All posts tagged: M City

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.23.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 09.23.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Biggie Smalls and Alfred Hitchcock open Autumn Equinox for BSA this week and we can’t help but think of that movie “The Birds” by the English film director where nature turns against man. Kiwi Street Artist Owen Dippie painted the mural in Brooklyn at the end of the summer and the mashup of references between the Brooklyn rapper and the dark cinematic thrillmaster in black and white may frighten you if you imagine those birds balanced at the end of their cigars began to peck their eyes out.

Friday night marked a new milestone for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin there was a preview of the newly completed and opened artists’ residencies put on display. We were treated to the creative environments of 11 of the residencies with the first group of artists in attendance including NeSpoon, Herakut, Li-Hill, Snik, Ludo, Mia Florentine Weiss, Quintessenz, Sellfable, Dot Dot Dot, Louis Masai, Wes 21 and Onur. The museum will open its doors again for the museum’s second exhibition titled “The Power of Art as a Social Architect”  this Thursday.  Check it out if you are in Berlin.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UPCrew, Adele Renault, AKUT, Berlin Kidz, BustArt, Dina Saadi, Exit Art, L.E.T., M-City, Mehsos, Owen Dippie, Snik, and Vegan Flava.

Top Image: Owen Dippie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adele Renault in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tyson’s Corner. Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BustArt at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

L.E.T. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

L.E.T. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SNIK. WIP and detail shot for the new facade at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SNIK. WIP and detail shot for the new facade at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vegan Flava. Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1UP Crew and Berlin Kidz in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MEHSOS at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dina Saadi at Urban Spree in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EXIT. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pizza Activism. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Akut. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. September 2018. Urban Spree, Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Colombia Diary: The Completed Works, The Gold Rush, and the Jaguar in You

Colombia Diary: The Completed Works, The Gold Rush, and the Jaguar in You

Today a wrap up of BSA at an unusual location in Colombia to see a new initiative with Street Artists in an abandoned distillery brought back to life with their imaginations and penchant for transformation.


“Uh, yellow, black, with some white… because it’s high up,” Ben Eine says as he sketches out the four letters, G-O-L-D on a small piece of paper. He’s codifying an idea to paint the letters across the four huge storage tanks where M-City has painted a metaphorical gold-mining scene upon over the last few days. The massive piece is timely and timeless; referencing to the current informal gold rush happening here in Colombia, once again altering the physical and political landscape.


M-City at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A rotating mist fan is slowly stirring the thick tropical air while we sit at the round wooden table in this industrial compound watching Ben with a pen as he shows M-City his idea for topping off the piece – in his own charming manner.

“Yellow, black outline, little shadow. Your shit goes like this, blah blah blah. And then white outline. Or maybe like super light blue outline so it bounces off the silver. Yeah-yeah,” says the English graffiti writer with some final certainty on his vision.

Ben Eine sketching the idea with M-City. May 2018. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Ben Eine added GOLD to M-City ‘s piece at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Okay, perfect,” says the agreeable M-City, who quickly begins sourcing paint in a nearby pile of cardboard boxes. As a Street Artist who is curating this first phase of painting at this old Colombian distillery for Dictador Art Masters Foundation, he is helping others to hit their goals as much as he is directing his own creative work. Finally the collaboration is finished and it beams across the drying muddy field in the sun.

Ben Eine added GOLD to M-City ‘s piece at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

It’s this kind of collaborative camaraderie that often characterizes the Street Art scene across the world and one that sets this project apart from many “festivals”. For one thing, this project is private and small and away from the roaring crowd that can often accompany street works, and developing your idea as an artist can be done with minimal interruption.

The smaller artist roster also means that many of these creators have an opportunity to get to know one another better, to seek feedback, to formulate, to share perspectives. The old distillery setting itself is a highly unusual gallery environment that perpetuates the feeling of an extended studio.

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We are completely amazed by all the stuff here on every level. All the objects, the whole factory,” says Jan, one half of the Polish duo Monstfur as he surveys a rounded tank that they are spraying layers of grey, black, and white to form a  stenciled cranium that also matches the one tattooed on his arm.

“Feeling the textures, seeing the patterns. Everything is so full of inspiration for us,” he beams. Placed in this laboratory of ideas, the guys seem right at home with their layers of decay and their Frankenstonian mythmaking – including their collective name that combines the English and Polish word for monster.

M-City at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you climb rusty ladders and duck under cobwebs or the occasional silently swooping bat, you see the possibilities for childlike ideation, opportunities to launch imaginary tales and adventures, directing energy and stirring alchemy.

Toxicomano takes the journey even further.

“Have you heard of Yage?” he asks, eager to share stories of a hallucinogenic plant that people who live in wooded, mountainous regions have used for years to transcend this reality. “It’s a strong beverage in the Amazonian,” he says. “When you drink it you are stoned.”

M-City at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fair enough, but how does that relate to the 4-story high yellow and black jaguar with nice hair that is staring at you like a feline Mona Lisa? You’ve seen him going up and down the cherry-picker carefully laying out and spraying the stencils here for days and this intense model has unveiled, then commanded, this brick wall.

