All posts tagged: Madrid

SpY: AI and “Data” For Light Show at LUZMADRID

SpY: AI and “Data” For Light Show at LUZMADRID

Every time you hear “artificial intelligence” you think of Becky Thompson from you 9th –grade Earth Science class. Admit it.

But this is an entirely different interpretation of artificial intelligence from SpY.

SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)

Madrid public artist appears to be on a winning streak this fall, thanks perhaps to so many detailed plans he laid during lockdown with COVID. This night light show called “DATA”, which he did for the International Festival of Light called LUZMADRID this fall maximizes a slim slice of the urban nighttime view, and he intends it to be an immersive audio-visual experience.

We’re excited to hear about Spain’s first light festival – and we have a little friendly advice: Don’t let the advertisers take it over the curatorial decisions because before you know it they’ll be project toothpaste tubes up this alley. No one will listen to us, but we feel better saying it.

SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)

DATA, says SpY, “offers a reflection on the rapid and widespread inclusion of algorithms in numerous aspects of our lives. In this audio-visual work, digital abstraction is used to explore and interpret how predictive tools operated through algorithms and artificial intelligence are highly beneficial in terms of aspects such as communication, research, and medicine, but can also lead us to lose some of our freedoms if they are not used ethically.”

Which was precisely what you would have guessed, right?

SpY tells us that he wanted to explore new tools like holographic fabrics to alter the graphics, saying that they somehow appeared “weightless”. He created a 15-meter high screen made from this fabric and installed it in one of the smaller streets, embuing the experience with something magic, and possibly otherworldly for the audience on the street.

SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Data”. LuzMadrid. International Festival of Light 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
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SpY: “Earth / Tierra” at Plaza de Colón in Madrid

SpY: “Earth / Tierra” at Plaza de Colón in Madrid

SpY describes his new public art project “Earth,” as “a luminous red sphere caged inside a structure.” You may wonder what this structure made from building-site scaffolding represents, especially when he says “the sphere is caged within it”. Gaseous fumes? Global Oligarchs? Free-trade agreements? K-Pop fans? We asked him:

BSA: Is the earth the color red because it is on fire, in pain, in a state of emergency, or perhaps in love?

SpY: The red earth in a cage has different meanings. 

Having the earth in red is an obvious statement about our behavior as human beings in relation to our home where everything is connected as if were a living creature.

The cage represents the way we are caging ourselves in with fewer possibilities of survival because of human activity.

All of this it’s not about a virus or an economic war, what we want to highlight is the plight of the next generations. Will they have the educational tools, and will they be conscientious enough to grasp the importance of taking small, individual steps to feel a shared responsibility to improve the conditions of the planet?

SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)

This sphere in a cube is radiating outward in Plaza de Colón in Madrid is of a grand scale, and rather overpowers the people who walk through, day and night.

At 25 meters high, this glowing red orb is meant to draw our attention to the matters of our home planet, not the other red one you may be familiar with.

SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)

According to his press release, “SpY asks us to reflect on the way in which our home makes up a whole of which we form part, and in which everything is connected as if it were a living creature.”

Curated by Anna Dimitrova of Nobuloart.

SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Earth / Tierra”. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ruben P. Bescos)
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SpY Lights Up Madrid with Green Lasers

SpY Lights Up Madrid with Green Lasers

Spanish street artist SpY has been stretching the limits, blurring the lines, if you will, between street art, installation art, and creating “situations” in cities for the last decade. In this new shot across the sky in Madrid, he is decidedly not blurry, but laser-focused.

SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)

As dusk fell last week citizens saw his newest beams of light bursting from the iconic “Mirador de Moncloa”, causing some on social media to evoke Star Wars comparisons. Perhaps it was the green beams that recollect the early personal computers of all green text on black backgrounds, but to see them streaming steadily, connecting north and south across 10 kilometers, it redefined space and residents’ perceptions of it perhaps.

“The resulting light show is fascinating in its simplicity,” says the artist, “the 8 beams of green light crossing the dark sky, creating a poetic and surprising new visual landscape.”

SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)
SpY. “Lighthouse”. Faro de Monocloa. Madrid, Spain. (photo Ruben P. Bescos)

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Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada Gives a Byte of Eye Candy in Madrid for URVANITY ART 2021

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada Gives a Byte of Eye Candy in Madrid for URVANITY ART 2021

Dazed and confused, how much of our population is apparently anesthetized; directed through daily decisions by a delicious blend of disinformation and propaganda? Everyone will insist they are not, but look closely. Occasionally there are glimmers of civic engagement, even democratic movements that pop up – before they are gently maligned and subtly marginalized as if simply a matter of consumer “choice”.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Urvanity Art 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

‘Byte the Candy’ is the new work in Madrid by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada; a portrait of a woman is contoured as if a computer chip inlaid with circuitry, no more than a central processing unit.

“In 1984, Niel Postman gave a talk about how we are ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death,’” says Rodriguez-Gerada of his inspiration for this new piece he did in conjunction with the Urvanity art fair. “He criticized how the news we see on television is entertainment,” he says, “there only to maintain our attention in order to sell advertisement time instead of trying to make us think.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Urvanity Art 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

Notable also is the earthen color range the artist selected as if merging his precise realism on large-scale murals with his other field of public expression, land art. Even the uniformity of spacing and graduated shading suggests industrial farming methods… but his greater point is the melting together of ethical conscience and the judgment-free manipulation of the subconscious.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Urvanity Art 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

“Today, we are living something beyond what Niel Postman was warning us about – social media platforms, with a system of algorithms that have no conscience or mercy,” says Rodriguez-Gerada. “These algorithms work incessantly to keep our constant attention to see advertising and propaganda, and in that way become more efficient with the use of personal data, achieving the ability to target advertising that coincides exactly with the profile of interests of each user.”

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Urvanity Art 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. Urvanity Art 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
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Urvanity 2021: Highlights. A Selection Of Works From The Galleries

Urvanity 2021: Highlights. A Selection Of Works From The Galleries

Madrid’s Art Week – who would believe that it could actually happen? And to prove it, we have the 5th Anniversary of Urvanity defiantly strutting from one end of the COAM headquarter to the other. Taking its original inspiration from graffiti, post-graffiti, surrealism, pop, and that broadly applied “Urban Contemporary” tag, Sergio and the Urvanity team have persevered this year again.

Case Maclaim presented by Ruby Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

Where others have failed, Urvanity has succeeded and grown and even matured – with more than 25 national galleries and others from as far away as New York, Brussels, and Bogotá. This is not about fanboys and big unsubstantiated claims, Urvanity drives for quality, and it shows.

SANER presented by Swinton Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

The talks this year revolved around high-caliber artists, gallerists, architects, and curators of projects that have made new pathways and invariably give you insight and inspiration in equal measure. BSA has been proud to sponsor this thinking-persons fair, along with the artists and creators; we even hosted their talks a couple of years ago and loved the folks we met there.

Here are a few images of fine art works evolving from the street practice of a number of artists whose names you may recognize.

PICHIAVO presented by Stolen Space Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Laurence Vallières presented by Swinton Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Grip Face presented by Limited by Solo Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
D*Face presented by Stolen Space Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada presented by Duran Monkey Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Belin presented by Duran Monkey Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Wasted Rita presented by Ruby Gallery. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

To see the complete list of galleries and the artists exhibited with the available works click HERE

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Portraiture by Case Maclaim and Helen Bur in Madrid for Urvanity 2021

Portraiture by Case Maclaim and Helen Bur in Madrid for Urvanity 2021

Frankfurt-based ultra-talent Case Maclaim is with the Urvanity Art Fair this week, and he has created a new mural in Madrid’s old, historical city center. His work is being shown by Brussells Ruby Gallery, along with that of street artists EverSiempre and Wasted Rita. Still, he just wanted to go big with a tribute to children’s imagination.

Case Maclaim. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)

“I gave the viewer a new character of a yet unknown fairy tale,” Maclaim says of the confident kid wearing a mermaid costume. “I have high hopes that it will encourage especially the young audience to come up with their very own story.”

On another wall, tall and thin, on calle Fuencarral 47, artist Helen Bur painted a figure as a tribute to her mother and to the recently departed Street Artist Hyuro. She says she pays homage to these two women – ‘Humilty, strength, elegance & poetry of the subtle.”

