All posts tagged: Louis Masai

BSA Images of the Week 09.17.17 Urban Nation (UN) Special

BSA Images of the Week 09.17.17 Urban Nation (UN) Special

 

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to Sunday! This week we have a special edition of BSA Images of the Week; Dedicated to stuff on the street for last nights opening of Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN).

Readers of BSA will know that we are on the curatorial board of the new museum and have worked with 8 other curators along with Director Yasha Young to bring the inaugural show that happened last night to fruition. A block buster with thousands of people coursing through the perspective-bending walkways to see the GRAFT designed interiors, it was gratifying to see the 150 pieces admired by such interest, such avid curiosity.

As part of our mission, we want to foster an ongoing dialogue between the art in the streets and the art inside the museum. As UN’s first programmatic approach to this goal, the Art Mile invites the public to see installations that are made by many of the artists/collaborators which UN has had for projects in the city and around the world during the last few years of building the museum and reaching out to the community.

So with gratitude to you and to all the creatives and their supporters who rock our world, here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, 2501, Anthony Lister, Berlin Kidz, Blek Le Rat, David De La Mano, Faith XLVII, Franco “Jaz” Fasoli, Hot Tea, Icy & Sot, Inka Kendzia, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Louis Masai, Mademoiselle Maurice, Manthe Ribane, Seth Globepainter, Tankpetrol, Zezao, and Zio Ziegler.

Top image: 8 a.m. the morning after. Space Invader’s new plate unveiled last night to commemorate the opening of Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Berlin Kidz . 1UP Crew. James Bullough . 2501 . Zio Ziegler. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Franco JAZ Fasoli. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mademoiselle Maurice . Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zezao. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blek Le Rat. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blek Le Rat. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blek Le Rat. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

David De La Mano. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tankpetrol. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“AURUAM” Manthe Ribane, Inka Kendzia, and Faith XLVII. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Detail. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seth Globepainter. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea. Art Mile. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Louis Masai in Shanghai with a Red Panda Talking About Deforestation

Louis Masai in Shanghai with a Red Panda Talking About Deforestation

New images today of a red panda painted by artist Louis Masai in Shanghai. The quilt piece covered animal rises from street level with an endangered bee nearby ready to stitch him together. The image is familiar to anyone familiar with Masai’s work of publicizing species who are endangered around the world.

Louis Masai. Red Panda. Endangered & threatened by deforestation & climate change. Color Way Of Love. Shanghai, China. July 2017. (photo © courtesy of Louis Masai)

His first time in Asia, the Londoner says he was impressed with the trucks washing and cleaning the streets twice a day in Shanghai while he was painting. He also says air quality was quite challenging. When he wasn’t painting he did a bit of sightseeing as well.

“There are pockets of city life protected for the tourists and they have great historical value,” says Masai. “They are stunning with the Yu Garden in particular showcasing a fine example of indoor and outdoor living working in perfect harmony.” But much of Masai’s work is about animals threatened by our disharmonious ways.

Louis Masai. Red Panda. Endangered & threatened by deforestation & climate change. Color Way Of Love. Shanghai, China. July 2017. (photo © courtesy of Louis Masai)

He says he chose the red panda as a focal point because of its endangered status in China due primarily to deforestation and destruction of its natural habitat. “There are many reasons for their decline; from overpopulating humans, to canine disease. Perhaps the worst impacting factor is deforestation,” he says.

“Pandas mostly eat bamboo and the lack of growth after the flowering season, due to increased deforestation, leaves the pandas with a severe lack of food.”

Louis Masai. Red Panda. Endangered & threatened by deforestation & climate change. Color Way Of Love. Shanghai, China. July 2017. (photo © courtesy of Louis Masai)

Louis Masai. Red Panda. Endangered & threatened by deforestation & climate change. Color Way Of Love. Shanghai, China. July 2017. (photo © courtesy of Louis Masai)

Louis Masai. Red Panda. Endangered & threatened by deforestation & climate change. Color Way Of Love. Shanghai, China. July 2017. (photo © courtesy of Louis Masai)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Eating Plastic with Louis Masai, Whales, Sharks in Cape Cod and L.A.

Eating Plastic with Louis Masai, Whales, Sharks in Cape Cod and L.A.

These Animals Are Eating All the Plastic You are Throwing Away. Yuck.


London Street Artist Louis Masai has just returned to the US to do three murals – one in alliance with the Right Whale Research Association (R.W.R.A) in Cape Cod Massachusetts, and two in Los Angeles where he is currently having a solo show at C.A.V.E. gallery entitled “The Sixth Extinction”.

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Lisa Sette)

With his work intrinsically tied to environmentalism and disappearing species, Masai told us at great length about a few people and organizations he worked with when making these new pieces. He also educated us about the DIRECT relationship that you and we have with killing off species and causing their suffering by using plastics. Here are a few excerpts from our conversation to better appreciate the work that Louis is doing right now.

“Cape Cod attracts a continuous flow of summertime tourists to its quaint villages of seafood shacks, lighthouses, beaches and whale watching excursions,” Louis says. “Its economy however, is steeped in a controversial whale hunting history of blood.” He worked with Lisa Sette from R.W.R.A. to create this new mural in the town. He also shared some of Lisa’s statements about the project here:

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Lisa Sette)

“I feel like a lot of us in the US are feeling isolated due to the current political climate. What better way to bring the community together than through a mural that highlights the most critically endangered large whale in the Northwest Atlantic that happens to spend winter and spring in our waters.  The mural is bringing people together and allowing for conversations to begin – unexpected conversations.”

Lisa Sette continues, “Of course when in company of biologists, advocates and real life eco-warriors, it’s impossible to not become even more inspired by the impacts that a species like the right whale faces. The North Atlantic right whale is a baleen whale, they are listed as a rapidly decreasing, critically endangered species, with only a few over 500 left. Baleen whales feed on zooplankton and krill; they take large gulps of water and then filter out their tiny prey using baleen plates. During feeding season, usually from spring to fall, right whales may eat more than 2,600 pounds of zooplankton per day, and of course today that also includes a huge amount of plastics.”

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Louis Masai)

Laura Ludwig, of the Center for Coastal Studies, often gives presentations about plastics in the environment.

“Once you’ve seen the images of whales’ stomachs packed solid with plastic bags; or of albatrosses who’ve died after ingesting a diet of nothing but bottle caps; or of an osprey chick who entangled itself in a balloon string used as nesting material — once you’ve seen familiar plastic items as the instrument of death for innocent animals, the path reveals itself.”

100% of the ocean is now infected with plastic, says Laura. What can WE do to try and help rectify this issue? These are Laura’s top three tips.

  • Over 300,000,000 straws are used every day in the US alone: swear off plastic straws and bring your own metal, glass or rubber straw if you like to use them.

  • BYORB: there are over 5 trillion plastic bags used every year around the world — 160,000 per second, if you break it down per capita. Bring Your Own Reusable Bag and refuse thin film plastic bags.

  • Bottle water is a scam: over 50 billion bottles of water are sold in the US alone annually, and only 20% of them are “recycled”. Stop buying water in plastic bottles — BYOB, again!

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Louis Masai)

Louis tells us that when in Cape Cod he took one of those famous whale-watching trips. To say he was excited is an understatement. He also may be exagerating a little.

“It literally blew my eyes out of their sockets – I saw Right Whales, Fin Back Whales, Sei Whales, Humpback Whales, and Dolphins too. Naturally, he made like-minded friends there and caught up with Charles Mayo better known as Stormy, the director of the Right Whale Ecology Program, who told him how big whales also get caught up in plastic nets and other crap we throw away – trapped!

