All posts tagged: Madrid

Urvanity Madrid Diary 3: A Black Cat, Studio Visit and “Theriomorphism”

Urvanity Madrid Diary 3: A Black Cat, Studio Visit and “Theriomorphism”

This week BSA is in Madrid to capture some highlights on the street, in studio, and at Urvanity 2019, where we are hosting a 3 day “BSA TALKS” conference called “How Deep Is the Street?” Come with us every day to see what the Spanish capital has happening in urban and contemporary.


With a theme of “Theriomorphism”, curated by Okuda San Miguel with four other artists, the Pop Up exhibition just opened at Galeria Kreisler here in Madrid- and it looks like Sabek has taken the idea to the street as well.

“So it’s all about animals and God,” say Agostino Iacurci, the Italian Street Artist, muralist, and fine artist. “God in the shape of animals or mixing with humans.”

Okuda collaboration with Agostino Iacurci, Bruno Pontiroli and Kristen Liu-Wong for Theriomorphism. Work in progress. Studio visit. Madrid. February 2019. (photo Jaime Rojo)

As you imagine human/animal hybrids your thoughts may wander to plants and sheep and bare breasted women and hooved men with erections and surrealist naturist imagery that verges on bestiality – that all seems like fair play in this cunning mix of artistic styles and fluorescent visions. Last night’s opening in a tony part of the city featured a large crowd of friends and family, including Okuda’s mom and a number of exotic and eclectically dressed hybrids as well.

But for Iacurci, it’s a domestic matter. “My idea is more about the contemporary role of animals in our lives in the domestic sense. I am interested in the fact that we choose some species over others to make them into pets.”

Okuda collaboration with Agostino Iacurci, Bruno Pontiroli and Kristen Liu-Wong for Theriomorphism. Galeria Kreisler. Madrid. February 2019. (photo Jaime Rojo)

Together with artists Bruno Pontiroli and Kristen Liu-Wong, Iacurci is listening to a gentle samba while painting in Okuda’s studio on a large canvass that will be in the show. Naturally it also has a striking multi-colored figure from Okuda as well.

The fifth artist in the show, Bordalo II created collaboratively in an aesthetic hybrid as well, a simian sculpture split in two – a parallel to the mural they completed here on the street (see Monday’s posting).

Okuda and Bordalo II collaboration for Theriomorphism. Work in progress. Studio visit. Madrid. February 2019. (photo Jaime Rojo)

Does Agostino think that God is involved in the selection process of our pets?

“No I think it’s human arrogance. It’s the human being pretending to be God.”

Okuda and Bordalo II collaboration for Theriomorphism. Galeria Kreisler. Madrid. February 2019. (photo Jaime Rojo)

Outside a new installation by Sabek in Plaza Callao has captured human’s imaginations – as most artworks including cats are bound to do these days.  This one done in concert with Urvanity was originally scheduled to be on display until March 5th.

So successfull has the new work been that it has sparked a grassroots petition drive, gathering hundreds of community signatures to get the new sculpture to stay for much longer, even years.

How God is involved in these matters, we cannot elucidate.

Sabek. Special installation for Urvanity Art. Madrid, Plaza Callao. February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Urvanity Madrid Diary 2: 1010 & Moneyless Underfoot and Overhead

Urvanity Madrid Diary 2: 1010 & Moneyless Underfoot and Overhead

This week BSA is in Madrid to capture some highlights on the street, in studio, and at Urvanity 2019, where we are hosting a 3 day “BSA TALKS” conference called “How Deep Is the Street?” Come with us every day to see what the Spanish capital has happening in urban and contemporary.


It is a series of surprises on the streets that are planned here in connection with the Urvanity Art Fair, including some tricky geometricks overhead and underfoot from artists Moneyless and 1010.

Moneyless. Urvanity Art 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A 3 dimensional turn on the abstract lineplays that you may associate with the murals and canvasses from the Tuscany-based Italian Ted Pirisi, aka Moneyless, his ongoing investigations of shapes and geometrical spaces has led him to suspend his newest piece between two fine examples of Spanish architecture only a five minute walk from the fair.

Moneyless. Urvanity Art 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you approach it, walk under it, gaze upward to continually re-frame it within the sky and between the facing buildings on this small street full of pedestrians, shops, and lottery ticket sellers. The story is the form, and the form keeps changing.

Moneyless. Urvanity Art 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo

Hamburg-based visual illusionist 1010 commands a larger swath of the street, literally, with his wavy cartography of a fictional nature with his “color caves” playing with perception as you stroll along this thoroughfare.

1010. Urvanity Art 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pedestrians gazing down at their phones stop periodically as the earth layers beneath them appears to dip deeper, throwing off your sense of interpretation. It is crazy how these large installations affect perceptions even as they are getting a little weathered by the feet passing over them – a tribute to the effectiveness of 1010’s mastery of visual illusion.

Urvanity Art 2019. Madrid, February 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo
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Urvanity Madrid Diary 1: Okuda and Bordalo II in Lavapiés

Urvanity Madrid Diary 1: Okuda and Bordalo II in Lavapiés

This week BSA is in Madrid to capture some highlights on the street, in studio, and at Urvanity 2019, where we are hosting a 3 day “BSA TALKS” conference called “How Deep Is the Street?” Come with us every day to see what the Spanish capital has happening in urban and contemporary.


Madrid Increíble! – with its venerable two hundred year old Prado Museum stuffed full of Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya – and Okuda San Miguel’s favorite, El Bosco, or Hieronymus Bosch.  Little did we know yesterday when we nearly got decapitated by security for trying to snap a cell photo of Velasquez’ “Las Meninas” at the museum that we would enter an alternate universe of Okuda’s studio and his own work in progress tribute to Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” today. May we also just say that this new painting will also belong in the Prado when it is finished?

Okuda at work in Madrid. February 25 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

More on that studio visit later, along with the crew of artists whom Okuda is curating for tomorrow nights’ Theriomorphism show. Today we bring you some fresh shots of his brand new mural in Lavapiés, a run-down yet exotically rendered  old part of Madrid that teams with graffiti and new immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, China, a smattering of Arabs and a spectacular selection of Senegalese. This kind of cultural hybrid always produces the most scintillating and surprising results; perfect soil for this new collaboration as well.

Okuda at work in Madrid. February 25 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’ll recognize Okuda’s Street Artist partner literally just around the corner from his half of the painting, the Lisboan Bordallo II, who is still collecting discarded refuse to complete his sculptural counterpoint to Okuda’s fulsome geometrics in hallucinogenic color. The neighborhood was popping with spectators on this sunny spring-like day with hearty opinion-givers and inquisitive photographers filling the sidewalk.

Okuda at work in Madrid. February 25 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Señor O. kept his headphones on to concentrate on his painting while the owners of the wall, Jorge and Jose from Xpresion Creativos, offered visitors refreshments and their hairstory told in equally vivid colors. Self-professed #Hairhackers, their team creates effects you literally have never seen before – including their October collaboration with Okuda below. Currently, they are turning hair into Tartans. Check out this shot of a hair collabo they did together.

A collaboration between Okuda and @xpresioncreativos .

Meanwhile, here’s a detail of the newly finished piece by Okuda and Bordalo II in Lavapiés, Madrid.

A detail shot of a brand new collaborative work in Madrid by Okuda and Bordalo II. February 25 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA + Urvanity in Madrid : “How Deep Is the Street?”

BSA + Urvanity in Madrid : “How Deep Is the Street?”

BSA Goes to Madrid

A week on the street – and 3 days on stage with Urvanity 2019

As refugees from institutionalized dogma we’ve never felt a need to align our thinking about art on the streets with any one perspective regarding the various sets of “rules” that are set forth about graffiti, street art, and fine art, and their various intersections with the Internet, the commercial art world, urban dialogues, anthropology, sociology, legality, illegality, institutional embrace, patronage… unless you can make an appealing argument that rings true.