Case Maclaim. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Case Maclaim. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Case Maclaim. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Helen Bur. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Helen Bur. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Helen Bur. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Helen Bur. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
Helen Bur. Urvanity 2021. Madrid, Spain. (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art Fair)
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Paintings of “Centropelia” in Madrid by Juan Yksuhc

Paintings of “Centropelia” in Madrid by Juan Yksuhc

Juan Yksuhc is more oil-on-canvas than aerosol-on-steel, but he’s done the latter with the same fantastical figurative free-wheeling quotidian panache as the former. Rich tones and stretched torsos give way to static snapshots of real life, always rendered in a fevered fervor.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Here in Madrid his paintings are episodic and serially thematic, you may say. Photographer Ricardo Hernandez seeks them, warmed with curiosity at their formal classicism, their nonplussed aplomb and sometimes obvious symbolism. It’s a different kind of lengua de la calle.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Yksuhc in fact is not eager to be unpacked, preferring the graphic manifestation of a historical present to catch you in your moment, ready to walk into the world he’s just painted for you.

For example he tells us that this series “Centropelia” is an allusion to the conflicted realities bound within gentrification; as modern as it is historic with its themes of speculation, expulsion, and the spiraling economic violence of rent.

Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Gema Rodríguez y Guillermo de la Madrid)
Juan Yksuhc. Centropelia. Madrid. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)
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Madrid Dispatch: Primo Banksy and TVBoy

Madrid Dispatch: Primo Banksy and TVBoy

These days it is the default storyline of a non-British arts journalist to deign that their local street artist is “Tel Aviv’s Banksy”, or “Wanaka’s Banksy”. Here in Madrid, this artist just calls himself Banksy’s cousin, or at least that could be one interpretation of his artistic name.

Primo Banksy. Tribute at Garcia Lorca. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Primo Banksy is a trained artistic talent and uses his carefully rendered ink and watercolor illustrations to highlight cultural figures in art, politics, literature – like John & Yoko, the girl from the Velázquez’ Las Meninas, or this portrait of Federico García Lorca, the poet, playwright, and theater director.

Primo Banksy. Tribute at Garcia Lorca. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)
Primo Banksy. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Meanwhile the street artist known as TVBoy is much closer in style and sentimentality to the Bristol-born street art man of mystery known around the world. The Barcelona based Italian favors the pop side of so-called “urban art” here, his filter treatments of popular figures a sure hit for passersby who relate to the subject.

TVBOY. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)

Our thanks to BSA reader Ricardo Hernandez who shares with us some recent shots while strolling the streets of Madrid.

TVBOY. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #7

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #7

Highest claims for unemployment in our history. The best day on the Stock Market since 1933. People won’t get relief from the government for weeks and many live paycheck to paycheck. Typically one might predict these are conditions for a domino effect that sets in motion a revolution, if you’ve read history books. Already there are talks about mass rent strikes for April.

Meanwhile, our neighborhood in Brooklyn is in the code red zone on the maps for Covid-19 outbreak in New York; so you’ll forgive us if we don’t go outside to capture fresh new Street Art for a while. We did have to leave once this week for a friend’s medical emergency (not the virus, thankfully) but we’re back on self-quarantine. Much respect to all medical personnel all across the world.

So, as long as we’re able, we’re going to publish work from the street. But please do send us what you see, what you capture – maybe out the window. But don’t put yourself at risk, or others.

We have to flatten this curve and it will take us all to do it.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring DeGrupo, 1UP Crew, Gris, Hellon Wheels, Jeff Kowalsky, Laszlo, LOOK, Joan Aguilo, Seco, The Brujo, and Yiannis Bellis.

Joan Aguilo in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Ricardo Hernandez)
Vidom + Look in Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Vidom + Look in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hellon Wheels (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist in Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist in Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Brujo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew in Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist at the marquee at the Magic Bag theater in Ferndale, MI.(photo © Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)
DeGrupo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gris in Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Yiannis Bellis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SECO (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Laszlo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Shabat prayers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. March 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Urvanity 2020 – Madrid Murals from Zest, D*Face, Never Crew, and Eversiempre

Urvanity 2020 – Madrid Murals from Zest, D*Face, Never Crew, and Eversiempre

New walls from Madrid from only a few weeks ago at the Urvanity Festival, before the city became known as a hub for Coronavirus, went on full lockdown – today closing all of its hotels…

Zest (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art / Madrid 2020)

We start off the collection with graffiti writer from Montpellier, France named  Franck Noto aka Zest. His gestural abstracts are just the kind of bright swipes of energy that capture a commercial market these days, and here he brings those energies to the street as well.