We don’t have space here to recount a rescue mission he did with a whale named Ibis, we can will tell you this part of the story. “After several hours Ibis tired from dragging floats and stopped swimming. It was only then that we were able to cut the nets and ropes from around her. We had freed her,” says Charles. “This rescue mission evolved to us creating specialized tools and a system for freeing entangled whales and we still use floats, buoys and boats to slow the whales to this day.”

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Lisa Sette)

It may seem obvious, but the real solution is for you and us to stop throwing this crap away to begin with. It doesn’t magically disappear.

Louis says that he learned that rescuers “are only able to save about 50% of entangled right whales, and 80% of humpbacks, the majority of them are struggling out at sea and never reported to the rescue team. Rescuing them is only a stopgap measure and the real work needs to be done in stopping them getting entangled in the first place.”

Louis Masai. Right Whale. Cape Cod, MA. (photo © Louis Masai)

“I hope that my mural will raise some thoughts amongst the thousands of tourists visiting Cape Cod. Perhaps they might even think twice about using the straws, plastic bags and water bottles still available in Cape Cod.”

When he got to L.A. for his show ‘Sixth Extinction’ with C.A.V.E Gallery he painted a finback whale, which is a visitor to the waters of L.A, “Another baleen whale suffering the same punishment of plastics in the ocean. I read that a ridiculous 10 metric tones of plastic enter the L.A Ocean per day, which is comparative to more than the weight of a London bus. The result of this painting was a challenge to the owner of the wall, “The Lyric Hyperion’. They are now on a route towards eliminating the use of plastics in their service.”

Louis Masai. Finback Whale. Silver Lake, CA. (photo © Ari Sturm)

Louis’ last painting for this trip was of a big-eyed Thresher shark, another ocean species that is suffering an apparent decline in population in Californian waters. In addition to a vulnerable life-history characteristic, these sharks are suffering from a continued fishing pressure from pelagic fleets which has the species listed as vulnerable.

“Most of the species I highlight, if not all, are in danger of their lives due to evidential climate change, I’m back in London now and realizing that my trips to and from the states have many, many more endangered species to lift a light for.”

This means we still have a lot to learn from the art of Louis Masai.

Louis Masai. Finback Whale. Silver Lake, CA. (photo © Louis Masai)

Louis Masai. Finback Whale. Silver Lake, CA. (photo © Louis Masai)

Louis Masai. Thresher Shark. Venice, CA. (photo © Lmnotree)

Louis Masai. Thresher Shark. Venice, CA. (photo © Lmnotree)

Louis Masai. Thresher Shark. Venice, CA. (photo © Louis Masai)

Louis Masai. Thresher Shark. Venice, CA. (photo © Lmnotree)


For more information on Louis Masai’s show “The Sixth Extinction” at C.A.V.E. Gallery, please click HERE:


Please follow and like us:
Read more
Vegan Activist Artists Don’t Sell Burgers : Louis Masai Speaks Out About Beef

Vegan Activist Artists Don’t Sell Burgers : Louis Masai Speaks Out About Beef

It’s just the irony of it; A guy who makes art in the streets to raise awareness about endangered species has his mural of a bog turtle used to sell burgers and bacon on a bagel by a fast food company that has been regularly accused over many years of creating deforestation that’s caused by cattle production.

McDonald’s of course, didn’t make or contribute much to this graffiti/Street Art/mural scene, nor did they take any time to understand it. Creative culture vultures everywhere know that it is far easier just to seize other people’s work and slap it into a product than to do the homework. If they’d talked to Louis Masai, they would have gotten an earful.

Preliminary signs point to a lot of people not knowing how Street Artists work would have ended up airing without permission in the newest campaign for McDonald’s in Netherlands that purrs with pride over its connection to real street flava in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. AdWeek displayed the videos in an article discussing the campaign, but mysteriously the videos have disappeared from that posting and the McDonald’s YouTube channel. The Street Art blog Vandalog had an article about the matter yesterday, and perhaps that fire added to the unbearable heat in McD’s kitchen, as it were.

Naturally on social media posts fingers have been furiously pointing at Joe Ficalora of the Bushwick Collective because he appears giving a tour in the long-form “documentary” style ads that were made by the creative agency who was producing the campaign. In the montages of images, voices, and music you see interviews with four early NYC graffiti writers and one Brazilian street artist  – each of whom Joe invited and who created work for the campaign.

People are quick to pounce and surmise and pontificate about who got paid and what everyone’s good and bad intentions were – and then extrapolate outward into discussions around gentrification, cultural hegemony, parasitic behaviors, selling out a culture, etc. We don’t know for sure what all those details are so we’ll stop short of making accusations at the moment – much will come out in lawsuits going forward no doubt – and really we’re supposed to be writing an intro here…

The thing we do know for sure is there were a lot of shots of other works in those videos by artists – including from another community wall initiative named JMZ Walls – who are all saying that they were never contacted nor did they give McDonald’s permission to use their work in promoting McD’s. This group includes Louis Masai, who writes an editorial essay today here about what his experience was, what his personal opinions are and what he thinks about using his artwork to sell burgers.

 


McDonalds x Bushwick Collective

by Louis Masai

Right now I should be painting, I have a solo show coming up. Instead my mind is over consumed by the frustration and outrage of an advert that was brought to my attention mid Friday afternoon by another artist.

He said to go check my Facebook or Instagram account, that McDonalds had just released what has to be one of the most culturally thieving adverts I have ever seen. After 3:37 minutes, for almost 4 seconds, there it was; my mural of a New York state, endangered bog turtle.

My mural is now advertising a New York bagel beef burger and I am not loving it.

A screenshot of Louis Masai’s bog turtle in Bushwick from the Dutch advertisement for McDonald’s. This was the first in a 3 month cross country mural program Louis did which BSA followed from beginning to end.
See One Artist’s Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour.

For those that are unaware of my work – I paint about endangered species; I use public walls with granted permissions to highlight issues such as biodiversity, the sixth mass extinction, deforestation, and climate change. I am also a vegan. So even if McDonalds had asked me if I minded to be included in their campaign, I would have told them where to shove that bun with a hole. Today, Monday March 13th, after over an hour on the phone talking with the founder of the Bushwick Collective, the three adverts have been removed from the Internet – for now.

Why was I so outraged by all this? Here’s why: The Amazon was the place that inspired scientists to coin the term “biodiversity.” The region is home to 10 percent of all plant and animal species known on Earth. There are approximately 40,000 species of plants, more than 400 mammals, almost 1,300 Birds, and millions of insects. All this life depends on each other and cows are not one of those 400 mammals, according to greenpeace.org.

The production of beef is, without question, the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, with figures ranging from 65 to 70 percent of all deforestation in the area from 2000 to 2005. However these numbers account only for the areas cleared for the creation of pastures, and they fail to include the food being produced for cattle consumption.

The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies stipulates that Brazil alone has 24 to 25 million hectares devoted to the production of soy, 80 percent of which would end up as animal feed. These numbers all contribute to the consensus that the primary reason for rainforest deforestation in the Amazon can be attributed to the beef industry, according to rainforestpartnership.com.

 


A screenshot that gives that Brooklyn flava from the McDonald’s commercial

McDonalds sells beef burgers, a lot of them. In fact in 2015, despite not being able to disclose exactly how many burgers they sell each year, as this is ‘commercially sensitive information’, it was reported that they expected to sell over 91 million of the world famous Big Mac sandwiches. Who really knows where that hip-hop, New York bagel beef came from? That is why I am outraged that my painting was aired in an advert for McDonalds.