“All persons have a jaguar that is inside,” he explains with a sincere stare into your eyes. You reflexively make a quick internal inventory of yourself to see if it is possible to confirm the veracity of that statement. Well, maaaaaayyyyyybeeeeeee, now that you mention it.

M-City at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When you drink this yage you can begin to think differently about your place in the world, your people, your environment,” he says. “The jaguar is the tiger of South America. From Mexico to Argentina we have the same jaguar. I think they are really pretty. I think in this area it is possible to find jaguars as well,” he says, which seems to indicate an excellent opportunity to scan the adjacent field of tall grass.

What does this Colombian Street Artist’s jaguar want to do? “I think my jaguar wants to communicate to the others and tell people that everyone has a jaguar inside.”

M-City at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City adds a NYC touch on a conduit at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A great note to end this hot and sticky week in the farmlands and mountains of Northern Colombia. Mixed with the sun and the mud it has also seemed like a possibly mystical place that once housed the precise and time-honored industry of distilling. Now enlivened with the new works of English, Polish, and Colombian graffiti writers and Street Artists, it becomes an installation in an unusual location full of possibility – and we are curious to see where the next phase of this adventure leads.

Artists include: D*Face, Ben Eine, M-City, Monstfur, Toxicomano, Stinkfish, and Erre.

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

D*Face at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Toxicomano at the old distillery Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano at the old distillery Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano at the old distillery Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano at the old distillery Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Stinkfish at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stinkfish at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stinkfish and Toxicomano at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stinkfish at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erre at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erre at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erre at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Erre at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Filmmaker Collin Day at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper and Steven P. Harrington at the old distillery in Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This event has been made possible by Dictador Art Masters Foundation. To learn more about the foundation click here.


Thank you to Martha Cooper for sharing her exclusive images with BSA readers.

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Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

Postcards from The Yok & Sheryo in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia…

A unique duo of autonomous Street Artists from different backgrounds and paths somehow have melded themselves into a traveling tornado of tags, throw ups, and theatrics in a style that is theirs alone. The Yok and Sheryo (Perth and Singapore) continue to compliment, push, and pull against and with each other stylistically with a healthy dose of competiveness, inquisition, mutual respect and love for the fantastic and funny. If you take yourself too seriously with this pair, you lose baby, and no fools are suffered. This is badass, serious fun and when combined with lust and wanderlust, it takes you around the world.

Busting a trick in front of mural by Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

We didn’t invent the word “spraycation” (we think) but we first started using it in earnest years ago when showing their videos to audiences in auditoriums and theaters because adventure, graffiti, work, painting, surfing, and motor biking were always competing with each other – along with monsters, devils, pizza, and sexy ladies. Now back in the US after a 10 month tour, lets see some of the new installations and walls that Sheryo and Yok made in their travels around Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Berlin, and Indonesia.

Varuna’s vessel (India)

We worked with some rad Bollywood set builders and a local fisherman who donated his boat for the installation. We created the installation based off a local folklore story called “Varuna & Makara” about a Sea God riding a sea creature.

The Yok & Sheryo. Varuna’s Vessel. India. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

CAMBODIA for “Paint Phnom Penh”

We spent about 20 days hanging out with an amazing group of friends painting laughing and riding motorbikes in Cambodia for @paintphnompenh, says Sheryo. “After the after after party we managed to get this wall painted – Cambodian Paradise.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Cambodia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

SRI LANKA

A long, multi-character monocromatic wall really shows off the energy and regenerative imagination that Y&S can pull off on a mural for friends with a surf/yoga camp. “Loved spending a month cruising around Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk looking for waves,” says The Yok, ” and finding elephants, monkeys, turtles, lizards, dodging manic bus drivers, paying off cops. Amazing people, delicious food and a secret pirate village.”

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Sri Lanka. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

SINGAPORE at the Art Science Museum

“After some Piña coladas and falling into waves kook-slams stylez, we went onwards to the big/small smoke of Singapore to paint a wall for the Art Science Museum about a post-apocalyptic material world,” says Sheyro. The full artist list also included artist like Remi Rough, M-City, Eko Nugroho, Tarek Benaoum, Zevs, Speak Cryptic, and YZ.

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Singapore. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

Australian Silos

“A 35 metre seadragon mural has been completed on the side of huge grain silos at Albany’s historic waterfront,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald, of the project featuring PhlegmHENSE, and Amok Island creating new works along a trail near the coast. To be clear, it is a “ruby sea dragon”.

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

The Yok & Sheryo. Australia. (photo © The Yok & Sheryo)

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BSA Curates at 3rd Artmossphere in Moscow 2018: Open Call For Artists

BSA Curates at 3rd Artmossphere in Moscow 2018: Open Call For Artists

BSA founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo are part of the Curatorial Team for the 2018 Artmossphere Biennale and today BSA is pleased to announce the “Open Call” for artists to apply.