BSA Talks intends to provide a forum for multiple voices wherever it appears, opening the conversation about where these grassroots art movements came from, how they developed and merged, how they have retained their individual character or became aligned with more established aspects of the culture on their route from being strictly part of a subculture.

At this year’s edition of Urvanity we are pleased to invite some scholars, artists, producers, cultural curators, free thinkers and disruptive rebels to the table, to the stage, to the discussion of ideas. We are calling this edition of BSA TALKS in Madrid “How Deep Is the Street”, and we invite you to come and see the presentations and discussions and ask your own questions about this exciting, vibrating, shape-shifting, and evolving people’s art movement at this moment; locally and globally.

Agnostic as ever, we may not become believers, but we won’t try to force you to become one either. Welcome!

How deep is the street?

“When you talk about Street Art, Urban Art, Graffiti, and Urban Contemporary, there is much more than what you can see on the surface. For this years edition of Urvanity we present the “BSA Talks”, a lively and opinionated series of talks that are curated and hosted by the founders of the influential art blog BrooklynStreetArt who created an entertaining program that reflects and investigates the complexity of a half century of artists working on the streets – and the hot topics that deeply affect the scene today.

Hacktivism, Intellectual Property, Place Making, Urban Planning, legal/illegal DIY escapades and large scale collaborative public projects – These are all within the scope of this massive movement and are shaping the future. Come join us, talk with and listen to artists, professionals, academics, and thinkers who are studying and pivotal in the formation of this global grassroots art scene. Let’s see how deep it goes!”

FRIDAY MARCH 1st.

4.30pm-5:25pm – Denis Hegic The Intelligence of Many

“Street culture and digital technologies continue to flatten hierarchies in the art world. Art, Activism, and evolving models of Collaborative Creation are all converging toward a new way of working. Disciplines more easily melt together, why not collaborative works of exhibitions, performance, and engagement. The concept of The Intelligence of Many provides insight into opportunities (and possible dangers) for new truly D.I.Y. energy as applied to art and culture movements.”

6.00pm-6:55pm – Fernando Figueroa How Graffiti Speaks to Society as a Humanity Barometer

Graffiti and Street Art can act as a social barometer; an emotional and ethical reflection of a neighborhood, a community, and a city. But how can you decode it? Urban art and its myriad expressions are intrinsically red to real or figurative space and time and can act as an alarm system, a stress valve, or a request to change. Come hear Dr. Fernando Figueroa as he shows us that graffiti is alive, insisting on opening awareness, taking action and ultimately giving voice to individual expression.

7.20pm-8:45pm – Steven P. Harrington and Jaime RojoOkuda San Miguel, Oscar Sanz – BSA Film Friday Presents ‘Equilibri’

BSA Film Friday presents the Madrid premiere of “Equilibri”, the documentary directed by Batiste Miguel about Okuda San Miguel’s intervention at the Fallas in Valencia. The new film presents his piece as it re-interprets the historical celebration and illustrates a harmony between tradition, modernity and New Contemporary Art. Join Steve and Jaime as they welcome Oscar Sanz and the protagonist of this incredible event, artist Okuda San Miguel.

Saturday March 2nd.

1.00pm-2.15pm – Juan Bautista Peiró y Sergio Pardo Planning Urban Art Manifestations to Dialogue with the City

The proliferation of so-called Street Art mural festivals in the last 10 years has certainly added color to our cities, but has it created a dialogue with them?
Can we thoughtfully program works that respond to the rhythm of a city, cognizant of its systems, in concert with its various populations? What is “creative placemaking” and how does one get permissions from all the parties affected by complex works. Why is it important to see Urban Art in a broader light beyond murals on walls? What should be the scope of public art nowadays in our communities and how to be able to achieve that? Join these two professionals in the fields of Urban Art / Public Art to hear about making art that steps outside the mural tradition and creates a dialogue within the city.

4.00pm-3.55pm – Jan Kaláb Urban Art and Inclusivity

Whether it’s illegal graffiti on trains and streets or studio-based artist collectives who create new events together, the creative process open thrives on collaboration. A multi-disciplinary artist, Jan Kaláb shows you why, working solo or collectively, his motto is the same: always get higher. Whether it is the inventive soul of graffiti or the organic lines of his geometric sculpture and painting; Urban Art is about nurturing inclusivity.

5.30pm – 6.25pm Alberto González PulidoArt, Intellectual Property, and Censorship

The Gag Law reaches into areas many could not have imagined, including the practice of art as speech and its intersection with the public sphere. Join artist and arts professional Alberto González Pulido as he speaks about censorship and another important topic for artists, intellectual property.

7.00pm – 7.55pm – Sabina Chagina How I Co-built an Urban Art Biennale in Moscow

A leading curator in the Street Art scene in Russia, Sabina Chagina talks about the stages of development she had to foster to launch ARTMOSSPHERE, the first Biennale of Street Art and urban culture in the country, now presented in its third edition in 2018. A rewarding and challenging series of programs built the road there and she’ll speak about how it is changing conversations about Street Art, murals, and Contemporary Art in Moscow..

Sunday March 3rd.

1.00pm – 2:15pm Susan Hansen & Bill Posters Take Over : Urban Art and Creative Activism

From hacking public space to subvertising to collaborative interventions, the street practices of Creative Activism are anything but rote, especially when there is a message to convey or a story to tell. What role does activism play in a time of social-political-psychological upheaval and who gets to have the last word?

16.00-17.15 Pascal Feucher + Dan Witz Urban Art and Residencies: The Importance of Nurturing Artists and the Creative Process

From traditions born in the age of the apprentice, art residencies have been a valuable step in the developing, broadening, and advancing of fine artists (and sometimes curators) for years. Graffiti writers and Street Artists open come with a different worldview entirely. Is there a model for nurturance of D.I.Y. outlaws?

For a complete schedule of events, dates and times click HERE

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No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

No Callarem: Street Artists Paint As Protest in La Modelo Prison, Barcelona

A new sharply political campaign championing the freedom of expression has caught fire in Spain in the last few weeks under the hashtag #NoCallaremos, and Street Artists are now adding their talents to the protest. Rather shockingly for a modern European nation, a rapper’s prison sentence for offensive lyrics was upheld in Spanish Supreme Court in February (Billboard) and that decision along with other recent events has sparked a number of creative protests across the art world in cities across the country. Today BSA contributing Street Art photographer Fer Alcalá shares his opinions and new images of the murals in progress with BSA readers.


THE NO CALLAREM PLATFORM

~ by Fer Alcalá

…or how some of Spanish top artists react against censorship and repression of the freedom of speech from the central government…

Enric Sant at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It’s now known worldwide: the Spanish government is imprisoning hip hop artists like Valtonyc and Pablo Hasel because of their sharp and truthful lyrics as well as sentencing people like you and me because of their critical posts on social media.

As a reaction to these acts against the freedom of speech that are more in tune with a well established dictatorship than with 40 years of democracy, some projects like the No Callarem (we won’t shut up) platform have raised their voices.

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

One of the direct actions organized by the platform for fighting against Partido Popular’s civil rights oppression was to film a video clip featuring some of the most renowned lyricists on the scene as Frank T, Elphomega, Los Chikos del Maíz, La Ira, Rapsusklei, and César Strawberry, among others, at the old La Modelo prison. The location is an accurate metaphorical scenario when you are seeing that your liberty is being cut off thanks to laws like ‘Ley Mordaza’.

The song ‘Los Borbones son unos ladrones’, which alludes directly to the Spanish monarchy, includes some excerpts from some of the songs created by rappers serving a prison sentence. The video clip for the song, which you can watch at the end of this article, has become viral and almost all media outlets in the country are speaking about this big shout-out in the name of freedom.