We live in a world where things are perpetually looked at in the wrong light. Think about the text message that you misinterpreted or the tweet that you didn’t manage to squeeze in all the right words for. We live in a “judge me” society, and I’m not favourable of being twinned with a conglomerate company that is directly associated, past or present, with the destruction of biodiversities, lost species and communities.

 

 

 

 Portions of another public mural initiative in Brooklyn called JMZ Walls also appear in the commercials.

The fast-food giant announced in 2015 it would be working with its suppliers to end deforestation in its global supply chain. But how much of that is effective? And how aware is the general public? Whether my point of opinions are correct or not, that doesn’t excuse the fact that McDonalds is not a “sustainable” business; they do not help the environment in a meaningful way, and they definitely have a horrendous past track record. These facts I do know.

I also know, the Bushwick Collective allowed McDonalds to have ownership of my artwork and the sharing of my mural on the Internet, even if that did only last 5 days. Why did Bushwick Collective allow for something that they didn’t own the rights for to pass on in the first place, to be sold? It was an insult to me as a vegan, a violation of my artistic rights and somewhat dark waters for the correlation of my works context.

Screenshot of wall by artist LMNOPI, which was done as a result of a private agreement with the landlord.

McDonalds, cowing back to the depths of its shadows, probably due to concerns of legality, removes the issue of copyright infringement but does it remove their intent to exploit a cherished culture. I am sure that this is not the end of the issue as a whole but for now, I hope that this is a warning to others. Artists are not to be taken advantage of anymore, we will not tolerate it and we will fight back.

Now I’m worried about what is next to come. Should I be watching out for Monsanto to use my bee paintings in a ‘documentary’?


The opinions expressed by Mr. Masai are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorz.

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Two Miami Schools Enveloped in Murals : The RAW Project in Wynwood

Two Miami Schools Enveloped in Murals : The RAW Project in Wynwood

Reimagining Art in Wynwood: The RAW Project.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received $148 million in 2016. The war budget, also called the “Defense Budget”, was approved for $582 billion for this year.

For comparison’s sake, that means the “Defense Budget” is 3,900 times the size of the NEA.

Paola Delfin at work on her mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Arts and artists get very little or no financial or institutional support from the federal, state, or local government in the United States, which is always a shock for Europeans to learn – and many won’t believe it when you tell them. This website, for example, receives no funding or grants from any organization despite publishing daily for almost nine years, and it has remained non-commercial during that entire time.

Paola Delfin with some fans. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It may be getting even worse for the arts in the US now that the new Trump administration in Washington is proposing cutting all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Arts and music programs in many American schools have already been eliminated slowly but surely over the last 40 years since the beginning of trickle-down economics in the 1980s.

That is why it is rather astounding that two of Miami’s Wynwood schools, Eneida M. Hartner elementary school and Jose De Diego middle school, are completely covered in murals.

Mr. June. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Raw Project in Wynwood, Miami is the initiative of Robert De Los Rios, who partnered with private contributors, did fundraising, and asked a coalition of artists to paint the walls of the schools for the kids.

 

Part of its success of course is due to the status of the Wynwood neighborhood as a magnet for graffiti and Street Artists over the last decade or so. Already coming to Wynwood for Art Basel or to partake in a related art event, these artists have given of themselves and their talents to create a completely unique and dynamic environment for students to learn and grow up around.

Zed1. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We captured a number of these walls during successive visits over the last few years and share them with BSA readers today.

Please consider donating to the school organization to continue this program and to refresh or replace murals as they age. http://www.projectwynwood.com/raw/

Martin Whatson. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2501. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INO at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

INO. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © INO)

Kevin Ludo at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kevin Ludo. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai at work on his mural at The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Masai. The Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Emil Walker)

Dan Witz. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pip Squeak. Eneida M. Hartner elementary school. Wynwood, Miami. 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Axel Rod. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bik Ismo. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Findac. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face on the left with Pixel Pancho on the right. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MTO. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paola Delfin. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spencer Keeton Cunnigham. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Word To Mother. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pastel. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jose Mertz . Lister. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Looks like the kids at the Jose De Diego middle school are being inspired by the art of Ben Eine. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Whatson. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Txemy. Jose De Diego middle school. Wynwood, Miami. 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Film Friday 01.06.17

BSA Film Friday 01.06.17

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. New York: Art of Beeing with Louis Masai by Where’s Kong
2. Detroit: Art of Beeing with Louis Masai by Where’s Kong
3. California : Art of Beeing with Louis Masai by Where’s Kong
4. Arizona . Texas . Tennessee : Art of Beeing with Louis Masai by Where’s Kong
5. Miami: Art of Beeing with Louis Masai by Where’s Kong


bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Feature: 5 in a row by Where’s Kong : USA Art of Beeing

A visual diary of 9 weeks traveling across the US in search of kindred folk to learn from and exchange with and teach about the 6th Age of Extinction that we are entering where literally thousands of species are dying while we watch television, phones, Facebook.

Individually these tight and tantalizing videos give you a distinct taste for the regions and the cities that Masai and his team of 2 videographers travelled through. Experts and street people and community are narrators throughout, laying out the contours. Collectively the short films are a pulse-taking of a country that could be a world leader in these matters but is somehow in a trance, unable to move in a unified constructive hopeful way to reverse the destructive trends.

Masai is too polite to say it that way, but the truths of our collective folly comes through nonetheless.

See our wrap of the tour here: One Artists’ Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

The Art of Beeing – New York City #1

 

Louis Masai / The Art of Beeing Detroit

 

Louis Masai / The Art of Beeing California

 

Louis Masai / The Art of Beeing Arizona . Texas . Tennessee

 

Louis Masai / The Art of Beeing Miami

 

Click HERE to learn more about Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing

Please follow and like us:
Read more
One Artists’ Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

One Artists’ Mission to Save Endangered Species: Louis Masai Completes “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

9 weeks, 8,000 miles, 20 murals, 13 cities.

Dozens of species going extinct every day.

Those are some telling statistics for Street Artist Louis Masai as he completes criss-crossing the United States during this moment when it looks like the country is on the precipice of a social and political revolution.

Louis Masai painting in Oakland © @lmnotree

At a time when industries and media are consolidating under ever larger private umbrellas that seem unassailable it is all the more striking to witness the audacity of the single crusader, like this one with a spray can, that may prove to be very inspirational. It’s difficult to imagine the willpower of one person to devise an educational campaign like this and then to raise funds to pay for it and use his artistic talents to raise awareness in this manner.

It may strike you that endangered species are an appropriate constituency to speak for since they have no voice of their own, and Masai says the bee is the queen that lead him on with two friends in October, November and part of December. With his thoughtful, studied and “chill” stance on many topics, it sounds charming when the London-based artist tells you his campaign is called “The Art of Beeing.”

With a metaphorical protective patchwork quilt being stitched by the bee around a different animal in each mural, Masai carefully researched and chose endangered animals that are specific to the region he painted in from New York to Detroit to Nevada to California to Texas to Tennessee to Miami. We had the honor to meet him at the start of the journey and at the termination, and to publish as many of his travels as his schedule would allow.

Today we compile a quote and a couple of images from each one of those on-the-road reports below with links to each posting.

We finish our complete coverage of “The Art of Beeing” with a 15 question interview with Louis, who tells us about his personal attachment to the animal world, the startling and gorgeous geography of the US, and which populations seemed most receptive to his message of the Earth’s sixth era of extinction that we are currently engendering.