The Street Wave Art Biennale, Artmossphere. Open Call for artists.

Paulo Ito at work on his installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artmossphere is the only Russian biennale that focuses primarily on Street Art and its corollary practices, with the first two launching in 2014 and 2016. You may remember the full coverage BSA had in 2016 at the Moscow Manege;

60 Artists at a Moscow Street Art Biennale: “Artmossphere 2016”

Among the artists participating on previous editions of Artmossphere have been people like The London Police, Brad Downey, Claudio Ethos, Agostino Iocurci Miss Van, L’Atlas, Sickboy, Jaz, Nespoon, Martha Cooper, Remi Rough, Alexey Luka, Remed, Li Hill, Jessie and Katey, Moneyless, El Tono, and many others – but clearly you can see that the quality and diversity in practices and backgrounds is well represented here.

L’Atlas at work on his installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For the 2018 edition of the biennale we will be curating the program along with some of our respected peers internationally in this field and collectively we are asking artists to consider what it means to be “Offline”. So much of graffiti and Street Art’s roots extend back to a practice of making work for a largely local audience that is limited to geography.

Today much work in public space is conceived of, at least in part, for its ability to traverse to audiences on social media, blogs, video, and all manner of digital platforms. As we constantly are flooded with online Street Art, is it possible to be ‘Offline”?

Sepe at work on his painting for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 2018 main exhibition will take place in the Excise Storehouse of Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow from August 30th to October 17th. Additional special exhibitions will be held in the Red and White Halls, as well as in the art cluster outdoor territory.

The open call is open to Russian and international artists and applications with projects exploring this year’s theme will be reviewed by an international jury consisting of Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, co-founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com and curators at Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN), Peter Ernst Coolen, curator of the Amsterdam Street Art Museum, Cedar Lewisohn, curator of the Street Art project in Tate Modern, Ethel Seno, researcher of street art and curator, Anna Dimitrova, curator of Adda Gallery, Paris and MTN Gallery, Barcelona, and Nikolay Palazhchenko, the founder of the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow.

To take part in the biennale, Artmossphere artists should submit their portfolio and their project application for the biennale before June 18th, 2018. All the projects should be made exclusively for the biennale. Click here for all details.

Wes21 at work on his installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Katie and Jesse at work on their installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pink Power at work on her installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City at work on his installation for the 2nd Edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Krzysztof “Proembrion” Syruc at work on his painting for the 2nd edition of Artmossphere. Moscow 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




#ARTMOSSPHERE #BKSTREETART

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Selected Scenes from the Colombia Diary. Day 3 – Moments

Selected Scenes from the Colombia Diary. Day 3 – Moments

This week BSA is in an unusual location in Colombia by invitation to see a new initiative with Street Artists in an abandoned distillery now being brought back to life with their imaginations and penchant for transformation. Come along with us for a few days to see what we discover.


As we are chronicling the movement of the Street Art story into new spaces such as this hybrid venue that transforms an aged factory into a unique ex-urban gallery, it occurs to us that the revolution of this street culture movement has always been in its ability to adapt.

 Stinkfish. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After last nights’ tumultuous rains that turned much of the dusty ground into thick chocolate mud we walked amongst these hulking steel giants of manufacturing again, seeing everyone and everything with new eyes.

Climbing up the rusted rickety staircases and rotting corrugated floor panels and peering out upon painters and vandals alike as they plot their next proposition, you remain alert for unscripted turns in the plot.

Ben Eine with Connor. Colombia. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Invariably a pause, an ellipse, a stolen moment may reveal something more about the artist and their passage into the creative ether. With a documentarian sense, you’ll want to capture it before it blinks away.

When the creative spirit is fluid in environments such as these, it is possibly impossible to articulate the complex set of actions, reactions, strategic calculations, synchronous movements, awkward missteps, punk pirouettes, and the occasional virtuosic executions that can take place.

Filmmaker Collin Day. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Once you accept that the process of creativity for Street Artists and those who enable them is rather full of magic, you have equipped yourself to see that magic wherever you look. It happens as quickly as the flight of the short-tailed bat that grazes rapidly passed your hat on its way to the roost .

These are fleeting moments.

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City and Martha. Colombia. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Filmmaker Radek Drozdowicz. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis and D*Facew. Colombia. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Ben Eine and Connor. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ben Eine and Connor. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

M-City and Martha. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Louis Jensen. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wildife. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wildife. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wildife. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wildife. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barrel’s rings. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This event has been made possible by Dictador Art Masters Foundation. To learn more about the foundation click here.

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This is How It’s Done : Colombia Diary. Day 2 – Process

This is How It’s Done : Colombia Diary. Day 2 – Process

This week BSA is in an unusual location in Colombia by invitation to see a new initiative with Street Artists in an abandoned distillery now being brought back to life with their imaginations and penchant for transformation. Come along with us for a few days to see what we discover.


In factories and in art-making, process is crucial to success.

