All posts tagged: Mana Urban Arts Project

Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade of Eye-Popping Beauty at a Portentous Time

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An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both.

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1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls.

International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake.

Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence mixed with plaid, shot-callers and violins, strollers and stillettos, an undertone of aggression and sexual tension, salt-of-the-earth with self-admiring clubbers, perfect skin and aerosol painted hands, a whiff of weed and a sense of wonder waiting to be discovered.

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Audrey Kawasaki at The Hotel. Goldman Global Arts. South Beach. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there was a parade of 40 or so citizens and activists carrying signs and handing out flyers down the street to protest the oil pipelines taking sacred lands from native tribes and polluting natural water supplies, the thousands of art fans flooding the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami would have been hard pressed to find any Street Art talking about those topics.

Ironically the political shockwaves this year in Miami seemed to emanate from behind doors at the fair with Sam Durant’s “End White Supremacy” piece that many interpreted as a direct response to the election of a president whose followers include radical organizations that champion white supremacy. Alas, the piece was made in 2008, and although its hand-style emulates the hit and run scrawl of some graffiti on the street, it was a thoughtfully executed piece constructed as an illuminated sign.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With one very notable exception, the enormous and frightful mural featuring Donald Trump as Heath Ledger’s Joker wielding a knife at the neck of the Statue of Liberty with the screaming headline “Come On… What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?” by 12 artists for The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Arts Project, the professionalization of Street Artists and their murals may be steering the paintings in Wynwood away from in-your-face activism.

Granted, no one is thinking that commercially branded ventures that actually pay artists to paint will encourage the outright expression of social or political opinions – that may challenge or frighten potential customers and investors. Hotel lobbies need murals, sport cars need decorative painting, beer cans need labels. A number of liquor and lifestyle companies have invited artists here over the last few years and paid them to make their special events and products visually appealing, but little else.

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David Choe portrait of Martha Cooper and her cat Mélia. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The newly refurbished Hard Rock stadium a few miles north of Miami features huge mural installations by international Street Artists that are curated by Goldman Global Arts, a division of Goldman Properties, the same real estate organization that has brought artists from around the world to the Wynwood Walls compound and featured their fine art canvasses in gallery expositions since the late 2000s. The pieces are opus works in an unusual setting and now sports fans are going to be up close and personal with some of the bigger names in Street Art right now.

It would be hypocritical for anyone to expect that these artists should accept commercial work and yet disrespect guidelines about the content. Similarly, expecting artists not to seek commercial opportunities for fear of “selling out” is arrogant and unrealistic and often the convenient provenance of privileged youth who dabble in “slumming” as a rebellious lifestyle. Later they are bankers.

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David Choe. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even so, where’s the anger right now? Why didn’t you see a lot of furious diatribes, challenges to power, and mockery of small-minded thinking on the street in Wynwood – and what would it take for Street Art to embrace its power to affect social and political change?

Just posing the question here now, again – as the topics of impending fascism, the increasing acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, corruption, oligarchy, state-corporatism, and a systematic eroding of respect for our institutions – all came up in conversations at bars, art openings, panel discussions, and roof parties.

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Okuda. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The murals you see here are often technically superb and their themes, while muted, may address some of the larger themes affecting society, but one wonders if there is an internalized censorship that we have accepted.

These images are admittedly of a modest percentage of the hundreds of legal murals and illegally dashed-off pieces we saw this week, but that’s only because we have edited for our individual aesthetics, not because of content. Also admittedly, as people in the arts, we are exhausted from the recent election and all it portends, and we were happy for some glorious eye candy to salve the psychic wounds – so maybe we were selectively seeing what we wanted to.

Probably not too much though.

For an art practice with some serious and proud roots in activism, the walls in Miami are curiously quiet. But they definitely look amazing.

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Pixel Pancho. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Findac. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faith 47. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Felipe Pantone. Goldman Global Arts. Wynwood Walls. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martin Whatson. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood / Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. June. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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INO. The Raw Project. Eneida M. Hartner Elementary School. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © INO)

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Shepard Fairey. Mana Urban Arts Projects. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pichi & Avo. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hueman. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jen Stark. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Detail. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fintan Magee. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AVAF. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bordalo II. Uninhibited Festival 2016. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Peeta. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf. Work in progress. Wynwood /Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


 Our week’s coverage on BSA:

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2

You’ll Need Good Shoes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 3

Clubhouse Chemistry in a Warehouse : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 4

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Urban Contemporary Inside the Fair : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 6


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).


This article is also published on The Huffington Post.

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Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

Paint, Protest, Party : BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 5

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Scope! The verb, not the art fair.