The patio with Enric Sant in the background at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I was invited to witness the filming  and painting session by local artist Javier de Riba, from Reskate Studio, who invited some fellow artists to paint at La Modelo walls as a part of the whole process. Franco Fasoli JAZ, Twee Muizen, Txemy, Joan Tarragò, Enric Sant, Milvietnams, Werens and Fullet gave a new voice to the walls surrounding that backyard, providing 2D images that perfectly matched the spirit behind the beats and the rhymes.

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

This is what Javi has to say about his collaboration with the project:

“Our involvement with No Callarem happened thanks to the Catalan rap artist Pau Llonch. He lit the spark for recording a clip against the Valtonyc and Hasel sentences. They wanted to do it at La Modelo no matter what and the No Callarem platform supported the action. We helped to spread the word for putting together a team with different languages together to visually enhance the video clip.

At the beginning, was what meant to be an ‘atrezzo action’ turned into a bunch of pieces that can be visited in the backyard of Gallery 4. In fact that backyard is not open to the public, but you can see it from the watch guard pit. We think that, from a conceptual point of view, it’s very powerful to keep those pieces locked – especially when thinking about how things are going in Spain regarding freedom of speech.”

Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Additionally it’s worth mentioning Reskate’s initiative about shouting against the suffocating atmosphere that we are experiencing here for some time: ‘Our idea is that every artist post one piece / illustration / painting / picture (old or new) supporting our initiative promoting freedom of speech in order to criticize the lack of democracy within the Spanish government.

Some of the hashtags that we will use are #NoCallarem #EzGaraIsilduko #NonCalaremos #NunVamosCallar #NonCararam,#NoCallaremos being the main one.

Visual artists from Madrid, Zaragoza, Almería, Oviedo, Valencia, Vila-real, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valladolid, Tenerife…are supporting this initiative. Some of them are: Malakkai, Escif, Paula Bonet, Aryz, Ricardo Cavolo, Enric Sant, Twee Muizen, Franco Fasoli, Hyuro, Javier Jaén, Boa Mistura, Conrad Roset, Jordi Borràs, Danjer, Cinta Vidal, David de las Heras, Juan Díaz-Faes, Chamo San, and Marina Capdevila, among others.

Fullet at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Semana por la Libertad de Expresión (Freedom of Speech Week) is happening now, with different activities taking place all over the country. The funds raised from these activities will go to a resistance fund for the platform in order to defend all those people chased and brought to justice because of censorship and repression. You can check the whole program of the week HERE.

So, yes: we have a fight going on. Comedians, actors and actresses, musicians, journalists, visual artists, the guy / girl next door who is active in social media… It’s kind of a Russian Roulette game where, if you are critical with the established system and you are using 3rd grade humor as a weapon, you can end in jail. And all of it is happening in a country whose government is accused of being the most corrupt on the whole continent.

Werens at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

I have a very well informed friend who has been kind of disappointed with the absence of critical vision and combative behaviors from most of the big names in the local street art / graffiti scene. Thanks to initiatives such as No Callarem and the impulse of people like Javi de Riba, she is reconciling herself with this small, but powerful little world whose images have the strength for making important things happen.

Finally, I’d like to recommend that you check the publications under the hashtag #nocallaremos that are out, as there will be some fine and unique art being produced for the occasion in the upcoming days.

As it’s being said in Los Borbones son unos Ladrones:

– rap music is not a crime
– we need scratches, we need paintings
– I don’t dream about Versace, I dream about barricades
– …because of the poetry that still sleeps in the ditches…

Big props to Javi de Riba, Xavier Urbano and all the artists behind the No Callarem movement.

#nocallarem

Fullet, Werens and Javier De Riba at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Milvietnams at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen at work. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Enric Sant. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate . Enric Sant . Txemy. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Txemy . Joan Tarragó . Twee Muizen . Franco Fasoli AKA Jaz. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Joan Tarragó. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Twee Muizen. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Franco Fasoli AKA JAZ. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens . Javier De Riba . Milvietnams . Reskate. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Fullet . Werens. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Javier De Riba. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Overview. La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

La Modelo, Barcelona. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Los Borbones Son Unos Ladrones. feat, FrankT, Sara Hebe, Elphomega, Rapsusklei…


The guys behind Delabrave @delabrave have filmed a parallel clip about the creative process of these pieces.

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What’s on the Street in Madrid? A Quick Survey

What’s on the Street in Madrid? A Quick Survey

Today we have an opportunity to see some of the Street Art and gallery-related works on show in Madrid. Our sincere thanks to photographer and avid observer Fer Alcalá, who shares his findings with BSA readers today.


~Fer Alcalá~

I was lucky enough to meet and walk the streets of Madrid with Guillermo from MadridStreetArtProject a veteran actor in the local scene. His way of seeing and understanding the urban landscape is outstanding. He is one of the best hosts that you can find in Madrid.

Pro176.  Mind The Wall Project, curated by Swinton & Grant Gallery. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Julieta XLF . Son3K for Arte al Cubo produced by MSAP. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Elbi Elem for Arte al Cubo produced by MSAP. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Ampparito at Lavapiés. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Suso33 (photo © Fer Alcalá)

SM172 at Lavapiés. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Brodbus portrait of Roy Ayers at Esto Es Una Plaza. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

SM172 at Esto Es Una Plaza. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Esto Es Una Plaza (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Eltono (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Ron English. “Guernica” at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Espacio SOLO is an EXPERIENCE, not only because of the mystery associated with the project, but for the feelings that you have once you are there. Surrounded by astonishing pieces of fine art, getting lost through alleys and rooms and at the same time, having the sensation of invading someone’s coolest home on Earth.

Laurence Valliéres at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Kaws and Tim Biskup at Espacio Solo. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

 

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URVANITY 2018: 3 Days in Madrid

URVANITY 2018: 3 Days in Madrid

Today we go to the Urvanity New Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid to see some art inside and outside the fair and to hear about some of the programming happening there, courtesy of Fernando Alcalá Losa.


URVANITY New Contemporary Art Fair 2018

Or, “How we spent the whole weekend in Madrid enjoying art, friends and talks while censorship from the central Spanish government is choking the liberty of expression.”

The 2nd edition of Urvanity New Contemporary International Art Fair was our main focus of interest. With an exciting program including some of the most interesting galleries and artists from all over the world, 4 walls being produced in different areas of the Spanish capital and a more than attractive set of talks and lectures, we knew that we were going to make our weekend. But, of course, there was going to be more, much more…

Cranio. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DAY ONE: Galleries

After sleeping a few hours, I started my little marathon outside the new Urvanity headquarters in the beautiful ME Madrid María Victoria Hotel for attending a round table about ‘Women in the cultural industry beyond feminist clichés’. With Alberto Aguilar from Urvanity moderating, I was excited to see what journalist Belén Palanco, gallerist Consuelo Durán and artist and friend Anna Taratiel had to say about all this arty world ‘dominated’ by men in these times when initiatives like La Caja de Pandora are rebelling against sexual abuse and the heteropatriarchy hegemony in the art world and fighting for visibility, justice and equality in working conditions and salaries.

Jan Kaláb. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Artists like Nuria Mora and Animalitoland, Sergio Bang, from Swinton & Grant Gallery, and Diana Prieto from MadridStreetArtProject were in the audience. Issues like education, quotes, discrimination, the toughness of being a female street artist, being out or inside the system, some critics to the female clichés and personal experiences were brought into the table. Being a heterosexual cis male, I don’t know if I’m the right person to say this, but I missed a more radical speech about the whole scenario and the role of women about making the necessary changes for reaching the place and conditions that they deserve.

Apart from this, Juncal Roig, Urvanity’s communication manager, had prepared a little gift with fellow artist Antonyo Marest. Last year, Marest had painted 4 walls in a nice courtyard inside the Hotel, so we did a small private shooting with the artist. It was fun, because we had to access the place through a window in one of the rooms. As Antonio said, imagine how ‘easy’ it was to move 6-floor wall scaffolding through that small ‘hole’. Watch out for Marest USA tour coming soon in the next months.