Thanks for taking this trip with us.



NEW YORK
Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

“I’m painting toys because if we don’t act now to stop extinction, only toys will remain in place of animals”
– LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-10-2016-web-10

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-10-2016-web-15

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-10-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. New England Cottontail Rabbit. Vulnerable. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



DETROIT
The Gray Wolf and “The Art Of Beeing” in Detroit

“The media talks about Detroit as if it is a derelict forgotten city, but we discovered a whole community that has been here for a long time and they definitely wouldn’t agree with their city is a dead or abandoned space,”
– LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-teebyford-detroit-10-16-web-2

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Gray Wolf. Endangered. Detroit. Michigan. October 2016. (photo © @teebyford)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-detroit-10-16-web-2

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Gray Wolf. Endangered. Detroit. Michigan. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



RENO
Cutthroat Trout & “The Art Of Beeing” in Reno, Nevada

“After 4 days of driving from Detroit to Reno we felt empowered by the incredible landscapes we had driven through, from salt lakes to deserts and the Rockies, not one part of the trip was unexciting,” says Louis Masai of the journey. “Well perhaps the 7 hours of corn fields.”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-mia-hanak-reno-october-2016-web

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Endangered. Reno. Nevada. October 2016. (photo © Mia Hanak)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-reno-october-2016-web-1

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Endangered. Reno. Nevada. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



SACREMENTO
Jumping Salmon! Louis Masai is in Sacramento. “The Art Of Beeing” Tour

“We drove through snowy mountains from Reno to Lake Tahoe, and then descended a continuous downwards road for 6000 feet – which took about an hour to get into Sacramento,” he says. “What an incredibly diverse landscape! It’s just mind-blowing.”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-the-art-of-beeing-sacramento-10-2016-web-3

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Coho Salmon. Endangered. Sacramento, California. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-the-art-of-beeing-sacramento-10-2016-web-2

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Coho Salmon. Endangered. Sacramento, California. October 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



SAN FRANCISCO
Louis Masai: Onward Ho! To San Francisco with “The Art Of Beeing”

“We met some amazing beekeepers in San Francisco that really opened up this idea that nature and the engagement with nature can definitely start to generate a sense of love for oneself and the environment”
– LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-island-fox-san-francisco-10-16-web-5

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Island Fox. Near Threatened / California Channel Islands. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-island-fox-san-francisco-10-16-web-4

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Island Fox. Near Threatened / California Channel Islands. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-oakland-10-16-web-1

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Honey Bee. Jetty extracts Oakland. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-oakland-10-16-web-4

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing. Honey Bee. Jetty extracts Oakland. San Francisco, CA. October 2016. (photo © @lmnotree)



LOS ANGELES
Louis Masai, Leaping Frogs and Crawling Crayfish in LA : “The Art Of Beeing”

“I painted the Shasta crayfish (or as Americans call it; crawfish) in Venice, an endangered species native to northeast California There are only seven remaining populations of the Shasta crayfish left and are found only in Shasta County, California, in the Pit River drainage and two tributary systems, Fall River and Hat Creek drainages,”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-downtown-la-11-2016-web-3

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Yellow Legged Frog. 90% have disappeared in the last 100 years. Downtown, LA. November 2016. (photo © Lmnotree)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-downtown-la-11-2016-web

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Yellow Legged Frog. 90% have disappeared in the last 100 years. Downtown, LA. November 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-lmnotree-venice-11-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Shasta Crayfish. Critically Endangered. Venice, LA. November 2016. (photo © Lmnotree)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-teebyford-venice-11-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Shasta Crayfish. Critically Endangered. Venice, LA. November 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)



PHOENIX
A Jaguar in Phoenix: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

“It’s always hard to formulate too much of an understanding of a city when you are only there for a very short time…and I guess a lot of this trip has been that way, but even more so in Phoenix, with only two nights and one day.”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-pheonix-11-2016-web-7

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Jaguar. Only 15K remain in the wild. Phoenix, AZ. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-pheonix-11-2016-web-5

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Jaguar. Only 15K remain in the wild. Phoenix, AZ. November 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)



TEXAS & TENNESSEE
Flying Squirrels and Houston Toads : Louis Masai

“I guess the attraction is the abundance of frats and bar culture in the area. I got to know a handful of these homeless folks over the five days this mural took to complete and I can definitely see that the new mural in their neighborhood gave them some new color and appreciation in their lives. Several vowed to protect its longevity, bless them.”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-4

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-5

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“The wall that I painted shadows a section of the city that I am sure will get pushed out. Men hang out on the street not doing much; we met a cowboy inspired gentleman that was proud to admit to eating gopher tortoise – a federally protected species. He said he had three in his freezer…he grew up eating what they hunted, from squirrels to rabbits and tortoise. Hopefully my line of work can help to steer people away from eating these species.”

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-5

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)



ATLANTA
The Box Turtle in Atlanta: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-teebyford-12-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Box Turtle. Critically Vulnerable. Atlanta, GA. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-teebyford-12-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Box Turtle. Critically Vulnerable. Atlanta, GA. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)



MIAMI
A Manatee, A Crocodile and a Heart of Coral in Miami: Louis Masai and “The Art Of Beeing”

“Well its not my first time to Miami for Basel, so I know what I’m heading into…and actually I think that because I was there doing my own thing and for my own reasons, i.e. the tour, things were a lot easier for me. I also had linked up two good people, the Raw Project and Bushwick Collective so the ride was smooth.”
-LM

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-miami-12-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-miami-12-2016-web-3

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-manatee_miami_teebyford-12-2016

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Manatee. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Tee Byford)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-miami-12-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. American Crocodile. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-miami-12-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. American Crocodile. Vulnerable. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-coral-miami-12-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Coral. Threatened. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-coral-miami-12-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Coral. Threatened. Miami, FL. December 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

 

 An interview with Louis Masai about “The Art of Beeing”

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you share with us a memory or a story from your childhood relating to a pet or an animal or animals that made an impact on you and stayed with you for the rest of your life?

Louis Masai: Ever since I can remember I have felt strong emotions towards animals, we had family pets and all of them became very good friends of mine…however my love for the animal kingdom was far deeper than that. For me spirit animals are very real and I have always felt a huge connection towards lions. I admire their strength, charisma, loyalty, stubbornness, and of course leadership. Those that know me well will know that, I myself share a lot of those traits. Now that I grow older I realize that a spirit animal can’t be chosen and in fact it chooses you, some might say that the bee has chosen me.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did that story inform your growth into adulthood?

Louis Masai: Well I guess the idea of spirit animals has stayed with me into adulthood and become something that I understand in a different kind of way than when I was younger. For me the relevant difference in mindset, is that I realize that life finds you. When you look for something too hard or try and orchestrate a result, the journey might not be as fulfilling as if life is allowed to lead the way. I see one chapter lead to the next in a very organic manner. I evolve as an artist in the same way allowing for one idea to develop into the next.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: What do you think drives humans to destroy what sustains them? It is as if we are killing ourselves slowly by killing what gives us life and keeps us alive in the first place.

Louis Masai: Mmmmmmm…I’m not so sure that I think it’s a drive, perhaps there are agendas that drive humans towards destruction, for example money, but I don’t believe that its actual destruction itself that motivates this unsustainable lifestyle we live. Ultimately its the average person who populates the majority of this planet. I would be inclined to believe that the majority of this demographic have little understanding of what words like finite, extinction, deforestation etc result in. It’s only when I talk to scientists, environmentalists, or activists that I manage to find a true understanding of what we face ahead of us.