We will be hitting SCOPE shortly but in the interim we’ve been scoping for action or trouble; trolling around the streets of Wynwood and other selected odd locations to find Street Artists actively brush-painting, aerosol painting, markering, stenciling, wheat-pasting, even tying some wires and ribbons around fences. The walls and murals and the scene are all transforming in front of your eyes here, with photographers, videographers, and drones all flying around to capture the action as it progresses.

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Bob from The London Police working at their mural for the new Goldaman offices in Wynwood, Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016 /Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This neighborhood is an art fair, without the attitude. Well, maybe there is attitude occasionally on display as well.

Also, political speech was pushing through the carousing beer swilling, late-sipping, burrito chomping streets yesterday with a 50 person troop of protesters with home made signs addressing the massive oil pipeline that is routed through sacred land of Native Americans in North Dakota and a pipeline planned to go through Florida.

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Oil pipelines protest in Wynwood. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

We followed them for a few blocks, listening to chants about water and hegemony and found that for many art/party fans it was a curiosity to see citizens demonstrating, and a few bystanders took the fluorescent green flyers offered and said thanks, while others took photos and naturally, selfies with the marchers.

Just one more element to add to your sense of cognitive dissonance.

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Pichi & Avo. Work in progress. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Night time in the Wynwood District is a chaotic grimy glittery mix of high and low and middle in the neighborhood as well – where you are as likely to catch a whiff of a models’ perfume as she sashays past you in a backless silver mini dress with her 3 leggy friends flipping their long hair over their shoulders as you are to catch a whiff of sweet ganga smoke from the joint of an open-shirted, low-waisted Romeo in dreadlocks or one the acrid whiff of the rumpled grayish clothing worn by the guy who is sitting on a chair against a mural and is ready to spend another night laying on the sidewalk after you stumble back to your hotel.

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Pichi & Avo. Detail. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An ongoing slothful and bloated and thumping network of car-minivan-limo-Escalade-motorcycle traffic is rolling into a mechanical Ambian lethargy, at times looking more like a parking lot or tailgating party, grid-locking and popping and actively cruising the options parading down the sidewalks, with windows open and music pumping.

With no police at intersections to ease the flow of this jamtastic scene, low-bubbling rage mixes with cologne and produces slick insults hurled at the guy whose car is blocking the traffic flow, or more importantly, your flow. The song of the night wafting through the air on one corner, perhaps because a bicycle would be a perfect solution here, is called Bicycleta.

Luckily for us, we are usually on foot and not afraid to walk to find the good stuff. That is the best way to experience the street and the various events and to catch artists at work. Enjoy a few scenes from the day and one from the evening in Wynwood in Miami.

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Ron English touching up his mural from a previous edition of Wynwood Walls. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Maclaim. Detail. Work in progress. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Work in progress for Mana Urban Arts Project. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Work in progress for Mana Urban Arts Project. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Insa and Drew Merritt. Work in progress. This will be an augmented reality wall which the public will be able to appreciate on Saturday with an app. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Insa and Drew Merrit. Work in progress. This will be an augmented reality wall which the public will be able to appreciate on Saturday with an app. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Low Bros. Perfecting ones curtsy to the Queen comes in handy while painting on a wall. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey, people! Or not, its up to you. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Talk at the new Goldman art gallery with Martha Cooper, Crash, Tristan Eaton, Faith47 and Pixel Pancho. Moderated by Steven P. Harrington of BSA. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichi & Avo at the Hard Rock Stadium for Goldman Global Arts


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

 

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Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

Wynwood Awakes: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 1

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The gallerists and merchants have begun arriving in the South Beach area of Miami to uncrate the art they’ve shipped for the enormous Art Basel and the assorted satellite fairs of Art Basel Miami 2016. Across the Venetian Way heading inland and minutes to the north you see that artist have already been painting on walls in the Wynwood neighborhood.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First adorned by an entirely organic graffiti and Street Art scene in the late 90s and early 2000s, the low-income neighborhood with a light-manufacturing base has been transformed by real estate and economic development. Now after a decade of inviting local and international artistic talent to come and paint, the Wynwood area of Miami is a beacon of mural art that showcases this moment in its evolution.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Nation (UN) returns this year as well, having worked with many of these artists who will be getting up throughout Wynwood, and BSA is on the streets here with you to see the action as it unfolds with exhibitions, shows, and possibly a party or two. While Wynwood events certainly popped up in the shadow of the annual Art Basel exhibition, art fair patrons and a modicum of celebrity have made the pilgrimage here in greater numbers every year for some urban decay realness, now sprinkled with glitter.

It is no surprise that many of these same artists are now featured in the art fairs as well, represented by new and established galleries and hired by lifestyle brands and moneyed corporations to carry their messages. It’s a heady mix of power, rebellion, politics, aesthetics, and aerosol; and sometimes it is a pure revelation to see the transformations, given the anti-establishment undercurrents that have run through graffiti and the more socio-political activist elements of Street Art throughout the last half-century.

