Walker, and Kase2 – “Urban Art Legends” reaches its arms wide to encompass style masters and stencil masters, each with a brief bio, overview and rationale for their “Legendary Status”. Consider it a primer that adds further rich detail to the canon. KET freely concedes “This is not the definitive book on urban street art. The world of street art is so dynamic and fast-paced that the story is still being lived out,” and elsewhere he says, “there are many more who deserve recognition.”

With that in mind, KET has beautifully captured many important artists and their stories in “Urban Art Legends”

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Yorkers will have an opportunity to meet the author and two of those legends on February 9th at the Museum of the City of New York. DAZE and Nick Walker will join KET to discuss KET’s new book and visitors can also see the new show Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse.

March 2nd it will be BSA and Daze in conversation at the museum so you can put that in your calendar as well.

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KET: “Urban Art Legends” Lom Art. London 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

“Urban Art Legends” by KET published by Lom Art. London 2015
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Rafael Schacter and Filippo Minelli : 15 for 2015

Rafael Schacter and Filippo Minelli : 15 for 2015

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What are you celebrating this season? We’re celebrating BSA readers and fans with a holiday assorted chocolate box of 15 of the smartest and tastiest people we know. Each day until the new year we ask a guest to take a moment to reflect on 2015 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and saying ‘thank you’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Rafael Schacter is an anthropologist, curator, and the author of The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti and Order and Ornament: Graffiti, Street Art and the Parergon. He is also a researcher of graffiti and Street Art in the Department of Anthropology, University College London and is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow 2014-2017 also at University College London. Among other topics discussed at lectures and conferences around the world Dr. Schacter argues that graffiti and Street Art produce “insurgent images” that should be seen to reface, rather than deface, the city.


London, UK
January 23, 2015
Artist: Filippo Minelli
Photograph by Rafa Suñen

This image, by the photographer Rafa Suñen, is taken from an action by the artist Filippo Minelli entitled ‘Bold Statements’. It was performed on the Somerset House River Terrace on January 23, 2015, as part of the Mapping the City exhibition which I curated for Approved by Pablo.

I picked this image because it was an amazing start to the year for me, at once the most stressful and the most exciting project I have ever been a part of. Whilst I was immensely proud of the exhibition and what we as a team accomplished, the cultural programme and ephemeral actions we organised alongside the exhibit itself were the things I personally enjoyed the most.

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Filippo’s performance was a beautiful moment that I will always remember. A perfect London winter’s day, a magical, ephemeral moment in which a group of people – a group from different backgrounds, different ages, different places – all  came together to take part in something equally personal as political. Something equally absurd as affective. Something capturing everything I love about public art in one condensed instant.

~ Rafael Schacter

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Mapping the City was covered by BSA along with an interview with Raphael in The Huffington Post HERE.

 

 

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Mark Rigney and Ad Busting : 15 for 2015

Mark Rigney and Ad Busting : 15 for 2015

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What are you celebrating this season? We’re celebrating BSA readers and fans with a holiday assorted chocolate box of 15 of the smartest and tastiest people we know. Each day until the new year we ask a guest to take a moment to reflect on 2015 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and saying ‘thank you’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Mark Rigney is a photographer, curator, designer, blogger and art zine maker originally from Ireland and now running UKs Hookedblog for its 10th year in East London. His photos have appeared in numerous books including Untitled III: This is Street Art and The Art of Rebellion and quite a few times in VNA (Very Nearly Almost) as well as multiple illustrious Street Art sites like BSA.


London, UK
November 1, 2015
Artist: Jordan Seiler
Photograph by Mark Rigney

This has been a year filled with art, travel, good company and food for me, catching up with old friends across the globe and meeting new ones. It has also been a year filled with ad takeovers.

Through our friend Vermibus we first met New York artist Jordan Seiler in Berlin on a trip that coincided with the opening of Open Walls Berlin, a new gallery space where the two artists had a joint exhibition together. I was invited to accompany them both to capture them hitting up the bus shelters in the neighbourhood, removing the advertising and replacing the posters with their art.