Back at this Colombian factory site for a second day of work, the artists are climbing ladders, tracing out shapes, stepping back to check perspective, and lunging forward for the first genuine phase of painting. The brand new initiative on this industrial site sparks your mind with ideas – nothing seems impossible, actually. The future is unwritten.

Ben Eine and Connor. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So it seems especially appropriately audacious when you see Ben Eine and his son Collin rolling by you on a massive lift that holds them aloft overhead with cans in hand. You deftly dart out of the way so you are not smushed underneath the massive rubber tires that roll toward you, carefully ducking the occasional leafy limb that is snapped off the tree they are grazing in their metal bucket as they paint, now wrapping to another side of the building.

Ben Eine. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

They are spraying out a series of Eine’s iconic lettering across the top floor of one of the compound’s brick facades, and suddenly you may have the feeling that this is the first page of a new book being written. We may not yet know what it will say, but you can appreciate the process, two guys from different generations extending their arms toward the wall, can in hand, propelling clouds of aerosol forward, writing a common missive.

Ben Eine. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Scattered through these rusty dusty caverns and crooks there are Street Artists at work; with birds and bats and beats filling the air. A new of industry at work, one can  appreciate now how the image is built. It’s a mysterious and sometimes spell-binding unveiling, carefully considered.

With no specific aesthetic guidelines from their hosts and no review of sketches, we are privileged to see these self-driven murals disclosed in real time without prejudice on walls of the artists choosing.

Stinkfish. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There are myriad processes at play. Placed in the hands of artists who can appreciate the opportunity to create quality works , there is attention to detail and context. Whether it is D*Face’s ironic reappropriation of symbols/text and dramatically tragic heroes – or the pop culture humor of Toxicomano’s leopard queen, or the golden disk framing Stinkfish’s neo Colombian intergalactican icon, its a studied process that makes it happen.

Stinkfish. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City drips with rivers of sweat in the merciless humidity while peeling away one more panel of his four pillar stencil opus called “Goldmine”, his paint encrusted hand dropping another wet cutout with a deft gesture – leaving it to drift in the heavy breeze 3 stories beneath him to the ground.

The Monstfur duo carefully balance on ladders to reach and hold stencils, spraying out each textured layer of industrially inspired grayness, careful to align the successive hand-cuts that they are gridding across a tank that previously carried toxic fluids.

Stinkfish. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As this projects’ character is taking shape while we are watching, you see that these artists are pouring themselves into the act properly, giving top flight performances.

It’s part of the process.

D*Face. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stephen Thompson of D*Face tam. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face, Louis and Stephen. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City with Martha. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M-City. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monstfur. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stinkfish . Ben Eine. Colombia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This event has been made possible by Dictador Art Masters Foundation. To learn more about the foundation click here.

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New Spirits in an Old Distillery : Colombia Diary. Day 1

New Spirits in an Old Distillery : Colombia Diary. Day 1

This week BSA is in an unusual location in Colombia by invitation to see a new initiative with Street Artists in an abandoned distillery now being brought back to life with their imaginations and penchant for transformation. Come along with us for a few days to see what we discover.


The fantasies of graffiti writers and Street Artists are myriad but a few rise to the top; the abandoned factory is like a fever dream for a certain passionate class of urban explorers who crawl through holes in fences and slide through broken windows just to discover what lies inside these neglected hulks of industry – and to leave their mark.

Stinkfish. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“So when I began painting in Colombia and mainly in Bogotá I would take a photograph of someone in Bogotá and paint it. When I started to travel and I began to take people from one place to another so for example I took people from Colombia to Mexico. I took a lot of photographs in Mexico and took those images with me to Europe. I enjoyed bringing Mexican and Colombian people to Europe. So of course when I was in Europe I took pictures of this girl who was in the subway in Paris – and I brought her back to Colombia,” says Stinkfish.


In the imagination of many aerosol-armed archaeologists is a vision full of heavy pipes, deep coal ovens, chicken-wired windows, soaring steel silos and rusted rotund tanks, puffy clouds of steam wafting about, electrical boxes with color-coded diagrams, and an endless array of iron walkways and ladders that criss-cross at tight angles and climb higher toward the promising future of the Industrial Revolution.

Imagine what it would be like to have one of these places all to yourself and your friends and instead of fearing the security guard, he is there to protect you.

M-City. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is precisely the project we have walked into – thanks to an invitation from Polish Street Artist and professor M-City, who has convened with Dictador Art Masters Foundation to invite an intimately eclectic mix of European and South American Street Artists to create new pieces inside the hidden compound nestled in leafy palm oil plantations and more than an hour from the nearest city.

M.City. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Closed for decades, the former distillery still contains all its necessary armature of equipment and its ovens and tanks and charcoal barrels – along with tall grasses, a murky stream, many centipedes, some blue spotted wood lizards, black iguanas, and the occasional leopard Gecko.