Here I am sat at a laptop with my, iPhone in company and a disposable bottle of water on a train, speeding towards Birmingham for Christmas. The minerals in my laptop and phone are finite and the plastic in that bottle is extremely likely to end up in the ocean, or at the very least spending the next 450 – 1000 years biodegrading on a landfill. Ultimately we are uneducated and in denial. If everyone used water filter bottles instead of bought disposable plastic bottles in the developed world alone, the ocean and what survives from its wealth would be hugely affected and in a positive way.

Equally we should be looking at how to extend the lifespan of our smart phones and laptops, its not very smart to run out of the rare earth minerals that makes them work. And even less smart to not know what impact that lack of mineral will have on the planet itself. I have so much to talk about with regard this question…where I will conclude is that I have a personal belief. I believe nature doesn’t make mistakes and that the destruction of the current stage in the earth’s life cycle is what nature has intended for us.

I feel that perhaps given that humans are one of the youngest additions to the planets kingdom and we have become the most destructive, that we are only doing what is required of us. Geographically, we are thousands of years overdue a shift in the planets alignments and I have this idea that nature allowed humans to be so dominant, only to help her speed up this change… so who else is looking forward to the new iPhone then?

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you have any expectations or anxieties as you started your tour in NYC?

Louis Masai: Eeeeeeesh, well it was a huge expectation from the three of us, and I knew that from the beginning. So with that in mind, based purely on my acceptance for organic flow I definitely had my concerns, but I didn’t have anxieties. I think that any artist who is painting in the public domain, within communities, will always have a slight element of reservation. I know that if I didn’t, then it would be a case of not caring enough about where I was leaving my work. The last thing I want is for my work to be undesired, especially given that it comes with an environmental point of urgency. But as for the nine weeks of intense work within confined spaces, filming and editing 5 films, driving across 8000 miles, to paint 20 murals in 13 cities…piece of cake!

 

Brooklyn Street Art: Yours was an art tour but it also was a round road trip, across the USA from the East to the West and in reverse in the company of your team, which included your videographers, Emil Walker and Tee Byford. What was the hardest part of the road trip?

Louis Masai: Yeah it certainly was never intended to be just a painting tour, there is only so far that a painting can direct influence and it’s our belief as a team that film can create a new chapter for the project. 5 mini docs were filmed and edited as we traveled across the states, each discussing new issues with the people and scientists that we met along the way.

I think that purely based on the fact that I’m used to not really knowing where I’m always going to paint and being able to foresee that element, creating the murals wasn’t really the hardest part. I would definitely say that the editing and creating five engaging films proved the most complicated. All the interviews were found whilst we were traveling with exception of only a few, so that in itself was a task.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you have a preconceived idea of what you were going to paint in each city and if so did you change your plans/animals as you drove across the country?

Louis Masai:  So…as we traveled I also was editing the website to keep the public up-to-date with our progress. Within the website is information about each species and what the general public can also do to help the endangered species out, a call to action. Before I left London I had already selected species for each city that we would travel through, within that list I had double what I needed for completion, that was purely so that I could negotiate with building owners and also switch species in accordance to the composition. There are still a good number of species on that list in the website to be created, I’m sure I will be back to the states in the coming years to complete that list.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: How was it driving from state to state and city to city in regard to experiencing the variations in culture, attitudes and accents from the people whom you met as you drove across?

Louis Masai: Its mesmerizing, no in fact there is no word that I know of, that justly describes the intense, awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. That alone is a reason to preserve and encourage the masses to realize what they have before it’s too late. Within each of these ever changing landscapes or screen-savers as we called them, are some of the kindest, and humble of spirits I have met in a long time. However there is always shadow to the light and of course there are also some of the most narrow-minded bigots.

We did indeed meet the many faces of the states from native Indians to illegal aliens; freeway fireworks shop owners to Detroit poets. If I was to generalize purely based on our nine week experiences, the east is very unaware of the environment, the west coast is very awake and starting to take action, the south is in total denial and the middle Americas we drove through seem very detached. Given that we spent so much time on the road – inside a car, I would have to say; that the cars you share the roads with in America definably act as indicators as to how that state thinks about its carbon footprints.

Brooklyn Street Art: In Detroit you discovered a vibrant city with deep rooted and kind citizens but you also witnessed nature taking over the abandoned parts of the city and in fact that’s a good thing for the bees. Can you talk a bit more about that?

Louis Masai: Well the movie world has certainly created many times over, a very good image of what an abandoned city could look like. That city is not Detroit. Of course it has many fallen and crumbled factories, but there aren’t trees growing through the structures or bears and wolves occupying the city. Instead, the people who have remained in the city and the many that have moved to Detroit have returned to backyard horticulture and that alone has changed the dynamics of the people who inhabit this city.

We met many people within Detroit who gave us first-hand accounts of how they are a part of this DIY culture. That was never more evident than when we met Joan from City Bees. She pointed out that the best habitat for bees is one where lots of native wild fauna is left to grow and humans are not interested in disturbing it. Detroit is exactly that to the many bees and their keepers that live there.

 

Brooklyn Street Art: In San Francisco, besides painting you also attended the Bioneer Conference. At the end of the conference did you walk out of it feeling more hopeful or less hopeful for the environment? What new radical thing did you learn that people talked about during the conference?

Louis Masai: Ah man…where do I start, I’ll be honest with you, it’s not looking so great. Devastation is happening on a worldwide scale, climate change is in effect. The ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, ocean temperatures are increasing, coral reefs are dying, plastic is destroying the ocean, species are disappearing – consistently, climate change refugees still don’t have any rights and way too many leading corporations are running the planet for their own benefits… but, hey… we have known that was the cards on the table since before the 70s.

The difference is that now it’s really actually happening, and faster than anticipated. What I learnt at Bioneers is that humans are resilient and that there are many people out there who do care enough and we can turn things around, but only if we all start today. I urge everyone to pick one environmental issue to tackle a month. Before you know it, being conscious could become a part of your daily routine…three good issues to try and tackle are;

  • Palm oil – just don’t buy it.

  • Consumption of all cow products (everything with secret ingredients too) – if you can’t eradicate it, half it.

  • Plastic – recycling ain’t cutting it, stop buying it, and if you can’t eradicate it from your weekly shopping at least lose some of it – veggies come without plastic cellophane too you know!

To understand more about the current situation, check out these films…Racing Extinction, Cowspiracy, and Before The Floods. Don’t take them for gospel, do some research around the topics but if everyone picks something and activates their life in conjunction with that, we could fix this mess we are in…of course fixing politicians and politricks is another story…

Brooklyn Street Art: In Phoenix you talked with a Native American named Breeze and the conversation touched on the topic of “the lack of respect” for our planet. Do you think that this “lack of respect” is a result of our public education systems being decimated by budget cuts and capitalism running amok in our societies?

Louis Masai: Well I think that there are strong possibilities that this is one reason, but I’m not one for believing that school is the only place we learn. I have learnt more about respecting the environmental long after my time at school than I ever did whilst in school. I also had pretty cool parents who didn’t do the NORM, so my widened perspective of life and what goes on around me was in part their doing.

I also think that lack of respect is something that has been amidst the American settler way before any kind of budget cuts existed, you have only to look at the culling of the buffalo to see that. It’s the responsibility of my generation to make sure that the youth are learning about respect with or without cuts in the education system.

In my opinion, the system that is being really abused is our eco-system, I’m not sure we need to make any excuses as to why we are showing it a lack of respect; we just need to fix up.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you ever experience hostility from some of the residents of the cities or a city where you painted?