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A month later I joined Vermibus again to document his month long ‘Unveiling Beauty’ project which saw him travelling to New York, London, Milan and Paris, installing works in each city. My documenting of ad busters continued last month with Jordan Seiler visiting London and installing a number of works across the city including this piece in East London.

~ Mark Rigney

 

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Alison Young and Vermibus : 15 For 2015

Alison Young and Vermibus : 15 For 2015

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What are you celebrating this season? We’re celebrating BSA readers and fans with a holiday assorted chocolate box of 15 of the smartest and tastiest people we know. Each day until the new year we ask a guest to take a moment to reflect on 2015 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and saying ‘thank you’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Alison Young is a Professor at the University of Melbourne, an expert in Cultural Criminology, winner of many academic awards, and author of a number of Street Art related books, including her most recent Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination. In it she considers the ways in which street art has become an integral part of the identity of cities such as London, New York, Berlin, and Melbourne, at the same time as street art has become increasingly criminalized. Alison is also a simply indispensible source for many who are studying the intersections of art, culture, law, and urban space.


London, United Kingdom
20 September 2015.
Photograph by Mark Rigney

2015 was a year in which arguments about whether street art can still be considered in any way radical became ever more intense. At times, it seemed like the answer was obvious: when the sides of New York subway cars were used to advertise a ‘street art reality tv show’, many assumed that street art had lost any radical edge it might have had. Other examples were less clear cut. Some argued that muralism is making our streetscapes bland, as local neighbourhood character gets replaced by a uniform aesthetic in cities around the world; for others, the presence of a striking and skillful mural is a vast improvement and a source of community pride.

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For me, one of the most exciting examples of street art’s radical potential is found in the work of ‘subvertisers’ like Jordan Seiler, or the various artists working with Brandalism, who used techniques of street art and subvertising to take over 600 advertising panels in Paris before the UN COP21 Climate Conference at the end of November.

Another such artist is the Berlin-based Vermibus, who travelled to various cities hosting a Fashion Week in September and October 2015. He replaced advertisements with his own hand-painted images of women designed to make people think critically about the fashion and cosmetics ads conventionally displayed in public space.

I was fortunate enough to meet Vermibus in London, and watched him install these two pieces in the bus shelter outside Harrods department store – in broad daylight, with hundreds of people walking back and forth along the street, in a clear demonstration of the ways in which ‘street art’ can still be deeply politicized.

~Alison Young

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.06.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.06.15

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A wild week in world geopolitics, terror, social crisis – interpret them as you may through the prism of art collecting and fandom – as Miami Art Basel and the Wynwood District were bursting with high prices, high emotions, high celebrity-counts, and people who appeared to be high almost all the time. There were also heavy rains, big name music performances, custom designed cocktails, luxury brands, brand fusions, and sponsored walls and events everywhere. Also a stabbing.

Once we can sort through the best photos we’ll definitely share some of the great work with you this week.

Meanwhile, Street Artists continue to create in cities elsewhere and while Miami is celebrating brands, logos and luxury, on the other side of the ocean Brandalism completed a 600 kiosk takeover in Paris this week skewering all of the above and the undue influence corporations are having in writing environmental/trade laws. On the aesthetic tip we’ve recently made a mental note that photo-realism is now reaching a critical mass. So there you are.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Pill NYC, Bifido, Buff Monster, Cash4, Dan Witz, Fuzeillear, Invader, Jordan Seiler, Knarf, LikMi, Luca Ladda, Østrem, Otto Schade, Persue, Pøbel, Rahmi Rajah, Sean9Lugo, Sipros, and Skount.

Top Image: Sipros for The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A portrait of Biggie Smalls. This was probably ripped from the ad campaign and affixed to this phone box. We call this re-porpoising and we consider it to be Street Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pøbel . Østrem for NUART in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

These two pieces are part of the NUART collection of murals painted for previous editions of the festival. They are not freshly painted but we wanted to publish them as they are calling our attention to a topic that is current and urgent and addressed by world leaders in Paris for the COP21 Climate Summit 2015 as well as dozens of Street Artists with the #brandalism campaign.