Enjoy the new massive pieces from London’s D*Face, Switzerland’s Never Crew, GVIIIIE and Argentinian Eversiempre as they each knock out new murals that Madrid is thankful for – or will be when people are allowed outside again.

Franck Noto combines the different energies found in Graffiti and brings them out through the basic shapes and the primary colors he uses. The bright colors symbolize the aspect of urban art that immediately catches the eye of passers-by, even before they give a positive or negative opinion on what they see. As for the transparency of the forms, it reflects an accumulation of energies and movements.

Zest. Urvanity Art/Madrid 2020. (photo © Leticia Díaz de la Morena)
GVIIIIE (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art / Madrid 2020)
GVIIIIE. Urvanity Art/Madrid 2020. (photo © Leticia Díaz de la Morena)
NEVERCREW (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art / Madrid 2020)
NEVERCREW. Urvanity Art/Madrid 2020. (photo © Leticia Díaz de la Morena)
D*FACE (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art / Madrid 2020)
D*FACE. Urvanity Art/Madrid 2020. (photo © Leticia Díaz de la Morena)
Nicolas Romero (photo courtesy of Urvanity Art / Madrid 2020)
Nicolas Romero. Urvanity Art/Madrid 2020. (photo © Nicolas Romero AKA Eversiempre)
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Laurence Vallières and Red-Handed Mickey at Urvanity 2020

Laurence Vallières and Red-Handed Mickey at Urvanity 2020

Presented by Swinton Gallery at this year’s edition of Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Canadian artists Laurence Vallières’ installation turned heads and made people think. Ms. Vallières is well known for her sculptures, mostly of animals in peril made out of hard cardboard. Her outdoor installation at Urvanity had a lot to say with two images that stop people in their tracks.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity Art Fair. Madrid, March 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The center stage in the outdoor area features a murdered triceratops and a triumphant Mickey Mouse astride the hapless animal with blood on his hands, possibly dining on its entrails. Art, of course, can be interpreted in so many ways, and that’s one of its inherent powers. To us, this sculpture represents the centuries of American colonialism around the world and the trail of blood and misery left behind by the conquerors. At the least its a stab at corporate power.

Or does this represent a more generalized corruption in the highest offices – with unashamed displays of nepotism and greed run amok. More literally you may think of those clueless bounty hunters who boast about their kill of the last members of species.

No matter your analysis of the art piece and what it represents to you in particular, this is a powerful socio-political critique given the mainstage at Urvanity Madrid 2020, and many will have an opportunity to see it firsthand.

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Urvanity Madrid 2020: Outdoor Installations Soft and Hard

Urvanity Madrid 2020: Outdoor Installations Soft and Hard

The body as an object. The body as a sexual object. The body objectified.

Combine these notions with soft sculpture in a public space and you will begin to experience Junja Jankovic’s new work in Madrid as we lead up to Urvanity 2020, the newest campaign of contemporary urban art that focuses on galleries and artists working in the public sphere.

Dunja Jankovic. Wearable Sculptures: Dominant, Submissive, Frisky. Urvanity 2020. Plaza de San Ildefonso, Madrid. (photo © Leticia de la Morena)

The Croatian fine artist studied in Zagreb and New York and lives “on her home island of Lošinj where she runs a screenprint studio and a gallery in an abandoned sardine factory,” she says in her bio. These soft sculptures mimic the digital reality now interacting with city reality – inviting you to be a part of them.

Samuel Salcedo. “The heads”. Urvanity 2020. Plaza Juan Goytisolo, Madrid. (photo © Leticia de la Morena)

Joining her are Samuel Salcedo’s hyperrealistic and emotional heads, seemingly rolling around Plaza Juan Goytisolo in a possibly disturbing way. The Barcelona born sculpture commands the space, then holds your attention with subtle ironies and humor. You’ve seen these faces before, but not like this.

Abel Iglesias “The Cube”. Urvanity 2020. Plaza de Callao, Madrid. (photo © Leticia de la Morena)

A third participant in Urvanity’s public show this year is graffiti writer Abel Iglesias and his scattered abstractions applied to the intense weight of a steel cube. Running between Valencia and Barcelona the young experimenter is unhindered by formalism, offering a trip to 90’s Memphis and inflatable pastel motifs of whimsy and geometry. This perplexing form in dark solitude brings a new gravity to an often floating oeuvre of Iglesias.

Abel Iglesias (photo © Papagnimeca)
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