 

Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

‘The Impact of Urban Creativity in Cities’, a talk, as I said before, by Contorno Urbano founders, was next. Ninoska’s and Esteban’s explanations about some of their most important projects and about how to work with students, neighbors, the local authorities and the artists themselves really got my attention, although I was already aware about the details of their work. The never ending growing 12+1 project and, of course, the soon to come ‘Mural Salut Wall’ by Escif were some of the top hits of the lecture, including the announce of the International Tortilla Competition held this last weekend at Sant Feliu de Llobregat’s La Salut square as a part of Escif art residence in the city. Hyper fun 3rd grade by the artist that caused lots of laughs between the audience. Looking forward to see what Escif will create in the next months here.

 

Long but full of experiences day. Beer time and back to our place where a bunch of young adults were waiting for us celebrating Miriam’s (our host) birthday, singing songs with ukuleles at 2am and drinking bourbon. Fuck me: I’m getting old…

Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

DAY TWO: The day of Walls.

Good morning Vietnam! Slept 4 hours, dizzy head (if you can’t fight the enemy, join him) and García in groundhog mode on. I was starting to feel kind of nervous, as I hadn’t seen a wall yet, so I had a mission going on. Being lucky enough to know one of the best hosts that you can find in Madrid, I met Guillermo, from Madridstreetartproject ‘MSAP’, had some quick breakfast and began walking by. Guille was one of the people taking care of the production duties of the Urvanity walls. A veteran actor in the local scene, his way of seeing and understanding the urban landscape is outstanding.

Cranio. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Guillermo de la Madrid)

I had to leave Cranio’s wall for Sunday due to ‘logistic’ reasons. But, I was so glad to have the chance to shoot with Alexey Luka, as I had seen some photos about the WIP of his mural and I was loving it. After a small talk with the artist and the ‘formal’ presentations, I began shooting from the ground while Guille was struggling with drivers trying to not have them parking besides the crane.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Then a little magical episode took place when Javier, a neighbor living in the building opposite to Luka’s wall, offered himself to give us access to the rooftop. Nicest human being ever, Javier told me that he was a military pilot and a great photography aficionado. It’s always surprising to me how people that don’t know you at all trust in you and open their houses to strangers like us, offering all the possible help because they are liking the project and/or the artists’ work.

Alexey’s wall was being a tough one to deal with. Guille, Rocío and the rest of the production team had to treat the wall twice with some special products because dust and sand were getting out from it. They lost 2 days because of this, but when I arrived there, everything had been solved and the artist was working hard. After dealing with a couple of issues, we head to the next wall… Before, I would love to say some words about Rocío here. We have just met maybe twice during all these years.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Working and collaborating with MSAP, Mula Fest and Asalto among others, it’s always interesting to listen to her clever thoughts and knowledge about the whole scene, how she approaches the tours that she guides in Madrid and get to know a little bit more about the kind of person that everyone would love to have in their teams. You can check Rocio’s blog here.

Maybe Jan Kaláb’s wall was the most popular one during the whole weekend. Pedestrians were loving the mix of nice colors and soft shapes – so selfies, stories and boomerangs were spreading as flu. I just tried to include some human traffic in the photo. Maybe I have a thing with old ladies… Just maybe…

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Guillermo de la Madrid)

Xavier Eltono’s talk was one of my top moments of the whole trip. Although I follow his career since years ago, I hadn’t got any deep thoughts about his work. After I heard what he had to say about his art and about how he connect his studio work with the skin of the cities where he had intervened, I understood a lot of things regarding his philosophy and the way he interacts with the city.

Another thing that got my attention during his lecture was the fact of how many respected artists were attending the talk. Names like Zosen, Mina Hamada, Aryz, Rocblackblock, Daniel Muñoz SAN, Kenor, Anna Taratiel, Suso33, Aleix Gordo, Vermibus…were there showing respect for Eltono’s art and explanations. The academic world was also represented nicely with awesome Fernando Figueroa and Elena Gayo.

Xavier Eltono. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Xavier told me by email that this talk had been very important for him, so I asked him why: ‘I’m used to give talks, I do a couple every year and I actually really enjoy it. Doing it in Madrid though was a very different exercise. Even if I’m not Spanish, I became an artist in Madrid, this is the city where everything started for me. Talking about my work in this city was very challenging to me because I knew a lot of friends and a lot of artists I admire would be listening to me. It’s very easy to talk about your work in front of an anonymous crowd but in front of people you know and you care about is totally different! I was very nervous, but, according to the feedback I received after the talk, it looks like no one noticed it!!!

Tina Ziegler of Moniker Art. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Then, the main dish of the menu took place. ‘The Art Conference, by Urvanity’, hosted by Doug Gillen, from Fifth Wall TV and featuring some of the most important managers/curators/creative directors/promoters in the biz was meant to be the grand finale of Urvanity’s Saturday program. Tina Ziegler, Director of Moniker Art fair, Yasha Young, Creative Director of Urban Nation Museum, and Anna Dimitrova, Director of Montana Gallery, were adding some more girl power to the place.

Yasha Young of Urban Nation Berlin. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

FER: One of the most interesting things about the fair this year was the Talks Program. I couldn’t go to all of them because I would need to clone myself for attending everything, but was it intentional for you to enhance this side of the event? Do you think that these talks and lectures are useful for attracting a potential audience or are they more focused on an indoor point of view for people inside the art world? Why the 2 talks were the role and presence of women was more significant were moderated by a guy with a penis?

Sergio Sancho: For us the talk program it is a fundamental base within the fair. It is something that we want to keep on and give more importance and visibility. We think that the best way to understand this movement it’s from inside, giving voice and visibility to the main characters. About the moderator you are talking we think the gender its irrelevant. This year we wanted to give more visibility to women in a world where there is such an inequality and it has been casual that in the case of The Art Conference the moderator that Tina used it’s always a man and in the case of the talks opening program it has been Alberto the leader and we think it was the suitable person to do so.

 

Esteban Marin and Ninoska of Contorno Urbano Foundation. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

An impressive example of power, clear minds, commitment and, above all, tough work during several years in a penis based industry, these 3 forces of nature explained to us the main points of their careers, their way of working, their ethics, spoke about good practices and loyalty, some episodes about dealing with male chauvinism attitudes and how to get through all this without stepping forward.

Antonyo Marest. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

After personally meeting Ampparito and chatting a little bit with Octavi Serra and some other guys from Cúmul we ended the day talking and drinking beer in a relaxed atmosphere at some ‘Manolo’ bar in Madrid. Time to breathe, smile and relax.

DAY THREE: The art fair day.

And Sunday arrived. Keeping the military discipline of the whole weekend, woke up early, had some bad coffee while planning the morning and started my 3kms walk to check Cranio´s wall out. Sunday is ‘rastro’ day in Madrid, so some streets and squares of the area were flood with people that you had to avoid while trying not to kill yourself watching the screen of your mobile phone as it was compulsory for me to check the map and my old time friend Kini González was helping me out getting some invitations for colleagues.

Once of the few times that I was moving my head up, I almost crashed with some familiar guy. Rafa appeared suddenly in front of me with his eternal smile in the face. A friend from Barcelona, it had been years since we had seen each other, so it was a funny and nice coincidence to meet by chance 624kms away from our hometown. We continue our walk together speaking about life, anarchy, music and veganism and, at the same time, Guille was telling me the last news about Cranio´s work as we were all pendant of the keys of the crane for the final shot.

Jan Kaláb. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

As I was seeing that this wasn’t happening in the next few hours, I changed my plans and went to Luka’s wall as I wanted to take some photos from the crane. There it goes… Say bye to Rafa, put my stuff together and we went up for capturing some details.