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Pøbel . Østrem for NUART in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Pill NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jordan Seiler ad take over in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Luca Ledda for Festival Concreto in Fortaleza, Brazil. (photo © Luca Ledda)

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Luca Ledda for Festival Concreto in Fortaleza, Brazil. (photo © Luca Ledda)

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Dan Witz. Natural History series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz. Natural History series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cash4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bifido in Napoli, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

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Sean9Lugo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Buff Monster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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One cool thing about this piece: The plaid pattern was done by hand with gaffers’ tape – it isn’t freehand painted or stenciled or printed. It’s a 3D piece, including the silvery collar portion. There was a tag and a code at the collar but it was too faded for us to read. From what we could read the tag is #IywIkr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Space Invader. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Otto Schade AKA OSCH in London. (photo © Rahmi Rajah)

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Persue (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf in Miami. (photo © Knarf)

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Skount surprised us with this abstract piece in Gold Coast, Australia – not the style he typically does. (photo © Skount)

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Skount and Fuzeillear at Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Australia. (photo © Skount)

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LikMi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Staten Island – NYC Harbor. November 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.29.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.29.15

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Rounding out the Thanksgiving week here as people think back on what they have to be thankful for in New York and across the US. Despite the class war on the poor, near-weekly proof of systematic racism and extremism, gun violence that feels out of control, and 3 songs on the top ten by Justin Beiber, we have to admit that all is not lost – and we still have a pretty strong union of cool people who actually love our neighbors and multi-cultures and are willing to show it every day.

The art we see in the streets continues to evolve; People like Gilf! are combining experimentation and activism in the public sphere while others are looking for ways to address a variety of social/political ills, – meanwhile many artists now seek and secure legal spots to put up their work, use hash tags and Instagram as marketing directly to collectors, advertisers are mimicking street art to promote brands, and Wynwood in Miami is preparing to showcase some of the flashiest displays of sponsored murals and participants yet during Basel next week.

There is a rising chorus of horrified detractors who say an organic grassroots art form is being commodified. It’s not political enough! It’s narcissistic! It’s all privileged white kids who don’t appreciate the true roots of graff culture! Calm down everybody, we can handle this. There is room for all ya’ll, like they say down south.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Ai Wei Wei, Dee Dee, Ernest Zacharevic, Gilf!, Gum Shoe, Himbad, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jilly Ballistic, Le Diamantaire, Osch aka Otto Schade, Ouizi, Sipros, and Swoon.

Ernest Zacharevic interprets Martha Cooper’s photograph of Lil’ Crazy Legs. This is their final piece in this collaborative series.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ernest Zacharevic interprets Martha Cooper’s photograph from 1978 of this boy playing with a makeshift gun from the leg of a baby’s crib. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ernest Zacharevic interprets Martha Cooper’s photograph from 1978 of this boy playing with a makeshift gun from the leg of a baby’s crib. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ernest Zacharevic interprets Martha Cooper’s photograph from 1978 of this boy trapping flies in glass bottles. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ernest Zacharevic. Adam De Coster (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tongue in cheek, Ernest Zacharevic’s ironic blend of brandalism and vandalism.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal staged a scene of drowning businessmen in this Manhattan puddle. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jilly Ballistic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! continues to influence the conversations around rampant inequality and with her “gentrification in progress” tape project, now outside the museum, someday in the museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ai Wei Wei (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon . Ouizi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon . Ouizi. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros for The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gum Shoe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Non-controversial lampooning cast as tough political stance, The Peralta Project is a commercial lifestyle brand that is using the street to advertise their product line, cashing in on a very popular dislike for this reality TV star. Like a mezcal company did this summer these posters are popping up to emasculate – and possible help move product. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Himbad for The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Osch aka Otto Schade in London’s Brick Lane (photo © Urban Art International)

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Invader’s tribute to Andy Warhol with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader’s tribute to Woody Allen with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader’s tribute to Bugs Bunny with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader’s with The L.I.S.A Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Le Diamantaire (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Blue is the warmest color. Manhattan, NYC. November 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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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