BSA is here in Colombia for the next few days with M-City, D*Face, Stinkfish, Toxicomano, Ben Eine, and Monstfur along with some other special guests. Today we’ll just show you the work of the “advance crew” of M-City and the Colombian Street Artists Stinkfish and Toxicomano who checked out the place a few months ago and tested walls with some work examples just to see if it would be as divertido as they thought it would be to explore the old factory.

It is.

M-City. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This was just for fun it’s sort of an abandoned submarine which I also did it on a canvas,” says M-City. It is also on the wall at Urban Spree in Berlin.”

What appeals most to him about this project? “It’s exciting because it’s very far from my home in Poland and if you look around you see that there’s nothing around here. It is in the middle of nowhere. We just have the palm trees around and the distillery is in the middle. So we do not have a “public” here. The artists are completely free to do what they want and there are not many people around taking pictures – it’s even kind of secret. So it’s private and it is protected. Nobody can just drop in you know?”

Toxicomano. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Colombian Street Artist Toxicomano took us on a tour of a number of stencil based pieces he put up in advance of this weeks events, explaining that he likes to reclaim symbols and use them for his own meanings. One Smurf we found on a concrete-splattered tiled basewall says “Fuck Racism”.

“I like to use these images because people have in their minds some common association with it and they remember something about it from when they were a child. Now they can  start to think about it differently.”

“In Colombia we have a mixture of races we have black people we have indigenous people we have roots from Spanish people and now we have American and European influences it’s a lot. We mix a lot of things like a soup like a Latin Americans Full of ingredients and we have a special flavor. Also I think a lot of people think of Smurfs as blue but they don’t know that the first Smurf comic was actually a black Smurf and in that particular story the blue Smurfs have a problem with the black Smurf.”

Toxicomano. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This stencil got me in a lot of trouble on Instagram,” he says the stencil that says “Las mujeres son la verga” (roughly “Women are the dick”) – mostly because it is a slang that is interpreted differently across Latin America and Spain – including within his own native Colombia. Some thought it insulted women, others thought it empowers them. He says he really enjoyed seeing the differences of opinion  but regretted that some of the comments got into personal attacks. “I preferred to not comment and to observe,” he says.

Toxicomano. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our friends the lovely iguanas at the distillery in Codazzi, Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toxicomano. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sunset at the distillery. Colombia. May 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This event has been made possible by Dictador Art Masters Foundation. To learn more about the foundation click here.

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M-City: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

M-City: Wishes And Hopes For 2018

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2017 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s an assortment of treats to surprise you with every day – to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2018. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to each of you for inspiring us throughout the year.

*******

Gdańsk-based art professor and Street Artist M-City has been stenciling the inner workings of a real and imagined industrial world onto walls, sea vessels, and an aviation control tower among other surfaces for a decade or so. He uses his work as metaphor for larger messages, if you care to interpret them, and a thinking man like M-City rarely leaves a stone unturned in his observations of human foibles and geopolitics today or in history. Today he tells us about typical scene in cities around the globe where Street Artists and other Creatives bring a moribund place to life, only to have it snatched up by developers and culture vultures when the area matures into something profitable.


M-City

A few buildings look like nowhere else.

This one is located in the center of Gdańsk betweeen a shipyard and the old town. The Building has a long story and was built before the second war, becoming known as the biggest “Pumpernickel” bakery.

90% of the city was destroyed during World War II and that’s why in this photo the area is still a bit empty around it. Over 30 artist have spent the last few years creating here; painters, photographers, sculptors, theater people and many more. We did many shows in a gallery here and and in other parts of the building.

These cultural events and the environment we built – everything happened here without any public money, just a bit of private support. My studio is also inside and outside I did a lot of quick murals to comment on public and political life.

Now someone has bought our building and wants to destroy/develop it as soon as possible and to build part of a new town. This place will be gone by the end of the year. It was one of the last independent art places in our region and I don’t think that we will find this  kind of place in the future because the City is eating art spots fast and faster every year.

M-city. Gdańsk, Poland. (photo M-city)

 

M-city

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly 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 2017.

Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.

 

Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.

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An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

An Unlikely Museum for Street Art? MUJAM is in the MX MIX : BSA X UN X Mexico City: Day 1

This week BSA is in Mexico City in collaboration with Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art (UN) to see what is steering the scene on the street, meet artists, visit artist compounds, museums, galleries, and studios – and of course to capture the wild and dynamic Street Art and graffiti scene here. Where Mexico City goes in art and culture makes big waves elsewhere in Latin America, and its Street Art scene has been quickly evolving in the last decade. Join us as we investigate the character and players in this modern/traditional city of more than 21 million people.


Not much happens in Mexico City’s modern Street Art scene that Roberto Shimizu Jr. doesn’t know about.

El Mac is in good company. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With his namesake father at the helm of the Mexican Antique Toy Museum (MUJAM) since it opened in 2006, the younger Shimizu has organized 30 or so Street Art events, founded the All City Canvas program, worked with city and federal public art programs. He has also been a personal clearing house for some of the most recognized talents and new practitioners on the scene, inviting them to paint inside and outside this eclectic and curiously expansive, overwhelming museum of toys that span a century or so.