As we were saying in Madrid, there’s a poker of photos that you should take while capturing, if possible, the whole process of painting a big mural: shots from the ground, shots from other buildings and rooftops, shots from the crane and the final shot. If you get decent photos from all these angles, you will come back home with a smile on your face… I missed Luka’s final photo, by the way, as he finished his work on Monday.

Alexey Luka. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Once we had arrived to Urvanity’s headquarters I started to check all the artwork that galleries like Montana, SC, Ink and Movement, Stolen Space, Fousion, Plastic Murs, Swinton & Grant, Station 16, Ruarts or Pretty Portal were exhibiting. I liked to see some personal faves like Enric Sant, Isaac Cordal, Sixe, SAN, Herakut, Deih, Hyuro, She One, Dilka Bear, Kofie, Jaune, L’Atlas, Stikki Peaches, Anna Taratiel or Guy Denning, having in mind that you don’t always have the chance to admire all these people’s work in one place at the same time. I also enjoyed to discover other great artists that were kind of new for me like Gregory Watin, Marc C. Woehr, Solomostry, Spazuk, Jaime Molina or Morik Marat.

I also spoke with some of the gallerists who were quite happy about the sales and the whole experience in general. Okuda almost did a sold out, Taratiel sold her bigger piece for Durán gallery, veteran Henry Chalfant and Enric Sant were also selling for Adda & Taxie. Vicente, from Plastic Murs, was much happier with the sales this year than he was in 2017 after seeing how Deih and, above all, Vinz had been successful during the fair. Dilka Bear for Fousion gallery also saw how some of her works were going to some collector’s homes.

Jana & JS. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

It was also interesting for me to know that Kofie ‘papers’ in Swinton & Grant had been sold even before than the fair officially started. Classic names of the scene like Gripface, Stikki Peaches, GR170 or Belin also sold in this year edition. On the opposite hand, Olivier, from Vroom & Varossieau, which exhibited one of the most powerful group of artists in the fair, told me that his sales had been better last year, maybe because of his high prices. As we say in Spain: ‘nunca llueve a gusto de todos’ (something like: not everyone likes when it rains).

I spent my last minutes at COAM trying to find Sergio, Juncal and Victoria from Urvanity’s team without success, as I wanted to say bye and thank them for the treat that they gave to us during the whole weekend. I really like when you get the chance of meeting personally people that you have spoken with by email and that you have interacted with on the social media, as it happened this time with Sergio and Victoria.

Okuda. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

So, this was it. We couldn’t leave Madrid without having a couple (a couple…yeah, right…) of vermouths with some old time friends and colleagues, feeling sad because of the ones that we missed and thinking about all the great moments and experiences that we had lived during the weekend.

Thanks A LOT to all of you who we spent some time with during those 3 crazy days, specially to Sergio, Juncal and Victoria, Miriam for sharing her home with us, Guille, Diana & Rocío for being there as always, Lara, Soledad and Rebekah, at Espacio SOLO, for being such great hosts and, of course, Audrey García for breathing and existing. ‘til next time Madrid…

Laurence Valliéres. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Laurence Valliéres. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Jaune. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Daniel Muñoz AKA SAN. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Guy Denning. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Augustin Kofie. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Herakut. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Hyuro. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Spok. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Henry Chalfant. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Isaac Cordal. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

JAZ. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Stikki Peaches. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

Deih. Urvanity Art 2018. Madrid, Spain. February 2018. (photo © Fer Alcalá)

URVANITY ART MADRID 2018

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BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

BSA Top Stories 2017 – As Picked by You

Berlin, Kathmandu, Santa Fe, Brooklyn, Sweden, London, New York, the country of Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina. The favorite stories of BSA readers spanned all of these places this year as we documented this global people’s art movement variously described as Street Art/ graffiti/ urban art. We put it out there daily and you react to it – sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – starting conversations and creating connections.

The topics of these 15 favorite stories run the gamut as well; From Banksy and Brexit, Marxism and Urvanity to a bodega completely made of felt, your voracious appetite was wide ranging. From a well crafted graffiti writing exhibition at a white suburban Pennsylvania college where the tuition is 50K to an attempt to bring reassuring cultural heritage art to the streets of Kathmandu where the museum was destroyed by an earthquake – the extremes and ironies only peaked your interest.

You loved seeing and hearing Martha Cooper getting her first solo exhibition in New York and the mania that queued thousands to see the transformation of a 5 floor bank in Berlin by graffiti writers, Street Artists, installation artists and performers. You care about the earth and its people, like the story of ICY an SOT in the country of Georgia making human sculptures of trash as a critique of globalized waste, and the story of Chip Thomas using his Street Art to draw attention to a traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming”.

And in 2017 the resonance of ‘Resistance is Female’ catapulted our story of the illegal campaign of phone booth takeovers to the top 15, showing that a uniquely impactful high-jacking of the advertising streetscape is always going to win fans.

No matter where we went in 2017, BSA readers were always invited to go along with us and discover people and art on the street and in the gallery or the museum whether it was in Scotland, Hong Kong, Berlin, Sweden, Mexico or Tahiti. We captured what we could and interpreted it – and you told us what you liked by re-Tweeting and re-Gramming and re-Facebooking.

From 365 postings over the last year, here are the 15 you liked the most.


No. 15

Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located : Various & Gould

Various & Gould. Berlin, June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Why do you glorify and duplicate these two criminals?! They shouldn’t have a monument at all. Next you’re doing Hitler?”

Various and Gould try to paraphrase some of the comments they received from passersby in a park near the town-hall in centrally located Berlin-Mitte while working on their latest project with a statue of the creators of Marxist theory. Some imagined they were glorifying, others alleged defamation.

“It’s a shame how you treat Marx and Engels!”

Truthfully, this new project in public space that literally copies a monument and then transfers it to another location didn’t have much to do with the capitalist system that creates/allows very rich and very poor people, but it certainly adds stories to the overall experience of Various and Gould.

Various & Gould: Marx & Engels. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 14

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Madrid Me Mata…in a good sense. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 13

Lucy Sparrow Opens an All-Felt Bodega in NYC : “8 ‘Till Late”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s 8 ‘Till Late, artist Lucy Sparrows first all-felt store in New York, and it’s literally just under the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing district. She’s made 9,000 items over roughly 9 months out of this soft fabric-like craft material – and at first impression it sincerely looks like everything you would have found in a New York bodega in the 1990s aside from the hard liquor, which is actually illegal to sell outside a liquor store in NYC, but relax, its all heartfelt.

“We sell quite a lot of self-help books as well,” chimes in Clare Croome, a cashier.

“Yes! Self-help books! Have you seen them?” says Brooks “They’ve got nothing in them on the pages, they’re just blank.”

Lucy Sparrow 8 ‘Till Late. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 12

“All Big Letters” Opens, Curated by RJ Rushmore

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

All Big Letters. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 11

Anonymouse: Miniature Vignettes on the Street for “No Limit” Festival in Boras, Sweden

Anonymouse. No Limit Boras 2017. Boras, Sweden. September 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miniaturization on the street or in the museum (or in the street museum) causes you to focus on detail, draw closely, to recall your childhood ability to freely invoke a sense of fantasy.

“Since our visitors are mostly nocturnal, our opening hours are quite generous,” the artists known as Anonymous say in reference to their nighttime installations, sometimes glowing with electric light in the lee of a bridge column, or the shadow of a door. They reference the famous Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindren in their work, and you can easily visualize a small mouse family or a business mouse or a house mouse or church mouse astutely moving through these vignettes, living their important lives.

Possibly one is currently occupied in a back room of one of these installations at the moment but they will be returning presently to greet their new visitor – you, with your big face. Don’t worry, they like you to get up close. They may even provide a magnifying glass for you to get a closer look.