Louis Masai: Yeah in New York, it was the second wall, the bog turtle. A disheveled looking guy who I think lived inside a warehouse in Bushwick, took a dislike to us. He shouted some abuse on the eve of the first night to which we ignored but on the second day he picked up from where he left off, so I confronted him.

By the time I had reasoned him, amidst his highly abusive claims and insults he returned an hour later for a hug and cuppa coffee…all is well that ends well. Other than that we were blessed from one city to the next with awesomeness. Oh…except in San Francisco, we fell victim to the everyday car smash and grab…

Brooklyn Street Art: You were in the middle of the tour when the presidential election took place. Was there a before and after in regards of energy and on enthusiasm from the residents? Did you notice a change of the mood?

Louis Masai: I knew when I was planning the tour that the elections would be happening and I knew that there was little if any evidence to show any regard for the environment from either candidate. I also had a strong saddened gut instinct that the result would be as has become. I’m very sorry for what is still to come. And it’s not America alone that is falling victim to this domino effect of politicians.

We definitely were in company of many anti-Trump supporters throughout the tour, but we did spot the supporters; from shops, to car bumper stickers. Did it change the mood, sometimes yes, but for the most part as we were in company of such awe-inspiring people and non-supporters of Trump I can’t say it affected us too much. But of course we discussed it solidly for two months.

Brooklyn Street Art: In Nashville a resident confided to you that he actually hunts and eats and endangered and federally protected tortoise. Did that make you angry? What were your reaction and your approach?

Louis Masai: Furious…and I reached out to my contacts as to what to do about it; there was a mixed response. I’m still to reach my decision as to what to do but I’ll probably send his information directly to the species protection society. He didn’t seem like an evil man, just one that grew up surviving eating what his family could salvage from the woods and that’s what he has grown up to continue doing. I suppose in many ways its no different form eating cows and chickens…

Brooklyn Street Art: In Miami you bartered your art in exchange for accommodations. The Aztecs didn’t have minted currency, yet they were an empire. They bartered goods and services in an enormous open market in their capital city. Do you think bartering could make a popular come back in our civilizations to the point that it could make social impact in the markets?

Louis Masai: Not a chance unfortunately. And the biggest reason for that is everyone perceives something’s value differently. Even with the painting I did for the Miami accommodation it wasn’t a simple task of, I do a painting you provide a room. I emailed about 50 air BNB establishments before I got lucky and the logistics of what that lucky find perceived the value of what I was painting, was very different to what he valued his own accommodation to be.

Bartering is very complicated and in many ways money is much simpler because we all need the same object, we just swap different items or services for that object. With bartering most of the time the object in question is not desired by one of the bartering members. That being said, I love swapping and would happily welcome anyone to strike a swap with me…

Brooklyn Street Art: Is there something more personal you might want to share with us about your experience driving and painting across the United States?

Louis Masai: Well I would like to give massive props to Emil and Tee for maintaining a vegan diet for 9 weeks. For me that’s my diet anyway, but for the tour the boys accepted the challenge to be vegan. It wasn’t easy at times, and humus/salsa/salad/avocado wraps definitely don’t need to be on the menu for a bit.

For me it was important to do this as it sets an example of how an environmental idea played out can have impacts. Of course just two extra vegans for two months has a low impact but imagine 200, one week out of every month over a year, that makes impacts and the challenge opened that up as a discussion with the people we met along the way. We actually converted the concept to a handful of people, so it’s worked out.

America as it happens is incredibly good at catering for vegans, I guess that’s mainly because people don’t cook at home in the states. Thumbs up America!

 

Louis Masai The Art Of Beeing on The Huffington Post

 

For for more information regarding The Art Of Beeing click HERE

Please follow and like us:

Read more
Tee Byford : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Tee Byford : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

brooklyn-street-art-wishes-and-hopes-for-2017-ani-3brooklyn-street-art-holiday-garland6-2016

As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Artist and director Tee Byford from London/Totnes produced a series called “Driving Sideways” this year for Channel 4 about “Drifters” who like smoke, noise, and pushing car motors to the limit. After that went live he did some drifting of his own across the United States capturing the work Street Artist Louis Masai along with his co-filmmaker Emil Walker. We got to see him at the beginning in Brooklyn and three months later in Miami after he boomeranged to the west coast and back. Today he shares with you one of his favorites from 2016.


Julia
Austin, Texas, USA
Date: November 13, 2016
Photograph by Tee Byford

This image represents people power and the people who are I have met along my journey in the States.

For me these are the young people who will change this country for the better and that’s why this image represents a hero image.

brooklyn-street-art-2016-740-tee-byford

Please follow and like us:

Read more
Emil Walker : Hopes & Wishes for 2017

Emil Walker : Hopes & Wishes for 2017

brooklyn-street-art-wishes-and-hopes-for-2017-ani-2brooklyn-street-art-holiday-garland10-2016

As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

London filmmaker Emil Walker just crossed the US twice from Brooklyn to LA to Miami and many points in between with two buddies – artist Louis Masai and his co-filmer Tee. They were capturing and documenting Masai’s “Art of Beeing” tour to raise awareness of endangered species and the era of extinction we are in right now. Emil shares with us one of his favorite shots of 2016 of his friend Tee – and tells us why it resonates for him.


Tee
Brooklyn, New York USA
Date: October 2016
Photograph by Emil Walker

This year has been insanely epic! I’ve met so many people, developed skills and experienced some amazing new places. I took this photo a little over a month ago in Brooklyn, NYC, at the beginning of a project I’m currently working on in North America.

The subject is Tee, one of my oldest friends, a fellow filmmaker and also one my biggest inspirations. His attitude towards taking his own pathway and staying clear of trends or what is ‘cool’ is something that so many people sadly lack but is such a vital component to creating that original work we all strive to make.

I’m looking forward to the new year, continuing to figure out what the hell I’m doing on this planet and hopefully spending some more time out of rainy London!

brooklyn-street-art-2016-740-emile-walker

Please follow and like us:

Read more
BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

brooklyn-street-art-images-of-the-year-2016-dface-jaime-rojo-740

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.

Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.

Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.

The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2016 – As Picked by You

brooklyn-street-art-15-top-stories-2016-740

Museums, Festivals, and Activism – three of the themes that garnered the most traffic on our published stories on BSA and The Huffington Post this year.

From a scholarly Street Art related exhibition in St. Petersburg to the opening of the Mima Museum in Belgium to the Anti-Banksy exhibition with the Blu controversy in Bologna and the “Magic City” exhibition in Dresden, BSA readers were astutely studying the slow but steady move of Street Art from the street to the museum and the academic canons.

But you also liked the huge multi-player outside exhibitions as well – with stories from Sicily and Northern Spain to Northern Mexico, BSA readers were interested this year in seeing how eclectic locally-organized Street Art festivals and projects are done, and who is doing them.

Finally activism played a big role in what you were re-Tweeting and “liking” and sending to your friends – From Icy & Sot installing anti-radiation work in the Native American desert and then talking about oceans polluted with plastic, to a United Nations food program with kids and artists in El Salvador, to highlighting Indigenous peoples rights with Jetsonorama, to a US cross-country tour to save endangered species by one artist and a Greenpeace show in Barcelona addressing the same issue with 35 artists, it looks like BSA readers are engaged and concerned about socio-politico-environmental issues left and right.

On a side note, we were honored that our El Salvador article was picked up and published in spanish on the UN World Food program website – HERE.

Of course it was good to see that you liked the feature on the notorious graffiti crew 1UP and seeing Nychos slay New York as well. Tasty!