ROA. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spent hours with Roberto walking the floors of this imagination-provoking museum today – oggling an ocean of hand-made and mass produced items here that his father has collected for almost 60 years in every state of Mexico, only 5% of an estimated 5 million individual pieces in their collection. As the son of a voracious lifelong collector with a razor sharp eye and appreciation for positive energy Roberto Jr. has an omnivore’s appetite for Street Art, public art, graffiti.

So naturally since the museum first opened he’s been bringing in an eclectic array of aerosol/brush painters, wheatpasters, stencils, sticker slappers to hit up walls in the courtyard outside, on the roof, inside the museum, and on walls around the industrialized/residential neighborhood of Colonia Doctores.

Curiot. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ll be telling you more about this ingenious genius and his heartfelt amor for toys and Street Art later, but we thought we’d just show you some excerpts of a large rolled canvas signed by the important artists, curators, sincere fans and occasional rock stars that he’s been amassing for the last few years.

Here you’ll find a number of the big names from today’s Street Art scene from before anyone really knew them – people to whom he personally gave opportunities and encouragement and materials and who later have landed in the collections of museums and collectors thanks to him giving them an opportunity, or two, or three. Also it was good for us to see names of the new kids on the block and a number of Latin American talents we all will be getting to know in the future.

Herakut. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Neuzz. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liqen. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

M – City. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Luca Dalto. MUJAM, Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

For more information about MUJAM click HERE

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BSA Film Friday 04.21.17 – Vids from Nuart Aberdeen 2017

BSA Film Friday 04.21.17 – Vids from Nuart Aberdeen 2017

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

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

Now screening :
1. ADD FUEL – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
2. Alice Pasquini – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
3. Isaac Cordal – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
4. M-City in Aberdeen for Nuart 2017 via BrooklynStreetArt.com

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Features: Vids from Aberdeen

Doug Gillen from Fifth Wall TV shadowed artists at work in Aberdeen, Scotland last week and began a series of videos that give you an idea about their art and their individual approach to it. Today we have the first three freshly released from Nuart Aberdeen for your enjoyment.

ADD FUEL – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

So, how do you get the party started in Aberdeen? You Add Fuel!  The artists’ practice of tile making back home in Portugal is translated here by his study of local Scottish decorative motifs and tradition – with one layer tearing back to reveal another beneath it.

Alice Pasquini – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

Roman Street Artist Alice Pasquini has a color palette rather custom made for nautical scenes and seaside cities- and somehow brings a Mediterranean air of romance to this stormy Scottish city on the North Sea. Her figures and portraits seem to appear by surprise on small sections of doorways or corners of disused billboards – and this larger mural sized piece is rightly juxtaposed on Ship Row almost across from the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.Video by Doug Gillen/Fifth Wall TV.

Isaac Cordal – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

The Spanish Street Artist continued his indirect critique of corporate capitalists by installing his little grey-suited businessmen throughout the oil city that has been shaken by markets. For some reason, the scale makes the figures comic, and the context of the great wide world helps put these soldiers of white-collar shenanigans into a position of low impact. But we’re just kidding ourselves if we think they are inconsequential – they are the enablers of the machine. These are the human levers of the oligarchy who Isaac Cordal is perching on ledges, balancing on wires, placing on terraces staring intently at spreadsheets and stock numbers on their phones. Now his miniature worried men are perched all over Aberdeen. Can you spot them? Video by Doug Gillen/Fifth Wall TV

 

M-City for Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Video by BSA

Who would like to experience the slow ascent into the air on a cherry picker with M-City as you survey his new completed mural for Nuart Aberdeen? This short home made video by Jaime Rojo gives you a look at a street level perspective while travel mills around the freshly painted piece.

 

 


Many thanks to Doug/Fifth Wall for sharing his video work here with BSA readers. For for information about Fifth Wall please go HERE.

Twitter @FifthWallTV

https://www.instagram.com/fifthwalltv/

 

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Nuart Aberdeen 2017 Already Has Locals Saying “Haste Ye Back!”

Nuart Aberdeen 2017 Already Has Locals Saying “Haste Ye Back!”

The sky is still twilight blue above the streets of Aberdeen at 21:00 this time of year and as you walk the city’s edge on the beach of the North Sea the winds pick up with a chilly bluster. Of course, that’s just for this minute. In a half hour it may be a gentle warm caress, or you’ll be pelted with hail and sleet mercilessly. Locals like to say that this northern Scottish seaside city has 4 seasons in one day. During one Street Art tour that we gave for 350 Aberdeenians on the day before Easter, we cycled through those seasons, twice.

This is Nuart, the festival begun in Stavanger, Norway in 2001 by loveable bad boy and (some would argue) curatorial visionary Martyn Reed which invites Street Artists from around the world to partake in thoughtful aesthetic excursions on the street and in public space.