Anonymouse. Minuature Vignettes. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 1o

Bunnies, Birds, Sexuality and VINZ Feel Free’s “Innocence” in Brooklyn

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence” The Marcy Project. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. November 4th. 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birds are associated with freedom, fish remind him of mindless consumerism, and frogs convey authority. He reserves reptiles for soulless soldiers of capital and authoritarian types. And the sudden preponderance of rabbits? Why sexuality and innocence of course.

“Innocence” is the name of the exhibition here curated by BSA and DK Johnston, and Vinz Feel Free has been preparing these works for many months. A project that has included his study of innocence, the show is meant to demarcate such shadings of the concept as to appear only subtly different from one another. To wit:

1. The quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2. Freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness.

Vinz Feel Free. “Innocence”.  Continue reading HERE

 


No. 09

Julien De Casabianca, Angry Gods, and Hacking Disaster in Kathmandu

Julien De Casabianca. Outings Project. Kathmandu, Nepal. January, 2017 (photo © Karma Tshering Gurung & Sanam Tamang/ Artudio)

If you are not going into the museum to see art, Julien De Casabianca is happy to bring it out to the street for you. Additionally, if the museum has been closed by an earthquake, he’ll make sure the art gets a public viewing nonetheless.

In Kathmandu recently Street Artist Julien de Casabianca continued his Outings Project by bringing a centuries-old painting outside to the side of the Artudio building in Swoyambhu on Chhauni Hospital Road with the help of Matt Rockwell of the humanitarian hackers group called DisasterHack.

He tells us that the obstacles to getting this piece up seemed insurmountable at times due to the broken social and infrastructural systems in Nepal that still plague people even today, nearly two years since the catastrophic earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 and injured 22,000 more.

Julien De Casabianca/Outings Projects in Kathmandu. Continue reading HERE


No. 08

Rocking “THE HAUS” : A 5-Floor Berlin Bank is Transformed by Artists

Kaleido. The Haus. Berlin. March 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Normally we paint advertising – hand-painted advertising, mostly with cans. So we work all over Germany, with a lot of crews, “ says Kimo, a bearded, bald energetic and sharp witted guy who is lighting up a cigarette in this tattered, beige ex-conference room.  That explanation doesn’t prepare you for what you will see in the rooms upstairs.

The floors are piled with unopened paint buckets and brushes and cans and the walls in this organizing office are covered with scotch-taped project timelines, to-do lists, and floor plans of the old bank. Each former office space is plainly labled with names of German Street Artists or graffiti  crews, some you recognize, others you don’t. More recent Street Art names are next to classic Graff heads, installation  artists mix freely with Optic Artists, photographers, sculptors, even a live moss installation.

Case Maclaim is right next door to Turbokultur with Stohead out in the hall on floor 1.  El Bocho and Emess are in small rooms to either side of 1UP on the 3rd. Herakut in a corner room numbered 506 is right next to Nick Platt and Paul Punk in 505.

Rocking The Haus. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 07

Working the Cornfields on a Santa Fe Facade with Jetsonorama

Chip Thomas. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth Day 2017. (photo © John Donalds)

18 year old Hawthorne Hill has learned the traditional Hopi farming technique called “dry farming” from his mom, according to Jetsonorama, and he places seeds in shallow holes, while his sister Metzli creates rows of wind blocks using nearby brush.

The photos are taken on Second Mesa on the Hopi nation, but the artist brings them here to Santa Fe as part of a project he’s doing with Biocultura Santa Fe.

A project originally conceived of as part of Earth Day, with a focus on where our food comes from and traditional farming methods, its good to think of who works to bring food to your table.

Working The Cornfields. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 06

“A Real Turning Point” : Sculptures on the Art Mile at Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art

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

“I think it’s a real turning point as far as seeing three dimensional things,” says Street Artist and fine artist Ben Frost while hand painting text on the side of the large facsimiles of pharmaceutical boxes that he’s creating for the UN Art Mile. “I think sculptures and installations have been paving a way forward for Street Art.”

In fact sculpture and all manner of three dimensional installations as Street Art have been a part of the current century for sure, from the variety of lego and yarn artists to the soldiered steel tags of REVS and eco-bird houses of XAM and small little men made of wood by Stikman – among many others.

For the opening of UN this weekend, the Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this week, a curated selection of artists working in such dimensions were invited to create substantial pieces – including video installation, mobile, interactive, the purely static. Enjoy the variety of works by Street Artists who are working today.

Urban Nation Berlin. Art Mile. Continue reading HERE


No. 05

“Resistance is Female” Takes Over Phone Booths in New York

Gigi Chen for #resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The decentralized Resistance, as it turns out, is a majority of Americans.

And leading the charge are women and girls.

So it makes perfect sense that a new grassroots takeover of telephone booth advertising in New York is a campaign called, “Resistance is Female”. Organizers and artists say that the ad takeover project is putting out a message that corporate controlled media seems to be quelling: keep fighting, keep speaking up, persevere.

The artists have put up a couple of dozen or so new art pieces in places where typecast women typically sell shampoo or fashions: a high-jacking of the advertising streetscape which the French and the Situationists would have called détournement in earlier decades.

Resistance Is Female. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 04

Street Artist OLEK and Volunteers Create NINA SIMONE Tribute in Raleigh, NC

Olek. Nina Simone “Here Comes The Sun” Love Across The USA. Raleigh, North Carolina. October 2017. (photo © courtesy Olek)

Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Nina Simone; Three of the women whom Street Artist Olek would like us to remember from U.S. history, and who have been recently featured in public crochet portraits. Her most recent portrait done with help from the community brings art made by the public to the public in a country-wide project called “Love Across the USA”.

Sparked a year ago leading up to the US national election where a woman was on the ballot, Olek says that despite the negativity that followed, “it inspired me to create a project that would celebrate the accomplishments of women, many of whom had been forgotten throughout U.S. history.”

Today we go to Raleigh, NC to see the most recent banner of Nina Simone crocheted by Olek and a small army of volunteers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Simone, the American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Olek. Here Comes The Sun. Continue reading HERE

 


No. 03

Icy & Sot and a Man of Trash in Tbilisi, Georgia

Icy & Sot.  “Human reflection on nature”. Tbilisi, Georgia. May 2017. (photo © Icy & Sot)

15 centuries old, Tbilisi may not last as long as this garbage man sculpture by Street Artists Icy & Sot.

“It took us only 10 minutes to collect all this trash because there was so much of it – including American brands – in the river by this village,” says Icy as he tells us about the trip he and his brother Sot made last month. A gorgeous and historically diverse city of 1.5 million people, Tbilisi reflects art, architecture, trade and culture that have given the Georgian capital a reputation as a crossroads for Europe and Asia.

During their stay with the Art Villa Garikula, a self organized community contemporary art center begun Tbilisi born painter and educator, Karaman Kutateladze in 2000, Icy and Sot did two pieces and an ad takeover that reflect the global problems posed by a consumer culture sold by corporations with little concern for its impact long term.

Icy & Sot. Human reflections on nature. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 02

“Martha Cooper” Solo Exhibition Reveals Many Unseen “Action Shots”

Martha Cooper signing the print of Futura 2000 whole car “Break”,  Steven Kasher Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An intrepid photographer who has launched a million dreams (and perhaps a few thousand careers) in graffiti and Street Art with her photography that captured crucial and seminal aspects of our culture that others overlooked.

That is just one way of seeing this brand new collection of images by Martha Cooper that is spread across one wall featuring artists at work, sometimes intimately. Here is where you see 102 individual shots of artists at work, a stunning testament to the range of art-making techniques that are practiced in the public realm, as well as a testament to the passion and curiosity of the woman behind the lens.