These are the TOP 15 articles on BSA for 2016 from the more than 365 postings we did this year – meaning they all beat at least 350 articles to get here. Congratulations to us all.


No. 15
Borders and Boundaries : A Multi-Disciplinary Exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Street Art Museum

brooklyn-street-art-spy-rafael-schacter-st-petersburg-russia-07-16-web-2

SpY. Street Art Museum (SAM). St. Petersburg, Russia. May 2016. (photo © Evgeniy Belikov)

Rafael Schacter Takes a More Nuanced Approach to the Migration Crisis

Commerce and technology have been eroding traditional constructs of the borders and boundaries, especially in the age of the Internet, satellites, transnational banking and trade agreements that create governing bodies that openly dismiss national sovereignty, integrity, identity, aspirations. Borders and boundaries are contested, guarded, or disregarded at will; open to international capital, porous to immigration, hardened by armies.

Daily they are in the headlines: Trump’s plans to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Syrian war refugees immigrating across European borders, Israel and Palestine’s ongoing land and settlement disputes, even maritime territorial claims of China and the Phillipines in the South China Sea that were ruled upon yesterday  – all reveal clues to our historically complicated relationships and geo-political perspectives.

Art to the rescue! continue reading here


No. 14
Icy & Sot Stencil An Enormous Blue Whale in LA

brooklyn-street-art-icy-sot-Endangered-Species-Mural-Project-los-angeles-Jess-X-Chen-01-16-web-6

Icy & Sot. Endangered Species Mural Project. Los Angeles, CA. January 2016 (photo © Jess X. Chen)

“The brothers spent two solid days hand cutting the multi-layer stencil here on Melrose Avenue. How many pieces? “19 pieces,” says Icy. “Its not that big but it has a lot of details” The composite image features an enormous whale emerging from the sea in full view of a coastline packed with industrial forms which presumably are dumping contaminants directly into the waters.

As ever, the brothers crash into each others sentences while talking to us. “Whatever happens in the ocean… it comes back to us,” says Sot. “Whether is trash or plastics or oil..”

Icy jumps in, “The fish eat them and then we eat the animals and we have the plastics inside of us.”

“Yeah, It’s a cycle. We are all making a lot of trash – we are affecting the world. Then it all comes back to us,” says Sot… Continue reading here


No. 13
MIMA Museum: City Lights with Swoon, MOMO, Hayuk, Faile

brooklyn-street-art-MAYA-HAYUK_THEPICKLES-MIMAMUSEUM.EU_2016-web

Maya Hayuk. MIMA Museum. Brussels, Belgium. April 2016. (photo © The Pickles – MIMA Museum)

What is it about Brooklyn Street Art that is so appealing that one would curate the opening exhibition of a museum with it?

Four pillars of the New York Street Art scene are welcoming the first guests of the new Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), which opened days ago in Brussels. Attacking the cherished institutions that relegate grassroots people’s art movements into the margins, MIMA intends to elevate them all and let them play together. Graphic design, illustration, comic design, tattoo design, graffiti, street art, plastic arts, wheat pasting, sculpture, text, advertising, pop, story-telling, aerosol, brushwork, and naturally, dripping paint.

Obviously street culture has been mixing these influences together in a never-ending lust for experimentation; punk with hip-hop, skateboarding with tattoo, performance art with graffiti – for the past four decades at least. The folk tradition of cutting and pasting predates all our  modern shape-shifting by centuries, but institutional/organizational curating often often has a preference for sorting street culture disciplines into separate piles.

With the inaugural exhibition “City Lights” MOMO, Swoon, Faile, and Maya Hayuk each bring what made their street practice unique, but with an added dimension of maturity and development. Without exception each of these artists have benefitted from the Internet and its ability to find audiences who respond strongly to the work with physical location a secondary consideration. Now as world travelers these four have evolved and refined their practice and MIMA gives them room to expand comfortably…Continue reading here


No. 12
San Salvador, Street Artists, Food Insecurity and “Conect-Arte”

brooklyn-street-art-conect-art-vexta-san-salvado-04-16-web-4

Vexta.Workshop. Conect-Arte. San Salvador. April 2016. (photo © Yvette Vexta)

“Six street artists took their social engagement a step further in El Salvador last month and taught youth some serious skillz from the street.

Coming from Brazil, Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, New York, and New Jersey, this international crew took the time to share and teach about painting, art, and how community can be built. The program Conect-Arte is a newly launched initiative by the United Nations World Food Programme, which as the name suggests, also is in the city to address a more core need to battle food insecurity. With Conect-Arte the goal is to also meet youth in some communities and help with positive role models an options with an eye on transforming lives through developing art and related creative skills that can provide income and channel energy in ways productive to community.

Together the artists worked on projects with 45 teens and younger kids over the course of the a week-long workshop in San Salvador, teaching street art techniques like stencil, lettering, mural painting, sculpture, even hot air balloon making. The goals are huge, like reducing violence, food insecurity, increasing access to economic opportunity. The tools here are art, the creative spirit, and strengthening relationships.

We bring you some images of the works that were made by the visiting artists and some of their observations and experiences during the Conect-Arte program…Continue reading here


No. 11
Discovering a “Magic City” in Dresden, Germany

brooklyn-street-art-artist-unkonwn-jaime-rojo-dresden-07-2016-web-1

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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


No. 10

Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-jaime-rojo-10-2016-web-15

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely…Continue reading here


No. 9
1UP in Berlin : “ ‘All City’ Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It ”

brooklyn-street-art-1up-jaime-rojo-berlin-08-2016-web-3

1UP. Berlin 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“An amorphous shape-shifting consortium of Berlin-based aerosol hooligans named 1UP is one of those graffiti crews who eventually make the entry into graffiti street lore because of the scope and daring of their travails.

Primarily Berlin based, you’ll find their almost-commercial sounding name on roofs, walls, abandoned factories, and in tunnels in many cities around the globe. Without a clear idea of the exact number in their association nor precise membership these daredevils are most often described as white men in their twenties and early thirties reveling in the athleticism and sport of graffiti, in addition to style. The tag itself appears to be rather “open source” at times, with only insiders able to keep track of the distinct hand styles forming the ubiquitous name on thousands of surfaces…continue reading here


No. 8
A “Cathedral” of Characters in Northern Spain

brookln-street-at-rim-lluis-olive-bulbena-barcelona-01-16-web-1

RIM. Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“It’s a cathedral of characters, this abandoned furniture factory forty kilometers outside of Barcelona. Cartoons, illustrations, portraits are everywhere; a curious collection of aerosol spray pieces that highlights the popularity of the animated and exaggerated personalities among graffiti and Street Artists in this region of the world.

The character may be a salty with a haggard stare, or reference a topic with a bit of satire. The scene may be serious, comical, ridiculous or purely sci-fi and horror. You discover the stories and allegories as you walk through the empty manufacturing rooms now flooded with natural light and dust. Expressions and situations here are full of drama that may trigger your empathy, startle your attention, elicit a shiver, or creepily fondle your funny bone…Continue reading here


No. 7
“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

brooklyn-street-art-interesni-kazki-vlady-catania-italy-2015-web-1

Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

“They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils…continue reading here


No. 6
BLU Allies : A Counter Exhibition to “Banksy & Co.” Launched in Bologna

brooklyn-street-art-tadlock-around730-bologna-rusco-03-16-web

Tadlock (photo © @around730)

“An anti-Banksy & Co. Street Art show opened in Bologna Italy the same night as its controversial bank-backed cousin with brand new works by 50 or so Italian and international Street Artists and open admission to their outdoor ‘museum’.