The cumulative success of Nuart’s indoor/outdoor programs is now well recorded and looked to as a model. Remarkably they have risen despite tensions that occur when commingling frameworks of illegality and institutional acceptance; including a relatively new academic rigor that is now investigating the family of practices called Urban Art, their absorption into the commercial market as contemporary art, the badass anti-establishment musings of jilted outcasts who want nothing of it, and a somewhat romantic notion of communicating with the public in a meaningful dialogue.

Jaune. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ah, but this is the bumpy, potholed, slimy street along which counter-culture becomes culture and the marginalized becomes the mainstream  producing a modicum of nausea for all involved. While not explicitly aiming for legitimacy on these fronts, the Nuart Festival has gradually metamorphosed into a standard by which some others are judged, with reason.

Now for the first time Nuart exports its hard won and uniquely prickly formula in a perhaps more reserved manner to this new, old city which lies 500 kilometers across the North Sea in Scotland.

This is the stirring, storied North Sea known globally for the black oil lurking beneath it, and the two cities of Stavanger and Aberdeen have both been impacted greatly by the plunge of world-wide petroleum prices since the end of the last decade; a downturn described by London’s Telegraph as “vicious”.  We may have stumbled upon evidence of this during one of our walking tours when we remarked on the large number of people there who were interested in seeing the new artworks and one woman cracked with some sarcasm, “that’s because none of us has jobs.”

Jaune. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And here we are with eleven international artists to ease the grayness of this historic and granite Gothic city by the sea where daffodils cover the meadow in Union Terrace Gardens and single malt whisky eases the sight of iron leg fetters in the 17th century prison museum called Tolbooth.

When it comes to Nuart Aberdeen the people whom we met are nearly exuberant in their responses, even awestruck by the appearance of this new art in their city. With the introduction of aerosol, brush paint, wheat-paste, stencils, miniature sculpture, and poetry to street walls, it is as if a hidden pent-up desire for art in the public sector has burst open, a geyser if you will.

“I think there are quite a lot of places now in Aberdeen that are quite plain. It’s like there are a lot of empty canvasses. It’s good to see something be done with them,” says Mark, who’s touring the new pieces through the streets with Julia, who’s originally from the capital Edinburgh. Map in hand, the couple appears to be about 30 and they say that while they’ve seen work like this in other cities, they’re glad to see something more youthful now appearing here in a historical seaport that boasts soaring, turreted and spired cathedrals and narrow stone streets.

Jaune. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’ve been to Leipzig lots of times and there’s lots of sides of buildings,” says Mark, “they’re similar in size to these, with lots of murals in the city center, and it really kind of brightens the place up, makes it a lot more lively.”

“Welcome to a city investing it its city and its culture,” says Councilor George Adam, the Lord Provost, a prestigious post and an ancient office with its roots in the 13th century. During a reception with other members of the Aberdeen City Council and the local business improvement district (BID) named “Aberdeen Inspired,” Mr. Adams says that he is excited by Nuart and has received a lot of positive feedback as well.

Add Fuel. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Indeed, the reception from youth, middle aged and senior patrons at our 14 short-video film lecture and the sold-out screening of the premiere of “Finding Bansky” at the independent art theater Belmont Filmhouse was ardent, enthusiastic and full of inquiries afterward. The walking tours had more people than anyone had predicted, with a few people using canes and others pushed in strollers. It would appear that the worldwide Street Art phenomena had seemed frustratingly out of reach for some of the young people, who have been fascinated by it from afar. Seeing these works by international artists here in their city was like a jolt of electricity.

During an entertaining slide show by festival participant Julian De Casabianca at the Lecture Theatre at the Anatomy Museum Thursday night, the steeply angled seats held a full capacity crowd, with many sitting on the floor and steps. The somewhat inebriated and raucous artists and students in their twenties hooted and hollered and pounded on desks during the 50 minute lecture which included mobsters, murder, the Holocaust, stolen artworks, and Street Art – specifically the museum art images which De Casabianca has been wheat-pasting on public streets for all to see for the last decade or so called “The Outings Project.”

Add Fuel. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martin Reed’s curation of the program is wise and the selections are contextual from the perspective that Nuart Aberdeen 2017 presents an array of disciplines from a solid thoughtful selection of perspectives, each attached to the history of graffiti and Street Art from their unique evolution of practices – as well as to the culture of Aberdeen.

Germany’s Herakut dominates one concave wall of Aberdeen Market overlooking “The Green” with their improvisational blending of illustration style portraiture, textual flourish, and symbols germane to the city. De Casabianca chose images form the Aberdeen Art Gallery of two children – haunting in a narrow street known by local folklore for ghosts of children who were sold as slaves to America in previous centuries.

Belgium’s Jaune peppers doorways and electrical boxes with multi-layer stencils of fluorescent-vested municipal workers in humorous scenarios. These are partnered in scale by small grey-suited and somber businessmen by Spain’s Isaac Cordal, which are hidden before your eyes and camouflage into the daily city until you discover one standing on a ledge, balancing on an electrical line, or sitting atop a CCTV camera.