For Ms. Cooper’s first solo photography show in New York, Steven Kasher Gallery is featuring 30 new editions of her legendary street art photographs, the ones that have burned themselves into the collective memory of New York and of our streets in the 1970s and 1980s. While her photographs in the 1984 seminal “Subway Art” and her early Hip Hop street shots may be what she is most known for by artists and collectors and fans in cities around the world to which she travels, the new exhibit also contains more than a foreshadowing into the vast collection of important images she has not shown to us.

Martha Cooper Solo Show. Continue reading HERE

 

No. 01

Banksy Hits Brexit With New Piece, MaisMenos & BLU Used EU Flag Earlier

Banksy. Dover, England. Photo @banksy Instagram

The appearance of a new mural by Banksy in Dover, England caught the attention of many followers on his Instagram account and the mass media folks quickly reported on the new piece that comments on the current state of the EU.

10 months since the Brexit vote, the anonymous artist has created a thoughtful piece marking the crack in the European Union, depicting a white male worker on a ladder chipping away one of the stars on the EU flag, a fissure produced by the action reaching upwards and outwards toward the others.

Banksy Brexit. Continue reading HERE

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“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

“MADRID ME MATA”: Another Look at “Urvanity”

“MADRID ME MATA…in a good sense,”

says Fernando Alcalá Losa, the avid Barcelona based photographer of street culture. He doesn’t literally mean that the Spanish capital is deadly, but rather speaks of his devotion to Madrids’ energy, its possibility, its history, its people, and to its art. The torrid affairs of the heart are invariably complicated, as is the evolution of graffiti and Street Art from their outlaw illegal roots to their flirtations and trysts with other forms and venues; murals, in-studio practice, gallery representation, institutional recognition, or commercial viability.

We are pleased that Mr. Alcalá Losa comes to talk to BSA readers today and takes us to Madrid for the new art fair called “Urvanity” to see what he discovers with you, courtesy his words and his lovers’ view behind the camera.

Manolo Mesa at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)


~ Fernando Alcalá Losa

The 1st edition of Urvanity International New Contemporary Art Fair, which took place in the always vibrant Madrid last week, was the perfect excuse for us for going down there, see some old friends, meet a bunch of new ones, work in our ‘diplomatic relationships’ and, yes, try to take a couple of decent pics.

Today I have a few more words about Urvanity, as BSA has already published an article about the event that you can read here.

Isaac Cordal at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

It was a great pleasure for us to have the chance to enjoy the art of some of the top names in the biz represented by galleries like Stolen Space (London), Open Walls (Berlin), Montana and Fousion Gallery (Barcelona) or Pretty Portal (Amsterdam).

A special mention goes to PDP Gallery (Paris) and their young troupe of figurative artists Mohamed Lghacham, Manolo Mesa and Iñigo Sesma. Love their work.

Other artists in attendance were Mist, Miss Van, Aryz, Vermibus and Enric Sant – who gave a fantastic lecture about his career that helped a lot to all of us who have been following the evolution of his work to understand what hides behind his nightmare characters. All of it with a constant smile in his face…

D*Face at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

So, although the final result of the fair seemed to be very positive for everyone, I needed to know a little bit more about the organizers’ impressions of this 1st edition. This is what director Sergio Sancho, through communication manager Monica Iglesias, told me about it:

What were the biggest obstacles that you had to beat in order to make Urvanity happen?

At first, it was very difficult to find the right spaces that we needed. 1st editions are always difficult and the bet that people have to do for a new project is big. Step by step we have been showing that our proposal was serious and solid and the galleries were entering the project slowly. It’s true that we duplicated efforts in order to get customers from September on, because we couldn’t get the space until July.

This fact caused a challenge for some of the galleries who had already confirmed their presence in other fairs. Nevertheless, we are very happy about the representation that we got this year and we hope that the number of galleries grows next year. We will have more time and we also have learnt a lot. 2018 will be the year when this thrilling project that has generated so much interest will consolidate.

Pichi & Avo at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Why there were so many problems getting the walls? Lack of help from local authorities?

Lack of time hasn’t helped with this issue either. The walls pregame was launched once we had confirmed the galleries as we wanted these walls to be painted by artists represented by galleries with presence in the fair and whose artwork was exhibited there. Madrid is a difficult city for getting mural interventions done and it’s worse if they are in the city centre. In the end, we needed to solve some difficulties and changes of locations and we made it happen with a superb level of artists.

Our collaborator Madrid Street Art Project has done a great work here. Let’s say that the authorities have realized the importance of these kinds of projects for the city and for the neighborhoods. We are very happy with the final result.

 

Jordan Seiler at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Enric Sant at Urvanity Art Fair in Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

I notice that the presence of women artists whose work was exhibited in Urvanity (Miss Van, Peca, etc) was very small, in the conferences too and, obviously, among the artists who have painted the walls. Of course, Urvanity can’t decide which artists the galleries decide to present, but have you got any plans about this in next year edition?

It’s true that in addition to the ones you mention, Laurence Vallières y Jessica Hess have been in Urvanity. Nuria Mora closed the conferences in front of a fully crowded audience. But feminine representation is way smaller than masculine one. Personally, I totally support the fact that this will change in next year’s edition and I will try to have more women represented in the fair. We, as Urvanity managers, will try to create some kind of initiative in order to make this happen.

Ben Eine. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Ok. Galleries, museums and canvases are great. But these do not compare to seeing streets and walls and five walls were painted during the week that Urvanity took place, with Ben Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, Mohamed Lghacham and Manolo Mesa chosen to get the job done.

Different styles and techniques applied for difficult surfaces (those waves in the Woodside Wall…) and they did a hell of a job. We’ll let the shots speak for themselves. Big props go to Guillermo de la Madrid (@guilloso) and special thanks to Pepa Marteles (@pepamarteles) for allowing us to invade her home.

Manolo Mesa. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

As I said before, Madrid has a super active cultural scene. It was impossible for us to see everything that we had planned, but there were a couple of things that were a must. One of these things was ‘Nothing Lost’, Alice Pasquini’s 1st solo show in Spain at that paradise on Earth called Swinton & Grant.

Located in front of Tabacalera walls, this venue is the place that you are desperate to have in your town if you love art, books, coffee and culture in general. Besides, Goyo (@goyovn) & Sergio (@sergiobang), the guys running the project, are beautiful human beings.

Manolo Mesa . Mohamed Lghacham. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Mohamed Lghacham)

I asked Goyo if he could tell me some personal info about why they decided to work with the Italian artist and some tips about how their work relationship was…

First time we spoke to Alice Pasquini to host a solo show by her at Swinton Gallery was in December 2013, even before we opened our space in Madrid. Everyone understood that this is a long awaited dream-come-true for us.

But the dream was even brighter when we started to work with her. Those days deciding which found objects she was going to paint, which projects we were going to show, and, after she came to Madrid, those days preparing the show and painting the wall for our “Mind the wall” project were really amazing.

To work next to Alice was smooth, funny, and most of all a powerful breath of fresh air for us. She made us feel comfortable working next to one of the most significant artists in the scene of the urban arts, and that’s something we will always thank her for.

Mohamed Lghacham. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Mohamed Lghacham)

Pasquini’s exhibited pieces at Swinton are intimate and precious. I love the wide range of materials used as canvases: fabrics, stone, wood, and traffic signs. Her collaboration with photographer Stefano C. Montesi has even produced a 3D installation where you can dive even deeper into Alice artwork. ‘Nothing Lost’ will be at Swinton until March 11th. Don’t forget to pass by if you are around…

In the meanwhile, we managed to enjoy some time with artists, cultural managers, photographers, street art aficionados and neighbors. Roc Blackblock is a veteran multidisciplinary artist from Barcelona who was in Madrid to get some things done. A stencil master, Roc’s artwork is full of social consciousness, working class heroes and politics.