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Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 70s, minutes away from the sand and the ocean, this grit is just getting stirred up again, and the aerosol fumes are already wafting through the blocks that are now looking less run-down, and decidedly under development.

West Coast based mural magician and philosopher Chor Boogie, with his protective air mask perched like mini-horns atop his head, smiles and welcomes a visitor happily because this time is just before the flood, before the sidewalks are thick with ipad-photographers and selfie-takers and fans of all sorts.

With moving vans and ladders and boxes of cans being unpacked, this neighborhood is clearly gearing up for a party again, and many artists have already laid down line work to play alongside pieces that have survived previous years. As the events unfold we’ll keep you apprised of the ones we trip into.

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It could just be us, but does this look like Al Pacino to you? Greece’s INO in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face from a previous edition of Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. Detail. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crash. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic Fernandez from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mateo. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This Herakut mural was executed in 2o12 and it is still in a remarkable condition. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Herakut. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MSK. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TCP. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.06.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.06.16

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Today is Marathon Day in New York City and the leaves on the trees have turned to oranges and reds and yellows to welcome the 26,000 people running through all five boroughs.  In two days right here in New York City both Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton will wait at their campaign headquarters to see the results of the longest and slimiest presidential campaigns most of us can remember, with many of us reporting that it made us sick.

There is plenty of blame to go around, and hopefully these are simply the fitful growing pains of a fighting, evolving society and not the stabbing spasms of a dissolute, dying republic.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Amanda Wong, Atomik, Boa Mistura, BK Foxx, Cash4, Giver, Kobra, Lexi Bella, Moter, Olek, Rambo, Reverend, Rocko, Ruben Sanchez, Sheryo, Sokar Uno, Wolftits, and You Go Girl.

Our top image: Kobra’s new monumental mural of David Bowie in Jersey City, NJ. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kobra at work  on his mural of David Bowie. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lexi Bella portrait of Frida Kahlo for JMZ Murals. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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OLEK on the roof of the Ice Factory in Jersey City, NJ in collaboration with Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We asked Olek about this brand new crocheted billboard she and a small team installed this week in New Jersey. We publish her reflections and statement here for BSA readers.

“This crocheted billboard is my uncommissioned letter to Hillary Clinton, a letter from a woman, an artist, and a naturalized US citizen.

This election has been fueled by hate and negativity. Initially, I did not want to make overtly political art. But then I realized I must, as too much is at stake. I could either make a negative statement about the other candidate or a positive one about Hillary.  When a piece of art has 1000 hours of hand labor invested in it, I’d rather it be a positive statement.

Hillary might not be cool, but she is qualified, experienced and competent. I don’t want to hang out with her. I don’t want to drink beer with her. I don’t want to go dancing all night with her. I want her to be our president. I want her to run this country!

This is history happening in front of you, incredible and groundbreaking. The first African-American president will pass the most important job in the USA to the first woman president. No one would have imagined this just 50 years ago. So yes, these are amazing times.

Look at what is happening in Europe. Countries are returning to a conservative stance and people’s rights are being trampled and revoked. Few believed Brexit could take place, but indeed it did. We should learn from this mistake. Hate crimes are escalating. Immigrants, and especially Polish citizens, are being beaten and even killed. We cannot let this happen here in USA.  We cannot go down this path of destruction in The United States of America.

I involved people across the USA to help me with this project. It was about a community working together and making a statement. We had two main groups crocheting – one in Virginia Beach and one in NYC. The excitement was tangible as we worked together to realize this vision. Each day we gathered in my tiny studio, those outside of NYC would join via Skype, as we all crocheted around the clock, talking to each other about our commitment to this piece and to Hillary Clinton, listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks.  Everyone involved jumped on this project because they believed in it.

We are happy that we have achieved it.

I am an artist.  I am a woman.  As both I must make a statement.  I cannot remain neutral or silent.  I wish more people would find a way make positive statements.  Unfortunately, negativity sells much better these days.

It is imperative for the future of our country that we succeed in electing Hillary Clinton as President of The United States of America this November 8th.” – OLEK

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Sokar Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BK Foxx for JMZ Murals. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An Amanda Wong Love Letter to her man in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Boa Mistura spreadin’ some love. It’s the Brooklyn way. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Boa Mistura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Atomik in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sheryo in Detroit Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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REVEREND at Lincoln Park in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Reverend . You Go Girl . Giver and a couple of tags we can’t ID in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wolf Tits in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RAMBO in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Class War…Cash4 in Detroit, Michigan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Moter…train spotin’ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rocko (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ruben Sanchez in Jersey City, NJ for Mana Urban Arts Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. The Little Red Lighthouse on the Hudson River. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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