 “It is free and spontaneous, as Street Art should be,” says an organizer and participant named About Ponny as he describes the exuberant and sometimes saucy toned exhibition on the grounds of the sprawling former headquarters of Zincaturificio Bolognese which is destined for future demolition.

“The message we want to convey is that true street art is found where it was born, in the street and not in the paid exhibits,” says Bibbito, who along with two other out-of-town street artists named Jamesboy and Enter/Exit found food and couches during their installations thanks to an association of artists called L’Associazione Serendippo. Together, these artists say, they and other organizers want to send a “strong signal” by creating “one of the largest museums of ephemeral street art ever made”. The new coalition named this project “R.U.S.Co” (Recupero Urbano Spazi Comuni) or (Urban Renewal Common spaces).

The new 16,000 m2 open-air art show may appear as a rather curious development because its method of protest runs completely counter to that of the shows’ most vocal and high-profile critic, BLU, who last week protested the same show by defiantly destroying 20 years of his own public paintings, rather than making new ones…Continue reading here


No. 5
Raising Yellowcake in Grand Canyon: Icy & Sot, Jetsonorama in Arizona

brooklyn-street-art-icy-sot-navajo-nation-06-16-web-3

Icy & Sot. “Nuclear Plant” Navajo Nation. Arizona. June 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

“Yellow Cake: A simple sweet dessert confection that gets its signature color from 8 egg yolks and a cup of butter, and is great with either vanilla or chocolate icing.

Yellowcake: A type of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Also, its radioactive. Also, Colin Powell showed off a vial of it at the United Nations to sell the Iraq invasion in 2003 to that body and the world.

Being more knowledgeable about the dessert variety of yellow cake than the desert variety of uranium contamination, we turn to Street Artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot to educate us about the active uranium mines that are at the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. The three worked jointly in June to create new public works addressing the topic and we have each of them here for you to see.

“The issue of uranium contamination and nuclear waste is timely as there is an active uranium mine at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon presently and a proposal to start mining at the South Rim,” explains Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas), who is a local artist, a practicing doctor, and a social activist advocating for the people who live on the reservation and the natural environment in general…Continue reading here


No. 4
Nychos Slays in New York : IKONS Revealed as Never Before

brooklyn-street-art-nychos-jaime-rojo-06-2016-web-13

Nychos. “Dissection of Sigmund Freud”. Vienna Therapy. Manhattan, NY. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”

This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.

In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.

In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch…Continue reading here


No 3
35 Artists in Barcelona Trying To Save The Arctic with Greenpeace

brooklyn-street-art-la-castillo-lluis-olive-bulbena-04-16-web

La Castillo. Save The Arctic. Barcelona, Spain. April 2016. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

“Yesterday our posting was about artists in London creating works about endangered species and today we go to Barcelona where 35 artists joined with Greenpeace and a local group named RebobinArt on April 9th to create works centered on environmental issues, especially the quickly disappearing polar ice cap.

Only three days later scientists announced that the Greenland “Melt” has happened one month earlier than usual this year, smashing records and causing scientists to reexamine their measuring instruments to make sure they were working correctly.

The art-platform model of RebobinArt is interesting because they are a community organization that manages spaces and issues permits for painting for competitions, festivals, exhibitions, educational programs, and cause-based events like this one.

Under the guidance of Director Marc Garcia, RobobinArt promotes and facilitates a different sort of public painting that is not strictly commercial and yet it is clearly not the freewheeling graffiti/street art based stuff that made Barcelona such a magnet for artists in the early-mid 2000s…Continue reading here


No. 2
Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

brooklyn-street-art-chip-thomas-durango-colorado-10-2016-web-3

Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

“Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”…Continue reading here


No 1
Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

brooklyn-street-art-paola-delfin-jaime-rojo-chihuahua-01-16-web-1

Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present…Continue reading here

Please follow and like us:

Read more
Flying Squirrels and Houston Toads : Louis Masai in Texas and Tennessee

Flying Squirrels and Houston Toads : Louis Masai in Texas and Tennessee

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-beeing-740-v2-0ct-16

Austin, Texas

Austin is proud to plead, “Keep Austin Weird.” Street Artist Louis Masai felt like his recent visit to that Texas city was not the only part of the US that one could call weird – it was actually a place to seek refuge.

“After the introduction to Chump and his band of merry men for the next 4 years we definitely saw a massive change in the energy of the areas we were driving through,” he says of his post-election leg of a cross-country trip.

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

He’s probably just feeling that brotherly hate that spiked across the US when the primarily white supporters of Donald Trump asserted their vindictiveness and power across the country, registering in a rise of hate crimes, according to this chart from Forbes magazine by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

20161130_hate_crime

But here in Austin his “Art of Beeing” tour brought this topic of Houston Toads and their shrinking numbers to the wall in this city that is rich in arts and music and a bit more of that “live and let live” mentality.

The Amphibians Survival Alliance (www.amphibians.org) says that the decreasing population of these toads is only at 3-4,000 in Houston and Bastrop County and if these are killed off by drought, fire ants, disappearing habitat – they will become extinct.

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

And on his wall, Louis says about his Austin experience, “I guess the attraction is the abundance of frats and bar culture in the area. I got to know a handful of these homeless folks over the five days this mural took to complete and I can definitely see that the new mural in their neighborhood gave them some new color and appreciation in their lives. Several vowed to protect its longevity, bless them.”

Will he come back to all this weirdness?

Yes, he tells us. “This wall was painted in conjunction with Global Wildlife Conservation. These guys were amazing and I look forward to working with them again soon.”

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-3

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-4

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-6

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-austin-11-2016-web-5

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Houston Toad. Endangered. Austin, TX. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

 

Nashville, Tennessee

Later the “Art of Beeing” tour travelled to Tennessee and Louis continued to experience some of that southern hospitality, and a few questions about the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel. He also was surprised to endure some cold temperatures.

 brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-3

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“I don’t think I have ever experienced such a difference in temperature. from 26 degrees (79 F) in Austin to 2 degrees (36 F) in Nashville. Thank you Ecoalf for those jackets, for without them our team surely would have not made this wall happen,” he says.

The Nashville Walls Project has brought artists like Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Above, Herakut, and Rone to the city and now Louis added his work to the collection

“I have joined a roster of some of the worlds’ best mural artists and I feel humbled to be a part of this project.,” he says. “Nashville is an up and coming city, experiencing a boom in new residents, again more gentrification is weeping into the city and prices are soaring, apparently about 85 new residents move in a week.”

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-2

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

“The wall that I painted shadows a section of the city that I am sure will get pushed out. Men hang out on the street not doing much; we met a cowboy inspired gentleman that was proud to admit to eating gopher tortoise – a federally protected species. He said he had three in his freezer…he grew up eating what they hunted, from squirrels to rabbits and tortoise. Hopefully my line of work can help to steer people away from eating these species.”

Did Louis change this fellers’ mind? “I think this guy might be too late to inspire.”

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-1

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

But you can help to save one of the rarest species – the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel, which has been found in North Carolina, east Tennessee, and southwest Virginia. There doesn’t appear to be a specific species trust but you can support the Tennessee Wildlife Federation to protect all local wildlife.

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-4

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-emil-walker-nashville-11-2016-web-5

Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Northern Flying Squirrel. Endangered. Nashville, TN. November 2016. (photo © Emil Walker)

 

Click http://louismasai.com/projects/the-art-of-beeing/ to learn more about the project.

 

brooklyn-street-art-louis-masai-art-beeing-us-map-7

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more