L’Atlas. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Having the chance of documenting his creative process (it wasn’t the 1st time) while listening to him talk about his future projects and ideas was something very close to a master class. He painted two walls during his stay in the capital. The first one was in one of the outside walls of the squat ‘La Quimera’. Title: ‘This is not a crisis, this is capitalism’. The second one was in ‘Esto es una plaza’, a peaceful self-managed urban garden in Lavapies. Title: ‘Milicians’.

This is what Roc has to say about the ‘Milicians’ art piece…

I loved painting in ‘Esto es una plaza’ because of the characteristics of the project. It’s a real example of how neighbors make a public space of their own. They manage it in order to improve their own environment, making decisions horizontally about management, ecology, sustainability, and self management of their own necessities and wishes.

Jason Woodside. Urvanity. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

From the very first time I visited the place, I loved how this space was putting different generations together: children playing with sand, grandpas and grandmas growing vegetables, a poetry lecture over there… It seemed the perfect space to me for painting a piece about the militia during the Spanish Civil War. They not only fought against fascism, but they also headed a true revolution; making factories and fields collective, building a more equal society.

Three days in Madrid. That was it. It’s never enough…

I hope that Urvanity will take place next year. I also hope that I can make it there before it happens.

Alice Pasquini Nothing Lost Swinton & Grant Gallery. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini Nothing Lost Swinton & Grant Gallery. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Alice Pasquini. Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

Roc Blackblock Milicians Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Roc Blackblock)

Roc Blackblock No Es Crisis Es Capitalismo Madrid, Spain. February 2017 (photo © Fer Alcalá FujifilmXT10)

 

 

 

 

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“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

“Urvanity” Fair Opens in Madrid, 68 Artists + Galleries + Walls + Panels

You may not realize upon first glance through the series of modular white walled temporary gallery rooms, but this fine art on display all has origins in street practice.

Over the past long weekend Madrid’s Urvanity fair at The Palacio Neptuno showcased a sweeping cross-selection of crisply framed names – many of which are being identified as Street Artists en route to “Contemporary Artists”.

Banksy. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Hung at eye level, carefully spaced, and illuminated under tracked lighting, the studio work of nearly 70 Graffiti/Street/Urban artists went on this weekend in one of the first fairs dedicated entirely to this evermore emerging category.

With fresh works from artists like JonOne, Fin DAC, Pixelpancho, Miss Van, Jef Aérosol, Sixe Art, L Atlas, Stikki Peaches, and Ben Eine, it is a mostly Eurocentric roster of galleries you’ve come to know in the last decade or so from places like Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Zurich, London, among others, and of course Madrid. Under the direction of Sergio Sancho, an advertising professional who has worked with major global brands, the fair calls the works on display New Contemporary Art and the program includes a companion mural campaign in Madrid streets featuring Eine, Jason Woodside, L’Atlas, PREF, MESA and Mohammed Lghacham.

Laurence Vallières. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

While receiving increasing support from serious press, museums, auctions, and festivals over the last decade and a half, it has been a great challenge for both commercial/social and historical/academic scholarship to agree on a moniker for these combined movements and makers – one that fairly encompasses the myriad motivations, styles of expression and intersecting cultures that have evolved from a half century of art on the streets.

Pro 176 . L’Atlas. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

With the inauguration of the Urvanity Mahou Talks Program during the fair, featuring again the artist Ben Eine and cultural curator Cedar Lewisohn, this topic and many more that continue to be raised can be examined and discussed in meaningful ways. At BSA we are finding that our participation in these panels, presentations, and discussions as well as being in the audience has furthered our understanding and appreciation for this natural and growing desire of scholarship.

The Urvanity program of conferences, debates and presentations here collect artists, curators and cultural managers with these purposes in mind and naturally will help collectors and fans contemplate these artists at the fair and better appreciate the bridge between the street and the fine art presented here. A strong first showing, you can expect to see Urvanity back again next year.

An outdoor mural from the Urvanity Instagram page. “We are excited to be able to be painting incredible murals in #Madrid. This one is by @oiterone on Calle de la Cebada!”

Miss Van . Peca. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Tilt . Moses & Taps. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Nano4814. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Vermibus . Jordan Seiler . OX. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sixe Paredes . Suso33 Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

D*Face . Jason Woodside . Felipe Pantone . Pref . Okuda. Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Urvanity 2017. Madrid, Spain. February 2017. (photo © Alfonso Herranz)

Sergio Sancho and the Urvanity team outside the inaugural exhibition Palacio Neptuno.
Check out their Instagram here.

For more information please visit:

URVANITY
Palacio de Neptuno
Calle de Cervantes, 42. Madrid
From February 23rd 26th, 2017
www.urvanity art.com

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Madrid Diary and the Street : Velasquez, Goya, Borondo, Spy!

Madrid Diary and the Street : Velasquez, Goya, Borondo, Spy!

Velasquez, the painter of the Spanish Golden Age died here. Along with the mannerist paintings of El Greco, the extravagant baroque of the Flemish Rubens, and the romantic Goya, one can see Velasquez’ works here at the wealthy and famous El Museo Del Prado of Madrid.

Also, we cannot forget the Bosch exhibit opening here at the end of the month. In fact there are two dozen or so world-class museums hosting vast collections of historical and contemporary art all around this capital of Spain.

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Borondo at La Tabacalera. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

Naturally, their influences are also felt on the streets of the city, but you’ll need to veer away from the scrubbed-clean tourist areas and glide beyond the high-end boutiques to get this story. Behold Borondo! Suso! Spy!

The Tetuan neighborhood has been attracting an impressive list of local and international artists to its dilapidated walls and rough streets, now home to many immigrants from South America and Sub-Sahara Africa. It is the sort of environment that artists seek for experimentation and creativity and a rather instant audience. Paintings, illustrations, sculptural installations large and small. Sometimes they are finished works, often they appear as studies.

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Borondo. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

This same storyline is repeated throughout the great metropolis in areas that are neglected, abandoned or otherwise overlooked. There are no luxury brands nor Disneyfied aspects or over attentive security to deal with here, this hotbed of creativity. Compared to the general ticket price of 14 Euro at Del Prado, admission to the street show is quite reasonable, and you may even meet the artist.

The images below sent to us by BSA contributor Lluis Olive Bulbena are culled from Tetuan and La Tabacalera for this Madrid Diary.

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Suso 33. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Suso 33. Detail. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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San. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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San. Detail. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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San. Detail. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Pincho at La Tabacalera. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Spy. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Spy. Detail. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Susie Hammer at La Tabacalera. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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E1000. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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Parseci at La Tabacalera. Madrid, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

 

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Spider Tag: “Secuencias Minimas” Opens in Madrid

Spider Tag: “Secuencias Minimas” Opens in Madrid

Doors, windows, shipping pallets, nails, yarn. These are the humble materials that Spidertag uses in his geometric abstractions, commingling handmade craft traditions, mid-century modernism, and the history of commercial graphic sign painting.

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

SECUENCIAS MÍNIMAS is his new Madrid solo show just opened with 23 works that include sculptural wallhangings, video, lights, logs, and a generous amount of fire engine red.

The Street Artist has been pounding nails into the walls of community gardens, winding small streets, and abandoned old houses and factories for nearly a decade, each time responding to the environment with his materials and geometry based compositions in new ways to create one of a kind installations. By retaining that ability to be resourceful on the spot, Spidertag knows how to transform many angles of the gallery effectively and without pretension.

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

The new show at Swinton Gallery presents Spidertag’s facination for experimentation and the simplicity of form, dimension, and materials – often with a touch of levity. Choices of color, shape, and placement in the gallery environment are wry and unassuming, reminding the viewer that the creative spirit can be simultaneously challenging and rewarding while remaining disarmingly simple.

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

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Spider Tag. Secuencias Minimas Swinton Gallery. Madrid, Spain. (photo © courtesy of Spider Tag)

 

Spider Tag Secuencias Minimas is currently on view at Swinton Gallery in Madrid, Spain. Click HERE for more information.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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