 

Robert Montgomery. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Norway’s Martin Whatson has perhaps the most obvious reference to the locality, with a golfing figure swiping into a plume of colorful graffiti tags. With Donald Trump’s golf course only minutes away, the piece raises an immediate association with a guy who is heartily disliked here. The Street Artist named Add Fuel create an enormous tile-patterned wall that refers to local motifs and decorative artisans on a wall that can be seen easily by pedestrians looking from Aberdeen’s Union Bridge the largest single-span granite arch in the world. Italy’s Alice Pasquini brings imagery of the harbor into her figurative pieces and Norway’s Nipper works directly with local artists to compile gifts of art posted on clipboards around the city.

This is not to say that Reed is running from possible controversial material or opinion: Poland stencilist M-City is without doubt critiquing the oil industry with his oil barrels flying through the sky and tankers in the sea, the UK poet Robert Montgomery’s piece addresses topics like the definition of modernism, race, and social equality, and Australia’s Fintan Magee’s very large mural diptych obliquely references rising sea levels and man made environmental degradation.

Martin Whatson pays an homage to graffiti writers and taggers, from whom much of today’s Street Art and mural festivals evolved. “Luckily we got one of the local guys who came past,” says Aberdeen photographer and expert art blogger Jon Reid, “He left a tag in the bottom right hand side. So at least he managed to get a bit of ‘local’ in as well.” Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In review of the successful event and the relatively young history of the Street Art movement as one that is continually in motion, a few points come to mind as worth mentioning: The first is the ongoing discussion of illegal graffiti and Street Art culture giving way to legal mural festivals that have as their aim some form of business improvement and/or gentrification in a city, particularly when a city previously persecuted and derided the organic and illegal artists who began the scene.

This situation is not specific to Aberdeen, but the concern probably will come up in conversations (including during panel discussions at Nuart) and at the very least it is an irony that art practices once reviled or verboten are now to some extent embraced as worthwhile because they can be economically advantageous. These are not direct relationships, but close ones certainly.

Isaac Cordal. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Similarly there have been a few so-called Street Art festivals in recent years where the primary driver is commercial brand-building and while they give opportunities to artists they somehow cheapen the dialogue between people. It is always ironic, if inevitable, when a subculture becomes more closely associated with mainstream culture, sometimes specifically because of its cache as being rebellious. The trick here would be to accommodate the activist voices in the program, and clearly Nuart aims to do so with panache.

An argument could be made that counters the quick-on-the-draw “selling out” charge that says true rebels are somehow abandoning their values by working for “the man”. From our perspective, we’re happy when artists are working, are treated fairly, and when people get to enjoy their work. Even in this second least affordable city in Scotland  where artist spaces are at a premium if not scarce altogether, it is a good development to see art on the walls outside and a public dialogue facilitated by art.

Isaac Cordal. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This mural initiative will invariably jump-start two outcomes. One will be a renewed interest in the zone in which the art appears, driving foot traffic and, if all goes according to plan, new business initiatives and increased interest in the arts in general.

Secondly, it will spur an uptick in locally grown Street Art. We already witnessed it mushrooming overnight on surfaces during the days we were in the city and were pleased to learn of many local artists who have been looking for opportunities for exposure in addition to this one and last years’ “Painted Doors” project, which was spearheaded by Aberdeen artist Mary Butterworth. As this local scene continues to coalesce in public space, one hopes that the city will challenge itself to find healthy and proactive ways to support this organic scene as well.

Isaac Cordal. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overall, the first year of Nuart Aberdeen has been hands-down successful by many standards, and talk of a 2018 program has already started popping up in discussions online and elsewhere. From what we could see and hear, the city is longing for more.

“We want you all back! You showed us what can be done!” says Dr. Fiona-Jane Brown, the author of “Hidden Aberdeen” and founder of Graft Theater Company in her comment on Facebook to the Nuart team.

“Haste ye back, loons and quinies!” says Morag Russell, another Facebook commenter as the Nuart artists, production team and assorted misfits say their final goodbyes in a posting.  The sentiment rings just as sweet at the song it comes from, like this version from Scotland’s legendary entertainer Andy Stewart.

Isaac Cordal. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Isaac Cordal. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Detail. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Fintan Magee. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jon Reid)

Fintan Magee. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jon Reid)

M-City. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Julien de Casabianca. Outings Project. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Julien de Casabianca. Outings Project. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper. This is an interactive piece where the public is invited to use the stencil. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nipper. And an enthusiastic street art fan is accepting the invitation. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The very supportive people of Aberdeen came out in huge numbers to all four of the official art tours. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. We began with pigeons…we must end with pigeons and spring love. Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Aberdeen, Scotland. April 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


We would like to express our gratitude for the professionalism and support of the Nuart Team, to all the volunteers whose work and dedication made our work more efficient and our stay a lot more pleasant, to the team at Aberdeen Inspired and to the people of Aberdeen for being such gracious and generous hosts, and to all the artists whose work we love and admire and for your inspiration and talent. Thank you. We hope to meet again next year.

For more information on Nuart Aberdeen click HERE.


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